Watermelons might be yet another high value crop that will accrue revenues for farmers in the Central province. There is a heavy focus on the 'Glory Jumbo' variety. According to Fresh Produce Development Agency officer-in-charge (01C) in Port Moresby, Poela Utama, Central people are taking a keen interest in watermelon production. She Utama said many growers value watermelon because of its high returns and its ability to yield more than three times in a year.
Ms Utama said that different varieties are sold at agriculture stores, but most growers chose the Jumbo. This is because it matures early (at 2 to 3 months) and farmers benefit from three rounds of harvests per year.
"Watermelon bought from stores can be planted and replanted three or four times from the watermelon seeds. Yields are huge and the fourth stage of seed taken from the same watermelon seed yield drops at the fourth stage.”