Title: Collaborative Research Support Program
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00094286/00001
 Material Information
Title: Collaborative Research Support Program
Alternate Title: International Collaborative Research Support Programs (CRSPs)
Physical Description: 14 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Johnson, William Frederick, 1914-
Publisher: United States Agency for International Development
Place of Publication: Washington, D.C.
Publication Date: 1983
Copyright Date: 1983
Subject: Agricultural assistance, American   ( lcsh )
Agricultural assistance, American -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
conference publication   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: United States of America
Developing countries
General Note: "September 1983."
Statement of Responsibility: Board for International Food and Agricultural Development support staff; by William F. Johnson.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094286
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 434051604

Full Text




Agency for International Development

Washington, D.C.

September 1983


The United States Congress recognized in the International

Development and Food Assistance Act of 1975 that solutions to

the world's food problem require collaboration of agriculture

scientists of developed and developing countries in long-term,

international research on constraints to production,

distribution, and utilization of food. Congress authorized the

President in Title XII Famine Prevention and Freedom From

Hunger Amendment of this legislation -- "to provide assistance

on such terms and conditions as he shall determine -- ...to

provide program support for long-term collaborative university

research on food production, distribution, storage, marketing,

and consumption." This Act also provides that "Programs under

this title shall be carried out so as to -- (2) take into

account the value to United States agriculture of such programs,

integrating to the extent practicable the programs and financing

authorized under this title with those supported by other

Federal or State resources so as to maximize the contributions

to the development of agriculture in the United States and in

agriculturally developing nations."

This concept of the need for international collaboration in

agricultural research is based on the scientific fact that the

basic crops and livestock which man depends upon for his food

are common to all countries. Most of these crops and animals

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had their origin outside the United States. For example, the

gene center for the white potato is Peru, and wheat had its

origin in the Middle East. Research done on food crops in one

country can benefit other countries. United States agriculture

has benefitted from a number of research developments in other

countries in recent years. For example, improvements in yields

of wheat in the United States during the 1950's was based on

genetic research in the United States, utilizing germ plasm of a

dwarf wheat variety (Norin-10) developed in Japan and introduced

into the United States in 1947 by a U.S. scientist who had

observed the variety there. Research on wheat at the

International Research Center for Wheat and Maize in Mexico,

utilizing the same Norin-10 wheat variety resulted in new wheat

varieties that have revolutionized wheat production around the

world in countries that fall within the same latitudes as Mexico.

The Title XII Amendment gave AID the necessary authority to

develop a new type of research program with U.S. universities to

make greater use of their science and technology in

international collaborative research support programs on

constraints on production and utilization for a number of

priority agricultural food crops and livestock. Development of

these programs was undertaken with the advice and participation

of the Joint Research Committee (JRC) and the Board for

International Food and Agricultural Development. The JRC was

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superseded in 1982 by the Joint Committee on Agriculture

Research and Development (JCARD) which also assumed the

functions of the former Joint Committee on Agricultural

Development (JCAD). AID, BIFAD, and Title XII universities and

institutions of developing countries have worked together in

developing guidelines and determining priorities for planning

and initiating CRSPs.

In developing CRSPs, AID, JRC, and BIFAD introduced new

methods of planning and implementing research, and new

mechanisms for collaborating with U.S. universities in research

programs that offer a number of benefits to universities and AID

as well as to developing countries.

Some of these principal characteristics are summarized below:

(1) CRSPs have a dual goal aimed at improving agriculture
both in the developing countries and in the United


(2) participating U.S. institutions agree to contribute at
least 25 percent of the cost of the CRSP from state or

other non-federfal resources (in finances or in kind),

justified on the basis of benefits that can accrue to

their state's agriculture and their institution;

-4 -

(3) each CRSP is designed to achieve collaboration between
scientists of participating U.S. and developing

country institutions;

(4) each research program is planned to address priority
constraints identified jointly by AID, BIFAD, U.S.

universities, and host country institutions;

(5) host country governments also contribute to the
programs from their resources in kind, financing, and


