Have your say... Letters to the editor

Dear Editor,

The Australian Government’s National Food Plan needs to concentrate more on developing a resilient and knowledgeable farm and food sector in Australia and less on thinking Australia can solve the world’s food shortages.

The Biological Farmers of Australia (BFA) welcomes the Australian Government’s draft plan for agriculture; however in its submission emphasises a need for more support for biological and organic farming, value-adding and better research and development for resilient farms and farmers.

The green paper is heavily focused on intensive, monoculture farming, thinking that this approach is the only one that can produce high productivity. We don’t think this is the only way forward for Australian agriculture nor is it a silver bullet for food security in our region.

Australia’s National Food Plan should not be structured in a way that pushes for constant increases in food production volumes simply due to global pressures for the world to produce more food.

BFA would like to see the Plan broaden its focus and show support for multi-yield, resilient, and productive agricultural systems.

We have the opportunity to be leaders in our region providing high value-added food products. The notions of ‘food security’ and ‘feeding the world’ are much confused and misused issues in policy thinking.

Pushing higher monocultural yields out of a limited number of strains of crop species will be the breeding ground for longer-term food insecurity.

There is an opportunity for Australia to be a leader in sustainable production and high value-added food products, which could be achieved with more appropriate research and development.

Dr Andrew Monk,
Director BFA Ltd
Convenor Standards Advisory Group