Tomatoes have exceptional nutritional value. They are acclaimed for being beneficial to heart, eye, digestive, and skin health. Tomato farming is one of the most profitable agriculture business ideas. Tomatoes are widely consumed – they can be consumed in diverse ways including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes and sauces and also in drinks. Tomatoes are also used by food processors. Processing of tomatoes consists of canning, freezing, dehydration and juice production. Tomatoes are processed into tomato sauce, whole pealed, tomato and onion bruises, paste, shredded, puree and paste concentrate. This article will outline how to start the tomato farming business, and the tomato farming business plan – PDF, Word and Excel.
Tomato farming is a lucrative business, providing income for millions of people, but there are some essential decisions you need make before you venture into the tomato farming business. You have to make a decision on how many hectares you want to farm, which type of tomatoes you will farm, which season you are going to plant your tomatoes, and your target market. These choices will be affected by the amount of capital you have, and your target market needs. If you do not have a lot of capital, you can always start small and grow your tomato farming business overtime. You also need to carry out market research (Who are you going to sell the tomatoes to? At what price?) and write a tomato business plan before you venture into the business.
Land for Tomato Farming Business
Good tomato production starts with good land selection. The soil type has a huge bearing on the quality and taste of tomatoes you produce. Tomatoes can grow on a wide array of soil textures depending on the variety of the tomato, from light, sandy soils to heavy, clay soils. Sand soils are the most ideal for quick and early maturation tomato varieties. Tomatoes thrive best in loamy soil with is rich in organic material. In not, incorporate compost or animal waste into the soil. The soil should have good drainage. The optimum pH lies between 5.0 and 7.0. If that is not so, add sulphur (if above upper limit) or lime (if below lower limit).The soil for tomato farming must permit adequate root growth to support the plant and supply water, oxygen and mineral nutrients and must be free of toxic elements. It is important that before you start farming tomatoes on your farm, you check whether the soil is suitable for tomato farming. Your tomato production business plan should take into account the cost of purchasing or leasing the land.
Space And Sunlight Exposure
When doing open field tomato farming you must take note of sunlight exposure. Your chosen land must allow for uninterrupted sunlight exposure for at least 8 hours daily. The actual land space you need will be informed by the number of tomato plants. Following recommended spacing is important for the tomato to grow optimally. There must be adequate inter-row and in-row spacing to optimize aeration, sunlight exposure, and curb possible disease outbreaks.
Machinery and Equipment
Machinery and equipment which are required for your tomato farming business will depend on the scale of your operations. Machinery and equipment needed include tractors, harvesters, boom sprayers, fertilizer spreader equipment, irrigation equipment, spray equipment, diggers, scales, ridgers, bins etc. Most farmers usually hire big machinery like tractors when they want to use them, rather than purchasing them as they are expensive. There may also be need of grid hydroelectricity energy for the irrigation systems, standby diesel generators for use during power outages, or solar powered irrigation systems. Farmers especially in the rural areas who do not have the modern farming equipment use animal drawn equipment in tomato farming. The higher the level of mechanization at your tomato farm, the higher the efficiency of your operations, and the profitability of your tomato farming business. The tomato farming business plan should include the costs of acquiring and hiring the various machinery and equipment.
The tomato farming can be started using tomato seeds or seedlings. Tomato varieties can be classified into 3 broad categories which are determinate, semi-determinate and inter-determinate tomatoes. Your choice of which tomato variety to use will depend on variety of factors: time to maturity, yield, availability of seeds, target market preference, season, fruit quality adaptability, disease resistance among other factors. It is important that you purchase your tomato seeds from certified tomato seed suppliers. If you opt for seedlings, then source them from reputable nurseries. The costs of purchasing tomato seeds or seedlings should be accounted for in your commercial tomato farming business plan. If you buy poor quality tomato seeds, your tomatoes will not grow to their full potential and you will have poor yields. Tomatoes can be propagated from seeds or seedlings. In choosing tomato varieties you must understand the core classifications. Aside the classifications below, there are hybrid and heirloom tomato varieties. These usually have superior qualities such as disease resistance, high yields, firmness, long shelf life, and big fruit size.
