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Surveillance tools and strategies for improved control, monitoring and eradication of avian influenza in Indonesia

Project Leader
Dr Jagodina Ignjatovic
Email
jagodai@unimelb.edu.au
Fax
(03) 9731 2366
Phone
(03) 9731 226536
Project Country
Project ID: 
AH/2010/039
Start Date
01/10/2011
Project Coordinator Fax
Reference Number
SM-200607-52536
Project Type
Bilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
31/12/2014
Commissioned Organisation: 
University of Melbourne, Australia
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
Commissioned Organisation
University of Melbourne, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Australia
Overview Collaborators
  • Research Institute for Veterinary Science, Indonesia
  • University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Australia
  • University of Gadjah Mada, Indonesia
  • DGLAHS, Indonesia
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Mike Nunn
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

The overall aim of the project is to develop and evaluate surveillance tools and strategies, based on differentiation of infected and vaccinated poultry (DIVA), for improved monitoring and control of H5N1 in Indonesia. The project aims to combine field evaluation and laboratory testing of available surveillance methods in commercial poultry farms in Indonesia. Six collaborating organisations are involved: In Indonesia, Indonesian Research Center for Veterinary Science Bogor, the University of Gadjah Mada Faculty of Veterinary Medicine Yogyakarta and Campaign Management Unit of Directorate General of Livestock and Animal Health Services Jakarta; in Australia, School of Veterinary Science University of Melbourne (the lead organisation), School of Veterinary Science University of Adelaide and the CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory Geelong.
The three-and-half year project commenced in early 2012 with the inception meeting held in Indonesia at which the overall research approach and methodology was reviewed against the developments made since the project was conceptualised. Some adjustments were made to the research methodology by incorporating additional activities particularly in regard to introduction of new test methods and validation procedure for DIVA strategy. This strategy will now involve comparisons between tests based on different avian influenza virus antigens and employing variations of test formats. In preparation for longitudinal survey of vaccinated flocks, focus has been on introduction of various test procedures, compiling test protocols and assembly of regents needed for all tests to be used effectively in two laboratories. Protocols for farm enrolment and longitudinal surveillance are in the process of development and pilot enrolment visits have been made to layer farms in two regions. Activities in the first four months of operation also focused on implementation of administrative and research arrangements necessary for future efficient functioning of the project.

The overall aim of the project is to develop surveillance tools and strategies based on differentiation of infected and vaccinated (DIVA) poultry for improved monitoring and control of HPAI in Indonesia. During the previous year activities have been carried out in two laboratories in Indonesia and three in Australia in the following areas: (i) Development and standardization of methods and reagents for large-scale application of the DIVA tests; (ii) Development and testing of protocols for farm enrolment and surveillance; (iii) Selection of poultry farms to participate in long-term longitudinal DIVA surveillance and (iv) Commencement of surveillance trials on selected poultry farms.
(i) As monitoring of poultry flocks for HPAI H5N1 will be done on a large scale and samples tested in two laboratories over the period of 15 months, to achieve an effective outcome, combination of serological, molecular and virological tests was introduced and compared using standardised and reference reagents. Initially three Laboratory trials were conducted to obtain baseline data and generate H5N1-specific antisera to be used as control sera for DIVA tests; Commercial pullets were vaccinated one to three times with a commercial H5N1 vaccine and challenged with an Indonesian H5N1 strain. Sera and swab samples collected were used to compare specificity and sensitivity of various DIVA tests, as well as other serological assays, and the PCRs, with virus isolation. From five different DIVA tests compared, three tests had high enough specificity and sensitivity and these were selected as tests of choice for further field evaluation in surveillance trials. Specificity and sensitivity of five PCRs tests based on the detection of the M and HA1 genes were compared with virus isolation. Two PCR test formats, one based on the detection of the M gene and the second on the detection of HA1 gene using primers specific for Indonesian H5N1 strains, were selected for the future use. For all methods selected reagents and standards have been produced in quantities sufficient for all testing, and tests performance compared in two laboratories in Indonesia to confirm uniformity of the results obtained. (ii) Protocols for farms’ enrolment were develop, tested in pilot enrolment visits to poultry farms in Central and West Java and subsequently protocols adjusted were meaningful answers were not obtained. These enrolment protocols were then used in visits to sixty layer farms in seven districts in Central and West Java to obtain profile data on poultry farms in these two regions. (iii) Data from sixty farms were analysed and thirty farms selected as being a fair representation of existing poultry practices in these districts; farms were characteristic of poultry Sector 3 layer farms, being of various size, vaccinating their flocks variable number of times, using different AI vaccines, and having variable levels of biosecurity. From thirty of these farms that were re-visited, eighteen farms were enrolled into the longitudinal DIVA surveillance trials that will last 12 months. (iv) The first sampling commenced in mid February 2012 when flocks were 18 weeks of age and the laboratory testing of samples commenced soon after. Analysis of the results obtained to date showed that some adjustments and/or confirmation by sequencing were needed for the HI and PCR tests used.

Collaborating Institutions
Research Institute for Veterinary Science, Indonesia
University of Adelaide, Australia
Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Australia
University of Gadjah Mada, Indonesia
DGLAHS, Indonesia
Program Areas
Overview Objectives

The aim of this project is to develop surveillance tools and strategies based on differentiation of infected and vaccinated poultry in order to improve monitoring, control and eradication of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) in Indonesia. HPAI has become endemic in Indonesia and continues to reduce poultry profitability and cause human deaths. The main tool used to alleviate these impacts in Indonesia is vaccination combined with movement control and producer education. However vaccination is constrained by the use of vaccines that are not matched to the viruses to which poultry are exposed. Improved vaccination could be achieved by detecting the presence of infection in animals that have been vaccinated. Recently, an ACIAR-supported project developed a promising new cost-effective diagnostic test to ‘proof of concept’ stage. This ‘Differentiation of Infected from Vaccinated Animals’ (DIVA) test underwent laboratory evaluations in Australia and Indonesia and will now be evaluated under field conditions in Indonesian poultry. Use of a fully validated DIVA test will provide concurrent evaluation of the effectiveness of vaccine programs and generate data to assist in the design of improved vaccination programs.

Project Budget
$1,440,128.00
Grant Report Value
$1584141
Grant Report Recipient
University of Melbourne
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
3030
Grant Report Finish Date
31/12/2014
Grant Report Start Date
18/08/2011

Developing markets and products for the Papua New Guinea Canarium nut industry

Project Leader
Professor Helen Wallace
Email
hwallace@usc.edu.au
Fax
07 5430 2881
Phone
07 5430 1228
Project Country
Project Coordinator Phone
0419 496 579
02 6217 0549
Project ID: 
FST/2010/013
Start Date
01/05/2012
Project Coordinator Fax
02 6217 0501
Reference Number
RH-201602-39126
Project Type
Bilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
30/04/2016
Commissioned Organisation: 
University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
bartlett@aciar.gov.au
Commissioned Organisation
University of the Sunshine Coast, Faculty of Science, Health and Education, Australia
Overview Collaborators
  • National Agricultural Research Institute, Papua New Guinea
  • University of Adelaide, Australia
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Mr Tony Bartlett
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

We have made excellent progress against the first year’s milestones.

The major scientific achievements are:

Research on tree selection shows that the profitability of the industry could be greatly increased by selecting trees with large kernels and high kernel recovery. In some cases the kernels of the best selections are around twice the size of the worst.
Trials of a new processing methods of drying fresh kernels show that temperatures of above 60C will reduce kernel moisture content to below 5 % in only 1 hour whereas drying at 50 C does not reduce moisture substantially below 10 %. These results highlight the need for efficient drying systems at the correct temperature.
Early results indicate that the nuts need to be drier when packaged than currently is the case in order to prolong storage.
Microbiological test results of samples taken through the processing chain indicated that samples were mostly acceptable for Australian food standards, although many were marginal. This highlights the need for improving food safety standard during processing.
Key negative impacts on market and product development include the lack of capacity to supply product, maintain a consistent quality and quantity supply, and need for product specifications, all of which currently impact people’s desire and capacity to be involved in the industry. Initial benchmarking data have been collected, against which final benchmarking data will be gathered, to ascertain impacts on the socio-economic livelihoods of smallholders. Key benchmarking indicators include growth in plantings and harvesting, the domestic industry and the commercial industry and associated profit returns, progress on standardization of the industry, and capacity (knowledge of growing and marketing needs, as well as ability to supply).

This project has built capacity through training, and suppling equipment. Processors in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu have benefited from training on nut quality and ways to improve quality and shelf life. Project staff from USC and University of Adelaide are working in partnership with chain champions in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu staff to improve processes for drying, moisture loss and shelf life and have provided training, information and equipment to processors.

Staff at the Solomon Islands Ministry of Forests have been trained in assessing tree volume, early fruiting and flowering. They were also trained in weighing and measuring fruit and how replication influences the experimental design. Scientific ovens were installed in the Vanuatu Department of Forests, Port Vila and staff at the Vanuatu Department of Forests were involved in oven drying trials.

In the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu new markets for canarium products are opening up for farmers as more processors become involved and are buying larger quantities of product from farmers. The canarium industry in Vanuatu is growing and currently 5 organisations have expressed an interest in processing canarium products, and most are already actively processing. The industry has increased since the start of the project with a new processor now selling product in supermarket shelves. They commenced processing in 2011 and processed 500 kg of kernel in 2012 and are planning to triple production to 1.5 tonnes in the coming year. Interest in the canarium Industry in the Solomon Islands is strong. The Nut Grower’s Association Solomon Islands (NGASI) now has 500 members and is led by Richard Pauku (Maraghoto Holdings).

In PNG staff at NARI have been involved in experimental planning for kernel drying, storage and roasting experiments. This training has resulted in several experiments being commenced. Interest among farmers in East New Britain, PNG has increased with large plantings of canarium seedlings supplied by NARI. Approximately 200,000 trees have been produced in the NARI nursery and distributed to small holders and cocoa plantations over the past four years. At present there is no commercial market or processing factory for these nuts and the focus of the next 2 years will be to partner with commercial partners to drive the nut processing industry.

Collaborating Institutions
National Agricultural Research Institute, Papua New Guinea
University of Adelaide, Australia
Program Areas
Overview Objectives

Canarium indicum is an indigenous tree throughout the South Pacific, producing edible nuts as well as timber. The nuts are little known in international markets, but there is strong domestic demand in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. Processing and value adding to canarium nuts would open up world nut markets to Pacific Island countries. This project will build on domestic markets while investigating value-adding and processing opportunities for both domestic and export markets. Research will address problems in quantity and quality of supply, processing techniques, and in types of products and markets within and between the three countries.

Project Budget
$483,051.00
Grant Report Value
$531356
Grant Report Recipient
University of the Sunshine Coast
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
4558
Grant Report Finish Date
30/04/2016
Grant Report Start Date
04/04/2012

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
Project ID: 
PC/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

Sustainable management of soil and water resources for oil palm production systems in Papua New Guinea

Project Leader
Dr Paul Nelson
Email
paul.nelson@jcu.edu.au
Fax
07 4042 1284
Phone
07 4042 1375
Project Country
Project ID: 
SMCN/2009/013
Start Date
01/01/2010
Project Coordinator Fax
Reference Number
GK-201601-36981
Project Type
Bilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
31/12/2013
Extension Start Date
01/01/2014
Commissioned Organisation: 
James Cook University, Australia
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
Commissioned Organisation
James Cook University, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Australia
Extension Finish Date
30/06/2014
Overview Collaborators
  • CSIRO Land and Water, Australia
  • University of Adelaide, Australia
  • PNG Oil Palm Research Association Inc, Papua New Guinea
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Gamini Keerthisinghe
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

1/6/2010 - 31/5/2011

Activities during this period included literature reviews, field work in oil palm fields and associated landscapes, data assessment for modelling, and communication and training.
For the soil health, nutrient and carbon balance components of the project, field work was carried out in the ‘SCAN’ and ‘Allometrics’ experiments. In the ‘SCAN’ experiment, soil and plant samples were taken at 15 sites in Oro Province (smallholder oil palm planted on grassland at various times in the past) and 2 sites in Hoskins (oil palm planted on ex-forest land). The samples are being prepared for assessment of soil health using analysis of carbon isotopes, nutrient content, pH and microbial diversity. In the ‘Allometrics’ experiment, relationships between simply measured growth parameters and biomass (above- and below-ground) are being determined so that nutrient and carbon budgets can be estimated during the life of a plantation using the simple measurements. Field data collection was completed for 6-year old palms and is underway for 20-year old palms. An experiment has been planned to quantify nutrient and carbon cycling during the felling-replanting phase of a plantation in Milne Bay, and measurements of 15N natural abundance are underway to estimate N fixation by legume cover crops sampled in Oro and West New Britain.
For the aquatic ecosystem health component of the project, potential study sites were selected; 126 in the Kimbe Bay/Bialla areas and 54 in the Milne Bay/Mullins Harbour areas. Initial impact evaluations were conducted for each study site to support final selection of sites so that they represent the full available range of natural and impact conditions. Key potential sources of impact identified were: riparian forest loss and damage, gravel extraction causing turbidity in rivers, degraded water quality from mill effluent discharge, wastes from small-holder settlement, and direct entry into streams of fertilizer spread on adjacent oil palm. Field studies are now underway at these sites.
For the crop system modelling component of the project, the availability and suitability of oil palm growth data collected by the PNG Oil Palm Research Association (PNGOPRA) in their field trials was assessed. Data chosen for use in model development and testing covers a range of climate, soil and nutrient supply situations. The collection of weather data, an important input into the model, has also commenced. The allometric work described above is also important to the model development as it is required to convert the large datasets of non-destructive measurements into standing biomass and nutrient balances, and to parameterise the various growth processes within the model.
Several scientific and capacity impacts occurred during this period. The project is informing the sustainability-related activities of New Britain Palm Oil Ltd, especially with respect to carbon cycling. The work so far has included extensive involvement of PNGOPRA and Oil Palm Industry Corporation staff as the first stage of their training for the future monitoring work. In addition, Dr Murom Banabas benefitted from leadership training under a John Dillon Fellowship and training in scenario modelling under a Crawford Training Award.
Project activities were communicated to PNG oil palm growers and the wider community through several avenues. Communication with the industry occurred through smallholder 42 field days and several meetings with company and advisory staff. Project staff published 6 scientific papers on sustainability issues in the PNG oil palm industry, and gave 5 interviews published in the media.
Three postgraduate students have been enrolled to contribute to the aims of the project; Rachel Pipai, who is working on nitrogen fixation by legume cover crops (MSc, Uni of Adelaide, John Allwright Fellowship funding); Murray Bower, working on aquatic ecosystem impacts (PhD, James Cook Uni); and Iain Goodrick, working on soil carbon cycling (MSc, James Cook Uni.).
1/1/2010 - 31/5/2010
The project commenced in January 2010, with a workshop in Townsville in which the conceptual basis of the project activities was discussed. Potential indicators have been identified and research activities planned. Field work in PNG commenced in May 2010, when most Australian project staff travelled to PNG. Most of the project work will be carried out in West New Britain (WNB) and Oro Provinces. During the initial field work, staff from the PNG Oil Palm Research Association (OPRA), National Agricultural Research Institute (NARI) and Oil Palm Industry Corporation (OPIC) helped develop new methods of sampling plants and soil for carbon balance, nutrient cycling and nitrogen fixation. Through involvement in project meetings, approximately 20 plantation company staff, 35 OPIC officers and 10 smallholder growers became more aware of environmental issues and the project objectives. In addition, through OPRA/OPIC field days, more than 570 smallholder growers became more aware of environmental sustainability issues, together with productivity and social issues.

Activities during this period included field work, laboratory analyses, modelling, and communication and training.
For the soil health, nutrient and carbon balance components of the project, work was carried out in several experiments. Experiments contributing to several objectives are the ‘SCAN’ (‘Silicon, carbon and nutrients’) and ‘Allometrics’ experiments established in previous years, and the ‘Replant’ and ‘FOPEC’ (‘forest-to-oil palm erosion and carbon’) experiments established this year. In the ‘SCAN’ experiment, soil and plant samples taken at 17 sites (smallholder oil palm planted on grassland or forest at various times in the past) were analysed for total carbon and nitrogen content, isotopes of carbon and nitrogen, charcoal content, nutrient content, pH and microbial diversity. Soil respiration was measured in the field. In the ‘Allometrics’ experiment, relationships between simply measured growth parameters and biomass (above- and below-ground) are being determined so that nutrient and carbon budgets can be estimated during the life of a plantation using the simple measurements. All canopy and root sampling has been completed (6-, 10- and 20-year old palms), whereas trunk and cabbage sampling is yet to be completed. Allometric relationships were calculated for the canopy. In the ‘Replant’ experiment, palms, soil and groundcover were sampled before felling, the palms were felled and new seedling planted. In the ‘FOPEC’ experiment, pairs of forested and oil palm sites with the same slope and landscape position were chosen and soil sampling commenced. Soil acidification was assessed in desk-top and field activities. Nitrogen fixation was examined in two glasshouse trials and field sampling.
For the aquatic ecosystem health component of the project, over 150 sites in WNB between Walindi and Bialla were evaluated; water quality was assessed at 60 sites in 22 stream systems and aquatic fauna was sampled from 41 sites across 22 stream systems. Chemical and physical analysis of water (nitrate, phosphate, biochemical oxygen demand and turbidity) identified two major problem areas; mill drainage systems (streams receiving effluent from settling ponds) and turbidity levels. Analysis of aquatic fauna indicated high fishing pressure.
For the crop system modelling component of the project, the software product, Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM) is being parameterised to model growth and fresh fruit bunch production of oil palm based on climate data (sunshine, rainfall, temperature) and nutrient supply. The first components to be parameterised are the canopy and roots.
For the implementation component of the project, smallholders, extension and company staff were involved in numerous aspects of the project.
Several scientific and capacity impacts occurred during this period. The project is informing the sustainability-related activities of New Britain Palm Oil Ltd. The work so far has included extensive involvement of PNG Oil Palm Research Association and Oil Palm Industry Corporation staff as the first stage of their training for the future monitoring work.
Project activities were communicated to PNG oil palm growers and the wider community through several avenues. Communication with the industry occurred through smallholder field days and several meetings with company and advisory staff. Project staff gave 6 conference/workshop papers on sustainability issues in the PNG oil palm industry, and published one article in an agronomy journal.
The project mid-term review was held in February 2012.

