Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 361
Posted on: December 20th, 2017



This week’s quote of the week comes from Irene Mia, global director at the Economist Intelligence Unit, at the launch of the Food Sustainability Index 2017, where France’s war on waste makes it the most food sustainable country in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s ranking of 34 nations.

Global hunger levels rose for the first time in more than a decade, with 815 million people, more than one in ten on the planet, going hungry.

France was the first country to introduce specific food waste legislation and loses only 1.8% of its total food production each year.

“What is really important is the vision and importance (food sustainability) in these governments’ agendas and policies. It’s something that is moving up in governments’ agendas across the world.”

THE FRUIT THAT SMELLS LIKE GYM SOCKS IS SKYROCKETING IN CHINAChina’s love of a pungent, football-sized thorny fruit is skyrocketing, and Malaysia wants a piece of it. A durian usually has about five carpels of flesh; In China, a single piece may cost about 100 yuan ($15).

The value of China’s fresh imports of durian has climbed an average of 26% a year over the past decade, reaching $1.1 billion in 2016, according to United Nations data. Thailand dominates that market, but Malaysian politicians are counting on durian diplomacy to expand access beyond frozen fruit pulp.

Durians and durian-based products are among the most searched for items in China on e-commerce site Alibaba.com, said Ahmad Maslan, Malaysia’s deputy minister for international trade and industry. Malaysia’s 45,000 durian farmers are currently locked out of the Chinese market for whole, fresh durians and instead rely on exports of the pulp.

The risk of dirt and pests on the whole fruit is deterring China from accepting Malaysian product, but negotiations with the Chinese authorities may lead to approval for whole-fruit exports within a year. Growing durians can be a lucrative business. Orchards can return about 100,000 (USD24,400) ringgit a hectare annually, compared with 30,000-40,000 (USD7,333 – 9,778) ringgit for a hectare of oil palm. However, business can be frustrating as ‘durians are the most challenging’ fruit to grow according to an agronomist with Applied Agricultural Resources Sdn.


Tancitaro is known as Mexico’s avocado capital. The municipality of about 30,000 people produces enough avocados to satisfy the demand of all of California.

Mexico produces about 45% of the world’s avocados and Michoacan is Mexico’s largest avocado-producing state. From here alone, nearly two billion avocados are shipped to the US every year and because the industry is a lucrative one, it has been the target of organised crime.

In the absence of an effective police force, communities armed themselves to ensure the security of their towns, leading to the emergence of Tancitaro’s public security body (CUSEPT) which is made up of people from this municipality. The police force is part-funded by avocado producers, who pay a percentage of their earnings depending on how many hectares they own.

Everyone in CUSEPT is connected to the avocado trade in some form, which Tancitaro’s mayor reckons is its recipe for success. As the people have a lot to lose and want to protect it. Chema Flores, a wealthy farmer who has been in the avocado business since 1982 never imagine the demand for avocados would take off the way it has. “At the moment, here it’s safe, there’s lots of security but in other areas it’s ugly…they kidnapped my son when he was 16. They asked for USD1million but I only had USD500,000 to give them. I was also kidnapped twice”

CHART OF THE WEEKUSDA has lower than expected planted areas for sorghum for the second consecutive year, as there has been continued prevalence of the sugarcane aphid. Which has prompted farmers to plant other crops such as corn, cotton and soybeans.




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