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Ministry of Agriculture of People’s Republic of China has stopped accepting the application for registered number of approval for Olaquindox, Arsanilic acid, Roxarsone, including related crude drug and drug product.

Since 12th January 2018, Ministry of Agriculture of People’s Republic of China has stopped accepting the application for registered number of approval for Olaquindox, Arsanilic acid, Roxarsone, including related crude drug and drug product. After 1st May 2018, the production of these kinds of drug will be stopped in China, and the registered number of approval of related companies will be canceled. The product produced by 30th April 2018 can be circulated and used by 30th April 2019. After 1st May 2019, the operation and use of these drugs will be stopped in China.
(Minister of Agriculture of the People’s Republic of China)


Grown-to-order fruit, veg a hit with young Chinese urbanites

Cameras on farms allow customers to monitor crops on cellphones and computers 

In spring, Li Mingtong, a university student in Changchun, Jilin province paid 500 yuan ($75) to have a pomegranate tree organically cultivated.

In the fall, she received boxes of fruit from her tree, located thousands of kilometers away in Yunnan province.

"Though the pomegranates were very expensive, they were safe and tasted good," she said.

Li arranged the service through an online shop. She now plans to buy customized vegetables grown in the suburbs of Changchun.

As Chinese pay more attention to food safety, customized farm produce, grown without using pesticides or fertilizers, is attracting interest from well-off urban consumers, especially the younger generation.

The internet is assisting supply-side reform in agriculture. Customers can rent a piece of land online and choose which varieties of vegetables they want to have grown there. Many farms have cameras so that customers can monitor the growth of their produce on their mobile phones or computers.

"Our fruits and vegetables are all organic. We adopted a membership model for the sale and delivery of produce to our clients," Chen Zhao, general manager of Chunjiangyan farm in Nongan county, Changchun, said at the 16th China Changchun International Agriculture and Food Fair, which closed on Sunday.

The farm has 47 vegetable and fruit greenhouses, and 1,000 members. Each day, more than 100 residents receive vegetables delivered from the farm, according to Chen.

"Our capacity is insufficient. For example, when our cantaloupes were ready for sale, we could only meet half the demand from our customers," he said.

The government has required deepening of supplyside reform in agriculture, improvement of the sector's structure, promotion of green production and innovation, and extension of the industrial and value chain.

According to a report released last year by Ali Research Institute, which is affiliated to e-commerce giant Alibaba, China had 65 million "online green consumers" in 2015, 15 times as many as in 2011.

Green products include organic and additive-free food and environmentally friendly household commodities such as furniture and clothes. Green consumption has spread most rapidly among people aged 23 to 28, according to the research.

"Our pigs have serial numbers. We have cameras in their pens so that our customers can check their condition at any time on their mobile phones," Pei Feng, from an agricultural cooperative in Siping, said at the Changchun agriculture fair.

The pigs are fed corn and bean pulp. The cooperative does not use any antibiotics or hormones, according to Pei, who added their services are expanding.

The green model for customized agriproducts has been piloted in many other places, such as Beijing and the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region.

China has more than 10,000 accredited green food companies producing more than 26,000 types of products, according to statistics from the China Green Food Development Center, which oversees the country's organic food standards.

Despite the huge potential for customized produce, there are some concerns about whether the products are organic.

Technology such as cameras can record the cultivation methods to some extent, but the certification of organic products requires a large investment, said a farmworker in Jilin.

Some green farm produce does not have organic certification.

"Consumers pay high prices for customized produce to ensure safety. But the industry is still in the early stages. There are both good and bad producers," said Zhao Yumin, secretary-general of Jilin Specialty Products Processing Association.

It is difficult for consumers to confirm if their products are organic or not, therefore certification by professional agencies is necessary to boost reliability, Zhao said.

Liu Yuansheng, of Jilin University of Finance and Economics, said the key to selling customized agriproducts lucratively lies in the application of a trackable system, which is currently a weak link.

Source: China Daily. Date: 2017-08-25


FAO pledges continuous support for Vietnam

The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) will continue accompanying Vietnam and supporting the country to implement underway programmes and projects, Assistant Director-General and FAO Regional Representative for Asia and the Pacific Kundhavi Kadiresan has said.

