News and knowhow for farmers

High yielding tomato variety has a marketing span of one month

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Farmers can now beat poor prices and accruing losses resulting from rotting of tomatoes by growing a hybrid variety from Syngenta that allows for up to one month selling window.

In 2017 farmers lost Sh2.4bn worth if tomatoes due to poor storage and handling according to the Economic Survey 2018 report released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics in April this year.

The skin of Tylka F1 remains firm for up to 28 days before it start to degenerate in shape. The variety which is oval-shaped variety does well in the open field and in greenhouses and can yield between 70 tonnes and 78 tonnes per acre.

A Kenyatta University study of 2015 established that rotting due to delayed access to markets and slow consumption rate causes up to 31 per cent loss.


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Syngenta Agronomist Maureen Namusonge said farmers will have plenty of time to locate close and further markets.

“The variety is for open field and greenhouse propagation. It has been bred to help farmers earn back their investment. Its skin remains firms for more than three weeks after ripening. Even slow selling groceries can manage to dispose of the produce on time,” she said.

Each of the tomato plants can yield more than 25 fruits.  Sampled fruits weighed between 130g and 140g.

While the lower fruits are ready for harvesting, the shoot is still generating flowers. This calls for strong staking to support the seven feet plant.

Regular pruning must be done to ensure that one productive shoot is maintained for fewer quality fruits.

“Many side twigs reduce the food available for high quality fruits. Maintaining the main stem eases staking as well as light penetration,” she said.

Syngenta can be reached on +254 703 018000.


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