OFF-SEASON TOMATO PRODUCTION: A NEW TECHNOLOGY IN TARLAC PROVINCE OF PHILIPPINES
Tomato production in the province of Tarlac is characterized by extreme seasonality. In the dry season, there is abundant supply for tomatoes but in the wet season, yield is low, hence, there is limited supply in the market with poor quality of produce that contributes to severe price fluctuations. Production is concentrated during the cool months from October to February which resulted to market glut from January to April and meager supply during the rainy months of June to November (Aganon, 2003). Off-season tomato is now adopted by some farmers in the province of Tarlac using grafted tomato plantlet onto EG 203 rootstock (an eggplant cultivar adaptable under Philippine condition that tolerates flooding and bacterial wilt and other soil-borne diseases). This grafting technology on tomato has been developed by the Asian Vegetable Research and development Center (AVRDC, 1994) which included the use of protective structures. This technology promotes off-season tomato production technologies in a commercial scale in the province of Tarlac. Results of the study showed that improvised materials such as bamboo combined with round bars covered with 32-mesh nets per m2 produced yield ranging from 3-4.5 kg plant-1. Moreover, essential observation generated using this technology showed a longer harvesting period compared to non-grafted tomato. The use of bamboo stick to support the plant also improved the yield of the grafted seedlings. Off season tomato planting and marketing can result in profitable tomato production during the hot rainy periods in the Philippines.
Boncato, T. and Ellamar, J. (2015). OFF-SEASON TOMATO PRODUCTION: A NEW TECHNOLOGY IN TARLAC PROVINCE OF PHILIPPINES. Acta Hortic. 1086, 261-267
grafting, seasonality, production, protective structures