Tomato is one of the most consumed vegetables in not only Nigeria, but many other parts of the world.
It is used in cooking various kinds of foods including stews, salads, soups and jollof rice. Apart from the amazing taste it gives to our foods, tomatoes are also loved because of it’s numerous nutritional benefits.
It is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene. Tomatoes also help in enhancing the health and sharpness of the eye. The deep redness colour of the tomato also means that it is a good source of antioxidant agents.
How profitable is tomato farming in Nigeria?
To start with, the demands for tomatoes in Nigeria is very high. In fact, Nigerians consume over tons of tomato paste (over 1.5 million tons of fresh tomatoes). Nigeria is also the largest importer of tomato paste in Africa.
In 2012, we imported 65,809 tonnes of processed Tomato that worth over ₦11.7 billion. According to WealthResult.com, Nigerians spend over ₦100 billion annually on tomatoes. This is a very high amount, and it shows that no amount of tomatoes produced will ever be in excess.
Basics things you need to start a tomato farm
• Tomato seeds:
|Variety local name||Place of cultivation||Tomatoes shapes|
|4.||Hausa||Zaria||Oval ( pointed tip)|
|5.||Hausa||Sokoto||Oblong (banana shape)|
|9.||Hausa (Scissors)||Kano||Oblong ( pointed tip)|
|12.||Beske (Ebira)||Okene||Oval (folded-in base)|
• A nursery:
|1.||Open field||Beds in the open fields are raised after the soil is loosen. It is advisable to do this type of nursery only when the natural conditions are favourable to plant growth and development||It is mostly used during the dry season, but the farmers will need to apply pesticides to control insects and other pests that might be attack the crops|
|2.||Poly-tunnels||In the poly-tunnels, elevated raised beds covered with plastic. The plastic roofs will not only help in protect the seedlings from heavy raise, but will also help in the conservation of moisture and raising the temperature||This is for experts and big big time farm investments. Don’t try it as a beginner unless it’ll be managed by an expert|
|3.||Net house||This is a partially modified/controlled environment||This is useful for controlling the infestation of insects and other pests|
|4.||Greenhouse||The greenhouse is more like a controlled environment where structures are provided with adequate ventilation, irrigation and fertiliser application. In many of them, you’d also see facilities that help in regulating the temperature||Just like the poly-tunnels, this is for experts and big big time farm investments. Don’t try it as a beginner unless it’ll be managed by an expert|
• Disease/pest prevention and control:
Steps On How To Grow Tomatoes
• Choose a specie to plant
• Nursery preparation
• Weeding/application of fertiliser
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