Global Food Security in Relation to Australia

Published: 2021-09-15 01:45:08
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Category: Food Security

Type of paper: Essay

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Throughout many developing countries, there is a strong need for the processes of production, distribution, consumption and waste disposal in relation to food products, to become more sustainable. Australia, as a nation, has immense potential to assist in solving that issue by improving global food security. Australia’s political and economic status and capability is essential to improving food security internationally. Recently, within the 2018 – 19 Federal Budget, the Australian Government assigned $247.7 million AUD, to provide immediate humanitarian support to developing nations through agencies such as the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, and enhance food security globally. Agriculture remains one of Australia’s strongest markets, contributing “3 percent to Australia’s total gross domestic product (GDP)”. 14 percent of all exports are agriculturally based, the majority of which is transported to China and other Asian nations. This is predominantly due to our location linking both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. To develop the world’s food security, Australia should invest in trade, which distributes goods to different global regions. Unfortunately the problems that arise if areas either have a low demand for a product or are a distant from the distributor, is that the value of the investment drops or the form of supply becomes volatile. In addition, there is a limit on how much one government can control the international free market, since any large disruption of the market flow, could result in expensive consequences. Therefore, with the high political and economic status of Australia currently, it is more important to model a high level of domestic food security, through the localization of products, providing an example for less developed countries to follow.
For Australia to model domestic food security, a control on food wastage is required. Western society has a great underappreciation and ignorance for the value of basic necessities, specifically food. Without it humanity would not exist. As a result Australia needs to respect it, by limiting any waste that is produced in the process of consumption. “Up to 40% of the average household bin is food. For the average Australian household that means around $1000 worth of food is thrown away each year”. A study completed by an individual shows a family of 4 (note: this includes a child 3>), producing 2.06kg of waste each week. The 4 million tons of food waste placed in landfill annually, costs the Australian Government $20 billion AUD, which is better spent improving food security. All these figures are evidence for society’s need to compost, reuse and buy smarter. Composting creates rich soil which can be used in the production of food, creating a more sustainable food cycle. Checking use-by dates and limiting the quantity of products bought are effective ways to limit food wastage. Therefore, all Australians are responsible for limiting food waste and are required to improve both domestic and global food security. Balancing urbanization is essential for modeling high levels of food security within Australia.A prominent controversial topic asks: ‘How to manage the population?’. Australia’s current rate of population increase is 1.6%, a vast majority of which is due to immigration. As the population grows there is high demand for housing, causing property developers to out buy farmers. This process is called Urbanization. One of the challenges of Urbanization is finding a balance between owning enough land to produce the required amount agriculture goods and housing the population. Australia is unique, specifically through the extreme environments it has and weather conditions it endures, thus only a small part of the total land mass is livable and has the right soil fertility for agricultural growth.
Urbanization not only limits the amount of available land, but also enforces a high risk of land degradation. This makes land incapable of supporting crops, which consequently damages the national food supply, having a negative effect on Australia’s food security. Australia’s potential to contribute to global food security is ultimately determined by our ability to model high levels of food security, which is achieved through having a recognized economy and political capability, a control of food wastage and a balance of urbanization. Without the support of everyday Australian citizens our ability to contribute to international food security does not exist.

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