Can Australia become the Food Bowl of Asia?

Knowledge decay is arguably the greatest threat facing rural Australia. Knowledge decay allows us to ignore what we have already learnt, allowing for the reinfestation of bad policies. Thus just like a cockroach, a bad policy is difficult to flush (Krugman 2011). In a world full of zombie economics (Quiggin 2010) and the pursuit of a 5 second sound bite we have to examine the proposition of the question. “Can Australia become the food bowl of Asia?” I will retort it’s not about to where Australia exports nor how much we export. Rather the question should be how can we make Australian agriculture profitable? To examine this alternative question, this essay will examine the following three issues: should producers and researcher concentrate on productivity or profit, how do we deal with risks and uncertainties in a policy environment; and finally we examine the logic of targeting Asia or the entire world, in an attempt to negate future flushing.

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Working or Discussion Paper
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JEL Codes:
Q17; Q18; D81
Series Statement:
Australian Public Policy Program

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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