29 November 2018 – CABI CEO Dr Trevor Nicholls and Sally Stone, the newly appointed Head of APAC Sales, have been busy strengthening relations with the Australian Centre for International Agriculture (ACIAR) following a recent trip to Australia.
The trip to ACIAR’s offices in Canberra marked Sally’s (pictured fourth right) first day at CABI and was a time for her and Dr Nicholls learn about ACIAR’s new strategy and forward plans and the opportunities that may arise from them.
A draft Partnership Agreement with ACIAR was also reviewed to put the CABI-ACIAR relationship on a more structured footing now that the organization has also been appointed as Australia’s official contact point for membership matters.
Dr Nicholls presented a lunchtime seminar highlighting the recent AIR evaluation of the Plantwise programme, which shows it is having a positive impact on yields, farmer incomes and plant health systems across Asia and Africa, as well as other highlights drawn from the growing and impressive body of impact analysis being compiled by the M&E team.
He also briefed ACIAR colleagues on the range of ICT-based systems and eLearning packages that CABI is using and developing including the Pest Risk Information Service (PRISE), mNutrition, UPTAKE in Tanzania and the newly-launched PestSmart eLearning course which promises to benefit the way businesses in the food supply chain manage plant health problems to grow more and better produce.
Dr Nicholls reported that the CABI presentation received a positive reaction from ACIAR, including its Chief Scientist Dan Walker (fifth right in photo), and that talks will continue in the coming days to finalise the details of the joint working as part of the draft Partnership Agreement.
As well as the Plantwise programme, CABI’s work with ACIAR includes collaboration within the Australia-Africa Plant Biosecurity Partnership (AAPBP), rehabilitating cocoa production in Vanuatu and efforts to strengthen vegetable value chains in Pakistan.