Katsina- A crop disease known as ``Pepper and tomato dieback'' has destroyed hundreds of hectares in the various irrigation fields in Katsina State, putting many farmers out of production.
The dieback disease, which affects pepper and tomatoes at mature stage, was noticed in December 2012 in the state.
Mansur Daura, the Director, Agricultural Services, State Agricultural and Rural Development Authority (KTARDA), said this in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Katsina.
He said the disease, had during the season, affected 27 irrigation sites and some Fadama areas across the state thereby causing serious damage to pepper and tomato crops.
Daura, however, said that the state government had made efforts to address the menace.
``Katsina State Government, in an effort to tackle the situation, engaged the Institute of Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, to find out the causes of the disease and proffer solution.
``The experts visited the irrigation sites, took sample of the soil and plants, analysed them and made recommendations to the farmers.
``Such recommendations include use of dressing pesticide , maintaining of appropriate plant density, destruction of virus-infected plant when noticed and long term rotation with non-host plant, among others.”
The director said agricultural extension workers would continue to visit the sites and offer advice to farmers on how to curtail such situation.
He said the institute had submitted its report to the authority, while meetings were being organised with specialists on the issue.
Daura advised farmers to strictly adopt those recommendations to prevent loss of crops in the future.