ACICIS was delighted to attend the PerthUSAsia Centre’s annual ‘In The Zone’ event on Saturday 14 May 2016, in Jakarta. With a focus on food sustainability and resource sharing in the region, the ‘Feeding the Zone’ theme raised important questions on how Australia and Indonesia can work together to respond to rising demand and food insecurity in our region. The forum provided a framework for forward-thinking collaboration on regional economic and demographic trends, and identifying areas and sectors where greater focus will be required in coming decades.

The conference demonstrates a snapshot of global and regional policy, as well as currently ongoing research and policy innovations that have bought positive changes to agriculture, livestock, and aquaculture in the region. These policy and research innovations continue to highlight the need for greater collaboration and cooperation in the region in order to continue to advance improvements in these areas. The most critical focus of the forum is on the role of innovation and technology in continuing to drive the changes required in order to appropriately nourish the people of the growing Indo-Pacific region, and to examine what infrastructure investment and trade architecture is required to sustain and accelerate current growth.

The event was attended by academics, students, business people, and current & former politicians from across the region, highlighting the importance of agriculture and food security to all walks of life. Former President of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono , The Hon. Minister Nalder, West Australian Minister of Agriculture and Food & the Minister for Transport, His Excellency, the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia, Paul Grigson, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs & Minister of Defence Stephen Smith, the Hon. Peter Tinley MLA, and the Vice Rector for Resources and Strategic Studies, Professor Hermanto Siregar from IPB Bogor, were among the notable dignitaries present.

As a leading provider of educational programs and practicums in Indonesia, ACICIS Study Indonesia was invited to attend the event. Representing ACICIS was Resident Director Elena Williams, Deputy Resident Director Adrian Budiman, ASP Development Officer Alfa Ratu Simarangkir, and student Sayle Johnston (Sem 42/Feb 2016) who is currently undertaking ACICIS’ International Relations Program at Parahyangan Catholic University, Bandung.

ACICIS understands the ongoing importance of the agricultural sector and food security for the region and in recognition of this has developed the new Agriculture Semester Program (ASP). The Agriculture Semester Program, launching in August this year, will offer students the opportunity to tackle some of the issues raised at the In The Zone event, through a semester’s worth of study at the Bogor Agricultural Institute (Institut Pertanian Bogor, or IPB), and through a professional work placement with an Australian or Indonesian companies working in the agriculture sector. This program provides students with the opportunity to contribute to an extremely important sector that will require significant innovation and research in order to meet the growing needs of the burgeoning population and economies of the Indo-Pacific region.

Numerous $6,000 New Colombo Plan Mobility Grants are available to support undergraduate Australian students from ACICIS member universities on this program.

A number of organisations, including global research organisations, local and international non-government organisations (NGOs) and agricultural production companies, have already expressed an interest in hosting ACICIS students. For more information about these host organisations, and about the ASP, see here.