Should Australia aim to become Asia’s “food bowl”? How can we help farmers earn more for what they produce? And how can Australia best contribute to global food security?
Those are some of the crucial questions now being considered in the federal government’slong-term agriculture policy, which is expected to be released towards the end of this year.
I believe our future lies in playing to our strengths. The Australian agricultural business model should not be to produce cheap food for the world’s poor, but rather expensive food for rich, largely Asian, consumers.
That doesn’t mean neglecting our responsibilities to help poorer nations or to support global food security. However, this is best done through trade - such as providing technical advice and assistance - to help improve food self-sufficiency in developing countries.