Economic Comparison of Tomatoes Production under Green Houses versus Open Fields In Khartoum State

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Idris, Amira Yousif Elkhider
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Tomatoes are one of most popular and widely grown vegetables in the Sudan. However, Khartoum state is considered as one of the main producing areas of the tomatoes in Sudan. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the technical and financial viability of tomatoes production under green houses in Khartoum State, The specific objectives were to compare between the economic production of tomatoes in open field versus green houses; to identify the most critical problems facing tomatoes production and marketing acquired, and to study the role of the green houses cultivation as a modern technology in solving the seasonality pattern of production of some vegetables crops especially tomatoes. The study depended mainly on primary data, which were collected through direct interviewing of tomatoes growers in open field and in green houses using structured questionnaires. The survey was carried out during the season of 2004/2005. Other sources of information were also used as secondary data. Crop budgeting, graphs as well as descriptive statistics were used for data analysis. The study found that, the average yield (for tomatoes crop) was 7.73 ton/fed under open field and 55.187 ton/fed in green houses cultivation. The average total variable cost of production of tomato was found to be SD 0.2 million per/feddan in open fields and SD 4.03 million per/feddan in green houses. The analysis of the total variable cost of production revealed that the main cost items in open fields were inputs costs, transportation and harvesting, while in green houses cultivation the main cost items were fixed costs, inputs costs, maintenance and cultural operations. The average price of tomato in open field in Khartoum state in 2005 was about 146500 SD/ ton, and the average price in green houses cultivation was about 4.4 million per ton. The crop budget revealed that the average gross margin in open field was about 0.9 million SD per feddan in green houses cultivation the gross margin was 238 million SD per feddan. The net profit in open field was about 0.89 million SD per feddan and the net profit obtained in green houses cultivation was about 235.01 million SD per feddan. The study concludes that green houses cultivation provides efficient way for tomatoes production and can solves the proplem of seasonality. Accordingly, the study recommended to promote the spread of green houses at reasonable costs and with low import tariffs , and to provide training and information on technologies and management of green houses operations , maintenance , power connection and water supply to irrigation and cooling systems. The study is also recommended to improve and strengthen green houses cultivation, extension services and research programs to raise the sustainability of increased crop productivity among producers.
July 2006