With conversation growing louder on ideas to develop Northern Australia into a new agricultural power house or ‘foodbowl’, it is important to consider all the facts. CPD research director and co-author of 2012 landmark CPD report Farming Smarter, Not Harder Laura Eadie has produced a fact sheet outlining key points which must be addressed before agricultural expansion can be sustainable:
Until adequate policies, plans and controls are in place, agricultural development should be kept to a small scale. Individual farm based irrigation development with capacity to utilise smaller isolated pockets of better soils may be appropriate. Crops supporting the established grazing industry (i.e. fodder crops) may be appropriate as there is an accessible local market. This could stabilise beef production during drought periods
Read Farming smarter not harder, and watch this space for more research on sustainable food production
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