Food production

Hunger for farm assets

The acquisition by a Chinese company of Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pig producer, sparked fears in the US. Photo: Associated Press

On a sunny March afternoon, 11 Chinese executives armed with digital cameras and iPads got out of a van on Brazil's highway BR-163 to photograph soyabean-laden trucks headed to export terminals.

Thursday, 13 June, 2013, 6:51am

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

Corn overtakes rice as diners continue to move to meat

Corn overtakes rice as diners continue to move to meat

The mainland produced more corn than rice for the first time on record in the 2012-13 season, as surging incomes fuelled demand for meat, prompting farmers to focus more on animal feed.

7 Jan 2013 - 4:31am

Policies aired to boost food security and avoid overreliance on imports

Policies aimed at improving food security were mapped out at the Central Rural Work Conference over the weekend. Photo: AFP

Henry Kissinger once said: "Control the food and you control the people."

With the largest population in the world and a growing demand for food, China has made boosting agricultural production a priority for decades. If China controls its own food supply, it is less likely to be controlled by external forces, or so the thinking goes.

24 Dec 2012 - 5:05am

Party's first policy plan to focus on rural issues, say experts

Party's first policy plan to focus on rural issues, say experts

The Communist Party's first policy blueprint next year will continue to focus on rural issues, with priority likely to be given to diversifying patterns of agricultural production to encourage more specialised, large-scale farming, experts said.

21 Dec 2012 - 11:42am

New rules likely to cover industrial plasticisers in food and drinks in China

Kweichow Moutai was found to contain more industrial plasticisers, called phthalates, than a standard issued by the Ministry of Health. Photo: Bloomberg

Authorities are inspecting major food manufacturers on the mainland to prepare for a new standard to govern the level of industrial plasticisers in food and beverages in an attempt to restore public confidence.

13 Dec 2012 - 4:28am

Consumers get poor-quality farm produce, while the best goes overseas

Despite another bumper grain harvest, the ninth year of record output in a row, the quality of produce sold to domestic consumers in China continues to be a problem.

The nearly 590 million tonnes of grain produced this year accounts for roughly a quarter of the world's total, according to estimates by the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

9 Dec 2012 - 4:53am

Waste not, want not

Waste not, want not

The environment minister's statement on food waste and waste charges this week comes as a welcome boost for campaigners who have argued for years against Hong Kong's profligate habits. It should also spark a wider food debate.

8 Dec 2012 - 3:21am

Bid to lift hybrid rice yield to 15 tonnes a hectare slammed

Chinese agricultural scientist Yuan Longping.

A farming pioneer's ambitious goal to increase the yield of hybrid rice by 11 per cent in the next three years risks making the staple more vulnerable to weather, disease and pests, agriculture experts have warned.

28 Nov 2012 - 3:46am

Agriculture ministry forecasts record harvest this year

A worker spreads out corn to dry in Henan. The province expects a record harvest, in line with the national trend. Photo: Xinhua

Food production in China will rise for a ninth consecutive year, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, amid global food price uncertainties due to falling cereal production in the US and parts of Europe.

25 Oct 2012 - 4:26am

Global bacon shortage 'unavoidable', pig farmers say

Record droughts in the US and Russia are threatening to curtail the world's bacon supply, farmers on both sides of the Atlantic are warning.

27 Sep 2012 - 4:32am

Asia must lead a second green revolution

Asia must lead a second green revolution

American farmers are not the only ones hoping for rain. Asians are, too. The drought in the US Midwest has global implications, raising the cost of food everywhere. In July, agricultural prices jumped 6 per cent and are again approaching their highs of 2008, when parts of Asia and Africa experienced social unrest as a result.

7 Sep 2012 - 2:19am

Climate change: a failure to forecast

It's no surprise we will have a record minimum of ice cover in the Arctic Ocean at the end of this summer melt season. It's already down to around 4million square kilometres, with a least another week of melting to go, but this is what you might call a "known unknown". Scientists knew we were losing the ice cover fast; they just didn't know how fast.

6 Sep 2012 - 1:22am