High yielding, cheap watermelon enters market

A Nairobi-based international agribusiness firm has released another new high performing, but cheap watermelon variety targeting low earning small-scale farmers.

One fruit of Maridadi F1 watermelon, which is green with white stripes, on average yields 10 kilogrammes.

Amiran Kenya’s Johnson Makau says the company’s aim in bringing the high-yielding variety to the market is to offer small-scale farmers an affordable watermelon that would give them better returns.

In early March, the company unveiled Lahat F1 variety, which basically has similar performance to Maridadi F1, but is green. Its cost per 100 grammes is Sh8,120.

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“Maridadi F1 is pocket friendly, yet high yielding. One hundred grammes of seeds cost Sh1,856. This means that those farmers who cannot afford other expensive varieties are not denied a chance of trying their hand in this hot-selling juicy fruit,” he said.

A farmer would require 500 seeds per acre. The seed are bigger, almost twice those of Lahat F1. The seed rate is lower for this later varity per acre when compared to the March one.

“Zebra is a fast selling variety favoured by many. Having been derived from Sukari F1 type, its brix content is very high,” he said.

Its maturity period ranges from 75 to 90 days.

Maku can be reached on 0729991871