Greens commit to a smart farming future

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Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens Agriculture spokesperson has today helped launch the Centre For Policy Development’s new report “Farming Smarter, not Harder” at Parliament House.

"This is an important piece of research, which I encourage all MPs to read and engage with,” Senator Siewert said today.

“The report comes at a critical time for Australian agriculture, with global demand for food set to rapidly increase in the coming years.

“The CPD have identified the potential for a increase in global food demand of 60 per cent by 2050. This creates a range of opportunities for Australian farmers if we ensure our focus is on the development of reliable methods of production, with less dependence on fossil fuels and improved access to healthy land and soils.

“While our agricultural communities are outstanding innovators who have achieved high productivity and efficiency, the CPD highlights the fact that they have been achieving this despite declining and uncertain levels of government investment and support, and without sufficient support to ensure soil health and landscape resilience.

“The benefits of long term commitments to smarter farming are clear, with the CPD identifying areas such as improvements to soil health as a measure that has the capacity to increase agricultural production by up to $2.1 billion per year. 

“Securing the future of the agricultural sector means ensuring the appropriate investments in productive, sustainable and input-efficient farming practices.

“Such investments benefit farmers, their communities and the nation alike,” said Senator Siewert.

“Farmers are vital to our nation’s food security, and we must support them to manage their land sustainably,” Australian Greens leader Christine Milne said today.

“The CPD has found that without action to take on climate change, by 2050 Australia could lose $6.5 billion per year in production of key products such as wheat, lamb and dairy.

“With increasing extreme and variable weather, along with ongoing land degradation and limits on critical inputs such as oil, it is vital that Australia significantly reinvests in agricultural R&D and our farmers

“The Greens have been strongly advocating for a significant and long-term investment in our agricultural communities, particularly R&D and practical applications. This report emphasises just how critical this is.

“We will renew our push for this vital investment and work with the agricultural sector to secure it,” said Senator Milne.