Invest In Tomato Farming
Tchinda Linda is among some youths in the South West Regional capital, Buea, who has adhered fervently to President Paul Biya’s call of February 10,2016 for youths to embark on agriculture. The 23 year lady, who joined her parents in tilling the soil some 10 years ago, had a one hectare farm in Bunduma, Buea where she cultivates tomatoes together with the help of her siblings. Planting is one twice a year. September and May. “When the crop suffers from insects and poor weather. “I can harverst 30 large baskets. But when harvest is good over 80 baskets are harversted”, she explains, adding that tomato prices greadily fluctuate depending on the period. When tomatoes are cheap, a basket is sold at FCFA 3.000, and they (farmers) smile when a basket hits FCFA 12.000.
Tchinda Linda narrates that tomato cultivation, unlike other crops, is a very risky venture. She has to water the young plants in the early hours of the morning and do same in the evening everyday. Spraying too is another routine activity that must be take seriously to prevent diseases from affecting the tomatoe crop. ” I inspect te young sterms almost every day and if i see any leaves or stems that are unhealthy, i immediately cut them off, thereby preventing the disease from affecting others, “She pointed out. When harvest is abundant, Tchida Linda either takes her tomatoes to the Buea Central Market or the Muea Market where ready customers are available. “Customers even come right here in the farm”. Without precising on the exact amount that is invested in her production and what she takes home at the end of the day, month or year. Tchinda Linda however says that she spends minimum of FCFA 50.000 to purchase seedlings, chemicals and working tools. After each harverst, the take home income is usually encouraging. Presently studying Accountancy at the Catholic University Institute in the Diocese of Buea, she told CT in her farm in Bonduma Buea that the proceeds from her farm take car of her academinc activites hitch free and feeding too is greatly assured. Her wish is for the government of Cameroon to take measures for young farmers to secure loads from agricultural banks, and land made available. Youths too should not shy away from the soil.
CT: Peter EFANDE