A World Food Day Event: Global Challenges and the ‘NextGen’

Oration by Crawford Fund Medal Recipient
Professor Lindsay Falvey, FTSE, FAIAS

Date: 16 October 2019
Lecture: 6pm
Reception: 7pm

Venue: The Gateway Building, The University of Melbourne (next to the University of Melbourne Sports Centre), Trinity College, Tin Alley, Parkville

The Crawford Fund and the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences are co-hosting a special World Food Day event.

The event will feature an oration by the 2019 Crawford Fund Medal awardee, Professor Lindsay Falvey FTSE FAIAS, Board Chair of the International Livestock Research Institute (based in Nairobi, Kenya).

Professor Falvey has received the honour of the Crawford Fund’s Medal after remaining practically and passionately committed, for over four decades, to the international contributions agricultural science makes to food security. 

Professor Falvey will recount some of the world’s agricultural successes and, using personal examples, will show why engagement of the ‘nextgen’ and the university is so critical for finding lasting solutions to global challenges (more details below).

Professor Lindsay Falvey FTSE, FAIAS 
Board Chair, The International Livestock Research Institute 

Across more than 40 years of experience in agricultural  science, beginning in the Australian tropics in 1972 and thereafter in various Asian nations, Prof Falvey’s research work developed into R&D policies for Asian and other nations and has included such high-security missions to preserving research infrastructure and personnel in conflict situations such as post-1989 Russia for the World Bank, and in the middle of the war in Iraq for Australian aid and ACIAR.

He is Chair of the International Livestock Research Institute, Emeritus Professor of the University of Melbourne, holds two adjunct appointments in Thai universities, and is currently writing on the role of agricultural science in philosophy.

Perhaps the best summary of his contributions was that noted in the award of his higher doctorate that his: “research combining technical, social, environmental, policy and historical research in the developing world, challenged the simple importing of agricultural technology … demonstrated that indigenous knowledge and culture is critical to sustainability, food security and human development, thereby potentially benefitting millions of persons participating in international development projects.”

Presentation Title: ‘NextGen’ Scientists Needed to Build on Historic Successes of Agriculture R4D

More than 30% of the world was hungry in the 1960s; today it’s around 15%. Population doubled in that time. The huge success of feeding an extra 3 billion people ranks as one of humanity’s greatest feats. Agricultural science underpinned those successes through a wealth of innovative research for development conducted in diverse environments and cultures around the world. 

Australia has been a consistent funder of and collaborator to this major effort, much of which was achieved through international agricultural research centres, particularly those that form the CGIAR, a global research-for-development partnership working for a food-secure future. Australians have been highly represented in these elite research centers since their beginnings in the 1960s. Now, 50 years on, a new generation of agricultural scientists and thought leaders is needed to carry on this scientific and humanitarian work the face of such complex and ‘wickedly’ inter-related problems as world poverty and hunger, global warming, and mass migration. 

This oration will be part of the Faculty of Veterinary and Agricultural Sciences’ Dean’s Lecture series.