What is the Best Tomato Varieties in Kenya?

Several tomato varieties in Kenya are categorized depending on their size, shape, weight, and colour. However, most farmers in Kenya farm tomatoes based on the following tomato varieties.

  1. Fresh market tomato variety includes varieties such as; The Elgon, The Star 9068, Money Maker, Nyota F1, Rio Grande, Marglobe, Ndume, Marmaid, and Beauty.
  2.  For Processing – Varieties in this category consist of; The M-82, Roma Vf, and the Cal-J tomato variety.
  3. Popular tomato varieties include; Money Maker, Anna F1, Kilele F1, Cal-J, Roma, Rio Grande, Eden F1, Mavuno F1, Kentom F1, and Marglobe.
  4. The company where the seeds are manufactured
  5. Disease resistant.
  6. Production/Yield per acre.
  7. Fruit type.
  8. Growth conditions – Some do well in greenhouses, others in open fields.

By this time, I hope you know which tomato variety in Kenya is high yielding and is best suited for you?

30+ Must-Know Tomato Varieties in Kenya

In this post, we will look at different tomato varieties in Kenya based on essential characteristics such as production yield and disease resistance, among others. Let’s get you started.

Tomato Varieties in Kenya are grown based on;

  1. The quality of the fruit.
  2. Resistance/tolerance to pests and diseases.
  3. Planting time
  4. Availability and suitability to the growing conditions.
  5. Tomato adaptability and reliability
  6. Quality.
  7. Market preference

Therefore, the choice of the best tomato varieties in Kenya for planting is crucial for high yields. You, therefore, need to choose the best type that meets your growing conditions.

Moving on, let us see what other factors influence the choice of tomato varieties in Kenya.

1. According to Resistance to Diseases

Pest and disease control are one of the major factors affecting the quality of tomato production in Kenya.

Both the seed manufacturers and agricultural specialists recommend tomato varieties that offer high resistance to critical pests and disease.

This can be attributed to tomato seed production standards that require seed companies to indicate by initials the disease tolerance or resistance after the variety name. Thus tolerance/resistance to Nematodes, Bacterial wilt, Alternaria, Fusarium, Nematodes, Tobacco Mosaic Virus, and Verticillium.

2. Tomato Varieties based on the market

There are three main market varieties of tomatoes:

  1. Processing variety – These tomato fruits have an intense red colour and high solids content. Therefore, they are used for industrial production in making sauce, paste, and ketchup and are usually grown without staking.
  2. Fresh market variety – These varieties are classified based on their size, shape (may vary), and colour though they are usually red.
  3. Cherry – They are small fruits that are fresh market varieties borne on long clusters and not very common in Kenya.
Tomato Variety The shape of the Fruit Growth Period

Fresh market variety

Money Maker Round It takes about 67 days to mature and yields between 32 – 50 tons/ha.
Rio Grande Square-round It takes 128 days to mature and yields 84 tons/ha.
Marglobe Globe It takes 70 days to mature and yields 38 tons/ha.
Marmande Round Have a maturity period of 72 days and yields 32 tons/ha
Elgon Ndume Globe Have a maturity period of 71 days and yields 28 tons/ha
Star 9065 F1 Globe Have a maturity period of 75-80 days and yields 20 tons/ha

The processing variety


Cal –J

Pear These are very popular in the market and are widely grown. The Cal-J variety takes 120 days to mature and has a long shelf-life. Its yield is 73 tons/ha.
M-82 Pear It takes 120 days to develop and yields 57 tons/ha
Roma VF Pear It takes 120 days to grow and yields 83 tons/ha

The table above shows the recommended tomato varieties in Kenya by KALRO

Comment with your phone number to get the  complete tomato production manual as an ebook at the cost of KSH 350

3. Tomato varieties in Kenya by Regions( Source Kalro.org)

Area Tomato varieties
1 Mwea East Kilele F1, Safari F1, Rio grande, and Rambo


2 Mwea West Rio tinto, Safari F1, Faloria, Kilele F1, Rio grande, Africa


3 Subukia Rio Grande, Asila F1, Cal J, Safari F1, African


4 Kitengela Eva, Eden F1, Rio grande, Galtana, Money-maker, Asila F1,

Cal J, Honex, Corrazone, Monetta and Anna F1


5 Bungoma Rio Tinto, Safari F1, Faloria, Kilele F1, Rio grande, Africa


6 Kajiado Field – Assila F1, Rambo F1, Kilele F1, Tylka F1, Shanty F1, Monica F1, Greenhouse – Anna F1, Tylka F1
7 Makueni Field – Assila F1, Rambo F1, Kilele F1, Tylka F1, Shanty F1, Monica F1, Greenhouse – Anna F1, Tylka F1
8 Machakos Field – Cal J, Rio Grande, Roma, Greenhouse – Zawadi, Eden F1, Anna F1, Tanzanite F1, and Tanya
9 Kiambu Greenhouse – Anna F1, Corazon, Chonto, Tylka, Prostar

Field – Cal J, Eden, Rionex,

10 Trans Nzoia Greenhouse – Anna F1, Field  –  Rio grande,  Cal  J.
Tim Jumah
Tim is a practising farmer based in Trans-Nzoia. His love for technology in agriculture led to the establishment of this website.



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