Cooperative agricultural research projects between the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) and Charles Sturt University (CSU) was a feature of the Cambodian Prime Minister’s visit to Wagga Wagga yesterday (Thursday 12 October).
An interest in seeing Australian agricultural facilities and collaborative research efforts by the Prime Minister and his delegation led to the visit, which was hosted by CSU’s Wagga Wagga campus.
Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, heard presentations on a range of joint agricultural projects, including management of rice diseases, vegetable production and farming systems.
Director of the E H Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Professor Deidre Lemerle, described the visit as an excellent chance to showcase the cooperative approach to agricultural research in Australia.
“This visit will also further develop our collaborative links with Cambodia to create profitable and sustainable agricultural systems,” she said.
Presentations on a range of cooperative research areas between the two countries by DPI staff was followed by a luncheon hosted by CSU.
CSU, one of Australia’s largest providers of agricultural and horticultural education, has a long history of collaboration with research partners such as the NSW DPI. The E H Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, a joint DPI and CSU research facility, and the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre are both outstanding examples of this alliance.
The Cambodian Prime Minister, His Excellency Samdech Hun Sen inspected the Wagga Wagga Campus of Charles Sturt University (CSU) and DPI’s Wagga Agricultural Institute at his request. Professor Gorman and DPI Deputy Director-General, Science and Research, Dr Nick Austin, formally greeted the Prime Minister.
CSU’s Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) Professor Lyn Gorman says the University’s model of collaboration with government agencies and industry “is clearly of interest to other countries”.
“The University and DPI’s considerable expertise in irrigation, water and rice offers a good match with Cambodia’s need. Our work with the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is a testament to our applied and problem-focused research, and ensures our research continues to be benchmarked against global standards.”
ACIAR’s John Skerrit, who helped facilitate the visit, was also present at the event.
Professor Gorman said “research is becoming so complex now that unless you collaborate nationally and internationally you simply cannot get all the ideas on the table at the same time. Collaboration means our research is applicable globally.
“The issues we are facing in terms of agricultural production and agricultural sustainability are global and multidisciplinary in nature therefore you need a range of contributions to the solutions.”