International Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSPs): the beginning years; a progress report (draft)

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International Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSPs): the beginning years; a progress report (draft)
Board for International Food and Agricultural Development


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Farming ( LCSH )
Agriculture ( LCSH )
Farm life ( LCSH )


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The International Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSPs)
The Beginning Years; A Progress Report

This report was prepared by the BIFAD Staff in cooperation
with the Bureau for Science and Technology/AID for use in a BIFAD review of the CRSP concept, accomplishments to date, and future directions. It is intended to serve as an overview of the CRSP concept and includes a brief summary of each the eight CRSPs. The report does not present a comprehensive inventory of accomplishments or assessment of the impact of the program.

The International Collaborative Research Support Program CRSPs
The legislation that created BIFAD -- the Board for
International Food and Agricultural Development -- was enacted 10 years ago this December. In an amendment to the International Development and Food Assistance Act of 1975 that has come to be known as Title XII, the Congress provided for "long-term
collaborative university research on food production, distribution, storage, marketing, and consumption" in ways that
"maximize the contributions to the development of agriculture in the United States and in agriculturally developing nations."
One of the most innovative initiatives developed by BIFAD
under Title XII is the Collaborative Research Support Program, a concept aimed at increasing and making more effective use of this
country's land grant and other agriculturally oriented universities in AID's foreign assistance programs.
The logic is unassailable. Large areas of overlap exist in the problems of food and agriculture. Great potential mutual
advantage lies in joint research efforts that cut across national boundaries and differing levels of agricultural development. For example,
-- Most commercial crops and animals produced in the U.S. have origins in what are now the developing countries.
-- Interest in the improvement of plant germplasm and animal breeds is virtually universal.

-- Production-limiting factors, such as pests, climate, and soil constraints, are often best studied under the conditions of maximum stress that frequently occur in developing countries.
-- Solutions to many specific, major technical problems require critical masses of scientific talent and institutional resources not usually available in a single U.S. institution or to a single developing country.
CRSPs thus serve the dual objectives of benefitting
agriculture in developing countries and in the United States.
The largest challenge presented by the new concept of Collaborative Research Support Programs, the CRSPs, lay in developing the mechanisms for carrying it out.
An Overview
CRSPs by their nature are long-term. The intent is not only to find solutions to constraints through research, but also simultaneously to develop greater institutional capability for research in the developing countries. The goal here is the establishment of institutional relationships that will endure and transcend the life of the formal CRSP. The research program in each CRSP therefore addresses institutional development requirements and accommodates training needs through graduate degree programs, research assistantships and workshops for candidates of host countries.
Each CRSP has a global plan with objectives and stated strategies for achieving these objectives. For costeffectiveness, resources are concentrated in a minimum number of countries necessary in a major ecological zone or geographic region to achieve the objectives.

Criteria in selecting the prime country sites include:
*The problem to be researched involves a major source of food and income or relates importantly to agricultural or fishery production in the country;
*A basic institutional research capability exists in the country.
*The country's government is committed to supporting the
research, and its policies are supportive of research, extension and production.
*The AID Regional Bureau and appropriate USAID Mission agree to the research program at the specific site.
The first CRSP (Small Ruminants) was launched just seven
years ago, in October 1978. The following year the Sorghum and Millet CRSP received its first grant, and the year after that, the Bean and Cowpea CRSP.
These three CRSPs pioneered in developing the CPSP structure, which had no precedent. Much of the effort in the early years of the first CRSPs was devoted to adjusting plans as experience was gained in their implementation. Guidelines published in June 1985 now incorporate the experience gained in planning and implementing the CRSPs since the first guidelines were initiated in 1977 and amended in 1979.
Since 1981 five additional CRSPs have been funded, the most recent, the Fisheries/Stock Assessment CRSP, in August 1985.

