Ismat Sabir
Middlemen get lion’s share of tomato profit. Whenever tomato crop is bumper in Sindh, the price of tomatoes fall as low as Rs2 per kg, otherwise in big cities the same item is sold at an exorbitant rate of Rs60 to Rs120 or even sometimes Rs2oo per kg. Presently, it is being sold at Rs80 per kg in Karachi markets.  The farmers grow tomato twice a year to earn bread and butter for their families. Food and Agriculture Organization said Pakistani farmers’ total annual requirement is more than 890,434 ton, which is grown on an area of 62,930 hectare.
The major hurdle for farmer is transporting the crop to city markets to meet transportation cost and there is uncertainty that whether they would be able to sell their product in big city markets or not. It was suggested that the government can at least allocate temporary stalls to the farmers in Islamabad or Rawalpindi and Karachi markets. Strengthening the supply chain in Pakistan through the direct support to small farmers and investments in suitable storage and processing facilities. According to Food and Agriculture Organization, Pakistan is ranked on 34th position in annual tomato production in the world.  The rise in prices was due to the changing season that has created a sudden dearth of supplies. Usually, the produce starts coming from Mirpurkhas and Badin in March, which is the ebbing season for Thatta and Lasbela crops. Currently, tomatoes are being supplied from Larkana which has over stretched the wholesalers of the country. The usual tomato supply season is early summer from Sindh followed by some parts of Punjab. After the end of May up to July, the main supply of tomatoes is from various parts of Punjab and KP, including Hazara, whereas the Balochistan crop comes in August.
Pakistan imposed a ban on imports of tomato from India and saved foreign exchange more than Rs100 billion. On the other side, dangerous pests and diseases were also imported along this infected tomato especially from India, e.g. Tomato Leaf Curl New Dehli Virus, Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus.  The tomato crop of KPK and Sindh has almost ready to arrive in Wholesale markets, Agriculture (infected tomato) therefore consumers should bear the recent price hike of tomato because just after 15 days, uninterrupted tomato supply starts from two major tomato producing provinces KPK and Sindh. Annual production of tomato in the country is 543160 ton in which Punjab produces 106229 ton. Punjab is a third biggest producer with 19pc share in tomato production, Sindh with 35pc share is a biggest contributor, Balochistan contributes 27pc and KPK contributes 16pc in tomato production in the country.
The tomato is the edible, often red, fruit/berry of the plant commonly known as a tomato plant. The plant belongs to the nightshade family. The species originated in western South America. The Nahuatl (Aztec language) word tomatl gave rise to the Spanish word “tomate”, from which the English word tomato derived. Its use as a cultivated food may have originated with the indigenous peoples of Mexico. The Spanish discovered the tomato from their contact with the Aztec peoples during the Spanish colonization of the Americas, and then brought it to Europe, and from there, to other parts of the European colonized world during the 16th century.
Tomato is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes, sauces, salads, and drinks. While tomatoes are botanically berry type fruits, they are considered culinary vegetables as an ingredient or side dish for savory meals.[3] Numerous varieties of tomato are widely grown in temperate climates across the world, with greenhouses allowing its production throughout the year. The plants typically grow to 1 3 meters (3 to 10 ft) in height and have a weak stem that sprawls. It is a perennial in its native habitat, and cultivated as an annual. Fruit size varies according to cultivar, with a width range of 0.5 to 4 inches (1.3 to 10.2 cm).
Tomato is consumed in diverse ways, including raw, as an ingredient in many dishes, sauces, salads, and drinks. While tomatoes are botanically berry-type fruits, they are considered culinary vegetables as an ingredient or side dish for savory meals.[3] Numerous varieties of tomato are widely grown in temperate climates across the world, with greenhouses allowing its production throughout the year. The plants typically grow to 1 to 3 meters (3 to 10 ft) in height and have a weak stem that sprawls. It is a perennial in its native habitat, and cultivated as an annual. Fruit size varies according to cultivar, with a width range of 0.5 to 4 inches (1.3-10.2 cm).
Tomato fruit is classified as a berry. As a true fruit, it develops from the ovary of the plant after fertilization, its flesh comprising the pericarp walls. The fruit contains hollow spaces full of seeds and moisture, called locular cavities. These vary, among cultivated species, according to type. Some smaller varieties have two cavities, globe-shaped varieties typically have three to five, beefsteak tomatoes have a great number of smaller cavities, while paste tomatoes have very few, very small cavities.
For propagation, the seeds need to come from a mature fruit, and be dried or fermented before germination.
Classification
In 1753, Linnaeus placed the tomato in the genus Solanum (alongside the potato) as Solanum lycopersicum. In 1768, Philip Miller moved it to its own genus, naming it Lycopersicon esculentum. This name came into wide use, but was technically in breach of the plant naming rules because Linnaeus’s species name lycopersicum still had priority.
History
The tomato is native to western South America. Wild versions were small, like cherry tomatoes, and most likely yellow rather than red.  The large, lumpy variety of tomato, a mutation from a smoother, smaller fruit, originated in Mesoamerica, and may be the direct ancestor of some modern cultivated tomatoes.
