Thursday, 17 August 2017

Focus on our work in Indonesia

Here at ACIAR we wish the people of Indonesia well as they celebrate their Independence Day.
Kerja Bersama!

ACIAR has collaborated with Indonesia for 35 years – since we first started our work in agricultural research.  This longstanding partnership has benefitted farmers and agriculture in both countries through the development of technologies and innovations.

At the moment we have more than thirty research projects in Indonesia, across agriculture, fisheries, and forestry.  These projects help to reduce poverty, improve food security, and empower women and girls.

Ocean seaweed farming in Indonesia
Fish are crucial for the food security of coastal people. And for the economic development of fishing communities, who are often among the poorest and most vulnerable in their region.  We are investigating how fisheries provide food, income and livelihoods for coastal communities.

We are also looking at ways to make Indonesia’s tuna fisheries more productive and sustainable and developing a bilingual web-based tool to identify fish. Our fisheries projects are also expanding spiny lobster aquaculture and improving seaweed production and processing - both major industries.
Our agribusiness projects connect farmers to fruit and vegetable markets and to value chains for coffee and cocoa, cassava and dairy products. Our animal health projects help farmers with ways to farm pigs and fatten up beef.

Our soil management and crop nutrition programs are working on dryland agriculture systems in tsunami-affected regions of Aceh. Our horticulture projects aim to help Indonesian farmers to grow shallots, garlic and chilli and to protect their crops from sugarcane disease and fruit fly.

Ginger is planted as a crop under a forest
Our forestry projects are developing eucalyptus, acacia and sandalwood plantations; helping farmers to reduce the damage from tree diseases and creating DNA-based chain-of-custody systems for teak, so it can be exported to countries with strict regulations. We are exploring community-based commercial forestry, so that farmer forest groups can make better investment decisions.

We are diversifying market-based integrated agroforestry systems to enhance the production and marketing of timber and other forest products. We are helping the Indonesian government to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation to benefit communities. We are also working to prevent fires in the peatlands and restore large areas of degraded peatland.

Other projects are focusing on ways for farmers to feed livestock. We are integrating herbaceous tropical legumes into grain cropping systems, and investigating supplementary feeding strategies for fattening cattle.  We are also upgrading a database of tropical and semi-tropical forages that farmers can use to identify forage species suitable for specific climates, soils, and farming systems.
Tilapia fish seedstock in the ocean in Indonesia
Indonesia is one of our first partners in agricultural research, and we are doing a variety of work across the spectrum of agriculture in Indonesia. Whether it is fattening cows, identifying fish or beating crop diseases, our work in Indonesia aims to make food systems more resilient, for the farmers and people of Indonesia.

Read more about our projects in Indonesia

Friday, 11 August 2017

In National Science Week we celebrate ACIAR’s work in science

It is National Science Week from 12-20 August. Science is the bedrock of our mission to make agriculture more productive and sustainable for the benefit of developing countries and Australia. We work with staff from universities around Australia, as well as from overseas. 
ACIAR works with family farmers in Nepal  Photo Conor Ashleigh

In many countries most farms are family-run and are under 2 hectares. It is vital for these farmers to remain viable, to feed their own families, and their country. We aim to help them with improved agriculture, in ways that will work for them, so they will be able to continue to thrive when our five-year research projects finish up.

Australian scientists work with 36 developing countries to build healthier, more equitable and more prosperous societies through agriculture. We work to improve food security and human nutrition, through diverse crops for family farms, and cash crops like coffee and chocolate, which give farmers additional income.

Seeding giant clams in the Philippines
We take a broad view of agriculture, our research programs tackle priority areas in livestock and fisheries, crops, natural resource management, and economics and social sciences. ACIAR projects cover a huge variety of agriculture from combined rice and fish fields in Myanmar to precooked beans in Africa. We also work on projects to create sustainable livelihoods in small communities, like giant clam breeding and half pearls in the Pacific. We’ve done work on vegetable markets in Nepal, and forestry in Indonesia.
Farming seaweed in the Pacific
We’re also investigating sea cucumbers in Northern Australia and growing mung bean test plots in four countries including Australia, to establish optimal conditions for this important protein crop. 

ACIAR works to:
·         Increase food and nutrition security by working with the private sector
·         Raise crop, livestock, forestry and fisheries productivity
·         Manage the challenges to agriculture from a changing climate
·         Improve smallholder and community livelihoods
·         Strengthen animal and plant biosecurity
·         Build gender equity
·         Build individual and institutional capacity.

We generate and apply knowledge to meet the challenges facing developing countries, and share this knowledge with policy makers, other scientists, and communities around the world.
Australian farmers and researchers also benefit through knowledge and technology exchange, preventing or solving problems like crop disease before they reach Australia.

Our work with pre-cooked beans in Africa is keeping families healthy

Food is vital for the world’s people, and science is vital for the agricultural research ACIAR does, to improve agriculture, and through that to improve nutrition for families in developing countries.
ACIAR the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, is Australia’s specialist international agricultural research for development agency.
By Nick Fuller

Read more: 

- on science week -