CSIRO and food production: securing our food future

CSIRO's international research

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As Australia's leading research agency, CSIRO is contributing to food research both at home and internationally. We work with farming communities particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

CSIRO is involved in over 740 international research activities per year. We are working with other Australian Government agencies and are in partnership with institutions in more than 80 countries to build capacity and help address critical development challenges.

We are working with:

Some of the biggest gains in food production can be achieved in the developing world. For example, reducing losses of crops from rodent pests could make a significant difference. Rodent pests are one of the main causes of rice losses throughout Asia causing an average loss of 15 per cent of rice crop every year.

Some examples of the work we do:

Linking farmers to markets in South Africa

Research by CSIRO and South African partners has supported a group of smallholder farmers to enter commercial markets through diversified and improved farming systems.

Feeding the world without starving the planet

With an increasing world population, a new 21st century 'agricultural revolution' will be needed to meet demand for food and fibre in the face of significant land, water, energy and climate constraints. (5:49)

Taking on the rat race

Our research into ecologically-based rodent pest management has increased rice yields, reduced environmental damage and improved profits for farmers and business in Asia and Australia.
Our rodent management research has increased rice yields, reduced environmental damage and improved profits across Australia and Asia.

Developing climate change adaptation strategies for farming communities in Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and India

CSIRO is working with farmers in Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh and India to identify and test locally feasible climate change adaptation options.

Analysing pathways to sustainability in Indonesia

Indonesia is pioneering a new approach to national decision making that helps explain the impact high-level decisions have on ordinary people and on natural resources like water, timber, land and energy - as well as on the economy itself.

Partnering with international communities to create sustainable livelihoods

CSIRO scientists are researching development issues including food security, sustainable forestry and natural resource management.

Insect protected cowpeas

Cowpeas are an important food crop in sub-Saharan Africa but yields are often reduced by more than 80 per cent due to pests and diseases. CSIRO Plant Industry is part of a global project to improve cowpea production in Africa and is making progress towards incorporating ‘built-in’ insect pest protection that could help to reduce food shortages in the region.