The University of New England has recently hosted the latest delegation of agriculturists from 13 different districts across Iraq. This is the latest AusAID-funded short course award that UNE has been successful in training, including the Iraq Partnership Facility short courses in Advanced breeding techniques, and Improvement of Fodder. Additionally, UNE has also trained 12 other short courses for African agriculturists related to Livestock Systems, Water harvesting and Small Scale Irrigation and Dryland Farming in 2012 and into 2013.
Delegates from Iraq and various countries in Africa have been exposed to a wide range of farming systems in Australia, including specialised training in ultrasound fat deposition in sheep, through to design and layout of small irrigation systems. UNE’s innovative facilitation method is to improve an aspect of farmer livelihoods using an action-oriented pro-poor approach. The in-Australia training component places major emphasis on site visits and practical training, as well as technical training.
These visits couldn’t be achieved without the support and involvement of industry, private organisations, and importantly farmers, and this is what underpins that age old saying, that seeing is believing, as at least half the time delegates spent in Australia is spent on farm talking with those on the ground about issues important to agriculturalists worldwide.