THE CRAWFORD FUND E-Newsletter, December 2015
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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.

Innovation is about new ideas and invention leading to the adoption of new ways of doing things. It is as vital to success in development as it is in any activity—commercial, philanthropic or anywhere in between.  The Fund is responding to this challenge, looking to new opportunities, partnerships and services.  So, 2015 has been a time for renewal for us and one we will take into 2016 with renewed gusto.
Indeed, the Crawford Fund has undergone a process of almost continuous change over the last ten years or so: a new corporate structure, independent of its founder ATSE, and with deductible gift recipient status; renewed State Committee membership and a new chapter in Tasmania; a new headquarters' location involving a shift from Melbourne to the Parliamentary Triangle in Canberra; a new focus on policy with two major task forces on international agricultural research and policy papers to encourage consideration of research for development on a wider canvas; a root and branch review of our Master Classes with a new emphasis on co-funding and partnerships; the introduction of registration fees for the Crawford Fund Parliamentary Conference and a dramatic shift in its audience demographics with the development of the Young Scholars Program.
To read more from our Chief Executive on the Fund's year, his end of year message is here.

This, our last newsletter for 2015, includes stories on our public awareness, policy and training work. Below you’ll read of recent work ranging from mango training (in the Northern Territory); social research and farming (supported by NSW); smallholder marketing skills (through our WA Committee); Landcare training in Tonga (supported by our Victorian committee); and on both waste water reuse and water use efficiency in peri-urban India (supported by SA). In addition, there are updates on the Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership that is managed by a consortium led by Plant Biosecurity CRC and involving the Fund, with our recent specially tailored Master Class on Communication; expectations in 2016 for the demand-led breeding research project; the call for your nominations for the Derek Tribe Award; and some of the wonderful accomplishments of  our Young Scholars.
We wish all in our broader family a safe and enjoyable festive and New Year break, getting ready for a healthy and successful 2016.
Shenggen FanThere has been much written over recent weeks leading to and through the United Nations Conference on Climate Change and COP21 agreement. The role of agriculture is significant and the case put by IFPRI Director General (pictured) for climate-smart agriculture reminds us of the need to not only reduce global warming but also fight hunger. “Hunger, we now know, results not from food shortages but from policy failures,” says Shenggen Fan, in his latest blog ‘Climate-Smart Agriculture Is Key to Ending Hunger.’
More on debates around food security and COP21 are on the Global Landscapes Forum website.
Comm MCWe've enjoyed following the work involved in six weeks of intensive training in Australia for 15 Senior Biosecurity Fellows, as part of the Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership which has been funded by ACIAR and led by the PBCRC. They have developed new skills, networks and inspiration to fight crop pests and diseases in their home countries. It included a specially tailored Crawford Fund Communications Master Class to acquire skills in communication, action planning, media relations and networking.

“The Fellowship has been a fantastic experience,” said Ephrance Tumuboine from Uganda (pictured receiving her certificate from Bill Magee (left) and Denis Blight (right)). “I am confident I can make a real difference to agricultural trade in and from my country, as well as helping our farmers directly.”


Mango Field Trip

Extensive training on mango research, aimed to improve scientific skills in a range of disciplines, was recently held at Charles Darwin University and Berrimah Agricultural Research Farm in the Northern Territory.  The training was across six disciplines: biotechnology, plant pests, flowering manipulation, tools for precision and experimental design. Twelve leading Australian and international scientists ran the Crawford Fund co-funded training, using a hands-on practical approach for 38 trainees across Asia and Australia.
Read more about the training program here.

Social TrainigFor those who work in research and animal health in rural farming communities, communication and social research skills are crucial for helping to improve farming practices and livelihoods. But they are often overlooked. We recently supported two training courses, held in Indonesia and Timor-Leste, looking at the social dimensions of research and development in farming, facilitated by social scientists Dr Joanne Millar from Charles Sturt University, NSW, and Dr Muktasam Abdurrahman from Mataram University, Indonesia. Read more here.

Bangkok MarketMany drivers at the consumer level have recently led to the resurgence in direct marketing: food safety, health and nutrition, globalization, convenience, food miles and the desire to connect directly with food producers. In an effort to promote and support smallholder linkages to high value markets, an intensive direct marketing workshop, for over 20 participants from nine countries in Asia, was recently supported by the Fund and held in Bangkok. "Not only must the food produced be safe, but it should also be produced in a manner that is sustainable, fair and equitable, and delivers a superior eating experience,” said Dr Peter Batt, who organised and led the training. Learn more here.

Fiji CertificateThe Sabeto Catchment in Fiji is a crucial area for food production, but there is extensive land degradation within the catchment area, and erosion and habitat loss around the Sabeto River. The Crawford Fund recently supported a training program for local village communities which focussed on land and river management and on reducing extensive land degradation. Training on soil conservation and agroforestry was given by specialists from the Fiji Ministry of Agriculture and the Secretariat for Pacific Communities. Two Australian Landcare International experts, Ian Oxenford (pictured (left)) and Andrea Mason, gave training to about 45 participants from three villages on a range of topics including farm management under climate change, agricultural marketing, community development and Landcare skills. You can read more here.

Water SamplingWater and food scarcity issues are major global challenges, and the recycling and reuse of wastewater, particularly in peri-urban agriculture, can help address these issues. Wastewater can serve as a precious resource for crop irrigation and thus improve the livelihoods of communities. A four-day workshop we supported recently was undertaken in India and attracted significant media and community attention. It aimed to enhance the awareness about the challenges and opportunities in using wastewater for irrigation to help the communities in peri-urban areas to increase their income and to protect human and environmental health. You can learn more about the workshop here.
The Derek Tribe Award was initiated in 2001, in honour of the outstanding contributions to the promotion of international agricultural research by the founding director of the Fund, Emeritus Professor Derek Tribe AO, OBE, FTSE. The award is made biennially to a citizen of a developing country, in order to recognise their significant contributions to agriculture or natural resource management. For more details on the terms and conditions, please visit our website. The closing date for nominations has been extended to 29 February 2016.
The Fund continues to encourage young Australians with an interest in agricultural research for development. The enthusiasm and passion of our 2015 Conference Scholars are evident in their conference reports. Our scholars often go on to pursue further study, careers and volunteering positions related to food security. Two of this year's scholars have recently received significant accolades with Anika Molesworth being named Young Australian Farmer of the Year and attending the COP21 meetings, and Justin Whittle being awarded a New Colombo Plan scholarship to study in Thailand. We continue to maintain contact with our alumni of almost 100 scholars, and will be continuing with our Young Scholar program in 2016 and encouraging the Researchers for Agriculture in International Development (RAID).

For information about supporting a Crawford Fund scholar, visit our website.
And click here to donate online
—remember, donations to the Fund are tax deductible.
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