AIBAK: Despite a 36 percent decline in watermelon and melon harvests in northern Samangan province this year, growers say they are happy with income from the fruits due to a three-fold increase in their price compared to last year.
Agriculture Department Head Najibullah Joya said farmers in Samangan cultivated watermelon and melon crops on 5,800 hectares of land and harvested 75,000 tons of yield last year.
But due to drought this year, the farmers cultivated watermelon and melon on 3,900 hectares of land, which produced 48,000 tons.
However, the fruits were sold at a three-time higher rate compared to last year’s, with farmers expecting 685 million afhganis in revenue. Last year, the farmers earned 321 million afghanis from melon and watermelon crops.
This year, farmers say they are happy that despite low cultivation of watermelons, the price is high and they could earn a fair income.
Mohammad Murad, a farmer from Alsha village of Hazrat Sultan district, recalled last year his 100 to 120 watermelons and melons were priced at 1,500 to 2,500 afghanis compared to this year’s 6,000 to 9,000 afghanis of the same amount.
He said last year he grew melon and watermelon on 7.5 acres of land and this year on 2.5 acres.