Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Creating impacts in forestry research and development projects in Nepal

ACIAR’s forestry project FST/2011/076, which is undertaking research on enhancing agroforestry and community forestry systems in Nepal, has been conducting its activities for the past 19 months and already we are beginning to see some short term impacts. Many farmers in the project sites have indicated that they need access to better germplasm if they are to improve their agroforestry systems as the preferred tree species are not readily available.

Edwin Cedamon, a project scientist from the University of Adelaide, has been working with his Nepali colleagues to train farmers in how to establish their own small nurseries. Edwin, who originally came from the Philippines, undertook postgraduate study in Australia with the support of ACIAR’s John Allwright Fellowship scheme while he was working on an ASEM project in the Philippines. Edwin has introduced the raised nursery bed technology that was used in the ASEM project in the Philippines to farmers in Nepal. These nursery beds are easy for farmers to construct from locally available materials and they have the advantage over the traditional ground based nursery beds in that the plants don’t become waterlogged and the root systems are “air pruned”.

Edwin Cedamon (centre) with a farmer nursery [Source: Tony Bartlett]

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Learning from experience - bright ideas from the 'Sunny State'

Earlier this week on a not-so-sunny-day in the ‘Sunny State’, I listened to stories that could fill what would be a unique travel guide. From quickly lying face flat-down to the ground in order to obtain an import permit for biological samples, to being warned of love potions that would hold you captive in the mountains of Vietnam; the whole group had stories of the lengths they will go to, to ensure the success and impact of projects. 

David Hall introduces the panel for the cross-cultural session

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Fish, plants, phytohormones, beneficial bacteria, aquaculture and hydroponics. This project has it all!

John Allwright Fellow, Jonathan Mangmang, is completing his PhD at the University of Sydney under the supervision of Dr Gordon Rogers and Rosalind Deaker. Jonathan is on secondment from Visayas State University, Philippines where he worked on an ACIAR-funded protected vegetable cropping project. He is interested in more efficient and sustainable food production system, particularly in the integration of beneficial microbes in aquaponics vegetable production.

Source: Jonathan Mangmang

Friday, 6 February 2015

Shark fishing research in Papua New Guinea

Balancing environmental sustainability goals against socio-economic needs is an extremely difficult task in a place like Papua New Guinea (PNG). This was my main take-home message from a visit to Milne Bay in PNG in November 2014. The visit was part of my work on the ACIAR-funded project: ‘Sustainable Management of Shark Resources in PNG: Socio-economic and Biological Characteristics’. The project is being run by the PNG National Fisheries Authority, the CSIRO, James Cook University and doMar Research.

Brooker/Utian Island [Source: Google maps]