Agronomist calls for Investment in insecticides manufacturing to check tomatoes scarcity


 An agronomist, Mr Nnamdi Infenkwe, on Monday told the Federal Government to invest in insecticides production to check the increasing scarcity of tomatoes in the country.
Infenkwe, Project Manager of Nissi Agro Allied Services, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that increasing budgetary allocation on pest control mechanism would stem shortage of tomatoes.
He said that the measure would also guarantee bountiful harvest during harvest seasons.
Infenkwe spoke against the backdrop of the current scarcity of tomatoes in Nigeria, which had been attributed to a pest known as ``Tuta absoluta’’.
The pest is said to have destroyed this year’s tomatoes harvest in farms across Nigeria, particularly in Jigawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina and Plateau.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Tuta absoluta, a moth, is native to the Andes region of South America and can now be found in Europe, North Africa and West Africa.
The scarcity of tomatoes has made the price of the commodity to increase by as much as 400 per cent.
``We can be one of the largest producers of tomatoes in the sub-Sahara region if our farmers can adhere to using insect repellents to curb pests.
``This is because our country has the potential to achieve this given the nutrients and nature of the soil we have as well as the manpower to accomplish it.
``Government at all levels should as a matter of priority sensitise farmers and encourage them to exploit the most recent means of pest controls.
``This will ensure that the growth of crops is not interrupted.’’
He called on governments to as a matter of urgency; allocate more funds to various agricultural research institutions to make modern discoveries on crop management.
``More funding is crucial to achieving successes in the sector as well as in the training and retraining of manpower in the research institutes.
``Other climes who have recorded many successes and discoveries achieved this because they took the route of funding their institutes and Nigeria should not be an exception,’’ Infenkwe said

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