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Australia could play a bigger role in food security

By RJ Whitehead , 12-Mar-2014

Australia could play a bigger role in food security

Australia could increase its food security role in Asia, with food consumption modelled under specific scenarios to more than double by 2030, according to new research from the Economist Intelligence Unit.

The EIU report, commissioned by DuPont, considers scenarios for economic growth in the sector over the next decade, providing an outlook to 2030 that points to a situation where real per-capita food consumption could increase by 79% for developing countries, and could more than double in China and South Asia.

This forecasted spike in food consumption begs the question of who will fill the market gap. The report suggests that if Australia is to capitalise on this opportunity, the country should consider changes in the nation’s political and global approach toward agriculture.

DuPont Crop protection president Rik L Miller said that despite these challenges, opportunities are available for Australia to make a greater contribution to Asian food security and increase the international competitiveness of its farming sector.

“Ensuring food security, with the increasing need for food in a developing Asia, will require sustained growth in agricultural productivity in the continent of 1-2 percent a year for the coming two decades,” Miller said. “This is not an impossible task, but it will require investment and policy reforms if the rise in demand is to lead to better nutritional outcomes and a more food-secure Asia.”

The report also suggests that promoting inwards and outwards investment in agriculture is a necessary component of food security, both for importing countries and exporting countries. Miller explained that DuPont is investing in Australia agriculture, through partnerships with farmers in crop protection, seed technology and in nutrition.

“Innovation will be a critical element in addressing the food security challenge in Asia. Partnerships between government and industry for R&D are well-established here, and there is scope to do more,” Miller continued.

DuPont plays a significant role in supporting, enhancing and helping food sectors in Asia Pacific, providing protection for crops, Pioneer® brand seed, packaging to protect and preserve food, and ingredients to enhance flavor, nutrition and ensure food is safe to eat.

DuPont and the EIU have hosted dialogs on food security at forums around the world – including Belgium, Brazil, Chile, India, Mexico, Singapore, South Africa and the United States. Participants have included public and private sector leaders.

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