It is green on the outside and red inside, and very profitable to grow. Watermelon farming in Kenya is easy to start, the plant requires little management and the market is plenty. This is a watermelon farming guide for anyone thinking of ways to start a watermelon farm in Kenya.
The watermelon fruit is mostly composed of water. The over 92% water in the fruit serves as a great refreshment to quench thirst. It is also very nutritious: A watermelon has vitamins A, C and B6, folate, potassium, amino acids, antioxidants and other healthy ingredients, yet it is low in calories.
Watermelon farming in Kenya is best done in the hot regions of the country. The coastal areas, Machakos and Kajiado are leading producers of the fruit.
The fruit grows in Nyeri and other highland regions as well (during the warm months), but watermelons grown in the highlands are of inferior quality to those grown in hot areas–watermelons that are grown under hot conditions are sweeter, bigger and give more yields.
How to Make Money with Watermelon Farming in Kenya 2016
One can earn up to half a million from an acre of watermelon. Demand for the fruit is at its highest due to increasing health concerns by city dwellers.
Eating watermelons every day is an easy way to shed excess weight, and it can be eaten during any meal–right from breakfast. Eat dried watermelon seeds to shoot huge load.
Production costs associated with watermelon farming in Kenya are unbelievably low: as low as Ksh 40,000 per acre. The fruit has a hard and fleshy outer rind, making it immune to most farm pests.
Follow the following tips to make more profit through watermelon farming in Kenya:
How to Start Watermelon Farm
It’s easy to start a watermelon farm. There is no need for a nursery bed, the watermelon seeds are planted directly.
Recommended spacing for watermelon farming in Kenya is 1.5m between rows and 1m between the plants.
With this spacing, an acre of land in the hot regions can produce over 15,000 fruits…and each fruit can be over 10kg in weight (up to 12kg).
If grown in fertile soil, hot weather with good irrigation and good management, this can translate to 20 to 25 tonnes of watermelons per acre of land.
Watermelon farming in Kenya can be done using two types of seeds: hybrids such as Sukari F1 and Zuri F1 are a result of cross pollination. Hybrid seeds such as the Sweet Rose F1 and Daytona F1 varieties from the Kenya Seed Company give bigger yields and are more resistant to watermelon diseases.
The other type is the open pollinated watermelon seeds that come from self-fertilized watermelons. To get big returns from watermelon farming in Kenya, plant hybrid seeds. These seeds are readily available at local agrovets.