Kenya is a significant tomato producer in Africa, with an annual production of about 120,000 metric tonnes. The country has a wide range of tomato cultivars for local and export markets. In this article, we will take a look at some of the best tomato varieties in Kenya.
Several tomato varieties in Kenya are categorized depending on their size, shape, weight, and color. However, most farmers in Kenya farm tomatoes based on the following varieties.
- Fresh market tomato variety includes varieties such as; The Elgon, The Star 9068, Money Maker, Nyota F1, Rio Grande, Marglobe, Ndume, Marmaid, and Beauty.
- For Processing – Varieties in this category consist of; The M-82, Roma Vf, and the Cal-J tomato variety.
- Popular tomato varieties include; Money Maker, Anna F1, Kilele F1, Cal-J, Roma, Rio Grande, Eden F1, Mavuno F1, Kentom F1, and Marglobe.
- The company where the seeds are manufactured
- Disease resistant.
- Production/Yield per acre.
- Fruit type.
- Growth conditions – Some do well in greenhouses, others in open fields.
By this time, I hope you know which tomato variety in Kenya is high-yielding and is best suited for you.
30+ Must-Know Tomato Varieties in Kenya
This post will look at different tomato varieties in Kenya based on essential characteristics such as production yield and disease resistance. Let’s get you started.
Tomato Varieties in Kenya are grown based on the following;
- The quality of the Fruit.
- Resistance/tolerance to pests and diseases.
- Planting time
- Availability and suitability to the growing conditions.
- Tomato adaptability and reliability
- Market preference
Therefore, planting the best tomato varieties in Kenya is crucial for high yields. You, therefore, need to select the best type that meets your growing conditions.
Let us see what other factors influence the choice of tomato varieties in Kenya.
1. According to Resistance to Diseases
Pest and disease control are significant factors affecting the quality of tomato production in Kenya.
The seed manufacturers and agricultural specialists recommend tomato varieties that resist critical pests and diseases.
This can be attributed to tomato seed production standards that require seed companies to indicate by initials the disease tolerance or resistance after the variety name. Thus tolerance/resistance to Nematodes, Bacterial wilt, Alternaria, Fusarium, Nematodes, Tobacco Mosaic Virus, and Verticillium.
2. Tomato Varieties based on the market
There are three main market varieties of tomatoes:
- Processing variety – These tomato fruits have an intense red color and high solids content. Therefore, they are used for industrial production in making sauce, paste, and ketchup and are usually grown without staking.
- Fresh market variety – These varieties are classified based on their size, shape (which may vary), and color though they are usually red.
- Cherry – They are small fruits that are fresh market varieties borne on long clusters and not very common in Kenya.
|Tomato Variety||The shape of the Fruit||Growth Period|
Fresh market variety
|Money Maker||Round||It takes about 67 days to mature and yields between 32 – and 50 tons/ha.|
|Rio Grande||Square-round||It takes 128 days to mature and yields 84 tons/ha.|
|Marglobe||Globe||It takes 70 days to mature and yields 38 tons/ha.|
|Marmande||Round||Have a maturity period of 72 days and yields 32 tons/ha|
|Elgon Ndume||Globe||Have a maturity period of 71 days and yields 28 tons/ha|
|Star 9065 F1||Globe||Have a maturity period of 75-80 days and yields 20 tons/ha|
The processing variety
|Pear||These are very popular in the market and are widely grown. The Cal-J variety takes 120 days to mature and has a long shelf life. Its Yield is 73 tons/ha.|
|M-82||Pear||It takes 120 days to develop and yields 57 tons/ha|
|Roma VF||Pear||It takes 120 days to grow and yields 83 tons/ha|
The table above shows the recommended tomato varieties in Kenya by KALRO
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3. Tomato varieties in Kenya by Regions( Source Kalro.org)
|1||Mwea East||Kilele F1, Safari F1, Rio grande, and Rambo
|2||Mwea West||Rio tinto, Safari F1, Faloria, Kilele F1, Rio grande, Africa
|3||Subukia||Rio Grande, Asila F1, Cal J, Safari F1, African
|4||Kitengela||Eva, Eden F1, Rio grande, Galtana, Money-maker, Asila F1,
Cal J, Honex, Corrazone, Monetta and Anna F1
|5||Bungoma||Rio Tinto, Safari F1, Faloria, Kilele F1, Rio grande, Africa
|6||Kajiado||Field – Assila F1, Rambo F1, Kilele F1, Tylka F1, Shanty F1, Monica F1, Greenhouse – Anna F1, Tylka F1|
|7||Makueni||Field – Assila F1, Rambo F1, Kilele F1, Tylka F1, Shanty F1, Monica F1, Greenhouse – Anna F1, Tylka F1|
|8||Machakos||Field – Cal J, Rio Grande, Roma, Greenhouse – Zawadi, Eden F1, Anna F1, Tanzanite F1, and Tanya|
|9||Kiambu||Greenhouse – Anna F1, Corazon, Chonto, Tylka, Prostar
Field – Cal J, Eden, Rionex,
|10||Trans Nzoia||Greenhouse – Anna F1, Field – Rio grande, Cal J.|
There are many different types of tomatoes; the best type for you depends on your climate and growing conditions.
The tomato varieties recommended by KALRO are based on disease resistance, market demand, and region. The Money Maker or Rio Grande tomato may be a good choice if you’re looking for a processing variety high in solids content.
The Roma VF or Marglobe variety may be better if you’re growing tomatoes for the fresh market. Cherry tomatoes are not very common in Kenya, but if you’re looking for a small fruit to snack on, the Star 9065 F1 variety might suit you.