CIRAD, Institute for cooperation in agronomy for development in Australia and the Indian Ocean #ST15 [fr]
CIRAD is the Centre for International Cooperation in Agricultural Research for Development, a French institute working for the development of developing countries and French overseas departments and territories. It is a public research establishment under the joint supervision of the MESRI (Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation) and the MEAE (Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs).
It operates in all tropical and subtropical regions, with a focus on partnership research. Its mission is to contribute to the sustainable development of these regions through research, experimental projects, training and the production of scientific and technical information. Its expertise lies in the life sciences, human sciences and engineering sciences, applied to agriculture and food, natural resource management and societies. Present in some fifty countries, CIRAD mobilizes the skills of its 1,650 employees, including 800 researchers.
The institute’s strategic thematic areas are Biodiversity, Integrated approach to health (of plants, animals and ecosystems), Agro-ecological transitions, Territories, Food systems and Climate change.
Cooperation in Australia
Australia ranks 12th out of 135 countries co-publishing internationally with CIRAD over the 2013-2016 period, with 106 co-publications signed between a player present in Australia and a CIRAD author, which corresponds to 4% of the total volume of publications (data: Agritrop, 28 February 2018).
The main Australian institutions publishing jointly with CIRAD are:
CSIRO: 24% of co-publications;
Australian National University: 9% of co-publications;
James Cook University: 8% of co-publications;
University of Queensland: 8% of co-publications.
These figures are growing strongly, and nearly 700 joint publications have already been recorded for the 2018-2020 period between CIRAD and Australian research organizations.
The other main partners are the Universities of Sydney, Queensland and Melbourne, to which should be added ACIAR (Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research), with which CIRAD is developing a number of projects in Southeast Asia, particularly in Vietnam (Beef Cattle Vietnam project, also in partnership with the University of Tasmania).
In terms of missions, 106 trips to Australia were carried out between 2010 and 2019, i.e. an average of 10 per year. Half of these missions were for participation in international congresses taking place in Australia, and half were related to scientific collaborations between CIRAD and Australian teams.
The main areas of collaboration with Australia are varied: forestry and forest genetics, horticulture, animal health, population genetics and insecticide resistance, banana genomics, fruit flies, conservation agriculture, soil studies, cotton, coffee and mango cultivation, etc.
Interested in these topics? Discover in this video the concept of agro-ecology, one of CIRAD’s strategic research thematic fields, whose objective is to implement complex solutions to tomorrow’s challenges.
CIRAD is banking on agro-ecology for development in the global South
Cooperation in the Indian Ocean
In 2014, the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), representing the Union of the Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion (FR) and the Seychelles, is signing a framework agreement on regional scientific cooperation with the Réunion Region, the Prefecture of Réunion and CIRAD, with the aim of setting up the Regional Platform for Agricultural Research for Development in the Indian Ocean (PRéRAD-OI).
This tool, led and coordinated by CIRAD, is designed to facilitate research and the transfer of knowledge and skills in the field of agronomy for food security. With its high-level governance, it now brings together 150 institutions (research, higher education, vocational training and transfer institutions) around thematic networks of actors in 5 key areas.
Each area is structured by a project for the period 2015-2020:
Breeding. ECLIPSE project, associated with the ARCHE_Net network
Thinking about the adaptation of ruminant farming systems with environmental and socio-economic changes.
Health. Project TROI, associated with dP  One Health-OI
Improve the prevention and control of infectious animal and human diseases through the concept of "one health", an integrated approach to health that focuses on the interactions between animals, humans and their diverse environments.
Biodiversity. EPIBIO-OI project, associated with the PRPV network
Increasing plant protection in the Indian Ocean.
Genetic resources. GERMINATION 2 project, associated with the Germination network
Preserving biodiversity and enhancing agricultural plant genetic resources for sustainable agriculture.
Food quality. QUAL’INNOV project, associated with the QualiREG network
The quality of food products, from its preparation in the field to its post-harvest valorisation.
Among other things, the platform wishes to promote existing initiatives and to network the many actors and bodies involved in agro-sciences in the Indian Ocean, at different local, regional and international levels.
Australia is present within the ARChE_Net network, through the integration of Murdoch University (Perth) as a partner organization in 2016. Among the projects carried by the network, the ECLIPSE project is developing and using a decision support tool dedicated to forage species, as a continuation and update of the "Tropical Forages" software, developed by the CSIRO.
 Platforms in partnership for research and training worldwide (Dispositif de recherche et d’enseignement en partenariat)