Ripe for picking: cute name sought for Japan’s new strawberry variety

“Shiga SB No. 2”, a new variety of strawberry cultivated by the Shiga prefectural government, is seen at the prefectural government office in Otsu, Shiga prefecture, November 2, 2021. (Mainichi / Misaki Morokuma)

OTSU – A prefectural government in western Japan is looking for suggestions for a nice name for a new strawberry variety, “Shiga SB No. 2”, offered by the prefecture’s agricultural technology promotion center.

This is the first time that Shiga Prefecture has grown a new variety of strawberries. It’s said to be big and bright red, with a refreshing floral aroma and a good balance of sweetness and sourness. Shiga Governor Taizo Mikazuki calls on people to think of cute names and submit them to the contest.

In recent years, when prefectural governments registered their selected varieties with the national government, there was a tendency to prevent other municipalities from cultivating them. So, in 2016, the government of Shiga Prefecture started to develop its own strawberry.

One variety was selected from about 1600 samples produced by crossing “Akihime”. which is widely cultivated in the prefecture, and “Kaorino”, which has a tough skin. It is said to have moderate acidity and increased sweetness.

The name is expected to be announced around March 2022. The person whose suggested name is chosen will receive a commemorative gift and 1 kilogram of the new variety of strawberries as an additional prize. The new strawberry is expected to be available in stores in 2023.

Suggestions will be accepted until December 26 via the application form on the website of the prefectural government or by mail. For more details and inquiries, please visit the prefecture webpage at https://www.pref.shiga.lg.jp/ippan/shigotosangyou/nougyou/ryutsuu/321312.html (in Japanese ).

(Japanese original by Misaki Morokuma, Otsu Bureau)

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