Research collaborations explored in Presidential visit

October 13, 2017

Presidential visit: President Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger meets Acting Vice Chancellor Darren McKee to discuss collaboration with Murdoch University

President Issoufou Mahamadou of the Republic of Niger has visited Murdoch University to discuss collaboration opportunities and to learn more about the University’s agricultural research.

The President and his delegation, including Niger’s Foreign Minister, were welcomed by Acting Vice Chancellor Darren McKee before learning more about Murdoch’s expertise in crop biosecurity, environmental management and sustainable agriculture.

The President, who visited Australia as a guest of the Australian Government, said that Niger faced big challenges which included famine and food security, rapid population growth, environmental protection and young democratic institutions.

“I would like to congratulate Murdoch University for your achievements in agriculture, environmental science, health and political sciences,” he said.

“These four areas are all domestic priorities for Niger and your work is very much of interest to us.”

Acting Vice Chancellor Darren McKee welcomed the opportunity to showcase some of the translational research which is helping to solve real-world challenges.

“We have world-leading researchers across animal, crop and pasture production, who are working to tackle the issues faced by countries like Niger, such as the impacts of a changing climate, soil degradation and food safety,” Mr McKee said.

Three leading researchers from Murdoch’s School of Veterinary and Life Sciences presented on their work at the meeting.

Professor YongLin Ren spoke about the importance of biosecurity measures in pre and post harvest, and the training opportunities run by Murdoch for government and quarantine officers.

Professor Simon McKirdy presented on the objectives of the Harry Butler Institute, announced in August in partnership with Chevron to deliver outcomes that support long-term economic and social benefits without compromising biodiversity and the environment.

Professor John Howieson from the Centre for Rhizobium Studies discussed how best to overcome the challenges presented by the transition from mining to agriculture.

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