Nigeria's tomato prices have soared to around 15 times higher than before the Tuta absoluta outbreak. Since arriving from South America via Spain in 2008, the pest in now present in at least 15 African countries.
Article continues below
Africa exported almost $800 million of tomatoes in 2015, or about 10% of the world’s total, according to the International Trade Centre, and efforts are underway to provide pest control.
Tuta absoluta a serious pest threatening Tomato product in Africa crossed from Spain and continuing its advance in Africa and not expected to stop until it reaches South Africa. Tuta absoluta has demonstrated that it can also threaten other key crops such as potato.
The key problem associated with this pest is its fast life cycle (28 days in typical conditions) and could multiply 10-12 times a year in African conditions.
dIt can develop resistance to pesticides quickly prompting farmers to use higher does than recommended, cocktails of potent and persistent pesticides capable of inflicting serious harm on consumer health.
Russell IPM, a manufacturer and supplier of bio-rational pest control technologies, unveiled its approach to preventing Tuta absoluta from establishing harmful population levels in tomato fields by deploying nature’s own weapons. By recharging the soil with the same beneficial organisms nature uses to keep the insect population in balance.
Shakir Al-Zaidi commented: “A single soil application of Recharge at the start of the season will provide a lasting effect on the Tuta absoluta population throughout the growing season.”
Best results can be achieved in areas where the Tuta absoluta pest has recently arrived and the population has just begun to build up. Recharge can stop the population from growing to a harmful level and will slow down the advance of the pest to further areas.
“This is a new strategy designed to halt the progress of Tuta absoluta in Africa. A strategy based on prevention rather than cure. We are thrilled to announce that finally a sustainable preventative measure has finally arrived,” Al-Zaidi added.
The beneficial microbes have dwelled in the soil for millions of years and they have been doing a wonderful job at keeping the balance between different insects and rebalancing the soil in which the plant grows and flourishes. Recharge will help bring the population of Tuta absoluta within the natural balance and will not allow it to breach that balance.
Since Recharge is based on natural living organisms, which can grow and multiply in the soil naturally, one simple application to the soil provides a sustainable and cost-effective season long protection. ■
Warm, dry and windy conditions, caused by the emergence of a strong cold front from the Rockies will contribute to a critical fire weather threat for parts of southeastern Colorado and southwestern Kansas this afternoon.