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AFCD to highlight varieties at Local Organic Watermelon Festival (with photos)

     The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) today (June 28) introduced three varieties of organic watermelons and two specialty crops that will be highlighted at the Local Organic Watermelon Festival.

     The three varieties of organic watermelon, namely Yellow Orchid, Diana and Super Sweet Black Angel 168, were introduced from Thailand, Taiwan and Australia respectively by the AFCD in recent years. Being able to adapt well to the local summer climate and promising good yields of quality fruit of suitable sizes for the modern small to medium-sized families in Hong Kong, these varieties have been well received by both farmers and consumers.

     Spherical in shape, Yellow Orchid has bright green striped skin and yellowish green flesh which is very crispy, juicy and sweet. Diana is oblong in shape, and the intense red flesh encased under its bright yellow striped skin is remarkably sweet. Super Sweet Black Angel 168 is spherical with green striped skin. Its bright crimson-coloured flesh is very juicy.

     The two specialty crops are the new locally bred "Broad Shoulder" bitter gourd and the traditional local variety of "Seven Star" hairy gourd.

     The "Broad Shoulder" bitter gourd was developed by a local seed company from a noted local species, "Chisel of Thunder God". While retaining the characteristic mild bitter taste of the original line, it has developed better stress-resistant abilities and enhanced yield. Its conical shape and broad upper end give it the name "Broad Shoulder".

     The "Seven Star" hairy gourd is a local variety with a long history. It is cylindrical in shape, with green spotted hairy skin and a fresh taste. Small in size, it has been nicknamed by farmers as "Seven Star", which means preterm baby in Chinese. Due to the fact that it is not a hybridised variety, local farmers have carried this hairy gourd for generations over 100 years by propagating the line themselves and established it as a truly local variety.

     The AFCD has been promoting local crop varieties and providing technical guidance to organic farmers on growing watermelon and other crops with a view to strengthening the sustainability of local agriculture. In order to help farmers expand their customer network and share their harvests with Hong Kong people, the AFCD and the Federation of Vegetable Marketing Co-operative Societies Ltd jointly organise the Local Organic Watermelon Festival on an annual basis.

     This year's two-day festival will be held at Tai Po Farmers' Market from 10am to 5pm on July 1 and 2. Admission is free. The 50 farmers participating in the festival will showcase watermelons as well as other local premium organic produce in season.

     For details of the Local Organic Watermelon Festival and arrangements under inclement weather conditions, please visit

Ends/Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:05


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