Did you know that farming tree tomatoes in Kenya can be a profitable venture?
As a matter of fact, the tamarillo, sometimes known as a tree tomato, is a subtropical fruit that may be found all over the world. The tree tomato is a distant relative of the tomato, the Mexican Husk Tomato, the Tomatillo, the Cape Gooseberry, the Pepino Dulce, the Naranjilla, and the Cocona, all of which are native to South America.
Ideally, tree tomato farming can be successful if the trees are carefully cared for, as they have a 12-year production lifespan and reach peak harvest time in 1 to 3 years.
Because of the high demand for the product in both the juicing and fresh fruit markets, tree tomato growing is gaining traction in Kenya.
Health Benefits of Tree Tomatoes
Tree tomatoes are high in nutrients that support a healthy immune system. B-complex vitamins including niacin, thiamine, and riboflavin are found in it. Calcium, potassium, glucose, protein, fat, and salt are all present. Your tree tomato stores minerals including manganese, magnesium, copper, zinc, and iron.
Tree tomatoes are high in antioxidants. If you want to lower oxidative stress in your body, eating the pulp or drinking the juice on an empty stomach will give you the best results. Furthermore, the chlorogenic acid found in tree tomatoes aids in the reduction of blood sugar levels in diabetics.
The acidic characteristics of tree tomato juice aid in the reduction of body fat. It has the potential to hasten the weight loss process.
When you drink the juice, it functions as a detoxifier. Tree tomatoes, like conventional tomatoes, include vitamins A, C, and E, which can help with a variety of skin issues.
Varieties of Tree Tomatoes in Kenya
Kenyans grow a variety of tree tomato varietals. You can tell them apart by their colors. The flavor of the yellow fruit variant is excellent. As a result, this kind is suitable for preservation. The color of red fruits is enticing. It’s frequently chosen for Kenyan markets. The quality of the black or dark-red type is higher, and it is larger.
Gol-mine, Inca red, Rothamer, Solid gold, Red Oratia, and Ruby red are some of the other kinds found in Kenya.
Ecological Requirements for Tree Tomatoes in Kenya.
In subtropical climates, your tree tomato will thrive. They thrive at elevations of 1,500m to 3,000m above sea level. It thrives in temperatures over 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). Your trees will also need nutritious, well-drained soil that is high in organic content. They thrive in soils with a pH of 5 to 8.5. It is vital to have perfect drainage.
Tree Tomatoes yield per acre
1000 tree tomato plants can be grown on an acre of land. You can grow tree tomatoes on a 14-acre plot of land, regardless of its size.
Land preparation for planting tree tomatoes
Your land location should be in an area where there is a sufficient supply of water.
Tree tomatoes can be grown in areas of Western Kenya, Nyanza, Central Kenya, Taita Taveta, and parts of the Rift Valley in Kenya.
2 to 3 months before planting, you must till your land. At least once a week, tree tomatoes require proper watering. During the dry season, a water tank or any other supply of water for irrigation comes in helpful.
Nursery preparation for tree tomatoes
Plant your seeds in a nursery for 54 days. Many Kenyan farmers prefer to sow seeds directly in the field. When they are about 2-6 inches tall, you can transplant them.
Transplanting tree tomatoes
For planting your tree tomato, dig 1.5-foot-deep holes. Tree tomato spacing should be 2.5 to 3 meters between plants and 3 meters between rows, or 1.0-1.5 meters between plants and 4.5-5.0 meters between rows.
Leave a small dip for mulching your plant. Mix one and a half wheelbarrows of well-prepared compost manure with two spades of topsoil when planting the seedlings.
Intercropping tree tomatoes
You can intercrop your tree tomatoes with beans and other vegetables to diversify your agriculture. Grafted tree tomato cultivation is a profitable business in Kenya, with a ready market.
Harvest and Post-Harvest
After 1.5 to 2 years, your tomato tree bears fruit. They develop swiftly and in a shorter period of time when conditions are favorable. When the fruit you’ve cultivated in Kenya turns red or yellow, it’s time to harvest it.
Snap the fruits from the plants using a snapping motion to harvest them. The stalk will remain attached as a result of this. Tomatoes do not mature at the same time unless you trim them.
Store tree tomatoes in the refrigerator for up to ten weeks.
Discoloration of the skin might result due to high temperatures.
Have you been thinking of farming tree tomatoes in Kenya? Are you a tree tomato farmer already? Share your experience with our community!