• Massive Qatari dairy farm battling Arab boycott to go public next year

    Qatari company Baladna, which is creating a dairy industry in the desert to help the country to cope with a boycott by other Arab states, is planning an initial public offer of its shares (IPO) to raise funds and bring in strategic investors, sources familiar with the matter said. The privately-owned firm has chosen QNB Capital, the investment banking arm of Qatar National Bank QNBK.QA, to arrange the IPO for the first half of 2018, said the sources, who declined to be named because the matter isn’t public.
  • Local Roots: Farm-in-a-box coming to a distribution centre near you

    Eric and Matt could not be more earnest in their quest to feed the world. These two fresh-faced LA boys founded Local Roots four years ago. Their first purchases were broken-down, 40-foot shipping containers—this is apparently easy to do, since it is cheaper for shipping companies to just churn out new ones rather than fix broken ones. Local Roots then upcycles them into modular, shippable, customizable farms, each of which can grow as much produce as five acres of farmland. The idea is to supplement, not supplant, outdoor agriculture. And Ars got a look at one of these "farms" when it was set up in New York City recently.
  • Danang calls for $68m investment into high-tech agriculture

    On December 15, Danang held a forum to seek high-tech agriculture investments. At the event, experts said that Vietnam is among countries which have been hardest hit by natural disasters, so it was essential to boost the application of modern technology into the agriculture sector, particularly for coastal localities like Danang. It was also necessary to strengthen co-operation between management agencies, scientists and enterprises with farmers. At the forum, the city called for the VND1.5 trillion investments into five high-tech agricultural projects.
  • Agriculture contraction slows Sri Lanka growth in 3rd quarter

    Sri Lanka’s economy grew 3.3% in the third quarter of 2017 compared with a year ago, slowing from the 4% growth in the preceding quarter, as the agriculture sector continued to contract owing successive bouts of droughts and floods. The Department of Census and Statistics said Gross Domestic Product for the third quarter of 2017 at constant (2010) price reached Rs. 2,351,384 million compared with Rs. 2,276,896 million for the third quarter of 2016. During the third quarter of 2017, the ‘Services activities’ continued to expand further by 4.3 percent, while ‘Industrial Activities’ recording a marginal growth rate of 1.9 percent.
  • World Bank approves $300m to modernise Punjab's agriculture

    The World Bank approved $300 million on Friday to modernise agriculture in Punjab to raise farmers’ income, give consumers better quality and safer food at lower prices, create jobs on farms and agribusinesses, and improve the use of irrigation water. The resources provided by the World Bank will be part of a larger programme of the government of Punjab that aims to better harness the enormous potential for farming in the province, with its fertile soil and extensive irrigation system, according to a statement issued by the bank. The programme addresses the paradox that while Punjab’s farmers earn too little, people pay high prices for low-quality food. This situation is largely the result of farm policies that have hardly changed in the last 50 years.
  • With pineapple and sugar production gone, Hawaii weighs its agricultural future

    Andy Overbay wants all farmers to pay attention to the latest farm census survey. Otherwise, he says, government entities won’t know how to accurately respond with grants and help for farmers in need. “Don’t hedge,” said Overbay, the senior agriculture extension for Smyth County, Virginia. “Be as honest and open as possible.” This month, the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services encourages farmers to respond to two surveys by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
  • NAFTA: On balance, a boon to US agriculture

    Will the Grinch steal Christmas, keeping Mexican citizens from buying fir trees from Oregon Christmas tree growers, who’ve seen exports of their holiday trees to Mexico more than double over the past four years? They’re worried that such could be the case if the administration succeeds in scuttling the North American Free Trade Agreement, or burdening it with tariffs and rules to make it difficult or impossible to sell their trees south of the border. While the $22 million-plus value of Oregon Christmas trees is a small slice of the $262 billion in exports of goods and services to Mexico in 2016, the story is much the same across all sectors of U.S. agriculture: NAFTA is important to the economic well-being of American farmers.
  • Agriculture takes a leap forward at Bonn Climate Talks

    The signature decision on agriculture coming out of this year's climate talks in Bonn, called the Koronivia Joint Work on Agriculture, provides a new opportunity to address how climate change impacts on agricultural production have put millions of lives and livelihoods at risk worldwide. "This bold landmark decision brings agriculture to the forefront of the international climate change agenda, and looks directly at important issues such as assessing adaptation and mitigation benefits of agriculture, improving soil health, nutrient management and livestock systems, and addressing the socio-economic and food security issues associated with climate change in the agriculture sectors," said Julia Wolf, Natural Resource Officer and Coordinator from the Food and Agricultural Organization of
  • Dozens of dogs rescued from South Korea meat farm

    The Humane Society International (HSI) has begun an international operation to transport the animals from the site in Namyangju, near Seoul, to safety in the UK and North America. A total of 50 dogs have already been flown to Pearson Airport in Toronto, Canada, where they are in the process of being moved to shelters in Quebec. Thirteen of the rescued dogs will be flown to shelters in the UK next year after completing quarantine.
  • Top Democrat says agenda will aid family farms

    When Missouri Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Webber visited Maryville Dec. 5 as part of a statewide tour to introduce a Farmer’s Bill of Rights, he painted a troubling picture of obstacles faced by family farmers — unfair barriers, he said, created by GOP-driven policies favoring corporate profits over a “level playing field” for small producers. “The status quo in rural Missouri is unacceptable,” Webber told an audience of about 30 Northwest Missouri State University agriculture and political science majors, most on hand to pick up extra credit as the fall semester drew to a close.
  • Smartphones take agricultural data collection to new level

    The Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) with support and funding from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has engaged several extension workers in a three-day training at the Central Agricultural Research Institute (CARI) in Suakoko District, Bong County. The 24 extension officers, including six employees from the Liberia Institute for Geo-Information Services, were trained in the latest data collection technology. At the end of the training, each participant received a state of the art mobile phone that they will use for the at their assigned areas of work. In an interview with this newspaper recently, Nasi Broh, National Project Coordinator for the Rebuilding of Statistics at the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA), said the participants were selected from Bong, Lofa, Nimba and Bomi
  • Agriculture Ministry to import food supplies to meet Christmas demand

    The Ministry of Agriculture says it will be importing additional food supplies in order to adequately meet demands during the Christmas season after heavy rainfall across the island in recent months resulted in a lack of agricultural production. According to a release from the ministry today, Minister of Agriculture Karl Samuda identified a list of produce including peppers, potatoes, carrot, tomatoes, ginger, melons and cantaloupes, which are to be imported to satisfy demand in both the tourism industry and for local consumption.
  • How US interest rate hike will impact agriculture and land

    At the last meeting of the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, the Fed voted to increase interest rates 0.25 percent to 1.5 percent. That number is expected to climb in 2018, but there’s no inkling of what it could be. It’s no secret the ag economy has been struggling. Bob Utterback, president of Utterback Marketing, says when it comes to interest rates, they are inversely related to interest rates: when interest rates increase, land values feel the pressure. He is concerned that if the President Trump’s tax reform passes and doesn’t have a way for farmers to write off interest rates on land, that could have a “detrimental impact.”
  • Int'l organic agriculture forum kicks off in Vietnam

    An international forum on organic agriculture kicked off here on Friday with the participation of over 400 delegates across the world. During the two-day forum, the delegates, including representatives from 27 Vietnamese and foreign agriculture associations, are to touch upon such issues as organic agricultural production and market, and international standards for organic products. The Vietnamese government is expected to issue a decree on organic agricultural production in early 2018, according to the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
  • Behind the Bitcoin craze, blockchain in agriculture

    Across the world Bitcoin has caused a flurry of excitement. But as analysts warn about the potential downfall of the cryptocurrency craze there is a part of it that could survive and change the business world – blockchain. “People are seeing potential here. They are seeing how (blockchain) can transform business and really introduce lots of business efficiencies,” said Victoria Lemieux, cluster lead for blockchain at the University of British Columbia research and education cluster. Double entry bookkeeping was invented in Italy in the 1400s and viewed as a revolution for the business world. Now blockchain is being heralded as the next step forward.
  • China stresses modern agriculture development

    China's State Council Wednesday called for more efforts to foster new types of agricultural businesses in the country. Projects will be launched to support diverse business entities that integrate different industries and link to the Internet Plus strategy, said a statement released after a State Council meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang. Training plans will be started to cultivate new types of professional farmers to spur entrepreneurship and innovation in rural areas to lift more people out of poverty, the statement said.
  • Keeping farmers cut off is costing Aussie agriculture billions

    The study revealed that by unlocking the full potential of ‘digital agriculture’ the value of agricultural production could conservatively increase by $20.3 billion and help achieve the industry’s goal of $100 billion in farm gate output by 2030. The Australian Farm Institute project researcher Richard Heath said the P2D project, led by the Cotton Research and Development Corporation (CRDC) and supported by all 15 rural research and development corporations, delivered 13 key recommendations designed to catapult Australian agriculture into the digital age. “A lack of producer control, on-farm connectivity and the under-utilisation of data has put Australia at a global disadvantage,” Mr Heath said.
  • Albania approves 20m euro scheme to support agriculture in 2018

    The Albanian government has approved an agricultural financing scheme worth 20 million euro ($23.5 million) for the next year aiming to boost exports, the country's agriculture ministry said. The national funding scheme will focus on increasing agricultural, livestock and food exports and attaining food safety standards, a press release issued by the ministry cited agriculture minister Niko Peleshi as saying during a conference on Monday. The financial scheme would pave the way to boost production and exports of fruits, vegetables and nuts, as well as food and agro-processing industry products in 2018, the agriculture minister added.
  • USDA prods farmers to participate in agriculture census

    The Census of Agriculture has begun and the top administrator at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) in southwest D.C. said it’s vital that farmers respond, regardless of the size of their farm or the color of their skin. “The Census is very important,” said Hubert Hamer, the first African-American administrator in NASS’ long history. “It’s an operation that’s conducted every five years and it’s the most comprehensive set of information in the United States right down to the county level, so it’s very important for decision-makers, producers and the like, and it’s the widest set of information available across every county in the country.” The current undertaking
  • American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture: 50 years and growing

    The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture reached a significant milestone in 2017 – 50 years since its founding. In the beginning the Foundation focused primarily on research for advancing agricultural mechanization and technology. With that goal accomplished, the focus on ag education was strengthened and is currently the lifeblood of the Foundation. Simply put, the Foundation is working to rebuild the bonds of trust between American consumers and the people who proudly grow their food, fiber and energy. But help is needed to ensure this work can continue. Please consider supporting Foundation efforts to improve agricultural education and literacy with a year-end charitable donation. Not sure what the Foundation does or the type of resources your donation will

News source: Farming UK