Community, Food and Agriculture in China & East Asia

促进东亚区域食农 经验交流

PCD supports Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) to strengthen links between agriculture and community, to broaden the reflection, imagination and action on food and agriculture, and to build a platform for diverse practitioners. While we directly work on CSA projects across China, we also engage with groups across Asia to form a regional network.

There are many experienced pioneers in food and agriculture across East Asia. In the second half of 2017, we invited Hiroyuki Takahashi, founder of Northeast Newsletter on Food, and Lai Chin-Sung, Taiwan’s renowned rural returned farmer, to visit several regions of mainland China. We believe that interaction with overseas networks is an important way to develop expertise, and that these two men can offer ideas and experience for the development of the CSA movement.

During the seven-day trip, they engaged with partners in Xian in Shaanxi Province, Yongji in Shanxi Province, and Beijing. In all three places, everyone, be they NGO staff, local producers, consumers, or the two guests themselves, expressed a strong interest and need for such exchange. One third of the 30 participants in the sharing in Xian were farmers, some of whom took a 5 to 6-hour bus ride to attend the 30-minute session held at the market. The overseas guests were deeply impressed by the young returnees working in the Shanxi village of Puhan, saying that counterparts in their own places should draw on the returnees' experience.

In Beijing, the men met with consumers and groups at Pure Land Cooperative and No. 44 Kitchen Restaurant. Supported by Friends of Nature, talks were also held for the public and media. Lai Chin-Sung shared how he felt upon returning to his home village in Taiwan, and brought back ideas inspired by the Seikatsu Club Consumers’ Cooperative Union in Japan to Taiwan’s Ko-Tong Rice Club, which he set up years ago. Hiroyuki Takahashi recounted his experiences as a politician, especially in the wake of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake. Takahashi also relayed his concerns about Japanese society, saying that many people are failing to find the meaning of life and are resorting to over-consumption. Through his publication that links and engages food producers and consumers and thus highlights the importance of reconnecting people to nature, Takahashi said that for himself, he has found meaning in his life.

The CSA movement strives to achieve sustainable food and agriculture and thrives on interaction. PCD will continue to facilitate more regional exchanges for friends concerned with food, agriculture and the community.

(from Annual Report 2017-2018