There were many farmlands in Hong Kong, before the place became dependent on imports for the food it consumed. Some enthusiasts try to revitalise local agricultural activities in recent years. Supply of homegrown vegetables and rice is increasing, but there are still many challenges to be overcome.
To build stronger connections among local farmers and the food sector, the Department of Asian and International Studies (AIS) held the “Food and Farmer Forum: In Search of the Local Agricultural Economy, Food Movement and Sustainability” on 26 October 2019. Speakers from organisations of the sector including Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Hong Kong Organic Association, and Sustainable Ecological Ethical Development Foundation, as well as organic agriculture practitioners and academics, spent an afternoon sharing relevant experience, skills and knowledge. In addition to the technical aspects of farming, Hong Kong government’s agricultural policy and marketing strategies of locally grown produce were also brought up for discussion.
More specifically, the topics examined were organic and conventional agriculture, planting and soil management, fruit plantation and non-veggie cultivation, farm management and marketing, building farmers’ community, land grab in Hong Kong, and Hong Kong’s agricultural future.
On the morning of the same day, Taiwanese advocate of green and food movement LAI Chin-sung spoke at the “Food and Agricultural Forum: Food, Farm, Family: The Cultivation of Local Agriculture and New Young Farmers”. Bringing his experience of developing space for rice farming in his wife’s hometown and cultivating young farmers, he outlined the limitations of community-based agriculture, and shared his success story in founding an agricultural platform in Yilan for young people to explore community-based agriculture and their connections to the nature and the land.
The forums attracted the attendance of students, academics, and members of the general public.