Tomatoes are Transforming the Lives of Himachal Farmers in Solan, Sirmaur, and Kullu
Tomato is emerging as a major off-season cash crop in Himachal Pradesh's lower and mid-hills. Solan, Sirmaur, and Kullu districts produce 86% of the state's total output. Off-seasonal tomato cultivation peaks during the monsoon season in the hills, when the crop is not harvested in north India's plains.
The state produces 320,700 tonnes of tomatoes each year and hopes to increase production by 498,000 tonnes.
Agriculture Minister Virender Kanwar told IANS that off-seasonal tomato cultivation is the main source of income for some farmers. Solan district contains approximately 46% of the state's total plantation, with more than 90% of the produce going to markets in neighbouring states, primarily Delhi.
The remaining tomato growing belts are in Shimla, Mandi, and Bilaspur districts, with 30% in Sirmaur and 10% in Kullu. The majority of farmers prefer to sell their produce through local agriculture produce market committees, while AAAAA some send their produce directly to Agricultural Produce Market Committees (APMCs) in other states.
Salogra farmers have market connections with online retailers such as BigBasket. A sells tomato produce on an online marketplace. At the moment, 22,753 farmers, many of whom have small landholdings, produce tomatoes for an annual revenue of Rs 203 crore.
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