EU moves closer to agreeing on new agricultural policy

Agriculture will consume nearly 40 per cent of the EU’s 960 billion euro (HK$9.8 trillion) budget for next year-2020. Photo: Reuters

European Union farm ministers reached a revised negotiating position as the clock struck midnight, raising hopes that a new common agricultural policy will be agreed on Wednesday as talks moved to Brussels.

Wednesday, 26 June, 2013, 1:29pm

Northeast Asia's development success story conceals a threadbare reality

Very little can be described as reorganised and efficient in Japanese agriculture. Photo: Bloomberg

Mr Studwell apparently argues that South Korea, Taiwan and Japan did just fine by telling the World Bank to get lost and instead reorganising their agricultural sectors, picking industrial winners to support and then manipulating their financial systems to ensure that these chosen favourites had all the money they needed.

16 Jun 2013 - 2:25am 4 comments

Plant scientists question Monsanto's findings about escaped wheat variety

An anti-Monsanto protest in California in May. Photo: AFP

In its first detailed response to the announcement that a genetically modified wheat not approved for use was found growing in an American farmer's field, Monsanto said that it tested 31,200 seed samples in the US states of Oregon, where the wheat was found, and Washington and found no contamination.

9 Jun 2013 - 2:37am

Twice-cooked pork on endangered list as China's prized pig breeds diminish

Traditional Style Dongpo Pork. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

For lovers of fine Chinese food the news will be hard to swallow - national delicacies such as dongpo pork and twice-cooked pork are in danger of vanishing. But it has nothing to do with sick pigs or bloated hogs floating in rivers, just bad economics.

29 May 2013 - 12:53pm

Robots to drones, Australia eyes high-tech farm help to grow food

A scientist field tests a Hexi-copter air robot and two ground robots at an almond farm near Mildura in Australia. Photo: Reuters

Moving carefully along a row of apple trees, two of Australia’s newest agricultural workers check if the fruit is ripe or the soil needs water or fertiliser.

27 May 2013 - 1:56pm

European Commission bans pesticides blamed for killing bees

EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg . Photo: EPA

The decision to ban three insecticides made by chemicals giants Bayer and Syngenta "marks another milestone towards ensuring a healthier future" for bees, EU Health Commissioner Tonio Borg said.

27 May 2013 - 5:59am

Millions join global rallies against Monsanto's GMO seeds

An anti-GMO-food protester holds up a model bee in Paris.  Photo: AFP

Hundreds of people held marches on Saturday in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York. In Washington, protesters wearing yellow-and-black shirts lay on the pavement in a bee "die-in" outside Monsanto's offices.

27 May 2013 - 5:59am

Chinese hunger for US food boosts ties

Amid a spate of food scandals in China, demand for imports of American food has risen dramatically in recent years. Photo: Bloomberg

When President Xi Jinping visited Iowa in February 2012 as vice-president, he underscored the importance of the American agricultural sector to China by visiting a farm.

21 May 2013 - 4:34am

China, Argentina sign agriculture deal during VP visit

Argentine Vice President and President of the Senate Amado Boudou (R) meets with visiting Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao in Buenos Aires. Photo: Xinhua

Argentina and China signed an agreement on agricultural cooperation on Friday in Buenos Aires, following a meeting between the Argentine president and Chinese vice president.

President Cristina Kirchner and Vice President Li Yuanchao met for two hours in the Casa Rosada presidential complex, along with ministers and officials from both countries.

11 May 2013 - 11:35am

State Council promises farmers more support to boost meat supplies

Photo: AFP

The State Council met for the second time in a week yesterday, vowing harsher punishment for producers of fake meat while highlighting the challenges facing the agricultural sector, which it described as a "key safeguard" to stabilise the economy and keep inflation in check.

9 May 2013 - 5:40am

Pollution devastates rural areas, threatens farmland

Residents plant trees, in an attempt to rejuvenate the soil, in front of the huge state-owned lead smelter in the town of Tianying, Anhui province. Photo: Reuters

Zhuang Guotai, the Ministry of Environmental Protection's director of nature and ecology conservation, said the accumulation of fertiliser, pesticides and animal waste - as well governments' neglect of sewage treatment - threatened the country's vital agricultural land.

11 Apr 2013 - 5:25am

Mapping of genetic codes likely to lead to better varieties of wheat

Mapping of genetic codes likely to lead to better varieties of wheat. Photo: Xinhua

Once scientists finish precisely mapping all the wheat genomes, higher-yielding varieties that are more resilient to disease and harsh weather conditions are expected to be developed.

3 Apr 2013 - 2:27pm

Chinese businessmen slow to exploit potential for farming in Africa

Jin Jianzheng in his Chinese cabbage field in Khartoum.

The Chinese government has long encouraged businesses to invest in agriculture abroad, and Xi Jinping's first foreign trip as president in the past week involved visits to three African countries.

31 Mar 2013 - 6:06am 2 comments

Party cadre Zhu Zhangjin pins hopes of food security on overseas farms

Zhu Zhangjin, Zhejiang

Zhu Zhangjin calls himself a farmer, but he has little time or love for mainland farm goods. Nor is he afraid to speak his mind on the matter. To show that he was neither lying nor exaggerating about the state of the mainland's food safety, he brought with him more than 300 samples of banned chemicals and contaminated food products that he had collected from farmers and producers in recent years.

24 Mar 2013 - 5:57am 1 comment

Ivory haul proves a tough sell to schools

Ivory haul proves a tough sell to schools

Conservation officials are having difficulty persuading schools to accept seized ivory offered them for education purposes because they are worried about security. This emerged yesterday after the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department said it had dropped plans to incinerate 16 tonnes of confiscated tusks, in part because of the emissions the haul would create.

15 Mar 2013 - 4:11am 1 comment