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New technologies of Chinese strawberry industry showcased at festival

Last December 18-20, the 18th China Strawberry Culture Tourism Festival and the 1st Asian Strawberry Industry Symposium was held in Jinan, Shandong.

To showcase new technologies of Chinese strawberry industry, to promote the latest scientific and technological achievements, strengthen communication and industry, the 18th China Strawberry Culture Tourism Festival and the 1st Asian Strawberry Industry Symposium was held in Jinan, Shandong, last December 18-20, 2019.

This important event is organized every year in different Chinese Province with the aim to promote all over the country the development of Strawberry industry and consumer demand of high-quality strawberry fruit. This type of event organized every year for 18th consecutive editions has strongly contributed to the fast and huge development of strawberry industry now reaching the first position in the world with 170,000 Ha, as a response of the continuous increase of market demand. This trend will continue in the next years and the annual Festival is always aimed to bring new knowledge and promote development of new technologies for increasing productivity and quality in different cultivation areas.

The 2019 Festival was held in Jinan, the capital of Shandong, a very industrial Chinese Province with more of 100 million of habitants, now with about 30,000 Ha dedicated to strawberry cultivation. More than 1300 participants were registered to the Festival, including researchers from the all main Chinese Universities and Agriculture Academies, representatives of different companies involved and strawberry industry (nurseries and providers of equipment’s, materials and products), and many growers.

The Festival is including different events: a) an opening ceremony with different cultural events; b) a very large exposition of fruit samples from growers from different Provinces. All samples are assessed by a group of experts and awards are assigned to growers providing the best quality fruit; c) a visit to local growers, packaging and processing industry; d) scientific symposium including presentations from different Chinese research groups and international expert. This year, thanks to the participation of different experts from South Korea and Japan it was organized also the 1st Asian Strawberry Industry Symposium.

The main topics of the discussion were the following: a) new cultivars, Benihope and Sweet Charlie are the first 2 cultivars now cultivated, now followed by new cultivars from Chinese breeding programs (in particular JingZangXiang, NingYu and Snow White (white fruit), there is the interest to introduce and test other new cultivars; b) plant propagation, the is a great need to develop new propagation system able to sustain the huge demand of plants (mostly fresh – plug plants) with high sanitary quality; c) cultivation systems for continuous production in different climates, mostly soil-less; d) greenhouse facilities for whiter production, from the traditional solar greenhouse (see photo) to the new systems (see photo); e) new types of substrates from waste products.

As international contribution was also included the presentation of Prof. Bruno Mezzetti, from Marche Polytechnic University, Ancona-IT, with a presentation entitled: Current trends and challenges to strawberry production: breeding for resilience and nutritional quality. With this presentation were summarized the results of the EU – Horizon 2020 - GoodBerry project which also involves the research group of the Agricultural Academy of Beijing leaded by Prof. Yunthao Zhang. The research activities carried out from the project are having a high impact also different Chinese research and development programs.

Furthermore, a specific event was organized to present the 9th ISHS Strawberry Symposium – ISS2020 planned in Rimini – Italy next May 2020. The Chinese scientific community has been always strongly supporting the organization of this important event for the international strawberry community and relevant was the contribution given for the organization of the 7th ISHS Strawberry Symposium organized in Beijing in 2012.

For the forthcoming ISS2020 Strawberry Section of the Chinese Society for Horticultural Sciences will promote the larger participation of scientists, researchers, industries and growers to the different activities that will be organized for ISS2020.

For more information:
Bruno Mezzetti

Yuntao Zhang
Strawberry Association
Chinese Society for Horticultural Science

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