With the incredible celebration of Australian agriculture yesterday for National Ag Day, it is also important to look at the role Australian agriculture has globally – particularly in developing countries.
“The quality and breadth of Australian agricultural science, and its long tradition of scientists working in partnership with farmers and industry, are such that Australia has much to offer countries in our region as they tackle increasingly pressing and complex food security challenges.”
Since Australia is a world leader in agricultural expertise – we can also be a world leader in using our expertise to target poverty reduction.
One such example of this is ACIARs “Seeds for Life” program, which “showed farmers how to incorporate new varieties of plants and crops into their farming systems, and how to manage them to substantially increase food production and minimise the need for imported seeds from Indonesia and elsewhere”. Through new varieties of maize, sweet potato, rice, cassava and peanuts – the program increased yields by up to 138%!
Find out more about the role of Australian agricultural research for international development, and hear first hand of the huge success in the field in Timor-Leste from Professor Andrew Campbell, CEO Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).
The seed for life program is explained in more detail on the ACIAR/DFAT blog here.