Deputy secretary of the Victorian Department of Environmental and Primary Industries, James Flintoft has said that Australia needs to ‘play to its strengths’ by targeting, high value Asian markets, instead of trying to become Asia’s ‘food bowl’.
Flintoft, who spoke at the Victorian Agribusiness Summit in Ballarat yesterday said that Australia only has the capacity to feed 40m people outside of the nation’s 22m residents, the Weekly Times Now reports.
Flintoft said that as Asia’s population was tipped to increase to 3 billion by 2030, the bulk of the food was likely “to be provided by other countries,” who are upgrading outdated agricultural systems to more efficient enterprises.
Flintoft says that Australia should be looking to cater to the rising middle class by providing high quality products at a value that reflects Australia’s high costs of production.
However in order to boost exports, Flintoft believes that Australia must address a host of challenges including market access within the meat sector.