Tomatoes are emerging as one of the major off-season cash crops in the lower and mid-hills of Himachal Pradesh. Solan, Sirmaur, and Kullu districts harvests 86 percent of the state’s overall production. Off-seasonal tomato cultivation peaks during monsoon in the hills when the crop is not harvested in the plains of north India.
The state annually produces 320,700 tons of tomatoes and aims to increase its production by 498,000 tons. According to Agriculture Minister Virender Kanwar, for some farmers, off-seasonal tomato cultivation is the main source of income. About 46 percent of the state’s total plantation is in the Solan district, with more than 90 percent of the produce going to markets in neighboring states, mainly Delhi.
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