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Tips on how to get over 20Kgs/Tree from Tree-tomato farming

Tree tomato Fruit can be red or yellow; personally, I prefer the tangy red ones. The plants grow from seed to about 2m tall, long and leggy, and only fruit after they have formed several branches, usually after Year 2.

Related Content:The benefits of certified fruit seedlings

To get the most out of your tree tomato:

  • They only live for about 12 years, so always have a few young ones coming on to replace the old ones;
  • Tip cuttings will fruit sooner, and tend to produce a stronger, more compact bush;
  • In coastal and windy areas, it pays to shelter the trees, and cover them during a frost;
  • Don’t put them in your greenhouse; they grow better outside away from whitefly which covers them like snow otherwise;
  • Feed them like a tomato, with plenty of nitrogen and trace elements;
  • Pruning increases fruit size, so in summer trim some of those leggy growing branch ends back by 60cm.

Combine it all and you can harvest up to 20kg per plant – we have had a crate box full off one tree.

Two Deadly Enemies of Your Tree Tomato

Grafted tree tomato fruitsJust like citrus trees, tree-tomato will die if left to dry out, even if for only a day. In eastern areas you will have to irrigate all dry seasons with a drip line or hand water every few days. In the west, if you’re growing outside, your older plants will get through a few days of dry seasons winds but not many. Get the watering can out or you’ll lose your prized tree. Mulch the root zone to keep the moisture in.

Nematodes are tree-tomatoes worst enemy, they survive by feeding directly off the nutrients pumped through tree-tomatoes roots. They form galls that can reach up to an inch wide where they hide and reproduce, causing many symptoms that point to problems in infected plants’ transport systems. Yellowing plants, stunted growth and general decline are early symptoms, but unless your bed is heavily infected with nematodes, a large tree-tomato planting will only show these symptoms in a relative few plants. They typically appear in soils where tree-tomatoes and other root knot nematode host plants have been grown in the last three to five years, and populations increase the longer an area is used. If you suspect your tree-tomatoes plants have nematodes, start by digging up a particularly weak plant. Roots that have a lot of unusual knobby growths are infected with these parasites.

 

 

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Why Small-Scale Farmers Are Encouraged To Grow Fruits And Nuts

WHY SMALL-SCALE FARMERS ARE ENCOURAGED TO GROW FRUITS AND NUTS

Growing fruits and nuts provides a wide opportunity for kenyan poor families to enhance their incomes as well as improving the nutrition of the poor who currently suffer from deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients because of low
consumption of these foods.

Source Of Vitamins

According to World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), many fruits are, for example, important sources of vitamins A and C that are lacking in the diets of many Africans. Low intake of vitamin A – around 50 million African children are at risk of deficiency – is considered to be Africa’s third greatest public health problem after HIV/AIDS and malaria.

Vitamin C, on the other hand, is essential for protecting cells and keeping the body healthy and also absorbing iron from food. Vitamin C is an important mineral that is present in significant quantities in many fruits. Common fruits include HASS Avocado, Grafted Tree tomatoes, oranges, mangoes, grapes, tangerines e.t.c. Nuts on the other hand include MACADAMIA nuts, groundnuts, cashew nuts, e.t.c.

Impact of Fruits and Nuts Farming
Action on improving fruit and nut availability and quality, when coordinated, is likely to have a major positive impact on the health of African consumers and increase income generation.
If farmers receive good incomes from cultivating high quality fruits and nuts, that consumers can afford and are informed about the benefits of eating them, a strong domestic production sector can develop in Kenya.

 

The cultivation of fruits and nuts by smallholders to feed local markets and support of export markets presents a tremendous opportunity for investment, especially if the indigenous species that are recognized and valued by domestic consumers are considered as well as exotic ones. At present, about 80% of the total market value of fruit and nut crops is earned locally in Kenya, and this market is likely to grow further in the coming decade.

Source of Income

The total value of all traded production was estimated to be 650 million USD in Kenya in 2007, of which around 85% was contributed by fruits and 15% by nuts. Many fruit and nut species are rare assets in that they can be established on farms with a very modest initial investment and their value increases with time and is maintained over many years, continuing to contribute to family livelihoods and to bringing women, men and children out of poverty in a sustainable way.

