Australia must be open to agriculture investment

By Harry Allan

A new report suggests that there will be a “second green revolution” in the Asia-Pacific region and that Australia must welcome foreign investment in its agricultural sector in order to meet growing demand.  

The report says food security in Asia can be achieved through investing in supply chains (which it dubs as currently being “wasteful) that will boost production; food imports from Australia should be used to supplement these efforts.

At the accompanying conference, food security expert John Edwards said: “I would much prefer to see adequate investment in Australian agriculture, particularly where that investment is aligned with the supply chain — everything from production at the Australian end through to the market and consumption at the other end done by an integrated supply chain involving investments from both sides.”

Ex-South Korean trade minister Bark Taeho noted that while Australia was a strong regional player in it was perceived as being too “complacent” and should work to re-energise multilateral settings following the stalling of the Doha Development Round.

“Australia should be playing a more important role in promoting multilateral settings, especially in the area of agricultural subsidy reduction,” he said.

The report, Horizons, was written by the Perth USAsia Centre and Perth-based consultancy Knowledge Society.

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SOURCE: [The Australian

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