New tomato variety: Farmers now exposed to good crop husbandry

31Aug 2019
The Guardian
New tomato variety: Farmers now exposed to good crop husbandry

Growing tomatoes is often the impetus for starting a vegetable garden, and every tomato lover dreams of growing the ultimate tomato: firm but juicy, sweet but tangy, aromatic, and blemish free. Perfection.

Unfortunately, there are few vegetables that are prone to more problems than tomatoes. The trick to growing great-tasting tomatoes is to choose the best varieties, start the plants off right, and control problems before they happen.

The tomato is the edible, often red, berry of the plant Solanum lycopersicum, commonly known as a tomato plant. The species originated in western South America and Central America. The Nahuatl (Aztec language) word tomatl gave rise to the Spanish word tomate, from which the English word tomato derived.

Its domestication and use as a cultivated food may have originated with the indigenous peoples of Mexico.

The Aztecs used tomatoes in their cooking at the time of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire, and after the Spanish encountered the tomato for the first time after their contact with the Aztecs, they brought the plant to Europe.

From there, the tomato was introduced to other parts of the European-colonised world during the 16th century.

Tomatoes are a significant source of umami flavour. The tomato is consumed in diverse ways, raw or cooked, in many dishes, sauces, salads, and drinks. While tomatoes are fruits—botanically classified as berries—they are commonly used as a vegetable ingredient or side dish.

Numerous varieties of the tomato plant are widely grown in temperate climates across the world, with greenhouses allowing for the production of tomatoes throughout all seasons of the year.

Tomato farmers have a reason to smile following the launch of a new variety resistant to bacterial wilt in East African region ..

The fruits of the Seminis Tomato Ansal are not only intolerant to bacterial wilt but firm, lasting up to three weeks after harvest. The hybrid variety produces five to eight fruits per cluster.

The variety is also resistant to tomato mosaic virus, verticillium wilt, and fusarium wilt and root-knot nematodes.

Bacterial wilt is a soil and waterborne disease caused by bacteria. This disease can survive for up to 40 years in water. This explains its high incidence where river and lake waters are heavily relied on for irrigation by tomato farmers.

It is a great seed variety that will save the farmer huge costs in pesticides in fighting the disease.

African farmers are now exposed to good crop husbandry. They ought also to trained on the use of yellow and blue traps to catch white flies and thrips (black-winged insects that suck plant sap).

The white flies are harmful to the tomato plants as they suck the sap from the plant, drying it up in the process.

Farmers wishing to engage in tomato farming should go for the new variety which will have solved half the problem encountered by tomato farmers of wilt, according to the report.

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