Mar 4, 2015

China plans trial program to let farmers sell land

China will carry out a groundbreaking trial program that may allow farmers to sell land, a senior official said Wednesday, a step toward liberalizing rural real estate transactions currently monopolized by the government. The ability to sell land is expected to accelerate China’s urbanization, ...

Modi bets on GM crops to feed India

Feb 22, 2015

Modi bets on GM crops to feed India

by Mayank Bhardwaj

On a fenced plot not far from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home, a field of mustard is in full yellow bloom, representing his government’s reversal of an effective ban on field trials of genetically modified (GM) food crops. The GM mustard planted in ...

Chemicals in nectar can fight bee disease: study

Feb 19, 2015

Chemicals in nectar can fight bee disease: study

Flower nectar contains a bouquet of chemicals that may help fight parasite infection in bumblebees, a study said Wednesday. The findings throw up clues for helping honeybee colonies that are battling mysterious but catastrophic decline. Biologists in New England tested eight nectar compounds on ...

Native Americans move into pot business

Feb 15, 2015

Native Americans move into pot business

What is now a damp plot of bright green grass next to a Native American greenhouse in Northern California could soon set the burgeoning marijuana industry on fire. An initial state-of-the art greenhouse measuring 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) is to be erected ...

Feb 15, 2015

Apples modified to resist browning get U.S. approval

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given its approval for two types of apples genetically modified to resist turning brown after they are bruised or sliced. The development could boost sales of apples for snacks, salads and other uses. Arctic Golden and Arctic Granny ...

Farming of herbs, medicinal crops growing

Feb 13, 2015

Farming of herbs, medicinal crops growing

by Michio Watanabe

Reflecting rising demand for herbal medicine, domestic cultivation of crops used to make such products is expanding. The Nara Prefectural Government launched a project at the end of 2012 to promote the cultivation and processing of medicinal plants for herbal drugs to help revitalize ...

Farming reforms set to test Abe's resolve

Feb 4, 2015

Farming reforms set to test Abe's resolve

by Yuka Obayashi

After December’s landslide re-election, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s program to revive the nation’s economy is set to meet perhaps its stiffest challenge, the nation’s sclerotic farming industry. He will soon submit legislation to reform agriculture, a sector where a dwindling band of aging farmers ...