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In recent months there has been a focus on aid and effectiveness, prompted by the
Australian Government's response to the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness. The
response---An Effective Aid Program for Australia: Making a real difference, delivering real
results---sets out how Australian aid will deliver real results for poor people in developing
countries by maximising the effectiveness of Australia's aid.
The government's response endorses the view of the aid review, that agricultural research
is an important facet of Australia's overall aid program. An Effective Aid Program for Australia:
Making a real difference recognises that "agricultural research remains an important driver of
ACIAR's role is central to delivering the productivity gains that improve food security
and catalyse broader economic growth, as reported on page 4. The government's response
acknowledges the "impressive results, confirmed by independent evaluations" that ACIAR has
An Effective Aid Program for Australia: Making a real difference also notes Australia's
increasing contribution to the centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural
Research (CGIAR). Australia supports the work of important global research bodies such as
those of the CGIAR, as this furthers our leadership role in delivering food security.
The articles on pages 20 and 23 detail some of ACIAR's partnerships with the CGIAR. The
second of these articles is an interview with the Director of the International Wheat and
Maize Improvement Center (CIMMYT ), which is leading ACIAR's multi-country food initiative
in eastern Africa.
Australia's support for multilateral institutions is a key pillar in responding to the impact of
rising global food prices on poor people. Australian aid is an active contributor to the work
of the G20 on food security. We contributed $50 million to the World Bank's Global Food
Crisis Response Fund at the peak of the crisis in 2008, and Australia was an early and major
supporter of the Global Agriculture and Food Security Program ($50 million). These programs
provide safety nets for the poor, such as supplying food for work and helping to support
On page 10, Partners reports on how ACIAR projects are linking smallholder farmers
to markets. An Effective Aid Program for Australia: Making a real difference notes the role of
agricultural subsidies in damaging food security. Aid can only achieve so much when set
against the harmful long-term impacts that such restrictive trade practices have on poor
Responding to changing global trade patterns and supporting the potential of open
trade to lift smallholders out of poverty is part of delivering effective aid outcomes to
smallholders engaged in agriculture.
ACIAR's impressive results have in part been delivered through participatory research
approaches that engage both scientists and smallholders. The articles on pages 12 and
16 highlight some of these successes, explaining how ACIAR's approaches deliver these
Achieving lasting food security for the world's poor engaged in agriculture will require
continued successes. ACIAR's work to improve food security contributes to the five key goals
of the aid program, particularly sustainable economic development.
Through productivity gains to improve incomes, employment and enterprise
opportunities, and reducing barriers to market entry for smallholders, opportunities are
created and lives are saved. Productivity gains and diversity in agricultural systems help
build resilience, can create savings and strengthen against shocks. Capacity building within
agricultural research and extension services of partner governments strengthens governance
ACIAR will continue to work to improve food security and contribute to an effective aid
program, and in doing so will continue to change smallholder lives for the better.
Effective aid changes lives
Effective aid is good foreign policy 4
Australia's Foreign Minister, Kevin Rudd, recently
outlined the Australian Government's response
to the Independent Review of Aid Effectiveness
The Australian International
Food Security Centre
Trade goes back to the future
Globalised trade between geographically dispersed
groups is the aim of free trade advocates, and the
hope of a better future for many. But this idea is
more for their teak
Teak production and furniture manufacture is a major
industry in Java, Indonesia, but with production from
the natural forests in decline smallholders are being
assisted to help meet demand.
Overseas aid a fair trade
Australia's competitive research funding model is
helping developing countries deliver on mandates to
improve agriculture with important rebound benefits.
Mutual gains on waterlogged
and saline soils
food security rewards
Smallholder farmers face a range of challenges
in adopting new practices developed through
agricultural research. An understanding of the
socioeconomic and human factors constraining
adoption can help in this transition.
Work for world's poor improves
Australia's crop fortunes
Australia's long-standing partnership with the CGIAR's
agricultural research centres, aimed at alleviating
poverty in the developing world, has also reaped
many benefits on home soil.
The government's response acknowledges the
"impressive results, confirmed by independent evaluations"
that ACIAR has achieved.
Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), aciar.gov.au
GPO Box 1571, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
This work is copyright. Apart from any use as permitted under the Copyright Act 1968,
no part may be reproduced by any process without prior written permission from ACIAR,
Commonwealth Copyright Administration
Robert Garran Offices, National Circuit, Barton ACT 2600
or posted at http://ag.gov.au/cca
© Commonwealth of Australia 2012
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