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Multi-million-dollar funding boost to international ag climate research

More than a decade of work between researchers at the University of Southern Queensland, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, and farmers and agribusiness in India has culminated in nearly $2million in research funding to better protect agriculture in both countries.

The ‘Enhancing climate change adaptation processes for farmers and agribusiness’ project will be led by the Director of the University’s Centre for Applied Climate Sciences Professor Roger Stone, funded by the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund.

The AISRF is Australia’s largest fund dedicated to bilateral science collaboration. It helps build links between Australia and India’s top universities, research institutions and the end users of scientific innovation. 

Professor Stone said the project would build on long term relationships that have been built over 20 years of research collaboration between the two countries.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to formally bring together the top scientists in India with our USQ researchers to work on innovative new aspects of climate risk management,” he said.

“Our team at USQ are well-known for developing highly effective tools to assist farmers and businesses make better decisions during the poor seasons and take advantage of the better seasons when they occur.

“Ultimately, if agricultural industries are better prepared to manage climate variability then they’ll be in a better position to manage and cope with climate change.”

The research program will work with coffee and tea producers, as well as the horticulture and sugar cane industries.

“The work we do in India will have significant applications here in Australia, especially in areas of similar growing climates like Ballina in northern New South Wales and Bundaberg in Queensland,” Professor Stone said.

“We will also be integrating other innovative aspects of USQ work including agricultural insurance models and multi-year climate forecasting.” 

The project will run until 2024.

Man looking off into the distance.
Director of USQ's Centre for Applied Climate Sciences Professor Roger Stone.