NSW Government outlines food security plan

Posted by Isobel Drake on 21st October 2009

The NSW Government has unveiled an action plan to tackle the growing global problem of food security, Minister for Primary Industries Ian Macdonald said today.

The Minister launched the plan, Research for Action – Productivity and Food Security, as part of a major food security forum held in Sydney today, featuring experts from science and industry.

“Food security is one of the biggest issues facing our planet,” Mr Macdonald said. “Today’s event in Sydney brings together some of the brightest minds, including leading scientists and industry experts, to look at how we can overcome this challenge and increase our agricultural productivity.”

“Providing food has been a challenge for society for centuries, but the primary industries sector is experiencing rapid change. World-wide food shortages, rising food prices, the global financial crisis, a changing climate, other environmental issues, skill shortages and increasing biosecurity threats are issues affecting food security right now.”

The Minister said research, improvements in technology and working with industry partners are some of the best ways to improve agriculture productivity and conquer the food shortage.

“Industry & Investment NSW has a major role in ensuring domestic and global food security, especially when NSW exports around half of our produce,” Mr Macdonald suggested. “Now, more than ever, it’s time we start working on solutions to sustain our harvest.”

The Research for Action plan contains a number of strategies including:

– Developing new ways to increase productivity and at the same time use resources more efficiently;

– Developing new crops, improved ways for feeding livestock, better breeding systems for plants and animals;

– Finding alternative markets for agricultural products;

– Establishing functional foods that reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases; and

– Developing innovative strategies to achieve cost-effective increases in production.