Distinguishing Characteristics:
All CRSPs are the product of an AID/BIFAD process for
establishing and maintaining a list of research priorities in agriculture in developing countries. The constraints and characteristics of the problems to be researched in the developing countries are then identified in the initial stages of planning. The interests, resources and research capabilities of developing country goverments and their research institutions are determined. The U.S. institutions best suited by virtue of technical capability, experience, interest and commitment of their own financial resources are identified.
The CRSP is a unique model for conducting agricultural research programs. Some of the principal distinguishing characteristics that have evolved over the brief lifespan of Title XII and BIFAD are:
-- CRSPs have the dual goal of improving agriculture in the developing countries and in the United States.
-- Participating U.S. institutions agree to contribute at least 25 percent of the cost of the CRSP from non-federal resources (in money or in kind), justified on the basis of benefits that can accrue to their state's agriculture and their institution.
-- Host country governments also contribute to the programs by providing facilities, money and/or personnel.
-- Each CRSP is designed to stimulate collaboration and program development between scientists of participating U.S. and developing country institutions.

-Each research program is designed to address priority
constraints identified jointly by AID, BIFAD, U.S. universities, and host country institutions.
-The research is carried out by multidisciplinary teams working in collaborative efforts across a wide range of biological, physical, social and economic disciplines.
-Training and institution building are natural parts of a CRSP in its objective of increasing the research capability of a
develping country.
-The participating U.S. universities organize themselves for program management and financial accountability under a lead institution, the Management Entity. Policy direction comes from a Board of Directors elected by the participating institutions.
Technical oversight and planning are provided by a Technical Committee made up of principal investigators participating in the CRS P.
-AID delegates management responsibility to the lead
university (the management Entity) and holds it responsible for the program and accountable for AID funds.
-- International scientific linkages are established with
international IARCs, research institutions of developed nations, and scientists of non-participating U.S. univesities.
-- Each CRSP is periodically reviewed and evaluated by an
External Evaluation Panel composed of senior scientists selected
world-wide from institutions not involved in the program.

The Small RuminantCRSP
First Grant: October 1978
Collaborating U.S. Institutions: Washington State University,
Winrock Internation, University of Missouri, Texas A&M
University, North Carolina State University, University of
California-Davis, Utah State University (California State
Polytechnic University cooperating), Texas Tech University,
Colorado State University, Montana State University
Managment Entity: University of California-Davis
Geographic Scope: Worldwide (Brazil, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco,
Training Activities: LDC students, 60 MS; 24 PhD U.S.students, 16 MS; 12 PhD
Annual Funding ($1,000):
FY 83: $2,800 (AID); $1,210 (U.S.Universities; $1,275 (Host CountrN FY 84: $2,900 (AID); $1,360 (U.S.Universities; $1,360 (Host Countr;
$ 125 (other)
Forty percent of the sheep and 77 percent of the world's goats are in developing countries in Africa, Asia, the Near East and Latin America. The low initial cost of these small ruminants and their modest requirements for housing and maintenance make them particularly well suited for smallholders in the developing countries.
Advances in disease control and nutritional management have already opened new doors of profitability to thousands of village farmers.
A new vaccine against one major disease of goats (contagious caprine pleuropneumonia-CCPP) has already been developed and is proving highly successful in protecting goat herds from West Africa to Asia, where 48 million goats are potential victims.
Another major threat to milk goat herds (caprine arthritisencephalitis-CAE) is being attacked through the selection of virus-free herds that can be used as breeding stock.
A simple treatment of a mineral/vitamin injection
administered shortly after the birth of lambs and kids can virtually eliminate another disease (white muscle disease) that now causes up to 50% mortality rates of offspring in many regions.

