Chiang Tsai-lang’s dedication to growing guavas for more than 40 years has seen him create a wealth of varieties, making his 4,850-square-meter farm in central Taiwan a “museum of guava” and a must-see attraction for anyone interested in his unique growing and cultivation techniques.
In addition to the common varieties of guava, the 68-year-old’s farm in Changhua County’s Yuanlin Township boasts such oddities as purple guavas and guavas that look like watermelons on the inside. To identify each variety, Chiang tags his trees with labels in various colors.
Chiang began to study farm management, pest control and growing techniques after becoming the first head of a local guava production and marketing group in 1989, and his work won him an “Outstanding Farmer” award from the Council of Agriculture in 2006.
Read the full story at Focus Taiwan
VietNamNet Bridge – Vietnamese coffee producers apply different standards that are not applied throughout the world. As a result, Vietnamese coffee exporters suffer from a competitive disadvantage in the world market.
Numerous meetings and workshops discussing Vietnamese coffee standards on coffee export products have been organized over the last ten years. However, the problems still persist.
The Vietnam Coffee and Cocoa Association (Vicofa) has just organized one more workshop on the issue. The association once again called for the application of international standards for coffee exports.
Read the full story at Vietnam Bridge
Jakarta. Local flour prices could see increases as steep as 20 percent due to supply shortages from Russia and Turkey, the Indonesian Association of Sugar and Flour Traders (Apegti) has predicted.
“Prices have gone up 10 percent due to increasing demand during Ramadan and are likely to rise 20 percent after the festivities as Russia and Turkey are cutting back on exports,” Apegti chairman Natsir Mansyur said on Sunday.
He said Russia, the world’s third-largest wheat exporter, had cut exports because bad weather had disrupted production.
Read the full story at Jakarta Globe
February 13, 2010, 2:25pm
Shemberg Corporation, the country’s largest carrageenan producer, is asking the government to impose restrictions on seaweed exports in order to assure availability of its raw materials.
Shemberg Chairman Benson U. Dakay, who is also Seaweed Industry Association of the Philippines (SIAP) President, disclosed that because of low seaweed production, Shemberg’s carrageenan output is currently down to only 30 percent of its 10,000 MT capacity.
“There’s no more seaweed in the Philippines. We have to rely on Indonesia, Vietnam. But there will only be planting if the government will provide financial assistance to farmers,” said Dakay.
The country’s seaweed export destinations are China or Hong Kong, 30 percent; France, 25 percent; US, 15 percent, South Korea, six percent; Spain, 10 percent; Denmark, four percent; and Brazil, two percent.
Read the full story at Manila Bulletin
The crisis over a scarcity of sugar deepened yesterday after Indonesia, one of the world’s leading importers, was unable to buy a single pound of the sweetener in its latest tender.
The setback sent the price of white sugar in London to an all-time high of $760 a tonne. The cost of raw sugar in New York hit a fresh 29-year high of 29.82 cents a pound. Sugar prices have surged 150 per cent since January 2009.
Leading importers in south-east Asia, the Middle East and west Africa are running out of sugar inventories, traders and brokers said, prompting fresh tenders to replenish stocks. Pakistan will tender next month and others are expected to follow.
“If they don’t buy soon, the next stop is an empty shelf,” said Peter de Klerk at London-based sugar merchant Czarnikow.
Shortages are emerging in some Asian countries, according to local reports. Among the main importers, only Egypt appears to have covered its needs.
Read the full story at Financial Times
International Center for Tropical Agriculture CIAT scientists and their partners in Southeast Asia have issued urgent preliminary guidelines to tackle deadly pest and disease outbreaks that have crippled cassava production in parts of the region.
The move follows a CIAT investigation into reports from Thailand’s eastern and northeastern regions, of damaged and stunted cassava plants with low root yields.
Cassava is an essential pro-poor crop in the region, where it is grown by around 5 million smallholders, mainly to supply the starch processing and animal feed industries. In Thailand alone, the industry is worth US$1.5 billion, and the country accounts for three-quarters of the world’s cassava exports.
Read the full story at Matangi Tonga
Vietnam’s rice exports were at a new high last year at more than six million tons, but analysts cautioned against complacency saying the country owed the success to external factors rather than internal strengths.
They said demand for Vietnamese rice surged since other major exporters like Thailand and India cut back on exports while the economic slump boosted demand for rice worldwide as a substitute for other foods.
The question, they said, is how long the market situation will remain so favorable for Vietnamese rice exports.
Read the full story at Than Nien News
BAGUIO CITY – Philippine coffee is a much sought after product among Filipino-Americans in the United States, but an official of the Philippine Coffee Board (PCB) said the country has yet to produce enough to satisfy the growing demand.
“[Filipino-Americans] who open coffee shops in the United States like barako [native coffee], but our problem is we cannot sell them all our coffee. We only produce only 35,000 tons [a year],” Emmanuel Torrejon, the board’s Northern Luzon coordinator, said in a recent briefing here.
Torrejon said the challenge for coffee growers
was to fill the demand, both here and abroad, since the Philippines only produces 35,000 tons and still imports coffee.
Read the full story at the Philippine Daily Inquirer
AFA attended the 3rd Summit in the Global Series on Sustainably Sourcing Agricultural Raw Materials organized by the London Business Conferences in IBIS Earls Court, London last November 30 to December 1, 2009. AFA was represented by PAKISAMA Vice President for Mindanao Michael Saguisihan who gave a presentation on the situation of coconut farmers in the Philippines, and AFA’s sustainable agriculture initiatives.
Click here for Mr. Saguisihan’s speech: http://asianfarmers.org/events/200911sustainablesourcing/michaelsaguisihanspeech.pdf
Click here for more information about the conference: http://www.sustainable-sourcing-agricultural-supply-chain.com/