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Australia should focus on sharing expertise, not food: researcher

An environment researcher believes Australia should be concentrating less on exporting food products and more on sharing expertise.

Andrew Campbell, from the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihood at Charles Darwin University told the ABC Australia should be educating countries like East Timor how to feed themselves, rather than providing for them.

His comments come after the Federal Opposition announced plans to turn the north of Australia into an agricultural hub, with new dams and irrigation to double the amount of food produced in the region.

Campbell said exporting to the region would not work, because the high supply and transport costs from Australia would make the food too expensive once it got to the Asian countries.

"Those countries to our north have much better soils, much younger soils, much more fertile soils for growing food than we do," he told the ABC.

"There is lots of scope to increase their own food production, and that’s much more realistic than the idea that they will buy our food.”

Image: Rivco Group

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