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.

The new Food Security Centre will initially focus on Africa. This year a severe drought affected the entire East Africa region, which has caused a severe food crisis across Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya. This threatens the livelihood of more than 12.4 million people. 

Food security really is such an important issue. Food security refers to the availability of food and one's access to it. Food security exists when populations have access on an ongoing basis to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.

Investing in agricultural research for food security makes sense.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” 

Chinese proverb.

People who can produce their own food will have that security of knowing where their next meal will be coming from. With the produce from agricultural research these small-holder farmers also have the opportunity to sell their produce at their local markets, generating an income for themselves, their families and their community. 

Through agricultural research projects, ACIAR has been quite successful in generating returns for many farmers in developing countries.  A recent analysis of 120 completed ACIAR projects calculated the total benefits generated from these projects to be $31.6 billion.

The AIFSC will be another medium for assisting people in developing countries to achieve food security.

ACIAR is currently recruiting four Canberra-based positions to deliver the objectives of the new Food Security Centre. The positions are:
  • Director, AIFSC - responsible for leading the effective and efficient delivery of the AIFSC.
  • Manager Research, Communications and Partnerships - responsible for promoting, coordinating and building the involvement of Australian partners and stakeholder engagement in the delivery of the AIFSC.
  • Executive Officer - providing a range of administrative and research assistance and support.
  • Program Support Officer - providing administrative support to the AIFSC, including finance and contract administration.
These opportunities can be viewed at  (note: this link will not operate after the closing date)

The closing date is 15 January 2012.

Happy applying!
Samantha Williams, ACIAR Communications Officer

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