Tomato farmer extends house, electrifies from tomato proceeds

SIRP - Smallholder Irrigation Revitalisation Programme > Impact > Tomato farmer extends house, electrifies from tomato proceeds

Tomato farmer extends house, electrifies from tomato proceeds

  • Posted by: Precious Nkomo
Luke Sithole

Luke Sithole (55) is a farmer at Musikavanhu A3 irrigation scheme in Chipinge , Manicaland Province.
Mr Sithole is a tomato farmer who uses hybrid seed and it has improved his livelihood. Before he was trained by AGRITEX and SIRP on Good Agricultural Practices (GAPS) he used to grow Rio Grande which yielded 22.5t/acre without enough inputs.
Commenting on his crop, Sithole said,” I am now growing Star 9065 tomato variety which did very well for me in the last season 2021/2022. I tried this variety when I was trained by AGRITEX and SIRP and this included a look and learn tour field day which was held on 12 April 2020 at ART farm .The exchange visit was sponsored by SIRP. That is where I learnt that there are hybrid varieties which yield far much better than the traditional local variety Rio Grande .The seed cost of the hybrid is higher than the Rio Grande but it pays much better and I harvested for a longer period about six months compared to Rio Grande which I harvested for two months only. Rio Grande seed costs US$ 18 per 100grams whereas Star 9065 costs US$40 per 100g.”
He continued, “As for yield comparison, I harvested 58.5 tonnes per 0.4 ha last season for the Star variety compared to Rio Grande where I used to harvest 22.5 /0.4 ha. I planted the current crop on the 14th of April 2023. The trainings equipped me with knowledge on GAPS, Gender Action Learning Systems(GALS) and Farming As a Business (FAAB) which helped me to improve my planning.
From the proceeds of my farming activities, I have extended my house from 4 rooms to six rooms and it was now electrified. I am now able to feed my family , pay school fees and I am also able to buy inputs for the next season. My livelihood has greatly improved.”

Author: Precious Nkomo

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