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Can agriculture and mining work together to improve food security? How can policy, investment and research provide for benefits? Agriculture and mining rely on similar inputs, outputs and externalities. In both Africa and Australia the relationship between the two industries can be symbioitic or competitive, depending on the situation. Mining makes profits from its mined products. Agriculture also needs mined products such as potash for soil improvement. Mining requires upgraded or new infrastructure, for transport and export, and may open up new areas, and these can benefit agriculture and other aspects of a country’s economic development. Mining uses less land and leads to less degradation of water and land than does agriculture, but both do good if done well. In terms of corporate social responsibility, mining companies have to answer to shareholders. Nevertheless, there is evidence that multiplier effects improve income and employment opportunities in the regions around mines. However, Africa is challenged by non-inclusive growth despite resource development. There are perceptions in society and the media that mining takes rather than giving back, although there is evidence of the reverse. It is recommended that the huge knowledge gaps around mining and its nexus with agriculture be tackled through research into the true impacts of mining on food production and poverty. There is an urgent need to build better awareness of the realities, and to engage with affected communities.


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