Duxton’s Agri Bits and Pieces – Vol. 427
Posted on: May 24th, 2019

 

Quote of the week

Japan on Friday lifted longstanding restrictions on US beef in an agreement announced by USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue. The move is expected to pave the way for expanded sales to the US’s top beef export market. The new terms, which take effect immediately, allow US products from all cattle, regardless of age, to enter Japan for the first time since 2003. This expanded access could increase US beef and beef product exports to Japan by up to $200 million annually.

“This is great news for American cattle producers, and Secretary Sonny Perdue and the Trump Administration deserve a lot of credit for helping knock down this non-tariff trade barrier in Japan. This underscores the safety of the US beef herd, and it will hopefully send a signal to other Asian nations that non-science-based trade barriers like this one should be eliminated in their countries, as well.”

Jennifer Houston, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) president.

Source: Ag Web, 17 May 2019

 

 

 

 

 

Cuba plans rodent and ostrich farms to combat food shortages

Cuba’s leaders are developing ostrich farms- and may breed crocodiles and rodents too, due to a scarcity of traditional meats and eggs in the country.

State company Flora and Fauna is setting up seven farms housing the flightless African bird to feed the population.

“An ostrich lays 60 eggs, and of those you get around 40 chicks, and from these 40 chicks per year you get four tonnes of meat – whereas a cow just gives birth to one calf and after a year it’s only a yearling,” said Guillermo Garcia Frias, who heads the company. He also talked up large rodents native to Cuba, hutias, for their “level of protein higher than any other meat” and “high quality pelt”, and revealed his company was also breeding crocodiles.

It has become hard to find cooking oil, flour, meat and eggs in the Communist-run country in recent months as the economy has declined, weakened by the decades-old US trade embargo, with a shortage of hard currency. Cuba imports up to 70 per cent of its food because of inefficient central planning of the state-run economy but has had to cut back. Communist Party leader Raul Castro warned on Wednesday of worsening shortages but insisted the island would not return to the extreme deprivation of the 1990s.

Source: The Independent, 12 April 2019

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SA cockles bound for international plates

Australia’s largest pipi producer is expanding its processing capabilities to target Asian and European export markets with its premium clams. Goolwa PipiCo has partnered with the indigenous Ngarrindjeri people to process and market their wild caught pipis around Australia and the world. The company harvests its Southern Ocean pipis along the pristine beaches of the Coorong.

Goolwa PipiCo processes about 400 tonnes of pipis a year, about half of Australia’s total commercial pipi catch. The majority is sold live through wet markets and wholesalers before being served up on restaurant plates in Sydney and Melbourne.

But the development of modified atmosphere packaging in 2014 has allowed the pipis to be sold in one kilogram supermarket packs that have a 10-day shelf life, double that of loose product. Managing director Tom Robinson said Goolwa PipiCo was the only consumer-facing producer that marketed pipi under a brand in Australia and had national distribution through Woolworths and Costco. Mr Robinson said the extended shelf life also created export opportunities.

“The Chinese market in particular places a premium on brands – they’ll pay good money for wine or beef with a strong brand and we don’t think our pipis should be any different – they are harvested from the same pristine waters as our Southern Rock Lobster, which is an ultra-premium product sold into Asia.”

Source: Farm Online, 23 April 2019

 

Chart of the week

 

India’s markets are expected to cheer the results of exit poll results that predict the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government will return with a clear majority of more than 300 seats. GDP Growth is expected to continue into FY20, with India remaining as the fastest growing economy among developing countries.

 

Source: IMF

 

 

 

Joke of the week
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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