Earlier this month, a large cohort of GFAR staff and students descended upon the Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre to participate in the 61st annual AARES conference, held 7-10th February. The three conference days provided an array of thought provoking presentations, social events and networking opportunities.

GFAR members at AARES 2017

GFAR members at AARES 2017

Wendy Pres Address_AARES 2017The first day saw GFAR Executive Director, Prof. Wendy Umberger, present her Presidential Address, titled, ‘Seeing with new eyes: Insights into understanding food values’. The take-home message was that gaining a more comprehensive understanding consumer food values and behaviour, requires greater engagement in transdisciplinary research (and thus, ‘seeing with new eyes’).

GFAR staff and students presented their research over the remaining two days, with a brief overview provided below.

Christian 3MT AARES 2017GFAR research was showcased in the ‘Food Security’ session, where PhD students Ms. Jesmin Rupa and Mr. Christian Genova II presented their work. While Jesmin presented her research on “Analysing the association between rural farm household health and economic shocks and food security in Bangladesh”, Christian presented his research on “Linking smallholder vegetable production to children’s diet: Evidence from rural Vietnam”. Christian also participated and was strong contender in the 3-minute thesis competition, which was a new addition to the AARES conference in 2017.

GFAR was also well-represented in one of the ‘Valuation’ sessions, where Dr. Daniel Gregg presented a paper titled: “Inferred valuation: whose inference over what?” authored by him and A/Prof. Sarah Wheeler. The paper received some good feedback with strong interest in partnerships expressed by internationally renowned researchers in the area of non-market valuation. PhD student, Mr. Tien Dung Khong, also presented his research on “Farm-household preferences for reducing salinity intrusion risk: A case in the Mekong River Delta” co-authored with Prof. Mike Young and Dr. Adam Loch.

In the well-attended ‘Food, health and nutrition’ session, Prof. Wendy Umberger presented a paper titled, ‘Understanding drivers of increasing vegetarianism in Australia’, co-authored with GFAR postdoctoral researcher Dr. Lenka Malek and Prof. Ellen Goddard from the University of Alberta. Dr. Lenka Malek also presented a paper in this session, titled, ‘Segmentation of Australian meat consumers based on attitudes regarding farm animal welfare and the environmental impact of meat production’, co-authored with Prof. Wendy Umberger and Prof. John Rolfe from Central Queensland University.

In addition to A/Prof. Sarah Wheeler being an invited discussant in the Urban Water Symposium, the final day ‘Water’ session also had a strong GFAR presence. Dr. Adam Loch presented his work on ‘Private water trade transaction costs in the Murray Darling Basin: an empirical assessment over time’; Ms. Juliane Haensch presented her PhD research on “The spatial distribution and determinants of price preferences for water entitlement trading”, co-authored with Dr. Sarah Wheeler and Dr Alec Zuo; and Ms. Sara Palomo-Hierro, a PhD student who is visiting GFAR from Spain, presented her research titled, ‘Improving water governance: Lesson-drawing from water market comparisons in Spain and Australia’.

Ms. Apri Laila Sayekti presented her PhD research on “Labour demand in labour-intensive farming: Chilli production in Indonesia”, in the ‘Development’ session. In the ‘Value Chain Analysis’ session, GFAR research assistant, Mr. Rohan Yargop, presented his research on identifying the critical drivers, growth constraints and success factors of the South Australian food and agriculture industry. The insights gained from this work will inform the development of a strategic framework for growing the value of the South Australian food and agriculture industry through collaboration and co-innovation.

Lastly, Dr. Di Zeng chaired the ‘Farming Systems’ session in which he presented his paper, ‘One size fits all? Evidence from contract farming among Chinese broiler producers’. PhD student, Ms. Rio Maligalig, also presented her research in this session, titled, ‘Farmer preferences for investments in varietal trait improvements: The case of rice farmers in Nueva Ecija, Philippines’, which was co-authored with Dr Matty Demont of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and Prof. Wendy Umberger.

The 2018 AARES conference is set to be another great event- this time held in Adelaide, South Australia!

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Prof Michael Hanemann

Prof Michael Hanemann

South Australia’s Branch of the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society (AARES) and the Centre for Global Food and Resources (GFAR) is delighted to host a discussion with Prof Michael Hanemann, Arizona State University

WHEN: 12.30 -2.00pm, Wednesday 8th March 2017

WHERE: Room 5.01, Level 5, Nexus 10 Building, The University of Adelaide, 10 Pulteney Street, Adelaide

A light lunch and drinks will be provided

Numbers are strictly limited to 25! To register for this event, please rsvp:

Michael Hanemann is currently the Julie A. Wrigley Professor at the School of Sustainability and Department of Economics of Arizona State University. Prior to his current position in Arizona, Prof Hanemann was assistant at London School of Economics (1967-68), a teaching fellow at Harvard University (1970-75), and between 1976 and 2011 Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he still collaborates. He was Director of California Climate Change Centre (2003-6), member of the Environmental Economics Advisory Committee at US Environmental Protection Agency (2000-6), and a lead author of the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (2011-14).

