PHDEC conducts webinar on ‘Good Agricultural Practices of Tomato’

LAHORE-Pakistan Horticulture Development & Export Company (PHDEC) Tuesday conducted the webinar on the ‘Good Agricultural Practices of Tomato’. The purpose of the webinar was the capacity building of the farmers on tomato nursery propagation, transplantation of nursery plants, plant population of tomatoes, nutrition & water management, diseases of tomato crop and their remedial measures.
In Pakistan the tomato production for 2022-23 is estimated at 565 thousand tons from an area of 46 thousand hectares. Sindh is the highest tomato-producing province followed by Balochistan and Punjab. Due to varying climatic conditions, there is a wide range of sowing times for tomatoes in Pakistan. For early crop, nursery is sown in July-August, transplanted in the field in August-September and the harvesting of the crop starts in November. 
PHDEC chose this time frame to educate the tomato farmers/growers on above subject. The expert from NARC, Islamabad will enlighten the stakeholders on seed selection, sowing methods, nutrition & water management and diseases of tomato crop & their management. Jafar Ali, Assistant Manager PHDEC, welcomed the participants and explained that PHDEC has started the series of webinar on value-addition in major horticulture products of Pakistan. He added that PHDEC has been emphasizing now on product development under its mandate. He gave a short presentation about the vision, mission, mandate and objectives of PHDEC. 
Khawar Nadeem, Manger Agri-Products PHDEC, gave the opening remarks by introducing himself and briefed about the mandate and scope of PHDEC. After introduction, he welcomed all participants of webinar (growers, processors, exporters and academic circles) and extended the thanks for attending the webinar. The expert from NARC, Islamabad provided theoretical trainings to the growers on the subject matter. Dr Nausherwan Nobel Nawab, Principle Scientific Officer, NARC, took on the process of pollination, diseases management and need for R&D in production technology and IPM techniques especially by the private sector. He emphasized the use of only disease free seeds for nursery propagation. He further demonstrated with photos from NARC, Islamabad the complete cycle of production from sowing to harvesting. He stated that plant population for an acre varies from 12-16 thousand depending upon the plant to plant distance and type of variety. His recommendations include the minimum number of plants in one acre and different types of IPM practices for control of insect/pests and diseases in tomatoes.
While explaining the diseases and its remedial measures, he stated that Blossom End Root disease damage the tomato fruit at early stage. The main reason for this disease is deficiency of calcium in tomato plant. However, farmers may overcome this disease by spraying calcium chloride @ 2 to 3 gram/liter of water. He also briefed about tomato insect/pests and its remedial measures.
The participants appreciated the PHDEC’s initiative of conducting the webinar on an important topic of ‘Good Agricultural Practices of Tomato’.
Jafar Ali, Assistant Manager Agri-Products, thanked all the participants for attending the webinar and assured the audience that PHDEC will keep organizing such kind of activities virtually and on ground for the development of horticulture industry of Pakistan.
A large number of growers, farmers, R&D, processors, private companies and academia participated in the webinar and valued the PHDEC’s initiative of conducting the webinar and choosing the right time frame to conduct a webinar on ‘Good Agricultural Practices of Tomato’ as sowing of tomatoes is done in the month of July-August.

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