Two tomato varieties increase the yield and income
Improved varieties of tomato change the lives of pomegranate farmers
Most of the farmers in Pavagada taluk of Karnataka were cultivating pomegranate for many years. Difficulty came when after 2016, outbreak of many pests and diseases started increasing on pomegranate crop. Pomegranate crop started getting wasted up to 60%. Even the cost of farming could not be recovered. Then Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Hirehalli suggested him to do alternative cultivation of tomato instead of pomegranate and also told two improved varieties of it.
Improved Hybrid Varieties of Tomato
The problem of the farmers of Pavagada, who were facing constant losses in pomegranate cultivation, was solved by tomato cultivation. In fact, KVK Hirehalli popularized tomato as an alternative crop to pomegranate and informed farmers about two hybrid varieties of tomato. The first variety is ‘Arka Rakshak’, which is resistant to ToLCV, bacterial wilt and early blight. Its fruit is square, round and weighs 90-100 grams. It is hard and dark red in colour.
The second variety is ‘Arka Abedh’, this variety is not affected by tomato leaf curl disease, bacterial wilt, early blight and late blight. The fruits are hard, flat round and weigh between 90-100 grams. This variety gets ready in 140-150 days and gives 70-75 tonnes per hectare yield. Both these varieties have been released by the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research (IIHR), Bengaluru during 2016-17.
Krishi Vigyan Kendra did front line demonstration
The farmers, who were already facing loss from the pomegranate crop, were not ready to plant any new crop earlier, because they were afraid of loss. In such a situation, in 2016-17, Krishi Vigyan Kendra demonstrated Arka Rakshak variety in 2 hectare area of 5 farmers.
Seeing its high yield potential and disease resistant quality, farmers were inspired to plant it. In 2019-20, farmers came forward to cultivate it in a larger area. After this Arka Abedh variety was also demonstrated, in which farmers were excited to see its better plant vigor, more branches of plants, fruits etc.
Increase in crop and income
The improved variety of tomato increased the crop by 27.98%. Channamallappa, a farmer from Pallavalli village of Pavagada taluk, planted Arka Abedh variety of tomato in 5 acres during Kharif in 2020-21. He got a yield of 125 tonnes. He was impressed by the quality of the crop and its resistance to late blight disease. The cost of his cultivation came to around Rs 3.13 lakh. By selling tomatoes at Rs 12 per kg, he earned a net income of around Rs 8.25 lakh.
Enthused by the success of tomato, 80 percent farmers left pomegranate and started tomato cultivation. While tomato was grown in 550 hectares in 2015-16, its cultivation started in 2452 hectares during 2019-20.
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