Hundreds of young people in Rajshahi's Godagari, one of the major tomato-producing hubs in the country, have become self-reliant by cultivating tomato, a cash vegetable.
Traders from different parts of the country, including Dhaka, Chattogram and Sylhet, have already started coming here to buy the vegetable from farmers this winter.
According to the local agricultural officer, Godagari may witness a Tk 1.5 billion sale of tomatoes this winter.
A tomato trader from Chapainawabganj, Samirul, 45, says he made a profit of Tk 100,000 in just two months last year.
As the prices of tomatoes are good this year, he says, he expects to earn more.
More than 200 traders from various parts of the country have already arrived here to collect the vegetable this winter, the trader says.
This correspondent has found at least 30 spots in Godagari where traders, after buying green tomatoes, have been ripening tomatoes by putting them in the sun.
It takes seven to eight days for tomatoes to ripen, he says citing some traders.
Some traders again apply harmful Ithifone and Diathin-M chemicals to fast ripen and colour tomatoes, the correspondent adds.
A tomato farmer from Matikata village, Abdur Rahman, 52, says one has to spend Tk 25,000 for cultivating tomatoes on a bigha of land.
He expresses satisfaction with the prices of tomatoes at present.
Godagari Agricultural Extension Officer Matiur Rahman says farmers have brought 2,950 hectares of land under tomato cultivation this winter.
He expects a Tk 1.5 billion sale of tomatoes from Godagari this season.