SMH Economics Editor questions Asian Century White Paper optimism in light of CPD’s Farming Smarter… and other sources warning of environmental hazards
Gittins surveys the Asian landscape and finds that rising Asian populations and affluence present a golden opportunity for Australian agriculture, but that environmental constraints are ignored at our peril.
Citing climate change as his “first question”, Gittins quotes Farming Smarter, Not Harder as predicting that, “without action to reduce or manage climate risks, Australia’s rural production could decline by 13 per cent to 19 per cent by 2050”.
The first thing to realise about the rise of Asia is that our farmers are about to join our miners in the winners’ circle. The second is that climate change and other environmental problems may greatly limit our farmers’ ability to exploit this opportunity. The third is that what we see as a looming bonanza, the rest of the world sees as a global disaster.