Festivities in Turkmenistan to mark Turkmen Melon Day

A conference hall of the Turkmen Agricultural University has hosted a research and practice conference devoted to the national holiday � Turkmen Melon Day. This year, the holiday is timed to coincide with the celebrations marking 30 days to go until the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

Among those attending the conference were leading melon growers, agriculturists, breeders, specialists of the agroindustrial sector, staff members of research institutes of the Academy of Sciences and the Turkmen Agricultural University.

During a plenary session, speakers have highlighted that Turkmenistan's socio-oriented economic policy attaches overriding importance to the agricultural sector's development. The provision of the rich abundance of food with an increase in production of agricultural and food products in the country is one of the priority objectives in the sector.

The Turkmen people's fine well-established farming traditions have taken on a new meaning. Together with the latest advances in the sector and innovative technologies, they are a part of the agricultural development programs.

The state provides everything necessary for farmers' fruitful work, regularly purchasing modern agri-machinery, taking measures to modernize the sector's infrastructure, and granting significant concessions to daikhans. Special efforts are being made in the country to ensure prompt payments to producers for their products, and to improve the rural population's living conditions.

After the plenary meeting, an award ceremony was held to honor the winners in the following nominations: Golden melon, The biggest watermelon, The biggest pumpkin, Marvelous cucurbitaceous products, and Master breeder. They were presented with valuable gifts on behalf of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov as well as diplomas and certificates from organizers of the competition.

Topical meetings of the conference focused on the issues concerning the melon-growing sector's development, employment of novel farming methods and outcomes of research activities in seed production and breeding, introduction of advanced technologies in the industrial processing of agricultural crops, as well as on the age-old fame of Turkmen melons. Scientists discussed the task of developing varieties of melons, enhancing their taste, building up their resistance to pests and diseases, improving transportation services and storage conditions.

As part of the research conference, an exhibition of various agricultural products was arranged. A display of art works and a showcase of national arts and crafts added charm to the exhibition.

The conference participants also attended a thematic exhibition organized in the Olympic Complex. Display stands showcased achievements in the agricultural and processing industries of Turkmenistan. The exhibition highly featured locally-produced meat and dairy, confectionery, fruit and vegetable products. Stands with national Turkmen delights made from the pulpy flesh of melons and watermelons, such as syok, toshap, ijan, and gavun kak were a big draw.

Thousands of well-known varieties of melons are grown in our country with new varieties developed through selective breeding and cross breeding. The diversity is preserved and increased by each generation of melon growers, who continue the old-age traditions of selective breeding and apply modern science-based methods. Our ancestors created unique fast-growing melon varieties which ripen in 40-45 days such as kyrgunluk, garypgaldyran, zamca,cal-mesek; sugary sweet mid-ripening varieties � waharman, ak-hytay, gAlk torly; late-ripening varieties (with maturity days: 120 to 130 days) � garrygyz, gyzylhum, garaganat, sarygas, and sarypAlwhe.

As part of the celebrations, festive meetings, ceremonies to honor melon growers, contests, concerts, sporting competitions, art exhibitions (in museums) were organized in the regions and etraps.

Source: Turkmenistan: the Golden Age Online Newspaper