It’s that time of the year again when the juicy, succulent watermelon is everywhere… right from roadside vendors selling it on pushcarts to high-end grocery stores .
Copious rainfall has enabled farmers to harvest a good crop leading to a surge in the availability of watermelons in the city, says G. Gopinath, Professor at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore. “Watermelons are grown around December after the monsoons. This time the rainfall has been good, which has increased the water table and thereby, the yield.”
Aejez Khan, a fruit seller at Russell Market said he gets his supply from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. The Kiran variety usually comes from Andhra Pradesh and is generally considered sweeter than its sister variant Namdhari, that is grown within the state. The price of watermelon in the city varies between Rs. 10 and Rs. 30 a kg, depending on the variety. Sstalls in Rajajinagar sell the Kiran variety at Rs. 18 a kg and Namdhari at Rs. 20 a kg. Vendors at Gandhi Bazaar in Basavanagudi sell the Kiran variety at Rs. 30 a kilo, while the same costs Rs. 20 a kg at HAL Market.
Nutritionists too have begun endorsing the fruit’s health benefits. Varun Agarwal, a nutritionist, said, “Watermelons are rich ion Vitamin A and help relax muscles. We spend a lot of time in front of computers. Including watermelon in our diets will keep our eyes healthy.”