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Agricultural Development Policy
Research Program Strategy
Global context/trends
Agricultural development operates in both the
micro and macro dimensions. Supportive policy
initiatives are a central component linking the
two dimensions, ensuring that micro-scale
initiatives targeting farmers and communities
are not separated from the macro-scale of
national and international policy. At the national
level agricultural reform, land use policy,
regulation and environmental-management
regimes can all facilitate or hinder smallholder
farmers’ attempts to take advantage of the
productivity gains emerging from research for
The Director-General of the Laos National Agriculture and
Forestry Research Institute (NAFRI), Dr Bounthong
Bouahom, discusses developing improved farming and
marketing systems in the rainfed regions of Southern Lao
PDR with John Lacy during a visit to Australia.
(photo: Doug Gray)
The changing global trade environment created
by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and
associated impacts on national policy settings
add another policy dimension. Smallholder
farmers can be left behind as national policy
settings are adjusted to WTO accession and a
rules-based global trading environment.
Understanding these interactions and catering to
the needs of smallholder farmers as well as
others engaged in agriculture aids economic
growth and development.
What’s the solution?
The increasing globalisation of trade and
associated rules-based approaches impact on
domestic markets can change policy settings
beyond this scope. Domestic market and traderegulatory developments can also impact on, or
exacerbate, the volatility of food pricing. This is
evidenced by some protectionist responses to
rising global food prices since 2007. The
reactionary import and export restricting
policies, along with ongoing fertiliser or water
subsidies, can also place pressure on associated
land use and environmental management. This
has the potential to impact on smallholder
Research themes
The Agricultural Development Program supports
both stand-alone projects and multidisciplinebased projects across the Australian Centre for
International Agricultural Research (ACIAR)
research programs. Policy components operate
in several biophysical program areas, including
Agribusiness, Forestry, Fisheries and Livestock
Production Systems. Some of these projects are
referenced in the list on the following page.
Research themes
A key component of both types of projects is
understanding how policies can influence
adoption and further the outcomes of technical
research. This understanding helps enhance the
impacts emerging from ACIAR’s programs.
Institutional and policy settings are essential to
influencing productivity and sustainability.
Priority research areas
Macro policy settings
Macroeconomic management and economic governance.
Public expenditure providing basic institutional and
infrastructure capacities.
Dual policy settings linking
macro and micro scales
Environmental management.
Trade restrictions.
Micro policy settings
Property rights.
Taxation regimes, subsidies.
Members of the Pakistani citrus industry meet with Graham Lohmeyer, Farm Manager
of Sevenfields citrus farm, Sunraysia Australia, during a visit in April 2012.
(photo: Deb O'Callaghan, ABC Rural)
Following is a list of some of the countries the Agricultural Development Policy Program operates,
including examples of projects the program is involved in.
Project examples
Capturing the potential for greenhouse gas offsets in Indian agriculture
An extension of research on Indian agricultural markets and
competition issues (ADP/2011/121)
Accelerating growth through globalisation of Indian agriculture
Agricultural trade liberalisation and domestic market reforms in Indian
agriculture (ADP/2002/089)
Scoping study on western China desertification (ADP/2007/090)
Improving the efficiency of land use change policy in China
Achieving food security in China – implications of WTO accession
Chinese grain market policy with special emphasis on the domestic
grain trade (ADP/1997/021)
Markets for high-value commodities in Indonesia: Promoting
competitiveness and inclusiveness (ADP/2005/066)
Improving milk supply, competitiveness and livelihoods in smallholder
dairy chains in Indonesia (AGB/2011/010)
Policy analysis of linkages between Indonesia's agricultural production,
trade and environment (ADP/1994/049)
Lao People’s Democratic
Republic (PDR)
Effective implementation of payments for environmental services in
Lao PDRR (FST/2011/003)
Pacific island countries
Accelerating economic development through engagement and
development of local industry institutions in Pacific island countries
Assessment of price support schemes for tree crop export industries in
Papua New Guinea and policy recommendations on future assistance
Assessing farmer responses to climate change – adjustment policy
options in China and Vietnam (ADP/2010/070)
Enabling agricultural policies for benefiting smallholders in dairy, citrus
and mango industries of Pakistan (ADP-2010-091)
Delivery on corporate goals
ACIAR goal, to improve:
Contributions of projects in the Agricultural Development Policy
program (examples)
food and nutrition security
Plausible futures for economic development and
structural adjustment: impacts and policy implications.
productivity and resilience of
crop, livestock, forestry and
fisheries systems
Assessing farmer responses to climate change.
smallholder and community
Markets for high-value commodities: promoting
competiveness and inclusiveness.
Effective implementation of payments for environmental
Capturing the potential for greenhouse gas offsets.
sustainable interactions
between agricultural and
ecosystem services
Future focus
The program is moving to examining policy
settings and changes around domestic market
and trade regulatory developments. These are
examined within the context of food-price
volatility and risk. A second set of domestic
policy issues, around the development and
testing of land-use-policy options that address
environmental challenges and incentives are
also being considered. At the farm level the
impacts of a changing climate require
adjustments in policy options, to manage the
impacts of increased variability on farm.
Projects are supplemented by smaller,
supportive activities and merge or
complement larger discipline-based projects
in key research themes.
Research Program staff
Program Manager
Dr M Ejaz Qureshi
Phone: +61 2 6217 0547
Email: [email protected]
Program Support Officer
Trish Andrew
Phone: +61 2 6217 0539
Email: [email protected]