Benson Idahosa University, BIU to produce 800,000 tons of tomatoes to ameliorate the present shortage in the supply of tomatoes in Nigeria in the next one year.
Barely 24 hours after the Federal Government announced that the pest, Tuta absoluta, also known as “Tomato Ebola”, had invaded six states, the management of Benson Idahosa University (BIU), Benin City, yesterday said it was set to flood the market with an annual 800,000 tonnes of tomatoes from its farm.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Audu Ogbe, had on Tuesday explained that the pest, which was responsible for the massive destruction of tomatoes in farmlands, had spread to Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Plateau and Lagos.
The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Ernest Izevbigie, explained during a press briefing in Benin that the tomatoes would be produced annually by the institution’s Faculty of Agriculture.
He noted that the university’s agriculture department also had the technology to cultivate grass, which would ameliorate the effects of cattle grazing. The vice chancellor added that Nigeria should become more self-sufficient in terms of forage crops production, as the country has the proper soil and climate for such crops to thrive.