‘Summer tomato’ is changing the fortunes of farmers on the South Coast
Tarikul Islam, Khulna: Cultivation of high-yielding summer tomatoes has increased in the coastal districts of Khulna and Satkhira. Among the 3 varieties developed by Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI) suitable for salinity and off-season cultivation, ‘BARI Hybrid Tomato-8’ has won the hearts of farmers and consumers. Farmers are very happy with high yield and good price. On the one hand, the nutritional needs of the consumers are met, on the other hand, the dependence on imports is reduced.
Masud Hossain, Nagarghata village of Tala upazila of Satkhira has cultivated ‘BARI Hybrid Tomato-8’ on two bigha land by spending Tk two and a half lakh. He said, last Saturday, I sold 30 kg of tomatoes at the rate of 65 taka for the first time. If there is no problem, I will be able to sell tomatoes worth 7/8 lakh Tk this year, inshallah. He also said that last year, he sold tomatoes worth seven lakh Tk. After passing his Bachelor of Arts degree he turned to self employment. Along with tireless work, he has achieved great success in the field of agriculture with the help of Upazila Agricultural Extension Department, Field Research Department and an NGO called Unnoun Prochesta.
Gopal Sardar of 4 No. Koyra village of Khulna’s Koira upazila said that last year he cultivated tomatoes on 14 kata land. He sold tomatoes worth about one and a half lakh tk by spending 40 thousand including labor wages. This year too, has cultivated `Bari hybrid tomato-8’ on the same land. 30 thousand tk have been spent. He is optimistic that the yield will be higher than last year. Last year, he was given seeds, fertilizers and some tools along with advice from the , Field Research Department. He expressed his gratitude to them for giving him fertilizer and seeds this year as well.
Mokhlesur Rahman of North Bedkashi village of the same upazila told that this year he cultivated tomatoes on the 10 kata land on the advice of the upazila agriculture office. Most of the expenses including seeds have been given to him by the agriculture office. He expects to get a lot of profit. But some farmers in his area have cultivated on their own initiative, their yield is better.
Lecturer Md. . Shahabaz Ali resident Maharajpur village of Koyra has also grown `Bari hybrid Tomato-8’ on one and a half bigha land. His tree bears abundant fruit.
Malay Kumar Ghosh of Tilak village of Rupsa Upazila cultivated ‘Bari Hybrid Tomato-11′ with the advice and support of Upazila Agriculture Office. Tomatoes worth around 30 thousand tk have already been sold. He expects to sell tomatoes worth more than one and a half lakh tk.
Palash Roy, a farmer of Tildanga village of Dakop upazila in Khulna, said that he is cultivating for the first time after getting seeds from the BARI. Although not very good, I can get a fair yield.
Tuku Sheikh of Botbunia village of the same upazila said, approximately 1200 saplings have been planted. If there is no problem due to natural calamities, I will get 8/10 kg tomatoes from each tree. Could not make bamboo shed due to lack of capital.
However, due to water problems and not being able to shed, several farmers in the area are not expecting a good yield.
According to BARI’s Khulna Regional office and DAE, Khulna and Satkhira offices that summer tomatoes have been cultivated on 95 hectares of land in Satkhira district and 35 hectares in Khulna district this year. Bari has developed 11 hybrid varieties of tomato. Among the varieties developed, `BARI Hybrid Tomato-4, 8 and 11′ has received a great response as a summer variety. This year more BARI Hybrid Tomato-8’ has been cultivated. It tastes very good. This tomato should be cultivated under shade with white polythene and bamboo canopy. The cost of building a shed on land is a little higher in the first year. However, the cost is reduced from the following year. Average yield of Bari hybrid tomato-4, 8 and 11 varieties is 35-40 M. Tons per hectare. It is possible to earn a net profit of 1.5 to 2.5 lakh per bigha. Cultivation is usually started in May-June. Fruits start coming in July-August. Tomatoes are available only from November to December.
Dakop’s field research department’s scientific assistant Bipul Kumar said, for the first time, 30 farmers were given seeds of ‘Bari hybrid tomato-8′ variety to encourage summer tomato cultivation. Most of the farmers’ crops are destroyed due to water problems. 35/40 percent farmers are expected to get satisfactory results.
Amresh Chandra Sarkar, scientific assistant of field research department, said that cultivation of ‘Bari hybrid tomato-8’ has been encouraged on 350 bighas of land in Satkhira from two projects under Bari. This year we are expecting a yield of 60/ 70 tons per bigha.
Koyra Upazila Agriculture Officer Md. Asaduzzaman said, despite salinity, farmers are getting satisfactory yield of summer tomatoes. As a result, the interest of farmers are increasing.
Rupsha Upazila Agriculture Officer Md. Fariduzzaman said, for the first time in the upazila, ‘Bari Hybrid Tomato-8 and 11’ varieties have been cultivated on five bigha land.
Agriculture Extension Department, Satkhira Deputy Director SM Khalid Saifullah told that 3 varieties of summer tomatoes have been grown in the district this year. But the most ‘Bari hybrid tomato-8’. Farmers in this area are getting good profits and interest in its cultivation has increased.
Chief Scientific Officer of BARI Md. Harunor Rashid told that tomatoes were not cultivated in Bangladesh during summer, came from India. There was no taste in it. As a result of the discovery of this tomato variety, there will be no need to import tomatoes from abroad. On the one hand, our farmers are benefiting from better prices. On the other hand, we can eat nutritious fresh vegetables free of toxins.