Small watermelons are big business for Beijing farmers

Watermelons have made Beijing farmer Li Wanbo 300,000 yuan (about 46,200 U.S. dollars) this summer alone, a huge leap from when he worked in the city proper with a monthly salary of 4,000 yuan.

"I grew up with watermelons," said the 29-year-old man from Panggezhuang, a township in southwestern Beijing famous for its sweet and crispy watermelons. "My father grew the flowering plant when I was a child, selling them near our home."

According to Li, new developments in technology have enabled increased melon yields, as well as more ways to sell them.

"We now sell the fruit online through live-streaming shows to consumers across the country and deliver them via convenient express networks," he said.

Panggezhuang is now home to 6,500 watermelon farmers like Li. Located on the alluvial plain of the Yongding River, the township boasts fertile soil with plenty of the trace elements required for growing watermelons, and has long enjoyed the reputation of China's "Land of Watermelons."


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