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Australian farmers part of the global food security solution

1 June 2011

The National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) has acknowledged the launch of Oxfam’s international GROW campaign today, confirming the role Australian agriculture will play in addressing global food security.

NFF President Jock Laurie noted that the report highlights a number of key interests for the NFF, including the need for an increase in agricultural research and development spending and a resolution to the current round of international trade talks so that a solution to the global food security issue can be realised.

“Food security has long been an area of concern for the agricultural sector, as Australia’s and the world’s farmers are being asked to produce more food to feed the growing world population, at the same as natural resources like water and arable land become more scarce,” Mr Laurie said.

“The Oxfam report shows that demand for food will rise by 70 percent by 2050, yet production is not keeping pace, with the growth rate in agricultural yields almost halting.

“Australia’s farmers are already working as efficiently as possible in order to boost production, but we simply cannot keep pace with the booming world population, which is expected to double in just four decades.

“And it’s not just the volume of food that is the issue, but also distribution. Australia must continue to invest in our freight transport infrastructure to ensure that we can get our food to the areas that need it most.

“The issue is twofold: how do our farmers produce more with less, and how do we ensure all people have access to our food?

“The answers lie in investing in agricultural research, development and innovation in order to boost productivity; ensuring a balanced outcome in the development of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan; ensuring any carbon policy reduces emissions while also not loading additional costs into our industry; improving our freight transport infrastructure networks; and ensuring trade restrictions and protectionist measures that distort market signals and bleed inefficient resource allocations are removed,” Mr Laurie said.

“Positive outcomes for agriculture in all of these areas will make our farmers part of a global answer to the pressing issue of food security,” Mr Laurie concluded.

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