The strawberry harvest season in Sharkia Governorate, this year, is exceptional for the increase in the production of the area cultivated with strawberry fruit compared to previous years.
“I learned to grow it from father to grandfather.” This is how Islam Ahmed Fathi, a strawberry grower in Belbeis Center, narrated to “The Seventh Day” his love for growing the strawberry crop, which he has been cultivating alone for 10 years, preferring to grow it over any other vegetable crop because it is one of the profitable crops. Saying: I turned out to find my grandfather and my parents growing strawberries, and the villages of Al-Salam and Ghibah in the center of Belbeis, they have an old background in the cultivation of red gold, as we call it, noting that the smart farmer is the one who grows strawberries and must constantly educate himself to know the best methods for the cultivation process in order for the crop to give him a good productivity suitable for export Continuing, the harvesting process takes place at the beginning of November of each year after the completion of the process of coloring and ripening the fruit, and strawberries are collected every five days in the months of November, December and January, and every three days in the months of February and March, then every two days in April, May and June, meaning that The collection periods are getting closer as the air temperature rises, and the crop is packed in suitable containers of plastic or cardboard, which are boxes, and the crop is transported immediately after collection for marketing. There are also specifications for export, where the exported fruits are required to be intact, clean, and not removed from the fruit. A cup with a short neck, green, and free from damage and mold from symptoms of insect and fungal infection, with similar fruits in shape, appearance, and degree of maturity, and the fruits should be fully developed and not advanced in maturity, i.e. the coloration percentage of the fruit is not less than 25% and not more than 75%.
Engineer Qutub Abdel Samie, director of the Belbeis Agriculture Department, said: Strawberries are grown with locally produced seedlings under the supervision and approval of the Ministry of Agriculture of the recommended varieties, from which farmers’ needs are provided. Quantities of them are provided for export annually. Fresh strawberry seedlings are planted in September and October to produce the early crop for the purpose of export. It also provides opportunities for agricultural labor throughout the cultivation and harvest period. that take more than 6 months.
Follow-up: More than 500 acres of strawberry crops have been cultivated in the Belbeis center, with an increase from previous years, as it is an export crop, as it is a vegetable that is used fresh or processed as a product, and it is one of the crops that has a tangible place in export crops, noting that strawberries are grown in two ways, fresh and frego. And the fresh is harvested before the frego, because it does not need preparation like the frego, and is promoted through merchants for export, because Belbeis strawberries are known for their ripeness as well as being a remunerative crop, and the feddan covers its costs and the profit margin is profitable, and the farmer bears the strawberry crop as the garlic crop, because it is Useful for protecting the land, and a feddan gives a productivity of 7 to 10 tons.
While Eng. Ashraf Naseer, Director General of Agriculture at the Agricultural Directorate in Sharkia, referred to the specifications of the product intended for export, saying: There are specifications for export, where it is required for the exported fruits to be intact, clean, and not removed from the cup with a short, green neck, and to be free from damage and mold from the most severe insect infestation. Fungal, physiological, pesticide effects, mud and sand, in addition to being fresh, not soft and free of wounds, with similar fruits in shape, appearance and degree of maturity, and that the fruits are fully developed and not advanced in maturity, i.e. the coloration percentage of the fruit is not less than 25% and not more than 75% Whole green, whole white or dark red fruits are not allowed to be exported.
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