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Taste of summer: Watermelon festival opens in Liangshan

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: June 20, 2022
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Officials introduce the watermelon industry in Liangshan county at the opening ceremony for the Huanghetan Watermelon Festival on June 17. [Photo/sdchina.com]

The Huanghetan Watermelon Festival kicked off in Jining's Liangshan county on June 17.

The watermelon got its name of Huanghetan, which means "beach along the Yellow River", for having been planted on the river banks since the 1960s.

Huanghetan watermelons are juicy and sweet, and have mushy pulp, thin peels, few seeds, and plenty of nutrients such as vitamin C, malic acid, amino acids, and lycopene, thanks to the fertile sandy soil along the river banks and natural irrigation provided by Yellow River water.

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A farmer weighs her watermelon at the watermelon festival's opening ceremony on June 17. [Photo/sdchina.com]

The "Huanghetan Watermelon" is a National Geographic Indication trademark and Liangshan county has strengthened policy support and beefed up promotional efforts to enhance the fruit's fame, said Shen Zhengguo, director of the county's agriculture and rural affairs bureau.

According to Shen, the planting area for Huanghetan watermelons has been expanding over the years. The current plantations span more than 333 hectares with a total annual output of 18,000 metric tons.

Zhaogudui town is the major producer of the Huanghetan watermelons with a total planting area of more than 200 hectares. Watermelon growing has become a pillar industry in the town, which increases the town's standard of living.

"I earn about 40,000 yuan ($5,984) growing watermelons annually and live a moderately good life," said Jiang Shouchen, a 58-year-old farmer living in Zhaogudui town.

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Farmers showcase their best watermelons at the opening ceremony of the watermelon festival on June 17. [Photo/sdchina.com]