• The 2011 crop – our best so far
  • North America Study Tour 2010
  • The 2011 crop – our best so far
  • China-Vietnam study Tour 2013
  • The 2011 crop – our best so far
  • 13 T/Ha wheat crop in England, 2015 Ag Tour
  • The 2011 crop – our best so far
  • Factory tour, China-Vietnam 2013
  • The 2011 crop – our best so far
  • Finding ANZAC relations graves, Ypres Belgium, European Ag Tour 2015
  • Harvesting the 2009 crop
  • Cotton Rondonopolis, Brazil, South America 2016
  • Iguazu Falls, South America, 2016
  • On the Amazon, South America, 2016
  • The late James Crabtree (92) enjoying the fruits of our labour
  • North America Study Tour, 2010
  • Factory tour, China-Vietnam 2013

Past Tours

Our focus has shifted to working in Africa through Arise African Agriculture – empowering Africa to feed itself. Please see more at www.ariseafricanag.com

2005 China


I to 17 October

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Notes on China Study Tour 2005

Reflections of China Tour, Bill Crabtree

For 16 days a group of 49 “big nosed” Australians inspected life in China. I was surprised by their friendly and apparently open attitude. We arrived at the beginning of their big week-long holiday (1-7th October) and we soaked up the festive atmosphere in Tiananmen Square, gardens, lakes and temples . . .
Chinese history is rich, it goes back thousands of years. They are very progressive and have done some incredible feats. You might think of the Wall of China - but there are many more like it. Twenty five years ago they say there were no freeways and few roads in China, now they are going up everywhere and so too are the skyscrapers that increasingly fill the sky. The smog also crowds in on the rapidly growing cities. With 1.3 billion people and a quarter of them being better off than we are - it is a land of contrasts. But there is much wealth there.

They have poor peasant farmers who own an acre of land for their wheat and corn - in northern China. Southern Chinese farmers own less land and grow mostly rice. The good news for our wheat is that Chinese farmers do struggle to make enough money from growing wheat and vegetables can be more profitable. Also farm-land is being turned into land for houses. So it is not likely that they will exceed their 95 million tonnes that they currently produce. Increased wealth means more noodles and beer. So we should not see the competitive production increases from China that we will soon see from eastern European.

Almost all Chinese are becoming more wealthy every year. With >9% growth per quarter for the last 9 quarters - you can see why they are optimistic. Unemployment at <3% and cities being built almost overnight. Cranes work through the night - every night! They have five massive projects on the go at the moment. The train line through to Europe in the highlands, a large gas pipeline project, three large irrigation and transport water channels and the three gorges dam - the worlds largest (can’t recall the 5th project).

China once was the superpower of the world. You get the feeling that with their recent embrace of modern technology that they will be it again - even in my lifetime. Their wealth will not come from silk or clay jars though - it will come from mass production of technical items. Everything that is made in the west is being copied there and at a third the price and at an increasing levels of quality.
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