Hong Kong farmland vs development threats

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    Christian Science Monitor has good article on intense development threats facing Hong Kong's dwindling area of farmland – which has lately seen something of resurgence of interest in locally farmed produce. Includes:

    Hong Kong’s farms are worth saving, says Cheng Luk-ki of conservation group Green Power adding that the farmland serves several important purposes: providing a buffer between city and countryside, moderating the urban microclimate and flood risks, and maintaining a local food supply.

    Today Mapopo is a popular community farm, selling organic fruits and vegetables through a biweekly market at Au’s grandmother’s home. It supplies restaurants and a school with produce, composts food waste from restaurants and, for a fee, offers eco-tours and sustainability workshops.

    The Hong Kong Organic Resource Center estimates that one-third of Hong Kong residents buy organic produce at least once weekly. Mapopo’s produce is not certified organic, but it – and the produce of nearby farms like it – has won the trust of locals wary of Chinese food imports.

    There is plenty of inefficiently used land – open storage, scrap yards, parking lots – that could be developed, says says Dr. Cheng. But investigating those more fully, he says, would require costly compensation and time. “The government is looking for the easiest way to find land for development,” he says.

    Hong Kong weighs the importance of its last farms

    Concerns over the safety of imported food from China – Hong Kong's largest supplier – have many criticizing a new plan to turn much of the last of its farmland into apartments.


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