Australian agriculture unprepared for climate change

CROPS of wheat, beef, dairy and sugar across Australia could be hit by a 10% fall in production due to climate change, hitting the global effort to feed the growing population.

A report from Oxfam to be released on Tuesday found Australia was one of many countries unprepared for the impacts of climate change on agriculture.

Oxfam Australia food policy specialist Kelly Dent said the results of the study showed the world's poorest countries would feel the biggest impacts, but Australia was not immune.

"In Australia, climate change could cause production of wheat, beef, dairy and sugar to decline by an estimated 9% to 10% by 2030 and 13% to 19% by 2050, which will also lead to a decline in export of these items," she said.

"World grain reserves are at historically low levels. If extreme or erratic weather wipes out harvests in key producing countries, food prices could skyrocket, triggering major food crises."

She said the Federal Government needed to aim for "far deeper cuts" in carbon emissions, and could help contribute through foreign aid to help developing countries adapt.

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