Productivity, networks and globalisation for dryland farming

The Australia Awards Indonesia Agriculture: Productivity, Networks and Globalisation for Dryland Farming (Dryland Farming) Short Term Award was delivered over a four-week period in Australia from 11 April to 6 May 2016 by The University of Queensland’s International Development (UQID) unit.

Twenty-six Awardees were selected from a range of local government bodies, tertiary institutions and non-government organisations from across Indonesia, and included researchers, administrators, technicians and educators in the fields of policy, farming, university-level teaching, forestry, livestock and agricultural and horticulture crops.

The goal of this Award was to improve the enabling environment and management of sustainable dryland farming in Indonesia’s eastern provinces. The Award’s key objective was to achieve this through the provision of an action-based learning approach to enhance the capacity of Indonesian agricultural professionals in developing and implementing practical and workable strategies for improving the sustainability of Indonesia’s dryland agriculture systems, including engagement in local and international markets and the identification and fostering of mutually beneficial relationships with Australian stakeholders.

 Medium scale peanut production systems in rotation with maize
Awardees at a farm in Kingaroy District: Medium-scale peanut production systems in rotation with maize

The in-Australia program comprised a balance of classroom lectures, institutional visits, and field trips to various agricultural districts of South-East Queensland. Awardees learned about innovations that have revolutionised Australian dryland farming systems over the past 30 years, with structured workshop sessions integrated throughout the program providing an opportunity for Awardees to reflect, discuss and apply their learning to their own local context through the development of their Award Projects.

The Award course was led by Dr Gunnar Kirchhof, an applied soil physicist at The University of Queensland’s (UQ) School of Agriculture and Food Sciences with special interest in land resource management in developing countries. Dr Kirchhof was able to share his expertise with Awardees on sustainable agricultural practices including soil and water management.

The Award site visits were aligned with the lecture content as much as possible to ensure Awardees gained the necessary background knowledge prior to seeing real-life examples. The Award included three 1-day field visits.

The first was an introductory tour of the Lockyer Valley as an introduction to the biophysical environment of one of Australia’s most productive horticultural areas, the second visit was to small scale horticultural farms near Brisbane, and the third was a visit to a farm on the Darling Downs and to an irrigation dam (Leslie Dam).

Key to the Award program was the establishment of professional networks in Australia to assist Awardees in developing an understanding of technical and policy processes that improve the enabling environment and management of sustainable dryland farming. The highlight of the course was the 4-day excursion through the Eastern Darling Downs region visiting farms as well as agri-business enterprises. This extended visit provided Awardees with ample opportunity to discuss practical strategies to improve the sustainability of Indonesia’s dryland agriculture systems. The excursion included visits to Kingaroy Research Station, Heritage Seeds, and Vanderfield Machinery.

Dryland Farming short course Awardees extended their learning and networking opportunities through site visits to the UQ Darbalara Farm to discuss catchment and salinity management, and meet the Lockyer Valley farmers’ group (LWMA). They also visited the Brisbane Markets, the UQ research farm, and other commercial farms in the area.

Download a brochure about Australia Awards Indonesia -  Agriculture: Productivity, Networks and Globalisation for Dryland Farming - 2016.


Duration: April 2016–August 2016
Funding source: Australia Awards: Short Term Award


Last updated:
20 November 2020