Tuesday, 28 February 2012

ACIAR staff graduate with international accolades

Congratulation to two of ACIAR’s Program Support Officer’s (PSO's) who graduated from the Australian National University at the end of last year with international degrees.

Olivia Shanahan and Janet Williams graduated from the College of Asia and the Pacific, Olivia with a degree in Security Analysis (Asia Pacific) and Janet with one in International Affairs.

Graduation day for ACIAR Program Support Officers, Janet Williams (left) and Olivia Shanahan (right).
Our PSOs play a vital role in ACIAR. Their main job is to provide administrative advice and support to our Research Program Managers. Those who work with scientists can appreciate the mammoth job at hand. The PSO role involves tasks such as finance and contract administration, preparation and monitoring of budgets and sorting out the vast array of project information. The diversity of the PSO positions bring people with a plethora of skills to ACIAR. It is this variety of skills, expertise and experience that strengthens the PSO network.

Janet Williams explains why she thinks the business of ACIAR is more important than ever.  

Monday, 20 February 2012

New poverty study

The latest report to be published in ACIAR’s Impact Assessment Series looks at the role that agricultural growth has played, and will play, in reducing poverty in China, India, Indonesia, South Africa and Vietnam.

The poverty status of each country was assessed in terms of monetary indicators as well as the Multidimensional Poverty Index (based on health, education and living standards) .  The report showed that, since the 1980s, all countries made substantial progress in reducing poverty, although to varying degrees. The poverty-reducing impact of agriculture depended on the types of agriculture, the relative size and growth rate of agriculture compared with non-agriculture sectors, the level of public and private investment in agriculture, and the level of government policy support.
 Given the high concentration of the world’s poor in developing countries and particularly in rural areas, further substantial reduction in poverty requires lifting the growth of the agriculture sector through increased agricultural productivity. Further investment in agricultural research and development across many countries will be necessary if the potential of agriculture to meet emerging food needs and to contribute to poverty reduction is to be realised.

The report can be downloaded for free, or purchased online, from http://aciar.gov.au/publication/IAS076. Complimentary copies may also be possible. For ACIAR’s distribution policy, see http://aciar.gov.au/publication/distributionPolicy.
Georgina Hickey, ACIAR Publications Manager

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Fish farm future for PNG

A/Professor Jes Sammut (c), with lead farmer Mr A1 (r) who is fostering aquaculture technologies with other farmers in the Eastern Highlands Province (Photo: Cathy Hair)

The experience of ACIAR project leader Dr Jes Sammut helping people in Papua New Guinea grow fish inland, is featured in the February edition of the Qantas ‘Australian Way’ magazine in a story about scientists working in remote locations.

The Associate Professor at the School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of New South Wales travels to a range of locations in the Western, Eastern Highlands and Morobe provinces of PNG on a regular basis.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Young aggie Aussies wanted overseas

Did you see our recent post on Skye Gabb? Inspired? Well, if you're a young Aussie with skills in agriculture, then you could be next!

The Australian Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) Program is calling for applicants for 12 agriculture assignments. It's a fantastic opportunity for young people (18-30 years) from the agriculture sector to share their skills and experience with communities in developing countries.

AYAD John Paul Collins worked on an ACIAR-project on the south central coast of Vietnam