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CrazyFruits » WORLD NEWS AND SPORTS FROM SKY » JAMAICA BODLES PRODUCES DISEASE RESISTANT TOMATOE

JAMAICA BODLES PRODUCES DISEASE RESISTANT TOMATOE

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ItalianJamaican

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Bodles produces new disease-resistant tomatoes



Friday, February 26, 2010



MINISTER of Agriculture and Fisheries Dr Christopher Tufton has issued a call for local and international companies to partner with the country's local research and development agencies to produce better quality local produce and to boost the country's food security.

The minister, while noting that the country has been producing most of the food that it consumes, said the quality of produce was not consistent and highlighted the importance of research and development in that regard.

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Dr Christopher Tufton (left) sampling one of two new hybrid tomatoes unveiled during a field day and launch at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Research Station, Bodles, St Catherine, on Wednesday. Looking on is the USA-based Amsa Seed Company executive John Wallace. (Photo: JIS)

Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Dr Christopher Tufton (left) sampling one of two new hybrid tomatoes unveiled during a field day and launch at the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries’ Research Station, Bodles, St Catherine, on Wednesday. Looking on is the USA-based Amsa Seed Company executive John Wallace. (Photo: JIS)

Tufton was speaking at a tomato field day at Bodles Research Station in Old Harbour, St Catherine, to launch three new hybrid varieties, of tomato -- striker, summer star and AMSA 425 -- that are resistant to the Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV), popularly called Jherri Curl.

The research, which was done over a 10-year span, was a collaborative effort with Bodles Research, AMSA Seed Company of California, USA and St Jago Farm Supplies.

Over 400 new variety of tomatoes were developed and two have been previously launched. All have been introduced into the local market.

"This is a good start to an excellent process and we would like to see the collaboration continue and indeed add to the list of crops that we would like to focus on as part of our food security thrust and in building agriculture in a sustainable way," said Tufton who commended the companies for their successes.

He mentioned that not enough emphasis was being placed on research but pointed out that the Government has recognised the need for research and development and has created the Agriculture Centre of Excellence, which focuses on research as one of its objectives.

"I would like to see, in conjunction with the centre and Bodles, many other companies partnering with us in Jamaica using the lands that we have to offer and other facilities, locally and internationally, to establish demonstration and experimental flags to look at a range of products targeting solutions for a range of existing challenges," he said.

He said the country imported very little tomatoes last year because tomato production had increased by 38 per cent during the last quarter.

Chief Technical Director in the ministry Dr Marc Panton also supported the call for more collaboration in the area of research and development in order to strengthen food security, provide better quality produce, lessen the country's dependency on import and counter rising food prices.

According to Dr Courtney Nichols, plant breeder from AMSA Seed Company, apart from the tomatoes being resistant to TYLCV disease the tomatoes have also proven to be high yielding with good crack resistance.

All three tomato varieties are very high in quality, colour and taste. Striker is the largest and firmest, while the AMSA 425 is ideal for processing, Nichols said.

Jamaica's local tomato production was valued at approximately $1.8 billion in 2008 and increased to $2.5 billion in 2009.

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