ACIAR R&D programs are responsible for developing, monitoring and evaluating projects. Multilateral R&D is delivered through a combination of core funding to International Agricultural Research Centres (IARCs) and funding of individual projects, administered by program areas. ACIAR’s teams of Research Managers and staff, with particular experience and skill in the major agricultural and natural resource management, forestry, fisheries and economics disciplines relevant to developing countries, are critical to ACIAR’s role as a facilitator and funder of agricultural research for development.

These disciplines are broadly clustered around the areas of economics; crops; natural resources management; and livestock and fisheries.


The Agribusiness Program is linked to the Australian Aid-funded Support for Market-Driven Adaptive Research (SMAR) initiative. The overall aim is to improve incomes and productivity for farmers and agribusiness in Indonesia. Agribusiness will facilitate linkages throughout the value chain, helping smallholders, agribusinesses and supporting agencies access new knowledge that will deliver market results and impact.

The Agricultural Development Policy Program has the goal of supporting economic policy research in the areas of trade, rural development and natural resource management, as well as to build partner country capacity in these areas. The program is organised under two main themes, trade and rural development policy, and natural resources policy.

The Agricultural Systems Management Program emphasises integrated applied economic and biophysical research with a systems orientation. The program recognises the need for researchers drawn from both the social and biophysical sciences to work with each other, and research users, to develop effective agricultural production and marketing practices and resource management strategies. This is achieved through: applying farming systems research principles which recognise the central role of the farmer; making extension systems more effective, and marketing systems research within a whole-of-chain framework.

Research Program Manager - Agribusiness

Dr Rodd Dyer Phone: 02 6217 0548

Research Program Manager - Agricultural Systems Management

Dr Jayne Curnow Phone:02 6217 0532

Research Program Manager - Agricultural Development Policy

Dr Ejaz Qureshi Phone:02 6217 0547

Crop systems - production, protection and processing

The Crop Improvement and Management Program targets problems of significant field (broadacre) crops which can have either genetic or agronomic solutions. The program aims to increase productivity, sustainability and utilisation of major crops and cropping systems of mutual importance to Australia and developing countries in our region. This program collaborates with ACIAR’s Natural Resources programs in addressing broader system questions such as water and fertility management, tillage and crop rotation. Emphases include germplasm conservation, plant improvement, better crop management and field crop post-harvest technology.

The Cropping Systems and Economics Program aims to improve food security through enhanced productivity and sustainability of field crop farming systems using collaborative R&D partnerships for biophysical and economic research and development.

The objective of the Horticulture Program is to improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of fruit, vegetable and ornamental crop production in developing countries and Australia. The emphases of the program are to: optimise the quality and suitability of produce for market requirements; improve the utility and efficiency of supply chains and minimise pre- and post-harvest losses of fruit and vegetable crops.

Research Program Manager - Crop Improvement and Management

Dr Eric Huttner Phone: 02 6217 0527

Research Program Manager - Cropping Systems and Economics

Dr John Dixon Phone: 02 6217 0531

Research Program Manager - Pacific Crops and Horticulture

Dr Richard Markham Phone:02 6217 0500

Natural resource management

The major objective of natural resources management research supported by ACIAR is to contribute to food security and wealth by enhancing long-term productivity, management and conservation of land and water resources in developing countries and Australia.

The Land and Water Resources Program concentrates on broader-scale aspects of the management of land and water resources by focusing on two themes: agricultural water management and agricultural production and land management in the less favourable areas of Asia.

The Soil Management and Crop Nutrition Program focuses on land and cropping systems and soil management, and concentrates at the field scale. The emphasis is on projects designed in the context of systems approach to conservation agriculture. Other projects aim to manipulate the soil/plant interface and in better endowed regions, projects focus on the more effective use of water and other inputs.

The Forestry program contributes to poverty alleviation and natural resource conservation and rehabilitation through scientific support for the establishment, management and sustainable utilisation of forests, providing optimum social, economic and environmental benefits to partner countries and Australia. Areas of focus include: development of silvicultural systems and improved germplasm, harvesting and processing approaches and the management of threats.

Research Program Manager - Land and Water

Dr Evan Christen Phone: 02 6217 0561

Research Program Manager - Soil Management and Crop Nutrition

Dr Robert Edis Phone: 02 6217 0558

Research Program Manager - Forestry

Dr Tony Bartlett Phone: 02 6217 0549

Livestock systems

The objective of ACIAR’s Animal Health Program is to enable smallholder farmers to refine their livestock management toward production and income-generation, in contrast to ‘keeping’ livestock solely as an asset. Animal Health has a focus on the following themes, with the emphasis on diseases of regional significance, transboundary diseases, zoonotic diseases (that are capable of transferring from animals to humans), diseases affecting production and those affecting trade and market access.

The Livestock Production Systems Program aims to build a complete understanding of the biological, social and economic aspects of the livestock systems, kept by smallholder farmers (small and large ruminants, pigs and poultry). These are integral components of complex crop-livestock systems. The Livestock Production Systems program focuses on enabling equitable access to markets; optimising crop-livestock systems and livestock production.

ACIAR’s Fisheries Program aims to improve the productivity and sustainability of fisheries and aquatic farming systems in partner countries and in Australia through innovative resource management approaches; the elimination of serious adverse environmental impacts arising from fishing or farming practices; better utilisation of existing harvests; and the development of productive and sustainable aquatic farming systems.

Research Program Manager - Animal Health

Dr Mike Nunn Phone: 02 6217 0540

Research Program Manager - Livestock Production Systems

Dr Werner Stur Phone: 02 6217 0522

Research Program Manager - Fisheries

Dr Chris Barlow Phone: 02 6217 0508

International Agricultural Research Centres

The objective of ACIAR’s multilateral program is to ensure that funds provided by Australia for research conducted by the international agricultural research system are used effectively, and that benefits flow to developing countries and Australia.

Program Officer

Cherree Webeck Phone: 02 6217 0524