Food Security in Australia: Some Misplaced Enthusiasms?
Article first published online: 20 SEP 2013
© 2013 The Economic Society of Australia
Economic Papers: A journal of applied economics and policy
Special Issue: Food Security
Volume 32, Issue 3, pages 317–327, September 2013
How to Cite
Watson, A. and Merton, E. (2013), Food Security in Australia: Some Misplaced Enthusiasms?. Economic Papers: A journal of applied economics and policy, 32: 317–327. doi: 10.1111/1759-3441.12040
- Issue published online: 20 SEP 2013
- Article first published online: 20 SEP 2013
- food security;
Previous papers in this issue of Economic Papers have dealt with some substantive issues surrounding food security. The purpose of this article was different. We provide a general commentary on other Australian agricultural policy issues where the rhetoric of food security is used to exaggerate the challenges faced and/or to support solutions to some challenges that are expensive and unrealistic. This article comprises opinion based on historical observations of the agricultural policy process in Australia and the underlying principles of mainstream agricultural economics. It does not offer detailed empirical analysis of the issues discussed. The issues discussed are irrigation in the Murray–Darling Basin, prospects for agricultural production in northern Australia, especially irrigation development, the bias in favour of further processing of agricultural products (value adding), food imports and foreign ownership, and the effects of Asian economic development on Australian agriculture and agricultural trade.