ACIAR operates under the ACIAR Act. The Centre was established by the Australian Government in recognition of the rare position Australia holds amongst industrialised countries, of having the range of climates—cool and warm temperate, subtropical and tropical—typical of the developing world. Australia also has exceptionally strong capacity in agricultural research and development, this combination offering a unique opportunity to utilise agricultural research to benefit developing countries.
ACIAR, as part of the Australian development assistance program, contributes to the objectives of advancing Australia’s national interests, promoting economic growth and increasing sustainability through assisting and encouraging Australian scientists and institutions to use their skills to develop solutions to agricultural problems in developing countries.
ACIAR’s mandate is to plan, fund and manage projects across a broad range of agricultural and development areas. Approximately three quarters of the Centre’s research budget is allocated to bilateral collaborative development-related research between Australia and developing countries. The remaining quarter of the research budget is allocated to multilateral development-related research through contributions to International Agricultural Research Centres.
Projects funded by the Centre address problems of mutual interest and benefit to developing countries and Australia, through fields in which Australia, or international agricultural research centres, have comparative advantage.