Southeast Asian University Consortium for Graduate Education in Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC)

Dr. Michael Furlong of the University of Queensland (UQ) School of Biological Sciences, is leading an international collaborative project to boost the sustainable development of high-value crops in the Pacific Islands.

The USD 3.47 million five-year project with funding from the Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (ACIAR) started on November 2011 and will end on 30 June 2016. The project aims to determine emerging pest and disease problems and their effects on newly intensified crops.

Dr. Furlong and his research teams plan to work hand-in-hand with policy makers and farmers across the region to enhance long-term livelihoods of farmers and sustainably produce more intensive crops.

Dr. Furlong said that, "An overall aim of the project is to strengthen and sustain research capacity in the region through collaborative research projects and work with local farmers to encourage the adoption of improved crop management practices. The project will enable UQ to continue its applied research in biological control and other environmentally friendly methods of insect pest management developed in previous ACIAR projects." He also added that the project hopes to develop and implement national strategies for insecticide resistance management of a key pest in the region, which has become resistant to many of the insecticides that are currently available to farmers.

UQ will take the lead in implementing the project in close collaboration with the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), the Asian Vegetable Research and Development Centre (AVRDC) - The World Vegetable Centre, and national government ministries responsible for agriculture in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Solomon Islands.

For more information on this ACIAR project, visit the ACIAR website at



SOURCE: UQ News|24 February 2012

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