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Technical mission introduces Taiwan watermelons to Middle East desert

A Taiwanese technical mission has successfully grown three varieties of Taiwanese watermelons in Bahrain, introducing "Taiwanese pride" to the desert. About 92 percent of Bahrain's land is desert. Due to water constraints and lack of arable land, the kingdom relies heavily on imports to meet local food demand, including fruit and vegetables.

In January 2020, Taiwan's International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) launched a horticultural crop development project with the Bahrain government to help the Middle East country grow its own crops in a testing environment.

Watermelon, a fruit that Taiwan takes pride in, was one of the crops the Taiwan Technical Mission in Bahrain selected as suitable for cultivation. Taiwan has the technology to produce a vast variety of watermelons, including yellow-fleshed ones, seedless ones and even heart-shaped ones, after the Taiwan Agriculture Research Institute began to study the fruit in the 1950s.

Today, Taiwan exports watermelon seeds to more than 50 countries around the world.

"The three selected varieties of Taiwanese watermelon are cultivated in greenhouses, using a vertical cultivation system and drip irrigation with nutrient solution at a farm in Budaiya," the TaiwanICDF said recently. 

Read the complete article at www.taiwannews.com.


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