Agriculture In Australia Needs A Strategy

‘Farmers are at the interface of the world’s most wicked problems’. A field of canola crops near the New South Wales town of Harden. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Thanks to Gabrielle Chan for this observation on ag down under, and how it impacts us all:

Farmers manage more than half of Australia. We all have a stake in them getting it right

If you eat, you have an interest in farming. If you care about the environment, you have an interest in farming. Yet Australia has no national agriculture strategy

Strip away modernity. Unlearn everything you know about the complexity of your average day. The ordinary interaction, the workaday worries, the pinging of your phone, the relentless roll of the inbox. You are left with the human condition. Our most basic needs, as the American psychologist Abraham Maslow noted, are the physiological needs: food and water, sufficient rest, clothing, shelter, health and reproduction.

In Australia and much of the developed world, we often forget that food and water are central to the human story. Food is so plentiful, so present, it is not even secondary.

Yet in 2020, when we saw the shelves stripped empty in a Covid panic, how quickly the instinct to protect those basic needs kicked in. Those of us in developed countries were transported back through history, to the many moments of scarcity, as if living past lives or responding to genetic memories. In a flash, the basics became important. The impermanence of gathering food was underlined.

Although I am primarily a journalist, I have been living alongside food production for 25 years since I moved to a sheep and wheat farm. As I moved my political journalism away from insider reporting to outsider rural coverage, I was alerted to fractures in the farming system that are becoming clear after decades of economic reforms.

How food is grown and where it comes from are choices for every individual and country to make…

Read the whole article here.

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