Home>>My impression of LiaoYuan
A study tour of Germany and the Netherlands exploring organic farming and sustainable agriculture in Europe took place
2017-07-25 13:43:00     Source:dcz-China website

From June 18th to June 24th a study tour of Germany and the Netherlands exploring organic farming and sustainable agriculture in Europe took place, which was supported by the DCZ. A delegation from Liaoyuan where the “Dongliao Modern Ecological Agriculture Demonstration Area” is being planned had the opportunity to collect inspiration from the European organic farming sector to implement in their model region. In addition, representatives from FECC and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Engineering – both organisations involved in the planning of the model region – joined the study trip. Seven farm and cooperative managers from Wenzhou, currently enrolled in a part time farm management and technology course at Wenzhou Vocational Training College completed the group. The trip was organised by IAK Agrar Consulting, a German agricultural consulting business based in Leipzig, Germany.

The tour set off from Frankfurt with a meeting at DLG (German Agricultural Society). The main destination was the first ever national Organic Field Days in Frankenhausen near Kassel – where the group was able to see first-hand the newest innovations in organic farming in Germany as well as meeting key organisations in the organic sector. After the visit to the field days the group followed an invitation by K + S and the German Asia-Pacific Business Association to a round table discussion on sustainable agriculture in Kassel. Representatives from DLG and Lemken also attended.

The group outside DLG’s headquarters in Frankfurt with DLG’s Frederik Tipp – Photo: IAK Leipzig

The trip would obviously not have been complete without farm visits. The renowned biodynamic farm Dottenfelder Hof to the north of Frankfurt showcased successful organic farming in accordance with the strict standards of Demeter (one of Germany’s three main organic farming associations) combined with direct marketing, communal structures, teaching, research and breeding of plant varieties. Stautenhof near the Dutch border, an organic farm applying the standards of the other two large organic associations (Bioland and Naturland), boasts its own butchery and bakery and impressed the visitors with its mobile henhouses.

Across the border Paddestoelenrijk an organic speciality mushroom farm and the dairy farm of René Cruijsen, head of Eko Holland – an organic dairy cooperative – completed the overview of organic farming in Europe. Eko Holland actually exports UHT milk to China and was expecting a visit from Chinese organic inspectors the following week. Both Dutch farms are certified by Control Union a Dutch certification body also active in China who accompanied the delegation throughout the two visits.

The participants were impressed with the dedication and professionality of organic farmers in Germany and the Netherlands. Questions that were raised more than once and that will need further investigation are the modes in which the state supports the evolution of the organic sector in EU member states and how these experiences can be transferred to Chinese realities. Also the questions of soil fertility and pest control in organic farming were of particular interest to the Chinese visitors. 

From June 18th to June 24th a study tour of Germany and the Netherlands exploring organic farming and sustainable agriculture in Europe took place, which was supported by the DCZ. A delegation from Liaoyuan where the “Dongliao Modern Ecological Agriculture Demonstration Area” is being planned had the opportunity to collect inspiration from the European organic farming sector to implement in their model region. In addition, representatives from FECC and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Engineering – both organisations involved in the planning of the model region – joined the study trip. Seven farm and cooperative managers from Wenzhou, currently enrolled in a part time farm management and technology course at Wenzhou Vocational Training College completed the group. The trip was organised by IAK Agrar Consulting, a German agricultural consulting business based in Leipzig, Germany.

The tour set off from Frankfurt with a meeting at DLG (German Agricultural Society). The main destination was the first ever national Organic Field Days in Frankenhausen near Kassel – where the group was able to see first-hand the newest innovations in organic farming in Germany as well as meeting key organisations in the organic sector. After the visit to the field days the group followed an invitation by K + S and the German Asia-Pacific Business Association to a round table discussion on sustainable agriculture in Kassel. Representatives from DLG and Lemken also attended.

