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Annual Report 2016–17

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Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) 2017

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GPO Box 1571, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Telephone: + 61 2 6217 0500
Fax: + 61 2 6217 0501
Email: <aciar@aciar.gov.au>
Website: aciar.gov.au
Annual Report website: <aciar.gov.au/publication/AR_current>

ACIAR Annual Report 2016–17

ISBN 978-1-925436-85-3 (print)
ISBN 978-1-925436-86-0 (online)
Project Manager: John Hancock
Editing: Kate Le Strange, Geneva, Switzerland
Design: www.giraffe.com.au
Printing: Bytes ‘n Colours
Cover photo: Farmers display their produce at a local market in Kathmandu, Nepal. Source: ACIAR

Printing Statistics

220 copies of this annual report have been printed and provided to key stakeholders.

Letter of transmittal from the Chief Executive Officer

ACIAR Government logo

The Hon Julie Bishop MP
Minister for Foreign Affairs

October 2017

Dear Minister

ACIAR Annual Report 2016–17

It is my pleasure as the Chief Executive Officer to present to you the Annual Report of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research for the year ended 30 June 2017.

The Report has been prepared in accordance with section 39 of our enabling legislation—Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Act 1982, as amended.

Consistent with section 42 of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act), I have taken steps to ensure the annual financial statements have been prepared in accordance with relevant accounting standards and other requirements prescribed by the PGPA Rule 2014. The Report includes the Centre’s audited financial statements, certified by the Australian National Audit Office, as required by section 43 of the PGPA Act.

Annual performance is reported in compliance with section 39 of the PGPA Act.

In presenting the Annual Report, I acknowledge the important contribution to international agricultural research made by ACIAR staff and commissioned research organisations, to help achieve more productive and sustainable agricultural systems for the benefit of developing countries and Australia.

Yours sincerely

Signature of Andrew Campbell

Colin Andrew Campbell
Chief Executive Officer

Plant grower Nico inspects young breadfruit specimens on Livai Tora’s farm outside Nadi, Fiji. ACIAR is supporting an ornamental project which seeks to use local ornamental varieties which could have commercial landscaping success in Fiji.
Panekhiya Devi Yadav picks ripe mungbean in Sohani village, Terai region of Nepal. Panekhiya is part of a farming group contributing to an ACIAR conservation agriculture project.
Photo: Conor Ashleigh/ACIAR

Contents

Plant grower Nico inspects young breadfruit specimens on Livai Tora’s farm outside Nadi, Fiji. ACIAR is supporting an ornamental project which seeks to use local ornamental varieties which could have commercial landscaping success in Fiji.
Plant grower Nico inspects young breadfruit specimens on Livai Tora’s farm outside Nadi, Fiji. ACIAR is supporting an ornamental project which seeks to use local ornamental varieties which could have commercial landscaping success in Fiji. Photo: Conor Ashleigh
viii
Overview
Members of the Ratu Rani Women’s Agriculture Collective in Bhaluwa village sit down in Uttar Pradesh, India and demonstrate a group
meeting. The group has 65 women farmers from the Indigenous (Adavasi) Choudary group who traditionally are very poor and socially
marginalised. Photo: Conor Ashleigh
viii Overview Members of the Ratu Rani Women’s Agriculture Collective in Bhaluwa village sit down in Uttar Pradesh, India and demonstrate a group meeting. The group has 65 women farmers from the Indigenous (Adavasi) Choudary group who traditionally are very poor and socially marginalised. Photo: Conor Ashleigh

Overview

About ACIAR

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is the Australian Government’s specialist agricultural research-for-development agency, within the aid program. ACIAR does not undertake research, but identifies opportunities and brokers partnerships to undertake international agricultural research and capacity building. These results contribute significantly to the aid program and achieving its goals. For 35 years, ACIAR has facilitated agricultural research partnerships, and has brought together diverse but complementary groups and individuals to achieve a range of development outcomes for partner countries in the Indo-Pacific region.

The Centre demonstrates extensive experience in the management of research partnerships combined with technical knowledge in its theme areas of: crops, livestock, fisheries, natural resources, forestry, and socioeconomics and policy. ACIAR’s projects are designed to produce specific research outputs and translate them into development outcomes such as improved food security, better nutrition, improved health, and increased prosperity. Economic returns on ACIAR investment have been shown to be at least 5:1, with estimates of returns on some projects as high as 60:1.

Australia is a world leader in research on a range of arid, semi-arid, temperate and tropical agricultural systems. ACIAR, through its partnerships, provides a bridge to extend this research expertise and its benefits to partner developing countries.

ACIAR’s partnerships and their achievements support Australia’s national interests in many different ways. Agricultural R4D has proven to be a highly effective route to aid the goals of enhanced prosperity and reduced poverty in partner developing countries, this contributes directly to regional peace and security.

Economic prosperity in partner developing countries also has significant spill over benefits for Australia: stronger economies in the region offer new trade, investment and business opportunities for Australia.

Partnerships are built on strong people-to-people linkages, trust, transparency and mutual benefit, and are skilfully managed by a highly experienced and professional team. These partnerships have brought regional and international respect for ACIAR and for Australia, and represent an integral part of the Government’s economic diplomacy strategy in the Indo-Pacific region.

Australia’s contribution to the international agricultural research network, the CGIAR (formerly the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) is managed by ACIAR. Dedicated to addressing poverty, hunger and nutrition, and environmental degradation, the CGIAR is a global research leader and a key partner for ACIAR and Australia. Benefits from the CGIAR’s research programs also flow to Australia.

Expenditure

The proportion of research expenditure by region in 2016–17 and an overview of ACIAR’s administered expenditure over the last three years is shown in the following chart and table.

Pie chart showing ACIAR's administered expenditure over the last three years:  Eastern and Southern Africa - 16% PNG and Pacific Island Countries - 27% South and West Asia - 17% East Asia - 14%

ACIAR Administered expenditure

2016–17 2016–17 2015–16 2014–15
AOP budget ($) actual
($)
actual
($)
actual
($)
Research projects by region and country
Pacific 20,600,000 21,514,066 16,848,971 12,501,570
Papua New Guinea 12,100,000 13,074,941 8,737,642 5,836,097
Pacific island countries 8,500,000 8,439,125 8,111,329 6,665,473
East Asia 34,600,000 31,010,857 30,456,731 34,134,677
Cambodia 3,100,000 2,858,176 2,296,832 2,853,073
China 900,000 685,844 834,194 1,111,194
Indonesia 8,200,000 6,371,288 5,777,556 6,764,013
Lao PDR 5,300,000 5,257,492 5,091,675 5,437,978
Mongolia 300,000 199,073 195,420 0
Myanmar 4,000,000 4,155,367 3,621,284 3,260,963
Philippines 5,300,000 4,860,647 4,880,502 4,824,295
Thailand 600,000 173,111 260,652 281,134
Timor-Leste 1,900,000 1,523,684 3,595,970 4,608,377
Vietnam 5,000,000 4,926,175 3,902,646 4,993,650
South and West Asia 17,400,000 13,545,229 9,744,992 13,089,669
Afghanistan 2,900,000 3,125,196 3,229,596 3,438,078
Bangladesh 3,600,000 2,117,308 1,176,557 1,838,091
Bhutan 200,000 61,718 205,861 320,448
India 5,000,000 3,197,360 2,918,395 3,947,156
Nepal 1,500,000 1,465,173 1,155,980 1,414,084
Pakistan 4,200,000 3,558,474 1,058,603 2,131,812
Sri Lanka 0 20,000 0 0
Eastern and Southern Africa 11,300,000 12,175,417 11,326,865 15,418,737
Middle East and North Africa 0 0 -65,000 933,144
Total research projects 83,900,000 78,245,569 68,312,559 76,077,797
Research projects 83,900,000 78,245,569 68,312,559 76,077,797
Multilateral program 19,240,000 19,649,306 19,812,467 19,809,849
Building research capacity 9,000,000 7,545,969 8,081,649 8,230,961
Communicating research results 585,000 1,065,370 631,879 614,659
Measuring research impacts 600,000 400,371 392,006 502,870
Program support 4,678,000 4,378,037 2,818,955 4,762,229
TOTAL 118,003,000 111,284,622 100,049,515 109,998,365

CEO’s review

Positioning ACIAR for growth

This year ACIAR turned thirty-five, a testament to our track record of brokering effective and influential partnerships in international agricultural research.

During 2016-17, with endorsement and direction from the Minister for Foreign Affairs the Hon Julie Bishop MP and the Commission for International Agricultural Research, we embarked on the development of a new high–level ten–year strategic vision for ACIAR.

Andrew Campbell, Chief Executive Officer

The intent behind this strategy is to buttress the strengths of ACIAR’s partnership model, and to complement those traditional strengths with significant reform and improvement in our ability to communicate what we do, and the ‘back office’ business systems that underpin our work in developing countries.

Our new strategy will articulate clearly how ACIAR’s research for development partnerships contribute to Australia’s Official Development Assistance objectives and in turn to the Sustainable Development Goals to which Australia is committed under the United Nations Agenda 2030 initiative.

Our new strategy also sets out how we will strengthen our Capacity Building Program, and transform our public relations and stakeholder engagement activities into a new, much better resourced Outreach program. We have also started work on building on our solid platform of project–level impact assessment to improve our ability to monitor, analyse and report on impacts at thematic and portfolio levels.

To enable and support these new developments, during 2016-17 we initiated organisational changes to restructure the senior management team, elevating Outreach and Capacity Building to senior executive level and introducing a new Chief Scientist position. We also established the first of our new Associate Program Manager positions and commenced the process of consolidating our research portfolio from thirteen programs into ten.

Our research landscape

Andrew Campbell,
Chief Executive Officer

All countries in the Indo–Pacific region are grappling with the complex, intersecting challenges of how to increase food production by up to 70% by 2050, in more variable and challenging climates. Many developing countries in our region confront the ‘double burden’ of having significant sections of their population facing chronic hunger, malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency, while growing populations are consuming excess calories and suffering from obesity and associated diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

The contemporary challenge is not only to grow more food, but to feed more people with more nutritious food—using less land, water, energy and nutrients per unit of output, while reducing food loss and waste and substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

ACIAR occupies a unique niche at the intersection of Australia’s aid program and its innovation system, enabling us to make a distinct contribution to both our science diplomacy, internationally, and Australian science domestically. Our research programs offer wonderful career development opportunities for Australian scientists, and often deliver benefits (such as improved biosecurity, access to new germplasms or new market opportunities) back to Australian primary industries.

ACIAR CEO Andrew Campbell with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP
ACIAR CEO Andrew Campbell with the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP

Examples of ACIAR’s outcomes and programs against key objectives

In the 2016-17 financial year, ACIAR funded and managed 221 research projects, most of which were initiated in previous years. A few examples of our work are summarised below, framed within ACIAR’s six strategic objectives.

Food security and poverty reduction

Human health and nutrition

Natural resources and climate change

Members of the Ratu Rani Women’s Agriculture Collective in Bhaluwa village walk out to a field where their group leader demonstrates how they have learnt to use a rice-transplanting machine.
Members of the Ratu Rani Women’s Agriculture Collective in Bhaluwa village walk out to a field where their group leader demonstrates how they have learnt to use a rice-transplanting machine. Photo: Conor Ashleigh

More inclusive agrifood and forestry value chains and private sector engagement

Empowering women and girls

ACIAR projects in the Pacific focus on women to amplify the central role they play in household food gardening, producing tree crops, and the marketing of horticultural products, tree crops and fisheries products.

ACIAR commissioners (left to right): Professor Andrew Campbell FAICD, Ms Lucinda Corrigan, Dr Tony Gregson AM, Professor Sandra Harding, Ms Catherine Marriott, Mr Don Heatley OAM, Mr John Cook.
ACIAR commissioners (left to right): Professor Andrew Campbell FAICD, Ms Lucinda Corrigan, Dr Tony Gregson AM, Professor Sandra Harding, Ms Catherine Marriott, Mr Don Heatley OAM, Mr John Cook. Photo: ACIAR

Building scientific and policy capacity in our region

In 2016-17, ACIAR completed a review of our capacity building program, with a view to expanding training opportunities for scientists from developing countries. We continued to invest in building individual and institutional capacity in our region through our two flagship fellowship programs: the John Allwright Fellowship Program, which awarded 27 postgraduate (PhD and Masters) scholarships; and the John Dillon Fellowship program, which supported ten mid–career research managers in undertaking a six–week leadership development training program in Australia.

Significant capacity building for individual scientists and for research organisations in developing countries also takes place within ACIAR–funded research projects, for example:

Communicating the value of ACIAR investments

ACIAR worked hard during 2016–17, both in Australia and overseas, to improve the communication of ACIAR research and its implications. We commenced a major overhaul of our website and more than trebled our social media following. Over 100 project factsheets were produced and four editions of Partners magazine were published, including a special cookbook issue. Our first photographic competition was held and 16 new videos produced.

Measuring Impact

Measuring the impact of ACIAR investments has been a key priority since our inception. Our Impact Assessment Program assists in refining priorities, learning lessons from past and current projects and fulfilling accountability obligations to the Minister, the Parliament and the wider Australian public.

We currently commission three types of finished–project assessments. The first are primarily economic evaluations, published in our Impact Assessment Series (IAS). Assessments are undertaken by independent consultants with specialist expertise in measuring the impact of agricultural research by analysing economic return on investment (ROI) and assessing social and environmental impacts.

Our evaluation investment has contributed to advances in economic evaluation methodologies, for example in measuring the impact of agricultural research on poverty, and the returns from research in natural resource management and from capacity building.

The return on investment of ACIAR research is determined by the extent to which research findings are adopted, underpinning the second type of finished–project evaluations: adoption studies.

The third type of finished–project evaluations is impact pathway analyses. Using an impact pathway framework as an evaluation tool involves tracing the pathway to change from research outputs (the results or findings), to outcomes (use of this knowledge by the next and final users), to impact (the ultimate change in social, economic and/or environmental conditions that occurs with widespread adoption of new research findings).

We also work closely with international agricultural research centres, such as the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in Washington, to develop comprehensive, consistent research impact evaluation software.

In 2016-17, ACIAR published two books as part of our Impact Assessment Series: Knowledge systems and RAPID framework for impact assessments (IAS92); and Recognising the Contribution of Capacity Building in ACIAR Bilateral Projects: Case Studies from Three IAS Reports (IAS93)

The year ahead

In 2017, we will start the implementation of ACIAR’s new
ten–year strategy in earnest.

This will see further consolidation of our research portfolio, continued improvement in our Outreach and Capacity Building activities, the roll–out of our new project management system ACE (ACIAR Collaborative Environment), and the finalisation of new country strategies for Eastern and Southern Africa, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Myanmar and Vietnam.

The detail of ACIAR’s research partnerships and programs will remain in the four–year rolling Corporate Plan. We are strongly committed to the implementation of this strategy, and to further building upon our 35–year record of scientific excellence and on–ground impact through mutually beneficial research partnerships in our region.

I am continually inspired by the professionalism, expertise and commitment of ACIAR colleagues, and by the constructive, open spirit with which these changes in ACIAR are being implemented.

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Hon Julie Bishop MP has referred to ACIAR as both a ‘national treasure’ and a ‘best–kept secret’. I am determined that we continue to merit the first accolade, while undermining the latter, so that more and more Australians become aware of the wonderful work that ACIAR leads across the region in helping partner countries to meet their own food and nutrition security needs, and to do so more sustainably. This is in Australia’s own long–term self–interest, as ACIAR–supported research also brings widespread benefits for Australian primary industries and for Australia’s own scientific capability.

Thank you to my ACIAR colleagues – in Australia and our ten country offices – for another great year. Thanks also to Don Heatley and colleagues on the Commission for International Agricultural Research, and to Kym Anderson and members of the Policy Advisory Council, for wise counsel and strategic direction in my first year as CEO of this wonderful organisation.

ACIAR CEO and Forestry Research Program Manager meeting the Indonesian Minister for Environment and Forestry Ibu Siti Nurbaya Bakar and senior officials from Indonesia’s Forestry Research Agency FOERDIA.
ACIAR CEO and Forestry Research Program Manager meeting the Indonesian Minister for Environment and Forestry Ibu Siti Nurbaya Bakar and senior officials from Indonesia’s Forestry Research Agency FOERDIA. Photo: ACIAR
Dr Baidya Nath Mahto, Director of Plant Pathology, inspects wheat samples harvested from the trial plots they have inside Nepal’s National
Agriculture Research Centre (NARC). Photo: Conor Ashleigh
Dr Baidya Nath Mahto, Director of Plant Pathology, inspects wheat samples harvested from the trial plots they have inside Nepal’s National Agriculture Research Centre (NARC). Photo: Conor Ashleigh

The year in review

—regional programs and achievements

Pacific

Sea Cucumber fishers with their catch in Vanua Balavu, Fiji. Photo: Watisoni Lalavanua
Sea Cucumber fishers with their catch in Vanua Balavu, Fiji. Photo: Watisoni Lalavanua

Pacific island countries

ACIAR’s program in the Pacific island countries (PICs) embraces Fiji, Kiribati, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. ACIAR’s strategy in the region is to underpin the competitiveness and security of the agriculture, horticulture, fisheries and forestry activities that sustain many households. There is a focus on improved productivity, processing and marketing to enhance food security and self-reliance, and reduce poverty. ACIAR collaborates with regional organisations to bolster the limited research capacity of many countries. To improve sustainable change, ACIAR encourages innovative approaches that engage, empower and invest in women.

Papua New Guinea

Flag of Papua New Guinea

Australian aid funding in PNG aligns with the priorities of both the PNG and Australian governments, and is increasingly assisting PNG to use its own resources to effectively deliver services and grow the economy. ACIAR’s program is helping to secure improvements in food supply, food access and rural incomes for smallholders through programs that increase productivity and enhance access to markets and services. Major research topics focus on vegetables, starchy staples, export tree commodities such as timber, palm oil, coffee, cocoa and coconut products, village-based aquaculture and other fisheries. ACIAR also promotes equity for women, emphasising the health and welfare of them and their children, and recognising the need to increase their effectiveness in rural industries. A new focus is examining how to help women transition from subsistence farming to cash and commercial enterprises.

Pacific island countries

Regional overview

ACIAR’s program in the Pacific island country(ies) (PICs) (embracing Fiji, Kiribati, PNG, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu) is helping to transform the agricultural, fisheries and forestry sectors from a subsistence model to sustainable income-generating activities. The program seeks to improve productivity, marketing, enhance food security and self-reliance, and reduce poverty. It has a special focus on women to amplify the central role they play in household food gardening, tree crop production, and in marketing of horticultural, tree crop and fisheries products.

Under Australia’s new development policy, the aid program is supporting efforts to improve broad-based economic growth and enhance private-sector development.

ACIAR’s program acknowledges the need to work with individual countries where there are marked differences in climate and soils, availability of natural resources, institutional capacity, infrastructure and potential for economic growth. At the same time there are many challenges in common that are best tracked through regional cooperation.

In agriculture, ACIAR focuses on adaptation to changes in climate, and identification and management of constraints to productivity and market engagement in both staple root and high-value crops and livestock. The program seeks to identify suitable markets and to develop new high-value horticultural crops (fruits, vegetables and ornamentals) and products derived from them for domestic, regional and international markets. Maintaining soil health as production systems are intensified is recognised across the region as a key to maintaining sustainability. The fisheries program addresses sustainable production from oceanic and inshore fisheries, development of alternatives through aquaculture, and increases economic returns through improved product quality and better links to market. The forestry program promotes the development of value-adding forest industries, whereby landowners derive benefits from both timber and non-timber forest products. ACIAR has increased its attention on the development and strengthening of integration between production systems and markets through more efficient and equitable value chains.

ACIAR works closely with other Australian agencies to develop complementary and jointly funded projects aimed at addressing national development priorities and regional issues. The ACIAR-funded Pacific Agribusiness Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative (PARDI) has a current focus on agribusiness research support to ongoing projects in the horticulture, fisheries, forestry, livestock sectors, and on identifying new markets and opportunities for long-term, pro-poor agribusiness development. New work has also started through the Australian-funded Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Program – an initiative to assist PICs in gaining and maintaining access to key markets for selected high-value Pacific products.

ACIAR is maintaining its strong emphasis on working with Pacific regional organisations such as the South Pacific Community (SPC), the University of the South Pacific and other donor agencies to ensure that R&D efforts target agreed national and regional priorities and link closely with regional extension and community development programs.

Research achievements

A monograph focusing on the economic and social benefits of alternative agroforestry practices and the legal aspects of land-use in Fiji and Vanuatu was published and launched in Fiji and Vanuatu in 2016, arising from two projects within the Agricultural Development Policy Program. Investigations have revealed that agroforestry practice has declined in recent decades, and the researchers identified a number of constraints impeding further adoption. But they pinpointed substantial areas of underutilised land where agroforestry expansion could succeed provided suitable support measures were adopted.

Seaweed is an important commodity for aquaculture in the Pacific. Seaweeds are produced for food and industrial products throughout the Pacific, and many communities rely on this income. ACIAR research is helping to diversify seaweed industries in Fiji, Samoa and Kiribati. A National Seaweed Taskforce was established in Fiji in 2015 and project staff from Australia and Fiji are research and scientific advisors. The scientists are making sound progress in determining how to value-add to existing supply chains. They are investigating alternative methods for handling of fresh product and for processing into new products with export potential.

Cultured pearls are the Pacific region’s most valuable and highest priority aquaculture commodity. Pearl culture is compatible with traditional lifestyles and provides several opportunities for generating income. ACIAR is supporting pearl industries in Fiji, Tonga and PNG. In Fiji the scientists are researching pearl oyster mortality. They are also establishing a commercial giant clam hatchery—both activities are helping recovery from the ravages of Cyclone Winston.

Sea cucumbers are a highly valued commodity, consumed as food or medicine in Asia, and their harvest supports livelihoods in coastal communities throughout Asia and the Pacific. ACIAR is working on their post-harvest processing in Kiribati, Tonga and Fiji – in support of an industry generating many millions per year in exports.

ACIAR sponsored research to manage community–based fisheries and improving community-based aquaculture in Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa, and Vanuatu. Inshore fisheries and marine resources supply daily protein and income for villagers and coastal people in PICs. The project has been part of a strong consortium involving SPC, WorldFish, The Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, James Cook University and national agencies in the partner countries. This has resulted in a significant body of research contributing to better understanding of the role and limits of community-based fisheries management.

Myanmar fisherman.
Myanmar fisherman. Photo: World Fish-Gareth Johnstone

Case Study

Helping Vanuatu’s farmers turn trees into money

Malakai Vele standing with saw logs harvested from his plantation.
Malakai Vele standing with saw logs harvested from his plantation. Photo: ACIAR.

In the late 1990s, Mr Malakai Vele began planting whitewood trees on his farm in Sara village on the east coast of Espiritu Santo island, Vanuatu. Whitewood (Endospermum medullosum) is a fast-growing native hardwood tree that has a degree of cyclone resistance and produces a high-quality pale timber. In the 1990s, this was processed into high-value products and exported to Japan and Malaysia.

To produce the high-quality timber, young whitewood trees need to be planted closely together, to minimise the development of large branches, then thinned out as the trees grow to concentrate the growth on to the best trees. Today there are few markets for the small-diameter culled whitewood trees in Vanuatu, so the farmers are reluctant to carry out the required thinning operations.

An ACIAR funded forestry project commissioned the Southern Cross University to help remedy the situation, and it is now encouraging investment in planted timber resources in Vanuatu through improved management and use of whitewood-based plantation and agroforestry systems. Mr Vele’s 17-year-old whitewood plantation became a demonstration thinning trial. The next stop was to create a timber research facility within the Department of Forestry, which conducted research on the sawing, drying and preservation of whitewood timber to utilise the thinned trees. The project imported a semi-portable bandsaw and some winching equipment to move the heavy logs from the forest to the nearby sites for the sawing operations.

The trial enabled 120 trees from Mr Vele’s whitewood plantation to be thinned and cut into timber on-site. The sawn timber was treated with various chemicals to test for resistance to the development of blue stain, which can develop within 24 hours on untreated sawn wood, reducing its value for use in appearance-grade timber products.

The trials showed that when the sawn timber is painted with commercially available preservative, blue stain does not develop for many months, enabling the timber to be transported to distant markets. Mr Vele declared that the project has given him hope that markets could be found for his timber. What’s more, his sons also developed an interest in working with project staff at the mobile sawmill.

The small timber is proving suitable for logs, and the project team is now looking at further opportunities to build a market in Vanuatu. ACIAR commissioned the University of Queensland to lead a beef cattle project which could see Santo’s beef cattle farmers using durable whitewood fence posts and applying rotational grazing of improved pastures.

An ACIAR forestry project was commissioned to help remedy the situation, and it is now encouraging investment in planted timber resources in Vanuatu through improved management and use of whitewoodbased plantation and agroforestry systems.

Papua New Guinea

Country overview

A stable and prosperous PNG is clearly in Australia’s interest as it is our nearest neighbour. Australia’s aid funding reflects this, and ACIAR’s program is designed to help the country address its many challenges to agricultural development—including poorly developed infrastructure, weak market signals and services, new pest and disease threats, poor product quality, and pressure on land and renewable resources as a result of population increases and mining development.

ACIAR ensures that its research program is economically, culturally, socially and environmentally relevant to the smallholder farmers. The program has a focus on the role of women in agriculture from a variety of perspectives, for example marketing access and constraints to uptake of new technologies. There is an emphasis on plantation crops, root and other horticultural crops, forestry and fisheries. These include exported and domestically traded commodities that generate smallholder income and underpin improved food security and economic development.

A key component of Australia’s involvement with the agriculture sector in PNG is the ACIAR–DFAT economic development program, termed the Transformative Agriculture Enterprise Development Program (TADEP). It comprises five R4D projects centred on economic development opportunities. The partnership seeks ways to scale up successful ACIAR innovations, with full private sector involvement – aiming to increase employment and incomes in rural areas and enhance rural-urban supply chains.

ACIAR staff and partners attended the Transformative Agriculture and Enterprise Development Program (TADEP) in Cairns in June this year. The two-day event was packed with project updates, case study videows, presentations from cocoa farmers and plenty of chocolate!
ACIAR staff and partners attended the Transformative Agriculture and Enterprise Development Program (TADEP) in Cairns in June this year. The two-day event was packed with project updates, case study videows, presentations from cocoa farmers and plenty of chocolate!

Research achievements

ACIAR’s contribution to forest conservation in PNG was acknowledged through accreditation under the QCC, a network of outstanding forest conservation initiatives throughout the 52 nations of the Commonwealth. As a result the ACIAR project Enhancing the Implementation of Community Forestry Approaches in Papua New Guinea was showcased at a Buckingham Palace reception on 15 November 2016. More information in the box later in this report.

Galip nut is a marketable product with strong consumer demand and acceptance in PNG. ACIAR funding is helping to expand the domestic market, with the promise of also developing an export market. Under the Transformative Agriculture and Enterprise Development Program (TADEP), a processing factory in Kerevat in East New Britain is now operating on a semi-commercial scale, resulting in packets of processed galip nut being sold in the supermarket in Kokopo.

Sweet potato is the major energy source for most people in PNG, but it has traditionally been grown as a subsistence crop. A project is investigating how to take the crop from a garden market model to a completely integrated supply chain that can service supermarkets in the big cities. The research team is helping smallholders to think more within a commercial system, where they can make money from selling sweet potato. The work includes introducing technology to enable farmers to produce seedlings free of disease. Disease-free material leads to higher yields and better looking sweet potato, which then has greater market appeal.

Smallholder farming families are the backbone of food production in PNG. Today however, these farming families need support through the transition from subsistence practices into the cash economy. ACIAR has funded a Family Teams program whose work has shown that men, women and youth working together as a family unit leads to more gender-equitable and effective farming practices, and these in turn result in improved family livelihoods. The key to success of the Family Teams’ approach is the support of village community educators.

A newly commissioned project will lead to improvements in the Gulf of Papua prawn fishery by adopting an ecosystem-based fishery management approach. The research team is encouraging sustainable fishing practices that will give PNG access to international markets while increasing the potential value of the country’s fishery. The project is guiding the National Fisheries Authority to obtain Turtle Excluder Device accreditation and Marine Stewardship Council accreditation for the prawn fishery, opening up potential export markets to countries such as the USA that have restrictions on countries that do not conform to bycatch reduction standards and commitments.

Case Study

Better beans for quality chocolate from Bougainville

ACIAR staff and partners attended the Transformative Agriculture and Enterprise Development Program (TADEP) in Cairns in June this year. The two-day event was packed with project updates, case study videows, presentations from cocoa farmers and plenty of chocolate!
Cocoa beans. Photo: Conor Ashleigh

Cocoa production is an important cash crop for smallholder farmers in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville; in fact, it directly supports about two-thirds of the population. An ACIAR funded project led by Prof. David Guest from University of Sydney, “Developing the cocoa value chain in Bougainville”, aimed to improve the profitability and vitality of these smallholder cocoa farming families and communities, and through that, build community health and wellbeing.

As part of the efforts to improve quality and marketability of cocoa in Bougainville, ACIAR and the PNG Government supported a local chocolate festival in July 2016. Chocolate makers from Australia were invited as judges and potential buyers of the cacao beans, particularly of the highly distinctive Trinitario variety grown there. The rationale behind this arrangement was to connect specific chocolate growers and chocolate buyers, as experience has shown that this leads to a better product. The growers get direct feedback on the flavour and aroma of their beans and a quality rating, leading to adjustments in their growing, drying, and storage methods.

The main messages for the farmers at the festival were to eliminate smoke, ferment properly, and dry correctly, preferably using the sun. More careful production means the chocolate makers get a reliable source of a quality product, with an individual flavour. This process leads to a better result than just pooling all the beans from a group of farmers, and sending them off into the world – with the growers none the wiser about their destination, having had no individual feedback about their own produce.

Bringing together individual cacao bean growers and boutique chocolate makers allows for bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturing. As a result of the 2016 chocolate festival, a shipment of beans from particular farmers was sent to Australia. A number of sacks arrived at Jasper and Myrtle Chocolates in Canberra in March 2017, and they have already commenced making these into chocolate. Special packaging has been developed to feature PNG/Bougainville, and market trials with their Bougainville chocolate bars will commence soon.

Ms Li Peng Monroe, founder of the company said: “We were delighted to finally receive these beans, in particular those from a gold medal farmer we contacted as a result of the festival. It has taken a constant effort and involved many people, including ACIAR, to make this first shipment possible, and we are very grateful to all. It is now our job to turn the beans into high-end chocolate.”

East Asia

Hardiyanto the treasurer of the cattle group in Karang Kendal Hamlet in Indonesia washes one of his cows in a small creek.
Hardiyanto the treasurer of the cattle group in Karang Kendal Hamlet in Indonesia washes one of his cows in a small creek. Photo: Conor Ashleigh

Cambodia

Cambodia Flag

Although over the past two decades Cambodia has had one of the fastest growing economies in the world the country still faces major development challenges. ACIAR supports research to increase and secure the productivity of rice-based farming systems and associated postharvest systems. It also supports efforts to increase agricultural diversification (particularly into non-rice field and horticultural crops and ruminant livestock). A third thrust recognises the vulnerability of Cambodian agriculture, particularly rain fed cropping, to climate variability and change.

China

China Flag

Agriculture is the foundation of China’s food security and plays a key role in ensuring national stability. ACIAR’s program in China now focuses on strategic partnerships to improve the management of livestock, land and water resources in north-western China, and also crop-livestock systems in Tibet Autonomous Region. The need to raise farmers’ incomes through increased productivity and marketability of produce is also covered in research design.

Indonesia

Indonesia Flag

Agricultural research has an important role to play in addressing the main policy priorities for the Government of Indonesia. For over 30 years, ACIAR has supported research in the country and substantial benefits have flowed to farmers and the entire agricultural sector. ACIAR now focuses largely on some of the poorest regions of the country, notably five provinces in eastern Indonesia and Aceh, but it also assists the more developed provinces of Bali, Java and Sumatra. The program seeks alternative approaches to improve livelihoods; these involve issues of food and nutritional security through enhanced productivity and food quality, as well as developing improved market links for high-value products sourced from smallholder production systems.

