Promoting food security by supporting Agricultural R&D

John Mullen

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperConference paperpeer-review

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Productivity gains are an important source of wealth in any economy. Productivity growth in the agriculture sectors in Australia and New Zealand has been credible relative to other sectors of their economies. However, at least for Australian broadacre agriculture, productivity growth has slowed in the last decade and this has been particularly true for cropping specialists. Part of the slowdown can be attributed to the run of bad seasons over the last decade but recent econometric analysis confirms that stagnant investment in agricultural R&D has also played a part in this slowdown. Trends in public investment in agricultural R&D are reviewed. Evidence of the continuing high returns to agricultural R&D is also reviewed. However there remains scepticism about whether investment in agricultural R&D is a good use of public funds. It is important that stakeholders in agricultural R&D be able to present credible evidence of the impact of R&D both on industry and the community at large and be able to cogently argue for continued public funding. The consequences of any slowdown in agricultural productivity in rich countries associated with a slowdown in public investment in R&D are likely to be a slowdown in the 'spillover' of technology to poor countries and perhaps food security issues related to rising food prices. The need to adapt to climate change and feed 3 billion more people exacerbates these challenges
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication15th AAC
Subtitle of host publicationFood security from sustainable agriculture
EditorsH. Dove, R.A. Culvenor
Place of PublicationAustralia
PublisherThe Regional Institute
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event15th Australian Agronomy Conference - Lincoln, New Zealand, New Zealand
Duration: 15 Nov 201018 Nov 2010


Conference15th Australian Agronomy Conference
CountryNew Zealand

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