Throughout the year, the Crawford Fund has assisted international visitors to Australia who join their voices with ours to raise awareness of food security issues. Most recently we reported on our efforts for World Food Prize winner Howdy Bouis and for Marie Haga from the Global Crop Trust.
This month we were lucky enough to have an unprecedented number of international agricultural science leaders visiting from eight international centres. In our outreach to media to coincide with their visit, we pointed out that Australia’s agricultural conditions are close to those in many developing countries—we share soil, water and climatic conditions; interests in the same plant or animal varieties; and are troubled by similar pests and diseases. This means it is a real win-win for Australia to be involved in international agricultural research, with the benefits flowing not only to the developing countries that are the focus of the work but also to Australian agriculture and the Australian scientists working with them in research, policy making and governance positions.
The Fund approached national media to point out the impact of work by visitors from three of the centres—International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and International Water Management Institute (IWMI).
We were able to highlight that Australia is a donor and research partner to their work and this year alone Australia, through the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), will contribute $35.4 million towards research and unrestricted funding for the 15 centres that make up the CGIAR. In addition, many Australians work as very senior staff at the centres.
Work highlighted in some of the national print and radio coverage achieved included: