Bitter Gourd (Momordica charantia L.) Cultivation for Increasing Income # and Promoting Health Benefits in Punjab
D.K. Grover and Parminder Kaur
Momordica charantia L. cucurbittaceae (bitter gourd) is a good source of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals and have the highest nutritive value among cucurbits. The present study was undertaken to examine its production, cost/ return structure, market system/ potential based on experience of 53 bitter gourd producers spreading over 14 villages of two districts of Punjab and 400 consumers surveyed for their consumption pattern of bittergourd vegetable during 2012. Majority of the respondents under took the production of bitter gourd at small scale and adopted pandal cultivation using hybrid varieties to produce light green medium size variety of bitter gourd, keeping in view consumers’ preferences. Overall gross returns were found to be `365370 as against total cost of `126557, leaving behind `238813 as net returns per hectare. On an average, per kg total cost of output was estimated to be `5.98. The profit margin was estimated to be 65.57 percent. Marketing of produce to wholesalers was the most preferred marketing outlet of majority of the farmers in Punjab. The market potential of bitter gourd crop was found to be quiet high as the consumer were ready to dole out additional rupees per kg for the enhanced quality of lowering the blood glucose level and for having all the other properties (blood pressure and cholesterol) of bitter gourd.