A high yielding watermelon seed known as ELGHALI has been introduced to farmers to help boost their incomes and ensure nutrition for consumers.
ELGHALI is a hybrid watermelon with a beautiful round oval shape, with fruit weight of more than 12 kilogrammes, a large fruit size, crisp, very sweet, tasty, and highly preferred by farmers.
Syngenta Vegetable Seeds, a leading vegetable company, took farmers and other stakeholders to a field of ELGHALI at Walewale in the West Mamprusi Municipality of the North East Region to introduce them to the seed.
The field day brought together 70 farmers, input dealers, marketers, extension officers, processors and researchers to evaluate the performance of the watermelon variety.
Mr Evans Sackey, Technical and Sales Representative of Syngenta Vegetable Seeds, Ghana, who spoke about the variety during the field visit, said it was a quality seed that could last up to two weeks after harvest.
Mr Sackey said this would help reduce post-harvest losses, which has been a major challenge to watermelon farmers.
Syngenta Vegetable Seeds provides good quality seeds of okra, onions, cabbage, tomatoes and watermelon and many other vegetable seeds to farmers in the country.
Some farmers, who visited the field, were hopeful that they could make more money per acre of land, because of the size of the watermelon.
Others said they had been passing-by the field and they noticed that while their varieties were getting rotten, those on the field seemed to last longer so they believed they could still sell even when market was not good because it could last more than a week without going bad.
Farmers in the area predominantly go into dry season farming of watermelon and supply consumers through fruits and vegetables sellers in most areas in northern Ghana and export to the South.
The farmers, however, are confronted with annual post-harvest challenges, especially quantities of watermelon getting rotten on farms and on sales point, hence the introduction of long spun variety of the fruit to Farmers in the area.