Delicious and nutritious snap melon fetches Rs 40-50 a kg
Snap melon is an ideal vegetable to be consumed during the scorching summer. It was first cultivated in the Kole fields of Thrissur but is common in the southern districts now. It has been only a few years since snap melon became a common crop like cucumber, ash gourd and pumpkin.
Local seed varieties and those distributed through Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK) are used for cultivation. The price of snap melon remains unchanged even when other crops are witnessing fluctuation in prices. The farmers are attracted to snap melon due to this.
Snap melon’s scientific name is Cucumis melo momordica. There was attempts to obtain geographical indication (GI) tag for snap melon in 2018. The local variety in Kodungallur will be considered for this.
Snap melon will be ready for harvest within 45-50 days. It is cultivated in dryland paddy fields. Water permeable soil and sunlight are necessary for snap melon. Though it is similar to cucumber, snap melon requires more attention.
If proper care is not given, snap melon perishes in the farm itself. The fruits harvested using organic fertilizers will stay fresh for 3-4 days. If chemical fertilizers are used for plants, then its life reduces to a single day, said agriculture officer Asha A Nair.
Huge demand in market and high price makes snap melon attractive for farmers. It fetches upto Rs 40-50 per kilogram while normal cucumber gets only Rs 10-15, said Ranjith C R, a civil police officer who grows snap melon.
Snap melon tastes sweet and bitter and it is rich in nutrients. Snap melon juice helps control body temperature during summer. It has high fibre content and is ideal choice for avoiding dehydration, said Dr Arya Parvathy, an Ayurveda doctor.
Now snap melon juice has huge demand in stalls on roadside. Long distance travellers are the major customers. Sometimes, upto 200 glasses of juice is sold in the stalls. People also buy it as fruit, said Manu Omanakuttan, a restaurant owner.