Australia backs farmers on foreign ownership gripes

March 5, 2015 10:47 PM

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Australia backs farmers on foreign ownership gripes

CANBERRA (Reuters) - The Australian government has sided with farmers who say official data vastly underestimates foreign ownership of the nation's farmland, as it moves to clamp down on overseas purchases of agricultural land.

Foreign ownership is a key concern for many farmers, a crucial part of the conservative government's support base, who worry that anecdotal reports of Chinese investors buying large amounts of prime agricultural land will strip the country of its food security.

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