Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests

Feature Interviews

Feature interviews are interviews conducted by an FDI Research Manager. Interview topics range from the sustainability of our planet to the improved provision of emergency food aid.

Natural Intelligence Farming: Ian and Dianne Haggerty

Ian and Dianne Haggerty, co-founders of Bio-Integrity Growers Australia and the Prospect Pastoral Company, discuss Natural Intelligence Farming, the harnessing of the dynamic, natural relationships that exists between all the organisms in the ecosystem and the environment itself, particularly the soil. It is a new and innovative approach to modern farming that is well position to capture premium markets while delivering enormous health, social and environmental benefits. They go on to discuss the industry infrastructure needed to deliver a high-quality food and fibre products to a discerning market.

The Revised World Soil Charter – Report Card on Australia’s Performance So Far: Mr Noel Schoknecht

Australia, as a signatory of the UN Revised World Soil Charter, recognised and endorsed the urgent need to promote worldwide sustainable soil management. Mr Noel Schoknecht provides a report card on the Government’s performance to date in meeting its Charter responsibilities.

Precision Agronomics Australia: Frank D’Emden

FDI interviews Mr Frank D’Emden from Precision Agronomics Australia, a company providing technology-based solutions to farmers, consultants and industry groups across Western Australia.

Biochar Production, Application and Benefits – Part Two: Karry Fisher-Watts

Biochar, when applied to soil as an amendment, is not a fix-all for Western Australian soils that are salt, sodium affected or which are otherwise de-graded. The key strategy is to use natural and organic materials that, functioning in combination with activated biochar will serve to nurture and improve the health of the soil, as described in Part Two of our interview with Karry Fisher-Watts.

Biochar Production, Application and Benefits – Part One: Karry Fisher-Watts

The potential of charcoal, in the form of biochar, to enhance soil fertility, while restoring carbon to the soil, has recently gained considerable attention. Research suggests that biological carbon converted to biochar can sequester about 50 per cent of its initial carbon in the soil for long periods, leading to a more stable and long-lasting soil carbon. FDI discusses with Karry Fisher-Watts her use of biochar as a way of enhancing the fertility of her property.

The Evolving Geopolitics of the Middle East – Part Two: Simon Henderson

11 October 2016 | Feature Interviews, Indian Ocean

After discussing the emerging Middle Eastern geopolitical realities in Part One of this interview, Baker Fellow and Director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Programme at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Mr Henderson gives his thoughts on the Saudi Government’s Vision 2030 plan and the Kingdom’s ability to weather the low price of oil before discussing US Middle Eastern policy and looking towards the November presidential election and some of the possible implications that it may have for the region.

The Evolving Geopolitics of the Middle East – Part One: Simon Henderson

6 October 2016 | Feature Interviews, Indian Ocean

Mr Simon Henderson,the Baker Fellow and Director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Programme at The Washington Institute for Near East Studies, discusses with FDI the implications of developments in the Middle East and explores some of the new geopolitical realities facing the region’s states, particularly as they affect Saudi Arabia and its relationships with Iran, Russia, Turkey and Israel.

Soil Carbon and Soil Organic Matter: Dr Peter Keating

FDI has again taken the opportunity to interview Dr Keating of the integrated resource management company, Bioscience, on the topic of soil carbon; its types, importance, measurement and why Australian agriculture needs to be mindful of its conservation and promotion for general soil health and to enhance crop vigour and yield.

Vision Infinity for Food Security: Dr Shashi B. Sharma

Dr Shashi B Sharma is the current Director of Plant Biosecurity at the Western Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Food. He was recently seconded to Murdoch University as Professor and Chair in Biosecurity and Food Security. In this FDI Feature Interview, Dr Sharma discusses key aspects of his recently published and co-authored book, “Vision Infinity for Food Security”, calling for a fundamental and philosophical re-thinking and re-structuring of our food production, distribution and consumption.

Paris Agreement – Genuine Triumph or Total Fantasy: David Hodgkinson

The 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015. It provided for the first time a universal agreement that aims to keep global warming well below 2 degrees. In this, the second part of a two-part interview, University of Western Australia Associate Professor David Hodgkinson discusses negative emissions, adaptation and legal aspects of the Agreement.

Publication Guide

  • Associate papers are primary source assessments written by FDI associates. The assessment topics range from regional bilateral relationships and opportunities and challenges in our neighbouring countries.

  • Feature interviews are interviews conducted by an FDI Research Manager. Interview topics range from the sustainability of our planet to the improved provision of emergency food aid.

  • Normally issued in hardcopy, these represent a comprehensive study of one of FDI’s four research areas.

  • Strategic alerts are priority current intelligence items. We provide these alerts when events such as military deployments or foreign election results occur.

  • A 1500 to 3000 word, single topic assessment.

  • A number of short articles addressing current intelligence topics, issued each week.

  • A record of discussions resulting from a single, or series of, roundtable conferences.

Donate Now and Support Independent Research

Donate now to help us provide independent research and advice on global issues facing Australia