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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 1

I Groping In A Strange Environment: 1788-1851

II Farmers Take The Initiative: 1851-1888

III Enter Education And Science: 1888-1927

IV Agricultural Science Pays Dividends: 1927-1987

V Examples Of Research And Development 1928-1988

VI International Aspects Of Agricultural Research

VII Future Prospects

VIII Acknowledgements



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International Aspects Of Agricultural Research (continued)

In particular, many research scientists and academics, led by the late Sir John Crawford, have made prominent contributions to the outstanding work of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research, which is based in the World Bank in Washington, and the thirteen agricultural research centres which it maintains in various parts of the world. Through links established by senior Australians who have served on the Boards or staffs of these centres, or have acted as consultants to them, many activities have been undertaken in which CSIRO, universities and Departments of Agriculture in Australia have co-operated to transfer, adapt and test in other countries various ideas and techniques developed in Australia. In this way Australian expertise in crop and pasture agronomy, ruminant nutrition, plant and animal genetics, agricultural entomology, plant pathology and veterinary science has been of particular assistance to developing countries. At the same time, some research being carried out at the international centres has had important application in Australian agriculture. For example, it has been calculated that, during the period 1975-85, the use in the Australian wheat industry of genetic material developed at the International Centre for the Improvement of Wheat and Maize, in Mexico, brought an additional income of some $550 million to Australian farmers.[87]

In addition to the contributions that Australia has made to, and received from, the international agricultural research centres and the other international agencies involved in agricultural development, the work of its national organizations has also been of importance, particularly in south-east Asia and the South Pacific. The Australian International Development Assistance Bureau (AIDAB) has been responsible for many agricultural research and development projects which have been undertaken on its behalf by private companies, CSIRO, universities or Departments of Agriculture. These have varied in nature and complexity from major research projects on animal health, animal production and pasture improvement in Indonesia, to sheep breeding and management in India, citrus fruit and dairy technology in China, the improvement of pastures and highland crop production in Thailand, dairy development in Burma, beef and mutton production in Fiji, sugar research in Bangladesh, cocoa research in Western Samoa, and dryland farming in Jordan.

To help improve agriculture in developing countries by supporting research projects that bring together collaborative teams of Australian and overseas scientists to solve problems that limit increased production, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) was formed in 1982. Constituted as an independent statutory authority, its functions, as stated in the ACIAR Act (1982), are:

  • to formulate programs and policies with respect to agricultural research for either
    or both of the following purposes:

    1. identifying agricultural problems of developing countries;

    2. finding solutions to agricultural problems of developing countries;

  • to commission agricultural research by persons or institutions in Australia (whether
    the research is to be conducted in Australia or overseas) in accordance with such
    programs and policies; and

  • to communicate to persons and institutions the results of such agricultural research.

Research on food and forage crops, involving studies in plant breeding, diseases and nutrition, constitute the major component of ACIAR's projects, while other major programs deal with problems of animal health and production, post-harvest technology, and farming systems. Geographically the primary focus of ACIAR's activities is south-east Asia, the South Pacific and Papua New Guinea, although significant programs have also been developed in collaboration with China and certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (A.C.I.A.R.); Australian International Development Assistance Bureau (A.I.D.A.B.)

People in Bright Sparcs - Crawford, Sir John

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