Saturday, 16 June 2012

Hong Kong Boom!

Boom Hong Kong ! Before we entered China we were briefed by the Senior Economist from Rabobank Hong Kong. Because China and India are positioned similarly in terms of total population and agricultural potential, the defining difference is the investment in infrastructure. On a farming level infrastructure is important also, reserves storage and capital invested in water facilities are key. The government allocation in the four modes of transport road, rail, sea and air are paramount for not only market access but also for distribution speed especially for highly perishable products in agriculture. The newer technologies that are issues for developing countries are refrigeration and internet.

China is especially dependant on the internet for knowledge and information transfer, they seem to be in a position that the corporates have imitated the infrastructure of the western world well in agriculture with brand new state of art high tech dairies, but no skilled management available to run these facilities and no way of encouraging westerners to the lifestyles, they are now in a position where they need to train their population. In the county of China there is limited refrigeration so the produce is localised and is never marketed far from the point of production. This is why they have limited export and consume most of their produce domestically, we visited a cashmere textile company that had 100 thousand camels and 1.5 million goats to shear anaully from this there are no exports. That's what 1.4 billion people will do. For perspective this is the equivalent of 58 people for every 1 person in Australia on the same land mass.

In terms of labour the Chinese farmers are considered peasants. They harvest their crop for money to buy their own food. Different provinces are vary however the government own the land and lease it to the farmers, they are entitled to 1 mieu each and there are 16 mieu to a hectare. What you see in China are people in the fields everywhere impending manual labour from spraying to weeding it is all done on foot by hand, we saw whole fields cultivated by shovel and irrigation channels carved out by spades.


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