Wikipedia describes Michael as:

“One of the most successful single environmental and resource economist in citations to journal articles. His papers consistently appear in top economics journals and he has more than 10,000 Google Scholar citations, five contributions with more than 1,000 citations and over 35 with more than 100 citations. His research focuses on environmental economics, covering diverse issues such as modeling and simulation, choice behavior, conservation, environmental regulation, economic valuation, or methodology of non-market valuation using techniques of both stated and revealed preferences. He made seminal contributions in at least three areas of environmental and resource economics: i) methods to quantify the value of environmental services not traded in markets; ii) the study of impacts of climate change in agriculture; and iii) water pricing and regulation. His intellectual contributions have also inspired many journal articles and dissertations by other authors, and he has mentored outstanding and influential scholars.”

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Dr Eric Houk Water Transfers in California: Estimating the Impact of Foregone Agricultural Production and Aquifer Decline

Dr Eric Houk
Professor, California State University, Chico

Wednesday, March 1st 2017
12:30-1:30 pm – Talk and discussion

Seminar Room 5.01, Centre for Global Food & Resources
Level 5 Nexus 10 Building

RSVP to Alec Zuo at by Monday 27 Feb for catering purposes as a light lunch will be available


In California, large federal and state water projects have been developed to transfer northern water supplies to southern water users.  This ability to transfer water has placed pressure on farmers to transfer/lease their surface water and either fallow their land or increase groundwater pumping. Although water transfers are occurring regularly in the state, the impact of additional groundwater pumping on aquifer levels and the impact of forgone production on the regional economy is often not well understood. This presentation will provide an overview of California water issues and demonstrate how hydrologic and economic models can be used to estimate the impacts of various water transfer scenarios.

About the speaker:

Dr Houk is a Professor of Agricultural Economics at CSU, Chico. He serves as the Lead for the Agricultural Business Program and the Director of the Agribusiness Institute. His research primarily focuses on issues relating to the economics of water and agriculture.

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The Centre for Global Food and Resources, Executive Director, Professor Wendy Umberger, on behalf of the University and Agribusiness Australia welcomed guests for the co-sponsored afternoon at Ayres House on Monday 13 February 2017 where the use of Big Data in Agribusiness was in the spotlight. Attendees heard presentations from University of Adelaide Alumnus Professor […]

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The Centre for Global Food and Resources together with Agribusiness Australia have the pleasure of announcing Special International guests, University of Adelaide Alumnus Prof Philip Pardey, University of Minnesota and Dr Gabe Gusimi, PepsiCo: Big data and its application to Agribusiness Monday 13 February 2017 Ayers House, 288 North Terrace, Adelaide SA 5000 Topic: ‘Beyond […]

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Collaboration between the University of Adelaide and some of Australia’s largest agribusinesses has resulted in a new, business-focused Master of Agribusiness program, which is designed to cultivate the industry’s next generation of leaders. Valued at more than $430 billion annually, agribusiness is one of Australia’s most important industry sectors. “ This is a key industry for our […]

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An eventful day: an international keynote speaker, many presentations, some media interviews and a quiz night… Professor Klaus Grunert from Aarhus University in Denmark took the stage early this morning, giving an insightful and motivating keynote presentation on ‘Changes in consumer food quality perception: Implications for theory and practice’. Prof Grunert highlighted how the increasing […]

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The Centre for Global Food and Resources (GFAR) at the University of Adelaide is delighted to jointly host the XXIII annual conference of the Agri-food Research Network (AFRN) and a gathering of the Australian Agricultural Resource Economics Society (AARES) in Adelaide this week (December 7-10, 2016). The AFRN has been meeting annually in Australasia since […]

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Dr. Jean Balié, leader of the Monitoring and Analysis Food and Agricultural Policies (MAFAP) program in the Agricultural Development Economics (ESA) Division of FAO, was the latest prominent researcher to give a seminar at the Centre for Global Food and Resources, which was co-hosted with the AARES-SA branch. Dr. Balié’s seminar focused on his research […]

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When you are in a hole, stop digging – better still, start filling it in! Drawing attention to this simple rule ECO – an NGO newsletter at COP 22 – draws attention to the opportunity for countries to reduce carbon emissions by phasing out carbon subsidies. According to the IMF, in 2015 Australia ranks 5th […]

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