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Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative

Project Leader
Dr Steven Underhill
Email
steven.underhill@deedi.qld.gov.au
Fax
61 7 3896 9444
Phone
61 7 3371 6429
Inactive project countries
Project ID: 
AGB/2008/044
Start Date
01/02/2010
Project Coordinator Fax
Reference Number
BR-202910-53646
Project Type
Bilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
31/01/2014
Extension Start Date
20/01/2014
Commissioned Organisation: 
University of Queensland, Australia
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
Commissioned Organisation
University of Queensland, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, Australia
Extension Finish Date
30/06/2015
Overview Collaborators
  • University of Adelaide, Australia
  • University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia
  • James Cook University, Australia
  • Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Fiji
  • University of the South Pacific, Fiji
  • Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Richard Markham
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

PARDI commenced in February 2010 and is currently on-track against project milestones.
To date, nine rapid supply chain reviews covering taro, cassava, breadfruit, coconut, pearls, sea cucumber, canarium nut, value added fisheries, and high value timber have been undertaken. A further ten partial reviews have been completed for virgin coconut oil (VCO), sweet potato, vegetables, yam, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, ginger, teak and mahogany.
To ensure integration of consumer and market demands impacting on these chains, we have also undertaken Fiji municipal markets and consumer household surveys, taro consumer preference studies in the Sydney and Auckland markets, and a Vanuatu tourist consumer study on cocoa and canarium nut products.
A further four chains will be assessed over the next few months including; sea cucumber industries (Fiji and Tonga), Mahogany (Fiji), Tamarind (Vanuatu) and participatory based reviews (Vanuatu).
As a consequence of these reviews, an initial four PARDI-funded research projects were commenced in late 2010 and early 2011. Collectively, PARDI now has project-based activities across all target Pacific countries (Fiji [3], Samoa [1], Tonga [3], Solomon Islands [1], Vanuatu [1] and Kiribati [1]). Project details below:
PRA 2010.01 - This James Cook University (JCU) led project is working to increase cultured pearl production capacity and improve quality in the Fiji and Tongan cultured pearl industries.
PRA 2010.02- This University of the South Pacific (USP) led project aims to evaluate and develop new value adding products and technologies for Tilapia and Caulerpa (seaweed spp.) for commercial application in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
PRA 2010.04- This Southern Cross University (SCU) led project is undertaking a scoping study associated with the development of village-based training programmes and information sources for better postharvest handling and processing of sea cucumber in Fiji, Tonga and Kiribati.
PRA 2010.03 - A joint PARDI (Solomon Islands and Vanuatu) and ACIAR funded (PNG) project recently started, that aims to develop consumer-driven value-adding strategies and process techniques to support an emerging Canarium nut industry.
Supporting this portfolio are a series of ongoing small research activities (SRA) that include; consumer acceptance of the new taro cultivars, virgin coconut oil (VCO) chain assessment, PARDI Advisory Group operations, how best to create small-holder impacts from PARDI outputs, cocoa chain business case, and strategies for assessing and transferring capabilities.
The PARDI Advisory Group is currently reviewing a further five proposal, these include:
Creating export-orientated breadfruit production in Fiji
Producing high quality taro material in support of re-building Samoan taro exports
Premium market opportunities for smallholder cocoa producers in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands
Understand the impacts of population dynamics on supply chains
Establishing a series of pilot scale participatory guarantee schemes for vegetables

Much of PARDI’s supply-chain driven research projects have only recently commenced. Consequently it is pre-mature to demonstrate research outputs and impacts. Preliminary project-specific activities include:

PRA 2010.01 (Pearls): Pearl farmers and market structure research has been completed for Tonga and Fiji, a project-funded staff (Jamie Whitford) appointed, and initial farmer training commenced. A full-time Fiji-based project scientist was appointed in May 2011.
PRA 2010.02 (value-adding fisheries) Desk-top studies for Fiji, Samoa & Tonga markets, and analysis of chains in Fiji and Samoa have been completed. Work is ongoing for Tonga outer island groups.
PRA 2010.04 (Sea cucumber): Supply and value chains in Fiji and Tonga have been documented. An evaluation of export chains for processed product from Pacific into Asian markets is anticipated shortly. Tonga and Kiribati field trips are ongoing
SRA 2010.01 (Taro consumer study): Taro sensory testing has been completed in Fiji and Auckland markets and a final report completed.

PARDI has completed three training and development initiatives in the Pacific, including a pearl farmer training workshop in Tonga (Nov 2010), survey training for USP students (Dec 2010), and value chain analysis teaching workshop, Vanuatu (May 2011). Further targeted training of fisheries staff is ongoing (PRA 2010.01 and PRA 2010.04).

To ensure effective project communication we have held six coordination workshops, prepared two six-monthly newsletters, and plan to shortly post PARDI research reports on SPC’s LRD website.

PARDI has participated in series meetings to establish close links with other current ACIAR and donor-funded activities in the region. Through the assistance of SPC and ACIAR, strong engagement with other ACIAR and EU-funded projects particularly in taro and cocoa are emerging; and with PHAMA in cocoa and canarium nut.
Finally, over the last 6 months the PARDI team has increased by 30 staff. There are presently 51 PARDI research staff; with the possibility of a further 19 staff dependant on the outcome of research proposals reviews.
To ensure pending commissioned projects have sufficient operational time, PARDI has requested and been granted a variation to extend the project completion date to January 2015.

PARDI conducts value chain analysis and research to strengthen selected value chains in Pacific horticulture, fisheries and forestry products. This year’s achievements include:
16 technical training workshops have been held.
28 industry and government stakeholders are receiving targeted capacity building and technical support.
17 higher degree students are linked to PARDI projects.
Three major consumer and market place studies have been undertaken:
1. Retail transformation market study - 1000 households in Fiji;
2. Consumer study for Canarium and chocolate products - 400 tourists in Vanuatu;
3. Study of teak supply capabilities in Solomon Islands and a global market analysis is well advanced.
Cocoa. Work has continued with cocoa value chain stakeholders in Vanuatu and the Solomon islands. The collaboration continues to expand to include the Vanuatu statistics office, two new chocolate importers, and PHAMA as well as facilitation for an annual Vanuatu Cocoa Industry Strategic Workshop.
Breadfruit. Research trials and infrastructure associated with the PARDI breadfruit project were severely impacted by flooding in early 2012. A large number (2000) root suckers and marcotts are now ready for field trials. SPC has released nearly 200 tissue-cultured trees. Three orchards have been established and a total of 350 trees planted.
Taro. CePaCT has continued working on taro virus indexing and elimination, in support of the Samoan taro-leaf-blight breeding program. Two virus-elimination methods have been selected, which have proven effective against some TaBV and DsMV infecting cycle-7 taro. Agronomic assessments are being undertaken monthly, with soil tests on selected parameters almost completed. Corms are being sequentially harvested to determine the optimum age for harvesting. A market-based consumer-acceptance study of selected varieties amongst Samoans living in Auckland, New Zealand, was recently completed.
Vegetables. This project seeks to improve smallholder vegetable farmers (Fiji and Solomon Islands) access to high-value domestic markets, through the development of participatory guarantee schemes (PGS). Two target resort partners and four core PGS grower groups have been identified. An industry stakeholder workshop was held in November 2012. An assessment of postharvest wastage has been undertaken. In the Solomon Islands, an audit of farm business management skills has been undertaken.
Protective cropping crops. This new project seeks to address poor product quality and short seasonality, through the development and application of protective cropping systems in Fiji and Samoa. A preliminary assessment of existing protective cropping infrastructure has been completed, with current effort focussed on establishing four trial sites.
Pearls. Development plans for pearl industries in Fiji and Tonga have been drafted. A national spat collection program was initiated in Fiji, in partnership with Fiji Fisheries. Spat collection equipment has been deployed to communities adjacent to pearl farms throughout the country, to provide an on-going supply of oysters for current pearl farms, thus addressing a key bottleneck for the industry. A series of capacity-building workshops have been held. A survey of the mother-of-pearl (MOP) handicraft industry in Fiji showed that this sector had an annual value of more than F$10 million of which more than 85% is based on MOP items imported from Asia.
Value-added fisheries products. Marketing strategy and market chains have been developed and tested for tilapia and Caulerpa (sea grapes). In Fiji a cold-chain HACCP analysis is needed for Caulerpa. The shelf-life of Caulerpa has been extended up to 12 days and a research partnership with the private sector is assessing how this can be incorporated into the supply chain (for the export market).
Tamarind. The value chain map has been completed. Research has demonstrated that a solar dryer was more efficient than passive sun drying for tamarind and that the fruit dries to a commercially acceptable water activity level after two days of fine weather in the solar dryer. Microbiological test results indicated that all samples met Australian food standards.
Canarium. The industry has increased since the start of the project with a private-sector partner now selling product in supermarkets and planning to triple production to 1.5 tonnes in the coming year. Research on tree selection has shown that the profitability of the industry could be greatly increased by selecting trees with large kernels and high kernel recovery.
Teak. The social research team visited collaborating villages in Solomon Islands to document areas of concern for growers. Grower and plantation operations were then assessed to identify market drivers for teak and their effect on grower participation.
PARDI publications, reports and newsletters are available online: http://www.spc.int/lrd

Collaborating Institutions
University of Adelaide, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Australia
University of the Sunshine Coast, Faculty of Science, Health and Education, Australia
James Cook University, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, Australia
Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Land Resources Division, Fiji
University of the South Pacific, Faculty of Business and Economics, Fiji
Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Centre for Tropical Agriculture, Australia
Program Areas
Overview Objectives

Significant challenges face Pacific island countries (PICs) in improving livelihoods and overcoming poverty - in particular, food and fuel price surges in 2008, the impact of the global economic crisis, a number of natural disasters, difficulties maintaining infrastructure and the negative effects of climate change. PICs and international agencies acknowledge that the way to meet many of these challenges is to improve competitiveness of industries and thus provide a platform for stronger economic growth. This project will study issues particularly affecting food production and agricultural sector development. These include isolation from key growth markets and limited coordination of supply chains. There is a growing presence of internationally supported economic development programs that address some of these issues in the region; this project, involving ACIAR’s Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative (PARDI), will complement that work with a focus on research for development to underpin the competitiveness of targeted high-value agriculture, fisheries and forestry products.

Project Budget
$9,991,706.00
Grant Report Value
$10990877
Grant Report Recipient
University of Queensland
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
4068
Grant Report Finish Date
30/06/2015
Grant Report Start Date
05/02/2010

Improving soil health in support of sustainable development in the Pacific

Project Leader
Mr Tony Gunua
Email
TonyG@spc.int
Fax
679 3370021
Phone
679 3370733 Ext 35294
Project Country
Inactive project countries
Project ID: 
SMCN/2009/003
Start Date
01/04/2011
Project Coordinator Fax
Reference Number
BR-200701-38928
Project Type
Bilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
31/03/2015
Extension Start Date
01/04/2015
Commissioned Organisation: 
Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Fiji
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
Commissioned Organisation
Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Fiji
Extension Finish Date
30/06/2015
Overview Collaborators
  • Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
  • Ministry of Primary Industries, Fiji
  • Ministry of Environment, Lands & Agriculture Development, Kiribati
  • University of the South Pacific, Samoa
  • Tei Tei Taveni (Farmers’ Association), Fiji
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Samoa
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Robert Edis
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

Taro is an important crop for Fiji and Samoa, earning important export income as well ensuring food security. In Taveuni, Fiji, there has been a decline in the corm weights of taro in recent years, increasing the amount rejected by exporters. A taro rehabilitation trial was established in 2011 which investigated growth and yield from 8 amendment treatments at 9 locations on the island. The amendments included a nil control, two blends of NPK fertilisers (13:13:21 and 15:15:15), Phoscarb, rock phosphate, lime and a green manure crop Mucuna pruriens with and without Biobrew (a biological fermentation product). From an analysis of the data of the initial rehabilitation trials, future treatments investigating soil related issues to improve taro corm weight needed to focus on increasing soil pH and managing soil-borne pathogens, primarily through the use of a Mucuna fallow. A cost-benefit analysis also provided further support for incorporating a fallow in the taro farming system. From a farmers’ participatory workshop held in Taveuni on 7 March 2012, 4 ‘best-bet’ treatments were selected for further investigation at 4 sites. The treatments involved combinations of Mucuna & lime; Mucuna, lime, rock phosphate & fish manure; Mucuna, 13:13:21 & Biobrew; and Mucuna & a farmer’s choice treatment.
In addition to these treatments, further amendments using composts and biochar will be investigated at Mua Research Station and other sites on the island in collaboration with Tei Tei Taveuni, a farmers’ group committed to biological farming. They have purchased equipment necessary to produce these organic amendments with AusAID support, and trials are being conducted with assistance from Australian Volunteers International.
In Samoa the plans are to recommence taro exports following the release of taro leaf blight resistant cultivars. Two field trial sites were selected on both Upolu and Savai’i, respectively, and 4 treatments were proposed. These included a Mucuna fallow, alley cropping with Erythrina subumbrans, an inorganic fertilizer blend tailored to the crop’s nutrient demands and a control which consists of the current practice of continuous cropping. As on Taveuni, considerable site-to-site variability was encountered in measurements of soil microbial activity, total number of nematodes (bacterivores, fungivores and predators) and, in particular, numbers of plant parasitic nematodes.
Training was also conducted in Fiji, Samoa and Kiribati to develop the capacity of project staff to measure; labile carbon (C), fluorescein diacetate (FDA) and nematode community analysis using the existing facilities at the soil science laboratories at Koronivia Research Station and the University of the South Pacific - Alafua, respectively.
In Kiribati a soil health kit was delivered to staff of MELAD (Ministry of Environment, Lands and Agricultural Development). The kit was designed to be self sufficient and perform simple, inexpensive measurements of soil parameters; soil temperature, water infiltration, CO2 respiration, bulk density, pH, EC, colorimetric tests for N, P, and K and labile C that would help staff develop more sustainable practices to increase food security and vegetable production. Experiments focussed initially on developing composts from materials available on Tarawa and it was found that a 3 part greens, 1 part brown/dead leaves, and 1 part pig manure that had gone through a proper composting process (regular turning and checking temperature and moisture) for 7 weeks gave the most consistent product. Composts are being tested at 8 trial sites throughout Tarawa. Preliminary data suggests that the fertility and water holding capacity of soils are improved with use of compost.
Training workshops have been conducted in Kiribati for growers about soil health and composting methodology.
In Australia soil health activities have been centred on establishing ground covers on banana soils and developing a “soil health report card” for banana growers. A replicated field trial investigating the use of Japanese millet as a companion crop was established at the Centre for Wet Tropics, South Johnstone. This trial demonstrated that the companion crop did not compete with young banana plants, offered soil protection while the banana crop was being established and increased soil biological activity. A grower demonstration trial was established during the 2011 planting season which is currently being monitored, with more banana growers interested in trying the method in 2012. A visual score card has been developed to allow banana growers to assess the major constraints. This is currently being modified to include information obtained from commercial nutrient tests. Further evaluation and testing of the report card is needed so that it adds value to existing information received by banana growers on managing soil constraints.

