Tuta Absoluta: Plant science experts offer lasting solutions

Plant Science experts, under the auspices of CropLife Nigeria, have offered solutions to the unfortunate incident of Tomato Leaf Miner, otherwise known as Tuta Absoluta, which has drastically affected tomato production in the country.

The experts stated that since Tuta Absoluta was controlled in other countries of the world, there was no reason why it cannot be controlled in the country with insecticides that had been scientifically tried, tested and proven and which include Lambdacyhalothin, Imidacloprid, Cypermethrin, Emamectin Benzoate and Chlorphyrifos.

They, therefore, said that they observed with a lot of dismay the helplessness of stakeholders in the agricultural industry on the outbreak of the tomato disease.

In a statement, president and the chairman, technical committee of the group, Mahmood Tauhid and Dr Abdullahi Ndarubu, disclosed that the Tomato Leaf Miner was a pest of great economic importance in several countries of Latin America, the Mediterranean and Africa, precisely in Egypt, Ghana and other neighbouring African countries.

They noted that effective and sustainable control of Tuta absoluta involved cultural, behavioural, biological and chemical option which required allowing a minimum of six weeks from crop destruction to planting the next crop to prevent carry-over of the pest from the previous crop.

Other measures include control of weeds to prevent multiplication of the pest in alternative weed hosts, use of pest-free transplants, use of only certified seeds as well as seal green house with high quality nets suitable for Tuta Absoluta.

Yet, others, according to them, include always inspecting the crop to detect the first signs of damage as well as removal and destruction of attacked plants.