By Dong Na
Recently, at Lvxin Farm in Zhenhai District, countless red cherry tomatoes are dangling from their vines. Farm workers are busily collecting the harvest.
The seedlings were planted in late August. Now, three months later, the first batch has ripened. Each day, the workers harvest around 100 kg.
Cherry tomatoes are not tolerant of high temperatures. Sprouts cannot grow roots well over Ningbo's hot summers. The plants are also prone to disease. To overcome these difficulties, Lvxin Farm uses soilless cultivation to facilitate root growth. Physical barriers and biological agents are deployed to prevent the spread of diseases. Air conditioning and water sprinkling systems help the cherry tomatoes survive summer.
Zhenhai's farms have mastered the techniques of cultivating premium cherry tomatoes. The techniques will be rolled out across more farms to benefit more growers.
Premium cherry tomatoes are sold in gift boxes of 2kg, priced at approximately ?100. Although the planting costs are higher, the farm can operate continuously for many years. Moreover, cherry tomatoes ripen earlier in the year than regular tomatoes and can generate higher returns for the farmers.
In the Nanlanwan modern agricultural demonstration park of Xiepu Town, Zhenhai, an advanced cherry tomato farm is under construction.
The farm will have greenhouses and facilities for product exhibition, R&D, marketing, and training.
Currently, the first phase of the farm is being built, consisting of greenhouses, utilities, and supporting infrastructure. The greenhouses will be leased to large growers after completion.
The second phase will consist of cutting-edge "smart greenhouses", 20,000 m^2 of buildings, and other ancillary facilities.
Chief Adviser: Zhao Qingchuan
Proofreader: Gou Wen