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Soon, Punjab to get ‘healthier, juicier’ tomatoes

The tomato breeders suggest the crop be be grown in protected cultivation for good quality and quantity.

Written by Anju Agnihotri Chaba | Jalandhar | Published: August 9, 2014 10:12:26 am

After successful trials, Punjab has launched a new variety of tomatoes under the name of ‘Punjab Red Cherry’. Farmers wanting to grow this variety can get seeds from the Punjab Agriculture University (PAU) in Ludhiana. The cherry tomatoes, to be used in salads, now available in red colour will soon come out in yellow, orange and pink colours too.

“Many farmers have shown interest. We want to educate more farmers to adopt this variety as it is a high value crop and will fetch good prices as compared to normal tomatoes,” said Dr Major Singh, head of PAU’s Department of Vegetable Science, who developed the tomatoes along with Dr Salesh Kumar Jindal.

The trials on this variety were conducted in Ludhiana, Nurmahal (Jalandhar), Bhatinda, Fatehgarh Sahib, Samrala and Sangrur districts.

Dr Jindal said the seed would be grown in the end of August or beginning of September. After four weeks, the plants would be transplanted to the place where the crop will be grown. He added that the crop would be ready by February and offer yields till July.

The tomato breeders suggest the crop be be grown in protected cultivation for good quality and quantity.

The variety is touted to be more healthy than normal tomatoes, said Dr Singh while adding that the cherry tomatoes will be more juicy than the usual ones. Each tomato will weigh around 10 to 12 grams. The farmers can expect to earn at least Rs 100 to 150 per kg, the scientists say.

Punjab receiving less power from Bhakra Beas board, monsoon held responsible 

This year, Punjab received around 40 to 45 lakh units (LUs) less power from the Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) as compared to the same period last year. One of the reasons behind this is said to be the poor monsoon.

According to data from the Power Com department, last year BBMB provided between 200 LUs to 210 LUs each day to the state. This year the figure stood between 160 and 170 LUs.

On July 28, Punjab received 167 LUs while on July 29 it received 159 LUs. On the same day last year, the state had received 212 and 206 LUs respectively. Sources in the department said that this year they were getting less power from the Bhakra dam owing to poor monsoon and less rainfall in catchment areas of the dam.

Water level in the Bhakhra dam on July 29 stood at 1,643 feet as against 1,647 feet last year. The Pong dam, meanwhile, had 1,330 feet as against 1,361 feet last year.

When contacted, Powercom PRO Executive Engineer (XEN) Anil Verma said that though the state was receiving less power from BBMB this was because it got power from other sources. “There was no cut on Tuesday, power was supplied to the agriculture sector for 13 hours. There is no weekly off for the industry at the moment,” said Verma.

According to the department, it got 488 LUs from state-owned thermal plants, 230 LUs from hydro projects, 159 LUs from BBMB, 12 LUs from renewal energy sources, 592 LUs from central pool, 61 LUs from the banking system, 307 LUs, 198 LUs from private thermal plants and 13 LUs procured by the industry from sources.

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