Lao PDR

Lao PDR Flag

Food security is still central to agricultural development in Laos. The Government of Laos recently endorsed a new Agricultural Development Strategy 2025, whose priorities aim to modernise agriculture and thus lift rural development and the national economy. Thus Australia’s support through ACIAR investment in agricultural research plays an increasingly important role as Laos works towards its goals in agricultural development, poverty reduction and inclusive economic growth.

Myanmar

Myanmar Flag

Myanmar is undergoing a period of remarkable political, economic and social change. ACIAR’s aim in Myanmar is to work predominantly through international organisations and NGOs, including Australian-accredited organisations. The main focus for the Government in Myanmar is to secure improvements in food security, increase foreign exchange through increased exports of agricultural products, and improve rural incomes. Projects target productivity improvements in the crop, fisheries and livestock sectors through research, and capacity building for individuals and institutions.

Philippines

Phillipines Flag

ACIAR’s work in the Philippines aligns with that part of the Australian aid program focused on agriculture, forestry, fisheries and water. It encompasses R4D to improve market competitiveness of products from aquaculture, horticulture and livestock enterprises. A recent additional focus aims to reduce the adverse effects of climate change on the rural poor. Underpinning these priorities is the need to develop more effective extension processes and greater responsiveness to market opportunities, while better land and water resource management is also vital. The Philippines is currently one of the largest importers of rice, and part of ACIAR’s contribution to research in the Philippines involves support for the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to help maintain rice productivity.

Thailand

Thailand Flag

Thailand holds an important position in the Mekong region. As the country’s economic and research capacities have increased, so has ACIAR increased co-investment in Thailand. ACIAR now partners with Thailand to support other countries in the region, with the focus on the poorest farming communities. There is ongoing effort to implement the results of earlier projects; these include regional biosecurity systems implementation and management of Mekong fisheries in a partnership across the region with Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Timor-Leste

Timor Leste

ACIAR’s engagement with its partners in Timor-Leste is now aligned with the Farming for Prosperity Program in Timor-Leste (TOMAK) initiative, a new agricultural livelihood program by DFAT. This is building from the foundation established by the Seeds of Life program, and ACIAR is now deploying the assets, procedures and human resources from SoL to assist in managing its own and other allied projects. Research is focusing on greater productivity and market integration of cropping systems, increasing productivity and resilience of livestock, fisheries and horticulture, and raising individual and institutional capacity.

Vietnam

Vietnam Flag

Australia currently has an agreement in place with Vietnam to engage in agriculture, and ACIAR research is pertinent to three of its four key objectives. The ACIAR program comprises technical, agribusiness and enables policy research to enhance smallholder incomes from selected areas of high-value agriculture, aquaculture and forestry. It focuses on three geographic regions, the Mekong Delta, the south-central coast and north western highlands. These are areas where poverty persists and where there are threats to sustaining the agricultural natural resource base.

Cambodia

Country overview

During the past two decades, Cambodia has had one of the fastest growing economies in the world, but this growth has come from a very low base. Agriculture is a significant part of the Cambodian economy, with about 80% of Cambodia’s population relying on it for their livelihoods. The predominance of rice-based farming systems on infertile, poorly structured soils means that Cambodia has rather low agricultural productivity on both a labour and a land area basis.

ACIAR’s portfolio of projects in Cambodia is based on Australia’s current Aid Investment Plan 2105–2018. It has three thrusts, all of which are in line with both the agricultural and water priorities under the Cambodia’s National Strategic Development Plan 2014–18. First it supports research to increase and secure the productivity of rice-based farming systems and associated postharvest systems. The second thrust supports applied research and development that underpins agricultural diversification, particularly in non-rice field and horticultural crops, and ruminant livestock. A third thrust recognises the vulnerability of Cambodian agriculture, particularly rain fed cropping, to climate variability and change.

Research achievements

Cambodia is one of the world’s leading exporters of rice, a common but low value crop, but farmers need to diversify and grow more profitable foods. ACIAR started a five-year project led by the University of Sydney to improve productivity and livelihood security for farmers in Cambodia’s north-western provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Battambong and Pursat, which together produce 27% of the country’s wet season rice. The project seeks to introduce techniques to grow crops such as oil seeds or vegetables after the rice crop. These higher-value crops will help lift farming families out of poverty and lay the foundation for other industries such as poultry and fish culture.

The Cambodian mango industry is rapidly expanding, and there are opportunities for further growth through domestic and export markets. ACIAR is supporting research to address identified constraints in order to expand into a large-scale production and marketing industry. On the production side farmers are receiving training in pest and disease identification, management and pruning for high productivity. The scientists are compiling lists of pests and diseases associated with mangoes in Cambodia and evaluating pesticide residues present in the fruits. On the marketing side, interviews have taken place with wholesalers to gain a better understanding of the changes needed to ensure proper handling and transport of the mangoes after harvest.

Cambodia has a chance to profit from the growing regional demand for animal protein. But at the same time, a declining cattle and buffalo populations has contributed to significant increases in cattle prices. Research underway aims to address these issues. A project has adopted a ‘whole-of-village’ participatory approach to improve livelihoods, using leader farmer groups. The groups are undertaking extension activities to learn how to improve large ruminant nutrition through forage development and silage. Forage seeds have been procured and are now growing in forage plots. The groups are also learning about biosecurity, with demonstrations that enable them to ‘see’ productivity gains made by livestock through improved body condition, and also to allow them to learn how to avoid lost productivity through infectious diseases and internal parasites.

Cambodia Chhem Saven farmer
Cambodia Chhem Saven farmer Photo: ACIAR

China

Country overview

The ACIAR program in China targets strategic partners to work with improving the sustainability of agricultural production. In view of the substantial human and financial resources now available within the Chinese national agricultural research system, and the strong mutual benefits to Australia, all ACIAR activities now require significant co-investment by the Chinese partners.

Research focuses on policy and technical issues associated with better management of livestock, land and water resources in north-western China and crop-livestock systems in the TAR. To reach those most affected by poverty and land degradation, the program has increasingly targeted rain fed crop-livestock systems, with emphasis on working with its Chinese partners to engage in joint regional- and national-level research initiatives.

Research achievements

While climate change has attracted a substantial amount of funding to study the science and the physical mechanisms involved, less attention has been given to farmer choices in response to climate change and to related public policy responses. An ACIAR project has added these social science dimensions to the study of climate change, targeting farmers in China and Vietnam. The project has raised farmer awareness about climate change in the survey sites and led to consideration by provincial policymakers of a policy brief produced by the project. There is further potential for collaboration and exchanges with local agencies. In China, Lanying Wang, the Director of the State Office of Comprehensive Agricultural Development within the Ministry of Finance, remarked on the importance of this study. She had gained a lot of scientific information on the impacts of climate change on water resources and food security and received several new policy recommendations. She would now like the project to make more detailed recommendations for the program she leads on irrigated agriculture.

China and Mongolia’s vast inter-connected grasslands support the livelihoods of more than five million low-income pastoral households, and provide ecosystem services from improving air and water quality to acting as a carbon sink. These grasslands and herders’ livelihoods have deteriorated over time and are now a major issue. An ACIAR project is investigating how to strengthen incentives for herders and encourage them to take a more active role in grassland management. The project aims to improve the design of national policies by ensuring that the voices of herders are incorporated and the capacity of local collaborators to develop and implement policy is strengthened.

China has benefited from the collaboration with Australian citrus scientists for more than two decades. The researchers identified drought-hardy and disease-resistant rootstocks among Chinese varieties, and this information has been put to good use in both countries. It culminated this year in the release of rootstocks of Chinese origin for the Australian citrus industry.

China has benefited from the collaboration with Australian citrus scientists for more than two decades.
ACIAR RPM Werner Stur with Dr Jia Jingdun, Director-General, China Rural Technology Development Centre, Ministry of Science and Technology at the China Rural Technology Development Centre in March. Dr Jia is also the ACIAR PAC member for China.
ACIAR RPM Werner Stur with Dr Jia Jingdun, Director-General, China Rural Technology Development Centre, Ministry of Science and Technology at the China Rural Technology Development Centre in March. Dr Jia is also the ACIAR PAC member for China.

Indonesia

Farmers in Karang Kendal Hamlet cut fodder to feed to their cattle.
Farmers in Karang Kendal Hamlet cut fodder to feed to their cattle. Photo: Conor Ashleigh

Country overview

Strengthening agriculture, including the crop, livestock, forestry, marine fisheries and aquaculture subsectors, is critical for poverty reduction and equitable development across Indonesia. The geographic focus of the Indonesian program encompasses some of the poorest regions—including six provinces in eastern Indonesia—as well as the more-developed provinces of Java and Bali. The research program has the flexibility to address rural poverty through some alternate approaches. These include initiatives to address food and nutritional security through enhanced productivity and food quality, or to improve market links for high-value products sourced from smallholder production systems. In undertaking these initiatives, the program encourages better links between national and province-based research agencies.

Wherever opportunities exist, ACIAR seeks to implement its Indonesian research program as part of a whole-of-government approach, especially with DFAT, and the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

ACIAR’s medium-term research strategy (2012–16) focuses on: improving policies to underpin agribusiness development; strengthening livestock production and biosecurity systems; underpinning the development of competitive horticultural and field cropping systems; supporting profitable smallholder aquaculture systems; enhancing capture fisheries management; enhancing forestry products and services; and developing profitable agribusiness systems for eastern Indonesia.

Research achievements

Indonesia’s large coffee production relies heavily on smallholders living in remote areas of the country. A project is improving their livelihoods by establishing more effective value chains between producers and the international coffee trading firms. Earlier ACIAR research had brokered a relationship between the Benteng Alla Cooperative in Sulawesi and international coffee roasters as part of an action research intervention. This intervention led the cooperative to improve its technical processing skills; it also gained knowledge about specialty markets and market access. Now follow-up research is identifying key elements within a model for ‘relationship coffees’ that are likely to result in mutual benefits for both farmers and roasters. The Indonesian Coffee and Cocoa Research Institute, in partnership with local governments across Indonesia, has adopted the relationship model for more widespread application.

In Indonesia, half of hatchery-reared fish, stocked in sea cages to grow-out, die before they reach a suitable size for harvesting. This unacceptably high mortality rate is largely due to inadequate detection and management of diseases. A project is determining the cause and extent of diseases affecting Indonesian marine finfish production, and then testing interventions within an overall framework of improved health management. Major disease issues have been identified for the hatchery and grow-out sub-sectors. These are forming the basis of changes to the way the two subsectors are managed. Indonesian scientists have received extensive training within the project, and five of these are now applying their new knowledge in centres throughout Indonesia or in postgraduate studies in Australia.

Plantation-grown wood in Indonesia is now easing the pressure on native forests, with large wood pulp producers supplied exclusively by managed plantation wood. Australian acacias have been planted extensively but these in turn have been shown to face novel pest and disease problems. In Sumatra this led to the replacement of 80 per cent of acacia plantations with eucalyptus. Currently two ACIAR forestry projects are working with Indonesian private-sector partners. One project is focusing on the sustainable management of the transitioning plantations, the other is dealing with disease management. The work is helping to build an environment where pockets of stabilised native forest in Sumatra connected by green belts are being made possible by the productivity of plantations.

Earlier ACIAR research has demonstrated the value of adding forage tree legumes to the diet of livestock to provide high quality protein rich feed. Research has recently focused on the role of these legumes in the fattening phase of production. The researchers have confirmed the benefits of tree legumes in the diet and demonstrated how the system can be improved – resulting in gains in weight two to three times greater than those on traditional village diets. Seed nurseries are being established to ensure a ready supply of quality seed to meet the growing demand as news of the project’s success spreads.

Case Study

Exploring better ways to grow onions in Indonesia

Onions in Indonesia.

Onions are one of the most important and profitable crops that smallholders can grow in Java – but farmers risk harming themselves and their environment through excessive use of agro-chemicals. Many farmers apply as much as five times the recommended rate of fertiliser and in an attempt to control a poorly understood mix of pests and diseases, they spray their crop every couple of days, right up to harvest, with a noxious but ineffective brew of insecticides and fungicides.

Despite such problems, onions remain a key industry and source of employment in the area, and the Indonesian government has accorded a high priority to finding solutions. This has led to an ACIAR project to address the problems. Knowing that there had to be a better way, the project team is determined to help the farmers find one! They observed that the farmers use a seemingly random mix of chemicals (whatever is on offer from the vendors), without protective clothing and without normal precautions, such as keeping food and drinks at a distance from the pesticides. Despite all the spraying, caterpillars crawl out of the harvested onions, seemingly unaffected by the chemicals. They have become resistant to these products. Meanwhile, women are exposed to unsafe levels of the pesticides, as they sit in the sun, sorting the crop.

A fundamental re-think of the system started with a gathering for discussion involving the Australian and Indonesian researchers, extension staff, and farmers. Together they have looked for solutions, starting with new research to properly diagnose the problems. An entomologist from Queensland surveyed the “army worm” caterpillars. By monitoring the adult moths with light traps and spraying only when moths reach a “threshold”, it was possible to immediately cut the number of insecticide sprays by half.

Other problems are caused by virus diseases. Farmers store their own onions to plant again next year, not realising that when they select nice small bulbs to replant, they are most likely selecting the ones stunted by viruses, thus propagating or even exacerbating the problem. The project team used molecular testing in Australia to identify the viruses, then applied techniques to develop virus-free planting material. Onions can also be propagated from “true seed” – and if appropriate precautions are taken, this seed can be guaranteed free from diseases. Onions intended for planting material are “grown on” from true seed in the cooler highlands of Java, where diseases pose less of a problem. Healthy onion plants grown in the highlands can provide “clean planting material” for farmers in the lowlands.

Growing onions for and from seed is a complicated business. The project is providing the training needed to establish a “clean seed system” for this vital crop.

Supriani washes one of her cows in the creek in Karang Kendal hamlet. Supriani has been part of the cattle group for 7 years, and she passionately believes there are many benefits from keeping the cattle together in the one shed, “There are a lot of benefit, cleanliness/hygiene, security as well, and health too. Back then, in term of health, many were sick.” When asked about other women joining she said “I hope other women can gather as well, just like we are now. Joining cattle farming group and gathering at cowshed.”
Supriani washes one of her cows in the creek in Karang Kendal hamlet. Supriani has been part of the cattle group for 7 years, and she passionately believes there are many benefits from keeping the cattle together in the one shed, “There are a lot of benefit, cleanliness/hygiene, security as well, and health too. Back then, in term of health, many were sick.” When asked about other women joining she said “I hope other women can gather as well, just like we are now. Joining cattle farming group and gathering at cowshed.” Photo: Conor Ashleigh

Lao PDR

Highlights

Country overview

Research achievements

ACIAR support has helped select and reproduce fast-growing and higher-value teak clones suitable for northern Laos. The production of genetically improved teak seedlings through tissue culture opens a way to lift returns to farmers and provide better quality timber for wood processors. This is a significant milestone in the Lao forestry sector where teak-based forestry systems offer smallholders opportunities for both long and short term income generation.

ACIAR-supported projects in Southern Laos focused on research and development for smallholders to adapt to changing climatic and socio-economic conditions. Geographic Information System (GIS) maps of the rain-fed lowland rice environment of Savannakhet and Champassak provinces were produced. The GIS maps provided critical information on the likelihood of drought occurrence in the areas, and the time when the crop could be planted and harvested.

Another project demonstrated direct seeding technology to farmers and produced with agronomic packages for maize and legumes growing in rotation with rice. The project interventions have contributed to the rapid increase in adoption of mechanised drill seeding by smallholders, which is demonstrated to save labour and help adapt to more variable rainfall. Last wet season, the Provincial Agriculture and Forestry Office reported that mechanised drill seeding is now used on more than 17,000 hectares in Savannakhet.

ACIAR supports a suite of projects dedicated to improving water and nutrient management. One project on groundwater significantly boosted the knowledge and expertise to develop groundwater resources for irrigated agriculture and manage these resources sustainably. It has been established that using groundwater for irrigation is feasible and profitable for farmers. Under the project, farmers using groundwater for dry-season cropping earned additional incomes as high as four million LAK ($A600) per season.

Myanmar

Country overview

Australia is providing support to activities in Myanmar that target immediate needs of the rural poor, to improve their livelihoods through better health, education and food security. The main focus of ACIAR’s program is to secure improvements in food security and rural incomes for smallholders through increased production and enhanced access to markets and services.

ACIAR’s aim is to continue to work predominantly through international organisations and NGOs, including Australian-accredited organisations. Working with agencies with a longstanding presence on the ground has proved an effective and accountable means of delivering assistance. Promising results have been achieved in a multilateral ACIAR project led by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics on improving the productivity of legumes in the Central Dry Zone (CDZ) of Myanmar. The current program is based on the achievements arising from the research in this project, together with scoping missions to identify research gaps and needs.

Research achievements

A partnership between Australia and Myanmar seeks to improve the livelihoods of small-scale producers in the CDZ by enhancing management, nutrition and health of goats, sheep, cattle and village poultry. Already the health and productivity of village chickens is improving due to vaccination against Newcastle disease and introducing bamboo coops to reduce chick mortality. These interventions have led to a substantial increase in the number of birds sold by farmers.

The ACIAR-funded MYPulses project is playing an important role in achieving a sustainable increase in crop productivity and improving farmer income and livelihoods in legume-based farming systems in the CDZ. Farmers have participated in trials to identify their preferred varieties of groundnut (peanut), pigeon pea, chickpea and mung bean. The availability of seed from these preferred varieties was enhanced by the setting up of village seedbanks, and farmers are rapidly adopting the improved lines as they see the benefits of increased quality and production, and subsequent lift in income.

The MYRice project team has assessed postharvest losses from outdated practices of handling the harvested crop. They found quality deterioration from delays in threshing, leading to a low price for the crop. The team introduced best management practices developed by IRRI – combine harvesters to reap and thresh, drying with a flatbed dryer then storage in an air-tight IRRI Super Bag of a 1-5 tonne GrainSafe container. One rice farmer of 25 years commented: ‘Now the colour of the seed is better, the germination rate is higher and there is no insect infestation.’

ACIAR Commissioners and partners after attending ministerial meetings in the Myanmar capital, Nay Pyi Taw, for ministerial meetings, including the Myanmar Parliamentary Committee for Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development.
ACIAR Commissioners and partners after attending ministerial meetings in the Myanmar capital, Nay Pyi Taw, for ministerial meetings, including the Myanmar Parliamentary Committee for Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development.

Philippines

Highlights

Country overview

The mountainous nature of the Philippines means there is relatively little new land suitable for expanding rice areas, and productivity growth in existing areas in recent years has been low. In addition, the population continues to grow at more than two per cent per year. The Philippines is a net importer of rice, and while production of rice remains a dominant national priority, there is increasing pressure in the country to diversify and produce a range of other food, livestock and fisheries products, on increasingly marginal land in the uplands.

The following are the lead priorities for the Philippines under ACIAR’s medium-term research strategy (2012–16), endorsed in February 2016: increasing the market competitiveness of Philippine horticultural products; competitive and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture production; land and water resource management for profitable and sustainable agriculture; improving returns from low-input animal production systems; mitigating the adverse impacts of climate change on the rural poor; improving agricultural technology uptake by poor indigenous households in the southern Philippines through understanding and remedying adoption constraints and extension. Undertaking the program involves engagement with a wide range of local ‘next user’ partners (such as local government units, NGOs, commercial agribusiness companies and farmer community groups).

Research achievements

In the Davao del Norte province in the southern Philippines, a cooperative of smallholder farmers is reducing the impact of Fusarium wilt TR4 on banana yields by adopting disease control practices introduced through an ACIAR project led by the Queensland Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. It involves farmers growing semi-resistant Cavendish cultivars developed in Taiwan that allow for some degree of banana production in the presence of TR4. By contrast, the variety normally grown in the Philippines, Grand Naine, would have succumbed to TR4 within a year. Other trials concurrently under way are exploring the possibility of suppressing the soil-dwelling TR4 fungi by altering the soil’s complement of living organisms and biological activity, the idea of ‘suppressive soils’. The hope is that a healthy ground cover around the plantation will increase the growth of beneficial soil organisms and suppress the growth of the Fusarium.

When poor smallholder farmers act as individuals, they often lack the capacity to run a business linked to modern market chains. They can, however, overcome these deficits by acting collectively. An ACIAR funded project led by Paul Southgate from James Cook University sought to help farmers change the whole culture of how they work together, sell, plan and schedule. The team discovered that farmers were often ‘selling all-in’, meaning that ungraded harvest was being sold in bulk at low prices to collectors who profit from selling graded produce. This led to the team imparting new skills in postharvest handling, grading, marketing, and safe vegetable production practices and accreditation to ensure the farmers received premium prices.

Sandfish, known also as bêche-de-mer or sea cucumber, is a prized commodity consumed as food or medicine in China and other parts of Asia and an important income source for coastal communities in the Philippines. But through years of over harvesting the wild population has been severely depleted. Through ACIAR, researchers have identified a range of benefits possible from restoring coastal livelihoods and ecological function, based around commercial-scale hatchery and grow-out technologies for sandfish. The project has developed new techniques for feeding the larvae, and seen hatchery output significantly increase despite the devastation wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013.

In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s ACIAR funded a successful program to develop techniques of culture for giant clams. In the Philippines these coral reef icons were endangered through both overharvesting and the destruction of their environment. Revisiting the research to determine the level of impact some 20 years on the ACIAR Fisheries program manager Dr Chris Barlow was heartened to learn that the restocking program and ongoing research has continued through the work of the University of the Philippines. Young giant clams continue to be in high demand across the country, and the Marine Laboratory at Bolinao runs regular training courses so that community members and resort staff know how to care for the juveniles when they receive them from the hatchery. As well as being a tourist drawcard, community interest in restoring giant clams to their reefs is high—coastal communities attest to a healthier marine ecosystem where giant clams are living, and they are careful to protect their restocked giant clams from poachers.

Project Team visit at La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post (LTVTP),  a trading post currently managed by the local government.
Project Team visit at La Trinidad Vegetable Trading Post (LTVTP), a trading post currently managed by the local government.

Case Study

Successful reforestation needs community involvement

Member of KFAI marking a mother tree in the natural forest of the community
Member of KFAI marking a mother tree in the natural forest of the community

The Philippines has been deforested over decades through logging, land clearing, and deliberate or accidental burning. This has caused severe environmental degradation and resulted in tracts of unproductive land. The Philippines Government is addressing this issue through their National Greening Program. An ACIAR funded project led by Professor Herbohn from the University of the Sunshine Coast has changed the thinking about how communities are involved in reforestation programs, engaging them as stakeholders rather than contractors in tree-planting activities. In the uplands of Barangay Kawayanon in Biliran Province – home to four past failed reforestation attempts – the community was engaged at every stage to implement a pilot rehabilitation program.

First on the agenda was to establish a People’s Organisation (PO), comprising about 30 families, to define the community’s needs and help implement and run the research. Professor Herbohn explained that the project team worked with the PO for about a year before there was any thought about planting a tree. PO members learnt skills in record-keeping, running meetings, and accounting to ensure the organisation was functional.

With new knowledge in plantation establishment and post-planting best practice, the PO worked with the researchers to decide what to grow and where to use a landscape approach, where different species are used in certain environments. Some areas were planted with trees for conservation and rehabilitation, while others were earmarked for timber production. Cash crops such as pineapple, cassava and sweetpotato were planted for agricultural production in designated community farms and around forested areas.

To increase their livelihoods, the PO learnt about high-quality seedling production and established a nursery program, growing seedlings to supply not only the community’s reforestation but broader rehabilitation across the Philippines. The real-life setting has provided new insights into the practicalities of successful rehabilitation, which relies on community engagement and opportunities for financial returns at different stages of growth. Lessons from the Biliran pilot will now be taught more broadly, with the site used as a national example of successful reforestation.

Thailand

Country overview

In line with the Memorandum of Understanding signed in July 2007, ACIAR continues to foster opportunities for partnering with Thailand to support other countries in the region. In this context the emphasis is placed on improving regional research programs, with particular attention to Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. ACIAR’s current program focuses on three issues:

Australia and Thailand are active participants in a range of International Agricultural Research Centres (IARCs) and other multilateral research and assistance agencies, a number of which are located in Thailand. This will continue to provide a suitable platform to address wider regional research initiatives with both Australian and Thai involvement.

Research achievements

The gall wasp (Leptocybe invasa) is a serious threat to the expanding eucalypt plantation industry in the Mekong region and its control is a high priority. Classical biological control offers a relatively low cost and proven option to manage such pests in perpetuity, whilst promoting sustainable forest management. A regional effort involving institutions in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam working with the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia has mapped the distribution of gall wasps and existing parasitoids in each of the partner countries. The scientists confirmed the presence of two species of gall wasps in the region and also determined that an Australian-origin parasitoid, Quadrastichus mendeli, was widespread in the region and providing variable levels of gall wasp control. The capacity of scientists in the region to undertake forest health surveillance, research, basic diagnostics and forest pest collection curation has greatly strengthened the ability to manage current and future plant pest problems.

Between 1982 and 2004 ACIAR funded research into the benefits of inoculating legumes with Rhizobium species of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. A recent return to examine the outcomes of that research found an overwhelming consensus amongst project scientists in Australia and its partner countries that the ACIAR projects on Rhizobium and legume nitrogen fixation provided substantial benefits to the individuals and institutions involved. Of particular note was the ongoing and productive interaction between Khon Kaen and Chiang Mai universities in Thailand and Murdoch University in Australia.

Fishing on the Mekong river.
Fishing on the Mekong river.

Timor-Leste

Country overview

Australia is the largest development partner for Timor-Leste. ACIAR’s research agenda supports the Timor-Leste Government’s Strategic Development Plan 2011–30, through the following strategies:

Opportunities for ACIAR assistance in Timor-Leste lie in the food crops sector, where yields are low by regional standards. It is critical to make available improved varieties with higher yields than local varieties. Livestock production is almost totally managed by individual households, very few of which are specialist livestock raisers. Traditional management systems and poor market access mean that farmers tend to maximise the numbers of unproductive animals.

While Timor-Leste is well endowed with marine fisheries resources, the country needs a coherent policy framework and fisheries investment strategy, as well as help to protect its fish stocks against illegal fishing by foreign fleets, and better integration of freshwater aquaculture with agriculture.

ACIAR engages with its partners in Timor-Leste to align its project investments as much as possible with TOMAK, a recent agricultural livelihood investment by DFAT.

Photo shows farmers harvest legumes as fodder for cattle. In West Timor, Indonesia, maize is a major component of the traditional food resource. But yields are poor due to inadequate crop nutrition and crop husbandry, and variable climate. This project will evaluate forage legumes for integration into maize cropping and assess their potential as dry season fodder to lift animal production.
Photo shows farmers harvest legumes as fodder for cattle. In West Timor, Indonesia, maize is a major component of the traditional food resource. But yields are poor due to inadequate crop nutrition and crop husbandry, and variable climate. This project will evaluate forage legumes for integration into maize cropping and assess their potential as dry season fodder to lift animal production. Photo: Paul Jones

Research achievements

SoL has established a national seed system, and disseminated higher yielding varieties that more than 40,000 farmers have adopted. The SoL management team identified opportunities for generating income and research needed to develop these areas. An ACIAR funded project led by William Erskine from the University of Western Australia now under way is studying cropping intensification to produce legumes and grain for an emerging stock and food processing industry, and non-timber tree products (tree legume fodder and sandalwood, native to Timor-Leste) to diversify farm income and act as a buffer to climate variability. It is working closely with another ACIAR funded project led by Dr Geoffry Fordyce from University of Queensland on cattle enterprise development to integrate with the research on forage production.

Fisheries and aquaculture in Timor-Leste fall well short of their potential to improve livelihoods and food security. Timor-Leste makes limited use of its living marine resources, in stark contrast to neighbouring nations and small island states globally. Promotion of sustainable marine resource use could significantly improve food security. An ACIAR funded project led by WorldFish found that fishing communities at five sites were concerned by declining reef resources and increasing competition for resources, while rising costs of inputs relative to reducing catch rates was also perceived as a major problem.

Vietnam

The ACIAR team and research and development partners from Australia and Vietnam met at a in Hanoi on 6 March, to discuss the collaborative research strategy for agricultural development over the next decade.
The ACIAR team and research and development partners from Australia and Vietnam met at a in Hanoi on 6 March, to discuss the collaborative research strategy for agricultural development over the next decade.

Country overview

ACIAR’s program in Vietnam supports technical and agribusiness research to enhance smallholder incomes from selected areas of high-value agriculture, aquaculture and forestry. In recent years the program has focused on three geographic regions—the Mekong Delta, the south-central coast and north-western highlands—where poverty has persisted and where there are threats to sustaining the agricultural natural resource base. These are also opportunities to employ Australian agricultural technical skills to assist in development.

ACIAR’s projects link with programs of DFAT and other donors working in these regions. These projects are increasingly multidisciplinary, and there is a growing focus on linking central research institutes with provincially based research and extension departments. ACIAR acknowledges the following key areas as medium-term research priorities:

Research achievements

An ACIAR funded project for the World Agroforestry Centre, Vietnam led by Dr La Nguyen from CGIAR aimed at improving livelihoods of smallholder farmers in north-west Vietnam with agroforestry has gained substantial impacts in a relatively short period. One farmer collaborator from Yen Bai established an agroforestry trial involving late-fruiting longan, fodder grass and maize; after just three years he is already earning more from the agroforestry system than from mono-cropping of maize and he has noted that the soil erosion has decreased significantly. Increased availability of fodder means that he now has three cattle where he could only manage one. The grafted longan fruited in their third year and he expects that the next year he will gain significant income from the sale of fruit.

The agroforestry project has also introduced the Son tra tree, an indigenous fruit tree species growing around the Himalayas that is still in the early days of domestication. The trees grow in areas populated by the H’mong people in Northwest Vietnam, leading to the local name “H’mong apple”. Fruit production from this indigenous tree is going well and the harvest is highly profitable. H’mong women benefit from selling ‘shan’ tea and fruit and also from employment in local factories where these products are being processed.

A five-year ACIAR funded project led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) aims to improve the livelihoods of smallholder pig farmers in Vietnam and improve food safety in the pork value chain. It has a two-pronged approach, one group looking at food safety and health risk assessment, the other concentrating on economic assessment and pig health. So far the project, known as PigRisk, has produced maps and drawn up a descriptive analysis of the pork value chain, undertaken an assessment of economic and production constraints for pig farmers, and defined the chemical and biological risk assessment along the pork value chain. The project has also developed models that provide quantitative risk assessment and estimates the burden of disease associated with pathogens in the pork value chain, the first time such models have been used for food safety in Vietnam.

A project studying Integrated water, soil and nutrient management for sustainable farming systems on Vietnam’s south-central coast found in trials of drip irrigation for mango production, that yields increased by 29% with a saving of about 90% of the water needed for irrigation. This is the first research on drip irrigation in this region and, based on the promising results, the Agricultural Science Institute for Southern Central Coastal Vietnam is seeking Department of Agriculture and Rural Development endorsement to begin promoting the technology to farmers.

A five-year project led by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) aims to improve the livelihoods of smallholder pig farmers in Vietnam and improve food safety in the pork value chain
Pigs are a vitally important part of Vietnam’s economic and cultural life.
Pigs are a vitally important part of Vietnam’s economic and cultural life. Photo: Ian McLeod

Case Study

Sustaining rice-shrimp farming systems in the Mekong Delta

Woman rice farmer in Ca Mau.
Woman rice farmer in Ca Mau. Photo: ACIAR

Rice-shrimp farming has been traditionally practiced in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. The farmers crop rice during the wet season when the river runs high with fresh water, and grow shrimp when saline waters flow in from the sea during the dry season. But these practices have become increasingly difficult in parts of the Mekong due to increasing soil and water salinity.

An ACIAR research project led by University of New South Wales has aimed to improve the sustainability of these rice–shrimp farming systems. The scientists have investigated risk factors for rice–shrimp farming, described pond and rice field processes, and generated much needed environmental and farm management data. They have used stable isotope analysis to describe nutrient pathways, and thus better understand the individual contributions of rice and shrimp to the production system.

The team discovered that the rice–farming system in the Mekong Delta already has high nitrogen concentrations and adequate phosphorus. Thus the system does not require fertiliser, meaning that farmers can increase their profitability by reducing or eliminating fertiliser, a challenge not commonly faced by other developing countries in the region.

