Exporting Australia’s Agricultural Know-how

18 September 2013 FDI Team

Future Directions International’s chairman, Major General Michael Jeffery, will this week attend Australia’s Annual Growth Summit on food production and sustainability, to discuss how Australia can reduce global hunger by sharing its agricultural expertise.


This week, as part of its National Economic Review series, Global Access Partners will host the 4th Australia’s Annual Growth Summit, which will focus on food production and sustainability. The main topics of discussion at the summit will be how government, industry and Australian society generally, can promote the growth, capacity and production of Australian agriculture and contribute to global food security. Future Directions International’s chairman, Major General Michael Jeffery AC CVO MC, will be a keynote speaker at the summit, discussing how Australia can contribute to global food security by exporting our agricultural know-how.


Forecasts indicate that global food demand could increase by 60 per cent by 2050, with much of the growth coming from increasing consumption in Asia. This creates a wealth of opportunities for Australian agricultural producers, but is also a serious global security concern. Production and distribution issues mean that the food needs of the growing population may not be met and, consequently, food insecurity could spread.

Australia produces enough food to feed approximately 60 million people each year. We export 70 per cent of our agricultural produce, earning the country $30 billion annually. Currently, over half of Australia’s land area is used for agricultural activities. Our future ability to further increase food production to meet rising consumption demands in Asia will depend on our ability to leverage gains in productivity. Key resources, including arable land and water, are limited, which will restrict our ability to significantly contribute to reducing global food insecurity through increases to the world’s food supply. Our exports make up a considerable portion of the global tradeable food stocks, however, and thus play an important role in stabilising prices. We are also in a strong position to meet growing demands for high-value food products, such as dairy and meat, from Asia’s growing middle class, who are demanding quality foods with strong food safety records.

Major General Jeffery will be discussing the economic contribution of Australian agriculture to international markets and the scope for further growth in this area. Australia already contributes indirectly to the diets of up to 400 million people world-wide, through the application of agricultural research and development and the provision of expertise and capacity building programs overseas. He will argue that it is through exporting our agricultural expertise, that Australia can make its greatest contribution to improving the sustainability of agricultural systems and reducing global food insecurity.

One of the outcomes of the food summit will be the establishment of a taskforce, with a practical agenda to implement ideas generated by the event.

Lauren Power
Research Analyst
Global Food and Water Crises Research Programme



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