Resilience, risk and returns – the role of sustainable agricultural intensification for global agri-food systems

Crawford Fund, Ag Institute Vic Webinar

Tuesday 5 October 2021
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM AEDT including Q&A

This free online seminar is being co-hosted by the Crawford Fund and the Ag Institute and will be presented by Professor Timothy Reeves FTSE, Crawford Fund Board Member; Professor in Residence, Dookie Campus and Co-Director, Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub.

Financial returns from farming will of course remain a paramount indicator of success for the most advanced or the least developed farming systems. However, increasingly greater attention is being given to farm resilience to climatic and market-driven shocks and to the level of risk associated with generating those financial returns.

To date, much investment has been directed towards maximizing returns with more intensive systems being adopted around the world. Driven by greater seasonal, marketing and supply chain uncertainties, many farmers are now seeking guidance on more options with differing levels of production risk, and with a greater emphasis on sustainability and more restorative and regenerative systems. This is true for Australian farmers as well as small holder farmers in developing countries who deal with low yields and income, and limited market access.

In his presentation, Tim will talk about the role of the newly established Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub in enhancing drought resilience on farms, in the environment and in communities and as an example of a useful model for the international community. He will also describe the role of sustainable agricultural intensification as a scientifically sound pathway to more restorative and regenerative agriculture the world over. Tim will also note the new Crawford Fund Master Class on Sustainable Intensification which will be delivered by webinars and ultimately when travel restrictions permit, face-to-face.

Tim has worked for over 50 years in agricultural research, development and extension, focussed on sustainable agriculture. He was a pioneer of no-till/conservation agriculture research. His professional career has included roles as: Director General of CIMMYT, the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center based in Mexico; Member of the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Hunger; and Senior Expert with FAO, working on sustainable intensification of smallholder agriculture.

Tim is a Board Director of The Crawford Fund and Professor in Residence at the Dookie Campus of the University of Melbourne; Enterprise Professor of Sustainable Agriculture; and Co-Director of the Victoria Drought Resilience Adoption and Innovation Hub. In 2016, the University of Melbourne awarded him a Doctor of Agricultural Science honoris causa; and in 2017, the Agronomy Society of Australia awarded him the prestigious Professor C M Donald Medal for lifetime achievement. In 2019, he was presented with the William Farrer Medal for his services to agricultural research, extension and education. He is a Fellow of the Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering where he was also recently Chair of the Agriculture Forum.  Tim is also an Honorary Professor in the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences.