If you are a businessman and you are looking for a financial breakthrough, then the idea of growing tree tomato is a precise way of doing just that. The fruit is tremendously gaining momentum in the market and the demand is super high.
The interesting part of this type of fruit is that it requires minimum care and could be done as a side hustle rather than a full time job. A farmer with an acre of land can earn more than a million annually through tree-tomato farming. However, the following should be considered before you decide to invest.
Availability of land
You definitely require land for you to invest in farming, the question you should ask yourself is, do I buy land or lease. Well, Grafted Tree tomatoes start producing after 8 months and has a lifespan of more than 12 years. However, the tree reaches maturity in its third year where depending on the care given, one tree can produce more than 40kgs per annum.
The ideal piece of land is one that is fertile and well drained. Preferably located in a place with adequate supply of water and relatively calm winds. This is to say you can plant your tree tomatoes in places like Central Kenya, Western, parts of Nyanza, Taita Taveta and even parts of Rift Valley. The fruits can even grow in semi-arid areas provided there is adequate water to irrigate them (in addition to mulching).
For those who own lands, what are you waiting for? The rest can do the math, whether its cost effective to buy or lease a piece of land. However, if you have to lease, make it count by leasing for more than five years.
Apart from tilling the land and preparing the holes you will need to buy a water tank. This will come in handy during dry seasons because tree tomatoe farming in kenya require adequate watering at least once a week.
Plant only Grafted certified tree tomato seedlings
An acre piece of land requires around 1000 tree tomato plants. Ensure you only buy seedlings from certified seed beds, there you are assured of quality, (never by seedlings along the road). Regardless of the size of your land, you can start small. This means that even with a ¼ acre, you can become a tree-tomato farmer and make a difference in life.
Oxfarm organic Ltd is a registered company which deals with all types of fruit seedlings, we have certified tree tomato seedlings which we sell to our esteemed customers as well as guiding them on how to plant and care for them.
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Plant and wait
Plant the seedlings, keep caring for the farm and wait for about 8 months. Normally, that is the time it takes to see the first fruits. And one more thing…remember to set aside a small budget for insecticides because aphids can sometimes be a bother.
Market for high quality fruits is always available. In fact by the time your first crop matures you will start to receive calls from potential buyers. But other than that, you can recruit a few young unemployed people to be retailing the fruits in shopping centers and bus stops near your place.
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Of course, the bigger the land, the better the returns. On average a single tree produces 40Kilograms of fruit per year (harvested once a week). So using the 1 acre farm as an example and assuming you planted 1000 plants, we cann calculate our minimum expectations.
1000 trees x 40 Kgs x 100 (Price per Kilo) = Ksh 4, 000, 000 per year. (Ksh 333,333 per month)
Remember, this is a very minimalistic approach and you can even make more money if you are really serious about it.
The idea of growing tree-tomato has reached its peak and people are making money. Its just a matter of time, you can as well start today and make money through farming. There is freedom in farming, you are your own boss, you decide your own path and the growth is unlimited.
Soils should be well drained. Wet soils lead to poor aeration and increased incidence of crown rot in apples (Phytophthora cactorum). Generally, rooting tends to be shallow, and wet soils will restrict development, resulting in poor anchorage of the tree and a reduced area of soil from which nutrients can be extracted. Soils with high organic matter contents are normally better structured and allow good rooting.
Irrigation is necessary on dry soils, particularly when establishing and growing young orchards. Trickle irrigation and fertigation are increasingly used. In young orchards fertigation helps increase early tree growth and brings trees into bearing earlier. Sprinkler irrigation can be used to protect the tree buds and fruitlets against frost damage.
Sowing of a grass mulch between the tree rows is common practice, which together with any clippings, helps to increase water holding capacity, infiltration rate, soil aggregation and recycling of nutrients.
Apples prefer a slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH between 5.8 and 7.0). Extreme soil pH values result in nutrient tie-up or toxicity and poor tree and fruit development. It is important to amend the pH in acidic soils by incorporating lime before planting
Tangerines are relatively cold-tolerant, making them easier to grow than oranges, grapefruits and other types of citrus. Some varieties, such as the Citrus reticulata "Dancy," are heat-tolerant and do best when summers are hot, but other types, including the Citrus reticulata "Sunburst," do best when summers are on the cool side.
Citrus species can thrive in a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. Citrus is grown from sea level up to an altitude of 2100 m but for optimal growth a temperature range from 2° to 30° C is ideal. Long periods below 0°C are injurious to the trees and at -13° C growth diminishes. However, individual species and varieties decrease in susceptibility to low temperatures in the following sequence: grapefruit, sweet orange, mandarin, lemon/lime and trifoliate orange as most hardy.
Temperature plays an important role in the production of high quality fruit. Typical coloring of fruit takes place if night temperatures are about 14° C coupled with low humidity during ripening time. Exposure to strong winds and temperatures above 38° C may cause fruit drop, scarring and scorching of fruits. In the tropics, the high lands provide the best night weather for orange color and flavor.
people; they don’t need to work so hard nor climb to pick the nuts but wait for them to fall. The macadamia nut tree is indigenous to Australia but introduced in Kenya in 1945 to 1948. In Kenya, it grows roughly in the same climate suitable for growing coffee.
The grafted seedling takes 3-4 months to be ready for planting out in the farm. Seedlings are planting out in the field at a spacing of 9m x 9m or 10 m x 10 m or more if the trees are
intercropped with coffee or any other crop e.g. maize; however, if they are being planted as pure orchard, the spacing should be 4m x 10 m or 5 m x 10 m.
Kenya is sitting on a gold mine that if properly utilized would reap huge benefits for the country.
For many years, tea and coffee farming has been the major source of income for thousands of
farmers, however they are now changing tides and switching to macadamia nut farming.
Macadamia has become a lucrative produce all over sudden with a kilo of the nuts selling for
more than a hundred and a grafted seedling price shooting up from 300 to 500 Kenya Shillings.
Between1986 to 2002 the price ranged between 7 to 23 Shillings per kg., and in 2005 it averaged
80 Shillings per Kg.
The Kenya macadamia nut industry is currently made of approximately 900,000 trees of varying ages from one year to 20 years, grown by over 100,000 small scale farmers with an average of 6 -12 trees per grower. Annual production is about 4,000 metric tons of nuts-in-shell. These produce about 800 metric tons of marketable kernels, making the main commercial product. Other by products such as oil, are minimal. Producers get from nuts-in-shell Shillings 92 million per year.
Kenya is the third largest macadamia producer and the second largest exporter of macadamias. Many Kenyan farmers are integrating macadamia trees into their coffee and tea plantations. They view macadamia output as insurance against the uncertainties of weather which affect coffee and tea.