Productivity and Food Security Symposium
I&I NSW organised a Productivity and Food Security Symposium in Sydney (21 Oct) highlighting the need to address global food security now for future generations.
Several key themes emerged during the symposium, including:
- Food security is one of the biggest issues facing our planet.
- Providing food has been a challenge for society for centuries, but the primary industries sector is experiencing rapid change.
- World-wide food shortages, rising food prices, the global financial crisis, a changing climate, other environmental issues, skill shortages and increasing biosecurity threats are issues affecting food security right now.
- Fortunately, consumers in NSW are unlikely to go hungry in the foreseeable future, however for the developing world - the food crisis has already arrived.
- Global food output must increase by 75 per cent by the year 2025, and it must have doubled by 2050 to meet expected demand.
- Put another way, we must produce as much food in the next 50 years as we have produced in all of human history.
- NSW plays a vital role in directly feeding people in developing nations because we export around half of our agricultural produce and our research helps developing nations address food security issues.
- Research is a key way of addressing these issues.
- Keynote speaker Prof Julian Cribb said public expenditure on research needs to go up by 400% to avoid the coming global famine where we have to feed the protein-equivalent of 13 billion people by 2050.
Research for Action plan
Research for Action: Productivity and Food Security [PDF] plan launched by the Minister for Primary Industries, Ian Macdonald on October 21, 2009.
Extra material related to the Symposium
- Aquaculture Research Leader Geoff Allan quoted in 'Here's the catch: we love seafood to death' on the front page of Thursday 22 October's Sydney Morning Herald.
- Director Productivity and Food Security Alison Bowman on ABC Rural NSW Country Hour
...More material from the Symposium will be posted here as it becomes available.