Water infrastructure boost needed for global food demands

Posted 27 January 2017

Barnaby JoyceAustralia will need to build more dams if it is to meet United Nations goals on agricultural production and global food security, the Deputy Prime Minister has said. 

Barnaby Joyce met with global leaders at the G20 Ag Ministers meeting in Berlin and held bilateral meetings with counterparts from the EU, UK and China. 

He has used the occasion to stress the importance of Australian investment in building water infrastructure

"The world is coming to an epiphany where in the moral hierarchy, feeding the world's people is at the top,” said Joyce, who is also Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources. 

"If you stand in the way of dams, then you stand in the way of water; and if you stand in the way of water, then you stand in the way of food.”

Joyce pointed to predictions the global population would reach 8.5 billion by 2030 and almost 10 billion by 2050. 

“This offers real opportunities for Australia’s agricultural sector as we work in partnership with countries across the world to address the global food and water challenges and demands of population growth,” he said.

“In addition to the obvious economic benefits to our own country, Australia has a moral global responsibility to play in helping feed the world; and the Coalition Government will be part of delivering on that through expanded agriculture and expanded trade agreements.”

Joyce predicted that meeting future global demand would require “exceptional policies”, embracing genetic modification and incentives for farmers to adopt new technology