A large number of farmers in and around Gangaikondacholapuram in the district have taken to watermelon cultivation in the past few weeks. Anticipating instant and assured returns, they have brought the fields under the sweet fruit by procuring the seeds from as far as Coimbatore. Selvaraj, one of the farmers, said that he expected at least three tonnes of the fruit from his small field. The crop required irrigation at least once in a week. Excess supply of water would result in the virtual ‘blast’ of the fruit. He said that with the fruits giving an assured profit, a large number of farmers have cultivated the crop.