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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 487: VI International Symposium on Processing Tomato & Workshop on Irrigation & Fertigation of Processing Tomato


Author:   F. Panhwar
Keywords:   Tomato, Lycopersicum, esculentum, Sindh, Pakistan, Hot-Low-Latitude-Subtropics
DOI:   10.17660/ActaHortic.1999.487.77
In 1994–94, 5,867 hectares were under tomato in Sindh, while total area under tomato in Pakistan was 25,653 hectares. The production of tomato in Sindh was 29,826 tonnes, while in Pakistan total production was 275,811 tonnes, and yield per hectare in Sindh was 5,084 kgs, while Pakistan yield per hectare was 10,752 kgs, which is very low as compared to developed countries where it can reach up to 120 tonnes/hectare.

In Sindh illiteracy rate is high and most of the farmers are illiterate. Few farmers get good money by growing fruit crops, but those farmers growing vegetable mostly run in to losses and have very hard time to make both end meet.

There are various reasons for this. Firstly the vegetables are very cheap and input are heavy due to attack of infection and viral diseases and out put is very low so farmer is not in a position to spend more money on pertilisers, better seeds, and proper ploughing, watering and disease control. Mostly they use local varieties and usually copy to other farmers because they are afraid to take a risk with new varieties, new methods and new spray chemicals. Some is the case with tomato, every farmer grows tomatoes of the same variety. They mature at same time. Its peak season is December to March and as a result market is full with tomatoes and prices come down. A few active industrialist have put processing units but still the margin of profit in local market is very low. For their survival they are compelled to use discarded tomatoes from the fresh market channels. They get it at 1/3rd of actual fresh produce and use it for processing.

Since the vegetable farmers no get enough returns they are compelled to switch on other highly paying crops like sugar-cane and cotton or some of them are even getting out of farming business.

In future Agriculture Extension must provide seeds for better quality and having long shelf life, firmness, heavy bearers and resistant to infection and diseases, so that tomato growing farmers will not forced to leave their profession.

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