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THE CRAWFORD FUND E-Newsletter, January 2017
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Highlights E-Newsletter
STORIES THIS MONTH
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.

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PREDICTIONS FOR 2017
WheatWhat a great start to the year with global attention on ‘Agriculture and food security—where are we headed in 2017?’, which delves into predictions of important issues for agricultural research in the year ahead. The article was part of the coverage the Fund facilitated during the visit to Australia by senior agricultural research leaders from a broad range of CGIAR centres.

The areas discussed by senior staff from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
(ICARDA), the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) included:
  • Agriculture and food security research in relation to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Creating better linkages, scaling out of projects and more sustained funding.
  • Involving agricultural researchers in long-term environmental and agriculture policy and development decisions.
  • Rehabilitation projects in post-conflict countries to restore agriculture in these regions.
  • Scaling up of research into heat-tolerant lines of wheat.
You can read more about the conversation on our website. Attention was also given in a separate devex article to the Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership, in which the Fund is involved.
QUEENSLAND 'DOING WELL BY DOING GOOD' FORUM & NETWORKING RECEPTION
The Crawford Fund's Queensland State Committee is holding a half-day forum on 15 February entitled ‘Doing Well By Doing Good—Queensland’s Impacts and Benefits in Agricultural Research’.
The event will be held in Parliament House from 3 pm and will be followed by a Networking Reception finishing at 6.30 pm. It aims to highlight the benefits that flow back to Queensland’s agriculture and researchers, and its impact in developing countries—a real win-win scenario.


Qld Rodent ProgramThe forum will be opened by Professor Suzanne Miller, Queensland's new Chief Scientist, and will include presentations from young Queenslanders who have experienced international agriculture research and development, supported by the Fund or ACIAR. Dr Peter Horne from ACIAR will be explaining the importance of Queensland's input and expertise for their mission.
 
Our Queensland readers will receive a separate invite soon, but for further information, keep an eye on our website for program and registration details. And stay tuned as we have additional State events planned throughout the year.
FARMING & CLIMATE CHANGE: LESSONS FROM THE FIELD
Anika MolesworthIn addition to reporting on our public awareness and training activities, we really enjoy reporting on the ongoing work of young Australians who have been our past scholars and award recipients. Farmer and researcher, Anika Molesworth, was one of the scholars we supported to attend the 2015 Crawford Fund Conference and we have reported on some of her subsequent activities, including her award as Australian Farmer of the Year. Anika is now undertaking her PhD and working in Cambodia with farmers on sustainable farming practices as part of an ACIAR project.

Anika spent the Christmas/New Year break working on her research in Cambodia, from where she penned this recent blog posted in the Guardian: 'From Asia to Outback Australia, Farmers are on the Climate Change Frontline'.
MORE STUDENT INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AWARDS IN 2017
Miriam McCormackBeing in the field can offer young Australian agricultural students real impacts, as explained by Anika above. We are, therefore, extending our efforts to encourage young Australians in their study, careers and volunteering in agriculture for development. In addition to our conference scholarships, more of our State Committees are now supporting international travel awards.

So far we have launched Crawford Fund Student International Travel Awards for 2017 in Western Australia, New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia, with more to come! The State Committees are making these awards available to tertiary students with an interest in gaining international agricultural research and development experience and expertise in the field in a developing country.

Erin PopePast awardees, Tasmania's Miriam McCormack (pictured above) and Western Australia's Erin Pope (pictured left), certainly found it a highly valuable experience, both personally and professionally.

The closing date for award applications is 17 March, 2017 and each State Coordinator is happy to take enquiries. Awards from additional states are still to come so keep an eye on our website.
FINAL SCHOLAR REFLECTIONS
Since the 2016 Crawford Fund conference, ‘Waste Not, Want Not’, in Canberra in August, we have been profiling the reflections and impressions from our conference scholars on our website. Forty-eight young Australians from every State and Territory were supported to attend the 2016 conference, and their reports are available to read here.

                                               Tasmania Scholars

                                                2016 Tasmania State Committee sponsored scholars

Of those reports highlighted from each State and Territory, one of particular note was from Tasmania's John Otto. John experienced first-hand the tragic consequences of a lack of food security during time spent in a refugee camp as a child. John is now a PhD scholar, working on lactation-reproduction-nutrition interactions in dairy cows.

"To me, the highlight of the conference was fostered by listening to the distinguished speakers who challenged me as a young scientist not to sit on my laurels, but to become proactive about food security."

You can read more about John here.


We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the conference scholars for their active participation in the conference, their wonderful
feedback and their post-conference reports. We will once again be offering conference scholarships in 2017 and welcome additional support for this program—more information is here. Keep an eye on our website for updates.
CRAWFORD & RAID
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.

The next networking event will be at The Emerald Peacock in Melbourne, on 15 February from 5.30 pm. It follows the first day of RAID's annual capacity building event
—this year focussed on the use of digital data collection applications and their use in international agricultural research.

Please RSVP for the networking session by 10 February to raid@outlook.com.au.
We spread word of these events on our website and Twitter accounts, as does RAID, so stay tuned.
TRAINING UPDATES
Added Impact from Training the Trainer
Rice agronomy training
A 3-week training course for smallholder farmers in Cambodia's provinces and neighbouring countries was the latest in a successful series of ‘train-the-trainer’ courses the Fund has supported.
The focus was on practical sustainable technology—the ongoing uptake and use of existing research and technologies essential for improving rice production by farmers and their families across SE Asia.

The course has successfully increased the number of practically-trained and motivated local lecturers, trainers and extension advisors, necessary to help transfer important technologies and research through the private sector, public institutions and NGOs. Bill Rathmell from the University of Sydney, who initiated the course, has since reported further impact; ACIAR are to incorporate lessons learned as well as trainers and trainees from the course in a new project they have in NW Cambodia.
 
You can read more about the training on our website.
Building Capacity for Biosecurity in Laos

Lester BurgessLao PDR has an increasing appeal as a source of agricultural produce to more developed countries. However, export means compliance with the high phytosanitary standards and strict import requirements of those countries.

John Burley, Plant Quarantine and Biosecurity Advisor with the Lao Ministry for Agriculture and Forestry, has been working on building strong biosecurity capabilities to reduce food loss, enable smallholder access to international markets, and address the spread of exotic pests and diseases, which also pose a threat to Australia’s agriculture sector.

This work is part of the Crawford Fund’s Capacity Building Program in Trade, Crop Health, Biosecurity and Food Safety in Laos. An enhanced biosecurity approach implemented across the country will translate into improved market access, increased national economic output and incomes for the poor, and assured food security. You can read more about the training program here.
Master Tree Growers in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe is a landlocked country in southern Africa and, for most farmers, poor conditions can lead to widespread crop failure in the region. But education and empowerment in the area of agroforestry and Measuring tree heightssustainable farming can have a profound impact on lives.

The town of Gokwe in Zimbabwe was the location for this nation’s first ever Master Tree Grower program in July 2016, which the Fund supported. Facilitated by Beyond Subsistence volunteers, and hosted by the local
organisation Abundant Life For All (ALFA), the five-day program trained more than 50 farmers and extension officers with life-changing agroforestry skills.

Participants learned about agroforestry, and field visits showed it in action—they discovered trees for medicinal purposes, apiaries, nitrogen fixation and woodlots. They also visited markets and gained a new appreciation for the role that trees play in improving and sustaining agricultural production. You can read more about the training on our website.
EVENTS
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.
SUPPORT US
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