Army bought the ruined watermelons of Bokaro’s ‘graduate’ farmer

Ramgarh, June 10 (PTI) When 25-year-old Ranjan Kumar Mahto, a graduate of Ranchi University, could not sell watermelons from his farm due to the lockdown being imposed in Jharkhand to prevent coronavirus infection, he gave five soldiers to the Sikh Regimental Center in Ramgarh Cantonment. Tons of watermelons were offered but the army bought the watermelons at market prices.

SRC officials including Brigadier M Sreekumar, Commandant of the Sikh Regimental Center at Ramgarh, were so impressed by farmer Ranjan Kumar Mahto that they reached his farm near Bokaro district and bought his watermelon produce.

Commandant Brigadier M Sreekumar told PTI that he came to know about the watermelon cultivation of young farmer Ranjan Kumar Mahato and learned that due to the lockdown implemented in the state to prevent the spread of corona virus infection, he was growing watermelon. Unable to sell the produce at a reasonable price. He said that he came to know that Mahto has offered five tonnes of watermelon free of cost to the army out of the watermelon yield of about 125 tonnes for this reason.

Kumar told that after knowing about the whole matter, today he along with family and his other officers reached Mahto’s farm and from there brought watermelon in army trucks to Regimental Center.

He said that Mahto had offered watermelons to the army free of cost, but “we paid them the market price and encouraged them to the fullest”.

On the other hand, young farmer Mahto told that he had decided to take up commercial farming after graduating from Ranchi University a few years back and had taken 25 acres of land on lease. Mahto told that this year he cultivated watermelon on five acres of land at a cost of about Rs 15 lakh but due to the lockdown, buyers of watermelon were not available.

Mahto said that he has also grown many other types of vegetables in his fields but due to the lockdown implemented in the state, he has suffered heavy losses this year.

“The officers of the Army’s Sikh Regimental Center from Ramgarh, on his call, reached his fields today and took away five tonnes of watermelons,” he said. The officers especially Commandant Brigadier Sreekumar greatly encouraged him and his workers.

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