Chief Scientist says knowledge, not food, is our biggest farm export
The nation’s chief scientist says Australia’s biggest contribution to future food security won’t be locally-produced food, but agricultural know-how.
The Office of the Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, has today released a discussion paper identifying agricultural research and development as a priority area for public investment.
Professor Chubb says it’s currently estimated that Australian-produced food directly feeds 60 million people overseas, but Australian farming knowledge contributes to feeding 400 million people around the world.
He says public investment in maintaining Australia’s traditionally strong reputation for ag research is the way in which this country can make a significant contribution to global food security.
“I think government has got to show leadership where things are of national significance,” he said.
“We learn a lot by working with in overseas areas, deserts, tropics, wherever that might be, and we can bring that knowledge back and that improves our capacity within Australia.
“I do believe that we have to be a global citizen and play our part. And if we are willing to do that and able to do that, then we should be trying to do that.”
Source: Anna Vidot, ABC Rural http://www.abc.net.au/rural/news/content/201212/s3651061.htm#.UMWQTSpOVQM.twitter