A new study published in the CABI Agriculture and Bioscience journal highlights that pests, diseases, and drought, are the main challenges to pumpkin and watermelon production in Uganda. A range of recommendations are presented to help Uganda's pumpkin and watermelon farmers increase their yields.
The study assessed the current production constraints for watermelons and pumpkins, management practices, sources of production inputs to guide research and decision making in production of these crops. The team of researchers surveyed 105 watermelon and pumpkin fields in 28 districts from nine-sub-regions of Uganda.
Among the findings, high transport and labour costs were also key factors affecting productivity of pumpkin and watermelon – grown by 85.7% and 14.3% of farmers surveyed respectively. The scientists demonstrate that bacterial wilt (33.3%), downy mildew (20%), anthracnose powdery mildews (7.8%) and virus diseases (5.6%) were the most common and important disease constraints of both fruits.