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High-tech code behind sweet and fresh watermelons

Xinhua,May 09, 2019 Adjust font size:

A special kind of watermelon, despite its high price, is being harvested and sent to customers who cannot wait to have a taste of summer.

"This is the first batch of watermelons we have harvested this year, and we have always had a high demand although the price might be dozens of times the normal price," said You Shouchang, general manager of Guo's watermelon company in the city of Weifang in east China's Shandong Province.

Aimed at the high-end market, the watermelon tastes good, with a sugar content scaled at 14, while normally the sugar content of watermelons reaches as high as 10.

"Not only can you find sweetness inside the watermelon, but also science and technology," You said.

In the company's greenhouses, every fruit is numbered so that its whole growth process can be traced. The amount of light, water, flow of air and fertilizers are also strict under control.

Unlike the traditional way that watermelons grow on land, all the fruits in the company's greenhouses are suspended in the air so that they can get 360 degrees of light.

"This method helps us increase both the quality and quantity of our watermelons," said Yang Meng, who is in charge of watermelon production at the company.

Guo's watermelon company was established in the 1980s, when Guo Hongze, You's father-in-law, started to grow watermelons in greenhouses. Since then, the company's products have always had a touch of high-tech.

With people in China attaching more importance to the quality of agricultural products in recent years, Guo's watermelons have won consumer hearts with its good quality and taste.

"The practice these years has proved that people are willing to buy our watermelons although the price is higher. They pay more attention to the quality," You said.

As the son-in-law of Guo Hongze, You Shouchang has inherited the company's tradition of applying technology in farming. In 2018, he built a new base for developing watermelons that better suit the consumer demand, with an investment of 114 million yuan (about 16.84 million U.S. dollars).

"Our country encourages high-quality growth, and using high-tech to develop the quality of products when it comes to agriculture," You said. "We are glad to do our part."