Agroforestry & Extension Systems
For information about the research conducted by the Agroforestry and Extension Systems group, please contact Dr Ian Nuberg.
Agroforestry broadly studies how woody-perennial species in agricultural and pastoral systems can be managed to enhance their productivity and the ecosystem services they provide. This can include activity that is quite different from what is conventionally considered as ‘forestry’. For example, some research projects currently being pursued by this group
- Short-rotation fuelwood production systems in PNG (ACIAR funded)
- Effective irrigation of tea in Sri Lanka
- Genetic risk of agroforestry species (Acacia saligna)
- Impact of livestock and other herbivores on rangeland trees and shrubs.
The ACIAR fuelwood project has 7 participating landholder groups in the highlands and 3 in the region surrounding Port Moresby. This group, the Mt Sinai Bible College community group near Mt Hagen in the Western Highlands are looking forward to planting their multi-purpose, short-rotation, coppicing woodlots from which they will sell fuelwood, charcoal and building poles. They will also experiment with different tree species and spacings to determine the best system for their needs
Researchers: Dr Ian Nuberg, Dr Desmond Coleman
Postgraduate researchers: Mr Shyamantha Bandara, Ms Melisa Millar
Collaborators: Mr Brian Gunn (CSIRO-Ensis), Mr Roy Banka (PNG Forest Research Institute), Prof Janendra De Costa (University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka), Dr Margaret Byrne (DEC-WA)
Social aspects of land use
Agricultural systems research often requires understanding of associated social and institutional systems. This knowledge is required for either, developing new technology and facilitating its adoption, or for recommending policy for industry management. Most research projects in this discipline group are concerned at some level with social processes – e.g. farm-participation –but some research projects specifically under this category are:
- Impact evaluation of agricultural research in West Papua
- Social and institutional dimensions of managing kangaroos
- Aboriginal small business enterprise
Researchers: Dr Ian Nuberg
Postgraduate researchers: Mr Sukendra Mahalaya, Ms Dana Thomsen, Ms Louise Moylan
A farmer meeting in Punjab to discuss zero-til wheat (background: zero-til wheat in a farmers' field)
Farmer Participatory Research
Farmer participatory research can have a major impact on the rate of adoption of complex agricultural technologies. This approach was used successfully in northern India on a project tacking management of herbicide resistant Phalaris minor. Zero-till wheat production was one of the technologies that emerged from that ACIAR funded project led by A/Prof Gurjeet Gill. This technology adoption grew from less than 4 ha in 1998 to more than 1 million ha in 2005 – a staggering rate of adoption! In a follow-up 5 year project, the same team led by A/Prof Gill is focussing on developing direct seeded rice production systems in the Indo-Gangetic Plains.
Collaborators: Prof RK Malik (CCS Haryana Agricultural Univeristy, Hisar, India), Dr US Walia (Punjab Agricultural University, Ludhiana, India) and Dr Ravi G Singh (CIMMYT, India).
For information about studying in this field please visit our Future Students page.