Blog

By Brendon Bangma Sitting here in a small air conditioned office in provincial Laos I have put aside some work on upcoming field surveys to write this short blog. Here, the work and lifestyle are quite different to back home in Sydney. These differences will not be that surprising to most readers. So, to offer my own perspective, I will share how I came to be here and three points of advice that have helped me on the way. I majored in anthropology and Asian studies at University. Spending time as an exchange student in Thailand focused these interests and…
Jenny Hanks has a chat with Myo Thura in rainy Yangon while we wait for the power to come back on… Tell us a little about yourself? I grew up in Ye, Mon State which is in the southern part of Myanmar, close to the border with Thailand. My grandparents and parents were farmers there and I had fun visiting their farm during school holidays where they grew lots of different fruit (durian, rambutan, mangosteen). This was the reason why I went to study a bachelor degree at Yezin Agriculture University from 1994-1999. After that I worked for the Ministry…
Renee’s blog from last week “Canaries of Climate change”, was a stark reminder of real and immediate challenges facing us in agriculture (and life) today! It made me reflect, not only on what we can do in our roles in R4D but also in our day-to-day activities that are in our sphere of control. Two things I have come across recently touch on this topic (which also align with the topic of last year’s Crawford Conference, ‘Waste Not Want Not’): 1. A podcast where we hear the inspirational story of the incredible woman behind OzHarvest (you can listen to it…
By Renee Currenti I write this as my mind is a whirlwind of thoughts – what I need to pack, what I’ll likely forget to pack, the fact that I’m flying to Fiji in one day and returning in sixty-five days after two months in the field. ‘The field’ for my Masters research is based in Nawairuku village in the highlands of Ra province in Fiji. I am in the thick of my Master of Arts (Geography) program at the University of the Sunshine Coast within the Sustainability Research Centre. This program follows my Bachelor of Science (Sustainability) / Bachelor…
Thursday, 15 June 2017 00:00

Graduate thoughts on reduced aid funding

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Australian researchers in international agriculture need to re-focus on communicating the value of our research in a time of reduced aid funding 1, 2, 3. As of 2016, Australia contributes 0.32% of our gross national income (GNI) to aid despite a UN country target of 0.70% of GNI. Compared to the 28 wealthy OECD member nations that give aid, Australia ranks 16th. Australia’s international aid has reduced in the last year, at a time when 22 of the 28 OECD member nations increased their contributions. While some critics of Australia’s aid spending may applaud this, this ignores the fact that…