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Seongsan Melons Have Rich Sweet Taste

Melons Also Fresh and Good Colored

DongKoRyeong Nonghyup

Sandy soil, temperate weather, and many sunny days: these natural conditions are necessary for the growing of melons. Seongsan (in Goryeong, Gyeongbuk-do Province), which lies between Gaya mountain and the Nakdong River, has all these conditions and produces very good quality melons. The melons have a rich sweet taste, a good color, and maintain their freshness for a long time. Before being forwarded, they undergo strict quality controls, ensuring that only melons with 17brix saccharinity or higher are passed. 
Seongsan melons are of 3 different varieties: ‘papaya melons’, ‘homerun star’, and ‘number one’. They are all marketed under the general brand name ‘Seongsan Riverside Melons’, in Korea and Japan. And, following buyers’ requirements, some batches have a more crunchy texture, and some a sweeter taste, or a subtler scent.      
Seongsan Melons Harvested from March to June.

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Enthusiastic Marketing

In general melons taste better when they have matured to the point where their skin has become a little soft. Bearing this in mind, Seongsan melons are kept at a warm temperature for 2 days and at a cold temperature for another 2 days, before being supplied to the market. This extra stage in the process enables the melons to fetch 30% higher prices.
Mr. Lee Kyung-hwan, the chief of the Production and Marketing Department of the organization, is very confident of the quality of their melons. As the reasons for the good quality he mentions the constant development of superior melon varieties, an advanced cultivation method, and strict quality controls.    
Mr. Lee Gyu-su, the sorting-team leader of the cultivators group, mentions other aspects which are merits in marketing their melons: the early harvesting and their ability to vary the characteristics of their melons. With this they can export their products when many countries cannot cultivate melons. For instance, while Japan does not have any local output of the fruit in March, the Korean cultivators start to harvest them at that time. Also the different characteristics of the melons can suit the various tastes of consumers in different countries.
From their experience of exporting melons to Japan the melon cultivators have accumulated know-how and developed confidence in their exports. They have never failed to satisfy buyers with regard to the quality of the goods, quarantine issues, and delivery. At present 150 farming households in Seongsan are engaged in cultivation of the melons on a total area of 70ha. And the annual output is 1.8 kilotons.

Park Sung Eun  parkse@agrinet.co.kr

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