Bhabendra Debnath is a local farmer from Mitai village, in West Tripura. He is cultivating watermelons off season, an activity that has earned him the praise of Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb, who came all the way from Agartala to meet this farmer.
Speaking to reporters after meeting Debnath, the chief minister said the farmer who used mulching technique to develop the fruit in the offseason has set an example for others as well. “Debnath took the help of internet to produced watermelon in offseason with the help of new mulching technology. He is not educated and does not have 1-inch land. Debnath has proved that one can also establish himself by working in other people’s land. There can be no other example bigger than this.”
Newslivetv.com quoted Debnath as saying: “I have learned some of the technique from the internet. It is quite profitable as we are unable to grow it during the offseason. People from outside come and sell the fruit at Rs 70/80 per kg. But, local farmers will be able to sell it for Rs 40-50 per kg (€0.44-.055) which will be profitable for them. I am teaching the technique to other farmers as well.”
Under this new method, Debnath covered the land with plastic to avoid evaporation of the water in the land and also rotting of the fruit in the rainy season. He also gave the produce additional support, unlike the traditional method where the fruit generally grows above the soil.