Ministry strategises against tomato pest
• Nigeria, OIC member states collaborate to build indigenous capacities in science technology
Nigeria has the capacity to use home grown solutions to contain the pest infection ravaging tomato production in Nigeria, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnya Onu has said.
Onu said the ministry had developed a pesticide agent that is very effective against the new tomato pest.Tuta Absoluta, otherwise known as ‘tomato ebola,’ has recently ravaged tomato farms in Nigeria and has been of great concern to the nation.
Onu, who spoke in Abuja when he met with a delegation from KIDS-FEST, stressed how an agency under the supervision of the Ministry, the National Institute for Chemical Technology, (NARICT), Zaria, developed the pesticide agent using natural resources available in the country.
He described the pesticide as a ready solution to the rampaging pest.“There is no reason whatsoever to go outside the country to import a solution”, Onu said.
His words: “Nigeria, following the leadership provided by president Muhammadu Buhari will soon be in a position where other nations can copy from her rather than Nigeria copying at all times from other nations.”
Onu said the development of the pesticide agent and the expected mass production by industrialists and support from other sources will be a sure for Nigeria to contribute to food security in Nigeria, Africa and the world at large.
He said the Minister was always ready to provide necessary support to all sectors of the economy in the sustained effort to promote national development.
Speaking, the national project Coordinator of Kids-Fest Nigeria, Prince Paul Ikonne, informed the Minister that KIDs-Fest Foundation is part of a global project which was founded by a German woman named Sussane Prahl in Sarajevo shortly after the ethnic crisis that rocked that part of the World over a decade ago.
He described it as a global brand that promotes social integration of children through various events designed for children to mingle, share useful ideas, learn new skills, exhibit their creative talents and generally entertain themselves and the society at large from their innocent and free spirited viewpoints.
The Nigeria edition is scheduled to hold in Abuja this August.The Minister assured the delegation of the support of the Ministry in ensuring the realization of the objectives of Kids-Fest Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Nigeria is to participate in the General Assembly of the fifteenth Session of the Committee on Science and Technology (COSTECH) of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
Onu is representing Nigeria in response to an invitation from the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and current Chairman of COSTECH, Mr. Mannoon Hussein, for Nigeria to participate.The meeting is scheduled for , May 31 to June 1, 2016 in Islamabad, Pakistan.
COMSTECH, which is in its fifteenth years of existence, assist OIC member states to build indigenous capacities in science and technology through cooperation and mutual assistance.
“The attendance and participation of Nigeria at the conference is expected to further strengthen and enhance the capacity of the country to develop science and technology which is key to the success of the change agenda of the Federal Government. It is also a further demonstration of the Buhari administration’s determination to explore all available avenues that will assist in the uplifting of the living standard of Nigerians,” the ministry said in a statement.