COVID-19 has meant a change in Syngenta’s launch format for its new developments.
The health crisis has been a catalyst for companies. In view of the movement restrictions, digital marketing has become the most efficient and powerful tool to communicate advances and to stay in contact with farmers and clients. For this reason, this year Syngenta has changed the format of the event ‘Un País de Tomates’ (A Country of Tomatoes) to a 2.0 version, to publicise its varieties and the team behind them.
Rafael Salinas, Head of Tomatoes at Syngenta in Spain and Portugal, explains that they continue to look for varieties that adapt to the main growing areas and that cover the needs of all the producers: more productive, with less labour requirements and more resistant to climate change. They are also researching the ecological and zero residue trends, along with the functional characteristics.
Amongst the new developments is Koshima (604029). A round cherry tomato for harvesting loose, its “very high” adaptability to different areas of production and climates stands out, along with a production that is between 15-20% higher than other materials in its segment, thanks to its high flowering and setting capacity. “It is very hardy; it fits in perfectly with what the producers are looking for.” It is mainly recommended in the Levante de Almeria area, for very early plantations, with significant heat, which also links in with the needs derived from climate change. “We are experiencing conditions that are becoming increasingly extreme all the time, with high temperatures and months such as March, which are cloudy every day.” The planting dates go from mid-July to mid-September for autumn-winter crops. And in January, February and March for spring crops. It may also be grown under mesh and in the open air.
A plant that is very stable throughout the cycle, it maintains a diameter of between 25-28 mm (the specifications requested by the distribution chains). Regarding exterior appearance, the bright red colour, firmness, conservation and good behaviour regarding cracking and micro-cracking stand out. Added to this are resistances to TYLCV, TMV, verticillium and all the strains of passalora fulva, which is also important for ecological crops.
Another new development is MR16229: a marmande tomato that stands out due to its high production and quality. It has a very eye-catching colour, with a bright green neck and a slightly different shape, “in between squat and heart-shaped.” A highly attractive, recognisable aspect that is also valued on the market as it is perceived as “traditional.” Without forgetting its very good flavour.
With a very good adaptability rate, it is aimed at plantations for the end of July, covering the quality demand in a niche (the autumn months), when consumers are looking for highly-flavoured products. For all these reason, as well as due to its high level of resistance (TYLCV, TMV and Passalora Fulva), it could become very popular.