Tomato Farming In Kenya

This article focuses on tomato farming in Kenya. Tomatoes are one of the most profitable horticultural crops to grow in Kenya. Kenya produces about 300,000 tonnes of tomatoes annually. This is way below the demand in the market.

Tomatoes are mainly grown in the Central region, Mount Elgon, parts of Western and Rift Valley.

Varieties of Tomatoes Grown in Kenya

Some of the common varieties of tomatoes grown in the country include;

  • Anna F1
  • Terminator
  • Big rock
  • Tandi F1
  • Asila F1
  • Zara

Ecological Requirements for Growing Tomatoes

  • Well drained loam soils with a pH of 6- 7.5.
  • Moderate to hot temperature.
  • Low or moderate rainfall.

Planting of Tomatoes

Tomatoes perform better when transplanted from an established seedbed nursery which is prepared by raising soil to around 15cm high and 30cm between the seedbeds as spacing for walkways.

The seeds should be planted at a depth of around 1cm and then slightly covered with soil. The seeds sprout after around 8 days. During the entire period, watering should be done until a week before transplanting.

Transplanting Process

Transplanting is done after one month of raising the seeds in a seedbed nursery. It is done using a garden trowel.

Before transplanting, the seedbed nursery should be watered well to ease the process of uprooting the seedlings.

Fertiliser Application

For the purpose of root development, phosphate fertiliser should be applied as early as possible.

For leaf development after transplanting, it is best to apply urea after 2 weeks or CAN after 5 weeks.

Topdressing should be done with NPK at the start of flowering.

Farm Practices

Tomato Support

The necessary support should be provided to the tomato plant. This can be done by vertically tying the plant on a pole using a string. It should be done early enough after transplanting.


Proper weeding should be done regularly to avoid competition between the plants and weeds for nutrients and other factors.


Pruning is necessary to improve air circulation and to get rid of diseased branches. It is done on laterals, side shoots, old and diseased leaves.

Pests and Diseases

Common pests that attack tomatoes include cutworms, American bollworms, red spider mites, Tuta absoluta and nematodes. The pests can be eradicated using insecticides such as king code elite 50EC, pentagon 50EC, Escort 19EC… etc.

Common diseases include tomato blight, bacterial wilt and blossom end rot. You can spray the plant with foliar fertilisers to counter the diseases.


Harvesting of tomatoes can be done after 70 days of planting. It also depends on the variety grown. Some varieties mature faster while others take time to mature.

Market for Tomatoes in Kenya

The demand for tomatoes in the country is very high. As a farmer, you will never lack a market for your produce.

Tomatoes can be sold in local open-air markets, groceries or supplied to supermarkets, institutions such as schools, hotels and restaurants.

The local price of one tomato ranges between Kshs 5-10 depending on the size of the tomato. One kilo goes for Kshs 50.

Worth Check Out:

Zack Abuyeka

I am the third eye.My duty is to keep you updated of the current trends and events happening round the globe.