Stabilized production expected for Yubari melons as foreign farm trainees enter Japan starting in April

Entrance into Japan was prospectively cleared for some Chinese trainees, and a melon famer happily awaits their arrival, "The situation should be a lot better than last year."

Following the easing of COVID-19 border control measures, 12 Chinese trainees for Yubari melon growing are expected to enter Japan in April. Their presence is expected to contribute to stabilizing melon production.

Because entrance into Japan of approximately 60 trainees for Yubari City melon farming was assumed to be impossible, the initial crop forecast of 606,000 melon plants was reduced by 10,000. However, entrance into Japan has been prospectively cleared for some of the trainees now, and Yubari Agricultural Cooperative expects, “a recovery of almost up to 600,000 melon plants.”

Yubari melon cultivation is currently in the stage of transplanting seedlings inside greenhouses. At farms aiming to start shipping melons on May 25, flowers are expected to begin blooming in early April so honeybees can start pollinizing. What concerns farmers the most is the direction the weather will take. Looking back on the unseasonal weather of March, a production farmer expressed anticipation towards warmer weather. “To maintain the proper temperature inside greenhouses, we are using boiler heating. Kerosene prices are rising, and the increased kerosene fees are painful. I want the weather to quickly warm up enough to let us rely on sunlight only instead.”

Location

Yubari City

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