Emeritus Professor Kym Anderson AC

Crawford Fund Medalist

Emeritus Professor Kym Anderson AC FAAEA FASSA DFAARES DFESA has contributed to economic development in the overlapping fields of international trade and political economy, with a strong focus on agriculture and products of importance to developing economies. His work and outputs, prodigious and varied, have been widely recognised for its quality and significance, in Australia and abroad including by leading international agencies.

Kym is the George Gollin Professor Emeritus in the School of Economics and Public Policy, and formerly foundation Executive Director of the Centre for International Economic Studies at the University of Adelaide, where he has been affiliated since 1984; and he is an Honorary Professor at the Australian National University’s Arndt-Corden Department of Economics where he was a Research Fellow during 1977-83 and a part-time Professor of Economics during 2012-18.

He has held senior research leadership positions at the World Trade Organization and the World Bank; and a large number of significant research advisory positions, including in Australia. He is highly respected internationally for his knowledge, understanding and leadership, with an excellent citation rate that indicates his international leadership in agricultural economics.

Kym has also played major roles on the ACIAR Commission and Policy Advisory Council and has chaired the Boards of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe).


Addressing impediments to global food security

The riskiness of agricultural production has been increasing this century, but so too have global market and policy uncertainties faced by farmers, agribusinesses and agrifood traders. In addition to short-term geopolitical contributors to which producers in the agrifood system have to become more resilient, there are long-term concerns with climate change (CC) and biodiversity loss and the responses of various governments and international agencies to those concerns. Farmers are among the worst-affected producers but are also significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity losses. Adapting to global warming and more-extreme weather events, and to new policies aimed at mitigating CC, are challenging many farmers, while some other farmers will see opportunities to be paid to contribute to mitigation. Better outcomes in terms of reductions in global food insecurity, malnutrition, CC, biodiversity loss and extreme poverty require policy reforms in at least three areas: (i) less government intervention in national markets for agrifood products and purchased farm inputs, to ensure better use of the world’s agricultural resources, (ii) more-widespread taxing of greenhouse gas emissions, and (iii) better markets for and policies affecting the services of natural capital so as to generate more (and more-appropriate) public investments in agricultural research and rural infrastructure in developing countries, and more public-private collaboration to up-scale innovations pertinent to the needs of farmers and agribusinesses there.