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Farm Institute Insights, Vol. 10, No. 4, November 2013

Australian agricultural R,D&E systems under scrutiny

Australia’s agricultural research, development and extension (R,D&E) system (also referred to as the ‘agricultural innovation system’) has served the agricultural sector pretty well in the past, but questions are now emerging about its capacity to continually improve the productivity, profitability and competitiveness of Australian agriculture. The system is coming under stress as governments reduce funding for agricultural research leading to staff reductions and research centre closures, and university agriculture faculties are failing to attract students or capture research grant funding. The private sector is becoming increasingly important in delivering technology and information, but will this be enough to compensate for the big losses that are occurring in the public sector? (more)

In the Pipeline

An upgrade of the AFI FarmGAS Calculator is currently underway. Version-4 will offer advanced functionality, such as the capability to assist in the financial analysis associated with farm business GHG emissions management projects. (more)


AFI have recently undertaken research examining agricultural advocacy in Australia - taking a comparative and objective approach to assess the effectiveness of advocacy groups. (more)

In My View

The Hon Brendon Grylls MLA and Senator Rachel Siewert examine northern Australia’s potential as a future food bowl. (more)

Crossing the Divide

Foreign investment in Australian agriculture is more complex than media coverage suggests. (more)

Farm Policy News

In this edition, we report that the US farm bill is still undecided; Woolworths is phasing out caged eggs; an Australian-Korean FTA is high on the government's agenda; and the EU determines GM technologies to be safe. (more)

Institute Activities

Recent interviews on the unwillingness of Australian super funds to invest in agriculture and concerns about levels of foreign investment. (more)

Also the launch of a Newsroom on the AFI website, bringing together recent media articles and interviews.

Images:  ACIL Tasman, AGO, Hayley Becker, Clare Bellfield, certified su, CIMMYT, CSU, Kate B Dixon, Mick Keogh, NFF, Roger McCutcheon, Monsanto, Murrumbidgee Irrigation, Ord Irrigation, Gaétane Potard, Kyle Taylor, USDA, USYD, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation 

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