Chinas Eco-Farming Boom Driven by Food Safety Scares

Ill post some interesting links and videos about some innovations in ecological farming in China.

From China Daily

a group of 20 parents, … in 2010 founded the Safeguard Homeland Green Consumers Association.

“It’s an association of mothers who joined to find safer food for their children,” said Yao, who noted that the membership has grown to 80 this spring.

The association made a deal with an eco-farm that uses earthworms to help fertilize the crops. The farm leased out small pieces of land, usually 20 square meters as a share, to every member of the association at the monthly rent of 100 yuan (about $15).

Members could either plant vegetables themselves or hire farmers to do the work for 280 yuan for each month.

“Now I can finally put my mind at ease, as the vegetables are grown right before my eyes on ecologically fertilized land,” said Zhang Lushuang, one of the association’s members.

Like the members of “Safeguard Homeland,” urban consumers, eager to secure a safer diet, are rushing to manage the production of their own food, by directly engaging in the farm work or commissioning production to eco-farms.

It helps consumers bypass the sophisticated food chain, a chief supplier of chemicals in Chinese food, Yao said.

The surge in the number of customers has also encouraged rural eco-farmers, as it suggested a boost in the sluggish market of organic products

the village changed its strategy and invited consumers to participate in the production, so they could take an up-close look at the way the farm operated.

One of the village’s ecological pig farms even created real-time online video feeds for customers to take a look at the pigs whenever they wish.

“The results were great,” Zhang said. “The prices of our cereal-fed pigs were two times higher than that of ordinary pigs, but they still sold well and made a great profit.”

Furthermore, the direct link between buyers and producers helps both sides get rid of intermediary surcharges, which have pushed up food prices while gobbling up the bulk of farmers’ profits.

“Wanna be rich? Grow apples; Wanna be super rich? Raise pigs. Wanna be super, super rich? Grow apples and raise pigs.” The slogan is worded by Ye Weiqiang, a college graduated “village head,” to sell his get-rich “bible” to farmers.

Ye’s bible is called “apple-pig circular economy,” a simple idea to raise pigs (or cattle) with corn, and grow apples on an organic fertilizer that consists of pig (or cattle) excrement mixed with corn straw so to produce organic fruit.

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