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WAY FORWARD-Your advice

Posted by on July 4, 2011 at 1:01 PM Comments comments (3)

We are seeking partners  who can advice us on how well to disseminate information regarding the production and protection w.r.t tomatoes,kales,,melons.... (horticultural crops) in the simplest and cost effective way in East africa.Targeting small and medium scale farmers. Starting with Kenya.

The basics-tomato production

Posted by on June 29, 2011 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (4)


                                                                                      TOMATO (Lycopersicon esculentum L)

What to know:

There are two types of tomatoes:

      a) Determinate-when they flower; there isno more vegetative growth

      b) Indeterminate-Elongation of stem continues throughout the growing season (this is the ideal tomato for greenhouse farming)



1M wide  by 4M long: avoid sitting the nursery where potatoes, brinjals , sweet pepper (hoho), chilies have been grown in the previous 3years due to disease risk.

Sow seeds in drills 20 cm apart ,1 cm deep, later thin out to have sturdy seedlings


Seedlings are transplanted at 4* weeks (after they are sown)

NB: Spacing depends on whether one is able to supply the essential requirements for growth

B}NUTRIENTS:::: Tomatoes require  approx. 32-72kg N/acre(Nitrogen0



How to apply

N:Generaly,apply in splits of more applied 3 weeks after transplanting, a second  application at the start of flowering s beneficial,butnot when fruits are forming because it promotes vegetative  growth (Rem.Nobody sells/buys tomato leaves)

P :Applied for proper root development,fruit set, fruit quality, peel color, pulp color  and the quality contents

K: deficiency leads to ripeningdisorders .it is also important for fruit keeping quality. Apply fertilizers witha high K few weeks before flowering and during flowering to fruitingstage.(Foliar fertilizers do well)

Calcium and Magnesium: Low ca & high Mg in soil leads to blossom end rot.


Applies mainly to indeterminate type. removal of suckers(desuckering) PRUNING IS ALSO DONE REGULARLY-removal of leaves especially those which are touching the ground (prune by cutting outside shoots as early as possible,leaving two main stems)

Flowering: tomatoes flower 5-7 weeks after sowing

MATURITY: A tomatofruit takes 6-8 weeks to mature


Greenhouse technology,A guide to the kenyan case:

Posted by on April 29, 2011 at 3:00 PM Comments comments (25)

Target persons: Individual farmers/organisations/groups

In kenya,the following companies have a greenhouse kit,reffered as the farmer's kit.

1.Osho chemical industries limited (

2.Amiran kenya (

There are other companies that do the construction:i will be updating this site on their contacts:

For a farmer who wants to start the greenhouse farming.allow me to use the two kits:


Kenya has started greenhouse production of tomatoes,raising hopes that the popular vegetable will become available throughout theyear at affordable prices.

In the new system, a grower requires about 240 square Metres of land and a greenhouse kit to get started.

The cheapest kit comprising a 1000 litre water tank,irrigation drip lines, plastic sheet, and chemicals has been put at Kes 150,000.00. The plot of land can grow about 500 to 600 plants.(source: Oshochemicals ind. Ltd)

If the concept is widely embraced, Kenya could start enjoying year-round supply of tomatoes, which currently get damaged during the wet seasons, pushing prices through the roof. Growing crops under greenhouseshas many advantages, among them

a)The ability to produce huge quantities on asmall piece of land

b)Continuous harvesting.(for the indeterminate varieties)

c)The tomatoes have a shelf-lifeof 21 days compared with 14 for those grown in the open.

d)Reduced pest and disease attack. due to the enclosed environment

e)Ability to have tomatoes during all whether periods (rainy and dry seasons)


It takes a shorter period( two months)  for greenhouse-produced tomatoes to mature,while it takes a minimum of three months with outdoor farming..........(This gives a greenhouse farmer a competative edge over the outdoor farmer)

Water requirement:

Minimum 400l/day. Estimate 5l/plant/wk.

Due to controlled irrigation and temperatures, the crop sports a continuous output of flowers and fruits, all at different stages. One plant has a potential of up to 15 kg at first harvest, going up to 40 kg by the time it has completed its full cycle — recommended at one year. The plant vines are supported inside the greenhouse with sticks and strings, growing upto 50 metres in height. If well looked after, the minimum plot of land undergreenhouse production can yield  25,000Kg (average) of tomatoes.  


Tomatoes are generally highly susceptible to diseases requiring heavy application of pesticides but under the greenhouse growing techniques,which come with basic training on hygiene, most of common infections are easily kept at bay. Also kept at bay are insects and other pests known to invade plants as well as weeds. Apart from huge savings on crop protection chemicals,which constitute a huge part of production costs, less labor is employed in agreenhouse, while exposure to chemical toxins associated with application is minimized or eliminated altogether. It is also good for the environment.

Recommended varieties

we recommend the Anna F1 Hybrid Tomato Seed, which is high yielding, developed by Seminis East Africa. Tylka, distributed by Syngenta is also good on the greenhouse production;

Kindly download this document detailing the vrecomended varieties

 Refferences:masaku technicians,osho chemicals,amirankenya