Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department


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Organic Farming

Know More About Organic Farming

Principles of Organic Farming (PDF file)

The soil ecosystem (PDF file)

Why should we support Organic Farming (PDF file)

Composting (PDF file)

Crop Rotation (PDF file)

Companion Planting (PDF file)

Green Manures (PDF file)

Mulching (PDF file)

Biological Control (PDF file)

Physical Control (PDF file)

Technical Information on Organic Farming

Introduction to Organic Farming (Chinese text only) (PDF file) 

Weed Management  (Chinese text only) (PDF file)

Control of Melon Flies (Chinese text only) (PDF file)

Control of Flea Beetles (Chinese text only) (PDF file)

Common Problems in Growing Tomato (Chinese text only) (PDF file)

Making Compost (Chinese text only) (PDF file)

Green Manuring (Chinese text only) (PDF file)

Common Problems in Growing Strawberry (Chinese text only) (PDF file)

Understanding Soil Test Report (Chinese text only) (PDF file)

Growing Aquatic Vegetables (Chinese text only) (PDF file)

Seed Saving Techniques (Chinese text only) (PDF file)

Growing Herbs I (Chinese text only) (PDF file)

Growing Herbs II (Chinese text only) (PDF file)

Attracting Beneficials (Chinese text only) (PDF file)

Nutrient Management for Organic Crops (Chinese text only) (PDF file)

Organic Farming in Hong Kong

  1. Introduction
  2. Organic Farming Support Service
  3. Introduction of Organic Farming Techniques
  4. Marketing and promotion of organic vegetables
  5. Organic Certification Service
  6. Related web sites


1. Introduction
 

The development of Organic Farming in Hong Kong has only a very brief history. It all began in 1988 when an environmental education group - Produce Green (presently known as Produce Green Foundation) started an educational farm using environmentally friendly cultivation practices to raise crops and promote green living. Their initiatives had helped to sow the seed for the future development of organic farming in Hong Kong. Around the same period of time, another organization, Hong Kong Organic Agriculture & Ecological Research Association, also had done a lot of work in promotion of organic farming. During the 90's, more people had shown interest in organic farming. In 1999, a group of avid farmers have started the Hong Kong Organic Farming Association, HOFA (presently known as Sustainable Ecological Ethical Development Foundation, SEED). Back then, there were only about ten organic farms with small acreages, the organic crops produced could only meet the demand of very few people.


[Vegetable Marketing Organisation (VMO)]
Vegetable Marketing
Organization (VMO)

During the 90's, the local agricultural sector continued to decline due to rapid urbanization and the profound shift in the economic structure. Amid growing public concerns over food safety and environmental protection, the government had begun to promote organic farming. While organic farming can produce food in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner and better protect our farmlands and countryside, it can also open up a niche market that can bring in a premium for local farmers. Moreover, it can offer a wider and better choice of fresh vegetables to local residents. In December 2000, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) had launched an "Organic Farming Conversion Scheme " to assist conventional farmers to switch to organic farming. A protocol for organic crop production was also compiled to provide a technical guide for farmers desired to enter conversion. Working closely with the Department, the Vegetable Marketing Organization (VMO) and the Federation of Vegetable Marketing Co-operative Societies Ltd. (FVMCS) provide technical and marketing support to organic farmers.

[Hong Kong Organic Resource Centre]

In order to further develop the local organic industry and provide confidence to consumers, it is necessary to have an organic certification service carried out by an independent, third-party body. With a grant from the Agricultural Development Fund of the Vegetable Marketing Organization (VMO), the Hong Kong Organic Resource Center (HKORC) was established in December, 2002. The HKORC began to work on a set of organic production and processing certification standards applicable to Hong Kong. After comprehensive consultations with the industry and interested parties, the standards were completed in 2004. In December 2004 , the HKORC had launched its independent organic certification service for organic farmers and organic food processors.

[Community Grower Group Office at Lam Tsuen]

The FVMCS is a local farmer's organisation which greatly supports the development of organic farming. To better serve their members, of whom, many are organic farmers, the FVMCS had set up the Community Growers Group (CGG) Office in November 2004 aimed at assisting farmers in organic certification application, providing farmers with quality organic seedlings and promoting local organic produce through agri-tourism and direct sales.

As at August 2014, there were 514 organic farms in Hong Kong. These organic farms include the traditional family-operated farms, enterprise-operated farms, educational / leisure farms and self-claimed organic farms.

