Seed purpose watermelon - an underutilized potential oilseed crop for livelihood security in Indian arid zone
In arid regions of India the productivity of rainfed crops is low and uncertain due to erratic distribution of rainfall. Mixed/intercropping has been in practice to minimize the risk of crop failure and sustaining household requirements. Watermelon is being cultivated as mixed crop during kharif with pearlmillet and or clusterbean under rainfed conditions mainly because of its nutritious seeds having considerable oil content. The vegetable oil demand is increasing day by day and India's domestic supply is dependent on rapeseed, mustard, groundnut and soybean. Seed purpose watermelon genotypes have the potential to yield 700-800 kg seed yield ha-1 with 30-40% oil content and could provide a better alternative as well as livelihood supportive role under rainfed conditions of the Indian arid zone. Watermelon seed price ranges from Rs. 6000-8000 per quintal in local markets thus supporting the livelihoods of desert dwellers in a big way. Therefore, it could be used for commercial exploitation of oil for domestic consumption as well as industrial applications.
Mahla, H.R., Rathore, S.S., Venkatesan, K. and Mathur, B.K. (2019). Seed purpose watermelon - an underutilized potential oilseed crop for livelihood security in Indian arid zone. Acta Hortic. 1241, 7-14
seed purpose watermelon, oil content, livelihood security, arid zone