Congratulations to MGFAB students!

It’s a wrap! Well, at least for this semester.

Last week was the last teaching week of Semester 1, 2014. Global Food Studies is very proud of the achievements that MGFAB students have received this Semester. Our program has been growing significantly in the last few years. We now have students from more than 25 countries – very exciting!

Below is a picture taken by our student John Liu at Assoc Professor Wendy Umberger’s class “Global Food and Agriculture Policy Analysis”. Congratulations to students who survived their first semester!

Students with Prof Umberger. Photograph by John Liu


On Friday 13 June 2014, we had successful a final presentation workshop presenting students in their final semester. This was part of our 12 unit research project compulsory to all of the masters students. The range of topics that our students presented demonstrates the flexibility of our program to customise the students’ study plan to their individual background and career objectives. The 12 unit research project provides the students opportunities for learning new research and professional skills and applying a wide range of knowledge and theories that they have gained from our courses into the real-world cases. For many students, the project is an excellent way to further research agribusiness issues in their home countries.

Left-to-right: Mulu-Damon-Risti-Asma-Leang-Michael. Photograph by Asma Sembiring


Asma Sembiring (Asma), originally from Indonesia, presented her project “Indonesian government policies and programs to improve the value addition of fruits and vegetables in traditional markets”. Asma suggested that there have been changes in fruit and vegetables traditional market. To some extent, these are driven by government program such as market revitalisations and sub-terminal agribusiness programs. Future programs should consider not only physical development but also institutional setting and the provision of credits for traditional sellers. Asma’s work is supervised by Professor Randy Stringer and Dr Dale Yi.

Mulugeta Kassaw (Mulu), originally from Ethiopia, presented the results from his project “Challenges and opportunities of Ethiopian Commodity Exchange (ECX) with a particular focus on coffee”. Mulu’s pointed out the needs to conduct a coffee sector-specific study given the absence of such a study and differences between sectors in terms of supply chains, economic significance, pre and post-harvest handling and management systems. Using data from interviews with the ECX staff, Mulu identified that in order to assist smallholder farmers, the ECX should assist farmers improve the quality of the coffee, access to market information and supply chain alternatives. Mulu’s project is supervised by Dr Risti Permani and Associate Professor Wendy Umberger.

Dong Hong Yang (Damon), originally from China, presented his business analysis “Identifying market opportunities for Australian organic beef export to China”. Damon viewed that Australian industry’s high productivity and competitiveness as indicated by high-standars quality assurance (eg through implementation of National Livestock Identification System) and good industry governance (eg support from bodies such as Meat and Livestock Australia as well as Australian Certified Organic) highlight potential benefits from supplying growing demand of organic beef in China. Damon’s work is supervised by Dr Risti Permani.

Sokleang Kim (Leang), originally from Cambodia, talked about “Factors contributing to the failure of the Cambodian cashew nut farmer associations”. Using information from comprehensive phone interviews with stakeholders including farmers associations members, management staff, donor representatives, and business development service provider,  Leang viewed that these factors include internal factors such as lack of knowledge sharing among farmers and the lack of members’ ownership; as well as external factors such as the absence of government programs to support the development of farmers associations. Leang’s project is supervised by Mr Craig Johns.

Yue Zhang (Michael), originally from China, presented his work “Producer and consumer behaviours in Chinese beer market and opportunities for Australian beer companies”. Michael completed his internship at a major beef producer in China, called Tsingtao, to collect consumer data during the 2013 summer break. He pointed out potential benefits from exporting to Chinese beer market and recommended strategies to enter the market. Michael’s project is supervised by Dr Risti Permani and Associate Professor Wendy Umberger.


Once again, congratulations to all of our students who survived Semester 1 and big congratulations to students who are completing this semester! We are very proud of you!


For more information about our Degree programs, visit our website: GFS Degree Programs

as well as our blog post “MGFAB students mastering food and agriculture issues”.






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