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Annual Performance Statement

I, Andrew Campbell, as the accountable authority of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), present the 2018-19 Annual Performance Statement of ACIAR, as required under paragraph 39(1)(a) of the Public Governance, Performance and Accountability Act 2013 (PGPA Act). In my opinion, this annual performance statement is based on properly maintained records, accurately reflects the performance of the entity, and complies with subsection 39(2) of the PGPA Act.
Purpose

The purpose of ACIAR is to achieve more productive and sustainable agricultural systems for the benefit of developing countries and Australia through supporting international agricultural research and training partnerships.

Results

To achieve its purpose ACIAR instigated, brokered and supported research partnerships and programs with approximately 600 research organisations and institutions, across 35 countries in the Indo-Pacific region. There were approximately 240 active research projects (ongoing or commencing) in 2018–19.

ACIAR performance is reported by identifying and listing examples of projects and programs where the output addressed performance criteria and targets, as specified in Portfolio Budget Statements 2018–19. Tables 2.1 to 2.6 record ACIAR performance in 2018–19 against its six performance criteria.

It is important to note that performance measures are evolving to more closely align to and be measurable against the six high-level objectives presented in the ACIAR 10-Year Strategy, which was launched in February 2018, and to more closely align with the other agencies in the Foreign Affairs and Trade Portfolio. The ACIAR Monitoring and Evaluation framework continues the development and refinement of indicators and their measurability.

Discussion of the outputs and achievements of selected research programs in the four regions of ACIAR operation and in individual countries, is provided in the CEO Review of 2018–19 and in case studies presented in this report.

Table 2.1. Food security and poverty reduction—ACIAR performance against this criteria in 2018–19

Food security and poverty reduction

Outcome 1

To achieve more productive and sustainable agricultural systems for the benefit of developing countries and Australia through international agricultural research and training partnerships.

Program 1

International agricultural research for development for more productive and sustainable agriculture.

Performance criteria

Food security and poverty reduction

Target

Improved food security and reducing poverty among smallholder farmers and rural communities

Target achieved

Ongoing

ACIAR has invested in projects (sample below) that show alignment with the 10-Year Strategy and the current corporate plan.

There is a robust process for research project selection and approval ensuring that research funded is designed for impact.

Processes and subject matter experts are in place to continuously manage research projects to maximise their performance.

Source of criteria

Portfolio Budget Statements 2018–19; ACIAR Corporate Plan 2018–19

Selected ACIAR projects and programs meeting this criteria

Sustainable and resilient farming systems intensification in the Eastern Gangetic Plains — CSE/2011/077 (May 2014 to Jun 2020)

Sustainable intensification of maize-legume cropping systems for food security in eastern and southern Africa II (SIMLESA II) — CSE/2013/008 (May 2014 to Oct 2019)

Developing technologies for giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus) aquaculture in Vietnam, the Philippines and Australia — FIS/2012/101 (Jan 2014 to 30 Sep 2019)

Improvement and management of teak and sandalwood in Papua New Guinea and Australia — FST/2014/069 (Jul 2015 to Jun 2019)

Integrated management of Fusarium wilt of bananas in the Philippines and Australia — HORT/2012/097 (Jun 2014 to Dec 2019)

Integrating protected cropping systems into high value vegetable value chains in the Pacific and Australia — HORT/2014/080 (Apr 2017 to Dec 2020)

Profitable feeding strategies for smallholder cattle in Indonesia — LPS/2013/021 (Jan 2017 to Dec 2020)

Diversifying rural poultry production in Myanmar – opportunities for small-scale farmers — LS/2018/106 (Apr 2018 to 31 Mar 2019)

Enhancing bivalve production in northern Vietnam and Australia — FIS/2010/100
(Jan 2014 to Dec 2018)

Table 2.2. Natural resources and climate change—ACIAR performance against this criteria in 2018–19

Natural resources and climate change

Outcome 1

To achieve more productive and sustainable agricultural systems for the benefit of developing countries and Australia through international agricultural research and training partnerships.

Program 1

International agricultural research for development for more productive and sustainable agriculture.

