Latest articles

White Revolution 2.0

While Canada and the U.S. clash over NAFTA, Cargill, Nestlé and other global dairy giants are pumping their money into India

India is the world’s largest dairy producer, thanks to the “White Revolution” that it launched shortly after the country’s independence in 1947, when it first gave itself the goal of replacing dairy imports and promoting self-sufficiency. Now, the country has embarked on a White Revolution 2.0 that will keep its borders closed to imports of […] Read more

Large, commercial… and organic

Agri-Fusion says its choice to go organic is a business no-brainer, with a collaborative new management design to make sure it pays

Agri-Fusion’s four owners of Quebec largest organic farm never looked back at their choice to go organic. Whether it’s wheat, corn, soybeans, beans or peas, organic crops earn them twice as much per acre as conventional crops, and they cost much less to produce. It’s a point I heard again from 67-year-old Gilles Audette, one […] Read more

The slow death of the Green Revolution

Even as the negative impacts of the great Green Revolution pile up, there is hope

It saved one billion people from starvation. It won a Nobel peace prize for its founder, and it transformed India, all by discovering new varieties of high-yield rice and wheat, and new ways of growing them. Yet today, 50 years later, the Green Revolution is sputtering. Those high-yield crops have touched off ecological disasters, and […] Read more

Feeding the Indian tiger

Move over China. Food sales to India are set to roar

“The Indians are crazy for red lentils… potential sales are incredible,” says Lance Walker, head of Lazer Enterprises Inc. in Borden, Sask. Walker was working in a trade show booth as he told me this, one of the representatives of the 23 Canadian businesses that were participating at the 31st Aahar Food Hospitality Trade Fair […] Read more

Soil testing by laser beam

A Quebec company has developed a soil-test system using laser technology that reports more accurate results in just three days

Iké Nault regularly stops his ATV on a 25-acre freshly cut hayfield belonging to a producer from Howick, 30 kilometres south of Montreal. Probe in hand, the young technician methodically collects soil samples. Each stop is georeferenced as a green dot on a field map on his cellphone screen. It really is “space age” technology, […] Read more

After the animal abuse video went viral

What’s it like for a Canadian farmer at the centre of an international animal rights media frenzy?

A year and a half later, Jeff Kooyman is still disturbed by a video produced on his farm, Chilliwack Cattle Sales, by the advocacy group Mercy for Animals. Broadcast during prime time on CTV national news on June 2014, the video let the whole world see young workers shouting “f***ing bitch” at cows, kicking one […] Read more

Two older men talking outside with each other.

Ottawa’s gamble

A year after pulling the plug on the Canadian Wheat Board monopoly, Ottawa is funding a new generation of Ukrainian co-ops

When Camil Côté landed in Ukraine’s capital Kiev last July, he was on a mission to establish grain co-operatives in a country that used to be the breadbasket of the Soviet Union. But if there was any irony in a Canadian going to the heartland of communism to build new co-ops, it wasn’t on anyone’s […] Read more

Ukraine: The world’s next breadbasket

Who will be the big winners when the struggling country gets its agricultural act together?

The world has its eyes on the Ukraine. What it is seeing there is nothing less than a new El Dorado in agriculture, based on some the world’s most fertile and most underutilized soils. For centuries, Ukraine was Asia’s breadbasket, but since the collapse of the Soviet Union, much of its potential has essentially lain […] Read more