Evaluation of the Performance of Tomato (Solanum esculentum) Cultivars at Sekota, North Eastern Ethiopia
Background and Objective: Tomato is one of the major vegetable crops grown in Ethiopia and its production and productivity is very poor compared to the world average. Among its production bottlenecks, shortage of improved tomato cultivars is the major one. The objective of the experiment was to evaluate tomato cultivars and select high yielding cultivars. Materials and Methods: An experiment was conducted in dry land areas of Waghimra; Sekota during 2005/06 dry season under irrigated condition. Five tomato cultivars namely Melkashola, Melkasalsa, Marglobe improved, Roma-VF and Marglobe were tested in randomized complete block design with 3 replications. The mean values of all parameters were subjected to two way analysis of variance using the Proc GLM procedure of SAS. The statistical significance of the mean of each parameter was determined using F-test and Duncan multiple range test procedure was used to compare differences between treatment means at 5% probability level. Results: The analysis of variance showed statistically significant differences (p<0.05) among cultivars in number of flowers/cluster, number of fruits/plant, fruit yield and fruit weight. However, the cultivars did not show statistical difference (p<0.05) for days to 50% flowering. Among the tested tomato cultivars, Melkasalsa produced the largest fruit. The highest fruit yield was recorded by Melkasalsa followed by Melkashola. Conclusion: Melkasalsa and Melkashola cultivars were the most productive and gave larger fruit compared to others. Hence, these cultivars can be used by tomato growers under irrigated condition around Sekota.