Plastic Greenhouses Provide 35% of China’s Vegetables

China is using tunnel farming technology to grow vegetables all year round. Video shows what type of tunnel farming methodology being used by China. The use of this technology at scale is also being applied in Egypt and other countries.

China has covered about 3% of its farmland (4 million hectares out of 128 million hectares of arable land) with plastic sheeting for plastic greenhouses. These greenhouse farms produce 35% of China’s vegetables. China covered about 1 million hectares of farmland in each year from 2013 to 2017.

Most of the greenhouses in China are more loosely covered with plastic sheeting over farmland. This sheeting can make the land about 10 times more productive than the same area of regular farmland.

China is planning to have over 2 million hectares of greenhouse buildings by 2025 with mechanized-automation of farming. The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Monday issued a guideline to promote the country’s facility-based agricultural planting, outlining goals for infrastructure upgrades and mechanization to boost output and farmers’ income. By 2025, China will maintain over 2 million hectares of facilities, including plastic greenhouses, and achieve above 50 percent mechanization for facility-based planting, a sector of the so-called controlled-environment agriculture (CEA), or protected agriculture.

CEA provides protection and maintains optimal growing conditions throughout the development of crops, and optimizes the use of resources such as water, energy, space, capital and labor. Production takes place within an enclosed structure, such as a greenhouse or building.

Robotic greenhouse buildings can be up to 30 times more productive than the same area of regular farmland.

Vertical agriculture practices in urban centers to farming villages has ensured a steady food supply in Asia’s capital cities. In 2018, the world has 489,214 hectares of greenhouse building vegetable area, Asia takes in close to half of the world’s total. The greenhouse agriculture land area in Asia is at 224,974 hectares based on International Greenhouse Vegetable Production figures in 2017. The biggest greenhouse agriculture countries are mostly found in Asia. They are China, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan. China is planning to make ten times the area of greenhouse building facilities by 2025. These buildings could supply 50% of China’s agricultural needs.

These facilities will be vastly more efficient with water and massively reduce the us of pesticides.

SOURCES- Asia Fund Managers, Xinhua, Hortidaily
Written by Brian Wang,