Shamam grows in Kerala too; experiment by Malappuram KVK proves successful
Malappuram: Shamam or muskmelon is popular in Kerala, especially in Malabar region, as a fruit from the Gulf countries. Malappuram Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) has proved that the fruit can be cultivated here. The fruit is already cultivated in North India, but is not very popular as a crop in Kerala.
During summer, shamam has high demand after watermelon. It has over 90 percent water content and is a source of Vitamin C and A, potassium, magnesium and zinc. The crop ensures good profit for farmers if properly maintained.
The fruit was grown in the farm of KVK and Changaramkulam Eravaramkunnu fields. High yielding seed variety Arka Siri developed by the Indian Institute of Horticultural Research in Bengaluru and Punjab Sunehri developed by Punjab Agricultural University were planted on trial basis.
Like other fruits of cucumber family, muskmelon also prefers hot weather. Dry climate with less rainfall and moisture is ideal for growing muskmelon. So, experiments show that this can be cultivated in Kerala.
Muskmelon can be cultivated as a summer crop in harvested paddy fields, open lands and river banks. If farming started in January and February, fruit can be harvested from March.
Muskmelon cultivation was managed by assistant professor K Prasanth under the supervision of KVK chief Dr C Ibrahimkutty. As experiments proved successful, the KVK is planning to propagate shamam aka muskmelon farming.