The project is now looking to disseminate information and training programs on better farming practices to government extension staff and policy makers, and to engage lead farmers and farming groups. These steps will ensure adoption of better management strategies, leading to improved productivity and sustainability of rice-shrimp farming systems and opening opportunities for farmers to increase their incomes and food security.

South and West Asia

Members of the Ratu Rani Women’s Agriculture Collective in Bhaluwa village in Uttar Pradesh, India watch on as the group’s leader demonstrates how they have learnt to use a rice-transplanting machine. The group has 65 women farmers who are all from the Indigenous (Adavasi) Choudary group who traditionally are very poor and socially marginalised.
Members of the Ratu Rani Women’s Agriculture Collective in Bhaluwa village in Uttar Pradesh, India watch on as the group’s leader demonstrates how they have learnt to use a rice-transplanting machine. The group has 65 women farmers who are all from the Indigenous (Adavasi) Choudary group who traditionally are very poor and socially marginalised. Photo: Conor Ashleigh

Afghanistan

Flag of Afghanistan

ACIAR’s collaboration with Afghanistan is through support for the work of the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics and the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) to increase wheat and maize production, diversify cropping systems, increase water use efficiency and develop best practice for forage production in small-scale livestock systems. It works through established programs in agricultural extension and community development to encourage adoption of the research results.

Bangladesh

Flag of Bangladesh

ACIAR’s program in Bangladesh focuses on eradicating extreme poverty through improved productivity of food grain crops. It has strong emphases on conservation agriculture, farm mechanisation, saline land management and adaptation to climate change, with significant effort directed to rice-wheat and rice-maize systems. A second focus is on ‘Rabi’ (winter season) crops such as pulses.

Bhutan

Flag of Bhutan

In Bhutan, ACIAR has already contributed to develop Newcastle disease vaccines for village chickens, and other projects have helped manage fruit fly damage and footrot in ruminants. A major initiative to improve citrus production through pest and disease management is now underway.

India

Flag of India

Collaboration with India includes projects on better water management to improve livelihoods in the more marginal rain-fed areas of central India, and also to develop policy to assist India with the implications of its transition from a highly regulated economy to a more open market economy. ACIAR has adopted a regional approach to its work with India that now involves neighbouring countries with shared issues and opportunities.

Nepal

Flag of Nepal

The focus of ACIAR’s collaboration with Nepal is to address poor farm productivity and help build capacity in agricultural institutions to improve the livelihoods of the rural poor. In doing so ACIAR recognises the different challenges presented in the lowland Terai rice-wheat farming systems compared with the mixed crop-livestock-tree farming systems of the hill and mountain areas.

Pakistan

Flag of Pakistan

ACIAR’s long-term focus in Pakistan is to help increase livelihoods for the poor in rural areas by enhancing agricultural productivity and expanding their revenue streams. It seeks to do this through improving water management practices, adding value to raw agricultural products and opening up access to markets for those goods.

Afghanistan

Country overview

ACIAR’s collaboration with Afghanistan started in 2002 and mainly focuses support on wheat and maize production. Activity in Afghanistan is funded through the DFAT R4D program and is implemented through collaboration with CIMMYT and ICARDA. The operating environment is complex as a result of poor security and political uncertainty, which limits access by Australian scientists and hinders donor capacity for long-term planning. But strong efforts are underway to collaborate and coordinate with other implementing partners, including government and non-government organisations, grower and industry groups, and donor organisations.

Principal objectives have been to import seed from suitable cultivars, establish on farm participatory testing of imported germplasm for the identification of better adapted cultivars, and then undertake local multiplication and distribution of selected cultivars. Particular attention has been paid to capacity building, improving rust resistance in wheat and promoting improved crop management, together with provision of improved cultivars of both wheat and maize.

The country program has a new focus on crop and livestock intensification and better water management. The researchers are fostering linkages between the improvement of wheat varieties and agronomy, the development of forages for small ruminants, and community-based watershed management.

Research achievements

The ACIAR funded CIMMYT led wheat and maize project is moving from genetics research to community seed production, with a strong focus on supply. In addition to war inhibiters, farmers struggle with the quality, quantity and availability of state-produced seed. Four new wheat varieties have been released this year. Over 600,000 farmers have benefited from the introduction of the new seeds of improved varieties. The project has established hubs in four provinces in the east, north, west and centre of Afghanistan to train farmers and extension workers. The hubs also organise technology demonstrations on farmer fields. The project also sponsors Afghan researchers for training abroad and organises in-country trainings for identified needs, in wheat and maize breeding, genetics and agronomy. The Agricultural Research Institute of Afghanistan (ARIA), established in 1982, is an Afghani national body, and one key achievement of the past year is the enhanced capacity of ARIA researchers. This has been evident in the success from experiments, in improved presentations in crop workshops and in a more proactive approach in designing experiments.

Another project seeks to establish sustainable forage production systems to reduce winter feed gaps for smallholder livestock within the water constrained provinces of Baghlan and Nangarhar. The project has obtained 18 perennial shrub species from both Australia and ICARDA and the scientists from ICARDA, CSIRO and Murdoch University have trained national researchers in evaluating their adaptive capability. Together they have established mother plantations of promising varieties at three research stations. One tonne of quality seed from ten adapted forage species is now available to kick-start a large-scale seed multiplication and dissemination process.

Bangladesh

Country overview

ACIAR’s focus in Bangladesh has been on food grain crops, and its strategy addresses one of the country’s key development challenges, which is food availability within the context of increasing climate-change vulnerability. Research activities are strongly related to agricultural food production. Bangladesh also faces the problem of inadequate nutrition, which is just not limited to food availability. It is derived from multiple factors, for example gendered consumption practices, international market variations and effectiveness of government structures.

With re-emerging concerns about Bangladesh’s ability to maintain food security in the light of its high vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, ACIAR’s emphasis is shifting towards a farming systems’ approach that supports broader improved food security. The program includes research on conservation agriculture, farm mechanisation, saline land management and adaptation to climate change, particularly in the rice-wheat and rice-maize systems.

Working with ACIAR provides Bangladesh with the opportunity to engage in a range of mutual interests with other countries in South Asia. For instance, low-lying areas and rain fed cropping systems in Bangladesh are particularly negatively impacted by the effects of seasonal climate variability and change. Bangladesh is, consequently, one of four partner countries involved in ACIAR’s climate-change adaptation initiative.

Research achievements

Water scarcity induced by climate change along with high-salinity related challenges threatens the livelihoods of millions of farmers in Bangladesh. An agricultural development policy project funded by ACIAR and led by Dr Ram Ranjan from Macquarie University investigated the extent to which farming communities seek out non-farm enterprises when their farms are affected by water or salinity challenges. The project found that a higher level of salinity did increase the chances for vulnerable households to seek opportunities beyond the farm. Although saline water fisheries provided lucrative business, marginal and landless farmers were excluded from participation due to lack of resources. The project recommended investment in infrastructure that creates better supply-chain opportunities for shrimp and crab farming to enable landless and marginal farmers to become involved in the marketing and production phases.

The development of shallow water pumps to access groundwater in Bangladesh late last century spurred enthusiasm for growing two rice crops per annum, but at the expense of growing protein-rich pulses. An ACIAR funded project led by Professor William Erskine of University of Western Australia has developed a technique of relay cropping whereby lentil seeds are planted into the monsoonal rice crop just before harvest, enabling a lentil crop to mature in the fallow period between the two rice crops. While there have been challenges, the project has worked to address them, resulting in a 40 per cent increase in lentil production from trial areas and participating farms.

Another component of the project sought to replace the fallow period with peas which could be harvested as green pods within 60 days. Farmer enthusiasm created a demand for pea seed, leading to one famer converting his demonstration field into an area for seed production, growing the crop to maturity to meet the seed demands of other farmers. His success led him to forego planting the spring rice crop and instead produce more pea seed, thus generating a profitable agribusiness venture.

Shanaton Kumar Biswas stands
on a plot of land he ploughed
with his two‑wheel tractor.
Photo Conor Ashleigh
Shanaton Kumar Biswas stands on a plot of land he ploughed with his two‑wheel tractor. Photo Conor Ashleigh

Bhutan

Country overview

ACIAR’s strategy is to work closely with the Bhutanese Government, local industry and other donors to ensure that planned activities are appropriate, consistent with the most recent government five-year plan and complementary to the work of other donor agencies.

Citrus is Bhutan’s largest horticultural export industry. A major initiative to improve citrus production through improved planting material and integrated crop management is being implemented. The work is focusing on crop irrigation management, integrated crop management of vegetables (particularly chilli) and development of contract farming crops (e.g. walnut, grapes, asparagus, and pomegranate).

The Bhutanese Government has identified crop irrigation management, integrated crop management of

horticultural crops, and dairy sector development as priorities for future collaboration.

Research achievements

CCFF infests citrus fruit causing premature ripening and subsequent fruit drop. Yield losses can be as high as 80 per cent in severely affected orchards in Bhutan. The ACIAR funded project led by Graeme Sanderson of the NSW Department of Primary Industries has initiated an area wide management program involving 230 farmers in the Tsirang district. Farmers have received training on fruit fly biology and management approaches. The main aim was to mobilise the community for a collective approach to fruit fly management. A key activity was the collection and destruction of fallen fruit to reduce the population of flies, and a complementary measure was the introduction of protein bait lures to attract and kill the fruit fly.

Bhutanese visit to Eyles Citrus. Mr Dorjee, Sandra Hardy and Gary Eyles.
Bhutanese visit to Eyles Citrus. Mr Dorjee, Sandra Hardy and Gary Eyles. Photo: ACIAR

India

Country overview

Australia and India share many of the same agricultural and natural resource management problems and research challenges. ACIAR has supported a program of collaborative agricultural research with India since 1983. The large and well-developed national agricultural research system led by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research is a cornerstone of ACIAR’s program, and has great potential to underpin cooperative activities in the region.

ACIAR’s research activities have been increasingly linked to the food security problems of other South Asian countries and thus have a growing regional character, including the programs delivered in conjunction with CGIAR, state agricultural universities, Non-Government Organisation’s (NGO), autonomous and private-sector institutions active in the region. ACIAR will continue to work with India in a regional approach, involving neighbouring countries with shared issues and opportunities.

Research achievements

The Sustainable and Resilient Farming Systems Intensification (SRFSI) project led by the International Maize Improvement Centre, Nepal has produced field proof of successful conservation agriculture practices across 40 villages in India, Bangladesh and Nepal. Uptake of conservation agriculture is boosting income, saving water, saving energy and carbon. This is also making a contribution to the Indian goal of doubling farm household income in five years.

Plant breeders have enhanced the value of the ‘stay-green’ trait in sorghum which maintains both grain and stover (fodder) yields under drought stress. The scientists found that breeding for stover quality attributes and grain/stover productivity could take place concurrently. They gained proof of concept that introducing stay green genes can increase quality and productivity, giving credence to an approach using molecular markers for the complex constraint of drought, an area where successful examples are rare. The project team identified variants for critical traits which will be used in the breeding program. The prospects are excellent for developing and releasing drought-hardy productive lines of sorghum.

Another ACIAR funded project led by Dr Richard Richards from CSIRO Plant Industry seeks to impart traits into wheat that will enable it to be sown earlier to avoid drought and high temperatures during the critical flowering period. A second desirable trait is deeper roots that can access more soil water at depth during grain filling. Trials of lines that the project has identified exhibiting one or both traits are underway in India and Australia. An ACIAR funded project led by Erik Schmidt from University of Southern Queensland seeks to improve the livelihoods for woman, marginal and tenant farmers in Bihar State has had great success in working with the community and schools. Technical, social and economic constraints have limited the effective use of groundwater and ponds for irrigation, and large areas of land remain fallow during the dry months. Access to year-round water for irrigation would significantly promote the productivity of agriculture, improving incomes and food security. The project has focused on evaluating the water resources and sustainable utilisation for irrigation from tanks and groundwater. It has also determined what socio-economic, structural and institutional constraints hinder sustainable water use. The villagers have eagerly engaged in the participatory action research activities of the project. A manual has been developed for use in schools and the villagers themselves have produced a photobook of high quality.

A group of fishermen on the Bay of Bengal in West Bengal, India.

Case Study

Women show the way in farming new vegetables

A group of fishermen on the Bay of Bengal in West Bengal, India.
Mrs Upasi Devi. Photo: ACIAR

Paddy rice is the main crop of the tribal Ho community in the West Singhbhum district, in Jharkhand State, India. New vegetable cropping options, safe vegetable production, and home gardens are becoming popular through an ACIAR project supporting the work of the World Vegetable Centre (AVRDC) and the NGO Pradan in 72 villages in Jharkhand.

These new enterprises are proving particularly valuable for the women who, through social isolation, were mostly unaware they could diversify their cropping with vegetables.

In 2013, Ms Jind Doraiburu was one of 25 women farmers selected by their communities to participate in the project. The AVRDC team introduced her to trellis cultivation of cucurbits during the rainy season, and she was one of only five farmers who took up the challenge in the first year of growing bottle gourd on a trellis. The experiment failed when flooding of her small plot destroyed the crop. But Ms Doraiburu realised the potential of the idea if the right field were used. She started again in 2014, this time deciding to grow trellised cucumbers in a field where she had grown maize the previous year. Ms Doraiuru said: “I had two challenges over me with these research trials. The first was to prove that women can take a risk in trying new things in farming, and the second was to prove that growing cucumbers on a trellis will bring in more income.”

And it worked! This time she harvested about 365 kg of cucumbers for an average price of 20 rupees per kilogram. Her total income for the season was 7,300 rupees, five times more than the investment of 1,250 rupees and seven times more than what she usually got by growing maize or rice in the same plot. The income also came in from August to October, when there is normally no other money available. It helped her pay back the loan she got from her self-help group for medical treatment, and she invested the rest in pesticides for her tomato cultivation. She is now encouraging other tribal women to emulate her success.

Nepal

Country overview

Agriculture in Nepal faces a set of numerous interdependent challenges associated with degrading resources, underdeveloped agricultural institutions and policies, and a lack of productive technologies and mechanisation that limit the improvement of farm livelihoods. The challenges take different shapes in the lowland Terai rice-wheat farming systems as compared with the mixed crop-livestock-tree farming systems of the hill and mountain areas.

ACIAR’s program in Nepal supports improved integration of soil, water, livestock and tree components of the farming systems, and seeks to increase productivity of the respective components through adoption of appropriate technologies. Given the common agricultural production challenges across the alluvial plains of Nepal, eastern India and Bangladesh, cooperative research links are being fostered with neighbouring countries, with a special focus on conservation agriculture.

Research achievements

Wood from trials conducted as part of an ACIAR funded forestry project in Nepal led by University of Adelaide has helped locals in Chaubus, Kavre Palanchok District, rebuild their houses following the devastating earthquake that destroyed communities in 2015. The project, ‘Enhancing livelihoods and food security from agroforestry and community forestry in Nepal’, aims to provide diverse benefits to farmers, support livestock and agriculture, and increase the resilience of forests to climate change. The future is looking brighter for the people of Chaubus. Last summer, men and women from the village planted a range of species in the demonstration plots within the forests. They include cardamom, broom grass, shrub legumes and the ornamental Michelia. The villagers want to replace the pine monoculture with a multipurpose mixed forest to produce native high value timber, fuelwood, fodder and non-timber forest products.

Procedural, political and regulatory barriers hamper trade across India’s borders with Nepal and Bangladesh, so most trade is informal. But informal trade in agricultural inputs increases prices and lowers the quality of seed and fertiliser for farmers. An ACIAR study sought to understand the informal trade situation and develop recommendations for policy changes that will ‘formalise’ informal trade of agricultural inputs. A better regulated system would give cheaper and easier access to the necessary inputs and better the livelihoods of farming communities across the border from India.

Pakistan

Country overview

ACIAR’s strategy for Pakistan is to work closely with the Pakistan Government, Australian agencies, other donor partners, NGOs and the Pakistani private sector by providing research, development and technical capacity building, technical support and carefully targeted interventions to underpin Pakistan development programs. Poverty reduction, linking smallholders to markets and gender equality are major issues for development programs in Pakistan, and are key considerations for the ACIAR strategy. Australia is well placed to assist Pakistan in addressing irrigation, drainage and salinity management in major cropping systems, and this is an important focus of the program. Other issues are cereal and legume productivity, crop diversification and management practices with a focus on citrus, mango and vegetables. Production of dairy and beef is another research priority.

A co-investment strategy in Pakistan between ACIAR and DFAT, termed the Agriculture Value Chain Collaborative Research Program (AVCCR), closely aligns with the previous two phases of the Australia-Pakistan Agriculture Sector Linkages Program. AVCCR is intended to focus more strongly on collaboration and research in selected agricultural value chains. The rural poor, particularly women, will significantly and equitably benefit from improvements in these strategic value chains. AVCCR will continue to involve private sector engagement in new and innovative partnerships and collaborations, aligning with the component of the Government of Pakistan “PakistanVision 2025” related to agriculture.

Research achievements

A project that involved 40 ACIAR-funded surveyors visiting 850 small farms in a region of Pakistan has culminated in an analysis whose results point the way to help smallholders increase the earning potential of their holdings. Through a process of statistical analysis and mathematical modelling the researchers have pinpointed the factors that most influence whether farming operations will prosper or trap their households in hardship and poverty.

To increase farm productivity, many of the country’s farmers need to learn better water management and agronomic practices. An ACIAR funded project led by Dr Sandra Heaney-Mustafa of the University of Canberra is developing an irrigation farmer field school approach so that farmers have hands on learning experiences using simple implements for measuring soil moisture and nutrients. The hope is that these farmers will be convinced of the efficacy of these instruments and adopt them as standard practice, also spreading the word amongst their communities to get others to take them up as well.

ACIAR commissioned a social research project in 2010 to investigate the extent to which the innovations advanced by the dairy, mango and citrus projects had improved the lives of the villagers in the areas under study. A survey undertaken as the projects concluded found that women in particular had profited from the development of community service centres as meeting places for training and other activities. They had become more involved in household decision-making, had increased use and ownership of mobile phones, and showed a greater willingness to work collaboratively with other women of the village.

In the ACIAR funded project led by Dr Robin Roberts of Griffith University aims to improve the value chain for Pakistan mangoes the researchers found that there was a ready market for the higher quality mangoes produced through the ACIAR-supported research but the supply chain was unable to meet that market. The value-chain team set up a trial with a group of smallholder growers to engage them in directly meeting the needs of the consumers, and guided them in overcoming the challenges of maintaining quality after harvest, packaging and transport. Through the channels of their own local marketing, phone and Facebook orders the group sold their entire crop in 28 days, gaining a 77 per cent increase in profit.

Women smallholder farmers are trained to diagnose sub-clinical mastitis and help prevent dairy animal diseases.
Women smallholder farmers are trained to diagnose sub-clinical mastitis and help prevent dairy animal diseases. Photo: Hafeez Ullah
Rashid Said Mpinga, a farmer in Tanzania’s Morogoro District, holds up ears of TAN 250 maize variety.
Rashid Said Mpinga, a farmer in Tanzania’s Morogoro District, holds up ears of TAN 250 maize variety. Photo: John Dixon

Eastern and Southern Africa

ACIAR-supported research in Africa tackles both technological and market/policy challenges covering soil, water, crops, horticulture, livestock, trees and aquaculture. The role of decision making in production and value chains is recognised. The broad systems approach integrates production management, improved varieties and breeds, input and market chains (with agribusiness a dominant actor), and policy and capacity building at both individual and institutional levels.

Regional overview

Africa and Australia share similar environmental constraints, such as poor soils and climatic variability. Australia has also met challenges to food security, including poor livestock nutrition, weak adoption of new technologies and low levels of farmer value chain participation. As a result, Australian expertise and research are highly relevant to Africa, and for three decades a small number of ACIAR projects have delivered research outputs, impacts and capacity to the region.

Current ACIAR projects are strongly aligned with the priorities of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, the 2014 Malabo Declaration and subregional organisations, the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa, the Centre for Coordination of Agricultural Research and Development for Southern Africa and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa. A higher proportion of ACIAR projects in Eastern and Southern Africa are regional (i.e. operate in more than one country) than in South and West Asia, or East Asia. Its focus countries are Botswana, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Research achievements

The ongoing SIMLESA project is supported by ACIAR and managed by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) in collaboration with the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in East and Central Africa (ASARECA) and the NARS of Ethiopa, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania. In June 2017 they held a conference in Arusha Tanzania to assess major breakthroughs on conservation agriculture for sustainable intensification across eight participating countries of eastern and southern Africa. Of significance were the reports from heads of research in five main countries, who outlined major yield increases of maize, legumes and forages, benefits to more than 150,000 households, engagements with 40+ companies, contributions to climate smart agricultural science and innovations in scaling out results.

The first phase of the ACIAR funded Trees for Food Security project led by Professor Catherine Muthuri of the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) concluded in December 2016. The project saw substantial gains, developing locally appropriate agroforestry systems and extension approaches that over the four years reached 30,000 farmers in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi. This project also contributed ground-breaking modelling outputs by adapting CSIRO’s crop model APSIM to include tree components in the farming systems.

A farming systems project funded by ACIAR and led by Dr Jamie Pittock of the Australian National University worked with existing farmer organisations in Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe to establish agricultural innovation platforms (AIPs). These comprise farmers, political representatives and players across the market value chain. Researchers helped participants to identify obstacles and stimulated opportunities for change. Learning workshops held in all countries confirmed the project is having considerable beneficial impacts, with participating farmers reducing watering frequency, using fertilisers more efficiently and increasing yields. They have also realised savings in labour time which they invest back into agricultural and other income-generating activities. They report more leisure time and an increase in social harmony.

Methods developed through ACIAR-sponsored research on culture pearl oysters in the Pacific are now being deployed in assessing prospects of supporting pearl culture for coastal communities in Tanzania. The ACIAR funded project, which was led by Professor Paul Southgate of the James Cook University, has developed economic models for both community-based spat-collection farms and half pearl farms in Tanzania. Outputs include establishment and operational costs, and potential profitability estimates, for different sizes of spat collection farms and half-pearl farms. The information generated is of considerable use to donor and support agencies potentially involved in further pearl industry development work in Tanzania, and in project extension work. Extension materials relating to oyster collection, oyster culture, half-pearl production and potential profitability of these activities have been developed and translated into Swahili.

Berina Vhurande shows off her lush maize crops that she grows in the Mashoko Irrigation Scheme in Bikita district, Masvingo province, Zimbabwe.
Berina Vhurande shows off her lush maize crops that she grows in the Mashoko Irrigation Scheme in Bikita district, Masvingo province, Zimbabwe. Photo:Chenai Tsorayi

Case Study

Crop modelling framework enhanced by incorporating agroforestry trees

Left: Mrs Mukarugwiza Clemence from Nkomane village in Nyabihu District with RPM Tony Bartlett. Mrs Clemence is a Trees for Food Security champion farmer. She and her husband have a 40 acre farm on which they grow climbing beans and potatoes. 
Right: Bank account and health insurance books in hand, Mrs Clemence said that in the first year after she established the tree tomatoes she sold about 100 kg of tamarillos. This brought in income of RWF 80,000 ($125) and enabled her to establish a bank account and for the first time ever to take out health insurance for her family. Photos: Tony Bartlett
Left: Mrs Mukarugwiza Clemence from Nkomane village in Nyabihu District with RPM Tony Bartlett. Mrs Clemence is a Trees for Food Security champion farmer. She and her husband have a 40 acre farm on which they grow climbing beans and potatoes. Right: Bank account and health insurance books in hand, Mrs Clemence said that in the first year after she established the tree tomatoes she sold about 100 kg of tamarillos. This brought in income of RWF 80,000 ($125) and enabled her to establish a bank account and for the first time ever to take out health insurance for her family. Photos: Tony Bartlett

Until now, global models of crop production have ignored trees, despite significant tree cover on much of the world’s agricultural land. This is now changing thanks to a new tree-crop modelling initiative undertaken by Professor Catherine Muthuri of the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF) and partners in the ACIAR-funded project “Trees-for-food security” project led by the World Agroforestry Centre, Kenya. They have developed a revised version of the Australian-developed Australian Production System Simulator (APISM) to include an agroforestry model that can simulate crop and pasture production as affected by several important tree-crop interactions.

Model development has drawn heavily on datasets developed by ICRAF over the past few decades, principally involving measurements of Grevillea and Gliricidia intercropped with maize at the Machakos experimental station in Kenya. This represents significant value-addition to earlier research. These datasets, supplemented by Australian experience and modelling expertise, have allowed the researchers to model the interactions including long-term effects of nitrogen fixation by trees and herbaceous legumes in the soil; effects of above-ground tree litter inputs for carbon and nitrogen cycling; rain and light shading effects of trees; and root competition for water and nitrogen. They can also model the reduced population density of crops near Grevillea and Gliricidia, and their net outcome on crop yields in particular settings – though net outcomes vary depending on soils and climate, as well as tree and crop genetics and the management of the trees, crops and soil.

The advances are globally significant, not just for African farmers. The project is now refining one or more active models for trees, like those currently available for crops, that will enable more dynamic modelling of tree–crop interactions as both the trees and crops grow. Already, models of wheat, maize, and potatoes are available, and a teff model is also being developed for Ethiopia. These models will become freely available to anyone accessing APSIM, and the suite of crop, pasture and tree models is expected to expand significantly during the next few years.

In the national interest

ACIAR’s full complement of ten country offices met in Lombok, Indonesia in May. More than outposts on the ACIAR front line, together they represent a great network with much to contribute strategically and corporately. These meetings are crucial in strengthening that network.

Research that also benefits Australia

Overview

ACIAR’s primary role and mission are to help developing countries to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, through international agriculture research partnerships. Projects funded by the Centre address problems of interest and benefit to developing countries and Australia, through fields in which Australia, or international agricultural research centres, have comparative advantage. ACIAR has from the outset focused on supporting collaborative research where scientists from Australian and their developing-country counterparts work together on mutual problems in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. The intersection of mutual problems and Australia’s comparative advantage does result in some projects delivering benefits to both partner countries and Australia. Many of these benefits relate to capacity building, creating opportunities for Australian scientists.

Independent analyses have shown that, as well as returns to partner countries from the research being very high, Australia’s benefit from the research is also substantial.

Research achievements

The exchange and experience of working with an ACIAR project is fostering innovation in the Australian cocoa industry. Project scientists have initiated trials of cocoa grown on trellises. Their results point the way to higher productivity, open the possibility of mechanised harvesting, and promise reduced vulnerability to cyclone damage.

Superior performing mungbeans grown across much of northern Australia derive from the AVRDC’s breeding program. In 2016 ACIAR launched a newsletter Mung Central and funded the establishment of the International Mungbean Improvement Network (IMIN). It focuses on this vital, yet under-recognised legume crop. Funded by ACIAR, the IMIN is a collaboration between the World Vegetable Centre (formally AVRDC) and scientists and stakeholders from Bangladesh, Myanmar, India and Australia. A strong current focus is on finding sources of resistance to mungbean yellow mosaic virus.

Australian pig producers are returning to the practice of rearing their animals in free-range conditions. This has led to a change in types and prevalence of disease. ACIAR research in the Philippines is well aligned to helping free-range producers in Australia whose disease problems now resemble those of a smallholder Filipino farmer. The Queensland reference laboratory has been instrumental in testing for disease and recommending vaccination schedules.

For the last thirty years ACIAR has collaborated with Australian state agricultural departments, industry peak bodies, and our Asian partner countries to select superior citrus varieties, protect against diseases and improve orchard management. Much of the Australian benefit derives from evaluating new varieties to exploit new market opportunities, at home and overseas, and new rootstocks to address production issues. The best citrus Chinese rootstock selections from ACIAR trials were formally released to industry at the New South Wales Parliament House, Sydney, on 10 May 2017.

Recent outbreaks of the devastating panama disease of bananas on north Queensland plantations highlight the importance of more than a decade of research that ACIAR has sponsored in Indonesia and the Philippines. The advances made there have helped diagnose the disease outbreaks and also guide ways to contain the spread of the disease.

Independent analyses have shown that, as well as returns to partner countries from the research being very high, Australia’s benefit from the research is also substantial.
Forestry scientist Dr Nghiem Quyen Chi carrying out cutting-edge research on polyploidy in tropical acacias in Vietnam.
Forestry scientist Dr Nghiem Quyen Chi carrying out cutting-edge research on polyploidy in tropical acacias in Vietnam. Photo: Sally Ingleton

Case Study

Australia’s forestry research acclaimed under the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Initiative

ACIAR RPM, Tony Bartlett met Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for the
Queen’s Canopy Commonwealth Initiative reception Source: British Ceremonial Arts
ACIAR RPM, Tony Bartlett met Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace for the Queen’s Canopy Commonwealth Initiative reception Source: British Ceremonial Arts

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II has formally acknowledged the contribution of ACIAR to forest conservation in PNG. ACIAR’s project Enhancing the Implementation of Community Forestry Approaches in Papua New Guinea was showcased at a Buckingham Palace reception on 15 November 2016 in conjunction with the award of accreditation under the QCC. Forestry Research Program Manager Mr Tony Bartlett attended the reception to receive the Award on ACIAR’s behalf.

The QCC is a network of outstanding forest conservation initiatives throughout the 52 nations of the Commonwealth. Being awarded QCC accreditation affirms ACIAR as a global leader in agricultural R4D and highlights the important work undertaken in sustainable community forestry. Forests cover over 60 per cent of PNG, and 97 per cent of these forests are held under customary community ownership. Through ACIAR, Australia is supporting communities to sustainably manage native forests, grow trees and enhance the Papua New Guinean forestry sector.

Community forestry is delivering economic and social benefits as well as important environmental outcomes including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and habitat protection. ACIAR delivers the project in cooperation with partners the University of the Sunshine Coast, Papua New Guinea Forestry Association, Papua New Guinea Forest Research Institute, Ramu Agri-Industries Limited, University of Papua New Guinea, and the Foundation for People and Community Development Incorporated.

Global program

ACIAR’s Global Program builds and manages ACIAR’s multilateral partnerships with a range of international organisations, institutes and associations engaged in agricultural research. It supports the implementation of one of ACIAR’s mandated roles of ‘funding and supporting the International Agricultural Research Centres (IARCs)’. Most of the support is to CGIAR, which comprises 15 international research centres which work in close collaboration with hundreds of partner organisations, including national and regional research institutes, civil society organisations, academia and the private sector.

In addition the Global Program engages with and supports other international multilateral institutes and associations, including the Asia-Pacific Association of Agricultural Research Institutions (APAARI), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Pacific Community (SPC), the Australia Africa Universities Network and the World Vegetable Center (formally AVRDC).

ACIAR’s Global Program also manages new modalities of procurement, primarily through co-invesment alliances. Under co-investment alliances, the design and management of the research is shared between donors.

Highlights

Overview

International agricultural research for development will be critical for meeting the global food security challenges of the next decade, which include population growth and urbanisation, income and poverty dynamics, malnutrition, gender inequality and the growing pressure on natural resources and climate change. ACIAR’s funding of the IARCs will ensure appropriate priorities for applying science and technology are developed and applied and that the IARCs’ unique role of delivering global public goods such as data and knowledge sharing will be actively addressing these challenges.

ACIAR funds the CGIAR system by providing unrestricted funds through the CGIAR Trust Fund managed by the World Bank. This unrestricted funding is also complemented by ACIAR project-specific funding, whereby direct research partnerships with individual CGIAR Centres are developed. Other Australian organisations, including the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) and the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), also periodically provide funding to CGIAR.

Dr Dindo Campilan, Chair of the CIAT Board, Geoff Hawtin, CEO CIAT, Dr Ruben Echeverria, ACIAR PAC member Dr Nguyen Van Bo and ACIAR CEO Andrew Campbell celeberate CIAT’s 50th anniversary in Hanoi, Vietnam in April 2017
Dr Dindo Campilan, Chair of the CIAT Board, Geoff Hawtin, CEO CIAT, Dr Ruben Echeverria, ACIAR PAC member Dr Nguyen Van Bo and ACIAR CEO Andrew Campbell celeberate CIAT’s 50th anniversary in Hanoi, Vietnam in April 2017

Achievements

ACIAR currently supports 26 active projects with CGIAR Centres being the Commissioned Organisation and another three active projects with non-CGIAR IARCs. The contributions of the IARCs (including the non-CGIAR Centres, such as the AVRDC) to ACIAR projects are documented throughout the country reports. The CGIAR presence in countries such as Afghanistan and Myanmar has overcome the hurdles of inaccessibility and provided ACIAR with an avenue to commission research to reach the poor in those countries. Below are some other reports from CGIAR-related projects.

