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Title: Watermelons in the Sand of Sahara: Cultivation and use of indigenous landraces in the Tombouctou Region of Mali 
Author: Jensen, Brita Dahl; Touré, Fatoumata Maïga; Ag Hamattal, Mohamed; Touré, Fatimata Aya; Nantoumé, Aminata Dolo
Date: 2011
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Citation: Jensen B D, Touré F M, Ag Hamattal M, Touré F A, Nantoumé A D. 2011. Watermelons in the sand of Sahara: cultivation and use of indigenous landraces in the Tombouctou region of Mali. Ethnobotany Res Appl 9:151-162.
Abstract: Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Matsum. & Nakai) is mainly cultivated worldwide for its dessert type, sweet, red flesh fruits. Other types with white flesh are cultivated for their seeds more locally in some parts of the world. The cultivation and use of these watermelons are less documented than the dessert type watermelons. This photo essay describes and documents watermelon production and processing of seeds of indigenous, white flesh watermelons in the Tombouctou region of Mali. The crop is grown in sandy soils in the desert, relying on a short period of rain for the seed to germinate. In 2008 the watermelons were cultivated on around 540 ha in the region. Three watermelon seed types were identified: Fombou, Kaneye, and Musa Musa. For many people the seeds from these types are an important food source. In addition, dessert types called Kankani were also cultivated. The men take care of the field work related to the watermelon production and the women in the households process seeds into various snacks, flour to make sauces, and oil for meal preparations. Many use most of the seeds in their own household, and only surplus seed is sold on the market. Women, often organized in groups, are also engaged in local sale of the seed derived products.
Description: research
ISSN: 1547-3465

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