Friday, 11 August 2017

In National Science Week we celebrate ACIAR’s work in science

It is National Science Week from 12-20 August. Science is the bedrock of our mission to make agriculture more productive and sustainable for the benefit of developing countries and Australia. We work with staff from universities around Australia, as well as from overseas. 
ACIAR works with family farmers in Nepal  Photo Conor Ashleigh

In many countries most farms are family-run and are under 2 hectares. It is vital for these farmers to remain viable, to feed their own families, and their country. We aim to help them with improved agriculture, in ways that will work for them, so they will be able to continue to thrive when our five-year research projects finish up.

Australian scientists work with 36 developing countries to build healthier, more equitable and more prosperous societies through agriculture. We work to improve food security and human nutrition, through diverse crops for family farms, and cash crops like coffee and chocolate, which give farmers additional income.

Seeding giant clams in the Philippines
We take a broad view of agriculture, our research programs tackle priority areas in livestock and fisheries, crops, natural resource management, and economics and social sciences. ACIAR projects cover a huge variety of agriculture from combined rice and fish fields in Myanmar to precooked beans in Africa. We also work on projects to create sustainable livelihoods in small communities, like giant clam breeding and half pearls in the Pacific. We’ve done work on vegetable markets in Nepal, and forestry in Indonesia.
Farming seaweed in the Pacific
We’re also investigating sea cucumbers in Northern Australia and growing mung bean test plots in four countries including Australia, to establish optimal conditions for this important protein crop. 

ACIAR works to:
·         Increase food and nutrition security by working with the private sector
·         Raise crop, livestock, forestry and fisheries productivity
·         Manage the challenges to agriculture from a changing climate
·         Improve smallholder and community livelihoods
·         Strengthen animal and plant biosecurity
·         Build gender equity
·         Build individual and institutional capacity.

We generate and apply knowledge to meet the challenges facing developing countries, and share this knowledge with policy makers, other scientists, and communities around the world.
Australian farmers and researchers also benefit through knowledge and technology exchange, preventing or solving problems like crop disease before they reach Australia.

Our work with pre-cooked beans in Africa is keeping families healthy

Food is vital for the world’s people, and science is vital for the agricultural research ACIAR does, to improve agriculture, and through that to improve nutrition for families in developing countries.
ACIAR the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, is Australia’s specialist international agricultural research for development agency.
By Nick Fuller

Read more: 

- on science week -

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