Tomato farming is a lucrative agribusiness here in Zimbabwe. It’s not capital-intensive.
What people don’t know Is that tomato farming is not only restricted in the north.
You can start a tomato farm anywhere in Zimbabwe.
All you need to start tomato farming in Zimbabwe is the resource and knowledge to start. Tomato planting is usually around April and March. With proper irrigation, you can start it up anywhere in Zimbabwe.
BENEFITS OF TOMATO FARMING IN ZIMBABWE
Tomato is a good source of vitamin C and beta-carotene
16 million Zimbabweans use tomatoes to prepare numerous delicacies. This shows how lucrative this business is.
It’s not capital-intensive.
Very easy to manage.
HOW TO START A TOMATO FARM
1. PICK UP THE BEST SPECIE
Before you start your tomato farm, make sure you know the best tomato seed to go for. This is why you must first run a feasibility study before starting this business. When deciding on a specie, ask yourself;
1. How high can it yield?
2. Is it resistant to disease?
3. Is it reddish and attractive when ripe?
Below are few tomato species you should consider:
Matt’s Wild Cherry
However, Roma tomatoes is more popular in Zimbabwean markets and is definitely the best you should go for.
2. ACQUIRE A LAND
You can do this at your backyard. Just get a land and prepare it ahead of planting. When settling with a land, make sure the soil is well-drained, deep and loamy. If the land is suitable, then go ahead.
We always recommend getting a land not too far from your resident. This will ensure monitoring the growth of the tomatoes easily.
– PREPARE THE LAND
After securing a land, you can either hire labourers to clear the land and till it, or you can do it all yourself.
Make sure that every decision you make is friendly with your budget. Consider supplementing the soil with lots of manure.
It could be a cow dung or poultry waste.
The land needs to be ready before planting.
3. PLANT YOUR SEED
You can make beds or ridges. Anyone is absolutely fine to go with.
Remove the seeds from the tomatoes, did a little hole and fill it in with two seeds. Then cover it delicately with soil. We will recommend covering it with grass also.
This will reduce transpiration.When planting, leave about 2 feet (0.6m) between seedling and the rows 2 feet (0.6m) apart.
4. CONTROL WEED
Some farmers do this two months after planting.
However, you should weed whenever you see them sprouting up. The last thing you’ll do is engage the tomatoes in an unnecessary competition.
5. APPLY FERTILIZER
After weeding, apply fertilizer cause it will accelerate growth by providing all the vital nutrients it needs to mature. Purchase a fertilizer with a 5-10 ratio of Nitrogen, Phosphors and Potassium.
When applying, you can mix the fertilizer with water and apply directly at the root surface.
6. WATER YOUR TOMATOES
Tomatoes needs lots of water and as they grow, their demand foe water increase. Always water it in the morning and at night. You can build an irrigation if you can afford it. With this technique, you can grow tomatoes anywhere in Zimbabwe.
7. WATCH OUT FOR PEST AND DISEASE
Don’t go overboard when you see few insects hovering round your precious tomato plants.
Most of them aids the development of your plant.
However, another might be an enemy that needs to be eliminated.
If they are few, then crush them with your thumb and always throw away the infected tomato.
Not on the ground, but far away from your farm.
If they are becoming uncontrollably and unmanageable, releasing predators like ladybugs.
They know how to solve the menace. If the problem persist, then an insecticide becomes our last hope.
Apart from pest, diseases can also come at play. But with the right measures, you’ll be able to conquer.
8. HARVESTING YOUR TOMATOES
Roma tomatoes can take approximately 75 days or more to mature.
This timing is determined by some factors like the sun, soil nutrients daytime temperature etc..
However, when ripe, you should consider harvesting them. They might not mature in the same circle, but make sure you harvest those that are ripe already if you want to get the best from your tomato farm.
This is because tomatoes are frugal and easily spoils.
9. MARKET YOUR TOMATOES
Before your tomatoes rich maturity, you must have first discover a market for your product.
You can sell as a retailer or wholesaler depending on how big your tomato farm is and its yield.
Tomato farming in Zimbabwe is another gold mine if done properly.
Tomato farming in Zimbabwe is lucrative.
It’s one of these agribusinesses that can spill in cash all year around while you repeat the process over and over again into wealth.
Starting a tomato farm is easy.
All it requires is your seriousness and you’ll discover that making money isn’t really hard like people make it seem.