Introduction of Chinese Banana Industry
- Description: Banana is one of the major fruits in China. In 2004, the total planted area for banana was 244 793. Some commercial plantations obtain 60 t/ha-1 yr-1.
Banana is one of the major fruits in China. In 2004, the total planted area for banana was 244 793. Some commercial plantations obtain 60 t/ha-1 yr-1. However, due to typhoon and chilling, the average yield is only at 22.7 t/ha (Table 1). The main consumption market is located in north China, amounting to 6 t/yr. Effective 18 June 2003, China is in Free Trade Area Agreement with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). This opened up more opportunities for the country’s thriving banana export industry.
A project for the promotion of the banana industry was carried out by the China Agriculture Ministry, South Sub-tropical Crop Development Center (CAM-SSCDC) in 2002. In 2003, A demonstration meeting was held in Hot Farm, Nanning, Guangxi. Hot Farm is one of the biggest banana plantations in China. It started with a plantation area of 67 ha in 1997 and later expanded to 1000 ha in 2004. To improve the productivity of Hot Farm, irrigation system, mechanization, cable way transport system and a packing house were set up. These all contributed to better price and quality of bananas. Hot Farm is now becoming a famous brand in China.
In order to extend the new technology to all banana plantations, CAM- SSCDC will launch a China Banana Network in Xuwen County,Guangdong on 20 December 2004. There is a bumper harvest this year, with some farms having more than $20 000/ha average income. A China Fruit Marketing Association Banana Branch in Haikou, Hainan province was set up in June 2004 (Xu Linbing 2004a). This will improve the banana marketing system, build up the banana selling network, help the farmers sell bananas easier and earn more profit. Hot Farm, Jianfeng, Datang, Tianbao, Tongtian, Baiguo, Shanding, Fu Min, etc. are some of the most recognized brands (Yang Peisheng 2003).
Hainan Banana Association (HBA) was founded in April 2002. During the last 2 years, HBA helps the government develop the local banana industry. The first magazine in China, BANANA, is edited for extending new technology and information. HBA also put up a joint export base covering 2000 ha in cooperation with Fresh System Company, the biggest banana dealer in Japan. HBA has helped Lingao farmers to join a Banana Community (BC). The BC can obtain a loan from the bank to avail of the technology and marketing directed by HBA. For the first year, BC has covered 100 ha, and earned a $900 000 interest. It is estimated that the earnings of BC would double this year. HBA has also assisted the farmers to avail of insurance for the plantation in case of calamities like typhoons. Guangdong Horticulture Academy Banana Science and Technology branch is another active group founded in 2001, which works on the banana industry.
Market price analysis
Good market price is a good motivating factor for the farmers to plant bananas. Data on this was collected from www.pyagri.gov.cn.
It can be seen from Figure 1 that in some months, the highest price appears to be twice more than the average price. Too many fruits competing with banana during summer lowers the banana rice. On the other hand, during winter, most of the plants die of chilling. The price gets higher than $0.5/kg following the next spring, of which the farmer can earn $20 000/ha profit in Hainan. Although there has been a recorded increase in production (Table 1), Figure 1 shows that the price did not change so much in the last 4 years.
Economic development increased the market demand for bananas. Postharvest technology made the shelf life of banana longer. The marketing network of banana is also extended to small towns. Overall, more people eat banana than before, with the consumption volume becoming bigger. It is estimated that the production will reach 7M t in the next 3 years.