Bumper watermelon output in Mirsharai char areas cheers farmers

Published : 01 Mar 2023 10:01 PM

Watermelon has been cultivated commercially on the land on the banks of the Ichakhali canal near the sea in Ichakhali union of Mirsharai upazila. At one time, the farmers used to graze cows and buffaloes and cultivate paddy in this land. Now watermelon is being cultivated in these places. Farmers are benefiting from watermelon cultivation.

It is known that every year during the Rabi season, most of the paddy fields in Ichakhali, Mithanala, Katachra and Saherkhali unions of the upazila were left vacant. Due to sandy soil in East Ichakhali village and suitable environment and sufficient water supply system from Ichakhali Canal, more than 80 entrepreneurs of Subarna Char Upazila of Noakhali District of Pashwarti Upazila have taken the initiative of watermelon cultivation again this year compared to last year. Since the soil here is suitable for watermelon cultivation, at the end of last December, they took rent from the local farmers for 3 months at a rent of 15 thousand taka per acre. They have sown watermelon seeds on that land.

Going to the surface, one can see a green vine covering an area of more than 175 acres. Some are tending the watermelon plants; some are watering around the plants. Watermelon buds have appeared along with flowering on most of the trees.

Watermelon farmer Abdul Jalil said, last year, the farmers of Subarnachar area of Noakhali upazila have benefited by cultivating watermelon here for the first time. Our livelihood depends on watermelon cultivation. Therefore, we planted watermelon saplings on more than 70 hectares of land with 11 people at the end of December. Now the saplings have started to flower and bud. Hope the yield will be good.

Another entrepreneur Mehraj bin Alam said, since the soil and weather conditions of Ichakhali, Mithanala and Katachra Union of the upazila are suitable for watermelon cultivation; they took the initiative of commercial watermelon cultivation here. Later, I took land from the local farmers and cultivated different types of watermelons including Boak Greet, Dragon, Gerari, Jambu.

Jamshed Alam, a local farmer, said, I have cultivated watermelon for the first time in about 1 acre of land. So far, I have spent more than 2 lakh Tk. We hope the yield will be good. He also said that we have not been given any cooperation from the agriculture office. If the agriculture office gives us training on watermelon cultivation, then we will grow watermelon ourselves and this upazila will benefit commercially.

Many local farmers said that people from other areas are coming and farming on our own land and are benefiting. If we cultivate ourselves, our area will be commercially profitable.

Chairman of Ichakhali Union Parishad Nurul Mostafa said that the farmers of Subarnachar in Noakhali have cultivated watermelon in Mirsharai this time. However, this time, more cultivation than last year. However, due to lack of rain, the yield was not good. He also said that this time the locals have also cultivated watermelon. However, due to the high cost of watermelon cultivation, the farmers here are not interested and they have no experience in watermelon cultivation.

Humayun Kabir Chowdhury, Deputy Assistant Agricultural Extension Officer in charge of Ichakhali Union, said that more than 80 entrepreneurs of Subarnachar area of Noakhali have cultivated watermelons on more than 70 hectares of land. Watermelon yield has been good. Expect to start selling watermelons in late March or early April.

Mirsharai Upazila Agricultural Extension Officer Pratap Chandra Roy said that the people of Subarnachar area of Noakhali have come to Ichakhali char area of Mirsarai upazila and cultivated watermelons. But I can't go yet. I will visit the watermelon fields next week. If the weather is favorable, the yield is likely to be good. Watermelon cultivation is more labor intensive than other crops.

He also said that a 12-month watermelon cultivation training will be organized from our agriculture office for local people who are interested in watermelon cultivation. There they will be introduced about the necessary materials for watermelon cultivation.