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Who grows better: farmers or algorithms?

The Netherlands is committed to sharing agricultural technology and supporting the development of sustainable horticulture in China. After all, the two countries have excellent ties and share similar ambitions and challenges, according to Wouter Verhey, agriculture counselor at the Dutch embassy in China.

Verhey gave a speech at the opening of the Smart Agriculture Competition co-organized by Pinduoduo, China Agricultural University, and Zhejiang University. In his view, the competition will stimulate innovation in the agricultural sector and move the industry forward. He also shared the experience of the Netherlands in promoting “circular agriculture,” which focuses on minimizing the impact on the environment by reducing the amounts of external inputs through reuse and recycling of materials.



“The Smart Agriculture Competition enhances the communication between professionals in the agricultural sector from both our countries,” said Verhey, who will serve as a judge in the competition. “By focusing on innovation in the smart and sustainable agriculture, we hope future agriculture will not only be able to feed mankind, but also benefit the environment of our planet.”


Deploying technology to improve sustainability is one of the key aims of the Smart Agriculture Competition, which is held with the technical support of the FAO and Wageningen University & Research. As China’s largest agriculture platform, Pinduoduo has sought to stimulate innovation by gathering the top minds in technology and agronomy to develop sustainable growing solutions for this industry.

This year, global teams will be competing over six months to remotely grow tomatoes, using a combination of advanced algorithms and sensor technology. The objective is to derive the most efficient and environmentally sustainable techniques to grow tomatoes with a high yield and good quality. In last year’s inaugural competition, the four technology teams produced 196% more fruit by weight on average compared with experienced farmers.


Last month, Pinduoduo announced the launch of a “10 Billion Agriculture Initiative” to galvanize the development and adoption of agricultural technology and reward agricultural sector workers. The initiative will adopt a long-term focus on capacity building for technology and human capital for agriculture instead of focusing on profit and commercial returns.

“Agriculture is the foundation of the development of human society and the nexus of social welfare, security, health, and environmental sustainability, said Andre Zhu, Senior Vice President at Pinduoduo, “As China’s largest platform for agriculture, we want to contribute more to promote environmentally sustainable practices and invest in the agri-food system.”

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Israel announces creation of global seed company

Two Israeli seed producers, Nirit Seeds and TomaTech, have joined forces to create Israel’s largest vegetable seed company. This synergy will enable unique seed breeding research and development that will accelerate the company’s growth in the international seed markets.

Upon completion of the merger, the company will have more than 80 employees worldwide, including molecular biologists, breeders, agronomists, and others.
The company will improve its breeding activities in Israel, Spain, Mexico and Italy, as well as significantly expand its representation in the Netherlands and North America, with a particular focus on growing vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.

Nirit Seeds is one of the most successful internationally traded tomato and pepper seed producers, investing in the development of revolutionary genetic technologies. TomaTech is one of the leading tomato seed companies in Israel, developing premium varieties, including those resistant to the dangerous Tomato Brown Ruffle Virus (ToBRFV).

The production of crop seeds is one of the most advanced and high-tech sectors in Israel. According to the Seed Department of the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, seed exports currently generate $200 million in annual revenue. There are about 25 large and medium-sized companies in the local industry.

For reference. According to market research, the global vegetable seed industry is valued at $8 billion a year and is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

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Karachay-Cherkessia became one of the leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables at the end of 2021


Greenhouse vegetable production in 2021 reached a record 1.4 million tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the leaders among the regions in this segment are the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Lipetsk, Moscow, Kaluga, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. These regions account for more than 60% of the total production in the country. The intensive development of greenhouse projects in our country helps to provide Russians with fresh vegetables all year round. Last year, the harvest in winter greenhouses updated the 2020 record – more than 1.4 million tons of products were received. Including the production of cucumbers amounted to at least 830 thousand tons, and tomatoes – 590 thousand tons. It is expected that by 2025 the volume of vegetable production in year-round greenhouses will be at least 1.6 million tons of vegetables.


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December: Special Year Overview

In 2022, it will be 22 year since the new millennium started. Can’t believe it? Neither can we, but it is true. Before we go there, it is time to reflect on what has happened this year. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look back at 2021 and we will highlight the most important events that impacted the industry.

New greenhouses, events, even a few shows, technical novelties, and all other relevant news will pass by, offering you something other than Covid to talk about during Christmas and New Years’.


Wish your customers Happy Holidays
This special also offers an opportunity to put your company in the spotlight with a banner in this special box. This banner can be booked until December 24 on our newsletters. For more information, feel free to send an email to: 

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