Farming in rural amenity landscapes: Maintaining food productivity in a changing environment

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    Inland rural amenity landscapes in Australia are undergoing a transition, with food and fibre production impacted by increasing rural populations and land use changes. Farmers face challenges and opportunities; from increased land prices, subdivision of land, more diverse communities, to competition for water resources, changing commodity markets and community expectations. Using a qualitative case study of Indigo Shire in North East Victoria, this chapter explores the perspectives of farmers, local and state government officers, councillors and agribusiness representatives on food production in an amenity landscape. Farmers were generally optimistic about their respective industries due to market access and local production advantages despite rising land values and succession uncertainties. Farm product diversification, value-adding, on-farm sales, local marketing, food-tourism and agri-economic development strategies were seen as important avenues to maintain and enhance the functionality of food production. Whilst local and state government representatives acknowledged the economic importance of agriculture, the results revealed a loss of government connection with the farming community. If amenity landscapes are to continue producing food for both local consumption and export, a more proactive governance approach is needed to engage with the farming community.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationFood Security in Australia
    Subtitle of host publicationchallenges and prospects for the future
    EditorsQuentin Farmer-Bowers, Joanne Millar, Vaughan Higgins
    Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
    Number of pages13
    ISBN (Electronic)9781461444848
    ISBN (Print)9781461444831
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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