16 March 2015 – A new video illustrates the devastating impacts that the invasive pest Tuta absoluta is having on tomato yields, and what this means for farmers who rely on these crops for sustenance and income.
Dr Arne Witt, from CABI commented on the implications of Tuta absoluta infestation across Africa:
Tomatoes are one of the most widely cultivated crops in Africa and are grown in the backyards of almost every homestead across sub-Saharan Africa. This important cash crop and source of vitamins is now threatened by the recent arrival of the tomato leafminer, Tuta absoluta.
This Invasive Alien Species is rapidly moving down the African continent, having already decimated crops in Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya and northern Tanzania. Growers are at their wits end as to how best they can control this pest and many have abandoned tomato growing altogether. The race is on to prevent its spread further south with various interventions planned to mitigate its impact in areas where it is already present.
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