Wednesday, 21 December 2011

New roles at the Food Security Centre

During the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in October 2011, the Australian Government announced support for the establishment of an Australian International Food Security Centre (AIFSC).

In this announcement the Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard noted,
“Australia has unique agricultural and scientific expertise and world-class teaching and research institutions that are well-suited to African agriculture and food security,”
Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is all about being a research institution specialising in agricultural science!  There are strong, direct relationships between agricultural productivity, hunger, and poverty.  ACIAR is the logical wing for the food security initiative to nestle under.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

New ACIAR publication

The latest book to be published in ACIAR’s Monograph Series is a quality control manual for the production of biofertilisers for rice crops in Vietnam.

Biofertilisers contain micro-organisms that promote the uptake of nutrients and growth of plants. Use of biofertilisers can reduce the need for more costly and environmentally damaging chemical fertilisers.

ACIAR research has shown that rice yields in Vietnam can be maintained and even increased with reduced application of chemical fertilisers, after treatment with the biofertiliser ‘BioGro’. However, the benefits of reduced fertiliser costs and increased rice yields can only be achieved if there is adequate quality control of biofertiliser production and application.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Helping researchers to be better communicators

Turn your thinking upside down was the advice to a group of Asian agricultural researchers who took part in a training program to become better communicators in Chiang Mai, Thailand, last week.

“Scientists start with an introduction, then their method, results, and finally outcomes and conclusions,” said trainer Jenni Metcalfe of E-Connect. “But when writing for the media, or even in a policy document, put your key messages up front to capture people’s interest.”

Eighteen people from Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines attended the six day Master Class in on Communicating Research to Stakeholders organised by the Crawford Fund at Chiang Mai University.

Dr Chiranjeevi Tallapragada, Chief Economist, Livelihoods and natural resource managment Institute, who is working on an ACIAR climate change adaption project in India (M.Gyles)