The avocado is often praised as a "super food" and a growing number of consumers in countries across the globe are showing an interest while market demand grows stronger every year.
However, Chinese avocado farmers have struggled with the plantation of avocados on an industrial scale because there are problems with avocado seedlings and plantation technology that limit the development of this industry. Almost all the avocados sold in China are imported from overseas production areas.
One of the leading avocado brands in China, called Mr. Avocado, has invested in the Yunnan Avocado Agricultural Development Co., Ltd. (hereafter 'Yunnan Avocado') to make sure that Chinese consumers can enjoy domestic avocados. The company successfully grew the first "Hass" avocados in Yunnan this year. That is a major achievement for the Chinese avocado industry.
Ms. Duan Xian, assistant director of Yunnan Avocado, recently talked about the experimental plantation of Hass avocados in Yunnan.
Yunnan Avocado experimented successfully with imported avocado seedlings
"We experimented for two-and-a-half years with imported avocado seedlings and we managed to combine 30 years of American expertise with a thorough knowledge of local conditions in Yunnan. We developed a modern procedure that covers all aspects from the cultivation of seedlings and the design of the plantation to the construction of facilities and the management of nutrients. This blueprint is suitable for large-scale avocado plantation and offers excellent guidance for plantation management practices," explained Ms. Duan.
"The first requirement for successful avocado production is high-quality seedlings. We obtained genuine Hass seedlings through one of the leading companies in global avocado trade, Mission Produce. And we applied for permission from customs through regular channels. In this way, we guaranteed the quality and authenticity of our imported avocado seedlings."
Yunnan Avocado used an automated irrigation system from Israel in their experimental avocado plantation
"Our next step was to develop an experimental plantation in Yunnan. The process took two-and-a-half years before the plantation began to produce avocados. We did not have to wait the usual 4-5 years. We constructed our avocado seedling nursery in 2018 and immediately began using it. We currently have around 300 thousand avocado seedlings. The first seedlings are already being grafted to the root stock in our plantation," said Ms. Duan.
Left: Inside the specialized greenhouse for seedling cultivation at Yunnan Avocado
Right: The small weather station at Yunnan Avocado provides real-time weather surveillance data
"Modern, innovative, and suitable post-harvest technology is a must for the post-harvest management of fruits like avocados, because they retain a lot of heat from the plantation. Furthermore, Mr. Avocado has an up-to-date distribution center in Shanghai where the avocados are stored and treated with ripening stimulants to guarantee that they are ready-to-eat when sold. While the overall sales of green fruits declined in 2019, the sales volume of ready-to-eat Mr. Avocado avocados increased by 65%."
Fully automated ripening chambers at Mr. Avocado in Shanghai
"Yunnan Avocado takes care of research and development when it comes to avocado plantation, while Mr. Avocado handles processing, storage, ripening, distribution, and sales. The two companies work closely together to create a localized, integrated Chinese avocado supply chain. The successful production of Hass avocados in Yunnan is the first step towards domestic production of avocados on an industrial scale. Chinese consumers will soon be able to taste locally produced Hass avocados," said Ms. Duan.
For more information:
Duan Xian - Assistant director
Mr. Avocado & Yunnan Avocado