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    High Yield

    Amiran Kenya has introduced a nematode resistant tomato variety dubbed Shanty Improved F1 in the market, which yields 25-30 tonnes per acre and has more shelf life when ripe and matures in less than 75 days
    This variety enters the market when tomato farmers in the country are registering low yields due to devastating effects of nematodes which cause distinctive galls on the roots, reducing roots capacity to supply the vine with water and nutrients, leading to stunted growth, yellowing or wilting. A recent study by the University of Nairobi dubbed management of root knot nematodes in tomatoes shows that the disease affect at least 40 per cent of tomato yield in the country every year.
    Advantages of this variety over other
    A part from being resistant to this root disease, the Shanty Improved F1 variety recently launched in the market has a high yielding capacity and do well both in open field. While other tomato varieties take up to 90 days to mature, the Shanty F1 improved variety takes 15 days less. Furthermore, where as other varieties like the money maker get destroyed after 3-4 days of ripening, the Shanty F1 improved variety has a shelf life of 14day due to its tough skin. Its durability make it market friendly both to farmers and consumers.
    Seeds are planted in a nursery where they germinate after 5-7 day before being transplanted 21 days later. At least 50g of seeds are needed for an acre piece of land. At Amiran Kenya, seeds are packed in 4g sachets containing up to 1000 seeds and retails for KSh3016, this according to the company's Seeds Agronomist Micheal Wambua.  
    The variety performs best in slightly acidic soils of PH value of 6.5 and areas with moderate rainfall pattern. At least 8000 seedlings are required in an acre farm spaced at an interval of 45 by 60cm. Since this variety is genetically designed with nitrogen and disease resistance characteristics, farmers require less fertilizer and less pesticide control effort, hence cost effective.
    A part from nematodes, the variety is highly resistant to other tomato diseases including the tomato spotted wilt virus and tomato yellow leaf curl virus.
    Where to get the seeds 
    The company has several distributors across the country including Blue n Spot in Murang'a, Barma agrovet, Thika farmers and Agrisel in Thika. Others are Apex, Farm Choice and Wefa in Kisumu while Trans Nzoia has Itete trading company, Gtex Masop agrovet,Mosop agrovet and Pavef.

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    Mango farmers can slash by half expenditure on fruit-fly insecticides and double market demand for their produce by applying integrated pest management techniques.

    A research by the International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE) in Embu County has shown that the methods reduce expenses on insecticides by 46.3 per cent while cutting back mango rejection by 54.5 per cent.

    The integrated pest management methods involve male annihilation technique, which is basically luring male fruit-flies to high density bait (food trap) stations, the research says.

    This would effectively separate the males from mating with females, therefore, progressively reducing the population of the insects. Common seducing insecticide include fipronil and malathion.

    Another way is using an attractant poisoned protein spray that would seduce maturing female fruit flies, and killing them after ingestion.

    Biological control methods can also be applied for those who can afford to introduce other organisms that feed on the fruit-flies for instance wasps. 


    Combining the above with orchard sanitation would promote high yields that have minimum pesticide residues.

    “It is evident from our analysis that integrated pest management for fruit-fly in mango generates substantial economic benefits for farmers in Embu County by increasing net income by 22.4 per cent,” the study says.

    ICIPE urged governmental and non-governmental partners in the agriculture sector to train farmers countrywide on application of these methods to alleviate the economic status of the people.

    The research, dubbed Economic evaluation of integrated management of fruit fly in mango production in Embu County,comes at a time that Kenyan horticultural produce is under strict surveillance on levels of pesticides before accessing European markets.

    Kenya Plants Health Inspectorate Service, whose laboratory was approved to test chemical residue levels in agroproducts in January, was one of the State agencies that participated in the study.

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