She made the affirmation at a meeting with Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Le Quoc Doanh in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho on August 24 on the sidelines of the 2017 APEC Food Security Week and a High-Level Policy Dialogue on enhancing food security and sustainable agriculture in response to climate change.

Kadiresan said the FAO will help Vietnam carry out a programme on reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and forest loss and degradation along with integrated nutrition and food security strategies for children and vulnerable groups.

The UN organisation also pledged to assist Vietnam in promoting the intensive rice cultivation system in the Mekong River’s lower part in addition to enhancing monitoring and management capacity of information on diseases, building solutions to the sustainable provision of food for tra fish, and supporting the research of hi-tech agricultural models that are adaptive to climate change, she affirmed.

Deputy Minister Doanh said Vietnam’s agricultural sector is focusing on two major targets, which are increasing the competitiveness for deeper global integration, and coping with climate change.

Vietnam hopes to cooperate with international organisations and partners, especially the FAO, in experience sharing, technology transfer, and trade and investment promotion.

The Southeast Asian country proposed the FAO provide technical assistance and help to access international funds to tackle climate change, reduce natural disaster risks for the domestic agriculture, and implement a national programme on agricultural restructuring and rural development.

As the country’s northern mountainous region is bearing brunt of floods and extreme weather patterns, Vietnam hopes the FAO will support her to implement the “Zero Hunger” programme, build the Technical Cooperation Programme (TCP), and realise the comprehensive strategies on green growth and poverty reduction in the 2018-2019 fiscal year to help locals apply effective cultivation methods to deal with climate change and ensure food security, Doanh said.

Vietnam called on the FAO to join her in a scheme to mobilise non-refundable capital from the Green Climate Fund to implement the action strategy of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD ) in the Central Highlands and shift the cultivation of rice in the Mekong Delta to other crops that are resistant to climate change, he added.

The country also needs FAO technical assistance in preventing crop and livestock diseases and ensuring food safety, he noted.

Source: VNA. Date: 2017-08-25

HCM City looks to beef up agriculture cooperation with Australia

Ho Chi Minh City and Australia have high potential for cooperation in agriculture, especially high technology farming and cattle breeding, said Nguyen Thanh Phong, Chairman of the municipal People’s Committee.

At a meeting with Anne Ruston, Australian Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Water Resources in the city on August 23, Phong said that Ho Chi Minh City wants to develop hi-tech agriculture, adding that the city has built a high-tech agriculture park and a centre for biotechnology application.

However, he also mentioned various difficulties facing the city’s agricultural sector, asking for experience sharing and technology transfer from Australia. Phong also expressed interest in cooperation with Australia in cattle breeding.

Currently, the city has 92,000 dairy cows developed from a cow herd imported from Australia, he noted, adding that the city has also imported many cows from Australia for beef.

The Ho Chi Minh City leader also expressed hope that Australia will create favourable conditions for the import of farm produce from the city.

For her part, Anne Rustone said that Australia is keen on beefing up affiliation with Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City – an economic, financial and trade centre of Vietnam.

She said that Australia is willing to share information and support the city in accessing modern technologies that are used in Australia, including those in cattle breeding.

Australia’s Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources will continue assisting Ho Chi Minh City and other Vietnamese localities in enhancing the productivity and quality of cattle herds, towards becoming self-reliant in beef supply, she said.

She also pointed to Vietnam’s strength in producing tropical fruits that Australian consumers enjoy.

She suggested Vietnam and Australia build and synchronise standards in quality and food safety to ensure the interests of consumers in both countries.

Australia has 176 projects in Ho Chi Minh City with total investment of more than 183 million USD. Two-way trade between the city and Australia in the first seven months of 2017 reached 600 million USD.

Source: VNA. Date: 2017-08-25


US objects to EU-China quality food labelling pact

US meddling and counterfeit Chinese trademarks are threatening to unpick the bilateral agreement between Beijing and Brussels on geographical indications of food products. 

According to documents from the Greek ministry of agriculture, the negotiations between the European Union and China for mutual recognition of 200 food products protected by geographical indications (GIs) – 100 from each side – will have to reconcile the EU’s quality schemes with 25 homonymous trademarks already registered in the People’s Republic of China.

Beijing wants to keep its trademarks, despite the protection accorded to products labelled under the GI quality scheme in the EU. GIs offer consumers certainty about the authenticity of the food products they buy, certifying their geographic origin and the techniques used to make them.

