Pilot initiative "Watermelon and his friends"


The theme of the initiative is relevant for the southern regions of our republic, because due to climate changes that have occurred in the last decade, the cultivation of this heat-loving and drought-resistant culture has become promising in this region. In addition, the chances of successful cultivation of watermelon in our country are increasing due to the emergence of its new productive varieties and modern methods of its cultivation, developed and tested by experts.

That is why the School Garden project team had the idea of a network experiment, “Water-melon Growth Testing,” which will be conducted under the supervision of the Institute of Vegetable Growing and the Institute of Plant Protection of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, as well as the Gomel Regional Ecological and Biological Center for Children and Youth. Rural schools and centers of additional education of the Gomel region will take part in it. The purpose of the experiment is to conduct a comparative study of three varieties of watermelon and to identify the most fruitful for the region.

Educational institutions, on the basis of which the experiment will be conducted, will become advisory and educational sites, where schoolchildren and the local population will get acquainted with new types and varieties of crops, develop effective and safe agricultural technologies. In addition, cultivating tasty and healthy agricultural products in their experimental plots, the schoolchildren will acquire labor and entrepreneurial skills. All this in the future will help improve the economic situation in rural areas and expand employment opportunities for young people.

Throughout the entire period of the experiment, its participants will be able to receive advice from agricultural specialists. All teams will record the results of the experience in their diaries in accordance with the developed methodological scheme. In addition, a special Internet platform will be created on which its participants will record their successes, enter data into methodological tables, share photos and ask questions to consultants.

During the initiative, those who want to try their hand at contests of articles, photo and video reports on the “watermelon” theme will be able to join it.

On March 14, 2019, on the basis of the Gomel Regional Ecological and Biological Center for Children and Youth, the first experimental setup workshop will be held with the participation of team representatives. During the seminar, project expert and scientific leader of the experiment, Doctor of Agricultural Sciences, Associate Professor at the Institute of Vegetable Growing, Mecheslav Frantsevich Stepuro, will tell about the regulations on agrotechnology for watermelon growing in the south of Belarus, and Lyubov Gorovtsova, a specialist from the Gomel Ecological and Biological Center, will present the methodology of the experiment. The meeting participants will learn about the prospects for watermelon cultivation in the south of Belarus, the invited experts will talk about climate change, soil composition in the region and humic fertilizers that we started to produce in our country. A project distance learning specialist will talk about the e-journal of the experiment. In addition, representatives of the participating teams from six districts of the Gomel region will receive everything they need to run a “watermelon” experiment - teaching materials, seeds, fertilizers, cassettes and soil for seedlings.

The second meeting of the participants will be held later, before the watermelon seedlings are planted in the ground (in late April - early May).

The initiative will last for six months and will end with the holiday "Day of the watermelon and his friends", which will take place on August 24-25 in Loyev. During the celebration, the best melon growers-experimenters and winners of the competitions will receive their awards, and all guests will be able to taste and purchase grown watermelons.

We will notify the participants about the place and time of the events by e-mail, as well as inform on our website and on our pages on social networks.

 The initiative is carried out in the framework of the EU4Youth project: «School Garden» for the Development of Agricultural Entrepreneurship», funded by the European Union and implemented by the public organization Green Cross Belarus. In addition, several enterprises act as sponsors. Among them are the Dutch company "Beio", which provides watermelon seeds and advice on the agrotechnology of their cultivation in the south of the Gomel region, LLC "AgroBio" - an enterprise that produces biohumus and humic preparation based on  "Gumirost", SvetlogorskKhimvolokno OJSC, which allocates for the experiment non-woven covering material "SpanBel", as well as JSC "Belvtorpolimer", which provides participants of the experience with cassettes for seedlings.

Additional information:

The experiment coordinator: Sviatkina Natallia

tel. +375-29-667-57-80, sviatkina@greencross.by


This publication has been produced with the support of the European Union and the Green Cross International. Responsibility for the content of this publication lies with the public organization “Green Cross Belarus”, and it can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union and  Green Cross International.