Institute events

The Institute is convening a national conference to bring together farmers, agribusinesses, agricultural researchers, and public and private sector extension and advisory personnel to discuss this challenge, and to develop an agreed common vision of an effective and efficient future Australian agricultural innovation system that will improve the competitiveness and profitability of Australian agriculture. The Australian Agricultural Systems at the Crossroads Conference will be held on the 29th and 30th of May 2013 at the Hotel Realm, Canberra.

In the news

Foreign investment has continued to be a topic garnering media attention. Institute Executive Director, Mick Keogh was interviewed by Nikolai Beilharz for the South Australian Country Hour report, ‘Foreign investment – yay or nay?’ (21/01/13), and by Emily Bourke for ABC Radio’s The World Today program, ‘Clash of concerns over foreign ownership of Australian agriculture’ (1/03/13). He was also quoted in the FarmWeekly article by Gregor Heard, ‘China eyes Aus ag: Keogh’ (6/03/13):

You only have to look at the statistics to see that overseas agriculture would be a good investment for Chinese businesses,’ Mr Keogh said.

‘China is becoming more dependent on international food supplies to meet its domestic demand...’

‘Food is going to become a more important issue in China, we’re seeing the lowering of the water table in key agricultural production zones such as the North China plains, and urban encroachment in other areas.’

A recent AFI research report on opportunities for increased productivity growth in Australian agriculture has attracted considerable media attention. This was reported in Tom Minear’s Weekly Times Now article, ‘R&D cuts hurting agriculture’ (15/02/13), with Sue Neales’ article in The Australian, ‘Australia’s spending on agricultural R&D has dropped internationally from 9th to 16th place’ (15/02/13), quoting:

It would be extremely foolhardy to assume that proximity to Asia gives Australian agriculture a major advantage,’ Mr Keogh said.

A concerted effort will be needed to improve agricultural productivity in Australia to deliver us a significant share of the Asian food bowl.

Mick Keogh recently spoke at the ABARES Outlook Conference in Canberra, on the topic of ‘Australian agricultural trade in the Asian Century.’ This speech was reported in the Weekly Times Now article, ‘Farmers need help to feed world’ (15/03/13); and the ABC Rural articles, ‘Food prices on hold until 2050 amid trade warnings for Australian farmers’ (5/03/13) and, ‘Australian farmers warned over trade and exports’ (6/03/13). 

Out and about

Recently the Institute’s Executive Director, Mick Keogh, has spoken at:

  • AARES Conference Workshop, Sydney
  • GRDC Advisors Update, Ballarat, Victoria
  • ABARES Outlook Conference, Canberra
  • Mallee Sustainable Farming ‘Managing Farms in a Changing Climate’ Conference, Mildura, Victoria
  • Farm Writers’ Association of NSW luncheon, Sydney.

Mick Keogh has also facilitated a number of Local Land Services consultation meetings throughout NSW.

Images:  Deniliquin Newspapers, Murrumbidgee Irrigation, USDA

Back to May 2013 Insights contents page.