Nitesh Borkar from Goa has been growing yellow watermelons for the past six years.

This year, the 32-year-old yielded 8 tons of yellow watermelons from a 2-acre land, which he claims is grown organically.

After completing a diploma in automobile engineering and working in the insurance industry, he quit his job in 2017 to follow his father’s footsteps and became a full-time farmer.

He grew up working in the fields in his family’s farmlands, where his grandfather cultivated traditional paddy and cashew for over five decades.

Due to seawater intrusion, the paddy cultivation had stopped. Nitesh and his father then helped to revive it.

After his foray into full-time farming, he continued cultivating rice, and started growing seasonal and exotic vegetables like zucchini, lettuce, and broccoli.

The idea of growing yellow watermelons came to the Goan in 2017, when his friend gave him some seeds.

From the outside, yellow watermelons do not look any different from the red variety. The yellow flesh of the fruit is a natural mutation. The fruit has a sweeter, honey-like flavour as compared to the red-fleshed melon.

However, his first few attempts weren’t successful. Rains, distance and financial difficulties, led to a loss of Rs 40,000.

Not one to give up, he decided to try a demonstration project on a small patch of land where they used to grow cashews.

“Most people thought the land was rocky and unsuitable for growing watermelons. But I knew that the surrounding area mimicked forest land. So if I tried hard enough, it would work,” he shares.

Nitesh began by demarcating a 4×4 sqm plot in December 2019, where he cultivated over 250 yellow watermelons in 70 days.

Investing Rs 4,000, he earned over Rs 30,000 that year. He slowly expanded the land under cultivation.

Today, he grows the watermelon on 2 acres of his friend’s land at a farm called Clotilde.

He planted the seeds in January 2024, receiving a bumper harvest of 8 tonnes (8,000 kg) in March, which, he says, was sold out within a month! He is now growing orange watermelons.