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David Shearer has been appointed
as ACIAR's director corporate.
Dave joined ACIAR in 2006 as
Agribusiness research program
manager and has acted in the
role of director corporate since
the departure of Lisa Wright. He is
experienced in delivering corporate objectives for a range of government
agencies. He also brings a sound knowledge of ACIAR's operating
environment, a broad understanding of the Australian Government's aid
strategy and a strong understanding of agricultural development. These
capabilities will assist in strategically positioning ACIAR during a time of
rapid change in the aid program. Last year Dave received an Australian
Development Council (ADC) Australian Leadership Award in recognition
of his capabilities.
ACIAR research program managers undertake a hefty travel schedule, with
partner visits, project reviews and in-country consultations. We'll report on
some of the highlights of trip visits in the next few issues of Partners.
In May, Debbie Templeton, ACIAR's Impact Assessment research program
manager, travelled to Cambodia. She presented a 3 day workshop to
36 attendees representing four components of the New Policy Program
Safeguarding Food Security in Rice-Based Farming Systems in the
Mekong (CSE/2009/005 Improved rice germplasm for Cambodia
and Australia; CSE/2009/037 Improved rice establishment and
productivity in Cambodia and Australia; LWR/2009/046 Improved
irrigation water management to increase rice productivity in Cambodia;
and HORT/2009/064 Strengthening the Cambodian and Australian
vegetable industries through adoption of improved production and
ACIAR's principal adviser for strategy and policy, Simon Hearn, travelled
to Jakarta in April. The purpose of the visit to Indonesia was to attend
the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) Board meeting.
He provided a discussion paper to an IFPRI workshop covering climate
change, price volatility and food security. The workshop was co-hosted
by the Ministry of Agriculture and the National Team for the Acceleration
of Poverty Reduction (Indonesia). While in Jakarta, Simon also held
bilateral discussions with project leaders covering two ADP projects:
ADP/2005/066 Markets for high value commodities in Indonesia:
promoting competitiveness and inclusiveness; and ADP/2005/068
Plausible futures for economic development and structural adjustment --
impacts and policy implications for Indonesia and Australia.
In March, ACIAR's research program manager for Soil Management and
Crop Nutrition, Gamini Keerthisinghe, travelled to Thailand to attend a
project review workshop of SMCN/2007/215 Improving the reliability of
rainfed, rice/livestock-based farming systems at Khon Kaen University.
The overall aim of the project is to improve the reliability of achieving
profitable returns at the household level from rice and cattle production in
rainfed rice-based farming ecosystems in Mahasarakham province. Gamini
also met with project proponents to discuss the formulation of a new
regional project on rainfed lowland rice and livestock farming systems.
John Dillon Fellows visit Canberra
Payakun Satria (left) receives his certificate
of achievement from the Hon. Richard
Marles MP, Parliamentary Secretary for
Pacific Island Affairs.
Congratulations NorahPhD as a valuable contribution to
agricultural development in PNG.
"By identifying market
orientation, Norah's thesis can
assist sweetpotato smallholders
with growing to demand and
generating income for their
families," she said. "Certainly it has
the potential to form the basis for
Dr Omot is now running
the NARI program 'Enabling
environment', which is identifying
the socioeconomic barriers
to sustainable agricultural
development in PNG.
"Agricultural research is
vital in the development
process. It is the source
of new technology, and
is the source of
economic growth. As
projects have produced
new technologies it has
become important to
ensure clear strategies
are available to
facilitate the efficient
and application to
The Hon. Richard Marles MP,
Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific
Island Affairs, welcomed ACIAR's
John Dillon Fellows to Parliament
House as part of their study tour
visit in March of this year.
The Parliamentary Secretary
acknowledged the key role
the John Dillon Fellows have in
promoting and strengthening the
partnerships that ACIAR fosters
between Australian researchers
and their colleagues in research
institutions, in the private sector
Dr Norah Omot with her University
of Canberra PhD supervisor
Professor John Spriggs at
graduation, Parliament House,
Canberra, 31 March 2011.
Sweetpotato farmers in Papua New
Guinea will be pleased to learn of
the recent graduation of Dr Norah
Omot, who received a PhD from the
University of Canberra.
Her studies, sponsored by
ACIAR through a John Allwright
Fellowship, identified weaknesses
in the process of bringing the
vegetables from production to
market in PNG.
"In particular, I looked at what
consumers want and whether
suppliers are meeting their needs,"
Dr Omot said of her thesis, Long-
distance marketing of sweetpotato
from the highlands
of Papua New
Guinea: an analysis of
recognised Dr Omot's
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