In a country hit by a string of food safety scandals, the interest of Chinese farmers to go organic farming is going like wildfire. Ji Yunliang who earned a doctorate in chemistry from Beijing University has run a small organic farm of his own.
Instead of applying his technical expertise, Ji is employing the traditional methods to control pests and weeds. There is a surging demand of organic foods in China because consumers now are paying closer attention of what they are eating.
The market now is worth US $732 million dollars and it is expected to increase by 20 to 30 percent a year for the next five years according to Huang Dejun, chief analyst with Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultant.
China’s economy is brisk in double digits and its citizens are getting wealthier and accordingly they usually are demanding a better quality life.
China’s food industry has its own ups and downs due to the melamine scandal. They learn the lesson of how the industrial chemical melamine scandal had affected their food industry and how it has been blown into catastrophic proportion that has not only shocked China and the world but it has also tarnished their reputation as a dependable food producer worldwide.
It was a wake up call for the Chinese farmers to go organic in raising their crops the natural way. Chinese vegetable farmers rather than using of what was potentially harmful herbicide in the controlling of weeds, they now learn opt to for straw mulch which is just as effective.
They now learn to intersperse variety of crops to keep away pest infestation and the spread of plant diseases. They have learned that farming with chemicals deplete the nutrients of the soil and harmed the environment as well.
They have known that more and more people have now realized the root cause of their food safety problems and they are willing to participate of what they can contribute.
Shi Yan, manager of an organic farm outside Beijing says that consumer interest in organic produce shows “everyone is concern the safety of our food.”