-New variety tomato set to hit the market.
-The tomato was said to be imported from Israel by FUTA and its associates.
The Federal University of Technology, Akure, FUTA, has cultivated and nurtured a new variety of tomatoes imported from Israel.
Naija News gathered that the new variety tomato, called Eva F1, was nurtured to suit the Nigerian market through the collaborative efforts of the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology (SAAT) and the Teaching and Research Farm (TRF) of the institution.
In a statement on Thursday by the institution, “The Eva F1 Tomato is a variety five times bigger in size than the commonly available one in the Nigerian market and it is capable of producing paste more than four times the latter,” the statement said.
“The Eva F1 tomato has the rare quality of imperishability over a period of two weeks from date of harvest.”
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“FUTA’s road to the cultivation of Eva F1 tomatoes began with the immediate past Dean of SAAT, Professor Shadrack Akindele who saw the product on a working visit to Israel, got linked with Dizengoft Nigeria, had a discussion with the organisation and sold the idea to the University Management and got approval for its cultivation and production through a Green House modern farming technique,” the statement said.
The Vice-Chancellor, Adeola Fuwape, the Dean, School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology, Taiwo Amos, in company with the FUTA Farm Manager, Olajide Adedayo, said at formal presentation of the first harvest of the tomato that the seedling was imported from Israel and nurtured in FUTA’s Green House under controlled temperature with modern farm technique.
Mr. Adedayo commended the development, describing it as part of the realization of the mandate and determination of the University to utilize science for the advancement of the society.
“High crop yield is achieved under a small area of land as a unit of the Green House covers 192m2 (8m x 24m). With this technology, the tomato crop will be grown and produced round the season. The Eva F1 Tomatoes are organically produced and an indeterminate hybrid variety with an extended shelf life, good resistance to cracking with flower setting at high temperatures. The first harvest of the fruits started after three months of planting and we hope to continue the harvest for the next six months,” he said.
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The institution’s spokesperson, Adegbenro Adebanjo, said departments in the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology such as Agricultural Extension and Communication (AEC) and Food Science Technology, (FST) were already involved in a collaborative research effort through sampling the fruit for analysis and to determine the level of its nutritional content for finished product such as Tomato paste, Ketchup and others.
He urged investors and other interested agencies to partner with the university in order to facilitate mass cultivation of the new variety tomato for the betterment of the economy.