Taro is an important crop for Fiji and Samoa, earning significant export income as well as ensuring food security. In Taveuni, Fiji, there has been a decline in the corm weights of taro in recent years, increasing the amount rejected by exporters. Taro rehabilitation trials were established in 2011 and 2012 which investigated growth and yield from ‘best bet’ treatments at sites located throughout the main production areas on the island of Taveuni. Initial trials demonstrated the effect of lime and a Mucuna fallow on lifting taro yield and decreasing losses due to soil-borne pathogens. A cost-benefit analysis, using data collected from farmers in Taveuni, also provided further incentive for incorporating a fallow in the taro farming system.
A second set of trials was designed following a farmer-participatory workshop held in Taveuni on 7 March 2012 and planted in September 2012. Four ‘best-bet’ treatments were selected for further investigation at four sites (Matei, Mua, Voine and Delaivuna). The soil amendment treatments involved the following combinations: A) lime + Mucuna + fertilizer, B) lime + Mucuna + fish emulsion + rock P, C) Mucuna + NPK (13:13:21) + urea (Conventional), and D) Mucuna + a farmer’s choice treatment. Taro was harvest in March 2013 and results demonstrated a relationship between inorganic fertilizer use (treatment C), high EC and increased rots and parasitic nematodes (especially reniform nematode). Conversely treatment B, with the organic fertilizers/amendments, had lower levels of rots and parasitic nematodes. Further work would be required to determine if these relationships were consistent at other sites and in different seasons, but they do demonstrate that management is having an effect on the soil’s biology to an extent that impacts on disease suppression and taro yield.
In addition to these treatments, further amendments using composts and biochar will be investigated at Mua Research Station and other sites on the island in collaboration with Tei Tei Taveuni, a farmers’ group committed to biological farming. They have purchased equipment necessary to produce these organic amendments with AusAID support, made available through this project, and trials are being conducted with assistance from Australian Volunteers International.
In Samoa the plans are to recommence taro exports following the release of taro leaf blight-resistant cultivars. Two field trial sites were selected on both Upolu and Savai’i, respectively, and four treatments were proposed. These included a Mucuna fallow, alley cropping with Erythrina subumbrans, an inorganic fertilizer blend tailored to the crop’s nutrient demands and a control which consists of the current practice of continuous cropping. As on Taveuni, considerable site-to-site variability was encountered in measurements of soil microbial activity, total number of nematodes (bacterivores, fungivores and predators) and, in particular, numbers of plant parasitic nematodes.
In Kiribati the focus of the project is to develop more sustainable practices for vegetable production and to increase food security. Experiments focussed initially on developing composts from materials available on Tarawa and it was found that a mix of 3 parts green material, 1 part brown/dead leaves, and 1 part pig manure that had gone through a proper composting process (regular turning and checking temperature and moisture) for 7 weeks gave the most consistent product. Composts are being tested at 8 trial sites throughout Tarawa. Preliminary data suggest that the fertility and water holding capacity of soils are improved with the use of compost.
Training workshops have been conducted in Kiribati for growers about soil health and composting methods.
In Australia soil health activities have been centred on using ground covers in bananas, as fallow crops and when the crop is established, and developing a “soil health report card”. A replicated field trial investigating the use of Japanese millet as a companion crop was established at the Centre for Wet Tropics, South Johnstone. This trial demonstrated that the companion crop did not compete with young banana plants, offered soil protection while the banana crop was being established and increased soil biological activity. Grower trials in north Queensland have monitored changes in nematode composition and suppression of plant-parasitic nematodes using Brassica fallow crops and have found that there were fewer plant-parasitic nematodes in the soil following the Brassica fallow, as well as a greater number of fungivores and bacterivores.
A visual and quantitative soil health report has been developed to allow banana growers to assess constraints to production. This was modified to include information obtained from commercial nutrient tests. Further evaluation and testing of the report card is needed so that it adds value to existing information received by banana growers on managing soil constraints.

Taro is an important crop for Fiji and Samoa, earning significant export income as well as ensuring food security. In recent years there has been a decline in the corm weights of taro, increasing the amount rejected by exporters. Taro rehabilitation trials have been running since 2011 and have investigated growth and yield from ‘best bet’ treatments at sites located throughout the main production areas on the islands of Taveuni, Fiji, and Upolu, Samoa.
Following a farmer-participatory workshop held in Taveuni in March 2013, a series of ‘best-bet’ treatments were selected for further investigation at four sites (Vunivasa, Matei, Mua, and Soqulu) - an organic treatment consisted of fish manure and rock phosphate, a conventional NPK/urea treatment and a ‘Farmer’s Choice’ that was specific to the site following soil nutrient analysis. To these three treatments, there was also added a Mucuna pruriens fallow and biochar. Although there was considerable site-to-site variation, results demonstrated a relationship between organic treatment and lower incidences of rot and conversely the inorganic fertilizer treatment had higher rots demonstrating that the way the crop is managed is having an effect on the soil’s fertility and biology to an extent that impact on disease suppression and increased taro yield. This builds on previous results where generally a positive effect of lime and Mucuna fallow (where it has established well) has been shown to improve taro yield and decrease losses due to soil-borne pathogens. A cost-benefit analysis, using data collected from farmers in Taveuni, also provided further incentive for incorporating a fallow in the taro farming system. A fourth and final set of ‘best-bet’ trials is planned for the 2014-15 season.
In addition to these treatments, further trials using composts, biochar and other organic amendments are being investigated at other sites on the island in collaboration with Tei Tei Taveuni (TTT) and Australian Volunteers International. Equipment necessary to produce these organic amendments have been made available with AusAID support. The formation of the Lime Taskforce and the establishment of the TTT Resource Centre (RC) have considerably boosted the ability of farmers on Taveuni to obtain information and supplies at affordable prices for more sustainable taro production. This initiative is manifestation of the partnership amongst MPI, TTT, SPC, ACIAR and AusAID. The RC is the latest example of the work TTT has done to remove obstacles for the farmers’ quest towards more healthy/fertile soils.
In Samoa a set of trials was designed to investigate a Mucuna fallow, alley cropping with Erythrina subumbrans, an inorganic fertilizer blend tailored to the crop’s nutrient demands and a control which consists of the current practice of continuous cropping. At the wet site in Salani, corm yield of taro treated with Mucuna fallow crop alone and mucuna fallow crop + 200 kg/ha of NPK fertilizer proved superior to the farmer’s practice (no fertilizer, management of organic residues from fallow and weed control by slashing, use of herbicides and hoeing). The rest of the treatments gave slightly higher yields relative to the control but the differences were insignificant. At the dry site in Safaatoa, corm yields were consistently lower than at Salani. Mucuna fallow crop alone and Erythrina fallow crop alone did not produce significantly higher corm yields than the farmer’s practice. However, addition of Mucuna + 200 kg NPK/ha and farmer’s practice + 400 kg NPK/ha resulted in the highest yields. The performance of the leguminous Mucuna fallow crops is negatively affected by low rainfall conditions due to lower biomass and nutrient accumulation. Samoa II cultivar consistently outyielded the Samoa I cultivar, both leaf blight resistant cultivars developed through the taro breeding program.
In Kiribati the focus of the project is to develop more sustainable practices for vegetable production and to increase food security. Training workshops have been conducted in Kiribati for growers about soil health and composting methods. Experiments focussed initially on developing composts from materials available on Tarawa and they have been tested at 8 trial sites throughout Tarawa. Fertility and water holding capacity of soils have been improved with the use of compost.
In Australia, a study was initiated in north Queensland where six banana farms were used as paired site comparisons, where bananas re-planted following a Brassica fallow were compared to nearby continuous banana crops. The Brassica fallow significantly reduced the population of burrowing nematode, R. similis, on the roots of bananas compared to continuous banana production. However the use of clean planting material requires refinement to ensure the nematodes are not reintroduced into banana fields.

Collaborating Institutions
Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
Ministry of Primary Industries, Fiji
Ministry of Environment, Lands & Agriculture Development, Kiribati
University of the South Pacific, Samoa
Tei Tei Taveni (Farmers' Association), Fiji
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Samoa
Overview Objectives

Declining soil fertility and biological soil health represent a major threat to sustainable agricultural development in the Pacific. Traditional land management systems on the Pacific islands were based on a long bush-fallow system; in the case of atolls, recycling of large amounts of organic material in pits or heaps. However, smallholders who have intensified crop production to supply growing urban and export markets have typically failed to replenish soil nutrients and organic matter adequately - leading to falling yields and problems with soil-borne diseases and nematodes that characterise declining soil health.

An earlier ACIAR project on the Development of Sustainable Agriculture in the Pacific (DSAP), involving 16 Pacific Island countries, had considerable success in introducing participatory research and extension approaches to diagnose crop production problems and develop solutions. ACIAR also funded a Small Research Activity (PC/2010/038) to assess the status of soil health research and extension in the target countries (Fiji, Samoa and Kiribati).

In Queensland, soil health issues in intensive horticultural crops have arisen mainly through an over-reliance on inorganic fertiliser and pesticides. Here researchers have successfully developed concepts and methods in soil health management (especially in banana production systems) that are at an early stage of encouraging adoption by growers.

This project is built on the lessons learned during the DSAP and the SRA. It has three objectives:
1. To elucidate crop production and related soil health problems at specific pilot sites and develop physical, chemical and biological indicators underpinning an integrated approach to improving soil management;
2. To evaluate ‘best-bet’ soil improvement practices for sustaining intensive Pacific crop production;
3. To increase the understanding of soil health concepts (including physical, chemical and biological processes) among smallholder horticulture producers and their service providers and enhance their capacity to apply these concepts for sustained productivity.

Project Budget
$1,497,951.00
Grant Report Value
$1647746
Grant Report Recipient
Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
Grant Report Finish Date
30/06/2015
Grant Report Start Date
28/03/2011

Integrated tropical passionfruit production systems in South Sulawesi

Project Leader
Dr Peter Stephens
Email
peter.stephens@nt.gov.au
Fax
08 8999 2107
Phone
08 8999 2163
Project Country
Inactive project countries
Project ID: 
SMAR/2007/203
Start Date
01/04/2008
Project Coordinator Fax
02 6217 0501
Reference Number
TA-201201-58697
Project Type
Bilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
31/03/2011
Commissioned Organisation: 
Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries and Mines, Australia
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
rodd.tyer@aciar.gov.au
Commissioned Organisation
Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries and Mines, Australia
Extension Finish Date
30/06/2012
Overview Collaborators
  • Indonesian Fruit Juice Producers Association, Indonesia
  • Agency for Food Crops and Horticulture, Indonesia
  • Hasanuddin University, Indonesia
  • Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
  • Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Rodd Dyer
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

This project addresses common issues that influence passionfruit production in both South Sulawesi and Australia, with only the market destination for product being different. For South Sulawesi, the primary market driver is consistent monthly supply for processing fruit and for northern Australia, a high priced market niche for fresh fruit. For Australia, a short vine life issue is a prominent concern within industry and root pathogens and virus appear to be key issues impacting on vine longevity.
The project aims to resolve these issues through three key objectives and to date the following project initiatives have been achieved.
Objective 1: To improve passionfruit vine longevity through appropriate disease management in highland production areas of South Sulawesi and Australia.
Comprehensive disease surveys have been completed in south Sulawesi and continue in north-west Australia. In Sulawesi the project team has identified the economic disease Fusarium wilt - Fusarium oxysporum var. passiflora and confirms this pathogen as a key disease impacting on production there. Several other pathogens and nematode have been identified and suspected viruses have also been collected. An insect borer was also detected from the Tana Toraja growing area and is of economic concern.
For North West Australia, some limited surveying of young vines has occurred and a number of pathogens have been identified notably base rot - Fusarium solani. Surveying will continue as plantings mature. To date Fusarium wilt and Woodiness virus have not been isolated. A new bacterial pathogen has been isolated from the Darwin region and may prove to be an economic issue in some areas of north Australia.
Following the quantification of economic pathogens, disease management strategies for passionfruit have been developed. Several workshops on use of disease tolerant rootstocks and grafting techniques have been held and further workshops are planned. In addition several learning aids are being developed and the team has already produced a DVD on grafting for disease management in passionfruit. The project team acknowledges the assistance of Mark Christie, Communication specialist, NTDRDPIFR for DVD development.
Objective 2: To improve continuity of quality pulp supply through the introduction of new germ-plasm in both lowlands and highlands of Sulawesi and re-invigorate the Australian “fresh” fruit production.
The project team has identified and secured potential new scion varieties and rootstock lines. This material is available from within the “public domain” and thus presents no intellectual property issues. Due to quarantine difficulties in germplasm movement from Australia to Indonesia, project partners in south Sulawesi have been active in sourcing local Indonesian germplasm of interest. They have now established disease tolerant rootstock lines, potential processing types of ‘flavicarpa” selections and at least one “Panama Red” selection which has all been derived from Bali, Sumatra, Java and Sulawesi. This material is currently being established in low-land and up-land production regions.
Germplasm has been sourced and introduced to North West Australia and includes several seed lines of the commercially important “Panama Red” types along with disease tolerant rootstocks. This germplasm has been established in the Darwin, Katherine (NT) and Ord valley (WA) regions and evaluation continues with collaborating growers. A key finding of the early evaluation is that not all “Panama Red” seed lines appear suited to the region and hence local adaptability has become a major selection criteria for the many Panama Red seed lines being evaluated in the project.
Best practise blocks have been established in Sulawesi and northern Australia. The critical elements of the “Best practice” concept for passionfruit have been identified and are currently being integrated into to the project.
Virus elimination from commercially important Australian cultivars utilising heat therapy has been a valuable addition to the project. This work will commence shortly under the direction of pathologists from QDPI and through the endorsement of APIA. If successful this will allow the establishment of virus-free “mother-stock” plants secured in virus vector-free greenhouses which can then supply the Australian passionfruit industry with quality, virus free planting stock.
Objective 3: Develop supply chain models to meet long term market demand.
With several options for a “Passionfruit Processor Lead” model, the project team in association with APSARI have evolved a model which will ensure continuous uptake of improved germplasm and agronomic techniques and so guarantee supply over a time continuum. This same model has implications for northern Australia as the project has generated interest from national marketers seeking annual supply of fresh passionfruit over several months of the year.
The project continues to progress well and has already made significant impacts in passionfruit development in both South Sulawesi and Australia.

This project addresses common issues that influence passionfruit production in both South Sulawesi (SulSel) and North West Australia (NW), with only the market destination and product end use being different. For South Sulawesi, the primary market driver is consistent monthly supply for processing fruit and for North West Australia, a high priced market niche for fresh fruit. Pathologically in North West Australia, a short vine life issue is a prominent concern within industry and for South Sulawesi, root pathogens and virus appear to be factors impacting on vine longevity.
The project aims to resolve these issues through three key objectives and to date the following project initiatives have been achieved.
Objective 1: To improve passionfruit vine longevity through appropriate disease management in highland production areas of South Sulawesi and Australia.
Comprehensive disease surveys have been completed in south Sulawesi and north-west Australia. In Sulawesi the project team has identified the economic disease Fusarium wilt - Fusarium oxysporum var. passiflora and confirms this pathogen as a key disease impacting on production there. Several other pathogens and nematode have been identified and suspected viruses have also been collected. An insect borer was also detected from the Tana Toraja growing area and is of economic concern. Ironically, a stem borer has recently been found causing significant damage to old vines in the Darwin region. Secondary infection from Botryodiplodia theobromae also is exacerbating this insect damage. In both cases borer are from the “Longicorn beetle” group.
For North West Australia, surveying of young vines has occurred and a number of pathogens have been identified notably base rot - Fusarium solani. Surveying will continue as plantings mature. To date Fusarium wilt and Woodiness virus have not been isolated. A bacterium of initial concern has subsequently been verified as non-pathogenic Klebsiella and secondary to the initial collapse of vines and is ubiquitous within the Darwin, NT environment. In the Ord Valley, WA, Pythium and Rhizoctonia have been isolated from wilting vines. As for the Darwin region, no Fusarium or Woodiness virus have been detected to date. The team acknowledge Craig Palmer from WA Department of Agriculture, Kununurra for his valuable contribution to the project.
Following the quantification of economic pathogens, disease management strategies for passionfruit have been developed. In Sulawesi, initial workshops on use of disease tolerant rootstocks and grafting techniques have been complimented with follow up events in Malino and Bonto Bonto, run by the project regional co-ordinator. Flavicarpa seedlines with Fusarium tolerance, and a Panama Red seedline, all sourced from Sumatra, have been distributed to farmer groups in Kanreapia and Tombolo Pao sub district. Once this germplasm has been established, grafting workshops with this material are to be held. In South Sulawesi, a local flavicarpa, “Bogor Gold” is currently being used commercially with good success in the highlands around the Malakaji area.
All plantings in North West Australia established on DPI flavicarpa seedline (Australian industry standard stock) have succumbed to “short vine life” syndrome. Fusarium oxysporum has not been isolated and to date no specific pathogen has been identified. It appears that soil type is predisposing seedling Panamas reds and grafted vines on DPI flavicarpa rootstock to decline within 6 months and that soil aeration and poor structure are critical issues. The “Birdwood Brazil” flavicarpa seedline, as a stock for Panama Red scions, is exhibiting good longevity and all vines grafted to this stock are growing well in Darwin, Katherine and Ord valley while all vines on DPI flavicarpa stock have died.
Objective 2: To improve continuity of quality pulp supply through the introduction of new germ-plasm in both lowlands and highlands of Sulawesi and re-invigorate the Australian “fresh” fruit production.
The project team has identified and secured potential new scion varieties and rootstock lines. This material is available from within the “public domain” and thus presents no intellectual property issues. Project partners in south Sulawesi have been active in sourcing local Indonesian germplasm of interest and much of this has been field established by the processing sector on commercial farms near Makassar and in traditional highland areas. Evaluation of this material continues.
Germplasm has been sourced and introduced to North West Australia and includes several seed lines of the commercially important “Panama Red” types along with disease tolerant rootstocks. This germplasm has been established in the Darwin, Katherine (NT) and Ord valley (WA) regions and evaluation continues with collaborating growers.
Best practise blocks have been established in Sulawesi and northern Australia. The critical elements of the “Best practice” concept for passionfruit have been identified and are currently being integrated into to the project.
Several local vines of P. edulis form edulis have been selected by the project team in Sulawesi as potential “mother’ vines for graft tip production. These are currently being indexed by the pathology team at Hasanuddin University to ensure freedom from virus prior to use for grafted plant production.
Methods for heat therapy and micro-grafting of passionfruit have been developed. Cuttings of a range of Australian varieties were established in growth cabinets and subjected to high day time temperatures (36-38). Tips of heat treated plants were micro-grafted to virus free ‘DPI’ rootstocks. Of the 42 grafts there were 16 successful takes. Of these two, a ‘Sweetheart’ and a ‘Black Gem’, have been shown to be free of virus using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing. These plants are now being kept in insect proof cages to keep them free of virus. The team acknowledge the assistance of Dave Spence, Principal Technical Officer, QDEEDI for development of micro-grafting.
Objective 3: Develop supply chain models to meet long term market demand.
With several options for a “Passionfruit Processor Lead” model, the project team in association with APSARI have evolved a model which will ensure continuous uptake of improved germplasm and agronomic techniques and so guarantee supply over a time continuum. This same model has implications for northern Australia as the project has generated interest from national marketers seeking annual supply of fresh passionfruit over several months of the year.
The project continues to progress well and has already made significant impacts in passionfruit development in both South Sulawesi and Australia.

