Tuta Absoluta: Russell IPM proffers solution for Nigerian tomato growers

In response to a recent insurgence of Tuta absoluta in Nigeria which resulted in a 400 per cent price hike of tomato, Russell lPM has profered solution to the small but damaging pest which poses threat to Nigerian tomato growers.

Russell lPM, a market leader in providing customer focused solutions to issues facing pest controllers, in a statement made avaliable to the Nigerian Tribune, said with its seven years’ experience in Tuta absoluta management and control, it has launched an effective and sustainable solution to combat the pest.

The solution, a three-component system, based on beneficial soil microbes and biopesticides, has been found to work in synergy to destroy both larvae’s and adults of Tuta, boost the plant’s defences and promote plant growth in a safe and sustainable way, the organisation said.

It will be recalled that the tomato leaf miner moth was responsible for damaging almost half of this year’s anticipated tomato harvest, resulting in a significant shortage for the vegetable.

Russell IPM said in collaboration with Agronet Limited, it has conducted field demonstrations to show farmers how they can use the products and gain complete control of the pest. Local farms that have been using the organisation’s Recharge, Antario and Biotrine systems have noted a significant reduction in Tuta population and tomato damage, the organisation said.

It added that one of its solution users was the Tenti Farms located in Jos, Nigeria, with 25 hectares of greenhouse where they primarily grow tomatoes and peppers. It quoted Odunayo Orowumi, Head Agronomist at the farm saying “in the past, our farm has been devastated by the Tuta absoluta pest and despite trying a number of conventional pesticides, the moth caused complete losses in our greenhouses.

“We cannot overstate the importance of following the complete Russell lPM control programme right from the beginning of the season. Applying Recharge within the nursery will enable successful control of the pupae. Then, using Antario and Biotrine provides preventive cover which led to a drastic reduction of adult flies.”

Babatunde William-Funmilayo, the Managing Director of Agronet Limited, said he found recharge to be very successful in soil media, stating a “zero incidence of Tufa absolufa resulting in plants that show improved vigour, good foliage, excellent fruit conversion and resistance to disease.”