The Ministry of Food and Agriculture has hinted that the Tomato Torado virus (ToTV) may be associated with the tomatoes imported from Morocco.
The Ministry says they are beginning investigations to authenticate the presence of the devastating virus in the country.
This comes in the wake of calls by some tomato traders in Agbogbloshie who lament that the importation of these Moroccan tomatoes is taking a toll on their business apart from its poor quality.
My biggest challenge says, one of the traders said is that “Ghana has tomatoes in abundance and everyone knows of the quality. We go far inland to buy the tomatoes and bring them onto the market only to have them rejected for the Moroccan tomatoes making us incur big losses.”
Another trader said; “my daughter went out to buy some of the Moroccan tomatoes. Upon bringing them and rubbing them with a white cloth, the tomato turned yellow so I told her to get rid of them and stop buying.
These concerns triggered a meeting between the tomato traders and a team from the ministry of agriculture to address the problem.
Speaking on JoyNews’ The Pulse, Head of Plant Quarantine at the Agriculture Ministry Prudence Attipoe said they have initiated measures to address the concerns and seizing the importation of Moroccan tomatoes into the country.
“There is a virus called the tomato torado virus in Morocco. Apparently, this virus is quite devastating. Due to that, we are going to stop the importation of tomato from Morocco for now and we are going to look into it and the ones they have brought into the country will be tested to see whether they have the virus”.
He also revealed the importers have circumvented procedure in the importation of these tomatoes having imported without permit “we realise the import of fresh tomatoes from Morocco was without a permit. They brought the items in and unfortunately we did not know anything about it “.
Prudence Attipoe said the presence of the ToTV in the country will come with dire consequences on the tomato fruit and other host plants as such the need to seize its importation
Tomatoe torado virus is a new virus identified in Morroco.
This ToTV infection is said to manifest with burn-like symptoms on leaves, leaflets and upper stem parts of susceptible infected plants.
Symptoms caused by ToTV can be severe spreading within the whole plant and causes lesions on fruit with a capacity to spread to other host crops.