Federal Budget has amplified Australia “Doing Well by Doing Good”

May 10, 2023

Board member The Hon Joel Fitzgibbon launches our Doing Well By Doing Good reports at the National Press Club.

The Crawford Fund family is so pleased to read of the increase of nearly 10% in the funding for the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) in last night’s Federal Budget. We have no doubt of the added impact this will bring for developing countries and Australia.

The Federal Budget has increased the allocation to ACIAR from $102.612 million in 2022-2023 to A$113.149 million in 2023-24. The amount of funding from additional external funding has also increased from $8.314 million to $9.363 million.  Overall, this has delivered close to 10% for more collaborative international research.

“The Federal Government is to be congratulated for an increase that will bring an even greater impact on poverty reduction and improved livelihoods, through more productive and sustainable agriculture. With proof positive from Crawford Fund and international analyses finding a conservative benefit-cost ratio of 10:1 on investment in international agricultural research for development, and the less quantifiable social, environmental and diplomatic benefits in-country and to Australia, we will all win from this increased investment,” said Dr Colin Chartres, CEO of the Crawford Fund.

“As our two “Doing Well by Doing Good” reports have shown, and our meetings with decision makers and events around the country this year have explained, agriculture and food security are front and centre of world attention as we face the complex challenges of climate change, conflicts and COVID-19.”

“Since the majority of people in less developed countries live in rural areas and are dependent on the land for employment, we believe support for international agricultural research is one of the most effective ways that Australia can assist smallholder farmers, often the poorest of the poor. It is also something that Australia is very good at and something from which we can also benefit – what a great win-win.”

“Through much of 2023, the Fund has been holding events, politician and stakeholder briefings and other activities to explain “Doing Well by Doing Good” and to argue that the proportion of Australia’s development-assistance budget that goes to international agricultural research should be increased.”

“We look forward to working with ACIAR to further increase the impact of its work through our complementary capacity building, public awareness and NextGen programs,” concluded Colin.

The ACIAR Budget statement is here,

Australia’s Official Development Assistance Budget Summary 2023-24 is here.