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“No mistake. Australia produces enough food to support itself in fact we produce enough food food to support 75 million people a year. But rice is the exception unlike other rice is entirely dependent on water and australia. We have the best rice growers in the world.
We can produce more rice with less water than anyone in the world. But because of the ongoing drought. We ve had rice growers in the new south wales murray 0. Water allocation for two years now two years in a row.
So our rice harvest in australia has decreased from an annual average of about 800000 tonnes to around. 55000 tonnes and as a. Country we eat 300000 tonnes of rice a year and so this is going to be disproportionately affected by the fact we can t trade with vietnam at the moment. Do you think.
This is going to let up soon or is this going to be a long term issue well covert has thrown another spanner in the works you re absolutely right because normally our rice industry is well equipped to deal with the peaks and troughs of rice production. Because it is so dependent on water. We have developed really good training partnerships with countries around the world including vietnam. We know that we can guarantee the quality of the rice.
When we do trade with those countries. But because of covert. A lot of countries are protecting their own interests. Which is their right.
And it is sensible to do for example vietnam has said that they will no longer be exporting. Any of their rice. So that takes that rice out of the market for us. And we ve got a source enough rice to feed our nation.
And that s getting harder to do so. We also need to have a good look at our internal policies and what we can do to ensure that we get a rice harvest. A rice crop in the ground next summer. So that we can have a good rice harvest next year and start producing our own rice.
One thing we can take comfort. Though in is that we re number of the key industries are still going strong. So we shouldn t be expecting shortages and things like dairy that s right um dairy. We we only import about 9 of the dairy that s consumed in australia and normally they re sort of products like specialty products cheeses and and location specific products.
But we definitely produce enough dairy in australia in fact we produce enough to consume what we make here at home as well as export. Most of our agricultural commodities we have we produce well enough to feed ourselves as well as export to around the world so we have good strong export markets and we will continue those export markets and the government is supporting keeping those markets open by having our accept supporting freight to get things out of the country. While covert has reduced the number of passenger planes going out for example and our government has put in place measures to support and get those products that are produced here in australia and exported overseas like our seafood from western australia and our salmon from tasmania and we ve put in place measures to make sure that we continue to have those trade markets and trade routes open paran devi national. ” .
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