Agriculture has long been central to narratives about Australian identity and prosperity; the wellbeing of farmers seen as crucial to the wellbeing of all. Paradoxically, agriculture has also long been subject fears of social and economic crises undermining the ability of farmers to maintain productivity growth and to care for rural environments and communities. As we face the challenges of the 21st Century we must ask what we expect of agriculture and how we will support Australian farmers to deliver on these expectations.
This report examines:
- Social and economic stressors in the Australian farm sector with the potential to undermine human capital and, in turn, agricultural productivity.
- The politics of food and agriculture both within, and outside, the formal political sphere. This involves consideration of both national and global politics, on the one hand, and of the micropolitics of consumption and the vertical coordination of agricultural value chains, on the other.
- Possible futures and the infrastructure, technology, farm business models and governance systems required to envision and realize positive futures.
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