Activities during this period included field work, laboratory analyses, modelling, and communication and training.
For the soil health, nutrient and carbon balance components of the project, work was carried out in several experiments. Experiments contributing to several objectives are the ‘Allometrics’, ‘FOPEC’ (‘forest-to-oil palm erosion and carbon’), ‘Replant’ and ‘SCAN’ (‘Silicon, carbon and nutrients’) experiments established in previous years. Activities in this year included the following. In the ‘Allometrics’ experiment, nutrients stocks in fronds and roots of palms 6-, 10- and 20 years old were calculated. In the ‘FOPEC’ experiment, soil sampling was completed. In the ‘Replant’ experiment, palms, groundcover, soil and decomposing felled palms were sampled approximately 6 months after the replanting. In the ‘SCAN’ experiment, changes in the chemical fertility of topsoil following conversion from grassland to oil palm were analysed and in-field respiration measurements were made. In other work related to soil health, soil pH was measured in a nitrogen fertiliser trial. A paper was drafted on the importance of spatial variability in soil and palm properties at the scale of trees. Nitrogen fixation research in the field was completed.
For the aquatic ecosystem health component of the project, indicators were developed using simple robust approaches and four key criteria.
For the crop system modelling component of the project, the prototype oil palm model was extended to provide a more detailed model of bunch development, and to estimate the impact of legume cover crops on the carbon and nitrogen balance of the system. Testing of the model was extended to four regions to provide a wide range of environmental conditions.
For the implementation component of the project, project staff engaged with the industry in several ways. Sustainability issues were discussed with smallholder growers at field days and through radio programs. Project activities were discussed with industry representatives at the monthly local planning committee meetings at Popondetta and Hoskins. In Popondetta, considerable progress was made in coordinating management of data from smallholder producers between the PNG Oil Palm Research Association (PNGOPRA), New Britain Palm Oil Limited (NBPOL) and the Oil Palm Industry Corporation (OPIC). Smallholders, extension and company staff were involved in numerous aspects of the project.
Several scientific and capacity impacts occurred during this period. The work so far has included extensive involvement of PNGOPRA and OPIC staff, including PNGOPRA agronomist Rachel Pipai, who completed her MSc on biological nitrogen fixation as part of the project. Students from the University of Natural Resources (Rabaul and Popondetta campuses) on industrial training were involved in soil and plant sampling and measurements as part of their industrial training. PNGOPRA staff improved their scientific writing skills in a workshop co-sponsored by the Crawford Fund and CSIRO.
Project activities were communicated to PNG oil palm growers and the wider community through several avenues. Communication with the industry occurred through smallholder field days, meetings with company and advisory staff and articles in industry newsletters. The project is informing the sustainability-related activities of NBPOL, Hargy Oil Palms and OPIC. Project staff published one scientific paper, and presented two conference papers and four seminars on sustainability issues in the PNG oil palm industry. Several items were also aired in the Australian media.

Collaborating Institutions
CSIRO Land and Water, Australia
University of Adelaide, Australia
PNG Oil Palm Research Association Inc, Papua New Guinea
Overview Objectives

Oil palm is the most important crop in PNG in terms of export income (over K1,000 million in 2008), directly supporting approximately 18,600 registered smallholder families and an estimated 200,000 people, and driving the cash economies of the four provinces in which it is grown. In these provinces the future productivity of oil palm and other crops, future food security, integrity of surrounding ecosystems and consequent community wellbeing all rely on environmentally sustainable management of oil palm. This project will develop and implement meaningful, practical environmental sustainability indicators for soil and water resources, underpinning the principles and criteria of the Round Table on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in which all PNG palm oil producers participate. Broad aims of the project are: a) to identify the main risks then develop options for managing them, as a means of ensuring that smallholder oil palm growers sustainably use soil and water resources; b) to implement/establish management practices that ensure sustainable use of these resources; c) to develop indicators to assess performance and guide management, complementary to the RSPO. The project will contribute to environmental accreditation, which is essential for the long-term viability of the palm oil industry.

Project Budget
$887,500.00
Grant Report Value
$976250
Grant Report Recipient
James Cook University
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
4870
Grant Report Finish Date
30/06/2014
Grant Report Start Date
13/01/2010

Zero-tillage rice establishment and crop-weed dynamics in rice and wheat cropping systems in India and Australia

Project Leader
Dr Gurjeet Gill
Email
gurjeet.gill@adelaide.edu.au
Fax
08 83037979
Phone
08 8303 7744
Project Country
Project ID: 
CSE/2004/033
Australian Partner
Start Date
01/07/2006
Project Coordinator Fax
Reference Number
CP-203007-57934
Project Type
Bilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
30/06/2011
Extension Start Date
01/07/2011
Commissioned Organisation: 
University of Adelaide, Australia
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
Commissioned Organisation
University of Adelaide, School of Agriculture and Wine, Australia
Extension Finish Date
30/06/2015
Overview Collaborators
  • CCS Haryana Agricultural University, India
  • Punjab Agricultural University, India
  • International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, India
  • International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, India
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr John Dixon
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

During 2006, significant progress was made against all project objectives, involving the collaborative efforts of the researchers from the institutes of CCS Haryana Agricultural University (HAU), Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Rice-Wheat Consortium (RWC) and the University of Adelaide (UA), to investigate zero-tillage rice establishment and crop-weed dynamics in rice and wheat cropping systems of India and Australia.

Excellent progress has been made in the development of baseline information required for the successful establishment of direct seeded rice (DSR) as a productive and sustainable alternative to conventional hand-transplanted system. Several field sites (n=35) were established across states of Haryana, Punjab and Bihar. These states geographically provide an excellent cross section of the Indo-Gangetic plains in terms of climatic and productivity status. Consultation amongst principal scientists, researchers and growers from each region, identified local issues to be investigated within the proposed objectives of LWR/2004/033. More specifically, key experimental questions addressed in the first year of the project for DSR systems included (a) direct validation of rice productivity in comparison to hand-transplanted puddle system, (b) identification of optimal rice sowing densities and times, (c) evaluation and suitability of different rice genotypes, (d) identification of weed recruitment/dynamics and potential shifts in weed flora, and (e) development of robust weed management strategies.

Comparative evaluation of DSR against the traditional hand-transplanted system showed a yield depression was associated with zero-tillage establishment in Punjab (20 to 73%), and Bihar (23%) sites, respectively. However, optimising sowing time and seeding rates (40-60 kg/ha) of rice significantly reduced the yield penalty associated with zero-tillage (7%). Data from sites in Punjab and Bihar showed that rice yields were statistically non-significant between DSR and transplanted systems when sowing dates were similar for the systems. The maturity profile (short versus long) of rice cultivars was also shown to be an important characteristic to final yield outcomes and requires further investigation.

In addition, grower field sites (n=17) were established in Haryana to evaluate the performance of basmati and coarse grain rice established under zero-till and puddle transplant systems. Preliminary data is extremely encouraging showing similar yields for Zero-till (2275 to 6800 kg/ha) and traditional puddle transplant systems (2325 to 7625 kg/ha). It is expected that ongoing interaction between the researchers and growers on alternative rice production systems will greatly facilitate the on-farm adoption of DSR.

Emphasis was also placed on identifying suitable rice genotypes for DSR, with rice breeding lines and cultivars sourced from local breeding programs. Several genotypes (n=33) differing in maturity (short, medium & long) and vigour were evaluated under DSR and transplanted systems at sites in Punjab and Bihar. It was encouraging to note that some of the advanced breeding lines produced similar yields under DSR and transplanted systems. However, it is important that these data be revalidated in 2007, to show the effects of seasonal variation on these genotype sowing system responses. In 2007, It is anticipated that additional breeding lines will be sourced from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Indian breeding programs and evaluated for suitability under DSR system.

An experiment undertaken in Bihar investigating weed establishment under DSR and transplanted rice showed that final weed densities (grassy, broadleaf and sedges) were similar for the different crop establishment systems (248 to 457 plants/m2). However, a significant shift in the weed spectrum resulted with fewer grassy weeds (48 to 83 plants/m2) establishing in zero-till DSR as compared to the transplanted system (220 plants/m2), respectively. Significant shifts in weed flora under DSR will have important implications for the management and the potential development of herbicide resistance. History has shown that herbicide resistance development (i.e. Phalaris minor) can be a major constraint to the productivity and sustainability of rice-wheat systems in India. Research undertaken as part of project LWR/2004/033 will closely monitor the resistance status of weeds under DSR.

Experiments evaluating different herbicide options for DSR identified useful mixtures (i.e. azimsulfuron + metsulfuron) for the control of broadleaf and sedge weeds (see attached reports). Useful options for controlling grass weeds in DSR were limited; however, herbicide Bispyribac provided excellent control (90%) of Echinochloa crus-galli (Barnyard grass) at sites in Haryana. High levels of weed control obtained with Bispyribac resulted in a 3-7 fold increase in rice yield compared to the weedy controls. Identification of useful herbicides for DSR will continue in 2007.

Data from Australian experimental work was extensive in 2006, with collection of important information on water and nutrient use efficiency in wide-row (WR) cropping under well below average growing season rainfall. In addition, replicated experiments were established investigating the performance and suitability of different crop species and their cultivars to WR cropping. These experiments have identified cultivars showing greater suitability to WR cropping and have consequently been repeated this year. Field experiments were also established investigating weed behaviour and management opportunities in WR cropping. Preliminary data has shown that WR systems appear to be less conducive to the establishment of problematic weeds such as annual ryegrass (ARG). Furthermore, strategic intra- and inter-row herbicide applications were shown to provide high levels of ARG control, and significant crop yield increases. Future research will be undertaken in farmer fields to investigate weed population dynamics under wide-row zero-till cropping systems.

During 2007, significant progress was made against project objectives involving collaborative efforts of researchers from CCS Haryana Agricultural University (HAU), Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), Rice-Wheat Consortium (RWC) and the University of Adelaide (UA), to investigate zero-tillage rice establishment and crop-weed dynamics in rice-wheat cropping systems of India and Australia.
During the reporting period excellent progress was made against project milestones in the identification and development of suitable establishment systems for direct seeded rice (DRS) as an alternative to the traditional hand transplanting method. Several field sites (n=35) were established across states of Haryana, Punjab and Bihar. Research activities focused on a) direct validation of DSR establishment systems against traditional hand-transplant technique, b) identification of optimal sowing times and seeding rates, c) evaluation and suitability of different rice genotypes, d) identification of weed recruitment/dynamics and potential shifts in weed flora and e) development of robust weed management systems.
Yield responses for coarse grain and basmati rice types were similar under comparative evaluations of DSR against traditional hand-transplant system at sites across states of Haryana, Punjab and Bihar. At 2 of the 3 sites established across Punjab there was no significant difference in yield between rice establishment systems, only at Kapurthala which has a sodic soil, rice yields were significantly higher (44-85%) in the traditional hand-transplant system. In contrast, rice established under zero-tillage at PUSA, Bihar, yielded significantly more grain (9-39%) than the traditional hand-transplant system. Similarly, higher yields were obtained with zero-tillage machine transplanted (8.3 t/ha) rice than the conventional puddled transplanted (7.5 t/ha) treatment at Kurukshetra research station, Haryana.
In addition, grower field sites (n=6) were established in the states of Haryana and Punjab to evaluate the performance of basmati and coarse grain rice established under DSR and puddle transplant systems. The results from grower fields in Haryana have been extremely encouraging with similar yields under DSR Basmati (2.6-2.9 t/ha) and the traditional puddle transplant system (2.4-3.1 t/ha). Preliminary results from sites in Punjab were also encouraging with yields in excess of 7.9 t/ha under DSR. Grower feedback from these results has been extremely positive, with some growers planning to investigate DSR on a larger scale in 2008. Furthermore, continual interaction between researchers and growers on alternative rice production systems is expected to greatly enhance on-farm adoption of DSR.
Experiments undertaken in Punjab and Bihar investigating optimal rice sowing densities and time clearly showed that yields were maximised for DSR when it was sown on the same day as nursery sowing for the transplant system, and when seeding rates were maintained at between 45-60 kg/ha (150 plants/m2). Furthermore, increased seeding rates were also shown to greatly improve the rice crops competitiveness with weeds such as Echinochloa and Panicum spp., resulting in significant reductions in weed growth (33-35%) and improved crop yields (27-62%).
For the second year, experiments were undertaken in Punjab and Bihar to assess the performance of several rice genotypes (n=44) under DSR and comparative puddle transplant systems. The evaluation consisted of rice breeding lines, hybrids and cultivars, sourced from International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and local Indian breeding programs. It was encouraging to see that several of the advanced lines, produced similar yields under DSR and transplant system. Breeding line 17A/R10, sourced from IRRI performed well under DSR (5.7 t/ha) in comparison to transplant system (5.2 t/ha) at PAU. Furthermore, hybrid genotypes evaluated in Bihar performed particularly well under DSR producing some of the highest grain yields (4.6-5.6 t/ha) in the study. The performance of basmati genotypes under DSR in Bihar is also noteworthy, with 5 of the 7 genotypes evaluated under this system producing equivalent yields to the puddle transplant system. It is anticipated that further genotype screening will occur in 2008, with additional breeding lines sourced from IRRI and local Indian breeding programs.
An experiment undertaken in Haryana, investigating weed establishment under puddled and unpuddled DSR and transplanted rice showed significant shifts in weed spectrum (grassy, broadleaf & sedges) under different crop establishment systems. Clear associations were found with Echinchloa, Leptochloa and Fimbristylis spp. showing greater establishment under DSR in comparison to the transplant system. Furthermore, there was greater establishment of Echinochloa under puddled conditions and Leptochloa under unpuddled conditions. In contrast, Cyperus difformis which is a sedge showed clear preference for the unpuddled transplant system. These clear differences in weed spectrum with the different rice establishment systems require further investigation. Studies are needed to investigate the effect of crop establishment system on the behaviour of weed seedbank. In June 2008, it is anticipated that studies on weed seedbank behaviour will be undertaken following a visit from the Australian project research officer (PRO) based in Adelaide.
Useful herbicide options identified in 2006 for controlling weeds in DSR (i.e. azimsulfuron and bispyribac) were evaluated further at sites in Haryana, Punjab and Bihar. Research focused on optimising herbicide application rates, timing and mixtures. Herbicide bispyribac continued to provide excellent control of grass (Echinochloa spp.) and sedge weeds (Cyperus spp.) at sites across all 3 states. This herbicide was particularly effective when applied at higher rates (25-30 g/ha) and early application timings (15-20 DAS). However, in an on-farm study at Kolhar bispyribac provided effective control of E. crusgalli even at the panicle emergence stage of the weed. Azimsulfuron provided effective control of broadleaf weeds, particularly when used in combination with metsulfuron. Importantly, there appears to be good selectivity with these herbicides in rice, with high levels of weed control resulting in increased grain yield. Further evaluation of these herbicides is planned for 2008.
Experiments undertaken in Australia provided second year of comprehensive data on water and nutrient use-efficiency in wide-row (WR) cropping. In addition, experiments evaluating the suitability of different crop species and their cultivars to WR were repeated. In 2007, additional crop types canola and chickpeas and their cultivars (n=6) were included for evaluation under WR systems. These experiments have been extremely useful in identifying cultivars with greater suitability to WR systems. Furthermore, positive results from these trials have prompted significant interest amongst the farming community with some growers adopting WR for the first time. Field experiments were also undertaken to investigate weed behaviour and management under WR. Results have again shown that WR systems significantly reduce the establishment of problematic weeds such as annual ryegrass (ARG). Furthermore, experiments established that ARG can be successfully controlled in WR systems with strategic intra- and inter-row herbicide applications. Research activities planned for 2008 will focus on investigating weed dynamics and management under WR cropping systems.

During 2008, significant progress was made against all the objectives in the project “zero-tillage rice establishment and crop-weed dynamics in rice-wheat cropping systems of India and Australia.”
Excellent progress has been made against project milestones in the identification and development of suitable crop establishment systems for direct seeded rice (DSR) as an alternative to the traditional hand-transplant system. Several field sites (n=84) have been established across states of Haryana, Punjab and Bihar, with more than 200 acres demonstrating DSR technology. Research activities in the third year focused on a) comparative assessment of DSR establishment systems against hand-transplant, b) identification of optimal sowing times and seed rates, c) evaluation of suitability of different rice genotypes for DSR, d) identification of weed recruitment/dynamics and potential shifts in weed flora and e) development of effective weed management strategies.
Results summarising the yield responses of coarse grain and basmati rice types to DSR and traditional hand-transplant system across sites in Haryana, Punjab and Bihar are presented in the attached reports (appendix 1). Rice established under zero-tillage at Kushmahot, Bihar, in the presence or absence of residue yielded significantly more grain (9-13%) than the traditional hand-transplant system. Similarly, higher yields were obtained with ZT machine transplanted rice (5-8 t/ha) than the conventional transplant approach (4.2-7.3 t/ha) at several grower sites (n=196) across Haryana. DSR yields in Punjab were also similar to the traditional practice of puddled hand transplanted rice.
During the reporting period significant efforts were made to demonstrate DSR technology with the more than 320 grower assisted sites established in Haryana and Bihar. Major findings from years 1 and 2 of the project relating to optimum sowing time, seed rates, varieties, nutrition and weed management have been used to develop agronomic packages for DSR. The results from grower fields have been extremely encouraging with significant yield gains for coarse grain (200-400 kg/ha) and basmati rice types (100-200 kg/ha) under DSR in comparison to the traditional hand-transplant system. Furthermore, grower feedback about these results has been extremely positive and farmer awareness of the potential benefits of DSR is now very high. For example, grower interest in the ZT machine transplant system has been so strong that government funds have been made available for the purchase of 30 additional transplanters for use in Haryana in the coming season. This system allows growers to plant directly into unpuddled conditions and has clearly demonstrated the benefits of DSR with significant savings in labour, fuel and water.
Experiments undertaken in Punjab for the third year clearly showed that yields for rice were maximised for DSR when it was sown on the same day as nursery sowing for the transplant system, prior to onset of monsoon and when seeding rates were maintained at between 45-60 kg/ha for coarse grain rice (150-200 plants/m2). Based on project research, recommendations on the agronomy of DSR (optimal sowing rates, time of sowing, weed control) can now be given with confidence. Furthermore, high seeding rates were shown to improve the competitiveness of the rice crop with grass weeds Echinochloa and Panicum spp., resulting in significant reductions in weed growth (41-48%) and improved yield (48-75%). In addition, experiments undertaken in Punjab and Bihar clearly showed that fertiliser rates of between 120-180 kg N/ha are required to achieve maximum yield potential under DSR.
Field experiments were undertaken in Punjab and Bihar to assess the performance of rice genotypes under DSR relative to the puddled transplant system. The evaluation consisted of rice breeding lines, hybrids and cultivars sourced from International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and local Indian breeding programs. In Bihar, genotypes showed similar yield responses irrespective of establishment system, however, cultivar Rajendra Mahsuri and hybrids ProAgro 6444 and PHB 71 produced higher grain yields (6.4-6.6 t/ha) under DSR than the transplant system. Research at PAU showed that hybrid RH 257 was the most weed competitive variety under DSR, with only 12.3% yield loss as compared to 28-59% for other varieties. Rice hybrids have consistently performed well under DSR and appear to be well suited to this establishment system. It is anticipated that further genotype screening will take place during 2009.
Experiments undertaken in Bihar and Haryana, investigating weed recruitment behaviour under different rice establishment systems clearly showed shifts in weed spectrum (grassy, broadleaf and sedges) under DSR. These studies have consistently shown that Echinochloa has the ability to infest both DSR and puddled transplanted crops with slightly higher densities under DSR. Leptochloa on the other hand, only becomes a weed of significance under DSR. Consequently, herbicide evaluation has been undertaken and promising new herbicides identified for the control of this weed species. In contrast, sedge Cyperus difformis was more prevalent under the traditional puddled hand-transplant system. Broadleaf weed spp. Ammania and Fimbristylis showed no association with either establishment system, however, Bracheria, was more prevalent under DSR in Bihar. A recent visit from the Australian project research officer (PRO) in June, provided opportunity to demonstrate seedbank sampling methodologies, which is anticipated to assist future research and understanding of the behaviour of these important weed spp.
Several experiments were undertaken in Haryana, Punjab and Bihar to evaluate herbicide options for DSR (i.e. bispyribac and azimsulfuron) with research focusing on optimising herbicide application rates, timing and mixtures. Herbicide bispyribac continued to provide consistent control of grass (Echinochloa spp.) and sedge (Cyperus spp.) weeds under DSR across all three states. In addition, several grower sites (n=32; 111 acres) were established across 6 districts in Haryana to verify performance of bispyribac as a recommended (i.e. 25 g/ha applied 15-25 DAS) weed control option for DSR. These demonstrations clearly showed growers the ability of this herbicide to provide high levels of grass (ave. 96%) and sedge weed control (ave. 76%) and gives them confidence to pursue DSR with the knowledge that an effective weed management tool is available. In addition, azimsulfuron provided effective control of broadleaf and sedge weeds (>70%) when applied at higher rates (30-35 g/ha), early application timings (15-25 DAS) and in tank mixtures with metsulfuron. Importantly, bispyribac and azimsulfuron have consistently been shown to provide effective and safe weed control in DSR, resulting in significant grain yield increases. As a result of project research and other associated work, bispyribac has been registered for rice production systems (DSR & transplant) and is to be released to growers in 2009.
As in the previous two seasons, comprehensive data was collected in 2008 on crop water use under wide-row (WR) cropping systems in Australia (see attached report). In addition, experiments were undertaken to evaluate the performance of canola and chickpea cultivars (n=6) to WR. These experiments successfully identified cultivars with greater suitability to WR and have provided growers with confidence to pursue these systems for yield and weed control benefits. Field experiments were also established to investigate weed behaviour and management opportunities under WR systems. Results have clearly shown that WR systems reduce establishment of problematic weeds such as annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) and provide an excellent opportunity for weed control with shielded herbicide applications in the intra- and inter-row zones.

