University of Adelaide: Future Fellowships grant supports drought research

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The University of Adelaide has received more than $1 million in funding from the Federal Government’s Australian Research Council’s Future Fellowships scheme to quantify the economic and social impacts of drought in rural and regional Australia.

Associate Professor Dr Alec Zuo, from the University’s Centre for Global Food and Resources, School of Economics and Public Policy, will lead the four-year project, which will use state-of-the-art modelling to assist in producing drought policies that strengthen community resilience in drought-affected areas.

“The project will use innovative techniques to analyse national datasets to determine the economic and social impacts of droughts in rural and regional Australia, and advance our knowledge of drought’s heterogeneous impacts on different community groups and the associated impact pathways,” Associate Professor Zuo said.

“The project will also examine the results of a national survey to estimate and understand farmers’ drought adaption responses to carbon-credit market signals.

“Climate change research predicts droughts are likely to become more frequent, last longer and be more severe. This will drastically challenge Australia’s agriculture industry and rural societies.

“The outcomes of the research are expected to be a major step in developing and implementing cost-effective drought policies and services to minimise its complex impacts, strengthen rural and regional community resilience, and enhance sustainable agriculture in Australia.”

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