Tomato growers happy in Rajshahi

Tomato growers happy in Rajshahi

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Tomato farming is going on successfully everywhere in the region including the vast Barind tract as the farmers are very enthusiastic and optimistic towards the farming due to its high market price, quality seeds and suitable climatic condition.Tomato cultivation has also created job opportunities for hundreds of educated youths of the region and it could change the socio-economic condition of the poor if marketing and cost-effective environment – friendly technologies are ensured.Locals said tomato cultivation target has been surpassed in Godagari Upazila of the district as it becomes famous for the cash crop by virtue of its better yield attained by the farmers during the last over a decade. More than 4,000 hectares of land were brought under the farming only in the upazila this year, said Mozdar Hossain, Upazila Agriculture Officer.He said there was no shortage of quality hybrid-tomato seed of various brands this year. Moreover, due to strict control over marketing tomato seeds, none of the adulterated seed was sold here for last two years.As a result, tomato farmers were able to purchase available quality seeds as their requirement. Already, transplanting of tomato saplings has been completed.Hazrat Ali, Deputy Director of Department of Agriculture Extension, said tomatoes are widely cultivated in almost all 400 villages in Godagari upazila in the past decade. The total land under tomato cultivation doubled in the last seven years, while yield tripled.Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI) developed 10 high yielding and quality varieties and modern technologies for the farmers. The rates of production of the developed varieties are comparatively high and profitable than that of the domestic varieties.The farmers also prefer to cultivate some hybrid varieties of tomato which are high yielding and much more profitable.In 2014-15, about 90 percent of the district’s total tomato cultivation on 4,725 hectares was recorded in the Godagari upazila yielding around 1.50 lakh tonnes. This year, tomato is expected to be cultivated on around 5,300 hectares of land.Sowing tomato seeds starts in September. Many even begin cultivation in August to catch the market early. The plants start bearing fruits in 60 to 90 days and each plant yields up to seven or eight times a season. Harvests begin in November and continue till end-February.He said tomato farming gained momentum when some multinational seed companies brought in some variety hybrid seeds to Godagari.BSS, Rajshahi

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