(6) the research of each CRSP is designed on a program
basis, rather than a project basis, to address

multisectoral, biological, physical, social and

economic constraints by collaborative efforts of

multidisciplinary teams working on several projects;

(7) the science and technology necessary for research on
these constraints are by necessity drawn from a number

of U.S. universities because no single university

normally would have available the number of

disciplines required;

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(8) the participating U.S. universities organize

themselves for program management and financial

accountability under a lead institution, chosen by

them, to serve as the management entity, with policy

directions coming from a board of directors elected by

the participating institutions;

(9) AID delegates management responsibility to the

management entity and holds it responsible for the

program and accountable for AID funds, which are

distributed by the management entity to participating

institutions by subgrants under signed agreements;

thus, AID's management burden is lessened, since it

deals only with the management entity;

(10) an institutional development component is built into

each CRSP through training and participation of host

country scientists;

(11) the aim of each CRSP is'to become integrated into

USAID's country strategy of the developing country

site, and to tie into and provide scientific research

support to related U.S. technical assistance programs

as a means of disseminating research results in the


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(12) international scientific linkages are established

through cooperative activities and exchange of

scientific information with international agricultural

research centers under the Consultative Group for

International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), with

research institutions of developed nations, and with

scientists of non-participating U.S. universities;

(13) research in these programs may be conducted in
"graduate countries," justified on the basis of the

regionality of the program and the contributions such

countries can make to the program and to neighboring

less developed countries; and

(14) the research work of each CRSP is evaluated

periodically by a peer group as an external evaluation

panel composed of top U.S. and other country

scientists from institutions not involved in the


Since 1977, eight CRSPs have been initiated, seven of which

are being implemented, and planning for the eighth is currently

being completed. The CRSP's are listed as follows with the

management entity of each shown:

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(1) Small Ruminants (sheep and goats) University of

California, Davis;

(2) Sorghum and Millet University of Nebraska;

(3) Beans and Cowpeas Michigan State University;

(4) Peanuts University of Georgia;

(5) Management of Tropical Soils North Carolina State


(6) Functional Implications of Marginal Deficiencies in

Human Diets University of California, Berkeley;

(7) Pond Dynamics (Aquaculture) Oregon State University;

(8) Stock Assessment (Fisheries) University of Maryland

which is still in the planning stage.

Collectively, forty U.S. institutions are participating in

the eight CRSPs, representing the top U.S. scientists in their

particular disciplines. These 40 institutions include

thirty-seven U.S. Title XII universities, two private non-profit

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research institutions, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

They are collaborating with 63 host country institutions located

in 30 countries. The activities of the 8 CRSPs are underway or

planned for research on 143 research topics.

The CRSPs have established agreements and cooperative

relations with 8 of the international agricultural research

centers which operate under the aegis of the Consultative Group

on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), composed of AID,

other U.S. and other country representation. CGIAR has its

headquarters in the International Bank for Reconstruction and

Development, (The World Bank).

The international centers include: Centro Internacional de

Agriculture Tropical (CIAT), located in Colombia; Centro

International de Mejoramiento de Maiz y Trigo (International

Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)), located in Mexico;

International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas

(ICARDA), located in Lebanon; International Crops Research

Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), located in India;

International Livestock Center for Africa (ILCA), located in

Ethiopia; International Laboratory for Research on Animal

Diseases (ILRAD), located in Kenya; International Rice Research

Institute, located in the Philippines; and the International

Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), located in Nigeria.

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Cooperative relationships have been established by the CRSPs

with the international research centers and research

institutions of a number of developed countries.

The CRSPs, through established international scientific

linkages, are involving the leading scientists of the world in

their respective disciplies. This concentrated effort is

already yielding benefits to the developing countries and the

United States, despite the relatively short time that CRSPs have

been in operation.

In Kenya, the Small Ruminant CRSP was responsible for

identifying and eradicating a goat arthritis disease that had

entered the country through foreign breeds. If unchecked,

losses from the disease would have cost the country millions of


In Morocco, the Small Ruminant CRSP is doing research to

improve the prolific sheep, which contrary to other breeds, have

a continuous reproductive cycle instead of a seasonal cycle.