   
2. Organic Farming Support Service
 

Background:

Since AFCD introduced the Organic Farming Conversion Scheme (OFCS) in December 2000 and up to now the Organic Farming Support Service (OFSS), the number of participated organic farms had expanded from 15 to 243. The location of these organic farms which were mostly concentrated in two vegetable growing zones in the New Territories, Ng Ka Tsuen and Tai Kong Po, had also expanded to seven major zones which inculded Ng Ka Tsuen, Tai Kong Po, Ping Che, Fanling, Pat Hueng, Sheung Shui and Tai Po . Their produce is distributed through supermarkets, health food stores, wet markets and farmers' market.

Organic Farming Support Service

[Farm visit]

Organic farmers or Conventional farmers who want to switch to organic farming can contact this department (Tel. 2668 0297  and Fax 2679 5443) for the following support service:

  • Sampling of soil and irrigated water for testing and on-site organic assessment
  • Regular farm visit to provide technical advice and suggestions
  • Technical input and advisory for organic certification application
  • Introduction of organic pest control techniques and cultivation practices
  • Assistance in marketing of organic produce
   
3. Introduction of Organic Farming Techniques
 
[Field Crops]

When conventional farmers switch to organic farming, they often face a lot of technical problems such as soil fertility management, pest and disease control etc. In order to assist organic farmers to overcome these problems, field trials are set up in the Tai Lung Experimental Station for demonstration and seminars are also regularly conducted. Since the first in-conversion organic field set up in April 2000, the total acreage of organic field in Tai Lung is about 59 dc (4 ha).

Regarding organic pest control techniques, we have also set up many experimental trials in Tai Lung Experimental Station and test for the efficacies of various organic pesticides such as neem oil and matrine for organic farmers use. In 2003, we have also invented a "Bug Sucking Machine" to control the flea beetle problems in Brassica vegetables. To solve the melon fruit fly problem faced by organic farmers, we have managed to design an integrated melon-fly control method which is very effective and economical.

[Bug sucking machine]
[Melon fly trap]

[Strawberry]  [Watermelon]
[Rock melon]  [Cherry tomato]

In Tai Lung Experimental Station, we have also carried out field trials for specialty crops and then introduced to our organic farmers. For example, cherry tomato, white bitter gourd, cucumber, sweet pepper, strawberry, watermelon and rock melon are some of the newly introduced specialty crops for local organic farmers.

 

 

[Compost]

Soil is considered to be the origin of everything and its fertility is vital to every aspect of crop production. In organic farming, the use of compost plays a very important role to sustain the soil fertility for crop production. In Tai Lung Experimental Station, we have set up composting facilities to recycle crop residues, tree branches and other biodegradable materials produced on the farm and demonstrate to organic farmers how they can do it on their own farms.

   
4. Marketing and promotion of organic vegetables
 
[Vegetable Marketing Organization Promotion Counter]

AFCD and VMO have been working closely in the marketing and promotion of organic vegetables. VMO has been collecting the vegetables produced by organic farmers and distributed via their wholesale market in Cheung Sha Wan. Local organic farmers who wish to distribute their produce via VMO may contact their office on Tel:2387 4164. For the VMO's organic vegetables retail site, you may wish to visit their website: www.vmo.org

[Farmers]

Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden, SEED and FVMCS also regularly operate Farmers' market at the Kadoorie Farm, Central,  the site of Tai Po Vegetable Marketing Co-operative Society Ltd. or Tuen Mun respectively. Interested organic farmers can bring in their produce to sell at the Farmers' markets. For further information, please refer to their respective website.

   
5. Organic Certification Service
 

With the further development of organic farming, the HKORC (co-founded by the Hong Kong Baptist University, the Produce Green (presently known as Produce Green Foundation) and the Hong Kong Organic Farming Association (presently known as Sustainable Ecological Ethical Development Foundation)) was established in December 2002 to provide an independent organic certification service for farmers and food processors. In late 2004, the HKORC had officially launched its organic certification service.

Organic farmers who wish to apply for organic certification have to contact certification companies and pay a fee for the service. For example: HKORC is a company that can provide organic certification service. For details, please visit the relevant website. As at 03.09.2014, HKORC certified 129 crops production farms and 4 additional processing firms.

   
6. Related web sites
 

Produce Green Foundation
Sustainable Ecological Ethical Development Foundation (SEED) 
Vegetable Marketing Organization (VMO)
The Federation of Vegetable Marketing Co-operative Societies Ltd. ( FVMCS)
Hong Kong Organic Resource Center
Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden
Hong Kong Organic Agriculture & Ecological Research Association

 

[Crop Production Channel]

 

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Last Review Date : 10 December 2014