The tomato plant is native to South America (Peru and Ecuador) and was first domesticated in Mexico. It is one of the world’s major fresh and processed fruits. Tomato was introduced to cultivation in the Middle East around the end of the 18th century.
The crop is now by far the largest vegetable crop in Egypt. In 2008 the country ranked 5th in the world with 9.2 MT of tomatoes produced.
- S. lycopersicum
- Occurrence & Agricultural Importance in this Country:
- Cultivation Areas:
- The crop is grown throughout the country, where irrigated water and arable land are available, and both outdoors and increasingly under plastic as more sophisticated growing techniques are introduced.
- Main Varieties:
- Many varieties are commercially available. Important varieties grown in Jordan include Shams, RS589956, Jawaher and Casandra.
- Marketing Information and Uses:
- Most of tomatoes produced in Jordan are consumed fresh; some are used for processing or canning. Processing tomatoes are usually bulk-packed in large plastic containers, while tomatoes for local consumption are packed in smaller market-sized containers. Tomatoes for the local fresh market are not normally graded while tomatoes for export markets are strictly graded by both size and colour.
- Jordan exporter tomato mainly to other Middle Eastern countries. For example, in the first four months of 2009, Jordan exported over 190,000 tons, an increase of 13 percent from the same period the previous year because of rising demand from Iraq, its top export market. Exports to Iraq have been slowly rising whilst falling to other countries like the United Arab Emirates and Syria.
- Crop Management:
Cultivation conditions and methods:
- Soil Type:
- Tomatoes can be grown in many soil types but in general they need a well-draining substrate. Cultivation is also taking place in artificial substrates.
- Optimum day temperature for growth is 18 to 25oC and night temperatures between 10 and 20oC.
- Water Requirements:
- Furrow and drip irrigation are both utilized. Tomato is one of the few agricultural crops that can tolerate a certain level of salinity.
- Nutrition Requirements:
- Subject to soil analysis for nutrient availability.
- Harvesting Period:
- Generally speaking, the crop is ready for harvesting 70-140 days from transplanting depending on the variety and on cultivation conditions.
- Harvesting Methods:
- Planting Period:
Tomatoes are planted throughout the year:
- Southern part of Jordan Valley: January - February
- Middle part of Jordan Valley: May - June
- Northern part of Jordan Valley: June-July
- Safa Crop (hilly areas): July-November