The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is a statutory authority that operates as part of the Australian Aid Program. The Centre encourages Australia’s agricultural scientists to use their skills for the benefit of developing countries and Australia.

ACIAR funds research projects that are developed within a framework reflecting the priorities of Australia’s aid program and national research strengths, together with the agricultural research and development priorities of partner countries.

Our mandate directs activities to developing countries in five regions: Papua New Guinea and Pacific island countries; East Asia; Mekong countries and China; South and West Asia; Sub-Saharan Africa; and Middle East and North Africa. Research is also allocated across regions through funding to other International Agricultural Research Centres (IARCs).

Our functions are to:

  • commission research into improving sustainable agricultural production in developing countries
  • fund project related training
  • communicate the results of funded research
  • conduct and fund development activities related to research programs
  • administer the Australian Government’s contribution to the International Agricultural Research Centres.

ACIAR was established by the passing of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Act (ACIAR Act) in June 1982. The ACIAR Amendment Act 2007 has made changes to the governance arrangements of ACIAR as part of the Government’s response to the Review of Corporate Governance of Statutory Authorities and Officeholders (Uhrig report).

The ACIAR Act, proclaimed as Act No. 9 of 1982, was described as ‘An Act to encourage research for the purpose of identifying, or finding solutions, to, agricultural problems of developing countries’.