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Selling produce at optimal ripeness: A Melon ripeness tester allows small farmers to harvest water melons at their sweatest.

No more waste in water melons that do not sell because they are not sweet. Now every farmer can sell the best water melons at the best price

Photo of Sibylle Scholz
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EXPLAIN YOUR IDEA

A watermelon does not ripen further after it is harvested. If it is not sufficiently sweet, it will not sell well. Many large international producers flood local markets with melons that cannot be shipped overseas. This makes it impossible for small farmers to grow and compete in the lucrative international water melon market. With the melon ripeness tester, a small farmer can harvest a water melon at its optimum and therefor compete in the international market. The tester is based on a near infrared technology that is currently developed in Berkeley California. Once fully developed, a tester would cost less than $5.

WHO BENEFITS?

Currently, several large multinational corporations grow watermelons in Africa and other continents. These a spot tested during harvest and then either shipped overseas, or discarded through local markets, if not destroyed all together. Small local farmers have no competitive edge unless they have a way to detect the sugar content of a watermelon, harvest the fruit at its optimal and then sell through various channels that value small scale farming. Water melons are highly profitable.

WHERE WILL YOUR IDEA BE IMPLEMENTED?

This idea will be implemented in Rwanda, but eventually the tool is available to any potential small farmer that wishes to grow watermelon. This tool would transform the lucrative international watermelon market that is now ruled by multinationals

ARE YOU IMPLEMENTING IN AN ELIGIBLE COUNTRY?

  • Yes

EXPERTISE IN SECTOR

  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year

EXPERIENCE IN IMPLEMENTATION COUNTRY(IES)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

TELL US MORE ABOUT YOU!

I am an agricultural economist working in a team of engineers in Berkeley California. Our laboratory has been labeled "invention central" as we develop highly specialized tools for various industries. The idea of a water melon ripeness tester came about 6 years ago.

A small tool hugs the watermelon and measures the sugar content instantly, letting the farmer know if it is ripe. There is no other non-invasive system that tests the sweetness of a watermelon.

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Photo of Mburu Njunge
Team

Sibylle Scholz great innovation especially on meeting horticultural maturity of watermelons for the market. 
I think it will really improve the quality of watermelons sold by farmers and hence boost buyer confidence. I think the best way to move ahead with your Idea is to work with watermelon aggregators so as to ensure a steady market for the farmers. 

Spam
Photo of Sibylle Scholz
Team

I like your thinking, I am still worried if the farmers would like it, while you are already thinking ahead. I think marketing water melons is facilitated by the characteristics of the fruit itself. It is sturdy, and does not need to be refrigerated. It provides a healthy juicy snack that can be offered by street vendors. Or it could be sold overseas.

Spam
Photo of Mburu Njunge
Team

Sibylle Scholz I believe farmers will like it. It will definitely improve the harvesting quality which is previously based on maturity indices such as weight and this will definitely go a step further in assessing taste quality. This means that people who have not worked with watermelons before can practice watermelon farming and workers can be trained to use the same meaning that the farmer can have more time to focus on other activities. At what price do you plan to sell the gadget? I think your worry may be coming from there.

Spam
Photo of Sibylle Scholz
Team

the price is greatly dependent on the volume as you can imagine. the chip costs pennies in volume. the housing would also cost very little once a good mold is made. On the one hand, the gadget should be cheap, but also not so cheap that it becomes a throwaway tool and then litters the environment. Ideally, the tool could be sold back to a vendor if a farmer decides that growing water melons doesn't fit into their production scheme. this would lessen the throwaway problem and also encourage farmers to give it a try.

Spam
Photo of Mburu Njunge
Team

Sibylle Scholz Wow. That's really affordable.  I get you. Not too cheap so as to litter the environment. I'm guessing a dollar each would be a good price when you factor in logistic costs but then  again acquiring the volumes for this would be the challenge. How are you planning to get these volumes?

Spam
Photo of Mburu Njunge
Team

Sibylle Scholz check out Mootles 

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