One thing that always strikes you in China is the small volume brought to market by each farmer or village agent who amalgamates the produce from one farmer. Recently there has been a revolution in distribution. For 2500 yuan, or 400 US$ the farmer can buy a 3 wheel electric truck that can take 500 kg for 20km, or so to market himself. That and his mobile phone to check prices is transforming his marketing power.
Farmers can be enthusiastic about training as long there is a cup of tea, and they think they can make more money. Same all around the world! These farmers near Beijing are being taught about pesticide safety and Integrated Pest Management. Many farmer’s sons and daughters are part of the rapidly growing urban population, and bring home awareness of these food safety issues not previously considered in the village.
Love this picture… Sums up the small scale of farming in China and the hard work for each farmer. But the picture also demonstrates the challenges faced in trying to scale up farming here. Each farmer is unwilling to give up his plot, and amalgamate it with others in case it is lost forever.
Arable land in china. 8% of the world’s land to supply 22% of the world’s population. What a challenge that is to the government and people of China. And with diets rapidly changing from a carbohydrate base to protein base the pressure on the scarce land and water supplies will only get greater.
Feature of Chinese factories. Lots of people. Flexible production as a result. But wages have risen by 300% in the last 10 years, and labour is now in short supply bringing many challenges to the traditional (two decades!) production systems.