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South Africa will deal with future water constraints by importing basic foodstuffs from its neighbours. Delpixel

South Africa’s farmers can benefit by reducing their water use

Urbanisation will require massive amounts of water to sustain the livelihoods of millions expected to move into cities. This may happen at farmers' expense.
Australian cattle wait to be loaded onto a ship to Indonesia. Their voyage to the United States would be even longer. AAP Image/Xavier La Canna

Why exporting live cattle to the United States is a bad idea

Australia's cattle industry is keen to begin live exports to the United States. But America is very different to existing live export markets such as Indonesia, making the move much more ethically fraught.
Australia can expect expansion in sectors such as tourism, the health and financial services sectors, banking and securities. AAP Image/Joel Carrett

As the mining boom wanes, Australia pivots to services

Mining, along with agriculture, will continue to be key parts of the Australian economy -- but new growth is expected in the services sector.
Australia’s reputation for strict farming standards helped its beef industry weather the BSE crisis. Malcolm Paterson/CSIRO/Wikimedia Commons

Australia shouldn’t sacrifice food safety standards for free trade

Ten years on from the Australia-US Free Trade Agreement, Australia is entering another round of negotiations towards the new and controversial Trans-Pacific Partnership. In this Free Trade Scorecard series…
Time for Brazil to pull in the harvest? Sweeter Alternative

Hard Evidence: who will reap rewards from Russia farm sanctions?

The Russian ban on the imports of some agricultural products from the US, the European Union, Australia, Canada and Norway has sparked much debate over the likely impact on American and European farmers…
Australia’s dairy sector will lose out due to Russian sanctions, but there are bigger issues in play. Anatoly Maltsev/AAP

Russian sanctions are the least of our agriculture sector’s problems

Russia’s targeting of $A400 million of Australian food exports and the government’s muddled response are just the latest setback for a sector struggling under failed policy approaches. Agriculture is Australia’s…
Right idea, wrong execution: the Ord River irrigation scheme needed better surrounding infrastructure. isthatdave/Wikimedia Commons

To grow agriculture in Australia, farmers need to think like miners

It’s perhaps fitting that mining magnate Andrew Forrest is in the vanguard of a move to position Australia as a major food supplier to China. Fitting, because if the plan is to work, Australian agriculture…
Beef sales in Japan involve tightly controlled captive supply chains. Andy Rain/AAP

Japan-Australia deal leaves beef trade in the 20th century

The Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement (JAEPA) signed last week is a bilateral trade deal in the old-fashioned mould. In the twenty-first century, global economic negotiations tend to be preoccupied…
Often called “Australia’s most valuable farm”, Cubbie Station in southwest Queensland is now majority foreign-owned. AAP/Cubbie Group

Old MacDonald sold the farm: so what’s the future for agriculture?

When most Australians think about farmers, one image still springs to mind: a family in Akubras and Blundstones, battling the elements with a Blue Heeler by their side. That’s still the image invoked by…
Australia could feed more people, but we have to find a balance. Bill Bellotti

Can Australia really feed Asia?

The recent Global Food Forum featured several prominent businessmen calling for Australia to dramatically increase its contribution to global food security, in particular highlighting business opportunities…
Time for real change: the Government’s new draft National Food Plan puts the interests of big business ahead of health, equity, and food security. Flickr/mermaid99

The draft National Food Plan: putting corporate hunger first

The Federal Government released on Tuesday the green paper for Australia’s first-ever National Food Plan. According to Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig, this plan “will ensure Australia has a sustainable…
Harvest time: Asia’s rising incomes and demand for food are no guarantee of a mining-style payday for Australian farmers. AAP/EPA/Raminder Pal Singh

Australia’s place in the global food chain: time to wise up

In recent weeks Australia’s PM, a shadow minister, and a state premier have heralded the opportunities for Australian farmers to capitalise on a global food-shortage and, in particular, rising demand for…

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