China Focus


China has the range of climates and soils favorable for the production of a diversity of high quality tropical, subtropical and temperate fruit, vegetables, and flowers suitable for domestic consumption and export. Although China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of horticultural products, the present Chinese horticultural industry is relatively backward and is grossly inadequate to properly support neither inter-province trade nor export, particularly for perishable products.



  The Chinese horticultural system lacks a critical mass in administrative, marketing, transportation and distribution infrastructures. Also lacking are advanced production, postharvest and processing technologies, and equipment, marketing skills and export development expertise.

Growth areas for business and employment

  • Import and export of horticultural products

  • Introduction and commercialization of new fruit, vegetable and ornamental flower and plant varieties

  • Modern horticultural farming technology and equipment

  • Advanced horticultural postharvest technology and equipment

  • Modern horticultural product processing technology and equipment

  • Import of agrochemicals for horticultural production

  • Organic farming technology

  • Intermediate and small scale beverage processing systems

  • Dried fruit production systems

  • Irrigation technology and equipment

  • Automated and computerized weather and soil data collection and analytical equipment and software, and chemical residue rapid testing equipment

  • Training

Like other agriculture sectors, the horticultural industry in China is extraordinarily perplexing, characterized by a lack of proper linkage from production to consumption, and frequent government intervention in the composition of production, pricing and the marketing of its commodities. 

Many horticultural products such as fruits and export vegetables are high value and as a result, many Chinese farmers are diversifying from the production of traditional crops such as staple grains (e.g. rice, wheat and corn) to horticultural products.

Major fruits produced in China are apple, citrus, pear, melon, grape, banana, pineapple, lychee and longan, while the main vegetables produced are Chinese and European cabbages, tomato, Chinese radish, bean, capsicum, mushroom, asparagus, potato and onion.  China also has a diversity of unique flowers and plants suitable as cut flower, pot plant and other ornamental, landscaping and environmental protection purposes.

Due to the lack of equipment and advanced production, postharvest and processing technologies, post production losses of horticultural products in China is very high.  There are few reliable statistics on post production losses of horticultural produce in China.  A conservative estimate based on scant data available to the Chinese Ministries of Agriculture and Commerce and FAO, suggests that up to 1/3 of all horticultural commodities produced annually is lost before consumption.

Compared to developed countries such as Australia and US, China processes only a small proportion of its annual horticultural production and there is significant scope to expand the processing and marketing of high quality Chinese horticultural products for the domestic and export markets.





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