Multinational firm Bayer East Africa has launched a new variety of tomato that is resistant to the notorious bacterial wilt and is likely to raise income for farmers.
The new hybrid variety, called “Seminis Tomato Ansal”, also produces extra-firm fruits that last three weeks after harvest, and which help in minimising cases of post-harvest losses and further boost incomes.
Launching the new variety in Kirinyaga County on Tuesday, Bayer East Africa commercial lead Elizabeth Mranda said the Ansal F1 hybrid is also resistant to tomato mosaic virus, among others.
The variety was introduced to farmers in late 2018 after one year of on-station trials and off-station demonstrations plots with selected farmers in Kirinyaga, Loitokitok and Nyanza.
“Following extensive trials with farmers, we can confirm that the new variety is the answer to bacterial wilt in tomatoes. It is a great seed variety that will save the farmer huge costs in pesticides in fighting the disease,” said Ms Mranda.
Bacterial wilt is a soil and water borne disease caused by bacteria, which normally destroys 100 percent of tomatoes. The disease can survive for up to 40 years in water, with high incidence reported in regions where river and lake water is heavily relied on for irrigation by farmers.