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'Only free trade' will end hunger

THE threat climate change poses to agriculture makes the free trade of food crucial if the world hunger crisis is to be effectively tackled, Agriculture Minister Tony Burke says.

Speaking to The Age a week after he returned from the UN food summit in Rome, Mr Burke said productivity improvements in farming would not deal with climate-change-driven extreme weather events that would wipe out entire crops.

Mr Burke said that increased threat of natural disasters meant the free trade of food across the globe would become critical to ensure the supply of food to the world’s 6 billion people.

”Subsistence [farming] doesn’t get you there in food security if you have the risk of entire crops being wiped out through more major weather events,” Mr Burke said. ”Allowing food to move is the essential element of food security.”

The Age

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