Aussie scientists tackle food security

The young Australian scientists tackling global food security

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Anika Molesworth pictured during her time in Laos where she researched farmer perceptions of climate change for her Masters. Ms Molesworth is one of the speakers taking part in The Crawford Fund's, Science for Food Security online event, held as part of National Science Week. Photo supplied.

Anika Molesworth pictured during her time in Laos where she researched farmer perceptions of climate change for her Masters. Ms Molesworth is one of the speakers taking part in The Crawford Fund's, Science for Food Security online event, held as part of National Science Week. Photo supplied.

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The Crawford Fund is holding an online event as part of National Science Week.

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Former Young Farmer of the Year, Anika Molesworth has worked in international agricultural development in both Laos and Cambodia and has recently signed a book deal to write about climate change and food security issues.

Ms Molesworth is one of three scientists speaking about their work in international agriculture in an online event run by The Crawford Fund as part of National Science Week on Tuesday.

Director of Outreach for The Crawford Fund and manager of their NextGen program, Cathy Reade said the event, titled Science for Food Security, aimed to engage high school and university students on the impact of science in global food and nutrition security - giving an insight into the range of study, career and volunteering pathways available to enter the field.

The Fund is an Australian NGO, based in Canberra, that engages Australians in training scientists in developing countries to improve food and nutrition security.

"Our NextGen program has been providing young and not-so-young Australians with scholarships, awards, volunteering and mentoring opportunities in developing countries to encourage their interest in related studies, careers and placements," Ms Reade said.

"We want more of them to know about the enormous impact they can have."

Ms Molesworth said although the event targeted students, it was also open to the general public.

"The audience can hear from passionate, young scientists who have been working in international agriculture development on what they do, why they love it, and how audience members can get involved in that work," she said.

Ms Molesworth, who is currently living on her family's sheep station at Broken Hill, said she did her Masters research in Laos looking at farmer perceptions of Climate Change and how they were adapting.

While, in Cambodia she carried out her PhD research, looking at how to recycle and re-value agricultural by-products, such as crop residue and animal manures, to improve soil fertility.

"I learnt so much out in the field and in the lab with the local agriculture researchers," she said.

"It's fantastic for Australian scientists to be involved in international ag science, because not only do we bring new ideas to these different places but we also bring home new ways of looking at world, looking at how do we better manage soil, water, biodiversity, resources and how we better produce food for a rapidly growing population."

The other two scientists taking part in the event are Sam Coggins, who is working on digital tools for developing country farmers in a large Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation project.

And Matt Champness who is doing a PhD around soil and water for smart irrigation technology in rice systems.

The event takes place on Tuesday, August 18 from 10am - 11am.

Find more information here and register here to attend.

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