THE CRAWFORD FUND E-Newsletter, December 2016
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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.

Before getting into our report for December, we would like to wish our readers,
partners and all in our broader family a safe and enjoyable festive and New Year break,
in readiness for a healthy and successful 2017.

Throughout 2016, the Crawford Fund has assisted international visitors in raising awareness of food security issues. This month we had an unprecedented number of international agricultural science leaders visiting from eight international centres.

Afghan kitchen gardenIn our outreach to media, we pointed out that Australia’s agricultural conditions are similar to those in many developing countries—we share soil, water and climatic conditions; interests in the same plant or animal varieties; and are troubled by similar pests and diseases. It is, therefore, a win-win for Australia to be involved in international agricultural research. Benefits flow not only to the developing countries that are the focus of the work but also to Australian agricultural scientists working with them in research, policy making and governance.

We highlighted that Australia is a donor and research partner to such work and, through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), will contribute more than $35 million towards research and unrestricted funding for the 15 centres that make up the CGIAR.

Further information about some of this work and its impact is available via a few of the national media reports achieved:
  • Dry Agriculture & Post-Conflict work with women in Afghanistan by International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and supported by Australia, on ABC Rural and The Age
  • Climate-Smart Tropical Agriculture work by International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), on Radio Australia.
This month we celebrated International Volunteers Day (5 December) by recognising the dedicated volunteers on assignment in our mentoring program in Lao PDR, where agriculture and horticulture are vital for the livelihoods of smallholder farmers and their communities. Our long-term efforts supporting Lester Burgess, former Dean of Agriculture at Sydney University, have focused on helping fill the shortage of technical expertise in entomology and plant pathology. This lack of skills and knowledge makes it difficult to identify insect pests and diagnose plant diseases, which cause significant crop losses.

The Crawford Fund has had a long-standing relationship with the Government supported AVID volunteer program that dates back to 2002 when the Crawford Fund became an Australian Partner Organisation. The Crawford Fund is extremely proud to be a part of capacity building through this volunteer and mentoring program in Laos, and is privileged to be supporting these passionate Australian volunteers.
Lester Burgess
To learn more about some of the volunteers and mentor Professor Lester Burgess (pictured), who we have reported on this year, click on the following links:
In 2017 we hope to grow our mentoring program with the help of partners by supporting more Australian volunteers. In this way, we not only help with food security problems in less-developed countries but also increase the expertise and experience of young Australians.
Our annual conference scholarships aim to encourage young people in their study, careers and volunteering in international agricultural research. This year, 48 young Australians from every State and Territory were supported to attend the ‘Waste Not, Want Not’ 2016 conference.

As part of this conference scholarship initiative, each sponsored scholar writes a short report on their reflections, impressions and take-home messages of the Sir John Crawford Memorial Address, Annual Conference and Scholar Day activities. We have been profiling them on our website and you can click on the links below to read a selection or view all of the scholar reports here.

NT Scholar"The highlight of the conference for me was meeting and connecting with inspiring people."
Jessica Mackay, SA

"During the scholars’ day, I was impressed by the energy and passion of volunteers and researchers working in developing countries."
Ross Dennis, ACT

"Dr Fresco addressed the audience with grace and passion. She instantly became a significant role model to me."
Rebecca Cotton, Qld
"The broad topic and diversity of speakers ensured that this conference offered value to every attendant."
Olivia Tate, WA

"Attending the conference was certainly a score!"
Gianna Bonis-Profumo, NT (pictured, with Prof Helen Garnett, NT Committee Chair)

We will once again be offering conference scholarships in 2017 and welcome support for this program—more information is here.
In addition to those young Australians who received conference scholarships, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security students from Western Sydney University (WSU) attended this year’s Crawford Fund Annual Conference ‘Waste Not, Want Not: A Circular Economy to Food Security’, and carried out a series of interviews of distinguished speakers and guests. The result is a video entitled ‘Interviews and Ideas’.
Brian Lipinski
The students interviewed Dr Colin Chartres, Crawford Fund’s Director of Training and Master Classes; Professor Louise Fresco, President of the Executive Board of Wageningen University and Research Centre, and presenter of the 2016 Sir John Crawford Memorial Address; Dr Karen Brooks, Director CGIAR Research Program on Policies, Institutions and Markets led by IFPRI; and Brian Lipinski, World Resources Institute (pictured).

