Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Main market situation of bitter gourd seed in South China

Bitter gourd, also called bitter melon, is a popular vegetable in domestic market, with its special medicinal effects in reducing pathogenic fire. Originated from tropical and subtropical regions, bitter gourd has been widely planted in China for long-time artificial planting and breeding, but it is mainly concentrated in South China covering Guangdong, Guangxi and Hainan, according to CCM International’s July issue of Seed China News.
In order to figure out the main market situation of bitter gourd seed, CCM International invites an industry insider- Meng Lei to talk about the bitter gourd seed market in South China. Meng Lei, who obtained his Master's degree of agronomy from South China Agricultural University, currently acts as a sales manager of Guangdong Kenong Vegetable Seed Co., Ltd. (Guangdong Kenong) which mainly operates vegetable varieties bred by Vegetable Research Institute, Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VRI, GDAAS).

CCM International: What are the major types of bitter gourd in South China?
Meng Lei: Generally speaking, there are four major types of bitter gourd in South China, namely striped protuberance type (long-oil bitter gourd, 长身油瓜), granular protuberance type (pearl bitter gourd, 珍珠苦瓜), the intermediate type of the two above (intermediate type) and coniform fruit type (coniform bitter gourd, 大顶苦瓜). Long-oil bitter gourd and pearl bitter gourd are the leading types in South China, occupying a vast majority of total bitter gourd area. 

CCM International: Which type of bitter gourd do consumers prefer to eat in South China?
Meng Lei: The eating habits of bitter gourd are different for residents in various areas. It is common that consumers in a place would prefer the special taste of a type of bitter gourd and would probably not accept other types of bitter gourd. The quality of pearl bitter gourd is generally better than that of long-oil bitter gourd and most consumers prefer to eat pearl bitter gourd which is becoming more popular in South China.
CCM International: How vast is the planting area of bitter gourd in South China?
Meng Lei: The planting area of bitter gourd is not fixed, generally fluctuating with the changes of bitter gourd price and consumption habits in local areas. As far as we know, the total planting area of bitter gourd in Guangdong maintains around 20,000 ha. each year; Guangxi and Hainan would totally have 13,000 to 20,000 ha. of bitter gourd planting fields.
CCM International: What about the major planting distributions of bitter gourd in South China?
Meng Lei: Nearly all key vegetable counties in the three provinces or regions of South China have bitter gourd planting fields more or less. In Guangdong, bitter gourd planting is mainly concentrated in Jiangmen, Dongguan, Huizhou, Shanwei, Yufu, etc.; in Guangxi, it is mainly concentrated in Nanning, Guilin, Liuzhou, etc. Bitter gourd is widely planted in Hainan but the total planting area is relatively small and the multiple cropping index is relatively high in Hainan, compared with that in Guangdong and Guangxi.
CCM International: Can you introduce some prominent varieties of bitter gourd in South China?
Meng Lei: In South China, most varieties of long-oil bitter gourd are bred by VRI, GDAAS, such as the representative variety "Fenglv" (丰绿) which once held half of bitter gourd planting fields in Guangdong. As for pearl bitter gourd, various excellent varieties have been bred or introduced by a number of units such as Known-You Seed Co., Ltd. (Known-You), Shantou Jinhan Seed Co., Ltd. (Shantou Jinhan), Guangdong Provincial Improved Variety Introduce Service Corporation (GPIVISC), etc., with some representative varieties like "Black Pearl" (黑珍珠), "Cuifei" (翠妃), "Lvxiu" (绿秀), etc. The intermediate type of bitter gourd generally has a small market share in South China, only planted in some areas. Coniform bitter gourd is also mainly concentrated in some areas of South China like Jiangmen City of Guangdong Province, with some representative varieties like "Yuhe" (玉和) and "Cuilv 3" (翠绿3).
CCM International: Which varieties of bitter gourd do farmers prefer to plant in South China?
Meng Lei: Farmers like to plant those bitter gourd varieties which can bear fruits with higher selling price in market. It is sure that the fruit prices of winter-planting and early-maturing bitter gourd varieties are generally higher than those of common varieties, and thus many farmers prefer to plant winter-planting and early-maturing bitter gourd. Moreover, the bitter gourd varieties with high yield, good appearance and nice quality are also well recognized by farmers in South China. As mentioned above, pearl bitter gourd with better quality is quite popular among farmers, compared with other bitter gourd varieties.

CCM International: Are bitter gourd seeds sold by weight or grain number in the market?
Meng Lei: In the market, bitter gourd seeds are sold either by weight (gram) or by grain number. However, bitter gourd seeds sold by grain number usually have better quality and higher price while bitter gourd seeds sold by weight mostly belong to medium and low grades. Overall, high-grade bitter gourd seeds have been coated to enhance planting performance and improve commodity value before selling in the market. (Guangzhou China, September 1, 2011)

Content of Seed China News 1207:
Zhangye boosting corn seed production
Agrochemical enterprises entering seed industry
34.2% equity of Sichuan Chuandan to be transferred
Main market situation of bitter gourd seed in South China
Analysis of tomato seed market in Shandong
2012 Alfalfa Construction Project released to boost alfalfa industry
"Shannong 20" operated by Shandong Shengfeng
IPA1 gene applied in rice breeding
Snow lotus GM technique obtains invention patent
Peanut genome sequencing project to boost peanut breeding

Seed China News, a monthly publication issued by CCM International on 30th of every month, offers timely update and close follow-up of China’s seed industry dynamics, analyzes market data and finds out factors influencing market development

About CCM International
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