A new variant of tomatoes named Eva F1 has been introduced into Nigeria, courtesy of a collaborative effort between the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology (SAAT) and the Teaching and Research Farm (TRF) of the Federal University of Technology, Akure.
The Eva F1 Tomato is a variety five times bigger in size than the commonly available one in the Nigerian market and is capable of producing paste four times more. The Eva F1 tomato has the rare quality of imperishability over a period of two weeks from date of harvest.
At a formal presentation of the first harvest of the product to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Adeola Fuwape, the Dean, SAAT, Prof Taiwo Amos, in company with FUTA Farm Manager, Mr. Olajide Adedayo said the Eva F1 seedling was imported from Israel and carefully nurtured in FUTA’s Green House under controlled temperature. Adedayo, described the development as the actualisation of part of the mandate and determination of the university to put science to work for the society.
He said the Farm under the supervision of SAAT has gone into the farming and production of Tomato Eva F1 variety in the Green House, using modern farming technique. He said high crop yield is achieved under a small area of land as a unit of the Green House which covers 192m2 (8m x 24m)”.
Speaking further on the advantages of the new variety and its potentials, Adedayo said: “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”.
On the gestation period, he said: “the first harvest of the fruits started after three months of planting and we hope to continue the harvest for the next six months”.
Departments under SAAT such as Agricultural Extension and Communication (AEC) and Food Science Technology, (FST) are already involved in a joint research effort to determine its nutritional content for finished products such as Tomato paste and Ketchup.
Prof Fuwape described the successful cultivation and production of the Eva F1 Tomatoes as another proof of FUTA’s robust contributions to the development of the country through pursuit of excellence in its area of core mandates. He called on investors and interested agencies to partner with the university to facilitate the massive cultivation of the new variety.
FUTA road to the cultivation of Eva F1 tomatoes began with the immediate past Dean of SAAT, Prof 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.