Spanish Distribution
Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés may have been the first to transfer the small yellow tomato to Europe after it captured the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, in 1521, although Christopher Columbus may have taken them back as early as 1493. The earliest discussion of the tomato in European literature appeared in a herbal written in 1544 by Pietro Andrea Mattioli, an Italian physician and botanist, who suggested that a new type of eggplant had been brought to Italy that was blood red or golden color when mature and could be divided into segments and eaten like an eggplant, that is, cooked and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and oil. It was not until ten years later that tomatoes were named in print by Mattioli as pomi d’oro, or “golden apples”.
After the Spanish colonization of the Americas, the Spanish distributed the tomato throughout their colonies in the Caribbean. They also took it to the Philippines, from where it spread to Southeast Asia and then the entire Asian continent. The Spanish also brought the tomato to Europe. It grew easily in Mediterranean climates, and cultivation began in the 1540s. It was probably eaten shortly after it was introduced, and was certainly being used as food by the early 17th century in Spain.
Britain
Tomatoes were not grown in England until the 1590s. One of the earliest cultivators was John Gerard, a barber-surgeon. Gerard’s Herbal, published in 1597, and largely plagiarized from continental sources, is also one of the earliest discussions of the tomato in England. Gerard knew the tomato was eaten in Spain and Italy. Nonetheless, he believed it was poisonous, in fact, the plant and raw fruit do have low levels of tomatine, but are not generally dangerous; see below). Gerard’s views were influential, and the tomato was considered unfit for eating, though not necessarily poisonous, for many years in Britain and its North American colonies.
However, by the mid-18th century, tomatoes were widely eaten in Britain, and before the end of that century, the Encyclopædia Britannica stated the tomato was “in daily use” in soups, broths, and as a garnish. They were not part of the average person’s diet, and though by 1820 they were described as “to be seen in great abundance in all our vegetable markets” and to be “used by all our best cooks”, reference was made to their cultivation in gardens still “for the singularity of their appearance”, while their use in cooking th was associated with exotic Italian or Jewish cuisine.
Middle East and North Africa
The tomato was introduced to cultivation in the Middle East by John Barker, British consul in Aleppo circa 1799 to 1825. Nineteenth century descriptions of its consumption are uniformly as an ingredient in a cooked dish. In 1881, it is described as only eaten in the region “within the last forty years”.Today, the tomato is a critical and ubiquitous part of Middle Eastern cuisine, served fresh in salads, e.g., Arab salad, Israeli salad, Shirazi salad and Turkish salad, grilled with kebabs and other dishes, made into sauces, and so on.
North America
The earliest reference to tomatoes being grown in British North America is from 1710, when herbalist William Salmon reported seeing them in what is today South Carolina. They may have been introduced from the Caribbean. By the mid-18th century, they were cultivated on some Carolina plantations, and probably in other parts of the Southeast as well. Alexander W. Livingston receives much credit for transforming the tomato from its natural state in which it produced small, sour fruits, and for developing numerous other varieties of tomato for both home and commercial gardeners.] The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 1937 yearbook declared that “half of the major varieties were a result of the abilities of the Livingstons to evaluate and perpetuate superior material in the tomato.” Livingston’s first breed of tomato, the Paragon, was introduced in 1870. In 1875, he introduced the Acme, which was said to be involved in the parentage of most of the tomatoes introduced by him and his competitors for the next twenty five years.
When Livingston began his attempts to develop the tomato as a commercial crop, his aim was to grow tomatoes smooth in contour, uniform in size, and sweet in flavor. In 1870, Livingston introduced the Paragon, and tomato culture soon became a great enterprise in the county. He eventually developed over seventeen different varieties of the tomato plant. Today, the crop is grown in every state in the Union.
Because of the long growing season needed for this heat loving crop, several states in the US Sun Belt became major tomato producers, particularly Florida and California. In California, tomatoes are grown under irrigation for both the fresh fruit market and for canning and processing. The University of California, Davis (UC Davis) became a major center for research on the tomato. The C.M. Rick Tomato Genetics Resource Center at UC Davis is a gene bank of wild relatives, monogenic mutants and miscellaneous genetic stocks of tomato. The Center is named for the late Dr. Charles M. Rick, a pioneer in tomato genetics research. Research on processing tomatoes is also conducted by the California Tomato Research Institute in Escalon, California.
In California, growers have used a method of cultivation called dry-farming, especially with Early Girl tomatoes. This technique encourages the plant to send roots deep to find existing moisture in soil that retains moisture, such as clayey soil.
Modern Commercial Varieties
The poor taste and lack of sugar in modern garden and commercial tomato varieties resulted from breeding tomatoes to ripen uniformly red. This change occurred after discovery of a mutant “u” phenotype in the mid 20th century that ripened “u”niformly. This was widely cross bred to produce red fruit without the typical green ring around the stem on uncross bred varieties. Prior to general introduction of this trait, most tomatoes produced more sugar during ripening, and were sweeter and more flavorful.
