Watermelon cultivation on Kaptai hill slopes
KAPTAI, RANGAMATI, Feb 26: Farmers are passing busy time in cultivating watermelon on hill slopes in Kaptai Upazila of the district.
They have been sowing seeds of watermelon for the last two/three months on hundreds of acres of slope. Already fruits have started to appear in the early sown areas.
Experienced farmers from Nariarchar and Longdu of Rangamati, and from different other areas of the country have farmed watermelon on hill slopes. They have been hired by a group of seasonal businessmen. Every year they bring expert farmers to cultivate watermelon.
This year they expect bumper production of watermelon.
Businessman Abul Kashem said, in the last year his profit from watermelon sales was Tk 8.9 lakh. He also got another profit of Tk 4 lakh after excluding a cost of Tk 5/6 lakh as labour cost and irrigation machine cost.
Another businessman Nuru Mia said, watermelon has yielded good this season. "I hope to achieve a good profit like previous years," he added.
Farmers Ashraf and Rahman Mia from Nariarchar and Longdu said, "We are called every year during the season to cultivate watermelon."
They added, "Firstly we start seed sowing using water from Kaptai Lake. When plants grow enough and fruits start appearing, the lake water declines. Then irrigation gets hard. Sometimes we have to use machines for lifting water from the lake."
Getting good yield needs hard labour, they further said.
Grower Ali Azam of Kaptai said, watermelons will arrive in markets within next two months. This year's watermelon will be so sweet for growing amid strong sunshine, he hoped.
Travel lovers are coming to see green and growing watermelon farms here.