Mmegi Online :: Importation ban on solanaceous crops intensifies
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Last Updated
Friday 26 May 2017, 15:47 pm.
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Importation ban on solanaceous crops intensifies

Following the suspension of tomato importation into the country almost a week ago, the Ministry of Agricultural Development and Food Security has also added other solanaceous crops to the ban.
By Pauline Dikuelo Tue 20 Dec 2016, 18:00 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Importation ban on solanaceous crops intensifies








Solanaceous crops are generally plants in the nightshade family such as tomatoes, peppers, bell pepper, eggplant/aubergine, melon pear as well as potato. According to the Ministry, they have suspended the importation of the crops following the detection of tomato leaf miner, a quarantine pest also known as Tuta Absoluta.

“The ministry wishes to inform the public that the importation of crops that are susceptible to attack by tomato leaf miner is suspended with immediate effect until further notice,” reads a statement.

The Ministry added that given the importance of Tuta Absoluta, they have developed a strategy to prevent further introduction of the pest by suspending the crops from entering the country until further notice.

Last week, the ministry announced the suspension of tomato importation. The restrictions came following the detection of tomato leaf miner or Tuta absoluta, which is described as a highly destructive insect pest to tomato plants and fruit and is also reported to infest other plants in the Solanacaeae family such

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as potato, pepper and eggplant.

As a result of the ban, traders are not allowed to move solanaceous crops from the tomato leaf miner infested areas, which are Bobirwa, Boteti, Chobe, North East and North West.

Therefore, the importation of tomato fruits from countries infested with tomato leaf miner is suspended with immediate effect until further notice.

The chief executive officer of the Botswana Horticulture Market, Simon Meti said ever since the ban was imposed, there has been acute shortage of tomatoes in the market. “We currently have only 15 boxes of tomatoes stockpiles which is not going to last for long,” he said.

He regretted that the situation has led to them failing to supply their major customers like the Botswana Defence Force, schools and hospitals. In an effort to prevent the spread of the pest across the country, the Ministry has recommended certain measures such as field sanitation through collection and destruction of infested fruits and planting of non-host crops.

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