Fourteen Papua New Guineans have become the first to successfully complete the Institutional John Dillon Fellowship (iJDF).
Supported through the PNG Australia Partnership, the initiative targets the training needs of organisations in PNG and the Pacific that work in partnership with the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR).
It is focussed on providing training, mentoring and other opportunities for emerging staff from these organisations.
The fourteen from PNG and two from Samoa from the Pacific Community (SPC) received their certificates today.
Speaking at the presentation, ACIAR General Manager, Outreach and Capacity Building Eleanor Dean said the iJDF program aims to strengthen capacity of key agricultural institutions in PNG.
“Through this training, Australia is supporting its research partners to address issues such as climate change, pest and diseases affecting crops, gender and nutrition.
“The iJDF specifically targets emerging leaders within our partner organisations providing them with the support they need to contribute meaningfully,” Ms Dean said.
Papua New Guinean fellows came from the National Fisheries Authority, National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI), University of Technology (UNITECH), Science and Technology Secretariat (PNG STS) and the Bougainville Department of Primary Industries.
Over the last three months, fellows received professional development that combined training, industry visits and networking opportunities in PNG and Australia. Participants also received mentoring and support to help them implement their projects.
Australia through its agriculture research partnerships works to improve food security and livelihoods, reduce malnutrition and increase economic opportunities for people, in particularly women.