• 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

2013 China-Vietnam


7–29 September

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Notes on China Vietnam Study Tour 2013

Once again a fantastic group of thoughtful farmers from across Australia, but mostly from the West, became lifelong friends. We witnessed together the energy, the progress and the enthusiasm that is China. There are cranes everywhere. . .
The roads are new and busy and full of many nice European cars. It really was a notch up from what the 2005 tour group saw. There were few pushbikes this time, quite a few motor bikes but many cars. Flat ownership has soared and employment is solid.
China grabs our Australian coal and powers its way to prosperity. We had about six different guides and we asked them many questions, including “Is the future looking good for you and your country” and the answer was always a big yes.

The whole countryside was clean, except for the Yangtze River. The people are hard working and progress can be seen at every turn. The air was not always clean and their agriculture has room for improvement.
We met with three different Universities and learnt about their soil erosion issues, their biotechnology support and their keenness to learn and solve problems.
My big take-home message was that China needs to understand and adopt no-tillage to improve soil-water relationships. It was an honour to leave copies of my book with Guangzhou for it to be translated into Mandarin.

Australian farmers enjoyed getting in and helping with rice and cassava harvest in the highlands of northern Vietnam. We visited the friendly tribal people from the Black H’mong, Tao and Red Dzao tribes and some stayed overnight in a mountain home. Corn, fish, buffalos and rice were the common commodities in these villages.
Hanoi had excellent Vietnam war and sociology museums where we all learned more about our Vietnamese neighbours. A visit to Mekong River in southern Vietnam showed us the rich foliage that grows when there is an abundance of water.

Can Tho university hosted us and a professor is doing some interesting drought tolerant rice glasshouse experiments.
Interflour, a CBH investment, is the largest wheat flour mill in Vietnam and we were impressed by the port manager’s knowledge of the business, and English skills and sense of humour. The mill was very clean and housed Swiss machinery. The test kitchen was full of fresh Vietnamese bread as they test bake a sample of each ship load of wheat that comes in.

There was a clash of interests on the last day of our tour as’ Fremantle Dockers’ were playing in the AFL grand final. Many opted for viewing it on a pub television in Saigon, whilst others visited the Cu Chi tunnels where the Vietcong lived and launched guerrilla warfare during the Vietnam war.
The women visited Mekong quilts, a community not-for-profit shop, which is helping women sew their way out of poverty. An amazing trip in which we saw agriculture from subsistence through to modern, high technology factories, universities and businesses, heard stories from rural and city people about their past, present and future, and marvelled at the fruit of their labours.
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