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Watermelon Farming Revolutionizes Life in Char Regions of Brahmaputra in Bangladesh

Watermelon cultivation has been initiated in the remote char area of the River Brahmaputra in Kurigram, Bangladesh on an experimental basis. The farmers are hoping to double their profits this year if there are no floods.

Shivangi Rai
Watermelon Cultivation Revolutionizes Life in Char Regions of Brahmaputra in Bangladesh
Watermelon Cultivation Revolutionizes Life in Char Regions of Brahmaputra in Bangladesh

The number of farmers signing up for watermelon cultivation has been increasing in these char areas, and the yield has been as expected. However, farmers are facing a major obstacle when it comes to marketing management, which is crucial for commercial cultivation in the char.

According to the Kurigram Department of Agricultural Extension, there are about 450 chars in 16 rivers in the district with about 45,000 hectares of cultivable land. Farmers are starting cultivation on 35,000 hectares of land in 368 chars, and they have been cultivating various crops, such as maize, watermelon, cucumber, sweet pumpkin, and pepper.

Last year, watermelon was cultivated on 50 acres of land in the village Char Bagua of Hatia union of Ulipur upazila of the district. Unfortunately, 40 acres of crops were immersed and damaged due to the early floods. However, this year, farmers have cultivated watermelon on 34 hectares of land in the char, and they have started harvesting it. Due to favorable weather conditions, the yield was better than expected, and they are hoping to make a good profit this time.

While the government has not yet stepped up in marketing, Abul Hossain Master, former chairman of Hatia Union, stated that local entrepreneurs in the char area have become interested in cultivating various agricultural products. However, many farmers have left the land due to economic problems, and the banks are not providing loans to the common farmers. NGOs and banks can play a significant role in relieving the sufferings of these farmers.

Md Azizul Islam, Additional deputy director of Kurigram DAE, said that watermelon cultivation has started in the district since last year, and this year, it has been cultivated on 22,000 hectares of land. There is a plan to set up a collection centre in the char areas so that the farmers do not suffer from marketing.

In conclusion, the watermelon cultivation initiative has shown promising results in the char areas of Kurigram. Despite facing various obstacles such as floods, farmers are determined to cultivate crops and make profits. However, marketing management and loans from banks remain a major concern, and support from the government, NGOs, and local entrepreneurs is crucial to uplift the farmers' livelihood.

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