Successful summer tomato cultivation for the first time has brought smiles to the faces of growers in Sadullapur upazila in Gaibandha, who have sold their produce at a high price.
The harvest of the variety is going on in full swing. Many farmers said they were planning to grow the variety in larger scale in coming seasons.
Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) introduced its Second Crop Diversification Project in 52 upazilas including Sadullapur across the country in 2011 to produce various high-value crops.
Under this project, a total of 26 farmers of different villages including Zamudanga, Hamindapur, Dhaperhat, Tarafbazi, Baradaudpur of the upazila planted seedlings of the summer tomato Bari Hybrid 4 in June.
Following DAE instructions the farmers also made tunnels with polythene and bamboo sticks to protect the plants from heavy rainfall and severe heat.
The vegetables were ready to harvest in one-and-half months’ time.
The upazila agriculture office provided the farmers with the seedlings, needs-based training and other technological supports to make the cultivation a success.
Farmer Dilip Kumar Sarker of Hamindapur village said he planted about 900 seedlings on nine decimals of land under seven tunnels in June 25 under the guidance of upazila agriculture officer (UAO) M. Obaidur Rahman Mondal.
He said he had already sold over 45 maunds of tomatoes in the upazila town market at Tk120 a kg.
He added that everyday many interested farmers were coming from across the district and sharing with them how they had profited from the summer tomato cultivation in the off-season, and how they were all surprised by its yield.
UAO M Obaidur Rahman Mondal said the cordial efforts of his staff and the farmers were to be thanked for the success of the harvest.
Deputy Director of DAE Mir Abdur Razzak said all credits should go to the growers and the agriculture officials concerned as they had successfully produced the summer tomatoes during off-season.
“This has created a positive impact on the other farmers, who will now be willing to grow more summer tomatoes,” he observed.