Tomato growers in Khulna hope to reap rich dividends this season with high yield, thanks to favourable weather conditions and necessary support from agriculture officials.
The cultivation of the fruit has been increasing in the district with each passing day, and a whopping 920 hectares of land here is currently under different varieties of tomato farming, including Mangal Raza, Lovely, Mintu Super, BARI Hybrid-4 and BARI Hybrid-8.
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The fruit is the edible berry of the plant Solanum Lycopersicum, commonly known as a tomato plant.
Khulna farmers consider tomatoes to be the most profitable crop of the country due to its high demand, and say they are easily able to sell their produce directly to wholesalers and retailers, ditching middlemen. In the district town, a kg of tomato now costs Tk 50.
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Solaiman Haque, a farmer of Dumuria upazila, says, “A tomato grower can easily earn Tk 1 lakh to Tk 1.5 lakh in a span of just four to five months after cultivation, which costs barely Tk 25-30 thousand.”
Farmers say they get flowers from the seed after 20-25 days of planting and each tree costs Tk 30. “Almost 5-6 kg tomatoes are produced from a single plant. The market value of the same is approximately Tk 200-250.”
According to the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Khulna, this year, a total of 920 hectares of land have been brought under tomato cultivation.
Besides, officials say, farmers in the district have set a target to bring some 6,910 hectares of land under 26 varieties of vegetable cultivation. Already 6,690 hectares of land have been brought under vegetable cultivation in the district.
Mosaddek Hossain, agriculture officer of Dumuria upazila, said “Dumuria is one of the main centres of vegetable cultivation. In the summer season, 80 hectares of land in the upazila have been brought under tomato cultivation.”
Besides, farmers have brought some 120 hectares more under tomato cultivation during the winter season, he said. “Katenga in Dhamalia union, Rinia in Rinia union and Bilpabla village in Gutudia union are the hotspots.”
Agriculture officials provide necessary help to the tomato growers with advice, fertilisers, seeds and training, Hossain added.