BAYER Crop Science through its vegetable arm of Seminis, has introduced a new tomato seed variety specifically engineered for horticulture farmers in the Southern highlands.
Identified as ‘Firenze F1’, the tomato seed, known locally as ‘Nyanya Dum-Dum’, has just been launched in Iringa Region, by officials of Bayer Crop Science, at Ilula village, after undergoing initial tests in Tanangozi farms in the southern highlands.
Speaking during the launch, Bayer Crop Science representative William Macha said all initial tests on the ‘Nyanya Dum- Dum’ seed variety have proved beyond doubt that, the kernels will solve long existing problems that used to plague local growers.
Macha stated that the seed was disease resistant which now solves the problem of excessive chemical use onto farms, since the market now demands organically grown food.
“Even after harvest, the ripe tomatoes stay fresh longer, thus enabling farmers to have ample time to transport their produce to markets or even store the tomatoes until potential buyers come along without the vegetables going bad,” revealed Mr Macha.
Specifically engineered to withstand negative weather elements, as well as record bumper harvest from less than usual inputs, the ‘Firenze F1’ tomato seed variety complements the current wave of horticulture industry development in the southern highlands.
The Chairperson of Horticulture Growers in the area, Mr Mtokambali Mrisho, said farmers from Dodoma and Morogoro have been attending training sessions in Iringa on how to grow tomatoes and other vegetables.
Recently, the growers from those two regions who visited their exemplary farms in Iringa were astounded by the type of tomatoes that were on trials there.
“They have all been impressed by the quality products from the new seed variety; This is a revolution in vegetable farming, because the market trend for agricultural produce now seems to be focused towards horticulture,” pointed out Mr Mrisho.
According to experts, the climatic conditions in the southern highlands hold the highest long-term potential for horticulture in Tanzania but further development of existing infrastructure are required to make the zone a viable option for the country’s horticulture exports.
Tomatoes, apparently, top the edible vegetable produce exports from Tanzania.
Horticulture is the fastest growing sub-sector within the agricultural sector with an annual average annual growth of 12 percent.
The horticulture subsector involves more than 2.5 million people, making it the leading employer within the country’s agricultural sector.