Ripe watermelons in a plastic greenhouse in Haman wait for harvesting.

“Our annual income is over KRW 100 million.” 
This is not the salary of a bank manager or a corporate CEO. It's the story of a farm in Haman. 
Watermelons are the first thing that comes to mind for many people when they think of Haman. This is because Haman-gun County is the largest producer of watermelons nationwide. A total of 1,651 farms covering 1,700 hectares grow watermelons there, almost entirely in greenhouses. Watermelons harvested every December, in particular, enjoy great popularity in the winter, as they account for more than 80 percent of the entire yearly Korean watermelon market. Due to the temperature variance between day and night, watermelons produced in Haman are known for their sweetness and good quality flesh. These watermelons can be bought at large retailers across Korea and Japan, as the fruit is exported overseas. 


The extremely sweet watermelons of Haman can be enjoyed regardless of the season. In the winter, fruit harvested in December is so popular that it accounts for more than 80 percent of the yearly Korean watermelon market.


Yoo Su-Pil, head of the Horticulture and Herbal Crop Division in the Haman County government, explains the characteristics of watermelons produced from farms in Haman.

Yoo Su-Pil, head of the Horticulture and Herbal Crop Division in the Haman County government, said, “Since 2001, when a special division was made just for watermelons, the county has been developing watermelons with better characteristics and using advanced production techniques. We have been contributing to a rise in farming household incomes across Haman by developing a seedless watermelon, first commercialized in 2008, yellow honey watermelons, which have a yellow skin, and mango watermelons, which have yellow flesh, also known as 'super gold watermelons.'” 


Paprikas undergo a visual inspection after being harvested from farms in Haman County and run through an automatic sorting mechanism.


Waiting for shipment, paprikas show three beautiful hues, as if they are artificial replicas.

Produced from specialized farms, paprikas, also known as bell peppers, are another well-known crop that represents Haman County, alongside watermelons. Paprikas are cultivated in clean, glass greenhouses and have soft flesh and a sweet taste, with a large amount of vitamins A and C, potassium, iron and phosphorus. 

Approximately 2,500 tons of paprikas are harvested in Haman County every year. Once collected at the Haman Gaya branch of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (the NongHyup), the fruits are boxed up and shipped, after going through a detailed inspection process. Last year, paprika exports from Haman were worth more than USD 10 million. 

By Jeon Han, Yoon Sojung 
Photos: Jeon Han
Korea.net Staff Writer


Plastic greenhouses covering a watermelon field create a singular view in Haman County.


Watermelons are harvested and distributed to large retailers across the country. These watermelons are so sweet that sales are skyrocketing.


Paprikas grown inside an environment-friendly glass greenhouse wait for harvesting.


Paprikas grown in Haman County wait for export to Japan under the brand name 'Kopa.'