Costa Rica News – A new variety of tomato from Costa Rica called Prodigio has been developed at the University of Costa Rica’s, (UCR) Fabio Baudrit Moreno Experimental Station in La Garita de Alajuela and is a hybrid variety.
It comes after a laborious and often frustrating task of selecting parent plants and seeds. It took more than twelve years to develop into the super size fruit on plants seen today that range up to ten feet tall.
Tomatoes are the most popular food product in Costa Rica as well as in many other countries. We eat them mostly in salads but also in sandwiches and vegetable plates. But, like all agricultural products, they are subject to supply and demand which controls the prices, and to the whims of nature, meaning weather and bacteria in the soil or air. Tomatoes are rather delicate.
The regular tomatoes that we find in the market are grown from imported seeds and each year new seeds must be ordered. The plants and fruit are subject to a bacterial disease, Ralstonia Solanacearum, found in the soil and water which affects the plants and fruit. The disease causes shorter growing periods and amounts to tons of wasted tomatoes each year.
Prodigio remains healthier longer and produces for up to a year, meaning more even distribution for consumers and better incomes for producers. Crops of the new variety can more than double the regular harvest. This is getting growers in Costa Rica excited, as it could increase their yield each year without increasing growing space.