Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces Vol. 197


Julian Cribb, the former CSIRO scientist and author of the books, Poisoned Planet and The Coming Famine, shared his thoughts at the 29th International Horticultural Congress (IHC) in Australia last week. Mr Cribb delivered the opening address on the topic of global food security with some stirring words for the audience.

Food is one of the most creative acts we perform as humans, and horticulture is at the heart of that creativity. How well we do it, will define the human future now and for all time. Never has world cuisine been so diverse or so far short of its true potential.

The city itself is poised to change. Green cities alive with vegetation, fresh food, birds and insects will replace the polluted, soulless, concrete and glass urban-scapes of today. They will ensure a highly diverse, local food supply that never fails. This will bring immense relief to the stress now imposed on the world’s soils, water, biodiversity and damaged landscapes. For the first time, humanity will be able to feed itself without plundering the natural world.

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Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces Vol. 196


The harmful effects of GE foods and their related pesticides were aired at the Food Safety & Sustainable Agriculture Forum 2014, held in Beijing on July 25-26. GE Free NZ President, Claire Bleakley, expressed her concern for food safety being impacted by the rising level pesticides related to GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms) entering the food chain.

China is taking a lead in assessing agricultural methods for local and imported foods, and GMOs are under intense scrutiny as to their safety. China with over a billion people is taking safe food production very seriously and cleaning up its supply chain. There is a strong move toward sustainable agro-ecological methods of food production and processing, with significant implications for New Zealand producers and exporters.




Farming technology is about to experience dramatic growth in the coming years. Programs such as Sense-T, based in Tasmania, are hoping to capitalise on inevitable breakthroughs.

At Sense-T, a team of scientists, farmers and entrepreneurs based at the University of Tasmania are developing…

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Vietnam Update – August 2014

Economic indicators in July continued to affirm Vietnam’s path towards a sustained recovery.

HSBC released the Purchasing Manager Index of 51.7 in July, indicating a continued manufacturing expansion, albeit at a slower pace compared to the previous month due to eased growth in both output and new orders. Meanwhile, the Industrial Production Index also showed a solid gain of 6.2% YoY for the first seven months of the year, higher than 5.2% YoY growth for the same period last year, according to the General Statistics Office of Vietnam.

The Consumer Price Index inched up 0.23% MoM or 4.94% YoY in July, mainly driven by an increase of transporation cost given recent spikes in fuel prices. The Vietnam National Finance Committee forecasts this year inflation is likely to settle at 5% due to sluggish aggregate demand for both consumption and investment.

Vietnam is estimated to incur a trade deficit of USD 250 million1 in July, resulting in an accumulated trade surplus in the first seven months of 2014 to USD 1.26 billion1. It should be noted that this month’s trade deficit was partly attributable to an increase…

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