Tomatoes and peppers
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CTA. 2005. Tomatoes and peppers. Rural Radio Resource Pack 05/2. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57376
Njih Mbasho Abdou is president of a farmers? group which grows tomatoes and peppers for local markets in northern Cameroon. By careful planning they are able to earn a good price for their crops.
Tomatoes and peppers Cue: From home gardens and school plots to huge, irrigated field systems, tomatoes and peppers are grown all over the world and must rank among the most popular of vegetables - a staple part of the diet in many countries. They can also be an excellent source of income; good fruit, carefully handled to avoid bruising or damage, can earn high prices. But if farmers are to succeed with tomatoes and pepper, they need to learn some important rules. Pest and disease control is vital, and may require the use of insecticides. Crop rotation is another important strategy. Tomatoes, for example, should not be grown in a field that has been used for potatoes, aubergines, peppers or tobacco in the previous three years, as pests and diseases can be passed from one crop to the next. Both tomatoes and peppers do well in warm climates, and peppers can thrive in hot, dry areas, but they need plenty of water. Tomato plots should be soaked thoroughly 2 or 3 times a week. Earning a good price for the crop also requires farmers to be careful in their planning. In northern Cameroon, Mr. Njih Mbasho Abdou is president of a farmers group that is proving very successful in growing and selling these fruits - so successful that they recently hosted a visit for some staff from the World Bank. Mr. Njih explained to Martha Chindong some of the reasons for their success. IN: ?When you want to grow tomatoes? OUT: ? So we will put a farm there.? DUR?N 4?55? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Mr. Njih Mbasho Abdou, a tomato and pepper farmer from Bambalang in northern Cameroon was talking to Martha Chindong. Transcript Njih When you want to grow tomatoes you will not grow it on the soil that they have already worked. You will grow tomatoes on the soil that they have left for about two years. You will grow it on the soil that will have manure. You need manure, things like fowl dung. So it is what the extension worker came and advised us. So we use it and see that it is more beneficial than the fertiliser. Chindong What of water needs? Njih OK. In the dry season we do not have enough water to water our tomatoes. We bought two motor pumps. We put water in the farm. So you are seeing the farm now looking very cool like this, it is the motor pump that we have used. Chindong So it means that tomatoes need a lot of water? Njih Yes they need a lot of water. If you do not apply water for 3 ? 4 days they will become dry. Chindong Now that you have a wealth of experience in tomato cultivation what advice can you give to a young farmer, to somebody who wants to go into that field? Njih What I will tell him is that sometimes tomatoes can be very cheap in the way that if you are a farmer you can run away from. But to us we have already studied the periods of bad marketing and we know in the season the time that market can be good. So if I want to tell a young farmer coming into tomato growing I will advise him that if he comes in, if tomatoes are cheap he should not run away, he should put effort in. When tomatoes are cheap it will become high. Tomatoes cannot be cheap for about three months, no. It can be just cheap for about one or as high as one and a half months. Chindong Which is the period that tomatoes are at the highest peak, that they are very expensive? Njih Well I cannot really tell you, the thing rotates. Some years in March you will have bad markets. Some years in March you will have good markets. It depends on the time and how the market is rotating. We used to have contact with some farmers from the western province and we know their production. If we see that now they are planting high, we can stop. When they finish we come behind, so that when they get into bad market and the bad market is off, we come in and we will have market. Chindong That is a marketing strategy? Njih A marketing strategy. Chindong You also talked of cultivating pepper? Njih Ok cultivating pepper you must have chemicals such as insecticides and fertiliser. That is what it really needs. After three weeks you have to put fertiliser into pepper. You second with 20/10/10. Lastly you put in 12/14/19. Same with tomatoes. So when you put this into pepper it bears a lot. Chindong Will the ones that you put the chemicals in not taste different from the natural ones? Njih I am hearing so many people saying that pepper that they have used chemical on does not have taste, but it is a tale. I can tell you that if it was possible I can give you pepper that I have put fertiliser on, and if you taste one you will know what it is. Chindong So you can advise young people to go into pepper cultivation because it is not common? Njih Yes, our main occupation is tomatoes and pepper, it pays a lot. But I want to say if you are a pepper worker you must have a motor pump because pepper pays a lot but in the dry season not in the rainy season. Chindong What are the soils in which pepper grows? Njih Yes it needs a fertile soil. You cannot just go on a hill and look at red soil and be planting pepper. It will be no good. When we want to work pepper, in the dry season we go and choose a soil that we will work for the next year. When we look at the soil and we call our extension worker to come and see and when we see the soil and see that the soil is nearer to the water system and the soil too is good. So we will put a farm there. End of track