Performance criteria

Natural resources and climate change

Target

Managing natural resources and producing food more sustainably, adapting to climate variability and mitigating climate change

Target achieved

Ongoing

ACIAR has invested in projects (sample below) that show alignment with the 10-Year Strategy and the current corporate plan.

There is a robust process for research project selection and approval ensuring that research funded is designed for impact.

Processes and subject matter experts are in place to continuously manage research projects to maximise their performance.

Source of criteria

Portfolio Budget Statements 2018–19; ACIAR Corporate Plan 2018–19

Selected ACIAR projects and programs meeting this criteria

Strengthening incentives for improved grassland management in China and Mongolia — ADP/2012/107 (Sep 2015 to Dec 2019)

Climate-smart landscapes for promoting sustainability of Pacific Island agricultural systems —ASEM/2016/101 (Jan 2018 to Dec 2021)

Improving dry season agriculture for marginal and tenant farmers in the Eastern Gangetic Plains through conjunctive use of pond and groundwater resources — LWR/2012/079 (Sep 2014 to Jun 2019)

A Virtual Irrigation Academy to improve water productivity in Malawi, Tanzania and South Africa — LWR/2014/085 (Jun 2015 to Jun 2019)

Management of nutrients for improved profitability and sustainability of crop production in Central Myanmar — SMCN/2014/044 (Jan 2016 to Jun 2020)

Optimising soil management and health in Papua New Guinea integrated cocoa farming systems — SMCN/2014/048 (Oct 2016 to Jul 2020)

Table 2.3. Human health and nutrition—ACIAR performance against this criteria in 2018–19

Human health and nutrition

Outcome 1

To achieve more productive and sustainable agricultural systems for the benefit of developing countries and Australia through international agricultural research and training partnerships.

Program 1

International agricultural research for development for more productive and sustainable agriculture.

Performance criteria

Human health and nutrition

Target

Enhancing human nutrition and reducing risks to human health

Target achieved

Ongoing

ACIAR has invested in projects (sample below) that show alignment with the 10-Year Strategy and the current corporate plan.

There is a robust process for research project selection and approval ensuring that research funded is designed for impact.

Processes and subject matter experts are in place to continuously manage research projects to maximise their performance.

Source of criteria

Portfolio Budget Statements 2018–19; ACIAR Corporate Plan 2018–19

Selected ACIAR projects and programs meeting this criteria

Enhancing transboundary livestock disease risk management in Lao PDR — AH/2012/067 (Feb 2015 to Jul 2019)

Safe Pork: Market based approaches to improving the safety of pork in Vietnam — LPS/2016/143 (Oct 2017 to Jun 2022)

Improving the production and competitiveness of Australian and Philippines pig production through better health and disease control — AH/2012/066 (Jan 2015 to Jun 2019)

Improved postharvest management of fruit and vegetables in the southern Philippines and Australia — HORT/2012/098 (Dec 2013 to Jun 2019)

Enhanced fruit production and postharvest handling systems for Fiji, Samoa, and Tonga — HORT/2014/077 (Jan 2016 to Dec 2019)

Table 2.4. Gender equity and women’s empowerment—ACIAR performance against this criteria in 2018–19

Gender equity and women’s empowerment

Outcome 1

To achieve more productive and sustainable agricultural systems for the benefit of developing countries and Australia through international agricultural research and training partnerships.

Program 1

International agricultural research for development for more productive and sustainable agriculture.

Performance criteria

Gender equity and women’s empowerment

Target

Improving gender equity and empowerment of women and girls

Target achieved

Ongoing

ACIAR has invested in projects (sample below) that show alignment with the 10-Year Strategy and the current corporate plan.

There is a robust process for research project selection and approval ensuring that research funded is designed for impact.

Processes and subject matter experts are in place to continuously manage research projects to maximise their performance.

