Tomato farms have been reported to be under serious threat in Jigawa State as a strange devastating disease which is currently diminishing the life span of tomatoes is raising fears and results into increase in cost of the agricultural produce.
It is however, saddening to farmers that are involved in the agricultural activities of tomato cultivation to know that the impact of the disease on the plant doesn’t just causes it to turn brown, but also wilt and then dry up.
Despite the usage of pesticides and fertilizers on the farms the disturbing disease which is mostly has dominance in tomato farms in Birnin Kudu Local Government Area of the state has persistently defied all efforts made by agricultural experts to curb its dominance. This has led to numerous farmers being forced to accept it as fate, as they assume it as a forces of nature with the belief that it is as a result of change in wind direction, which was a sudden occurrence of which its effect was spontaneous.
Thus, Farmers across the state are currently engaged in dry season farming which began around January.
Meanwhile, a farmer residing in the area insisted that interest in carrying out tomato farming in dry season has reduced massively, due to the fact that the disease does not spare any part of the plant once it sets in.
However, there are few farmers who continue to tend their farms and are fortunate to record bumper harvest.
Nonetheless, this latest development has taken its toll in the supply of the agricultural commodity (tomato) as it has presently led to an increase in price, with a basket of tomato costing as much as N8,000 at the point of harvest, while if transported to the Southern region of the country it could cost as much as N11,000 and above.
Director of Agricultural Services of the Jigawa State Ministry of Agriculture, Bashir Umar, attributed the situation to problems associated with late planting, and therefore, urged the farmers to always adhere to early planting.