Farmers in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have expressed fear over a disease which they referred to as ‘Corn Ebola’ that is ravaging maize farms in parts of the FCT.
Just like what happened to tomato farms, the disease suspected to be worms eat up the corn plants from the inside and destroy the farm as the crops are just picking up after a period of poor rains which had caused concerns for farmers.
A farmer in Azhata, near Orozo in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Mr. Yakubu David complained that he had invested all he had on the farm, only for ‘corn Ebola’ to set in.
David said they are waiting for the authorities to tell them how to combat the disease, as the farm is their livelihood. “It is from this farm that I feed my family, pay my children’s school fees and other social needs, something must be done urgently to halt the spread.
Another, Israel Bambgose who is a civil servant and lives in Orozo said he uses the farm to augment his meagre salary and make ends meet. He said he could not get any professional advice, so he resorted to spraying his farm with any available chemical, hoping that they work. He said he would observe and see if the chemicals are efficacious, he would go ahead and intensify spraying.
Another farmer in Karshi said that even his yams have been affected too, but that the destruction to maize has been incredibly fast. He lamented that they was no prediction for their preparedness and that after the tomato Ebola they thought everything was over only to be taken by surprise on their maize and yam farms.
So far, the FCTA Secretariat of Agriculture and Rural Development is yet to come up with a response, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture is also yet to respond. If this danger is not arrested fast but allowed to spread, it could challenge the food security strategy of the government in the coming year.