Business / Industries

More farmers sign up to food chains

By Zheng Xin (China Daily) Updated: 2012-09-24 10:28

More Chinese farmers are resorting to food chain partnership projects to improve their agricultural yields and raise the quality of their harvest, say insiders.

The projects, equipping farmers with technology and instructions on agricultural practices, guide them in reducing pesticides for safer and better products and cuts costs by helping them to sell directly to wholesalers.

According to Chen Jianmin, managing director of the Jubaowan Agriculture Technology Co in East China's Zhejiang province, which joined the food chain partnership in 2010, the output of an eggplant farm under the project is 66 percent higher than those under traditional cultivation.

The income of the eggplant field has also more than doubled in two years.

"Informing the public of where the products are from and how they are grown better guarantees the marketing and sale of the fruit, especially as scandals of excessive pesticide residue grab the headlines now and then," he said.

By scanning the traceability code on the package of the products, customers will know where they were produced, the farmer responsible, how much and how often fertilizers were used, where and how the goods were transported and whether it is genetically modified food , he said.

Chen's farmland is one of the 16 food chain projects of Bayer CropScience China in the country, according to Lu Yuanding, food chain partnership manager of the company.

The partnership is involved in about 240 projects in 30 countries, covering 40 different fruit and vegetable crops. Recent years have witnessed a clear increase.

He added they will include more Chinese farmers in the project over the next five years after more showed an interest when they saw some of the experimental projects helped to increase yields.

"It's estimated the number of food chain projects in China will hit 100 in five years," said Lu. "China is of the utmost importance because food safety issues, especially the pesticide overuse by China's individual farmers, has become a major concern in recent years."

The food chain partnership will further expand in the country within first- and second-tier cities in the coming years, according to Rob Hulme, country head of Bayer CropScience China.

Hot Topics

Editor's Picks