FPJ1803 - Lockie, S (2021), Advocacy and foresight: what next for Australian agriculture?

FPJ1803 - Lockie, S (2021), Advocacy and foresight: what next for Australian agriculture?

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To be truly effective, advocates for Australian agriculture must exercise pragmatic foresight by identifying threats and opportunities, establishing common goals, and learning from actions and reactions. Identifying trends, pressures, opportunities and risks that demand farsighted policy responses is often straightforward. The challenge lies less in detecting new threats or opportunities than it does in dealing with those already in plain view. Some examples for Australian agricultural advocates to consider are discussed herein: the persistence of low incomes, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, the growing Indigenous estate, escalating buyer demands and geopolitical and economic transitions. Advocacy is far more likely to be effective, I argue, when it is based on a realistic appraisal of risks and opportunities, when it acknowledges the public interest, and when it mobilises broader coalitions of interest groups in support. To this end, there is a need to bring a greater diversity of stakeholders into dialogue about the future of Australian agriculture to build understanding and partnerships around matters of common concern.

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