Farmers of Shajahanpur in Bogra have changed their fortunes by cultivating high yielding hybrid varieties of tomatoes. Good varieties of seedlings, favorable weather, farmer skills, bumper yields, good market value all seem to bring blessings to the tomato growers. Marginal and small farmers have benefited immensely with little capital and in a short time. Many have become millionaires.
Nazrul Islam, a farmer from Durulia village of the upazila, Abdul Bari, a farmer from Shahnagar village, Jalal Uddin, a farmer from Khalishakandi village, Zahidul Islam, a farmer from Shahnagar village and many others have cultivated winter tomatoes this year. Going to the spot, it was seen that the healthy strong tomato tree was covered with bamboo poles of the farmer and the vegetable platform made of thick twine. Ripe and raw tomatoes are hanging in bunches on the thick green tomato platform. Tuktuke red ripe tomatoes on the green platform decorated the crop field in various colors. Farmers are also attracting the attention of pedestrians in these vegetable fields.
Mafuzar Pramanik’s son, a vegetable farmer from Shahnagar village, is a small and marginal farmer. This year, he has set up a nursery for hybrid varieties of tomatoes on 10 per cent land, broccoli on 16 per cent land and vegetable seedlings on 10 per cent land. In all, 36 acres of land is cultivable. His family of 5 members continues to grow vegetables and saplings on this small land. The cost of children’s education is also going on. In the meantime, hybrid varieties of tomatoes have changed their fortunes. He planted tomato saplings in the 10th century in the month of Kartik. At the end of two and a half months, the tomatoes are hanging in bunches in the field. In the middle of his arrival, he sold tomatoes worth Tk 10,000 from that field. Tomatoes will grow till next Chaitra month. Farmer Jahidul said he has spent only Tk 5,000 to grow tomatoes on 10 acres of land. On the other hand, he will earn lakhs of rupees by selling tomatoes from that field. Other tomato growers said that although it is a hybrid variety of tomato, it has less disease, high yield, ripe fruit does not soften easily, is attractive to look at and looks like native variety. Therefore, its market price is higher than other varieties of tomatoes.
Shajahanpur Upazila Agriculture Officer Noor Alam said tomatoes are a delicious fruit and vegetable. It contains adequate amount of meat, calcium, vitamins A and C. Tomatoes are more nutritious than expensive fruits like apples, grapes, oranges etc. Due to this, the farmers are benefiting from the demand for raw and ripe tomatoes in the market.