Farmers of the region have become happy over farming and harvesting chemical-free tomato.
"Three farmers of Ishwaripur and Gopalpur villages under Godagari Upazila have attained a remarkable success by cultivating the crop on a specialized platform," said Mariam Ahmed, Upazila Agriculture Officer.
Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) has imparted training to farmers on cultivate tomato on platform. They cultivated the crop with technical assistance from the field officers.
Ziarul Islam, a farmer of Ishwaripur village, has cultivated two hybrid varieties, Bizly and Sumaiya, on one and half bighas of land at a cost of around Taka one lakh.
In last two weeks, he sold tomato worth Taka 20,000. Platform cultivated tomato has demand as it becomes matured on plant and no need of using any chemical for ripening. Wholesalers and retailers are buying the tomatoes from the land at Taka 40 per kilograms.
Witnessing the success of Ziarul, many farmers have cultivated the cash crop using the modern technology.
"Farmers can earn Taka 25,000 to Taka 35,000 by cultivating tomatoes on each bigha of land in a season," Abdur Rouf, a farmer of Dewpara village under Godagari Upazila, told BSS.
The wholesale price of a maund of tomato is now about Taka 2,500 to Taka 3,000, but its price will come down to Taka 100 per maund at the end of this season, tomato traders said.
Mustafizur Rahman, additional director of the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE), Rajshahi, said tomato farming is gaining popularity in the region, particularly in the vast tract of Barind area.
Dr Shakhawat Hossain, senior scientific officer of Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BARI), said the soil and climatic condition of the entire region, including Rajshahi, Natore, Naogaon and Chapainawabganj, are very suitable for tomato cultivation.
He said BARI developed 10 high-yielding and quality varieties of tomatoes and it has been implementing special programmes to promote the crop among the growers through arranging farmers' training and demonstration plots in different areas.