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Farmers in Trouble as Watermelon Yield Drops Due to Heat Wave

Farmers in the Prayagraj region began growing hybrid watermelons and melons using the mulch cultivation technique because they have a higher Total Solid Sugar (TSS) value. Summer fruits are grown on over 2500 acres in Prayagraj, Kaushambi, and Fatehpur districts.

Shivam Dwivedi
Watermelon Farmer
Watermelon Farmer

The heatwave and high temperatures have harmed watermelon growers, reducing crop yield and fruit weight. Farmers in Prayagraj, Kaushambi, and Fatehpur districts who grow the famous watermelon varieties Saraswati, Arohi, and Muskan are having difficulty selling their produce in other districts and states.

According to farmers, the high temperatures have hampered production and reduced the weight of melons. The production of watermelon varieties has decreased by 35% to 40% on average due to the extreme heat, they added.

"We have been facing difficult times for the past three years," said farmer Mohd Qayum. While the corona pandemic affected our sales in the previous two years, this year's crop was hit by a heatwave and high temperatures.

"When the temperature rises above 46 degrees Celsius, it becomes difficult to save the crop." As a result, we are once again facing financial losses," explained Qayum.

Normally, a single watermelon weighs around 3kg or more, but due to the intense heat, the weight was reduced to around 1.5kg only, according to another farmer. As a result, we are only selling melons in the city and neighbouring districts, he added.

Farmers in the region use mulching methods to grow Saraswati, Arohi, Baudi, Muskan, and other varieties of watermelons, which they sell for a profit.

"The farmers growing watermelons are finding it difficult to earn a profit this time," said Manoj Kumar Srivastava, a city-based agriculture expert. High temperatures have harmed crop production. "The limited produce is being sold at a higher price, and it is insufficient to send to other states," he added.

Farmers in the Prayagraj region began growing hybrid watermelons and melons using the mulch cultivation technique because they have a higher Total Solid Sugar (TSS) value. Summer fruits are grown on over 2500 acres in Prayagraj, Kaushambi, and Fatehpur districts.

The hybrid varieties, such as Vishala, which has a yellow exterior with a bright red interior, and Anmol, which has a green exterior with a yellow interior, are more succulent, sweeter, and in high demand.

Farmers were using Taiwanese seeds to increase yield while using fewer resources. These hybrid varieties have small-sized watermelons and melons that are in demand because they have a total solid sugar (TSS) value of up to 14 to 15%, allowing farmers to earn profits ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 70,000 per acre. High temperatures have also affected tomato and parwal (pointed gourd) crops, according to agriculture experts.

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