06 Dec 2021
Melon tasting in Rwanda
Holland Greentech (HGT) are Rijk Zwaan distributors in Rwanda. Recently they held a melon-tasting event as part of an effort to bring new crops to farmers in that country. Gilbert Tuyisenge from HGT Rwanda tells us more: “Rwandan farmers are moving forwards from subsistence agriculture to market oriented farming while adopting improved farming technologies such as greenhouses.”
Diversity and rotation
“Greenhouse farmers in Rwanda and elsewhere face the challenge in that only a few crops are economically suitable for greenhouse cultivation. This also limits their opportunities for cop rotation. HGT decided to introduce sweet melons as a greenhouse crop to bring so diversity to the market”, says Gilbert. HGT planted a demo plot to show farmers what could be achieved and they held a well- attended field day, but they also realised some consumer awareness was needed to help farmers to market their produce.
After a successful demo Field Day, Holland Green Tech Rwanda organized a melon-tasting event at Garden of Eden, a farmer's market for fresh vegetables and fruits located in Kigali. Different categories of consumers, traders, and hotels participated in this public event.
The event generated a lot of interest with passers-by and bystanders intrigued by the size and shape of this unknown product - everyone wanted to grab a slice to taste!
Feedback was very positive. Everyone said that the crispness and sweetness of these melons are a selling point, giving farmers the assurance that there will be a market. On the spot, several vendors and hospitality businesses asked where to buy – very motivating for farmers!
“I didn't know that this type of melon was available in Rwanda. My kids love this orange sweet melon as a healthy snack", said Daniela.
"I would come to your office to purchase seeds today if I didn't have a meeting, but I'm happy I just passed here. This is amazing and the taste is just out of the ordinary,” said farmer RIISH.
“Finding something else tasty and fresh that we add to our fruit salad is what keeps our guests coming and this melon is it. We love it and our guests will too" said Lemigo Hotel Procurement officer.
Curious to try Rijk Zwaan melons in your country? Please find your local representative here