The Agriculture Minister warns the sector must focus on its role as a premium producer, not a general food exporter, to avoid being seen as a threat.
It's an equation Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce says is ridiculous.
Of the future three billion middle-class consumers in Southeast Asia, 60 million are now fed by Australia and the potential exists to double that.
The result according to some is that Australia will earn the title of the food bowl of Asia.
"It's ridiculous and read as a threat overseas," Mr Joyce told Sky News on Sunday.
"We're not going to be the food basket of Asia."
Mr Joyce warns that this type of rhetoric can damage Australia's agriculture, saying the nation cannot feed an estimated three billion-strong Southeast Asian middle class by 2030.
Within weeks the government will release a green paper with potential strategies to boost the sector and take advantage of opportunities in the region.
A white paper detailing the chosen strategy is expected by the end of the year.
The potential to become Asia's food bowl has been widely reported, and industry experts and some government figures have debated the issue.
But Mr Joyce said growth in Australia's agriculture industry was not a threat to Southeast Asian farmers and suggestions otherwise defied logic.
"Indonesian farmers don't want to hear that the only cattle that will be available for market will be Australian cattle," he said.
"We're going to be selling a premium product to a premium market."
Mr Joyce said there were significant opportunities to boost the Australian agriculture exports to Southeast Asia.
He is studying the NZ 100% Pure brand campaign and has been talking to state ministers about bringing Australian produce under a similar umbrella brand.
"If we all go off as rats and mice, here, there and everywhere, then we won't have a consistent approach," he said.
Another option to achieve Mr Joyce's target of doubling the nation's food export output is to make agriculture an investment option for super fund managers.
However, Mr Joyce - who as opposition finance spokesman notably mixed up million and billion - may need to check his maths again.
"We feed right now about 60 million people, if we doubled our production to 160 million people, we still couldn't even feed half of Indonesia," he said.
Even if Australia tripled its food output we would only be able to feed 120 million people in Asia, a region with a population of 2.5 billion, opposition agriculture spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon said.
"What Australia needs to do ... is to smartly look for niche, high return opportunities in Asia," he told AAP.
"It's about value not volume. Australia can only lift its output so much because it's only got limited land and water resources."
And while primary producers wait for up to six months for the minister's white paper, opportunities are being lost, he added.