Emailed to AFCD:
Brief comments re the Agriculture Policy document. http://www.afcd.gov.hk/english/whatsnew/what_agr/files/consultation_on_a...
It appears there is no real overall policy; instead a plan for a grandiose project, with some vague ideas this may prove beneficial.
There is a need to support agriculture in Hong Kong, and to do so in ways that ensure farm areas are also of value to wildlife, including locally and even globally rare species.
- would fit with Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.
The Agri-Park idea seems to have been devised by bureaucrats, not farmers. Were any experienced local farmers involved in the plans? Probably not, because AFCD prefers to avoid outside help, pretending to have expertise, rather than being able to cooperate with all who may be able to help.
There’s no great need for developing new means of production; Hong Kong has already done much on this.
Instead, need support for farming at actual “grassroots” level; along with helping farmers scattered across Hong Kong to share experiences, learn from one another.
Can also help boost marketing, sales.
And help by AFCD doing some actual “Conservation” - playing a role in safeguarding against development of our remaining farmland. [and not seeking to build small houses in it!]
Sadly, I do not expect the “Policy” will change as a result of such criticisms, and the Agri-Park will be of even less value than Cyberport or the Science Park.
Though the Agri-Park will directly enrich some people, and may also play some role in helping others to enrich themselves by developing on farmland elsewhere.
Dr Martin Williams
Admittedly, I haven’t really read the document, but have seen comments, like blog post here: https://gogreenhk.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/agri-park/
Seems knowledgeable, well written; and is highly critical, including "This scheme can only have been thought up by “innovative” bureaucrats whose experience of farming consists largely of playing FarmVille.”
Paul Zimmerman added comment, which was also critical.
My thought, then, is that this indeed looks to be another government project that will spend a lot of money and generate little or nothing of value; and “innovation” indeed surely not needed - instead farming needs much simpler support for actual farmers, who seem to operate in spite of the AFCD [which does little re Agriculture, has little by way of Fisheries nowadays thanks to appalling management, is almost no use for boosting Conservation - but days pay some fat salaries to a few, I believe, such as for career civil servant but non-farmer, non-fisher and non-conservationist Alan Wong. Or maybe this is wrong impression; if so would be happy to be corrected.]