This project addresses common issues that influence passionfruit production in both South Sulawesi (SS) and North West Australia (NW), with only the market destination and product end use being different. For South Sulawesi, the primary market driver is consistent monthly supply for processing fruit and for North West Australia, a high priced market niche for fresh fruit. Pathologically in North West Australia, a short vine life issue is a prominent concern within industry and for South Sulawesi, root pathogens are factors impacting on vine longevity. The project aims to resolve these issues through three key objectives and to date the following project initiatives have been achieved.
Objective 1: To improve passionfruit vine longevity through appropriate disease management in highland production areas of South Sulawesi and Australia.
Comprehensive disease surveys have been completed in South Sulawesi and North-West Australia. In Sulawesi the project team has identified the economic disease Fusarium wilt - Fusarium oxysporu var. passiflora and confirms this pathogen as a key disease impacting on production there. Several other pathogens and nematode have been identified and suspected viruses have also been collected. This work provides the basis for the management strategy of economic pathogens for both regions. Key survey findings have been presented at APPS conference 2011.
For North West Australia, surveying of young vines has occurred and a number of pathogens have been identified notably base rot - Fusarium solani. To date Fusarium wilt and Woodiness virus have not been isolated. In the Ord Valley, WA, Pythium and Rhizoctonia have been isolated from wilting vines. As for the Darwin region, no Fusarium or Woodiness virus have been detected to date. The team acknowledge Craig Palmer from WA Department of Agriculture, Kununurra for his valuable contribution to the project.
Following the quantification of economic pathogens, the disease management strategies for passionfruit now utilises Passiflora edulis form flavicarpa “Bogor Gold” seedlings as tolerant rootstocks in combination with selected scion wood from proven local seedlings of “edulis” types. In Sulawesi, initial workshops on use of disease tolerant rootstocks and grafting techniques have been complimented with follow up events in Malino,Bonto Bonto and Malakaji. “Flavicarpa” seedlines with Fusarium tolerance, and a Panama Red seedline, all sourced from Sumatra, have been distributed to farmer groups in Kanreapia and Tombolo Pao sub district.
All plantings in North West Australia established on DPI flavicarpa seedline (Australian industry standard stock) have succumbed to “short vine life” syndrome. The current suggested “flavicarpa” rootstock seedline is “Birdwood Brazilian” and a number of seed lots of this accession have been distributed in the NT and to the Ord Valley, WA. This accession, as a rootstock for Panama Red scions, is exhibiting good longevity and all vines grafted to this stock are growing well in the NT. While its early performance in the Ord Valley was encouraging many vines on “Birdwood Brazilian” have since died and collaborators there continue to screen other potential Passiflora rootstock accessions.
Objective 2: To improve continuity of quality pulp supply through the introduction of new germ-plasm in both lowlands and highlands of South Sulawesi and re-invigorate North West Australian “fresh” fruit production.
Early evaluation of new germplasm near Makassar indicates that there are germplasm that will flower and set fruit in the hot lowlands. These have been principally some “Flavicarpa” and Panama Red seed lines. Preliminary indications are that key phenology events are strongly linked with the monsoonal season and that harvest periods mirror upland “edulis” periods. Without additional irrigation into the Dry season alternative supply periods maybe difficult to achieve. However much of these plantings are less than 18 months old and as they mature a more clearer indication of key phenology events particularly flowering and harvest will emerge.
A method for micro-grafting of passionfruit has been developed. Cuttings of a range of Australian varieties were established in growth cabinets and subjected to high day time temperatures (36-38). Tips of heat treated plants were micro-grafted to virus free ‘DPI’ rootstocks. Of the 42 grafts there were 14 successful takes as identified by leaf shape a number of months after grafting, unfortunately polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing showed that these tips were infected with virus. There were two additional plants which were shown to be free of virus after PCR testing. However, when the plants had grown and leaves became fully expanded it was clear that the rootstock had grown away and that the micro-grafting had not been successful. The team acknowledge the assistance of Dave Spence, Principal Technical Officer, QDEEDI for development of micro-grafting.
Methods have been developed to study the distribution of viruses in tips of passionfruit. The method involves dissecting tips under a stereo-dissecting microscope into portions 1mm long, each portion is tested with PCR to establish if passionfruit viruses are present.
Objective 3: Develop supply chain models to meet long term market demand.
A key component of the supply chain model is stabilising “upland” edulis production via disease tolerant rootstocks. This component has been implemented and early plantings are only young, however it is encouraging that two selected “flavicarpa” rootstocks, that is “Medan” and “Bogor Gold”, have consistently performed in Java and Sumatra under Fusarium wilt pressure. An older planting of “Bogor Gold” grafted to “edulis” purple is performing well in the highland region of Malakaji, South Sulawesi. These wilt resistant accessions should enhance vine longevity and hence production thus ensuring a more stable supply chain from traditional production areas.
A key supply chain initiative of the project has been the introduction of selected germplasm into lowland regions around Makassar, South Sulawesi. The rational being the potential for production periods counter to the traditional highland supply periods, thus ensuring processors have longer and consistent supply throughout large parts of a year. Again plantings of new germplasm are only young however early indications are that production periods will be strongly linked with the monsoonal season with harvest commencing in late November and peaking from December through to March/April. This will allow some extension of the current supply period but appears not as dramatic as would be hoped. The underlying environmental driver of this is clearly the monsoonal period and moisture availability.
The project is near completion and many former achievements are reported in project annual reports for 2008-9 and 2009-10. The final report is due in December 2011 and will contain detailed technical and scientific information.

Collaborating Institutions
Indonesian Fruit Juice Producers Association, Indonesia
Agency for Food Crops and Horticulture, Indonesia
Hasanuddin University, Indonesia
Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology, South Sulawesi, Indonesia
Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
Overview Objectives

The excellent market for passionfruit in South Sulawesi is being eroded, due primarily to a fall in production and supply capability. Production is currently limited to the highland areas, and in this region is under intense land-use pressure, with plantings being replaced by higher-value temperate vegetable crops. Passionfruit vine life is often limited, with the likely cause being root disease. This project will address these major constraints to the development of the industry in South Sulawesi by:
improving passionfruit vine longevity, through the introduction and uptake of root disease management strategies in highland production areas
introducing new elite lines of passionfruit germplasm (scion varieties and rootstocks) that meet market demands at both lowland and highland sites
establishing appropriate mechanisms to manage passionfruit supply to meet long-term market demand and opportunities, thus allowing the industry to remain focused on the demands of the market.

Project Budget
$319,973.00
Grant Report Value
$351970
Grant Report Recipient
Department of Primary Industries, Fisheries and Mines
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
0801
Grant Report Finish Date
30/06/2012
Grant Report Start Date
01/04/2008

Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative

Project Leader
Dr Steven Underhill
Email
steven.underhill@deedi.qld.gov.au
Fax
61 7 3896 9444
Phone
61 7 3371 6429
Inactive project countries
Project ID: 
HORT/2008/044
Start Date
01/02/2010
Project Coordinator Fax
Reference Number
BR-202910-53646
Project Type
Bilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
31/01/2014
Extension Start Date
20/01/2014
Commissioned Organisation: 
University of Queensland, Australia
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
Commissioned Organisation
University of Queensland, Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, Australia
Extension Finish Date
31/01/2015
Overview Collaborators
  • University of Adelaide, Australia
  • University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia
  • James Cook University, Australia
  • Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Fiji
  • University of the South Pacific, Fiji
  • Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Richard Markham
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

PARDI commenced in February 2010 and is currently on-track against project milestones.
To date, nine rapid supply chain reviews covering taro, cassava, breadfruit, coconut, pearls, sea cucumber, canarium nut, value added fisheries, and high value timber have been undertaken. A further ten partial reviews have been completed for virgin coconut oil (VCO), sweet potato, vegetables, yam, cocoa, coffee, vanilla, ginger, teak and mahogany.
To ensure integration of consumer and market demands impacting on these chains, we have also undertaken Fiji municipal markets and consumer household surveys, taro consumer preference studies in the Sydney and Auckland markets, and a Vanuatu tourist consumer study on cocoa and canarium nut products.
A further four chains will be assessed over the next few months including; sea cucumber industries (Fiji and Tonga), Mahogany (Fiji), Tamarind (Vanuatu) and participatory based reviews (Vanuatu).
As a consequence of these reviews, an initial four PARDI-funded research projects were commenced in late 2010 and early 2011. Collectively, PARDI now has project-based activities across all target Pacific countries (Fiji [3], Samoa [1], Tonga [3], Solomon Islands [1], Vanuatu [1] and Kiribati [1]). Project details below:
PRA 2010.01 - This James Cook University (JCU) led project is working to increase cultured pearl production capacity and improve quality in the Fiji and Tongan cultured pearl industries.
PRA 2010.02- This University of the South Pacific (USP) led project aims to evaluate and develop new value adding products and technologies for Tilapia and Caulerpa (seaweed spp.) for commercial application in Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.
PRA 2010.04- This Southern Cross University (SCU) led project is undertaking a scoping study associated with the development of village-based training programmes and information sources for better postharvest handling and processing of sea cucumber in Fiji, Tonga and Kiribati.
PRA 2010.03 - A joint PARDI (Solomon Islands and Vanuatu) and ACIAR funded (PNG) project recently started, that aims to develop consumer-driven value-adding strategies and process techniques to support an emerging Canarium nut industry.
Supporting this portfolio are a series of ongoing small research activities (SRA) that include; consumer acceptance of the new taro cultivars, virgin coconut oil (VCO) chain assessment, PARDI Advisory Group operations, how best to create small-holder impacts from PARDI outputs, cocoa chain business case, and strategies for assessing and transferring capabilities.
The PARDI Advisory Group is currently reviewing a further five proposal, these include:
Creating export-orientated breadfruit production in Fiji
Producing high quality taro material in support of re-building Samoan taro exports
Premium market opportunities for smallholder cocoa producers in Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands
Understand the impacts of population dynamics on supply chains
Establishing a series of pilot scale participatory guarantee schemes for vegetables

Much of PARDI’s supply-chain driven research projects have only recently commenced. Consequently it is pre-mature to demonstrate research outputs and impacts. Preliminary project-specific activities include:

PRA 2010.01 (Pearls): Pearl farmers and market structure research has been completed for Tonga and Fiji, a project-funded staff (Jamie Whitford) appointed, and initial farmer training commenced. A full-time Fiji-based project scientist was appointed in May 2011.
PRA 2010.02 (value-adding fisheries) Desk-top studies for Fiji, Samoa & Tonga markets, and analysis of chains in Fiji and Samoa have been completed. Work is ongoing for Tonga outer island groups.
PRA 2010.04 (Sea cucumber): Supply and value chains in Fiji and Tonga have been documented. An evaluation of export chains for processed product from Pacific into Asian markets is anticipated shortly. Tonga and Kiribati field trips are ongoing
SRA 2010.01 (Taro consumer study): Taro sensory testing has been completed in Fiji and Auckland markets and a final report completed.

PARDI has completed three training and development initiatives in the Pacific, including a pearl farmer training workshop in Tonga (Nov 2010), survey training for USP students (Dec 2010), and value chain analysis teaching workshop, Vanuatu (May 2011). Further targeted training of fisheries staff is ongoing (PRA 2010.01 and PRA 2010.04).

To ensure effective project communication we have held six coordination workshops, prepared two six-monthly newsletters, and plan to shortly post PARDI research reports on SPC’s LRD website.

PARDI has participated in series meetings to establish close links with other current ACIAR and donor-funded activities in the region. Through the assistance of SPC and ACIAR, strong engagement with other ACIAR and EU-funded projects particularly in taro and cocoa are emerging; and with PHAMA in cocoa and canarium nut.
Finally, over the last 6 months the PARDI team has increased by 30 staff. There are presently 51 PARDI research staff; with the possibility of a further 19 staff dependant on the outcome of research proposals reviews.
To ensure pending commissioned projects have sufficient operational time, PARDI has requested and been granted a variation to extend the project completion date to January 2015.

PARDI conducts value chain analysis and research to strengthen selected value chains in Pacific horticulture, fisheries and forestry products. This year’s achievements include:
16 technical training workshops have been held.
28 industry and government stakeholders are receiving targeted capacity building and technical support.
17 higher degree students are linked to PARDI projects.
Three major consumer and market place studies have been undertaken:
1. Retail transformation market study - 1000 households in Fiji;
2. Consumer study for Canarium and chocolate products - 400 tourists in Vanuatu;
3. Study of teak supply capabilities in Solomon Islands and a global market analysis is well advanced.
Cocoa. Work has continued with cocoa value chain stakeholders in Vanuatu and the Solomon islands. The collaboration continues to expand to include the Vanuatu statistics office, two new chocolate importers, and PHAMA as well as facilitation for an annual Vanuatu Cocoa Industry Strategic Workshop.
Breadfruit. Research trials and infrastructure associated with the PARDI breadfruit project were severely impacted by flooding in early 2012. A large number (2000) root suckers and marcotts are now ready for field trials. SPC has released nearly 200 tissue-cultured trees. Three orchards have been established and a total of 350 trees planted.
Taro. CePaCT has continued working on taro virus indexing and elimination, in support of the Samoan taro-leaf-blight breeding program. Two virus-elimination methods have been selected, which have proven effective against some TaBV and DsMV infecting cycle-7 taro. Agronomic assessments are being undertaken monthly, with soil tests on selected parameters almost completed. Corms are being sequentially harvested to determine the optimum age for harvesting. A market-based consumer-acceptance study of selected varieties amongst Samoans living in Auckland, New Zealand, was recently completed.
Vegetables. This project seeks to improve smallholder vegetable farmers (Fiji and Solomon Islands) access to high-value domestic markets, through the development of participatory guarantee schemes (PGS). Two target resort partners and four core PGS grower groups have been identified. An industry stakeholder workshop was held in November 2012. An assessment of postharvest wastage has been undertaken. In the Solomon Islands, an audit of farm business management skills has been undertaken.
Protective cropping crops. This new project seeks to address poor product quality and short seasonality, through the development and application of protective cropping systems in Fiji and Samoa. A preliminary assessment of existing protective cropping infrastructure has been completed, with current effort focussed on establishing four trial sites.
Pearls. Development plans for pearl industries in Fiji and Tonga have been drafted. A national spat collection program was initiated in Fiji, in partnership with Fiji Fisheries. Spat collection equipment has been deployed to communities adjacent to pearl farms throughout the country, to provide an on-going supply of oysters for current pearl farms, thus addressing a key bottleneck for the industry. A series of capacity-building workshops have been held. A survey of the mother-of-pearl (MOP) handicraft industry in Fiji showed that this sector had an annual value of more than F$10 million of which more than 85% is based on MOP items imported from Asia.
Value-added fisheries products. Marketing strategy and market chains have been developed and tested for tilapia and Caulerpa (sea grapes). In Fiji a cold-chain HACCP analysis is needed for Caulerpa. The shelf-life of Caulerpa has been extended up to 12 days and a research partnership with the private sector is assessing how this can be incorporated into the supply chain (for the export market).
Tamarind. The value chain map has been completed. Research has demonstrated that a solar dryer was more efficient than passive sun drying for tamarind and that the fruit dries to a commercially acceptable water activity level after two days of fine weather in the solar dryer. Microbiological test results indicated that all samples met Australian food standards.
Canarium. The industry has increased since the start of the project with a private-sector partner now selling product in supermarkets and planning to triple production to 1.5 tonnes in the coming year. Research on tree selection has shown that the profitability of the industry could be greatly increased by selecting trees with large kernels and high kernel recovery.
Teak. The social research team visited collaborating villages in Solomon Islands to document areas of concern for growers. Grower and plantation operations were then assessed to identify market drivers for teak and their effect on grower participation.
PARDI publications, reports and newsletters are available online: http://www.spc.int/lrd

Collaborating Institutions
University of Adelaide, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Australia
University of the Sunshine Coast, Faculty of Science, Health and Education, Australia
James Cook University, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, Australia
Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Land Resources Division, Fiji
University of the South Pacific, Faculty of Business and Economics, Fiji
Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Centre for Tropical Agriculture, Australia
Program Areas
Overview Objectives

Significant challenges face Pacific island countries (PICs) in improving livelihoods and overcoming poverty - in particular, food and fuel price surges in 2008, the impact of the global economic crisis, a number of natural disasters, difficulties maintaining infrastructure and the negative effects of climate change. PICs and international agencies acknowledge that the way to meet many of these challenges is to improve competitiveness of industries and thus provide a platform for stronger economic growth. This project will study issues particularly affecting food production and agricultural sector development. These include isolation from key growth markets and limited coordination of supply chains. There is a growing presence of internationally supported economic development programs that address some of these issues in the region; this project, involving ACIAR’s Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative (PARDI), will complement that work with a focus on research for development to underpin the competitiveness of targeted high-value agriculture, fisheries and forestry products.