The group outside DLG’s headquarters in Frankfurt with DLG’s Frederik Tipp – Photo: IAK Leipzig

The trip would obviously not have been complete without farm visits. The renowned biodynamic farm Dottenfelder Hof to the north of Frankfurt showcased successful organic farming in accordance with the strict standards of Demeter (one of Germany’s three main organic farming associations) combined with direct marketing, communal structures, teaching, research and breeding of plant varieties. Stautenhof near the Dutch border, an organic farm applying the standards of the other two large organic associations (Bioland and Naturland), boasts its own butchery and bakery and impressed the visitors with its mobile henhouses.

Across the border Paddestoelenrijk an organic speciality mushroom farm and the dairy farm of René Cruijsen, head of Eko Holland – an organic dairy cooperative – completed the overview of organic farming in Europe. Eko Holland actually exports UHT milk to China and was expecting a visit from Chinese organic inspectors the following week. Both Dutch farms are certified by Control Union a Dutch certification body also active in China who accompanied the delegation throughout the two visits.

The participants were impressed with the dedication and professionality of organic farmers in Germany and the Netherlands. Questions that were raised more than once and that will need further investigation are the modes in which the state supports the evolution of the organic sector in EU member states and how these experiences can be transferred to Chinese realities. Also the questions of soil fertility and pest control in organic farming were of particular interest to the Chinese visitors. 

This year, both the German and Chinese side agreed to establish an Agricultural Policy Dialogue working group on the topic of sustainable agriculture. Besides deepening the thematic exchange, policy recommendations are to be developed so as to disseminate experiences to a larger scale. The DCZ implemented by GIZ and FECC is responsible for coordinating the working group.

On May 30, 2016 the 1st German-Chinese Working Group Meeting was successfully held in Beijing. Prior a delegation of Chinese and German members had paid a 3 days visit to a Chinese agricultural transformation and demonstration region in Liaoyuan Municipality, Jilin Province, to gain practical insight of the challenges in the agricultural sector and to speak to relevant stakeholders like farmers and local government authorities.

Mr Yang Chunhua from the Policy & Law Department of the MOA, along with his colleagues from the Research Center for Rural Economy (RCRE) and two representatives from Liaoyuan agricultural transformation and demonstration region attended the first German-Chinese Working Group Meeting. They openly exchanged their opinions with the German side including three experts from Germany and staff of DCZ. The meeting was chaired by the DCZ political director Dr. Dietrich Guth.

As an introduction to the subject “sustainability”, Prof. Reiner Doluschitz and Dr. Ha Nan, both from the University of Hohenheim, gave three presentations on the topics sustainability indicators and EU CAP related policies.  The discussions showed that the conditions for a comprehensive system of standards for the implementation of sustainable agriculture are not yet given in China. Reasons mentioned are among others the poor availability of necessary farm management data. Hence, there is also no national system for monitoring of farm practice requirements (analogous to the EU cross-compliance approach).

Moreover, the aim of the Chinese agricultural policy continues focusing on achieving self-sufficiency in staple foods, especially in cereals. Due to high subsidies and interventions in recent years, China has achieved surpluses and stockpiles in cereals and maize supply. Highly intensive farming systems and large yield increases contributed to this development.

In the presentation of RCRE on “Agricultural Waste Utilization in China, Problems and Thinking” the problematic aspects of these highly intensive farming systems were discussed. High yield levels, separation of crop production and animal husbandry, as well as very narrow crop rotations result in high amounts of crop residues and wastes from livestock production. What are in fact valuable resources turns out to be only considered as waste that has to be disposed of and is not put to further usage.

However it is recognized that this practice is increasingly associated with high environmental pressures. In particular, the separation of crop production and animal husbandry leads to high environmental pollution in both areas. Therefore, the Chinese focus lies on reducing the amount of agricultural wastes in both production areas. In addition it was discussed that the lack of training of farmers and their adherence to traditional production methods, largely without adequate crop rotation, adds to the problems of a proper residue management.

