Collette Uwimana is one of the dealers in watermelon business at the new Kigali city market.
“Before people knew about this fruit, they thought it was a pumpkin because they look alike. I started this business after visiting Uganda and found that this fruit is liked by many people” said Uwimana.
“ In a bid to raise awareness on how it is consumed I begun by cutting small slices of it and gave clients for free to test now currently my clients demand has exceeded supply because we don’t have enough here in Rwanda even the ones we sell are from Uganda” explained Uwimana.
One batch of a big watermelon is sold at 2,500 while a medium one is sold at Rwf2000.
According to research, Watermelons are an excellent source of several vitamins including vitamin A which helps maintain eye health and is an antioxidant; vitamin C, which helps strengthen immunity, heal wounds, prevent cell damage, promote healthy teeth and gums; and vitamin B6, which helps brain function and helps convert protein to energy.
Tomatoes have been highly thought as a great source for lycopene, a powerful antioxidant that helps fight heart disease and several types of cancer — prostate cancer in particular. Watermelon, however, has the highest concentrations of lycopene of any fresh fruit or vegetable.
Watermelons contain oxidants that prevent free radicals’ production in the body. Lycopene is one of the major antioxidants in watermelon. Lycopene found in watermelons does not only prevent prostate cancer but also helps reducing heart diseases.
Another of the watermelon benefits is that it relaxes the body’s blood vessels just like Viagra does. This can be immensely helpful to those men that are experiencing erectile dysfunction. It can also be used by those who would want to prevent erectile dysfunction.
In addition, your energy levels rejuvenate when you take the watermelon. This makes you feel alert and stronger after taking a watermelon.
“This is possible by the fact that the watermelon contains high levels of Vitamin B, especially B6 and B1. Vitamin B6 helps people deal with anxiety and panic in a better way due to the fact that it promotes the necessary chemicals in the brain to ensure the proper state of a person’s mind.
Magnesium and potassium found in the watermelon boost the nervous system reducing the risk of hypertension”, Said Dr. W Roberts in his article health facts.
Another health benefit cited is that a watermelons is an answer for those who need to lose weight since it is a fat free recipe
The watermelon is also rich in Vitamin A that is essential in preventing infections and night blindness. The amino acid, Citrulline, found in the watermelon is also hugely beneficial to the body because it prevents liver and kidney diseases. It gets rid of excess ammonia in the body eliminating the harmful side-effects of excessive ammonia.
Watermelons are consumed as salads, eaten directly as recipes or swizzed to produce juice and taken as a refreshment juice.
Farmers who need to make good money especially those residing in the suburbs of the city centers have been advised to grow watermelons as they are grown in other countries as cash crops.