One in three people in the world suffer from hidden hunger, caused by a lack of vitamin and minerals, such as vitamin A, zinc, and iron, in the diet. These nutrients are essential, not just for adults, but for children to grow, learn, and build healthy immune systems. The IFPRI program, HarvestPlus which is supported by ACIAR, leads a global effort to make familiar staple foods that people eat every day more nutritious and available to those suffering from hidden hunger. The process of biofortification is used to breed higher amounts of vitamins and minerals directly into affordable staple foods. These include bean, cassava, orange sweet potato, rice, maize, pearl millet, and wheat. HarvestPlus’ strategy is targeted to rural areas in regions where hidden hunger is most pervasive: sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Most rural households in these regions grow their own food or buy it locally and once the nutrients have been bred into the crops, they are fixed. Poor farmers can thus save the nutrient-rich seed to grow and eat, year after year, or share these with their neighbours. By the end of 2016, biofortified staple crops were being consumed regularly by 20 million farm households – with targets of 100 million people in poor farm households growing and consuming these crops by 2020 and one billion people by 2030. Three Harvest Plus scientists were awarded the 2016 World Food Prize for advancing human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world.

Wheat blast disease broke in epidemic proportions in South America in 1985, but has otherwise remained local until February 2016 when it appeared in Bangladesh. By March 2016 the Bangladesh government officially acknowledged the problem and within days DNA samples were sent from Bangladesh to laboratories in England, Europe and Brazil. The disease is psychologically devastating, as entire fields go white in the last few weeks prior to harvest. The visual and economic impact can leave a smallholder farming family in ruin. Given its relatively passive history, not much had been done to address the disease, but an ACIAR project ‘Wheat blast in Bangladesh’ was commissioned. In July 2016 ACIAR funded CIMMYT to organise a conference to tackle Wheat Blast at science and policy levels. In February 2017 ACIAR funded the survey of thousands of hectares of wheat, training farmers to understand and recognise the disease. Thankfully subdued weather conditions have avoided a wider outbreak in 2017 but the disease is now widespread. In years with untimely pre-monsoon rains in February, the risks for a widespread outbreak are real. The first treatment is to spray fungicides, plant wheat earlier, and avoid using contaminated seeds, as the virus is seed borne. The search for resistant varieties has now been initiated within the ACIAR project.

Farming systems in Vietnam are undergoing rapid change, including increased levels of commercialisation and market integration, adoption of (or desire for) labour efficient technologies, and migration of youth in response to non-farm work opportunities. These processes are not only shaping rural landscapes and communities, but challenging traditional gender roles. To examine these changing roles the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and ACIAR held a joint workshop in May 2017. Two of its main objectives were to expand participants’ knowledge of the gender dimensions of agricultural production and marketing in Vietnam—and of their implications for agricultural research—and to identify appropriate opportunities and methods to mainstream gender into existing and planned project activities. It also sought to strengthen the links of ACIAR research teams to the development community working in agricultural development and women’s empowerment in Vietnam.

An ACIAR funded project led by WorldFish is studying the place of fish in national development, undertaking contrasting case studies in the Indo-Pacific Region. The project seeks to improve the understanding and use of fish in national and regional food systems, and the role of fisheries and mariculture as a source of food, income and livelihoods for coastal communities. ACIAR, and WorldFish worked with other agencies to host a workshop on sustainable and equitable mariculture development in the Western Indian Ocean. As well the research team has carried out surveys of seasonal dietary diversity in sites in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. In Vanuatu there was particular concern about the nutritional welfare of communities whose fishing zones had suffered during Cyclone Pam.

A four-year project co-funded between the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (85%) and ACIAR (15%) focusing on sorghum production in Ethiopia has revamped the breeding of sorghum from newly released varieties. The collaborating scientists involved national breeders in the advances, modernising the entire breeding process. At the outset the scientists asked the question of smallholders: ‘Of all the varieties we could produce, what do you actually want?’ The Ethiopian team has the prospect of releasing new drought-resistant varieties with a range of other desirable traits within 24 months.

Case Study

ACIAR co-funds initiative in eastern Africa

Touring Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa Hub (BecA Hub) at International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Nairobi Kenya
Touring Biosciences Eastern and Central Africa Hub (BecA Hub) at International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) Nairobi Kenya

ACIAR, through the establishment in 2011 of the Australian International Food Security Research Centre (AIFSRC), trialled new types of partnerships with donor agencies, foundations, the private sector, youth entrepreneurs and biosecurity agencies. These trials helped to establish the partnership strategies that work well to deliver real and meaningful impact in eastern and southern Africa.

AIFSRC was a four-year initiative established as part of the Australian Government’s enhanced Africa Food Security Initiative. The Centre, which wound up in 2015, committed Australian agricultural expertise to help African farmers, agencies and the private sector demonstrate how multi-sector partnerships can increase uptake leading to impact, as well as the benefits of

agencies working collaboratively in program development and funding.

A good example is the ACIAR and Canada’s IDRC partnership, which collaborated to co-fund a new initiative, CultiAF in 2013. The program supports innovative, applied research solutions to improve long-term food and nutrition security in eastern and southern Africa.

Competitive research grants through the initiative are currently supporting eight projects across Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, most of whom have strong private sector partners to improve the scaling out of technologies. CultiAF focuses on four areas critical to transforming African agriculture: reducing post-harvest losses, reducing the rates of persistent malnutrition, building climate resilient farming systems and improving sustainable water use. In the last three years 25,000 smallholder farmers (54% women) were trained in 24 innovations in key areas of nutrition, economics, insect science, gender, social science and food science as well as 130 youth entrepreneurs trained.

Both ACIAR and IDRC have benefitted from this partnership. Each agency brings differing areas of expertise and project-development mechanisms to CultiAF, but they share similar goals and approaches to project management. The leverage of increased funds through the co-funding modality has also resulted in a more ambitious program than either agency could otherwise implement. After a successful Phase 1, ACIAR and IDRC launched Phase 2 on June 30 2017, with expanded funding and opportunities.

Wellington Ekaya, Andrew Campbell, ACIAR CEO, Mellissa Wood, ACIAR GM Global Program, BecA scientist Josephine Birungi, Head of BecA Wellington Ekaya,  ILRI DG Jimmy Smith, ILRI Deputy Director General Ian Wright
Wellington Ekaya, Andrew Campbell, ACIAR CEO, Mellissa Wood, ACIAR GM Global Program, BecA scientist Josephine Birungi, Head of BecA Wellington Ekaya, ILRI DG Jimmy Smith, ILRI Deputy Director General Ian Wright

Building research capacity

Overview

Building capacity in people and institutions in partner countries is a key priority for ACIAR. During the year a new General Manager, Outreach and Capacity Building position was created to lead ACIAR’s capacity building programs.

ACIAR continues to deliver its two flagship programs - the John Allwright and John Dillon Fellowship programs. In the first half of 2017, ACIAR conducted an external review of its capacity building program. The review found that while ACIAR’s capacity building program has a strong reputation amongst its Australian and international networks and partners, there is room for expanding its suite of products

Key recommendations of the review include:

ACIAR is considering the review recommendations with a view to delivering an expanded program in future years. Many of these initiatives will align with ACIAR’s new ten year vision and strategy. They also responded to feedback from ACIAR’s partners about what we can do differently and better.

Research capacity of partner countries institutions is enhanced through targeting individuals involved in ACIAR projects. These projects are managed by individual research programs, and participants received on-the-job training.

ACIAR’s capacity building program includes:

Postgraduate fellowships

John Allwright Fellowships for postgraduate training at Australian universities at the Masters or Doctoral level are awarded to partner-country scientists involved in ACIAR-supported collaborative research projects. ACIAR’s research priorities are determined through regular consultation with partner countries. Alignment of postgraduate training with research ensures that the training needs of partner countries are met. Thus postgraduate studies focus on areas that add value to the theme of the ACIAR project in which the awardee is engaged, but do not directly form part of the project.

Fellows may be able to spend up to half their research project period on fieldwork in their home country. This enables them to ensure that their postgraduate research work is relevant to the project and their home county’s needs. It also allows them to maintain their professional and personal networks.

During 2016–17 there were 111 active John Allwright Fellows at Australian universities.

The John Allwright Fellows Returnee Award provides grants for an activity which continues, or is related to, the research done within the ACIAR project with which the JAF was associated during postgraduate work. In 2016–17 three returnee awards were granted for Fellows from Pakistan, the Philippines and Fiji.

Research management and leadership training

The John Dillon Fellowships provide an opportunity for outstanding mid-career agricultural scientists and economists to further develop their careers. It aims to develop the leadership skills of the fellows from ACIAR partner countries in agricultural research management and policy by exposing them to a range of best practice organisations and training programs.

A group of 10 fellows from the Indo-Pacific region visited Australia for a six week period in February-March 2017. Feedback from the group was extremely positive. SBS radio profiled the fellows on various non-English radio programs using audio files supplied by ACIAR’s Outreach team.

Financial support for short courses

ACIAR provides support to qualified individuals wishing to participate in a conference, seminar, workshop or field visits that align with the agricultural R4D (R4D) priorities of our partner countries. ACIAR also provides support to organisations seeking corporate sponsorship for similar events.

The aim of ACIAR events funding is to develop the skills and capacity needed to advance agricultural R4D, with a focus on people and organisations with experience in ACIAR-supported projects. Individual applicants and organisations seeking event funding must be able to demonstrate involvement in agricultural R4D and engagement in research and/or development activities within an ACIAR partner country.

In 2016–17, ACIAR provided support to a range of international training events and workshops. These included the Laos Teak Agro-Forestry Workshop attended by a Graduate Research Officer held in Luang Prabang, Laos. In October 2016, a Country Manager and Research Project Manager as well as partners from CGIAR’s attended the Strengthening the Gender Lens in Agricultural Production and Value-Chain Research in Vietnam event in Hanoi.

ACIAR also supports the Crawford fund to use its network and skills base to organise annual conferences, master classes, training and outreach activities that help build capacity in agricultural research and development both overseas and in Australia. ACIAR supported attendees to participate in the five-day Master Class Agricultural Research Leadership and Management program held in the Penang facilities of WorldFish.

Chambu from Forest Action demonstrates to Bhinda Khanal (second from left) and others from Chaubas how to properly measure trees in the Chapani community forest. Recently 1 hectare of trees in the Chapani community forest were thinned and sold for 1 million rupees which were divided between the 90 families in Chaubas. This meant each family received roughly $150 AUD, a signficant cash injection for these rural communities.  The forest has also been a crucial resource for the community when rebuilding their homes after the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake.
Chambu from Forest Action demonstrates to Bhinda Khanal (second from left) and others from Chaubas how to properly measure trees in the Chapani community forest. Recently 1 hectare of trees in the Chapani community forest were thinned and sold for 1 million rupees which were divided between the 90 families in Chaubas. This meant each family received roughly $150 AUD, a signficant cash injection for these rural communities. The forest has also been a crucial resource for the community when rebuilding their homes after the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake. Photo: Conor Ashleigh

Communicating research results

Overview

ACIAR has responsibility to communicate the results of the agricultural research it undertakes to both people and institutions. In 2016–17 the position of General Manager, Outreach and Capacity Building was created to lead ACIAR’s communication program. Under the General Manager, the Communication and Stakeholder Engagement Team was restructured to become the Outreach Team with a renewed focus on delivering higher profile communication activities to a broad range of audiences.

A new communication strategy was developed that focuses on three key groups:

A major project to redevelop ACIAR’s website was initiated during the year to improve digital communication, to align with the Australian Government’s GovCMS platform, and to improve our website accessibility. Using more visual imagery including photographs, video, and an interactive and searchable map, the new website will be easier to use and provide a range of levels of information from detailed research reports to short videos. The website will go live in 2017–18.

Partners Magazine continues to be a popular communication product with four issues published and distributed during the year. A special cookbook issue was developed in consultation with our ACIAR graduate research officers and received positive feedback when it was launched. A special edition on projects in Myanmar was published to coincide with the ACIAR Commission visit in March 2017.

ACIAR’s social media is in a healthy state. Considerable growth has been achieved thanks to a concerted effort to foster networks, create and share quality content and prioritise resources. Facebook and Twitter play the most prominent role in our social media efforts however all content that flows through these channels is intrinsically linked to activity on our website, blogspot, youtube and Instagram channels and those of our partners and social networks. In the 12 months from July 2016 followers of our Facebook account increased from 4,149 to 11,577. Similar growth has been achieved on Twitter and our other social accounts.

ACIAR ran a photographic competition in 2016–17 with the aim of fostering an appreciation of the wonderful R4D work ACIAR supports in the developing world and Australia. The competition marked the start of a reinvigorated effort by ACIAR to tell our story in different ways, allowing ACIAR to connect with the diverse audiences to create dialogue about the value of Agricultural research as a tool for agricultural development in our region. More than 90 entries were received with 25 images being selected for exhibition. The photographs were exhibited at the Australian National Botanic Gardens and are now being used in a range ACIAR digital and print publications.

Video is increasingly becoming a vital communications tool for government and the R4D sector. For ACIAR it is a key tool to raise the profile of the agency in Australia and overseas. The use of video in conjunction with social media platforms is playing an increasingly important role in our communications efforts. Sixteen program focused videos were commissioned and produced by the Outreach Team in 2016-17.

A number of corporate and research publications and more than 100 factsheets were produced to facilitate ACIAR’s external communications. A number of strategic documents were also developed, including country strategies for Myanmar, Cambodia, Sri Lanka and Vietnam.

Communication training was provided to ACIAR’s country office staff to build their skills in identifying and capturing the stories behind our research projects. This included training in taking photographs, writing captions and editing content for social media.

Towards the end of the financial year discussions were held with SBS Food Network about a potential new cooking program featuring ACIAR projects. Further development of the concept is underway.

The Outreach team assisted the Crawford Fund to take it’s 2016 journalist prize winner to visit three ACIAR projects in Nepal in June 2017. The result was a television story airing nationally on ABC’s Landline program about ACIAR’s research work in Nepal. The research projects visited were a community forestry project in northern Nepal, and in the Eastern Gangetic Plains a conservation agriculture project and a sustainable water use project.

Domestically, traditional media covered a number of ACIAR project related stories including the accreditation of an ACIAR forestry project from PNG under the QCC, the first shipment of Bougainville cocoa beans to Australia in more than 20 years and the 2017 cohort of the John Dillon Fellowship program.

Careful deliberation when piloting a household cattle survey in Ya Thar Village, Central Dry Zone, Myanmar
Careful deliberation when piloting a household cattle survey in Ya Thar Village, Central Dry Zone, Myanmar Photo: Elsa Glanville

Measuring research impacts

Overview

The Impact Assessment Program measures the difference ACIAR’s investment makes to research capabilities and the economic wellbeing of our target groups in our partner countries and Australia. The results are used to support the Centre’s public accountability, to improve project development and implementation and to provide valuable input into setting priorities for future activities. These activities help improve the accuracy of the information used in assessing research impacts and the effectiveness of the methodology used to quantify investment returns.

The Impact Assessment program commissions three types of assessments on finished projects:

The knowledge gained is also shared through ACIAR-funded and -delivered training courses on research evaluation.

Achievements

In 2016–17 assessments from the Impact Assessment Program included the completion of a series of studies on understanding the outcomes and impacts of capacity building amongst our partners in research projects using Vietnam case studies; development of an impact assessment framework that captures science-policy linkages; and an application of this framework to Aflatoxin research in Indonesia. Three IAS reports, with another in press, and an Adoption study of ACIAR project outputs for 2016 were published (see Appendix 5).

The Impact Assessment Program measures the difference ACIAR’s investment makes to research capabilities and the economic wellbeing of our target groups in our partner countries and Australia.

Impact assessments

Knowledge systems and RAPID framework for impact assessments

This report contributes towards the focus on the social and policy dimensions of impacts from research projects. It develops a framework for impact assessments which integrates two distinct literatures that link research with policy outcomes including knowledge systems and the research and policy for development (RAPID) literatures. The framework analyses how knowledge flows among different actors in development contexts and adds to ACIAR’s impact assessment methodologies that can be used in parallel, or combination with more quantitative impact assessment tools.

The knowledge systems approach tracks knowledge flows and processes among actors involved in projects. It assesses the extent to which those flows support observable action in decision-making and policy changes. An important element is the existence and function of boundary organisations which are groups that bring actors together and act as a conduit of knowledge between those involved in research and those addressing specific problems.

The RAPID approach, developed by the Overseas Development Institute, provides the contextual analysis required for an impact assessment. It promotes a greater understanding of how research can contribute to poverty reduction policies and improve the use of research and evidence in development policy and practice. A RAPID approach requires researchers to ask questions regarding the factors that influence development—links, evidence, political context and external pressures. Integration of the knowledge systems and RAPID approaches in a framework provides a way to document how scientific knowledge is absorbed and used by different actors, while acknowledging the development factors that influence change in specific contexts. Importantly, the report presents the framework, and outlines data requirements and possible stakeholder interview questions that can be applied by project teams, researchers and assessors for project or program monitoring and evaluation application or impact assessment.

Aflatoxin-reducing investments in South-East Asia

The main objective for this impact assessment was to determine how the project outputs from CP/1997/017 are being used by regulatory policymakers, research centres and the peanut industry in Indonesia and Australia, and the ultimate impact this has had on aflatoxin risk mitigation.

The ACIAR funded project led by Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries ‘Reducing aflatoxin in peanuts using agronomic management and biocontrol strategies in Indonesia and Australia’ (CP/1997/017) produced a range of technical outputs, including:

Benefits for Australia and Indonesia arose from the research investment. The major outputs from CP/1997/017 of interest for Australia were the technical tools such as AFLOMAN and the Peanut Whopper Cropper, and the biocontrol on-farm management strategies.

The impact included extensive knowledge flows, with 118 publications across different media, some of which had high numbers of readers outside the project. In Australia the ACIAR investments were made in a context where industry, research and government all had aligned interests in reducing the aflatoxin risk to consumers. Australia continues to have advanced knowledge and enforcement of aflatoxin regulation, and the CP/1997/017 on-farm and technical monitoring tools made a strong contribution to ongoing aflatoxin awareness across relevant actors. The context of Australia’s peanut production, which is carried out by a small number of producers, makes managing and monitoring aflatoxin a feasible task.

The major outputs from CP/1997/017 of interest for Indonesia included the ELISA tools, the skills built by Indonesian researchers, the identification of wet markets as the major risk point in the supply chain where aflatoxin occurs, and a general overview of the extent of aflatoxin awareness from survey results. An additional major output was the creation of the Aflatoxin Forum of Indonesia (AFI), which brought together researchers and policymakers to exchange knowledge on aflatoxin. The forum expanded to the Mycotoxin Forum of Indonesia (MFI) to diversify the focus beyond aflatoxin.

There were three kinds of impact on Indonesia from the CP/1997/017 project. The first was the high level of technical capacity built between Indonesian institutions. Interviews indicated that Indonesian research centres are now regional leaders in aflatoxin research. The increase in postgraduate students shows the ongoing capacity of senior researchers to supervise students in technical aflatoxin projects. The monitoring tools developed were technical, and Indonesian research institutes now have a strong capacity in designing and furthering their own aflatoxin research.

The second kind of impact was the establishment of links and networks. The AFI was established during the project as one of the main objectives. This forum continues and has expanded to include mycotoxins due to the diverse nature of the problem in Indonesia. The AFI has enabled researchers from different institutes to exchange the latest knowledge on aflatoxin.

The third was the long-term policy impact of the knowledge and linkages built throughout CP/1997/017 and the broader history of aflatoxin research investments. ACIAR investments ended in 2006, yet the MFI has continued. In 2009 a major regulatory policy development occurred, in which the Indonesian National Standardization Agency launched a new standard for maximum mycotoxin levels, expanding from aflatoxin-only policies. Key informants identified that ACIAR’s investments contributed to this change through both the research generated and the relationships developed through the project.

Recognising the contribution of capacity building in ACIAR bilateral projects

ACIAR typically fund activities across a spectrum, including human capacity building and the development of farm ready technologies, in pursuit of economic, social and environmental benefits. Activities occurring in research projects which build up stocks of human or scientific capital, are expected to contribute to the development of technologies in later projects as well as the current project. While generally the potential of these later contributions is identified, they have not been typically revisited or valued quantitatively.

This impact assessment study reports on the outcomes from ACIAR’s capacity building activities within a selection of research projects. This study uses case studies involving two research institutions in Vietnam: the Vietnam Academy of Forest Sciences and the Research Institute for Aquaculture It onsiders two ACIAR funded, CSIRO led forestry projects Acacia Hybrids in Vietnam (FST/1986/030) and Improved Australian Tree Species in Vietnam (FST/1993/118 and FST/1998/096) as well as one fishery project led by NSW Department of Primary Industries, Building Bivalve Hatchery Production Capacity in Vietnam and Australia (FIS/2005/114), partly funded by ACIAR. These projects have been subject to benefit–cost analyses. Objectives of the impact assessment included:

Vietnamese scientists identified a set of generic research tools common to the projects covered by the three benefit–cost analyses, including: trial management, experimental design, data analysis, scientific writing, English language and presentation skills, and scientific networks.

These skills were developed to a greater or lesser degree across all projects as the needs of the project demanded and the existing capacities of team members allowed. So, for example, there was little emphasis on experimental design and data analysis in the bivalve project because at that stage a breeding program had not yet been initiated.

These generic skills were not sufficient to achieve the project objectives, and it is likely they were less necessary to achieve project outcomes than some of the technical skills required to undertake the trials that were integral to the project’s success. However the Vietnamese scientists were quick to identify the contribution of ACIAR projects to the development of ‘softer’ skills such as scientific writing and English language and presentation skills. The pathway to changes in farm practice is more indirect for such capacities. Nevertheless, these skills will likely increase the access of Vietnamese scientists to the international scientific community and make new knowledge more accessible sooner. The opportunity to maintain and incrementally increase capacity was an important benefit for a succession of ACIAR-funded projects. This is an appealing argument but nevertheless must be supported by evidence that there is a plausible pathway to productivity gains by farmers and/or environmental or human health gains to the people of Vietnam.

Some skills acquired during capacity building were technical in nature and closely related to the projects’ research processes and the technology being developed. The potential future uses of these skills in developing technologies were relatively easy to infer. The specific skills developed in each project are enumerated in this report.

The project-specific skills developed in the Seeds of Australian Trees (SAT) and Domestication of Australian Trees (DAT) projects included: hybridisation, cutting propagation, seed technology skills (including seed extraction and storage), and managing a seed database (documentation and characterisation of seed).

The three projects all dealt with technologies needed to manage and breed from germplasm, hence the skills developed in the acacia hybrid and oyster projects have similar elements to those listed for the SAT and DAT projects.

Scientists formed a subjective judgement about the contribution to final project outcomes of capacity building activities relative to knowledge discovery activities in the form of experimental work. Both Australian and Vietnamese scientists for the acacia hybrid project rated capacity building to knowledge discovery as 20:80. For the SAT/DAT projects and the oyster project the Vietnamese rated the two equally (50:50) whereas the Australian scientists credited capacity building activities more highly (about 70:30) in achieving final outcomes. As expected, both the capacities developed, and the trials and experiments were necessary to achieving the projects’ outcomes of more profitable varieties but neither were sufficient on their own.

In all three cases, scientists were able to demonstrate that capacities built in the initial projects were key building blocks for succeeding ACIAR projects, for other research programmes in their institutions and for their own professional development. Furthermore, increased personal capacity in individual scientists has likely ‘spilled over’ into ‘institutional strengthening’ or institutional capacity. For example, scientists interviewed remarked that formal training (through the John Dillon Fellowships in particular) improved their project management skills, and informal training through bilateral research projects gave them a greater appreciation of the gains from cross-disciplinary teamwork.

Both Australian and Vietnamese scientists commented that working on ACIAR projects gave them a greater appreciation of the benefits from working in multidisciplinary teams. Some evidence for this teamwork comes in the form of jointly authored scientific papers. Increasing international recognition of Vietnamese scientists has led to increasing international recognition of the Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences and the Research Institute for Aquaculture No 1 and leadership in multilateral research partnerships—all evidence of increasing institutional capacity.

A series of learnings for ACIAR to better understand and target capacity building were identified and related to providing more attention on describing capacity building at all stages of the project development and reporting processes and in impact assessment studies. The intent is to develop a plausible impact pathway from capacity building activities that leads to future gains in economic welfare for farmers.

The project team at Hoa My Commune. The partnership between the Australian and Vietnamese agencies and farmers is strong at this study site.  The good working relationship has facilitated the flow of information among the stakeholders. This benefits the research as well as the dissemination strategy of the project.
The project team at Hoa My Commune. The partnership between the Australian and Vietnamese agencies and farmers is strong at this study site. The good working relationship has facilitated the flow of information among the stakeholders. This benefits the research as well as the dissemination strategy of the project. Photo: ACIAR

Adoption of ACIAR project outputs 2016–17

This report summarised the adoption results from five Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) projects completed in 2011–12. The projects involved five individual partner countries: PNG, Indonesia, the Philippines, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) and India. The projects themselves reflected a balance of technology, policy and knowledge outputs and covered a diversity of rural enterprises including three crop-related projects—sweetpotato; rice; and mixed production of corn, cassava, rice and vegetables, a livestock-related project focusing on enhancing veterinary service systems, and a project focused on watershed development policy.

The outputs from the projects were diverse, ranging from a comprehensive evaluation of institutional arrangements to ensure success of watershed development projects (in India) to identification and release of rice varieties (in Lao PDR). Most of the projects also involved capacity building in partner countries and institutions, ranging from formal university-based training to a variety of on-the-job training activities for technical staff, research scientists and farmers.

The five adoption studies indicate medium to high levels of adoption of the project results. In each case, the adoption results provide some useful lessons and observations. Relatively high levels of adoption of outputs from some of these projects appear to have been driven by strong economic incentives, such as improved production and incomes. While relatively low levels of adoption of other outputs resulted from different factors, including lack of incentives in the marketing chain, changes in policies relating to particular products, and risk aversion.

The results from the adoption studies reported here provide a number of lessons for ACIAR-funded projects; including:

Capacity building in evaluation and impact assessment

Information sessions on impact assessment and impact pathways were provided to researchers and project leaders throughout the year, including sessions with current John Allwright and John Dillon Fellowship holders.

Capacity building amongst partner country researchers in impact assessment and impact pathway planning and analysis was maintained. For example in PNG, the ACIAR supported Adoption and Diffusion Outcome Prediction Tool (ADOPT) tool was incorporated into ACIAR workshop training for National Agricultural Research Institute staff to plan for greater adoption of agricultural research outputs. The aim of this training was to provide participants with a deeper understanding of the socio-economic and environmental characteristics that influence the adoption of new practices and technologies by embedding Smallholder ADOPT in an Impact Pathway approach. The training for 14 participants occurred over five days within a participatory context and included farmer field visits and discussions. Learnings from this training will be integrated into future training for researcher partners.

Some of our Cambodian JAFs in Phnom Penh. Here with ACIAR Regional Manager Dulce, Prof Mom Seng of the Royal University of Agriculture, and JAFs (from left) San Sorn, Sonthida Sambath and Sotheary El.
Some of our Cambodian JAFs in Phnom Penh. Here with ACIAR Regional Manager Dulce, Prof Mom Seng of the Royal University of Agriculture, and JAFs (from left) San Sorn, Sonthida Sambath and Sotheary El.

Research Program Managers

Dr Andrew Alford
Dr Andrew Alford

Dr Andrew Alford is ACIAR’s Research Program Manager for our Impact Assessment program. He manages the professional evaluation of ACIAR’s R&D investments and develops methods to determine their effectiveness.

Dr Alford came to ACIAR from Meat and Livestock Australia (MLA), where he evaluated on-farm R&D investments.

He holds a Bachelor of Rural Science, a Master of Economics, and a PhD in bioeconomic modelling of beef cattle systems from the University of New England. He completed his PhD, which involved optimising cattle genetics on pasture-based systems, while working with the NSW Department of Primary Industries as a dairy extension officer and as a livestock researcher.

Dr Chris Barlow
Dr Chris Barlow

Dr Chris Barlow is Research Program Manager for the Fisheries Program. The Program focuses on both wild harvest fisheries and aquaculture, with activities spread across production strategies and environments, aimed at solving problems constraining the productive use and sustainability of fisheries and aquatic resources.

Dr Barlow was the Chief Technical Advisor of the Fisheries Program of the Mekong River Commission (MRC), based in Vientiane, Laos. Beginning in 2001, he set strategy for research programs, brokered major R&D partnerships between countries and organisations, and managed programs. Before this he worked with the Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries from 1983 onwards.

Tony Bartlett
Tony Bartlett

Tony Bartlett is Research Program Manager for Forestry, which supports the establishment, management and sustainable use of forests and agroforestry systems.

Mr Bartlett joined ACIAR in July 2010 from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry where he was responsible for Australian Government forestry and resource management programs.He has 40 years of experience in forestry, having worked in Victoria, Nepal, Vanuatu, the ACT and the Commonwealth.

He was awarded a Centenary Medal in 2003 for his contribution to Australian and international forestry.

He holds a Bachelor of Forestry Science from Melbourne and a Master of Science from Oxford.

Dr Evan Christen
Dr Evan Christen

Dr Evan Christen is the Research Program Manager for Land and Water Resources, which focuses on increasing water productivity through technical and water policy interventions.

Evan worked for 18 years as a research scientist for ACIAR, including on projects in Pakistan, China, and Cambodia, before taking up the Research Program Manager position.

Evan was born in Kenya, but completed his Masters in soil and water engineering at Cranfield University in the UK, where he was part of a team that collaborated with CSIRO. This led to an opportunity to complete his PhD in Australia, where he studied mole drainage for the control of waterlogging and salinity in irrigated agriculture.

Dr Jayne Curnow
Dr Jayne Curnow

Dr Jayne Curnow is the Research Program Manager for Agricultural Systems Management. Jayne is a social scientist with expertise in international development, program management and anthropology.

Before joining ACIAR, she worked at the International Water Management Institute, Sri Lanka, where she led a project mapping gender data and statistics related to water and agriculture with research teams in the Volta, Nile, Ganges and Mekong river basins.

She has also lectured in anthropology and development studies at the University of Adelaide, and worked for the World Bank in Indonesia, the Australian Department of Health and Ageing, and with several NGOs in East Timor on gender-based violence.

Dr John Dixon
Dr John Dixon

John Dixon is the Principal Advisor/Research Program Manager for the Cropping Systems and Economics (CSE) program, which aims to improve food security through making field crop farming systems more productive and sustainable.

Dr Dixon has over 30 years’ developing country experience with agricultural research and development, including cropping systems, economics and natural resource management, in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. He has worked for the CGIAR system, the CIMMYT, and the United Nations’ FAO.

He graduated from the University of New England with a PhD (agricultural economics), Masters (natural resources), Masters (economics) and Bachelor in Rural Science.

Dr Rodd Dyer
Dr Rodd Dyer

Dr Rodd Dyer is ACIAR’s Research Program Manager, Agribusiness, which aims to help farmers and agribusiness produce and market agricultural outputs at higher levels of productivity and quality.

Before working at ACIAR, Rodd managed the Northern Beef Program at Meat and Livestock Australia.

Rodd holds a PhD in agricultural economics from the University of Aberdeen, undertaken in association with the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in the Philippines. He also holds a Masters of Agricultural Science specialising in rangeland ecology and a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with Honours, both from the University of Queensland.

Dr Robert Edis
Dr Robert Edis

Dr Robert Edis is ACIAR’s Research Program Manager, Soil Management and Crop Nutrition.

The program focuses on researching interventions in tillage and water management, nutrient management, and crop rotations projects, designed in the context of a systems approach to conservation agriculture.

Before joining ACIAR, Robert ran an agricultural science consulting practice, tackling nationally and internationally important issues. Robert was a Soil Scientist at the Melbourne School of Land and Environment, University of Melbourne, where he is still an Honorary Associate Professor.

