Melon growers suffer due to low rates


BADIN: Farmers of Badin have been sustaining acute water shortage for long which has caused them huge economic losses and their fertile soils have become barren.

Lack of government’s attention, the monopoly of the mills and lower rates of different crops in the markets has created uncertainty among the hundreds of growers and peasants.

The melon crop in Badin is commonly cultivated during the month of November every year on thousands of acres across the district. The yield of this crop is produced during the month of March and continues up to May.

The crop is cultivated mostly where the growers have suffered a shortage of irrigation water. Moreover, the crop incurs more than Rs50 thousand per acre but farmers sustain huge loss due to lower rates of the crop in the local market and for exports to Lahore and abroad.

Melon farmers Shahid Arain, Javed Chang, Qasim Jamali and others said that they were facing huge economic losses due to a lack of interest of the government to introduce proper rates for melon crop and production. They added that they incurred huge amounts of manure, spraying and pesticides to protect the crop from various viruses while wages were also paid to labourers.

They said that the labourers from far-flung areas were being paid Rs10,000 monthly while labourers of local and nearby places were being paid Rs100 to 200 per day on daily wages basis. They further added that due to lower rates, they were compelled to offer lower daily wages to labourers.

They appealed to the government for assistance and proper rates for their crops and production.