3 May 2011

Reducing food wastage and increasing food production in the tropics are two of the keys to solving the glooming global food crisis, according to The University of Queensland’s Professor of Food Security, Michael D’Occhio.

Speaking at the Crawford Fund’s inaugural State Parliamentary Conference in Brisbane on 6 April 2021, Professor D’Occhio explained the importance of food wastage.

“If the global community is serious about food security then the current losses in developing countries, and wastage in developed countries, cannot be allowed to continue”, Professor D’Occhio said.

Food loss and wastage in Australia alone is worth $5 billion per year.

With current predictions indicating that food production will need to increase by about 70 per cent to feed 9 billion people in 2050, Professor D’Occhio believes Australia’s real contribution to global food security is through education, training and technology transfer.

“Our future investment in research must match the importance of increasing production in Australia and helping developing countries lift their food production,” he said.

“There is also an important role for indigenous communities in Northern Australia to play in future food production as many communities in these tropical regions do not have access to the same quality of food available in larger towns and cities. This will include the production of both conventional food and the development of new enterprises and markets around native bush-food.”

The conference, “A Food Secure World: Challenging Choices for our North” gave international and Australian speakers the opportunity to discuss the effective use of tropical lands for a food secure, sustainable and bio-diverse future and the need for future research and development through collaborations with other countries.

The Crawford Fund, a non-profit organisation who are advocating for International Agricultural Research, hosted 200 guests including agricultural decision-makers, researchers, farmers, educators, students and stakeholders at Parliament House in Brisbane.

Media: Professor Michael D’Occhio 0417 638 420 or m.docchio@uq.edu.au