Hong Kong has a small agricultural sector, including fisheries, with a very limited productivity and insignificant role in the economy. Its contribution to GDP and share of the workforce was about 0.1 percent in 1998. The available arable land is extremely limited in Hong Kong, where land is generally scarce. Less than 7 percent of Hong Kong's land is used for agricultural activities, i.e., farming and fish farming. As the available farming land cannot produce enough food for the Hong Kong population of more than 7 million, the population survives on large imports of agricultural products valued at US$8.32 billion in 1998, which fell to US$7.335 billion in 1999 as a result of the financial crisis. China is the main exporter of these products.
The scarcity of land has determined the nature of agricultural activities. Instead of land-intensive and low-priced rice and grain production, 2 lucrative activities (vegetable farming and flower growing) have become the dominant activities, accounting for 93 percent of the total value of crops grown in 1998. The scarcity of pastoral land sets limits on animal husbandry, and has led to the rearing of only poultry and pigs. Domestic production accounted for 10 percent of live poultry and 16 percent of live pigs in 2000.
Fishing is a very small source of employment, but its products meet a significant portion of demands for seafood. They amounted to 75 percent of the fresh marine consumption and 11 percent of the freshwater fish consumption in 2000. Fish ponds produced 4,900 metric tons of freshwater fish in 1998, and the fresh marine catch was 188,000 metric tons. In 2000, the fishery fleet consisted of 4,460 vessels of various sizes, of which 3,820 were motorized.