Our research efforts and impacts encompass five broad themes.

Agricultural economics and development

Projects include:

  • investigation of the incentives influencing grassland management and herder livelihoods in China and Mongolia for the design of improved grassland policies and management strategies in these countries
  • socio-economic and farming systems research into dairy, sheep and integrated crop-livestock systems in Tibet
  • research into the formal and informal flows of cattle and beef in China, Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar to understand the dynamics and integration of regional beef markets in South-East Asia
  • research into smallholder cattle and beef systems in East Timor and Vanuatu into improved productivity and smallholder livelihoods
  • developing cassava production and marketing systems in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Indonesia
  • investigation into the environmental and social aspects of hydropower projects in Nepal to identify and promote more equitable arrangements in benefit-sharing schemes.

Agribusiness management

Projects include:

  • development of an Enviro-$mart sustainability management and certification concept, which has improved the sustainability of rubber production in Malaysia
  • development of an Australian cotton industry nitrogen optimisation tool, which is being trialled within the Australian cotton industry with the aim of more sustainable practices
  • developing vegetable and fruit value chains and integrating them with community development in the southern Philippines
  • assessment of advantages and disadvantages in the Australian agricultural and food sectors compared with those in New Zealand, the UK and the US.

Natural resource and environmental management

Projects include:

  • assessment of the values of rural and urban people, including Aboriginal people, towards rivers and an ecologically significant bay in Queensland. The study provides information for the Queensland Government's monitoring of a marine park, a government-non-government collaboration’s monitoring and communications, and Aboriginal people’s desire for a stronger influence in environmental management
  • examination of the factors affecting successful regional collaboration over water resource management in Australia.

Rural community development

Through participative research with communities, landholders and governments, we seek to understand current natural resource management and livelihood processes, and identify new approaches for sustainable local development.

Our main CCRES project entails the development of a participatory approach for communities and governments in Indonesia to strengthen their management of marine resources, and to develop livelihoods.

Systems approaches to rural issues

Projects include:

  • research into coral reefs and ecosystem services addressing socio-ecological problems such as fish catch decline, mangrove loss, and water pollution in communities dependent on coastal resources in the Philippines and Indonesia
  • examination of the interactions between people, animals and the environment to better understand the emergence and outbreak of Leptospirosis in Fiji.

Research outcomes and impact

Our efforts have made considerable impact both in Australia and abroad.

We have:

  • developed decision management tools in the cotton, rubber and wool textile industries
  • provided policy advice to governments at various levels and in several countries on resource management and community development
  • provided direct advice and information to governments and industry associations to help formulate trade and industry development strategies in beef, wool, horticulture and other agricultural industries
  • developed Bespoke eStyle Statistical Training, open-source statistical software that helps scientists in East Africa and South Asia to upskill.