The ‘Rice-based Systems Research (RSR) program: food security in Lao PDR, Cambodia and Bangladesh’ is one of four programs developed by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) under the Food Security through Rural Development initiative announced in the 2009 federal budget.

Dr Gamini Keerthisinghe, Dr Bounthong Bouahom and Dr Caroline Lemerle at the RSR Workshop in Vientiane, Laos PDR, June 2012

Dr Gamini Keerthisinghe, Dr Bounthong Bouahom and Dr Caroline Lemerle at the RSR Workshop in Vientiane, Lao PDR, June 2012

This multi-disciplinary research program will explore opportunities to alleviate poverty through improving the productivity and profitability of rice-based farming systems. These systems comprise both rainfed and irrigated agriculture, and are typically integrated with livestock production.

The program invests AUD $14.8 M over a 5-year period (2009-14). Its integrated portfolio comprises five large-scale farm-productivity projects, together with a suite of smaller policy-focused projects, in Lao PDR, Cambodia and Bangladesh. See a full list of projects below under Related Projects.

Collectively, the projects span crop and livestock development; best practice management; technological advances; new cropping niches; targeted marketing and extension; and alternative evidence-based policy options.

The program’s five core strategies are to:

  • Intensify crops in rice-based production systems by increasing the number of crops grown on the same land each year following the main rice crop
  • Boost yields by improving the efficiency of water and nutrient use
  • Improve livestock production by integrating animals more effectively with rice-based farming systems
  • Strengthen policy settings by improving understanding of the linkages with and impacts on food security
  • Build capacity of individuals and institutions by establishing effective collaborative relationships and facilitating knowledge sharing


We are progressively tracking our research against these five core strategies. Check out our summary of RSR program progress for 2013, and an overview of our program impacts to date.


Contact us if you have any comments or feedback about the RSR program or related information on our website.

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