FUTA Eva FI tomatoes: It was an admirable revelation when Federal University of Technology (FUTA) unveiled the new variant of tomatoes named Eva F1 which was introduced into Nigeria courtesy of a collaborative effort between the School of Agriculture, Agricultural Technology (SAAT) and the Teaching and Research Farm (TRF) of the school about two years ago.
Five times bigger in size than the commonly available tomatoes in the country’s market, the Eva F1 tomato was recognised for its ability to produce paste more than four times the others.
Professor Taiwo Amos who is the Dean, School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology and Farm Manager, Olajide Adedayo, confessed the seedling was imported from Israel and carefully nurtured in FUTA’s Green House under controlled temperature.
Sources present at FUTA revealed on Sunday see how the tomatoes had grown and its level of spread and acceptance in the market. The move followed reports that the Eva FI tomatoes was no longer in existence and had since become history.
On the other hand of protocol and media for the school, Mr Adegbenro Adebanjo debunked the claim, he said although the university objective was to carry out research and do community service and allow farmers to now produce it in large quantity for the market, the university, he said, is still producing but not on large scale. Also stressing that all they do is research before giving out the formula to end users.
Adegbenro further revealed that about fifty farmers in the state are actively into serious production of the tomatoes.
“They came for training and we also went to their farms to demonstrate to them how to nurture it”.
He also announced the development of another formula, of which he claimed involves a new variety of bread with turmeric and ginger.
“We just engaged a company in Ondo and the formula had been given to them, they know what to do with it,’’ he said.
The management bought the idea and gave approval for its cultivation and production through the green house modern farming technique.
The Eva F1 tomato, Adedayo said has the rare quality of imperishability over a period of two weeks from date of harvest.
Taking our correspondent round the green house at the time, Adedayo explained that the tomato was an indeterminate hybrid variety with an extended shelf life. According to him, it is a flier generation where two parents were crossed.
He said that the green house or screen house is made in such a situation where it can prevent all environmental factors. It is well netted and rain proof, adding that they water the plants according to their needs, because it has a range of water requirement. The green house, he said, can last for 10 years.
He described the development as the actualisation of part of the mandate and determination of the university to put science to work for the society.
According to him, the Teaching and Research Farm under the watch of the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology has gone into the farming and production of Tomato Eva F1 variety in the green house using modern farming technique.
Adedayo also stated that with the 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.
FUTA presently aims towards encouraging more farmers to embrace this scientific discovery in agriculture as the school seems not to find it strainous to be involved in large quantity production.