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The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) is the Australian Government’s specialist agricultural research for development agency, within the Australian aid program.

The purpose of ACIAR is to contribute to reducing poverty and improving the livelihoods of many in the Indo-Pacific region through more productive and sustainable agriculture emerging from collaborative international research.

We work with public and private research institutions to improve the productivity and sustainability of agricultural systems and the resilience of food systems in partner countries. ACIAR identifies opportunities and partnerships to undertake international agricultural research and capacity building but does not undertake research directly. Our efforts contribute significantly to Australia’s aid program and the achievement of its goals.

The collaborative international programs and partnerships underpinning ACIAR-supported research also improve the productivity and sustainability of agricultural systems in Australia. Improved technologies and practices identified and developed through ACIAR research programs often address the shared challenges of all farmers in the Indo-Pacific region, Australia included. Innovations developed in ACIAR projects overseas often find their way back to Australia, for the benefit of Australian farmers and industries.

ACIAR-supported projects are designed to produce specific research outputs that translate to development outcomes such as improved food security, better nutrition, improved health and increased prosperity.

Economic returns to ACIAR bilateral project investments since 1982 have been conservatively valued at 5:1 but estimates of returns on some projects are as high as 60:1. Individual projects also deliver social, environmental and capacity benefits that are not included in these economic measures.

Success in ACIAR partnerships supports Australia’s national interests in many ways. Enhanced prosperity and reduced poverty in partner developing countries contributes directly to regional peace and security. Economic prosperity in partner developing countries leads to stronger economies in the region, offering new trade, investment and business opportunities for Australia. These science partnerships also have brought regional and international respect for ACIAR and for Australia, and represent an integral part of the Australian Government’s economic diplomacy strategy in the Indo-Pacific region.

Australia’s contribution to the international agricultural research network, including the CGIAR (formerly the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research), is managed by ACIAR. Dedicated to addressing poverty, hunger and nutrition, and environmental degradation, the CGIAR is a global research leader and a key partner for ACIAR and Australia. Outputs of the CGIAR research programs also flow to Australia.

The ACIAR 10-Year Strategy 2018–2027 guides our future direction consistent with our enabling legislation, Australia’s aid policy and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

ACIAR research structure 1. Multilateral research collaborations, 2. Co-investment with development partners, 3. Bilateral country partnerships
The ACIAR research structure is built on three types of research partnerships, which are supported by a suite of program areas and guided by six strategic objectives. This structure provides the framework for ACIAR to achieve its purpose, and is aligned with the key objectives of the Australian Government's aid policy and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

ACIAR area of operationMap of the Indo-Pacific region, showing four regions and 35 countries in which ACIAR works.