More with less is key to sustainable agriculture on World Environment Day 2012

    5 June 2012

    On World Environment Day 2012 it is important for Australia’s agricultural industries to recommit to supporting the nation’s farmers in becoming even more environmentally sustainable, whilst still meeting the challenges of global food security.

    According to CropLife Australia’s, Chief Executive Officer Matthew Cossey, “the ability to grow more food on the same amount of land with less water and other inputs is the challenge of sustainable agriculture. Australia’s plant science industry produces valuable technologies and products that help farmers tackle the challenges of profitable and sustainable farming.

    “Modern farming systems, employing new crop varieties that suit Australian conditions and better crop protection chemistry tools, are essential to support the production of safe, nutritious and affordable food in an environmentally sustainable way.

    Mr Cossey pointed out that, “Australian agriculture is a thriving, prosperous industry that produces 93% of Australia’s food supply, and feeds tens of millions of people throughout Asia and the world. However, if Australia is to maintain and improve this performance while ensuring environmental sustainability, Australian farmers and the broader community need to embrace agricultural innovation and technology. State-of-the-art agricultural biotechnology and modern crop protection chemistry products will continue to provide tools for farmers to increase food production and become more environmentally sustainable.”

    “Through advances in modern agricultural chemistry and biotechnology, such as GM crops and cutting-edge chemical products, Australia’s plant science industry has been delivering some of the most effective tools for farmers to meet this challenge. Responsible, sustainable use of agricultural chemicals relieves pressure on natural resources while delivering higher crop yields and increased environmental sustainability. One amazing example of this is that the use of GM crops is already responsible for an annual reduction of 18billion kg of CO2 emissions from agriculture – that is the equivalent of removing 8 million cars form the road.

    “The plant science industry in Australia has also shown its commitment to safeguarding the environment through world leading industry stewardship programs designed to minimise environmental impacts of the industry. Agsafe, the wholly owned subsidiary of CropLife Australia, runs successful programs such as drumMUSTER, that collects and recycles pesticide containers and ChemClear