As soon as the phrases “genetic improvement” and “new technology” are used in the same breath, the image that many laymen create is one of monsters and Frankenstein food, writes Chris Harris.
However, are the two really mutually exclusive or can they live together happily?
This year’s Oxford Farming Conference brought the questions on genetics, new technology, genetic modification and improvements in agriculture into sharp focus.
At a time when the global population is growing and growing largely in the underdeveloped and developing countries, the need to produce more food, more efficiently is unquestioned.
It is predicted that by 2050 the world’s population will need 100 per cent more food and according to the UN FAO 70 per cent of it must come from efficiency enhancing technology. . .
Government pushes banks to go rural but will it pay? – Swati Pandey and Rajendra Jadhav:
Working out of a tiny rented room furnished with a wooden table, small biometric authentication machine and shelf stacked with passbooks, Ganesh Dangi is a one-man bank for a village of 650 people in northwestern Rajasthan.
A business correspondent, or local representative, for State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur (SBBJ) in Ranchhodpura village, 40 km (25 miles) east of Udaipur, Dangi is racing to sign up villagers to new “no frills” plans to meet a government target that every family in the district should have a bank account.
New Delhi plans to directly transfer cash payments for subsidies into these accounts, a move aimed at tackling graft in India’s creaky, corruption-ridden public distribution system.
If successful, the initiative could also bring modern banking to the doorstep of rural India, a goal towards which progress has so far been fitful despite mandatory targets set by the government and Reserve Bank of India. . .
Shear determination keeps business going – Sally Rae:
Shearing was Dave Bateman’s life.
After decades spent shearing, Mr Bateman saw a need for affordable shearing gear and established Dave Bateman Shearing Supplies at his Milburn home.
But following his death in May 2011 following a short illness, his widow Rayna was faced with a decision- continue with the business or walk away.
She did not have a business background but, for her, the answer was simple: ”I just took over – I couldn’t see it go”. . .
Fair success with Dorset Downs – Sally Rae:
North Otago Dorset Down breeders John and Wendy Dodd had a successful trip to the recent Canterbury A and P Association’s stud ram fair.
Mr and Mrs Dodd sold the top-priced Dorset Down ram at the sale, at $6200, along with two other rams at $6000 and $5500. They also topped the averages across the various breeds offered at the two-day sale at $5900. . .
Ten new scholarships each worth $10,000 have been made available for Maori tertiary students studying agriculture.
The Whanui grants have been created by the independent charitable trust, Te Putea Whakatupu – in partnership with the national organisation, the Federation of Maori Authorites. . .
Helping women who work in the dairy industry understand the ins and outs of purchasing stock is the focus of a series of practical workshops being held across the North and South Islands in February and March.
The Dairy Women’s Network is hosting the workshops to equip first herd buyers, or those looking to get involved in purchasing stock for the first time, with the skills and knowledge to understand the process of buying and selling stock, step by step, to make an informed decision. . .
With the 2013 Karaka Yearling Sales less than a week away, one of the first drafts to arrive at Karaka at the weekend was Sir Patrick and Lady Justine Hogan’s Cambridge Stud which is set to host its annual public parade tomorrow (Tuesday 22 January) at 1:30pm.
Having presented yearlings at the National Yearling Sales Series since the early 1980s, Cambridge Stud has dominated the leading vendor category by sale aggregate – racking up 31 straight years at the top in 2012. . . .