While attending the 2024 International Horticultural Exhibition which is taking place Sichuan Provence, China, Agriland visited a Blueberry farm located in the Xinjin District of Chengdu.

The farm business is called ’58 Blueberry Garden’ and is owned by Mr. Bai who has been in the business of producing blueberries for the past 11 years.

The blueberry production site in Xinjin covers 47ac with approximately 20 staff working on the site.

The business also has a 5,000ac blueberry farm in Yunnan province which is located to the south of Sichuan province.

The site in Xinjin offers people the opportunity to come and pick their own blueberries and also sells produce direct to customers.

The yields on the farm vary from 2-3t of blueberries/ac and the produce is sold via online stores and supermarkets.

The picking season in Xinjin lasts from April to July but at the larger farm in Yunnan, there are blueberries available all year round.

A warmer, more tropical climate here coupled with the use of a variety of species, facilitates this.

Speaking through a translator, Mr. Bai explained that his business currently has “no major challenges” but said more land is needed for blueberry production to fill the domestic demand in China.

Through the use of ag-technology, Mr. Bai is improving the efficiency of his production systems. He has adapted soil, species, and planth-growth technologies at the site in Xinjin to improve the output from the site.

New selling techniques such as online marketing and ‘pick your own’ blueberries are further helping the performance of the business.

The time period from when a plant is propagated on site to picking the blueberries is 1.5 years in Xinjin. In Yunnan province, it can take from three to five years for plants to produce ripe berries.

The use of smart soil technology at the Xinjin facility has contributed to this reduced plant maturity time.

The business does not export any produce and all sales are targeted at the domestic market. China is a net importer of blueberries and so he outlined that “there is great potential for growth” in the sector.

He explained that the key elements of producing “great tasting blueberries” is to firstly ensure plant conditions and nutrition are correct, and secondly to ensure the correct species are being grown, based on the climate in the region.