Q&A: Australia's former deputy PM calls for more investment in agricultural development

The Australian Parliament House in Canberra. Photo by: Francisco Martins / CC BY-NC

As a former deputy prime minister of Australia, John Anderson is a known public figure with political connections that many private companies would happily leverage. But as the newly announced chair of the Crawford Fund, Anderson will be using his political connections and public visibility to increase education and awareness of the important role Australia’s agricultural research community plays in improving crop production and food security in developing countries.

Encouraging submissions for Australia’s new foreign policy white paper was a key focus for Anderson. Submissions closed on Feb. 28 and with the review process now under way, he sat down with Devex to discuss his expectations of the white paper review, issues affecting food security, and priorities for agricultural research and food security in his new role. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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About the author

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    Lisa Cornish

    Lisa Cornish is a Devex Reporter based in Canberra, where she focuses on the Australian aid community. Lisa formerly worked with News Corp Australia as a data journalist for the national network and was published throughout Australia in major metropolitan and regional newspapers, including the Daily Telegraph in Melbourne, Herald Sun in Melbourne, Courier-Mail in Brisbane, and online through news.com.au. Lisa additionally consults with Australian government providing data analytics, reporting and visualization services. Lisa was awarded the 2014 Journalist of the Year by the New South Wales Institute of Surveyors.