By conserving these genetic resources in farmland – of indigenous species that are threatened in the natural landscape as forests recede, and of locally adapted exotic species – they are also made available to future generations, so that their livelihoods and health can also benefit.

Moreover, fruit and nut production is not amenable to much mechanization and is therefore labor-intensive, and thus plays to one of the key strengths of smallholders, which is their low labor cost, enabling them to compete with larger farmers.

Read Also: How to improve your fruit harvest

Production of Fruits and Nuts
Although the potential for improving fruit and nut production to improve incomes for small-scale farmers in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa is evident, smallholders face a number of bottlenecks in the cultivation and sale of produce. These include production constraints, such as limited species and variety development, inefficient delivery systems for delivering superior cultivars to farmers, and poor farm management practices,

With smallholders being unaware of better propagation, pest management and irrigation methods to improve quality, increase productivity and profits. In addition, farmers face market constraints, such as poor post-harvest practices that reduce sale ability, poor market delivery systems, lack of knowledge about the species and varieties for which markets are available, and lack of awareness among consumers of the health benefits of eating fruits and nuts.

Market Potential

Kenya has a very big market potential, since in most parts of Kenya, fruits are available throughout the year. This is a very long period and can be utilized to beat the export market. The major challenges facing the fruit marketing in Kenya are the competition from other producers such as South Africa and Israel; these can only be addressed by improving the quality of the fruits produced.

NB! If you need to grow tree fruits, Macadamia nuts or tissue banana, kindly visit our offices or contact us.

 

 

 

 

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ONE ACRE INVESTMENT AND RETURN OF FARMING TREE TOMATO.

GRAFTED TREE TOMATO

Grafted Tree tomato is a fast-growing tree that grows up to 2-5 meters.  The tree usually forms a single upright trunk with lateral branches. We graft our tree with ‘muthakwa’ for several reasons.

  • Resistant to Nematodes.
  • Drought resistant.
  • Fast maturing.
  • Higher life span.

CLIMATE, SOIL REQUIREMENT & GROWTH

The tree tomato prefers subtropical climate, they grow in many parts of Kenya with rainfall between 600 and 4000 millimeters and annual temperatures between 15 and 25 °C. It is intolerant to frost (below -2 °C) and drought stress. Tree tomato plants grow best in light, deep, fertile soils, however, soils must be permeable since the plants are not tolerant to water-logging. They grow well on soils with a pH of 5 to 7.5.

REQUIEMENTS:

Land, Manure, Grafted seedlings, Irrigation system, Labour, Pest and Diseases control,

At a good spacing an acre can accommodate 1200 – 1500 plants.

  • Require a recommended spacing measuring 6ft by 6ft, then dig dip holes measuring 2ft by 2ft this helps in roots penetration and also to be able to accommodate enough manure.
  • Add a bucket of well rotten manure into per hole and mix well with top soil.
  • Plant your grafted seedlings by first ensuring you have watered your soil well or plant during rainy season. Add mulching to every stem of your plants.
  • In case of a dry season apply irrigation either drip irrigation or bucket irrigation.
  • For those that need to grow organically consult your agronomist about organic farming.
  • For conventional farming apply NPK fertilizer after two weeks of planting this will ensure faster growth and root development.
  • Protect you plant from pest and diseases from early stages by splaying at a good interval depending with the rate of infestation with pesticides and fungicides both protective and curing ones.
  • During entire growth season apply CAN fertilizer three times.
  • Splay your plants with foliar feed to ensure faster and stronger plants and also during flowering to boost more flowers and ensure they do not drop.

PEST AND DISEASES

Tree tomato is fairly resistant to most diseases and pests. However, the tree is prone to powdery mildew, which causes the leaves to fall off. Application of copper oxychloride (allowed in organic farming) can control the disease. The main pests that attack the tree include the aphids, thrips, whiteflies and nematodes (grafted tree tomato is best in control of nematodes).

MARKET

We buy all the fruits from our Farmers both for export (organically grown) and for local market and for value addition. We have never satisfied even a fraction of the local market. Our main buyers for local market are Super markets, Marigiti and Githurai in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret. We buy from all comers of our country.

