Tag Archives: reduced

Degraded agricultural land reduces China’s food sufficiency | Instant News


BEIJING – China’s National People’s Congress on March 11 adopted Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s policy proposal that the government promote food savings to address shortages that have become a major national concern.

President Xi Jinping is calling for an end to leftovers by August 2020, and the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) statements about the problem of food waste are becoming louder as the future of China’s agricultural sector becomes increasingly alarming.

China’s grain self-sufficiency “exceeds 95%,” according to the 2019 white paper on food security. Beijing has often praised the figure when it talks about food self-sufficiency, but some points are unclear. For example, is this related to calories generated or to market value?

Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries regularly collects food adequacy data for countries based on production value and calories, but not for China where “data is insufficient,” according to an official. The official described China’s food adequacy level as “unknown.”

Goro Takahashi, an emeritus professor at Aichi University who is very familiar with Chinese agriculture, has calculated mainland food self-sufficiency based on calories using data compiled by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. He estimates that for the 54 main food products, the figure was around 80% in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available.

That compares with 94% in 2000, 89% in 2005 and 83% in 2010, according to Takahashi. By 2020, it may have decreased even further to around 76% due to weather and other factors, he said.

Takahashi attributed this continued decline to fewer farmers and “more and more damage to farmland.”

The government admits that there are soil quality problems. A pilot survey in 2014 revealed significant heavy metal contamination on agricultural land across China. It was found that 16% of the soil was contaminated with metals such as cadmium, mercury and arsenic.

Henan Province is second only to Heilongjiang Province in terms of agricultural produce. It is home to Hiroto Kawasaki, a Japanese agricultural expert who frequently appears in the Chinese press for his contributions to agricultural development around the city of Xinxiang.

After retiring in 2006 from the Federation of Consumer Cooperatives in Iwate prefecture, northeastern Japan, Kawasaki studied organic farming using compost and manure. He came to China in 2013, and is now working on a circular farm on a farm in Xiaoliugu village.

The rugged residential development often comes at the expense of Xinxiang’s fertile agricultural land. (Photo by Tsukasa Hadano)

Henan, like other provinces, has seen its soils degraded due to the overuse of chemical fertilizers, and this has severely affected agricultural products. Kawasaki said good agricultural land was also being sacrificed for residential development and reforestation programs.

Xinxiang used to have fertile agricultural fields stretching to the horizon and was dubbed “China’s largest agricultural village.” It’s mostly buried under condos, residential projects, vacation homes and other buildings. Several houses have been given to poor farmers under anti-poverty programs.

Official government data show stagnant food production. Grain production reached 600 million tonnes for the first time in 2012, but has reached a maximum limit of 650 to 660 million tonnes in recent years.

Around Chinese New Year each year, the CCP and the government circulate the so-called Central Number 1 Document to local party organs and the government to inform them of the top policies for the coming year. Agricultural and rural development have filled that slot every year since 2004.

By 2021, the CCP’s detailed circular plans to invest in upgrading agricultural land in major food-producing areas cover an estimated 6.67 million hectares. The aim is to produce a fixed amount of agricultural produce whether there is drought or flooding.

In 2020, southern China experienced record-breaking floods while the northern part of the country experienced a severe drought. The government’s response reflects a sense of crisis related to agricultural land security and food sufficiency after natural disasters.

Central Document No. 1 in 2019 was a turning point. It stated that China would proactively increase food imports along the different routes. This figure continues to increase. In 2019, China imported $ 88.4 billion worth of food and beverage products – a record.

The increase in grain and meat prices caused by Chinese “explosives” purchases has affected Japan, which is heavily dependent on imports – it is only 38% calorie self-sufficient.

In May 2017, China announced plans to resume American beef imports after a 14-year hiatus in an effort to ease bilateral tensions. The massive purchase of US beef by the main “gyudon” restaurant chain in anticipation of rising prices prompted the Japanese government to raise import tariffs. Sino-US friction extends to Japan when Washington complains about restrictions on Japanese imports.

Chinese food purchases are likely to continue to impact global food supplies, and Japan may have to take further countermeasures.

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Switzerland- Glacier tarpaulin is an effective but expensive protection against heat | Instant News


(MENAFN – Swissinfo) Protecting Swiss glaciers with white tarps reduces melting ice and snow by about 60%, a new study shows. However, this method cannot be applied on a large scale for cost reasons.