Project Budget
$9,991,706.00
Grant Report Value
$10990877
Grant Report Recipient
University of Queensland
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
4068
Grant Report Finish Date
31/01/2015
Grant Report Start Date
05/02/2010

Integrated crop production of bananas in Indonesia and Australia

Project Leader
Dr Agustin Molina
Email
a.molina@cgiar.org
Fax
63 49 5367995
Phone
63 2 352 1763
Project Country
Inactive project countries
Project ID: 
HORT/2008/040
Start Date
01/07/2009
Related Project IARCS
Project Coordinator Fax
Reference Number
BR-201410-50998
Project Type
Multilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
30/06/2013
Extension Start Date
01/07/2013
Commissioned Organisation: 
Bioversity International, Philippines
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
Commissioned Organisation
Bioversity International, Commodities for Livelihoods Program, Philippines
Extension Finish Date
31/03/2014
Overview Collaborators
  • Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
  • Indonesian Tropical Fruit Research Institute, Indonesia
  • University of Gadjah Mada, Indonesia
  • Indonesian Centre for Horticulture Research and Development, Indonesia
  • Directorate General of Horticulture, Indonesia
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Richard Markham
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

Introduction:
The overall aim of this project is to develop an integrated approach to crop production of bananas to effectively manage wilt diseases in Indonesia and Australia.
During the reporting period, encouraging progress has already been made towards achieving the project’s three objectives of:
Developing packages of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)/Integrated Crop Management (ICM) guidelines for rehabilitating and improving the livelihoods of banana farmers.
Evaluating and adapting packages of IPM/ICM technologies to develop sustainable and profitable banana production systems.
Undertaking research to refine management practices using IPM/ICM principles.
Inception workshop:
The project kicked off with an inception workshop in Bogor, Indonesia on August 18-22, 2009 to discuss among participating researchers and coordinators from collaborating institutes the details of the project methodologies, activities, responsibilities and timelines for project implementation (see attachments 1 and 2). Representatives from DEEDI, ACIAR, ITFRI, GMU, ICHORD, DG Hort and Bioversity attended the workshop. Two community pilot sites were identified - Serampad, Cianjur, West Java and Legundi, South Lampung - based on the following criteria for selection: a) the location has the potential to become a major banana-producing center; b) the site is one of the buffer zones of Jakarta Special Capital in supporting fruits and foods; c) banana is an important crop in the area; d) wilt diseases are a major constraint for banana production in the area; and e) farmers and farmer groups in the area are willing cooperators. Best-bet crop-management options were identified for piloting in the project (see section2, objective1; annex 7 and attachment 2).
Pilot Studies:
The workshop was followed by participatory rural appraisals (PRAs) conducted in October and November 2009 in the two identified pilot locations Legundi Village and Serampad Village. Protocols and questionnaires were formulated to guide the conduct of the PRA (see annex 6). From these PRAs, the following information was gathered: a) transect map of Serampad village; b) problems in banana production systems and disease management in both villages; c) the possible solutions/ interventions to improve productivity; and d) a schematic diagram of the banana supply chain of both villages (see annexes 4 & 5).
In Lampung, it was found that banana production systems are based only on farmers’ knowledge and farmers have no formal training or information on banana production, disease management and IPM/ ICM, a situation leading to low productivity. The varieties planted in the area are not popular varieties in the market, thus commanding a low price in the market. The analysis and interpretation of the complete dataset will be published in the near future as more field information is collected.
In Serampad, it was found that banana is planted in mixed cropping systems with high-value crops such as maize, chilli and other vegetables, where banana is only the secondary crop. Banana production and disease management technologies that increase productivity are generally lacking.
Risk analysis tool:
In Australia, a risk analysis tool is being developed for the banana industry to determine the risk of developing Fusarium wilt (Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense) (Foc) on banana plantations in Australia. The tool will comprise 3 sections: a checklist to assess the risk of Fusarium, a flow diagram of the risk of developing Fusarium wilt at different stages of the crop production cycle, and further information on how to deal with and manage the risk of Foc. The checklist has been developed prior to project inception, and is currently undergoing review with banana industry personnel. This tool will be validated in this study in managing Foc Race 1 in Australia
Research to refine management practices:
Studies to understand the dynamics of Foc infection particularly on the effect of soil supression were intiated in Indonesia and Australia. GMU and DEEDI scientists started interacting to harmonize methodologies in carrying out soil supression studies. A workshop was carried out in GMU between GMU, DEEDI, and Bioversity researchers in March 2010. A hands-on training between the Australian and Indonesian researchers was done in GMU. Protocols on sampling, analyses of various soil samples to determine physico-chemico-biological properties and relate it to soil supression to Foc was agreed upon. The various soil properties will be related to Foc severity or fungistasis both in controlled experiment as well as field data from farmers’ fields.
In Indonesia, some soil samplings have already been carried out from various places with known disease severity, based on actual observations and on accounts by farmers’ interviews. A survey was conducted comparing five paired organic and conventional banana plantations. From each plantation, soil samples were collected from three separate fields and analysed on chemical, physical and biological soil health indicators using the methods described in the protocol manual. The ability to suppress Fusarium wilts in bananas and tomatoes was also tested for the soils collected. Disease progress was recorded once a week from day 21 to day 58 post inoculation. The area under the disease progress curve (AUC) for each plant was calculated, and these are currently being analysed along with the soil indicators. Glasshouse trials are currently ongoing to clarify the potential for soils collected from the survey of organic and conventional banana plantations to suppress Foc.
Furthermore, surveys of banana growers in north Queensland and northern NSW growing banana cultivars susceptible to Foc are taking place. Currently, four sites have been sampled in north Queensland and five sites with suppressive and conducive soils have been identified in northern NSW. Preliminary experiments are being conducted for the characterization of the soil samples based on chemical and biological properties. Soil samples were collected from locations with healthy and Foc infected soils. Preliminary isolation of bacterial colonies for characterization is still being conducted. Labile Carbon (C) concentration experiments in healthy and infected soil samples on-going for the purpose of identifying relationships between the labile C and Foc infection. Experiments for other chemical soil characteristics will be conducted later in the project. Soil samples from other locations will also be tested later.
A field demonstration was established on a Ducasse (ABB, Pisang Awak) plantation infected with Foc Race 1. The experiment had five treatments: T1 - a combination of two Effective Microbes (EM) products on fresh compost; T2 - aged compost; T3 - Natural Silica (ground diatomaceous earth); T4 - a combination of T1-T3; and T5 - an untreated control. The EM treatments were reapplied fortnightly, over the duration of the experiment. All treatments were managed organically according to BFA (Biological Farmers Association) standards. Disease progress was recorded every two weeks and growth was measured once a month. Soil samples were taken initially, after two months and at the end of the experiment at four months post application. Soil samples are being analysed for characteristics described in the protocol manual, and results will be available in the next report. The potential for the treatments used in the demonstration trial to suppress Foc is also being tested in glasshouse trials.

Introduction
The overall aim of this project is to develop an integrated approach in banana crop production to effectively manage wilt diseases and enhance productivity and livelihoods of small-scale farmers in Indonesia and Australia.
During the reporting period, encouraging progress has already been made towards achieving the project’s three objectives of:
1. Developing packages of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)/Integrated Crop Management (ICM) guidelines for rehabilitating and improving the livelihoods of banana farmers.
2. Evaluating and adapting packages of IPM/ICM technologies to develop sustainable and profitable banana production systems.
3. Undertaking research to refine management practices using IPM/ICM principles.
Piloting IPM/ICM packages to improve banana productivity and livelihoods of banana farmers (Indonesia)
Based on the results of the project inception meetings during the first year of the project, two communities, namely, Serampad Village, Cianjur in West Java, and in Legundi Village, South Lampung, Sumatra, were chosen for the establishment of pilot studies. Participatory rapid appraisals (PRAs) were conducted among farmer groups Dinas, Balai Pengkajian Teknologi Pertanian NAD (BPTP) and Indonesia Tropical Fruit Research Institute (ITFRI), results of which were used to formulate plans for the pilot plots in each village. Production problems and opportunities were identified and discussed among the various stakeholders. The following IPM/ICM options were considered in the pilot studies: (1) land preparation; (2) banana population management ; (3) crop diversity; (4) use of disease-free planting materials; (5) nutrient management; (6) soil-water management; (7) early disease monitoring and eradication; (8) plant protection (fruit bagging and deflowering); and (9) quarantine. The pilot studies are now work-in-progress.
In Cianjur, a total of 15 farmers agreed to participate in the pilot study, of which 3 farmers agreed to implement the complete set of management options. The rest of the farmers chose different levels of management options according to their interest and capacities. In Lampung, of the 20 farmer-participants, 3 farmers agreed to implement the complete set while the others chose to use options appropriate to their capacities and cropping systems. Many of the farmers in Lampung practice mixed cropping of bananas with maize, peppers and other vegetables.
The major component of this pilot study is the provision and use of affordable and sustainable supply of clean planting materials, grown with appropriate cultural practices. Thus, the main activities during this period of reporting were the provision of banana seedlings and capacity-building on the production and care of banana seedlings, as well as cultural practices. Two seedling systems were ‘adapted’, namely seedlings from bits derived from corms and tissue culture seedlings. The farmers in both locations were taught the conventional propagation method of banana bits. This included the actual protocol of bit-production and the necessary nursery management. This activity was complemented by the establishment of the banana bit nursery in Legundi in 2010. ITFRI, in collaboration with Dinas and the farmer groups in the village, facilitated a village level training on corm bits nursery establishment, from corm selection to seedbed preparation and nursery maintenance. Similarly, farmers were also taught nursery management of seedlings derived from tissue culture. Tissue culture meriplants were sourced from ITFRI tissue culture laboratory, while efforts are on-going to establish a more sustainable source of meriplants from private tissue culture laboratories. Farmers in the village plant varieties based on market preference and demand. Currently, the village nursery sells and maintains a number of banana varieties (e.g. Pisang Serei, Pisang Mas, Raja Bulu etc.) from bits. The small village nursery is now becoming a potential livelihood for local farmers. The village farmers who manage the nursery collaborated recently with Dinas to supply the banana seedling requirement for its local banana project.
ITFRI and BPTP extension technicians have regularly monitored and documented the activities of collaborating farmers. At the onset of the pilot studies, the farmers agreed the options that they are going to implement. However there were some variations in implementation depending on the prevailing situation, such as rainfall level, availability of irrigation„ cropping system type, and preference to tissue culture versus bits. The actual practices of the participants were recorded and these will form the basis for analysing changes in productivity and income. Detailed descriptions of activities are included in the Annex Section.
Pathogen virulence and cultivar resistance studies (Indonesia)
Virulence studies of the various strains of Foc to different Indonesian cultivars is carried out at the screenhouse at ITFRI. Selected cultivars representing important genomic groups are inoculated with Foc vegetatively compatible groups (VCGs) that were characterised in previous ACIAR projects. Varieties included: (1) Berlin (AA); (2) Calcutta (AA); (3) Kilita (AAB); (4) Klutuk Awu (BB); (5) Barangan (AAA); (6) Ambon Hijau (AAA Cavendish type); (7) Ambon Kuning (AAA Gros Michel); (8) Ketan (AAB); (9) Perancis (ABB); (10) Kepok (ABB Saba); (11) Tanduk (ABB Plantain). The virulence of the various VCGs vis a vis the resistance of the various cultivars are evaluated. Results will pave the way to identifying resistant cultivars to specific VCGs, which is likely to be important in cultivar deployment as a means of disease management, and the development of differential host cultivars for diagnostics of Foc Races. This study is being validated in the field using the same set of cultivars, but testing against the most virulent Tropical Race (TR) 4, the VCG1213/16. Field evaluation is implemented in naturally Foc TR4 infested soil in Aripan Experimental Farm, Solok, West Sumatra. The experiment was set up following the randomised complete block design with 12 treatments (11 varieties, plus uninoculated Pisang Hijau, as a control ), with 3 replicates having 10 plants per replicate. To ensure Foc TR4 infection, hardened seedlings for field evaluation were inoculated with VCG 01213/16 before planting. Visible symptoms of Foc TR4 infection such as leaf yellowing, pseudostem splitting, petiole buckling and wilting are being observed among the test plants. The studies are work-in-progress.
Soil characterisation study to understand soil Foc-suppression to refine disease management approaches
(Australia) Trials are currently ongoing to clarify the potential for soils collected from the survey of organic and conventional banana plantations to suppress Foc. The potential for the treatments used in the demonstration trial to suppress Foc are also being tested in glasshouse trials. Furthermore, surveys of banana growers in north Queensland and northern NSW growing banana cultivars susceptible to Foc are taking place. Four sites have already been sampled in north Queensland, and five sites with suppressive and conducive soils have been identified in northern NSW. Field surveys have taken place on 4 farms (8 fields) in northern NSW and 3 farms (9 fields) in north Queensland. All farms are primarily focused on Lady Finger (Pome, AAB) production, as Lady Finger commands a higher market price relative to Cavendish. In northern NSW, both of the soil enzyme analyses (FDA and -glucosidase) indicated lower levels of microbial activity associated with the blocks where Fusarium wilt (FW) was more severe. Further analyses of soil samples for chemical and biological properties have taken place and will be related to disease severity and progression.
Preliminary results from the survey and the pot experiment suggested that it is possible to use the selected biological indicators to assess the effects of different banana crop management practices on disease incidence and soil microflora. Current rapid screening techniques to determine the soil suppressiveness of Foc need to be improved. The use of biological indicators in the soil from farms did not necessarily relate to suppression of the pathogen but had an effect on the plants’ ability to tolerate the disease and enabled plants to continue to grow even though infected with the pathogen.
A second field demonstration was established on a Ducasse (AAB, Pisang Awak) plantation infested with Foc Race 1. The site was flattened by cyclone Yasi, where any bunch-bearing plants had been knocked down. This created more uniform cropping since all plants were knocked down and the second crop will start from the new suckers. Thus, bunch production would be delayed in the trial, and bunch harvests would not commence on the demonstration site until October 2011. The experiment had four management treatments, which comprised multiple practice changes: (1) ‘A’ practice - aspiration practice that may reduce severity of FW, which includes treatments that are currently available to banana growers; (2) ‘B’ practice - best practice - practices that are currently available to banana growers and can be easily implemented; (3) ‘C’ practice - current practice - the growers’ current method of banana management; and (4) ‘D’ practice - worst practices - include practices used by banana growers that are believed to enhance the severity of FW. The trial has only been established for three months and to date, no treatment differences have been observed.
(Indonesia) Soil samples from small-scale banana farms and commercial Cavendish plantations with histories of different incidence of Foc were collected and analysed in the laboratory of Agricultural Biotechnology, Faculty of Agriculture at UGM. The soils were characterised as to their physical, biochemical and biological properties to understand the mechanism and potential of soil suppression on the management of Foc. Soil samples were collected from (1) a private banana company in Lampung (GGPC and NTF), farmers’ farms in (2) West Java and (3) South Lampung, and (4) an institutional farm belonging to Balai Benih (Seed Institute) in Salaman, Central Java. The soil samples consist of Foc-infected soil samples (bases were the recorded Foc incidence in the area) and healthy soil samples (soils collected from healthy plants). Soil samples were obtained from the banana rhizosphere of both Foc-infected and healthy banana plants.
Preliminary results showed that more diverse microbial community profiles were associated with soil samples from farms that were managed using the following: (1) crop rotation with cassava, pineapple, maize and (2) application of organic fertiliser (cassava and the decomposed cassava material). There is an indication that known Foc-antagonistic species such as Pseudomonas fluorescens were found and isolated from root rhizosphere of healthy Cavendish (variety DM2) plantation in NTF. Higher Fluorescein diacetate Fluorescein diacetate (FDA) hydrolysis assays can be used to measure enzyme activity produced by microbes in a sample. A bright yellow glow is produced and is strongest when enzymatic activity is greatest. This can be quantified using a spectrofluorometer.
(FDA) values were observed from Foc-infected soil samples; high FDA values may be associated to the higher population of Foc. On the other hand, PNG (-nitrophenyl -D-glucopyranosidase) values were high in NTF, which may be related to high microbial activity in the soil. Soil samples from West Java and Central Java were found with low microbial activity compared to the samples from NTF. The amount of C labile from the resistant plant (DM2) soil samples may have come from the decomposition activity of antagonist microbes against Foc, while the C labile from the susceptible plant (CJ20, Ambon Kuning and Raja Bulu) samples may have come from the high Foc activity in the soil. Other physical and chemical soil characteristics related to the suppression or development of Foc are still being conducted in the laboratory. Experimental plots in the glasshouse and in the field will be conducted later to validate the data collected from the field soil sample analyses, and the historical Foc incidence from the fields where the samples were collected. This study is a work-in-progress.

