By Monsuru Olowoopejo
lagos—the Lagos State Government yesterday disclosed that it had commenced training for farmers on pest control, aimed at preventing spread of Tuta absoluta, popularly known as ‘Tomato Ebola’, in the state. This came barely hours after the Federal Government confirmed six states had been hit by the Tomato Ebola.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Oluwatoyin Suarau, who disclosed this in an interview, said that what was experienced in Lagos was just vestiges of the pest, saying “We aren’t (seriously) affected by the pest.” His words: “But in order not to have such, we have started training our farmers in order to prevent what was experienced in other states in Lagos.”
The commissioner noted that the training was part of the measures the state government has decided to adopt, in order to prevent infection of the farm produce in the state. Suarau argued that high cost of farm produce, especially tomatoes require that farmers are constantly re-trained on how to control pests in their farmland.
He stated that the state government would not relent in its effort to partner every citizen in ensuring food security in the state. Suarau however appealed to resident not to entertain any fear, saying: “We have the facilities and technicality to prevent such occurrence in Lagos.”
It will be recalled that the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Audu Ogbeh had said “the highly reproductive nature of the tomato pest coupled with the favourable environment and lack of management knowledge for containment resulted in its spread like a wild fire without any challenge.