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Fair brings Hami melons to Beijing

中国日报网 2013-08-30 10:13

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Beijing residents can expect to taste more fresh melons from the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

A weeklong trade fair opened on Wednesday, bringing more than 50 metric tons of Hami melons to the Wangfujing Street shopping district as well as about 100 of the capital's supermarkets.

It's the first time the Hami prefecture government has brought the melons to the capital in such large quantities as part of its branding strategy to promote the industry, said Wang Jianquan, deputy head of the Hami prefecture.

The trade fair in Beijing was also aimed at helping local melon farmers tide over market difficulties this year, Wang said.

The price of Hami melons has dropped slightly because of a larger crop this year and bad weather in China's southern area, which has hindered transportation of the melons.

About 10 supermarkets or companies in Beijing signed agreements with Hami to set up cooperation with local farmers, dealers and retailers of the melons.

Next week, buyers from an additional 13 Beijing supermarkets will fly to the prefecture to order more melons, according to Zhuang Yuping, a coordinator of the trade fair.

The Hami melon, a type of cantaloupe, with an off-white, yellow, pink or green rind, gets its name from Xinjiang's Hami prefecture, which was registered nationally as the birthplace of the fruit, according to Zhuang.

In other areas on the Chinese mainland, many melons have been sold under the brand of Hami melon, creating more competition for farmers in the prefecture, Wang said.

"The Hami melon is sweeter and crisper than other types of melons in China," he said.

Zhu Xinyuan, a spokesman for the prefecture, said the produce used for the trade fair is packaged and labeled to ensure authenticity.

Zhuang said it is hard to standardize agricultural products, but the Hami government has done a good job because each melon has the same price and packaging.

(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

 

About the broadcaster:

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.

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