A pair of Japanese melons, or what is sometimes known as “yellow watermelon,” sold for 120,000 yen (about $ 1114), a small portion of the 5 million yen ($ 46,000) that similar products made during last year’s auction, at a time The Covid-19 epidemic is severely hit.
The cantaloupe produced at Yubari on Hokkaido Island (northern Japan) was sold for 120,000 yen at the first auction of the season, 40 times less than the record set last year.
A wholesale market official blamed the Corona virus on preventing rich customers, who compete annually for the most expensive fruits, from coming and participating in the auction.
The winner of the auction wanted to show gratitude and support to local farmers, according to Kyodo.
The wholesale market has closed since April 20 as part of measures taken to stop the spread of the Corona virus, but a one-time auction has been held to mobilize support for local products.
Hokkaido, the main northern island in the country and a popular tourist destination, has recorded a large number of cases of Covid-19 disease, along with Tokyo, Osaka and other cities.