|Tomato cultivation yields bumper profit|
K A Gupta
TNN Sep 16, 2013
GUMLA: Farmers of Gumla are reaping the benefits of tomato cultivation, which has had a bumper production this kharif season. Agriculture is the mainstay of people here with 85% of the population engaged in farming. Even the marginal farmers have earned anything between Rs 17000-18000 by growing tomatoes on small plots of land in the past two months. Rampal Oraon of Totambi village in Gumla earned Rs 15000 by selling tomatoes. In fact, the production has been so good that he can earn enough to last him some months by selling the vegetable for the next three weeks. "Seeing other farmers, I grew tomato on a plot of only 50 decimal and have made Rs 15000 by selling them in Gumla's weekly haat," he said. He is one of a growing tribe of tillers, who have taken to tomato farming as a cash crop this season in the district.
According to a rough estimate, more than 16,000 farmers, including 8,500 technically promoted by Pradan, have grown tomato on an average of only 20 decimal plots in Gumla, Ghaghra, Palkot , Basia and Raidih blocks in particular and seven other blocks in the district in general.
This time around farmers were encouraged to grow tomato in clusters so that they could cultivate it at the same time as raising its nursery, especially in the first five blocks of the district such that the crop could be prepared at one time for sale, said Rajiv Ranjan of Pradan.
These farmers hail from 135 villages, of which two farmers were sent to Rourkela and Ranchi as market entrepreneurs so that they could understand the dynamics of the market and help other farmers, he added.
Besides, traders too visited several villages to take the produce and farmers earned money at home itself. According to a rough figure, during this kharif at least 10,000 metric ton tomato was produced, which accounts for over Rs 10 crore, given tomatoes were sold at average rate of Rs 10 per kg.
"It is a good crop, which brings immediate income to the agriculturists in kharifs," said Rajiv.