Tomato production yielding huge income to Kashmiri farmers

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 Vegetable growers in the Kashmir valley are wrapping up huge incomes from tomato production despite weather vagaries and less production in other parts of the country due to floods.

This year, hybrid Tomato production in the Kashmir Valley saw a bumper crop despite weather vagaries, and with unprecedented demand, it is fetching the highest price for the first time in the history of growers.

“The average rate of Tomato per kg at the field this year remained Rs 80, which we used to sell for only Rs 2 during this period of the season”, Bashir Ahmad, a vegetable grower in the Malroo Shalteang area of Srinagar, told UNI.

Tomato prices reached sky-high levels throughout the country, including in Srinagar and other markets in the Kashmir Valley. The rate per kg of Tomato being sold in the market goes up to Rs 150 to Rs 170, which is the highest in the history of Kashmir so far.

Bashir said that he not only sells them locally but also exports them to other parts of the country, including Jammu, Delhi, Kargil, and Ladakh, at good prices. He said a Kashmiri hybrid tomato is being sold to Delhi dealers at Rs 80 per kg presently, and we are sending a good quantity of the production there.

He said that since the hybrid variety came into existence, the production of tomatoes has increased manifold. “We are not only able to sell these in the local market but export them to other states as well,” he said.

He said that in today’s era, farming is done with the help of modern technology, which is increasing production and reducing labour.

He said that vegetable cultivation is a very profitable business, and if one even has a small plot of land, one should adopt the cultivation of vegetables.

“There is ample scope for employment in the agriculture sector, and good income can be earned by growing different types of vegetables on agricultural land”, Bashir said. He said that all the families in our area are involved in growing vegetables and earning handsomely.

He said that from July to October, 5 to 6 truckloads with different types of vegetables from our area leave for the markets every day.

He said that last year, the agricultural department sent various kinds of vegetables from Kashmir to Dubai for marketing. He had sent radishes, turnips, and the famous Kashmir Haakh (green leaves), which were liked by the buyers there.

Bashir said this year they have also proposed to send different varieties of vegetables to Dubai to explore the Kashmiri crop that would be beneficial to the growers here.

He was highly thankful for the department of agriculture, which often provides them with all sorts of help in the way of the modern technology available to them for increasing the production of various vegetables.

Bashir said after completing the cultivation of the tomato crop, we are going to sew Haak, radish, turnip, and spinach, which a farmer can sell until the next February in the markets.

He advised the people who have vacant land to utilise that in vegetable production, which would not only fetch them bread and butter but also allow them to provide jobs to others.

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