March 08, 2014
Botanical Name: Lycopersicon esculentum
Tomato is a half hardy, annual sub-tropical fruit vegetable. It is said to have originated from South America and was introduced into Europe in the 16th Century by the Spaniards. It is one of the most important vegetables grown in Kenya. Its fruits are used in salads or cooked as a vegetable, processed into tomato paste, sauce and puree.
The tomato is a basic ingredient in the human diet. It is very rich in calcium, phosphorus, vitamin c and carbohydrate, a good source of vitamin A and iron. Tomato juice is known to be effective for intestinal and liver disorders.
Tomatoes are in high demand through out the country for both fresh consumption and processing.
Varieties Grown in Kenya
There are two major varieties based on growth characteristics:
Determinate varieties are for fresh market while indeterminate varieties are for processing.
Popular fresh market varieties includes money maker, marglobe ,marmande, elgon dume,onyx,eden andbeauty.the varieties for processing include Roma vf,Cal J and M-82.However cal-j has become popular in the local fresh market due to its good shelf life and colour.
There are several newly introduced tomato varieties as shown here below:
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