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Project Team

Page history last edited by robert.fitzgerald 12 years, 6 months ago

Australian Research Team

Bob Martin

Prof. Bob Martin is the overall coordinator of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) project - ASEM/2006/130 “Enhancing production and marketing of maize and soybean in north-western Cambodia and production of summer crops in north-eastern Australia”. It is also known as the Cambodia Crop Production and Marketing Project (CCPMP).  Bob is Director of the Primary Industries Innovation Centre, a partnership between the University of New England and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries.  He was leader of a previous ACIAR project in Cambodia (ASEM/2000/109)  which was completed in December 2007.  Improved practices for upland cropping systems identified in the previous project will be further developed in CCPMP which aims to improve the functioning of the production – marketing system as a key to increasing cash income, sustainable growth and poverty reduction for smallholder farmers.  The project will facilitate the sharing of knowledge and information at all stages of the value chain from farmer to end-user.


Bob Farquharson (NSW DPI)

Dr Bob Farquharson is a Research Scientist in economics at the Tamworth Agricultural Institute commenced with the Department in February 1987.  He conducts research into farming systems issues and technology evaluations at the Tamworth Centre of Excellence.  During the past four years Bob has:

•    conducted evaluations of new technologies at the farm and industry level;

•    investigated issues of crop prices and quality premiums for Cambodian farmers;

•    identified new opportunities and directions for R&D to address production, economic, resource and environmental issues facing Cambodia’s agricultural producers;

•    helped in developing the scientific capacity of CARDI research staff.


Fiona Scott (NSW DPI)

Fiona is an Economist at the Tamworth Agricultural Institute and commenced with the Department in October 1993.  She conducts research and extension on the farm level financial consequences of alternative farming systems and resource conservation strategies.  During the past four years, Fiona has contributed to achieving the outcome of increased adoption of profitable and sustainable farming systems in Cambodia by:

•    conducting economic analysis with CARDI staff;

•    assisting in the training of extension staff in economic analysis principles;

•    conducting economic evaluations of new technologies at the farm and industry level;

•    assisting in developing the scientific capacity of CARDI research staff.


John Spriggs (University of Canberra)

Professor John Spriggs is foundation Professor in the Australian Institute for Sustainable Communities, University of Canberra. Immediately prior to this appointment, he was foundation Professor of Agribusiness at Charles Sturt University.  He is a Senior Associate of the Australian Centre for Co-operative Research and Development.  John’s research interests include socio-economic change in local, national and international regions, agribusiness supply chain management, agribusiness marketing, and agricultural policy. His approach is from the perspective of new institutional economics and his methodology is participatory and trans-disciplinary, with considerations of hard and soft systems within a critical action research framework. He is currently involved in three major research projects: Improving the Marketing System for Fresh Produce of the Highlands of Papua New Guinea (principal investigator); Improving the Marketing System for Maize and Soybeans in Cambodia (principal investigator); Analysing the Effects of Globalization on Developing Countries (senior research associate).


Rob Fitzgerald (University of Canberra)

Dr Robert Fitzgerald is a senior research scientist in the Australian Institute for Sustainable Communities at the University of Canberra.  He has over 17 years experience in the information and communications technology field (ICT) and has a strong record of research and publication, particularly around its application to development (ICT4D), learning and capacity-building.  Robert is an expert in the development of web-based communities. He currently leads an ACIAR project using SMS and mobile technologies to develop a rural market information system.  Robert will lead the development and application of SMS and mobile technologies to the marketing, production and extension components of the project.  With John Spriggs and Andrew Higgins Stu Brown, he will work on the integrated development and value chain analysis components of the project. 


Andrew Higgins (CSIRO)

Dr Andrew Higgins is a principal research scientist in CSIRO, Brisbane, and has over 10 years experience in value chain analysis/modelling for agriculture.  He also has experience in participatory research and has worked closely with industry from farming to marketing through workshops, focus groups, training and piloting. In this project, Andrew will be responsible for much of the integrated development and value chain analysis in conjunction with John Spriggs and Robert Fitzgerald. In particular he will have a significant role in whole-of-chain diagnosis, post-harvest research, and socio-economic research.


Institutional Partners


University of New England

The University of New England has a strong history of research and development achievements in agricultural economics, rural and environmental sciences.  UNE has extensive research and development experience in the Asia-Pacific region and its scientists and professionals have led numerous successful ACIAR projects in subject areas relevant to this project.  Areas of expertise include: economic potential of land-use change; social capital and rural development; rural development for smallholders; socio-economic modelling and evaluation; and development of profitable smallholder systems using PAR.  Professor Martin is Director of the PIIC, a partnership between NSW DPI and the UNE to boost primary industries research, extension and training outcomes.  The comparative advantage of PIIC is that it unites the basic research and teaching capabilities of UNE with the applied research and extension capabilities of NSW DPI.


