The Department of Agriculture in Siaya county has issued 10,000 disease- resistant tomato seedlings to farmers in Bondo and Rarieda sub-counties.
The County Director for Agriculture, Mr. Vincent Okoth, said the seedlings were of Raja F1 variety, donated by Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organisation (KALRO).
He said the crop is on trial, so if it succeeds more seedlings will be availed across the county.
The director said tomato farming in the county has been affected by fusarium and bacterial wilt, causing dependence on the commodity imported from other counties.
Mr. Okoth said the Raja F1 produces at least 10 kg of tomatoes per plant, and would therefore be viable if grown for both home use and commercially. It takes 65 days to mature.
The County CEC for Agriculture Dr. Elizabeth Odhiambo, said the county government and KALRO will continue to collaborate in research to find crop varieties suitable for the area.
The CEC encouraged the youth to adopt farming as a business, especially horticulture which takes a shorter time to mature and gives quick returns.
The officials were speaking in Siaya town Saturday, during the distribution of the tomato seedlings to the farmers’ representatives.
By Paul Olale