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Connections - Farm, Food and Resource Issues

  Contents - Spring (December) 2002
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John Freebairn - Professor and Head of the Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria.

Droughts are a natural and regular feature of agriculture in Australia and assistance to farmers to help their businesses cope with the effects of drought is just another form of subsidy. (This article is published with the permission of the Australian Financial Review).
  Anticipating the Next Level of Sophistication in Water Markets

Tim Cummins and Charles Thompson - Tim Cummins and Associates, Rosebank, NSW 2480.

The process of water reform is accelerating. The next level of sophistication in water markets will be motivated by the needs of irrigators to manage risk.
  Prospects for Feeding the World and for Rural Landscapes

T. Fischer - Australian Centre for International Research, GPO Box 1571, Canberra City, ACT 2601

Maintaining investment in Research and Development in agriculture will ensure that crop yields will grow sufficiently rapidly for world per capita food consumption to continue to increase. Increasing food production in the favoured areas of arable land in the world can be sustainable, and by making it relatively less attractive to crop the remaining forests, woodlands, uplands and dry marginal areas, relieves the pressure to develop arable cropping in these environmentally sensitive areas.
  Quantitative Measures and Performance Indicators in the Agri-business Sector

Venton Cook - Principal Strategy Consultant, Primary Industries and Resources, SA.

There are parallels between the analysis of the farm as a business and appraisal of agricultural and food producing sectors of the Australian economy. Indicators and measures of farm business and agri-food industry performance are all designed to cast light on complex farm and industry systems.  Compared with traditional means of measuring industry output, such as input-output tables and national accounts, a food industry scorecard is a timely and easily understood data base for users.


Bill Malcolm Glenn Ronan
Co-editor and
Associate Professor
Institute of Land and Food Resources
The University of Melbourne
Victoria, Australia
Co-editor and
Principal Strategy Consultant, Corporate Strategy and Policy,
Primary Industries and Resources South Australia