The Sorghum/Millet CRSP
First grant: July 1979
Collaborating U.S. Institutions: University of Arizona,
University of Kentucky, Purdue University, Mississippi
State University, Texas A&M University, Kansas State
University, University of Nebraska
Management Entity: University of Nebraska
Geographic Scope: Worldwide (Africa, Latin America and Caribbean)
Training Activities:
Annual Funding ($1,000):
FY 83: FY 84:
Sorghum and millet are the predominant food grain crops in
the arid and semi-arid regions of the world and thus are major sources of food for the people of South Asia, much of Sub-Saharan Africa, and certain regions of Latin America and the Caribbean. Although these grains are not now used widely for human food
in the United States, sorghum is highly important as a source of livestock feed in this country and there is increasing interest in millet in the southern plains of the U.S.
Farmers in Sudan are now obtaining yields of more than 150% above their best local varieties with a new sorghum hybrid developed and tested by CRSP scientists building on previous.
* research efforts of a number of other groups.
Other varieites are being improved by breeding for tolerance
to soil acidity, a particular problem in many tropical regions. Millions of hectares previously unsuited to sorghum production can now be utilized.
Basic biochemical research on sorghum seed has shown that the chemicals that make some sorghums unattractive to foraging birds are separate and distinct from the chemical component that limits the nutritional utilization of sorghum by children. it was previously believed that these two characteristics were a product of the same chemical complex. The new finding paves the way for scientists to maintain or enhance the bird resistant characteristics of some sorghums while at the same time improving its nutritional and digestibility characteristics.

The Bean/Cowpea CRSP
First Grant: October 1980
Collaborating U.S. Institutions: Colorado State University,
University of Georgia, University of California-Davis,
University of California-Riverside, Michigan State
University, Virginia State University, University of Georgia,
University of Arizona, Washington State University,
University of Wisconsin, Boyce Thompson Institute,
U.S. Department of Agriculture,* University of Nebraska,
University of Puerto Rico, Cornell University
Management Entity: Michigan State University
Geographic Scope: Worldwide (Africa, Latin America and Caribbean)
Training Activities:
Annual Funding ($1,000):
FY 83: FY 84:
Beans and cowpeas are a staple in the diets of most people living in East and West Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
They are the only reasonable alternative to animal protein, which is too expensive for many to buy. These crops are produced primarily-by families on small farms for their own subsistence and they have not in the past received the research attention accorded cash crops.
New varieties of tropical black beans that require only half the added fertilizer as their parent varieties but still yield as much are now being used as breeding stocks for commercial production in the Dominican Republic, Tanzania and the United States.
New cowpea stocks with a short, early maturing growth cycle and/or drought resistant characteristics are now in production in Botswana, Cameroon, and 'Senegal. In this research, local testing of available genetic resources backed up by precise laboratory and technical evaluations has resulted in a quantum jump in production potential in a very short period of time.
A screening technique to identify seed sources infected with
a major disease of both beans and cowpeas (Bean Common Mosaic Virus) is a major advance in the management of this disease which frequently causes yield losses of as much as 30 to 50 percent. The screening technique is cheap and does not require highly trained personnel or complex laboratory procedures.

The Soil Management CRSP
First Grant: September 1981
Collaborating U.S. Institutions: Texas A&M University,
Cornell University, North Carolina State University,
Hawaii University
Management Entity: North Carolina State University
Geographic Scope: Worldwide (Peru, Brazil, Indonesia, Niger)
Training Activities:
Annual Funding ($1,000):
FY 83: FY 84:
Losses caused by erosion and soil degradation are suffered worldwide. The problems are intensifying, particularly in the developing countries, and as populations increase so do the probabilities for ever-widening disasters unless some of the basic problems are corrected.
Vast areas of land exist in the humid tropics that are currently not suitable for food production. Slash and burn agricultural practices have also resulted in incalculable losses to land in these regions.
Research conducted within this CRSP, and building upon
previous work, shows that careful management of both soils and
*crops, can sustain food production on acid soil found in the Amazon basin, avoiding the damaging effects of shifting, slash and burn cultivation now practiced by many farmers.
Soil management studies have been extended to rice
production in tropical swamps; salinization of soils under irrigation; soil compaction; and the- maintenance of soil organic matter under continuous cultivation. A key element in these studies has been the close association between soil management, forage crop production and animal management.