Evidence has been found that 10 to 20pc of the total carbon fixed in the fruit can be produced by photosynthesis in the developing fruit of the normal U phenotype. The u genetic mutation encodes a factor that produces defective chloroplasts with lower density in developing fruit, resulting in a lighter green color of unripe fruit, and repression of sugars accumulation in the resulting ripe fruit by 10 to 15pc. Perhaps more important than their role in photosynthesis, the fruit chloroplasts are remodelleo d during ripening into chlorophyll free chromoplasts that synthesize and accumulate lycopene, ?-carotene, and other metabolites that are sensory and nutritional assets of the ripe fruit. The potent chloroplasts in the dark-green shoulders of the U phenotype are beneficial here, but have the disadvantage of leaving green shoulders near the stems of the ripe fruit, and even cracked yellow shoulders, apparently because of oxidative stress due to overload of the photosynthetic chain in direct sunlight at high temperatures. Hence genetic design of a commercial variety that combines the advantages of types u and U requires fine tuning, but may be feasible.
Cultivation
The tomato is grown worldwide for its edible fruits, with thousands of cultivars.[41] A fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 5 to 10 is often sold as tomato fertilizer or vegetable fertilizer, although manure and compost are also used.
Production
In 2014, world production of tomatoes was 170.8 million ton, with China accounting for 31pc of the total, followed by India, the United States and Turkey as the major producers. In 2014, tomatoes accounted for 23pc of the total fresh vegetable output of the European Union, with more than half of this total coming from Spain, Italy and Poland.
History
Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum. Sheet from the oldest tomato collection of Europe, 1542-1544. Naturalis Leiden.
The tomato is native to western South America. Wild versions were small, like cherry tomatoes, and most likely yellow rather than red. A member of the deadly nightshade family, tomatoes were erroneously thought to be poisonous by Europeans who were suspicious of their bright, shiny fruit. This was exacerbated by the interaction of the tomato’s acidic juice with pewter plates. The leaves and immature fruit in fact contain trace amounts of solanine, which in larger quantity would be toxic, although the ripe fruit does not.
Spanish Distribution
Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés may have been the first to transfer the small yellow tomato to Europe after he captured the Aztec city of Tenochtitlan, now Mexico City, in 1521, although Christopher Columbus may have taken them back as early as 1493. The earliest discussion of the tomato in European literature appeared in a herbal written in 1544 by Pietro Andrea Mattioli, an Italian physician and botanist, who suggested that a new type of eggplant had been brought to Italy that was blood red or golden color when mature and could be divided into segments and eaten like an eggplant that is, cooked and seasoned with salt, black pepper, and oil. It was not until ten years later that tomatoes were named in print by Mattioli as pomi d’oro, or “golden apples”.
After the Spanish colonization of the Americas, the Spanish distributed the tomato throughout their colonies in the Caribbean. They also took it to the Philippines, from where it spread to Southeast Asia and then the entire Asian continent. The Spanish also brought the tomato to Europe. It grew easily in Mediterranean climates, and cultivation began in the 1540s. It was probably eaten shortly after it was introduced, and was certainly being used as food by the early 17th century in Spain.
Italy
The recorded history of tomatoes in Italy dates back to at least 31 October 1548, when the house steward of Cosimo de’ Medici, the grand duke of Tuscany, wrote to the Medici private secretary informing him that the basket of tomatoes sent from the grand duke’s Florentine estate at Torre del Gallo “had arrived safely”. Tomatoes were grown mainly as ornamentals early on after their arrival in Italy. For example, the Florentine aristocrat Giovanvettorio Soderini wrote how they “were to be sought only for their beauty”, and were grown only in gardens or flower beds. The tomato’s ability to mutate and create new and different varieties helped contribute to its success and spread throughout Italy. However, even in areas where the climate supported growing tomatoes, their habit of growing to the ground suggested low status. They were not adopted as a staple of the peasant population because they were not as filling as other fruits already available. Additionally, both toxic and inedible varieties discouraged many people from attempting to consume or prepare any other varieties.[25] In certain areas of Italy, such as Florence, the fruit was used solely as a tabletop decoration, until it was incorporated into the local cuisine in the late 17th or early 18th century. The earliest discovered cookbook with tomato recipes was published in Naples in 1692, though the author had apparently obtained these recipes from Spanish sources.
Unique varieties were developed over the next several hundred years for uses such as dried tomatoes, sauce tomatoes, pizza tomatoes, and tomatoes for long-term storage. These varieties are usually known for their place of origin as much as by a variety name. For example, Pomodorino del Piennolo del Vesuvio is the “hanging tomato of Vesuvius”. Five different varieties have traditionally been used to make these “hanging” tomatoes. They are Fiaschella, Lampadina, Patanara, Principe Borghese, and Re Umberto. Other tomatoes that originated in Italy include San Marzano, Borgo Cellano, Christopher Columbus.

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