Despite recent damaging hail storms, farmers have had a healthy and profitable cucumber crop this year
Farmers in the Mokna, Pakutia, and Mamudnagar unions of Tangail are now more interested in cucumber farming than any other crops. The "Alavi 35" and "Kashinda" cucumber varieties are proving to be most profitable for farmers this year.
Rafik Miah, a cucumber farmer in Mokna union, planted cucumbers on his two-bigha plot of land in February this year. So far, he has been able to sell 300 maunds of cucumbers and hopes to sell another 200-250 maunds later this year.
Badal, another farmer in neighbouring Nardahi village, said he and his fellow farmers used to grow other vegetables previously. But after advice from the local Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) office, he said cucumbers brought him good fortune.
He is now eyeing bitter gourd as the next potential cash crop.
Rafik said his success inspired many in Mokna union to take up cucumber farming. He regularly provides support and advice to them, and says many others will take up growing the vegetable in the near future.
Tangail has had an excellent yield of cucumber this season. Farmers have profited well from the vegetable’s bumper harvest that they were also able to sell at fair wholesale prices.
The two cucumber varieties cover about 1,000 acres of land in the district.
BM Rashedul Alam, agriculture officer for Nagarpur upazila said they are promoting cucumber farming as it is fast becoming a profitable crop in the district relative to other vegetable crops.
Market sources said a kilogram of cucumber sells for Tk20 to Tk25 in retail markets today.
Apart from being used in salads, cucumber is also used in cooking fish like shrimp and hilsa. Farmers preserve seeds from mature cucumbers. The small variety of cucumbers is often used in salads, while the larger varieties are mostly used in curry.
During the monsoon, cucumber is cultivated on vast tracts of land in Mokna, Pakutia, and Mamudnagar unions of Tangail sadar upazila. Farmers make Tk20,000 to Tk25,000 growing cucumber on one bigha of land. Those who planted earlier have already started to harvest.
Some of the farmers, done with their cucumber harvest, have started growing other vegetables like bitter gourd, sweet gourd, snake gourd, and okra.
Despite the recent, damaging hail storms, farmers have had a healthy and profitable cucumber crop this year.
The new varieties of cucumber fetch farmers Tk800 per maund in local markets. For the last two decades or so, farmers have been cultivating the ‘Manpasha’ variety because of its attractive size.
Farmer Ayub Ali of the sadar upazila grew cucumber on four bighas and has earned significant profits. He was able to grow a second crop of other vegetables on the same land for further profits.