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ABU develops remedy for tomato Ebola – Vice Chancellor

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Tomato-FarmThe Vice-Chancellor, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, says researchers in the institution have successfully developed a remedy for Tuta Absoluta, popularly called Tomato Ebola.

Garba said this while responding to questions on the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.

He said the university’s Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), which carried out the research, had since submitted its findings to the Minister of Agriculture.

He added that due to the discovery, the spread of Tuta Absoluta had since been checked.Our Institute of Agricultural Research has already done quite a lot of work and has actually submitted a report to the minister.

They studied the outbreak, found the remedy and it has already been arrested.We gave the report to the government a few weeks back to tell government that this is what it is and what should be done to forestall future happening or to contain it.’’

The V-C said the university’s Agricultural Research Complex accommodates the Faculty of Agriculture, Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), the National Agricultural Extension and Liaison Services as well as the National Animal Production and Research Institute (NAPRI).

He said the university also had division agricultural colleges at Mando in Kaduna, Samaru in Zaria and Kabba in Kogi.

Garba explained that IAR had the national mandate on nine crops to produce varieties that could withstand and tolerate the environmental conditions in the country by improving their yields.

He said the centre had so far developed about nine varieties of sorghum that fitted into different ecological areas of Nigeria.

The don also disclosed that in NAPRI, the institution was currently carrying out artificial insemination and modifying the genetic composite of animals like cattle, goats, sheep, pig, donkeys and camels.

In the IAR, we have the national mandate on about nine crops.

What that mandate means is that we produce varieties of those crops that can withstand and tolerate our environment and improve yields on sorghum, cowpea, cotton and groundnut.

But in sorghum alone, we have developed almost about nine varieties that fit into different ecological areas of Nigeria.

In NAPRI, they are doing artificial insemination where they are modifying the genetic composite of our animals.

They are researching on cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, donkeys and camels because these are all sources of meat for us.

We are growing grasses for our animal fodder and so on and so forth.’’

Garba said that Nigerian universities were not partnering industries on research because most industries in Nigeria were not functional.

He, however, blamed the problems confronting the industries on the government policy on importation of goods that could be produced in the country.

He further said the nation’s borders were too porous to importation of all kinds of goods, adding that poor power supply was also a hindrance to the success of industries in Nigeria.

The entire environment does not allow the industrial growth that will also translate into university partnering the industry.


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