Mr. Obeed is an innovative horticulture grower near Husban in the Greater Amman Highlands. As a partner farmer to the project, him and the project team worked together to trial out the use of an air blower for aided pollination of tomatoes. The aim was to measure whether an air blower for aided pollination of tomatoes saves on labour costs and increases yields, compared to traditional methods.
“In the beginning I was surprised by the idea and not yet convinced. After realizing that open field tomatoes are naturally pollinated by wind, I realized this might be a very promising innovation!” – Obeed
Open field tomato cultivation does not require any aided pollination. The wind and insects transfer the pollen from flower to flower. In greenhouse cultivation however, aided pollination for tomatoes gives you a higher rate of fruit setting, thus resulting in higher yields and fruit quality.
In Jordan, pollination strategies differ across farmers. Most growers simply ‘tap the wire’ in the top of the greenhouse, use hormones (of which the sale in Jordan has become illegal), vibrating devices, or opt to use bumblebees.
All over the world, internationally competitive horticulture growers have long switched to using air blowers for the aided pollination of tomatoes in greenhouse cultivation. With the help of the project team, Mr. Obeed was introduced to this innovation to increase his competitiveness.
The project team explained and demonstrated how to use an air blower in the greenhouse. After using the air blower for 100 days the project team compared the results to the traditional method of hormones, in a neighbouring greenhouse tunnel:
Seeing these results, Mr. Obeed and the project concluded that a leaf blower for aided pollination of tomatoes in greenhouse cultivation is:
- Highly effective when used properly
- Easy to use
- Saves significant labour costs
- Improves quality and yields
- Has a pay-back time of 1 season
Additional instructions and a training video will be posted soon on how to best use an air blower for tomato cultivation in greenhouse tunnels.