Tomatoes are one of the most important cooking ingredients in Zimbabwe. Most of the food cooked in Zimbabwe is never complete without using tomatoes. Tomatoes are used daily in cooking stews, soups, salads etc, thus their demand is very huge. Tomato farming is one of the most profitable farming business ideas in Zimbabwe, it has got lucrative returns and high profit margins.
Before you start the tomato farming business, you have to decide 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. The amount of tomatoes you farm will depend on the amount of land and capital you have, and also the size of your target market. You should always carry out a feasibility study, market research and write a business plan before you venture into any business. Do not make the mistake of starting a tomato farming business or any other business just because someone is doing it and he/she says it’s profitable. This article will explain how to start a tomato farming business in Zimbabwe, and the tomato farming business plan.
What you need
Soil fertility is required for the profitable production of a successful tomato crop. The quality and quantity of tomato fruits are of crucial importance and are greatly influenced by the fertility and nutrient levels of the soil. Tomatoes will grow moderately well over a wide range of soil types. The soil must permit adequate root growth to support the plant and supply water, oxygen and mineral nutrients and must be free of toxic elements. The importance of organic matter cannot be over emphasized. Organic matter in the form of decayed leaves, compost, sawdust or animal manure is a source of plant nutrients and acts as a soil conditioner. Tomatoes can be grown on soils with a wide range of textures, from light, sandy soils to heavy, clay soils. Sandy soils are preferable if early harvest is desired. Tomatoes require a pH between 5.0 and 6.5 for good sustainable growth .
Machinery and Equipment
The machinery you need will depend on the size of your tomato farming business. Machinery and equipment needed include tractors, fertilizer spreader equipment, spray equipment, diggers, harvesters, irrigation equipment, scales, boom sprayers, ridgers etc. For the bigger machinery like tractors, you can hire when you want to use them rather than purchasing them. You may also need 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.
There are several farming inputs needed for your tomato farming business. Most importantly you need the tomato seed. There are several different varieties of tomato seeds which are used in Zimbabwe. They can either be determinate, semi determinate, or indeterminate tomatoes. Thus before you start your tomato farming business you have to decide which tomato variety you want to use. That choice will be determined by the availability of the seeds, the yield of the seeds, the resistance to diseases of the tomato seeds, and your target market. The tomato cultivars which are used in Zimbabwe include Starke Ayres varieties(eg Star 9001, Star 9003, Star 9009); Tengeru; Daisy F1, Heinz, Roma VF among others. Ensure that you buy good healthy tomato seed from certified suppliers. It will be a very expensive mistake to buy cheap tomato seeds of low quality. Cheap is not always the best. Tomatoes take 15-20 weeks to mature depending on their type.
You also require herbicides for your tomato farm, for effective weed control at your farm. You may use Lasso, Metribuzine, and Agil herbicides among others. Pesticides and fungicides are required for protecting your tomato plants against insects and fungi. The types you can use include Dimethoate 40EC, Dithane, Belt, Thunder, Nematicides, Copper Oxychloride among others. 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. The fertilizers you use include Compound C for basal dressing and Ammonium Nitrate & Potassium Sulphate for top dressing.
The tomatoes also have to be trellised and trained. Plant support is done by trellising the tomato on poles and wires. Training of plants has a number of benefits, including improved spraying to control diseases and pests, better air circulation around the plant and less fruit rotting.
You 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. You will be paying them per 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.
There is huge market for tomatoes in Zimbabwe. The potential customers for your tomatoes include transporters/middleman (they will come to your farm to buy your tomatoes to resell in the city), supermarkets, traders & wholesale distributors (E.g. Mbare Musika is the largest market for tomatoes, the traders buy tomatoes from farmers in bulky for reselling), Fruit and Vegetable open markets, Tomato paste production companies , organisations and individuals. The prices of tomatoes vary throughout the year depending on market forces ie supply and demand. The price also depends on the size and quality of the tomatoes. Prices of tomatoes vary from $0.40 per KG to $0.90 per KG. These prices allow very huge profits margins for a tomato farming business. The profits you will get depend on the cost of inputs, the yield from your tomato farm, and the selling prices of the tomatoes.
Pre-Written Tomato Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel) : Comprehensive Version, Short Bank Loan Version, Automated Excel Financial Statements
For an in-depth analysis of the tomato farming business in Zimbabwe, purchase our tomato farming business plan. We decided to introduce the business plans after noting that many Zimbabweans were venturing into the tomato farming business without a full understanding of the industry, market, how to run the business, the risks involved, profitability of the business and the costs involved, leading to a high failure rate of their businesses.
Our business plan will make it easier for you to launch and run a 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 the tomato farming business plan will lay out all the costs involved in setting up and running the tomato farming business. The business plan is designed uniquely for the Zimbabwean market.
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Uses of the Tomato Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The tomato farming 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 project proposal
- Assessing profitability of the tomatoes 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 Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
The business plan includes, but not limited to:
- Market Analysis
- Industry Analysis
- Automated Financial Statements (income statements, cash flow statements, balance sheets, break even analysis, loan repayment calculations, start-up costs)
- Marketing Strategy
- Risk Analysis
- SWOT & PEST Analysis
- Operational Requirements (e.g. type of land, type and quantities of inputs required e.t.c.)
- Management of Tomatoes
- Operational Strategy
- Why some Zimbabweans in tomato farming business fail, so that you can avoid their mistakes
- Ways to raise capital to start your tomato farming business in Zimbabwe
The tomato farming business plan includes technical aspects of how to plant and to take care of the tomatoes. It also includes a mini-directory with contacts which will prove to be helpful in launching and running your tomato farming business. E.g. We will provide the contact details of the companies that produce seeds, fertilizers, herbicides e.t.c.
The Pre-written Tomato farming business plan package consist of 4 files
- Tomato Farming Business Plan – PDF file (Comprehensive – 78 pages)
- Tomato Farming Business Plan – Editable Word File (Comprehensive – 78 pages)
- Tomato Farming Business Plan Bank Version – Editable Word File (Short version for applying for a loan – 34 pages)
- Tomato Farming Business Plan Automated Financial Statements – (Editable Excel file)
Business plan last updated in September 2018.
The financial statements are automated. This implies that you can change eg the number of hectares, tomato price per KG etc, and all the other financial statements will automatically adjust to reflect the change.
Get the Tomato Farming Business Plan (PDF, Word And Excel)
We decided to make them affordable for anyone who would want a business plan, and the price for pre-written business plans is only $12.50 for soft copies, and $16 for hard copies.
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