Big win for agriculture

8 October 2008

Professor Ivan Kennedy and Dr Michael Rose, from the University of Sydney, and Dr Phan Thi Cong, from the Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, have received a major innovation award from the World Bank.

Awarded for their project 'Sustaining Nitrogen Efficient Rice Production', the $US 200, 000 innovation award was won in the World Bank's Global Development Marketplace, presented in Washington DC in September.

The group were one of only 22 winners in the competition with 100 finalists, from an original 1800 applicants. The University of Sydney led group was one of just three of the 22 winners selected by the World Bank for special viewing by the World Bank Group President, Robert Zoellick.

Dr Phan Thi Cong, who leads the project in Vietnam, represented the group at a lunch with Robert Zoellick, other senior World Bank staff, and two other finalists.

The project involves an inoculant biofertiliser technology developed jointly between Vietnam and the University of Sydney, based on an original idea of Prof Nguyen Thanh Hien at the Hanoi University of Science. The project addresses the need to lower rice farmers' costs by allowing crops to be grown with much less nitrogen fertiliser, potentially reducing emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide.

Contact: Mandy Sacher-Grusd

Phone: 02 911-40622

Email: 5f18042a5811352d3e452922190d4b407b323c