The juicy watermelon brings good business to Kashmir farmers

Srinagar: The juicy watermelon, popular the world over for its health benefits and delicious taste, is fetching good returns to farmers in central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district who have begun growing the fruit crop in their fields.
Watermelons, frontloaded with nutritious elements, is being grown by the farmers alongside fruit orchards and different types of vegetables in their fields.
However, the trend of growing watermelon fruits in some areas is gaining momentum.
People in Kashmir valley prefer to relish watermelons during the summer and farmers of Ganderbal area take advantage of the good crop this season.
Last year, during the month of Ramadan, watermelons worth Rs 5 crore were bought and sold daily in Kashmir and 50 to 60 trucks entered the valley daily from different states of the country.
Abdul Rehman, a farmer from Wakura Ganderbal, told UNI that if the damage that was caused due to weather vagaries had not happened last year, more farmers would have grown watermelons in their fields this year.
He said that last year there was a loss, as the fruit was sold at Rs 15 to Rs 20 per kg when it cost more than that. This year, although the production is less, the farmers are fetching good prices in the market amid high demand.
Rehman said that if the concerned department provides the necessary information and other support to the farmers, then this could also emerge as a good industry and more and more farmers will turn to this fruit crop.
“If watermelons are grown on one kanal of land, then at least one lakh rupees could be earned out of it”, Rehman said and added “for this, the land is being prepared in March-April and the seeds are sown and then the crop is ready in July-August, after which another crop can be grown on this land”.
Rehman said that this year, at least 1000 quintals of watermelons from his Wakura region were sent to the market for sale at good price and amid high demand.
He said the watermelons were sold in the local market and the watermelons of this area were found juicier and too sweet in taste.
He said that this year, watermelons did not come in large quantities from outside states, due to floods which is also one of the reasons for the high demand among locals.
Rehman appealed to the concerned department to give adequate guidance to the farmers to increase watermelon production in future.

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