In an effort to revitalize farmland affected by the March 11 tsunami in Iwanuma, Miyagi Prefecture, a Tokyo-based nonprofit organization will plant seedlings of “salt tomatoes” there. Such tomatoes have proven well-suited for growing in salty soil on drained land.
Salt tomatoes have been grown on reclaimed land mainly in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture. The tomatoes are about four centimeters in diameter, smaller than ordinary tomatoes, but have a rich taste produced by the salt and minerals in the soil.
They do not, however, taste salty, having a sugar content twice that of ordinary tomatoes.
The NPO “Agricommunity Business Support Center” will plant 400 salt tomato seedlings on Saturday on a borrowed 1,500 square-meter plot of land in Iwanuma, which was submerged by seawater in the March 11 tsunami.
The support center invited the public to join the planting to learn more about the current situation in quake-hit areas. About 40 people mainly from areas around Tokyo will participate in the planting on Saturday.
After harvest, the support center plans to sell the salt tomatoes, which fetch high prices, using the profit to support quake relief efforts.
An official of the policymaking division of the Iwanuma city government said, “These efforts will help rebuild agriculture in this area.”
The support center intends to offer similar plantings to Natori, Wataricho and Yamamotocho in Miyagi Prefecture, where farmland has also suffered salt damage.