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The Pulse:Lunar New Year Special: Local farming and agricultural policy & local chicken farmers

Kung Hey Fat Choi. Hello and welcome to The Pulse. The Year of the Ram is upon us, and it’s time for over indulging in food and alcohol to celebrate. Among the foods to be served at any self-respecting “hoi neen” dinner is chicken, but thanks to bird flu outbreaks on the mainland and problems faced by our own poultry farmers we came perilously close to not having any chicken this year. More on that later. While, as you’ll see later, the government doesn’t seem too enthusiastic about encouraging local livestock farmers, it is suddenly pushing agricultural development .In this year’s Policy Address, the Chief Executive announced a new agricultural policy that included spending seven billion dollars on an 80 hectare “Agri-Park”. But some farmers are – to use an old expression – wary of Greeks bearing gifts. 

What’s a government to do? After  clearing the streets of the Umbrella Movement at the beginning of December it was then threatened with Central being occupied by 5,000 chickens just a few weeks later. Well, the chicken apocalypse didn’t happen, but the threat was symptomatic of just how frustrated Hong Kong local poultry farmers feel about the way their industry is being treated, and the price they have to pay for bird flu outbreaks on the mainland.  

And that’s all we have for this first programme of the Year of the Ram. To end all of us at the Pulse would like to wish you – not so sheepishly - Kung Hei Fat Choy. We’ll see you next week.
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