The overall aim of this project is to develop an integrated approach in banana crop production to effectively manage wilt diseases and enhance productivity and livelihoods of small-scale farmers in Indonesia and Australia.
During the reporting period, encouraging progress has been made towards achieving the project’s three objectives of:
1. Developing packages of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)/Integrated Crop Management (ICM) guidelines for rehabilitating and improving the livelihoods of banana farmers.
2. Evaluating and adapting packages of IPM/ICM technologies to develop sustainable and profitable banana production systems.
3. Undertaking research to refine management practices using IPM/ICM principles.

Collaborating Institutions
Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
Indonesian Tropical Fruit Research Institute, Indonesia
University of Gadjah Mada, Indonesia
Indonesian Centre for Horticulture Research and Development, Indonesia
Directorate General of Horticulture, Indonesia
Program Areas
Overview Objectives

Mitigation of the threat posed by two diseases of bananas - namely fusarium wilt (caused by Fusarium oxysporum f.sp. cubense (Foc) and banana blood disease (caused by Pseudomonas celebensi) - has been the objective of two recent ACIAR projects. Foc is devastating smallholder banana farms in Indonesia because of the occurrence of a virulent race, TR4, which overcomes resistance mechanisms that Cavendish bananas demonstrate to other fusarium races. Within Australia the project will seek to develop management strategies to slow the spread of fusarium wilt race 1 which has become a major issue for Lady Finger growers on the Atherton Tablelands. These ACIAR studies will improve the livelihoods of small-scale banana farmers in Indonesia and the income of banana producers in Australia by improving production practices, including the effective management of banana wilts. The project will use a holistic approach and integrate known control tactics with appropriate cultural and production practices in two pilot study areas. The scientists will study best-bet farm management practices and integrated pest management (IPM) strategies. Complementary studies which will look to address knowledge gaps in relation to fusarium wilt (more specifically TR4) will further improve understanding and ability to manage wilt diseases.

Project Budget
$1,198,093.00
Grant Report Recipient
Bioversity International
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
Grant Report Finish Date
31/03/2014
Grant Report Start Date
23/06/2009

Development and delivery of germplasm for sandalwood and whitewood in Vanuatu and northern Australia

Project Leader
Dr Tony Page
Email
tony.page@jcu.edu.au
Fax
07 4042 1319
Phone
07 4042 1673
Project Country
Inactive project countries
Project Coordinator Phone
0419 496 579
02 6217 0549
Project ID: 
FST/2008/010
Start Date
01/12/2009
Project Coordinator Fax
02 6217 0501
Reference Number
RW-201104-34073
Project Type
Bilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
30/11/2014
Commissioned Organisation: 
James Cook University, Australia
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
bartlett@aciar.gov.au
Commissioned Organisation
James Cook University, Australia
Overview Collaborators
  • Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
  • Department of Forests, Vanuatu
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Mr Tony Bartlett
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

Annual Report not required for 2010 as the project commenced late - Project Agreement signed 19/2/10

During the inception workshop some minor changes were made to the Whitewood component of the project. It was considered by all paticipants that the establishement of clonal seed orchards in Santo, Malekula and Efate was dependant upon the ambitious assumption that clonal propagation will be easily achieved from sexually mature material at IFP. It was therefore agreed that these seed orchards should be changed to seedling seed orchards, from selected individuals from the IFP (Industrial Forest Plantations) planting. It was also considered feasible to undertake an additional wood density study of known families at IFP to determine variation in and heritability of wood density in whitewood.
Project activities in 2010/2011 have included renovation of the Whitewood IFP provenance progeny trial and subsequent quantification of important growth parameters. Based on the assessment of the data collected a 50% thinning was carried out in August 2011 to leave the best trees for each of the 97 families included. A total of 18 of the least performing families were completely removed from the trial in April 2011. The IFP trial now represents an improved resource in which to make collections of both seed (for establishment of SSO/demonstration plots in the northern islands) and clones (for establishment of a CSO in Santo). Seed collections for the 2nd Generation Progeny trial were carried out in April 2011 and seedlings are currently growing in the VDoF Santo Nursery. The clonal strategy for establishing an all female planting in Santo for undetaking controlled crosses was retained as it was considered that success could be achieved in this smaller scale activity.
Whitewood seed collections (from islands not yet represented in the IFP provenance/family trial) have been made from the northern Banks Islands and are currently growing in the VDoF Luganville Nursery. Collection strategy for the other islands (Erromango, Malekula, Ambrym) are currently being developed in liaison with local landowners.
Two primary issues regarding the subcontract with DEEDI (i) the conflict with the dates in the ACIAR-JCU head contract and the JCU-DEEDI subcontract which relates to the six month delay in commencement of the project and (ii) change of focus of DEEDI North Queensland only minimal progress has been made with the Cape York component of the project. The subcontract has recently been transferred to Horticulture and Forestry Science, Agriscience Queensland, which will be responsible for its management and implementation. JCU recently met with the new manager Geoff Dickinson in early July 2011, to plan the initial workshops and the seed collection strategy.

Project partners have made some important advances in meeting the objectives of the project proposal during the reporting period of 2011/12. The VDoF staff have been active in progressing parts of the Whitewood objectives in Santo and Efate over the past twelve months. Issues that have impeded progress in the sandalwood objectives have been largely overcome in the latter part of this reporting period (May 2012) and staff are now well positioned to meet important milestones towards the latter half of 2012. In Cape York progress has been made in securing necessary rootstocks, testing grafting protocols with S. lanceolatum and making connections with the Bamaga farm to host the demonstration plot.
The successful establishment two new whitewood seedling seed orchards derived from IFP plus trees represents significant progress for Objective 1. These seed orchards were established within village communities in Efate and Santo and will provide much needed improved seed to the smallholder farmers and a new source for the VDoF. The seed orchards have been designed as small progeny trials, so they are also a potential source of scientific information on the heritability of important quality traits as well as for estimation of genotype by environment interaction. The third seed orchard established in Malekula was not as successful due to issues in early maintenance of the trial and associated losses. Given the strategic importance of Malekula further work will be carried out in the next reporting period to identify an alternative site for this seed orchard.
Forest officers responsible for the whitewood seed collection from its natural populations were trained during the CSIRO Seed Technology Training Workshop in Port Vila from 16-20 April 2012 to build capacity for correct seed collection, and were given the necessary tools and consumables to carry out collections from natural populations. Work towards these seed collections has been delayed by low seed crop across its range. This has been largely due to long periods of heavy rain during flowering. The forest officers have been briefed about the importance of this task and project staff will be engaged in reconnaissance visits to Ambrym and Malekula in the coming months to identify target stands for seed collection.
The sandalwood gene conservation planting in south Santo has continued to grow, with populations from westcoast Santo (Hokua and Penouru/Petawat) being planted in early- to mid- 2012. The sandalwood planting occupies an area of approximately 3 hectares at Navota Farm and is now functioning as a seed source, demonstration planting and training area for students. VDoF staff in Port Vila are working to secure seed from natural sandalwood populations in north Efate during the next seeding season. This will enable the completion of the gene conservation stand during the next reporting period. At this stage project staff have identified only one source (1-2 trees) of seed, indicating the state of the resource in Efate and the need for its preservation in the gene conservation stand. Further contacts will be made with landowners in the coming months to try and locate some additional sources.
The sandalwood grafted seed orchard in Vanuatu underwent a significant renovation in May 2012 to stimulate the growth of new shoots for scion collection. The renovation is also likely to stimulate reproduction in these important clones early in the next reporting period, the seed from which can be collected for establishment of a sandalwood progeny trial. Project partners have also been involved in the establishment of a demonstration/seedling seed orchard on the Island of Araki in south Santo. This initiative was a response to the current lack of sandalwood seed of Santo origin available to the southern part of the island, as well as building capacity of the Araki Forestry Association in maintaining sandalwood agroforestry plots.
In Cape York, sandalwood seedling rootstocks have been grown and are ready for grafting. Over 50% success has been achieved in early grafting experiments with S. lanceolatum scions (collected from unselected Mareeba populations) and roostocks. The establishment of the first demonstration planting in Bamaga has been coordinated and expected implementation is in July 2012. A Material Transfer Agreement has been drafted and will be presented to Traditional Owners for their consideration in the coming months. Communication with the Lockhart River Community remains an issue for the project, and project staff will be visiting in September 2012 to make the connections necessary to see progress in the next reporting period.

Over the last 12 months, solid progress has been made toward meeting the project objectives. Project partners in Vanuatu have participated in extensive training and seed collections during the 2012/13 reporting period; resulting in excellent progress in building both the whitewood and sandalwood resource pools. Scientific outputs from this project have been published within 2 papers in the International Forestry Review during 2012 and a conference paper on sandalwood reproductive biology was presented at the Sandalwood Symposium in Hawaii, in October 2012.

Whitewood Vanuatu
Growth and development of the whitewood SSOs in Bombua and Onesua continues to proceed well. Ongoing maintenance of both new sites has been underway since 2012 and continues to progress, with some additional clearing scheduled for late 2013. The ongoing management of the Onesua site, although adequate, has required some modification, with particular regard to the removal of guinea grass. A new management plan has been developed by VDoF staff to address the guinea grass removal and further inspection of the site will be made in the coming months. A measure of both Onesua and Bombua are to be undertaken in the next reporting period as they both will be 2-years old.

An important step in building the whitewood gene resource was taken in early 2013 with seeds collected from the Malekula, Banks and Malo Islands. The number of seedlings was greatest for the Banks collection (390) and then Malo (96). The seedlings are now growing well at the VDoF Luganville Nursery. No germinants were recorded from the small collection undertaken in Malekula, largely due to the late timing of collection. Ongoing communication issues with contacts on Ambrym and Erromango Islands has so far suspended the collection of seed from these stands.

Budding of 11 selected IFP-sourced whitewood families was undertaken in Port Vila during February 2013 and directed Propagation Consultant David Spencer. This activity coincided with training of 5 VDoF technicians (Michael, Samuel, Ray, Olister & James). A total of 175 bud grafts were attempted, but none were successful when recorded in May 2013. The exact nature of the poor result is unclear, the budwood was in good physiological condition, but often the buds were closely spaced and difficult to remove. The very low success (2%) of this method demonstrated in November 2011 and the 0% success in February 2012, demonstrates that this technique is problematic, particularly when the project requires several numbers of clones for each of the plus trees to include in the CSO. The project has made very little progress on whitewood vegetative propagation despite several methods tried. Project collaborators are now considering clonal propagation of plus trees from the 18 month old SSOs at Bombua and Onesua as a compromise. Greater success in cutting propagation from such juvenile trees would be expected and provide the material for establishment of a GSO.

Sandalwood Vanuatu
Much progress has been made towards replicating the existing sandalwood GSO. The renovation of the sandalwood GSO in May 2012 successfully stimulated a flush of new vegetative growth. Both the scion wood and rootstock seedlings were in a very good condition for grafting undertaken under the direction of David Spencer and Michael Tabi in February 2013. The grafting activities offered vocational training for four VDoF technicians (Samuel, Ray, Olister & James). A total of 225 successful grafts representing 39 sandalwood clones was recorded in May 2013. The result represents an average of ~50% across all grafters, which is very encouraging. Michael Tabi has managed the hardening of these grafts so they will be ready for establishing replicate GSOs in the next reporting period.
The collection of seed from the sandalwood GSO has progressed during the reporting period with a total of 385 seeds from 16 clones. The number of seeds is however highly skewed to a small number of productive individuals with 1 clone (MA 10) representing 50% of the total and the next four clones representing a further 40%. The lower seed set than expected may be due to the renovation of the GSO in May 2012, which encouraged vegetative growth at the expense of flowering. It is possible that internal carbohydrate levels have recovered sufficiently to offer a good seed crop in 2013. VDoF have nominated Onesua for the sandalwood progeny trial, given the success of the whitewood progeny trial at the same site.
Sandalwood CYP
Significant progress achieved on Cape York during 2012/13 include the establishment of two demonstration plantings and the delivery of awareness workshops at both Bamaga and Lockhart River. The workshops, run by DAFF staff, were designed to present locals with a background of Sandalwood as a commercially important crop and highlight the importance of securing a sustainable sandalwood harvest on the Cape York Peninsula. Discussions and demonstrations were delivered on seed collection and the appropriate treatment technique for germinating sandalwood seeds.
The demonstration plantings at both Bamaga (0.5ha) and Lockhart River (0.1ha) were established in July and December 2012 respectively. The plantings consisted mainly of S. lanceolatum and some individuals of S. album and S. austrocaledonicum. Some initial issues with water supply and bad weather at Bamaga were overcome and the survival rates for sandalwood ranged from 43-96%, with S. lanceolatum offering best survival. The smaller planting in Lockhart will be measured in the coming months.
Traditional Owner consent was given to JCU for developing the selected clones from Injinoo with the confirmation of a Material Transfer Agreement. Progress has been made in the negotiations of the Material Transfer Agreements at Lockhart River, with negotiations currently underway regarding the final agreement. Both S.album and S.lanceolatum rootstocks have been used for preliminary grafting trials using Injinoo scions, which is the first step in securing this important germplasm.

Activities in both Vanuatu and Cape York have been moving ahead this year marking solid progress for the final stages of this project.
Objective 1 -Whitewood Vanuatu
The identification of suitable sites for the Whitewood demonstration plots has enabled us to proceed with negotiating landowner agreements in Vanuatu. A whitewood Seedling Seed Orchard (SSO) was established at St. Patricks School in Ambae, which complements the SSO already established in Efate (Onesua) and Santo (Bombua). Whitewood seed collected from the IFP site in January 2014 has germinated well and will be used for establishing the replicated progeny trial at Navota Farm in Santo. This important activity is anticipated to occur in the latter half of 2014 and will mark an important milestone for this project.
The whitewood second generation progeny trial on Santo (Bombua) is performing very well. This trial was measured in December 2013 and results are currently being analysed. The Bombua trial is now over two years old and showing an impressive growth rate with the tallest trees over 8m tall and the shortest about 2.5m tall (with most in the 5m to 6m range). A significant seed collection was made from IFP during January 2014 with a total of 4.8kg of seed from 69 plus trees. At least 58 families will have sufficient seedlings for planting the replicated progeny trial at Navota Farm, which is scheduled for August 2014. A Gene Conservation Planting representing Banks and Malo whitewood was established in October 2013 at the Vanuatu Agricultural Research and Training Centre (VARTC). A total of 240 seedlings from the island of Banks were established at this time and 60 Malo trees were planted in December 2013. . New material from wild populations was collected from Malekula, Malo and Erromango during the year.
Objective 2 -Sandalwood Vanuatu
Five sandalwood Grafted Seed Orchards (GSOs) were established during the year on five islands in Vanuatu; Ambae, Pentecost, Santo, Malekula and Efate. These achievements represent a major milestone for the project, where the clones identified as having superior oil characteristics, have now been replicated across Vanuatu. This is important as it increases the security of this genetic resource as well as making it more widely available to smallholder farmers, particularly in the northern islands, where sandalwood seed is difficult to source. Another two GSO replicate plantings are planned for this coming year (Epi and Ambrym). Site preparations have already commenced at Epi High School with the planting scheduled for June 2014. Negotiations are currently underway at Lalinda Community in Southeast Ambrym with establishment anticipated later in 2014.
Progress towards the sandalwood progeny trial has been constrained largely due to the low seed productivity of the original GSO in Port Vila. Recent discussions among project partners have resulted in an alternative strategy to establish the progeny trial in the final year of the project. This strategy will rely on systematic seed collections made from the gene conservation stand at Navota Farm in Santo. This stand was established very early in the project and parts of it are now very productive in seed. The progeny trial will comprise of seed collected from both the gene conservation stand and the Port Vila GSO. The progeny trial will represent a diverse genetic base, which will provide the basis for further selection on vigour as well as oil quality. The trial will be located on the island of Efate, but the exact site will be decided during a project progress meeting in July-August 2014
Objective 3 -Sandalwood Cape York Peninsula
In Cape York, the demonstration plantings have advanced well. The 0.1 ha Lockhart River plot was visited in May and August of 2013 and the trees are well established and appear to be healthy. The sandalwood, acacia and casuarina trees were growing well but the pongamia had been severely chewed by grasshoppers. Further work is required to obtain Tradition Owner consent for the collection of propagation material for the seed orchard in the Lockhart River. A number of trees from Bamaga have been grafted and are in the process of being serial grafted to bulk up numbers. The seed orchard will be established sometime in 2015 once enough planting stock are available. The collection of seed from ten Santalum album and two Santalum lanceolatum trees at the Walkamin Research Station was undertaken in June 2013. From the seed collected, approximately 29 S. lanceolatum and 249 S. album scions were suitable for grafting. Only 17 grafts were successful from this attempt with the main issues identified as early death and breakage. Further work is required to obtain Traditional Owner consent on the establishment of a seed orchard in the Lockhart River. An agreement with the Land Corporation was signed, however, we still do not have consent from all of the TOs. Further face-to-face meetings are planned over the coming months to ensure that correct procedure has been followed and we have informed consent from the appropriate TOs.

