Australian Embassy

Visit by ACIAR CEO, Dr Nick Austin strengthens agricultural research partnership - 15 April

Date: 15 April 2010

Subject: Cooperation in Agricultural Research

Visit by ACIAR CEO, Dr Nick Austin
strengthens agricultural research partnership

Partnership in Agricultural Research has been one of the most important areas for cooperation between Australia and Vietnam for 17 years. This relationship will be enriched by the first visit to Vietnam of Dr Nick Austin, CEO of the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) from 19 to 22 April 2010.

During the visit, Dr Austin will meet with key stakeholders involved in ACIAR’s collaborative research program in Vietnam to have a first-hand understanding of the country’s agricultural research and development framework, policy directions and priorities.

He will meet with high level officials of the Ministry of Planning and Investment, Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Development and a number of directors of the leading agricultural research institutes from the South to North of Vietnam who have a long and strong relationship with ACIAR. The focus of discussion will be on the broad directions for donor co-operation in research and development of Vietnam’s agriculture, and specific areas where ACIAR may assist in the future.

Dr Austin will meet with Vietnamese farmers during the field trips in Tien Giang and Soc Trang provinces. Tien Giang has one of the main on-farm trials for ACIAR funded research on biofertiliser use in rice. And in the visit to Soc Trang province he will see the challenges for rice-based farming systems from saline water intrusion.

During two receptions in Can Tho and Hanoi, he will have an opportunity to meet also with Australian alumni, who studied in Australia under ACIAR related projects. Many of them are holding very important positions in research institutes or have become the leading experts in Vietnam.

Dr Austin will be accompanied by Dr Gamini Keerthisinghe, ACIAR regional coordinator for the Mekong region and staff of the Vietnam office. After Vietnam, Dr Austin and Keerthisinghe will have similar visits to three other Mekong countries: Laos, Cambodia and Thailand.

Dr Austin was appointed as CEO of ACIAR in August 2009. He comes from NSW State Government where he was Deputy Director-General for Agriculture and Biosecurity in the Department of Primary Industries. Dr Austin has a background on agricultural and natural resources research and policy. He has also been part of the Agricultural Ministerial Advisory Council, the Standing Committee on Gene Technology and the National Biosecurity Committee.

For more information please contact ACIAR Vietnam office: Ms An: 0904851466/ Ms Lan Phuong: 0903441519, 0437740265.