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International Society for Horticultural Science

Horticulture Research International

France

General info
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Climate
The French climate varies from temperate on the northern area to subtropical Mediterranean characteristics on the south-eastern area. Accordingly, the mean air temperature (annual basis) increases from north (9°C, Lille) to south (15°C, Côte d'Azur). Annual rainfall is above 500 mm on almost any part of the French territory.

Geography
Continental France is situated between 42°30' and 51° latitude north. It covers ca. 550 000 km-2, more than 80% of which are below an altitude of 500 m; ca. 30 million ha are cultivated.

Horticulture
Horticultural products (including potato, vegetables, fruit trees, ornamentals) are produced in many regions of France.
Total production (in million-tons) in 1998 was: potatoes: 6,1; vegetables: 6,2; fruits: 3 (including apples: 1.78; peaches and nectarines: 0.34; prunes: 0.21; apricots: 0.21; cherries: 0.09; pears: 0.25; strawberries: 0.08).
Total surface (in thousand-ha) in 1998 was: potatoes: 165; fruit trees: 223 (including apples: 62; peaches and nectarines: 28; prunes: 24; apricots: 18; cherries: 14; pears: 13); ornamentals (1989 data): 6; ornamental nursery (1989 data): 10; fruit tree nursery (1989 data): 2.5.
The main part of vegetable production comes from 3 French regions:
- North, mainly for processing industry (beans, peas, chicory),
- South-East, mainly for fresh market (tomatoes, cantaloup),
- West, both for processing industry and fresh market (cauliflowers, tomatoes, carrots, beans).
In 1998, 853 thousand-tons of vegetables were exported (respectively 1253 were imported) for a total value of 4096 million Francs (respectively 6436).
The total area of French orchards has significantly decreased since the beginning of the Seventies (326 thousand-ha in 1970, 236 in 1990, 227 in 1997, 223 in 1998). At the same time, the total volume of fruit production was maintained (3.4 million-tons in 1980, 3.5 in 1990, 3.5 in 1997, 3.0 in 1998 due to severe climatic conditions in the spring of 1998).
The main part of the fruit production comes from 3 French regions: Rhône-Méditerranée, Grand Sud-Ouest, Val de Loire. The apple orchards are the most important (28% of the total area), followed by peach-nectarine orchards (12%), prune orchards (11%) and apricot orchards (8%).
In 1998, 1577 thousand-tons of fruits (including 766 thousand-tons of apple) were exported in 1998 (respectively 2419 were imported, including 1023 thousand-tons of citrus).
The South-Eastern and Western parts of France are the main area for ornamental horticulture. In 1998, a total value of 1034 million Francs of ornamental products were exported (respectively 5232 were imported).

Distribution of Horticulture
The main part of vegetable production comes from 3 French regions:
- North, mainly for processing industry (beans, peas, chicory),
- South-East, mainly for fresh market (tomatoes, cantaloup),
- West, both for processing industry and fresh market (cauliflowers, tomatoes, carrots, beans).
In 1998, 853 thousand-tons of vegetables were exported (respectively 1253 were imported) for a total value of 4096 million Francs (respectively 6436).
The total area of French orchards has significantly decreased since the beginning of the Seventies (326 thousand-ha in 1970, 236 in 1990, 227 in 1997, 223 in 1998). At the same time, the total volume of fruit production was maintained (3.4 million-tons in 1980, 3.5 in 1990, 3.5 in 1997, 3.0 in 1998 due to severe climatic conditions in the spring of 1998).
The main part of the fruit production comes from 3 French regions: Rhône-Méditerranée, Grand Sud-Ouest, Val de Loire. The apple orchards are the most important (28% of the total area), followed by peach-nectarine orchards (12%), prune orchards (11%) and apricot orchards (8%).
In 1998, 1577 thousand-tons of fruits (including 766 thousand-tons of apple) were exported in 1998 (respectively 2419 were imported, including 1023 thousand-tons of citrus).
The South-Eastern and Western parts of France are the main area for ornamental horticulture. In 1998, a total value of 1034 million Francs of ornamental products were exported (respectively 5232 were imported).

Nature of Institutes
The National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA) is devoted to research on temperate cultivations (apart from the site located in Guadeloupe, FWI). CIRAD (Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement) is specialized in development-oriented agricultural research for the tropics and subtropics. Working in more than 50 countries, the CIRAD headquarters are based in Paris and Montpellier. One of the seven departments of CIRAD, CIRAD-Flhor, is in charge of horticultural crops.

The National Institute of Horticulture (INH) is a public institute of higher education and research in the fields of horticulture and landscape. The Inter-professional Technical Centre for Fruit and Vegetables (Ctifl) is a private organisation with public goals: fruit and vegetables from seed to shop, from research to training; quality end-to-end; partnership strategy.

Organisations / Institutes:
National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA)
National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA); and Centre of International Co-operation and Research on Agricultural Development (CIRAD)
National Institute of Agricultural Research (INRA), and Polytechnic University of Toulouse
Inter-professional Technical Centre for Fruit and Vegetables (Ctifl)
National Institute of Horticulture (INH)
CIRAD-Flhor

Overseas regions:
Martinique
Guadeloupe
Reunion


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