AUSTRALIA won't be able to feed the world but might be able to help to others to with its agricultural knowledge.
According to a new report from the Office of Australia's Chief Scientist, our most significant contribution to feeding our region will not be our food exports, as they will not be able to increase enough.
- HAVE YOUR SAY
- Do you agree with the report?
- Tell us in the form below.
Instead, according to the report, Australia's Role in Global Food Security, Australia should re-focus on developing its agricultural science know-how.
This comes as Australia face a critical shortage of agricultural science graduates to fulfil even its own demands, declining agricultural R&D investment and a subsequent waning in on-farm productivity gains.
The report authored by Prof Peter Langridge and Dr Simon Prasad states: "Australia may not be directly able to feed Asia or the world, but our know-how in food production has the potential to contribute to the diets of hundreds of millions of people around the globe''.
It comes as Minister for Regional Australia Simon Crean last week said Australia had an "obligation'' to feed the region, partly by allowing foreign investment.
But the report does not highlight foreign investment as a way of aiding global food security.
The report states Australian "agricultural research spending has been stagnating'' and partially attributed the decline in Australian broadacre agricultural productivity to the slowdown in research activity.
"Revitalising investments in agricultural R&D will be crucial to lifting our food output,'' it states.
"Our most valuable assets to support food security in our region and the world are our knowledge of agricultural science, and the ingenuity our farmers have used to produce food on a continent fraught with environmental challenges.''
"Supporting research investments and our agricultural workforce will be crucial to increasing our food production.''