Agriculture and ASEAN Economies: Still Key for Growth

Despite its declining contribution to the GDP of ASEAN economies, agriculture remains a major source of employment for rural populations and provides much value add for agrifood industries. The ASEAN region needs to tap more public-private synergies so that agriculture’s contribution to economic growth is fully utilized. Continue reading Agriculture and ASEAN Economies: Still Key for Growth

Farming in a Fishbowl

Recently it seems, there have been a swag of reports published considering the future of farming in Australia and extolling the opportunity currently before Australian agriculture with the rise of the Asian middle class and challenge of feeding 9-10 billion people with less land and less water.

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Who is afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?

In the early 19th century, the Brothers’ Grimm adapted Frenchman’s Charles Perrault story of Little Red Riding Hood, a tale which we all know well.  As young children we listened wide eyed as our parents told us of the cheeky wolf who gobbled up Grandma and lay in wait for the innocent Little Red Riding Hood, only for the young girl to wise up and for the wolf to be chopped down by the good Samaritan huntsman.

Anyone who has been following the debate over the last five years surrounding foreign investment in Australian agriculture and in particular, the fervent commentary that seems to emerge when these investment dollars come from China, might be able to quickly draw parallels with our tale from the woods.

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The TPP just one leg of the stool for Asia’s food security

The signing this week of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) by the 12 nations party to it, has been met, in Australia at least, with generally positive commentary and in particular the tenacious negotiating tactics of Australia’s Trade Minister, Andrew Robb.

On paper, the TPP looks like a good deal for Australia: reducing trade barriers for Australian agricultural produce and potentially opening up new export markets.

However, will the TPP help address the far more pressing issue of helping to improve Asia’s food security and the lot of more than 400 million smallholder farmers who go to make up the region’s agricultural economy?

Continue reading The TPP just one leg of the stool for Asia’s food security