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African women smiling in a cotton field

The Dryland Farming Africa Fellowship supported over fifty awardees from throughout Africa to improve the sustainability of their rainfed farming systems, primarily through appropriate soil and crop residue management. Working with UQ academics from the School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, awardees learnedhow soil management research has transformed dryland systems, and how these lessons can be adapted to African contexts. The program was funded under the Australia Awards in Africa, Australian government program.

The central intent of the Fellowship was for awardees to return to their organisations and have the capacity to implement sustainable and efficient farming practices into their work. Awardees were equipped with the tools and motivation to work towards greater food security and agricultural sustainability in their regions.

The Fellowship consisted of a five-week program in Brisbane with field visits around South East Queensland and Northern New South Wales. The Australian component was followed by a two-week extension and application module delivered in Africa.

In 2013, the program was linked to a high-profile diplomacy event, ‘Conservation Agriculture – Achieving Impact in Africa’. The workshop-style event was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in partnership with the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and UniQuest Pty Limited (UQ International Development). The event saw leading African and international experts critically analyse Conservation Agriculture practices and the potential implementation in various African contexts. In light of food security concerns, and building on Australian expertise and experiences, strategies to improve the adoption of Conservation Agriculture in African agro-ecological zones were developed through participatory workshop sessions. The workshop concluded with the development of a final document of recommendations.

The success of the Dryland Farming Africa Fellowship has led to UQ International Development being selected to deliver the Soil and Water Conservation Agriculture Africa Fellowship in 2014 and 2015. 

  • Duration - two courses per year for two years. Each course consisted of a five-week in-Australia component and a two-week in-Africa component
  • Location - UQ, Australia and: Tunisia - Kef (Sem 1, 2012); Ethiopia - Addis Ababa; Bahir Dar (Sem 2, 2012 and Sem 1, 2013); Kenya - Nairobi (Sem 2, 2013)
  • Portfolio - Australia Fellowships (previously Short Course Awards)