A constructed wooden greenhouse by Greenhouse Kenya company (+254723053026).
A Narok County tomato farmer is earning over three million shillings in a season at his own home-made wooden greenhouses, lowering his production cost by Sh110, 000.
Geoffrey Rono’s four greenhouse measuring 16 x 40 meters are made from timber and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). A greenhouse cost him a maximum of Sh250, 000 to construct rather than Sh360,000 he would have used to construct a metal greenhouse of the same size.
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“I learnt this technique from a friend in my neighbourhood while I was selling fodder crops in 2016. The friend was practicing tomato farming in simply wooden constructed greenhouses,” said Rono.
“I then embarked to construct my own and when complete I bought Anne F1 tomato variety seeds from Amiran Kenya Company at Sh11 per seed using up to Sh11, 000 to buy 1000 seeds for a start.”
Before planting he conducted a soil test to determine his soil condition at Sh2500 saving him some money as the test established the soil could be productive applying manure rather than synthetic fertilizers.
“I am using manure in my tomato farming since I started following the advice I got from soil testing experts and this has saved me between Sh1, 500 and Sh1,800, which I could be spending on a 50kg bag of fertilizer every planting season,” he said.
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Currently, he is harvesting tomatoes from two of his greenhouses while the rest are set to be harvested later.
Rono who sells a crate of tomatoes at Sh2500, earns over Sh500 from only one plant of tomato and with his big greenhouses which can accommodate over 1500 seedlings each, he can earn Sh750, 000 from one greenhouse translating to Sh3m from the four greenhouses per season.
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“I harvest one to six fruits per cluster of my tomato pants giving me about 800 fruits per plant a year,” said Rono.
To avoid unscrupulous middlemen, he sells his tomatoes directly to traders who come to his farm or sometimes supply to traders in Narok Town.
Find greenhouse options and costs in Kenya here https://goo.gl/mRgz3Z or find Rono for advice or for tomatoes on +254723688101.