We congratulate the Western Sydney University team for once again delivering a great conference video. You can access the video on our Crawford Fund YouTube site here.
We recently reported on the Crawford Fund’s inaugural Master Class in Agricultural Research Management and Leadership, where participants gathered from around the world for a five-day program at the WorldFish facilities in Penang.

“The Crawford Fund has enormous experience that tells us that poor management of science means you have poor science,” says Shaun Coffey, who led the training.

MC in PenangOne of the highlights of the week was where the participants began to gain a strong understanding of the importance of people management in research.

The participants rated the Master Class very highly, and are supportive of the Crawford Fund offering the course in future years. You can read more about the Master Class training here, and view the video where participants provide their feedback.
RAIDWe continue working with RAID to provide networking opportunities for young Australians to learn more about career, volunteering and study opportunities in international agricultural research.

This month, the Crawford Fund and RAID held events in Perth and Wagga Wagga
. RAID and the Fund also attended the first DFAT Valuing Volunteers event in early December to increase awareness of opportunities for returned volunteers through our volunteer placements in communication and agricultural research.

We spread word of these events on our website and Twitter accounts, as does RAID, so stay tuned.
We recently reported on our website the launch of the 2017 Crawford-in-WA Student Travel Awards.
We are now pleased to announce the launch of the NSW State Committee Student Awards!

ChilliesBoth States are making awards available to tertiary students with an interest in gaining international agricultural research experience and expertise. Potential applicants should be in a relevant area of study—a biophysical or socio‐economic aspect of agriculture, animal production, fisheries, forestry, natural resource management or food security.

The closing date for award applications is 17 March 2017. For further information, and to access the application forms, go to the NSW-in-Crawford and WA-in-Crawford Student Travel Award pages on our website.

Other Crawford Fund State Committees will be offering similar awards in the coming months. They will be launched in early 2017, so keep an eye on our website for updates.
Qld Awardee Reports on Papaya Training

Mai NantawanPapaya is becoming popular in the global market—it is ranked in the top five of tropical fruit crops worldwide and is an important fruit crop in Australia. A current concern is papaya ring spot virus disease (PRSV-P)—a major limitation on the expansion of the papaya industry worldwide.

Crawford-in-Queensland 2015 Awardee, Mai Nantawan from Griffith University, recently spent time training in tissue culture technologies of papaya in Taiwan. Her training at the National Chung Hsing University in Taichung included papaya micropropagation techniques, which will help her in her work for the Australian papaya industry.  You can read more about Mai’s training here. 
Enhancing Rabies Diagnostics and Control in Bhutan

Dogs play an important cultural role in Bhutan, but rabies is endemic in countries in the region. Bhutan has maintained an extensive dog vaccination program so that cases of rabies are infrequent and are mainly associated with seasonal cross-border movement of grazing herds and dogs.

Earlier in the year in Thimphu, Bhutan, 21 participants (pictured) received training on a diagnostic rabies test from CSIRO’s Australian Animal Health Laboratory. Implementation of this test, called the Rabies Immunofluorescent Antigen Detection or ‘RIAD’, will not only enable a more cost-effective method for detecting rabies, but the three satellite laboratories will no longer need to send samples to the central animal health laboratory for analysis. This means that cases of suspect rabies in dogs can now be confirmed more quickly and where post-exposure treatment is needed, it can now be authorised and commence without delay. You can read more here.
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.
To support Crawford Fund initiatives, you can click here to donate online.

Donations to the Fund are tax deductible.
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