What a week. It has been hard to keep up with all the news arising on food security and climate change. In this post I will highlight some short news and statements that you may wish to check in depth.
(1) “On the face of it, it’s an impossible equation - the only way we can meet what the world will demand is by following every possible path of scientific research. I don’t see how anyone can mount a moral argument against genetically modified food when we’re facing these sorts of projections on global hunger”. Tony Burke, Australia’s Agriculture Minister.
(2)”Key export industries, including coal mining, food processing, natural gas and aluminium will be better protected, saving thousands of Australian jobs under threat from Laborâ€™s scheme.The package also protects farmers from the scheme by exempting agriculture altogether. By allowing agricultural offsets which include carbon sequestration in soils and vegetation, there is the opportunity for financial and land management benefits in the rural sector.” Malcolm Turnbull, Leader of the Opposition, in unveiling the proposed Coalition amendments to the Australian Government Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme (CPRS).
(3) â€œThe major dilemma with the CPRS legislation industry is it will mean the cost of power will rise significantly â€“ while industry is doing its best to reduce power use, the CPRS will ultimately impact upon prices on supermarket shelves.â€ Kate Carnell, CEO of the Australian Food and Grocery Council.
(4) â€œWater and energy costs are rising and agriculture productivity is going to be increasingly unpredictable due to climate changes, so getting the sustainability balance right is crucial for the industry. This requires a fundamental shift in thinking.â€ Kate Carnell again, after releasing the report Towards Sustainability, which highlights the effort of food and grocery companies to achieve sustainable production.
(5) “For the first time in history, more than one billion people are undernourished worldwide. This is about 100 million more than last year and it means that one in every six persons suffers from hunger every day. This recent increase in hunger has not been the consequence of a poor global harvest, far from it, but was caused by the world economic crisis, which has reduced incomes and employment opportunities of the poor and significantly reduced their access to food.” Jacques Diouf,Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
(6) “Australian agricultural science has developed in an environment of natural resource constraints â€“ the skills, approaches and technologies developed here are very relevant to the challenges of developing world agriculture â€“ in particular in Africa which has similar soils and climates to northern Australia.” Dr Brian Keating , Director of CSIROâ€™s Sustainable Agriculture Flagship.
(7)”In a place of such abundance, it is not necessary for people to go without and it is not necessary for kids to go without,” David Bartlett, Tasmanian Premier, in unveiling the Food Security Council initiative.