Cucurbits are an important group of vegetables belong to family Cucurbitaceae, grown extensively throughout India and other tropical and subtropical regions of the world. Most of the cucurbits are annuals, direct sown and propagated through seed. However, pointed gourd, Ivy gourd and chow-chow, the perennials, are propagated vegetatively. The family Cucurbitaceae consists of about 118 genera and 825 species. India is blessed with a rich diversity of cucurbits and is believed to be the primary and secondary centers of origin of many of the gourds and melon. Gourds, melons, squashesand cucumber are the main groups of crops under the family Cucurbitaceae. These vegetables are well known for their nutritional and medicinal values, and as potential sources of crop diversity. Cucurbits are consumed in various forms i.e., salad (cucumber, gherkins, longmelon),sweet (ash gourd, pointed gourd), pickles (gherkins), desserts (melons) and culinary purpose.Some of them (e.g., bitter gourd) are well known for their unique medicinal properties.Watermelon is the world's most widely cultivated cucurbit followed by cucumber, melons, squashes and pumpkin.
Problems faced by farmers
Since cucurbits are grown extensively throughout India and other tropical and subtropical regions of the world., comes variety of insect-pests which are faced by farmers on day to day basis. The severity of certain pest is such, that it reduces the yield to more than 50% resulting in huge losses to the grower and the economy. Some of the pest along with product solutions are highlighted in table below.