During 2009, excellent progress was made against all the objectives in the project “zero-tillage rice establishment and crop-weed dynamics in rice-wheat cropping systems of India and Australia”.
Excellent progress has been made against project milestones in the identification and development of suitable establishment systems for direct seeded rice (DSR) as an alternative to the traditional hand-transplant system. In 2009 several field research sites (n=31) were established across states of Haryana, Punjab and Bihar. In addition to the trial sites, more than 581 farmer sites demonstrating DSR technology were also established. In Haryana alone, more than 350 acres was sown under DSR in 2009, with the area expected to rise substantially next year.
In fourth year of the project, research activities focused on a) direct validation of DSR establishment systems against hand-transplant, b) identification of optimal sowing times and seeding rates, c) evaluation and suitability of different rice genotypes, d) identification of weed recruitment/dynamics and potential shifts in weed flora, e) development of effective weed management strategies, and f) optimising nitrogen management under DSR.
Yield responses for coarse and basmati rice types under DSR and the traditional hand-transplant system at sites across states of Haryana, Punjab and Bihar are summarised in the attached reports (appendix 1). At the two field sites comparing rice establishment systems in Punjab, there was no significant difference between DSR and hand-transplant system, with grain yields as high as 6.4 t/ha for rice sown using modified seed drills. Rice established under zero-tillage and residue at Samastipur, Bihar, showed higher yields (5.4 t/ha) than the puddle-transplant system (5.1 t/ha) which is an exceptional performance given the dry conditions experienced over the growing season. Similarly, DSR evaluated across several farmer sites (n=354) in Haryana provided equivalent rice yields to conventional transplant system, with ZT machine transplanted rice yielding on average 5.6% more grain than the traditional system. As this work was undertaken in close association with the farmers, their awareness of the benefits of this technology is high which is expected to lead to its rapid on-farm adoption.
The project continues to raise awareness and interest amongst researchers, extension workers, government officials and importantly growers of the potential of alternate rice establishment systems. This was clearly evident from attendance by more than 200 farmers from all over Punjab at a national workshop on DSR at Punjab Agricultural University in September 2009. This workshop was organised by the PAU team of this ACIAR project. Furthermore, efforts to demonstrate DSR and its benefits were significantly increased during the reporting period with more than 581 grower assisted sites established in Haryana and Bihar. These field sites, established using agronomic packages developed within this project, have been extremely encouraging showing similar yields for both coarse and basmati rice types under DSR (2.8-6.4 t/ha) in comparison to the traditional puddle transplant system (3.2-6.4 t/ha). Grower feedback from these results has been extremely positive, with many growers reporting water savings of as much as 30% under DSR as well as savings in labour required for hand transplanting. In addition, considerable savings (3500 to 5000 rupees/ha) were reported for machine transplanted rice in comparison to the labour and puddling intensive hand-transplant system, further encouraging many growers to shift to DSR in 2010.
Experiments undertaken in Punjab last year clearly showed that yields for rice were maximised for DSR when it was sown on the same day as nursery sowing for the transplant system. Delays of sowing DSR beyond 15 days of nursery establishment for PTR resulted in significant losses in yield (26-55%). These studies have been critical in developing the management package for DSR. Research has also shown conclusively that DSR needs to be sown prior to the onset of monsoon, as rice is very sensitive to water-logging during germination, a key finding from Bihar. Improvements in the seed delivery mechanisms of seed-drills by the manufacturers during last two years has resulted in a significant reduction in the seed rate required for coarse grain (20-30 kg/ha) and basmati rice (17-20 kg/ha) without compromising crop establishment (150 plants/m2) and yield. In addition, experiments undertaken showed that fertiliser rates of between 120-180 kg N/ha split into three equal applications (i.e. 33% sowing, tillering and panicle initiation) are required to achieve maximum yield potential under DSR. Further research on drum seeder for DSR establishment has been discontinued as this practice is incompatible with the use of pre-emergence herbicides such as pendimethalin.
Identification of suitable rice genotypes (coarse grain and basmati) for DSR has been a major objective of the project and was undertaken at Punjab and Bihar. These evaluations consisted of rice breeding lines, hybrids and cultivars, sourced from International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and local breeding programs. At Bihar under drought conditions, it was extremely encouraging to see that many of the rice genotypes were able to produce similar yields under DSR (3.8 t/ha) in comparison to the transplant system (4 t/ha). Furthermore, hybrid genotypes (i.e. Arize dhan and Arize 6444) were able to produce yields in excess of 5.8 t/ha in the study and continued to show excellent potential under DSR. In addition, yield responses for seven different basmati cultivars grown on farmer assisted sites (n=354) in Haryana were consistently higher (4-7%) under DSR than the transplant system and indicates the suitability of already released cultivars for this alternative establishment system.
Research undertaken in Haryana and Bihar has identified significant shifts in weed spectrum (grass, broadleaf and sedge) under the different rice establishment systems. As in previous years, clear associations were found with grass spp. Leptochloa showing greater preference for DSR and sedge Cyperus difformis for the transplant system. However, grass spp. Eragrostis was identified as a new emerging weed threat with significantly greater emergence under DSR. In contrast, Echinochloa spp. showed no association with either establishment system and was found infesting both DSR and puddle-transplanted crops at similar densities.
As a consequence of the significant threat posed by aerobic grass spp. Leptochloa and Eragrostis to success of DSR, herbicide options targeting these and other prominent species (i.e. Echinochloa) were evaluated further at sites in Haryana, Punjab and Bihar. Previous research clearly showed potential of new herbicides bispyribac and azimsulfuron to provide effective and consistent control of Echinochloa (>90%) and sedge spp. (>70%) under DSR, and resulted in registration and release of bispyribac (Nominee Gold) for rice production systems in 2009. Consequently, bispyribac was widely used by growers at many of the 581 grower assisted sites last year. In addition to providing excellent control of Echinochloa spp., bisypribac (25 g/ha applied 25 DAS) used in combination with pre-emergence pendimethalin appears to provide effective broad spectrum control of weeds including Leptochloa and Eragrostis (>90%) under DSR and is a significant project finding. Importantly, these herbicides provide excellent and safe weed control in DSR, and have resulted in significant grain yield increases. Effective herbicide recommendations and strategies for weed control under DSR have now been developed as a consequence of project research, providing growers with greater confidence to pursue DSR.
Herbicide application technology was identified as a weakness in weed management during the mid-term review of this project by Dr Christian Roth. In response to that finding, Sam Kleemann (Australian project research officer - PRO) undertook manufacture of an herbicide spray unit for applying herbicides uniformly and safely in the field (see appendix for images). Evaluation of the spray unit at PAU during 2009 has shown promising results. In response to that success, CIMMYT-India is building 10 replica units for use across Bihar this year and machinery manufactures (i.e. National Agro Industries) in Ludhiana, Punjab, have begun construction of similar units using locally made parts.
Experiments undertaken in Australia have continued to focus on the development of effective weed management strategies and improvements in water use efficiency for farming systems of southern Australia (see attached report). More specifically, experiments were established (n=3) evaluating seeding system, time of sowing and crop-topping effects on weed management and crop safety. These experiments clearly showed that performance of new pre-emergence herbicides (i.e. Boxer-Gold and Sakura) was not compromised under low soil disturbance disc systems or by early sowing. However, some of the weed population was able to escape these new herbicides and set large amount of seed (~5000 seeds/m2). Use of crop-top applications of glyphosate in wheat treated with these herbicides was able to reduce annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) seed production by 95%. However, crop safety from crop-topping is very sensitive to timing. Spraying even 2-3 days too early can lead to large yield losses (>50%) in wheat. Follow up work will be undertaken to identify suitable timing for crop safety during crop-topping wheat for seed set control in ryegrass.

Rice in the Indo-Gangetic Plains (IGP) is principally cultivated by two methods, transplanting after puddling (intensive wet tillage) and direct seeding. While puddling reduces percolation losses and is beneficial for controlling weeds, it is expensive both in terms of labour costs and water usage. Puddling also degrades soil structure for the succeeding wheat crop in the rotation thereby reducing its productivity. The traditional system of hand-transplanting rice is based on the premise of cheap and readily available labour. However, with a clear shift in labour from agriculture to other sectors of the economy, the need for alternative production systems for rice is now gaining acceptance by researchers and farmers. In this project, the knowledge and research strengths of Haryana Agricultural University (HAU), Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), CIMMYT-India and University of Adelaide were combined to develop alternate rice production systems that were suitable both in terms of economic returns and soil health.
The objectives of the project were:
1. To develop rice production systems with similar or greater profitability than the currently used hand-transplanted system for rice-wheat cropping systems of India.
2. To improve our understanding of weed population dynamics including shift in weed flora under direct-seeded rice (DSR) with the aim of developing effective weed management options.
3. To develop crop management strategies for effective weed management, and efficient water and nutrient use suitable for cropping systems of India and Australia.
4. Identify suitable rice cultivars for DSR.
5. Promote adoption of promising combinations of direct-seeding - weed management systems to farmers in India.
Many comparative studies between DSR and puddle hand-transplanted system were undertaken across the states of Haryana, Punjab and Bihar and have identified several systems with equivalent levels of productivity. These include the zero-tillage drill and machine transplanted systems. Under zero-till conditions (no puddling) machine transplanted rice crops produced significantly higher yields (9-39%) than traditional puddle-transplant. For coarse grain rice, machine transplanted yields were often as high as 8 t/ha. Direct seeded rice (DSR) under minimum tillage has also been developed and field studies have consistently shown similar productivity to the traditional hand-transplanted system.
Change in weed spectrum under DSR was clearly evident from long-term field studies with increasing prevalence of Leptochloa, Fimbristylis, some sedges and broadleaf weed species. There is now clear evidence that weed flora is likely to become more diverse under DSR; however, the project has identified several new herbicides which provide effective control of these weed species. Promising options for post-emergent weed control under DSR include bispyribac and azimsulfuron. Research has identified optimum dose, timing and herbicide mixtures to manage more complex weed flora under DSR.
Variety selection was also shown to be an important component to the success of DSR, with hybrids performing particularly well producing some of the highest grain yields (4.6 to 5.6 t/ha) which were similar to the traditional puddle-transplant system. They appear to be well suited because of their vigorous growth, tolerance to lodging and excellent competitiveness with weeds. More traditional cultivars including PR115, PR116 and PAU201 have also been the best performers under DSR.
Laser-levelling emerged as an absolute requirement for the success of DSR because it prevents deep ponding and anaerobic conditions which have been shown to be detrimental to germination and early seedling development. Research was undertaken to establish optimal conditions for the performance of DSR and showed that similar or higher yields to the puddle hand-transplanted rice were achieved when DSR was sown on the same day as nursery sowing, and when rice seed rate was maintained around 150 seeds m-2. Optimal sowing time for DSR appears to be in the first half of June for most places in this region. It is critical to complete sowing of DSR before the onset of excessive rainfall with the monsoons.
Comprehensive studies on water balance under rice establishment systems clearly identified that it was feasible to significantly reduce the amount of irrigation (33-53%) under DSR without compromising yield relative to the traditional puddle-transplant system. With scheduled irrigation, water savings resulted mainly from reduced deep drainage, seepage and runoff under DSR.
The level of extension undertaken over the duration of the 5 year project has been exceptional with more than 1000 grower assisted sites (>500 acres) clearly demonstrating that direct-seeded rice, zero-till rice and unpuddled, mechanically transplanted rice are technically and economically viable rice establishment systems. The project has played a significant role in raising awareness of the benefits of these alternate rise production systems and has undoubtedly encouraged many growers to adopt the technology.

This project restarted from July 1 when a 3-year extension was granted to pursue two new objectives:
1. To provide training in direct seeded rice production technology (capacity building) and promote adoption of DSR in India
2. To undertake a survey of the adoption of DSR by farmers in Punjab and Haryana
All arrangements are now in place for the first training workshop on direct seeded rice (DSR). Candidates for this workshop were sought by sending an invitation to the Vice-Chancellors and Directors of Research of universities in eastern India. So far 15 nominations have been received from various research institutions in eastern India for participation in the first 10-day training workshop starting on 21 May 2013. We expect to receive some additional nominations in the period leading up to this training workshop. The major findings of this ACIAR project have been summarised and compiled into a technical manual, which will be used as a training resource in these workshops. This 36 page manual has now been completed as is currently being printed.
Maintenance of selected long-term conservation agriculture (CA) sites in Haryana and Punjab is progressing well. In Punjab there are 14 long-term sites under DSR/ZT wheat on farmer fields in different districts. Similarly in Haryana there are 18 long-term CA sites on farmer fields in 5 districts. These sites are being used to promote the adoption of CA in this region. In September 2012, the entire project team visited some of these on-farm CA sites to discuss constraints to productivity with local farmers. Consistently, farmers reported that DSR was significantly reducing their labour, fuel and water inputs and they expected to harvest rice yields similar to their transplanted crops. Invariably, farmers indicated their intention to increase area under DSR next year. Some of these sites will be used to support learning during the DSR training workshops. According to HAU, the area under DSR in Haryana in 2012 was 15,000 acres. PAU estimates indicate that DSR was grown on 10,000 acres in Punjab in 2012. Based on excellent crops of DSR in 2012 and huge publicity of this technology, area under DSR is expected to increase substantially in 2013.
The second major objective of the project involves undertaking a farmer survey to determine the drivers of adoption (or disadoption) and farmer experiences of DSR and ZT wheat. Extensive discussions were held within the project team during September 2012 at Karnal and Ludhiana. Feedback from the team was used to revise the questionnaire, which was subsequently printed and used in the survey. Fortunately, we identified an excellent Agricultural Economist at PAU (Dr Sukhpal Singh), who has now joined the project team. Dr Singh has previously undertaken many surveys of farmers in Punjab and his experience will be invaluable to the project. A request to allow Dr Singh’s participation in the ACIAR project has now been approved by the Director of Research. Both PAU and HAU teams have now completed the survey work for 2012/13 and the data are now being analysed.
Punjab farmer survey in 2012/13 focussed on seven randomly selected villages in Bathinda district. Preliminary data analysis shows that the adoption of DSR in the selected villages ranged from 1-5% of the total area under rice. The results of the survey have also confirmed that the depth of ground water table has more than doubled over last 10 years, which is a serious concern for the sustainability of agriculture in this region. Farmers practicing DSR reported 30% reduction in the number of irrigations and 45% reduction in time required for irrigation than under PTR. All farmers reported significant savings in labour costs and irrigation water under DSR. In Haryana, 120 farmers in 8 districts were surveyed for their views on the adoption of DSR technology. Data from Haryana is still being collated for analysis but some of the qualitative assessments are presented in the HAU report.

Collaborating Institutions
CCS Haryana Agricultural University, India
Punjab Agricultural University, India
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center, India
Overview Objectives

In India rice-wheat systems are planted extensively. One problem commonly encountered is degradation of soil structures, caused by excessive tillage and puddling of water for rice production. No-till systems for wheat, developed and introduced in past ACIAR research, have opened the way for no-till rice cropping. Preliminary research suggests no-till rice can also be grown, substantially boosting the benefits of no-till wheat that are often subsumed by tillage and puddling in rice cultivation. Improving the productivity of direct seeded rice, including by weed and crop management improvements, will be undertaken to minimise the yield gap between wheat and rice.

