Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Feature Interviews

Major General Stephen Day, DSC, AM: Coordinator-General for Drought, Part One

As the dry conditions in Australia continue to worsen, the immediate effects that drought has on farmers and farming communities need to be understood and communicated widely. So too, does the necessity of determining, defining and articulating the higher order social, economic and environmental consequences.

Stephen Frost – Stonemeal Farm

Daily, Australian primary producers face challenges to their farm operations. These can vary from the availability of water and health of their stock, to plant health, disease and a changing climate. Addressing those issues directly reflects on farm productivity and ‘bottom line’ outcomes. Adopting a biological approach in farming practices results in fewer issues needing to be addressed, lower costs and increased productivity.

Perspectives of a Bedouin Diplomat: Ishmael Khaldi

Israel is not perfect, but it is a successful, open, multi-ethnic, multi-religious country, in which non-Jewish communities increasingly feel that they are a part of Israeli society. The security threats faced by Israel have changed and the new range of common threats means that there is a growing acceptance in the region of the existence of Israel. Within Israel itself, the Bedouin community, as a minority within a minority, faces some particular challenges, including the need to preserve traditional values while successfully managing the changes brought about by modern technology.

Minister Alannah MacTiernan: Land-degradation and Regenerative Agriculture in WA

The future of our agricultural soils in view of their declining health from salinity and other factors, and more specifically, the ability of our farmers to produce food to feed our future population, continues to have prominence within the West Australian agricultural sector at the highest levels.

Dr Nicolas Taylor: Developing Salt-Tolerant Wheat

Wheat is a major component of the global food supply and is Australia’s largest agricultural export after beef. The salinisation of agricultural land, however, poses a threat to global wheat production. The development of salt-tolerant wheat could help to minimise that threat.

Dr Richard George: The Threat to the West Australian Agricultural Sector from Dryland Salinity

Dryland salinity affects more than two million hectares of non-irrigated farmland in Australia. Half of that total is located in Western Australia. In this interview, Dr George outlines the extent and trend of dryland salinity in WA before discussing some of the approaches that are being made to manage it.

Dr Edward Barret-Lennard: The Need to Increase and Improve Agricultural Research

Australia’s medium- to long-term agricultural future will be largely dominated by the need to grow and produce more food. The introduction of newer and better agricultural systems will be required. Research and development conducted by skilled, experienced scientists and technicians will be vital to the successful development and application of those methods.

Chris Ferreira: Community Links in the Urban, Rural and Regional Environments Through Sustainable Farming

Farming methods must be developed and optimised to meet the need to grow food to feed a steadily rising population. That development and optimisation is doubly important at a time when agriculture is confronted by environmental issues such as climate change, land degradation and the loss of biodiversity.

David Marsh – A Farmer’s Journey

The Australian agricultural sector is experiencing the beginnings of a potential transformation. Farmers, graziers and community groups are starting to move away from the “industrial farming” model, towards a more holistic, environmentally sustainable and ecologically responsible paradigm.

Charlotte McIntyre – Animal Health and Wellbeing

Maintaining their welfare and preventing cruelty to all animals requires a commitment to meeting continuing high standards in their management, inherent rights and care. These are responsibilities that must be taken by all sectors of society across governments at all levels, the rural sector, producers and the wider community.

Publication Guide

  • Associate papers are primary source assessments written by FDI associates. The assessment topics range from regional bilateral relationships and opportunities and challenges in our neighbouring countries.

  • Feature interviews are interviews conducted by an FDI Research Manager. Interview topics range from the sustainability of our planet to the improved provision of emergency food aid.

  • Normally issued in hardcopy, these represent a comprehensive study of one of FDI’s four research areas.

  • Strategic alerts are priority current intelligence items. We provide these alerts when events such as military deployments or foreign election results occur.

  • A 1500 to 3000 word, single topic assessment.

  • A number of short articles addressing current intelligence topics, issued each week.

  • A record of discussions resulting from a single, or series of, roundtable conferences.

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