25 farmers selected for six field-level training sessions
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) that quenches the consumers' thirst during summer with its juice enriched with medicinal qualities also fetches attractive profit for the farmers cultivating this crop.
Watermelon can be grown in irrigated condition between December and March after the harvest of paddy. In Southern Tamil Nadu, this crop cultivation has become popular now-a-days because of its short duration seeking less labour and high profit.
In Tuticorin district, this crop has been grown in 10 out of the 12 blocks on an area of 70 hectare during this season.
According to Syed Ahamed Meeranjee, Deputy Director, Department of Horticulture, his department had given hybrid watermelon seeds at subsidised cost to farmers to be sown on 30 hectares under the Integrated Horticulture Development Scheme and Hi-Tech Productivity scheme. To increase the productivity of this crop, farmers were advised to go in for drip irrigation system with fertigation and better post-harvest management.
According to Palani Velayutham, Assistant Director of Horticulture, Alwarthirunagari block, 25 farmers were selected from various villages in this block for six field-level training sessions that made the difference from the previous years' bitter experiences.
“Farmers, who scrupulously followed the instructions given during the training sessions, have earned up to Rs. 1 lakh per hectare within a short period of just 60 to 70 days. No other crop can yield this much profit,” he said.