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Australian champions for international agricultural research speak out on new Australian initiative to reach out to Africa

Gabrielle Persley being interviewed

ILRI’s Gabrielle Persley being interviewed by Australian journalist Kate Sieper at ILRI’s ‘John Vercoe Conference on Animal Breeding for Poverty Reduction’, held in Nairobi in 2007 (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

The Australian Federal Government is funding a new multi-million-dollar Australian International Centre for Food Security, aimed at helping millions of Africans lift themselves out of poverty and hunger.

The centre aims at the same time to help African governments protect their agricultural environments and sustain their food production.

The centre will have an office in Africa to work with farmers and government agencies to help increase yields, address water and soil challenges, commercialize their produce and adapt to climate change.

Michael Mackenzie of Australia’s ABC Rural Radio spoke recently with Gabrielle Persley, an international agricultural scientist who worked for many years with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), departing its Nairobi headquarters to return to Australia earlier this year, and Rick Roush, president of the Australian Council of Deans of Agriculture.

Listen to the 12-minute interview of Persley and Roush on ABC Rural: Australia reaches out to Africa, 4 Nov 2011.

2 thoughts on “Australian champions for international agricultural research speak out on new Australian initiative to reach out to Africa

  1. Dear Sir,
    I am have a 22 and 3.2 hectares of land for farming.

    My cocoa farm on part of the 22 hectares is already in production and the palm oil farm of 3.2 hectares is also producing.

    Can you please advice if you can be of any help to me.

  2. From the website of Kevin Rudd, Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, on 8 Feb 2012 comes this news release:

    The Australia Government is working to deliver more for every dollar it invests in international agricultural research.

    Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said with approximately 1 billion malnourished people in the world, and the global population estimated to grow by a further 2 billion by 2050, it is critical Australia maximises its investment in agricultural science, technology and training.

    “I welcome the release of the independent report A Strategic Framework for International Agricultural Research within Australia’s Aid Program by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb and a panel of international experts, which will help guide the future of Australia’s contribution to global food security.”

    The Framework follows the Government’s Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness and suggests ways to increase the effectiveness of Australia’s overseas development assistance via agricultural research.

    “Research in agriculture is an important, even core, element in the alleviation of poverty. It can lead to increases in incomes for both rural and growing urban populations, better health through better nutrition and improved local economies and services,” Mr Rudd said. . . .

    The Framework confirms that Australia is a leader in international agricultural research, but while the current program was achieving impressive results, it found greater effort should be made to bring together the public and private sectors in the financing, management and conduct of agricultural research.

    It also found a more coordinated and collaborative approach of Australian institutions involved in international agricultural research would improve effectiveness.

    The Government will use the Framework to guide future aid budget allocations for agricultural research. For more information on the Framework and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research please visit

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