Project Budget
$1,264,332.00
Grant Report Value
$1390765
Grant Report Recipient
University of Adelaide
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
5371
Grant Report Finish Date
30/06/2015
Grant Report Start Date
06/09/2005

Improvement and sustainability of sweet potato-pig production systems to support livelihoods in highland Papua and West Papua, Indonesia

Project Leader
Dr Colin Cargill
Email
colin.cargill@sa.gov.au
Fax
08 8332 3916
Phone
08 8332 3960
Project Country
Project ID: 
AH/2007/106
Start Date
01/04/2009
Project Coordinator Fax
Reference Number
MH-202410-37478
Project Type
Bilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
31/03/2014
Extension Start Date
01/04/2014
Commissioned Organisation: 
South Australian Research and Development Institute, Australia
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
Commissioned Organisation
South Australian Research and Development Institute, Livestock Systems Alliance, Australia
Extension Finish Date
31/12/2014
Overview Collaborators
  • University of Adelaide, Australia
  • University of Queensland, Australia
  • International Potato Center, Indonesia
  • Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology, West Papua, Indonesia
  • Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology, Papua, Indonesia
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Mike Nunn
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

This project builds on the success of a previous project (AH/1998/054) in upland areas of Papua and West Papua Provinces by continuing to develop options to improve cash income from sweetpotatoes and pigs, improve human health and nutrition using higher yielding varieties of sweetpotato with improved storage traits and decreasing the risk of parasitic zoonoses. Improving productivity and efficiency of the sweetpotato-pig production system, with better utilisation of the resources associated with it, will enable diversification through integration of vegetables and small livestock. The value of the project was recognised by Provincial Government when pig-sweetpotato production was nominated as one of three industries for inclusion in the Livelihood Improvement in Papua and West Papua project, funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). As a result the project was expanded in April 2010 by adding objective 4 which will result in the dissemination of project outcomes to other areas of the Provinces.
The major partners continue to be SARDI, the International Potato Centre and Balai Besar Penggkajian dan Pengembangan Teknologi Pertanian, through BPTP Papua and West Papua. However University of Papua, CIP, University of Adelaide Food Plus Program and the Institute for Tubers and Legumes (Malang) are providing support in sweetpotato cultivation, nutritional analysis, and storage and processing technology. Further local agronomic support is being provided by BPTP and the Department Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Food Security, West Papua Province. SARDI is leading the pig production and health aspects of the project, but expertise and diagnostic technology is being provided by University of Queensland and Udayana University in zoonotic parasitology and University of Gaja Mada in microbiology. Regional Departments of Animal Husbandry in Mimika and Jayawijaya (Papua Province) and Department Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Food Security, West Papua Province, along with the Diagnostic Investigation Centre in Maros Sulawesi are providing diagnostic and monitoring support. The team being built covers a wide spectrum of scientific, technical and extension expertise across several disciplines in food production and animal production and health.
Although progress has been relatively slow, three successful workshops have been conducted which resulted in significant team building and clarity of purpose.
Emphasis during the first year has been on gaining a better understanding of Arfak methods of pig production. A social diagnostic survey was completed in December 2009 and a formal workshop is planned for October 2010 to draw conclusions and identify areas requiring a change in approach. A pig disease survey was also completed in May 2010 to identify key health and production issues in pigs.
The adaption of the Baliem Valley Pig Production System to the Arfak region will be a major activity in the coming year.
Significant capacity building in technology through training and transfer has occurred. UNIPA has enhanced its capacity for chemical analysis through purchase of equipment and staff training in analytical techniques. Relevant diagnostic technology transferred from University of Queensland to Udayana University will be transferred to Maros DIC and local Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratories.
Forming linkages with the IFAD program referred to above was the most significant change during the first year and this will require the development of a training package for agricultural extension workers and farmers.
The plan to develop nutritionally enhanced flour from sweetpotato has been dropped as baking and using ovens are not part of the culture of people living in the Arfak or Baliem Valley. Instead efforts will be concentrated on SP storage technology and crop diversification to achieve improvements in human nutrition
Mr Sukendra Mahalaya, a John Allwright Fellow will complete a PhD at Adelaide University in July 2010 and return to the project as Indonesian project coordinator with supervision of the project coordinators in Manokwari (West Papua) and Wamena (Papua).
Several personal changes have occurred, the most significant of which were adding an Extension Officer from the Provincial Extension Service who is located in the Arfak villages, and employing an Arfak University student from UNIPA as a liaison officer between the project and local communities. Several other students whose families live in Arfak villages have also been recruited and trained for specific activities.
A workshop on pig production in Eastern Indonesia is planned for July 2010 and will draw participants from NTT, Papua and West Papua, as well as Australia and Laos PDR.
No impacts have yet been generated by the project but it is anticipated that a number of farmers in the Arfak Region will be actively involved in working with the project team to modify both pig production and sweetpotato cultivation in the region by the end of 2010.

This project continues to build on the success of a previous project (AH/1998/054) in upland areas of Papua Province and by transferring much of the technology developed for sweetpotato and pig production to the uplands of West Papua Province.
The project is also expanding the potential to improve cash income from sweetpotatoes and pigs, improve human health and nutrition using higher yielding varieties of sweetpotato with improved storage traits and decreasing the risk of parasitic zoonoses.
A major objective of the project is to enable farmers to diversify their production systems through integration of vegetables and compatible small livestock into the existing systems. This is being made possible through the improvements made in productivity and efficiency of the sweetpotato-pig production system in the current and previous projects.
The value of the project was recognised by Provincial Governments when pig-sweetpotato production was nominated as one of three industries for inclusion in the Livelihood Improvement Project in Papua and West Papua, funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). As a result the project was expanded in April 2010 by adding objective 4 which will result in the dissemination of project outcomes to other areas of the Provinces.
The major partners continue to be SARDI, the International Potato Center (CIP) and Center for Agricultural Technology Assessment and Development (ICATAD) [Balai Besar Pengkajian dan Pengembangan Teknologi Pertanian (BBP2TP)] through the Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology (BPTP) in Papua and West Papua Provinces. The University of Papua, CIP, University of Adelaide Food Plus Program and the Research Institute for Legumes and Tubers Crops (RILET Malang) are providing support in sweetpotato (SP) cultivation, nutritional analysis, and storage and processing technology. Further local agronomic support is being provided by BPTP and the Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Food Security Office, West Papua Province (Dinas Pertanian, Peternakan, dan Ketahanan Pangan Papua Barat). SARDI is leading the pig production and health aspects of the project, but expertise and diagnostic technology is being provided by University of Queensland (UQ) and Udayana University (UNUD) in zoonotic parasitology and University of Gajah Mada in microbiology. Timika and Jayawijaya Animal Husbandry Offices in Papua Province and the West Papua Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Food Security Office along with the Diagnostic Investigation Centre in Maros Sulawesi are providing diagnostic and disease monitoring support. The Manokwari Agricultural Extension Academy (STPP Manokwari), which is part of Kementrian Pertanian (KEMTAN), has been added in 2010 to increase our capacity for developing extension training programs. The project team covers a wide spectrum of scientific, technical and extension expertise across several disciplines in food production and animal production and health.
The main outcome relating to SP production has been the identification of the most productive varieties for the two areas. Pattipy, Salossa and Sawentor from the previous project all performed well and Salossa, Dosak-1 (high-anthocyanin purple flesh) and Worembai were popular for taste. Sukuh had high dry matter content, Ayamurasaki, Solossa, Cangkuang all had high beta carotene content and Cankuang (local) is the best early maturing variety. Warumbai (RILET) scored well and could be released locally. Current activities focus on developing improved cultivation and storage techniques for roots.
The major activities in pig production has been the completion of a pig disease survey, which concentrated on identifying the key pig health problems in the Arfak region, and zoonotic disease in both regions, and working with farmers in the village of Minyambouw to develop a model of the Baliem Valley Pig Confinement Systems (MBVPCS) suitable for this region. As in the Baliem Valley, internal parasites were identified as the major health problem and the presence of Cysticercosis is the major zoonotic risk factor for human health.
Significant capacity building in technology has also occurred. Relevant technology for the diagnosis of Trichinella sp infection in pigs has been transferred from UQ to UNUD and this will be transferred to Maros DIC. Improved techniques for the diagnosis of other parasites are also being transferred from UNUD to Maros DIC and local veterinary clinics.
To enable the project to provide outcomes under the IFAD we have recruited the support of the Manokwari Agricultural Extension Academy which provides technology and extension training in agronomy, livestock production, horticulture and fisheries. Modules of the MBVPCS will be established at the academy as well as at a similar training centre operated by Wahana Visi Indonesia (WVI) (World Vision Indonesia) near Wamena.
The farmer training material written for project (AH/1998/054) is being modified for use at both training centres as well as the extension service provided from UNIPA.
Dr Sukendra Mahalaya completed his PhD at Adelaide University in July 2010 and returned to the project as Indonesian project coordinator with responsibility for liaising with Indonesian agencies and supervising the project coordinators in Manokwari (West Papua) and Wamena (Papua).
Other changes include the recruitment of an Extension Officer from the Provincial Extension Service who is located in the Arfak villages, and employing an Arfak University student from UNIPA to liaise between the project team and local communities. Several other students whose families live in Arfak villages have also been recruited and trained for specific activities.
A workshop on pig production in Eastern Indonesia was conducted at UNUD in July 2010 and was attended by participants from NTT, Papua and West Papua Provinces, as well as Australia and Laos PDR. The workshop’s agreed priorities for extension were nutrition, including diet formulation and feeding techniques for different classes of pigs, reducing pre- and post-weaning mortalities, parasite prevention and control, improving reproduction efficiency, providing adequate cost effective housing using proven design concepts, health control policies (biosecurity and vaccination programs), and marketing concepts.
No real impacts have yet been generated by the project but we now have several farmers with MBVPCS facilities in Arfak and other farmers participating in SP trials. Working with WVI and the Extension Academy is increasing the opportunities for uptake of project outcomes across other Regencies.

This project continues to build on the success of a previous project (AH/1998/054) in improving the efficiency of sweetpotato (SP) and pig production in the upland areas of Papua and West Papua Provinces.
Further improvement in SP production (Objective 1) has been achieved by adding composting material to SP mounds in the form of cut grass. The preliminary results from the first of 2 trials demonstrated significant increased yields/hectare composted mounds. However, the number of tubers per mound was unaffected. Papua Salossa (developed in the previous project) was the most successful variety in the BV and Papua Pattipi (also developed in the previous project) was the most successful in the Arfaks. The cultivation trials will be repeated using selected local forage grasses with high protein content.
Five models of the modified Baliem Valley pig confinement system (MBVPCS) have been established in 3 villages in the Arfaks (Objective 2). These are being evaluated and modified according in consultation with farmers.
Monitoring of pigs, dogs and humans for internal parasites, including Taenia solium, which causes Cysticercosis in pigs, continues and will be completed at the end of 2013. The health status of pigs on 5 farms using the MBVPCS in each region are being compared with pigs from 5 farms using traditional non-confined pig production systems. The rationale is to evaluate the efficacy of the MBVPCS in reducing the pig health problems including internal parasites, streptococcal infections and Cysticercosis. A wide range of internal parasites and protozoa are being identified in pigs from both regions and both groups as well as humans. However none of the humans in the Arfaks and only 3% in BV were positive for Taenia spp. While all the farmers being monitored in the Arfaks have latrines, the figure for BV is only 10%.
Work on the third project objective (enabling farmers to diversify their production systems through integration of vegetables and compatible small livestock into the existing systems) has commenced. Four new crops and 2 livestock species are being introduced in each area. Crops selected for the Baliem Valley were red bean, soybean, pigeon pea and strawberries and for the Arfak area, peanuts, string beans, pigeon pea and strawberries. Rabbits and village chickens were selected as the livestock production systems for diversifying animal production in both areas.
Demonstration plots of new crops are being established and farmer preference and yields being evaluated. Models of village rabbit and poultry production systems have been developed for evaluation and a consignment of day old village chicks, bred for superior growth rate, have been purchased from the Institute of Animal Production (Balitnak) in Bogor. Rabbits are being sourced locally as well as from Java.
Work on Objective 4 during the past year includes the development of working models of the MBVPCS at the Manokwari Agricultural Extension Academy and World Vision Indonesia Farmer Training Centre in BV. The facilities will be used to train students and farmers in how to build and manage the pig production system.
The farmer training material written for project (AH/1998/054) is being modified for use at both training centres as well as the extension service provided from UNIPA. Other extension activities being planned include sign boards highlighting the project activities at all project sites and inviting farmers to contact the local project team for more information.
The major partners include SARDI, the International Potato Center (CIP) and Center for Agricultural Technology Assessment and Development (ICATAD) represented by the Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology (BPTP) in Papua and West Papua Provinces. Technology and support for SP production is being provided by University of Papua, CIP, University of Adelaide and the Research Institute for Legumes and Tubers Crops (RILET). Further local agronomic support is being provided by BPTP and the Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Food Security Office, West Papua Province (Dinas Pertanian, Peternakan, dan Ketahanan Pangan Papua Barat). SARDI is leading the pig production and health aspects of the project, with diagnostic technology being provided by University of Queensland and Udayana University (zoonotic parasitology) and University of Gajah Mada (microbiology). The Jayawijaya Animal Husbandry Office, the West Papua Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Food Security Office and the Manokwari Animal Husbandry Office are providing disease monitoring support. The Manokwari Agricultural Extension Academy (STPP Manokwari) has joined the project to increase our capacity for developing extension training programs.
A very strong project team, which covers a wide spectrum of scientific, technical and extension expertise across several disciplines in food and animal production and health, has been developed to provide the outcomes required alleviate rural poverty in the uplands of Papua and West Papua.

The project continues to build on the success of a previous project (AH/1998/054) in improving the efficiency of sweetpotato (SP) and pig production in the upland areas of Papua and West Papua Provinces. Considerable progress has also been made in diversifying crop and livestock production in both regions.
Planting SP in mounds, either with or without added compost, increased both root and vine yields compared with the direct planting method traditionally used in the Arfak Villages (AV). However, no increase was recorded with composted mounds in the Baliem Valley (BV).
The traditional method of leaving roots unharvested in the ground proved more effective than storing roots in holes covered by sand or dry grass. Other storage methods (bamboo mats and woven baskets) proved unsatisfactory.
Five working models of the pig confinement system (PCS) were established in 3 villages in AV. However maintaining stands of high protein forage pasture was more difficult because of weeds.
Monitoring pigs, dogs and humans for internal parasites, including Taenia solium, continued. While parasite infestation levels increased in non-confined pigs, they declined over time in pigs reared in the PCS model, especially lungworm (Metastrongylus apri) and large roundworms (Ascaris suum). Preliminary results also indicates that the prevalence of Cysticercosis is lower in pigs reared in PCS than the traditional system
Four new crops were introduced in each region. Strawberries proved to be the most popular and there is a strong demand for berries and new plants in local markets. Production is now expanding without project assistance. Pigeon peas are the least popular but could provide extra protein for pigs, rabbits and poultry. The effect of pigeon peas on soil fertility and their value when planted with strawberries is being evaluated. Soybeans (BV) and string beans (AV) were less successful and around 50% farmers have decided to stop planting these crops.
Rabbits and village chickens have been introduced to diversify animal production. Diets based on locally available ingredients are being assessed. While housing design varies from farm to farm, no one design appears to be superior. Day old chicks were distributed to project farmers with minimal mortalities, and farmers are selling eggs regularly in the market. Some farmers have commenced breeding chicks for sale and flock replacement. Rabbit mortalities have been a problem in the AV due to dust inhalation. The cause of the dust is the powder-post beetle (Dinoderus spp.) and their larvae, which feed on harvested bamboo used for building rabbit cages. The efficacy of storing cut bamboo under water for 3 weeks is being evaluated.
Partnerships were negotiated with Manokwari Agricultural Extension Academy (STPP) and World Vision Indonesia (Wamena) to develop PCS models, as well as models for rabbits and poultry, to train students (STPP) and young men from villages (WVI) in animal production. Project team members and project farmers will assist in training students and 3 scholarships will be awarded to STPP students to complete projects related to our activities.
Training material written for project (AH/1998/054) is being modified for use at both training centres as well as the extension service provided from UNIPA. Other extension activities being planned include “showing boards” or sign boards highlighting the project activities at all project sites and inviting farmers to contact the local project team for more information. “Showing boards” erected at trial sites in both BV and AV have already encouraged farmers to seek advice on cropping and animal production models. Other extension activities include employing local extension officers to assist in developing farmer training programs. This will ensure continued support for the activities following the project’s conclusion.
A very strong project team, which covers a wide spectrum of scientific, technical and extension expertise across several disciplines in food and animal production and health, has been developed to provide the outcomes required to alleviate rural poverty in the uplands of Papua and West Papua.
While SARDI, the International Potato Center (CIP) and the Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology (BPTP) are the key organisations, agronomic technology is provided by University of Papua, University of Adelaide, Research Institute for Legumes and Tubers Crops and the Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Food Security Office, West Papua. Support for animal production and health, disease monitoring and diagnostic technology is provided by University of Queensland, Udayana University, University of Gajah Mada, the Jayawijaya Animal Husbandry Office, the West Papua Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Food Security Office and the Manokwari Animal Husbandry Office. STPP and WVI are providing support in extension training programs.

Collaborating Institutions
University of Adelaide, Australia
University of Queensland, Australia
International Potato Center, Indonesia
Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology, West Papua, Indonesia
Assessment Institute for Agricultural Technology, Papua, Indonesia
Program Areas
Overview Objectives

Previous work in upland areas of Papua and West Papua provinces, Indonesia, developed options to improve nutritional value and cash income from sweet potatoes and pigs, primarily through improved sweet potato varieties and management. However, food security remains low and malnutrition occurs through lack of diversity and seasonal availability of sweet potato. Pig production is constrained by the presence of parasites and diseases, some of which are affecting humans. This project will build on previous work by improving post-harvest sweet potato management and pig production, as well as looking at the interaction between the two systems. Improvements in the productivity and efficiency of sweet potato-pig production systems, and better utilisation of the resources associated with it, will enable diversification through integration of vegetables and small livestock.

