The tomato leaf miner (Tuta absoluta) destroyed tomato plants in seven of the Northern states in Nigeria, and has been found in two other states in the South in 2016. The study assessed the incident of the tomato leafminer attack using a questionnaire survey in one of the affected states, for a case study of the problem. A short literature review on bio-ecology of T. absoluta was also conducted, and responses to questionnaires were presented. It appeared that knowledge of farmers on pests and management procedures was poor. The results showed that farmers were not properly oriented on pest reporting, and many farmers were unaware of the existence of government pest support programs. Pest monitoring programs and post attack response systems were found inadequate. Many farmers perceived that the pest was new while some respondents reported that similar attacks occurred on their farms in the previous year. Most respondents declined to answer questions on the possibility of agro-bioterrorism being the cause of the attack. We found a lacuna in the government policy which could be potentially exploited by agro-terrorists to inflict attack on crops in a new dimension, but there is no evidence of agro-terrorism in relation to attack on tomato by T. absoluta in Nigeria. The findings could be useful in the development of pest mitigating strategies in agro-dependent developing countries.
Key words: Tuta absoluta, agro-terrorism, climate change, pest development, tomato.
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