Mirzapur’s tomatoes travel to Oman and the UK

Using modern farming methods and organic manure, farmer Kanaklata is reaping a rich yield of Durg tomatoes from her land in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh. She harvests about 1.5 quintals every day.

Brijendra Dubey
| Updated: March 2nd, 2021

Photo: Brijendra Dubey

Mirzapur (Uttar Pradesh)

In Vittalpur village along the Ganga in Sikad block, about 30 kilometres from Mirzapur district headquarters in Uttar Pradesh, lush Durg tomatoes, known for their firmness and yield, grow in a 0.24-hectare field that was until recently not considered very fertile. But, 52-year-old-farmer Kanaklata raised tomatoes on this land and sent about 100 kilogrammes to Oman and to the UK (London) as samples. And now, she’s all set to export the fruits on a regular basis.

“There is a demand for ten to fifteen quintals a week and I am going to start exporting my harvest,” Kanaklata told Gaon Connection. This is a great leap, for she was not even able to make up the input costs of farming such as seeds and fertilisers till she began sowing tomatoes.

Earlier, Kanaklata used to cultivate peas and desi tomatoes in land, but got a very poor yield. “Traditional farming methods did not help me. But, I attended a camp conducted by NABARD [National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development] and the agriculture department, and learnt a lot there,” she said.

Kanaklata raised tomatoes and sent about 100 kilogrammes to Oman and to the UK (London) as samples. Photo: Brijendra Dubey

“Ever since I adopted modern techniques and organic manure, I harvest about one-and-a-half quintals of tomatoes every day, and the input cost has come down too,” she told Gaon Connection. In her field, shiny green tomatoes hang from tall plants arranged in neat rows, and harvested yellow-green tomatoes are spread out in a corner. 

The Durg tomatoes were a first for Kanaklata. She opted for drip irrigation and a layer of mulch, at a cost of Rs 60,000. “If I earn a decent profit through tomato cultivation this time, I will take this up further. There is a lot of demand in the local market too, as this variety is firm and people like it,” the farmer said.

In her field, shiny green tomatoes hang from tall plants arranged in neat rows. Photo: Brijendra Dubey

What is the Durg variety?

The Durg variety, which keeps well for several months in storage, has grown in demand, and the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) supervised the despatch of the tomato samples to Oman and to London. Preparations are on to sow the summer variety of tomatoes too, to see how it fares.

Kanaklata picked up modern technologies from Nav Chetna Agro Center Producer Company Limited. “Kanaklata is associated with our company and has produced a good crop of Durg tomatoes using organic manure and terrace farming,” Mukesh Pandey, CEO, Navchetna, told Gaon Connection. He added that she could expect a profit of about 3.5 times her initial investment of Rs 60,000. 

Ashok Upadhyay, deputy director of agriculture of Mirzapur District told Gaon Connection that tomato from the Vindhya region, to which Mirzapur belongs, was already considered very good. “Now, due to the hard work put in by Kanaklata, this new variety will provide the district with another distinct identity.”

Read the story in Hindi