In a remarkable success story, farmers in different parts of Tripura, especially at Golaghati village located in the Bishalgarh sub-division under Sepahijala District of the state, are reaping substantial profits through the cultivation of yellow watermelon during the off-season.
The exterior of a yellow watermelon closely resembles a typical watermelon, featuring a striped green rind. However, upon slicing it open, you'll discover vibrant golden-yellow flesh. Similar to its red counterpart, yellow watermelon is sweet, juicy, and incredibly tasty. Some individuals find it slightly sweeter than red watermelon, with hints of a honey-like flavor.
Though yellow watermelon not that much common in the market, but farmers do cultivate in parts of Indian states like Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, but is also now being cultivate in Tripura.
Tripura is known for cultivating red watermelon, farmers have slowly started cultivating yellow watermelon, hoping for greater profits.
This innovative farming approach not only boosts economic self-sufficiency for local farmers but also addresses nutritional needs within the community.
Farmers like Animesh Sarkar, Tanmoy Sarkar, Shubhankar Deb, and Ramu Roy pioneered the cultivation of yellow watermelon in Golaghati village.
This year, on a combined 7 kani (2.78 hectares) of land, they have collectively earned significant revenue, reaching lakhs of rupees after deducting expenses.
Motivated by this success, many farmers in Golaghati are now eager to adopt yellow watermelon cultivation, leading to its expansion in various areas of the district.
Animesh Sarkar, expressing his satisfaction, highlighted the crucial support received from the Department of Agriculture.
“The guidance from agricultural officers played a pivotal role in such successful cultivation. Though it requires a lot of time behind the cultivation of such watermelons, we are facing profits,” Animesh told India Today NE over phone.
In terms of profitability, a kilo of yellow watermelon is wholesaling for Rs 40 to Rs 70 in the market, with retail prices ranging from Rs 70- Rs 80 per kg.
Subhan Deb, another farmer, has said that the cost of cultivating one kani land is between Rs 40,000, while the potential earnings reach Rs 1 lakh 40 thousand per kani, excluding expenses.
This substantial profit margin is attracting more farmers to venture into yellow watermelon cultivation.
Agricultural workers are also benefiting from this initiative, as the demand for labor increases during the off-season. Daily wage laborers find employment opportunities in watermelon cultivation, contributing to their livelihoods.
Farmers are not only achieving economic success but are also drawing attention from near and far. People are flocking to Golaghati village to witness and purchase the unique yellow watermelons, turning it into a significant attraction.
Badal Saha, who sells yellow watermelon seed, said, “Yellow watermelon is basically cultivated during the off-season. And in Northeast Tripura was the first state where yellow watermelon was introduced.”
He further said that though the yellow watermelon is not being cultivated in large quantities, the demand in the market is higher than red watermelon.
The Assistant Director of the Horticulture department of Tripura, Dr. Dipak Baidya, said in parts of Tripura cultivation of Yellow watermelon has started, and due to its attractive color and delicious taste, the demand is high.
“But the huge production has not yet started. The profit is higher than normal watermelon. I would say the cultivation is still in the trial stage. In parts of the North District and in Sepahijala district, we have started popularizing the product for cultivation,” the official told this publication.
The agriculture department's Bishalgarh sector officer Prabir Datta emphasized the success of watermelon cultivation during the summer season, with cultivation expanding to 5 hectares of land in the large average agricultural sector.
“The department provides essential support, including guidance on watermelon seeds and fertilizers at the farmer level, contributing to the increasing trend in cultivation each year,” the official said.
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