China has launched a satellite carrying fruit and vegetable as part of a plan to help develop space-enhanced produce to feed the country's 1.3 billion people.

The Shijian-8, a recoverable satellite, was launched aboard a Long March 2C rocket for a mission that will expose 2,000 seeds from nine different categories to cosmic radiation and micro-gravity, Xinhua news agency reported.

The satellite had successfully entered orbit and would be conducting a range of space experiments, it said Saturday.

The data gathered aboard the "seed satellite" will enable scientists to try to cultivate high-yield and high-quality plants, state media quoted the China National Space Administration as saying earlier.

China has been experimenting with space-bred seeds for many years, with rice and wheat exposed to space later offering increased yields.

The satellite, the first dedicated specifically to seeds, was the 23rd recoverable satellite launched by China, Xinhua said.

China's space seed experiments come as the nation seeks ways to feed its population amid a rapid decline in farming land due to swift industrialization.