Project Budget
$2,489,286.00
Grant Report Value
$2738215
Grant Report Recipient
South Australian Research and Development Institute
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
5371
Grant Report Finish Date
31/12/2014
Grant Report Start Date
17/03/2009

Development of conservation cropping systems in the drylands of northern Iraq

Project Leader
Dr Stephen Loss
Email
Fax
+963-21-222-5105
Phone
+963-21-2691-2743 or 221-3433
Project Country
Project ID: 
CIM/2008/027
Start Date
01/07/2008
Project Coordinator Fax
Reference Number
TA-202907-36566
Project Type
Multilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
30/06/2011
Extension Start Date
01/07/2011
Commissioned Organisation: 
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, Syria
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
Commissioned Organisation
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas, Syria
Extension Finish Date
30/06/2015
Overview Collaborators
  • University of Western Australia, Australia
  • Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, Australia
  • State Board of Agricultural Research, Iraq
  • University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Ministry of Agriculture, Iraq
  • Directorate of Agriculture, Iraq
  • University of Mosul, Iraq
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Eric Huttner
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

The project aims to increase crop productivity, profitability and sustainability in the drylands of northern Iraq through development, evaluation and promotion of conservation cropping technologies involving zero-tillage, stubble mulching, improved crop cultivars and better crop management. Project activity is focussed in Ninevah Governorate.
The objectives are:
1. To demonstrate and promote uptake of “best-bet” improved varieties and crop management systems for wheat, barley and pulse and forage legumes
2. To evaluate and select new, improved germplasm of wheat, barley and pulse and forage legumes for promotion in demonstration programs
3. To evaluate and select new, improved crop management technologies for promotion in demonstration programs
4. To facilitate agricultural planning and development through utilisation of GIS and crop modelling
5. To develop, evaluate and promote efficient and sustainable local seed production and supply systems
6. To monitor and evaluate adoption and impacts of project technologies, and identify enabling policy options to enhance uptake by farmers
7. To enhance capacity of Iraqi research and extension programs to develop and promote improved conservation cropping technologies.
The project commenced with the first reporting/planning meeting at ICARDA in September 2008, with 17 participants from Iraq, 7 from Australia and 20 from ICARDA. Activities and achievements from the previous project (CIM/2004/024) were presented and the 2008-09 workplan for the new project developed and circulated.
Under the demonstration objective, on-farm demonstrations were established as planned at 12 locations in Iraq evaluating wheat, barley, chickpea, and lentil lines under zero-tillage (ZT), chisel cultivation and conventional cultivation (CC). ZT area in the demonstrations covered 52ha. Six collaborating farmers independently sowed 440ha of ZT crops using a Rama seeder modified for ZT. The year was very dry with <150mm of rainfall at half the locations. Inspections in April-May 2009 confirmed that harvests were possible in only 4 sites, with crops failing because of low rainfall in the other 8 sites. Field days were held at Alqush on 7 January (12 farmers and staff); Telkief on 24 May (18 farmers and staff); and Alqush on 25 May (16 farmers and staff).
In linked demonstrations in Syria, 2070ha of ZT crops were established by 41 farmers in on-farm comparisons of ZT vs CC using locally-made ZT seeders. These farmer crops were inspected and discussed to promote understanding of ZT/stubble mulching with 12 farmers and 12 scientists from Iraq and 7 scientists and 10 farmers from Syria during training-study visits on ZT research, development and seeders in the spring of 2009.
Under the germplasm and crop management research objectives, the project conducted a total of 66 research trials. The University of Mosul and State Board of Agricultural Research Ninevah established 50 trials: 31 on evaluation of elite lines of wheat, barley, chickpea and lentil and varieties of vetch, lathyrus, saltbush, safflower, oats and peas; 19 on crop management and agronomy involving mixtures, rotations, polymer gel, hardpan amelioration and IPM. Trials were regularly inspected and evaluated. Unfortunately, crop growth was poor in many sites due to the very dry year, with reasonable growth and harvests expected from only 12 trials in 4 locations. Harvesting commenced in May/June.
At ICARDA, 16 trials for technology refinement/verification and Iraqi scientist and farmer training were conducted on crop growth under ZT and CC, local seeder performance under ZT and evaluation of alternative crops (oilseeds, oats, peas). All trials established and grew well with 280mm of rain. Growth was consistently better from ZT than CC and early than late sowing. Locally-made ZT seeders performed well. Trials were harvested in May/June.
Under the capacity enhancement objective, there were 91 Iraqi scientist and technician training visits to ICARDA with 74 participating in 10 formal training courses and 17 participating in the reporting-planning meeting where Australian collaborators gave 3 seminars on ZT machinery development, participatory extension and germplasm evaluation under ZT. The formal training focused on specific areas related to project implementation: adoption and impact analysis; seed multiplication and marketing; experimental methods and statistics; ZT seeder principles and operation; variety description and maintenance; GIS/remote sensing; germplasm improvement and breeding; and participatory extension methodology/practice. Australian collaborators delivered 3 of these courses.
In a May 2009 study visit, 11 farmers from Iraq and 8 from Syria spent a week inspecting and discussing ZT research and local farmer demonstrations in northern Syria. This was a very significant visit which enhanced farmer knowledge of conservation cropping systems and encouraged farmer involvement in development and evaluation of ZT/stubble mulching systems in Ninevah and Syria.
Six Iraqi project scientists attended several other significant capacity enhancement opportunities closely related to project activities:
a) one Iraqi economist undertook impact and adoption analysis training at an ACIAR-sponsored Crawford Fund Master Class in India in March 2009.
b) three Iraqi cereal breeders undertook crop breeding and seed production training at an AusAID sponsored course followed by a conservation cropping study tour in Australia in June-July 2009.
c) two Iraqi scientists/project leaders participated in, and presented a project poster at, the 4th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture and undertook a study tour of ACIAR-supported conservation cropping projects in India in February 2009.
During the year, project findings and research and demonstration trials were shown to and discussed with 50 farmers at field days and 21 agricultural engineering students in Iraq and over 500 visitors at ICARDA, which exposed the project and technology widely.
Detailed project information including project documents, reports and presentations is available through the ICARDA web site (http://www.icarda.cgiar.org/ACIAR/Index.htm). The website averaged150 hits/month during July 2008 - April 2009.
Since ZT technology was first exposed and introduced into Iraq by the previous project in 2006-07, the known area of ZT crops has increased to 489ha in 2008-09.In project-related development in Syria where the technology was similarly unknown and untested, total ZT area from project interactions was about 2126ha in 2008-09. A further 160ha of ZT crops is being grown in research and development projects involving Syrian research and extension groups. The recent increase in awareness, research and development on the technology, the keen involvement of farmers and seeder manufacturers in testing and taking up ZT sowing and seeder fabrication, and the higher yields and lower costs being experienced with the technology, provide a good foundation and confidence for wider adoption and impact. However, it has been difficult and disheartening for researchers, extension officers and farmers to develop, promote and evaluate better varieties and conservation cropping technologies during two successive severe droughts. We will hope for a wetter year in Iraq and Syria in 2009-10.

The project aims to increase crop productivity, profitability and sustainability in the drylands of northern Iraq through development, evaluation and promotion of conservation cropping technologies involving zero-tillage, stubble mulching, improved crop cultivars and better crop management. Project activity is focussed in Ninevah Governorate.
The objectives are:
1. To demonstrate and promote uptake of “best-bet” improved varieties and crop management systems for wheat, barley and pulse and forage legumes
2. To evaluate and select new, improved germplasm of wheat, barley and pulse and forage legumes for promotion in demonstration programs
3. To evaluate and select new, improved crop management technologies for promotion in demonstration programs
4. To facilitate agricultural planning and development through utilisation of GIS and crop modelling
5. To develop, evaluate and promote efficient and sustainable local seed production and supply systems
6. To monitor and evaluate adoption and impacts of project technologies, and identify enabling policy options to enhance uptake by farmers
7. To enhance capacity of Iraqi research and extension programs to develop and promote improved conservation cropping technologies.
The second project reporting/planning meeting was held at ICARDA on 27 September-1 October 2009, with 31 participants from Iraq, 3 from Australia and 15 from ICARDA. The Australian Ambassador and the First Secretary (Development Assistance) from the Australian Embassy in Baghdad attended and opened/closed the meeting. The Indian leader of the ACIAR project on enhancing wheat quality from the Directorate of Wheat Research in India also attended the meeting to share and discuss project experiences. Activities and achievements from 2008-09 were presented and the 2009-10 workplan developed and agreed.
In Ninevah, demonstrations of ZT, chisel cultivation and traditional cultivation with early/late planting using a local variety of barley, bread wheat, and durum wheat were established at 13 locations with 15 farmers. Lentil and chickpea were included at several sites. Rainfall (230-740mm) and harvests were good at 11 locations. Demonstrations covered 168 ha, with 56ha of ZT.
Three farmers grew 1025ha of ZT using their locally-modified modified Rama or John Shearer seeders. Thirteen farmers grew nearly 700ha of ZT crops using 3 Syrian 4m-wide trailed ZT tine seeders and one Syrian 4m-wide trailed ZT disc seeder. Overall, about 1800ha of ZT crops were grown by 31 farmers in Ninevah.
Field days were held in Ninevah at four demonstration sites. The first was arranged by farmers involved in ZT seeder modification at Nimroud on 20 February 10 (25 farmers-staff). Others were arranged by DOA at Mahalabia on 20 April 10 (31 farmers-staff), Telkief on 6 May 10 (42 farmers-staff) and Alshekhanon on 13 May 10 (80 farmers-staff).
In farmer demonstrations with collaborators in northern Syria, some 200- 250 farmers established about 8,000-10,000ha of ZT crop. Field days were held at Salamiya on 20 April (200 participants), Kamishley on 22 April (250) and Jarjanaz on 28 April (350).
Demonstrations and field days were used in training visits by Iraqi scientists and farmers, to inspect and discuss ZT activities with Syrian researchers, extension officers and farmers. Many Iraqis initially sceptical about ZT, low seed rates and early planting were very positive by the end of their visits.
In Ninevah, 54 research trials were conducted under the germplasm and crop management research objectives. The University of Mosul and State Board of Agricultural Research Ninevah established 41 trials: 28 on evaluation of elite lines and varieties of wheat, barley, chickpea, lentil, vetch, lathyrus, saltbush, safflower, oats and peas; 13 on crop management involving mixtures, rotations, polymer gel, hardpan amelioration and IPM. Trials generally grew well with harvesting in May/June.
At ICARDA, 14 trials for technology refinement/verification and Iraqi scientist and farmer training were conducted on: crop and variety performance under ZT and CC; local seeder performance; time, seed rate and depth of sowing; comparison of local ZT seeders; evaluation of alternative crops (oilseeds, oats, peas); and increasing wheat frequency in wheat-lentil-camelina rotations. All trials established and grew well with 270mm of rain. Growth was consistently better from ZT than CC and early than late sowing. Locally-made ZT seeders performed well. Cereals and legumes seemed to do best when planted early with 100kg/ha of seed planted at 4-8cm depth. Trials were harvested in May/June.
Experience in 2008-09 with the first 3 local Syrian-made ZT seeders by farmers and researchers identified needs for stronger, wider, trailed or 3PL seeders with more-widely spaced tines and press wheels. Seven new models (10 units) were made 2009-10 in collaboration with El Bab, Qabbasin and Kamishley manufacturers. Four seeders were sent to Ninevah for evaluation and use in farmer demonstrations. These have worked well with several requiring some adjustment and strengthening.
In Ninevah, was not possible to engage local manufacturers in ZT seeder fabrication. However, three local farmers, one the owner of the Nimroud demonstration site, continued innovative ZT modification and experimentation with local seeders, developing and testing robust and effective tines and narrow points in collaboration with Australian specialists. The farmers organised and funded a successful field day on 20 February attended by 25 farmers-scientists, showing and describing their positive experiences with ZT seeder modification and ZT crops. This farmer leadership in developing, testing, demonstrating and promoting modified ZT seeders is thought by project leaders to be a first for Ninevah/Iraq, and represents a major outcome and impact from the project.
There were major efforts in Ninevah to develop on-farm seed production. Foundation seed production of bread wheat, durum wheat and barley varieties was commenced at Rashidiya RS. Some 225ha of wheat (15 vars) and barley (4 vars) was grown in 10 locations by 21 seed production farmers; these will form the foundation of project-led village-based seed production enterprises.
In capacity enhancement at ICARDA, there were 77 Iraqi scientist and technician training visits with 47 participating in 12 formal training courses and 30 in the annual meeting where one Australian collaborator gave a seminar on climate change. The training remained targeted, with Australian partners delivering 3 of the courses, and focused on specific areas related to the project: Socio-economic planning and evaluation; GIS landuse/cover mapping; Crop management and post harvest operations in quality seed production; ZT plot seeder assembly, operation and maintenance; Advanced design and analysis of experiments; Best practices for collecting and conserving genetic resources; Participatory extension; Iraqi farmers ZT study visit; Variety identification and maintenance; Data management, ANOVA, regression: Excel and Genstat; GIS/Remote sensing; ZT and agronomy research experience. In addition, 14 collaborating Syrian scientists also participated in some of these courses.
There were two very significant visits, one by 18 Iraqi and 14 Syrian farmers, and one by 16 Iraqi and 8 Syrian extension officers, to inspect and discuss ZT research, farmer experiences with ZT, and ZT seeder fabrication across northern Syria. The groups attended three major field days with 200-350 participants in Salamiya, Kamishley and Jarjanaz. These visits greatly enhanced knowledge of ZT and effective ways to undertake participatory R, D and E with demonstrations and field days.
Seven trainees travelled to Australia on study visits focused on ZT, hay and seed production at UniAdelaide (3 participants), soil and plant nutrition at AgWA in Albany (1 participant), weed management at UniAdelaide (2 participants) and a PhD on conservation cropping at UniWA (1 participant).
During the year, project findings and research and demonstration trials were inspected and discussed with 175 farmers and staff at field days in Iraq. In Syria, 800 farmers and staff attended project field days in Salamiya, Idleb and Kamishley. At ICARDA, 100 Iraqi project staff and 300 visitors inspected and/or discussed project research trials. These visits exposed the project and ZT technology widely in the region and beyond. As an example, the Minister for Agriculture from Lebanon visited in mid-May 2010 and was surprised and impressed that crops could be grown with ZT and stubble retention; he has since requested specifications of project-developed ZT seeders and manufacturer details and plans to purchase seeders to promote ZT R&D in Lebanon.
The project generated considerable publicity and media coverage in Australia, with three articles published in development magazines and many reports in the rural press and on ABC radio and TV, including features on Late Night Live, Bush Telegraph and Landline. Detailed project information including project documents, reports and presentations is available through the ICARDA web site (http://www.icarda.cgiar.org/ACIAR/Index.htm).
Since ZT technology was first exposed and introduced into Iraq by the previous project in 2006-07, the known area of ZT crops has increased to 1,800ha in 2009-10.In project-related development in Syria where the technology was similarly little known or tested, total ZT area from project interactions was about 8,000-10,000ha in 2009-10. A further 700ha of ZT crops was grown in research and development projects involving Syrian research and extension groups. ICARDA grew about 200ha of ZT crops in trials and rotation/seed production areas. The on-going increase in awareness, research and development on the technology, the keen involvement of manufacturers and farmers in ZT seeder fabrication and testing and taking up ZT, and the higher yields and lower costs being experienced, provide a good foundation and confidence for wider adoption and impact. The more favourable year in 2009-10 has encouraged farmer enthusiasm and confidence in Ninevah and Syria.

The project aims to increase crop productivity, profitability and sustainability in the drylands of northern Iraq through development, evaluation and promotion of conservation cropping technologies involving zero-tillage, stubble mulching, improved crop cultivars and better crop management. Project activity is focussed in Ninevah Governorate.
The objectives are:
1. To demonstrate and promote uptake of “best-bet” improved varieties and crop management systems for wheat, barley and pulse and forage legumes
2. To evaluate and select new, improved germplasm of wheat, barley and pulse and forage legumes for promotion in demonstration programs
3. To evaluate and select new, improved crop management technologies for promotion in demonstration programs
4. To facilitate agricultural planning and development through utilisation of GIS and crop modelling
5. To develop, evaluate and promote efficient and sustainable local seed production and supply systems
6. To monitor and evaluate adoption and impacts of project technologies, and identify enabling policy options to enhance uptake by farmers
7. To enhance capacity of Iraqi research and extension programs to develop and promote improved conservation cropping technologies.
The second project reporting/planning meeting was held at ICARDA on 19-23 September 2010, with 45 participants: 30 from Iraq, 3 from Australia and 12 from ICARDA. 2008-09 activities and achievements were presented and the 2009-10 workplan developed/agreed.
In Ninevah, demonstrations of ZT versus traditional cultivation with high and low seed rates with barley, bread wheat and durum wheat were established at 13 locations with 13 farmers. Chickpea was included at the Al Kosh site. Rainfall varied from 123 to 547mm with harvests good in 10 locations. Demonstrations covered 168 ha, with 161ha of ZT.
Numbers of farmers and areas of ZT outside the demonstrations were as follows:
- 20 farmers grew 5135ha of ZT using their modified local seeders
- 1 farmer grew 30ha of ZT using a new ZT seeder made by farmers/Riad Hamdoun Engineering Mosul
- 6 farmers grew 483ha of ZT crops using the three 4m-wide trailed ZT tine seeders from Syria
- area grown using 14 new Syrian seeders funded by USA project in Twajna, Hamdania unreported
Overall, 6000ha of ZT crops were grown by 54 farmers in Ninevah. About 80% of this area was actual adoption, by farmers using their own or a rented/borrowed ZT seeder.
Field days were held in Ninevah at demonstration sites in Al Namroud on 14 May, Al Kosh on 15-6 May and Tel Kief on 23-24 May, with some 120 farmers and technicians attending from Ninevah and neighbouring Anbar, Kirkuk and Wasit Governorates. There were presentations and inspections of ZT demonstrations with wheat, barley, lentil, chickpea and lentil; seed rate comparisons; and new oat and pea crop introductions. Farmers were very interested in local ZT seeders and the excellent performance of ZT crops.
In linked participatory extension in Syria, farmer demonstrations were established in 11 locations across north and west Syria. Some 450+ farmers established 15,000+ha of ZT crops. About 70% of this area was actual adoption, by farmers using their own or a rented or borrowed ZT seeder. The rest was sown with local ZT seeders provided without cost or charge by ICARDA, Aga Khan Foundation and Aleppo Agricultural Machinery Center.
Autumn field days were held in Syria in October-November at 9 Aga Khan on-farm demonstration sites at planting of ZT/CC treatments. A spring field day planned on 3 May for the Extension Training Course was cancelled due to security concerns and replaced with visits to Aga Khan farmers and the GCSAR Research Station in Salamiya.
Some ZT farmer fields, as well as research trials at ICARDA, were used during training courses involving Iraqi and Syrian researchers, extension officers and farmers, and for many visitors, to inspect and discuss ZT. It was a first exposure for many to trials and demonstrations on crop management issues such as ZT, low seed rates and early planting and they were impressed by possibilities for improved yields and reduced costs.
In Ninevah, 33 research trials were conducted, with 23 at UniMosul and SBAR on evaluation of elite lines and varieties of wheat, barley, chickpea, lentil, faba bean, vetch, lathyrus, oats and peas and 10 at UniMosul on crop management involving weed surveys, hardpan amelioration, press wheels, ZT vs CC/herbicide comparisons in wheat and irrigation-fertilizer responses in peas. Trials grew well with harvesting in May/June.
At ICARDA, 14 trials for ZT technology verification/refinement and Iraqi scientist and farmer training were conducted on: crop and variety performance under ZT and CC; time, seed rate and depth of sowing; evaluation of alternative crops (oilseeds, oats, peas); and increasing wheat frequency in wheat-lentil-camelina rotations. All trials established and grew well with 259mm of rain. Growth was generally better from ZT than CC and early than late sowing. Cereals and legumes did best with early planting, 50-100kg/ha seed rate, 4-8cm seeding depth, and press wheels. Trials were harvested in May/June.
In Iraq, local ZT seeder fabrication continued with the Ninevah farmer group Eighteen ZT modification kits costing $1,200 were made with 17 fitted to farmer seeders and one given to the University of Mosul for teaching. These 17 new seeders, plus the 3 prototypes made earlier, were used to sow 5135ha of ZT crops. A new 2.3m ZT seeder for small farmers was fabricated by the farmer group together with Riad Hamdoun Engineering in Mosul and used to sow 30ha on one farmer field. The farmer group set up and registered the “Mosul Conservation Farming Group” and hopes to interact with other No Till Farmer’s Associations.
In Syria, collaboration on ZT seeder fabrication was expanded to include 3 more manufacturers in north eastern Syria, who all produced excellent ZT seeders. There are now 7 manufacturers in Syria, which provides more diversity and locations for purchase and maintenance by Syrian and Iraqi farmers and projects. Between 2008 to mid-2011, Syrian manufacturers had made 65 ZT seeders for local and regional clients.
Major efforts by DOA, UniMosul and SBAR to develop on-farm seed production continued. Spike/line selection and production of foundation seed of wheat and barley varieties continued. New varieties from ICARDA were introduced into the program. The 21 VBSE farmer seed growers planted 100t of certified durum wheat purchased with funds provided by the Ninevah Governor and 83t of seed produced in 2009-10 and expect, with access to irrigation, to harvest over 1820t of seed. This would exceed the project target of 9 VBSE groups producing 100t of seed.
Major efforts were also made to undertake the socio-economic survey on adoption and impact of project technologies (especially ZT) and technical and financial aspects of farmer seed production. Following the training course on surveying and data collection at ICARDA in February, participating UniMosul and DOA staff arranged and coordinated surveys to collect data from 500 farmers, from demonstration locations and from seed producers. Surveying is proceeding following harvest and, once data is assembled in Ninevah, it will be analysed and evaluated in Baghdad.
In capacity enhancement at ICARDA, there were 73 Iraqi scientist and technician training visits with 43 participating in 6 formal training courses and 30 in the annual meeting where one Australian collaborator gave a seminar on achievements of the ACIAR Project on enhancing profitability, production and quality of wheat in India. This training, with Australian partners delivering two of the courses and an Iraqi partner delivering one, was focused on specific priority areas for the project: Photography and presentations; Seed enterprises and marketing; Socio-economic surveying and evaluation; ZT seeder design, fabrication and operation; Variety identification, maintenance and seed production; and Participatory extension. In addition, 24 scientists, farmers and machinery manufacturers from Syria and North Africa also participated in the ZT and extension courses. The mix of trainees from different countries provides rich exchange of experiences and ideas.
Two visits, one by 9 Iraqi, 13 Syrian, and 5 North African/Turkish scientists and seeder manufacturers for ZT seeder training, and the other by 13 Iraqi and 6 Syrian extension officers for participatory extension training, which involved field visits to collaborating machinery manufacturers, farmers, extension offices and research stations, were valuable in enhancing knowledge of ZT seeders and effective participatory R, D and E.
Eleven Iraqis and 2 Syrians travelled to Australia on study visits and post-graduate training. After long delays, one PhD and 4 MSc students started English studies and research proposal development in January-February 2011 in preparation for enrolment at the Universities of Adelaide and Western Australia. Following English evaluation, it is clear that language training will take at least 12-18 months rather than the allowed 6 months.
Six Iraqi and 2 Syrian extension officers/researchers undertook an extension/zero tillage study visit to Western Australia in August/September 2010, visiting research and extension centres and participating in field days.
Unfortunately, 3 trainees who travelled in May-June 2010 to Australia on a weed management study visit to the University of Adelaide (2) and a conservation cropping PhD to the University of Western Australia (1) had difficulty settling into their studies and returned to Iraq in August, before training was completed.
Project activities and developments were communicated to scientists, farmers, students, policy makers and the public in many ways. ICARDA receives a large number of visitors each year; many were shown project R & D activities with selected groups also travelling outside ICARDA to visit local ZT seeder manufacturers and farmers adopting ZT.
The project generated considerable publicity and media coverage in Australia, following visits by journalists from the ABC and Cosmos Science magazine. Detailed project information including project documents, reports and presentations was updated on the ICARDA web site (http://www.icarda.cgiar.org/ACIAR/Index.htm).
The project collaborated with Syrian Extension and Research Directorates to develop an extension/demonstration film for TV to raise farmer awareness of conservation cropping and its benefits for local agriculture. The 18 minute film, in Arabic, is excellent and was broadcast regularly on Syrian TV before autumn planting. DVDs were distributed to Iraqi trainees and other visitors.
Since ZT technology was first exposed and introduced into Iraq by the previous project in 2006-07, the known area of ZT crops has increased to about 6,000ha in 2010-11. In project-related development in Syria where the technology was similarly little known or tested, total ZT area from project interactions was about 15,000ha in 2010-11. The on-going increase in awareness, research and development of the technology, the keen involvement of manufacturers and farmers in ZT seeder fabrication and testing and taking up ZT, and the higher yields and lower costs being experienced, provide a good foundation and confidence for wider adoption and impact. In Iraq, interest and visits from other Governorates are spreading ZT technology beyond Ninevah.
The project has greatly increased awareness and experience of ZT technology. The Ministries of Agriculture in both Iraq and Syria are considering adoption of conservation cropping as a major platform for future dryland cropping systems development.

