THE CRAWFORD FUND E-Newsletter, March 2017
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Highlights E-Newsletter
The Crawford Fund is a not-for-profit organisation 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.

This month we have welcomed some new members to the Crawford Fund. In addition to the recent appointment of The Hon John Anderson AO as our new chair, we are pleased to welcome Dr Richard Sheldrake and Mr Bob McMullan to the Board.

Dr Richard Sheldrake AM FTSE is Chair of the NSW Division of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), and former Director General of the NSW Department of Primary Industries. He is now the Chair of the Crawford Fund NSW State Committee.

Mr Bob McMullan is a Visiting Fellow with the Crawford School of Public Policy at ANU and former Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance. You can read more about our new Board members on our website.
John Kerin
We have also welcomed an additional Patron. The Hon John Kerin, former Chair of the Crawford Fund, recently joined the Fund as a Patron. He is joining three outstanding and recent Chairs of the Board, who have shown continuing support for, and interest in, the Fund and food security.

John served as the Fund's chair for six years from 2010. He was presented with a memento by The Hon Margaret Reid at his farewell dinner in February this year (pictured right), which was attended by the Fund’s Board, executive 
committee and invited guests.
A reminder that our 2017 annual conference will be held on 7 and 8 August in Canberra, with the conference networking dinner and Sir John Crawford Memorial Address at the Realm Ballroom, and one-day conference in Parliament House.

The title for the event is 'Transforming lives with the power of information—the digital revolution in agriculture'. It will focus on the current and future likely impact of the data revolution for smallholder farmers.

                           2016 Conference
Former Chair, The Hon John Kerin, gives some opening remarks at the 2016 Sir John Crawford Memorial Address

Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda, a global leader in agriculture, climate change and nutrition, will be presenting the Sir John Crawford Memorial Address at our networking dinner on Monday, 7 August.
Dr Andy Jarvis, who is leading the CGIAR Platform for Big Data in Agriculture, will be one of this year’s keynote speakers.

Keep an eye on our website for further conference announcements and updates.

We will again be offering our conference scholarships for young Australians to attend the conference and special activities. These awards are part of our efforts to encourage young Australians to further study, careers and volunteering in international agricultural research. If you would like to support early career agricultural students to attend the conference this year, please contact Cathy Reade.
Recent news reports of white spot virus, suspended imports of uncooked prawn meat and banana panama disease remind us of the important role of biosecurity and the significant risks to our environment, economies, industries, farmers and consumers. In light of this, the Crawford Fund has facilitated a NSW Farm Writers lunch to focus on ‘Biosecurity: National Strategies and International Challenges’ to be held Friday, 31 March in Sydney.
The Fund has brought together a panel of experts who will discuss:
  • the health of Australia’s national biosecurity systems
  • responses to new challenges on the international front
  • what it means from a farmer’s perspective.
The panel will be moderated by Sarina Locke, ABC Rural national reporter and former winner of the Crawford Fund Food Security Journalism award. Our 2017 Journalism Award will be launched at the lunch. The members of the panel are as follows:
Dr Scott-Orr
Dr Helen Scott-Orr (pictured right), who will be addressing issues related to ‘Australia’s national biosecurity system’.  Helen is Australia’s inaugural Inspector-General of Biosecurity (IGB), and the Coordinator of the NSW Crawford Fund and its training program.

Mellissa Wood is General Manager of Global Programs at the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), and she will address ‘International biosecurity threats and strategies’.

Lucinda Corrigan is the Director of Rennylea Pastoral Company and chairs the NSW Primary Industries Minister’s Advisory Council and the Advisory Committee of the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation. Lucinda will address ‘Biosecurity from the farmer and agribusiness perspectives’.

We will report on the event in the next newsletter. Keep an eye on our website for details of our May event in Tasmania.
Lao Seeders Delivered

Lao SeederAs previously reported, the Fund launched an appeal for donations to provide small mechanical seeders and some basic training to help speed the evolution of drill-seeding technology, support services
and techniques to benefit lowland-Lao farming systems. We are pleased to report that the seeders for Lao farmers were delivered recently to villages in Savannakhet.

"A seeder will help them establish rice and other crops on a range of soils and conditions with less 
labour. In addition, not having to wait for enough rain for ankle-deep water enables earlier establishment for better and more reliable yields," says Leigh Vial, a NSW farmer with experience in Asian farming systems. Leigh has just returned from overseeing the delivery and training and will be reporting on his trip in the next week or so.
65th Anniversary Award!

We are pleased to report that Dr Phoudalay Lathvilavong, Director of the Thasano
Centre in Savannakhet, Laos, has received a prestigious award from the Australian Embassy in Vientiane to mark the 65th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations between the Lao PDR and Australia.

                                   Dr Phoudalay
Dr Phoudalay Lathvilavong (front row, third from right)

"Dr Phoudalay is totally committed to her work and I can't stress enough the important role that she has played both in the success of the Crawford Fund's work in Laos and to ACIAR projects with which she has been involved," said Professor Lester Burgess, who coordinates the Crawford Fund's 'Capacity Building Program in the Lao PDR in Trade, Crop and Livestock Health, Biosecurity and Food Safety'.

Dr Phoudalay was nominated for her exceptional dedication to, and engagement with, small-holder farming families over two decades. You can read more about her achievements on our website.
Tropical Dairy Farming—A Manual
Dairy Manual
A manual on tropical dairy farming, ‘Blue Prints for tropical dairy farming: Increasing domestic milk production in developing countries’, was recently published by CSIRO, with Crawford Fund sponsorship. The book was written by Dr John Moran, Director of Profitable Dairy Systems in Kyabram, Victoria, in collaboration with Dr Philip Chamberlain. The Fund has supported a number of Dr Moran's books over the years.

The aim of the book is to enable farmers to improve the productivity, welfare and milk quality from their dairy herds. You can read more
Landcare in Zambia

Zambia LandcareThe Fund has supported another program of landcare training in Africa. Forty-three participants and trainers from South Africa, Namibia, Kenya, Malawi and Australia came together in Solwezi, Zambia, for the third ‘African Landcare Masterclass’.

The training provided a platform of support for grassroots groups. It is hoped that the training will
act as a seed to inspire further grassroots work and capacity building, like Landcare in Australia. Read more about this training on our website.
Livestock Identification

A recent eight-day study tour for delegates from the Philippines looked at livestock identification and traceability in Victoria, particularly for cattle, to assist with the design and implementation of a national livestock traceability system for the Philippines.
The Philippines has significant livestock industries (cattle, buffalo, goats and pigs) and a large proportion is held by smallholders. Animal identification has long been used to show ownership, but techniques are now being used to track the movement of animals to help manage outbreaks of contagious diseases—creating both commercial and animal welfare benefits.

Read more about this training
 visit on our website.
RAIDWe continue working with RAID—the tremendous network of young agricultural researchers and students—to provide networking opportunities for young Australians to learn more about career, volunteering and study opportunities in international agricultural research.

RAID are currently running a blog competition to encourage all members and blog readers to engage with the RAID network. They want to hear your storiesthis is one of the most useful ways to engage with parts of your community, so please get involved!

The Fund spreads word of RAID events and news on our website and via Twitter, as does RAID, so stay tuned for the next one.
We would like to highlight some upcoming events that have a food security focus. We welcome information about any food security related events you may have planned.
Like what we do here at the Crawford Fund?
Want to learn more, or perhaps support our work or become involved?

You can contact Cathy Reade to discuss or click here to donate online.
Donations to the Fund are tax deductible.
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