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I wish to make special note of the impact of the work carried out by
ACIAR, which is held up internationally as an innovative example
of support to agricultural science for development that pays high
returns and benefits to poor farmers and consumers in developing
countries and also Australia.”
— Dr Derek Byerlee, co-author,
World Bank ’s World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development.
One area of excellence has been in agricultural research where
ACIAR has a strong record of achievement stretching back over
several decades. Independent evaluations show that ACIAR has
performed impressively, but its overall funding remains modest.
Increased funding for agricultural research seems warranted given
high prices and serious concerns around food security.”
— Independent review of aid effectiveness, April 2011.
Australia’s support for Timor Leste has played an important role
in helping overcome the sense of fragility
that followed independence and
threatened the confidence of
our people in our institutions.
Today that fragility is being
replaced by a cautious, but
growing sense of optimism.”
—East Timor ’s former President and Nobel Prize
recipient, José Ramos-Horta, 2012.
In particular ACIAR’s emphasis on agricultural research to achieve
sustainable development and natural resource management funds
research that directly contributes to Australia’s pursuit of better
outcomes in areas such as water management, soil degradation,
biodiversity and climate change responses. Similarly, ACIAR’s projects
dealing with food safety, animal and crop health and biosecurity
concur with and contribute to Australia’s need to maintain and
enhance its agricultural and food health and safety status.”
— The Centre for International Economics in its submission to the Productivity
Commission Study on Public Support for Science and Innovation, 2006.
Fortunately, the impact and influence that Australians have had
on world agricultural development has been much greater than
is implied by the size of Australia’s aid budgets. When praising
the ‘magnificence’ of Australia’s contribution to international
agricultural research and development, David Hopper, a former
senior vice-president of the World Bank, pointed out that:
‘This is partly explained by the fact that, for a developed country,
Australia has a high proportion of sub-tropical agriculture. But
equally important—indeed perhaps more important—is that
Australia has produced, and continues to produce, men and
women of talent and vision who have recognised the contribution
international agricultural research can make toward human
development and have not hesitated to immerse themselves in the
— Derek Tribe, author of Doing Well by Doing Good, published in 1991.
ACIAR performs an important function independently in the aid
program in improving the well-being of people in developing
countries and Australia through collaborative research partnerships
aimed at the development of sustainable agricultural systems and
the design of appropriate natural resource management strategies.
ACIAR’s projects mobilise Australian research expertise, thereby
contributing to building research capacity both in Australia and
— Government response to the 1992 review of ACIAR’s sunset clause by the
Parliamentary Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade.
Australia’s working relationships with the CGIAR, particularly CIMMYT,
ICRISAT, and ICARDA, is critical to the flow of knowledge and plant
genetics into our own crop improvement programs. ACIAR’s high
standing within the global agricultural research community has been
central to this , with the GRDC a long-standing supporter and partner
in our combined efforts to not only improve the circumstances of
Australian farmers, but farmers in poorer countries for whom crop
productivity is fundamental to improving people’s lives.”
—John Har vey, managing director of the Grains Research and Development
Corporation (GRDC), 2012.
Over the past 30 years, ACIAR has played an outstanding
leadership role in Australia’ s engagement in international
agricultural research, development, extension and education
in developing countries in Asia, the Pacific region, the Middle
East and Africa. This has imparted knowledge and skills and
delivered sustainable technologies for local conditions which
have contributed to global food security. The most uplifting
aspect of the capacity building is that it empowers people
and provides the opportunities that short term welfare can
never match. The value of international genetic resources of
grain crops to Australian agriculture has been enormous.
The role of ACIAR in collaboration with CGIAR Centres and
national programs to help fund new collections, expeditions
and evaluation of genetic resources including collaborations
across national and international borders has been invaluable
— Hackett Professor Kadambot Siddique, AM FTSE FAIA, Chair in Agriculture and
Director, the University of Western Australia Institute of Agriculture.
November 2013 PArTNerS
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