Free Essay: Issues Facing Australian Agriculture
Australian agriculture faces a number of opportunities and challenges alike. Some of the challenges faced by Australian agriculture are global while others are unique. Climate changes and increase in average temperatures are some of the global challenges faced in Australia. Additionally, natural resource management and higher consumer wealth in China, Brazil, India and other developing countries pose a great challenge to Australian agriculture.
Climate change and decline of natural resources
Australian agriculture is adversely affected by climate change and decline in natural resources. Agricultural industry is forced to produce more from declining natural resources thus, lowering the quality of produce. Due to climate changes in Australia
- Surface water is rapidly declining
- Ground water is only available in some parts of the country
- Arable land in the country is shrinking at a higher rate
- Soil losses are also increasing
- The quantities of natural nutrients applied is exceeded by the amount of nutrients lost
- Publicly funded agriculture in Australia and across the globe is declining by the day
According to research carried out by ABARE, there are specific agricultural regions in Australia that are more likely to suffer more loses than other regions. The highlighted regains include New South Wales, Eastern, Northern and Central Western Slopes of Australia. These regions are also dependent on wheat and wool.
Regional effects of climate change in Australia will not only affect the given areas but also Australian agricultural economy at large.
Australian agriculture is also affected by high rainfall. It causes a decline in wheat production, wool and sheep meat production and gross regional agricultural products. This is because of flood and violent storms that are closely associated with heavy downpour.
According to analysis carried out by agricultural experts in the region, the situation is bound to get worse in 2030. Australian crop agriculture and forestry will experience increase in carbon monoxide concentrations and warmer climate.
Due to heavy rains, animals get sick and some die. In the event of such occurrences, meat and milk production is greatly reduced. Wool production also declines and it affects the economy of Australia.
Australian agriculture also faces biosecurity threats. In the past years, there have been cases of invasive diseases affecting plants and animals. The diseases kill a large number of animals in Australia thus, affecting meat, milk and wool production.
When plants are affected, food production declines in the country. As a result, the cost of food increases within a short span of time. With biosecurity threats, the cost of living in Australia increases.
Generally, cross industry strategic threats are the major challenges facing Australian agriculture. They are categorized into biosecurity threats, the impact of climate change and decline of natural resources. The latter will eventually cause acidity, salinity, loss of nutrients and competition for water by both plants and animals.
Due to climate change, there is a potential decline in annual average rainfall received in the country. This leads to reduced agricultural production. The threats are beyond the control of experts. However, with biotechnology, agricultural experts can reach out for short term and long term measures to reduce the effect of these challenges.
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