While international agricultural research in general, and ACIAR’s program in particular, should be aimed primarily at improving economic welfare in the developing countries, it is in the nature of new knowledge in agriculture—drawing on the skills and expertise of Australian researchers—that it can serve the interests of Australian producers as well.
Our study will show convincingly that it does.
I firmly believe that Australian investment in international agricultural research helps ensure food security and farm productivity, for this country and for the world
Together with Margaret Reid AO, Dr Tony Gregson AM and Dr Denis Blight AO, I had the pleasure of calling on Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop recently and was pleased to find her sympathetic to our findings and supportive of the work of ACIAR.
Our commissioned high-level review demonstrated an impressive return on investment of between 50:1 and 70:1 by ACIAR and research partners in Australia and developing countries. This return:
- came from a sample of just 10% of ACIAR’s total bilateral research program
- greatly exceeds the total investment in ACIAR-led bilateral research to date, and
- results from increased farm incomes in developing countries, although it also led to advances in the productivity of Australian agriculture.
Australian researchers work abroad gaining experience and capacity, which yield unquantified benefits to Australia. These include:
- fresh thinking on Australian agricultural issues
- new scientific tools and insights in developing countries that can also apply in Australia
- opportunities to understand and prevent threatening biosecurity risks, and
- high credibility for Australia in international scientific forums and peer-group meetings, and among internationally respected colleagues.
It was a great pleasure for me to serve on the taskforce and to see ACIAR sustained through the change of government so that it can continue its good work for farmers in developing countries and in Australia.
By: Neil Andrew, Crawford Fund taskforce Chair
Download the Crawford Fund taskforce report: 'Doing Well by Doing Good, International agricultural research – how it benefits Australia as well as developing countries'
Series of YouTube interviews produced by the Crawford Fund: Presentations provided by researchers, farmers and others as part of the Fund's 'Doing Well by Doing Good' Taskforce.
Full copy of the Hon Neil Andrew’s article for Partners magazine
‘Australian Benefits’ edition of Partners magazine