This is the profitable tomato farming in Kenya definitive guide with all information and answers to guide you on tomato farming in Kenya. Be it you want to start commercial tomato farm or tomato farming for domestic purpose this guide is prepared specifically for you. Before venturing into tomato farming in Kenya there are some of the questions you have been asking yourself we intend to answer all of these questions on this guide;
- Areas where tomato farming is done in Kenya?
- How many kilograms of tomatoes can one acre of land produce?
- How to start a tomato farm
- How profitable is tomato farming in Kenya
- tomato pests and diseases in Kenya
- What is the best fertilizer for tomato farming?
- Which is the best month for growing tomatoes
- How long does it take for tomatoes to mature
- Tomato seed rate per acre in Kenya
- What is the market for tomatoes in Kenya
- Tomato varieties in Kenya
HOW TO GROW TOMATOES IN KENYA
Consider the following actions and ecological requirements for tomato farming, soil should be deep well drained loam soil, water should be available in the area where tomatoes are to be planted if not consider the installation of water tanks, the area where tomatoes are to be planted should be gently sloping land. It is also important to note that tomatoes cannot be planted immediately at the land where potatoes or peppers have been planted. Tomatoes are normally grown from seedlings.
We now step into the next step which is seedlings preparation.
Prepare a raised nursery bed of 1 m width and to the length of your convenience, add farmyard manure and mix with the soil on the nursery bed. Prepare furrow like lines across the nursery bed with a suitable spacing between rows now sow the seedlings from the sachet and cover with uniform light soil. During this period mulch the nursery bed as continuous watering and weeding continues until the period of transplanting. Mulch can be removed as soon as the seedlings appear around 8 to 10 days. Transplanting to the actual land is done after 4 to 5 weeks
Transplanting is done in the evening where seedlings are uprooted from the nursery with a lump of soil in their roots. Seedlings should be planted in a well prepared land free from weeds. Holes in the actual field should be with spacing of 60 to 45
Plant the seedlings with a handful of compost or farmyard manure, phosphate fertilizer can be applied at the base for root development and CAN fertilizer can also be used as a top dresser to aid in leaf development
Flowering of tomatoes begin at 5 weeks after transplanting
FARM PRACTICES FOR TOMATOES
As your tomatoes continues to mature on the farm regular farm practices continue
TOMATO SUPPORT. This is done by using light poles on each plant where tomatoes are tied using a string to follow the poles upwards. This increases productivity of tomatoes, avoid stem damage during support
PRUNNING: this is the removal of side shoots and suckers also yellow and wilted plants should be pruned
Soil conditioning: This is done by application of manure to the soil this is done in moderation too much nutrients or too little nutrients may damage your tomato plantation
Weeding: this is the removal of unwanted plants on the area where you may have grown your tomatoes. Weeds harm the proper growth of the tomatoes
Monitoring: this is done by frequently checking for pest and diseases. Some pests may invest in potatoes making it necessary for integration of pest management practices
PESTS AFFECTING TOMATOES INCLUDE: American bollworm, DISEASES: Tomato blight, Bacterial wilt, Blossom end rot.
By following the farm practices of tomato farming, within a matter of weeks your tomatoes should be growing vigorously and rapidly.
HARVESTING OF TOMATOES
when the tomatoes produce ripe fruits first harvesting is ready this is always at 70 days after planting depending on variety and ecological conditions. To facilitate proper harvesting of tomatoes, fruits should be picked carefully to avoid damaging the plant.
After successfully harvesting your tomatoes you are now ready for marketing after storage in crates. Tomatoes are sold in kilograms to various market around Kenya
An acre of tomato plantation can produce up to 30 to 35 tons of tomatoes under good maintenance and 1kg of tomato 2021 in Kenya costs up to 150-300kshs which varies according to time and availability. This should proof how profitable is tomato farming in Kenya.
There is always ready market for your tomatoes in Kenya you can market tomatoes in schools and institutions, fast food chains, hotels and open air markets.
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