The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), established in June 1982, is a statutory authority that operates as part of the Australian Aid Program. ACIAR funds agricultural research projects that reflect the priorities of Australia’s aid program and national research strengths, and the agricultural research and development priorities of partner countries. Projects are jointly carried out by scientists from Australia and partner countries.
Research that works in the Philippines
ACIAR's program in the Philippines has been active since 1983 with research strategies and geographic priorities reviewed every 4-5 years through consultations with key research coordinating agencies, universities, farmer organisations, and private sector stakeholders. The current strategy (2012-16) was agreed in February 2012 and addresses the following key priorities:
- increasing the market competitiveness of horticultural products
- competitive and sustainable fisheries and aquaculture production
- land and water resource management for profitable and sustainable agriculture
- improving returns from low-input livestock production systems
- tackling the adverse impacts of climate change on the rural poor
- improving technology adoption by poor indigenous households in the southern Philippines by understanding and addressing adoption constraints and extension
Most of the projects currently being implemented are focused in the southern Philippines although linkages with research experts and policymakers based in Manila and Los Baños are still maintained.
Each ACIAR research project, depending on the discipline to which it is classified, is under the supervision of a specific Research Program Manager at ACIAR Canberra. In the Philippines, the key program areas are Agribusiness, Agricultural Systems Management, Animal Health, Fisheries, Horticulture, and Soil Management and Crop Nutrition.
Training and capacity building
Aside from funding collaborative research projects, ACIAR is also committed to strengthening the capacity of research institutes in partner countries. Opportunities for the development of ACIAR collaborators are offered through the following schemes:
The John Allwright Fellowship Program enables partner country scientists involved in ACIAR-supported collaborative research projects to obtain postgraduate qualifications at Australian tertiary institutions. Whilst individual awardees benefit from the program, it is important to note that it is the enhancement of ACIAR’s partner country institutions that is the key target of the scheme.
The John Dillon Fellowship Program provides career development opportunities for outstanding young agricultural scientists or economists from ACIAR partner countries who are involved in a current or recently completed ACIAR project. The Fellowship aims to develop leadership skills by exposing them to best-practice organisations in Australia that are involved in agricultural research, extension and/or policy making. The visit programs are tailored to specifically meet the needs of individual Fellows and their employing organisation.
In a competitive scheme, ACIAR also provides sponsorship and event attendance funding to develop the skills and capacity required to further advance international agricultural research for development. Application closing dates are the first Wednesday of April and the last Wednesday of October in each calendar year.
Assistant Country Manager
updated: September 2016