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70% of Maharashtra tomato cultivation comes under drip irrigation

Last modified March 14, 2016 16:05

The Financial Express. Pune, 11 March 2016.

Tomato growers in Maharashtra’s drough-hit regions are increasingly turning towards drip irrigation as a solution. Over the last couple of years, around 70% of the state’s tomato cultivation has come under the system.

According to Shriram Gadhave, president, Vegetable Growers Association of India (VGAI), although Vidarbha and Marathwada regions have been reeling under drought conditions, the plantation for summer in the state has been up to 3 lakh (300 tons) per hectare, the same as last year. This is because farmers have been using the drip system, which has resulted in 20% more yield, he pointed out. The use of mulching paper is also on the rise and special trials are being conducted on tomato by farmers in several parts of the country, he said, adding that drip irrigation is turning out to be a very effective solution as it also prevents disease.

Last year, the tomato crop was affected by Karpa disease and whitefly attacks. The plantation was attacked due to paucity of rains and therefore farmers have increasingly begun to use drip as a solution, Gadhave said. At Pimpalgaon in Nashik, one of the biggest markets for tomato, wholesale prices were hovering around R6 per kg. Gadhave, who was recently in Gujarat to discuss possibilities of synergy between farmer producer companies, said that farmers in this state as well have taken to drip and there is a rise in tomato production in Gujarat.

Gadhave’s association that runs a tomato auction at Narayangaon near Pune says that at least 300 trucks of tomatoes arrive at the auction on a daily basis. One truck contains some 16 tonne of the commodity. Both Nashik and Pune are considered major tomato producers and see some 1,600 truckloads of arrivals on a daily basis.

Source: Agriculture Today, AgriNews, <>

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