The Nutrition CRSP
First Grant: December 1981
Collaborating U.S. Institutions: University of CaliforniaLos Angeles (in cooperation with University of CaliforniaBerkeley), University of Connecticut (with Yale University
and University of Massachusetts participating), Purdue
University (with University of Arizona and University of
Kansas participating)
Management Entity: University of California-Berkeley
Geographic Scope: Worldwide (Kenya, Egypt, Mexico)
Training Activities:
Annual Funding ($1,000)
FY 83: FY 84:
While starvation and malnutrition are starkly visible
catastrophes, the effects of mild-to-moderate undernutrition are often quiet tragedies that go largely unremarked. The losses in growth and vitality, to the people and to a country, are nonetheless enormous. Adequate information on such undernutrition and its effects has never been collected.
The collection of field data in the three countries, representing different food and cultural systems, has been completed and the main effort is now shifting to analysis. In an unexpected development in Kenya, the data already collected and analyzed under the CRSP served as an early warning for the Kenyan government of the approaching famine. The timely arrangements that could thus be made for imported food aid were instrumental in saving many lives.

The Aquaculture/Pond Dynamics CRSP
First Grant: September 1982
Collaborating U.S. Institutions: Oregon State University
(cooperating with University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff),
Auburn University, University of Hawaii, University of
Michigan, Michigan State University
Management Entity: Oregon State University
Geographic Scope: Worldwide (Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica,
Panama, Philippines, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Thailand)
Training Activities:
Annual Funding (1,000)
FY 83: FY 84:
Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing and most promising methods for increasing fish production. In contrast to fishing practices in open waters, aquaculture attempts to manage or control all or part of the life cycle of aquatic plants and animals in controlled locations. This form of fish culture already provides nearly 15 percent of the total fish supply in developing countries.
This CRSP is designed to provide relevant new information on increasing fresh-water fish production from farm and community farms. Early results from water-conditioning studies to remove impurities and chemical contaminants show significant improvements in fish survival and pond yields from very small investments. Another technique can improve light penetration which in turn increases pond productivity.

The Peanut CRSP
First Grant: January 1982
Collaborating U.S. Institutions: Alabama A&M University,
(subgrant to University of Florida), University of Georgia,
North Carolina State University, Texas A&M University.
Management Entity: University of Georgia
Geographic Scope Worldwide: Senegal, Mali, Burkina Faso,
Niger, Nigeria, Sudan, Thailand, Philippines, and at CARDI
in the Caribbean.
Training Activities:
Annual Funding ($1,000)
FY 83: FY 84:
The peanut is a major source of vegetable protein for people in Africa, Asia and parts of Latin America. In the Cameroons, for example, 63 percent of all farmers grow peanuts and use half of their crop in stew-type dishes. World-wide, an average 60 percent of peanut production is marketed for direct consumption or as oil; 32 percent is used for food by the producer; and 8 percent is retained for seed.
New improved cultivars, management practices and utilization processes are being developed.
Superior cultivars and breeding lines have been introduced and are being evaluated in Africa and the Caribbean.
A superior strain of rhizobia for nitrogen fixation
discovered at the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics in India has been used in Africa by CRSP scientists and found superior to common African and Southeast Asia strains in tests at several locations.
Improved methods for detecting aflatoxin in peanuts and for the removal of contaminated peanuts in processing have been developed and are now being tested in a pilot model in Senegal. Aflatoxins are among the most toxic and carcinogenic chemicals known. They are a serious problem in peanuts in most developing countries. Research conducted within this CRSP has greatly enhanced the capacity to detect and remove aflatoxins from contaminated peanuts. CRSP scientists are also cooperating in studies with the French Institute of Virology in Senegal to determine the extent of human aflatoxin infection.

The Fisheries/Stock Assessment CRSP
First Grant: August 1985
Collaborating U. S. Institutions: University of Maryland,
University of Rhode Island, University of Washington,
University of Illinois-Carbondale, Texas A&M University,
Iowa State University
Management Entity: University of Maryland
Geographic Scope: Worldwide (Costa Rica, the Philippines)
Training Activities:
Annual Funding ($1,000)
FY 83: FY 84:
On a world-wide basis, we derive 18 percent of our animal protein from fish. Yet fish harvests are not keeping pace with increasing demands because of poor management and over-fishing.
This newest CRSP is designed to increase marine fish
production in the coastal waters of developing countries. Small scale tropical fisheries in the coastal waters of these countries are sources of protein food for millions of people. Better management of these natural fisheries resources can provide for an assured, continuous supply of needed protein.