Agricultural research remains an important driver of agricultural productivity, providing opportunities in rural and agricultural sectors that improve livelihoods for poor smallholder farmers.

Australia has an international reputation for agricultural research excellence. Our agricultural sector produces sufficient food to contribute to the diets of 60 million people each year. This is only part of our contribution to food security.

We are a world-leader in responding to the impact of rising global food prices on poor people, including through contributions to the World Bank’s Global Food Crisis Response Fund, the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program and through the commitment of $464 million for food security over four years in the 2009 Federal Budget.

Following the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness and the Government’s response a Strategic Framework for International Agricultural Research has been developed by a panel of experts, led by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Ian Chubb.

The strategic framework provides guidance on Australia’s future role in global food security through international agricultural research, and how Australia’s role may be scaled up, as suggested in An effective aid program for Australia, Making a real difference.

At the heart of the framework is the important role of agricultural research in delivering effective results, as a driver of agricultural productivity, as a means of reducing poverty and as an important facet of meeting the challenges that lie ahead in achieving global food security.

The Strategic Framework outlines the linkages of agricultural research to the five strategic goals and 10 development objectives of Australian aid, in particular how agricultural research has a leading role to play in improving food security, improving incomes, employment and enterprise opportunities for poor people, and reducing the negative impacts of climate change and other adverse environmental factors on poor people.

The framework outlines a five point approach to further improving the effectiveness and efficiency of agricultural research delivered under the auspices of Australia’s aid program.

New modalities and methods of furthering the reach of agricultural research for development are outlined, including trilateral relationships, and more in-depth engagements in regions and countries, with the new Australian International Food Security Centre, focused initially on Africa, providing an ideal focal point for implementing the framework.

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) leads Australia’s agricultural research engagement in the aid program.

ACIAR projects have generated $31.9 billion in benefits, of which $29.4 billion flow to developing countries. This impact covers 130 projects assessed independently for their economic impacts.

New approaches in International Agricultural researchView more presentations from ACIAR.

Panel Members

Professor Ian Chubb, Chief Scientist for Australia
Professor Alan Robson, University of Western Australia
Professor Peter Drysdale, Emeritus Professor of Economics, Australian National University
Professor Jeffrey Sayer, Professor of Conservation & Development Practice, James Cook University

Further information aciar@aciar.gov.au