Private companies are most active in disseminating improved techniques in producing high-value crops. And they could be considered responsible for the rapid adoption of new production techniques, practical farming and marketing ideas.
Many of them organize harvest festivals, field days, mini trade expos in farming communities, and the like. Just like the Watermelon Expo staged by East-West Seed earlier last May (2016) in Brgy. Lusod, Maddela in Quirino province.
The two-day expo was participated in by farmers who planted the improved crop varieties from the seed company. The event had interesting highlights that enhanced awareness of the attendees on the superior varieties of watermelons and other high-value crops, particularly vegetables.
The attendees were able to have a free taste of the different varieties of watermelons like Sugar Baby Max, Sugar Ball, Orange, Red Delight and Diosa. Among the highlights of the event were a watermelon eating contest and a power lifting contest where contestants lifted a watermelon fruit in each hand. There was also a field tour of nearby vegetable farms planted to the latest vegetable hybrids like pepper, tomato, ampalaya, okra, squash and other pinakbet veggies.
One important feature of the expo was the conduct of a seminar whereby the experts discussed the latest varieties, production techniques like plastic mulching, fertilization, irrigation, prevention and control of pests and diseases. The resource persons also emphasized the health benefits derived from eating watermelons.
The watermelon expo was also graced by the local government officials who appreciated the holding of the expo as an effective means of disseminating the latest techniques in high-value crops production.These included Vice Mayor Florante Ruiz, Municipal Agriculturist Jovencio Salvador, Brgy. Kagawad Marilou Juan, Lusod, Maddela.