Robert holds a PhD from The University of Melbourne, specialising in Soil Science, and Master and Bachelor (Hons) awards in Science (Agriculture) from the University of Sydney.

Dr Eric Huttner
Dr Eric Huttner

Dr Eric Huttner is the Research Program Manager, Crop Improvement and Management.

A career in science and its applications, Eric graduated as an agricultural scientist in Paris (France) and went on to complete a doctor degree in plant molecular genetics in 1986, undertaking research at INRA in Versailles (France). In fulfilment of his French military service obligations, Eric worked as a post-doc in Shanghai (China) 1987-8. Eric moved to Australia to establish the Australian research arm for the French seed company Limagrain, based at the ANU in Canberra. In 2001 Eric became the founding General Manager of Diversity Arrays Technology, a Canberra start-up company delivering genetic analysis services to plant scientists and plant breeders worldwide. He left the private sector in 2012 to join ACIAR.

Dr Richard Markham
Dr Richard Markham

Dr Richard Markham is the Research Program Manager for Horticulture.

Dr Markham, a British national, has worked in international R4D since his graduate student days 30 years ago. Before joining ACIAR, he worked for the CGIAR centre, Bioversity International, where he led a large scientific team across several continents focusing on commodity crops as a source of livelihoods for rural communities.

His main research training and experience is in crop protection, but his research management responsibilities have covered germplasm conservation, crop protection, production, postharvest and marketing issues.

He has also worked in science writing on research, agricultural, environmental and development issues.

Dr Mike Nunn
Dr Mike Nunn

Mike Nunn is the Research Program Manager for Animal Health. This program focuses on issues that enable smallholder farmers to refine their livestock management towards production and income-generation, in contrast to ‘keeping’ livestock solely as an asset. The emphasis is on regionally significant diseases, including transboundary diseases, zoonotic diseases, diseases affecting production, and diseases affecting trade and market access.

Dr Nunn joined ACIAR in June 2012 after working for the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, where he was the Principal Scientist for Animal Biosecurity.

Dr Ejaz Qureshi
Dr Ejaz Qureshi

Dr Ejaz Qureshi is the Research Program Manager for the Agriculture Development Policy program, which studies how policies can influence adoption and further the outcomes of technical research.

Dr Qureshi has more than 15 years’ experience dealing with natural resource management and associated policies. He has worked extensively in Australia, China, Pakistan, Indonesia and India.

He has received many CSIRO awards including the Land and Water Chief’s High Impact Studies Award and the Strategic Excellence Look Out Award (2007) in recognition of his contribution to urban water economic modelling. He also received the Social and Economic Science Program Award in 2012 and the Julius Career Award in 2013.

Dr Werner Stür
Dr Werner Stür

Dr Werner Stür is the Research Program Manager for the Livestock Production Systems program, which focuses on enabling equitable access to markets; optimising crop-livestock systems; and livestock production.

For much of his working life Werner has been involved in livestock R4D, with a focus on forages, feeding and livestock production in smallholder farming systems in Asia. He has worked as a researcher for the University of New England, the University of Queensland and CIAT based in Australia, Laos, the Philippines and Thailand.

He completed his undergraduate degree in Germany and PhD at the University of Queensland, Australia.

ACIAR Commissioners at peak hour on the 10-lane roadway in the Myanmar capital, Nay Pyi Taw. L-R: Andrew Campbell, Catherine Marriott, Tony Gregson, Lucinda Corrigan and Don Heatley, with Country Programs General Manager, Peter Horne
ACIAR Commissioners at peak hour on the 10-lane roadway in the Myanmar capital, Nay Pyi Taw. L-R: Andrew Campbell, Catherine Marriott, Tony Gregson, Lucinda Corrigan and Don Heatley, with Country Programs General Manager, Peter Horne

Corporate governance

ACIAR’s governance framework

ACIAR's Governane Framework

Chief Executive Officer

The office and role of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is established in Sections 4A and 5 of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Act 1982 (the Act). The CEO manages the affairs of the Centre and its staff, subject to, and in accordance with, any directions given by the Minister under Section 5. Specifically, the CEO’s functions are to:

The Governor-General appoints the CEO for a term of up to seven years and the appointment is subject to the determinations of the Remuneration Tribunal. The Tribunal has determined the CEO to be an officer in the Principal Executive Officer (PEO) structure, at PEO Band C. The Minister is the identified Employing Body for remuneration purposes.

The CEO holds responsibilities as Head of Agency as set out in the Public Governance Performance and Accountability Act 2013 and the Public Service Act 1999, respectively. The CEO is not subject to direction by the Commission in relation to the performance of functions or exercise of powers under these Acts.

Following the resignation of Dr Nick Austin on 30 June 2016, Mr David Shearer acted as the CEO until the appointment of a new CEO on 1 August 2016, being Professor Andrew Campbell.

ACIAR’s CEO is directly responsible to the Minister for managing the affairs of ACIAR, in a way that provides proper use of the Commonwealth resources for which the CEO is responsible. The agency head is also responsible for managing the agency with direct accountability to the Australian Government.

CEO remuneration

The remuneration of the CEO is subject to the relevant determinations of the Remuneration Tribunal. These provisions enable the Minister to determine the total remuneration, superannuation salary and performance pay components of the remuneration package, within the parameters of Remuneration Tribunal Determination 2015/19.

The CEO’s remuneration package at 30 June 2017 consisted of:

The Commission for International Agricultural Research

The Commission for International Agricultural Research (the Commission), is established under the Act to provide collective decision-making and expert strategic advice to the Minister on ACIAR’s operations. The functions of the Commission, as set out at Section 9 of the Act, are:

Commission meetings

The Act requires that at least four Commission meetings are held each financial year. During the 2016–17 financial year, the Commission met four times. The dates and locations of those meetings are as follows:

Meeting Date Location
36th meeting 19–23 September 2016 Canberra/Regional Queensland
37th meeting 5–6 December 2016 Canberra
38th meeting 27 February – 3 March 2017 Myanmar
39th meeting 5–6 June 2017 Canberra

Commission composition

Section 8 of the Act, provides that the Commission consists of a Chair and six other Commissioners. Commissioners are appointed by the Governor–General by written instrument. A Commissioner holds office for the period specified in the instrument of appointment, not exceeding three years. At 30 June 2017, the Commission comprised:

Commissioner Appointment dates Meetings attended
Mr Don Heatley OAM (Chair) 18 Aug 2015 to 30 June 2017 4
Professor Andrew Campbell (CEO) 31 July 2016 to 31 July 2019 4
Mr John Cook 18 Aug 2015 to 30 June 2017 3
Ms Lucinda Corrigan 18 Aug 2015 to 30 June 2017 3
Dr Tony Gregson 18 Aug 2015 to 30 June 2017 4
Professor Sandra Harding 6 June 2016 to 5 May 2019 2
Ms Catherine Marriott 18 Aug 2015 to 30 June 2017 4
Mr Don Heatley

Mr Don Heatley (Chair) is a fifth generation north Queensland cattle farmer with two stations and 8,000 head of cattle on the lower Burdekin River.

The family business has fine-tuned its production systems over the time of Mr Heatley’s management to produce beef for highly specialised markets in Korea, Japan and the United States, giving him a strong understanding of international agribusiness value chains. Mr Heatley is a passionate and committed advocate for both promotion of Australian agribusiness interests overseas and investing in the strengthening of domestic agribusinesses in developing countries. He has more than 30 years’ experience promoting the Australian beef industry internationally, including through roles on state livestock councils, the Cattle Council of Australia and as Chair of Meat and Livestock Australia. Mr Heatley has taken a strong personal interest in provision of the research and development support to domestic beef industries throughout Southeast Asia and the Middle East. He has travelled extensively throughout these regions representing the Australian beef industry with regional governments and industry.

Professor Andrew Campbell

Professor Andrew Campbell is the CEO of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).

Through a series of influential national roles, Professor Campbell has been at the leading edge of sustainable agriculture and natural resource management science and policy in Australia for more than 30 years. He has long been recognised for his visionary work on the relationship between people and land, firstly in developing the concept of whole farm planning, and then through Landcare, as Australia’s first National Landcare Facilitator.

Professor Campbell was previously Director of the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods at Charles Darwin University, CEO of Land & Water Australia, Managing Director of Triple Helix Consulting, and Senior Executive in the Australian Government environment portfolio. He is an adjunct Professorial Fellow at Charles Darwin University, a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University’s Fenner School and a Commissioner with the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s World Commission on Protected Areas.

Mr John Cook

Mr John Cook has more than 20 years’ experience in the food and agribusiness industries with Kellogg’s, Burns Philp, Berri Limited, Australian Pork Limited and Golden Circle.

He is a Principal Project Consultant with Business for Millennium Development, an independent Australian based not-for-profit organisation that encourages and facilitates inclusive business activities that contribute to the Millennium Development Goals. He has held a variety of senior management positions across Asia. Mr Cook has been a Member of the Agri-Food Council of Australia, a Trustee and Director of the Australian Food Foundation, an Executive Committee Member of the Grocery Manufacturers of Australia and a Councillor of the NSW Chamber of Manufacturers. He has been a Director of the Australian Food and Grocery Council and a Member of the Victorian Food Industry Consultation Group. From 2000-2003, Mr Cook undertook a three-year term as a non-executive director of the Melbourne Markets Authority, a role which led to his serving as the Executive Chairman of the food industry’s e-commerce initiative Fresh Chain Limited.

Ms Lucinda Corrigan

Ms Lucinda Corrigan is a Director of Rennylea, a leading beef genetics business, running 3,000 head of cattle across five properties in the Murray Valley of NSW. Rennylea supplies genetic products to commercial producers across Australia and to international markets.

Ms Corrigan has skills and experience in research and development, genetics, natural resource management, communications, marketing and advocacy, and for 20 years has served as a non-executive director on agrifood industry bodies and innovation companies. During the last decade she has been a director of four cooperative research centres (CRCs) and was Deputy Chairman of the Future Farm Industries CRC, retiring in December 2011. She is Chair of the advisory committee of the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, a partnership between Charles Sturt University and the NSW Department of Primary Industries, which provides multi-disciplinary and integrated research to increase the profitability of the grain and livestock industries. In the Holbrook community, she is convenor of the local beef group’s activities. She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. She has also received several awards: Agribusiness Leader for Women in Australian Agribusiness; NAB Agribusiness Primary Producer of the Year and the Helen Newton Turner Medal for contribution to Animal Breeding and Genetics.

Dr Tony Gregson is a grain grower from Victoria’s Wimmera region with an extensive science and corporate research management background.

Dr Tony Gregson

He currently chairs Plant Health Australia and formerly chaired the Board of Trustees for Bioversity International, which provides scientific evidence of the role that on-farm and wild agricultural and forest biodiversity can play in a more nutritious, resilient, productive and adaptable food and agricultural system. He is an Adjunct Professor in Environmental Management at the University of Ballarat and a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, Chairman of the University of Melbourne, School of Botany Foundation and a director of Rural Industries Skills Training based in Hamilton, Victoria. He is a former chairman of two CRCs, a former inaugural member of the CSIRO and GRDC Boards, and a former member of the CIMMYT, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, and the Rural Finance Corporation of Victoria Boards.

Professor Sandra Harding is the Vice Chancellor and President of James Cook University, Australia.

Professor Sandra Harding

In this role, she is responsible for ensuring clear and effective leadership and management of the University across all operating sites, including campuses in Cairns, Singapore and Townsville. She has extensive academic and academic leadership experience. An economic sociologist by training, her areas of enduring academic interest include work, organisation and markets and how they work. She also has a keen interest in public policy in two key areas: education policy and related areas; and; the global Tropics, northern Australia and economic development. Professor Harding has undertaken a wide variety of external roles within the business community and the higher education sector.

Ms Catherine Marriott

Ms Catherine Marriott has always worked in agriculture and is inspired by the industries potential.

She uses her Rural Science Degree to understand the technical aspects of agriculture, while improving policy, research relevance and market access through her role as the CEO for the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association, a representative body working towards maximising the value of the northern beef industry. Throughout her career, she has developed skills in communication, project management, stakeholder engagement, entrepreneurship, corporate governance and community development. These skills have helped Catherine build national and international relationships through on the ground project delivery. She is passionate about living and learning and sharing her knowledge and experiences with others. Catherine uses her understanding of strategy, leadership, policy direction and business to create influence, not only here in Australian agriculture, but agriculture globally. Catherine is a graduate of the Australian Rural Leadership Program, a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and in the 2012, a RIRDC Rural Women’s Award Recipient and the national runner-up.

Disclosure of interests

Commissioners are required to disclose to the Minister and to the Commission any direct or indirect pecuniary interest that may conflict with the proper performance of the Commissioners’ functions. A Commissioner who has an interest in a matter being considered by the Commission must not be present during any deliberation by the Commission on the matter and must not take part in any decision of the Commission with respect to the matter. The disclosure and the nature of the interest are recorded in the Commission meeting minutes, which are available for consideration by the Centre’s auditors.

Ministerial directions

Written directions may be given to the CEO by the Minister regarding the exercising of his powers or the performance of his functions. This includes directions with respect to the commissioning of particular research. In 2016–17 there were no directions given.

Commission costs

The direct cost of Commission operations during 2016–17 was $177,271 including fees, travel and other meeting expenses. The CEO’s salary and other management costs are not included. The comparative figure for 2015–16 for the Commission was $141,146.

Fees for the Chair and Members of the Commission are set by the Remuneration Tribunal. The daily fees for the Chair and Members (other than the CEO) were $941 and $706 respectively as at 30 June 2017.

Policy Advisory Council

The Policy Advisory Council (the Council) is established under Section 17 of the Act and provides advice to the Minister on strategic aspects of national and regional development. The Council’s functions are to provide advice to the Minister regarding:

The Council’s role utilises partner countries’ stakeholder knowledge to provide a valuable overview for advising the Minister, the Commission and the Centre on matters including:

Council composition

The Council’s membership is limited to 13, comprising a President, the Secretary of DFAT or her nominee, and no less than nine, nor more than 11 other members appointed by the Minister. Predominantly, members are appointed from stakeholder organisations in partner countries to bring a range of agricultural and development experience. Under the Act, the Minister is required to ensure that a substantial number of the Council members are residents of countries other than Australia, having regard for the knowledge of appointees concerning the agricultural problems of developing countries or their experience in organising or conducting agricultural research.

Council meeting

Each year the Council holds a meeting in Australia over several days to discuss areas related to its role and functions. During 2016–17 the Council met in Canberra on 19–20 September 2016, followed by site visits 21–23 September 2016.

On Monday 19 September, the Council conducted its annual meeting. On Tuesday 20 September the Council participated in a roundtable discussion with ACIAR’s senior managers, followed by a joint meeting with the Commission. During the meeting in Canberra, the Council were visited by Dr RK Malik, winner of the Crawford Fund’s 2015 Derek Tribe Award Winner focusing on his work, 30 years of agricultural R4D, and improving livelihoods of farmers and their communities in India.. The program for this meeting also included meetings and field visits with the University of the Sunshine Coast, the Gatton campus of the University of Queensland, School of Agriculture and Food Science and, attendance at the 6th McDonnell Academy International Symposium which included a keynote address by the ACIAR CEO, Professor Andrew Campbell on food, water and sustainability.

The overlaying theme for the 35th Council meeting was Climate Change: emerging research needs relating to agriculture with a focus on research:

Council membership (as at 30 June 2017)

Member Term of appointment
Professor Kym Anderson AC Professor of Economics
University of Adelaide
Crawford School of Public Policy
AUSTRALIA
President Appointed President 1 October 2014 – 30 September 2017
Professor Ramesh Chand Member, Union Minister of State
National Institute of Transforming India (NITI) Aayog INDIA
Appointed Member 2 February 2017 - 1 February 2020
Sir Brown Bai KBE CSM CBE Managing Director
Tola Investments Limited
Gordons PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Appointed member 7 March 2005 – 6 March 2008
15 May 2008 – 14 May 2011
22 August 2011 – 21 August 2014
22 August 2014 – 21 August 2017
Mr Xaypladeth Choulamany Department of Planning and Cooperation,
Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry
Vientiane LAO PDR
Appointed member 22 August 2014 – 21 August 2017
Dr Leah Buendia Director, Policy Coordination and Monitoring Division
Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development
Los Baños THE PHILIPPINES
Appointed member 22 August 2014 – 21 August 2017
Dr M Syakir Director General
Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development. Minister of Agriculture
Jakarta INDONESIA
Appointed member 3 August 2015 – 2 August 2018
Dr Jia Jingdun Director General
China Rural Technology Development Centre
Ministry of Science and Technology
Beijing PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
Appointed member 10 March 2003 – 9 March 2006
10 March 2006 – 9 March 2009
18 September 2009 – 17 September 2011
17 April 2013 – 3 August 2016
3 August 2016 - 2 August 2019
Dr Nguyen Van Bo President
Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences
VIETNAM
Appointed Member 3 August 2016 - 2 August 2019
Dr Lindiwe Majele Sibanda CEO
Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN)
SOUTH AFRICA
Appointed Member 3 August 2016 to 2 August 2019
Dr Colin Tukuitonga Director General
Secretariat of the Pacific Community
Noumea
PACIFIC
Appointed Member 3 August 2015 to 2 August 2018
HE Naela Chohan High Commissioner
Pakistan High Commission to Australia
PAKISTAN
Appointed Member 31 March 2017 - 30 March 2020
Dr Sar Chetra Deputy Director
Indonesian Agency for Agricultural Research and Development. Minister of Agriculture
CAMBODIA
Appointed Member 3 August 2016 - 2 August 2019
Nominee of the Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade AUSTRALIA Ex-officio member

Financial accountability and compliance

ACIAR, as a statutory authority, is subject to the policy guidelines determined by government from time to time regarding accountability, reporting, review and general operations. The agency is accountable through the Minister to Parliament. It is also subject to government financial and accounting policies and procedures. Staff members are employed under the Public Service Act 1999. Within these constraints, the Centre has the power to do all things it considers appropriate for the performance of its statutory functions.

ACIAR’s authority derives from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Act 1982 (ACIAR Act). Financial powers and duties are also drawn from the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and subordinate Rules, and from the Public Service Act 1999 in the case of staffing.

The Centre follows accounting practices in accordance with the PGPA Act, other related legislation, and recognised accounting standards. ACIAR’s financial statements are presented in accrual accounting format in the ‘Financial Statements’ section of this report. The financial statements have been audited by the Australian National Audit Office.

Insurances

Primary corporate insurance for the Centre is provided through Comcover as the manager of the Commonwealth’s insurable risks. Comcover’s coverage includes general and products liability, professional indemnity, CEO’s and officers’ liability, property loss and damage, personal accident and official travel. The insurance premium for 2016-17 was $40,722 (excluding GST). The premium paid for 2015–16 was $35,082 (excluding GST).

Liability and professional indemnity insurances were not invoked in 2016–17.

Risk management and business continuity planning

The Audit Committee is responsible for monitoring risk management and business continuity planning.

Audit Committee

ACIAR’s Audit Committee is established in accordance with Section 45 of the PGPA Act.

The committee’s primary role is to provide independent assurance to the CEO on ACIAR’s financial and performance reporting responsibilities, risk oversight and management, and system of internal control.

Four Audit Committee meetings were held in 2016–17. Audit Committee membership and attendance during the year were as follows:

Member Meetings eligible to attend Meetings attended
Ms Anthea Tinney Chair/External Member
(appointed 12 September 2013)
4 4
Ms Christine Quick External Member
(appointed 30 June 2015)
4 4
Dr Eric Huttner ACIAR, Research Program Manager
(appointed 24 July 2015)
4 4
Mr Albert Blair ACIAR, Chief Finance Officer
(ex-officio, commenced 23 May, 2010)
4 4

Each committee meeting was supported by advisers from ACIAR external auditors (Australian National Audit Office), internal auditors (EY) and relevant agency staff with secretariat support provided by the ACIAR finance team.

Internal audit

Internal audit forms an important part of ACIAR’s governance framework, providing an integral contribution to governance, risk management and control. In 2016–17, internal audit activity consisted of a review of ACIAR’s information technology security.

All recommendations arising from this review were either satisfactorily addressed during the year or were in the process of being addressed.

Countering fraud

ACIAR’s fraud prevention, investigation, reporting and data collection procedures and processes meet our specific needs and comply with Commonwealth fraud control requirements.

ACIAR’s fraud control plan is focused on raising awareness among staff, through fraud prevention training, fostering an ethical and professional working environment aligned with the Australian Public Service (APS) Values and APS Code of Conduct, and maintaining strong internal control and audit processes that reduce fraud risks.

The Audit Committee is responsible for overseeing implementation of the fraud control plan. The plan is brought to the attention of new staff as part of ACIAR’s induction process and is available electronically to all staff.

The CEO’s Fraud Compliance Statement follows.

Statement by the Chief Executive Officer

Chief Finance Officer’s review

ACIAR’s operations are split between administered and departmental activities. Departmental activities involve the use of assets, liabilities, income and expenses controlled or incurred by ACIAR in its own right (costs of running the business). Administered activities involve the management or overseeing by ACIAR, on behalf of the Australian Government, of items controlled or incurred by the government (program delivery).

The Agency’s departmental and administered activities are segregated in the financial statements.

Departmental activity

The net operating result for 2016–17 was a surplus of $0.511 million (2015-16: surplus $0.224 million). Excluding depreciation and amortisation and other asset adjustments including re-valuations and write-downs, the surplus was $0.636 million (2015–16: $0.518 million). The surplus corresponds with self-funded expenditure on improving ACIAR’s business systems which was capitalised during the year.

Revenue included a direct appropriation of $9.494 million (2015–16: $9.657 million) supplemented by other income of $2.049 million (2015–16: $1.905 million). Other income was mostly fees derived from the management of research monies received under separate agreements or records of understanding with external parties.

The main components of departmental expenditure ($11.124 million; 2015-16: $11.338 million) were staff costs $7.255 million, operating expenses (e.g. property expenses, travel, IT, communications, etc.) $3.623 million, and depreciation, amortisation and other asset write-downs of $0.246 million.

Administered activity

Total administered funds appropriated to ACIAR for 2016–17 was $93.993 million (2015–16: $81.629 million). The 2016–17 appropriated funds were fully utilised. ACIAR received an additional $12.273 million (2015–16: $12.411 million) under separate agreements or records of understanding with external parties.

Total programme expenditure for 2016–17 was $111.284 million (2015–16: $100.050 million). This included $17.796 million (2015–16: $18.579 million) expenditure of monies received under separate agreements or records of understanding with external parties (mainly DFAT).

The pie charts below present a summary picture of total departmental and administered revenue and expenditure for 2016–17 compared with 2015–16. Administered revenue included in appropriation revenue is the non-lapsing portion of the total available administered appropriations as approved by government.

Accounting policies

ACIAR complies with relevant accounting standards and legislative reporting requirements.

ACIAR revenue and expenditure

ACIAR revenue 2016–17

ACIAR revenue 2016–17

ACIAR expenditure 2016–17

ACIAR expenditure 2016–17

ACIAR revenue 2015–16

ACIAR revenue 2015–16

ACIAR expenditure 2015–16

ACIAR expenditure 2015–16

Graphical crops,Orissa, India. Women farmers spread rice husks to be dried on a concrete platform.
Graphical crops,Orissa, India. Women farmers spread rice husks to be dried on a concrete platform. Photo: Rajesh Dhar

Financial statements

Financial Statement contents page Independent Auditor's Report Independent Auditor's Report Statement by Chief Executive Officer and Chief Finance Officer Statement of Comprehensive Income for the period ended 30 June 2017.  Statement of Financial Position as at 30 June 2017.  Statement of Changing Equity for the period ended 30 June 2017. Cash Flow Statement for the period ended 30 June 2017 Administered Schedule of Comprehensive Income for the period ended 30 June 2017. Administered Schedule of Assets and Liabilities as at 30 June 2017. Administered Reconciliation Schedule Administered Cash Flow Statement for the period ended 30 June 2017. Overview Financial Performance
This section analyses the financial performance of ACIAR for the year ended 2017. 1.1 Expenses 1.1 Expenses (con't) 1.2 Own-Source Revenue and Gains Income and Expenses Administered on Behalf of Government
This section analyses the activities that ACIAR does not control but administers on behalf of the Government. Unless otherwise noted, the accounting policies adopted are consistent with those applied for Departmental reporting.  2.1: Administered – Expenses 2.2: Administered – Income Financial Position This section analyses the ACIAR's assets used to conduct its operations and the operating liabilities incurred as a result. Employee related information is disclosed in the People and Relationships section.  3.1: Financial Assets 3.2: Non-Financial Assets 3.2: Non-Financial Assets (con't) 3.2: Non-Financial Assets 3.3 Payables Assets and Liabilities Administered on Behalf of Government This section analyses assests used to conduct operations and the operating liabilities incurred as a result which ACIAR does not control but administers on behalf of the Government. Unless otherwise noted, the accounting policies adopted are consistent with those applied for Departmental reporting.   4.1: Administered - Financial Assets 4.2: Administered – Payables Funding
This section identifies ACIAR's funding structure.  5.1: Appropriations 5.1: Appropriations (con't) 5.1: Appropriations (con't) 5.2: Special Accounts 5.3: Net Cash Appropriation Arrangements People and relationships This section describes a range of employment and post employment benefits provided to our people and our relationships with other people.  6.1 Employee Provisions 6.2 Key Management Personnel Remuneration 6.3 Related Party Disclosures Managing uncertainties This section analyses how the ACIAR manages financial risks within its operating environment.  7.1A: Contingent Assets and Liabilities 7.1B: Administered – Contingent Assets and Liabilities 7.2: Financial Instruments 7.3: Administered - Financial Instruments 7.4: Fair Value Measurements

Annual performance statement 2016–17

Men mill a truck load of logs delivered to the Chaubas sawmill. This ACIAR funded project led by the University of Adelaide  community-based enterprise at the saw mill. The saw mill employs seven local men and also enables the community to value add to their timber by milling it themselves. Recently 1 hectare of trees in the Chapani community forest were thinned and sold for 1 million rupees, that was divided between the 90 families in Chaubas. This meant each family received roughly $150 AUD, a significant cash injection for these rural communities.  The forest has also been a crucial resource for the community when rebuilding their homes after the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake.
Men mill a truck load of logs delivered to the Chaubas sawmill. This ACIAR funded project led by the University of Adelaide community-based enterprise at the saw mill. The saw mill employs seven local men and also enables the community to value add to their timber by milling it themselves. Recently 1 hectare of trees in the Chapani community forest were thinned and sold for 1 million rupees, that was divided between the 90 families in Chaubas. This meant each family received roughly $150 AUD, a significant cash injection for these rural communities. The forest has also been a crucial resource for the community when rebuilding their homes after the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake. Photo: Conor Ashleigh

Statement of preparation

I, Colin Andrew Campbell, as the accountable authority of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), present the 2016–17 Annual Performance Statement of ACIAR, as required under paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act) and the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2000, the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Public Service Act 1999. In my opinion, this Annual Performance Statement is based on properly maintained records, accurately reflect the performance of the entity, and comply with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act.

Signature of Andrew Campbell

Colin Andrew Campbell
Chief Executive Officer

Purpose

ACIAR’s function is prescribed in the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Act 1982 (ACIAR Act) and is administered by the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Our goal is to achieve more productive and sustainable agricultural systems for the benefit of developing countries and Australia through international agricultural research and training partnerships.

ACIAR has one administered program: International agricultural research for development for more productive and sustainable agriculture. This program is delivered through a number of initiatives aligning closely with Australian aid policy.

As outlined in the Portfolio Budget Statement 2016-17 ACIAR’s purpose appears as a single outcome:
To achieve more productive and sustainable agricultural systems for the benefit of developing countries and Australia through international agricultural research and training partnerships.

It is anticipated that this purpose will remain unchanged over the next four years, although the focus on particular geographic areas may change in response to changing needs in individual countries and regions.

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is Australia’s specialist international agricultural research for development (R4D) agency. It contributes to Australia’s aid objectives for countries of the Indo-Pacific region through bilateral and multilateral research partnerships designed to improve the productivity and profitability of their agricultural systems and the capacity of their associated innovation systems. The main intended beneficiaries of these programs are farmers, rural poor, consumers, researchers and policymakers in developing countries. Australian farmers and researchers also benefit.

These programs are directly guided by the Australian Government’s development policy, ACIAR’s Annual Operational Plan and Corporate Plan 2016–20. At global, regional and country levels, the programs are adjusted on an annual basis in response to changing national and international priorities, issues and needs.

The following table illustrates, by means of a sample of projects, the agencies achievement against the Focus Areas in the ACIAR corporate Plan 2016-20 and the Key Performance Indicators in the Portfolio Budget Statement.

Delivery of research projects is a major indicator of our performance. In assessing the benefits of the projects, it is important to recognise that most agricultural research has long term pathways to development impact.

Along these impact pathways, project outputs (deliverables) are adopted by next and ultimately final users, leading to improvements in the social, economic and environmental conditions. Generally, farm-level impacts are realised over many years after the completion of the project, most often concentrated in the first 5-20 years.

Overcoming constraints to community-based commercial forestry in Indonesia
Overcoming constraints to community-based commercial forestry in Indonesia Photo: Paul Jones

Program Highlights

Below is a selection of highlights from across ACIAR’s portfolio that illustrate some of the impacts and achievements of our initiatives.

