Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces Vol. 184


You were right to flag the need for more funds for agricultural research (“A bigger rice bowl”, May 10th), but it will take a lot more funding, creativity and persistence from agricultural scientists, governments, companies and philanthropies, across a diversity of crops, to keep ahead of climate change. Ultimately, farmers living in the toughest environments deserve the best science the world has to offer, so they too can reap the rewards.

Bill Gates Co-chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Seattle, Washington




Innovation is a word that brings to mind small, nimble start-ups doing clever things with cutting-edge technology. But it is also vital in large, long-established industries – and they do not come much larger or older than agriculture.

In this week’s edition of Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces, we take a closer look at what developments are being made in the agri-tech space.

Connected cows Austin’s ‘Vital Herd’ has created an “e-pill” sensor that is ingested by a cow. It sinks to the bottom of its stomach for the animal’s lifetime, transmitting information out…

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Vietnam Update – May , 2014


Economic indicators continued to show improvements in April, painting a picture of the ongoing economic recovery in Vietnam.

HSBC released the Purchasing Manager Index of 53.1 in April 2014, up strongly from 51.3 in March and was the highest level in the history of the survey. The index was mainly supported by record growths in new orders and purchasing activity, as well as the strong bounce of employment. At the same time, the General Statistics Office of Vietnam (GSO) also reported an increase of 5.4% YoY in Industrial Production Index for the first four months of 2014, higher than 4.8% YoY growth of the same period last year .

The Consumer Price Index rose slightly 0.08% MoM in April, mainly driven by the increase in prices of food and catering, as well as medicines and medical services1. As annual inflation remained low at 4.45% in April1, HSBC forecasts Vietnam’s inflation rate might be controlled at 5.6% this year, much lower than the government target.

Vietnam posted a trade deficit of USD 400 million in April, but a year-to-date…

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Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces Vol. 183


Norco CEO Brett Kelly made comments on Australia’s first export of milk to China, as the milk producer concludes 18 months of tough negotiations between Australia and China.

We’re now looking to develop traction within the China market and focus on their middle class who are renowned for a focus on health. The milk market in China has historically comprised of extended life milk, so fresh milk is very rare. They (China) perceive Australia very highly in terms of clean & green, and this is something Australian milk producers want to capitalise on.“




The Australian farming industry is quietly celebrating over recent trade agreements with Asian countries. But as Australian farmers take advantage of growing demand for high quality produce in Asia, Salah Sukkarieh, Professor of Robotics and Intelligence Systems at the University of Sydney, says the challenge for many will be keeping up with demand.

Robots assemble.

“Already, many Australian broadacre farmers are using satellite-based auto-steer technology to sow, spray and harvest more efficiently, which is a relatively easy application for automatic control,”…

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