Mechanized Farming in China
The stevia plant is a perennial but the growing cycle varies greatly depending on the particular strain and location. Stevia is sensitive to frost and in China where most stevia is grown today, it is common to only have one or two harvests. The cultivation of stevia in China began in the 1970'. In 1985, Jining city of Shandong province became the world's largest stevia planting area in the world. Jining - the location of Aoxing Stevia, is renowned as the "town of the world's stevia".
Stevia cultivation in China amounted to about 4,450 hectares (ha) in 2005, increased up to 24,685 ha in 2010, but decreased to only 2,666 ha by end of 2013. By 2010, Chinese production exceeded global demand and the stevia farmer’s profit margins were slim, so the cultivation area already began to decrease in 2011. The reason that a shortfall is that the market has been working