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Identifying future trends for agriculture globally

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It is vital for Australia’s agricultural industry to recognise future global agriculture trends, says Senator Richard Colbeck.

Senator Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Agriculture, told the recent ABARES Outlook conference in Canberra it is the government’s priority to look forward and identify future trends that might impact on local agricultural industries.

“It’s important that we spend less time looking in the rear-view mirror and spend more time focussed on the future,” he said.

Senator Colbeck was part a panel discussion about “megatrends” identified by CSIRO.

The Australian agriculture industry must prepare for:

  • A hungrier world
  • A wealthier world
  • Choosey customers
  • Transformative technologies
  • Critical changes in the global economy, climate and environment.

“We are committed to reinstating agriculture as one of the five pillars of the economy and ensuring the agricultural industries are well placed to meet future demand,” Senator Colbeck said.

A Government Agricultural White Paper, to be released later this year, will provide a “strong and enduring foundation” for implementing policy to meet future demands, he added.

Collaborative approach

Senator Colbeck said Australia had an important role to play in global food task and a number of opportunities were on the horizon.

Australia has much to offer in the agrifood service sector, he said.

“For example we could take our food safety expertise to China and form a collaborative approach which would be beneficial to the global food task.

“I believe there are many opportunities ahead for Australian agriculture and conversation like these will help ensure we are in a position to take advantage of them. This is an important discussion and one that I am determined to continue.” 

The two-day ABARES Outlook 2015 conference, focussed on key issues affecting the Australian agriculture sector, including opportunities from increasing global food demand, access to international markets, trends in productivity and technology, and improving the business environment for agricultural producers through innovative financing solutions and reductions in regulatory burdens.

The Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences (ABARES) is a research bureau with the Department of Agriculture.

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