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How can China provide its people with vegetables all year round?

Over the past decade, China's vegetable production has increased and has always been the world's largest. Thanks to the six large key vegetable production areas and technologies such as greenhouse and vegetable breeding, China now can provide its 1.4 billion people with fresh vegetables all year round, despite the country's diverse land and weather conditions.

In Mohe, China's northernmost city winter temperatures can reach below minus 40 degrees Celsius. In western China's Tuokexun, there are only nine days of rainfall on average each year. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in southwest China has an average elevation of more than 4,000 meters.

Despite its diverse land conditions, 1.4 billion Chinese people are still able to eat vegetables all year round. So how does China provide vegetables to its population all year round?

In northern China, temperatures drop rapidly in autumn and soil gradually freezes in winter and outdoor plants cannot be grown for five to six months. But science and technology has solved this problem.

Apart from bringing more and better vegetables to its own people, China is also supplying more and more vegetables to the world.

From 2006 to 2016, the planting area of China's greenhouse vegetables has grown by an average of about 1.6 million mu (107,000 hectares) a year, nearly the size of Los Angeles. The planting environment in greenhouse has also been improved by science and technology, such as automatic irrigation and ventilation which are made possible through intelligent systems monitoring light, heat, pests and so on.

The total annual output of greenhouse vegetables is almost 300 million tons, worth more than 100 billion U.S. dollars.

By improving vegetable breeding, China's vegetables are higher quality more disease-resistant and have higher yields.

In saline and alkaline land, the improved water bamboo can produce 2000 kg per mu annually. In the meantime, farmers across China are now reducing the use of pesticides and fertilizers.

Pesticide use in China has been declining over the years and the use of fertilizer remains zero-growth.

Besides, the government guarantees land area for agricultural production through legislation and other means. It resolutely prohibits the construction of houses on such land or other uses.

While maintaining its champion position in quantity, China also wants to be the champion of vegetable quality. Vegetable production is also becoming more automated and more accurate.

In China, this change in production and economic model is called supply-side structural reform. Adjusting production sources has provided consumers with better quality vegetables. Such reform will bring more and better vegetables to China and the world.


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