Canacona farmers reap bumper watermelon harvest

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CANACONA: Watermelon cultivators in Canacona are having a bumper harvest of the crop, thanks to the interest taken by the farmers in the past few years which has paid rich dividends, said Canacona ZAO Shivram Gaonkar.

A farmer Chandrakant Desai of Monem, Cotigao has bought about 6 acres of land for cultivation of watermelon and has reaped a rich harvest.

Speaking to ‘The Navhind Times’, a farmer said that “for the past 2-3 years, he used to lease his land to people from Karnataka or nearby areas. But gradually he learnt the trade on partnership basis and now carries out watermelon cultivation by himself.”

Many farmers in Canacona have begun growing watermelon either by purchasing seeds called Namdari from Karnataka while others have opted for seeds provided by the government called NSC-714U.

A prospective farmer said that Namdari seeds purchased from Belgaum gives a good yield. He said farmers should take up cultivation of watermelon on trial basis.

What is more beneficial to the farmers is that the produce is bought by the Horticulture Corporation under the Rashtriya Kissan Vikas Yojana. It is learnt that the farmers who purchase seeds from Karnataka sell their produce to buyers in that state.

Farmers interested in cultivating watermelon can approach the zonal agriculture office where seeds are available on a 50 per cent subsidy. The ZAO informed that if farmers are ready to cultivate 1 hectare of land for watermelon they can opt for the State Horticulture Mission scheme which provides a sum of Rs 33,500 for their expenses.

The ZAO said that there are a lot of schemes available for the farmers. He said the farmers can go for battery fencing to keep away animals. He said that a subsidy of 90 per cent is provided to farmers for this purpose.