Sourav gets success in farming year-round watermelon
BHOLA, Sept 13: Sourav Hawlader, a farmer of Daulatkhan Upazila in the district, has succeeded in cultivating year-round watermelon.
He created much excitement in the area by planting watermelon in bamboo platform. People are crowding his watermelon garden every day to see the initiative. Some of them are also becoming interested in cultivating the fruit.
Locals said Sourav Hawlader is a young man of Charpata Village in the upazila. After watching the news in newspapers and on television, he has long wanted to grow the watermelon. With doubt in mind, he decided to cultivate it in his abandoned four decimals of land.
With the help of a local NGO, Grameen Jana Unnayan Sangstha, he took seeds, fertilisers and training, and cultivated black-coloured Taiwan Black variety and yellow-coloured Madhumala variety of watermelon on experimental basis. The cultivation needs hardly any fertilisers and pesticides.
The watermelon of Sourav's land became mature for sale in just 70 days. The joy of seeing the watermelon of different colours does not hold him back.
In the meantime, the weight of each watermelon has increased from 2.5 to 3 kg. He has also started selling the watermelon. The market price is Tk 60 per kg. Because of his success, many people in the neighbouring areas are becoming interested in cultivating watermelon.
Sourav said, the farming of this variety of watermelon has a lot of benefits. After the end of the watermelon season, this watermelon can be cultivated from May to September by covering the soil pile with polythene and making platform. In just 55 to 60 days, a single watermelon weighs about two and a half to three kilograms. It is possible to earn Tk 1 lakh from per bigha of land in just two months. So, this is a new message to unemployed youths, he said.
Executive Director of the NGO Zakir Hossain Mohin said, with the help of the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation, the Grameen Jana Unnayan Sangstha helped three farmers in cultivating the watermelon in Bhola this year. Out of them, farmer Sourav Hawlader was successful.
He also said the NGO is working to bring 500 farmers under the programme next year to spread the watermelon cultivation. He added that the initiative to export the watermelon would be taken as it has great demand in abroad.
Deputy Director of the Department of Agriculture Extension in Bhola Binay Krishna Debnath said the yield of the watermelon is good here this year as the soil and the weather are favourable.
He, however, hoped that farmers would be interested in cultivating this watermelon day by day.