Can Australian farmers continue to meet growing demand?

Tor Hundloe, editor of “Australia’s Role in Feeding the World: The Future of Australian Agriculture” believes Australians are lucky because an enormous amount of the food we eat is grown in our own backyard. In the book, Hundloe discusses the role Australia plays in feeding the world’s population and explores some of the future challenges Australian famers may face, if they are to continue to meet current local and foreign demand while adopting sustainable farming practices.

As the global populace expands – including Australia’s, which is predicted to reach 35 million by 2050 – it’s estimated that rainfall alone will be insufficient to cultivate crops. Climate and rainfall variability across the country, combined with high evaporation rates and our strained water assets will result in water scarcity, creating the need for drastically improved water management.

Irrigation systems are now considered necessary to help farmers produce enough so that they can continue to feed our population efficiently and sustainably, in addition to producing excess yields to export globally. Drip irrigation may be one of the best options for farmers as it has the highest distribution efficiency to all plants compared to other irrigation systems, at about 93 percent, contributing author Curtis Attard says.

Despite much of the country being affected by drought conditions, particularly in recent years, Australia’s adoption of drip irrigation is still far behind that of the United States and other countries. The uncertainty and irreversible nature of irrigation systems, as well as the costs of installation, are likely some of the reasons farmers are delaying implementation.

Armed with the latest intelligence on sustainable production and distribution products from Australian farms, “Australia’s Role in Feeding the World: The Future of Australian Agriculture” provides insightful and compelling discussion on the future of agriculture in Australia.

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