A total of 3,500 tomato farmers have been targeted for new improved hybrid tomato variety in two northern states.
The hybrid tomato variety known as “Xaman”, developed by Bayer in collaboration with Sassakawa and Agara, has early maturity of between 70-75 days, and can be planted in both dry and rainy season.
The team leader Sassakawa, Mr. Isaac Eni, while speaking during a field day held at Danwata in Soba Local Government Area of Kaduna State explained that the new hybrid tomato is of fresh market with saladette fruit type.
He explained that two local government areas each were selected in Kaduna and Kano states for the pilot plantation of the germane crop.
According to him, farmers in Danwata, Soba and Hunkuyi in Kudan Local Government Area were selected for both tomato and cabbage test of the variety seed, while in Kano State, farmers in Bunkure and one other area were chosen for the pilot test of the vegetable plantation.
In his comment, Malam Muhammad Dan Asabe Umar, Representative of Bayer, the firm responsible for the development of the Xaman hybrid tomato seed, said some of its features include extra-large fruit size potential and good disease resistance package with advantages that consists of better yield and big fruits (140-160kg), quick to mature for market and ability to grow in TSWV and TYLV infected areas.
Dan Asabe further explained that Xaman hybrid tomato has high-performance plant that produces big deep red colour fruits with smooth shoulders and wide adaptability to areas with viral diseases.
“It can be kept for 7 days without any preservation before transporting it to the market.
“The early maturing determinate hybrid tomato cost less to produce, uses less pesticide, produces high yield even under high disease pressure and reduces risk as it is highly disease resistant,” he said.
Earlier, one of the benefitting farmers, Malam Haladu Danwata, confirmed the high yield of the crop and the short harvesting period.
“It takes my tomato about 65 days to germinate, ready for harvesting contrary to the one we use in the past. And when I took it to the market, people were rushing to buy because of its freshness, size and red colour,” he said.