To defend their quality labels, Greece, Italy and the six other countries with the largest number of GI products in Europe (France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Hungary, Romania) are willing to support a large-scale legal action of European consortiums in China, seeking the elimination of the counterfeit trademarks.

Eight member states of the European Union will take legal action against China over 25 counterfeit trademarks on the Chinese market that mislead consumers on the origin of products protected by the EU’s geographical indications.

The European Commission, which leads negotiations with Beijing, simply stated that its “objective is to achieve the best possible result, even for producers who are facing competition from products already registered as trademarks in China and not originating in the EU”. 

US enters the mix 

The matter has been further complicated by interference from across the Atlantic. The Consortium for Common Food Names (CCFN), the US dairy industry’s arm to counter the spread in the world of European GI labelling system, filed a formal objection in Beijing to the “generic names threatened by the EU-China agreement”.

Examples of trademarks already in use in China include Feta, Asiago, Gorgonzola, Parmesan, Cheddar and the adjective “Romano” for Pecorino. 

The CCFN has used a procedure that is “common practice in the recognition of geographical indications”, explained Massimo Vittori, director of the organisation OriGIn, which protects consortiums around the world.

“It allows third parties to file objections to the request for protection by submitting a statement, provided that it is duly motivated. In this case, the complaint was envisaged in the context of a bilateral negotiation and it is very likely that its assessment will take place in the finalisation of the agreement, scheduled for the end of the year.

“We are convinced that these assessments will be made on the basis of exclusively legal reasons, and are therefore optimistic about the full recognition in China of all the European geographical indications on the list.”

The European Commission will not block member states’ attempts to sue China over its use of counterfeit trademarks and has insisted a future bilateral deal with the Asian superpower will bring “significant benefits” for Europe’s quality food producers.

The European Commission confirmed the timing and the general approach. EU executive officials recall how generic objections should be “justified on the basis of objective evidence” (supported by consumer surveys, dictionary entries and other forms of proof). 

The burden of proof is initially in the hands of those who submit the objection and “the principle of territoriality applies”: the demand for generic names “applies exclusively to the territory covered by the agreement, in this case the EU and China”.

In short, American claims of generic denomination of products will not stand up so easily in the People’s Republic.

Source: Euractiv. Date: 2017-08-24

Chinese high-yielding hybrid rice to be launched in Pakistan

China is all set to commercially launch a hybrid rice variety in Pakistan which has 18 tons per hectare yield or more than 150 maunds per acre.

The revolutionary rice seed was recently developed by the Chinese researchers under the guidance of world’s leading agriculture scientist Professor Yuan Longping, who is commonly known as father of hybrid rice in the world.

The new rice variety would help Pakistani farmers to significantly increase per acre yield and hence the country would be able to export more rice to other countries, including China, in future.

“We will be happy to share the seed variety with Pakistan which is our great friend,” said the octogenarian Professor Yuan in a rare conversation with a group of journalists. The sitting with him was jointly arranged by the Guard Agriculture Research and Services (Pvt) Limited, pioneer in introducing hybrid rice in the country, and China’s top agriculture research company, Yuan Longping Hi-Tech Industries.

Shah Rukh Malik and Rizwan Yousaf, Guard Group’s executives, said, “Currently, China imports 30 per cent to 40 per cent of rice from Pakistan. The new rice variety will help country to enhance rice exports to the neighbouring country in the years to come.”

Hybrid rice variety is being cultivated in some parts of Sindh and Balochistan as the fields in tropical districts of Pakistan are highly friendly for paddy farming. The Guard Group in collaboration with Chinese researchers is making efforts to develop the hybrid variety for Punjab’s regions and at the same time it has launched awareness programs for Sindh and Balochistan farmers to increase the area under hybrid rice. 

The average production of presently sown hybrid rice in China and Pakistan is around 7-8 tons per hectares, almost 15 per cent high than the conventional rice’s yield. Terming new variety his lifelong dream, Professor Yuan said the seed was the toughest ever in commercial large scale trials in terms of yield.

