Drones that plant seeds, robots that pick fruit, smart boots that absorb data about the health of poultry-they are all innovations in agricultural technology that are swiftly transforming the way food is produced and managed in the 21st century. China, which faces the challenge of feeding the world’s largest national population, is teaming up with the United Kingdom to seek new ways to apply technology in the agriculture industry…Full Article: ECNS.cn June 2017

Key Points

  • In June 2017, The Newton Fund called on UK companies and organizations to apply for up to GBP 8 million (USD 10.4 million) in China agri-development funds.
  • In 2016, the UK-China Research and Innovation Partnership Fund contributed to research that led to the banning of colistin, an antibiotic often used as a feed additive.
  • Launched in 2014, The Newton Fund is a development assistant program managed by the UK government. In China, it is known as the UK-China Research and Innovation Partnership Fund.

ChinaAg Comments

  • In April 2017, China will ban use of colistin for growth promotion/farming purposes.
  • In March 2017, McDonald’s USA planned to stop sourcing chicken that has been raised with human-related antibiotics. However, McDonald’s China will continue to use antibiotics in its chicken production.
  • In February 2017, Nature Microbiology (UK) published a reported that stated that 87% of the chicken meat sold in Shandong Province’s supermarkets were contaminated with MCR-1, a colistin (antibiotic) resistant gene.
  • In August 2016, a former chief economist at Goldman Sachs noted that China accounts for approximately 50% of the world’s antibiotic consumption, of which, 52% is consumed by livestock bred for the food industry.

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