Minister Blames Ebola Infestation for Tomato Scarcity

May 28, 2024
Tomatoes

By Adedapo Adesanya

The scarcity of tomatoes experienced in parts of Nigeria is caused by a “severe infestation known as Tomato Ebola or Tomato Leaf Miner,” says the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Mr Abubakar Kyari.

According to developments verified by this newspaper, there is a fruit shortage in the market, which has pushed households to alternatives like tomato pastes and other vegetables.

Speaking on the issue in a post on X (formerly Twitter), the minister said the Federal Government has taken action to combat the issue.

“A significant number of our tomato farms have been affected by a severe infestation known as Tomato Ebola or Tomato Leaf Miner. This has drastically reduced the availability of tomatoes and contributed to rising costs.

“Our ministry is taking immediate action to combat this issue. We are deploying agricultural experts to affected areas to contain and eliminate the infestation.

“Additionally, we are supporting our farmers with the necessary resources and guidance to recover their crops as quickly as possible, just as we instituted the Ginger Blight Control Taskforce.

“We understand the impact this has on your daily lives and are working tirelessly to resolve the situation and restore the supply of affordable tomatoes. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time,” he said.

Earlier this month, Business Post reported that threats by the Tomato Crates Dealers Association of Nigeria and the Amalgamated Union of Food Stuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria could see tomatoes scarce in the markets.

Particularly, the National Chairman of the tomato sellers, Mr Ahmed Alaramma, said supply to Lagos may be cut because of the destruction of products of the group’s members in the metropolis during a clash among hoodlums at the popular Ile-Epo Market.

This is happening amid a high food inflation which reached 40.53 per cent on a year-on-year basis in April, marking a substantial increase of 15.92 percentage points from the 24.61 per cent recorded in 2023.

Adedapo Adesanya

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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