Fay Rola-Rubzen

Dr, BSAgEcon (Hons-cum laude) UPLB; MEc PhD (UNE), Deputy Director, Center for Agricultural Economics and Development

  • The University of Western Australia (M087), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Personal profile


Dr Fay Rola-Rubzen is an agricultural economist/ development economist with extensive experience in farming systems research; analysis of farmer behaviour under risk and uncertainty; gender, poverty and food security; agribusiness and supply chain analysis; and poverty and social analysis.  She joined the Agricultural and Resource Economics group, School of Agriculture and Environment at the University of Western Australia (UWA) in 2018. Prior to joining UWA, she was the Deputy Dean of Research and Development at Curtin Business School, Curtin University.

Fay has led and managed several research and development projects with multi-disciplinary teams both in Australia and internationally (Asia and Africa) and has been consultant to various organisations including the UN-FAO, UN-ESCAP, International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR).  

Currently, Fay is the Project leader of a multi-country ACIAR-funded project on Understanding Farm-Household Management Decision making for Increased Productivity in the Eastern Gangetic Plains. She is also a co-investigator (socio-economist and gender specialist) in the Sustainable and Resilient Farming Systems Intensification Project in South Asia, where she leads the gender mainstreaming work and the analysis of farmer behaviour and technology adoption.

Previous positions

2012-2018: Deputy Dean of Research and Development and Director of Higher Degree by Research, Curtin Business School, Curtin University

2011: Higher Degree by Research Academic Coordinator, Research and Development, Curtin Business School, Curtin University

2008-2018: Associate Professor, School of Management (2009-2010), School of Agriculture and Environment (2008-2009), Curtin University

2005-2009: Core-Project Leader - Desert Businesses, Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre (Seconded to the Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre (DKCRC) to manage and lead one of the six core-projects of DKCRC)

2002-2007: Senior Lecturer, Muresk Institute, Curtin University of Technology

1998-2001: Lecturer, Muresk Institute of Agriculture, Curtin University of Technology 



  • Agricultural economics/ resource economics
  • Sustainable agricultural development
  • Poverty and food security
  • Development economics and rural development
  • Behavioural economics
  • Farmer behaviour and technology adoption
  • Farming systems research
  • Agribusiness supply chain/ value chain analysis
  • Gender and participatory development
  • Economic modelling (bio-economic modelling) and economic analysis of programs or interventions (including benefit-cost analysis; cost efficiency analysis)
  • Monitoring and evaluation, impact assessment, socio-economic-cum-environmental impact assessment

Current projects


UWA Center for Environmental and Economics Policy

Current projects:

2018-present - Understanding Farm Household Management Decision in the Eastern Gangetic Plains (Australian Center for International Agricultural Research) - Project Leader

2019-present - Smallholder Dairy Cooperatives in Addressing Sustainable Development Goals in ODA Countries (Worldwide Universities Network) - Co-investigator

2019-present - (Re)negotiating power to enhance resilience to climate change (Worldwide Universities Network and UWA Research Collaboration Awards) - Co-investigator

2015-present - Sustainable and Resilient Farming Systems Intensification in the Eastern Gangetic Plains (Australian Center for International Agricultural Research and CIMMYT) - Socio-economist and Gender Specialist

Completed projects:

Using ICTs to enhance adoption of new agricultural technologies and innovations in the Eastern Gangetic Plains (ACIAR) - Co-investigator

Pro-Poor Sustainable Economic Development: Capacity Building for Mongolian National and Local Government Officials (DFAT) - Project Leader

Gender and climate-risk considerations for research on crop-livestock systems in Africa (ACIAR) - Australian Project Leader

Potential of ICTs to improve farmer decision making on smallholder cropping systems in South Asia (ACIAR)- Project Leader

Rural Youth and Entrepreneurship (Curtin Business School) - Project Leader

Enhancing profitability of selected vegetable value chains in Southern Philippines (ACIAR) - Agricultural Economist and Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist

Survey of Australian SMEs (Indigenous Business Australia) - Project Leader

Desert Businesses (Desert Knowledge Cooperative Research Centre) - Core-Project 3 Leader

Building and sustaining agricultural R&D capacity in Timor Leste (ACIAR) - Socio-Economics Advisor

Women in Rural Leadership Program (Cooperative Bulk Handling (CBH), Prime Super and Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) - Program Leader

Impact of migration and/or off-farm employment on roles of women and appropriate technologies in Asian (Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines) and Australian mixed farming systems (ACIAR) - Australian Project Leader

Plants for People Project (Desert Knowledge-CRC) - Economist

Desert Branding Project (Desert Knowledge-CRC) - Co-investigator

Curriculum Development and Design for the Socio-economics Department, Rehabilitation of the Agriculture Faculty of the National University of Timor Loro Sae (ACIAR) - Advisor (Socio-Economics)

Impact of Wheat Research on Productivity and Efficiency of Farmers in Western Australia (Department of Agriculture WA and Merchants Trust Fund) - Agricultural Economist

Improving the Efficiency of the Agribusiness Supply Chain and Quality Management for Small Agricultural Producers in Mindanao (ACIAR) - Agricultural Economist

Adoption of High Input Wheat Agronomy Packages by Farmers in the Central Wheatbelt of Western Australia (Department of AGriculture WA and Merchants Trust Fund) - Co-Investigator (Agricultural Economist)

Enhancing the Contribution of Livestock within Smallholder Mixed Farming Systems in the Philippines (ACIAR) - Socio-economics, Marketing & Credit Subproject and Co-Leader of Monitoring and Impact Assessment Subproject

Relinquishment of Mining Voids for Aquaculture (Australian Coal Association Research Program (ACARP) - Bio-economic Modelling Specialist

Assessing Farmers Attitude Towards Adoption of Precision Farming (Curtin University Research Grant Scheme (CURGS)) - Project Leader

Consumer Demand for Transgenic Food Products (Australian Research Council) - Project Leader

Poverty and Gender Analysis (International Rice Research Institute (IRRI)) - Affiliate Research Scholar



Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land


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