Good profit margin is encouraging farmers to cultivate the summer varieties of tomato---also helping the country stop importing the popular vegetable.
Cultivation of crops outside the regular cropping calendar when supply is low and prices are high can give farmers a better profit and consumers more choice.
He said summer tomato is generating higher profits to farmers, making the farmers more interested in tomato farming though it is costly.
“Summer tomato cultivation has started in the country since 1990 on a limited scale,” he said.
Farmers consider summer tomatoes to be the most profitable crop in the country due to its high demand. They can easily sell their produce directly to wholesalers and retailers.
Bangladesh Agriculture Research Institute (BRRI) has released BARI tomato-4 and BARI tomato-8 in 1996. Currently, there are five summer varieties of tomato in the country--- BARI hybrid tomato -3, BARI hybrid tomato 4, BARI hybrid tomato – 8, BARI hybrid tomato -10 and BARI hybrid tomato -11.
Abdus Salam, a farmer from Kolaroa of Sathkhira said, “I cultivated summer tomato on 1.5 bighas of land. Though made a minimal profit last time, the profit is increasing due to increasing demand.”
He said the prospect of getting good profit is encouraging many farmers in his area to cultivate summer tomato this season.
The farmers said a tomato grower can easily earn Tk 1 lakh to 1.5 lakh in the span of just four to five months from tomato farming with a production cost ranging Tk 25,000-30,000.
“In 2020-21 FY, summer tomato has been cultivated on 4,350 hectors of land. The production may reach 58,725 tonnes at the yield rate of 13.5 tonnes per hector,” said Monirul Alam.
Summer tomato is being cultivated in Jashore, Bogura, Rajshahi, Satkhira, Brahmanbaria, Netrokona, Sunamganj, Kamolganj in Kishorganj, some areas of Khagrachori and Gazipur.
A total 1,749,896 tonnes of tomato were produced o 57,876 hectors of land in the country in 2019-20 FY.