The Crawford Fund seeks to increase Australia’s engagement in international agricultural research and development. 

We raise awareness of the benefits – for both Australia and developing countries – of investment and involvement in work for food and nutrition security and the many other impacts of agricultural research. 

Our training and mentoring programs build capacity with practical, highly focused training by Australians and partners across a variety of topics in agricultural research and management in Australia and the developing world.  

We encourage and support young Australians in their careers, studies and volunteering in agriculture for development.

From time to time we also develop policy and discussion papers and responses to Government inquiries to help shape food security and development assistance action. 

We are a not-for-profit organisation and a registered charity and depend on grants and donations from governments, private companies, corporations, charitable trusts and individual Australians. We also welcome 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.

We share a vision of a better world. Through collaboration and training, we can achieve more productive and sustainable agriculture, less poverty and hunger, and a more secure world.

What is international agricultural research?

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 in honour of the late Sir John Crawford and commemorates his outstanding services to international agricultural research.


The Crawford Fund Board of Directors is responsible for the organisation’s policy formulation and planning.

The Chief Executive is responsible to the Board for the conduct and control of the affairs of the Fund, and together with the Director of Capacity Building, the Director of Outreach and the State and Territory Coordinators, is 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 Crawford Fund’s recent input into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s strategy “Partnerships for Recovery – Australia’s COVID-19 Development Response.”