Md. Kamruzzaman Khan Picklu, Chitalmari, Bagerhat:
Farmers in Char area of Madhumati river on the northeastern border of Chitalmari Upazila in Bagerhat, have been reaping profit from bumper watermelon yield.
Besides the bumper production, high price has made the farmers happier this year.
Kabita Rani Gharami, a Bangi farmer from Shaildah village of Kalatala Union, said that this time there has been a massive Bangi in Shaildah, Bakpur and Kunia villages in the Upazila. She cultivated melons on about one and a half acres of land this year. After about three and a half months of care, the yield is good.
Now the melons have started to ripen. Every day she is picking ripe melons and sending them to the market, she added.
Shahajan Sheikh, Ibrahim Sheikh, Ziaur Rahman and other farmers of the same village said that at present in the local market, large size (about 5 kg) melons cost Tk 120 to 150 each, medium size (about 3 kg) Tk 75 to 80 each and small size (about 1.5 kg) are being bought and sold at the rate of Tk 50 to 55 each.
Ekram Khan, a wholesale Bangi trader in Chitalmari Upazila Sadar Bazar and Saleman Sheikh said there was a huge demand for bangi fruits in summer.
The melons produced in Chitalmari are also going to the metropolitan markets including Dhaka and Khulna. If melons were cultivated on more land, the price would be a little lower, he added.
On Sunday, March 28, Chitalmari Upazila Agriculture Officer Rituraj Sarkar said that melons are rich in sugars, minerals, vitamins A and C. Therefore, the importance of watermelon in summer is immense.
In addition, melons are important for diabetics because of their low sugar content. Melons are second only to watermelon in keeping body cool. The melon tree looks a lot like a cucumber tree, creeping.
Many people cook and eat raw melons as vegetables. The fruit turns yellow when ripe. Rituraj Sarkar said that melons have been cultivated in about 50 acres of land in Chitalmari Upazila this year.