Shaping The Future of Organic Agriculture in China

  • 30 May 2019
  • 19:00 - 21:00
  • WeWork @ Hunan Road, Shanghai

Agriculture is a vital industry in China, employing over 300 million farmers and accounting’s for 10% of China’s GDP. The industry is characterized by a huge number of smallholder farmers with extremely small farms, working in very diverse contexts.

With the rapid development of international production and trade in organic food, organic agriculture, naturally, also boosted in China.

Almost all farmers in China still practice traditional agricultural style. In fact, most of the farmers have no money to input in the fields, they have to keep the original agriculture practice such as crop rotation, diversified plantation, manure application and legume crop integration for soil fertility maintenance, pest and disease control. In this scenario, can these stallholder farmers develop organic agriculture?


What are the technologies that support organic agriculture? Do they allure and support a younger and more conscious generation of farmers? Or do they create barriers for a switch to organic?

Join Gregory Burgess from UR Bridge (Urban-Rural Bridge 城乡桥) and Sacha Cody, author of Exemplary Agriculture: Independent Organic Farming in Contemporary China to discuss some of the questions below:

  • What role can organic food possibly play in a nation such as China?
  • Can smart technologies like drones and IoT bring young people (back) to the countryside?
  • What are the negative and positive aspects of using drones in agriculture?
  • What are the major challenges to switch and implement organic farming?
  • What are the basis to developing organic agriculture in China?

Let’s gather in reflection and conversation to explore the future of organic farming in China.

About the Speakers

Sacha Cody, Fellow at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Subject: Using ethnographic “thick description” based on years of fieldwork, this talk explores food and farming in China. It brings to life several stories and portraits of institutions and individuals striving to make food safe and farming fun; it outlines what consumers want and why; and it touches on how policy can help.
Background: Sacha hails from Australia and has spent 17 years helping people and organizations across Asia. Whether in government departments develop

ing policy, at universities teaching and conducting researching or as a consultant developing business strategies for the world’s leading corporations, Sacha applies curiosity and rigorous research to influence decision-making. Sacha worked in commercial research for 10 years before completing his PhD in Anthropology at The Australian National University. He is currently conducting research into automation and the future of work at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.


Gregory Burgess, Designer and Developer
Background: Designer and Developer with a focus on mindful, socially innovative, and ecologically aware projects. He has been working in the field of sustainable design and technology for over 20 years; living in eco-coop-houses, teaching sustainable design for products and interiors, as well as designing and managing for: LEED interior projects, eco-city master planning and visualizations, and Experience Design for urban design software focused on energy analysis, stormwater management, and, oddly, roundabouts. He has been in a coding rabbit hole for the past year trying with a team of passionate individuals to bring a platform, that supports small-scale sustainable farming operations, to fruition for URB.

About UR Bridge

Urban-Rural Bridge 城乡桥 envisions a healthy, joyful life for everyone, fostered by a balanced economy. Formed by a group of professionals from different countries, cultural and social backgrounds, their common link is to take care for the future of our children, families and wholesome ecosystems. The collective is focused on empowering urban & rural eco communities through knowledge, technologies & expertise of eco sustainable living and directly connecting urban & rural eco communities through good, clean and fair food. To make this vision become reality they are bridging the urban and rural gaps by cultivating and nourishing the existing natural and human resources.
The URB platform is to fill two specific and connected gaps: The need for a digital space to connect, and faming management tools that empower farmers and make competitive small scale sustainable farming operations.
The goals of the platform are to:
  • Connect & build relationships between rural and urban communities.
  • Empower farmers first, with business, inventory tools so they can manage complexity at scale.
  • Leverage famers numbers and connectivity to empower their purchasing power and inventory stability.
  • Be a hub for open-source and curated knowledge on permaculture and sustainable farming.
In filling these gaps, we hope to help alleviate poverty, promote sustainable farming practices and build relationships between the rural and urban communities.

Event Details

30 May 2019 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
WeWork @ Hunan Road, 328 Hunan Road, Near Gaoyou Road, Shanghai
Shanghai Library Line 10 Exit 3