Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Focus on Education to Feed the Future

By Kadambot Siddique

Agricultural science education is a national priority for the nation’s food security.

Winthrop Professor Kadambot Siddique AM FTSE is Chair in Agriculture and Director of the UWA Institute of Agriculture at The University of Western Australia.

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Australia ranks fourth in the world behind Brazil, Argentina and The Netherlands as a net exporter of agricultural products, and typically exports 60–70% of its output, helping meet the food requirements of Australia’s 22 million people plus another 60 million overseas.

Conservative estimates suggest Australia helps feed 400–500 million people in developing countries through agricultural education, training, development, knowledge and technology transfer in partnership with developing countries and International Agricultural Research Centres.

Using a wide range of indicators, including water, fertiliser and energy use efficiency and rate of adoption of technologies such as conservation agriculture, Australian agriculture leads the world.

Australia is one of the most food-secure nations in an increasingly global economy where borders are open, trade barriers are down and deals are done to ensure food moves smoothly from its place of development to the developing place – despite internal and external conflicts that sometimes impede the transfer of protein and carbohydrate wealth from accumulators to acquirers.

However, the transition generally continues daily around this essentially food-rich planet – with its population of seven billion on track to add another billion in the next 12 years – due to the farmers, traders, governments and consumers...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.