THE CRAWFORD FUND E-Newsletter, February 2016
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Highlights E-Newsletter
The Crawford Fund is a not-for-profit foundation that conducts activities to raise awareness of the benefits to Australia and developing countries from international agricultural research. It commissions studies on research policy and practice, and arranges specialist training activities for developing country agricultural scientists.

The UN has declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses, with the aim to heighten public awareness of the nutritional and sustainability benefits of pulses.

Pulses“Pulses are truly magic, offering a win-win-win situation for the farmer, the consumer and the planet,” said Professor Chandra Madramootoo, a water and food security specialist who is the Chair of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT).

Professor Madramootoo (pictured) visited Australia to meet with Australian officials and researchers. His message, during the 2016 International Year of Pulses, is that farmers and consumers globally would benefit by being more ‘pulse smart’.

Read more about pulses on our website, and for more from ICRISAT on the International Year of Pulses, click here.
A group of Crawford-in-Queensland awardees, who were supported by our Qld State Committee, recently presented on their research projects. Six Qld-based students spoke of the professional, personal and humanitarian impact of their experiences.

Qld Seminar“All of the Crawford-in-Qld awardees together proved the case that this initiative is good, and one we should continue,” said Dr Bruce Pengelly, Coordinator of the Queensland Committee.

It is for this reason that the Qld Committee of the Crawford Fund is again offering a small number of competitive research funding awards for tertiary students. More details on the awards and application forms are now available here.
WA ScholarsThe WA Crawford Fund State Committee and RAID are holding two informal meetings with students at the University of Western Australia (3 March) and Curtin University (8 March).
These networking events are for students interested in international agricultural research and development, to network with like-minded people and to learn more about the WA Committee's Crawford Fund Student International Agriculture Awards, which are similar to the Queensland awards (above).
2014 Journalism AwardThe Crawford Fund has launched its 2016 Food Security Journalism Award. In association with the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists, the Fund aims to encourage journalists to investigate the current global challenges and opportunities in providing improved food security.

The competition is open to working Australian journalists and the winning entry will be awarded with a Crawford Fund ‘seeing is believing’ visit to a developing country—to view and report on current Australian and international research and training that has a focus on food security.
For further details, including the application and judging processes, click here.
MC in VietnamThe Crawford Fund has partnered with ACIAR and Global Food Studies at the University of Adelaide for the delivery of Agribusiness Master Classes. The purpose of the training is to benefit young researchers from South East Asia with the latest skills to understand consumer needs and identify market opportunities, so that these can be better targeted by smallholder farmers.

To highlight the impact of the Master Classes, again working with ACIAR and University of Adelaide colleagues, the Fund facilitated a visit to Vietnam in late 2015 by documentary maker Sally Ingleton of 360 Degree Films, and as part of that visit, a video on the Agribusiness Master Class has been produced. Check out the video produced in Vietnam here.

Even better news is that plans are afoot for the next Master Class
—a Myanmar Agribusiness Master Class will be held 8-14 May.
Volunteers in LaosIn our last issue we reported on the work of Honorary Professor Lester Burgess in Laos PDR. Lester is a renowned researcher and teacher in the field of plant pathology who currently organises, mentors and trains Australian volunteers, scientists and Laos colleagues, with support from the Crawford Fund, Scope Global and more recently, the New Colombo Plan.

Recently we have been receiving blogs from a number of volunteers and researchers currently working with Lester on plant pathology and biosecurity. Harriet Brickhill and Jillian Lyall (pictured), fourth-year Charles Sturt University students, are among those volunteers and researchers reporting.

You can read their blogs on our website; be sure to keep an eye out for the next report.
Fertile Soil in Uganda
Uganda soil trainingWith support from the Crawford Fund, a series of workshops and training on soil fertility was held with Greening Australia and Curtin University in Uganda for 128 small landholders from peri-urban areas. The participants were mostly women, and many had attended previous training in 2012.

As a result of training in improving fertiliser practices, these women had found increased crop yields, and an increase in the family income, which they were able to spend on education, health care and clothing for their children. To learn more about this training, visit our website.

Managing Rodents

Rodent ManagementRodents are an agricultural pest in Fiji, and are the source of leptospirosis—a major cause of human illness and mortality, especially in agricultural communities. Training in ecologically-based methods for rodent management has been held for participants in agricultural and urban communities in Fiji.

Over four days, the participants learned about rodent biology and zoonotic disease transmission (from rodents to humans) as well as practical techniques to trap, measure and collect samples from rodents. To read more about this workshop, with specialists from the International Rice Research Institute and The University of Queensland, click here.

Rice Pathogen Diagnostics

Rice seed pathogenRice is the staple food for the 170 million people of Bangladesh, but farmers suffer large losses of rice seed and seedlings through seed borne fungi and bacteria. Skills in the early detection of pathogens in imported seed are therefore urgently needed in Bangladesh.

A Crawford Fund training award enabled a plant pathologist from Dhaka to visit laboratories at Deakin University in Victoria to learn molecular biology skills, have hands-on training with the necessary equipment and liaise with Australian rice pathologists and growers. Click here to read more.
We will soon be announcing the theme and conference details for our 2016 annual conference. In the meantime, we would like to highlight upcoming events that have a food security focus. The following events may be of interest:
To support Crawford Fund initiatives, you can click here to donate online.
Donations to the Fund are tax deductible.
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