World-leading irrigation practices in the Darling Downs and Lockyer Valley are being showcased to 31 emerging leaders in agriculture from across Africa. The group, studying at The University of Queensland, is visiting the region to learn about processes and techniques that could support African agricultural production and assist with sustainable development.
Course leader Dr Gunnar Kirchhof said the visit to the Darling Downs was a key learning experience for the participants.
“Farmers in the Darling Downs are leaders in efficient irrigation management and are in a perfect position to show what is possible in African environments due to the similarities between our agro-ecosystems,” Dr Kirchhof said.
The group will visit farms, dams and agricultural research facilities in the region this week, including the University of Southern Queensland’s Centre for Agricultural Engineering. Centre Deputy Director Mr Erik Schmidt said he was excited to welcome the group to the research facility to learn about applied irrigation engineering concepts.
“Improving irrigation practice is key to profitability and sustainability, internationally and across all scales of farming. Sharing local experience and research outcomes through the Australian Awards program provides two-way benefits, as we can learn from each others’ diverse experiences.” he said.
The Irrigation and Water Resources Management course introduces participants to theory and practice.
Participants will spend three weeks in Brisbane, one week on the Darling Downs and one week in Central Queensland, visiting farms, agricultural businesses and research facilities to learn about water resource management.
The Australia Awards, funded by the Australian Government and managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, offer emerging global leaders study, research and professional development opportunities in Australia, and high-achieving Australians similar experiences overseas.