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Isreali-Chinese joint venture growing avocadoes in Western China
China: First ever large-scale domestic production of avocados to enter market in September
The team of Mobius Israel has a strong history of over 50 years in horticulture and growing avocado, whereas Greenbank is a well established Yunnan agriculture company, known for its pioneering work in establishing the Chinese domestic aloe vera production.
Raz Dor joined the project four years ago, and is passionate about developing the avocado market in China: “We try to develop the Chinese avocado industry and domestic avocado production. We do not only invest in production ourselves, we also focus on informing traders on post-harvest treatment and storage technology, as well as educating consumers how the fruit can be consumed, when it can be eaten, how is should be stored. If succesful, I believe this industy can be huge.”
Second from left, Reuven Dor, Chairman of the Israel Avocado Board, together with Mr Qi Jia Zhu of the Yunnan Greenbank Biological Group, Hadar Cohen, technical manager and two Chinese team members
Raz Dor of Mobius Israel
Qi Jia Zhu of the Yunnan Greenbank Biological Group
From trials to production
Greenbank has launched growth trials over 10 years ago in Yunnan province in Southwest China. Since Mobius has joined the project the company has opened up 5 farms in and around Pu’Er, Southern Yunnan. “Mr Qi, the CEO of Greenbank, who is the founder of this industry, has been testing avocado production for 10 years already on small patches of land. Then we started to bring top-end technologies from Israel.
Together we have managed to plant trees that are yielding quality fruit, and plentiful harvest. From Israel we have brought over complete set of nursery and growing technologies, and experts that are instructing and supporting our local growers.”
From left to right, Reuven Dor, Raz Dor and Hadar Cohen
Before launching production in China, extensive research took place in Israel as well as in China. “Avocadoes need warm, steady temperatures and no frost, year around water supply and, importantly, good quality, unpolluted, soil that contains some organic matter. We tested everything in Israel first before we moved production to China. Soil quality in Yunnan turned out to be of such good substance that our first Chinese trials surpassed all our expectations. This was great.”
“Our first, small, commercial harvest will available from September. Currently, we are focusing on producing Hass avocados, which is the most popular variety in China. The avocados will come from our first farm that has gone into commercial production. Three more farms will follow next year. The Hass avocado will be available for 6 months until February. We are also planting other avocado varieties, which will enable us to offer a year round supply. We can transport the fresh avocados from our farms to supermarkets in Shanghai or other major cities in less than 48 hours.”
Support for local communities
“Yunnan province is particularly beautiful and blessed with astounding nature. The region is very different, however, from the large cities on the East Coast. We are proud that we can work with local growers and local communities, giving new economic input to this region. We receive support from the local and provincial government, and we are currently opening up a 6th farm. In the future we will increase production up to 200,000 mu (13,000 hectares).”
Some impressions from the farm:
Freshly harvested avocadoes
For more information:
Mobius China Israel
Author: Anouk Sijmonsma
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