Agricultural Science 30(2) and 31(1), 2019
ACIAR is proud to host this special issue of Agricultural Science, which focuses on smallholder farming systems in low- and middle-income countries and the contribution that Australian agricultural science is making to improve the productivity, sustainability and resilience of these systems in the Indo-Pacific region.
The “Maria’s Family” books were developed as part of an ACIAR-funded project on women’s business acumen in Papua New Guinea. Initial research found women farmers in the highlands and East New Britain were making simple mistakes in marketing their produce, and almost all were not budgeting for their agricultural and families’ futures. Rural women also identified a lack of basic literacy was limiting their economic and social opportunities (including stopping them from engaging in training). These were the drivers of the creation of the “Maria’s Family” books.
In the past four decades, rice has become a commercial crop of great importance to Lower Mekong farmers, augmenting but not replacing its role in securing their subsistence. Particularly in Northeast Thailand and the Mekong Delta in Vietnam, rice farming has become a major export industry, spurring a process of rural development that has helped lift many households out of poverty.
This small research and development activity (SRA) was the second associated with the development of a proposed long-term ACIAR program for building adaptive capacity of communities living in salinity-affected landscapes of Pakistan.
The increasing extent and severity of salinisation across the Indus Basin greatly jeopardises the potential of those living there to escape the trap of poverty. Soil salinity problems are particularly serious in Sindh province where some 70 to 80% of the soil is classified as moderately or severely saline.
Knowledge of Africa’s complex farming systems, set in their socio-economic and environmental context, is an essential ingredient to developing effective strategies for improving food and nutrition security. Illustrated with full-colour maps and photographs, this book provides a comprehensive and insightful analysis which describes the characteristics, trends, drivers of change and strategic priorities for each of Africa’s 15 farming systems and their main subsystems.
The Annual Review is a new publication featuring highlights and achievements for ACIAR during 2018-19
During 2018-19, ACIAR worked with 490 partner organisations in 35 countries throughout the Indo-Pacific region, to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers, fishers and foresters. As Australia's specialist agricultural research-for-development agency, our work continues to reinforce Australia's reputation in the region as a valued and trusted science partner.
This project aimed to identify mechanisation options and post-harvest technologies to enhance household livelihoods and food security in lowland rice-growing areas.
Cambodia and Laos share problems of widespread rural poverty, food insecurity, and malnutrition. Rainfed lowland rice, grown once a year in the wet season, is the backbone of agricultural production, but is largely subsistence-oriented with low productivity, delivering low-quality rice to local consumers. Growing quality rice and non-rice crops would increase household income and reduce rural poverty.
The issues canvassed in the monograph, Enabling policies for developing smallholder agriculture in Pakistan, are widespread throughout the developing world. The challenges facing Pakistan are replicated in many countries, so the findings of this report should resonate beyond Pakistan. The monograph highlights major initiatives in many areas to transform smallholder agriculture in Pakistan. These include: