Farmers in Kayonza District, Eastern Province, have started to get monetary benefits from watermelon fruits, thanks to ADRA- an Adventist Church NGO – which introduced the crop in the area.
Several farmers who received the seeds from ADRA have since reaped the crop and supplied it to markets in the City of Kigali, according to ADRA officials in the area.
ADRA introduced the crop through a project called Development Assistance Program (DAP), which is sponsored by USAID. It is among the crops lately introduced in the country.
DAP Programme Manager, Vincent Okello, said that the initiative began with a cooperative of 13 farmers and another independent farmer, but would soon spread out to other agriculturalists.
The farmers harvested a total 870 watermelons and sold them for a combined Frw763, 000 within four months. They sold each fruit at an average of Frw877.
Farmers believe the harvest could have been event much better blaming the low yield to the poor season. Many also say they ate the sweet crop with their families.