Due to the large interest of the Chinese side to tackle the problem of crop residues and residues from intensive livestock farming, the working group agreed to set the focus on policies and models for the reduction of organic residues from agriculture and their improved use. Sub-themes that should be dealt with are (1) Avoidance of waste through improved production systems, for example, use of whole plant corn instead of only the piston as feed; with the prerequisite of coupling crop production and animal husbandry. (2) Specific technical solutions, e.g. use of midget species in cereals; use of straw for soil improvement; use of alternative machines for straw processing. (3) Diversification of crop rotations considering the Chinese grain self-sufficiency objective.

The working group will continue its dialogue, work on these topics and agreed upon officially meeting again in the second half of 2016.

The first topical APD working group meeting on sustainable agriculture - Photo: DCZ

This year, both the German and Chinese side agreed to establish an Agricultural Policy Dialogue working group on the topic of sustainable agriculture. Besides deepening the thematic exchange, policy recommendations are to be developed so as to disseminate experiences to a larger scale. The DCZ implemented by GIZ and FECC is responsible for coordinating the working group.

On May 30, 2016 the 1st German-Chinese Working Group Meeting was successfully held in Beijing. Prior a delegation of Chinese and German members had paid a 3 days visit to a Chinese agricultural transformation and demonstration region in Liaoyuan Municipality, Jilin Province, to gain practical insight of the challenges in the agricultural sector and to speak to relevant stakeholders like farmers and local government authorities.

Mr Yang Chunhua from the Policy & Law Department of the MOA, along with his colleagues from the Research Center for Rural Economy (RCRE) and two representatives from Liaoyuan agricultural transformation and demonstration region attended the first German-Chinese Working Group Meeting. They openly exchanged their opinions with the German side including three experts from Germany and staff of DCZ. The meeting was chaired by the DCZ political director Dr. Dietrich Guth.

As an introduction to the subject “sustainability”, Prof. Reiner Doluschitz and Dr. Ha Nan, both from the University of Hohenheim, gave three presentations on the topics sustainability indicators and EU CAP related policies.  The discussions showed that the conditions for a comprehensive system of standards for the implementation of sustainable agriculture are not yet given in China. Reasons mentioned are among others the poor availability of necessary farm management data. Hence, there is also no national system for monitoring of farm practice requirements (analogous to the EU cross-compliance approach).

Moreover, the aim of the Chinese agricultural policy continues focusing on achieving self-sufficiency in staple foods, especially in cereals. Due to high subsidies and interventions in recent years, China has achieved surpluses and stockpiles in cereals and maize supply. Highly intensive farming systems and large yield increases contributed to this development.

In the presentation of RCRE on “Agricultural Waste Utilization in China, Problems and Thinking” the problematic aspects of these highly intensive farming systems were discussed. High yield levels, separation of crop production and animal husbandry, as well as very narrow crop rotations result in high amounts of crop residues and wastes from livestock production. What are in fact valuable resources turns out to be only considered as waste that has to be disposed of and is not put to further usage.

However it is recognized that this practice is increasingly associated with high environmental pressures. In particular, the separation of crop production and animal husbandry leads to high environmental pollution in both areas. Therefore, the Chinese focus lies on reducing the amount of agricultural wastes in both production areas. In addition it was discussed that the lack of training of farmers and their adherence to traditional production methods, largely without adequate crop rotation, adds to the problems of a proper residue management.

Due to the large interest of the Chinese side to tackle the problem of crop residues and residues from intensive livestock farming, the working group agreed to set the focus on policies and models for the reduction of organic residues from agriculture and their improved use. Sub-themes that should be dealt with are (1) Avoidance of waste through improved production systems, for example, use of whole plant corn instead of only the piston as feed; with the prerequisite of coupling crop production and animal husbandry. (2) Specific technical solutions, e.g. use of midget species in cereals; use of straw for soil improvement; use of alternative machines for straw processing. (3) Diversification of crop rotations considering the Chinese grain self-sufficiency objective.

The working group will continue its dialogue, work on these topics and agreed upon officially meeting again in the second half of 2016. 
 
 

【print】 【close】
 
No.1485 Renmin Street,Longshan District,Liaoyuan,Jilin Province,China
Post:136200 Tel:+86-0437-3518500