The second phase of this project ended in June 2011 and a bridging extension of A$400,000 for 1 July 2011 to 30 September 2011, plus a no-cost extension from 1 October 2011 to 30 June 2012 were provided by ACIAR. This meant that the project teams were kept together in the 2010/11 year and work supported on-going activities under the objectives of the project.
The overall aim of this project was to increase crop productivity, profitability and sustainability in the drylands of northern Iraq through development, evaluation and promotion of conservation cropping technologies involving zero tillage (ZT), stubble retention, improved crop cultivars and better crop management. In the first two phases of the project activity were focussed in the Ninevah Governorate, with satellite activities in northern Syria.
Despite increasing civil unrest in Syria and ongoing security issues in Iraq, project activities continued on technology transfer, research, seed production, adoption/impact analysis, and training related to development and promotion of conservation cropping systems in northern Iraq. Farmer demonstrations of ZT using locally manufactured or modified seeders were expanded from 12 to 21 districts in Ninevah and extended into new governorates of Anbar, Salahaldin, and Kirkuk. In Syria, demonstrations continued throughout northern and eastern cropping provinces and districts. Dry conditions limited yield potentials in northern Iraq, but the season was exceptionally good in Syria. In all cases, growth and yields with ZT were as good as conventional cultivation, and in many cases yield was significantly better. Independent demonstrations and field days were also conducted by several motivated Ninevah farmers, without formal input or funding from the project, and a group of farmers have requested permission from the Ministry of Agriculture to form a ZT Farmer Group, similar to groups formed in Australia and elsewhere.
Adoption of ZT continued to expand in both Iraq and Syria in 2011/12. Estimates of ZT adoption in Ninevah are about 70 farmers sowing about 7,800ha, an increase of 30% from the previous year. Among 338 Ninevah farmers surveyed (35 using ZT) yields were increased and costs reduced, and technical efficiency was increased by 12% on average though the adoption of ZT and early sowing. Surveys conducted in Syria during 2011/12 showed adoption by 537 farmers sowing 20,574ha (652 fields), however access to all regions was not possible. Total adoption is thought to exceed 30,000ha, which is double the area in the previous year. A robust socio-economic survey of 820 Syrian farmers (320 using ZT) was conducted which showed an average reduction in seed and fuel costs of 30% plus an average yield increase of 22%, leading to a 50% increase in gross margin with the adoption of the conservation cropping package. Apart from higher family incomes, reduced cultivation also provided more time for non-agricultural work and activities. The net economic benefit of the adoption of conservation cropping due to additional farmer income was estimated to be up to US$2.7 million in Iraq and US$6.6 million in Syria in 2011/12.
Field experiments were successfully conducted at Tel Hadya (Syria), where growing conditions were excellent, and Ninevah (Iraq) where rainfall was well below average. Results from these trials reinforce the general conservation cropping agronomic package developed in the second phase of the project for this region i.e. minimise soil disturbance by sowing into undisturbed soil using a ZT seeder, sow as early possible with the best varieties available, and use seed rates of 80-100kg/ha for cereals. Improvements in soil fertility (increased water infiltration, porosity, organic matter and phosphorus) were also documented in a trial where conservation cropping had been adopted for six years.
In Ninevah, the University of Mosul has established a Centre of Excellence in Conservation Agriculture and is leading training on ZT cropping systems within northern Iraq. Postgraduate training of the six Iraqi students continued in Australia. Eight project collaborators attended the 5th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture, Brisbane Australia, and papers and presentations were given on ZT modification of seeders in Iraq by Mr Sinan Jalili, an Iraqi farmer collaborator, and on ZT development/promotion in Iraq and Syria by Dr Colin Piggin. Six of these collaborators also undertook a pre-congress tour of ZT farms, research sites and machinery facilities in South Australia.
In collaboration with partners in ICARDA and Australia, Syrian machinery suppliers continued to manufacture and improve affordable local ZT seeders. Iraqi counterparts also further developed their kits to modify existing seeders for ZT with locally manufactured knife-points and press wheels, together with locally-available or imported tines. This has been an important factor in driving adoption, as imported seeders are too expensive and large for small farmers in the region. The number of ZT seeders in Syria is now 104 and numbers in Iraq exceed 50.
During the 2011/12 bridging phase, a proposal to continue the project during the third phase from July 2012 to June 2015 was prepared and approved by ACIAR. This phase will build on and consolidate development and uptake of ZT technology in Ninevah and spread it more widely in surrounding dryland governorates of Kirkuk, Salahahdin and Anbar.
Following an evacuation of international staff from Aleppo in July 2012, the project will be managed from ICARDA’s Amman office with relevant trial work and training programs shifted to Jordan and Erbil, Iraq. Depending on the security situation in Syria, it is hoped long-term tillage and selected agronomy trials at ICARDA Tel Hadya can be maintained. Dr Stephen Loss (from Western Australia) has been appointed as the new project leader.

The project leader for the third phase of the project joined ICARDA in July 2012, and a project instigation meeting was conducted in Amman where the previous progress was reviewed, objectives discussed, and a comprehensive work plan developed.
In the autumn of 2012, 29 zero-tillage (ZT) demonstrations were established in farmer fields throughout the Ninevah governorate in Iraq, and for the first time two or three demonstrations were sown in Kirkuk, Salahaddin and Anbar. Three major spring field days were held at Singar, Alqush and Telkief, which were attended by a total of 100 farmers and 50 staff - other smaller field walks were also conducted at other demonstration sites. A brief inventory of farmers in Ninevah indicated the area of conservation cropping continues to grow from 7,800ha last season to 10,800ha in 2012/13. In May, 25 new extensionists were appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture in Ninevah who will specialise on working with farmers to promote conservation cropping. While it was not possible to contact all conservation cropping farmer groups established in Syria during the previous phase of the project, many are continuing to operate despite the civil unrest. Fuel shortages restricted farming operations. However, this is proving to be a driver of adoption. In one case, a farmer stated that he was able to sow four times the area of crop with his ZT seeder compared to conventional methods requiring plowing because of a limited supply of fuel.
In Ninevah, various field experiments on weed management, row spacing, seed rate, variety improvement and other crop management factors were instigated by the University of Mosul and State Board of Agricultural Research (SBAR). Due to deteriorating conditions within Syria, there was restricted access to ICARDA’s long term field experiments near Aleppo, but tillage treatments were completed by the beginning of November. Sowing with a cover crop was only possible in February, but the integrity of the experiments remains intact. To substitute for experiments and training which could not be conducted in Syria, project staff was able to travel safely to Erbil in the Iraq Kurdistan Region (IKR) on numerous occasions, where they established links with the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Resources. Subsequently, four new experiments were established at the Ankawa Research Centre in Erbil where seasonal conditions were favourable and good yields are expected. Successful training courses were also conducted in Erbil on ZT seeder calibration and operation (18 trainees) and data management and statistical analysis in Amman (11 trainees). Three new experiments were also established at Maru Research Station in Jordan, however, yields are expected to be low despite good rainfall due to a number of management issues. Research staff at the University of Western Australia and the University of Adelaide were appointed in early 2013 and field experimental activities in Australia have commenced.
Considerable progress was made in the development of locally-manufactured ZT seeders. In Mosul a group of innovative farmers/manufacturers completed a prototype 2m ZT seeder, and this was tested in the field by machinery experts at the University of Mosul and later in Erbil. The manufacture of 8-12 improved ZT seeders is currently underway and parts have been ordered to convert 20 existing conventional seeders to ZT for the coming season in Iraq. In Amman, the project team worked with Rama Manufacturing to complete its first prototype 4m ZT seeder, which was tested at Maru Research Station where it proved to be as effective as other more expensive imported seeders. Rama is currently working on the manufacture of a 2m prototype ZT seeder before starting a commercial production run.
For the first time in Iraq, ministerial approval was granted for the multiplication of pioneer seed by private farmers, and elite lines of wheat and barley were included in demonstrations of ZT sowing. The compilation of previous socio economic and biological data and a literature review of survey methodology and analysis are almost complete. A new farmer household survey has been formulated to act as a baseline in the new Iraqi governorates and to monitor adoption in Ninevah, which will be implemented in September 2013.
Opportunistic training was also conducted by project staff in Jordan and Erbil, and the project contributed to ICARDA/JICA training in Erbil on conservation agriculture. Most of the six Iraqi students studying at the University of Western Australia and the University of Adelaide have completed their English training and have commenced their postgraduate courses.
In summary, the project is progressing well, despite ongoing civil unrest in Syria and Iraq, and most planned outputs and outcomes have been achieved following the relocation of ICARDA staff from Syria to Jordan and other regional offices. Following the establishment of good relationships and establishment of field experiments and training in Erbil, the project plans to expand these activities at this location during 2013/14.

Collaborating Institutions
University of Western Australia, Australia
Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, Australia
State Board of Agricultural Research, Iraq
University of Adelaide, Australia
Ministry of Agriculture, Iraq
Directorate of Agriculture, Iraq
University of Mosul, Iraq
Overview Objectives

Agricultural production in Iraq suffers from past mismanagement caused by civil instability with associated loss of capacity, plus the effects of periodic droughts. ACIAR and AusAID are funding assistance, and this project builds upon earlier work in CIM/2004/024 Better crop germplasm and management for improved production of wheat, barley and pulse and forage legumes in Iraq, which operated from 2005 to 2008 in Ninevah Governorate in northern Iraq. The project aims to increase productivity, profitability and sustainability of crops in the drylands of this region through testing and promotion of conservation cropping technologies. The scientists will evaluate technologies such as zero-tillage and stubble mulching, identify improved crop cultivars and encourage better crop management. The work will lead to wide adoption of conservation cropping systems by farmers, development of local village capacities to produce and market seed and zero-tillage machinery, and improved technical capacity by agricultural agencies to plan, implement and monitor research and development programs. The project team will invite agricultural researchers, extension officers and leading farmers from the neighbouring governorates of Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah and Erbil as well as the more southerly Najaf to engage with the project, thus improving their knowledge of conservation farming and opening up possibilities for implementing the technologies in those regions.

Project Budget
$14,010,061.00
Grant Report Recipient
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
Grant Report Finish Date
30/06/2015
Grant Report Start Date
20/08/2008

Wheat improvement for waterlogging, salinity and element toxicities in Australia and India

Project Leader
Dr Tim Setter
Email
tsetter@agric.wa.gov.au (bus)
Fax
08 9368 2958
Phone
08 9368 3289
Project Country
Project ID: 
CIM/2006/177
Start Date
01/07/2008
Project Coordinator Fax
Reference Number
CR-202610-49557
Project Type
Bilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
30/06/2013
Commissioned Organisation: 
Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, Australia
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
Commissioned Organisation
Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia, Australia
Overview Collaborators
  • Indian Council of Agricultural Research, India
  • University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, India
  • Directorate of Wheat Research, India
  • Narendra Deva University of Agricultural Technology, India
  • Murdoch University, Australia
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Eric Huttner
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

In the first year of this new ACIAR project on waterlogging, salinity and element tolerance of wheat, both Indian and Australian partners have successfully conducted field and controlled environment trials, exchanged and developed new germplasm, developed soil characterisation protocols, characterised germplasm to abiotic and biotic stresses, and identified further adaptive traits relevant to key interacting constraints in target environments. All work in India has been delayed by one year due to the late project start, however there is good progress towards achievement of milestones and project outputs.
The activities and outputs of this project have undergone small changes ever since the final stages of project approval; this is summarised in Sections 2 and 6 and detailed in Appendix 1. These changes will not affect the overall project aim of development of “elite germplasm” or the budget. In fact in several respects they have helped to streamline the project and focus work on the key objective of production of elite germplasm.
A key research strategy of this project is the formation of multi-disciplinary teams of physiologists, soil scientists, pathologists and breeders. These teams are now established at CSSRI, NDUAT, DWR, UA and DAFWA. Good progress has been made across project activities by these teams (Section 2 and Appendix 1) and as detailed by reports from each of the key project scientists (see individual reports in Appendix 2).
A second research strategy of this project is the comparison and development of new germplasm through two methods of Single Seed Descent (SSD) and Doubled Haploid (DH) production - this approach is well on track with populations now selected for the diverse environments targeted in India and Australia. The overall benefit of this analysis is that if the SSD approach is shown to be successful, then this frees up Indian partners from dependence on use of DH populations which until now have come largely from Australia and not been easily available in India. Trials in India have only just been harvested, so the analyses of experiments is still in progress (Appendix 2). A 2-page pictorial summary of project highlights in 2009/2010 is given in Appendix 3.
Germplasm exchange was first requested at the beginning of 2009, but this was unsuccessful until Dr. S.S. Singh, Project Director, DWR, provided the key support in 2010. This has now enabled crossing to be initiated in Australian Plant Quarantine in June, 2010.
There have been several publications relating to this work including aspects of soil characterisation, physiology and germplasm improvement (Section 3.4). Work is also currently under preparation for presentation at scientific meetings in 2010/2011 including the 8th International Wheat Conference (Russia), the 19th World Congress on Soil Science (Australia) and the International Society of Plant Anaerobiosis (Italy).
One of the most exciting aspects of this work is the support for extension of activities for development of molecular markers described at the Indo-Australian Program on Marker-Assisted Wheat Breeding (IAP-MAWB) meeting in New Delhi in 2010. This work is supported based on years of relevant data, development of unique populations (some of which have been mapped) and demonstration of the increasing importance of diverse element toxicities as a major factor affecting waterlogging tolerance in field environments (Section 8, point 5 and Appendix 3). Currently a Letter of Variation is under preparation to extend project work in line with IAP-MAWB activities.

