Earth’s human population currently exceeds 7 billion, and by the year 2050 our planet will have at least two billion more mouths to feed. When faced with providing food for so many people, the idea is often advanced that Australia will become the "food bowl" of Asia. Australia currently grows enough food to feed about three times its population; however, Australia’s role in feeding the world needs careful consideration.
This highly topical book draws together the latest intelligence on the sustainable production and distribution of food and other products from Australian farms. It examines questions that policy-makers, farmers, politicians, agricultural scientists and the general public are asking about the potential productivity of Australia's arable land, the environmental and economic impacts of seeking to increase productivity, and the value of becoming cleaner and greener in agricultural output. With chapters on the emergence of new markets, consumer trends in China, the biophysical constraints on agricultural expansion, and the various products of Australian agriculture and aquaculture, Australia’s Role in Feeding the World provides valuable insight into the future of agriculture in this nation.
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About the Author
Tor Hundloe is a pioneer of environmental and natural resource economics. He has researched and taught at the University of Queensland, Griffith University and Bond University. He was also a Commissioner of the Industry Commission, where he undertook a public inquiry that changed water allocation and use in Australia. In 2003, Tor was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his contributions to natural resource management and awarded a Century Medal for his contribution to education.
Sarah Blagrove is an Environmental Scientist at a large international construction company. She earned an Award for Excellence from the Australian Council of Environmental Deans and Directors, and is engaged in postgraduate research based on food security on a part-time basis.
Hannah Ditton has a degree in Sustainable Environments and Planning, majoring in Urban Design and Planning. She has worked for the Green Building Council of Australia where her passion for sustainable development and planning originated.
Table of Contents
About the editors
List of contributing authors
Introduction and a mud mapT. Hundloe
SECTION 1 THE BIG PICTURE
1. Feeding the planet’s growing populationT. Hundloe
2. No escaping demand and supplyT. Hundloe
3. The global food supplyT. Hundloe
4. Australia’s roleT. Hundloe
5. Trade, foreign investment and comparative advantageT. Hundloe and J. Chiomey
SECTION 2 BIOPHYSICAL LIMITATIONS
6. Climate, rainfall, dams, bores and irrigationC. Attard
7. Soils and underground crittersS. Cantwell
8. Australian fisheries resourcesD. McPhee
SECTION 3 HUMAN AND POLITICAL DIMENSIONS
9. Tar and cement, big holes, small wells and pipelinesT. Hundloe and H. Ditton
10. When is a tomato not a tomato? H. Ditton and T. Hundloe
11. Waste not, want not: the case of the bent bananaA. White, D. Gallegos and T. Hundloe
SECTION 4 AUSTRALIA’S AGRICULTURAL EXPORT PRODUCTS
12. Growing grains in AustraliaS. Blagrove
13. Our Andy’s gone with cattle nowT. Hundloe
14. HorticultureJ. Chiomey
15. Sweet dreams of sugarJ. Chiomey and T. Hundloe
16. The chicken before the eggJ. de Miranda
17. EggsJ. de Miranda
18. Australian fisheries productionD. McPhee
19. Milking the cowT. Hundloe
20. Wool, lamb and muttonT. Hundloe
21. CottonA. Solakovic
22. A case study of agriculture: the Atherton TablelandT. Hundloe
23. Farming the sun and windT. Hundloe and S. Sharma
SECTION 5 TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
24. A blueprint for clean, green Australian agricultureT. Hundloe, S. Blagrove, S. Cantwell, J. de Miranda and H. Ditton