Honduras starts melon season two months late due to rains
After a two-month delay caused by heavy rains, the Honduran melon industry began preparing for the 2010-11 season, newspaper website El Heraldo reported.
Preparations for melons are taking place at the same time as those for apples that are harvested in Choluteca y Valle, in the southern part of the country. The main varieties this season will be cantaloupe, honeydew and galia.
Constant rain that has slammed the country since May delayed the start of the first cycle of the melon season, the website said.
In the last 10 days, the heavy rain has stopped, which has allowed preparations to begin, José Cálix, chief executive of Grupo Agrolíbano, the biggest producer in the country, said, according to the website.
He added that the harvest will begin in late December, and the majority will go to the export market, while a small quantity will remain for local consumers, the website said.
Right now, growers will try to take advantage of the export windows in traditional markets. Countries in the European Union and the United States are the main destinations for Honduran melons. Central American countries are the third most important niche for the fruit.
Forecasts from Honduras’s Agriculture Department indicate that the value of exports will surpass US 40 million, a figure similar to last season, which closed with $41.8 million. The export volume for 2009-10 was 232,058 kilograms.
Photo: El Heraldo.hn