In Mirzaganj Upazila of Patuakhali, the farmers are seeing the possibility of a bumper crop of watermelons in various areas, including the vast pastures on the banks of Payra River. Watermelon, the satisfying summer fruit, has been planted 10 times more than last year. Farmers are smiling as the yield is good this year. A large yield of watermelon is visible in the fields of different areas of the upazila. The weight of large sized watermelons is around 8-10 kg. And after 8-10 days, the size of watermelon will be bigger.
This watermelon can also be sold in the market right now. There is a kind of excitement around the fields among the farmers.
According to the upazila agriculture office, last year watermelon was planted on 20 hectares of land. Watermelon has been cultivated in 200 hectares of land this year.
Talking to the watermelon farmers of different villages of the upazila, it is known that the officials of the upazila agriculture department are always searching for the farmers. Farmers are leaning towards watermelon cultivation on their advice.
After visiting the upazila, it can be seen that farmers in the area are busy tending to the fields. Some are irrigating water, some are fixing the root of the watermelon plant with a hoe. Some are again applying fungicides to prevent disease. As the weather is relatively favorable and they are working day and night in the hope of more profit.
In addition, there are watermelon fields in different areas of the upazila. The same scene is seen in those places too.
Watermelon farmer Tofael said, ‘My house is in Galachipa. I am cultivating watermelon by taking 1280 ‘Shatak’ of land on lease from different people in the vast paddy area of Dakshin Mirzaganj village of Mirzaganj union and spending 16-18 lakh Tk. Encouraged by the good quality of last year's watermelons, I planted watermelons this year as well.
However, due to lack of rain this time, additional expenditure has also been incurred for irrigation and due to increase in commodity prices, the expenditure has also increased.
But the field has yielded very well. It will benefit me a lot.’
Babul, Salim Mridha, Rubel and Rajab Ali Akon of the upazila said that the cost of watermelon cultivation is low and easy. So, I cultivated watermelon. Taking a little extra care of the trees so that the yield is good. Watermelons are big in size and tasty, and demand is high in the market. So I am busy planning to sell those in the market.
Upazila Agriculture Officer Arafat Hossain said, compared to last year, more watermelons have been cultivated. Necessary advice is being given to the growers by visiting the watermelon fields regularly. Farmers are hopeful that they will benefit more than last year.