Tomato farmers taking home upto Rs1m daily

- Aman Koirala, SARLAHI
Every day, farmers are supplying more than 50 tonnes of tomato to different parts of the country

Jan 3, 2018-Tomato farmers have been rejoicing as favorable climatic conditions have led to a bumper harvest. Every day, farmers are supplying more than 50 tonnes of tomato to different parts of the country and pocketing over Rs1 million per day. Sarlahi is famous in the country for tomato cultivation.

The cultivation of tomato has been bringing good income to many farmers in the district. They have been receiving a good price as well, said traders. Currently, farmers are selling tomato at Rs17-20 per kg. Most of the produce is supplied to the Kathmandu valley. The vegetable market in Lalbandi has been crowded with buyers and sellers. Each day, more than 400 farmers bring their tomato harvest in tractors, bullock cart, motorbike and bicycle to sell them on the wholesale market. “The market in Lalbandi has been receiving more than 50 tonnes of tomato daily which are then supplied to different cities,” said Man Bahadur Lama, a wholesaler at the market. “Farmers are taking home more than Rs1 million daily.” He said that if the price remains constant, farmers will see record earnings. Tomato prices depend on the supply situation.  Bumper harvest means more supplies that eventually brings the prices down. “So far, the prices are good as of now,” said Lama.

The area surrounding east-west highway of Sarlahi is popular for tomato farming. Traders said that local farmers will get good prices unless Indian tomato is supplied in the market. Farmers consider anything above Rs15 per kg to be an ideal benchmark as they can reap profits. “However, the price will start to drop once Indian produce are supplied in the market,” said Lama. Tomato prices depend on the market.

In the initial phase of production, farmers would get upto Rs60 per kg. It starts to drop gradually when production begins in full swing. “If the price remains stable at Rs17-20 per kg, we can make a good earning this year,” said Nanda Lal Mahato, a local farmer in Hirapur.

Last year, vegetable farmers were hit hard due to protest and strikes in Tarai. Farmers are often hit by the shortage of fuel and strikes. “As the elections have concluded, we are optimistic that there won’t be any problems this year,” said Mahato.

Tomato is harvested during mid-December and continues for five months. He said that many farmers earn upto Rs1 million during the season. “Lalbandi looks like a town celebrating festivals during the tomato harvesting season,” said Navaraj Mishra, president of Lalbandi Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “Tomato has become a good source of income for both farmers and traders.”

Published: 03-01-2018 09:27

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