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The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research
The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), established in June 1982, is an Australian Government statutory authority that operates as part of Australia's Aid Program within the departmental portfolio of the Foreign Affairs and Trade. It contributes to the aid program objectives of advancing Australia's national interest through poverty reduction and sustainable development by funding agricultural research projects which are jointly carried out by scientists from Australia and partner countries.
Research that works in the Philippines
ACIAR's program in the Philippines has been active since 1983 with the research priorities changing through time as guided by the country consultations conducted every four years. The most recent full program consultation with the Philippines was held in March 2006 wherein various stakeholders in the Philippines agriculture sector were represented.
The agreed priorities for collaborative research and development programs in the Philippines are listed under four thematic areas:
Subprogram 1: Increasing the market competitiveness of Philippines horticultural products
Subprogram 2: Competitive and sustainable aquaculture production
Subprogram 3: Farmer-based land and water resource management for profitable and sustainable agriculture
Subprogram 4: Identifying and addressing policy and technical constraints to the adoption of research outputs
Each project, depending on the discipline to which it is classified, is under the supervision of a specific Research Program Manager at ACIAR. In the Philippines, the key program areas are Agricultural Systems Management, Fisheries, Horticulture, Soil Management and Crop Nutrition, and Animal Health. Most of the projects currently being implemented are focused in the southern Philippines although linkages with research experts and policymakers based in Manila and Los Baños are still maintained.
A recent initiative by ACIAR and a range of Filipino partners is the Philippines Horticultural Program that was put together through an industry consultation in September 2007. It hopes to improve the market competitiveness and smallholder and industry profitability of selected vegetable and tropical fruit industries thereby increasing the income and improving the livelihood of high-value vegetable and tropical fruit growers in the southern Philippines.
Training and capacity building
Aside from funding collaborative research projects, ACIAR is also committed in strengthening the research capabilities of institutions and individuals involved in the projects. Opportunities for the personal development of ACIAR collaborators are offered through the following schemes:
The John Allwright Fellowship Program enables partner country scientists, involved in an active ACIAR project, to obtain their Masters or PhD qualifications from an Australian tertiary institution. While individual awardees benefit from the program, it is important to note that it is the enhancement of the ACIAR partner's research capacity that is the key target of the scheme.
The John Dillon Fellowship Program provides opportunities for outstanding young agricultural scientists or economists, involved in an active or recently completed ACIAR project, to develop their leadership skills by exposing them to best-practice organisations involved in agricultural research, extension and/or policy making in Australia. The program is structured specifically to meet the individual needs of both the fellow as well as his/her employing organisation.
Occasionally, short-term ‘cross program' training activities for staff associated with active ACIAR projects are being conducted. Some of these activities are directly managed by ACIAR while some are managed by the ATSE Crawford Fund.
For more information on ACIAR projects and activities in the Philippines, please visit www.aciar.gov.au/country/Philippines or contact:
Assistant Country Manager
updated: February 2010