KALRO urges tomato farmers to use better seed varieties

Written By: Benson Rioba
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KALRO urges farmers to use better tomato seed varieties
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Tomato farmers should harvest their produce early in the morning and use seed varieties that yield tomatoes with hard skin to reduce post-harvest losses.

Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Organization (KALRO) say post-harvest losses is a result of poor handling rather than storage issues.

Tomato farmers lose close to 50 per cent of their harvest to poor handling after harvest.

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To this end, KALRO and the government have started a Ksh 9 million post-harvest training programme.

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KALRO’s post-harvest physiologist Dr Margaret Muchui is advising farmers to harvest their tomatoes early in the morning rather than during the day to reduce sunlight exposure that tears off the tomato skin.

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To reduce breakage and rotting due to heat during transportation, farmers are being advised to plant varieties that produce tomatoes with hard skin.

Nicholas Munene a tomato farmer in Kirinyaga County says since he started using the manual he has considerably lowered his post-harvest losses and his earnings are up five times to 100,000 shillings per harvest.

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Kenya is among 15 countries under the South Korean project that seeks to reduce tomato post-harvest losses from 50 per cent to 20 per cent in the continent.

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