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Eric Huttner

Dr Eric Huttner is the Research Program Manager for Crops since 2012. He started his career in plant molecular genetics working in public research institute, INRA, in France, and has worked for more than 20 years in a range of private companies, including founding a start-up plant genetic analysis service company. He has also been involved in managing public-private research initiatives in both Australia and France. Eric was a founding partner and director of Australia’s Cooperative Research Centre for Plant Science and a member of the Australian Biotechnology Advisory Council. He is a graduate of France’s leading agricultural science school, Institut National Agronomique (AgroParisTech) and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Chinese Academy of Science in 1987.

Crops

Improving food security and farmers’ livelihood through productive and sustainable crops The Crops Program aims to increase the productivity and sustainability of major crops by exploring improved varieties and new crop management methods. The program is built on two complementary themes of genetics and sustainable intensification and diversification.

Accelerating genetic gain in wheat through hybrid breeding in Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Pakistan

This project aims to extend the benefits of hybrid wheat to researchers, wheat breeders, farmers and consumers in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia by establishing a hybrid wheat seed industry in each country.

Project code
CROP/2020/167
Program
Crops
Project start date
01 Dec 2021
Project end date
30 Jun 2026

Harnessing Appropriate-scale Farm mechanization In Zimbabwe (HAFIZ)

This project aims to support investments by the Government and by the private sector in appropriate-scale farm mechanisation in Zimbabwe, particularly around mechanised Pfumvudza, and transfer learnings to South Africa. Overall, the project has the goal to improve access to mechanisation and reduce labour drudgery whilst stimulating the adoption of climate-smart/sustainable intensification technologies. The project will improve the understanding of private sector companies involved in appropriate

Project code
CROP/2021/166
Program
Crops
Project start date
21 Jan 2022
Project end date
30 Jun 2023

Intercropping for intensification and diversification in the Indo Gangetic Plains

This project aims to identify researchable opportunities to address technical, nutritional, and social bottlenecks to facilitate wide-row intercropping in the Indo Gangetic Plain, to inform the development of a larger ACIAR-funded project intended to commence in 2023. Little research has been conducted to date into wide-row intercropping in South Asian agro-ecologies. There are many potential benefits of wide-row intercropping, including increased cropping system productivity and other productivity gains leading to water-, labour- and energy-use efficiencies; improved nutri

Project code
CROP/2021/155
Program
Crops
Project start date
01 Dec 2021
Project end date
30 Sep 2022

Managing wheat blast in Bangladesh: identification and introgression of wheat blast resistance for rapid varietal development and dissemination

This project aims to characterize novel sources of wheat blast resistance, identification, and molecular mapping of resistance loci/gene(s) and their introgression into varietal development pipelines for rapid dissemination of resistant varieties in Bangladesh. Wheat blast (WB) is a devastating disease with limited control options and presents a global risk to wheat production. Caused by the fungus Magnaporthe oryzae, which also causes rice blast, a different pathotype (Triticum; MoT), is responsible for WB, as well as some ot

Project code
CROP/2020/165
Program
Crops
Project start date
01 Nov 2021
Project end date
30 Jun 2026

Protecting Ethiopian lentil crops

This project aims to protect and increase the productivity of lentil crops in the mid-highlands of Ethiopia by delivering the solutions needed by smallholders growing lentils in the cereal-based cropping systems of Ethiopia such that they maintain and improve their current lentil cropping practices, their cereal crops, and their livelihood. In the mid-highlands of Ethiopia, lentil is one of the foundational legume rotation crops for 600,000 households dependent on cereal-based farming systems (wheat, barley and tef). In the Ethiopian lentil breeding program, the

Project code
CROP/2020/164
Program
Crops
Project start date
01 Jul 2021
Project end date
30 Jun 2026

Weed management techniques for mechanised and broadcast lowland crop production systems in Cambodia and Lao PDR

This project aims to develop sound weed management methods for direct seeded rice under two lowland agroecosystems; and as a result of good weed control in the field, establish the benefit in terms of grain quality. The proposed project will develop a package of weed control practices for the evolving lowland cropping systems of Cambodia and Lao PDR.

