China occupies a large territory, but only about 15% of China's total land area can be cultivated. Looking at the map of China's agricultural regions and crops, you will see that China's arable land is primarily in the eastern region, also the most densely populated region of the country. In addition to extensive areas of western China which are relatively uninhabited, substantial portions of southern China are unfavorable for agriculture because of mountainous topography.
China ranks first in worldwide farm output, primarily producing rice, wheat, corn, sorghum, barley, millet, potatoes, peanuts, tea and cotton, each of which represents a particular adaptation to specific environmental conditions.
China Ag Regions and Crops
Rice is China's most important crop, raised on about 29% of the cultivated area, grown mainly in the south of China. Despite of the mountainous topography, farmers in Guangxi and Yunnan have developed environmentally sustainable terraced rice fields. Wheat is the second most-prevalent grain crop, grown especially on the North China Plain, in Jiangsu, Hubei, and Sichuan provinces. Other crops include corn, millet, soybean in north and northeast China, sweet potatoes in the south, white potatoes in the north and peanuts in Shandong and Hebei provinces.
Tropical fruits are grown on Hainan Island, apples and pears in northern Liaoning and Shandong, and citrus fruits are grown in South China. Tea plantations are located on the hillsides of the middle Yangtze Valley and in Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces. Lotus is widely cultivated throughout southern China's Hubei, Hunan, Fujian, and Jiangxi provinces. Sugarcane is grown in Guangdong, Guangxi, Fujian and Sichuan, while sugar beets are raised in northern China's Heilongjiang and Inner Mongolia. Cotton is grown throughout China, but especially in the areas of the North China Plain, the Yangtze valley, and Xinjiang.