Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces Vol. 166


Akinwumi Adesina, Nigeria’s US-educated agriculture minister, told an audience in New York recently:

“Nigeria was food self-sufficient in the 1960s and well-known for its global position in major agricultural commodities.” Then something changed… “We found oil and became too dependent on it. Nigeria soon on wheat, rice, sugar and fish alone.”



Half a century after agricultural productivity surged in Asia, eastern Europe and Latin America, with cereal yields jumping from 1 tonne a hectare in 1960 to more than 3 tonnes last year, Africa has yet to see a serious increase in production. Cereal yields in sub-Saharan countries have risen to only 1.3 tonnes per hectare, up from 0.8 tonnes. This has left many Africans poor, as the majority depend on agriculture for their livelihood.

The development of higher-yielding cereal seeds and an exceptional expansion in the use of irrigation, fertilisers and pesticides half a century ago led to such a big jump in farm productivity in countries such as India…

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Vietnam Update – Jan, 2014

Economic update

Macroeconomic data has shown positive signs of a more sustainable recovery for Vietnam’s economy in 2013.

Vietnam recorded GDP growth rate of 6.04% in the fourth quarter of 2013, bringing the country’s total GDP growth in 2013 to 5.42%, better than that of 5.03% in 2012. The Service sector posted a strongest increase of 6.56% YoY, while Industry and Construction rose 5.43% YoY and Agriculture was up only 2.67% YoY2. The IMF expects Vietnam’s economic growth to still be around 5.4% in 2014.

Meanwhile, HSBC released the Purchasing Manager Index of 51.8 in December, up from 50.3 in November, driven by the increase of new orders, manufacturing output as well as employment. The growth of new orders led firms to raise their production and hence manufacturing output witnessed an increase at the fastest pace since April 2011. At the same time, the General Statistics of Vietnam also reported the 5.9% increase of Industrial Production in 2013, up strongly from 4.8% in 2012, while the YoY growth of the Inventory Index decelerated to 10.2% from 20.1%…

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Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces Vol. 165


Rubber in Tokyo extended a recovery from a five-month low as optimism grew that global economic growth will accelerate this year, supporting demand for the commodity used in tires:

“Rubber is being bought back as it looks undervalued given the positive outlook for global economic growth,” said Hideshi Matsunaga, an analyst at Evolution Japan Co., a broker in Tokyo.

Outside of Japan, the Thai price was supported by speculation that supplies will be limited as the low-production season is due to start in major producing countries in February.




It may come as a surprise that in Denmark – a post-industrial economy – that the food industry is still thriving. Well, although Denmark is a tiny country, with 5.6m people and wallet-draining labour costs. But it is an agricultural giant, home to 30m pigs and a quiverful of global brands. This because, just in California and Silicon Valley, Denmark has cultivated an innovation cluster that is the driving force behind its agricultural might.

Every weekday 20,000 pigs are delivered to…

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