An image of Dr. Megan Clark, CEO of CSIRO.

Dr Megan Clark, Chief Executive and CSIRO Board member.

Modern Farmers: 2010 National Congress

'Modern Farmers: 2010 National Congress' is a presentation that was delivered by CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Megan Clark at the National Farmers' Federation in Melbourne, Victoria, on 6 September 2010. Provided here is an adapted transcript of the speech.

  • 7 December 2010 | Updated 14 October 2011

Introduction

Page 1 of 8

Slide 1 of 'Modern Farmers: 2010 National Congress'.

This conference is both timely and welcome. As a nation we face significant challenges and opportunities: the challenge of increasing the productivity of our agricultural sector; the prospect of real price increases in some of our farm exports; the changes to our climate; the challenge of reducing our carbon footprint and the opportunity of using our farms and forests for storage of carbon. 

Let me first acknowledge:

  • Hon Tony Burke, MP; Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry; Minister for Sustainable Population
  • Hon John Cobb, MP; Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Senators: Christine Milne, Nick Xenophon
  • Mr David Crombie, National Farmers’ Federation President.

There are three areas I would like to share with you:

  • First, the global context of population, arable land and changes to our climate. What changes to our climate have we already observed in Australia?

  • Second, I would like to touch on our immature, complex and volatile carbon markets. What is the role of science in supporting their establishment and in measuring and defining these markets and their trading mechanisms? I will outline how CSIRO research is working to better understand these opportunities and challenges for Australian agriculture.

  • Finally, I would like to talk on productivity and some updates on what CSIRO is doing to increase yields and margins for Australian farmers as you seek to increase your global competitiveness.