Farmers added that favourable weather was a key factor responsible for the bumper yield
Bumper production as well as good prices have brought joy to a large number of tomato growers in Sadar upazila of Jamalpur district recently.
As many as 1,300 hectares of land have been cultivated for growing high yielding varieties of tomato in Sadar upazila this season, according to the district’s Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE).
The villages that witnessed bumper yield in the current season are Lakkhirchar, Tulsirchar, Narundi , Itali and Sharifpur unions of the upazila.
Our corresponded recently visited the areas and spoke to several tomato growers in the upazila, who are very pleased with the bumper yield and good price.
Farmers said they have cultivated safol, udayan, ruposhi, diganta, kohinur and other different varieties of tomatoes in char areas(river basins) of Brahmaputra River.
After harvesting the crops, they are now selling the tomatoes at Tk 1,200 to 1,600 per maund, while each maund was sold only at Tk 600 to 800 last year.
Farmers added that favourable weather was a key factor responsible for the bumper yield. After the rainy season, the land accumulated silt, which helped to increase the fertility of land as well as there has not been much dew this year.
Tomato grower Moksed Mia, of Tulshirchar union of Sadar upazila, said he cultivated tomatoes on three bigha of land, costing him Tk32,000 for tomato cultivation on per bigha of land. He was delighted that he had already sold tomatoes worth Tk 80,000, even though half of the land has not even been harvested yet.
"I can sell the tomatoes of the remaining land for Tk90,000," he added.
Samad, Atab Ali, and Rahamatullah - farmers of char areas - said they are getting inspired to cultivate more tomatoes as it is helping them to make a handsome profit. Moreover, they did not use any pesticide as there was no pest attack in the cropland this year.
Our correspondent also visited two wholesale markets - Nandina Bazar and Maheshpur Kali Bazar - in the upazila, and found both markets flooded with colourful tomatoes.
Wholesalers across the country, especially from Dhaka, thronged the markets to purchase the chemical free tomatoes. Around 100 to 200 large trucks are being used by the wholesalers to transport these tomatoes to different parts of the country every day.
Wholesaler Rafiqul Islam, who had come to Nandina Bazar from Dhaka, said: “Last year, the supply of tomatoes was not very high in the markets. However, this year, the place is crowded with wholesalers as the supply is quite satisfactory.”
He also added tomatoes grown here in Jamalpur are well known for their taste and quality.
Jamalpur Agriculture Extension Department(DAE) officer Md Aminul Islam said: "Tomatoes have been grown abundantly in char areas of Brahmanputra River. Farmers are harvesting five metric tons of tomatoes on each hectare of land. After deducting the different costs, the growers will be left with a profit of Tk120,000 to 140,000.”
He further stated tomato cultivation has brought economic solvency to many farmers in the upazila.