Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 405
Posted on: December 7th, 2018



This weeks quote is based on Canadian farmers and expresses the opinion of Lawrence MacAulay, the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food on cultivation and its importance in the Canadian Economy.


“The Government knows that Canadian farmers and food processors are key drivers of the Canadian economy. Through the Fall Economic Statement, we will continue to invest in the Canadian agriculture and food system by increasing market access for exports, supporting innovation and modernizing federal regulations. By keeping Canadian agriculture and agri-food businesses competitive, innovating and growing, we are helping creating more good jobs for our middle class.” – Lawrence MacAulay, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Lawrence MacAulay, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada, December 1st 2018






Grape Production in Iran’s Jowzan Valley Declared Globally Important Agricultural Heritage

The GIAHS Scientific Advisory Group stated the traditional grape cultivation in Malayer Country’s and was formally recognized as a Global Important Agricultural Heritage System on Friday.

“We, as the responsible body in Iran in this respect, sent the proposal for Jowzan Valley grapes to be designated as a GIAHS in early 2017. Around 90% of the grapes produced in Malayer are cultivated in the vineyards of this valley,” Ali Kianirad, the deputy head of Research Department with the Agricultural Planning, Economic and Rural development Research Institute affiliated with the Ministry of Agriculture, told Financial Tribune.

According to Davoud Habibi, an official with the Agricultural Ministry’s Horticulture Department, Iran ranks third in both global production and exports of raisins after Turkey and the US.

“We export more raisins than fresh grapes. Grape exports amounted to 4,159 tons worth more than $3.1 million during the seven months to Oct. 22, registering a 1.7% and 22.29% growth in weight and value respectively compared with the similar period of last year. Over the same period, some 44,000 tons of raisins worth more than $59.81 million were exported. The figures show a respective decline of 14% and 34.84% year-on-year,” he said.

“Last year, we exported 96,420 tons of raisins worth close to $152.71 million, registering a 28.57% and 45.63% decline in volume and value respectively compared with the year before. The frost, which caused a decline in production as well as fluctuations in foreign currency rates during the period, were the main reasons behind the fall in exports.”

According to Habibi, Iran’s biggest export is Russia followed by the European Union, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Persian Gulf littoral countries.

Hamedan Province, he added, has around 20,411 hectares of grape orchards that yield 350,000 tonnes of the fruit every year. Some 58% of these vineyards are in Malayer, which produce more than 203,000 tons of grapes. Jowzan Vally is made up of 17 villages and accounts for the lion’s share of Malayer’s grape production.


Zeynab Sohrabi, Financial Tribune, December 2nd 2018






Small farms make up almost half of all agricultural land on the planet

A crowdsourced map of global agricultural land has revealed that we may be getting much more of our food from smallscale farms than previously believed.

Smallscale farms – defined as those that cover less than two hectares – makes up an incredible 40% of total agricultural land area spread across the planet. Meaning that almost half of all the land that produces our global food supply is made up of smallholder farms. They tend to dominate in many African and Asian countries – such as Ethiopia, Mali and India.

On the other hand, larger plots of land tending more towards industrial-style farmland are more common in the United States, Brazil, and Australia. Some countries had diversely-proportioned farmland, such as China. In Europe, the majority of plots were medium sized–ranging from 2.56 to 16 hectares.

The jury’s still out on whether or not smallscale farms are more sustainable than their largescale counterparts. While some sources suggest that smallholder farms may have a smaller overall environmental footprint, others counter that large farms are a more efficient way of producing food for our planet and its growing population. But regardless, by revealing the unexpected prevalence of tiny farms across the planet, the study gives us a clearer picture of what we’re working with, at a global scale. And if we’re going to ensure food security for an expanding global population, knowing how much food we’re growing, at what scales, and where, is a crucial insight to have, the researchers believe.

Lesiv et. Al., Global Change Biology 2018, Innovation in the Human Afe Anthropocene, November 30th 2018






This week’s chart comes from “Knowable Magazine” and shows the relationship between food consumer prices and crop prices. It expresses that although farmers are challenged with changing prices the all-food consumer price index remains constant.










What day do potatoes hate the most?




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