RAJSHAHI, Mar 15: Farmers of various villages under Kishmot Gonokour union under Durgapur upazila of the district are being increasingly interested in cultivation of 'squash' - a new variety of vegetable. The tasty, palatable squash becoming a favourite item of food for many, its popularity is increasing rapidly. At the same time, less production cost, bumper production and satisfactory price of the vegetable were being regarded as the double profit earner for the squash farmers. Though the exotic vegetable is locally pronounced as Scotch, it is popularly known as squash to the agriculturists.
Squash looks like green- water melon or like a large shaped, elongated cucumber. It tastes like sweet gourd. It is very nourishing, palatable and can be eaten by frying or by making curries with fish or other vegetables. Already this new vegetable has drew attention of the people of Durgapur and surrounding areas.
According to sources of Agriculture department in Durgapur, squash drew attention within a short time among farmers because it grew in plenty and is profitable. At the same time, the vegetables has become popular among local people. The soil of the region being fertile, farmers were being more interested to cultivate squash.
The sources further mentioned, the height of a squash plant is 4 to 5 feet and a 5 to 6 fruits can be procured from a single plant.
Nargis Begum of Ratugram village under Kismot Gonokour union has cultivated squash on her 10 decimals of land. She has so far spent Tk 2,500 to cultivate the plants. Within 25 to 30 days of sowing, the flowers emerged in the plants and the squash becomes ready for marketing withing 40 to 45 days. She informed, so far she has harvested and squash worth Tk 6,000 in two phases and hopes to harvest and sell the vegetables worth Tk 25,000 to 30,000 further. She informed, as a new vegetable, squash has a tremendous demand.
Abdur Rahman of Ujan Khalsi village of same union said he cultivated squash in 20 decimals of land at a cost of Tk 5,000 and so far he had sold squash worth Tk 25,000 and hopes to sell the same worth Tk 25,000 further.
Deputy assistant officer of DAE Asadul Islam said soil of Durgapur is suitable for squash cultivation. Within a very short span of time, the squash has emerged as an essential cash crop for thousands of farmers of the upazila. He added, in compared to other vegetables and crops, both the production and profit of squash were more. He expressed the hope this tasty and nutritious vegetable will soon emerge as a favourite dish in the district. He added DAE was extending necessary advice and assistance to the farmers to extend squash cultivation.
Bimal Kumar Pramanik, upazila agriculture officer, said squash has emerged as a new vegetable in the area. The DAE was encouraging the farmers to cultivate this vegetable. He expressed the hope that more farmers will come forward to expand squash farming.
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