Collaborating Institutions
Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
Department of Forests, Vanuatu
Program Areas
Overview Objectives

Fledgling industries arising from establishment of whitewood and sandalwood plantations in Vanuatu are evolving rapidly. This project, which follows up on previous research, will provide them with much-needed support. The earlier ACIAR-supported work initiated breeding programs for both whitewood and sandalwood and addressed the fundamental constraints related to the availability of and access to improved tree germplasm (seed and clonal materials) of these species. The underpinning objectives of this project are to advance both the whitewood and sandalwood genetic improvement programs in Vanuatu and to establish the basic elements of a sandalwood genetic improvement program in northern Queensland. The project will involve a range of activities to improve the genetic resources of each species and will comprise the advancement of seed orchard programs, creation of advanced progeny trials, establishment of gene resource populations, and development of demonstration plots to guide current and prospective growers in key regions.

Project Budget
$1,219,846.00
Grant Report Value
$1341831
Grant Report Recipient
James Cook University
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
4870
Grant Report Finish Date
30/11/2014
Grant Report Start Date
22/01/2010

Improving added value and small medium enterprises capacity in the utilisation of plantation timber for furniture production in Jepara region

Project Leader
Associate Professor Barbara Ozarska
Email
bo@unimelb.edu.au
Fax
03 9250 6917
Phone
03 9250 6878
Project Country
Inactive project countries
Project Coordinator Phone
0419 496 579
02 6217 0549
Project ID: 
FST/2006/117
Start Date
01/01/2009
Project Coordinator Fax
02 6217 0501
Reference Number
SB-201810-35558
Project Type
Bilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
31/12/2013
Extension Start Date
01/01/2014
Commissioned Organisation: 
University of Melbourne, Australia
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
bartlett@aciar.gov.au
Commissioned Organisation
University of Melbourne, Australia
Extension Finish Date
31/12/2014
Overview Collaborators
  • Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
  • Forest Research and Development Agency, Indonesia
  • Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia
  • Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia
  • Technical College of Wood Technology, Indonesia
  • Center for International Forestry Research, Indonesia
  • Forum Rembug Kluster, Indonesia
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Mr Tony Bartlett
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

Although the Project start date was 1 January 2009, delays in obtaining signed Project Agreements between the contractual parties meant that research activities of the project did not commence until the beginning of May 2009. Despite the delayed start, the project has made an impressive progress during Year 1 with active participation of all project partners.

The major activities and achievements during the first year are as follows:
1. The Project Steering Committee was formed consisting of two representatives from each partner organisation.
2. The assessment of research capabilities of each partner organisation involved in the project was undertaken to facilitate the development of networking arrangements between the project members. This knowledge and experience will be essential in ensuring the long-term sustainability of the project outcomes and will enable the participating organisations to take the role of the “value-adding experts” after the project is completed.
3. The criteria for the selection of the Industry Champions were developed by the project partners. Sixteen companies were selected as the members of the Industry Champions representing various types of sizes and models of the Jepara furniture industry and various aspects of wood processing and manufacturing. The Industry Champions will be the first beneficiaries of the project outcomes as the improvements and implementation of manufacturing methods, designs and products, will be firstly undertaken by these companies.
4. The Project Field Officer, Mrs Nurul Izza, was appointed to the project and is based at the project office in Jepara. The Field Officer is playing an important role of linking the project researchers with the Industry Champions.
5. Five teams of researchers conducted a detailed analysis of the current capabilities of the 16 Industry Champions, which included all major processing and manufacturing stages of the production process:
 Sawing.
 Preservative Treatment.
 Drying.
 Manufacturing.
 Finishing.
A detailed report was prepared on each specific aspect of the production process for each Industry Champion. The individual reports were then combined into five final assessment reports: Sawmilling, Treatment, Drying, Manufacturing Process and Finishing. The reports provide details on the assessment of all aspects of processing and manufacturing processes applied by the Industry Champions, as well as provide general comments on the current industry practices and recommendations for improvements and changes. A General Assessment Report has been developed which provides the summary information on the assessment of five processing and manufacturing stages of the wood products production process without revealing any confidential information on the Industry Champions. The report will be made available to the government organizations, all industry stakeholders, NGOs and other relevant organizations.
6. Priority research projects were identified and teams of researchers to carry out the studies were formed. The projects include the study on alternative species which could be used for high value wood products, research on preservative treatment and developing drying schedules for teak and mahogany. The review of standards related to furniture products, both Indonesian and Australian standards, has commenced.

Significant progress has been made during Year 2 across each of the four main objectives of the project.
The major activities and achievements are as follows:
1. The First Annual Workshop was held on 6th August 2010 in Jepara with the aim to update the Industry Champions and the project stakeholders on the progress made during the first year of the project term. Presentations by the project team leaders were made on the results of the assessment of the current capabilities of the Industry Champions companies which were undertaken in Year 1. The presentations were followed by an open discussion on the industry’s major problems and the ways to find optimal solutions. The industry Champions expressed willingness to work with the project team on the implementation of improvements and changes recommended by the project teams.
Implementation of these recommendations was one of the major project activities carried out during the Year 2.
Implementation visits to the Industry Champions companies having drying, manufacturing and finishing facilities were made by the relevant teams in March 2011. The team members spent a lot of time with each individual company explaining the details of the recommendations and discussing which improvements are feasible taking into account financial or other constraints. Detailed reports have been written summarising the visit to each company with confidential information for each company. Follow up visits will be made on regular basis (every 6-7 months) until the project completion.
2. Good progress has been made on the project research activities carried out by the five research teams: sawing, drying, preservative treatment, manufacturing and finishing. Each team has developed a detailed working plan for research studies to be completed within the project term. Many research and industry activities have been already completed or are in an advanced stage of development. Some of these studies are summarised below:
Sawing:
A sawing recovery study was completed in five Industry Champions’ facilities in Jepara and a report completed. The study revealed that the sawing recovery in Jepara is higher than that stated in the Regulation for sawn timber recovery issued by Ministry of Forestry.
A report “Using metal detectors in sawmills - recommendations for Jepara” was completed and distributed to the project partners. The report provides concise descriptions of several metal detecting options available for the timber industry and provides recommendations for handling incoming logs in a typical Jepara sawmill facility. In addition to sawmillers, the information may also be of interest to manufacturers who encounter metal in their timber feedstock.
Preservative treatment:
Studies have been completed and reported by the Treatment Team that outline decision processes on the preservative treatment of wood products manufactured in Jepara and describe various treatment processes that might be used by the Jepara wood processing industry.
Heat treatment of teak to reduce the colour difference between sapwood and heartwood has been completed.
A program of research was developed into steaming followed by soaking in preservatives of teak (Tectona grandis L.f. - Verbenaceae), mahogany (Swietenia sp. - Meliaceae), mindi (Melia azedarach L. - Meliaceae), and trembesi (Samanea saman Merr. - Mimosaceae). Treated material will then be exposed to beetle and termite attack.
Wood structure assessment by macroscopic observation of vessels size of teak (Tectona grandis), mahogany (Swietenia sp.), mindi (Melia azedarach), and trembesi (Samanea saman) has been conducted to determine the possibility of penetration by beetles’ eggs.
Investigation on the impact of microwave pre-treatment on the penetration of wood preservatives into teak sapwood has been completed.
Vacuum pressure treatment of teak has been carried out using various wood preservatives. Non-pressure treatment of teak using boron based preservative has been carried out. Techniques include: dip diffusion, cold soak and hot & cold processes. This research will continue on other species: mahogany, mindi and trembesi.
Demonstration treatment plants have been constructed (steam-cold soak, hot & cold, vacuum pressure). It is planned to use these plants for demonstration and training.
Laboratory research into the decay durability of heat treated teak has been completed.
Preliminary research into the impact of ammonia fumigation on the colour of teak has been completed.
Wood drying:
Drying trials have been conducted on four primary wood species used in Jepara: teak (Tectona grandis), mahogany (Swietenia sp), mindi (Melia azedarach), and trembesi (Samanea saman). The results from this work will be provided in technical brochures to interested kiln operators throughout Jepara and presented at the future training sessions.
Manufacturing:
Collection and review of international standards and specifications for furniture at SMEs has been carried out. The aim of this work is to collate Indonesian and international standards, methods and specifications related to furniture production methods, quality control and requirements for furniture applicable to SMEs. The data and information will be then used for the development of quality control assessment methods and tests applicable to SMEs in Jepara.
Collection and review of basic properties of the alternative species for furniture: jabon (Anthocephalus cadamba) and sungkai (Peronema canescens) is in progress.
The literature review on alternative species of mangium (Acacia mangium) and trembesi (Samanea saman) is in progress.
A study on the utilization of selected Lesser Used Species for manufacturing of furniture has been completed,
A study on the current recovery of furniture components has been undertaken. The results will be used for developing recommendations for making improvements in recovery and waste reduction.
Finishing:
A research study on the enhancement of surface appearance of tropical woods from community forest has been carried out by application of ammonia fuming technique. The experimental result showed that ammonia fuming could change significantly the natural color of nangka (Artocarpus heterophyllus), waru (Hibiscus tiliaceus Bl.), afrika (Maesopsis eminii), akasia mangium (Acacia mangium Willd.), mahoni (Swietenia sp.), teak (Tectona grandis) and puspa (Schima wallichii). The woods treated by ammonia fuming showed an increase in resistance against termite attack.
3. To ensure the project sustainability after its completion, a strong emphasis has been placed on the establishment of a comprehensive training program. Two training courses were provided to the Jepara SMEs: on sawing processes and wood drying.
The sawing training was carried out by the members of the Sawing Team on 19 April 2011 in Jepara. The session was attended by 16 participants from the furniture industry, including representatives of the Industry Champions and the Jepara Small-scale Furniture Producers Association (APKJ) The training included the following subjects: basic physical and mechanical properties of wood, target size, standard efficiency and safety.
The wood drying training will be held on 22-23 May 2011. The training will include presentations by the members of the drying team (in Jepara) and practical sessions at PIKA training facilities in Semarang.
4. The SWOT Analysis of the furniture industry in Jepara has been undertaken that will enable the industry to focus on strengths, minimise weaknesses, address threats, and take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available.
5. An important goal of the project has been the establishment of collaborative linkages with SMEs in Jepara. The project team believes that it is essential that the companies respond with trust and confidence to the project members and clearly understand the project’s objectives and related activities. This goal is being achieved through frequent consultations and discussions with the Industry Champions, consolidation meetings, field visits and training.
Abbreviations Used in the Report
ACIAR Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
UoM The University of Melbourne
DEEDI The Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation.
FORDA Forest Product Research and Development Center, Forestry Research and Development Agency, Ministry of Forestry
IPB Bogor Agricultural University
UGM Universitas Gadjah Mada
PIKA Technical College of Wood Technology
CIFOR Center for International Forestry Research
APKJ Jepara Small-scale Furniture Producers Association

The ACIAR Forestry RPM mid-term review was conducted on 30 October 2011 with the overall finding that “The project is progressing extremely well and is on track with almost all of its planned activities, which is very pleasing considering the complexity of the project design and number of partners (8 research partners and 16 private sector collaborators)”.
The 2nd Annual Workshop and Steering Committee meeting were held on 29-30 October 2011 in Jepara. FORDA Director General, Pak Fathoni, emphasized the priority that the Indonesian Government gives to this project.
Regular visits to the Industry Champions have been undertaken with the aim to implement the recommended improvements and changes in processing and production methods.
The project research activities conducted by five research teams; sawing, preservative treatment, drying, manufacturing and finishing, are progressing very well with significant achievements made which have been documented in reports, journal publications and conference proceeding and disseminated at the project workshop, training courses and in data sheets tailored for the industry. Some of the research studies are summarised below:
Sawing:
In-mill recovery studies were completed to provide benchmark data and a journal article. A review of metal detectors was completed and recommendations provided to the sector. The model regarded as most suitable assessed by cost, ease of use, portability and accuracy is now circulating in Industry Champion facilities.
The principles of lean management and waste minimisation as relevant to sawmilling practice were reviewed, summarised and translated for the benefit of the Industry Champions and other SMEs in Jepara.
A review of the availability and cost of personal protective equipment was undertaken by PIKA in an effort to implement a culture of safety awareness in the industry.
Preservative treatment:
Above ground field exposure trials were established in Australia to evaluate the performance of heat treated, clear finished teak and unfinished controls.
Work on timber treatment specifications within Indonesia is being investigated.
Options for equipment and chemicals for effective treatment of lyctus-susceptible timber was discussed with Industry Champion company Raisa.

Drying:
 A demonstration kiln has been constructed in Jepara.
 Drying trials have been conducted on four primary wood species from young plantation forests used in Jepara: teak (Tectona grandis), mahogany (Swietenia sp.), mindi (Melia azedarach), and trembesi (Samanea saman).
 Solar drying trials on preservative treated wood and kiln drying schedule development for a range of timbers are in progress.
 A study on the use of solar kilns in Indonesia has found that drying of timber using solar energy is feasible in the majority of Java. Given the low cost of solar kilns and the abundance of solar energy in the region, a moderately sized solar kiln (i.e. 22 m3) may be accessible for most SME furniture companies.

Manufacturing:
 The review of Indonesian and international standards related to furniture has been completed.
 Analysis of the current recovery rate in furniture production has been completed and documented.
 The development of database on alternative species has been completed and documented. The FORDA book “Alternative wood species for furniture and creative industry” presents data on 21 plantation/community forest species.
 Literature review on options for products made from low quality, small dimensions timbers is underway.
 Wood bending and gluing/laminating have been identified as the priority technologies for future implementation by the Industry Champions.
 A survey is being developed with the aim to identify design skills, design education and training available to furniture manufacturers in Jepara.
Finishing:
 Research study on ammonia fuming was completed and the results published.
 Trials on the application of oil based and water-based wood finishes were completed. Both finishes obtained good performance results with oil-based finish showing better resistance to mechanical damage.
 The investigation of the effect of heat treatment on wood properties and finishing quality is in progress.
By industry request a strong focus was placed on regular training activities and five training courses were held during the reporting period..
Collaborations between project participants have developed over the year with increasing networking and joint problem solving. It is particularly noted during research activities, training and technology transfer.

