Taide’s Weblog

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Posts Tagged ‘farming

My Anglo-Arabian Princess in the Muir

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My wife, proud owner of a facebook profile, has told me that my recent topics aren’t nice. So now, for some nicer. It’s November, but surprisingly mild. Just the right weather for a classic-horsemanship training, late in the afternoon today.

Getting Started

Getting Started

Vaulted first…

some time later

some time later

… then on their own.


Written by taide

November 9, 2011 at 8:57 pm

Olive Oil Production – some European, Syrian, and Turkish statistics

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Greece, Italy, Spain, Syria, and Turkey were the top olive oil producing countries in 2001 / 2002 – but with quite some differences between their respective outputs:

Season ending in 2002

Greece   358,500 tons
Italy      656,500 tons
Spain  1,411,500 tons
Syria        92,000 tons
Turkey      65,000 tons

Source: www.olivenoel-info.de

Just to give you an idea as to how volatile the outputs per country were during years from 1999 to 2003, here is a graph of three European countries:

EU Countries Olive Oil Production per Year

EU Countries Olive Oil Production per Year

In autumn 2007, fires in Greece led to substantial losses in the country’s olive oil production. Given that it takes an olive tree some seven years to grow before it becomes productive, Syrian producers, expecting a record harvest, hoped for rising prices all the same.

Olive Grove northeastern Syria

Olive Grove northeastern Syria

(The trees are skillfully bred – Jesus had to wait longer than for seven years.)

In 2007, the numbers were as follows:

Greece   394,700 tons
Italy      590,000 tons
Spain  1,326,000 tons
Syria      152,000 tons
Turkey    172,000 tons

Source: Wikipedia (German)

Syria, one of the first sites of olive trees, had increased its production substantially.

In northeastern Syria, the groves are not only in the plains. Places which are less easy to farm are also used, as labour is cheap here, and no half-automated farming is needed. A good share of the oil is used for the production of Aleppo soap. The soap producers in and around the city of Aleppo usually use the second pressing out of the olives.

According to Wikipedia (German), the 2007 ranking list of oil-producing countries (in order of their output, from biggest to smallest, reads Spain, Italy, Greece, Tunisia, Turkey, Syria, Morocco, Algeria, Portugal, Libya, Palestinean territories (Gaza Strip, West Bank), Argentina, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon. Combined, they produced 3,107,493 tons or 99.2% of the global olive oil output. EU countries alone account for 75.8% of global olive oil production.

Written by taide

April 7, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Northern Castings: The Winners are In

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Beauty Contest

Beauty Contest

As reported earlier, Verden held its Miss Verden Contest on March 28. And the winners are in! They are, of course, much more beautiful than on this poster to the right. Personally, I think they are also more beautiful than the ladies over there.

But I don’t agree with the jury in Verden. I would have voted for No. 10, the lady in the second row to the right (big picture), next to the emergency exit. But of course, tastes differ. It was No. 5 in the end. Of course, her smile is much nicer than No. 10‘s, but hey, is this a Verden-chooses-the-friendliest-trolley-dolley contest, or is this about beauty?

OK, maybe I’m getting it all wrong anyway. I’m not in this line of business. And of course, I don’t want to go into details, because that could appear sexist.

But now you all now that Verden is chique. If you ever voiced any doubts about that, you can eat your words now.

Also in the news here in Northern Germany: The East Frisians chose their most beautiful Holstein cow in Leer, on March 11. Her Title: Miss East Frisia.

Written by taide

April 4, 2009 at 7:51 pm

News from Verden (Aller)

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Beauty Contest

Beauty Contest

Beauty Contest. This poster announces the Miss Verden contest of March 28 this year. Anyway, I think it’s this year, although this all looks a bit old, but March 28 is a Saturday. Don’t miss it.

Cow-towing. Brokering right from the farm has become an established way of selling, reports masterrind.com in Verden, under its Breeding and Biotechnology menu item. Besides export and auctioneering, Ex-factory farm delivery is an important way of selling.

At the moment (information apparently undated), there is demand for complete playpen flocks. You’ll find the company’s phone numbers (Meißen and Verden offices) on its homepage.

Written by taide

March 15, 2009 at 8:55 am

Politically Sensitive Broilers

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Sunday is the day when this town’s households get delivered local “newspapers” for free. They are free because the are advertising media for everything from Posthausen’s super mall to parking lot sex along the A1 motorway.