Mr Luis Almeida, former John Alwright Fellow at the University of Western Australia, now research officer with ACIAR project Ai-Com in Timor Leste answers questions from the press at the launch of the project in Dili, April 2017.
Mr Luis Almeida, former John Alwright Fellow at the University of Western Australia, now research officer with ACIAR project Ai-Com in Timor Leste answers questions from the press at the launch of the project in Dili, April 2017. Photo: Eric Huttner
Portfolio Budget Statement 2016–17 Key Performance Indicators Corporate Plan 2016–17 Performance Focus Areas Achieved Sample Projects
ACIAR will improve agricultural competitiveness and sustainability, increase value chain efficiency and effectiveness, and alleviate regulatory impediments in relation to both domestic and international markets. These performance indicators will be measured through monitoring and evaluation of project outputs, analysis of the adoption of project outcomes and through an ongoing impact assessment programme. ACIAR will monitor performance through:
  • continuous project management
  • annual project reporting
  • mid-term and end-of project reviews
  • adoption studies
  • impact assessments
  • an annual strategy refresh.
Yes 221 active research projects in 2016-17
Annual project reports submitted and accepted. Mid-term and end-of project reviews undertaken. Published Impact assessment studies:
IAS93: Recognising the Contribution of Capacity Building in ACIAR Bilateral Projects: Case Studies from Three IAS Reports IAS92: Knowledge systems and RAPID framework for impact assessments Published adoption studies:
AS013: Adoption of ACIAR project outputs 2016
New technologies that enhance agricultural productivity, food sufficiency, diversification and health and nutrition; Productivity and profitability of agricultural systems.
  • increased incomes and employment
  • Innovative and diversified enterprise options
  • Enhanced smallholder access to markets and
  • value chains
  • Improved nutritional quality and diversity
  • of diets
  • Increased productivity in agricultural systems
  • Increased quality of agricultural products.
Yes CIM/2013/009: Molecular marker technologies for faster wheat breeding in India 2 CSE/2012/077: Mechanisation and value adding for diversification of lowland cropping systems in Lao PDR and Cambodia has investigated and strengthened Mechanisation value chains and increased farm incomes. FIS/2012/101: Developing technologies for giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus) aquaculture in Vietnam, the Philippines and Australia FIS/2014/062: Improving technologies for inland aquaculture in Papua New Guinea HORT/2010/089: Adapting integrated crop management technologies to commercial citrus enterprises in Bhutan and Australia HORT/2012/020: Integrated crop management to enhance vegetable profitability and food security in the southern Philippines and Australia. SMCN/2011/046: “MyRice” Diversification and intensification of rice based systems in lower Myanmar
New technologies that enhance agricultural productivity, food sufficiency, diversification and health and nutrition; ASEM/2014/052: Smallholder farmer decision-making and technology adoption in southern Lao PDR: opportunities and constraints ASEM2012/073 Improving food security in the northern uplands of Lao PDR: identifying drivers and overcoming barriers ASEM 2012/072 Strengthening livelihoods for food security amongst cocoa and oil palm farming communities in PNG AH/2011/054 Improving livelihoods of small-scale livestock producers in the central dry zone through research on animal production and health in Myanmar CSE 2013/008 SIMLESA program
The Sustainable Intensification of Maize-Legume cropping systems for food security in Eastern and Southern Africa FSC-2013-006: Increasing irrigation water productivity in Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe through on-farm monitoring, adaptive management and Agricultural Innovation Platforms FSC/2012/014: Improving sustainable productivity in farming systems and enhanced livelihoods through adoption of evergreen agriculture in eastern Africa’ shortened as ‘Trees for food security’ (T4FS)
New knowledge that improves agricultural productivity and management systems and enhances market opportunities; Sustainability
  • Improved natural resource management
  • Greater resilience and diversity of
  • production systems
Yes LPS/2008/048: Sustainable livestock grazing systems on Chinese temperate grasslands AGB/2016/008: Opportunities and strategies to improve biosecurity, market access and trade for selected mango markets FST/2014/099: Enhancing Private sector-led development of the canarium industry in PNG FST/2012/091: Biological control of galling insect pests of eucalypt plantations in the Mekong region FST/2014/064: Maximising productivity of Eucalyptus and Acacia plantations for growers in Indonesia and Vietnam
New knowledge that improves agricultural productivity and management systems and enhances market opportunities;
  • Increased ability to adapt to and mitigate
  • climate change
  • Strengthened plant and animal biosecurity.
AH/2012/066: Improving the production and competitiveness of Australian and Philippines pig production through better health and disease control ASEM/2012/081: Improving market engagement, postharvest management and productivity of the Cambodian and Lao PDR vegetable industries ASEM/2014/053: Developing cassava production and marketing systems to enhance smallholder livelihoods in Cambodia and Lao PDR CSE 2011/077 Sustainable and Resilient Intensification of Farming Systems in the Eastern Gangetic Plains has successfully adapted and demonstrated conservation agriculture based sustainable intensification which improves water use efficiency, soil management and farming systems resilience. FIS/2010/042: Expansion and diversification of production and management systems for sea cucumbers in the Philippines, Vietnam and northern Australia HORT/2010/069: Enabling improved plant biosecurity practices in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Thailand HORT/2012/003: Building a resilient mango industry in Cambodia and Australia through improved production and supply chain practices HORT/2012/095: Tropical tree fruit research and development in the Philippines and northern Australia to increase productivity, resilience and profitability HORT/2012/113: Integrated disease management strategies for the productive, profitable and sustainable production of high quality papaya fruit in the southern Philippines and Australia HORT/2012/011 Understanding the responses of taro and cassava to climate change
New knowledge that improves agricultural productivity and management systems and enhances market opportunities; SMCN/2014/044: Management of nutrients for improved profitability and sustainability of crop production in Central Myanmar SMCN/2014/088: Integrated resource management for vegetable production in Lao PDR and Cambodia SMCN/2014/089: Improving soil health, agricultural productivity and food security on atolls, particularly on the outer islands of Kiribati and producing approaches applicable to all atoll environments in the Pacific.
Greater capability for scientific excellence, agricultural innovation and agribusiness development among researchers, research institutions, policy makers and development partners Capability
  • Increased research capacity amongst
  • partner countries at the individual and
  • institutional level
  • Improved evidence and capacity to support
  • policy development
  • Improved social inclusion and greater
  • empowerment of women and girls
  • Enhanced linkages between research partners
Yes LPS/2010/047 Reducing disease risks and improving food safety in smallholder pig value chains in Vietnam AGB/2016/006: Supporting access to mango research information, communication, collaboration and capacity development CIM-2013-005 sorghum breeding in Ethiopia (co-funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and ACIAR). FST/2015/040: Enhancing community-based commercial forestry in Indonesia ASEM/2010/052: Examining women’s business acumen in Papua New Guinea: Working with women smallholders in horticulture ASEM/2014/054: Identifying opportunities and constraints for rural women’s engagement in small-scale agricultural enterprises in Papua New Guinea ASEM/2014/095: Improving opportunities for economic development for women smallholders in rural Papua New Guinea CSE/2014/086: Crop-livestock systems platform for capacity building, testing practices, commercialisation and community learning has developed the capacity to manage innovation platforms for linking farmers with research, extension and value chain businesses in Laos. HORT/2010/090 Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production.
Better decision-making within research and policy institutions to support agricultural innovation and agribusiness development. Institutional efficiency and effectiveness
  • Effective strategic planning
  • Improved business practices
  • Effective stakeholder engagement and
  • communications
  • Improved knowledge management.
Yes FST/2014/065: Development of durable engineered wood products in PNG and Australia ADP/2016/026: Improving policies and institutions for sustainable intensification of agriculture and resilient food systems in eastern Indo-Gangetic plains ADP/2011/039 : Assessing farmer responses to climate change — adjustment policy options ASEM/2011/043: Strengthening institutional capacity, extension services and rural livelihoods in the Central Dry Zone and Ayeyarwaddy Delta regions of Myanmar FIS/2009/059: Developing research capacity for management of Indonesia’s pelagic fisheries resources FIS/2014/061: Improving technical and institutional capacity to support development of mariculture based livelihoods and industry in New Ireland, Papua New Guinea

Reporting against other statutory requirements

Purchasing and tendering compliance

Purchasing

ACIAR complies with the Commonwealth Procurement Rules (CPRs) and the objectives of Commonwealth procurement. Value for money is applied as the core principle in the procurement process, consistent with Section 4 (4.4) of the CPRs.

ACIAR’s Accountable Authority Instructions include details on delegations, the commitment of public moneys, management of risk and dealing with public property. These instructions have been developed in accordance with the CPRs.

Purchasing activities are subject to the provisions of the Accountable Authority Instruction (AAI 3 Procurement Process) relating to procurement. In accordance with the CPRs ACIAR publishes an Annual Procurement Plan on the AusTender website tenders.gov.au.

The majority of ACIAR’s procurement activity (by expenditure) is exempt from Division 2 of the CPRs, predominantly exemption 6: procurement of research and development services, but not the procurement of inputs to research and development undertaken by the agency.

Agreements executed under exemption 6 include contracts for the conduct of research projects by Australian universities and research organisations with the collaboration of other governments and international agencies. In relation to research project activities, ACIAR:

ACIAR’s reporting against the Senate Order of 20 June 2001 requiring departments and agencies to list contracts entered into with a value of more than $100,000, that were still to be concluded or had been concluded during the previous 12 months, is available on the ACIAR website and is reported separately from that outlined below.

In addition to contracts in excess of $100,000 reported under the Senate Order referred to above, ACIAR entered into an additional 178 contracts, agreements and variations to acquire services mainly related to research program support and services. These contracts totalled $6,404,804 in 2016–17 (2015–16: $3,119,295). All contracts over $10,000 are reported on the AusTender website.

No contracts were let in excess of $10,000 that were exempted from publication in AusTender due to freedom of information exemptions. All ACIAR contracts in excess of $100,000 contained clauses permitting the Auditor-General through the Australian National Audit Office access to Contractor premises.

Competitive tendering

ACIAR conducted three approaches to market for Requests for Tender (over $80,000) during 2016–17.

Four responses were reported on AusTender where ACIAR had engaged whole of government arrangements for travel, IT services and other services.

Small and Medium Enterprises

ACIAR supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Small Enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website www.finance.gov.au/procurement/statistics-on-commonwealth-purchasing-contracts/.

In supporting SME ACIAR applies:

ACIAR recognises the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. The results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on the Treasury’s website.

Consultants and contracts

ACIAR engages consultants where it lacks specialist expertise or when independent research, review or assessment is required. Consultants are typically engaged to investigate or diagnose a defined issue or problem; carry out defined reviews or evaluations; or provide independent advice, information or creative solutions to assist in ACIAR’s decision making.

Prior to engaging consultants, ACIAR takes into account the skills and resources required for the task, the skills available internally, and the cost-effectiveness of engaging external expertise. The decision to engage a consultant is made in accordance with the PGPA Act and related Rules including the CPRs and relevant internal policies.

During 2016–17 six new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $239,772. In addition, one ongoing consultancy contract was active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $231,000.

Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website.

Discretionary grants

ACIAR did not issue any discretionary grants during 2014–15 or have any ongoing grants from previous years.

Advertising and market research

No advertisements or market research activities were conducted in 2016–17.

Management of human resources

ACIAR’s Individual Development and Performance Evaluation Scheme (IDPES) is utilised to identify and measure the effectiveness of employees capability development and performance and under the IDPES links each individuals performance and skill needs to the achievement of ACIAR’s goals and organisational capability needs. ACIAR acknowledges the importance of sharing knowledge through coaching and mentoring, and under the IDPES each employee makes a commitment to enhance the knowledge and skills of other ACIAR employees.

ACIAR employed 77 employees as at 30 June 2017. Of these, 55 are employed under the Public Service Act 1999 and are located in Canberra and 22 are at overseas missions and embassies. ACIAR has 2 SES Band 1 employees (1 male and 1 female), employed under subsection 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999.

ACIAR’s CEO is not included in these statistics as he is Principal Executive Officer (PEO) Band C.

Snapshot of ACIAR staff as at 30 June 2017

Staff employed under the PS Act 55 (52.53 FTE)

Median length of APS service2 years

Median age46

Females as % of total58%

NESB staff as % of total21%

Part-time staff as % of total18%

Non-ongoing staff as % of total47%

Employee turnover for 2016–17 27%

Employees who identify as Indigenous 0%

ACIAR four-year perspective

Staff employed under the Public Service Act 1999
2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
Staff at 30 June 51 51 55 55
Staff (FTE) 48.5 49.4 53.38 52.53
Female (%) 61% 54% 56% 58%
Base salaries $5,772,821 $5,584,196 $5,927,949 $5,950,122
Cessations 14 13 15 15
Staff turnover 27% 25% 27% 27%
Part-time 20% 16% 23% 18%
Non-ongoing 39% 41% 40% 47%
Learning and development $95,540 $66,656 $55 725 $95,060
Overseas staff
2013–2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
Staff (FTE) 18.13 17.8 23 22
Base salaries $707,292 $734,355 $830,317 $859,767
Learning and development $2,113 $1,325 $12,889 $5,133
Performance management

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) IDPES encourages high achievement by improving individual performance through development, evaluation and planning to meet individual and ACIAR needs.

The scheme operates on a three-point rating scale and employees who are rated as ‘meets expectations’ or ‘exceeds expectations’ in the annual performance assessment receive an increment, providing they are not already on top of a salary range. In the cycle concluded in June 2017 there were 42 completed assessments, with 42 rated as ‘meets expectations’ or higher. Of these, eight were advanced one salary point.

Organisation bonuses

A bonus of $2,000 (reduced to $1,000 where service is less than nine months and greater than six) is granted to employees rated as ‘meets expectations’ or higher in the performance cycle and who were still employed by ACIAR on 30 June 2017, in recognition of ACIAR’s achievements against the 2016–17 Annual Operational Plan. No bonus is paid to employees with less than six months service. Part-time employees received a pro-rata payment based on hours worked while full-time employees having served between over six months but less than nine. 42 employees received a performance bonus with payments totalling $77,867.

APS classification received Organisational Bonus Number of Employees by classification Part-timer received bonus Full-time received bonus TOTAL Employees by classification who received bonus Aggregate Bonus for each classification
SESBand1 2 0 1 1 2000
EL 2RPM 14 0 14 14 28000
EL2 3 0 1 1 2000
EL 1 5 0 5 5 9000
APS 6 6 1 2 3 5600
APS 5 13 2 8 10 18467
APS 4 12 6 2 8 12800
Learning and development

ACIAR spent $95,060 on training and development for its Canberra-based employees in 2016–17. This expenditure does not include attendance of Research Program Managers at professional conferences and seminars in Australia and overseas. ACIAR also offers generous assistance for formal study and in 2016–17 two employees received study assistance.

Enterprise Agreement

The ACIAR Enterprise Agreement 2015–2018 came into effect on 31 December 2015. Staff received a 2% salary increase on commencement with an expected 2% salary increase twelve months from commencement and a further 2% salary increase twenty four months from commencement. Three Individual Flexibility Arrangements (IFA) were in place for 2016-2017.

Social inclusion strategy

The Australian Government’s Social Inclusion Statement, A Stronger, Fairer Australia, sets out the Government’s plan for achieving greater social inclusion and seeks to ensure that all Australians have the capabilities, opportunities, responsibilities and resources to learn, work, connect with others and have a say.

ACIAR fosters an environment of inclusiveness through several program areas such as supporting workplace diversity, workplace health and safety, learning and development and adherence to mechanisms such as the Commonwealth Disability Strategy and the Carer Recognition Act 2010.

Carer Recognition Act compliance

ACIAR’s responsibility under the Carer Recognition Act 2010 ensures its employees have an awareness and understanding of the Statement for Australia’s Carers, by providing access to information about self-identification as a carer through our staff intranet.

Human resources policies are developed having due regard to the Statement for Australia’s Carers, and workplace arrangements ensure flexibility for carers. ACIAR also collects statistics on the incidence of employees who are carers. In 2016–17 no staff members were identified as formal carers.

Workplace diversity

A culture of professional behaviour is promoted by ACIAR and we encourage relationships based on respect and appreciation of each others’ differences. Achieving an appropriate balance of work, family and cultural responsibilities is encouraged and supported through ACIAR’s Workplace Diversity Program, as is the importance of all employees.

ACIAR continued support for and participation in APS-wide initiatives to promote workplace diversity. We promote Indigenous training and development opportunities and encourage people with disabilities to apply for ACIAR employment opportunities.

Disability Reporting Mechanism

‘Since 1994, non-corporate Commonwealth entities have reported on their performance as policy adviser, purchaser, employer, regulator and provider under the Commonwealth Disability Strategy. In 2007–08, reporting on the employer role was transferred to the Australian Public Service Commission’s State of the Service reports and the APS Statistical Bulletin. These reports are available at www.apsc.gov.au. From 2010–11, entities have no longer been required to report on these functions.

The Commonwealth Disability Strategy has been overtaken by the National Disability Strategy 2010–2020, which sets out a 10-year national policy framework to improve the lives of people with disability, promote participation and create a more inclusive society. A high-level, two-yearly report will track progress against each of the six outcome areas of the strategy and present a picture of how people with disability are faring. The first of these progress reports was published in 2014, and can be found at www.dss.gov.au.

Work health and safety

A healthy lifestyle is actively encouraged and promoted by ACIAR, through providing access to non-salary benefits such as annual health assessments, subsidies for healthy lifestyle initiatives, annual influenza injections and pre-travel assessments for overseas travellers by the Travel Doctor.

Access to an Employee Assistance Program is also provided. This program provides free professional counselling and career-planning services to ACIAR employees and their families. The service also includes well-being seminars, mediation and conflict resolution services, and assistance to line managers.

Ergonomic assessments for new employees and employees who experience discomfort at their workstation are carried out by a qualified workplace assessor. Modifications are made to work practices and work areas as required, resulting in less work-related physical ailments and increased productivity.

In 2016–17, there were no accidents or dangerous occurrences giving rise to the issue of any formal notices or directions under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011.

Compliance with Freedom of Information Publishing Scheme

Subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (FOI Act) ACIAR and other Australian Government agencies are required to publish information to the public as part of the Information Publication Scheme (IPS). This requirement is in Part II of the FOI Act and has replaced the former requirement to publish a section 8 statement in an annual report. A plan showing what information ACIAR publishes in accordance with the IPS requirements is available on the website at <aciar.gov.au/IPS>

Ecologically Sustainable development and environmental performance

This report comprises the Centre’s report on its ecologically sustainable development and environmental performance, provided in accordance with Section 516A of the Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act).

Project related environmental impacts

ACIAR’s project development guidelines include triggers to ensure that any projects developed that may result in significant environmental impacts follow the requirements under the EPBC Act. When partner organisations (proponents) are developing projects, the commissioned (lead) agency must consider all relevant obligations under the EPBC Act.

Should any potential significant environmental impacts be identified by ACIAR or project proponents, obligation rests with both ACIAR and the proponents to ensure that all relevant EPBC obligations have been appropriately considered. Reference to the EPBC Administrative Guidelines on Significance (EPBC Guidelines) is included in project development processes. If a proposal may have significant environmental impact, the Research Program Manager (RPM) and project proponent must use a risk-assessment and management-based approach to assess the potential risks and may have informal consultation with the EPBC Referrals Unit of the Department of the Environment and Energy. ACIAR requires the proponent to submit a letter indicating that it agrees with the findings of the risk assessment. Under the EPBC Guidelines, the ACIAR CEO is required to decide whether or not with the proposed risk-management approaches there is still a significant risk of environmental impact sufficient to warrant a formal referral of the matter to the Department of the Environment and Energy.

For any project for which potential significant environmental risks were identified during the project development phase, ACIAR includes a standard condition that the commissioned organisation must annually report to ACIAR on its implementation of the stated environmental risk-management procedures and/or any special conditions imposed by the relevant Minister in the event that the project had been formally referred to the Department of the Environment and Energy.

During project development, ACIAR also considers whether or not a project has any relevance to other international arrangements to which Australia is a signatory. This includes obligations under international arrangements to which Australia is a signatory, specifically for the use of biological resources, being met and properly documented. Letters of approval relating to the use of experimental animals and/or genetically modified organisms must be provided, along with five letters confirming compliance with regulations relating to germplasm transfer, quarantine requirements, biosafety etc.

How the outcomes of the organisation contribute to ecologically sustainable development (ESD)

ACIAR’s governing legislation outlines the mandate and functions of the Centre under Section 5, including the formulation of policies to deliver against this mandate. Agricultural research is linked explicitly with sustainability. The link is maintained and implemented in the key planning document—the Annual Operational Plan (AOP). At the operational level project development, evaluation and monitoring deliver on this mandate.

Effect of the organisation’s activities on the environment

Projects often have strong environmental benefits. These are spread throughout the Centre’s mandated region of operations, in developing countries of the Indo–Pacific. ACIAR projects address problems in developing countries that may also yield results applicable to environmental management in Australia. Such benefits are either a secondary objective or are the result of research having application within Australian settings.

Measures being taken by the organisation to minimise the impact of its activities on the environment

ACIAR’s size and resourcing has resulted in the choice to adopt an informal system for managing environmental impacts, built upon the EMS framework circulated to government departments and agencies. The framework has been used to ensure that environmental performance within ACIAR’s Canberra premises is as effective as possible.

ACIAR is the sole building tenant, responsible for the management of all infrastructure and implementation of policies to deliver sound environmental management at its Canberra premises. Like all government agencies and departments, daily operations generate waste and consume electricity, water and materials.

Mechanisms for reviewing and increasing the effectiveness of these measure

Formal reporting guidelines on environmental management and associated activities are used for an internal review of environment management processes. These include:

Resource   Usage
    2016–17   2015–16
Energy (kilowatt hours)   278 550   232 091
Water (kilolitres)   1220   1179
Net fishing in Myanmar
Net fishing in Myanmar Photo: Paul Jones
Farming couple Indira Kumari Lamichhne and Bharat Prasad Lamichhne pick weeds from their rice crop at home. When interviewed Bharat mentioned that at one stage in the past,› he lost 80% of his wheat crop to yellow rust. One of the aims of this ACIAR support project is to identify the host for the yellow rust pathogen so the plant can be eradicated and hopefully stop the disease. Yellow rust has plagued many wheat crops in Nepal and neighbouring countries, in some instances it has devastated as much as 90% of yields.
Farming couple Indira Kumari Lamichhne and Bharat Prasad Lamichhne pick weeds from their rice crop at home. When interviewed Bharat mentioned that at one stage in the past,› he lost 80% of his wheat crop to yellow rust. One of the aims of this ACIAR support project is to identify the host for the yellow rust pathogen so the plant can be eradicated and hopefully stop the disease. Yellow rust has plagued many wheat crops in Nepal and neighbouring countries, in some instances it has devastated as much as 90% of yields. Photo: Conor Ashleigh

Appendices

Appendix 1: Basis of authority

ACIAR’s governing legislation is the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Act 1982 (the Act), proclaimed on 3 June 1982 as Act No. 9 of 1982. The Act was described as ‘an Act to encourage research for the purpose of identifying, or finding solutions to, agricultural problems of developing countries’.

The Act was amended in 2007, coming into effect from 1 July 2007. The principal purpose of the amendments introduced in the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Amendment Act 2007 (the Amendment Act), was to change the governance arrangements of ACIAR. This replaced the Board of Management with an executive management structure involving a CEO and a seven-member Commission. The functions of the CEO are set out at Section 5 of the legislation, below.

5. Functions of the CEO

  1. The functions of the CEO are:
  2. The CEO must, in performing his or her functions with respect to agricultural research, have regard to the need for persons or institutions in developing countries to share in that research.
  3. Nothing in this section authorises, or permits, the CEO to carry out research on behalf of the Commonwealth.
  4. The CEO must, in performing his or her functions, comply with any directions given to the CEO under section 5A.

5A Power of Minister to give directions

1. The Minister may, by writing, give directions to the CEO with respect to the performance of the CEO’s functions under this Act (including in relation to the appropriate strategic direction the CEO should take in performing his or her functions).

Note: A direction under this section is included in the annual report: see section 39.

2. A direction given under subsection (1) is not a legislative instrument.

Appendix 2: Organisation structure

ACIAR's Organsation Structure

Appendix 3: Corporate planning and resources

Agency Resource Statement

Actual resources available
2016–17
Resources utilised
2016–17
Remaining balance
30 June 2017
$’000s $’000s $’000s
Departmental
Prior year Appropriations available 3,246 3,246 -
2016–17 Appropriation 9,494 5,867 3,627
Own source income 1,991 1,991 -
Received free of charge 30 30 -
Prior year Departmental Capital Budget available 62 62 -
2016–17 Departmental Capital Budget 247 247 -
Prior year Equity Injection available 131 - 131
Administered
Prior year Appropriations available 608 608 -
2015–16 Appropriation 93,993 93,368 625
Special Account
Opening balance 21,144
Receipts 14,263
Payments 20,005
Closing balance 15,402
Total resources 145,209 125,424 19,785

Appendix 4: Active research projects 2016–17

Bilateral research projects

Listed projects may be active in more than one country. Some projects have components in countries not formally listed as ACIAR partners in the ‘Year in review’ section. In these projects, results are being extended beyond partner countries to those countries that would benefit from the work through project networks.

