Tomato production is an important part of Uganda’s economy, as well as a food source for its people. Tomatoes are among the vegetable crop grown by small scale farmers for both home use and domestic markets and can be grown all year round.
It is important to note that tomatoes grown under Greenhouse are of a better quality than ordinary ones because they are grown in a controlled environment
Market for Tomatoes
The demand for tomato comes from the following areas
- Local consumers
- Processors for tomato Juice
Ideas about growing Tomatoes
- Tomatoes can be grown in the smallest of spaces. For example, in a three foot squared space, you can plant six tomatoes plants.
- They take between two to three months from seed to ripening.
- Application of composite manure improves the yield.
- Mulching using grass is advisable too.
- The standard spacing for tomatoes is 18 inches.
- Tomatoes are grown as a sole crop intercropping is not advisable
Varieties for Tomatoes in Uganda
There are many varieties of tomatoes on the market including the following:
- Money maker.
- Amateur rodade.
Diseases and pests that attack tomatoes
The tomatoes are attached by the following diseases:
- Bacteria wilt,
- Blossom and
- Fungal diseases.
The pests that attack tomatoes include Aphids, Boll worms and Termites.
All the above can be controlled using both natural and artificial measures including the use of specialised pesticides like Dithane and Dursban.
Values from Tomatoes
Tomato crop has the following uses:
- It is a cash crop
- It a food crop which is used in many cooking recipes
- Tomatoes are nutritious vegetables that provide good quantities of vitamins A and C.
- It is used to make tomato sauce
Areas in Uganda That Grow Tomatoes
Tomatoes are grown all over the country but the key areas that grow tomatoes include the following:
- Kabala District
- Kasese District
- Mbale District
- Kapchorwa District
- Mubende District
- Masaka District
- Wakiso District
Constraints for Tomato Growing
The small scale farmers face the following challenges:
- Raising right varieties by farmers
- Lack of training sites for farmers on propagation of right planting materials.
- Diseases, pests and high costs to combat them
- Limited funds to improve farm productivity
- Dependency on rainfall which leads to seasonality in production
- Lack of information on market prices
- High perishability of tomatoes
- Lack of effective transport to distant markets
Tomato Actors in Uganda
The key tomato players in the country are as follows:
- National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) located on Entebbe
- Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF)
- Agribusiness development centre located in Kampala
- Horticulture Exporters Association (HORTEXA)
- Agribusiness Development Centre located in Kampala
- Reco Industries Ltd located in Kasese
- Star Tomato Sauce located in Kampala
- Britannia Allied Industrial Ltd located in Kampala
- Macdongh Food (U) Ltd located in Kampala
- Mode Ltd Located in Kampala
- Kawanda Agricultural Research Institute (KARI) located in Kampala
- Uganda National Farmers Federation (UNFFE and NGO) located on Nakasero road in Kampala
- Uganda Spices Producers Association (NGO) Baumann House Parliamentary Avenue