The author acknowledges the generous support of the Public Policy Institute of the Australian Catholic University where he is currently a Visiting Fellow.
Foreign Acquisition of Agricultural Land and Food Security: A Cautionary Note on Public Policy†
Article first published online: 7 JAN 2013
Copyright © 2012 The Economic Society of Australia
Economic Papers: A journal of applied economics and policy
Volume 31, Issue 4, pages 501–507, December 2012
How to Cite
Mahony, G. (2012), Foreign Acquisition of Agricultural Land and Food Security: A Cautionary Note on Public Policy. Economic Papers: A journal of applied economics and policy, 31: 501–507. doi: 10.1111/1759-3441.12007
- Issue published online: 7 JAN 2013
- Article first published online: 7 JAN 2013
- foreign direct investment;
- agricultural land;
- food security;
- public policy
Proposed amendments to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 appear motivated by concern with food security and foreign ownership. Approval would be required for acquisitions by foreigners of agricultural land over five hectares, a register of agricultural land would be established and there would be a new explicit national interest test. This article explores the variegated social, political and economic opposition to foreign acquisition of agricultural land and finds it misplaced. Increased agricultural productivity to address the challenge of global food security requires that the sector emulates the success of global manufacturing within a network of alliances global supply chain. Productivity considerations should override populism as the main driver of policy for the regulation of Foreign Direct Investment.