Farming Systems Support Project
The Farming Systems Support Project (FSSP) is funded by USAID Contract No. DAN-4099A-00-2083-00 and administered by the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (I FAS), University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611. I FAS is an Equal Employment Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer.
FSSP INFORMATION SERIES
This public document was promulgated at a cost of $274.74, or 13.7 cents per copy, to inform the public of the farming systems support project.
Farming Systems Support Project
The Farming Systems Support Project (FSSP) is a cooperative agreement between the Science and Technology (S&T) Bureau of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the University of Florida. The project is intended as field support for USAI D Missions to strengthen and expand Farming Systems Research and Development (FSR&D) as a complement to national research and extension programs. Its primary purpose is to provide technical assistance, training and networking support to practitioners and administrators of farming systems research and extension programs. In more general terms, the project serves as a catalyst for coordination, communication and effective use of the farming systems approach by institutions whose objectives are the resolution of farm-level production problems. FSSP efforts are ultimately directed toward the welfare of family farmers through supporting institutions and infrastructure, policy and management systems.
In developing countries, the FSSP focuses on individuals and institutions responsible for research, and extension for limited-resource farmers and their families Strengthening FSR&D capabilities in developing countries involves both technical assistance to resolve
specific on-farm problems, and institution building to create the basis for self-sustaining and coordinated national FSR/E programs. The project also directs its resources toward linking individuals and institutions through networks to strengthen the transfer of information and experience between research and extension practitioners and their respective national institutions. In this way, channels of communication are established for farming systems experiences in country-specific programs.
Because of the intensity of agricultural
development needs in Africa, the FSSP mandate includes early and concerted emphasis in this region of the world. Initial project activities, therefore, are concentrated in Africa, with specific initiatives in West Africa. A link has been established between the FSSP and the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture 0IITA), in Nigeria, for farming systems work in West Africa. The FSSP is also supportive of the West African Farming Systems Research Network (WAFSRN) and encourages interaction of member countries within that organization.
Cooperation, collaboration and linkages are anticipated with African regional and international institutions, as well as international donor organizations in France, Germany and Canada, among others. Activities in eastern and southern Africa are closely linked to AIDfunded farming systems programs operated in these areas by CIMMYT (The International
FSR activities in Upper Volta are highlighted during an FSSP workshop/training program there. Above: Ron Cantrell, Purdue University, discusses SAFGRAD/FSU on-farm trials with Voltaic participant. Below: participating farmer explains the trials being conducted on his farm, Right: workshop discussion centers on the adaptability of animal traction technology to different soil types.
Maize and Wheat Improvement Center). The FSSP is also concerned with developing supportive links to private voluntary organizations (PVO's), which often provide the most direct contact with the farm families of least resources.
The FSSP also responds to support requests from Asia and Latin America. Linkage of
experiences in each of the three major requests will benefit and strengthen the evolution of farming systems methodologies.
The FSSP provides the capacity for coordination and leadership in the organization, management and orientation of farming systems projects, along with related policy, institutional and other infrastructural concerns.
NATIONAL PROGRAMS AND/OR INSTITUTIONS
S&T BUREAU TECHNICAL
USA -> FSSP I- ASSISTANCE
Access to the FSSP
With its ample support base for agricultural development, the FSSP is prepared to provide for leadership capability, coordination and technical assistance in broad program areas of both production and socioeconomic sciences. This translates into a technical assistance capability in crop and livestock systems, family farming systems, farming systems interrelationships and methodologies.
Information about the role and scope of the FSSP has been provided to USAID Missions in regions of the world where farming systems project activities are directed. The request mechanism for FSSP response is through USAID Missions to the Regional Bureaus and the Bureau of Science and Technology (S&T) in USAID-Washington. The FSSP Project Manager in S&T coordinates requests for FSSP assistance and channels these to the FSSP Director. Mission requests are then aligned with the FSSP capability to supply assistance.
The FSSP draws upon the expertise of support entities such as U.S. land grant institutions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and private firms as well as regional and international agricultural research centers for program associate teams to provide support to national agricultural research and extension programs. FSSP support activities include the following objectives:
*To build an awareness of the FSR&D philosophy and approach to improving the productivity and welfare of resource-poor farm families
*To support FSR&D projects with shortterm technical assistance and in-service training
*To train trainers ih the practical application of FSR&D methodology
*To support the exchange of information relating to FSR&D activities
eTo advance the state-of-the-art of FSR&D through short-term task groups that focus on specific problems in FSR&D methodology.
FSSP Response Mechanism
The core staff of the FSSP studies requests and determines the project response needs, identifies program associates from FSSP support entities to form teams appropriate to respond to the USAID Mission request, and mobilizes support for an implementation effort designed to meet USAID Mission needs.
The FSSP will assist USAID Missions in
defining their needs and in establishing a time frame for Project assistance. For more information about the FSSP, its current activities and work plans, contact:
Project Manager S&T/AGR/EPP
Washington, D.C. 20523
Chris 0. Andrew
University of Florida
3028 McCarty Hall
Gainesville, Florida 32611
Cable: CENTROP FSSP
Telex: 808579 FSSP
arming Systems Support Project International Programs Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences University of Florida 3028 McCarty Hall Gainesville, Florida 32611