Project code
CROP/2019/145
Program
Crops
Project start date
01 Jan 2021
Project end date
31 Dec 2025

Farmers' Hubs as a vehicle to deliver solutions and services to farming communities

This project aimed to evaluate how and in which contexts Farmers’ Hubs facilitate the dissemination of new products, practices, and services to smallholder farmers and the broader farming community as commercial service providers. The traditional view of innovation in agricultural systems involves linear information dissemination, usually from a research provider, through a publicly-funded extension system to support the adoption of new practices by farmers.

Project code
CROP/2020/202
Program
Chief Scientist
Project start date
01 Dec 2020
Project end date
30 Jun 2021

Insect tolerant chickpea for Bangladesh

This project aimed to release the insect resistant chickpea to help the management of insect pests in a sustainable manner and improve chickpea production in Bangladesh. Although chickpea is a popular food legume in Bangladesh, there are many production constraints responsible for low yield, in particular insect pests. Genetic engineering to develop insect resistant (IR) legumes such as soybean and cowpea varieties with complete resistance to pod borers has been successful. These legumes are now approved for commercial cultivation and consumption.

Project code
CIM/2016/039
Program
Crops
Project start date
01 Mar 2017
Project end date
31 Dec 2019

Protecting stored grains against pests using a new silica technology – understanding distribution and extension pathways

This project aimed to inform distribution / extension pathways for a new pest management technology, based on a form of silica known as synthetic amorphous silica (SAS), to small landholders in Tanzania. The proposed research activity will focus on understanding the range of insect pests for which SAS can demonstrate a level of control. In addition, this data will be collated as a first step towards product registration.

Project code
CIM/2017/031
Program
Crops
Project start date
01 Jul 2019
Project end date
30 Jun 2021

Plant Health-a Major Challenge to achieving Sustainable 'Green' Agriculture in Myanmar

This project aimed to bench-mark farmers’ current pest management practices and pesticide use/misuse in food crops and develop practical recommendations and actions to address current and potential future problems. Rice remains the predominant commodity for domestic food security and export income in Myanmar. However, increases in pesticide-related poisoning in rural communities are now a matter of major national concern in Myanmar, especially where there is illegal cross-border trade in pesticides. 

Project code
CROP/2019/103
Program
Crops
Project start date
15 Apr 2019
Project end date
01 Sep 2020

International Mungbean Improvement Network 2

This project aims to increase farmer income, systems productivity and food security by delivering high-yielding, disease and pest resistant mungbean varieties to smallholder farmers Declining crop yields, increased agricultural risks, diminishing soil fertility and environmental degradation are some of the main challenges which continue to threaten societal goals of improving food, income and nutrition security especially in smallholder farming.

Project code
CROP/2019/144
Program
Crops
Project start date
01 Jul 2020
Project end date
30 Jun 2025

Characterisation of Spodoptera frugiperda (fall armyworm) populations in South-East Asia and Northern Australia

This project aimed to characterise the populations of Spodoptera frugiperda (fall armyworm, FAW) in crop production systems of South-East Asia and Northern Australia as the first step towards developing long-term management options. This is a small project aimed at foundational research activities necessary for potentially scoping future research steps. There is a focus on two key areas. Firstly, understanding which FAW management options that are currently being used successfully in other parts of the world may apply to SEA farming systems.

Project code
CROP/2020/144
Program
Crops
Project start date
30 Jun 2020
Project end date
31 Mar 2022

Managing basal stem rot in oil palm by converting infected logs to biochar

This project aims to explore the feasibility of biochar as a method for removing infected material from oil palm blocks whereby the evidence will be used to inform a future business case for oil palm derived biochar production in Papua New Guinea Oil palm is a long-term perennial crop of great economic importance in South-East Asia and the Pacific, providing much needed income to both large plantations and smallholders. Unfortunately basal stem rot, caused by the fungus 'Ganoderma boninense', poses an increasingly major threat to the oil palm industry.

Project code
CROP/2019/147
Program
Crops
Project start date
01 Jul 2020
Project end date
30 Jun 2022

Workshop and review of innovation platforms to enable scaling out of conservation agriculture-based sustainable intensification in the Eastern Gangetic Plains

This project aimed to review progress made through the 'Innovation Platforms' which had been implemented since 2015 to enable scaling out of conservation agriculture-based sustainable intensification in the Eastern Gangetic Plains Innovation Platforms (IPs) have been implemented and supported since 2015 to enable scaling out of Conservation Agriculture-Based Sustainable Intensification (CASI) in the EGP (Eastern Gangetic Plains).

