Our 2013 Conference, “Mining, Agriculture & Development: Bread from Stones?”, highlighted the issues and the need for fruitful partnerships between the mining and agriculture industries for food security, with a focus on Africa. It was held prior to the large mining industry conference “Africa Down Under” .
An article following the conference, in the current edition of Australia’ Paydirt, provides a good background to the key messages at our event, which was held in partnership with the Africa Australia Research Forum.
As suggested in the article by the Fund’s Chief Executive, Denis Blight, “There was talk [at the forum] about demand from mining creating new markets for agriculture which can then be used as a base for further development but no studies showing how it can happen beyond the mine boundaries. There is clearly potential for that,” he said.
The article concludes “Distilled, this is what the Crawford Fund and Africa Australia Research Forum was looking for out of the conference; a convergence of opinion and ideas in an effort to ultimately plug the knowledge gaps around community development in Africa. The challenge now is to create the practical programmes to ensure the debate was worthwhile.”
“There certainly seemed to be plenty of goodwill from the many Australian mining companies engaged in our conference, both in the program and in the audience,” said Denis Blight. “The Fund certainly plans to continue the dialogue with key mining industry groups, such as the Australia-Africa Mining Industry Group, precisely for that purpose.
Crawford Fund Young Scholars
The Crawford Fund is keen to increase young Australian agricultural students’ and scientists’ involvement in international agricultural development. To this end, we funded thirteen young Australians to attend our 2013 conference.