Blog

Wednesday, 12 October 2016 00:00

Gifts from the Golden Land

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By Ania Peterson “Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens…” I am in a hotel lobby in Meiktila, Myanmar, singing a deeply expressive Sound of Music duet with my lecturer. Loudly! The proprietor of the hotel continues to chant his Buddhist mantras, pretending he doesn’t mind that his lobby has been turned into a makeshift laboratory, complete with centrifuge and 60 cattle blood samples. My colleagues are running an ad hoc tutorial on making blood smears for the Myanmar veterinary students, while periodically stopping to join us in song as we make our way through the entire Julie Andrews back…
Wednesday, 05 October 2016 00:00

Working with children

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Dr Stephen Ives, Research Fellow, UTAS. The underlying objective of conducting research for development in Asia, the pacific and Africa is to improve the health and wellbeing of women and children. Children are our future – are they not? But aren’t they also our present? More often than not, children in the developing economies are involved in the day to day activities of a smallholder farming enterprise. However, up until recently our research endeavours have focussed on ‘farmer’ engagement and participation, which implies working with a senior member of the family to improve the productivity and profitability of the farm.…
My husband Alex is a passionate coffee drinker, a tragic addict. Being from Spain, he is in constant pursuit of the ‘café cortado’. It’s not a latte, it has less milk and it’s not an expresso, it has some milk.  He prefers it if the milk is warm, not added as an after-thought like it sometimes is at hotel breakfasts and definitely not a scalding 2000⁰C which is common in some parts of the world. The perfect coffee experience. Christmas day 2015 in Vientiane, Laos.  Like any addiction, there are highs and lows to the coffee experience and these are…
I recently read a journal article which highlighted smallholders in East Asian economies as persistent and resilient, but only on paper. In reality, smallholders in these countries have been caught between a world of a rapidly modernizing agriculture sector, in which smallholders are often seen as impediments to growth, and the lure of better paying non-farm jobs in the city for which young people are leaving behind farms and families.  Figure 1. Rohan with Dr. Wahida Maghraby of ICASEPS (Indonesian Centre for Agricultural Socio Economic and Policy Studies) In the world of international agricultural research 'Smallholders' has become a fancy…
Caitlin McQuarrie (BVSc V, University of Sydney) Recently, as part of my final year of my Veterinary training, I undertook a month-long rotation in Luang Prabang, Laos, gaining experience on large-scale animal health research projects. I had the opportunity to fly down to Vientiane to attend an Australian embassy event. As a recipient of the New Colombo Plan mobility scholarship, I was lucky to be invited to the graduation ceremony of about 60 Lao-Australia National Scholarship students from The Lao National University in Vientiane. The Australian Foreign Minister, the Hon Julie Bishop MP, was present to congratulate the students on…
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