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Off-season watermelons

Sharankhola farmers see huge success

Published : 18 Sep 2023 10:19 PM

Farmers have had a huge success in off-season watermelon cultivation in Sharankhola, Bagerhat. 

This success was achieved by using climate-smart technology under the Climate Change and Adaptation project and is arousing interest in other farmers as well. 

The fields are filled with the eye-soothing view of hundreds of colorful watermelons hanging from the vines. 

  The watermelons are already being prepared for the markets. Farmers are making larger than usual profits owing to the higher off-season prices. 

Hasibul Islam Moni, Assistant Agricultural Officer in the Upazila Agriculture Department said that ten exhibitions about off-season watermelon cultivation using climate-smart technology under the Climate Change and Adaptation project have been held in different areas of the Upazila.

The farmers of these areas have been supplied with biochemical fertilizers, mulching paper, yellow sticky traps, sex pheromone traps, organic pesticides and seeds of yellow king, super king, Kaalachand and Pakiza varieties. These farmers have grown watermelons in 33 sataks on almost 2 bighas of land. Watermelon farmers have been trained in cultivation and maintenance by the Agriculture Department. 

Several farmers have said that their fields have had a satisfying yield of watermelons and that they will cultivate more land in the future. 

Bipul Majhi, a farmer from Ratia Rajapur village who has been successful in cultivating watermelons said that he had grown watermelons in 33 sataks of land last year. He also cultivated other vegetables including gourds, pumpkins and cucumbers on the bank of the fishing enclosure. 

Having satisfying results, he cultivated super king, yellow king and Kaalachand watermelons in almost 2 bighas of land in the ongoing season. The view of his yields is pleasing to the eye. Almost thousands of watermelons are hanging in his fields. He has just started preparing these for the markets. He said he is getting good prices and estimates that if all the watermelons are sold, he might get Tk 2-4 lakh. Seeing Bipul Majhi’s yield, other farmers of the area have taken to watermelon cultivation.

Upazila Agriculture Officer Debabrata Sarkar said that under the Agriculture Development Project of Khulna, Bagerhat, Satkhira, and Pirojpur, one exhibition has been established for Bipul Majhi, and nine other exhibitions have been established under the Climate Change and Adaptation Project by using climate-smart technology. At each exhibition, an average of 500 watermelons have been yielded, which is a satisfying result. The weight of each watermelon is 3-8 kilograms on average. 

The current market price is70-80tk. per kg. The farmers are quite happy due to the satisfying results. Watermelon farmers are being incentivized through various facilities and opportunities. If the farmers start cultivating off-season watermelons, employment will increase and the socio-economic situation will develop positively.