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Australia supports innovation in Bangladesh to improve agriculture sector

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 22nd November, 2022 05:36:01 PM
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Future agricultural leaders of Bangladesh met in Rajendrapur recently to share ideas on how to improve the country’s agriculture sector.

The 3-day workshop which was held from November 14-16 saw 12 Bangladeshi researchers’ present innovative concepts and learning following a recent visit to Australia. The event formed part of the John Dillion Fellowship (JDF), a programme funded by the Australian Government to further develop Bangladesh’s scientific and policy capability.

The2022 Fellowship has been offered to 12 researchers from Bangladesh and coincides with the 50-year anniversary of the Australia-Bangladesh relationship. It also supports two researchers from Australia and one from India for collaborative work. The Fellowship is being delivered under the ACIAR-Bangladesh 10-year research collaboration strategy.

Speaking about the Fellowship Jeremy Bruer, Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh said: “I’m pleased that ACIAR has offered John Dillon Fellowships to Bangladeshis this year as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Bangladesh.”

He said the programme builds on ACIAR’s decades-long history of research collaboration between Australia and Bangladesh.

“John Dillon Fellowships were designed to meet the specific needs and requirements of our partner organizations and the agriculture sector. I believe the Bangladesh fellows will make a great contribution to the agricultural growth of the country using their knowledge and skills gained from the fellowship,” said the Australian High Commissioner.

The programme has a strong focus oncross-organizational collaboration and has been developed and delivered by the International Development team at the University of New England (UNE), Australia.

Rebecca Spence,Director, International Development, School of Environmental and Rural Scienceand Philip Harrell, Training Leader, UNE are the lead trainers for the workshop.

Pratibha Singh, Regional Manager, South Asia, ACIAR said: “The JDF Bangladesh program creates an opportunity to trial a partnership model with Bangladesh that is not research or project-based. It is an interesting milestone in the ACIAR-Bangladesh relationship.”

Earlier this year the Fellows visited Australia, for an immersive professional development workshop and study tour.

The eight-day workshop coveredtopics like Leadership & Management, Modern Communication, Partnership Skills & Collaboration, Gender Equity, Diversity & Social Inclusion, and Project Leadership & Management.

The classroom sessions were followed by site visits to Australian organizations and interactions at the ACIAR House in Canberra. After completion of workshop and classroom sessions in Australia, the fellows took up short professional development projects and implemented them upon their return to Bangladesh.

The three-day workshop was used to share the project progress and how the learnings could be used for the betterment of the agriculture sector.

Talking about the programme JDF Fellow Shahrina Akhtar, Specialist (Technical), Krishi Gobeshona Foundation, Bangladesh said: “JDF is a platform that has enabled me to develop my professional relationships with Australian organizations. The Fellowship has enriched all of us Fellows to design projects, manage and evaluate them. ‘Leadership and Gender’ are the most attractive part to upgrade my skills to an international level.”