Post by Ismail AbdulAzeez on Aug 4, 2021 23:40:05 GMT 1
Practical Tomato Farming In Nigeria: Step By Step Guide – Part 2
In the part 1 of this article we saw the huge gap between the requirement of fresh tomato and the quantity our farmers were able to produce in the country.
We saw the problem faced by Dangote tomato plant that has been suffering from inadequate supply of the commodity for quite some time now. The problem has been traced to inability of Nigeria tomato farmers to meet up with the requirement of the tomato plant.
If care is not taken the company may shutdown due to the problem of getting tomatoes for the plant to continue operation. We are made to understand that the plant is currently operating below 30% of its operational capacity.
The country is heavily importing both fresh tomatoes and processed tomato paste from other countries. This is the more reason why we have been bringing to our forum members practical steps to be taken in farming tomatoes in Nigeria.
In our articles in agriculture, we try as much as possible to make the process practical enough so that you can practice it easily. We do not want you to just read the articles without making any attempt to put into practice what we are teaching you.
When is the best time to start planting your tomatoes?
The best time to start planting your tomato is during the early rains, between March and May of the year. Please remember to take into consideration the effects of climate change; this sometimes may change the beginning of the rainy season in a particular country.
What quantity of tomato are you going to start with?
We have said that we need to put what is being taught in this forum into practice; therefore we must be realistic in how we approach the farming in practice. There is no need to read without putting what you have read into practice. We are not here to read for passing exam; we are here to put what we have read into practice in order to make money and take care of our families in these trying times in our country.
You are therefore advised to start small by trying out a sample farm first before going into the farming business big time.
It is like that in every business venture; take it step by step and in smaller chunks in order to understand the business first.
Every business has its own secrets that you can only master by doing the work first hand. There are some things that you can only master by doing it live.
It is advisable that you start with not more than one plot of land for an individual or an acre for a company; this way you will not be exposing your capital too much. In business and indeed anything in life, the business can be affected by unforeseen circumstances or nature.
The first step is to clear the soil in order to make it ready for cultivation by removing whatever that you feel will hinder your crop from growing properly. You have to till the ground and level it properly.
Depending on your location, make your beds or ridges and dress it up with animal dung or other organic matter. Like we normally advice, tomatoes will normally perform better in rich sandy loamy soil with a ph of 5.0-6.5. You must also spray insecticides around the nursery bed to wade of the invasion of dangerous insects from attacking them. Please remember to always treat the soil before planting, do this with good insecticide.
How To Plant Tomatoes: Practical planting methods
You may decide to plant your tomatoes directly on the soil, but it will yield better if you make beds or ridges. Raise your beds up about 1m X 1m and broadcast or spread the tomato seeds on it. If you do not make ridges or beds, flood may sweep away your seeds.
Please cover the seeds lightly with grass or compost; you can also cover with palm fronds if available. The essence is to cover the nursery against insects or mosquitoes and to prevent loss of moisture.
In 5-7 days the seeds will start to germinate, after some few days you can start removing the materials you used to cover the nursery seeds in order to allow for proper growth. After about another 30 days, you can then start transplanting.
Transplanting to the Tomato farm
At this stage the tomato plant is now ready for transplanting to its final place, this is where it will stay till maturity and production of fresh tomato.
They should be planted deep into the soil for about 6 inches into the soil to help root penetration which will encourage quick establishment of the plant.
Do your transplanting with hands, if it is too much for you, hire labourers to help. It is better to transplant the same day you uprooted the tender plants to avoid dehydration and fatigue on the tender and fragile plants.
It is generally recommended that you should plant your tomatoes about 18 – 24 inches apart from each other; however you have to look at the type of tomatoes you are planting before concluding on the final spacing.
We will continue on other topics on this very important topic, remember that putting what we learnt into practice is the best way to benefit from the training so far.
Stay with us for more. Don’t forget that we conduct agro-export trainings for interested people at our training centres; contact the admin of this forum for details.