African Journal of
Agricultural Research

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Agric. Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1991-637X
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJAR
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 6668

Full Length Research Paper

An assessment of tomato production practices among rural farmers in major tomato growing districts in Malawi

Eviness Pemphero Nyalugwe
  • Eviness Pemphero Nyalugwe
  • Department of Crop Development, Ministry of Agriculture, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar
Charles Malidadi
  • Charles Malidadi
  • Department of Agriculture Research Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar
Hilda Kabuli
  • Hilda Kabuli
  • Department of Agriculture Research Services, Ministry of Agriculture, Malawi.
  • Google Scholar


  •  Received: 07 December 2021
  •  Accepted: 08 February 2022
  •  Published: 31 March 2022

Abstract

Tomato is one of the most commonly grown vegetables in Malawi. However, considerable attention has not been given for its production and marketing aspects among smallholder farmers. Therefore, this study was conducted in six major tomato growing districts in Malawi with the objective of identifying production and marketing practices and constraints affecting tomato productivity. Semi structured questionnaires were administered to 404 respondents comprising 368 farmers and 36 input suppliers and data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. The findings revealed that male dominated tomato farming in the study area. It further revealed that 27.2% had post primary school education, 65.5% attended primary school education and 7.3% had no formal education. The survey indicated that 95.9% of respondents grow tomatoes in an open field and very few use tunnel/greenhouses (4.1% of the respondents). The survey results identified four major production constraints: pests, diseases, marketing and input cost. Red spider mite and bacterial wilt were identified as major pest and disease, respectively. Regarding marketing of tomatoes, the major constraint is price fluctuations. Major problems faced by input suppliers included lack of capital (27.8% of respondents). These findings indicate urgent need to invest heavily in promotion of tomato production and marketing.

Key words: Diseases, farmers, tomato, pest, production, questionnaire.