Lachlan Kenya Ltd is distributing the Sakata tomato variety “Emerald F1”. So far this variety has taken hold in several key tomato growing regions such as Mwea, Kagio, Yatta, Kisii, Migori and Kisumu/HomaBay. Currently, the greatest challenge that tomato growers in Kenya have to face is disease control, especially focusing on Ralstonia (Rs) and Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV). Other diseases like Fusarium, Verticillium, Alternaria, and Phytophthora can also cause some headaches, but currently, Ralstonia and Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus can be very severe. Joshua Murimi, a farmer that farms in Kagio location, Mwea – Kirinyaga County, Kenya has been repeatedly planting Emerald F1 in his shamba.
According to Joshua Emerald F1 is currently his favourite tomato variety because of its high yield, good tolerance to Bacterial wilt and TYLCV, early maturity and the good fruit set. He also does not have to repeatedly spray the crop during wetter weather, unlike some other varieties. Joshua also prefers Emerald F1 as the fruits are very firm with a good shelf life which makes them good for the market. He also finds that the Emerald F1 plants are very vigorous with good leaf cover, protecting the fruit very well. Joshua would recommend this variety to other tomato growers – this is great news as he is also a stockist so he meets other farmers regularly!