The father of hybrid rice is highly regarded in China as well as in the world for his contribution in ending the food crisis in the globe. The United Nations (UN) Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the UN World Intellectual Property Organization, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) honoured him with different titles and awards during past four decades. He received the 2004 World Food Prize for his breakthrough achievement in developing the genetic materials and technologies essential for breeding high-yielding hybrid rice varieties. He continues his innovative scientific work as Director-General of the China National Hybrid Rice Research and Development Center in Changsha, Hunan Province, China. He is widely acknowledged as the first person to discover how to achieve fast growth with greater yield and stress resistance. In 1964, he happened to find a natural hybrid rice plant that had obvious advantages over others and in 1973, he successfully cultivated a type of hybrid rice species having 15 per cent 20 per cent more yield than the conventional ones.

As area of hybrid rice in the country is about 200,000 hectares ( around 450,000 acres), Professor Yuan believed it could be significantly increased. He encouraged young Pakistani researchers and agriculture scientists to take benefits from the Chinese expertise in the field of agriculture science. He believed Pakistan was good country and had great potential of growth and development.

The Guard Group also organised the visit of ISKY chemicals company which is one of the world’s largest exporters of agri chemicals. Founded in 1994, ISKY is a major supplier of sulphur and related chemicals to Asia, Africa, Americas, Europe and Oceania. The company management offered its full cooperation to Pakistan in the field of agriculture science.

Source: The Nation. Date: 2017-08-24


Farmers turn to artificial intelligence to grow better crops

Your grocery store's tomatoes may have a new friend aiding their development: artificial intelligence.

NatureSweet, which grows tomatoes on six farms in the United States and Mexico, is usingartificial intelligence to better control pests and diseases in its greenhouses. 

The technology, developed by the Israeli digital farming company Prospera, has already improved harvests and reduced labor costs. NatureSweet began testing the technology almost a year ago at one of its farms in Arizona. It plans to roll the tech out to all of its locations soon. 

Adrian Almeida, chief innovation officer at NatureSweet, believes artificial intelligence will eventually improve his greenhouses tomato yields by 20%. 

"It'll be better for the environment and for the customer," Almeida said. 

Farms are increasingly using technology to grow crops, from task-tracking systems  that monitor watering and seeding to drones that capture aerial images. 

So far, NatureSweet's weekly harvests have grown 2% to 4%. This may seem modest, but the results makes a big difference when growing millions of pounds of tomatoes a year. 

To use the method, NatureSweet installed 10 cameras in greenhouse ceilings. The cameras continuously take photos of the crops below. Prospera's software has been trained to recognize trouble, such as insect infestations or dying plants. 

Previously, some of NatureSweet's 8,000 employees were tasked with walking through the greenhouses to identify struggling plants. But the process was slow and expensive. NatureSweet did this only once a week. 

The cameras from Prospera monitor the plants 24/7 and provide instant feedback. 

Prospera's founder Daniel Koppel previously researched how to predict crop yields from satellite photos -- insights that can be used to trade commodities on Wall Street. Instead, he built his own business, figuring it would have a greater global impact. 

NatureSweet has also experimented with using the cameras to forecast when plants are ready to be harvested. 

Although Almeida said that aspect of the technology is still a work in progress, improved efficiency is apparent. He estimated NatureSweet's headcount would have to grow by 4% without it. 

The company announced this week it raised $15 million from investors such as Qualcomm Ventures and Cisco Investments to fund expansion. Prospera plans to track more crops, including peppers and potatoes, as well as monitor plants outside greenhouses.

Source: CNN. Date: 2017-08-24


China to overtake the US as the largest dairy market by 2022

China is set to overtake the US as the world largest dairy market by 2022, according to new research on dairy markets by Euromonitor. 

The database outlines that by 2022, China’s dairy market will be worth an estimated US$68.8bn, overtaking the US market which is forecast to be valued at US$67.7bn by 2022. 

Currently, the US has the largest dairy market valued at US$64bn. China is currently second with their market valued at US$55bn. 

Pinar Hosafci, senior food analyst at Euromonitor International, believes consumer trends are changing towards milk product in the largest producing states. 

“Americans are drinking less milk and are becoming wary of flavoured milk drinks, which they perceive to be unhealthy due to their high sugar content. China’s growing appetite for yoghurt on the other hand will result in it overtaking the US as largest dairy market by 2022,” he said.

“For overall yoghurt sales in China, driving yoghurt is a key growth driver. This is largely due to major players expanding their reach with ambient drinking yoghurt,’’ he continued. 


Also surging is the Indian dairy market. By 2022, its forecasted dairy sector will be at an estimated US$26bn, rising to the fourth highest globally. Currently, the southeast Asian country is eighth with a market size of US$17bn.

