Friday, 29 July 2016

Achieving impact with agroforestry in North Western Vietnam

In the north-west of Vietnam, which is one of Vietnam’s poorer regions with many ethnic groups, large areas of steep land are farmed to grow hybrid maize. Over the past decade many forests have been cleared and the current agricultural system results in very substantial soil erosion. ACIAR is funding a five year agroforestry project (FST/2010/034) ‘Agroforestry for Livelihoods of Smallholder Farmers in North-West Vietnam’ (AFLi), which is managed by the World Agroforestry Centre. The Vietnamese partners are: Northern Mountainous Agriculture and Forestry Science Institute (NOMAFSI); Forest Science Centre of North Western Vietnam; Tay Bac University and the Department of Agriculture and Regional Development (DARD) from Son La, Yen Bai and Dien Bien Provinces. ACIAR recently reviewed its achievements to date and it is clear that the collaborative research on the introduction of various agroforestry systems has led to substantial impacts in a relatively short period.
Fodder grass contours established in maize fields. Photo: Tony Bartlett, ACIAR.

Monday, 25 July 2016

Promising results from South Pacific Cocoveneer project

Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research's Forestry Research Program Manager, Mr Tony Bartlett, traveled to Fiji last month for an End of Project Review of the Cocoveneer project (FST/2009/062).  

Spindle-less lathe in action.

Friday, 22 July 2016

Australian volunteer assists in development of an ornamental fish hatchery in Indonesia

Alexander Basford was a volunteer at Mars Symboscience in Indonesia from May 2015 to February 2016 under the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program. Below he shares his recent experience traveling to several aquaculture production and research facilities in Indonesia, Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The final stage of microalgae culture at BBPBL Lampung - 30 tonne tanks that are the base of the food supply of the entire hatchery. Photo: Alex Basford

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Inaugural Bougainville Chocolate Festival a sweet success

The inaugural Bougainville Chocolate Festival was held in Buin and Arawa on 5 and 6 July 2016. The festival was an initiative of the Autonomous Government of Bougainville led by the Department of Primary Industries in partnership with the Australian Government and was strongly supported by a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade-funded ACIAR project “Developing the cocoa value chain in Bougainville”, which is being implemented through a partnership of PNG and Australian research organisations led in Australia by the University of Sydney.

The two-day festival aimed to encourage good cocoa farming and processing practices and raise awareness of the efforts of the Autonomous Bougainville Government (ABG) and its partners to develop the chocolate industry and market links.

Canberra-based bean to bar chocolate makers Peter and Li Peng from Jasper and Myrtle attended the festival. Below, they tell us all about their Pacific chocolate adventure.

Friday, 15 July 2016

ACIAR forestry project helps locals rebuild their houses following last year's devastating earthquake in Nepal

Research conducted as part of an Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) forestry project in Nepal has helped locals in Chaubus, Kavre, rebuild their houses following the devastating earthquake that destroyed communities in 2015. 

The project, ‘Enhancing livelihoods and food security from agroforestry and community forestry in Nepal’, began in 2013 and aims to provide diverse benefits to farmers, support livestock and agriculture, and increase the resilience of forests to climate change.  

Below, Project Leader Dr Ian Nuberg and Research Officer Dr Edwin Cedamon, report on recent benefits that have emerged from demonstration plots that were established as part of the project.

Purna Darjee, who lives in in the village of Chaubus, in Kavre Palanchok District, and was a victim of the 2015 earthquake, appeared relieved while carrying a load of sawn planks of pine timber distributed by his community forest. Purna, along with 30 others who lost their houses last year, can now construct a temporary one using timber from their own forests. The timber was available from silviculture demonstration plots, which were established under the ACIAR-supported forestry project.

Photo: ACIAR

Monday, 11 July 2016

ACIAR pledges ongoing support for technical cooperation with Son La Province, Vietnam

At a workshop held on 7 July in Son La Province, Vietnam, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) entered into a partnership with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the Provincial People’s Committee of Son La Province that will promote cooperation in agriculture and rural development.

Signing ceremony of Aide Memoire on cooperation in agriculture and rural development. Photo: ACIAR

Monday, 4 July 2016

Visit from Ethiopian Minister for Livestock and Fisheries

ACIAR welcomed a delegation from the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to Canberra last week. Led by the State Minister for Livestock and Fisheries, Dr Gebregziabher Gebre Yohannes, the group of agricultural researchers from the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research (EIAR) and the Ethiopia Policy Study and Research Centre met with the CEO and Research Program Managers (RPMs) to discuss synergies between ACIAR’s work in Africa and livestock research for development in Ethiopia.

Friday, 1 July 2016

This is way two MAD!

At the beginning of June a group of Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) project teams and other interested groups were brought together at a three-day Masterclass in Canberra to learn more about the powerful features of apps and how to harness them for best use in the agriculture sector.

Conor Ashleigh (left) sharing his tips-of-the-trade of story capture with Keith Antfalo, Simon Quigley and Cherise Addinsall (right). Photo: ACIAR
The class occurred as part of the second phase of the Mobile Acquired Data (MAD) evaluation, which began last year and is being commissioned by ACIAR.