Farmers of various villages under Kishmot Gonokour union under Durgapur upazila of Rajshahi district are being increasingly interested in cultivation of squash, a new variety of vegetable.
The tasty, palatable squash becoming a favorite item of food for many, its popularity is increasing rapidly. At the same time, less production cost, bumper production and satisfactory price of the vegetable were being regarded as the double profit earner for the squash farmers. Though the exotic vegetable is locally pronounced as Scotch, it is popularly known as squash to the agriculturists.
Squash looks like green- water melon or like a large shaped, elongated cucumber.
It tastes like sweet gourd. It is very nourishing, palatable and can be eaten by frying or by making curries with fish or other vegetables. Already this new vegetable has drawn attention of the people of Durgapur and surrounding areas.
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According to sources of the Agriculture department in Durgapur, squash drew attention within a short time among farmers because it grew in plenty and is profitable. At the same time, the vegetables have become popular among local people. The soil of the region being fertile, farmers were more interested in cultivating squash.
The sources further mentioned, the height of a squash plant is 4 to 5 feet and 5 to 6 fruits can be procured from a single plant.
Nargis Begum of Ratugram village under Kismot Gonokour union has cultivated squash on her 10 decimal of land. She has so far spent Taka 2,500 to cultivate the plants. Within 25 to 30 days of sowing, the flowers emerge in the plants and the squash becomes ready for marketing within 40 to 45 days.
She informed, so far she has harvested and squash worth Taka 6,000 in two phases and hopes to harvest and sell the vegetables worth Taka 25,000 to 30,000 further. She informed that as a new vegetable, squash has a tremendous demand.
Abdur Rahman of Ujan Khalsi village of the same union informed, he cultivated squash in 20 decimal of land at a cost of Taka 5,000 and so far he had sold squash worth Taka 25,000 and hopes to sell the same worth Taka 25,000 further.
Deputy Assistant Officer of Agriculture Extension Department Ashadul Islam informed, the soil of Durgapur is fertile enough for cultivation of squash. Within a very short span of time, the squash has emerged as an essential cash crop for thousands of farmers of the upazila.
He added, in comparison to other vegetables and crops, both the production and profit of squash are more. He hoped these tasty, nourishing and palatable vegetables would soon emerge as a favorite dish in the district. He added, department of agriculture was extending necessary advice and assistance to the farmers to extend squash cultivation.
Upazila Agriculture Office sources of Durgapur informed, squash has emerged as a new vegetable in the area. The Department of Agriculture was encouraging the farmers to cultivate this vegetable. He hoped, in future more farmers will come forward to cultivate squash in their field.