Viral photo of cattle eating tomatoes is from India, not Nigeria

ON March 4, 2021, an image posted by a blog showed cattle eating from a heap of tomatoes by the roadside.

The blog noted that these tomatoes were losses incurred by farmers in the northern part of Nigeria.

The blog wrote:

“As the blockade of food items from the north to the south continued some traders from the north have continued to count their loses.”

In  a poorly constructed sentence, the blog noted:

“Here are photo of spoil Tomatoes throw away along the road after been intercepted for days without able to move to the south.”

This image, with implied and explicit captions, was also posted by different persons; here and here.

The Claim

That the image shows cattle eating tomatoes from farmers in the North who could not supply to the southern part of Nigeria.

farmers tomatoes cattle
The claim that cattle eat tomatoes owned by farmers in the north as it appears on a blog.

The Findings

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.

CONTEXT: Following an ethnic crisis between the Hausa and Yoruba in Shasha, Oyo State, which also resulted in the loss of lives and properties, some northern traders under the Amalgamated Union of Food Stuff and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria resolved to suspend the transportation of farm produce to southern parts of Nigeria.

Trailers loaded with cattle, onions, tomatoes, and other farm produce were stopped from entering Jebba, a border town between Kwara and Niger states of the country.

In a report, the union said it embarked on the action as a form of protest against the alleged killings of its members residing in other parts of Nigeria.

“There is a task force that we set up to enforce the directive by the union that there would be no transportation of cattle and foodstuffs to the South with effect from Thursday. So, the union set up the task force to prevent sabotage,” Kabiru Salisu, the union’s financial secretary, stated.

The incident generated reactions on the internet with people in support and against the move.

Does the image depict cattle eating tomatoes owned by farmers from northern Nigeria?

A search conducted by The FactCheckHub using the reverse image search traced the image to  2013  where it was published by a Hindi newspaper.

It was traced to Barwani District, in Madhya Pradesh, India.



    According to the report, “a campaign to make agriculture a profitable business is going on in Madhya Pradesh, but tomato farming is proving to be the biggest loss-making business to the farmers of Barwani. The situation is that farmers are not even getting the cost price of tomatoes. They eventually threw tomatoes on the streets.”

    After then, the image appeared on the internet in July 2017.

    Therefore, this cannot be an image of an incident that happened in Nigeria in the year 2021.

    The Verdict

    The claim that the image shows cattle eating tomatoes from farmers in the North who could not supply to the southern part of Nigeria is FALSE. The image has been online since 2013 and it is from India.

    Olugbenga heads the Investigations Desk at The ICIR. Do you have a scoop? Shoot him an email at [email protected]. Twitter Handle: @OluAdanikin

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