Dar watermelon price plummets due to cold weather

THE wholesale price of watermelons has considerably gone down, attributed to oversupply while demand dropped as consumers consumption pattern changed due to cold season.

The fruit, containing water by over 90 per cent and sugar the rest by weight, is the best during warm season to quench thirst.

However, in cold season demand pattern changed but supply remain steady thus affecting its prices due to glut the market.

The ‘Daily News’ spot survey yesterday revealed that the prices dropped to between 500/- and 6,000/- from 1,000/- and 10,000/- per watermelon depending to its size.

Tazara Veterinary Market Chairman Mr Jafari Ngolege said currently the business was tough due to cold temperature compared to warm seasons while supply from coast regions still pour in.

“The watermelon sales depend with seasonality though this season business is really down…oversupply is another reason: is a blessing in disguise,” Mr Ngolege told the ‘Daily News’.

The market, which is the largest for watermelon in Dar es Salaam, currently receives supply from Vikindu, Kisiju and Bagamoyo in Coast, as well as Morogoro region. Also, some are transported from Tabora region but are in reduced supply.

Though the market receives around five to 10 trucks with a capacity of carrying five tonnes each a day compared to 20 tonnes five semi-trailer trucks a day in warm season the supply now exceeds demand.

Literature shows that watermelon is a warm season crop and popular fruit for fresh consumption and agro-processing, such as juice making. It contains about 6 per cent sugar and 92 per cent water by weight.

Watermelon is a type of berry known botanically as a pepo. The sweet juicy flesh may be reddish, white, or yellow; flesh colour, shape of the fruit, and thickness of the rind depend on the variety.

The fruit weight varies from one to two kilogrammes to 20 kg or more.

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