Ben Endicott-Davies in West Africa meeting with Ghana’s Queen Mother
Ben Endicott-Davies in West Africa meeting with Ghana’s Queen Mother
14 March 2012

International travel, working with African farmers, learning from leading scientists is all part of the job for University of Queensland Agricultural Science student Ben Endicott-Davies.

Mr Endicott-Davies works on projects for Greenleaf Global, and as part of his work, he takes part in sponsored study visits to West Africa.

"The project I have been working on is growing jatropha, which is a fast growing tree. We harvest the fruit and use the seeds to produce biofuels,"Mr Endicott-Davies said.

"It is expected that this biofuel will be mainly used in the aviation industry."

"It has been a great opportunity working with Greenleaf Global as they focus on sustainable agriculture making sure they protect the land for future use," he said.

The project also focuses on educating local farmers and their children on sustainable farming practices and a school has been set up to achieve this.

Mr Endicott-Davies may also have the opportunity to work on additional Greenleaf Global projects, working with local African farmers growing maze, poultry and cotton.

"I have already learnt so much having the opportunity to work with leading scientist Dr Vladimir Matichenkov. We investigate different techniques to produce the most fruit from jatropha, soil samples, different seeding techniques and working with different fertiliser regimes," Mr Endicott-Davies said.

"I also work closely with the farm manager in Togo; for the project to succeed it is critical to learn about the people and the best way to work with them to achieve the best results."

"Working in West Africa is like travelling to another world. It has been an eye opening experience that has enabled me to meet some wonderful people," he said.

Mr Endicott-Davies is looking forward to his next trip back to West Africa on 24 March.

Media: Erin Pearl (07 5460 1229 or