The Arial Beel (water body) of Munshiganj is famous for producing big-sized sweet pumpkins in the region. The Arial Beel is the largest and oldest water body in the country’s middle zone. A substantial amount of crops are produced here and supplied to other areas.
By cultivating this special kind of sweet pumpkin, the local growers are making a huge profit.
In 2011, the then government announced to build a new airport in Arial Beel. Following this, a huge unrest was created, and in a clash between police and locals on January 31, 2011 at Hasra area beside the Dhaka-Mawa highway under Sreenagar upazila, a police member was killed.
In effect to the incident, the government moved from the decision to build the airport in the beel.
Sweet pumpkin is cultivated and produced in Arial Beel every year. Besides, on its highlands, a huge quantity of winter vegetables are also cultivated and produced. In the rainy season, the beel becomes a safe haven of fish.
Each of the pumpkin which is produced in Arial Beel attains the size of around 80 kilograms to 100 kg, that is, around two maunds to two and a half maunds.
The growers sell each of the big pumpkin at Tk 4,000 to 5,000. The lowest price of the pumpkin which is produced here is Tk 100.
The large sweet pumpkins are mostly produced in Gadighat area under Shyamsiddhi union in Sreenagar upazila of the district. The pumpkins are sent to Karwan Bazar of capital Dhaka on trucks.
After sowing seeds, the sweet pumpkins become suitable for sale after around three months. The pumpkins are generally produced from February till April of the year. Now, the growers are busy in taking care of their produce.
Sources in the Department of Agriculture Extension (DAE) in Munshiganj said, sweet pumpkin was cultivated on 529 hectares of land here this year, and of those, 270 ha were cultivated in Sreenagar upazila.
Deputy Director of Munshiganj DAE Md Humayun Kabir said, “The large sweet pumpkins are produced mostly in Sreenagar upazila. We are trying to increase its cultivation and production.”