Sunday 5th December 2021
Sunday, 5th of December 2021
Home / Agric & Biotech / Tomato hybrid with long shelf life to be available in 12 months, says NABDA

Tomato hybrid with long shelf life to be available in 12 months, says NABDA

Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Alex Akpa, says within a period of one year, Nigerians should expect high yielding tomato hybrid with long shelf life in the markets.

tomatoes
Baskets of tomatoes . Photo credit: authorityngr.com

Akpa, who gave the assurance in an interview in Abuja on Monday, August 17, 2020, disclosed that the losses incurred by farmers, traders, and consumers due to perishable tomatoes forced the agency to come up with the hybrid tomato project.

“We bring in the hybrids with no characteristics and then back-cross it with our local varieties,’’ he said.

The director-general said when this was achieved; it would still produce indigenous hybrid tomatoes, not only with long shelf life but also high yielding.

ALSO READ:  Scientists seek long shelf life for tomatoes

“That’s what we are working on now; we already have the hybrid seeds and will start the back-cross in the next few weeks.

“So, within 12 months we should be able to have high-yielding long shelf life hybrid tomatoes in the market,’’ he said.

Akpa explained that their long shelf life of tomato project was of two versions.

He said the first was the fully genetically modified tomatoes of which their scientists were presently in their laboratory collecting varieties from all over the country for analysis.

He however, noted that the fully genetically modified tomatoes project would take up to 48 months or more, saying that was why they opted for the quicker second version of tomato hybrid.

ALSO READ:  Researchers seek to improve cassava production in Nigeria, Tanzania

Akpa said the need for long tomatoes shelf life could not overemphasised.

“The importance of this project as we all know, is that most of the tomatoes consumed in this country come from the northern states but mostly consumed in the south,’’ he said.

He mentioned Kano, Kaduna, Katsina, Gombe, among others as states that cultivated and massively produced tomatoes all-year round facilitated by irrigation.

“Due to its perishable nature, about 30 to 45 per cent are lost in transit because by the time they are moved from the north to south, the degree of loss is usually massive,’’ Akpa said.

ALSO READ:  NABDA to establish yam production and multiplication facilities in 36 states

He gave the assurance that the variety they were coming up with was one that would be moved from the northern to the southern states with just negligible losses of about three, five per cent. 

By Sylvester Thompson

x

Check Also

NBMA validation meeting

Biosafety agency endorses guidelines on genetically modified food, feed

The National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA) has endorsed the national guidelines on Genetically Modified (GM) ...

%d bloggers like this: