The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.


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New Model of Organic Farming Sprouting in Chinese Suburbs

By Wan Su: Caixin Online

Farmers are contracting with customers to provide a year’s worth of produce, an approach one academic says could be viable.
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(Beijing) – A new model of locally organized organic farming has taken root in Beijing and Shanghai in recent years, and an academic says it could be a viable way for the industry to blossom.

The model – an alternative to large-scale organic farming – sees farmers in the suburbs of large cities grow produce on their own or in groups. They then sell the fruits and vegetables to city-dwellers.

Du Xiangge, a professor at China Agricultural University, said recently that this approach could be an efficient way to develop the industry. Continue reading


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And you thought it was bad here

From Ally Bruschi’s article in The Daily Mail:

Endless food scandals throughout the past few years have Chinese consumers growing suspicious and weary of their grocery store produce —enough so for more well-off families to begin seeking organic alternatives to their traditional foods.

For example, Catherine Ho Wai-man and her family have stopped buying produce from neighborhood markets after Ho found “a suspicious white substance leaching out from the greens she had bought at a stall.”

As an alternative, the family has started growing their own greens in the backyard of their home, located in a northern Beijing suburb. In the winter, the family shops for organic produce at high-end supermarkets, willing to accept the higher costs in exchange for ensured food safety.

Many urban residents in Beijing, however, live in tiny apartments and lack the garden space and economic resources to adopt the Ho family’s solution. While the government struggles to live up to its pledge to protect its people from hazardous foods, many city-dwellers have taken extra precautions with washing, peeling, and boiling their produce before consuming or cooking it.

Some city residents have found solutions in eco-farms, which produce organic foods that can be delivered to your home for around $20 per week. The eco-farms aim to bridge the trust gap between consumers who fear for their personal health and safety and producers who need to sell their food.