The project is now in the final year of its duration. During the last 12 months further progress was made towards achieving the objectives of the project. The team members are confident that the project’s goals will be achieved on time and the outcomes will assist small and medium furniture enterprises in Jepara to significantly improve the quality of their products and to become more efficient and skilled.
The major activities during the 4th year of the project term are as follows:
The 3rd Annual Workshop was held on 8 December 2012 in Jepara, attended by Dr. Iman Santoso, the Director General of FORDA, the project partners, invited stakeholders and 35 members of the Industry Champions and APKJ.
An extensive training program was developed by the project team aiming to increase skills and knowledge of the industry members in various aspects of wood processing and manufacturing. Each training course was well attended not only by Industry Champions and APKJ members but also by other SMEs in the Jepara region.
Regular implementation visits to the Industry Champions and APKJ companies have been carried out by the project team members with the aim to implement the recommended improvements and changes in processing and production methods
Some of the research studies are summarised below:
Sawing:
Research on girdling teak trees is in progress.
Wood machining characteristics from West Java and Banten were analysed on six species for five machining operations: planing, moulding, sanding, boring and peeling. Total percentage of defects was determined.
‘Quality Operations Manual on Sawing’ is in preparation.
Preservative treatment:
Research study on the durability of six furniture wood species from plantation forest against post powder beetle was completed.
The effectiveness of the current preservative treatment methods used by SMEs in Jepara was tested under laboratory conditions. It was found that timber which is treated with traditional preservative methods in Jepara is not protected against insects.
Research studies on wood durability of several wood species against subterranean termite attack were conducted.
Drying:
The signficant achievement of the drying activities was the completion of a demonstration drying chamber (kiln) for SMEs in Jepara, which was funded and supervised by PUSTEKOLAH team, FORDA. A small and affordable wood drying chamber (pilot project) with size (6 x 4 x 3) m3 was completed in August 2012.
Study on wood drying properties and development of drying schedules for six wood species from Community Forest in Banten Province was completed.
A study on the potential use of solar kilns in Indonesia indicates that drying of timber is feasible using solar energy in the majority of the locations studied around Java
Manufacturing:
Research on wood bending has made a very good progress.
Research on gluing/laminating properties of six furniture wood species from plantation forest has been completed.
A review of design skills in Jepara has been conducted.
A Furniture Design Competition has been initiated with the aim to identify good designers and to link them with furniture companies.
Finishing:
Two research studies on the durability of the water-based wood finishes coated on fast growing wood species were completed. In total seventeen species were tested. The test results showed that ammonia fumigation method increases the aesthetic value of wood (colour and pattern look natural) and increases durability of wood. In addition, a strong resistance of the finishing layer of the water-based lacquer was observed.
A research study has been completed, and the results published, on the determination of juvenile and mature transition ring for fast growing sengon (Paraserianthes falcataria) and jabon (Anthocephalus cadamba) timbers.
The investigation of the effect of heat treatment on wood properties and finishing quality has been carried out. Two types of heat treatment methods were used in this research, i.e. oven and steaming methods.
The project has made significant achievements in capacity building, mainly through the development of strong network linkages between education, research, training and the industry. During Year 4 a strong emphasis was placed on disseminating the project findings not only to the Industry Champions but also to APKJ members and other small and medium companies in the Jepara region.
It is believed that the network developed within the project will provide sustainable long-term capacity improvements which will provide significant benefits to the Jepara furniture industry.
The research results have been widely published in international scientific journals, conference proceedings and research reports and disseminated at the project workshop, training courses, project website, newsletters and in data sheets tailored for the industry.

The project is now in the final year of its duration. The completion date, originally due on 31 June 2014, has been extended by ACIAR until 31 December 2014, without additional funding, to allow for the completion of the project activities.
During the last 12 months further progress was made towards achieving the objectives of the project. An increased effort has been put into disseminating project research results through an extensive training program for Jepara companies, both Industry Champions and other companies (e.g. Jepara Small-Scale Furniture Producers Association APKJ members), developing technical manuals, guidelines and training materials as well as publications for international journals and conferences.
The major activities during the 5th year of the project term are as follows:
The 4th Project Annual Workshop was held in Jepara on 7 December 2013, attended by the project partners, invited stakeholders and 35 members of the Industry Champions and APKJ. The workshop allowed members and stakeholders to get an update on the project progress and discuss the priorities for the next year activities.
The Project Steering Committee meeting was held on 8 December 2013, at PIKA, Semarang. The meeting allowed the Committee members to discuss the project outputs and their benefits to the industry.
In total eight training courses were conducted on various topics selected by the industry as the priorities. Each training course was highly attended not only by Industry Champions and APKJ members but also by other SMEs in the Jepara region. Course notes were prepared for each participant in Bahasa Indonesia. Enthusiasm and positive feedback from the participants shows that the training program provided to date has been successful.
A book entitled “Furniture from plantation timber. A manual for furniture manufacturers in the Jepara region of Indonesia” has been completed. The manual of 220 pages is a series of eight guides, prepared in both English and Bahasa Indonesia, which covers critical aspects of the key stages of furniture production: sawmilling, drying, preserving (treating) timber, and manufacturing the final furniture products. The manual will contribute to improved processing efficiency, product quality and worker safety.
The performance of a demonstration drying chamber, constructed in 2012 for the Industry Champions and APKJ is being tested and monitored on continuous basis. The kiln is being used by a group of 5 - 10 SMEs. A similar kiln but of a larger capacity has been recently built by the company which manages the kiln to dry timber for their own and other SMEs needs.
A Furniture Design Competition has been successfully completed. The aim of the competition was to identify good designers and link them with furniture companies. The competition included two categories of designers: professional designers (task - to design a chair) and students (a coffee table). The competition was open to all participants from Central Java province, including Yogyakarta. In total 22 submissions were received and three winners from each category were selected. The first and second winners of each category were awarded with an intensive furniture design training at RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia.
An impact assessment of the project has been undertaken by a team from CIFOR. The study was conducted to obtain empirical validation on the effectiveness of the project in achieving its goals. According to the study’s results, the companies involved in the survey reported an increase in sales turnover by 40% after attending various training courses, and their income has increased by about 50%. The data indicates positive economic impact of the project on the development of furniture industry in Jepara.
The project team is confident that the project will have substantial outcomes which will provide significant improvements in SMEs capacity in the utilization of plantation timber for furniture production in the Jepara region.

Collaborating Institutions
Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
Forest Research and Development Agency, Indonesia
Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia
Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia
Technical College of Wood Technology, Indonesia
Center for International Forestry Research, Indonesia
Forum Rembug Kluster, Indonesia
Program Areas
Overview Objectives

The furniture industry is one of the ‘big four’ Indonesian pillars for export (along with rubber, palm oil, and footwear). The industry relies heavily on timber as its raw material, with an annual requirement of up to 7.5 million cubic metres. Wood species used as raw material for furniture (mainly teak and mahogany) come from natural forest and plantation/community forests. Jepara in Java is particularly known for its crafted wooden furniture, and the industry there involves 15,000 companies, mostly small-medium sized enterprises (SMEs). But the furniture manufacturing processes in Jepara, as in other regions of Indonesia, are characterised by poor production management and lack of optimisation in production systems - affecting production efficiency, timber recovery rates, and quality of products while creating a significant amount of timber waste. These SMEs would capture higher value if they adopted better drying, treatment and finishing processes, and this project aims to support the Indonesian furniture industry by enhancing value-adding from plantation timber production. The project’s main objectives are to increase timber recoveries and furniture quality through the improvement of processing and manufacturing methods for teak and mahogany timbers, and to explore new manufacturing technologies for new products and designs that would be competitive on international markets. As well the project will increase Indonesian timber processing research and training capacity and also monitor and analyse economic impact of improvements and innovations introduced to SMEs during the project.

Project Budget
$1,097,209.00
Grant Report Value
$1206930
Grant Report Recipient
University of Melbourne
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
3121
Grant Report Finish Date
31/12/2014
Grant Report Start Date
19/12/2008

Mariculture development in New Ireland, Papua New Guinea

Project Leader
Professor Paul Southgate
Email
paul.southgate@usc.edu.au
Fax
07 3408 3535
Phone
07 54301234
Project Country
Inactive project countries
Project ID: 
FIS/2010/054
Start Date
01/05/2012
Project Coordinator Fax
Reference Number
CH-202510-57539
Project Type
Bilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
30/04/2016
Commissioned Organisation: 
James Cook University, Australia
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
Commissioned Organisation
James Cook University, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, Australia
Overview Collaborators
  • National Fisheries Authority, Papua New Guinea
  • Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
  • University of Natural Resources and Environment, Papua New Guinea
  • Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Fiji
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Chris Barlow
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

The first project meeting took place at the Nago Island Marine Research Facility (NIMRF) in Kavieng in June 2012. Roles and responsibilities for partner institutions were reviewed and agreed upon, and a Project steering committee was established to meet on a six-monthly basis. The meeting reviewed the facilities and equipment required at the NIMRF to support project research and a plan and timetable for fitting-out and fine-tuning the NIMRF was developed. A number of key facilities were developed at NIMRF in preparation for the first hatchery run with sea cucumber in October 2012. These include a dry laboratory, micro-algae culture laboratory, a more efficient water supply and reticulation system and defined hatchery culture and quarantine areas within the NIMRF. Equipment required to fit-out the laboratories was sourced and deployed. These activities were assisted by appointment of the Project Scientist, Rowan McIntyre, in July 2012, who took up his position in Kavieng in October 2012. A formal project inception meeting was held at NIMRF in November 2012.
A major focus for project research so far has been hatchery production of sea cucumbers. Three hatchery runs have been made with two of them successfully producing juveniles. These results are encouraging given the expected teething problems associated with a new hatchery facility. Extensive water quality and bacterial testing have been conducted during hatchery runs and the results used to fine-tune the water delivery system at NIMRF. Hatchery-produced juvenile sea cucumbers were used to establish a community-run grow-out pen at a collaborating village (Limanak) to enable collection of long-term growth data and involve villagers with husbandry and field-based culture activities. Several additional community study sites have been assessed and negotiations commenced to establish project activities there. Research to determine the genetic structure of sand fish populations in the Kavieng region, and within a broader regional context, has begun. The results will be used to develop a protocol for responsible transfer of sand fish, which will become an important consideration should hatchery production become established.
A primary site for spat collection of edible oysters was identified and a long-tem spat collection program was established in April 2013. The spat collection program will be expanded to other sites over the next 12 months and resulting spat will be used to establish growth trials at a number of sites around Kavieng. At least two species of edible oysters recruit to hard substrates around Kavieng. Confirmation of the target species as the black-lip oyster (Saccostrea echinata) and identification of the second is required. A value-chain and business case study was begun in May 2013 to determine potential markets for cultured oysters beyond the Kavieng area.
A review of the marine ornamental industry in PNG was completed in 2012 to identify the main markets, key species and bottlenecks to further industry development. There is clear international demand for fish and coral from PNG (particularly endemic species or forms) but issues relating to transport, both domestic and international, remain an impediment. A survey of high-value marine ornamental species in the Kavieng area, that may support captive breeding programs, was begun in May 2013. A value-chain and business case study was begun concurrently to determine potential markets for marine ornamental from the Kavieng area, and to identify key components of the value-chains for these commodities.
Building long term institutional mariculture training capacity and mariculture capacity within NFA, provincial fisheries, NGOs and local communities is a major component of this project. Numerous training activities have been conducted with project partners covering both generic research skills and specific laboratory- and field-based mariculture skills. Training activities will increase over the next 12 months of the project as the scope of research with all target commodities increases. Consultation meetings between National Fisheries College (NFC), University of Natural Resources and Environment (UNRE) and James Cook University (JCU) were held in early 2013 to establish priorities for curriculum development at NFC and UNRE. A working paper was developed as a basis for further consultation later in 2013. This process will be facilitated through an Australian Volunteer for International Development (AVID) position linked to the project which was taken up in March 2013.
In summary, a considerable proportion of the first year of this project has been dedicated to equipping and preparation of the new NIMRF for mariculture research and hatchery production. Preliminary hatchery runs with sea cucumbers have been successful in producing juveniles but, perhaps more importantly, have allowed fine-tuning of the system to support more efficient future hatchery production. Progress in all components of the project has been good and strong collaborative links have been made between project partners and with local communities and NGOs. These activities will provide a strong platform for research in the second year of the project.

Collaborating Institutions
National Fisheries Authority, Papua New Guinea
Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
University of Natural Resources and Environment, Papua New Guinea
Secretariat of the Pacific Community, Fiji
Program Areas
Overview Objectives

The recently completed NFA Nago Island marine hatchery and training facility at Kavieng, New Ireland can now support development of mariculture opportunities in PNG. The facility is also intended as a training centre for students from the National Fisheries College - located in Kavieng and affiliated with the University of Natural Resources and Environment. This project will help to address the need for capacity building at the facility by developing a strategy to strengthen institutional mariculture training in PNG. It will also identify local species with potential to support viable, sustainable mariculture industries for coastal communities.

Project Budget
$1,823,408.00
Grant Report Value
$2005749
Grant Report Recipient
James Cook University
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
4811
Grant Report Finish Date
30/04/2016
Grant Report Start Date
03/04/2012

Development of fish passage technology to increase fisheries production on floodplains in the lower Mekong and Murray - Darling River basins

Project Leader
Dr Lee Baumgartner
Email
lee.baumgartner@dpi.nsw.gov.au
Fax
02 6959 2935
Phone
02 6958 8200
Project Country
Inactive project countries
Project ID: 
FIS/2009/041
Start Date
01/10/2010
Project Coordinator Fax
Reference Number
JM-200107-40967
Project Type
Bilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
30/09/2015
Commissioned Organisation: 
Industry & Investment NSW, Australia
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
Commissioned Organisation
Industry & Investment NSW, Australia
Overview Collaborators
  • Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
  • National University of Laos, Laos
  • Living Aquatic Resources Research Centre, Laos
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Chris Barlow
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

1.1 Background
The Murray-Darling Basin and the Mekong are two of the world’s major catchment systems. They drain similar areas, are both over 4,000km in total length and support over 60 million people combined. Both systems contain unique fish communities which are importance sources of biodiversity, food security and recreational opportunities. The Murray-Darling Basin has an active recreational fishery estimated to be worth between $AUD750K - 1,000K annually. The current annual production from the capture fishery in the LMB is about two million tonnes, which is approximately 2% of the total world marine and freshwater catch with a first-sale value between US$2,000-4,000 million per year.
Irrigation development in Australia and Lao P.D.R. has led to construction of numerous water regulation devices (over 10,000 in both countries) which limit migratory fish movement. Movements of fish (and other aquatic animals) between rivers and floodplains is subsequently restricted, or may be entirely prevented, and this has led to severe declines in fish production in many areas. Fisheries agencies in both countries are interested in increasing capacity to design manage and operate fish passage facilities on new and existing low-level water control structures in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of fish resources in each country.
This project seeks to undertake research and development activities that provide quantifiable evidence that fishway construction provides positive benefits floodplain fish species in the Lower Mekong and Murray-Darling Basins. A project team has been assembled which comprises scientists from New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, National University of Laos and Living Aquatic Resources Research Centre.
1.2 Inception Activities
The project has had an extended inception phase with has seen the initiation of three main objectives.
1.2.1 Analyse and prioritise infrastructure causing fish migration barriers to lateral migrations between the Mekong River and floodplain habitat
A preliminary prioritisation of all fish migration barriers in the Xe Champone catchment was completed. The purpose of this component was to provide a detailed list of potential rehabilitation works for consideration by donor bodies looking to identify areas of future investment. The work required an initial desktop phase which was followed by field validation of actual barriers using GIS-based technology. The team collected a large dataset which is currently undergoing detailed analysis and prioritisation. This will be reported and presented to donor bodies in early 2012.
1.2.2 Research the effectiveness of low-costs fishways for widespread application at floodplain barriers in the lower Mekong basin and the Murray-Darling Basin
The project team successfully progressed the construction and installation of an experimental fishway unit at a new experimental site in Savannakhet province. The unit was constructed under the supervision of Lao PDR and Australian scientists but was constructed and installed by local labour. Work was completed in late May 2011 and Australian scientists have now arrived in Lao PDR to perform field experiments during the Lao wet season (May-August 2011).
1.1.1 Quantify the biological, ecological and socio-economic benefits of floodplain rehabilitation using fish passage technology to mitigate impacts
A detailed socio-economic survey design workshop was held at Charles Sturt University in March 2011. The outcome of the workshop was the preparation of a draft survey instrument due to be piloted with villages in Bolikhamsay province in June 2011. The team also planned a detailed training schedule for university students who will be engaged to undertake the surveys. Surveys are currently being translated into local language for implementation.
1.2 Overall progress
So far the project is on-schedule and tracking to meet all scheduled objectives. No major problems have arisen and the project team have formed a strong collaboration. The project has attracted media and government interest in both Lao PDR and Australia. Outputs due for publication in the international literature are also expected to increase the project profile lead to scientific impacts in other tropical systems.

