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Farmer makes Sh50,000 more a season from tomatoes by avoiding sales orders

Tomatoes photo by New Vision.jpg
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Livingstone Ng’ang’a makes an extra Sh50,000 a season from selling his tomatoes in Muthurwa market in Nairobi and Daraja Mbili market in Kisii, as opposed to waiting for orders during harvesting time from local traders. The move has seen his earnings climb to Sh2.06m a season from Sh2.01m.


He started tomato farming in 2013 on his one and a half acre farm in Ng’arua village, Laikipia County producing five lorries of tomatoes carrying 72 boxes each per season. He ferries his produce to the market after getting tips on tomato price trend in the markets.

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“When I am about to harvest, I normally find out the market price from brokers and compare the cost of transport against the profit of waiting on orders. If the difference is less than Sh500 per boxm then I would rather wait for orders from local traders to avoid transport cost,” said the 2017 Bachelor of Law (LLB) graduate from Mount Kenya University.


“However, I do prefer selling my produce in the market to waiting on orders from traders because they select only grade one to three tomatoes, which are bigger in size and desirable, leaving the smaller ones, which go to waste. When I sell at the market, I transport all my produce, including the smaller ones, which are also sold.”

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This also helps him avoid unnecessary wastage as the sorted out small and undesirable tomatoes are left in the farm unsold something which can be avoided when all produce are taken to the market.


“When I take my tomatoes to the market I stand a chance of selling all of them including the small ones because of high demand as there are all types of traders who buy for their different customers.”


Ng’ang’a grows the Shanty F1 tomato variety. Five boxes of the 72 carry small tomatoes of grade four and five, which count as low quality, leaving 67 of high quality. A box of high quality tomatoes goes for Sh6000 while that of low quality fetches Sh2000 per box, earning him Sh2.06m per season in total.

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Besides, local traders do not have standard boxes for buying tomatoes. These boxes if fully filled with tomatoes beyond the limits produce two boxes of tomatoes when the traders reach the market earning them double profit.


“Traders from around who call for orders have bigger boxes than the ones used in the market. They pay Sh7000 per such big box but when they reach they divide it and produce two selling Sh6000 per box,” said Ng’ang’a.


To cope with the work load, the 23 year old farmer has so far employed four workers at his farm helping him with farming, weeding and finally harvesting.




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