Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Standardized vegetable farm project announced

China is emphasizing large-scale production that standardizes varieties and techniques, introduces branded products, and consolidates scattered plots into big fields. The latest big project is to create large-scale vegetable farms. Watch out California!

The Ministry of Agriculture launched a new plan to set up a nationwide network of 400 standardized vegetable farming areas over the next two years. At a rally held in Yinchuan, capital of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northwestern China, the director of the MOA's crop production office said MOA will set up 200 standardized vegetable farming areas (the Chinese word is "yuan," or garden) that have fields of 200 mu (33 acres) or more, and another "open-field" vegetable farms with fields of 1000 mu (165 acres) or more.

In these projects the production will be standardized (using same varieties and production methods), pest and disease control will be unified, and all vegetables will be grown for the market (not for household consumption). Quality will reach national food safety standards and products will be branded.

MOA is requiring local governments to support and organize the efforts, coordinate different projects, give guidance and training, extend technology, and build road, water, and electric infrastructure to support the activity. The standardized farms are expected to inspire other farmers to follow the road of commercialized large scale production.

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