New Delhi: In recent years, the reduced rain during monsoons negatively impacted the paddy production. This prompted B Mahipal Reddy, a farmer from Telangana, to switch to tomato farming. 

With the return of La Nina rainfall this year, the chances of better harvest for paddy and wheat have increased. This is positive news for India’s agriculture sector. Mahipal Reddy’s success story in agriculture is an inspiration to numerous farmers dealing with weather unpredictability and low income.

B Mahipal Reddy

Mahipal Reddy is a resident of Kowdipalli village in Medak district of Telangana, which is known for its rice cultivation. Previously, he grew paddy but found it unprofitable. Eventually, he began cultivating tomatoes which helped him make crores of rupees.

He is not highly educated but his knowledge about farming is remarkable. The locals and farmers seek inspiration from him. His decision to switch from paddy to tomato cultivation proved successful and profitable. 

A new journey

Mahipal Reddy owned 20 acres of land on which he cultivated paddy. He often faced losses, and this led him to start growing other vegetables. During the same time, he learned that tomatoes were supplied to the state of Telangana from Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. To grow his own farming business, he visited these states and gained knowledge from other farmers about various farming techniques.

Tomato crops

Telangana experiences high temperatures in the months of April and May, which are unfavourable for tomato crops. Due to this Reddy faced immense challenges in starting tomato cultivation. He installed net shades over 8 acres of his field. He spent Rs 16 lakh for the same purpose and this investment paid off as it helped control the temperature and make the environment favourable for tomato crops. The crops were ready for sale by June. 

Cultivating success

When Reddy’s first round of tomato crops was ready in June 2023, the tomato prices in the market were soaring. Within just 15 days, he sold tomatoes worth Rs 2 crore. During the time, the prices ranged between Rs 100 to Rs 200 per kg across the country. He sold more than 7000 boxes of tomatoes, each containing 25 to 28 kg of tomatoes. Today, he farms on 100 acres of land, with 80 acres on lease. He grows tomatoes on 60 acres and grows other crops on the remaining 40 acres. He uses drip irrigation and staking methods in his farming practices.