Healthy Soils for Sustainable Food Production and Environmental Quality

Healthy soils are vital engines for socio-economic, environmental and population health. Soil is a non-renewable resource and the foundation for food production.

Soil degradationis a major threat to international food security. Faced with soil degradation and population growth, Australia and China have come together to establish Healthy Soils for Sustainable Food Production and Environmental Quality, a Joint Research Centre (JRC) to address food security and sustainable soil management.


The Centre is dedicated to

  • delivering new solutions to challenges in sustainable agricultural management
  • training early and mid-career-researchers through bilateral study opportunities
  • facilitating collaboration between stakeholders in Australia and China. 

The four strategic priorities of the Centre are:

  1. Synchronisation of nutrient and water resources
  2. Recovery of resources from agricultural wastes
  3. Soil processes and remediation
  4. Supply chain and food credentials


The Centre brings internationally-recognised researchers from Australia and China together with industry leaders and national decision makers to carry out research, training, and develop partnerships across the supply chain. This approach ensures targeted research with outputs that are transferable to the industry and other end users.


The Centre is one of six Joint Research Centres (JRC) co-funded by both the Australian and Chinese governments as part of the Australia-China Science and Research Fund.

University of Melbourne is the lead for this JRC. Professor Deli Chen leads the Centre as Centre Director. The centre brings together expertise from across Australia including the CSIRO, the University of New England, University of Sydney and University of Western Australia.

In China, the Centre is supported by ten partners including the Chinese Agricultural University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and Nanjing Agricultural University.

Centre Steering Committee 

Next : Research