The WSJ's China Journal has a rather hilarious (though entirely serious) piece about a company in China - Netease.com Inc - whose latest business venture is pig farming. Yes, pig farming. And as though that wasn't enough, the company will focus on raising livestock with strictly organic diets. And the pigs will be toilet trained (not sure how that works, exactly. Are there any farmers reading who might be willing to share some insights?). This is oh so very progressive, I can't hardly stand it.
Speaking to the motivation behind this venture, Ding Lei, founder and CEO of the company cites food safety:
The company hopes to draw greater attention to agricultural development in a country that has had several recent food scares. More specifics of the plan will be disclosed in April.
In all seriousness, this may well prove to be a most worthwhile health venture, especially in light of the most recent baby milk scandal (among countless other similar cases), with wide-ranging implications.
What I can't quite wrap my head around, though, is the proposed online social network for farmers (think Facebook for pig farmers), through which farmers will be able to exchange breeding techniques and other information pertinent to the appropriate raising of pigs (whatever that may entail). While no doubt useful in theory, I doubt that many pig farmers frequent such sites - or use the internet at all, for that matter. But then again, what do I know about pig farmers in China? Right. Nothing.