Outlining the first phase of a deal to end a trade war with China, U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday lauded his counterparts for agreeing to make purchases of $40 billion to $50 billion in U.S. agricultural goods. That would be double the $24 billion China spent on American farm goods in 2017. But Darin Friedrichs, senior Asia commodity analyst at brokerage INTL FCStone in Shanghai, threw cold water on the pledge. “I think it’s a meaningless big number, thrown out to get headlines, and won’t happen,” Friedrichs told Reuters.
On September 30 I attended a high-level policy roundtable. The question at hand: could (and should) soya bean production be increased in SA? Soya beans are critical for animal feed, and as incomes rise so does the demand for animal products. In fact, SA’s per capita consumption of poultry nearly doubled between 2001 and 2018, and the country has not been able to meet its demand for poultry feed. SA imports a half a million tons of soya bean oil cakes, 90% of which is imported from Argentina. As agribusiness executives interacted, one asked, “Why can’t we expand soya bean production in Mpumalanga?” Well, because the mining houses beat the agribusinesses in the competition for land — and the two industries can’t share the same ground because of the often irreversible environmental damage imposed by mining.
On October 7, 2019, the United States and Japan signed the U.S.-Japan Trade Agreement. This Agreement enhances market access, allowing American farmers and ranchers to remain competitive to other countries receiving preferential treatment in Japan. Since the United States withdrew from the Trans-Pacific Partnership in January 2017, uncertainty for U.S. agricultural competitiveness developed as signs of a trade agreement with Japan appeared bleak. Concerns grew as the remaining 11 countries progressed forward to implement the multilateral agreement without the United States, renamed the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), followed by another agreement between Japan and the European Union. Japan is not only the third-largest agricultural export market for the United States, but also the third-largest market for U.S. wheat exports.
USDA estimates Canada rapeseed production for 2019/20 at 19.5 million metric tons (mmt), down 0.6 mmt from last month and down 0.8 mmt from last year. Harvested area is estimated at 8.4 million hectares (mha), unchanged from last month and down 0.7 mha from last year. Yield is estimated at 2.32 tons per hectare, down 3 percent from last month, but up 4 percent from last year. The month-to-month decrease in yield is attributed to an early winter snow storm that occurred in late September, which dropped several inches of snow on the Canadian Prairies. In addition to the snow, an early season-ending freeze occurred in the main rapeseed growing regions of Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, which produce 24, 50, and 15 percent, respectively. Canadian sources expressed concern about both lodging and pod shattering in the high moisture seeds. Harvest began in September.
China: A dramatic decline in pork production due to ASF will spur higher prices for animal proteins, driving chicken meat production as well as imports for all three meats (beef, pork, and chicken) to record highs. While beef and chicken meat consumption will rise, they will fail to offset pork’s decline. Per capita consumption of the three meats will decline 12 percent. Philippines: As pork production falls sharply, chicken meat production and imports of both pork and chicken meat will rise. Elevated chicken supplies will spur consumption to exceed that of pork. Strong competition for supplies from China and higher prices will dampen beef imports and consumption. Per capita consumption of the three meats will decline just 1 percent
Global Food Security
The greatest challenge to ensure global food security is sustained agriculture growth that not only helps in increased crop productivity but also caters the food and nutritional demand of burgeoning population. Development, deployment and diffusion of efficient technologies in terms of climate resilience, efficient resource utilization and high yielding varieties/hybrids are required to attain desired growth that ultimately alleviate poverty and vulnerability posed by climate change effects. Genetic enhancements made by crop improvement can be translated into higher productivity with deployment of newly developed varieties. Although new varieties are continuously being introduced into the seed chain but varietal scenario at times is dominated by few varieties having major percentage share in the total indented breeder seed/basic seed requirement. Almost in all the crops, some of the old varieties still occupy the prominent position by virtue of achieving mega variety status. Besides, various institutional, environmental, socio-economic and technical constraints are persisting, which impedes in up-scaling the varietal replacement rates in developing countries. To accelerate varietal replacement rate, several strategies such as pre-breeding, participatory plant breeding, maintenance breeding, quality seed systems and policy support are quintessential. Thus, in the review, challenges associated in hindering VRR and strategies to be deployed for increasing VRR have been illustrated. Adoption of these strategies could envisage higher varietal replacement rate and ultimately higher crop productivity among climate change.