By: Nurul Ezzaty Mohd Azhari
Photo: Noor Azreen Awang
SERDANG, May 24 - Whenever watermelon is mentioned, many imagine its red contents, round shape, and green skin.
Watermelons which generally have a round shape, also come in an oval shape, known as oblong watermelons.
According to Mohd Nazrul Anis, Assistant Agriculture Officer from the Faculty of Agriculture, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), oblong watermelons attract fans due to their uniqueness.
He added that the golden sweet oblong watermelons are crispier and sweeter than the commonly found watermelons, and their yellow content also attracts buyers.
"The uniqueness of this watermelon variety can be seen from the colour of its content. Although the outer skin is green, the content of an oblong watermelon can be yellow or red and have many seeds.”
"Watermelons commonly found in the market are from the boci variety, which is round in shape and seedless. Oblong watermelons are rare; thus, they are slightly more expensive. Nevertheless, they still have their own fans due to the taste,” he said when interviewed at Ladang 15, UPM.
He added that the watermelon's type and variety, including its planting period and sweetness level, are written on the seed packets.
Mohd Nazrul, who has been in fruit cultivation at UPM for eight years, said that the demand for oblong watermelon is usually high, especially among Serdang, Putrajaya, Bangi, and Kajang residents each time it is planted.
"People of various races, especially the Chinese community around this area, are fond of oblong yellow watermelons because of the taste.”
"Fans of oblong watermelon always look forward to the sale of fresh fruits at Ladang 15, advertised especially through social media apps such as 'PutraBest Fakulti Pertanian' Facebook page and the 'WhatsApp' application.
"Regular buyers will come straight to Ladang 15 whenever we advertise the harvest of the oblong watermelons," he said.
Commenting on the challenges of growing oblong watermelons, he said that careful care must be provided as the skin is sensitive, and the fruit is easily damaged, especially the yellow skin type.
"This type of watermelon has relatively thin and sensitive skin, which requires greater care and low humidity to prevent it from spoiling quickly. Hot weather is best for watermelon cultivation.
"Its growth is similar to boci melon, which is on a stem that creeps on the ground and thrives in hot or dry climates due to higher glucose (sugar) content. Meanwhile, during the rainy season, excessive water quantity causes the fruit to spoil easily and become less sweet," he said. -UPM
Date of Input: 24/05/2023 | Updated: 26/05/2023 | hairul_nizam
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