A large Dutch horticulture delegation is about to go to China, heralding a more close cooperation between The Netherlands and China

From November 26th to November 30th a Horticulture Trade Mission to China will take place. A total of 19 Dutch companies and institutes will join the mission, headed by mr. Marcel van Raaij, acting director of the International Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of The Netherlands.

With the world facing climate change, extreme weather, dwindling natural resources, and an aging population, the development of greenhouse horticulture has become a new track to promote the development of modern agriculture and a new way to increase  food production.

In 2023, the No. 1 document of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs of China proposed to "intensify the development of  modern agriculture facilities," which includes "developing intensive propagation centers" and the " transformation and upgrading of old greenhouses".

Minister Tang Renjian, of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, pointed out that "according to preliminary estimates, in the next 5-10 years, the demand for investments in high-standard farmland and facility agriculture will be nearly 15 trillion yuan". Greenhouses for cultivation, from low to high tech equipped, take a big part in terms of facility agriculture. Many provinces and cities in China, such as Heilongjiang, Guangdong, Shanghai, Yunnan, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, Shandong, and Beijing, have announced local policies to support the development of greenhouse horticulture.

As a relatively small country, the Netherlands has become the world's second-largest exporter of agricultural products, with a highly integrated and developed horticulture industry. From November 26th to November 30th, Mr. Marcel van Raaij, acting director of the International Cooperation Department at the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality of The Netherlands, will head a horticulture trade mission to China.

The aim of the visit is to have in-depth exchanges with Chinese horticultural entrepreneurs, to strengthen and promote close cooperation between the Chinese and Dutch governments, and to create a communication platform and business opportunities for Dutch and Chinese enterprises and research institutes. As a leader in the field of greenhouse horticulture in the world, the Netherlands has a highly integrated supply chain from farm to table, including plant breeding, processing of fresh produce, greenhouse technology and cold chain logistics.

Greenhouse horticulture is rapidly developing in China, as consumers are interested in high-quality, organic, and healthy vegetables.  The scale of China's greenhouse horticulture has continued to expand in recent years, and also its technical equipment has gradually improved.

However, there remains room for improvement and development. For example, overfertilization still exists, and biological control of pest is lacking. Using of insecticides, herbicides and fungicides with a low level of toxics and low residue on vegetables can still be encouraged. There is also a shortage of technical talents in operating high-tech greenhouses. In addition, equipment integration is still insufficient. The average yield per unit area of vegetable and flowers is lower than those in developed countries, such as the Netherlands, and the profitability of high tech greenhouses is still low. Strengthening cooperation between the Netherlands and China in the horticultural field will benefit both parties. 

The delegation

A total of 19 Dutch companies and institutes will participate in the delegation, covering greenhouse design and construction, climate-control and cultivation management systems, logistics systems, flower breeding, software applications, AI technology, education and training, and other aspects. The delegation will go to Beijing, Shanghai and Nanjing to hold one-on-one business meetings with local companies to discuss policies, development trends, and future cooperation possibilities in the facility horticulture industry. The delegation will also visit modern agricultural parks in Fengxian district in Shanghai, in Changzhou and in Nanjing. How to develop greenhouses in mega cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, and how to improve the sustainable supply of safe and adequate agricultural products will also be focus points during the trade mission.

The following companies and institutes participate in the trade mission:


The delegation will arrive in Beijing on November 26. Mr. André Haspels, Ambassador of the Netherlands to China, will welcome the delegation members at his residence and introduce China's developments to start the horticultural trade mission. During the next four days of the trip, the Agricultural Section of the Embassy of the Netherlands in China and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency will work with multiple cooperative agencies and partners to hold a series of business promotion activities, with support from the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Shanghai Municipal Commission of Agricultural and Rural Affairs, Jiangsu Provincial Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, and Shanghai Academy of Agricultural Sciences and more partnership organizations.

The detailed itinerary of the Trade Mission is as follows:

November 27, Beijing
Morning: Agriculture Conference - Farming the Future

Afternoon: Agribusiness Matchmaking

November 28, Shanghai

Morning: Seminar: Sustainable development of horticulture with modern facilities in megacities – digitalization and intelligence

Afternoon: Modern Greenhouse Horticulture Matchmaking

Evening: Network Dinner

November 29, Shanghai, Jiashan and Changzhou

Morning: Visit the Jiashan HX Sino-Dutch Agricultural Demonstration Center and attend the opening ceremony

Afternoon: Visit Xinghui Vegetable Production Base in Fengxian district of Shanghai and the Modern Agriculture Park in Changzhou

November 30, Nanjing

Morning: Visit Nanjing Qiaofeng Agriculture Development Group

Afternoon: Nanjing-Netherlands Horticulture Exchange Meeting and Workshop on Data-assisted growing (AI in greenhouse) by Wageningen University and Research

Evening: Network dinner

For more information about this horticulture trade mission, please follow this link, scan the QR code or send an email to PEK-LNV@minbuza.nl