Golden Crown watermelon is nutritious and sweet in taste and it is twice as sweet as other watermelons available in local markets, says expert
Three college-student friends have achieved a grand success by cultivating Golden Crown variety of watermelon in Rajarhat upazila of Kurigram braving the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic situation.
The three students-cum entrepreneurs Mahmudul Hasan, Nur Alam Sarkar and Monirul Islam, who are first year (honours) students of the upazila, said their college is remaining closed due to the pandemic.
They have been staying at their respective homes for a long time when they decided to engage their idle time in innovating some income generation ways through agricultural activities.
At one stage, they learnt about the new variety of Golden Crown watermelon, its farming process and technology from YouTube using the internet.
They decided to cultivate the Golden Crown watermelon and they took 40 decimals of cultivable land on lease in Hariswar Taluk Mouza adjacent to Rajarhat Upazila Health Complex in the upazila town.
After knowing the method of cultivating Golden Crown watermelon on YouTube, they ordered watermelon seeds according to the address given there and got the same.
“Without making any delay, we started cultivating the yellow coloured Golden Crown watermelon with the help of the Upazila Department of Agricultural Extension (DAE),” said student Mahmudul Hasan.
They could start harvesting the watermelon in only 60 days from the beginning of sowing seeds. Hundreds of golden crown watermelons are currently hanging in their watermelon field.
“Curious people are flocking to the watermelon field every day to know the new variety of watermelon and its cultivation method,” Mahmudul said.
In a ceremony, they harvested the watermelon in the first phase a few days ago and sold at lucrative prices to the middlemen amid its huge demand during the month of Ramadan.
Rajarhat Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Noore Tasnim, Upazila Agriculture Officer of the DAE Agriculturist Shampa Akhter, Upazila Health and Family Welfare Officer Asaduzzaman Jewel, Vice-chairman of Rajarhat upazila parishad Ashikur Islam Sabu and many others were present at the time.
On the occasion, Nur Alam Sarkar, another young student-cum-entrepreneur, said alongside conducting studies at home, they thought for a long time that something should be done for the financial well-being of their own families.
“From that thought, we thought if the latest technologies can be brought in agriculture, we can get much better yields and quality crops and experimentally cultivated watermelon,” he added.
Another young entrepreneur Monirul Islam said, “We have cultivated Golden Crown watermelon for the first time in Rajarhat upazila. We will do something better in our next project if the pandemic continues.”
Agriculturist Shampa Akhter said Golden Crown watermelon is nutritious and sweet in taste and it is twice as sweet as other watermelons available in local markets.
“The three college students have cultivated Golden Crown Watermelon with the advice of YouTube video and assistance of the DAE officials and got their expected yield,” she added.
UNO Noore Tasnim said three young entrepreneurs have cultivated Golden Crown Watermelon for the first time in Rajarhat upazila and it has also a huge demand in the local market.
“We witnessed its good production that has created a widespread response in the area,” she said, adding that many others will follow the footsteps of these three young entrepreneurs.