International Development

International Development: Australia 1379 International Development: Canada 1383 International Development: Finland 1388 International Development: Germany 1393 International Development: Ireland 1399 International Development: New Zealand 1402 International Development: South Africa 1406 International Development: Spain 1410 International Development: Switzerland 1413 International Development: Taiwan 1416 International Development: United Kingdom 1421

INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT: AUSTRALIA

Australia is an island continent similar in area to mainland United States, but with a much smaller population (16.3 million). Because it lies between latitudes 10° and 43.5° south, spanning temperate and tropical zones and corresponding to a climatic range in the Americas from northern California to Costa Rica, Australia is able to produce a wide range of food crops.

However, food production in Australia is greatly constrained by the limits of arable land and rainfall. Intensive agriculture is possible only on the eastern seaboard, in the southwestern corner, and in some inland irrigation districts. Progressively inland from the coast there is a band of country suitable for dryland farming of cereal crops and then large areas fit only for open grazing of cattle and sheep; half of the continent is desert.

Nevertheless, Australia has exportable surpluses of many foods, notably meat, wheat, rice, cane sugar, dairy products, fruits, and seafoods. Australia is second in world ranking, after the European Community, in exports of beef and veal, second after New Zealand in exports of mutton and lamb, third after the United States and Canada in exports of wheat and third after Cuba and Europe in exports of sugar. The major export markets for Australian food commodities are Japan (25%), other Asian countries (23%) and the United States (12%) (1).

Although the Australian aborigines lived off the land, the only indigenous plant product that has achieved commercial production is the macadamia nut. Of the native animals, only the kangaroo is used for meat, mainly for pet food, but the introduced and now-feral rabbit and buffalo are also used for human food.

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