CHITRAL: The agriculture department here has introduced two indeterminate varieties of tomato in lower Chitral on experimental basis after finding the local soil and environment congenial to their growth and productivity.

Agriculture officer, Chitral, Shahzad Ayub told this correspondent that 38 demonstration plots had been established for the purpose in different localities of lower Chitral with the help of two multinational seed companies.

He said that earlier the two varieties had been tested in hilly areas of Balochistan near Quetta whose climatic conditions had similarities with that of Chitral.

Mr Ayub said the varieties known as Sahil and Anna had high yielding capacity which grew to the height of 11 feet while their productivity had been estimated at 120 tons per hectare for Sahil and 102 tonsfor Anna.

He said the single plant yield for Sahil had been found to be 5kg while it was 4.6kg in case of Anna.

“The indeterminate seed varieties will lead to solve the issue of paucity of tomato in the local market when they are adopted by farmers in lower Chitral,” he said.

The agriculture officer said the development of the two varieties of seed would solve the issue due to their high adaptability and productivity while the prices would remain in reasonable range even in off-season times.

He said the new tomato seed varieties would be made available in the market by next season in lower Chitral.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2021

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