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    Amiran launches tomato variety resistant to bacterial wilt

    Tomato farmers in Kenya are set to benefit from the launch of a new tomato variety resistant to bacterial wilt disease thanks to Amiran Kenya, a company that deals with horticultural production.

    The variety which was launched in August 2017 also has intermediate resistance to tomato yellow leaf curl virus, mosaic virus, and fusarium wilt race one and two.

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    Tomato plants affected by bacterial wilt usually wither and die quickly without warning.  The bacteria affect plants that are cut, injured or weakened by poor transplanting, pests and other diseases.

    The Zara F1 tomato variety will be available in agro vets as from March 2018 with five grams retailing at Sh1500, 10 grams at Sh3,000, 25 grams at Sh7,000 and 50 grams at Sh14,000.

    “The optimum Zara F1 tomato variety that farmers’ can plant in an acre should be 7,000 seedlings,” said Hesbon Amukabwa a sales agronomist at Amiran.

    “This variety is a high breed with potential yields of 25 to 30 tonnes per acre with proper management practices; it can do well in Central Kenya in areas such as Mwea and Kirinyaga and in the Western Kenya region,”

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    Amiran Kenya officials train farmers in Kirinyaga on successful tomato growing. The company has introduced a tomato variety that is resistant to bacterial wilt, known as ZARA F1. PHOTO/AMIRAN

    It is an all-season variety that can be grown in both dry and rainy seasons. Its maturity period is 75-80 days depending on the prevailing weather conditions.

    The seeds are first planted in the nursery where they take a period of 21 to 30 days before transplanting in the open field.  The recommended fertilizer application is 100kg of NPK 17:17:17 fertilizer per acre at planting time with a spacing of 60 by 90cm.

    “After two to three weeks of transplanting, the tomato plants should be top dressed with two fertilizers yara mila winner and nitrabor at the ratio of 2:1 respectively,” said Amukabwa.

    “The variety has a strong, vigorous foliage cover which protects the fruits with concentrated flowering capable of reaching a height of 1.2m; it produces six to seven fruits per cluster,”

    Farmers need to check for flower abortion due attack by insects and pests so as to avoid potential fruit yield loss.

    When the fruit is ripe it attains an oval in shape with non-green shoul­ders and smooth surface with average fruit weight of 110 to 130 grams.

    Zara F1 has a very firm excellent shelf life of up to 14 days meaning farmers and consumers alike can benefit from its two week shelf life after harvesting.




























































































































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