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UNAA Global Food Security & Sustainable Agriculture Seminar - Graham Bonnett, CSIRO


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Graham Bonnett, Theme Leader, Advancing Agricultural productivity and Environmental Health, CSIRO Sustainable Agriculture Flagship, presented at the UNAA Victoria Global Food Security & Sustainable Agriculture Seminar held on Tuesday 29 October in Melbourne.

Held in support of the United Nations Zero Hunger Challenge, in partnership with NAB and the University of Melbourne, this seminar was part of the UNAA Sustainability Leadership Series and sought to build momentum for collective action on food security and sustainable agriculture post Rio +20.

Bringing together experts and practitioners from government, business, civil society, farmers' organisations, research and academia, the seminar sought to provide a platform for shared learning and discussion on Australia's role in addressing the global food security challenge and advancing sustainable agricultural practices.

It highlighted the challenges and opportunities that Australian government, businesses, and NGOs face as they contribute to developing and promoting sustainable food supply chains that increase food production, preserve natural resources and fight hunger at the local, national and global level.

For more information about this seminar and the UNAA Sustainability Leadeship Series please visit

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UNAA Global Food Security & Sustainable Agriculture Seminar - Graham Bonnett, CSIRO

  1. 1. Global Food Security & Sustainable  Agriculture: Australia's Role? Challenges and  Opportunities Graham Bonnett|  Sustainable Agriculture Flagship October  29 2013
  2. 2. Outline • Australian Opportunity • Challenges • Some solutions • International contribution Graham Bonnett |  Page 2
  3. 3. Australia’s production  opportunity Graham Bonnett | Page 3
  4. 4. Predicted growth in Agricultural exports ABARES (2012) Food demand to 2050: Opportunities for Australian Agriculture Graham Bonnett Page 4
  5. 5. A widely held view Australian agri-exports could rise by 250% between 2011 and 2050 with a cumulative value of additional exports of $1.7 trillion postulated
  6. 6. Is it possible? What have we seen historically? Graham Bonnett |  Page 6
  7. 7. The response ‐ Green Revolution 1961‐2000  Population rose 98% Food production rose 146% Per capita food production rose 24% Yields more than doubled Arable land in use rose only 8% Arable land per person fell from 0.45 to 0.25 ha Inputs rose many fold: – x 7 Nitrogen fertiliser – x 3 Phosphate fertiliser – x 2 irrigation water Keilman (1997) The accuracy of the United Nations World Population Projections Graham Bonnett | Page 7
  8. 8. The challenge ‐ slowdown in productivity  growth in the world’s major crops  Alston et al 2009 Global yield growth rates, percent per year for 1961 to 2007. Graham Bonnett Page 8
  9. 9. Australian broadacre agriculture: 1977‐2008 from Sheng.
  10. 10. Prices declining, herd productivity stagnant Source: ABS Data
  11. 11. So where will the productivity increases come from? Closing the yield gap Yield gap Yield Increasing potential yield Reducing inputs Intensification Potential yield Best farmer’s / water limited yields Graham Bonnett Page 11 Average farmers yield
  12. 12. Closing the yield gap Graham Bonnett | Page 12
  13. 13. What are the current gaps? Fig. 5. Spatial distribution of Y% in the Wimmera in the 2005 season. Each cell value was derived by expressing Ya as a percent of Yw for each “winter cereal” cell Hochman et al , Field Crops Research 2012
  14. 14. Mike Whelan LESI NZ|  Page 14
  15. 15. Increasing Potential Yield Graham Bonnett | Page 15
  16. 16. Some recent examples Saltbush 2011 record QLD wheat yield Dual purpose crops GxExM – right genotype in the right environment managed to its potential Graham Bonnett Page 16
  17. 17. Water‐use efficiency in grain crops Photo: Greg Rebetzke
  18. 18. Future productivity????? Developments in material science Developments in information and communications science Graham Bonnett Page 18
  19. 19. Intensification Graham Bonnett | Page 19
  20. 20. Sustainability Graham Bonnett|  Page 20
  21. 21. Integrated pest management ‐ pests and  Native plants Crops beneficials 1.5 Log (predator : pest ratio) 1.0 0.5 0.0 Col 2 -0.5 -1.0 -1.5 Eu ca lyp tu s p En Ac opu ch l a yla cia nea en sa l a to icin a m A en Sc trip le tosa le x ro m la en uel le a R ri m ha go uric M ai at re dia a an nu a m tans ic ro ph yll a wh ea ch t ic k pe a so rg hu m Ba rle y ca na ry co tto n -2.0 Bianchi, Schellhorn and Cunningham, (2013) Agriculture and Forest Entomology Graham Bonnett|  Page 21
  22. 22. Australia’s farmers feed around 60  million people each day ..... How can we use Australian innovation  to feed many more? Graham Bonnett | Page 22
  23. 23. Equator Australia and Africa share many common agricultural challenges: limiting soils, highly variable climates, many common pests and diseases and similar crops, pastures and animals in tropical/subtropical farming systems. |
  24. 24. Safe maize for East Africa • 25% of global agricultural crops are contaminated with  aflatoxins (FAO) • 4.5 billion people in the developing world are  potentially chronically exposed  • Aflatoxin contamination ‐ carcinogenic, immune  suppression, liver damage, childhood stunting,  reduced nutrient absorption • CSIRO and its international partners are working with  African partners to: • develop diagnostic screening technology for Africa • Identify solutions via maize breeding, processing, farm  management and policy. • Focused on Kenya and Tanzania currently
  25. 25. AusAID‐CSIRO‐BecA Partnership Development of Improved Control Interventions for  Peste des Petits Ruminants  PPR is a significant pathogen of small  ruminants  International consensus for the need  for progressive control  Project Phase 1 (2010‐2013) Develop a thermo‐stabilize PPR vaccine Pilot vaccination models  Proposed Phase 2 (2014‐2017) Epidemiological research to enhance  targeting of vaccination programs Expansion of vaccination pilots to address  expanded epidemiological goals 
  26. 26. Summary • Significantly more and different food will be required • Increased productivity a major component • Evidence that rate of increase slowing  • Challenge for research is to explore new ways of  increasing productivity • Some potential for intensification  • Maintaining environmental health essential • Australia has environmental similarities to much of the  developing world • Challenge is to adapt and innovate for effective solutions Graham Bonnett|  Page 26
  27. 27. Thank you