Australian Commission for International Agricultural Research and PAC visit Vietnam

The Australian Commission for International Agricultural Research (Commission) and Policy Advisory Council (PAC) visited Vietnam last week to learn about the country’s agricultural development priorities and explore research opportunities with the Australia.

The Commission and PAC are made up of leading experts from across the Indo-Pacific who provide advice on agricultural development issues to the Australian Foreign Minister.

The delegation’s visit mainly focused on the Mekong Delta in the south of the country, where the impacts of climate change are putting increasing pressure on agricultural production and food security in the region.

ACIAR Commissioner and CEO Prof. Andrew Campbell said Vietnam is one of Australia’s most important long-term research partners; an essential partnership to meet the challenges of sustainable development in the years to come.


The delegation during a visit to a mangrove forest in Song Trang province in Vietnam.

“Vietnam is one of Australia’s most important strategic partners in the Indo-Pacific region. ACIAR has been working in Vietnam for nearly 30 years with many long-lasting partnerships at national and institutional levels,” said Professor Campbell.

“It is extremely valuable to have the Commission and PAC in Vietnam to see first hand how ACIAR investment has contributed to sustainable farming systems and to explore how Australia can deepen and continue this effort.”

The delegation visited several ACIAR-supported projects in the Mekong Delta that are helping smallholder farmers become more resilient to climate change, including a project led by Charles Sturt University to increase the production and profitability of systems of agricultural production affected by salinity.


Commissioner Emeritus Lindsay Falvey inspects pork at a traditional wet market in Hanoi.
International Agricultural Research Commissioner Professor Lindsay Falvey (left) inspects pork at a traditional wet market in Hanoi.

A member of the Vietnam Panel on Climate Change, Dr Nguyen Van Bo has been part of PAC since 2004 and praised the delegation’s engagement with local researchers and farmers.

“The Mekong is Vietnam’s most dynamic center of agricultural production, but it is also the most affected by the impacts of climate change, with rising sea levels, increased soil salinity and drought” , said Dr. Bo.

“Farmers in this region are also among the poorest in the country. There is no better place than the Mekong to observe the emerging challenges facing Vietnamese farmers and researchers.

“I am delighted that the delegation was able to meet with agricultural leaders to understand future challenges and assess the research efforts needed to protect local food security and rural livelihoods.”


The Commission and PAC join Australia's Ambassador to Vietnam, Ms Robyn Mudie, at a meeting with the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Hanoi.
The Commission and PAC join Australia’s Ambassador to Vietnam, Ms Robyn Mudie, at a meeting with the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Hanoi.

The Commission and PAC also traveled to Hanoi to meet with various research partners, including a high-level discussion with the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD).

“After seeing and discussing the most pressing emerging issues, the Commission and PAC can identify bilateral and multilateral research opportunities that will be mutually beneficial to Vietnam and Australia,” Dr Bo said.

While in the Vietnamese capital, the delegation also visited traditional Vietnamese wet markets and modern food retailers to compare smallholder farmers’ channels for selling their products.

They also met farmers benefiting from an ACIAR-funded project helping rural communities grow safe vegetables which are then sold in high-value markets, dramatically increasing household incomes.


Fiona Simson with Farmer Moc Chau
Commission President Fiona Simson (right) meets a small-scale farmer from the northwestern region of Mộc Châu who sells her produce in Hanoi markets.

The Commission and PAC visit different ACIAR partner countries each year to understand agricultural challenges in developing countries and explore the opportunities that Australian research expertise and investment could offer and then provide advice. to the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Before Vietnam, the Commission visited Indonesia in 2020, Laos in 2019, Fiji/Vanuatu in 2018, Myanmar in 2017 and Pakistan in 2016.

The Commission for International Agricultural Research comprises 7 Australian Commissioners who provide collective decision-making and expert advice to the Minister for Foreign Affairs on the formulation of agricultural research and development programs, setting priorities, funding and other matters as requested by the Minister. Meet the curators.

The Policy Advisory Council (PAC) is made up of 12 members from across the Indo-Pacific region. The Council provides valuable insight into the development priorities of countries in the region and how Australia’s expertise in agricultural research can contribute to these priorities through research collaborations. PAC also supports the Australian Center for International Agricultural Research in planning and implementing its research portfolio to improve food security and reduce poverty in our region. Meet the CAP members.

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Lana T. Arthur