Tomato seeds to cost less for farmers

Kathmandu, November 2:

The Nepal Agricultural Research Council (NARC) will make seeds of hybrid tomatoes and farming technologies available to farmers at a very competitive price soon.

The Horticulture Research Division (HRD) under the NARC is preparing to make Srijana and Laxmi varieties of hybrid tomatoes, which are some of the most successful varieties, available to farmers.

“Since farmers have no option except to buy seeds of hybrid tomatoes, we are making preparations to help them prepare the seeds by visiting their fields,” said Dr Kedar Budhathoki, the HRD chief and senior scientist. “We don’t want the farmers to rely on anyone; we want them to produce the seeds themselves. We will also help them sell surplus seeds to other farmers.”

With the guidance and support of HRD scientists, cultivation of hybrid tomatoes has already begun in Phedikhola, he said.

Though sees of hybrid tomatoes cost between Rs 100,000 and Rs 150,000 per kg, the HRD is making preparations to provide the seeds to the Nepali farmers at a cost of Rs 40,000 per kg, he said. The farmers have been complaining that they have not been able to get the seeds in time. “Farmers have been calling us to provide the seeds.” “Farmers cultivating hybrid tomatoes need to know how to produce seeds,” he said, adding that the visiting groups of scientists will teach the farmers in groups about the technology.

Dr Binod Sharma of Small Holders Irrigation Market Initiative , citing the yield in Phedikhola, said yield of hybrid seeds was ten times more than that of traditional seeds.