This content is published April 2, 2021 – 16:50 April 2, 2021 – 16:50 swissinfo.ch/gw

Only 0.02% of the country’s total glacier area is currently covered in geotextiles, a technique first introduced in the Swiss Alps in 2004 to tackle glaciers that are rapidly melting under rising temperatures. Since then, up to 350,000m3 of glacier ice have been temporarily preserved each year thanks to this tarpaulin, said researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL).

Their study, conducted in conjunction with Zurich’s ETH federal institute of technology and the University of Friborg, revealed that, over the past decade, the average cost of one cubic meter of artificially preserved glacier ice has ranged between CHF 0.60 and CHF7.90 ($ 8.40 ) per year. This, the researchers say, makes tarps an inaccessible solution to shrinking glaciers.

They calculate it will cost CHF1 billion a year to cover all of Switzerland’s glaciers – a measure that will only slow but not stop glacier melt in the long term.

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KU reduced the B.Com 2020 annual exam syllabus | Instant News


Karachi – Member of the College of Commerce Studies Council of Karachi University at the request of approved college teachers to reduce the syllabus for the upcoming 2020 BCom Annual Examination.

The meeting, which was held under the chairmanship of the KU Department of Commerce in charge, Dr. Zaeema Israr, decided that the syllabus had been shortened for the 2020 annual exam only.

The meeting participants received information that KU had received applications from teachers from affiliated tertiary institutions that they asked to be submitted to the syllabus because the teaching process was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

They were also informed that students could obtain a short syllabus from the KU Examination Department.

An MoU was signed to facilitate Karachi female prisoners

Santex Products Private Limited, a leading name in the personal hygiene care industry in Pakistan, has signed an MoU with the Sindh Prison and Correctional Services Department (Sindh Government) and the Legal Aid-Prisoner Community Welfare Committee (CWP-LAO), to increase access to menstrual products for inmates women in Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Larkana.

Adequate access to safe sanitation products has always been a struggle because of the shame and stigma surrounding the period. The situation is even more troubling for jailed women whose menstrual needs are largely unmet due to a lack of resources, according to a statement released on Tuesday. Santex Products through the Butterfly Outreach Program has donated a monthly supply of sanitary pads to the prison to ensure accessibility of the menstrual hygiene products needed for inmates. An awareness session on Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) was also conducted to educate female prisoners about the importance of safe women’s hygiene practices. The MoU with Sindh Prison and Correctional Services Department and CWP-LAO is a further extension of this effort on the formal ground.

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Sindh reduced the time for the 2021 matrix and intermediate exams by one hour | Instant News


KARACHI: Sindh has decided to reduce the duration of matric and intermediate board examinations from three hours to two hours for the 2021 school year, provincial education minister Saeed Ghani said Saturday.

He announced the decisions made at the steering committee meeting regarding educational activities in the province amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Dates for the matrix and intermediate board exams, summer vacation and the start of the new school year are announced.

Strict standard operating procedures will be implemented to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Ghani said.

These are some of the committee’s decisions:

  1. Annual examinations for matrices and intermediate will start from July
  2. The matrix board exam will run from July 1 to July 15, while the intermediate exam will run from July 28 to August 16
  3. Exams for pre-primary through eighth grade students will be conducted in June
  4. The practice will be held before the exam in June
  5. The new school year for public sector educational institutions will start from 2 August 2021
  6. Summer vacation will take place in July
  7. Paper patterns for board examinations: half the exam will consist of multiple choice questions, while 30% will have short questions and 20% long questions

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K-Electric reduces supply by up to 10 hours | Instant News


KARACHI – K-electric’s worst blackout continues in Karachi while a pipe exploded Wednesday at the Dhabeji pump station after a power failure. K-electric has started unannounced blackouts throughout the city as Korangi, Landhi, Shah Faisal Colony, Malir, North Nazimabad, Gulistane Jauhar faced intermittent blackouts. Electricity also went out in North Karachi, New Karachi, Surjani and Orangi. K-electric’s blackout time has reached up to 14 hours while people’s lives turn to hell in the scorching heat and humid weather. On the other hand, the Managing Director (MD) of Karachi Water and Sewerage Board (KWSB) said that the blackout in Dhabeji continued while shutting down electricity as well as blowing up the pipeline that provided water to the city after millions of gallons of water supply. to the city has been suspended.

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