Setting up a tomato farm in Nigeria is not as difficult as it would seem, just like a couple of other fruits with simple enough management. It gets as basic as putting the seeds into the ground and covering it up with soil. In this post, we will walk you through the process of planting your very own tomato farm. This guide is meant to help you get the tomato farm you desire so that you can reap the benefits of tomato farming.
This article is divided into the following parts
Get an ideal site for your tomato farming
The first step you should take on this journey should you be finding a suitable location for your tomato farming. It would be wise to select a place that is not too far from the marketplace. In addition, let there be ease of transportation in the vicinity so that you can easily transport your tomatoes when the time comes after harvesting.
Select healthy soil for your tomato farming
It is necessary to carefully decide on great soil for planting your tomatoes. Healthy soil will determine the kind of tomatoes which will be produced as well as the overall productivity of your tomato business.
Organic content of the soil is important
The soil should be a properly managed clay loam or sandy loam. It should be free from hardpan, keep in mind that the very best tomatoes are obtained from deep, well-drained loam. Also note that the soil needs to be abundant with organic matter and should be rich in plant nutrients, with a pH of 6 or 7.
In preparing your land for the tomato farming, the soil ought to be loose with great till. Clear the soil of weeds and plough 1-3 times if it is heavy to make it lighter. In any case where the soil of your land is acidic, adding an appropriate amount of lime will help to either reduce or level the pH of the soil.
Pick the best tomato varieties
To get the very best from your own tomato farming you need to use the right varieties. The various varieties grown in the world are;
- Plum tomatoes
- Cherry tomatoes
- Grapes tomatoes
- Slicing or Globe tomatoes
- Campari tomatoes
- Tom berries tomatoes
- Oxheart tomatoes
- Beefsteak tomatoes
- Pear tomatoes
In Nigeria the types of tomatoes could be categorized with their shapes, local names and location of cultivation. They are;
|Variety||Place of Cultivation||Tomatoes Shape|
|Hausa (Scissors)||Kano||Oblong ( pointed tip)|
|Hausa||Sokoto||Oblong (banana shape)|
|Beske (Ebira)||Okene||Oval (folded-in base)|
|Hausa||Zaria||Oval ( pointed tip)|
|Hausa (Scissors)||Kano||Oblong (pointed tip)|
If you’re wondering what variety to pick for your tomato farming, then you can go for the recommended type, which is Roma tomato. It’s plum because of its slender and strong nature and is commonly used in Nigeria, growing suitably in any climate.
Plant Your Tomato
The best way to plant your tomato is by first planting it in the nursery, afterwards transplanting to the field. That is done by covering them with a polyethylene sheet to avoid weed growth, fungus, nematodes, pests, and bacteria. You should look at applying organic fertilizer and manure before planting. Understand that your seed bed ought to be 55-65cm wide, 5-6cm lengthy and 20-25cm high.
On how best to plant your tomatoes; tomato planting can be carried out around March/April through the starting of raining period. Plant by putting the tomatoes seeds on the soil and cover with 25% inch level of soil then press it together with your hands or handle (you might cover it with dried out grasses if you like. This is to avoid loss of moisture).
After planting, you will notice them growing within the next 5-7 days (after that you can take away the dry grasses to permit for proper growth) then let it grow for about a month or 5 weeks before transplanting to the field.
Your Tomato Nursery can be achieved on a little farm or on your own garden; for those who have one. Ensure that the soil is certainly healthy and looked after well.
Transplant Your Tomatoes
After a month or five weeks of planting your tomato in the nursery then you can certainly today freely plant them in the field. Tomatoes are extremely fragile and tender, it’s best transplanted the same time you uprooted it from the nursery in order to avoid fatigue and dehydration.
You must do the transplanting with hand to avoid damages (usually do not use any machines because of this). If your farm is normally large, then you should think about employing even more labors to work with you in this.
On how best to transplant your tomatoes; You should open up the soil of where you intend to transplant with a little bit of small wood, put in the seedling in to the hole and cover it with loose soil. The soil where you would like to transplant your plant ought to be moist.
Take note; after transplant, the seedbeds ought to be irrigated frequently after sowing and before seedlings reach an elevation of 5 to 7 cm. Do not leave it like that just, or else, it will die.
Irrigate Your Tomato Farm
if you want to obtain the best of your crop; make sure you source your plant with more than enough water. Through the dry season (they are the critical instances), of October and February, be sure you supply your crop with enough water continuously, 3-7 day’s interval (based on the kind of soil). Understand that you shouldn’t place too much drinking water on it to avoid them from cracking.
Weed and Fertilize Your Tomato Farm
After one or two weeks of transplanting your tomatoes from the nursery, you should look at weeding your tomato farm. You need to be cautious as you weed to avoid damages on your own tomato crop.
You may use chemical weed control also, through the use of registered chemicals. If you plan to use mechanical solutions to weed, it must be shallow rather than too near to the plant; to avoid damages to the vegetation.
Fertilizer ought to be applied following the first weeding. That is to greatly help restock the soil nutrients affected or taken by the weeds. The fertilizer must have contents like nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, potash, molybdenum, calcium, and magnesium, and also other trace nutrients, all in adequate volume. Tomato requires these nutrients to develop and flourish.
Control Illnesses and Pests in Your Tomato Farm
Aside weed control, you should protect your tomato plant from pests also. Exemplory case of some tomatoes illnesses and pests are;
- Plusia looper
- Rust mite
- Red spider mite
- Leaf miner / potato tuber moth
- Bacterial wilt
- Fusarium wilt
- Late blight
- Erinose mite
- Bacterial canker
These diseases and pests can be managed by;
- Practicing crop rotation.
- Destroying infected plants and discarding them.
- Using registered chemicals.
- Practicing of proper sanitation.
- And controlling drainage.
Harvest Your Tomatoes
Your tomatoes shall mature after 3 month that’s about 8-12 weeks. At that time, you should begin picking them. The colour should also let you know that it’s ripe . You should pick out your ripe tomatoes regarding to size, color, and quality
Store Your Tomatoes
If you’re not transferring your tomatoes to the marketplace immediately, you might decide to store your tomatoes. Pack your tomatoes in wooden boxes, cartons or baskets. Store them in an area whose temperature is approximately 12°C and 86% to 90% relative humidity.
Market Your Tomatoes
After storing and harvesting, then it’s time to sell your tomatoes, it’s extremely important you’ve recognized the best market/retailers to market your tomatoes for because tomatoes are extremely fragile and perishable. Unlike rice, cocoa, etc, you cannot store tomatoes for an extended period of time, therefore the market should be ready, before you harvest your tomatoes even.
With this guide, you now have an overview of the steps required to run a tomato farming business in Nigeria, please use the Crop Calendar to learn more information about tomatoes. You can also view more topics at the World Bank .
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