Plastic tunnel farming cheers tomato growersTomato cultivation using plastic tunnels has been gaining popularity in Pokharathok of Arghakhachhi, due to its higher productivity and income compared to traditional cereal crops production.
Tomato cultivation using plastic tunnels has been gaining popularity in Pokharathok of Arghakhachhi, due to its higher productivity and income compared to traditional cereal crops production.
The out-of-season cultivation of tomato has been bringing good income to many farmers.
Plastic tunnels are small greenhouse-like structures, covering the plants. These tunnels are erected with bamboo and covered with clear plastic. Farmers say vegetables can be grown with bumper yields and promising earnings as this technique requires smaller areas of land.
Nearly 100 farmers have been engaged in tunnel farming. Besides, easy market access of the produce is another reason behind farmers growing attraction toward tomato.
The produce is collected from the doors of farmers and transported to major cities like Palpa and Butwal. Vehicles travelling to those cities from the district are carrying tomatoes on daily basis.
The popularity of plastic tunnel farming soared after educated youths started using such technique. The tunnel farming has changed the landscape of Pokharathok as one can see agricultural land parcels covered by the plastic tunnel.
Tomato farming using tunnel technology has brought change in the village, said Chandrakant Poudel of Pokharathok, who has been involved in such farming for the last seven years.
“The demand of tomato is very high and all our produce is sold easily,” said Poudel. He has been earning Rs 400,000 annually. “Many youths in the area have chosen tomato farming. It has helped youths in the area to work in farms rather than going abroad for foreign employment.”
Tika Ram BK of Pokharathok quit his job in India of 12 years after being disillusioned about his financial status. He started tomato farming using the tunnel farming method. And now, he owns a tunnel farm that is spread over 12 ropanis of land. He is earning Rs 300,000 annually.
Hari Pandey, who spent 4 years in Dubai, has a similar story to share. “Once I started tomato farming at my home land, I didn’t feel like going abroad seeking employment,” said Pandey.