High transportation charges render watermelon growers loss-making

A farmer waters patches of watermelon in Nay Pyi Taw. Photo: Aye Min Soe

Some watermelon growers from Tatkon Township, Nay Pyi Taw suffer from hundred thousands of loss this year with the unfavourable watermelon market condition, said the watermelon growers.
Some businessmen rented the plots of land from the growers who are working on a manageable scale and cultivated the watermelon on a commercial scale. The number of growers has risen and so have the exporters.
The number of growers increased as the watermelon fetched a good price in the previous year, resulted in the excess supply, said U Aung Min Oo, Zayatgyigon village, Nweyit village-tract of Tatkon Township, Nay Pyi Taw.
Previously, the transportation charges of a lorry with a capacity of 17 tonnes were around Ks1.2million from Tatkon Township to Muse 105mile, he said.
The political instability in Muse prompted the truck drivers to ask for more charges because of the situation of possibly their life threat. Additionally, the excess supply at the border trade depots brings down the prices, causing the growers to make losses, it is learnt.
A watermelon seedling cost from Ks500 to 600 last year whereas this year it costs around Ks700.  The yield also drops down to 30-40 per cent from 70 per cent as a result of erratic weather condition, U Aung Min Oo continued.
Currently, watermelons from Shan State are flowing into Muse 105 mile market. The highest price of watermelon is 3,800 to 4,200 Yuan per tonne, he added.—Tin Maung Lwin (MMAL)

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