NIHORT announces reduction in tomato devastation by Tuta Absoluta pest
National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan, on Wednesday disclosed that the devastation of tomatoes by Tuta Absoluta pest had been reduced by 40 per cent.
The Acting Executive Director of NIHORT, Dr Abayomi Olaniyan, said this in Ibadan at the institute’s In-House review with the theme “Role of Horticulture in Green Alternative for Improved Livelihood’’.
Olaniyan noted that some of the major achievements of the institute in the 2016/2017 period included 114 tomato lines that were collected and under screening for bacterial wilt tolerance.
He said that 44 pepper lines were collected and under screening for tolerance to viral infections, adding that five new varieties of mushroom were also collected from East Africa.
He also said that 50 kilogrammes of organic fertiliser were produced from a mixture of horticulture waste, while four forms of soap were produced from horticultural waste and packaged.
“One micro garden demonstration centre was established at NIHORT, 10 accessions of plantain and banana were collected, while five pineapple products were developed from fresh pineapple fruits.
“One hectare of Irvingia Wombulu orchard was established at Ibadan; 2,377 stakeholders were reached on tomato, Irvingia, pineapple, citrus and onion value-chain in the North West, North Central, South West, South South and South East.
|Tuta Absoluta pest|
“Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threat (SWOT) analysis was also generated for the crops,” he said.
Olaniyan said that sustainable nursery and soil amendment, which would shorten nursery period, increase farmers’ yields, reduce dependence on top soil, was being developed in ornamental nurseries.
He assured the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, that NIHORT scientists would put in efforts to meet the domestic needs of horticultural crops of premium value like tomato, onion and telfaria.
He said that the institute would mobilise available resources to promote exportation of crops like ginger, mango, plantain, banana, avocado pear and Irvingia Wombulu.
“Improved horticultural seeds and seedlings shall equally stand as our priority in the current cropping year,” he said.
Olaniyan, however, sought the minister’s intervention in curbing the encroachment of the institute’s property by land speculators and on the payment of exorbitant electricity bills, which was a major threat to the survival of its laboratory.
“We need adequate electricity to run our tissue culture facilities that require 24 hours light.
“We also need to complete our new biotechnology lab for propagation of disease-free planting materials,” he said.
In his remark, Mr Yarama Ndirpaya, Director of Partnership and Linkages, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN), said that NIHORT was important for genetic improvement of horticultural crops in Nigeria.
“I expect that this research review will be used to identify projects that would positively impact on the country’s fruits and vegetables,” he said.
The highlights of the event include inauguration of projects facilities and different horticultural exhibitions.