Tomato is among the popular vegetable produced in Rwanda and it is sold on the domestic market both fresh and in processed form. Rwanda is a net importer of tomatoes mainly from the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi. The domestic demand is also created by the tomato processors.
Areas that grow tomatoes
The areas that grow tomatoes include the following:
Varieties of tomatoes
The varieties of tomatoes grown in Rwanda include the following:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Plum tomatoes
Uses of Tomatoes
The uses of tomatoes include the following:
- Source of income for the local farmers
- Used fresh for cooking and preparing salads
- Raw material for the tomatoes processors
- Used to improve the skin’s ability to protect against harmful UV rays.
- Some tomatoes are exported tomatoes to earn foreign exchange.
- Tomato varieties contain vitamin C.
- Tomato consumption has been associated with decreased risk of breast cancer, head and neck cancers.
- Tomato juice is often canned and sold as a beverage.
The challenges faced by the players in the sector:
- There is imported processed tomato paste which is in competition with locally processed tomato paste.
- Farmers’ capacity to practice modern methods of farming including irrigation.
- Pests and diseases tend to pose a serious challenge to tomato production.
- The local farmers lack capacity to add value to their tomatoes
- The local farmers lack knowledge of the market and therefore their production is not market driven.