Immediate action needed to support Australia's farming future: report

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CANBERRA, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Australia must take urgent action to achieve resilient and sustainable farming systems by 2050, the national science agency has said.

In a report published on Tuesday, the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) identified trends, risks, opportunities and actions that need to be taken to support Australian farming.

The Ag2050 Scenarios report presents four future pathways for the Australian farming sector in 2050 ranging from a consolidated and technologically thriving sector to a sector that is in decline and failing emissions reduction targets.

Katherine Wynn, leader of the CSIRO Agriculture and Food Futures team, said the report should serve as a call to action for the agriculture sector.

"The decline in farm profitability over the last two decades is a stark warning sign, with projections indicating a decline by up to 50 percent in some areas by 2050," she said in a media release.

"However, our research offers an optimistic outlook, and indicates Australia can achieve productive, sustainable and resilient farming systems if we act now to facilitate long-term transformative change in agricultural innovation."

The plausible future scenarios in the report are regional agriculture capitals where a technologically advanced sector delivers food and fiber security; landscape stewardship with a focus on the restoration of the environment; climate survival where the sector is forced to focus on surviving rather than thriving and system decline where crop yields are declining and emissions targets are failed.

It called for immediate whole-of-system long-term policy shifts in climate adaptation, land and seas, industry and regions to achieve the most optimistic future for the sector.

The report was compiled through consultation and co-design between the CSIRO and over 100 industry stakeholders. Enditem

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