Africa

Nigerians discover pesticide for tomato-killing moths

Tomatoes for sale in the Obalende district of Lagos. 25 May 2015 Image copyright AFP
Image caption The price of a basket of tomatoes in Nigeria has soared

Nigerian researchers say they have found a pesticide capable of killing a species of moth that has ravaged the country's tomato crop.

The Tomato Leaf Miner moth has destroyed 80% of tomato farms in Kaduna state, in the north of the country.

Other states, particularly in the north, have been badly hit too and farmers have lost millions of dollars.

The price of a basket of tomatoes has soared from $1.20 (£0.80) less than three months ago to more than $40.

Now Nigeria's National Research Institute for Chemical Technology says it has found a solution - a pesticide which will kill off the moth.

But farmers affected by the moth will have to wait as the new pesticide is not commercially available yet.

Tomatoes are a basic part of most Nigerians' diets and officials in Kaduna state declared a state of emergency in May as the price of tomatoes rocketed.

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