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.
Dry mulches should be used to retain moisture while heavy banana stems should be supported to avoid damage. Old diseased leaves should be removed while de-leafing is important to ensure healthy growth. Harvesting begins after 15-18 months, and a light shiny appearance means that the banana is ready for harvest. Harvesting should be delicate to avoid bruising of the bananas. The bananas should be temporarily stored in a cool, dry place and should be wrapped in banana leaves or grass to avoid bruising. If for export, they should be washed using a disinfectant and might require branding.
Plums are excellent fresh but also make a wonderful jam or jelly. Plums require full sun and well-drained, sandy soil to thrive. They prefer a soil with a pH that ranges from 5.5 to 6.5. It is always a good idea to have your soil tested before planting any fruit tree to be sure that they pH is appropriate. You should also work the appropriate amendments into your soil before planting. Their overall size may also need to be considered. Most plum trees will reach 16 feet at maturity or 14 feet if they are a dwarf variety.
Plums have quite high moisture demands, so they are best planted on good clay or loamy soils. But sites also need to be well drained as plums, and gages in particular, hate waterlogged soils. Add bulky organic matter to sandy or shallow chalky soils prior to planting.
Plant plum trees in well-drained, moderately fertile soil in full sun. Avoid planting in low areas where frost may settle, as the frost will damage your trees. If possible, find a sheltered position, such as a south- or west-facing spot out of the wind. This will help the plum tree set fruit. For grafted trees, keep the graft union 1 inch above the soil line when planting. Dig a hole that is a few inches deeper and wider than the spread of the roots. Set the tree on top of a small mound of soil in the middle of the hole. Be sure to spread the roots away from the trunk without excessively bending them. Space standard-size trees 20 to 25 feet apart. Space dwarf trees 15 to 20 feet apart.
Plums develop their best flavor if left to ripen on the tree. If they feel soft when gently squeezed, they are ripe. Trees will generally need picking over several times. Harvest fruits carefully so as not to bruise them, then eat fresh, destone and freeze, or make the fruits into preserves.
Tamarillo best known by the name tree-tomatoes in Kenya is a fast-growing tree that grows up to 5 meters. Peak production is reached after 1-3 years, and the life expectancy is about 12 years. The tree usually forms a single upright trunk with lateral branches. They produce 1 to 6 fruits per cluster. Plants can set fruit without cross-pollination, but the flowers are fragrant and attract insects. Cross-pollination seems to improve fruit set.
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 20 °C. It is intolerant to frost (below -2 °C) and drought stress. It is assumed that fruit set is affected by night temperatures. Areas where citrus are cultivated provide good conditions for Tree-Tomatos. Tree-Tomato plants grow best in light, deep, fertile soils, although they are not very demanding. However, soils must be permeable since the plants are not tolerant to water-logging. They grow naturally on soils with a pH of 5 to 8.5. They are as well planted by irrigation as they also do well.
we graft our seedling with "muthakwa" to ensure our tees are resistant to nematodes, they are drought resistant, mature fast in 9 months compared to other that mature in more than a year. Due to good feeding our fruits are bigger than normal.
A tree is usually kept to 3-6 trunks for fruit production. They tend to sucker around the base. These need to be removed, though they can be used as cuttings for propagation if you chose not to discard them.
Pomegranate is especially well adapted to the environments with cool winters and hot summers, but can be grown in the humid tropics or subtropics, and the plant will survive very well in Kenya. Commercial production is concentrated in dry summer climates, and pomegranate is extremely drought tolerant once established, but crops much better with more generous moisture. Pomegranate thrives on a wide variety of soils and has a high resistance to salinity.