The farmers of Damurhuda upazila of Chuadanga are farming summer tomato with scaffolds instead of using traditional tomato farming method.
As using this method yields more tomato, the farmers have cultivated tomato in 22 hectares of land in Damurhuda, which is twice the area used in last year.
According to the district agricultural extension department, 15 to 22 tonnes of traditional tomato can be produced in a hectare of land, while the farmers expect to produce 30 to 50 tonnes of summer tomato per hectare this year.
This new variety of tomato, which is more productive and tastier, is grown for eight months in a year. The soil of Chuadanga is fertile and suitable for tomato cultivation.
In the new method, saplings are grown in a seedbed. Then the field is ploughed and covered with polythene. Saplings are planted after making small holes in the polythene.
Once the plants grow larger, those are placed on scaffolds for support. Fruits hang from the scaffolds.
As tomato is mainly a winter vegetable, the summer tomato is sent to various regions of the country. Each kilogram of this preseason tomato is sold at Tk60 to Tk90.
Lutfur Rahman, a tomato farmer at Damurhuda upazila, said, "This year, I spent Tk50,000 to plant hybrid tomato in three bighas of land. I hope to make a net profit of Tk1 lakh."
Nazrul Islam from Keshobpur village in the upazila said, farmers are interested in growing this variety of tomato, because it is very profitable.
"In this method, tomato is less damaged as it does not touch the ground," he added.
Mukul Ali, a farmer from Karpasdanga village, said, "The price of tomato is better this year than that of last year. So far I have sold 50 maunds of tomato at Tk60 to Tk90 per kilogram. The shape and weight of the tomatoes are also good."
Sufi Md Rofiquzzaman, additional director at the agriculture extension department, said, "Summer tomatoes are being produced under different projects. In the past, farmers did not produce this variety of tomato. However, they have recently become interested in producing it. We are providing all types of assistance to them."