In this second year of project research on waterlogging, salinity and element tolerance of wheat, Indian and Australian project scientists have successfully conducted experiments in pot, microplot, field station and farmers’ fields; exchanged, developed and initiated new crosses including Single Seed Descent and Doubled Haploid populations; identified detailed element constraints (deficiencies and toxicities) of soils from our target environments; and begun to confirm the significance of adaptive traits to individual constraints, e.g. bicarbonate/carbonate tolerance, to grain yield in the field.
Appendices and one attachment to this Report provide detailed information on progress for the period of 2010/11:
Appendix 1: Detailed achievements against activities and outputs/milestones.
Appendix 2: Detailed reports from project scientists.
Appendix 3. Selected photographs summarising research highlights and challenges for 2010/11.
Appendix 4: Letter of Variation to ACIAR Project CIM/2006/177 (new MAS work)
Attachment: Experiment Information Sheet (EIS) documents 2010/11
Multi-disciplinary teams of breeders, physiologists and soil scientists are performing well at partner institutions located at CSSRI, NDUAT, DWR, UA and DAFWA. Abbreviations: CSSRI, Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (Karnal, India); DWR, Directorate of Wheat Research (Karnal, India); DAFWA, Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (South Perth, WA); NDUAT, Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology (Faizabad, UP, India); UA, University of Adelaide (Adelaide, SA); MdU, Murdoch University (Murdoch, WA). During this period a new major activity was also developed, approved and initiated with Murdoch University (MdU) being: “Letter of Variation for ACIAR Project CIM/2006/177: MAS for waterlogging, salinity and element tolerance of wheat in India and Australia (part of the Indo-Australian Program on Marker-Assisted Wheat Breeding (IAP-MAWB)).” This activity now makes our project consistent with other ACIAR projects in the IAP-MAWB, and it captures the benefits of extensive phenotyping and genotyping capacities in the project (Appendix 4). A comprehensive list of all experimental work by each project scientist is presented in the Attachment: Experiment Information Sheet (EIS) documents 2010/11.
In India, screening protocols in pots, microplots and field station trials have confirmed the ability to validate results using these diverse approaches at CSSRI (Appendix 2(2)). At NDUAT, farmers’ field trials (Appendix 2(5)) have confirmed field station results and they have also identified and confirmed theoretical predictions from UA of Zn deficiencies in some soils at high pH (Appendix 2(7)). DWR has led the coordination of running bi-plot experiments in five locations/environments through collaboration of all Indian partners. Such measurements are still being calculated, and they will be helpful in evaluating the genetic variation of diverse Indian and Australian germplasm and help identify potential parental material for breeding programs. DWR also leads project research to characterise parental material and develop germplasm with abiotic stress tolerance for selected disease resistance including stripe rust, leaf rust and Karnal bunt resistance.
In Australia, work at UA focuses on characterisation of germplasm for tolerance to bicarbonate/carbonate and demonstration that this trait is significantly correlated to grain yields of wheat varieties in the field in alkaline sodic soils with pH>9. Supporting work on soils continues to develop methods for measurement of element toxicities (Al) relevant to low and high pH soils, and deficiencies (Ca, Mg and Zn) in soils at high pH. These approaches now need to be taken up by Indian partners - this will be discussed at the upcoming AGM in 2011.
At DAFWA the waterlogging tolerance screening facility at Katanning has been improved with remote webcam monitoring and with frost resistant canopies; the latter followed devastating experimental losses last year due to severe frost - the first time this has occurred in the last 10 years. Germplasm development at DAFWA included (i) rust screening a large SSD population in collaboration with ACIAR supported scientists at Australian Cereal Rust Control Program (ACRCP), Cobbitty, NSW; and (ii) development of crosses for new DH populations based on the best parents from India and Australia identified for tolerance to waterlogging, salinity and element toxicities: KRL99/Krichauff and KRL99/Tammarin Rock (see Appendix 3, Plate 10, for photographs).
A large number of presentations of project work have been made in this year with 16 publications from project scientists in journals or scientific publications.

In this third year of project research on waterlogging, salinity and element tolerance of wheat, Indian and Australian project scientists have successfully conducted experiments in India and Australia in pot, microplot, field station and farmers’ fields; exchanged, developed or initiated new crosses including Single Seed Descent and Doubled Haploid populations; identified detailed element constraints (deficiencies and toxicities) of soils from our target environments; begun to confirm the significance of adaptive traits to individual constraints, e.g. bicarbonate/carbonate tolerance, to grain yield in the field; and confirmed earlier (2009) GRDC supported research on salinity tolerance of varieties in large scale field trials.
Multi-disciplinary teams of breeders, physiologists and soil scientists are performing well at partner institutions located at CSSRI, NDUAT, DWR, UA, MdU and DAFWA. Abbreviations: CSSRI, Central Soil Salinity Research Institute (Karnal, India); DWR, Directorate of Wheat Research (Karnal, India); DAFWA, Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia (South Perth, WA); MTR, Mid Term Review; NDUAT, Narendra Deva University of Agriculture and Technology (Faizabad, UP, India); NIASM, National Institute of Abiotic Stress Management ( www.niam.res.in ); UA, University of Adelaide (Adelaide, SA); MdU, Murdoch University (Murdoch, WA). A comprehensive list of all experimental work by each project scientist is presented in the Attachment: Experiment Information Sheet (EIS) documents 2011/12 (Attachment 3).
During this period a sub-contract was developed, approved and initiated with Murdoch University (MdU) for the “Letter of Variation for ACIAR Project CIM/2006/177: MAS for waterlogging, salinity and element tolerance of wheat in India and Australia (part of the Indo-Australian Program on Marker-Assisted Wheat Breeding (IAP-MAWB)) (Appendix 4).” The complexity of this sub-contract and the delays in project work which this caused resulted in a comprehensive review of project management procedures for this component of the project. A Project Plan for this MAS activity has now been developed and this has been professionally and independently reviewed as part of a Postgraduate Diploma in Project Management undertaken by the Project Leader, Dr. T. Setter (Attachment 2). This MAS activity makes our project consistent with other ACIAR projects in the IAP-MAWB, and it captures the benefits of extensive phenotyping and genotyping capacities in the project.
In India the research this year at CSSRI, NDUAT, and DWR has met project milestones (Appendix 1) and this work is detailed by each project scientist in Appendix 2. In Australia, soils work at UA has continued to develop protocols for environmental characterisation while germplasm evaluation and improvement work has continued to screening material in several target environments with alkaline soils. At DAFWA the waterlogging tolerance screening facility at Katanning has been upgraded with frost protection shelters and this has enabled the first screening of test and validation populations for molecular marker development. Germplasm development at DAFWA included development of crosses for new DH populations based on the best parents from India and Australia identified for tolerance to waterlogging, salinity and element toxicities: KRL99/Krichauff and KRL99/Tammarin Rock (see Appendix 2).
This year was highlighted by the project Mid Term Review (MTR) held in India 30 January to 1 February, 2012. The MTR was led by Dr. Richard Brettell with Dr. Don Marshall and Dr. S. Nagarajan as referees (see photographs in Appendix 3). A description of key project achievements was published for the MTR (Attachment 1) and a concise summary of project highlights in environmental characterisation, physiology, pathology and germplasm exchange, selection and improvement is presented in Appendix 1(A). The conclusions and recommendations of the MTR are available as a separate document. In summary this project was described as being an “exciting project” which “has been well managed.” The international referees added that “The quality of science in the project was world class and has resulted in several major breakthroughs in our understanding of the role of flooding, salinity and element toxicities in a range of soil types in India and Australia.”
In this period, research on cereal improvement for tolerance to waterlogging, element tolerance and salinity was also extended to other research community groups in India and Australia. In India a collaboration and national workshop was established with the National Institute of Abiotic Stress Management (NIASM; Section 3.3 and Appendix 5). In Australia collaboration with growers in SA at Kangaroo Island (KI) was continued by field visits and teleconference participation (Appendix 6). Work was also discussed with InterGrain at a workshop in 2012 - InterGrain is the recently commercialised wheat breeding arm of DAFWA. Such linkages in Australia and India demonstrate the integration of project work into relevant national programs aimed at germplasm improvement for these environments.

Collaborating Institutions
Indian Council of Agricultural Research, India
University of Adelaide, Australia
Central Soil Salinity Research Institute, India
Directorate of Wheat Research, India
Narendra Deva University of Agricultural Technology, India
Murdoch University, Australia
Overview Objectives

A major finding of past ACIAR-supported research is that waterlogging tolerance is a product of tolerance to anaerobiosis from waterlogging and to certain elements at toxic levels (Al, B, Fe, Mn and Na) that vary with target environments and are exacerbated during waterlogging. The aim of this project is to apply the outcomes of this research to underpin breeding of waterlogging-tolerant wheat varieties. Project objectives are to: 1) confirm key mechanisms of waterlogging tolerance by physiological and soils data identifying microelement/element toxicities; 2) establish screening facilities and protocols to characterise waterlogging tolerance; 3) implement optimal cereal breeding strategies for the production of elite germplasm with waterlogging tolerance; and 4) breed elite germplasm with waterlogging and element tolerance. The identification of robust screening protocols and the development of elite germplasm with waterlogging tolerance are outcomes that should bring significant economic benefits with the release of varieties incorporating identified tolerances - in the range of $200 million per year in both India and Australia.

Project Budget
$1,210,138.00
Grant Report Value
$1331152
Grant Report Recipient
Department of Agriculture and Food, Western Australia
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
6983
Grant Report Finish Date
30/06/2013
Grant Report Start Date
26/09/2008

Plausible futures for economic development and structural adjustment - impacts and policy implications for Indonesia and Australia

Project Leader
Dr Mark W Rosegrant
Email
m.rosegrant@cgiar.org
Fax
+1 202 467 4439
Phone
+1 202 862 5600
Project Country
Project ID: 
ADP/2005/068
Start Date
01/01/2009
Project Coordinator Fax
Reference Number
TA-201110-61195
Project Type
Multilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
31/12/2011
Extension Start Date
01/01/2012
Commissioned Organisation: 
International Food Policy Research Institute, USA
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
Commissioned Organisation
International Food Policy Research Institute, Environment and Production Technology Division, USA
Extension Finish Date
31/03/2013
Overview Collaborators
  • Australian National University, Australia
  • Indonesian Centre for Agriculture Socio Economic and Policy Studies, Indonesia
  • Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia
  • University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Ministry of Trade, Indonesia
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Simon Hearn
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

The overall aims of the project are to improve the capacity of Indonesian policy makers and processes to review the role of agriculture in rural development and the overall economy and to design policies that can impact positively upon incomes, poverty and hunger in the longer-term. The project will provide an enhanced set of knowledge and decision support tools that can help Indonesian policy makers to look to future challenges posed by global environmental and economic change and to identify and examine areas in need of alternative policy options (e.g. in relation to adjustment). These aims will bring out broader implications for the rest of the Asia Pacific region to show how other large economies, like Australia, might best be able to adjust to policy changes in Indonesia under alternative growth scenarios.
Project objectives include:
Review qualitatively Indonesian agricultural-related policies and relevant data within the broader technology, economic and physical environment;
Identify Indonesian agricultural-related policy areas requiring further assistance and reform, including the institutions themselves, technologies to overcome productivity constraints to agricultural growth and effects of global climate change, and policy reactions in the rest of the world to climate change;
Develop required policy analysis tools that can provide the appropriate forward-looking analysis that is needed to design appropriate policy options to meet the challenges of global economic and environmental change;
Analyse the priority areas and provide policy options, within a plausible futures framework that links key models of economic and natural processes, and that can deliver long-term and economy-wide benefits for both Indonesia and Australia;
Disseminate the outcomes and adoption of recommendations of the research through publications and presentations to policy makers, together with established steering groups of policy makers in both countries; and
Provide hands-on training in strategic agricultural-related policy analysis, so as to familiarise the final end-users in Indonesia on how best to exploit the available knowledge and decision-support tools and resources made available through this project.
Key activities for 1. include: Data gathering and other relevant information from secondary literature; Overview report on Indonesian agricultural and trade policies; and understanding of the institutional structure in relation to decentralisation in Indonesia (with activities 1 and 2 completed under this reporting period). Key activities for 2. include review and analyse past and existing institutional arrangements related to implementation of agricultural policies; Identify potential areas for capacity strengthening and improvement through informal interviews; Provide technical guidance or toolbox on how to achieve these improvements; Present examples or similar situations and techniques whenever possible. 3 works on reviewing and analysing policy analysis tools applied in other developing countries which may be adopted in Indonesia (scheduled for completion under this reporting period); Listing and assessing policy analysis tools or models applied for projections in agricultural technology, climate change and economic assessments; and model development and application to agricultural-related technology, trade, climate change, policies and institutions. The key activity under 4. is a review and assessment of long-term economic frameworks and priority areas of Indonesia and Australia. 5 focuses on dissemination of information and publishing technical outputs in Indonesia and Australia; and 6 includes one activity on providing hands-on training in strategic agricultural-related policy analysis, so as to familiarise the final end-users in Indonesia on how best to exploit the available knowledge and decision-support tools and resources made available through this project.
Draft and completed products are attached separately.

The overall aims of the project are to improve the capacity of Indonesian policy makers and processes to review the role of agriculture in rural development and the overall economy and to design policies that can impact positively upon incomes, poverty and hunger in the longer-term. The project will provide an enhanced set of knowledge and decision support tools that can help Indonesian policymakers to look to future challenges posed by global environmental and economic change and to identify and examine areas in need of alternative policy options (e.g. in relation to adjustment). These aims will bring out broader implications for the rest of the Asia-Pacific region to show how other large economies, like Australia, might best be able to adjust to policy changes in Indonesia under alternative growth scenarios.
Project objectives include: O.1.Review qualitatively, Indonesian agricultural-related policies and relevant data within the broader technology, economic and physical environment; O.2. Identify Indonesian agricultural-related policy areas requiring further assistance and reform, including the institutions themselves, technologies to overcome productivity constraints to agricultural growth and effects of global climate change, and policy reactions in the rest of the world to climate change; O.3. Develop required policy analysis tools that can provide the appropriate forward-looking analysis that is needed to design appropriate policy options to meet the challenges of global economic and environmental change; O.4. Analyse the priority areas and provide policy options, within a plausible futures framework that links key models of economic and natural processes, and that can deliver long-term and economy-wide benefits for both Indonesia and Australia; O.5. Disseminate the outcomes and adoption of recommendations of the research through publications and presentations to policymakers, together with established steering groups of policymakers in both countries; and O.6. Provide hands-on training in strategic agricultural-related policy analysis, so as to familiarise the final end-users in Indonesia on how best to exploit the available knowledge and decision-support tools and resources made available through this project.
Key activities for O.1. include 1.1-Data gathering and other relevant information from secondary literature; 1.2-Overview report on Indonesian agricultural and trade policies; and 1.3-Understanding of the institutional structure in relation to decentralization in Indonesia (with activities 1 and 2 completed under this reporting period). Key activities for O.2. include 2.1-Review and analyse past and existing institutional arrangements related to implementation of agricultural policies; 2.2-Identify potential areas for capacity strengthening and improvement through informal interviews; and 2.3-Provide technical guidance or toolbox on how to achieve these improvements; present examples or similar situations and techniques whenever possible. O.3 works on 3.1-Review and analyse policy analysis tools applied in other developing countries (e.g. Vietnam) which may be adopted in Indonesia (scheduled for completion under this reporting period); 3.2-List and assess policy analysis tools or models applied for projections in agricultural technology, climate change and economic assessments; and 3.3-Model development and application to agricultural-related technology, trade, climate change, policies and institutions. The key activity under O.4. is a 4.1-Review and assess long-term economic frameworks and priority areas of Indonesia and Australia. O.5.focuses on 5.1- Dissemination of information; and 5.2-Publish technical outputs in Indonesia and Australia; and O.6 includes one Activity on 6.1-Provide hands-on training in strategic agricultural-related policy analysis, so as to familiarize the final end-users in Indonesia on how best to exploit the available knowledge and decision-support tools and resources made available through this project.

The overall aims of the project are to improve the capacity of Indonesian policymakers and processes to review the role of agriculture in rural development and the overall economy and to design policies that can impact positively upon incomes, poverty and hunger in the longer-term. The project will provide an enhanced set of knowledge and decision support tools that can help Indonesian policymakers to look to future challenges posed by global environmental and economic change and to identify and examine areas in need of alternative policy options (e.g. in relation to adjustment). These aims will bring out broader implications for the rest of the Asia-Pacific region to show how other large economies, like Australia, might best be able to adjust to policy changes in Indonesia under alternative growth scenarios.
Project objectives include: O.1.Review qualitatively, Indonesian agricultural-related policies and relevant data within the broader technology, economic and physical environment; O.2. Identify Indonesian agricultural-related policy areas requiring further assistance and reform, including the institutions themselves, technologies to overcome productivity constraints to agricultural growth and effects of global climate change, and policy reactions in the rest of the world to climate change; O.3. Develop required policy analysis tools that can provide the appropriate forward-looking analysis that is needed to design appropriate policy options to meet the challenges of global economic and environmental change; O.4. Analyse the priority areas and provide policy options, within a plausible futures framework that links key models of economic and natural processes, and that can deliver long-term and economy-wide benefits for both Indonesia and Australia; O.5. Disseminate the outcomes and adoption of recommendations of the research through publications and presentations to policymakers, together with established steering groups of policymakers in both countries; and O.6. Provide hands-on training in strategic agricultural-related policy analysis, so as to familiarise the final end-users in Indonesia on how best to exploit the available knowledge and decision-support tools and resources made available through this project.
Key activities for O.1. include 1.1-Data gathering and other relevant information from secondary literature; 1.2-Overview report on Indonesian agricultural and trade policies; and 1.3-Understanding of the institutional structure in relation to decentralization in Indonesia (with activities 1 and 2 completed under this reporting period). Key activities for O.2. include 2.1-Review and analyse past and existing institutional arrangements related to implementation of agricultural policies; 2.2-Identify potential areas for capacity strengthening and improvement through informal interviews; and 2.3-Provide technical guidance or toolbox on how to achieve these improvements; present examples or similar situations and techniques whenever possible. O.3 works on 3.1-Review and analyse policy analysis tools applied in other developing countries (e.g. Vietnam) which may be adopted in Indonesia (scheduled for completion under this reporting period); 3.2-List and assess policy analysis tools or models applied for projections in agricultural technology, climate change and economic assessments; and 3.3-Model development and application to agricultural-related technology, trade, climate change, policies and institutions. The key activity under O.4. is a 4.1-Review and assess long-term economic frameworks and priority areas of Indonesia and Australia. O.5.focuses on 5.1- Dissemination of information; and 5.2-Publish technical outputs in Indonesia and Australia; and O.6 includes one Activity on 6.1-Provide hands-on training in strategic agricultural-related policy analysis, so as to familiarize the final end-users in Indonesia on how best to exploit the available knowledge and decision-support tools and resources made available through this project.
Outputs 1-4 and 6 have been achieved during past project periods including the period assessed here. The reminder of the project time will be spent on finalizing technical papers, preparing policy briefs and disseminating project results at various venues. One key activity was the June policy workshop in Jakarta.

Collaborating Institutions
Australian National University, Australia
Indonesian Centre for Agriculture Socio Economic and Policy Studies, Indonesia
Bogor Agricultural University, Indonesia
University of Adelaide, Australia
Ministry of Trade, Indonesia
Overview Objectives

Indonesia’s agricultural economy is in urgent need of assistance to undertake quality policy analysis focused on maintaining sustainable economic growth in the face of growing global economic and environmental pressures. This project will conduct an overview of Indonesian agricultural technologies, policies and associated data that impacts on economic growth and production efficiency in the face of these changes. Activities will include data collection and analysis on agricultural-related technology, policies and institutions, and delivery of both partial-equilibrium sector and economy-wide econometric modelling of policy options. The program will involve policy dialogues, study tours to relevant institutions and staff interchanges. Such activities are designed to improve the capacity of Indonesian policymakers to review the contribution of agriculture to rural and wider economic development and to design policies that can impact positively upon incomes, poverty and hunger in the medium to longer term. The Indonesian policymakers will gain an enhanced set of knowledge and decision support tools that can help them to look to future challenges posed by global environmental and economic change and to identify and examine areas in need of alternative policy options. Fulfilling these aims will also bring out broader implications for the rest of the Asia-Pacific region, to show how regional economies such as Australia might best adjust to policy changes in Indonesia under alternative growth scenarios.

