Growers get good profit from muskmelon at Gurudaspur
GURUDASPUR, NATORE, May 15: Growers are getting a good profit from the sale of muskmelon this season in Gurudaspur Upazila of the district.
They suffered losses in garlic cultivation this season due to price fall. But getting good yield and fair price of muskmelon, they are hopeful that they might recoup the garlic loss.
According to field sources, wide fields of garlic are now full of muskmelon, locally called Bangi. The demand of the summer fruit has gone up during this Ramadan. Two types of muskmelon, sandy and adhesive are already getting sales momentum at wholesale levels. Wholesalers are coming from Narsingdi, Brahmanbaria, Dhaka, and other districts to make in-field purchases of the lofty fruit.
Usually muskmelon seed is sown as co-crop of garlic. After lifting garlic, Bangi starts budding, and within three weeks, fruits turn mature for sale.
According to Upazila Agriculture Office sources, muskmelon is mostly farmed in two unions out of total six unions in Gurudaspur Upazila. The sandy loam soil of these unions, Dharabarisha and Nazirpur, is suited to muskmelon.
Muskmelon has been commercially cultivated in Charkadaha, Chalnali, Panchshishasidhuli, Sonabaju, Udbaria, and Talbaria villages. Field after field are strewn with muskmelon, ripe and half-ripe.
Every year farmers are cultivating the fruit after being inspired by a good profit margin. Also it requires little capital and less labour.
A visit found endless muskmelon fields in these localities. Huge piles of muskmelons were also seen beside different fields. Muskmelons of these areas are large-sized and bright-looking. These are very tasty.
Grower Md Asad Ali said, on the basis of size, 1,000 muskmelons are selling at Tk 3,000 to 5,000 at the wholesale level. This season he farmed garlic along with muskmelon as the co-crop on four bighas of land at over Tk 2 lakh. He is expecting a sale of Tk 2.5 lakh to 3.5, and he will get a profit of Tk 2 lakh to 2.5 lakh to recoup loss of garlic.
Another Mizanur Rahman said, its farming requires not so cost; both garlic and muskmelon can be farmed together; and the fertiliser used in garlic farming is enough for the muskmelon to grow well. It requires only seed and medicine.
Wholesalers Abdul Matin and Abdur Rashid coming from Narsingdi, Zafar from Bancharampur of Brahmanbaria, and Ratan Kumar from Dhaka said, muskmelon of the upazila is very tasty and holds good market demand for getting nice-look. People mostly browse the fruit for being chemical-free. "We are used to come here for purchasing muskmelon from fields. As the communication is good, transporting is easy needing short time," they added.
Gurudaspur Upazila Agriculture Officer Harunur Rashid said, "We are making round the clock inspection of muskmelon fields and providing necessary advice in order to expand its farming in the upazila."
"Along with this, we are training up farmers. The agriculture department in the upazila is providing all necessary supports including high-quality seeds," he maintained.
This season a total of 720 hectares (ha) of land have been brought under muskmelon cultivation in the upazila.