About with text

The Crawford Fund is a not-for-profit organisation that raises awareness of the benefits to Australia and developing countries of Australia’s engagement in international agricultural research and development; supports training programs for developing country scientists and farmers, drawing on Australian experience, and encourages and supports young Australians in their careers, studies and volunteering in agriculture for development.

What is international agriculture

Agricultural research designed to benefit developing countries (their farmers, their environment and their economies) and to foster mutual understanding can be defined as international agricultural research. Since the majority of people in less developed countries live in rural areas and are dependent on the land for employment and their food security, support for agricultural research is one of the most effective ways that Australia can assist in their development.


Established in June 1987 by the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering (ATSE), the Crawford Fund was named thus in honour of the late Sir John Crawford and commemorates his outstanding services to international agricultural research.The Crawford Fund depends on grants and donations from governments, private companies, corporations, charitable trusts and individual Australians. It also welcomes partnerships with agencies and organisations in Australia and overseas.The Fund promotes and supports international R&D activities in which Australian research organisations and companies are active participants. It supports the work of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) and CGIAR (Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) and other international research centres.


Affairs of the Fund, and the Chief Executive, together with the Director of Master Classes and Training, the Director of Public Affairs and Communication and the State and Territory Coordinators, are responsible for the implementation of the Fund’s activities.Each of our eight committees generate a range of Training Activities within the States and Territories.

Mobilising Support

The Crawford Fund focuses on mobilising support for international agricultural research, with the intention of sustaining funding for international agricultural research into the future. The Fund does this in various ways. For example, we support Australian journalists to visit ACIAR and CGIAR agricultural research projects to talk with scientists and farmers, visit laboratories and get out in the field to gain an understanding of the research and its implications, and then report on what they find. Over the years destinations have included East Timor, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Kenya, Solomon Islands, Vietnam, Thailand, Peru, Mexico and the Philippines. Report from these visits, which the Crawford Fund calls ‘Seeing is believing’, provide first-hand accounts exemplifying approaches to the betterment of agriculture, fisheries and forestry in developing countries through international agricultural research. We also hold a range of innovative and provocative events at state and national levels on vital aspects of research, training and development, including an annual conference each year in Canberra to address a key issue related to food security.We engage in a range of meetings to advise and update decision-makers on the latest impacts and benefits of international agricultural research. A good example is the Taskforce 2013: Doing Well By Doing Good.