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Agriculture and food security

 
 
Man checking mature corn plants

Seeds of life maize: One of the high-yielding maize varieties (SW5) that has been tested through the Seeds of Life program in East Timor. Photo: ACIAR / DFAT.

heading foldHow we are helping

2013/14 Estimated Outcome

$316.5 million

2014/15 Budget Estimate

$349.0 million

 

New development policy

Australia’s priorities in food security are set out in a new development policy for the aid program and a new performance framework to improve aid program performance, value for money and results.

More about the development policy


Productive, efficient and market-oriented agriculture provides a strong foundation for economic development.  It provides employment and income, empowering women and lifting people out of poverty. Agriculture is also a substantial source of export earnings across much of our region.

Realising economic opportunities in the agriculture and food sectors, tackling hunger and malnutrition and ensuring long term global food security are critical international priorities for the coming decades.

Australia advocates a comprehensive approach to food security that targets the immediate needs of the poorest, while also strengthening the foundations of long-term global food security.  Australia provides immediate humanitarian food assistance delivered through agencies such as the World Food Programme (WFP) [external website] and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) [external website]. Our overseas development assistance—including through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) [external website]—helps improve agricultural productivity and reduce post-harvest losses. Aid program initiatives also broaden opportunities for agricultural business growth, trade and market access, and increase the ability of the poor to access food by increasing incomes and driving economic growth. 

Australia’s comprehensive approach to food security includes efforts to promote open and efficient markets; where food can move freely to where it is needed most and to increase economic growth. Australia chairs the Cairns Group [external website] of 20 agricultural exporting countries, which has played an influential role in promoting global agricultural trade reform since its formation in 1986.

Millions of farmers around the world, including in developing countries, are unfairly disadvantaged in the world market as a result of trade distortions in agriculture. Trade and production distorting measures, including, for example, export restrictions, lead to greater price volatility and can create a disincentive for farmers to increase output and productivity. Distortions such as this also impede the achievement of long term food security. Further agricultural trade policy reform is essential to achieving poverty alleviation and food security objectives.

The Cairns Group [external website] of 20 agricultural exporting countries, chaired by Australia, has played an influential role in promoting global agricultural trade reform since its formation in 1986.

 
 

heading foldWhy we give aid

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Agriculture is a major source of pro-poor growth in developing countries with large, poor rural populations.

Find out more about why we give aid for agriculture and food security

 
 

heading foldHow we give aid

The Australian Government invests in agriculture and food security through global, regional and bilateral initiatives.

Find out more about how we give aid for agriculture and food security

 
 
 

heading foldProgress Against MDGs

MDG 1—End Poverty and Hunger

MDG 1.A—Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1 day

  • Target already met or expected to be met by 2015 in Northern Africa, Eastern, South-Eastern and Southern Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean and the Caucasus and Central Asia but unlikely to be met by Sub-Saharan Africa, Western Asia and Oceania if prevailing trends persist.

MDG 1.B—Achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people

  • Target likely to be met in Eastern and Southern Asia and Caucasus and Central Asia, but unlikely to be met in Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa, South-Eastern and Western Asia, Oceania and Latin America and Caribbean.

MDG 1.C—Halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

  • Target is unlikely to be met in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southern and Western Asia, and Oceania.

Source: MDG Progress Chart [PDF, external website]

 
 

Last reviewed: 18 June, 2014