Graham Centre PhD students Ms Brooke Kaveney and Ms Rachael Wood have been awarded scholarships by the NSW Crawford Fund to attend an international training program.
The pair will take part in the rice production course through the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in The Philippines in August.
Coordinator of the Crawford Fund NSW Committee and Australia’s inaugural Inspector-General of Biosecurity, Dr Helen Scott-Orr said, “The Crawford Fund is very pleased to be supporting these students to encourage them in their studies and careers in agriculture for development.
“At the IRRI Rice Production training they will meet people from around the world who will be the rice research leaders of tomorrow and I look forward to their reports on the experience.”
A soil scientist, Ms Kaveney is no stranger to research for development in Asian rice farming systems. Her Honours research examined the seedbed preparation in the rice and shrimp farming systems of Vietnam.
“An interest in rice production, particularly in developing countries, stemmed from my time working on an Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) project in the Vietnamese Mekong Delta,” Ms Kaveney said.
“I saw how the integration of scientific research worked to secure food sustainability and improve the livelihoods of people in developing countries.”
Her PhD through CSU’s School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences is investigating soil nitrogen dynamics in farming systems.
Ms Wood’s PhD research through the Australian Research Council (ARC) Industrial Transformation Training Centre for Functional Grains (FGC) is investigating how practices on Australian rice farms influence rice grain quality. Read more here.
“I have a strong desire to engage in international agricultural research and attending this training program will help establish connections that could make this possible,” Ms Wood said.
“I believe that as the global population increases rice research is going to play an essential role in food security particularly for Asian and developing countries.
“Understanding the challenges facing international rice farmers is important in determining future research areas and I’m looking forward to gaining experience in tropical rice production.”