Soil and Land Management

Effective agricultural research for development (AR4D) pathways, partners and opportunities in Myanmar

Soil in Myanmar
Project code
AUD 80,000
Research program manager
Dr James Quilty
Project leader
Associate Professor Robert Edis
Commissioned organisation
The University of Melbourne
JUN 2021
JUN 2022
Project status
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This project aimed to provide guidance on possible partners and commissioned organisations that can effectively and appropriately be engaged to work within ACIAR research projects focused primarily on upland agricultural issues in Myanmar, and to explore potential research and development pathways with non-government agencies. 

Arrangements for joint agricultural research and development investments in partner countries, between in-country organisations and Australia, occasionally need to adapt to rapidly changing governance arrangements. Important and achievable research and development activities can become delayed or abandoned through unnavigable bureaucratic labyrinths or disruption in governance structures that make it impossible for diligent investments to be executed. Whilst there may be an abundance of skilled individuals and non-government organisations in a partner country, traditional focus of ACIAR on government agencies as primary in-country partners can leave these people and organisations as effectively stranded resources. This inhibits the development of some partner countries and represents major lost opportunities for Australian assistance aspirations. This project proposes to focus primarily on two modes of partnering; working with partners on projects without involving government agencies; and working with non-government partners as primary in-country leads whilst accepting secondary connectivity to government personnel through these partners without funding to government agencies.

An example of where non-government partnering arrangements may be useful is Myanmar. This project proposes that Myanmar be the focus of a study on alternative partnering arrangements. To be of a manageable scale, the project will focus on productive upland agricultural environments in Myanmar, particularly upland cropping system in the Central Dry Zone and Shan State.

Project outcomes

  • Collating who (Non-government, international research and development providers, private sector, key individuals) is working in relevant upland environments (CDZ and Shan State). This will include the potential for CGIAR centres to be direct partners in upland cropping systems.
  • Assessing the track record and execute a preliminary due diligence of promising future partners.
  • Identifying high priority research and development gaps in agricultural systems that align with the strategic objectives of ACIAR, with assessment of practicality of executing an effective investment without funding government agencies.
Key partners
The University of Melbourne