TONGA MAKING PLANS TO EXPORT WATERMELONS TO JAPAN

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NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga (May 21, 1999 – PACNEWS)---The government’s agricultural research station has begun experimental cultivation of new varieties of watermelons in an effort to expand fruit and vegetable exports to Japan.

The experimental plantings consist of eleven hybrid varieties from the Takii Seed Company in Japan.

A Ministry of Agriculture spokesperson said King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV wanted to explore development of new varieties of the fruit so that watermelons could be exported to Japanese markets during the winter season, to compliment squash pumpkins exported at other times of the year.

The spokesperson said experimental plantings of watermelon seeds began in early March.

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