Traders are reporting that Myanmar’s watermelon crop, which is largely dependent on the China market, is currently experiencing a major downturn. In the Muse border trade area in Shan State, the prices for watermelon have dropped by around 50 percent while sales have declined by as much as 99 pc.
Normally, in Muse at this time of year some 600 to 700 merchants from China come every day. On December 2, only 55 merchants came over to buy local produce and not all of them were interested in watermelons,” said U Sai Khin Maung, owner of Khwar Nyo Trading Co Ltd in Muse.
“We have no buyers for watermelon and prices are down around 50 pc to 70pc. There were some sales for high-quality melons and absolutely none for lower quality fruit,” U Sai Khin Maung said, adding that normally around 12,000 tonnes of watermelon are sold to China daily, but now the total hasn’t even hit 120 tonnes.
To assist farmers, the Yangon Region government recently helped to arrange sales of watermelon at the Myanmar Ethnic Culture Festival and Danyingone Wholesale Market in Yangon, said U Naing Win, chair of the Melon Growers, Producers and Exporters Group.
“Local watermelon crops are usually much higher than domestic demand, so farmers are facing difficulties. They can barely earn enough to cover their transportation costs,” said U Naing Win.
Watermelon prices have dropped from between K5,000 to K3,000 to between K3,000 to K1,500. Agronomists are advising farmer to control the harvesting of their crops, but it can only delay around 10 days and after that farmers face damage to the crops,” said U Naing Win.
The Melon Growers, Producers and Exporters Group is urging local buyers to help farmers by buying more of the crop.
[ K100 = €0,062 ]