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August 08, 2018

Watermelon and muskmelon growers earn small profit despite soaring prices

A farmer works in the muskmelon farm in Nay Pyi Taw.  Photo: Aye Min Soe
A farmer works in the muskmelon farm in Nay Pyi Taw.  Photo: Aye Min Soe

High farming costs have led to smaller profits for watermelon and muskmelon growers this year, despite higher selling prices, according to a report in Myanma Alinn yesterday.
Watermelon and muskmelon fetched a high price last year, and this year has also seen high prices. Nevertheless, only small profits remain for growers after deducting transaction costs, truck fares, and cultivation costs, as labour and other general costs were paid from the small profits. Growers can trade at healthy profits only if fertilizer and pesticide prices are lower, a grower from Tatkon Township, Nay Pyi Taw, told Myanma Alinn.
Muskmelon cultivation begins in October, with the harvest in December. The winter season runs from December to March, and middle season begins in November and ends in January.
The expense for growing crops on an acre costs Ks1.5 million, including land treatment and planting costs. Also, transportation costs are Ks700,000 to 1 million for a 12-wheel truck, said U Kyaw Win, a watermelon grower, as quoted by Myanma Alinn.
When watermelon and muskmelon sells at a good
price, it can cover the high input costs. However, growers take on debt when fruits sell for lower prices.
The Myanmar Fruit, Flower and Vegetable Producer and Exporter Association has undertaken projects to boost production of watermelon and muskmelon in the Sagaing and Mandalay regions, with the assistance of Winrock International Organization, which is funded by the USAID. — Myat Thu (AMIA)

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