There is nothing more satisfying than a slice of watermelon on a summer day. Watermelon juice is also quite popular for Iftar, and with the scorching heat this season of Ramadan, demand for watermelon is gradually increasing in Khulna.
Watermelon worth Tk1 crore is going to different parts of the country every day from some five Upazilas of the district.
Watermelon is cultivated in Khulna's Dakop, Paikgachha, Koyra, Dumuria, and Batiaghata Upazilas. Once the watermelons are mature, farmers bring them to warehouses in the district's Kodomtola area of Borobazar. It is from here the watermelons are taken to different parts of the country by truck.
Talking to The Business Standard (TBS), Gouranga Saha, proprietor of Kadamtala's M/S Aachol Banijjo Vandar and also the general secretary of Kadamtala Businessmen's
Association, said the daily demand is for 2 lakh watermelons with a retail market value of around Tk1 crore.
Saha added that watermelon farmers in Khulna have been successful in meeting growing demand for the summer fruit.
However, Pabitra Goaldar and Kamruzzaman Shikari, watermelon farmers from the district's Paikgachha area, said, "Although watermelon cultivation is profitable, we are facing financial losses as we are not allowed to sell it by the kilogram."
Sadananda Mondol, a watermelon farmer from the Darun Mallick area in Paikgacha, said that due to lack of rain this year, watermelon production is not the best. But he hopes that when it rains, production will catch up.
According to the Khulna District Agriculture Extension Department, watermelon has been cultivated on 7,512 hectares of land in Khulna this year. Of this, 3,407 hectares was in Dakop, 2,150 hectares in Batiaghata, 1,100 hectares in Paikgachha, 650 hectares in Koyra, and 200 hectares in Dumuria.
Watermelon was cultivated in some five more hectares of land in other areas of the district.