[ASC-media] Prominent Australian Scientist Appointed to New International Science Council

Cathy Reade creade at squirrel.com.au
Thu Apr 8 08:14:52 EST 2004

8 April 2004
Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
Cathy Reade, 0413 575 934
Email: creade at squirrel.com.au


Following an extensive worldwide search, Dr. Kenneth Fischer, Adjunct
Professor, University of Queensland, Australia, has been appointed to the
new Science Council of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural
Research (CGIAR).  The Council will provide strategic scientific direction
to the CGIAR, the world’s largest publicly-funded agricultural research
organization, with an annual budget of more than $400 million.

Speaking in Washington, Ian Johnson, World Bank Vice President, Sustainable
Development and CGIAR Chairman said,  “I am delighted the CGIAR was able to
bring together such an impressive team of scientists including Dr. Fischer
on the new Science Council.  The work they will undertake on behalf of the
system is critical, and I am confident that under their direction the CGIAR
will continue to make a tremendous impact on the lives of millions of poor
people around the world.”

The Science Council will be chaired by Dr. Per Pinstrup-Andersen, a World
Food Prize Laureate, and the current H.E. Babcock Professor of Food,
Nutrition and Public Policy in the Division of Nutritional Sciences at
Cornell University, a position he will continue to hold.

The Science Council advises the CGIAR on scientific priorities, new
technologies, and policies to help poor farmers in developing countries
manage land for greater productivity, higher incomes, a more secure food
supply, and sustainable use of natural resources.

Dr Ken Fischer began his scientific career at the CGIAR International Maize
and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) headquartered in Mexico,  which is
dedicated to using the best science to reduce poverty and hunger.  He has
led scientific programs at three other CGIAR  Research Centers in Nigeria,
the Philippines and Malaysia.

“I am proud to be continuing the contribution of so many eminent Australians
associated with the CGIAR.  It is particularly meaningful to me to join the
Science Council which was first Chaired by Sir John Crawford, a remarkable
Australian who contributed at the highest levels to the development of
Australia and other countries, and was a passionate supporter of
international agricultural research for development” said Ken Fischer.

“Australian scientists, institutions and ACIAR are important partners with
the CGIAR with benefits flowing to the poor in our neighboring countries and
to our Australian farmers. For example almost all of the wheat varieties
grown in Australia have origins from wheat developed at the CIMMYT in Mexico
yielding a net annual benefit to Australian farmers of some $70 million .”

The Science Council members are:  Dr. Virender Lal Chopra, President,
National Academy of Agricultural Science, India;   Dr. Alain de Janvry,
Professor, University of California at Berkeley, USA; Dr. Kenneth Fischer,
Adjunct Professor, School of Land and Food Science, University of
Queensland, Australia; Dr. Michael Gale, Emeritus Fellow, John Innes Centre,
Norwich Research Park, UK; Dr. Hans Gregersen, ret. Professor, University of
Minnesota, currently of Solvang, California; Dr. Richard Harwood, Professor,
Michigan State University, USA; Dr. Keiji Kainuma, Executive Research
Advisor, National Food Research Institute, Japan; Dr. Onesmo K. ole-MoiYoi,
Director, Research and Partnerships, International Centre of Insect
Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE), Kenya; Dr. Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Professor,
Cornell University, USA; and Dr. Lisa Sennerby-Forsse, Secretary General,
The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and
Spatial Planning (Formas), Sweden.

Notes to Editors:

1.	The Science Council is served by a Secretariat which is based
administratively under the Research, Extension and Training Division of the
Sustainable Development Department at the Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.  The Science Council Secretariat  is
part of the CGIAR System Office.  For more information, visit:

2.	The CGIAR is a strategic alliance of countries, international and
regional organizations and private foundations supporting 15 international
agricultural research Centers that work with national agricultural research
systems, the private sector and civil society.  The alliance mobilizes
agricultural science to reduce poverty, foster human well-being, promote
agricultural growth, and protect the environment.  For more information,
visit www.cgiar.org.

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