There three broad tomato types namely, determinate, semi-determinate and indeterminate. Determinate tomatoes are typically bush-like and produce one large harvest of tomatoes and then stop. Indeterminate tomatoes are vine-like and continuously produce tomatoes as long as conditions allow. Semi-determinate tomatoes are in between those 2 characteristics.
Time To Mature
In tomato farming, there are 3 classifications that take maturation period into account. There is early season, mid-season and late season tomatoes. Early season tomatoes take at most 60 days to reach maturity. Mid-season tomatoes mature in between 60 and 80 days. Late season tomatoes need more than 80 days to reach maturity.
Fruit Size Or Type
The colour or taste of tomatoes also constitutes another classification in tomato farming. For example, there are cherry, plum, round, and beefsteak tomatoes, amongst others. This classification is particularly important when factoring in the intended use of the tomatoes when harvested.
Tomato Farming Inputs
You require various farming inputs when doing tomato farming. Fertilizers are required to support the efficient growth of your tomatoes, by providing all the nutrients needed by tomatoes to grow to their full potential. Essential nutrients needed for the growth of tomatoes include nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Organic matter is also important in tomato farming. This can be in the form of compost, decayed leaves, animal manure etc. Organic matter is a good source of plant nutrients. Organic matter also increases the capacity of the soil to retain water and nutrients. It’s a soil conditioner.
Other farming inputs required for tomato farming business include herbicides, for effective weed control at your farm. Pesticides and fungicides are required for protecting your tomato plants against insects and fungi. Trellising and training of tomatoes is very important to some tomato cultivars and varieties. This involves supporting the tomato plants on poles and wires or specialised trellising material. The benefits of training tomatoes include improved spraying to control diseases and pests, better air circulation around the plant and less fruit rotting. The costs of acquiring all these inputs should be included in your tomato farming business plan.
Pest And Disease Management
Some of the common pests in tomato farming are aphids, nematodes, cutworms, and whiteflies. Common diseases that can affect tomatoes are moulds, blights (early or late), and fusarium wilt. Prevention or protection of tomatoes from these can be achieved through integrated approaches. Almost all of them have a dual effect in that they address both pest and disease issues.
Keeping Tomatoes Safe From Pests And Diseases
It all starts with seeing to it that your tomatoes get all they need. These are things such as healthy soil and adequate water. In watering avoid scenarios where leaves get muddied. Drip irrigation is most ideal when farming tomatoes. You must also practice hygiene e.g. cleaning farming implements or machinery after every use. Always remove weeds and dispose them rather than leaving them lying next to the tomatoes. By all means ensure there is no water logging or general wetness – this promotes pests and diseases. As a rule of thumb, practise crop rotation to stop or disrupt pest life cycles.
Harvesting And Storage Of Tomatoes
You can start harvesting tomatoes roughly 60 to 90 days from when you planted the seedlings. This is not cast in stone; remember there are 3 different maturation times (early, mid and late). Determinate tomatoes tend to ripen almost at once – within about 14 days. Indeterminate tomatoes ripen successively over an extended period of time. When you are harvesting tomatoes, ensure that you do not inflict physical damage on them. Physical damage compromises their quality, make them susceptible to pests and diseases, and reduces their shelf live.
Often time the colour of the tomatoes is what guides on when to pick. For instance, some tomato fruits might have fully or partially turned red. The leaves or stem yellowing or drying are also indicators of readiness to harvest. You can also check the fruit skin – you must harvest whilst it still has a rich, smooth, wax-like texture. Ripe tomatoes will tend to be easy to remove by gently twisting off from the vine.
Before storage the tomatoes must be washed, cleaned, sorted, and graded. For long term storage you can freeze, can, or dry your tomatoes. Generally, tomatoes can be stored at room temperature. If it is outside the place must be away from direct sunlight. When it comes to cold storage there are things to consider. Temperatures below 13ºC are not idea for tomato storage. Tomatoes that have ripened partially must not be refrigerated. Refrigerating tomatoes that have ripened tends to compromise their taste.
When doing tomato farming business, you will need to hire part time farm workers as and when necessary. The duties which they will do include planting tomato seeds, transplanting tomato seedlings; applying fertilizers; trellising tomatoes, ploughing; harvesting, herbiciding and pesticiding. The part time farm workers will be paid according to the number of days worked. You also require supervisors, farm manager, finance & accounting staff, and logistics staff depending on the scale of your tomato farming business. The wages and salaries of your workers should be included in your tomato farming business plan.
