Vol. 14 | No. 4 | November 2017

‘Owning’ the value chain: Agriculture in the Asian century

In 2013 Australian agriculture was primed to reap the opportunities that would be provided by what was becoming known as the Asian century. It was at that time however, comparable to the Australia that Donald Horne described in The Lucky Country in 1964, an industry that was lucky despite itself. A lack of policy direction in agriculture and a sense of complacency that was a hangover from the mining construction boom meant that the unique opportunity that the Asian century presented to redirect Australia’s growth engines and capture a new boom in agriculture was potentially being lost. (more)



Mark Butler and Josh Frydenberg answer questions about Australian agriculture’s role in future greenhouse emission reduction policies: What type of policies should be adopted in the future to encourage emission abatement by businesses in the agriculture sector? What lessons have been learnt as a result of the Emission Reductions Fund process, and how should these be incorporated into future emission abatement policies relevant to the agriculture sector? (more)


Risk is a fundamental feature of Australian farming and agribusiness, yet in many respects risk management systems in Australian agriculture are much less developed than is the case in other nations. New research to be conducted by the Australian Farm Institute will have the ultimate aim of identifying potential initiatives that may facilitate improved risk management options for Australian agricultural businesses.


In an era when government funding of agricultural research and development (R&D) is declining in real terms (especially at the state government level) the role of the private sector in funding agricultural R&D is, by definition, becoming more important. A recently completed research project carried out by the Australian Farm Institute aimed to examine ways to encourage increased private-sector investment in agricultural R&D in Australia. (more)


Australian and international farm policy news, in this edition: European Union officials have, again, postponed the decision on reauthorising use of glyphosate; Impossible Foods have fallen foul of activist group Friends of the Earth; Paris-based International Organisation of Vine and Wine (OIV) predicts the global 2017 vintage to be the lowest since 1961; and bird flu mutation increases human threat.


Artificial meat will soon replace natural meat in the human diet, signalling humankind’s profound switch to a more humane and environmentally friendly diet, and allowing massive areas of the earth’s surface to be rewilded to solve humanity’s greenhouse emission challenges, according to George Monbiot, a prominent opinion writer for the UK's Guardian newspaper.


The Institute’s knowledge of agtech and farm data featured in two recent articles: ‘Technology and data revolution challenges the role of farm advisers’, by Neil Lyon in Grain Central; and ‘The Agtech: What the umbrella term really means’, by Alex Sampson in The Weekly Times, which discusses the obstacle to Australian uptake of agtech presented by difficulties for those in remote regions connecting to the internet. (more)