1.1 Background
The Murray-Darling Basin and the Mekong are two of the world’s major catchment systems. They drain similar areas, are both over 4,000km in total length and support over 60 million people combined. Both systems contain unique fish communities which are importance sources of biodiversity, food security and recreational opportunities. The Murray-Darling Basin has an active recreational fishery estimated to be worth between $AUD750K - 1,000K annually. The current annual production from the capture fishery in the LMB is about two million tonnes, which is approximately 2% of the total world marine and freshwater catch with a first-sale value between US$2,000-4,000 million per year.
Irrigation development in Australia and Lao P.D.R. has led to construction of numerous water regulation devices (over 10,000 in both countries) which limit migratory fish movement. Movements of fish (and other aquatic animals) between rivers and floodplains is subsequently restricted, or may be entirely prevented, and this has led to severe declines in fish production in many areas. Fisheries agencies in both countries are interested in increasing capacity to design manage and operate fish passage facilities on new and existing low-level water control structures in order to ensure the long-term sustainability of fish resources in each country.
This project seeks to undertake research and development activities that provide quantifiable evidence that fishway construction provides positive benefits floodplain fish species in the Lower Mekong and Murray-Darling Basins. A project team has been assembled which comprises scientists from New South Wales Department of Primary Industries, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, National University of Laos and Living Aquatic Resources Research Centre.
1.2 Inception Activities
The project has had an extended inception phase with has seen the initiation of three main objectives.
1.2.1 Analyse and prioritise infrastructure causing fish migration barriers to lateral migrations between the Mekong River and floodplain habitat
A preliminary prioritisation of all fish migration barriers in the Xe Champone and Xe Bang Hieng catchment was completed. The purpose of this component was to provide a detailed list of potential rehabilitation works for consideration by donor bodies looking to identify areas of future investment. The work required an initial desktop phase which was followed by field validation of actual barriers using GIS-based technology. The team collected a large dataset which is currently undergoing detailed analysis and prioritisation. We identified over 3,000 barriers to fish migration in the two catchments and presented these results to a project progress meeting in Vientiane (January 2012). The work was very widely received and is presently being considered by the Mekong River Commission for adoption to the entire catchment in all riparian countries. The project team has been asked to assist with a framework development which is currently being prepared by the MRC Fisheries Programme.
1.2.2 Research the effectiveness of low-costs fishways for widespread application at floodplain barriers in the lower Mekong basin and the Murray-Darling Basin
The project team successfully progressed the construction and installation of an experimental fishway unit at a new experimental site in Savannakhet province. The unit was constructed under the supervision of Lao PDR and Australian scientists but was constructed and installed by local labour. Work was completed in late May 2011 and Australian scientists performed field experiments during the Lao wet season (May-August 2011). Unfortunately the wet season arrived late and results on fishway success were inconclusive.
The project team subsequently re-established the experimental fishway site at Pak Peung (Central Lao) and have re-commended experiments. Initial results have been extremely promising with the team averaging catches of 200 fish per hour from up to 20 species per replicate. Work will continue well into the wet season and results will be analysed and presented upon completion.
1.2.3 Quantify the biological, ecological and socio-economic benefits of floodplain rehabilitation using fish passage technology to mitigate impacts

A detailed socio-economic survey was facilitated by Charles Sturt University and National University of Lao in September 2011. The team also planned a detailed training schedule for university students who will be engaged to undertake the surveys. Surveys were translated into local language for implementation and preliminary results were presented at a national fishway workshop.
1.3 Overall progress
So far the project is on-schedule and tracking to meet all scheduled objectives. No major problems have arisen and the project team have formed a strong collaboration. The project has attracted media and government interest in both Lao PDR and Australia. Outputs due for publication in the international literature are also expected to increase the project profile lead to scientific impacts in other tropical systems.

Analyse and prioritise infrastructure causing fish migration barriers to lateral migrations between the Mekong River and floodplain habitat
Detailed Mapping of fish migration barriers in the Xe Bang Hieng, Xe Champone and Nam Ngum catchments have been completed (Figure 1; Figure 2; Figure 3). Reports have also been produced outlining the prioritisation of barriers within the Xe Bang Hieng and Xe Champhone and the rehabilitation options available for the highest priority barriers. The purpose of this component is to provide a detailed list of potential rehabilitation works for consideration by donor bodies looking to identify areas of future investment. The top three barriers identified for rehabilitation works within the Xe Champone catchment have now been finalised (Figure 4, Figure 5 and Figure 6). The work required an initial desktop phase which was followed by field validation of actual barriers using GIS-based technology. The team collected a large dataset which is currently undergoing detailed analysis and prioritisation. We identified over 4,000 barriers to fish migration in the three catchments. The work has been very widely received as The World Bank and Mekong River Commission have funded extensions of the projects barrier mapping methods to other catchments including the Xe Bang Fei (Laos) and Stung Chinut (Cambodia). The project team has been asked to assist with a framework development which is currently being prepared by the MRC Fisheries Programme.
The World Bank have progressed this via direct contract to an external provider with the objective of generating a list of potential sites for development projects. The list will be used as a guide for investment. This is a direct result of initial mapping work conducted from this project.
Research the effectiveness of low-costs fishways for widespread application at floodplain barriers in the lower Mekong basin and the Murray-Darling Basin
During the 2013 wet season from May to July both Lao and Australian project staff assessed the effectiveness of the first permanent demonstration fishway constructed at Pak Peung wetland regulator (Figure 7; Figure 8; Figure 9). Diurnal sampling was conducted with a total of 43 days completed. The second round of fishway assessment will take place during the 2014 wet season from May to July. The 2014 fishway assessment will allow a considerable amount of time for fish to swim freely into the wetland. It is important that this occurs so the positive outcomes of the demonstration fishway can be realised through future socio-economic surveys. Results from both 2013 and 2014 fishway assessments will be prepared as both a technical report and scientific manuscript and used to justify the construction of other fishways throughout the Lower Mekong Basin.
Quantify the biological, ecological and socio-economic benefits of floodplain rehabilitation using fish passage technology to mitigate impacts
The socio-economic baseline survey results from 2011 were combined with the additional 2012 results and presented at the annual project meeting in Vientiane, August 2013 (Figure 10). No socio-economic surveys were conducted in 2013. The next socio-economic survey will be conducted in November 2014 and will be facilitated by Charles Sturt University, LARReC and NUOL staff and students. The overall benefits arising from the socio-economic work will be to track villager perception to the overall benefits from fishway construction. The work will demonstrate that species have recolonised the wetland, whether the villagers see the project as successful and whether livelihoods have improved as a direct result of fishway construction.
Overall progress
The project is on-schedule to be completed within the original timeframe meeting all planned objectives, activities and outcomes. No major problems have arisen and the project team have formed a strong collaboration. The project has attracted media and government interest in both Lao PDR and Australia. We have had the opportunity to present the project at international conferences, to high level government officials, to NGO meetings and via various organised workshops. Outputs due for publication in the international literature are also expected to increase the project profile leading to scientific impacts in other tropical systems.

Collaborating Institutions
Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
National University of Laos, Laos
Living Aquatic Resources Research Centre, Laos
Program Areas
Overview Objectives

The catchments of the Murray-Darling Basin and the Mekong drain similar areas. Both systems contain unique fish communities that are important sources of biodiversity, food security and recreational opportunities. But irrigation development in both Australia and Lao PDR has led to construction of numerous water regulation devices that limit migratory fish movement, and in many areas this has led to severe declines in fish production. Previous research in Australia and Lao PDR has demonstrated that there are fish-passage technologies with the potential to aid the movement of migratory fish past low-level (less than 6-metre) barriers. Fisheries agencies in both countries are thus interested in increasing capacity to design, manage and operate fish passage facilities on new and existing low-level water control structures. This project will identify and prioritise water infrastructure that creates migration barriers to lateral fish migrations between the Mekong River, its tributaries and floodplain habitat and undertake research to determine the effectiveness of low-cost fishways for widespread application at floodplain barriers in the lower Mekong basin. The researchers will also quantify the biological, ecological and socio-economic benefits of floodplain rehabilitation using fish passage technology to increase awareness and uptake of low-cost mitigation measures.

Project Budget
$1,837,814.00
Grant Report Value
$2021595
Grant Report Recipient
Industry & Investment NSW
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
2700
Grant Report Finish Date
30/09/2015
Grant Report Start Date
19/08/2010

Increasing production from inland aquaculture in Papua New Guinea for food and income security

Project Leader
Dr Jesmond Sammut
Email
j.sammut@unsw.edu.au
Fax
02 9385 1558
Phone
02 9385 8281
Project Country
Inactive project countries
Project ID: 
FIS/2008/023
Start Date
01/04/2010
Project Coordinator Fax
Reference Number
NM-202307-56047
Project Type
Bilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
31/03/2014
Extension Start Date
01/04/2014
Commissioned Organisation: 
University of New South Wales, Australia
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
Commissioned Organisation
University of New South Wales, Faculty of Science, Australia
Extension Finish Date
30/06/2016
Overview Collaborators
  • National Fisheries Authority, Papua New Guinea
  • Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
  • Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Papua New Guinea
  • Highland Aquaculture Development Centre, Papua New Guinea
  • Ok Tedi Development Foundation, Papua New Guinea
  • Community Based Health Care, Papua New Guinea
  • Maria Kwin Training Centre, Papua New Guinea
  • University of Technology, Papua New Guinea
  • Bris Kanda Inc., Papua New Guinea
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Chris Barlow
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

The project was officially launched in August 2010 in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province. The Year 1 activities focussed on broodstock performance trials to select the best breeding stock for tilapia, and a feed ingredients survey to underpin Year 2 studies on fingerling production and feed trials respectively. Year 1 activities also included: capacity building in Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing in Western Province and development of draft site selection criteria and mapping protocols; the strengthening of partnerships with lead farmers, farming cooperatives and small partner organisations; the reinvigoration of Fish for Schools and the Fish for Prisons Programs; and, contribution to inland aquaculture baseline surveys initiated by the National Fisheries Authority (NFA).
The experimental design for broodstock trials was completed but the on-station trials were postponed until the end of August in 2011 due to delays in preparing suitable experimental sites. Initial plans to commence trials at Highland Aquaculture Development Centre (HAQDEC) were postponed to enable NFA to redevelop the centre’s research facilities. Attempts to run trials at private farms, as a surrogate ‘on-station’ option, were abandoned due to logistical problems, lack of ponds for replication of trials, and security risks. The redevelopment of HAQDEC commenced in March 2011. Ponds will be stocked for the trials at the end of August 2011. Ponds at Potsy Village, Morobe Province, were also prepared for parallel trials to compare data from high and low altitude sites and to provide a backup location. Broodstock from Yonki Reservoir and HAQDEC were collected and conditioned for the trials.
The Year 1 feed ingredients survey was completed for Morobe Province and Eastern Highlands Province. Samples of feed ingredients were collected from suppliers and other sources, catalogued and prepared for analysis. The analyses will be conducted in collaboration with the ‘Pacific islands aquaculture feed ingredients inventory’ (ACIAR and SPC) to enable comparison of data and to maximise the knowledgebase on feed ingredients for the Pacific region.
Secondary environmental and socioeconomic data were collected by OTFRDP from OTML archives. Mr Yanzan Aki, employed by OTFRDP to support the project, was trained in GIS and Remote Sensing techniques by the Gadjah Mada University team members. The training involved the preliminary analysis of the OTML spatial data; detailed analyses have commenced, and draft site selection criteria and mapping models have been prepared for the next stage of the mapping component. A final draft of site selection criteria will be produced in September 2011 to incorporate criteria for non-aquaculture commodities as an option for farmers in the Ok Tedi Mine impact zone.
Project team members engaged with new and existing cooperative farmers in preparation for Year 2 extension activities. During field visits, the project team conducted pond preparation and pond management demonstration activities, assessed the condition of ponds and provided technical advice to farmers in an effort to create uniform pond conditions for proposed on-farm trials in Year 2. Baseline surveys, designed by NFA, were conducted during the field visits to enable the project to measure the impact of its research on farm productivity and to assess changes in the socioeconomic status of farmers who adopt the research findings. The project team also re-established ties with secondary schools and the prison system to prepare for extension training. Training of Trainers (teachers and prison officers) was undertaken and will continue to the end of the project. A partnership with the PNG Defence Force was also established. The project team will be training existing and retiring army personnel in Morobe Province. The National Fisheries Authority and the project team have also implemented a ‘follow-up’ program for ex-prisoners involved in past fish farming training in prison in an effort to monitor their progress and identify training needs and other interventions. Training, technical support and demonstration activities were also conducted at field days, the Morobe Urban Youth Program and the Maria Kwin Centre. The project team is also working with HIV/AIDS programs to assess the benefits of fish in the diet of patients.

The second year of the project focussed on producing new generations of GIFT Tilapia broodstock for experimental work and to re-establish a broodstock management program in PNG. This was achieved and enabled the project to commence reproductive and growth performance trials for two families of GIFT Tilapia. Fish of a known age and origin have been raised to spawning size, and record keeping and broodstock management plans were implemented at HAQDEC and Potsy Village. Two GIFT Tilapia families were selected based on earlier assessment of the genetic status by Professor Peter Mather. The two families were re-established at HAQDEC, Aiyura and Potsy Village, Morobe Province, to test for reproductive and growth performance in two different climatic zones.
The facility at HAQDEC was refurbished under NFA funding with technical inputs from the project team. Ponds and canals were rebuilt, water supply from the reservoir was improved, and security fencing was installed to reduce theft. Other infrastructure, necessary for research and broodstock management, was also refurbished. The restored capacity of HAQDEC will be maintained by NFA and the project to re-establish it as the national broodstock management centre. Most of the refurbishment of HAQDEC was completed in late 2011 enabling the experimental work to commence in December 2011. Experimental work also commenced at Potsy Village. GIFT Tilapia at HAQDEC have grown at a lower rate than Potsy Village because of temperature differences. Trials have been conducted on egg removal for incubation work. The second stage of the experimental program involves comparing the reproductive and growth performance of fish from both families at the two locations. The commercialisation of ponds at Potsy Village has interrupted work and fish will now need to be relocated and reconditioned before the experiment can be restarted. The HAQDEC experiment will continue uninterrupted. Water supply difficulties at Erap will affect long-term broodstock management for the lowlands; NFA and the project team are investigating options.
A major feed ingredients survey was completed for Eastern Highlands Province (EHP) and Morobe province. The survey assessed availability, composition and cost of feed ingredients for each province. Proximate analysis of feed ingredients from all sources was completed and a feed ingredients database was created. The feed survey work will be expanded to include Madang and other locations. Feed formulations will be developed this year to prepare for feed trials that will follow on from growth performance trials. Preliminary trials on feed formulations, and associated work with lead and cooperative farmers, has enabled farmers to transition from expensive feed to lower cost, locally-produced feed. Profitability has increased for farmers who have replaced commercial feed with locally-produced pellets. Feed and growth trials were conducted at trout farms in Eastern Highlands Province in connection with an ACIAR mini project. The project has also provided assistance to trout farmers to improve the hatching success of imported eggs. Farmers are now independently hatching eggs.
The project team participated in an Experimental Design and Statistical Analysis Workshop delivered by UNSW to build scientific capacity. DEEDI provided field-based training of technicians involved in pond monitoring and management. The project team conducted training for lead farmers, cooperative farmers, model farmers, the PNG Military, primary and tertiary school teachers, prisoners at five prisons and NGOs. Partnerships with NGOs have been strengthened and collaborative dissemination and training opportunities have been cultivated.
Draft site selection criteria and mapping models have been developed further for the highlands and lowlands of PNG. The team has commenced developing extension and technical materials for site assessment, broodstock management, fish nutrition and fish husbandry. Efforts are underway to monitor and assess the impact of project interventions in EHP, WHP and Morobe Province.

Collaborating Institutions
National Fisheries Authority, Papua New Guinea
Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Australia
Department of Agriculture and Livestock, Papua New Guinea
Highland Aquaculture Development Centre, Papua New Guinea
Ok Tedi Development Foundation, Papua New Guinea
Community Based Health Care, Papua New Guinea
Maria Kwin Training Centre, Papua New Guinea
University of Technology, Papua New Guinea
Bris Kanda Inc., Papua New Guinea
Program Areas
Overview Objectives

There are already more than 10,000 small-scale fish farms in Papua New Guinea producing tilapia, carp or trout for home consumption and sale, and interest in aquaculture continues to climb. The government has given high priority to aquaculture development in recognition of its potential to help achieve food security, particularly in the inland areas. But current production levels are low when compared with South-East Asian systems. Constraints include lack of capability within management agencies to identify appropriate sites for pond development, inadequate supply and poor quality of fingerlings, limited availability and high cost of pond fertilisers and suitable feeds, and a general lack of knowledge and training on aquaculture husbandry skills. The objectives of this project are to develop aquaculture planning systems for management agencies and improve fish husbandry techniques for primarily small-scale fish farmers in PNG. Focused on the Western, Western Highlands, Eastern Highlands and Morobe Provinces, the project will address the farming requirements of different fish species and environmental challenges. The project builds directly on previous research undertaken with support from ACIAR - one project on land classification for aquaculture development in Indonesia and three others on various aspects of inland aquaculture in PNG.

Project Budget
$1,700,010.00
Grant Report Value
$1870011
Grant Report Recipient
University of New South Wales
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
2052
Grant Report Finish Date
30/06/2016
Grant Report Start Date
03/03/2010

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