Capital for Tomato Farming Business
The amount of capital required for tomato farming business depends on the scale of the project. You can get a loan from the bank, or funding from investors, to use as capital to start your tomato farming business. If you plan to raise capital from investors and a loan from the bank, you need a good tomato farming business plan. If you don’t have access to investors and bank loan, you can use your personal savings and start small, and grow your business overtime. Tomato farming is very profitable, so if you reinvest the profits you get, you can quickly grow. Even if you are not planning to get a loan, you should still get a tomato farming business plan to guide you in starting and operating the business. It is essential for you to have a tomato farming business plan before you venture into the tomato farming business, so that you know all the costs involved and you make an informed decision.
The market for tomatoes is very huge and is ever increasing. The annual global demand of tomatoes is more than 180 million tonnes. That’s a lot! You can supply your tomatoes to individual households, schools, restaurants, food processors, hotels, companies, supermarkets, organizations, events etc. The tomato business plan ought to include a proper marketing plan to use in your tomato farming business.
Advantages Of Tomato Farming Business
Tomato farming is usually a high yields and wide profit margins business venture. Tomatoes are nutrient-rich and have numerous household and commercial uses. This is why there is an inexhaustible market for tomatoes. There are also vast opportunities in the export markets for tomatoes; offering higher profitability. There are limitless value addition options when it comes to tomatoes. Tomatoes generally mature fast which makes the turnaround time relatively short. Tomatoes can be propagated either indoors or outdoors. This makes it possible for almost anyone and anywhere to do tomato farming.
If you are looking to start a lucrative vegetable farming business, seriously consider a tomato farming business. Engage agronomists to find out the latest on the best tomato varieties to grow. It is important that you also do a thorough market research and have a good tomato farming business plan. The timing of your tomato farming must be such that when the tomatoes mature they have customers waiting for them. Post-harvest losses in tomato farming are common so be wary of that.
Pre-Written Tomato Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel): Comprehensive Version, Short Funding/Bank Loan Version and Automated Financial Statements
For an in-depth analysis of the tomato farming business, we encourage you to purchase our well-researched and comprehensive tomato farming business plan. We introduced the business plans after discovering that many were venturing into the tomato production business without enough knowledge and understanding of how to run the tomato farming business, how to farm the tomatoes, lack of understanding of the financial side of the business, lack of understanding of : the industry, the risks involved , costs and profitability of the business; which often leads to disastrous losses.
The StartupBiz Global tomato farming business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run your tomato farming business successfully, fully knowing what you are going into, and what’s needed to succeed in the business. It will be easier to plan and budget as you will be aware of all the costs involved in setting up and running the tomato business.
Uses of the Tomato Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The tomato business plan can be used for many purposes including:
- Raising capital from investors/friends/relatives
- Applying for a bank loan
- Start-up guide to launch your tomato farming business
- As a tomato farming business proposal
- Assessing profitability of the tomato farming business
- Finding a business partner
- Assessing the initial start-up costs so that you know how much to save
- Manual for current business owners to help in business and strategy formulation
Contents of the Tomato Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The tomato farming business plan include, but not limited to:
- Marketing Strategy
- Financial Statements (monthly cash flow projections, income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, payback period analysis, start-up costs, financial graphs, revenue and expenses, Bank Loan Amortization)
- Risk Analysis
- Industry Analysis
- Market Analysis
- SWOT & PEST Analysis
- Operational Requirements (Including technical aspects of how to farm the tomatoes, fertilizer requirements etc)
- Operational Strategy
- Why some people in tomato farming business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your tomato farming business
The Pre-written tomato farming business plan package consist of 4 files
- Tomato Farming Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive Version – 84 Pages)
- Tomato Farming Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive Version – 84 Pages)
- Tomato Farming Business Plan Funding/Bank Loan Version- Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan/funding – 39 pages)
- Tomato Farming Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel File)
The business plan can be used in any country and can be easily edited. The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the number of hectares, selling price of the tomatoes etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.
Click below to download the Contents Page of the Tomato Farming Business Plan (PDF)
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