Improved varieties of tomatoes harvested in Chitalmari look a lot like apples. Due to its high demand in the market, this improved variety of tomato is being exported to different parts of the country by meeting the local demand.
Talking to the local farmers and traders, it is learnt that the area is very famous for tomato cultivation. Early varieties of tomatoes are cultivated in the region which start ripening from December. At this time, wholesalers from different parts of the country, including the capital, come to Chitalmari upazila to buy tomatoes. Farmers are getting huge benefits from selling this crop and this is the reason why the interest of farmers in tomato cultivation is increasing day by day.
Bhagirath Mandal, a tomato farmer from Khalishakhali of the upazila, Samir Barai from Umajuri village, Sekendar Faraji from Surshail and many others said that they are benefiting from early tomato cultivation. They are currently selling tomatoes at Tk 350 to Tk 400 per mound. The farmers are happy to get the expected price.
Local tomato traders Imdadul Haque Faraji, Shahid Mollah and Hossain said that varieties of tomatoes like Panpata, Haitom, Sundari-2, Chakra and Major are produced in Chitalmari. Tomatoes of Chitalmari are in great demand all over the country, including the capital. Every day, thousands of tons of tomatoes are being supplied by truck to different parts of the country. However, with the start of the third wave of Covid-19 virus, the wholesalers are facing some problems regarding export.
Upazila Agriculture Extension Officer Asim Kumar Das said the target was to cultivate high yielding varieties of tomatoes on 615 hectares of land. Later it increased to 650 hectares. The yield of tomatoes produced is 22,750 metric tons from which will be sold from 40 to 50 million tk. This amount is easily can be said beneficial for farmers in the area, couple of farmers while being asked stated.