In the past two months, Chinese avocados have been launching one after another. With the rapid growth of avocado consumption, the development of domestic avocado in recent years has attracted attention.
Yunnan Bafang Agricultural Science and Technology Development Co., Ltd. of Baoshan, Yunnan, planted the first batch of fruit trees in 2020, and harvested the first batch in October this year. "Avocado trees can bear fruit in the second year after planting, but the Mexican shareholders of the company suggest that it is not ideal to bear fruit in the first two years of planting but let the trees settle down first, so that the fruit trees can achieve high and stable yields in the sixth or seventh year," said Zhang Wei, general manager of Bafang Agriculture. The company's shareholders include avocado growers from Mexico and fruit trading enterprises in Taiwan, China.
"The management team has many years of experience in avocado production, so we understand the importance of producing area selection and scientific cultivation for avocado. We spent a lot of time choosing production areas and finally decided on Baoshan, Yunnan. The local area has suitable rainfall and is superior to other producing areas for avocado growth. In terms of cultivation, Mexican shareholders are familiar with the whole growth cycle of avocado trees and provide technical support for orchards. In addition, the drip irrigation system of the base can ensure that every fruit tree gets uniform nutrition, even if there is a height difference in the terrain, and we monitor the water and fertilizer management with sensors and data."
"This year is the first harvest, and the output is about 80-90 tons. Because it is planted in batches, it is expected that the output will increase tenfold next year. Due to the good weather, this season's harvest quality is ideal, and its taste, aroma and soft waxy texture are better than those of imported avocados, with a dry matter content of 26%-27%. At present, customer feedback is positive." Zhang added.
Talking about the market performance of domestic avocados, it is reported that due to the short logistics time from the place of origin to the market, the orchard can wait until the dry matter content of the fruit reaches a certain level, so the fruits can be fresher. On the other hand, in the last two years, some avocados have had some quality problems such as short shelf life and high loss, which affects the reputation of domestic avocados and makes procurement cautious. In this regard, Zhang's analysis is related to the climate and harvest control of the producing area: "Different producing areas in Yunnan have their own microclimate characteristics. Some producing areas belong to hot and humid areas, and there is a lot of rainfall, which has a certain influence on the quality and storage of avocados. In addition, some individual growers judge the picking time according to the market situation. If the dry matter content and ripeness are not enough when picking, the sales process will easily lead to various problems."
Bafang Agriculture’s avocado base
With the increase in the quantity of imported avocados and the number of access countries, the market competition becomes more and more fierce. Regarding the market prospect, Zhang said: "The market awareness of avocado is constantly expanding. If reasonable competition can reduce the selling price appropriately, the consumer group will be even larger. Developing avocado recipes is also one of the promotion methods. In addition, many countries are developing avocado processing and derivatives. In this regard, there is room for development in the Chinese market, which is also part of our product plan."
Bafang Agriculture takes "Bafang Avocado" as its brand, with an existing orchard of around 155.8 hectares, which is planned to grow to 1,000 hectares. Sales channels include wholesale markets in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and membership stores like Sam’s Club and Costco in Shanghai.