Hosafci also identified hygiene and changing consumer preferences as affecting India’s market valuation for dairy. 

“[In] India, the growing health and hygiene awareness combined with urban consumers shifting from unpackaged milk to packaged milk, will see the country switch places with Japan by 2021,” he said.

Brazil’s market is forecast to grow from US$25bn in 2017 to US$27.3bn in 2022, remaining as the third largest global market by value.

Japan, Russia and Germany have the fourth, fifth and sixth largest dairy markets by value, respectively, in 2017.

Total global dairy market size (US$) over the next five years

2017: US$473bn.

2018: US$483bn.

2019: US$495bn.

2020: US$507bn.

2021: US$519bn.

2022: US$532bn.

Source: Irish Farmers Journal. Date: 2017-08-23

China considers reviewing Namibian beef deal to ease restrictions

China is considering reviewing a beef import agreement with Namibia, the country's ambassador to Namibia Zhang Yiming said on Tuesday, raising the possibility that restrictions could be eased. 

A 2015 import agreement between Windhoek and Beijing stipulates that beef from Namibia must come from areas that are free of disease, including bovine pleuropneumonia (lung sickness), Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease. 

Namibia had expected to start exporting bone-in beef to China last year, making it the only African country allowed to export beef to the country, but an outbreak of LSD in July last year halted that. 

Local media reports suggested last year that Windhoek might have blundered by agreeing to China’s conditions regarding LSD as the country might never be able to meet that requirement since it suffers from sporadic outbreaks of the disease. 

Zhang told reporters in Windhoek on Tuesday that his country was prepared to renegotiate the text of the agreement. 

"Our embassy has already sent a report back to Beijing requesting a technical team to come to Namibia so that we can renegotiate this agreement to make it more flexible," the Ambassador said. 

LSD is transmitted through insect bites and can take up to six months to heal. 

Exports to China can only start after a 12 month disease-free period. 

Namibia currently exports its beef to many countries, including the European Union and Norway.

Source: Reuters. Date: 2017-08-23


Danish Crown targets China growth through Alibaba deal

Pork giant Danish Crown has signed a memorandum of understanding with Tmall, one of Chinese e-commerce firm Alibaba's business-to-consumer marketplaces.

The cooperative, the world's largest pork exporter, will now see its products made available to the 466m annual active consumers on Alibaba's e-marketplaces.

As part of the agreement, the meat of 1,001 Danish pigs - the number is based on the title of a well-known fairy tale - from one of Danish Crown's cooperative members on the island of Langeland will be reserved for sale to Chinese consumers, ready for Chinese New Year in February 2018.

But in less than two years' time, pork for the Chinese market will be processed at a new Danish Crown plant near Shanghai.

Danish Crown CEO Jais Valeur said: "Partnering with Tmall has enormous potential for Danish Crown. Chinese consumers are buying much more of their food online than anywhere else in the world. 

"By selling our products through Alibaba's e-marketplace, we get access to a vast sales platform and ensure that Danish Crown can become a pork provider of choice for the growing Chinese middle-class."

David Lloyd, managing director of Alibaba's operations in the UK, Ireland and Nordic markets, said: "Danish produce enjoys an excellent reputation in China and I am pleased to announce this agreement with Danish Crown today. 

"Chinese consumers increasingly want reassurance that the meat they consume is of outstanding quality and reared to high-standards, and we look forward to working closely with Danish Crown to enable the 466m annual active consumers on our e-marketplaces to buy quality Danish meat products on Tmall Fresh to enjoy at home."

Tmall will be running an online marketing campaign aimed at Chinese consumers on their platform from 24 August for three days, which will heavily promote Danish food and products, including the Danish Crown brand.

Danish Crown started exporting pork to China in 1998. In 2016, more than one full container load of pork was shipped every hour, every day, all year round. The majority of it is sold to Chinese distributors.

Last year Danish Crown exported more than 260,000 tons of pork to China representing a turnover at approximately EUR600m (US$705.1m).

The Danish Crown product range for Tmall will be picked, processed and packed at the Danish Crown facility in Ringsted, Denmark. In spring 2019, the production will move to a newly established Danish Crown factory in Pinghu, close to Shanghai.

Source: Just-Food. Date: 2017-08-23


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