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Published in Scientific Papers. Series B, Horticulture, Vol. LXVI, Issue 1
Written by Ovidia Loredana AGAPIE, Costel VÎNĂTORU, Elena BARCANU, Bianca Elena TĂNASE, Ion GHERASE, Georgiana DOBRE

In the climate change scenario, growing adequate food is a major challenge for food security. To provide food to the population, introduction of new vegetable crops and extending newer assortments are important tasks of breeding programs. One of the recently acclimatized species in Romania by VRDS Buzau is Benincasa hispida, a multi-purpose and nutritious vegetable. In this study, a consumers preference survey was conducted to inform local smallholder farmers, traders and other stakeholders on opportunities for expanding production and commercialization of Benincasa hispida. Three genotypes of wax guard, G1, G2, G3 were taken into study. Data was collected from 57 participants aged between 16 and over 45 years from urban and rural areas. Results indicated that 43 participants were interested to eat the fruit due to its nutritional properties. Consumers are also interested in growing winter melon because this crop is easy to grow. Of the three genotypes tasted, G1 was preferred by participants, followed by G3 and G2. G1 variety was registered in the Official Catalogue of Romanian Crop Plants, under the name of Zefir.

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