Friday, 8 August 2014

Get good returns from growing sweet melons fruits in Kenya

The practice of growing sweet melons fruits in Kenya is catching up quite fast. The agribusiness pays well as one kilo of the fruit retails at an average of Sh100. Average melon weight is 2kgs.The current demand is quite impressive due to increased awareness of their health benefits. Though the demand is high but the supply is low supply making it a good agribusiness opportunity for. Sweet melon fruit reduces oxidative stress, is helpful for diabetes patients, anti-inflammatory, Controls blood pressure due to high content of potassium.

Benefits of sweet melons fruit include weight management due to lower fruit sugar in comparison with other fruits. They also contain collagen which helps keep your skin healthy as well as healing wounds. Soil sampling and analysis is advisable before planting to determine the soil suitability and get specific fertilizer advice.

Warm sunny climate with high humidity is required for growth. Fertile, moisture retentive, deep and well-drained soil is best. Growing sweet melons fruits in Kenya require application organic fertilizers, which can be can be in form of cow or chicken manure. Compound fertilizer should also be applied.

Three to four weeks before planting, prepare the ground by removing weeds and incorporating organic matter and a modest dressing of compound fertilizer. Water well and cover in clear polythene for a week before planting to warm the soil in case of cold areas. Pinch out the growing point at the fifth leaf to encourage side shoots, then retain the strongest four shoots and remove others.

Pest and diseases affecting sweet melon are spider mites and powdery are white powdery mildew deposit over the leaf surface . 

Harvest when they produce the characteristic melon fragrance and fruits start to crack near the stem.Unlike the commonly known watermelons, sweet melons fruit is yellowish on the outside, with a faintly sweet smell and greenish soft flesh. The main customers are residents of suburbs of Kileleshwa , Lavington, and Kitisuru, and the crop makes good business. The Asian community located in Parklands and Ngara areas are also big clients.