Tomato farming in Nigeria is rare in many areas of the country even when Nigeria is blessed with the right soil and weather to boost tomato production in commercial quantity and even make Nigeria a major exporter of tomatoes in the world. Although, there are major tomato producing states in Nigeria, these states cannot supply the amount of tomatoes needed to satisfy the demand of this agricultural produce in the country. Tomato farming business is one that is very lucrative with its demand deemed to surpass its supply, hence its importation from other countries.
This article on tomato farming business in Nigeria will serve as a guide for those who are seeking information on how to start a tomato farm in Nigeria whether in a commercial or local scale. You might be wondering or asking; how profitable is it to start tomato farming business in Nigeria? I would simply reply with this answer – Tomato in Nigeria is seen as one of the most consumed agricultural product in Nigeria as virtually every body, culture and tribe use tomato to prepare stew or soup or even as a cure to prostate cancer. Also, the richest man in Nigeria and Africa, Aliko Dangote recently established a Tomato processing plant in Kano to tap from the wealth of this money spinning fruit.
Overview on Tomato Farming in Nigeria
Tomato is an agricultural product that takes three months to harvest after planting. The best soil to plant tomato seeds in Nigeria in case you choose to go commercial is the black loose loamy soil. Also the market to sell your tomatoes in large scale need no explanation as both pepper and tomatoes are usually at every market place in Nigeria. Tomato farming in Nigeria can be found mostly in northern Nigeria. An example of tomato producing state is Kano, which has one of the best irrigation systems for watering the tomato farm and serves as one of the main sources of its economy.
If you wish to start your Tomato farming business, you would need to select the best tomato species to plant. The Roma specie is one specie you can plant in Nigeria as you are guaranteed of a high yield during harvest period (tomato season in Nigeria).
Required Facilities for Tomato Farming Business in Nigeria
Just like other agricultural products, below are the necessary facilities (must have) you should have before you commence your tomato farm
Fertile Suitable Land
It does not have to be a large piece of land as any suitable land with black loamy soil will do yo start a tomato farm. Although, tomatoes can grow on almost any kind of land, having a large piece of land would be suitable if you want to go commercial but for local farmers, a plot of land with suitable irrigation channels should do.
Tomato seeds & Fertilizer
Tomato seeds are as important as the land as you would need the seed if you want to plant. Always go for the healthy tomato seeds as you would reap the benefits when the tomato season for harvesting comes. Also Fertilizers are very important if you want to get the best tomato produce during harvest.
As we were taught in our Agricultural class, another name for a nursery is protective breeding. Tomato should always be planted first in a nursery away from birds and insects before been transplanted into an open farm. this is a very important step in the tomato breeding process.
If you have knowledge and the technical know how on how to start a tomato farm in Nigeria, then you can count yourself lucky. But if you do not have the necessary knowledge, you can decide to attend farming workshops, read books on tomato farming or better still download a practical guide on how to start tomato farming business in Nigeria.pdf, all these can be outsourced via google on the internet.
The feasibility study for this guide spells out the cost of a Tomato farm after one farming year. So, all the cost you should incur during the first year which includes the cost of a plot of land, loosening of the soil, the cost of irrigation channeling, seed purchase, cost of nursery set-up, fertilizer, transport expenses and others should not be more than N5,000,000
Note that tomato season in Nigeria is usually during June/July, usually during the rainy season. Heat isn’t good for tomato farming business in Nigeria.
Tomato Farming Disadvantages & Risks Involved in Nigeria
- As with every kind of agricultural business in Nigeria, threats such as insects, pests, birds and rodents can serve as a major threat to your tomato farm business. So employ techniques such as erecting a scarecrows to keep them away from your farm.
- Also, weeds which are unwanted plants can serve as a deterrent to your tomato farm as they share nutrient with your tomatoes laving them mal-nourished which either kills them or slow down the rate of the growth of your tomato produce.
- Of recent, there is also the emergence of the tomato Ebola disease which has caused a lot of farmers in Nigeria to loose a lot of tomatoes due to the virus outbreak.
- It requires much capital to start.
- Tomato farming can provide for your domestic needs as you would not need to purchase them from the market any longer.
- Since it only takes approximately three months for planting to harvesting of the tomatoes, you don’t need to wait so long to harvest or sell your tomatoes.
- The market for tomatoes in Nigeria is every where so you need not look for a specific market to sell your agricultural produce as the demand of tomatoes in Nigeria is always on the high