Source of criteria

Portfolio Budget Statements 2018–19; ACIAR Corporate Plan 2018–19

Selected ACIAR projects and programs meeting this criteria

Integrating gender and social inclusion into agricultural value chain research in Vietnam —AGB/2017/008 (Jun 2017 to Dec 2018)

Improving opportunities for economic development for women smallholders in rural Papua New Guinea — ASEM/2014/095 (Jul 2015 to Mar 2019)

Improving the methods and impacts of agricultural extension in Western Mindanao, Philippines — ASEM/2012/063 (Oct 2013 to Dec 2020)

Uptake of agricultural technologies amongst farmers in Battambang and Pailin provinces, Cambodia — ASEM/2013/003 (Apr 2017 to Dec 2020)

Smallholder farmer decision – making and technology adoption in southern Lao PDR: opportunities and constraints — ASEM/2014/052 (Jan 2016 to Mar 2020)

Table 2.5. Inclusive value chains—ACIAR performance against this criteria in 2018–19

Inclusive value chains

Outcome 1

To achieve more productive and sustainable agricultural systems for the benefit of developing countries and Australia through international agricultural research and training partnerships.

Program 1

International agricultural research for development for more productive and sustainable agriculture.

Performance criteria

Inclusive value chains

Target

Fostering more inclusive agrifood and forestry market chains, engaging the private sector where possible

Target achieved

Ongoing

ACIAR has invested in projects (sample below) that show alignment with the 10-Year Strategy and the current corporate plan.

There is a robust process for research project selection and approval ensuring that research funded is designed for impact.

Processes and subject matter experts are in place to continuously manage research projects to maximise their performance.

Source of criteria

Portfolio Budget Statements 2018–19; ACIAR Corporate Plan 2018–19

Selected ACIAR projects and programs meeting this criteria

Policy and institutional reforms to improve horticultural markets in Pakistan — ADP/2014/043 (Jan 2016 to Dec 2019)

Improving smallholder incomes in the north-western highlands of Vietnam by increasing access and competitiveness in regional temperate and subtropical fruit markets — AGB/2012/060 (Jul 2014 to Apr 2019)

Enhancing value added products and environmental benefits from agroforestry systems in Papua New Guinea and the Pacific — FST/2014/067 (Oct 2015 to Sep 2020)

Enterprise-driven transformation of family cocoa production in East Sepik, Madang, New Ireland and Chimbu Provinces of Papua New Guinea — HORT/2014/096 (Mar 2016 to Feb 2021)

Strengthening vegetable value chains in Pakistan for greater community livelihood benefits —HORT/2016/012 (Feb 2018 to Dec 2021)

Improving smallholder dairy and beef profitability by enhancing farm production and value chain management in Pakistan — LPS/2016/011 (Apr 2017 to Sep 2021)

Developing pearl industry-based livelihoods in the Western Pacific — FIS/2014/060 (Sep 2015 to Aug 2010)

Farm mechanisation and conservation agriculture for sustainable intensification — FSC/2012/047 (Mar 2013 to 30 Jun 2019)

Table 2.6. Capacity building—ACIAR performance against this criteria in 2018–19

Capacity building

Outcome 1

To achieve more productive and sustainable agricultural systems for the benefit of developing countries and Australia through international agricultural research and training partnerships.

Program 1

International agricultural research for development for more productive and sustainable agriculture.

Performance criteria

Capacity building

Target

Building scientific and policy capability within our partner countries

Target achieved

Ongoing

ACIAR has invested in projects (sample below) that show alignment with the 10-Year Strategy and the current corporate plan.

There is a robust process for research project selection and approval ensuring that research funded is designed for impact.

Processes and subject matter experts are in place to continuously manage research projects to maximise their performance.

Source of criteria

Portfolio Budget Statements 2018–19; ACIAR Corporate Plan 2018–19

Selected ACIAR projects and programs meeting this criteria

Develop and implement a leadership program for female agricultural researchers to upgrade their skills and empower women scientists

Support postgraduate studies under the John Allwright Fellowship program

Deliver an executive leadership program for John Allwright fellows

Enable two cohorts of early–mid career partner country researchers to undertake a program in Australia to develop management and leadership skills (John Dillon Fellowship)

Deliver an ACIAR Alumni support program for country offices

Deliver an Australian researchers program including internships and support for Researchers in Agriculture for International Development (RAID)

Pilot a new program for Australian farmers to volunteer in partner countries