Participants of the 5th International Symposium on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits (ISTSF) went on a field trip to different places of interest on 20 June 2012, a day after the symposium.
In the morning, participants visited the banana plantations of the Zengcheng Xianghui Banana Farmers’ Cooperative. Established in 2009, the cooperative focuses from production to marketing of banana. It has planted more than 200 ha of banana plants, with an annual yield of more than 10,000 tons that sells for about 45,000,000 RMB. About 20 ha are dedicated solely for organic bananas. The cooperative plans to gradually convert the farm from conventional to organic banana production.
Institute of Fruit Tree Research (IFTR) Director Zhong Guangyan showed the banana plants intercropped with Chinese leeks. In their field studies, it has been observed that Chinese leeks can significantly reduce the incidence of Fusarium Wilt, a disease that threatens the banana industry worldwide. Studies are ongoing to re-affirm this observation. More details can be read here.
In the afternoon, participants were divided into two groups. One group visited the Jiangnan wholesale fruit market while the other went to the National Agricultural Science and Technology Park of Guangzhou and the South China Agricultural Research and Innovation Center.
The Jiangnan wholesale market in Guangzhou has grown into the largest in southern China since it was founded in 1994. It is about 400,000 sq. m, with 180,000 sq. m for trading fruits. It currently holds 80% of the fruit trade imports in China. The market provides price information of fruits and vegetables in their website www.jnmarket.net.
Located in the Baiyun District of Guangzhou, the National Agricultural Science and Technology Park is a multifunctional base for research, experiment, demonstration, extension, training, and tourism. It occupies 135 ha, including an aerospace breeding garden, a plant cloning center, an experimental area for soil-free cultivation, a bio-organic fertilizer production center and an exhibition hall. It functions as a demonstration site for the modern agriculture techniques and technology of the institutions in Guangdong.
Finally, the South China Agricultural Research and Innovation Center in Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences houses the following 8 research centers: Agricultural Biological Germplasm Gene Center, Crops Growth Regulation Research Center, Research Center for Quality Safety and Standard of Agricultural Product, Agricultural Resource and Environment Research Center, Animal Science Research Center, Veterinary Public Health Research Center, Farm Produce Processing Research Center, Agricultural Information, and Rural Economy Research Center. Laboratories are open for public viewing.