The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) was awarded the Friendship Order from the Vietnam Government in Hanoi today — the country's most prestigious award for foreign organisations and recognises more than 25 years of partnership that has supported Vietnam’s agricultural and rural development.
Nominated by the Vietnam Academy of Agricultural Sciences (VAAS) for its significant contribution to Vietnam's agriculture sector, the Friendship Order was presented to Prof Andrew Campbell, CEO ACIAR, by Vice Minister of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nguyen Hoang Hiep.
‘This award recognises the achievements we have attained through genuine collaboration over many years, said Prof Campbell. ‘Vietnam is a very important partner of ACIAR and it is heartening to see it evolve from aid to a long-term technical partnership based on substantial co-investment in support of Vietnam’s sustainable agriculture goals.’
Since 1993, ACIAR has invested A$105 million in 175 projects across six key research areas: agribusiness, fisheries, forestry, livestock, soil and land management, and water and climate change. These projects have significantly contributed to the strong and sustainable development of Vietnam's agricultural sector and enhanced agricultural research capacity for Vietnam.
In addition to funding research collaboration, ACIAR has helped 74 Vietnamese scientists to attain their PhD and Masters’ in Australia and 18 research managers have contributed to Australian research leadership programs. Many of these have become leading experts in Vietnam.
ACIAR’s work in Vietnam has helped build a multi-billion-dollar acacia plantation industry, generating substantial economic benefits. More than 250,000 smallholder farmers are now employed in this industry, with the products going to the export woodchip, domestic pulp and panel, as well as furniture manufacturing industries. Other ACIAR-funded research has led to significant achievements in women’s economic empowerment and has underpinned a new and expanding oyster industry involving 2,500 Vietnamese families – producing 15-30,000 tonnes of oysters per year.
The ceremony recognising ACIAR’s ongoing research efforts and socio-economic development in Vietnam, was held at the Vietnam Government Guesthouse and witnessed by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Vietnam H.E. Pham Binh Minh, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, and senior officials from the two delegations.
The Friendship Order is presented to individuals and organisations in recognition of their contribution to the development and promotion of the friendship, solidarity and cooperation between Vietnam and other countries in the world.