The Fourth Watermelon Festival (China, Yangbei) and the Expo to promote watermelon industry development, was held in Yangbei Town of Suqian City on May 11, 2013. JAAS Vice President Yu Wengui and Director Yang Xingping of the Institute of Vegetable Crops were invited to the opening ceremony, which was also attended by the government officials of Suqian City, including Deputy Director Yin Zhegang of Sucheng District.
The Yangbei watermelons become known to more households thanks to the successful holdings of previous three watermelon festivals. With the modes of “government guidance and policy incline”, “invite the experienced farmers to train the others” and “build a specialty brand Yangbei for watermelons”, the watermelon industry has become a represent of modern agriculture development in Sucheng District. It is considered as a legend that the “small” watermelons create a “large” industrial development and enrich the farmers.
The Yangbei farmers are now in urgent need for key technologies and technical extensions with the increased level of large-scale development, industrialization and agriculture modernization. To meet their needs, JAAS Vice President Yu Wengui and Deputy Director Yin Zhegang of Sucheng District signed the Cooperation Agreement on Construction of Sucheng Melons Industrial Park. Vice President Yu suggested that the extension staff in Sucheng District should make full use of JAAS new cultivars and technologies in consideration of local ecological environment, increase the enthusiasm among the farmers, and develop high efficiency agriculture.
During the opening ceremony, the directors presented awards to Best Ten Melon Farmers and Model Farmers in Getting Rich”. After the ceremony, JAAS delegation visited the watermelon testing fields in Yangbei and in Sucheng Melons Industrial Park and examined the growth conditions of the watermelons and muskmelons.