Tomato farmers may soon dispel their fears about Tuta Absoluta, as a group of Nigerian scientists from the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Ibadan, Oyo State say they have discovered a remedy that will reduce the scourge.

Tuta Absoluta (Tomato Leafminer) it is a soil born pest, and that ravages tomatoes, also known as Tomato Ebola.

During an interaction with journalists in Kaduna, NIHORT Team Leader Dr Abiola Oke disussed efforts of the team on sustainable management of the pest.

Oke noted that they were on ground to sensitise the farmers on methods they could use in overcoming the challenge and added that the technology was developed after a careful research and had proven to tackle the challenges for which it was designed.

She said that all they did was to study the Tuta Absoluta and they found out that it is a pest that is active at night and is also attracted to light, hence, the development of the technology which involves using a tray and rechargeable lamp.

According to her “the technology is the use of tray and rechargeable lamps, the tray is filled with water, sprinkled with a little detergent and a stone is placed inside. A rechargeable lamp is placed on the stone and once the tuta which lays the eggs that damage the tomatoes come to the light, they will fall into the tray and are trapped, hence drown and die in the water”.

Addressing the issue of the affordability of the technology to farmers who are mostly based in the rural areas, the team leader explained that each set cost less than N1,000, which was used for purchasing the major tools; a plastic tray and a lamp. He noted that the research and the tools for the setup of the technology and the funding was being sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.

“As a sustainable scheme, we would organise meetings and workshops for leaders of farmers’ groups within the catchment areas from where there would be a multiplying effect as they go back and train others,” she added