COST AND RETURNS ESTIMATES OF PLANTING TREE TOMATO IN ONE ACRE LAND

PLANT POPULATION 1200 PLANTS

Preparation of land (digging ,fallowing) to attain fine tillage 6000
Buying of seedlings from reputable dealers @100 each 120000
Digging of holes 2ft by 2ft @10 each 12000
Buying and application of manure per hole @30 per bucket 36000
Planting, mulching of seedlings 2400
Fertilizer for the entire season 12000
Chemicals for the entire season 20000
Water expenses (for irrigation) 50000
Management and miscellaneous. 50000
Total cost 300000
Expected average output 20-50kg per tree Ksh @80 for the first one year

Average 40*80*1200

 

 

3.8 million

 

Unit Cost and return of growing grafted tree tomato.

  • Unit cost = 300000/1200 = 250
  • Unit return = 3500000/1200= Ksh 3000

Read More: Why You Should Try Our Grafted Tree Tomato Seedlings

OUR SUCCESS STORY

One of the best investment we have ever done is Farming tree tomato, it was not a smooth journey to master this type of farming, and we encountered failures like not planting the hybrid varieties, and also planting non grafted plants that survived only for one season then withered. Our success story have lead us to be featured in local TV and Radio programs also in Newspapers. We came to a conclusion that we needed to ensure the success of our farmers interested in commercial tree tomato farming. We ensure we remove barriers that hinder successful tree tomato farming like enlightening our customers on.

  • Soil testing.
  • Type of manure to use.
  • Organic Farming.
  • Why and how to use drip system in your farm.
  • How to control pest and diseases.
  • Management of the farm.
  • Field visit.
  • Management of the farms.

We do visit farms in any part of Kenya to advice farmers on what’s suitable on their farms depending on their area. Apart from tree tomato we grow other types of fruit trees like passion fruits, Hass avocado, Macadamia, Oranges, Apples etc. We also do manage the farms on behalf of our customers. We deliver seedlings and fruits in any part of the country. Contact us and be part of the community that believe money grows on trees.

Watch the following video on tree tomato farming (Kikuyu version)

The Videos have been captured at Mkulima Wa Nyeri Farm

 

Value added Products from tree tomato
tree tomato packaging
Fruit ready for market and value addition

Value addition where we make Jam and Juice
tree tomato grafting
Mithakwa seedlings

We create more local employment
Delivery of seedling to client

 

 

Contact us for more information

Buy seedlings from our online shop.

Grafted Tree Tomato Seedlings

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Why Grafted Tree Tomato

Cost analysis of planting 200 grafted tree tomato seedlings.

Variety: Red oratia.

Space: 6000sqft

Preparation of land (digging ,fallowing) to attain fine tillage 1000
Buying of seedlings from reputable dealers @100 each 20000
Digging of holes 2ft by 2ft @10 each 2000
Buying and application of manure per hole @50 per bucket 10000
Planting, mulching of seedlings 500
Fertilizer for the entire season 4000
Chemicals for the entire season 7000
Water expenses (for irrigation) 10000
Management and miscellaneous. 20000
Total cost 70500
Expected output 65kg -120kg per tree @100 for one year

65*100*200

120*100*200

 

1.3 million

2.4 million

 

  • The plant take 8-10 months to mature and depends on location.
  • The cost of seedlings can vary depending with your dealer Oxfarm Organic ltd sells their seedlings at Ksh 100.
  • Cost of manure, labor and management can be greatly reduced if you do the work.
  • Prices of a kg of tree tomato vary from various markets from 80-150.

Related Post: Amazing health benefits of tree-tomato

GRAFTED TREE TOMATO

What to do.

  • Require a spacing measuring 6ft by 6ft, then dig dip holes measuring 2ft by 2ft this helps in roots penetration and also to be able to accommodate enough manure.
  • Add a bucket of well rotten manure into per hole and mix well with top soil.
  • Plant your grafted seedlings by first ensuring you have watered your soil well or plant during rainy season. Add mulching to every stem of your plants.
  • In case of a dry season apply irrigation either drip irrigation or bucket irrigation.
  • Add fertilizer after one month of planting this will ensure faster growth and rood development.
  • Protect you plant from pest and deceases from early stages by splaying at a good interval depending with the rate of infestation with pesticides and fungicides both protective and curing ones.
  • Splay your plants with foliar feed to ensure faster and stronger plants and also during flowering to boost more flowers and ensure they do not drop.

 

These are just costs and output, on how to achieve this you need to learn the best methods that work to achieve these outputs. Come visit us in our demonstration farm in Nyeri or visit our offices.