Project code
CSE/2017/015
Program
Crops
Project start date
15 Aug 2017
Project end date
31 Jan 2018

Using ICTs to enhance adoption of new agricultural technologies and innovations

This project aimed to see if information and communication technology (ICT)-based extension services could reach farmers, delivering information when and as needed. It aimed to examine the shortcomings of the ICT-based extension services in the Eastern Gangetic Plains and their potential to reach small and women farmers. The SRA could lead to a program that helps to achieve sustainable cropping practices, and overcomes technology adoption barriers.

Project code
CSE/2015/012
Program
Crops
Project start date
15 Jun 2015
Project end date
15 Aug 2016

Optimisation of the single drop genomics assay to detect food pathogens

This SRA aimed to optimise Single-Drop Genomics (SDG) technology to detect food borne pathogens. Nucleic acid point-of-care (POC) bioassays that can be performed on-site with minimal equipment, rapidly and at low cost are in high demand. Agriculture is one area that can benefit from the use of low cost on-site assays. This project is also listed as HORT/2014/027.

Project code
CIM/2014/027
Program
Crops
Project start date
15 Jun 2014
Project end date
31 May 2015

Value chain and policy interventions to accelerate adoption of Happy Seeder zero tillage in rice-wheat farming systems across the Gangetic Plains

This project aimed to accelerate the adoption of Zero-Till seed drills (including the Happy Seeder) to reduce crop residue burning and boost sustainable food energy water security. The severe impact arising from the seasonal practice of burning rice stubble by farmers in north-west India results in poor air quality to the detriment of human health, including respiratory complications, increased human fatalities and injuries from road accidents and disruption to road and air transportation.

Project code
CSE/2017/101
Program
Crops
Project start date
15 Dec 2017
Project end date
31 Aug 2018

Identifying Eastern Gangetic Plains soil constraints

This project aimed to determine if zinc deficiency is limiting rice growth, and if alleviating this deficiency results in increased yield The external supplemental review of the sustainable and resilient farming systems intensification project (CSE/2011/077) identified soil health as an area of concern, with soil pH and associated toxicities, trace element deficiencies (zinc, copper, boron), low organic carbon levels, and soil structural problems identified as key issues. This project will provide additional information to allow the

Project code
CROP/2018/210
Program
Crops
Project start date
01 Dec 2018
Project end date
30 Jun 2021

Rapid breeding for reduced cooking time and enhanced nutritional quality in common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris)

This project aims to deliver new genotypes of common bean with 30% shorter cooking time, 15% higher iron and 10% higher zinc content than current varieties, and to train African plant breeders in a new rapid method of plant breeding based on optimal mating designs.  Long cooking times (between one to three hours) of the common bean is a disincentive to consumption since it demands large amounts of water, fuel and time.

Project code
CROP/2018/132
Program
Crops
Project start date
01 Aug 2019
Project end date
30 Jun 2024

Understanding direct-seeded rice techniques and business models

This project aimed to document the experience of direct-seeded rice (DSR) within the broader farming and social system, in Savannakhet province of Lao PDR. The project also aimed to understand which approaches are more/less successful, the reasons for adoption, non-adoption and disadoption, and possible technical and policy insights and recommendations.

Project code
CIM/2018/113
Program
Crops
Project start date
01 Jun 2018
Project end date
31 Dec 2019

Faba Bean in Ethiopia – mitigating disease constraints to improve productivity and sustainability

This project aims to improve reliability, productivity, and profitability of faba bean production in Ethiopia Faba bean is the most important pulse crop in Ethiopia and has been grown there since antiquity. Farmers in the very highlands of the country focus on faba beans as it's one of the only crops that provide food, nutrition and incomes to poor small holder farmers.

Project code
CIM/2017/030
Program
Crops
Project start date
01 Dec 2018
Project end date
30 Jun 2023

Farm mechanisation and conservation agriculture for sustainable intensification

This project aimed to accelerate delivery of two-wheel tractor-based technologies to smallholder farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa, and help them adopt the technology. This improved access to mechanization, reduced labour drudgery, and minimised biomass trade-offs. Sub-Saharan Africa needs sustainable intensification of agriculture. Research for development work is increasing the efficiency with which land, water and nutrients are being used, but farm power appears to be a forgotten resource.

Project code
FSC/2012/047
Program
Global
Project start date
01 Mar 2013
Project end date
31 Dec 2019