New South Wales Department of Primary Industries

The NSW DPI also has a strong track record of successful ACIAR projects. It is the largest provider of research within the NSW Government. NSW DPI’s pre-eminence is due significantly to partnership investment from R&D corporations and Cooperative Research Centres, from individual farmers, fishers and foresters and their industry organisations, from universities and other government agencies, and from community organisations such as catchment management authorities.  NSW DPI’s science and research pre-eminence is founded on the high quality of its research, reflected by the Institute for Scientific Information 2004 ranking of NSW DPI in the top 1 per cent of world research institutes for agricultural science and plant and animal science. NSW DPI is also a strong leader in promoting better agricultural practices internationally and has a long history of collaboration with ACIAR.


University of Canberra

The University of Canberra has a community of 1,000 staff and 10,000 students including 1,600 international students from over 80 countries.  With a strong presence in the national capital and surrounding regions, the University of Canberra conducts research with, and provides advice to business and government agencies nationally and internationally. Their profile reaches to Asia and the Pacific, the United States, Canada, Britain and Europe. The University is well equipped to support research students with libraries, workshops, laboratories, modern precision equipment, advanced computer systems and associate or joint-venture access to national facilities.


CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems (CSE)

CSE focuses on underpinning Australia’s journey towards sustainability by understanding the connections between natural, agricultural, industrial and urban ecosystems and economic and social processes, and by building effective partnerships. Via their core areas of research in ecology, agricultural value chains & farming systems, complex systems science, and social and economic integration CSE seek to deliver in partnership with other research partners and stakeholders, scientific knowledge that is both relevant and significant, and therefore provide options and strategies to underpin the long-term sustainability of Australia and their Asia-Pacific neighbours.  CSE, through its 400 staff, has an extensive capability in developing & applying participatory action research principles for various cropping systems across Australia and SE Asia, and integrating these with CSE’s systems modelling capability in industry value chains, APSIM, water & nutrient management, and at the ecological – production interface.


The Cambodian Agricultural Research & Development Institute (CARDI)

CARDI, Cambodia’s only agricultural research institution, is located on a 70 ha site in the Prateah Lang District, 20 km South of Phnom Penh.  During the past five years, CARDI has diversified its rice-dominated research programs to include a wider range of crops and livestock production and to focus on technology that can substantially increase farmers’ incomes.  Cambodian farm families are seeking to generate more cash income and are interested in growing alternative crops before and after the rice crop which is grown during the main part of the wet season.  CARDI’s research expertise extends across the following programs: plant breeding, plant protection, agronomy and farming systems, agricultural engineering and socio-economics.  All of these programs were involved in the previous project forming an effective multi-disciplinary team.  CARDI also has an effective working relationship with extension collaborators in the PDA.  As in the previous project, CARDI will provide the links to PDAs especially in Battambang and Pailin. The new project will involve the CARDI Research Station at Pailin which is managed by Mr Mao Tong.  This research station is an option for location of the ongoing development of Improved technologies and practices involving reduced tillage and residue retention.  


Maddox Jolie Pitt Foundation (MJP)

MJP is a conservation and community development organisation in rural Cambodia that provides direct support to the local villages, endangered wildlife and habitats to achieve a sustainable path to economic development, balancing conservation and economic rejuvenation.  Complementing MJP’s conservation objectives is poverty eradication.  Since the project’s inception, MJP has explored numerous avenues into improving the quality of life of the impoverished communities surrounding the park.  MJP is fostering the development of Self Help Groups which are provided with cattle, micro-credits, agriculture tools, seeds and fruit trees etc., with the aim of providing alternative livelihoods so that they may reduce their illegal activities, such as illegal logging and hunting.  MJP now has a coordinated agricultural program In Samlaut with program areas in tree crops, animal health and agronomy/farming systems. 


CARE International (Cambodia)

CARE worked in Cambodia between 1973 and 1975, distributing food, providing medical assistance and improving education.  In 1990, CARE returned to Cambodia, working with the United Nations to help 370,000 refugees from among Khmer people return to their homes from camps along the Thai border.  Over the years, CARE Cambodia has shifted its focus from short-term but vital relief operations to long-term development programmes, helping poor communities improve their standard of living.  In several high priority provinces such as Pailin, CARE has appointed Community Development Officers to promote long-term Integrated Rural Development as well as Integrated Mine Action. 

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