Project Budget
$1,226,726.00
Grant Report Recipient
International Food Policy Research Institute
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
20006
Grant Report Finish Date
31/03/2013
Grant Report Start Date
17/11/2008

Markets for high-value commodities in Indonesia: Promoting competitiveness and inclusiveness

Project Leader
Mr Nick Minot
Email
n.minot@cgiar.org
Fax
1 202 4674439
Phone
1 202 8628199
Project Country
Project ID: 
ADP/2005/066
Australian Partner
Start Date
01/06/2008
Project Coordinator Fax
Reference Number
TA-201110-60557
Project Type
Multilateral
Project Status
Active
Finish Date
30/11/2011
Extension Start Date
01/12/2011
Commissioned Organisation: 
International Food Policy Research Institute, USA
dockey
Project Coordinator Email
Commissioned Organisation
International Food Policy Research Institute, USA
Extension Finish Date
30/06/2013
Overview Collaborators
  • Indonesian Centre for Agriculture Social Economic and Policy Studies, Indonesia
  • Padjadjaran University, Indonesia
  • University of Adelaide, Australia
ACIAR Research Program Manager
Dr Simon Hearn
Progress Reports (Year 1, 2, 3 etc)

This study examines the transformation of markets for high-value commodities in Indonesia and their impact on farmers, traders, and processors. The project addresses five research questions: 1) How are income and urbanization influencing consumer preferences for high-value commodities and for different types of retail outlets? 2) What are the patterns in the restructuring of food supply chains, particularly for high-value commodities? 3) What are the patterns, determinants, and effects of participation of farmers in modern supply chains for high-value commodities compared to traditional market channels? 4) What are the policies, institutional changes, and programs that would maximize the competitiveness and inclusiveness of the transformation of high-value supply chains? In addition, a fifth objective is to build research capacity in Indonesian institutions, particularly in value-chain methods and survey design and analysis. The commodity focus is on chillies, shallots, mangoes, mangosteens, and shrimp
The project is being implemented by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the University of Adelaide (UA), Michigan State University (MSU), the Centre for Agricultural Policy and Agribusiness Studies (CAPAS) at Padjadjaran University, and the Indonesian Centre for Agriculture, Socio-Economic and Policy Studies (ICASEPS).
On 4 November 2008, the project organized an all-day inception workshop in Bogor, Indonesia. The presentations and discussion focused on trends in high-value agriculture in Asia, the Indonesian horticultural sector, information gaps, project goals and activities, value-chain and survey methods, and communication strategies. Participants included representatives from IFPRI, UA, MSU, CAPAS, ICASEPS, and ACIAR, among others.
In addition, the team held a series of more informal meetings to plan out activities under the project and meetings with ACIAR project leaders managing ACIAR mango supply-chain projects in Australia, Indonesia and Pakistan (SMAR/2007/193 and HORT/2006/146). Finally, the team attended part of the 4th International Symposium on Tropical and Subtropical Fruits, held in Bogor, 3-7 November. Team members Ronnie Natawidjaja, Randy Stringer and Tom Reardon gave presentations at the Symposium.
In February 2009, Tom Reardon and Randy Stringer travelled to Indonesia to prepare more detailed plans for the key informant interviews and value chain analysis as part of the study of shrimp and mangoes.
In March, Randy Stringer travelled to Sydney to meet with David Shearer and Richard Callinan (University of Sydney) the project coordinator for another ACIAR shrimp project (FIS/2005/169), to organize collaboration and linkages between the two projects.
In April and May 2009, Wahida, one of the main ICASEPS collaborator in the project, visited the University of Adelaide as part of her John Dillon Memorial Fellowship to discuss chilli and shallot value chain work and meet three Indonesian PhD students who plan to work on the project.
In May, Dale Yi, an MSU graduate student, moved to Indonesia to begin his doctoral research on shrimp marketing with project funding.
In May-June, researchers from IFPRI (Nick Minot), UA (Randy Stringer), and MSU (Tom Reardon) travelled to Indonesia for a 2-3 week trip to meet with counterparts Ronnie Natawidjaja (CAPAS) and Wahida (ICASEPS). After a series of team meetings at CAPAS in Bandung, the team split up to carry out a rapid reconnaissance scoping missions to key producing zones. The vegetable team (IFPRI/ICASEPS) and UA visited farmers, traders, processors, and retailers in Bandung and Garut (highland chilli-growing districts), Brebes (a lowland chilli- and shallot-growing district), and Jakarta. The fruit/shrimp team (MSU/CAPAS) visited shrimp zones in Makassar and Lampung, as well as attending a shrimp workshop in Bali. The two teams joined together at the end of the trip to compare notes and discuss future plans. They also met with representatives of the IFC/Jakarta, where Tom Reardon (MSU) led a discussion on agribusiness trends.
Based on the scoping missions, the project has developed some tentative hypotheses. 1) In chillies and shallots, there is significant quality differentiation, but the effect of supermarkets and processors does not yet seem to extend to the farm level. Processors are not particularly quality sensitive, while supermarkets are quality sensitive, but are able to reach their targets by trader-level sorting and grading. 2) In mangoes, there is significant technical innovation, as farmers shift to the Gadung variety and make use of sprayer-traders. Although often credited to the export sector, the project finds that domestic demand is the main driver of technical change. 3) In the shrimp sector, there is significant growth and technical change, in the form of intensification and new species adoption. Although the standard view is that there are a few large-scale commercial shrimp farms and many tiny farms, the project finds a significant number of technically-advanced small/medium-scale producers.

This study examines the transformation of markets for high-value commodities in Indonesia and their impact on farmers, traders, and processors. The project addresses four research questions: 1) How are income and urbanization influencing consumer preferences for high-value commodities and for different types of retail outlets? 2) What are the patterns in the restructuring of food supply chains, particularly for high-value commodities? 3) What are the patterns, determinants, and effects of participation of farmers in modern supply chains for high-value commodities compared to traditional market channels? 4) What are the policies, institutional changes, and programs that would maximize the competitiveness and inclusiveness of the transformation of high-value supply chains? In addition, the project seeks to build research capacity in Indonesian institutions, particularly in value-chain methods and survey design and analysis. The commodity focus is on chilies, shallots, mangoes, mangosteens, and shrimp.
The project is being implemented by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the University of Adelaide (UA), Michigan State University (MSU), the Centre for Agricultural Policy and Agribusiness Studies (CAPAS) at Padjadjaran University, and the Indonesian Centre for Agriculture, Socio-Economic and Policy Studies (ICASEPS).
In May-June 2009, researchers from all five institutions were in Indonesia doing rapid reconnaissance work in the field (see previous annual report).
Over June-August, Dale Yi, Tom Reardon, and other members of the shrimp team carried out informal interviews in the shrimp sector in South Sulawesi and Sumatra. A report was completed in December.
During August-September 2009, Ms. Sahara Djaenudin, an ACIAR John Allwright PhD student at UA, completed field appraisal and reconnaissance work on chilies in Ciamis. The earlier field work by Minot, Stringer and Wahida suggested Ciamis as a major emerging zone for producers supplying the modern sector.
In October-November 2009, Nick Minot (IFPRI) and Wendy Umberger (UA) travelled to Indonesia to plan the urban consumer survey. In Indonesia, they worked with Wahida (ICASEPS) and Hery Toiba (an Indonesian graduate student at UA) on the questionnaire and the sampling design. The team conducted out a focus group discussion with a dozen women in Bogor to explore urban shopping patterns. The team visited the three cities where the survey will be carried out to gather information to select the sample.
Also in November, Wahida (ICASEPS) and Randy Stringer (UA) carried out a second round of interviews with chili producers, traders, wholesalers in Bandung and Bogor. This work provided the basis for the first draft of the producer survey and information to inform the sample selection.
In February, the team prepared a draft questionnaire for the survey of chili farmers and recruited 15 enumerators. In February-March 2010, Nick Minot (IFPRI) travelled to Indonesia to conduct the training for the survey, test the questionnaire, and make final revisions. The data collection took place over March and April 2010. By the end of May, 80% of the survey data had been entered.
Also in February, Ronnie Natawidjaja and his CAPAS team completed two reports on the results of the informal interviews with farmers and traders: one on mangoes in South Sulawesi and one on mangosteens in West Sumatra.
At the end of May, Tom Reardon travelled to Indonesia to work with Dale Yi to finalize the shrimp producer questionnaire and launch the survey. The survey will take place over June and July 2010. Questionnaires for the mango/mangosteen sprayer-trader and farmer surveys are also being finalized.
As discussed in the last annual report, the following hypotheses have been developed from informal interviews: 1) There appears to be significant quality differentiation in chilies and shallots, but high-quality products are separated by traders, with relatively little direct effect at the farm level. Supermarkets are quality sensitive, but processors are most interested in obtaining low prices. 2) In mangoes, production methods are changing as farmers shift to the Gadung variety and make use of sprayer-traders. Transformation of this sector appears to be driven more by the domestic market than by exports, contrary to widespread opinion. The conventional wisdom is that there are a few large-scale commercial shrimp farms and many tiny farms, but the project finds a significant number of technically-advanced small/medium-scale producers. 3) Focus groups of urban consumers suggest that even among educated, professional women in the cities, there is a reluctance to buy fruits and vegetables from supermarkets. The produce in supermarkets is perceived to be more expensive but lower quality compared to traditional markets. These hypotheses will be more rigorously tested as the results of the farmer and consumer surveys are analysed.

This study examines the transformation of markets for high-value commodities in Indonesia and their impact on farmers, traders, and processors. The project addresses four research questions:
How are income and urbanization influencing consumer preferences for high-value commodities and for different types of retail outlets?
What are the patterns in the restructuring of food supply chains, particularly for high-value commodities?
What are the patterns, determinants, and effects of participation of farmers in modern supply chains for high-value commodities compared to traditional market channels?
What are the policies, institutional changes, and programs that would maximize the competitiveness and inclusiveness of the transformation of high-value supply chains?
In addition, the project seeks to build research capacity in Indonesian institutions, particularly in value-chain methods and survey design and analysis. The focus is on chillies, shallots, mangoes, mangosteens, and shrimp.
The project is being implemented by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the University of Adelaide (UA), Michigan State University (MSU), the Centre for Agricultural Policy and Agribusiness Studies (CAPAS) at Padjadjaran University, and the Indonesian Centre for Agricultural Socio-Economic and Policy Studies (ICASEPS).
From June 2010 to May 2011, the project made progress in several components of the study.
Shrimp study:
After a preparation trip by Tom Reardon (MSU) to outposted Dale Yi (MSU doctoral student) and Irna Sari (CAPAS) to finalize the questionnaire and sample, a survey of 1000 shrimp growers was carried out in Central Java and South Sulawesi in July-August 2010. The survey focused on differences in technology and marketing between small-scale and large-scale growers, as well as the transformation of the sector over time in response to growing demand. Preliminary results were tabulated in April-May 2011 and more in-depth analysis is on-going. The study was led by Tom Reardon and Dale Yi from MSU, with support from Irna Sari and Haris Harahap from CAPAS.
Urban consumer survey:
In September-October 2010, the team developed and revised the questionnaire and planned the sampling. After training the enumerators in November, the data collection took place in November-December 2010. The sample included 1200 urban consumers, stratified by income and distance to supermarkets. The questionnaire examined food consumption patterns, attitudes toward food quality, and food shopping preferences and habits. The survey was supervised by Nick Minot (IFPRI) and Wendy Umberger (UA) and implemented by Wahida (ICASEPS/UA), and Hery Toiba with support from ICASEPS. The data will be used by two Indonesian graduate students, Wahida and Toiba, for their dissertations.
Mango study:
A rapid reconnaissance and preparation trip was carried out September 2010. In December 2010, CAPAS implemented a survey of 100 mango traders. In February 2011, the mango grower questionnaire was field tested, and in April the sampling was finalized and the enumerators trained. The data collection took place in April-May, involving a sample of 400 mango farmers in Nusa Tenggara Barat province. Both surveys were supervised by Tom Reardon and implemented by CAPAS team that included Henry Suudi (who will enter the masters programme at UA in June 2011). The data will be the basis of Suudi’s master thesis. UA also provided a supervisor for the farm survey fieldwork.
Some preliminary results are available. First, in the market for chillies, supermarkets are quality sensitive, but chilli sauce processors are most interested in obtaining low prices. Some chilli growers are dedicated to supplying the modern supermarket channel, but the percentage is quite small. Some of the supermarket supply is obtained from traders who buy standard produce and sort and select the highest quality. Second, in mangoes, changes include a shift to the Gedong Gincu variety and growing use of “sprayer-traders,” who combine spraying/pruning with harvesting and marketing services. Changes the mango sector seem to be driven more by the domestic market than by exports, as exports are a tiny share of production, and the domestic market is rapidly changing. Third, although the shrimp sector is often described as having a bi-modal structure with a few large-scale commercial shrimp farms and many tiny traditional growers, the project finds an emerging sector of small/medium-scale commercial growers. Fourth, although barely 5% of rural consumers use supermarkets, they have a positive view of the quality and prices offered by supermarkets, suggesting that distance is one of the main obstacles to the use of supermarkets.
The project is preparing the final four surveys to be carried out: shallot and mangosteen growers and shrimp and mangosteen traders. Most of the next year, however, will be devoted to analysis, report preparation, and dissemination.

This study examines the transformation of markets for high-value commodities in Indonesia and their impact on farmers, traders, and processors. The project addresses four research questions:
How are income and urbanization influencing consumer preferences for high-value commodities and for different types of retail outlets?
Whatare the patterns in the restructuring of food supply chains, particularly for high-value commodities?
What are the patterns, determinants, and effects of participation of farmers in modern supply chains for high-value commodities compared to traditional market channels?
What are the policies, institutional changes, and programs that would maximize the competitiveness and inclusiveness of the transformation of high-value supply chains?

In addition, the project seeks to build research capacity in Indonesian institutions, particularly in value-chain methods and survey design and analysis. The focus is on chillies, shallots, mangoes, mangosteens, and shrimp.

The project is being implemented by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the University of Adelaide (UA), Michigan State University (MSU), the Centre for Agricultural Policy and Agribusiness Studies (CAPAS) at Padjadjaran University, and the Indonesian Centre for Agricultural Socio-Economic and Policy Studies (ICASEPS).

From June 2011 to May 2012, the project made progress in several components of the study.

Shrimp study:
In the second half of 2011, Tom Reardon (MSU) and his graduate students worked on the analysis of the data from the shrimp producer survey. In December, CAPAS and MSU prepared plans for a shrimp trader survey, which was carried out in February-March 2012 in Central Java and South Sulawesi. In April 2012, CAPAS delivered the trader data to MSU, where tabulation and analysis of the data have begun. The shrimp farm household data continue to be under analysis.

Urban consumer survey:
The urban consumer took place in November 2010 -January 2011, and the data are now being analysed by Wahida (ICASEPS/UA) and Hery Toiba (UA) under the guidance of Randy Stringer (UA), Wendy Umberger (UA), and Nick Minot (IFPRI). Several papers have been prepared and presentations given, as described in Section 3.4 below.

Mango study:
In April-May 2011, the MSU/CAPAS team implemented a survey of 400 mango growers in Nusa Tenggara Barat province. The data will be the basis for the master’s thesis of Henry Suudi, who started a Masters program at the University of Adelaide in June 2011. Data entry, cleaning, reorganizing the data, and initial diagnostic processing took place over the second half of 2011 and first trimester of 2012. Data analysis and tabulation toward the report is being carried out in the first half of 2012 and into the third quarter.

Shallot study:
After several months of preparation, ICASEPS, University of Adelaide, and IFPRI carried out a survey of 820 horticultural farmers on the north central coast of Java in July-August 2011. The survey included a random sample of shallot growers and a smaller targeted sample of shallot growers who sell into organic, “clean”, or supermarket channels. ICASEPS carried out the data entry and cleaning in the second half of 2011 and the analysis of the results started in early 2012. The team spent a week interviewing shallot traders in February 2012, exploring issues with traders buying from the surveyed households and preparing for the trader survey.

Mangosteen study:
The MSU/CAPAS team carried out a survey of mangosteen growers and traders in West Sumatra over March-May 2012. The data are being entered and cleaned in the third quarter and the analysis and report completed in the fourth quarter.

Chili study:
ICASEPS produced a value chain study of chili production and marketing in Java, based on informal interviews and secondary data. Annual report: Markets for high-value commodities in Indonesia: Promoting competitiveness and inclusiveness.

In the second quarter of 2011, IFPRI requested and ACIAR agreed to a no-cost extension of the project to 31 December 2012. Plans for the second half of 2012 include a survey of shallot traders on the north coast of Central Java, a survey of farmers to explore factors associated with growing horticultural crops in general, one or more training courses to be held at ICASEPS, presentations at the conferences organized by the International Society of Horticultural Science (ISHS) and the American Agricultural Economics Association, workshops in the Ministry of Agriculture District offices, and the final workshop in early December 2012. The project plans to publish a book in both English and Bahasa, presenting the study results, analysis and policy and program implications. Two Indonesian PhD Students, Sahara and Hery Toiba, who have worked on and are using data from the Chili survey and the Consumer survey, respectively, will be completing their dissertations.

Collaborating Institutions
Indonesian Centre for Agriculture Social Economic and Policy Studies, Indonesia
Padjadjaran University, Indonesia
University of Adelaide, Australia
Overview Objectives

After the Asian currency crisis of 1997 Indonesian policymakers liberalised foreign investment in the retail sector, allowing rapid growth in foreign-invested supermarket chains. As a result, the share of supermarkets and convenience stores in retail food sales rose from 22% in 2000 to 30% in 2004. This study will examine the transformation of selected high-value supply channels in Indonesia and their impact on farmers, wholesalers, and first-stage processors. The commodities are mango, mangosteen, chillies, shallot and prawns. Project researchers will examine the following research and policy areas for each commodity: changes in demand that drive the transformation of food supply chains; patterns in restructuring food supply chains; farmer participation in restructured value chains; and how to maximise the transformation of high-value supply chains. The studies will lead to an improved understanding of consumer preferences regarding food quality, food safety and related attributes in fruits, vegetables and prawns. Researchers will be better equipped to estimate the future growth of supermarkets based on current preferences for different retail food outlets among poor and rich households. The study will provide a more detailed and realistic view of the pace of transformation of horticulture and aquaculture marketing channels and its likely effect on small farmers.

Project Budget
$1,543,248.00
Grant Report Recipient
International Food Policy Research Institute
Grant Report Recipient Post Code
20006
Grant Report Finish Date
30/06/2013
Grant Report Start Date
20/06/2008

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