Local farmers in North Malaita have flooded the Honiara Central market with more varieties of their sweet melons during the festive season.
In an interview with one of the local melon farmers last Saturday, the Solomon Star was told that over 20 farmers are currently in Honiara selling their produces.
Michael Kii said they are targeting Honiara as their market hot spot due to its busy schedule in this time of the year.
“We are returning to Honiara again this festive season.
“As experienced in the past, people in Honiara really liked our produces due to the different varieties we normally displayed.
“It suits all buyers,” Kii said.
Asked why they were known for producing the best melons in the country, Kii said it depends on the nature of weather and the applications of fertilizers that they applied to their produces in their farms.
He said becoming a melon farmer is not that easy but requires a good care during the farming process.
“For us melon producers, we have a lot of work to do.
“We need to take good care of our farm to be able to grow healthy and quality melons, free from fungus and other insects,” Kii added.
Kii said they have also benefited a lot from various agricultural training in their villages.
“Without certain agricultural training held in our Communities, we will not be able to produce quality melons to our buyers.
“Most have recognized our produces here at the Central Market due to its quick sales.
“Every time we are in Honiara, we normally have new clients,” said Kii.
He said another contributing factor that resulted in their melons becoming top quality is how they are using the fertilizers in farming.
Kii said the fertilizers used have allowed their produces to grow faster with huge sizes.
“Melon farming is big money. We get to pay for our children’s school fees and other basic family needs with the money we earned from planting melons.”
However, Kii said the only disadvantage for them is transportation.
“The only disadvantage that we always faced is to travel a long way from North Malaita to Auki and then Honiara.”
Kii moved on to say they would like to see the government through the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock (MAL) assisting them to transport their melons to be sold at the Honiara central market in the future.
By GEORGE GWAMANI