Project Id Title Project Type Status Update
ADP/2010/091 Enabling agricultural policies for benefitting smallholders in dairy, citrus and mango industries in Pakistan Project Concluded 30/09/2016
ADP/2011/039 Assessing farmer responses to climate change - adjustment policy options Project Concluded 31/12/2016
ADP/2012/107 Strengthening incentives for improved grassland management in China and Mongolia Project Active 31/12/2019
ADP/2014/043 Policy and institutional reforms to improve horticultural markets in Pakistan Project Active 15/06/2019
ADP/2014/045 Efficient participatory irrigation institutions to support productive and sustainable agriculture in south Asia Project Active 30/06/2019
ADP/2014/047 Improving policies for forest plantations to balance smallholder, industry and environmental needs in Lao PDR and Vietnam Project Active 31/12/2018
ADP/2015/032 Climatic stress, structural change and farm and non-farm enterprise uptake by farmers in India and Bangladesh Small R&D Activity Concluded 30/11/2016
ADP/2016/003 Linkages and impacts of cross-border informal trade in agricultural inputs in eastern south Asia Small R&D Activity Active 30/09/2017
ADP/2016/026 Improving policies and institutions for sustainable intensification of agriculture and resilient food systems in eastern Indo-Gangetic plains Small R&D Activity Active 15/08/2017
ADP/2016/028 Creating wealth in smallholders farms through efficient credit systems in Pakistan Small R&D Activity Active 30/06/2018
ADP/2016/043 Economic analysis of policies affecting pulses in Pakistan Small R&D Activity Active 31/10/2017
AGB/2009/053 Improved market engagement for counter-seasonal vegetable producers in north-western Vietnam Project Concluded 31/12/2016
AGB/2009/060 Improving market integration for high value fruit and vegetable production systems in Indonesia Project Active 31/08/2018
AGB/2010/099 Evaluating smallholder livelihoods and sustainability in Indonesian coffee and cocoa value chains Project Active 31/12/2019
AGB/2012/059 Towards more profitable and sustainable vegetable production systems in north-western Vietnam Project Active 31/08/2018
AGB/2012/060 Improving smallholder incomes in the north-western highlands of Vietnam by increasing access and competitiveness in regional temperate and subtropical fruit markets Project Active 30/06/2018
AGB/2012/078 Developing value-chain linkages to enhance the adoption of profitable and sustainable cassava production systems in Vietnam and Indonesia Project Active 31/12/2019
AGB/2012/099 Improving milk supply, competitiveness and livelihoods in smallholder dairy chains in Indonesia Project Active 31/05/2020
AGB/2012/109 Developing vegetable and fruit value chains and integrating them with community development in the southern Philippines Project Active 31/07/2018
AGB/2014/035 Improving livelihoods in Myanmar and Vietnam through vegetable value chains Project Active 28/02/2021
AGB/2014/057 Pacific Agribusiness Research in Development Initiative Phase 2 (PARDI 2) Project Active 31/05/2021
AGB/2015/014 Evaluation of livelihood impacts from agribusiness development opportunities in the Pacific (PARDI II) Small R&D Activity Active 31/12/2017
AGB/2015/015 Analysis of mango markets, trade and strategic research issues in the Asia-Pacific Small R&D Activity Active 31/07/2017
AGB/2015/029 A strategic approach to pro-poor consumer research in the Mekong region - extended analyses Small R&D Activity Active 31/07/2017
AGB/2015/030 Developing a sustainable business model for upscaling the Agribusiness master class Small R&D Activity Active 31/12/2017
AGB/2016/006 Supporting access to mango research information, communication, collaboration and capacity development Small R&D Activity Active 30/06/2019
AGB/2016/007 Challenges and opportunities for meeting requirements of China mango markets Small R&D Activity Active 30/06/2019
AGB/2016/008 Opportunities and strategies to improve biosecurity, market access and trade for selected mango markets Small R&D Activity Active 30/06/2019
AGB/2016/009 Enhancing mango fruit quality in Asian mango chains Small R&D Activity Active 30/06/2019
AGB/2016/031 Developing a Trade Model and information network for cattle and beef trade sector of SE Asia and China Small R&D Activity Active 30/09/2017
AGB/2016/033 Evaluating options for reducing agricultural transport costs and improving market access for smallholders in South East Asia Small R&D Activity Active 01/12/2017
AGB/2016/053 Impact assessment of cocoa interventions in Vanuatu Small R&D Activity Active 31/08/2017
AGB/2017/008 Integrating gender and social inclusion into agricultural value chain research in Vietnam Small R&D Activity Active 31/12/2018
AH/2010/046 Domestic and international market development for high-value cattle and beef in South-East Cambodia Project Concluded 31/08/2016
AH/2011/014 Village-based biosecurity for livestock disease risk management in Cambodia Project Active 31/05/2018
AH/2011/054 Improving livelihoods of small-scale livestock producers in the central dry zone through research on animal production and health in Myanmar Project Active 24/12/2017
AH/2012/066 Improving the production and competitiveness of Australian and Philippines pig production through better health and disease control Project Active 31/12/2018
AH/2012/067 Enhancing transboundary livestock disease risk management in Lao PDR Project Active 31/07/2019
AH/2012/068 Development of a market-driven biosecure beef production system in Lao PDR Project Active 31/07/2019
AH/2016/020 Improving dairy cattle health and production in Vietnam Small R&D Activity Active 30/10/2017
ASEM/2010/049 Market-focused integrated crop and livestock enterprises for north-western Cambodia Project Concluded 31/12/2016
ASEM/2010/050 Improving watershed rehabilitation outcomes in the Philippines using a systems approach Project Concluded 31/03/2017
ASEM/2010/052 Examining women’s business acumen in Papua New Guinea: Working with women smallholders in horticulture Project Concluded 31/12/2016
ASEM/2011/043 Strengthening institutional capacity, extension services and rural livelihoods in the Central Dry Zone and Ayeyarwaddy Delta regions of Myanmar Project Active 30/06/2018
ASEM/2011/075 Enhancing district delivery and management of agriculture extension in Lao PDR Project Concluded 31/12/2016
ASEM/2012/063 Improving the methods and impacts of agricultural extension in Western Mindanao, Philippines Project Active 31/03/2019
ASEM/2012/072 Strengthening livelihoods for food security amongst cocoa and oil palm farming communities in Papua New Guinea Project Active 30/06/2018
ASEM/2012/073 Improving food security in the northern uplands of Lao PDR: identifying drivers and overcoming barriers Project Active 22/03/2020
ASEM/2012/081 Improving market engagement, postharvest management and productivity of the Cambodian and Lao PDR vegetable industries Project Active 31/03/2019
ASEM/2012/084 Promoting traditional vegetable production and consumption for improved livelihoods in Papua New Guinea and northern Australia Project Active 30/06/2018
ASEM/2013/003 Uptake of agricultural technologies amongst farmers in Battambang and Pailin provinces, Cambodia Project Active 31/12/2020
ASEM/2014/007 Lao PDR Agricultural Research Fund 3 Small Project Active 28/02/2018
ASEM/2014/051 Action ready climate knowledge to improve disaster risk management for small holder farmers in the Philippines Project Active 30/06/2020
ASEM/2014/052 Smallholder farmer decision-making and technology adoption in southern Lao PDR: opportunities and constraints Project Active 31/12/2019
ASEM/2014/053 Developing cassava production and marketing systems to enhance smallholder livelihoods in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar Project Active 31/12/2019
ASEM/2014/054 Identifying opportunities and constraints for rural women’s engagement in small-scale agricultural enterprises in Papua New Guinea Project Active 30/06/2020
ASEM/2014/095 Improving opportunities for economic development for women smallholders in rural Papua New Guinea Project Active 18/06/2018
ASEM/2014/102 Critical factors for self-sustaining farmer organisations in northern Lao PDR Small R&D Activity Concluded 31/08/2016
ASEM/2016/030 Using the Environmental Livelihoods Security (ELS) framework for developing climate-smart landscapes: a preliminary investigation for informing agricultural policy in the South Pacific Small R&D Activity Active 31/08/2017
ASEM/2016/041 Engaging agricultural communities in climate resilient food production adaptation: a Papua New Guinea highlands case study Small R&D Activity Active 30/09/2017
ASEM/2016/047 Agricultural extension approaches Small R&D Activity Active 31/12/2017
CIM/2009/038 Introduction of short duration pulses into rice-based cropping systems in western Bangladesh Project Concluded 30/09/2016
CIM/2009/049 Seeds of Life 3 Project Concluded 30/09/2016
CIM/2012/086 Developing a foundation for the long-term management of basal stem rot of oil palm in Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands Project Active 30/06/2021
CIM/2013/005 A targeted approach to sorghum improvement in Ethiopia Project Active 30/06/2018
CIM/2013/009 Molecular marker technologies for faster wheat breeding in India 2 Project Active 31/10/2017
CIM/2013/011 Indo-Australian project on root and establishment traits for greater water use efficiency in wheat 2 Project Active 30/06/2018
CIM/2014/076 Incorporating salt-tolerant wheat and pulses into smallholder farming systems in southern Bangladesh Project Active 29/02/2020
CIM/2014/081 Mitigating the effects of stripe rust on wheat production in South Asia and eastern Africa Project Active 30/06/2020
CIM/2014/082 Agricultural innovations for communities for intensified and sustainable farming systems in Timor-Leste (AI-Com) Project Active 30/09/2021
CIM/2015/009 Protecting stored grains against pests Small R&D Activity Concluded 30/06/2017
CIM/2015/041 Increasing productivity and profitability of pulse production in cereal based cropping systems in Pakistan Project Active 30/06/2021
CIM/2016/039 Insect tolerant chickpea for Bangladesh Small R&D Activity Active 01/10/2018
CSE/2012/077 Mechanisation and value adding for diversification of lowland cropping systems in Lao PDR and Cambodia Project Active 30/04/2018
CSE/2014/086 Crop-livestock systems platform for capacity building, testing practices, commercialisation and community learning Project Concluded 30/04/2017
CSE/2015/012 Using ICTs to enhance adoption of new agricultural technologies and innovations Small R&D Activity Concluded 15/08/2016
CSE/2015/044 Sustainable intensification and diversification in the lowland rice system in Northwest Cambodia Project Active 30/10/2021
CSE/2016/023 Competitiveness of Cambodian Farming Systems: characterization of farming systems to inform research and policy Small R&D Activity Active 15/09/2017
FIS/2009/057 Pearl industry development in the western Pacific Project Concluded 30/06/2017
FIS/2009/059 Developing research capacity for management of Indonesia’s pelagic fisheries resources Project Active 31/12/2017
FIS/2010/042 Expansion and diversification of production and management systems for sea cucumbers in the Philippines, Vietnam and northern Australia Project Active 31/12/2017
FIS/2010/054 Mariculture development in New Ireland, Papua New Guinea Project Concluded 30/09/2016
FIS/2010/055 Building research and project management skills in fisheries staff in Papua New Guinea Project Active 31/12/2017
FIS/2010/096 Evaluating the impacts of improving postharvest processing of sea cucumbers in the western Pacific region Project Active 30/11/2017
FIS/2010/098 Diversification of seaweed industries in PICs Project Active 30/06/2018
FIS/2010/100 Enhancing bivalve production in northern Vietnam and Australia Project Active 31/12/2018
FIS/2010/101 Improving fish health management and production protocols in marine finfish aquaculture in Indonesia and Australia Project Concluded 30/06/2017
FIS/2011/013 Culture-based fisheries development in Lao PDR and Cambodia Project Concluded 30/06/2017
FIS/2012/076 Improving community-based aquaculture in Fiji, Kiribati, Samoa and Vanuatu Project Active 30/06/2018
FIS/2012/100 Improving the design of irrigation infrastructure to increase fisheries production in floodplain wetlands of the Lower Mekong and Murray-Darling Basins Project Active 30/09/2018
FIS/2012/101 Developing technologies for giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus) aquaculture in Vietnam, the Philippines and Australia Project Active 30/09/2019
FIS/2012/102 Sustainable management of the shark resources of Papua New Guinea: socioeconomic and biological characteristics of the fishery Project Active 31/10/2017
FIS/2013/015 Sustainable management of sport fisheries for communities in Papua New Guinea Medium Project Active 30/08/2017
FIS/2014/018 Understanding pearl oyster mortality in Fiji Small R&D Activity Concluded 31/03/2017
FIS/2014/041 Quantifying biophysical and community impacts of improved fish passage in Lao PDR Project Active 31/12/2020
FIS/2014/059 Expanding spiny lobster aquaculture in Indonesia Project Active 30/06/2019
FIS/2014/060 Developing pearl industry-based livelihoods in the western Pacific Project Active 31/08/2020
FIS/2014/061 Improving technical and institutional capacity to support development of mariculture based livelihoods and industry in New Ireland, Papua New Guinea Project Active 28/02/2020
FIS/2014/062 Improving technologies for inland aquaculture in Papua New Guinea Project Active 30/06/2019
FIS/2014/063 Restoring damaged coral reefs using mass coral larval reseeding Project Active 30/06/2020
FIS/2014/103 Pearl livelihood development in Fiji Small R&D Activity Concluded 30/12/2016
FIS/2015/006 Application of fish passage design principles to enhance sustainability of inland fishery resources in the Southeast Asian region Small R&D Activity Active 30/12/2017
FIS/2015/028 Investigating the long-line nursery system for giant clam (Tridacdna sp) farming in Savusavu Bay, Fiji Small R&D Activity Concluded 30/09/2016
FIS/2015/038 Improving seaweed production and processing opportunities in Indonesia Project Active 31/07/2020
FIS/2016/005 Pearl industry research infrastructure recovery post- cyclone Winston, Fiji Small R&D Activity Concluded 30/06/2017
FIS/2016/048 Developing a bilingual web-based fish identification tool for field use in Indonesia Small R&D Activity Active 30/06/2018
FIS/2016/049 Description and risk assessment of the bycatch communities in the Gulf of Papua prawn fishery Small R&D Activity Active 31/08/2018
FIS/2016/052 Developing legal value chains and alternative markets for western province fisheries in Papua New Guinea Small R&D Activity Active 30/06/2018
FSC/2012/023 Strengthening food and nutrition security through family poultry and crop integration in Tanzania and Zambia Project Active 31/01/2019
FSC/2013/006 Increasing irrigation water productivity in Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe through on-farm monitoring, adaptive management and agricultural innovation platforms Project Concluded 14/06/2017
FSC/2013/019 Demand led plant variety design for emerging markets in Africa Medium Project Active 31/03/2018
FST/2009/016 Improving the Papua New Guinea balsa value chain to enhance smallholder livelihoods Project Concluded 31/08/2016
FST/2010/012 Enhancing key elements of the value chains for plantation-grown wood in Lao PDR Project Concluded 31/12/2016
FST/2011/003 Effective implementation of payments for environmental services in Lao PDR Project Active 10/08/2017
FST/2011/057 Enhancing the implementation of community forestry approaches in Papua New Guinea Project Concluded 30/06/2017
FST/2011/076 Enhancing livelihoods and food security from agroforestry and community forestry in Nepal Project Active 31/03/2018
FST/2012/040 Enhancing smallholder benefits from reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in Indonesia Project Active 30/04/2018
FST/2012/041 Teak-based agroforestry systems to enhance and diversify smallholder livelihoods in Luang Prabang province of Lao PDR Project Active 31/12/2017
FST/2012/042 Enhancing management and processing systems for value-adding in plantation-grown whitewood in Vanuatu Project Concluded 30/06/2017
FST/2012/043 Enhancing economic opportunities offered by community and smallholder forestry in Solomon Islands Project Active 13/12/2017
FST/2012/091 Biological control of galling insect pests of eucalypt plantations in the Mekong region Project Active 30/06/2018
FST/2012/092 Enhancing value added wood processing in Papua New Guinea Project Active 31/12/2018
FST/2014/064 Maximising productivity of Eucalyptus and Acacia plantations for growers in Indonesia and Vietnam Project Active 30/06/2019
FST/2014/065 Development of durable engineered wood products in Papua New Guinea and Australia Project Active 31/12/2018
FST/2014/066 Improving returns from community teak plantings in Solomon Islands Project Active 30/06/2019
FST/2014/067 Enhancing value added products and environmental benefits from agroforestry systems in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific Project Active 31/07/2019
FST/2014/068 Management strategies for Acacia plantation diseases in Indonesia and Vietnam Project Active 30/06/2019
FST/2014/069 Improvement and management of teak and sandalwood in Papua New Guinea and Australia Project Active 30/06/2019
FST/2014/099 Enhancing private sector-led development of the Canarium nut industry in Papua New Guinea Project Active 30/06/2018
FST/2015/040 Enhancing community-based commercial forestry in Indonesia Project Active 31/12/2020
FST/2016/013 Life history, identity and damage assessment of Galip weevil Small R&D Activity Concluded 30/06/2017
FST/2016/024 Developing sandalwood community and smallholder plantation sector in Yogyakarta Small R&D Activity Active 30/06/2018
FST/2016/025 Developing DNA-based Chain of Custody Systems for Legally-Sourced Teak Small R&D Activity Active 30/04/2018
FST/2016/054 Enhance the formation of heartwood in sandalwood in Vanuatu Small R&D Activity Active 31/03/2018
FST/2016/151 Advancing enhanced wood manufacturing industries in Laos and Australia Project Active 30/09/2021
FST/2016/154 Enhancing returns from high-value agroforestry species in Vanuatu Project Active 30/06/2021
GMCP/2016/004 At-Scale Evaluation of Digital Data Collection Apps (DDCAs) in ACIAR projects - Mobile Acquired Data phase 2 (MAD 2) Small R&D Activity Active 01/09/2017
GMCP/2016/042 Mobile Acquired Data phase 3 (MAD 3) - Evaluation of staged adoption and implementation strategy Small R&D Activity Active 01/09/2017
GMCP/2016/044 Mobile Acquired Data for the Transformative Agriculture and Enterprise Development Program - MAD 4 TADEP Small R&D Activity Active 01/09/2017
GMCP/2017/001 Scoping smallholder beef research priorities - Indonesia Small R&D Activity Concluded 30/06/2017
GP/2017/007 School Food Revolution: Evaluating opportunities for further research Small R&D Activity Active 31/05/2018
HORT/2007/118 Developing cleaner export pathways for Pacific agriculture commodities Project Concluded 30/09/2016
HORT/2010/065 Integrated crop management strategies for root and tuber crops: strengthening national and regional capacities in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga Project Active 30/06/2018
HORT/2010/069 Enabling improved plant biosecurity practices in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Thailand Project Active 31/03/2018
HORT/2010/089 Adapting integrated crop management technologies to commercial citrus enterprises in Bhutan and Australia Project Active 31/12/2017
HORT/2010/090 Strengthening integrated crop management research in the Pacific islands in support of sustainable intensification of high-value crop production Project Active 31/12/2017
HORT/2012/003 Building a resilient mango industry in Cambodia and Australia through improved production and supply chain practices Project Active 31/12/2017
HORT/2012/011 Understanding the responses of taro and cassava to climate change Project Concluded 30/06/2017
HORT/2012/019 Research and development of integrated crop management for mango production in the southern Philippines and Australia Project Active 31/12/2017
HORT/2012/020 Integrated crop management to enhance vegetable profitability and food security in the southern Philippines and Australia Project Active 30/10/2017
HORT/2012/026 Improved management strategies for cocoa in Papua New Guinea Project Active 31/05/2018
HORT/2012/083 Integrated disease management of sugarcane streak mosaic in Indonesia Project Active 31/12/2018
HORT/2012/087 Bogia coconut syndrome in Papua New Guinea: developing biological knowledge and a risk management strategy Medium Project Active 31/12/2019
HORT/2012/095 Tropical tree fruit research and development in the Philippines and northern Australia to increase productivity, resilience and profitability Project Active 30/06/2018
HORT/2012/097 Integrated management of Fusarium wilt of bananas in the Philippines and Australia Project Active 31/12/2019
HORT/2012/098 Improved postharvest management of fruit and vegetables in the southern Philippines and Australia Project Active 30/06/2019
HORT/2012/113 Integrated disease management strategies for the productive, profitable and sustainable production of high quality papaya fruit in the southern Philippines and Australia Project Active 30/06/2018
HORT/2014/077 Enhanced fruit production and postharvest handling systems for Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga Project Active 30/12/2019
HORT/2014/078 Aligning genetic resources, production and post-harvest systems to market opportunities for Pacific island and Australian cocoa Project Active 31/07/2021
HORT/2014/080 Integrating protected cropping systems into high value vegetable value chains in the Pacific and Australia Project Active 31/12/2020
HORT/2014/083 Developing improved crop protection options in support of intensification of sweetpotato production in Papua New Guinea Project Active 31/08/2021
HORT/2014/094 Developing the cocoa value chain in Bougainville Project Active 31/12/2021
HORT/2014/096 Enterprise-driven transformation of family cocoa production in East Sepik, Madang, New Ireland and Chimbu Provinces of Papua New Guinea Project Active 28/02/2021
HORT/2014/097 Supporting commercial sweetpotato production and marketing in the Papua New Guinea highlands Project Active 28/02/2021
HORT/2016/056 Optimising tissue culture of coconut in support of saving the Pacific regional genebank Small R&D Activity Active 31/03/2018
HORT/2016/057 Exploring coffee genetic resources for the Pacific Islands Small R&D Activity Active 30/06/2018
HORT/2017/013 Evaluating improvements in vegetable value chains in Mozambique associated with closer market linkages Small R&D Activity Active 15/12/2017
HORT/2017/014 Defining the biotic constraints to fresh taro from Samoa gaining market access to Australia Small R&D Activity Active 30/06/2018
LPS/2005/128 High quality markets and value chains for small-scale and emerging beef cattle farmers in South Africa Project Active 31/12/2017
LPS/2008/048 Sustainable livestock grazing systems on Chinese temperate grasslands Project Concluded 30/06/2017
LPS/2012/062 Developing productive, sustainable and profitable smallholder beef enterprises in central Vietnam Project Active 31/01/2018
LPS/2012/064 Integrating herbaceous forage legumes into crop and livestock systems in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia Project Active 30/11/2018
LPS/2013/017 Improving nutrition during pregnancy and lactation to achieve production targets for Bali cattle Small R&D Activity Concluded 31/12/2016
LPS/2013/021 Profitable feeding strategies for smallholder cattle in Indonesia Project Active 31/12/2020
LPS/2014/022 Heifer-calf and fattening strategies - Indonesia Small R&D Activity Concluded 31/12/2016
LPS/2014/036 Developing profitable dairy and sheep meat production systems in central Tibet - China Project Active 31/03/2020
LPS/2014/037 Increasing the productivity and market options of smallholder beef cattle farmers in Vanuatu Project Active 30/09/2019
LPS/2014/038 Smallholder cattle enterprise development in Timor Leste Project Active 31/12/2020
LPS/2015/037 Intensification of beef cattle production in upland cropping systems in Northwest Vietnam Project Active 31/12/2021
LPS/2016/011 Improving smallholder dairy and beef profitability by enhancing farm production and value chain management in Pakistan Project Active 30/09/2021
LPS/2016/021 Assessment of markets and production constraints to small ruminant farming in the PICs Small R&D Activity Active 30/04/2018
LPS/2016/022 Potential of new Australian oldman saltbush varieties to fill ruminant feed gaps in arid and saline areas of Pakistan Small R&D Activity Active 28/02/2018
LPS/2016/027 Assessing goat production and marketing systems in Lao PDR and market linkages into Vietnam Small R&D Activity Active 30/09/2017
LPS/2016/096 Smallholder goat value chains in Pakistan; challenges and research opportunities Small R&D Activity Active 30/11/2017
LPS/2017/009 IndoBeef preparatory program activities Small R&D Activity Active 07/10/2017
LWR/2010/015 Improved village scale groundwater recharge and management for agriculture and livelihood development in India Project Concluded 30/06/2017
LWR/2010/080 Overcoming agronomic and mechanisation constraints to development and adoption of conservation agriculture in diversified rice-based cropping in Bangladesh Project Active 30/09/2017
LWR/2010/082 Improving livelihoods with innovative cropping systems on the East India Plateau Project Concluded 30/06/2017
LWR/2012/079 Improving dry season agriculture for marginal and tenant farmers in the Eastern Gangetic Plains through conjunctive use of pond and groundwater resources Project Active 30/06/2019
LWR/2014/072 Promoting socially inclusive and sustainable agricultural intensification in West Bengal and Bangladesh Project Active 29/02/2020
LWR/2014/073 Cropping system intensification in the salt-affected coastal zones of Bangladesh and West Bengal, India Project Active 31/10/2020
LWR/2014/074 Developing approaches to enhance farmer water management skills in Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh in Pakistan Project Active 30/09/2020
LWR/2014/085 A Virtual Irrigation Academy to improve Water Productivity in Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa Project Active 29/06/2019
LWR/2015/011 Handover and training of surface-groundwater and econometric models to end users in Pakistan Small R&D Activity Concluded 30/09/2016
LWR/2015/035 Low cost water salinity sensor for smallholder irrigators in developing countries Small R&D Activity Concluded 30/09/2016
LWR/2015/036 Improving groundwater management to enhance agriculture and farming livelihoods in Pakistan Project Active 30/09/2020
LWR/2016/137 Transforming smallholder irrigation into profitable and self-sustaining systems in southern Africa Project Active 15/06/2021
SMAR/2008/025 Improved seaweed culture and postharvest waste utilisation in South-East Asia Project Concluded 31/12/2016
SMCN/2009/031 Watershed evaluation for sustainable use of sloping agricultural land in the southern Philippines Project Concluded 30/06/2017
SMCN/2009/056 Sustainable productivity improvements in allium and solanaceous vegetable crops in Indonesia and sub-tropical Australia Project Active 30/06/2018
SMCN/2010/083 Improving the sustainability of rice-shrimp farming systems in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam Project Active 31/10/2019
SMCN/2011/047 Increasing productivity of legume-based farming systems in the central dry zone of Myanmar Project Active 30/06/2018
SMCN/2012/029 Soil and nutrient management strategies for sustainable vegetable production in southern Philippines Project Active 30/04/2018
SMCN/2012/069 Integrated water, soil and nutrient management for sustainable farming systems in south central coastal Vietnam and Australia Project Active 31/05/2018
SMCN/2012/071 Improving water and nutrient management to enable double cropping in the rice growing lowlands of Lao PDR and Cambodia Project Active 30/11/2018
SMCN/2012/075 Management practices for profitable crop livestock systems for Cambodia and Lao PDR Project Active 29/02/2020
SMCN/2012/103 Improving soil and water management and crop productivity of dryland agriculture systems of Aceh and NSW Project Active 30/11/2018
SMCN/2012/105 Sustaining soil fertility in support of intensification of sweetpotato cropping systems Project Active 31/12/2019
SMCN/2014/044 Management of nutrients for improved profitability and sustainability of crop production in Central Myanmar Project Active 30/06/2020
SMCN/2014/048 Optimising soil management and health in Papua New Guinea integrated cocoa farming systems Project Active 31/07/2020
SMCN/2014/049 Improving maize-based farming systems on sloping lands in Vietnam and Lao PDR Project Active 31/12/2020
SMCN/2014/075 Land resource evaluation for productive and resilient landscapes in the Central Dry Zone of Myanmar Project Active 31/03/2020
SMCN/2014/088 Integrated resource management for vegetable production in Lao PDR and Cambodia Project Active 30/06/2020
SMCN/2014/089 Improving soil health, agricultural productivity and food security on atolls Project Active 30/04/2019
SMCN/2016/014 Soil management in the Pacific to achieve improved crop yields and resilience to climate change Small R&D Activity Concluded 30/06/2017
SMCN/2016/015 Assessment of soil research needs for improving upland agriculture in Cambodia Small R&D Activity Concluded 15/06/2017
SMCN/2016/017 Can rubber-based cropping improve productivity and income for smallholder farmers in southern Philippines Small R&D Activity Concluded 20/06/2017
SMCN/2016/018 Soil based research needs for restoring peatland in Indonesia Small R&D Activity Concluded 15/06/2017
SMCN/2016/019 Crop diversification challenges in the changing environment of the Mekong Delta, Vietnam Small R&D Activity Active 30/11/2017
SMCN/2016/051 Farming system diversification and nutrient management options for pulse-based cropping in Myanmar Small R&D Activity Active 31/10/2017

Multilateral projects

The multilateral projects listed below have an International Agricultural Research Centre as the project leader (commissioned organisation).

International Agricultural Research Centres
Bioversity International
HORT/2014/100 Linking smallholders to markets. Scoping study on developing value chains for conserving local biodiversity and improving diets
International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
LWR/2008/047 Integrated catchment management and capacity building for improving livelihoods in Afghanistan
AH/2012/021 Forage options for smallholder livestock in water-scarce environments of Afghanistan
International Center for Tropical Agriculture
AGB/2016/032 Developing an emergency response and long term management strategy for Cassava Mosaic Virus in Cambodia and Vietnam
LPS/2016/097 Update of SoFT (Selection of Forages for the Tropics)
International Crops Research Institute for the Semi Arid Tropics
CIM/2007/120 Improving post-rainy sorghum varieties to meet the growing grain and fodder demand in India
International Livestock Research Institute
CSE/2010/022 Integrating crops and livestock for improved food security and livelihoods in rural Zimbabwe
LPS/2010/047 Reducing disease risks and improving food safety in smallholder pig value chains in Vietnam
LPS/2015/017 Fodder markets in East Java: Identifying interventions to improve market performance and quality
LPS/2016/016 Assessing competitiveness of smallholder pig farming in the changing landscape of North West Vietnam
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
CSE/2011/077 Sustainable and resilient farming systems intensification in the Eastern Gangetic Plains (SRFSI)
CIM/2011/026 Sustainable wheat and maize production in Afghanistan
FSC/2012/047 Farm mechanisation and conservation agriculture for sustainable intensification
CSE/2013/008 Sustainable intensification of maize-legume cropping systems for food security in eastern and southern Africa II (SIMLESA II)
FSC/2012/024 Identifying socioeconomic constraints to and incentives for faster technology adoption: Pathways to sustainable intensification in eastern and southern Africa
CIM/2016/034 Response to Wheat Blast in Bangladesh
CSE/2016/037 Informing policies for removing barriers to scaling conservation agriculture based sustainable intensification in the eastern gangetic plains
International Rice Research Institute
SMCN/2011/046 Diversification and intensification of rice-based systems in lower Myanmar
CIM/2016/046 Breeding for low chalk in rice
SMCN/2016/050 Management of key coastal areas of Indonesia to improve agricultural productivity and resilience to climate change
International Water Management Institute
LWR/2010/081 Enhancing the resilience and productivity of rainfed-dominated systems in Lao PDR through sustainable groundwater use
The World Vegetable Center
FSC/2012/111 Improving income and nutrition in eastern and southern Africa by enhancing vegetable-based farming and food systems in peri-urban corridors
CIM/2014/079 Establishing the international mungbean improvement network
World Agroforestry Centre
FST/2010/034 Agroforestry for livelihoods of smallholder farmers in north-western Vietnam
FSC/2012/014 Improving sustainable productivity in farming systems and enhanced livelihoods through adoption of evergreen agriculture in eastern Africa
FST/2012/039 Development of timber and non-timber forest products’ production and market strategies for improvement of smallholders’ livelihoods in Indonesia
FST/2014/093 Developing value chain innovation platforms to improve food security in east and southern Africa
FST/2015/039 Developing integrated options and accelerating scaling up of agroforestry for improved food security and resilient livelihoods in Eastern Africa - Trees for Food Security - 2
FST/2016/152 Developing and promoting market-based agroforestry and forest rehabilitation options for northwest Vietnam
FST/2016/141 Developing and promoting market-based agroforestry options and integrated landscape management for smallholder forestry in Indonesia (Kanoppi2)
WorldFish Center
FIS/2010/097 Exploring options for improving livelihoods and resource management in Timor-Leste’s coastal communities
FIS/2011/052 Improving research and development of Burmas’ inland and coastal fisheries
FIS/2012/074 Improving community-based fisheries management in PICs
FIS/2015/031 Fish in national development: contrasting case studies in the Indo-Pacific region
FIS/2015/046 Improving fishery management in support of better governance of Myanmar’s inland and delta fisheries
FIS/2017/003 The contribution of small-scale fisheries research to a food secure world

Appendix 5: Publications 2016–17

Code Title Authors Year Pages
Impact Assessment Series reports
IAS93 Recognising the Contribution of Capacity Building in ACIAR Bilateral Projects: Case Studies from Three IAS Reports Mullen, J.D., de Meyer, J., Gray, D. and Morris, G. 2017 86
IAS92 Knowledge systems and RAPID framework for impact assessments Davila, F., Sloan, T. and van Kerkhoff, L. 2016 112
Co-Publication
CoP35 The Lao Journal of Agriculture and Forestry No. 34 2017 150
CoP30 Guidelines for the Production and Management of Rice in Rice-Rice Systems: A Case in Myanmar International Rice Research Institute 2016 62
CoP29 Guidelines for Production and Management of Green Gram and Black Gram Growth in Rice Paddy: A Case in Myanmar International Rice Research Institute 2016 65
CoP28 Guidelines for Production and Management of Rice in Rice-Pulse Systems: A Case in Myanmar International Rice Research Institute 2016 55
CoP27 Adding Value to the Farmers’ Trees Race D. and Wettenhall G. (Eds.). 2016 136
Monographs
MN199 The PNG Family Farm Teams Manual Pamphilon B., Mikhailovich K. and Gwatirisa P. 2017 86
MN198 The farmer-to-farmer adult learning manual Pamphilon B. 2017 55
MN196 Vietnam food security policy review Petersen E. (ed.) Uong Dinh Hoang Elizabeth Petersen Vu Hoang Yen David Vanzetti Tran Cong Thang Vu Huy Phuc Pham Lan Huong Nguyen Ngoc Que Ray Trewin 2017 128
MN195 Local feed resources for pig poultry and fish proudction in Papua New Guinea Glatz P. (ed) 2017 271
MN194 Building gender equity through a Family Teams approach Pamphilon B. and Mikhailovich K 2016 38
MN193 Nursery Manual for Citrus and Mango Donovan N., Bally I., Cooke T., House S. (ed) 2016 166
MN192 Maria’s family raises chickens Simoncini K., Pamphilon B. and Veal D. (illustrator) 2016 28
MN191 Promoting sustainable agriculture and agroforestry to replace unproductive land use in Fiji and Vanuatu Harrison S. and Karim M.S. (Eds). 2016 204
MN82 A guide to manufacturing rotary veneer and products from small logs Leggate W., McGavin R., and Bailleres H. 2017 159
Adoption Studies
AS013? Adoption of ACIAR project outputs 2016 Pearce D. and Alford A. (eds). 2016 55
Technical Reports
TR90 A farming system framework for investment planning and priority setting in Ethiopia Amede T., Auricht C., Boffa J.-M., Dixon J., Mallawaarachchi T., Rukuni M., Teklewold-Deneke T. 2017 54
Corporate publications
ACIAR Annual Report 2015–16 ACIAR 2016 208
ACIAR Annual Operational Plan 2016–17 ACIAR 2016 116
ACIAR Photography Competition - Exhibition Catalogue 2017 ACIAR 2017 32
Partners in Research for Development magazine: Pakistan: embracing change and transformation ACIAR 2016 32
Partners in Research for Development magazine: Innovative partnerships: Brokering benefits through positive partnerships ACIAR 2016 32
Partners in Research for Development magazine: Recipe for success: Food tells the stories of ACIAR projects around the world ACIAR 2017 32
Partners in Research for Development magazine: Myanmar: Agriculture in transition ACIAR 2017 32
ACIAR Corporate Plan 2016-20 ACIAR 2017 28

Appendix 6: Staffing statistics

Employee numbers 2016–17

Public Service Act 1999 employee numbers (ongoing and non-ongoing)

Ongoing staff Non-ongoing staff Total
30 June 2017
Full-time 19 26 45
Male 6 17 23
Female 13 9 32
Part-time 10 0 10
Male 0 0 0
Female 10 0 10
Total 29 26 55

Staff turnover

Retention rates were maintained in ACIAR for 2016–17. Fifteen employees ceased employment. The table below shows a comparison of employee turnover over the past four years.

2013-2014 2014-2015 2015-2016 2016-2017
Retrenched 3 5 1 0
Promotions/transfers 2 1 4 3
End of contract 0 1 7 3
Resigned 5 5 1 3
Retired 4 1 2 2
Leave without pay 2 2 0 4
Total 16 15 15 15

Non-APS employees employed overseas

22 locally engaged staff are employed by ACIAR to provide program support locally, as detailed below.

Location Male Female Full-time Part-time Total
30 June 2017
Vientiane 1 1 2 0 2
Beijing 1 0 1 0 1
Hanoi 1 2 3 0 3
Jakarta 0 3 3 0 3
Manila 0 2 2 0 2
New Delhi 1 2 3 0 3
Nairobi 0 1 1 0 1
Port Moresby 0 3 3 0 3
Fiji 1 0 1 0 1
Yangon 1 0 1 0 1
Islamabad 1 1 2 0 2
Total 7 15 22 0 22

Classification structure

ACIAR employees as at 30 June 2017, covered by the ACIAR Enterprise Agreement 2015-2018 by broadband.

ACIAR broadband APS classification Salary Range Employees by classification Ongoing Non-ongoing Female Male
Band 4 EL 2 $123,155 – $133,962 3 2 1 0 3
Band 3 EL 1 $98,421 - $103,522 5 4 1 2 3
Band 2 APS 6 $77,564 - $85,905 6 5 1 4 2
APS 5 $70,635 - $73,421 13 9 4 11 2
APS 4 $63,855 - $67,404 12 8 4 12 0
Band 1 APS 3 No employees at this level
APS 2 No employees at this level
APS 1 No employees at this level

Research Program Manager Structure

ACIAR broadband APS classification Salary Range Employees by classification Ongoing Non-ongoing Female Male
Band 4 EL2—RPM $147,075 - $169,490 14 0 14 2 12

Appendix 7: Compliance checklist

Description Requirement Page No.
A copy of the letter of transmittal signed and dated by accountable authority on date final text approved, with statement that the report has been prepared in accordance with section 46 of the Act and any enabling legislation that specifies additional requirements in relation to the annual report. Mandatory iii
Aids to access
Table of contents. Mandatory v - vi
Alphabetical index. Mandatory 203 - 209
Glossary of abbreviations and acronyms. Mandatory 201 - 202
List of requirements. Mandatory 196 - 200
Details of contact officer. Mandatory inside cover
Entity’s website address. Mandatory inside cover
Electronic address of report. Mandatory inside cover
Review by accountable authority
A review by the accountable authority of the entity. Mandatory 4 - 13
Overview of the entity
A description of the role and functions of the entity. Mandatory 70 - 71
A description of the organisational structure of the entity. Mandatory 177
A description of the outcomes and programmes administered by the entity. Mandatory 156
A description of the purposes of the entity as included in corporate plan. Mandatory 156
An outline of the structure of the portfolio of the entity. Portfolio departments - mandatory NA
Where the outcomes and programs administered by the entity differ from any Portfolio Budget Statement, Portfolio Additional Estimates Statement or other portfolio estimates statement that was prepared for the entity for the period, include details of variation and reasons for change. If applicable, Mandatory NA
Report on the Performance of the entity
Annual performance Statements
Annual performance statement in accordance with paragraph 39(1)(b) of the Act and section 16F of the Rule. Mandatory 160 - 172
Report on Financial Performance
A discussion and analysis of the entity’s financial performance. Mandatory 109 - 113
A table summarising the total resources and total payments of the entity. Mandatory 113
If there may be significant changes in the financial results during or after the previous or current reporting period, information on those changes, including: the cause of any operating loss of the entity; how the entity has responded to the loss and the actions that have been taken in relation to the loss; and any matter or circumstances that it can reasonably be anticipated will have a significant impact on the entity’s future operation or financial results. If applicable, Mandatory. NA
Management and Accountability
Corporate Governance
Information on compliance with section 10 (fraud systems) Mandatory 111
A certification by accountable authority that fraud risk assessments and fraud control plans have been prepared. Mandatory 111
A certification by accountable authority that appropriate mechanisms for preventing, detecting incidents of, investigating or otherwise dealing with, and recording or reporting fraud that meet the specific needs of the entity are in place. Mandatory 111
A certification by accountable authority that all reasonable measures have been taken to deal appropriately with fraud relating to the entity. Mandatory 111
An outline of structures and processes in place for the entity to implement principles and objectives of corporate governance. Mandatory 100 - 110
A statement of significant issues reported to Minister under paragraph 19(1)(e) of the Act that relates to non-compliance with Finance law and action taken to remedy non-compliance. If applicable, Mandatory NA
External Scrutiny
Information on the most significant developments in external scrutiny and the entity’s response to the scrutiny. Mandatory 110
Information on judicial decisions and decisions of administrative tribunals and by the Australian Information Commissioner that may have a significant effect on the operations of the entity. If applicable, Mandatory NA
Information on any reports on operations of the entity by the Auditor-General (other than report under section 43 of the Act), a Parliamentary Committee, or the Commonwealth Ombudsman. If applicable, Mandatory iii
Information on any capability reviews on the entity that were released during the period. If applicable, Mandatory NA
Management of Human Resources
An assessment of the entity’s effectiveness in managing and developing employees to achieve entity objectives. Mandatory 167 - 170
Statistics on the entity’s APS employees on an ongoing and non-ongoing basis; including the following:
  • Statistics on staffing classification level;
  • Statistics on full-time employees;
  • Statistics on part-time employees;
  • Statistics on gender;
  • Statistics on staff location;
  • Statistics on employees who identify as Indigenous.
Mandatory 167 - 168
Information on any enterprise agreements, individual flexibility arrangements, Australian workplace agreements, common law contracts and determinations under subsection 24(1) of the Public Service Act 1999. Mandatory 169
Information on the number of SES and non-SES employees covered by agreements etc identified in paragraph 17AG(4)(c). Mandatory 168
The salary ranges available for APS employees by classification level. Mandatory 167
A description of non-salary benefits provided to employees. Mandatory 168
Information on the number of employees at each classification level who received performance pay. If applicable, Mandatory 168
Information on aggregate amounts of performance pay at each classification level. If applicable, Mandatory 168
Information on the average amount of performance payment, and range of such payments, at each classification level. If applicable, Mandatory 168
Information on aggregate amount of performance payments. If applicable, Mandatory 168
Assets Management
An assessment of effectiveness of assets management where asset management is a significant part of the entity’s activities. If applicable, Mandatory 112, 152
Purchasing
An assessment of entity performance against the Commonwealth Procurement Rules. Mandatory 165 - 166
Consultants
A summary statement detailing the number of new contracts engaging consultants entered into during the period; the total actual expenditure on all new consultancy contracts entered into during the period (inclusive of GST); the number of ongoing consultancy contracts that were entered into during a previous reporting period; and the total actual expenditure in the reporting year on the ongoing consultancy contracts (inclusive of GST). Mandatory 167 - 168
A statement that “During [reporting period], [specified number] new consultancy contracts were entered into involving total actual expenditure of $[specified million]. In addition, [specified number] ongoing consultancy contracts were active during the period, involving total actual expenditure of $[specified million]”. Mandatory 167 - 168
A summary of the policies and procedures for selecting and engaging consultants and the main categories of purposes for which consultants were selected and engaged. Mandatory 167 - 168
A statement that “Annual reports contain information about actual expenditure on contracts for consultancies. Information on the value of contracts and consultancies is available on the AusTender website.” Mandatory 167 - 168
Australian National Audit Office Access Clauses
IIf an entity entered into a contract with a value of more than $100 000 (inclusive of GST) and the contract did not provide the Auditor-General with access to the contractor’s premises, the report must include the name of the contractor, purpose and value of the contract, and the reason why a clause allowing access was not included in the contract. If applicable, Mandatory 166
Exempt contracts
If an entity entered into a contract or there is a standing offer with a value greater than $10 000 (inclusive of GST) which has been exempted from being published in AusTender because it would disclose exempt matters under the FOI Act, the annual report must include a statement that the contract or standing offer has been exempted, and the value of the contract or standing offer, to the extent that doing so does not disclose the exempt matters. If applicable, Mandatory 166
Small business
A statement that “[Name of entity] supports small business participation in the Commonwealth Government procurement market. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) and Small Enterprise participation statistics are available on the Department of Finance’s website.” Mandatory 166 - 167
An outline of the ways in which the procurement practices of the entity support small and medium enterprises. Mandatory 166 - 167
If the entity is considered by the Department administered by the Finance Minister as material in nature—a statement that “[Name of entity] recognises the importance of ensuring that small businesses are paid on time. The results of the Survey of Australian Government Payments to Small Business are available on the Treasury’s website.” 166 - 167
Financial Statements
Inclusion of the annual financial statements in accordance with subsection 43(4) of the Act. Mandatory 116 - 152
Other Mandatory Information
If the entity conducted advertising campaigns, a statement that “During [reporting period], the [name of entity] conducted the following advertising campaigns: [name of advertising campaigns undertaken]. Further information on those advertising campaigns is available at [address of entity’s website] and in the reports on Australian Government advertising prepared by the Department of Finance. Those reports are available on the Department of Finance’s website.” If applicable, Mandatory NA
If the entity did not conduct advertising campaigns, a statement to that effect. If applicable, Mandatory 166
A statement that “Information on grants awarded by [name of entity] during [reporting period] is available at [address of entity’s website].” If applicable, Mandatory NA
Outline of mechanisms of disability reporting, including reference to website for further information. Mandatory 168 - 169
Website reference to where the entity’s Information Publication Scheme statement pursuant to Part II of FOI Act can be found. Mandatory 169
Correction of material errors in previous annual report
Information required by other legislation Mandatory NA

