How to Start Tomato Farming Business

Tomato Farming.

Tomato is one of the most important cooking ingredient in Nigeria. Ninety percent of our food is never complete without tomato. We use it in cooking stews, soups, salads, portages, and virtually every food imaginable in the land. It goes with everything. So good that even some of our traditional foods contain it.

 Business Value of Tomatoes Farming:

Despite the population of tomato farmers and the volume grown yearly, about half of the harvests are lost to spoilage and several other factors before they get to the market. Even if the lot gets successfully supplied (which is highly unlikely), the domestic demand for tomatoes in Nigeria extremely exceeds the supply with over 2 million metric tonnes of the vegetable crop demanded yearly. This insatiable demand makes Nigeria supplement the tomato supply by importing about 300,000 metric tonnes of tomatoes worth over $360 million dollars yearly.
With Nigeria’s population at 170 million, and expected to reach or surpass 400 million by the year 2050, the potential of tomato farming as a profitable agricultural business for millions to venture into cannot be overestimated.

Tomatoes Value Chain:

Tomatoes Production: The involves the use of a farmland to grow tomatoes
Tomatoes Processing: This involves creating products from harvested tomatoes. These include tomato paste and ketchup

Health Benefits of Tomatoes:

Tomatoes helps in managing blood pressure; Tomato can help in the management of high blood pressure.
Tomatoes helps to maintain a healthy hair; Tomatoes are good for the hair; the vitamin A in tomato helps in making the hair strong and shiny.
Tomatoes are good for the skin; the high level of lycopene in tomato makes the skin to look tender, shiny and smooth. And sometimes, it can also be used as a facial cleanser.
Tomatoes helps to prevent cancer; The outstanding thing about tomatoes is its ability to prevent cancers. Lycopene is a natural antioxidant that works effectively to slow the growth of cancerous cells so therefore, cooked tomatoes produce even more lycopene which can aid to fight against cancers.
Tomatoes repairs cigarettes damages; this amazing fruit contain coumaric acid and chlorogenic acid that work to protect the body from carcinogens that are produced from cigarette smoke. So if you know someone who is a heavy smoker; you might want to recommend this fruits to him/her.
Tomatoes keeps the kidney in shape; Tomatoes helps to keep the kidney health; thus helps in preventing kidney stone.
Tomato is good for the eyes and perfect checker for sugar level; The Vitamin A found in tomatoes is a perfect remedy for improving vision and also prevent night blindness. Tomato can also help diabetes patient to keep their blood sugar levels under better control.
Tomato provides essential antioxidants for the body; the Vitamin A and Vitamin C in tomatoes serve as antioxidants and this is because these vitamins and beta-carotene work as antioxidants to neutralize harmful free radicals in the blood.
Tomatoes help to maintain strong bones; Tomatoes contain a considerable amount of calcium and Vitamin K. These nutrients are usually known for maintaining strong bones.

How to Grow Tomatoes:

Tomato farming is very simple. Anyone can do it in any capacity, either in the backyard or in commercial quantity. Growing tomato is much more rewarding than you could ever imagine. Tomato can be grown round the year, especially in places like Kano where there is irrigation system specifically made for it. In other places, it is best cultivated during the rainy season.

Step 1: (Selection of Species) – The improved yield species is the best choice for farmers, do not pick the local species.

Step 2: (Nursery Preparation) – This can be done around March/April when the rain is just beginning in most parts of the country. You can use your backyard for the nursery or any other piece of land the is suitable for it. Tomatoes does very well in most soil types in Nigeria but better in a black loose loamy soil. Prepare the ground by clearing the grasses and rubble, loosen the soil with hand trowel and hoes.
Remove the seeds from the tomatoes and spread it on the prepared soil. You can cover it with dry grasses to prevent the loss of moisture from the soil and prevent birds, ants and fowls from eating off the tomato farming seeds.

Within 5-7days you will see it germinating. Wait till about another five days before you remove the dry grasses to allow for proper growth. Leave it for another one month before transplanting.

Site selection
Tomatoes does well in soil rich in humus
U can identity soil rich in humus through d colour of d soil which is dark black or u notice some soil colloid s
For more physical test u can take d soil in thumb n rub it with each other
If the soil stick together then u are good to go but if d sample taken does not stick together meaning it not a good soil for tomatoes vegetables
Likewise, vegetation on d site selected also show more of at t grown there
But incase of commercial purpose is good to carryout soil test t determined the nutrient available n d want that is lacking in tomatoes to help in fertilizer application

Land clearing
Land clearing is done manually or mechanical means
But in case of virgin land
Slashing, tree felling , stumping, land clearing

Seed
When getting to your yield determinant cause seed play a vital roles in yield
Before purchasing ur seed from any seed company u most b sure of what u are buying
Always ask question shout ur seeds bf paying for it
This are d question the sales representative must b able t answer
Check out for d quality of d seeds by asking the seeds is disease free
Secondly, how many seeds per output
Duration of d seed while on d field

Planting period
Tomatoes is planted in d west around last week in august n last week in September but initially the planting period is oct-november but climate change have effects on the planting period
U can easily adopt ur nursery measurement depending on d individual but however 60cm by 5metres is not a bad idea to do ur nursery
U make ridges with your suitable measurement n after making d ridges, u take off d debris on d surface on the ridges while using wood ash or sand t mix the tomatoes bf broadcasting on the field
It very compulsory to cover the ridges with either palm fronds
A bit above d ridges against direct sunlight
D raising should not b more than 60 cm above d ground
After broadcasting make sure u covered d ridges with slightly soil so that d seeds is not expose on the surface of d ridges
You wet morning n night for the next four days n at three days u gonna notice germination
After a week u start to wet once weekly
This is done when there is no rain but during raining season u only wet morning n night for a day or two

Transplantation
Transplanting is done after three weeks upward or at 10cm hieght
Your nursery is ready for transplanting when the tomatoes have developed three or four leaves
To get successful transplanting u transplant immediately (evenings) after making the ridges not more than 48hours
It takes two weeks for d transplanted tomatoes to adjust to a new environment
After transplanting,

Fertilization
 fertilization is done three weeks after transplanting
For those using npk ringing method of application is aplied
While liquid fertilizers comes in every two or three weeks depending on d kind of fertilizers u are using
Weeding is done thrice bf harvesting

Disease
Firstly, four weeks after transplanting
Looking at disease affecting tomatoes
The best prevention is to carryout soil sterilization on ur soil
Hereby doing this your have knock out all d soil nematodes infestation on d soil
Secondly make sure u get disease free seed
Thirdly regularly weeding due to d facts that some weeds harbour n hide out for diseases
Fourthly, make sure u stake all d tomatoes leaves about d soil
The leaves should not come in contact with d soil
Lastly make sure d seed on d tomatoes leaf should not have contact with d soil
After following this instruction u are very sure not having problem with any soil borne disease
Note: in tomatoes farming there are insect that transmit diseases to the  soil and to get ride of this you can make used of cypermethrin or any active insecticide.
How to Start Tomato Farming Business How to Start Tomato Farming Business Reviewed by Godwin Akpan on November 06, 2017 Rating: 5

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