Professor Olivia Afam-Anene, a renowned expert in nutrition and dietetics, has advised Nigerian consumers on how to cope with the outbreak of Tuta Absoluta, commonly known as tomato ebola, which has resulted in the destruction of tomato farms in several states and subsequently caused a surge in tomato prices.
During an interview, Afam-Anene emphasized the importance of seeking alternative sources in light of the tomato scarcity.
She suggested that individuals could replace tomatoes in their meals by consuming white rice with non-tomato-based sauces.
“Ripe pawpaw and carrots can also be an alternative sauce.”
Afam-Anene highlighted that tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, but these alternatives also provide ample amounts of the essential nutrient.
“Incorporating fat, such as using oil, aids in the absorption and transportation of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A,” she added.
Addressing concerns about sachet tomatoes, the professor stated that allegations against their quality and safety should not be accepted without evidence.
Afam-Anene stressed the importance of conducting research to substantiate such claims and highlighted that sachet tomato companies typically adhere to quality control standards and regulations when sourcing their materials.
Regarding government intervention, Afam-Anene suggested that support should be extended to affected farmers whose crops have been destroyed by the tomato ebola outbreak.