Acronyms and abbreviations

AC Companion of the Order of Australia
ACIAR Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
ACIAR Act Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Act 1982
AFI Aflatoxin Forum of Indonesia
AIFSRC Australian International Food Security Research Centre
ANAO Australian National Audit Office
AOP Annual Operational Plan (of ACIAR)
APS Australian Public Service
APSIM Agricultural Production System Simulator
ARIA Agricultural Research Institute of Afghanistan
ASEAN Association od South East Asian Nations
AVCCR Agriculture Value Chain Collaborative Research Program
AVRDC The World Vegetable Center
CCFF Chinese citrus fruit fly
CDZ Central Dry Zone (of Myanmar)
CEO Chief Executive Officer
CEO Chief Executive Officer
CGIAR formerly the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture
CIMMYT International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (Mexico)
Commission The Commission for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
Council The Policy Advisory Council (ACIAR)
CPR Commonwealth Procurement Rules
CSIRO Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (Australia)
CultiAF Cultivate Africa’s Future
DFAT Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Australia)
DNA deoxyribonucleic acid
ELISA enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay
EPBC Act Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization (of the United Nations)
FOI Freedom of Information Act 1982
FTE full-time equivalent (staff)
GRDC Grains Research and Development Corporation (Australia)
IAS Impact Assessment Series (ACIAR publications)
IARCs International Agricultural Research Centres
ICARDA International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
ICRAF World Agroforestry Centre
ICARDA International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas
ICRAF World Agroforestry Centre (Kenya)
ICRISAT International Crop Research Institute for the Semi-arid Tropics
IDPES Individual Development and Performance Evaluation Scheme (ACIAR)
IDRC Canada’s International Development Research Centre
IFPRI International Food Policy Research Institute (USA)
ILRI International Livestock Research Institute
NESB non-English speaking background
NGO non-government organisation
OAM Medal of the Order of Australia
PARDI Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative II
PO People’s organisation
PGPA Act Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
PIC(s) Pacific island country(ies)
ODA official development assistance
PARDI Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative
PGPA Act Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013
PIC(s) Pacific island country(ies)
PNG Papua New Guinea
QCC Queens Commonwealth Canopy initiative
RAPID Research and Policy in Development Framework
R4D research–for–development
R&D research and development
RoU Record of Understanding
RPM Research Program Manager
SES Senior Executive Service (of APS)
SIMLESA Sustainable intensification of maize–legume cropping systems for food
security in eastern and southern Africa
SMAR Support for Market-Driven Adoptive Research
SME small–medium enterprise
SoL Seeds of Life (program)
SPC Secretariat of the Pacific Community
TADEP Transformative Agriculture Enterprise Development Program
TAR Tibet Autonomous Region
TOMAK Farming for Prosperity Program in Timor–-Leste

Index

A

acacia, 9, 38, 87–88, 161, 185, 203

acacia hybrids, 87, 203

accounting, 46, 109, 112, 117–18, 122, 126, 128–34, 136, 139, 146, 149–50, 152, 203

ACIAR, vii–14, 20–96, 100–104, 106–14, 120–22, 124, 128–32, 136–42, 146–50, 152, 156–60, 162–72, 192–96, 200–206, 208

ACIAR Act, 109, 156, 201, 203

ACIAR Commission, 82, 203, 208

acronyms, 196, 201, 203

administered activities, 112, 128, 203

Administered Reconciliation Schedule, 116–17, 126, 203

Administered Schedule of Assets and Liabilities, 116–17, 125, 127, 203

Administered Schedule of Comprehensive Income, 116–17, 124, 127, 203

Adoption studies, 203, 208

Afghanistan, 3, 6, 11, 55–56, 75, 190, 201, 203

aflatoxin, 84–86, 201, 203

AFLOMAN, 86, 203

Africa, 2–3, 6, 12, 66–68, 74–75, 77, 158, 161, 177, 182, 184, 187–88, 190–91, 201–5, 207–10

Agricultural Research Institute of Afghanistan, 11, 56, 201, 203

Agriculture Value Chain Collaborative research Program (Pakistan), 203

agroforestry, 9–10, 21–22, 25, 50–51, 63, 67–69, 92, 158, 184–85, 191, 193, 202–3, 206, 209

Aid Investment Plan, 33, 203

AIFSRC, 77, 201, 203

Amendment Act, 176, 203

basis of authority, 203

focus, 203

overview, 203

purpose, 176, 203

ANAO, 172, 201, 203

Animal health, 203

Annual Operational Plan (AOP), 171, 203

performance tracking, 203

APS Australian Public Service, 201, 203

APSIM Agricultural Production System Simulator, 201, 203

aquaculture, 9, 21–23, 32–33, 37, 44, 48–51, 67, 87, 89, 92, 160, 171, 183–84, 203, 207

army worm, 40, 203

ASARECA. See Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa

ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations, 201, 203

asparagus, 59, 203

Audit Committee, 110, 203, 206, 208

meetings, 110, 203, 206

membership, 110, 203

Audit Office, 109–10, 117–18, 165, 172, 199, 201, 203

Auditor-General, 117–18, 165, 197, 199, 203

Auditor’s Report, 203, 206

AusTender, 165–66, 199, 203

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, 1, 89, 101, 103, 109, 111, 117, 144, 156–57, 168, 176, 201, 203

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research Act, 101, 109, 144, 156, 176, 201, 203

Australian International Food Security Research Centre, 77, 201, 203

Australian National Audit Office, 109–10, 117–18, 165, 172, 199, 201, 203

Australian National Botanic Gardens, 203

Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security, 23, 203

Australian National University, 68, 103, 203

AVDRC. See World Vegetable Centre

B

balsa, 184, 203

bananas, 71, 186, 203, 207

Bangladesh, 3, 6, 8, 12, 55, 57–58, 60, 63, 70, 74, 76, 179, 182, 188, 190

beche-de-mer. See sea cucumber

beef, 25, 64, 92, 94, 103–5, 180–81, 186–87, 203

Bhutan, 3, 55, 59, 160, 186, 203

bilateral research projects, 89, 179, 203

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, 77, 163, 203

biosecurity, 5, 32, 34, 37, 41, 47, 77, 90, 95, 161–62, 180, 186, 203, 207

Bioversity International, 95, 105, 190, 204

bivalve, 87, 183, 204

bonuses, 168, 204, 207–8

Botswana, 67, 204

Bougainville, 7, 9, 26, 28–29, 83, 187, 204

Burundi, 67–68, 158, 204

business continuity planning, 110, 204

C

cacao, 9, 26, 28–29, 204

Canarium nut, 185, 204

Carer Recognition Act, 169, 204

Cash Flow Statement, 116–17, 123, 127, 204

cassava, 46, 75, 89, 162, 180, 182, 186, 190, 204

cattle, 5, 7–8, 25, 30, 34, 38, 40, 43, 48–49, 51, 92, 103–4, 180–81, 187, 204

CCFF Chinese citrus fruit fly, 201, 204

CDZ Central Dry Zone (of Myanmar), 201, 204

CGIAR, 2, 51, 60, 74–75, 81, 93, 95, 201, 204

chickens, 7, 42–43, 55, 193, 204

chicks, 204

Chief Executive Officer, 5, 101, 111, 116–17, 147, 156, 177, 201, 204, 208, 210

remuneration, 147, 204

review, 112, 204

role and functions, 204

Chief Finance Officer’s review, 112, 204

chilli, 59, 204

China, 3, 5, 11, 31, 35–36, 45, 93–95, 108, 179–80, 187, 204, 210

chocolate, 9, 26, 28–29, 204

CIAT. See International Centre for Tropical Agriculture

CIMMYT, 55–56, 67, 74, 76, 93, 105, 158–59, 201, 204

citrus, 5, 35–36, 55, 59, 64–65, 71, 160, 179, 186, 192, 201, 204

climate-change, 57, 204

cocoa, 7, 21, 26, 28–29, 37, 70, 83, 161, 179–81, 186–87, 189, 204

coconut, 21, 186–87, 204

coffee, 9, 21, 37, 179, 187, 204

Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, 67, 204

Commonwealth Disability Strategy, 169, 204

Commonwealth Procurement Rules, 165, 198, 201, 204

Communicating research results, 3, 82, 132, 204

community forestry, 27, 63, 73, 83, 153, 184, 204

compliance, 109–11, 152, 165, 169–71, 196–97, 199, 204–5

Conservation agriculture for sustainable intensification (CASI), 204

consultants, 12, 129, 166, 198–99, 204

contact officer, inside cover, 196, 204

contracts, 131, 165–66, 198–99, 204

coral, 45, 184, 204

coral reefs, 184, 204

corn, 89, 204

Corporate Directory, 204

Corporate Governance, 197, 204

Corporate Plan, 13, 157, 160–64, 193, 204, 207

corporate planning, 178, 204, 207

Corporate Publications, 204, 208

CPRs. See Commonwealth Procurement Rules

crab, 58, 204

Crawford Fund, 79, 83, 107, 204

credit systems, 179, 204

crop-livestock systems, 31, 35, 95, 163, 183, 204

CSIRO, 6, 9, 57, 61, 68, 87, 93, 95, 105, 201, 204

CultiAF Cultivate Africa’s Future, 201, 204

D

dairy, 59, 64–65, 92, 179–81, 187, 204

dairy cattle, 181, 204

departmental activity, 112, 204

Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, 37, 204

Department of Finance, 126, 146, 166, 199, 204

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, 9, 75, 109, 147–48, 201, 204

Department of the Environment and Energy, 170–71, 204

development and environmental performance, 170, 204

DFAT, 9–10, 26, 32, 37, 49, 51, 56, 64, 75, 107, 112, 124, 201, 204

diagnostics, 11, 48, 204

disability reporting, 169, 200, 204

disaster risk management, 181, 204

disclosure of interests, 106, 204

discretionary grants, 166, 204

disease, 5, 7, 9, 26–27, 34, 36–38, 42–44, 55, 71, 76, 162–63, 171, 180–81, 186, 207

E

economic diplomacy, 1, 205

economic evaluations, 12, 84, 205

economic growth, 22, 31, 41, 205

employees, 113, 123, 146, 167–70, 194–95, 197–98, 205

Endospermum medullosun, 205

Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act, 201, 205

environmental services, 184, 205

Ernst & Young, 205

Ethiopia, 67–69, 77, 106, 158, 163, 182, 193, 205

eucalypt, 47, 161, 185, 205

expenditure, 2–3, 112–13, 133, 165–66, 168, 198–99, 205

exports, 9, 23, 32, 205

external Review of ACIAR, 205

F

Facebook, 10, 65, 82, 205

family teams, 10, 27, 192, 205

FAO, 74, 93, 201, 205

Farming for Prosperity Program in Timor-Leste, 32, 205

Farming for Prosperity Program in Timor-Leste (TOMAK), 32, 205

fellowships, 79–80, 89, 205–6

Fiji, vii, 9, 20–23, 80, 177, 183–84, 186, 193, 195, 205

financial accountability and compliance, 109, 205

financial performance, 116–17, 129, 196, 205

Financial Statements, 109, 116–18, 199, 205, 207

fisheries, 10–11, 21–23, 26–27, 32, 37, 44–45, 47–49, 57–58, 74, 76, 92, 171, 177, 183–84, 191

fodder, 8, 38, 48–51, 60, 63, 190, 205

FOI, 170, 199–201, 205

Food and Agriculture Organization, 74, 201, 205

food safety, 7, 51–52, 163, 190, 205

food security, 5–6, 21, 31–32, 41–42, 49, 57, 60–61, 63, 67–69, 77, 158, 160–61, 181, 189–92, 201–3

forage, 5–6, 8, 34, 38, 49, 55–57, 187, 190, 205

forest plantations, 179, 205

forest products, 22, 63, 191, 205

forestry, 7, 9, 13, 21–22, 25–27, 32–33, 37–38, 41–42, 44, 70–71, 73, 83, 92, 184–85, 204–5

Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa, 67, 205

Foundation for People and Community Development, 73, 205

fraud control, 110–11, 197, 205, 207

Freedom of Information ACT, 205

fruit fly, 55, 59, 201, 204–5

fruit markets, 180, 205

fruit production, 10, 51, 186, 205

Functions of CEO, 205

G

galip nut, 9, 26–27, 158, 205

gall wasp (Leptocybe invasa), 47, 205

gender equality, 64, 205

gender strategies, 205

giant clam, 9, 21, 23, 184, 205

giant grouper, 160, 183, 205

Gliricidia, 69, 205

Global Program, 74, 78, 177, 205, 210

goats, 43, 205

governance, 74, 98–99, 101, 103, 105, 107, 109–11, 113, 117–18, 128, 191, 197, 202, 204–5, 208

grapes, 59, 205

grassland, 36, 179, 205

GRDC Grains Research and Development Corporation, 202, 205

Grevillea, 69, 205

groundwater, 42, 58, 61, 188, 191, 205

H

HarvestPlus program, 74, 205

horticultural markets, 179, 205

horticulture, 11, 21–22, 32, 67, 95, 163, 177, 181, 205, 210

horticulture products, 205

human resources management, 205

I

IARCs, 47, 74–75, 202, 205

IAS, 12, 84, 160, 192, 202, 205

ICAR, 205

ICARDA, 6, 55–57, 202, 205

ICRAF, 68–69, 158, 202, 205

IDPES, 167–68, 202, 205–6

IDRC, 74, 77–78, 202, 205

IFPRI, 12, 74–75, 202, 205

ILRI, 7, 51–52, 77–78, 94, 202, 205

IMIN, 70, 202, 205

Impact Assessment program, 84, 92, 206

Impact Pathway Analysis, 206

Independent Auditor’s Report, 206

India, viii, 3, 6, 10, 12, 54–55, 60–63, 89, 107–8, 159–60, 177, 179, 182, 188, 190

Indian Council of Agricultural Research, 60, 206

Individual Development and Performance Scheme (IDPES), 206

Indonesia, 9, 30–31, 37–39, 70–71, 84–86, 89–90, 93, 95, 157–58, 161, 163–64, 177, 179–80, 183–89, 191

Information Publication Scheme, 170, 200, 206

infrastructure, 22, 26, 58, 172, 183–84, 206

inland fishery, 184, 206

insurances, 109, 206

integrated crop management, 59, 160, 163, 186, 206

internal auditors, 110, 206

International Agricultural Research Centres, 47, 74, 100, 190–91, 202, 206

International Centre for Research in Agroforestry, 69, 206

International Centre for Tropical Agriculture, 201, 204, 206

International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics, 42, 55, 202, 206

International Development Research Centre (Canada), 206

International Food Policy Research Institute (USA), 202, 206

International Livestock Research institute, 206

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre, 67, 206

International Mungbean Improvement Network, 70, 202, 206

international relationships, 105, 206

International Rice Research Institute, 6, 32, 190, 192, 202, 206

International Water Management Institute, 93, 191, 206

irrigation, 6, 42, 50, 52, 59, 61, 64, 68, 158, 161, 179, 183–84, 188, 206

J

James Cook University, 23, 45, 68, 105, 206

Jasper and Myrtle Chocolates, 29, 206

Java, 31, 37, 39–40, 190, 206

John Allwright Fellowships, 80, 206

John Dillon Fellowships, 80, 89, 206

K

Kenya, 67, 69, 77–78, 93, 206

key performance indicators (KPIs), 206

Kiribati, 9, 21, 23, 163, 183, 206

knowledge systems, 12, 85, 160, 192, 206

L

Landline (ABC), 206

Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), 89, 206

learning and development, 167–69, 206, 208

legislation, 109, 171, 176, 196, 200, 206

legumes, 6, 8, 38, 42, 48–49, 63, 67–69, 158, 187, 206, 209

letter of transmittal, 196, 206

livestock, 5–8, 31–35, 37–38, 43–44, 48, 50–52, 55–57, 63, 92, 94–95, 103–4, 161, 180–81, 187, 189–90

longan, 51, 206

M

MAD, 185, 206

maize, 6, 8, 49, 51, 55–57, 60, 62, 66–69, 75, 158, 161, 189–90, 201–2, 206, 209

maize-legume cropping systems, 67, 161, 190, 206

Malabo Declaration, 67, 206

Malawi, 67, 78, 188, 206

Management of Human resources, 206

mangoes, 5, 34, 65, 206

mariculture, 74, 76, 164, 183–84, 206

marine finfish, 38, 183, 206

market research, 166, 206

measuring research impacts, 3, 84, 206

media coverage, 206

Landline (ABC), 206

SBS Food Network, 206

SBS radio, 206

Meetings, 102, 110, 206

Audit Committee, 110, 206

Commission for International Agricultural Research, 206

Policy Advisory Council, 206

Middle East, 3, 93, 103, 206

milk, 180, 207

Ministerial directions, 106, 207

Minister of Foreign Affairs, 207

mobile acquired data, 185, 207

Mongolia, 3, 11, 36, 179, 207

Monographs, 192, 207–8

mosaic virus, 70, 190, 207

Mozambique, 67–68, 161, 184, 187, 207

multilateral research projects, 207

mungbean, 6, 70, 158, 191, 202, 206–7

Murdoch University, 6, 48, 57, 158, 207

Myanmar, 3, 6–7, 11–12, 32, 42–43, 47, 82–83, 158, 160–61, 163–64, 177, 180–82, 189–93, 201, 204

MYPulses, 6, 43, 158, 207

MYRice, 6, 43, 207

N

National Disability Strategy, 169, 207

national interest (benefits to Australia), 207

Nepal, 3, 6, 8, 11, 16, 55, 60, 63, 81, 83, 92, 156, 159, 174, 184

Newcastle disease, 7, 42–43, 55, 207

North Africa, 3, 207

Northern Territory Department of Primary Industry and Resources, 5, 207

Notes to the Financial Statements, 116, 207

nutrient management, 6, 41–42, 52, 94, 158, 189, 207

O

oil palm, 161, 181–82, 207

onions, 37, 39–40, 207

operational plan, 157, 165, 168, 171, 193, 201, 203, 207

organisation bonuses, 168, 207

outcomes, 1, 5, 12, 48, 69, 73, 84–85, 87–89, 95, 160, 171, 181, 196, 207

oyster, 9, 21, 23, 68, 88, 183, 207

P

Pacific Agribusiness Research for Development Initiative (PARDI), 22, 207

Pacific Horticultural and Agricultural Market Access Program (PHAMA), 207

Pacific island countries, 2–3, 21, 207

Pacific Island Countries, 207

Pakistan, 3, 9–10, 55, 64–65, 80, 93, 95, 109, 177, 179, 182, 187–88, 193, 203, 207

Pamphilon, 10, 192–93, 207

panama disease (of bananas), 207

Papua New Guinea, 3, 7, 21, 26–27, 73, 158, 160, 163–64, 177, 181–87, 189, 192, 202, 207, 209–10

Papua New Guinea (PNG) Forest Research Institute, 207

Papua New Guinea (PNG) Forestry Association, 207

PARDI, 22, 180, 202, 207

Partners Magazine, 82, 207–8

peanuts, 85, 207

PEANUT WHOPPER CROPPER software tool, 207

pearl aquaculture, 207

peas, 6, 58, 207

performance management, 168, 207–8

Performance Statement, 156, 207

performance tracking, 203, 207

administered program, 207

against Corporate Plan, 207

against Portfolio Budget Statement, 207

departmental, 207

key performance indicators, 207

other statutory reporting, 207

regional and program achievements, 207

PGPA Act, 109–10, 156, 166, 202, 207

Philippines, 7, 9, 32, 44–46, 71, 89–90, 94–95, 159–60, 162, 180–81, 183, 186, 188–89, 207, 209–10

pigeon peas, 207

PigRisk, 7, 51, 207

pigs, 52, 207

plans and planning, 207

corporate planning, 207

fraud control, 207

Operational Plan, 207

Strategic Plan, 207

plant biosecurity, 47, 162, 186, 207

PNG, 2, 7, 9–10, 21, 23, 26–29, 73, 83, 89–91, 153, 158, 161, 164, 202, 207

postharvest issues, 207

potatoes, 69, 207

poultry, 7, 34, 43, 184, 192, 207

prawns, 207

private-sector, 22, 38, 60, 207

Professor Barbara, 10, 207

pub, 207

Publications, 129, 192, 204, 207–8

Adoption studies, 208

Co-publications, 208

Corporate Publications, 204, 208

Monographs, 208

Partners Magazine, 208

project fact sheets, 208

Technical reports, 208

Public Governance Performance and Accountability Act, 101, 208

Public Service Act, 101, 109, 156, 167, 194, 198, 208

pulses, 55, 58, 179, 182, 208

Purchasing, 165, 198, 208

Q

QCC Initiative, 208

Quadrastichus mendeli, 48, 208

Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC) initiative, 7, 208

Queensland, 7, 9, 25, 40, 44, 49, 61, 71, 85, 92, 94–95, 102–3, 107, 208–9

Queensland University of Technology, 9, 208

R

Ramu Agri Industries Ltd, 208

RAPID Research and Policy in Development Framework, 202, 208

reduced emissions, 184, 208

remuneration, 101, 106, 116, 131, 146–47, 204, 208

CEO, 101, 106, 208

Commissioners, 208

research capacity, 3, 21, 79, 163–64, 183, 208

research impact measurement, 208

research management training, 208

Research Program Managers, 92, 165, 168, 208

returnee awards, 80, 208

revenue, 55, 112–13, 116, 120, 124, 126, 131, 133, 145, 208

Review of ACIAR’s information technology security, 208

Rhizobium, 47–48, 208

risk management (by ACIAR), 208

roles and functions, 208

ACIAR, 208

ACIAR Commission, 208

Audit Committee, 208

CEO, 208

Policy Advisory Council, 208

RPM, 36, 69, 72, 170, 177, 195, 202, 208

rust resistance, 56, 208

Rwanda, 67–68, 158, 208

S

salaries, 129, 138, 140, 146, 167, 208

Samoa, 9, 21, 23, 183, 186–87, 208

sandalwood, 8, 49, 185, 208

sandfish, 44–45, 208

SBS Food Network, 83, 206, 208

sea cucumber, 20, 45, 203, 208

seaweed, 9, 21, 23, 183–84, 188, 208

Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), 208

seedbanks, 43, 208

seed production, 6, 56, 58, 208

Seeds of Life program, 32, 208

sharks, 208

sheep, 43, 187, 208

shrimp, 53, 58, 188, 208

SIMLESA, 6, 67, 158, 161, 190, 202, 208

social media, 12, 82–83, 208

soil fertility or management, 208

SoL, 32, 48–49, 202, 208

Solomon Islands, 21, 76, 182, 185–86, 208

Son tra tree, 10, 51, 208

sorghum, 60–61, 77, 163, 182, 190, 208

South Africa, 67–68, 187–88, 208

South-East Asia, 85, 188, 208

spiny lobster, 183, 208

sport fisheries, 183, 208

staff, 23, 25–26, 40, 45, 53, 83, 89, 91, 109–10, 112, 167–69, 194–95, 198, 202, 208

bonuses, 208

costs, 112, 208

Employee Assistance Program, 208

Enterprise Agreement, 168, 208

learning and development, 167, 208

overseas, 167–68, 195

performance management, 168, 208

snapshot (profile), 208

statistics, 167, 169, 194, 198

study assistance, 168

Staffing Statistics, 208

Statement by Chief Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer, 208

Statement of Changes in Equity, 116–17, 122, 208

Statement of Comprehensive Income, 116–17, 120, 122–23, 145, 208

Statement of Financial Position, 116–17, 121–23, 136, 149, 209

sustainable agriculture, 44, 103, 156, 159, 179, 193, 209

Sustainable and resilient farming systems intensification project, 209

Sustainable intensification of maize-legume cropping systems for food security in eastern and southern Africa, 190

sweet potato, 27, 75, 209

T

TADEP, 26–27, 185, 202, 209

Tanzania, 6, 66–68, 161, 184, 188, 209

taro, 162, 186–87, 209

teak, 7, 41, 81, 185, 209

Technical Reports, 193, 209

teff, 69, 209

Thailand, 3, 32, 47–48, 95, 162, 177, 186, 209–10

Tibet Autonomous Region, 31, 202, 209

Timor-Leste, 3, 32, 48–49, 182, 191, 205, 209

TOMAK, 32, 49, 202, 205, 209

tomato, 62, 209

Tonga, 9, 21, 23, 186, 209

Transformative Agriculture Enterprise Development Program, 26, 202, 209

tree legumes, 6, 38, 209

Tuvalu, 21, 209

typhoon, 45, 209

U

Uganda, 67–68, 78, 158, 209

University of Canberra, 10, 64, 209

University of Papua New Guinea, 73, 209

University of Queensland, 7, 9, 25, 49, 94–95, 107, 209

University of Sydney, 5, 28, 33, 94, 209

University of Tasmania, 9, 209

University of the Philippines, 45, 209

University of the South Pacific, 22, 209

University of the Sunshine Coast, 9, 46–47, 73, 107, 158, 209

University of Western Australia, 8, 49, 58, 158, 209

V

vaccination, 7, 42–43, 71, 209

vaccine, 209

value chain, 7, 10, 28, 51–52, 64–65, 67–68, 160, 163, 180, 184, 187, 191, 201, 203, 209

Vanuatu, 9, 21–25, 76, 92, 180, 183, 185, 187, 193, 209

vegetable, 9–10, 44–45, 60, 62, 70, 74, 159–60, 162–63, 179–81, 186–89, 191, 201, 203, 209

vegetable farming, 209

vegetable production, 9–10, 45, 60, 62, 159, 163, 179, 181, 189, 209

veneer, 193, 209

veterinary service systems, 89, 209

videos, 12, 82–83, 209

Vietnam, 6–7, 10, 12, 32–33, 47, 50–53, 76, 83–84, 87–88, 160–63, 179–81, 183, 185, 187–92, 209–10

Vietnam Academy of Forest Sciences, 87, 209

W

walnut, 59, 209

water, 5–6, 31–33, 35–37, 41–42, 44, 50, 52–53, 55–58, 60–61, 63–64, 93–95, 158–59, 161–62, 171–72, 188–91

watershed, 56, 89, 181, 188, 209

wheat, 8, 16, 55–57, 61, 63, 67, 69, 74–76, 160, 174, 182, 190, 201, 206, 209

wheat blast, 74, 76, 190, 209

whitewood, 25, 185, 209

Women, viii, 8, 54, 60, 62, 64, 104–5, 114, 209

business acumen, 209

empowerment, 209

engagement, 209

equity, 209

roles, 209

smallholders, 209

wood products, 164, 185, 209

work health and safety, 169–70, 209

workplace diversity, 169, 209

World Agroforestry Centre, 51, 68–69, 191, 202, 209

World Bank, 75, 93, 209

WorldFish, 23, 49, 74, 76, 81, 191, 209

World Food Prize, 74, 76, 209

Y

year ahead, 12, 209

Z

Zambia, 67, 78, 184, 209

Zimbabwe, 67–68, 78, 161, 184, 190, 209

Corporate directory

As at 30 June 2017

ACIAR
GPO Box 1571 Canberra ACT 2601
AUSTRALIA
Phone: +61 2 6217 0500
Fax: +61 2 6217 0501
aciar@aciar.gov.au

Chief Executive Officer
Prof Andrew Campbell

Chief Finance Officer and
General Manager, Corporate
Mr Albert Blair

General Manager, Country Programs
Dr Peter Horne

Principal Advisor, Research and
Research Program Manager,
Cropping Systems and Economics
Dr John Dixon

General Manager, Global Program
Ms Mellissa Wood

General Manager,
Outreach and Capacity Building
Ms Eleanor Dean

Country Manager, Vietnam
Ms An Nguyen

Country Manager, China
Mr Wang Guanglin

Country Manager, Indonesia
Ms Mirah Nuryati

Country Manager, Philippines
Ms Mai Alagcan

Regional Manager, Laos,
Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand
Ms Dulce Simmanivong

Country Manager, Papua New Guinea
Ms Florence Rahira

Regional Manager, South Asia
Dr Kuhu Chatterjee

Regional Manager Africa
Ms Leah Ndungu

Research Program Manager, Agribusiness
Dr Rodd Dyer

Research Program Manager,
Agricultural Systems Management
Dr Jayne Curnow

Research Program Manager,
Agricultural Development Policy
Dr Ejaz Qureshi

Research Program Manager,
Impact Assessment
Dr Andrew Alford

Research Program Manager, Horticulture
Dr Richard Markham

Research Program Manager,
Crop Improvement and Management
Dr Eric Huttner

Research Program Manager, Forestry
Mr Tony Bartlett

Research Program Manager,
Soil Management and Crop Nutrition
Dr Robert Edis

Research Program Manager,
Animal Health
Dr Mike Nunn

Research Program Manager, Fisheries
Dr Chris Barlow

Research Program Manager,
Livestock Production Systems
Dr Werner Stür

Research Program Manager,
Land and Water Resources
Dr Evan Christen