But they carry a bit of news, too. Next to Etelsen, some kilometres north of here, an investor plans an agro-industrial site for growing broilers, 100,000 capacity. None of the political parties like the idea – the divide isn’t between them, but between the agro-industrialists.

The CDU is traditionally the political party farmers would vote for. That seems to be changing. But what the district’s chief administrativ officer (German: Landrat) has to say is even more interesting. He wants the deal with the investor to pass.

Politics shouldn’t meddle with this, says Landrat Peter Bohlmann (SPD). “Political meddling could even be dangerous.” Why?

Because only the administration can decide the matter, says Bohlmann. If political parties had their say, the potential investor could later file a lawsuit if his project fails. Politics could impair procedures in accordance with the law?

I’m wondering. Am I getting this all wrong? Or is the project in itself the problem? Is the law to blame, or is an administration that seems to be unable to handle an investment request in accordance with the law – only because some politicians see need for a debate?

Written by taide

November 2, 2008 at 12:32 pm

Doha Round: Which Failure?

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Justrecently gives us a nice explanation as to why blaming each other after the “failed” Doha round leads nowhere. I agree that a search for scapegoats is useless. What I do not agree with is the blanket assumption that the temporary end of the negotiations should be considered a failure.

This is going to be a long comment. That’s why I’m commenting here on my blog.

“World trade liberalisation serves all of us.” That’s the big statement we get to hear all the time. Let me ask you this, Justrecently: how have you benefited so far? How am I and my people benefitting? How is anyone we know personally benefitting? Or why else should we wish the negotiations success? Why should French farmers wish them success?

I have several objections. First of all, there are people in every society who like to take their own decisions – at work, and in their own lives. But in every society – developed societies are no exception -, there are also people who like to simply carry out orders, working on an assembly line, etc.. We both see candidates for this kind of work in our classrooms, and neither of us is entertaining the illusion that school can turn every simple mind into an expert. If division of labour on a global scale goes on and on like it has to date, they will never find jobs. Not in this developed country, anyway. And Burkina Faso probably won’t need them either.

Let me look at people at work now. Civil service is cutting down my income. It’s not like if I’m starving, but it isn’t what I expected to get when I came into the job. The same is true for most people in the civil service. The same is true for most employees of banks and insurances whose employers have indeed profited enormously – be it from globalisation, be it from other effects. Farmers have reasons to wonder where their income is going. How can Sarkozy make it clear to them that they will eventually gain from the trade liberalisation process? How would you convince them, Justrecently?

If the Economist, the EU Commission or our government want to make it clear to us that we are going to profit from a successful Doha round, I’m still waiting for a convincing presentation. I’m sure a minority has profited here. The majority hasn’t.

Sorry if this sounds cynical, but I can’t see how Burkina Faso’s gains should have been my gains, in case of more “successful” negotiations. It would certainly be great if hunger and genocide became a thing of the past. But the idea that growing prosperity would lead to less war or murder needs to be proven too. And I have the strong feeling that the bit of evidence that we are shown once in a while – “empirical” usually – is mostly a matter of choice and emphasis. Besides, as I said: I’m all for growing incomes – but only if mine grows along with such a trend.

You have shown that even one of the parties to the negotiations had a hard time of it – the EU, which was struggling with differing interests in France on the one hand, and Britain and Germany on the other. You should go one step further: there are differing interests within these national states, too. I’m not profiting. Most of the parents of my students aren’t profiting. The stance that our government is taking in international negotiations is leaving our interests out of account – not to mention the interests of German-Turkish sweat worker, the truck driver, or the unemployed.

Frankly, I believe that the Chinese government should pay good attention to their farmers at home before styling itself the shepherd (nice analogy) of African farmers – there we agree. But I also believe that every government – ours included – should take the interests of all its citizens into account before thinking about what to demand or cede to other governments. With a set of policies based on these interests at home, international trade negotiators may be much more goal-oriented – and successful – than those who listen to the corporations first, second, and to the majority of people only third.

Another question: if the state itself profits from rising incomes (they say that trade liberalisation leads to rising incomes, and we have already seen a lot of liberalisation, right?), how come that the state doesn’t invest into education? Aren’t individual competence and skills the things this country must build on “in a globalised world”?

Just asking.

En nu… zit Jesper zelf op de trekker

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The title is Dutch and means “and now, Jesper is sitting on the tractor himself”. Thanks, Agralog. You’ve made my Friday night sunny and bright!

Written by taide

June 13, 2008 at 7:38 pm