STRONGER agricultural engagement and cooperation have been agreed to as part of the inaugural Australia-Argentina High Level Agriculture Dialogue in Buenos Aires.
Agriculture minister David Littleproud said the meeting showed both countries agreed building partnerships and increasing engagement would benefit both nations.
“Australia and Argentina are both big agricultural players in the Southern Hemisphere and historically we have been competitors,” Mr Littleproud said.
“The signing of the Joint Statement is a huge step towards collaboration. We have similar challenges, including farming in varied climates, effectively managing water resources and improving farm productivity to ensure our industries remain sustainable.
“I look forward to working together in agricultural technology, research and development, biosecurity and water resource management.”
Mr Littleproud said Australian agriculture had grown despite a variable climate.
“To maintain growth we will depend on innovation and new technology and we can learn a lot from Argentina as a leader in R&D,” he said.
“Agriculture is so important to our two nations and we are both keen to build trade. As part of our commitment to the bilateral relationship, Australia will have dedicated agricultural counsellor in South America from 2019, helping to get our Aussie produce into those markets.”
Mr Littleproud also represented Australia at the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting in Buenos Aires, highlighting Australia’s contribution to global food supply.
“Almost two thirds of our agricultural, fisheries and forestry exports go to G20 members, worth a combined $37.6 billion, so maintaining these trade relationships is essential,” Mr Littleproud said.
The visit to Argentina is part of a two-week trip that also included the US, Brazil and Mexico.
Mr Littleproud said the trip provided an opportunity to meet with ministerial delegates, push for greater market access, promote Australian agriculture and improve trade relationships.
He also presented a statement to the G20 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting in Argentina, highlighting Australia’s contribution to international agriculture.