Marcelo Ferrer, an Argentine producer in the province of San Juan, has specialized in the production of small caliber seedless watermelons, no larger than 5 kilos, which are becoming known nationally. Ferrer owns the Don Domingo farm, from the San Juan Agro company, where he produces fruits that “weigh 4 to 5 kilos instead of 15 to 20 kilos, have little skin, are very sweet, and are ideal for home consumption”.
The producer said that he has been selling this variety of watermelon for a short time and that he hopes to achieve a good price because “it has more production and packaging costs than the common watermelon sold in bulk, as this variety is sold in boxes with shavings.”
Regarding the market, Ferrer said that "today there is more supply than demand, and prices are a concern." “It is true that Argentina has always consumed more melon than watermelon and that we are in high season, but demand has been falling a bit and we have to find alternatives to increase it; small seedless watermelon is one way to do it, but we need more promotion and marketing,” the producer acknowledged, adding that this variety was known as Fashion in Europe, where it is already recognized and has won a lot of markets.
He sells part of his production in the province and sends another part to the Market of Buenos Aires or Mar del Plata.
"The campaign is complicated by the high costs of inputs, in addition to the costs of sending our products to these distribution centers," he said. An 18-kilo box of watermelon is paid in the market for nearly 300 pesos. However, Ferrer said, taking it there costs 170 pesos. In addition, taking into account production costs: seed, irrigation, fertilizer, seedlings, etc. As a result, he added, there's almost nothing left for the producer.