Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 370
Posted on: February 28th, 2018


The quote for this week is taken from a statement from the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association in which the interest group petitions the USDA to regulate the use of the terms ‘meat’ and ‘beef’ when describing foodstuff. They request that the terms be used to indicate:

“that the product is derived naturally from animals as opposed to alternative proteins such as plants and insects or artificially grown in a laboratory.”

This comes in response the development of lab grown meat-like protein (derived from either plant or animal cells).


“Agricultural chemicals supplier and seeds developer Nufarm has received approval to produce the world’s first plant-based source of long chain omega-3 fatty acids. The company says its genetically modified omega-3 canola will help relieve pressure on wild fish stocks, which are the current source for long chain omega-3s, which are essential for human and fish health. One hectare of the omega-3 canola could provide an omega-3 yield equivalent to 10,000 kilograms of wild caught fish, Nufarm said.

Food Standards Australia New Zealand has approved its use in food for humans, and the Australian Office of Gene Technology Regulator has approved its use in animal feed.

The market for omega-3 oil is expected to be worth more than $US3 billion by 2023, and it is estimated that the world will need more than 1.8 million tonnes within the next 10 years to satisfy demand.

“We see the US, Canada and Australia as the key production bases for omega-3 canola,” Nufarm chief executive Greg Hunt said on Tuesday. “We will continue our development work in Australia in the near term and we maintain a strong commitment to produce and commercialise in Australia in due course.”Source: Chappell, Trevor. The Australian. 13 February 2018.


“Cape Town is in the unenviable situation of being the first major city in the modern era to face the threat of running out of drinking water. However, the plight of the drought-hit South African city is just one extreme example of a problem that experts have long been warning about – water scarcity.

Despite covering about 70% of the Earth’s surface, water, especially drinking water, is not as plentiful as one might think. Only 3% of it is fresh. Over one billion people lack access to water and another 2.7 billion find it scarce for at least one month of the year. A 2014 survey of the world’s 500 largest cities estimates that one in four are in a situation of “water stress”. According to UN-endorsed projections, global demand for fresh water will exceed supply by 40% in 2030, thanks to a combination of climate change, human action and population growth.

It shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that Cape Town is just the tip of the iceberg. Here are [3 of] the other 11 cities most likely to run out of water.

1. São Paulo
Brazil’s financial capital and one of the 10 most populated cities in the world went through a similar ordeal to Cape Town in 2015, when the main reservoir fell below 4% capacity.

At the height of the crisis, the city of over 21.7 million inhabitants had less than 20 days of water supply and police had to escort water trucks to stop looting. It is thought a drought that affected south-eastern Brazil between 2014 and 2017 was to blame, but a UN mission to São Paulo was critical of the state authorities “lack of proper planning and investments”.

The water crisis was deemed “finished” in 2016, but in January 2017 the main reserves were 15% below expected for the period – putting the city’s future water supply once again in doubt.

2. Bangalore
Local officials in the southern Indian city have been bamboozled by the growth of new property developments following Bangalore’s rise as a technological hub and are struggling to manage the city’s water and sewage systems.

To make matters worse, the city’s antiquated plumbing needs an urgent upheaval; a report by the national government found that the city loses over half of its drinking water to waste.
Like China, India struggles with water pollution and Bangalore is no different: an in-depth inventory of the city’s lakes found that 85% had water that could only be used for irrigation and industrial cooling.
Not a single lake had suitable water for drinking or bathing.

3. Beijing
The World Bank classifies water scarcity as when people in a determined location receive less than 1,000 cubic metres of fresh water per person a year.

In 2014, each of the more than 20 million inhabitants of Beijing had only 145 cubic metres. China is home to almost 20% of the world’s population but has only 7% of the world’s fresh water. A Columbia University study estimates that the country’s reserves declined 13% between 2000 and 2009.

And there’s also a pollution problem. Official figures from 2015 showed that 40% of Beijing’s surface water was polluted to the point of not being useful even for agriculture or industrial use. The Chinese authorities have tried to address the problem by creating massive water diversion projects. They have also introduced educational programmes, as well as price hikes for heavy business users.”

The other cities are Cairo, Jakarta, Moscow, Istanbul, Mexico City, London, Tokyo and Miami. To see further information please click ‘read more’.

Source: No author. BBC News. 11 February 2018.


This week’s chart comes from Bloomberg and looks at the price jump in a traditional pork delicacy, Bak-Kwa, around the Lunar New Year. Feasting is an essential part of the celebrations and the caramelised, dried pork snack is traditionally eaten or given as a gift. There is a steep increase in the price around January or February and then a more gradual decline until the next year’s celebration.