A 2063 vision of agriculture

March 26, 2014


A feature article which imagines global agriculture 50 years hence has won the inaugural Crawford Fund Food Security Journalism Award.

“Fields of Plenty” by Elizabeth Finkel was a feature in Cosmos Science Magazine’s 50th edition in Apr/May 2013. Dr Finkel is Editor-In-Chief of Cosmos Media and author of “The Genome Generation.”

The announcement of the win was made at the Crawford Fund’s 2013 Annual Conference in August held in Perth, titled “Mining, Agriculture and Development: Bread from Stones?”. The prize for the award was a visit to a developing country to experience and report on agricultural research for development projects.

Ms Finkel’s article recounts the farming practices of an Indian rice growing family using advanced rice varieties and farm-tools that are being developed by the International Rice Research Institute and its partners. The family is imagined by IRRI’s director, Bob Zeigler.

The Crawford Fund joined with the Australian Council of Agricultural Journalists to develop the award that aims to encourage working journalists to investigate the important roles that agricultural research, training and rural development play in relation to food security.

“What a great first crop for this new national journalism award. The interest was really positive – we had entries from across TV, radio, print and online sources,” reported Denis Blight, the Funds’ Chief Executive.

“Raising awareness of the benefits to Australia and to developing countries from international agricultural research is a key function of the Fund and we are pleased to now have this annual competition to encourage informed coverage of important food security issues.” “We look forward to developing an interesting trip for Elizabeth.”

The 2014 award will be opened in February 2014 for reports within the 12 months prior to the closing date of Friday, 31 May. The winner will be announced by the end of July.

Other entries:

The other entries we received are listed below:

1: ‘Aussie Invention To Change Farming’ – Martin Silk, Journalist, Australian Associated Press. Download here Aussie Invention To Change Farming_M Silk

2: ‘What a Waste’ – Nikolai Beilharz, Presenter, South Australian Country Hour, ABC Rural. See feature here.

3: ‘Soil Secrets’ – Prue Adams, Landline, ABC TV. See feature here.

4: ‘Breeding Ground’ -Tom Dawkins, Freelance Journalist. Download here Breeding Ground

5: ‘Vanda Shiva is Mother Earth’ – Patrick Pittman, Writer, broadcaster, developer. Download here Vandana Shiva Is Mother Earth_P Pittman

6: ‘The Land: Unlocking Aftrica’s Secrets’ – Gregor Heard, Grains Industry Reporter, Fairfax Ag Media. See feature here

7: ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ – Sue Neales, National Rural and Regional Affairs reporter The Australian. Download here An Inconvenient Truth.pdf

8: ‘Regional Heat on Biosecurity Review’ – Roger Hanson, Reporter – Tasmanian Country/Mercury, Davies Brothers Pty Limited. Download here Regional Heat on Biosecurity Review

9: ‘African graingrowing challenge’ – Andrew Norris. Download here African Graingrowing Challenge