This feature results in an average reproductive rate of 2.5

lambs per year compared to about 2 for other breeds, where

diseases can be controlled and proper husbandry practiced.

Improvements made in the husbandry of this animal would offer

potential benefit to the United States. Work with the alpaca

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and sheep breeds in the highlands of Peru has increased the body

of scientific knowledge on the breed's and on husbandry that

offer potential benefit to sheep producers in the mountains of

Montana with similar climate and ecosystems to that of Peru and

neighboring countries.

Montana is currently experimenting with sheep breeds

introduced from these South American countries, and has

introduced U.S. breeds into Peru, which when crossed with local

breeds offer potential of doubling lamb production.

The Small Ruminant CRSP has generated 223 research reports,

papers, abstracts or journal articles. CRSP scientists

contributed 20 percent of the research papers at the Third

International Goat Conference held in Tucson in January 1982.

The Sorghum and Millet CRSP has identified local practices

in developing countries that have influenced directions of the

research. A folk method identified in Mali of preparing sorghum

for human consumption overcomes the toxicity of some varieties.

Scientific research on this method could identify the scientific

factors in this folk method and extend the knowledge for

increasing the use of sorghum as a human food, important to both

the developing countries and the United States. Social and

economic studies of sorghum in Honduras and Mexico have revealed

11 -

that sorghum is replacing maize, or is being used with maize, in

the production of the taco, a national staple food dish. The

economic and agronomic reasons for this significant shift are

being researched with potential policy implications for both

crops. Several insect and disease resistant, and nitrogen

efficient varieties of sorghum and millet have been identified

in Africa for propagation and use. Some of these varieties

offer advantages to the crop in certain areas of the United

States. U.S. and host country scientists have produced numerous

scientific papers for international workshops and publication,

such as the international "Sorghum Quality Workshop" and the

second world workshop on "Sorghum in the 80's," both of which

were held in India in 1981 jointly with ICRISAT.

The Bean and Cowpea CRSP has initiated collaborative

research activities with host country institutions in Africa and

Latin America where these crops are major staple foods. On the

research agenda in East Africa is the scientific determination

of whether bean diversity is more beneficial to country farmers

than bean uniformity. Farmers there have grown mixtures of

beans of various shapes, sizes, and colors -- purple, pink, red,

green, black, white, and others. The diversity of bean sizes,

colors, and shapes can only partly be explained scientifically.

The hypothesis is that maintaining diversity provides protection

against certain production hazards. However, it may be due to

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tradition or to socio-cultural factors. These are being

studied, for example, in Malawi cooperatively with Bunda

College. Such studies are necessary for introducing changes in

the crops, where CRSP researchers aim to identify the bean

"races" that are best suited for Malawi's climate and soils.

This could result in increased or more staple bean production by


The Bean and Cowpea CRSP is looking into the role of women

in bean production and utilization. The bean's cooking

characteristic is important. Some of the African varieties must

be soaked for four to five hours before they can be cooked. The

CRSP researchers believe that they can reduce the complexity of

bean production and utilization by narrowing the field of races

to a few from the many that a farmer uses (as many as 63

different types on one single farm).

Some research outputs of Bean and Cowpea CRSP have

included: (1) identification of microorganisms which are

pathogens to cowpea pests; (2) development of some techniques

for reducing dry grain legume (bean and cowpea) storage losses

due to insects; (3) development of some new lines more resistant

to various diseases than those traditionally used; (4)

development of some lines with enhanced biological nitrogen

fixation capability, thus reducing requirements for purchased

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chemical nitrogen fertilizer, and increasing production; (5)

improvement of irrigation techniques for field trials; and (6)

development of processes to obtain tannin-free bean flower

(tannin is an acid that is reported to be carsonogenic). Such

technology when developed by the CRSP would be transferable to

other countries, including the United States. The international

scientific linkages of this CRSP have resulted in the

introduction of new varieties of beans into the United States.

The Peanut CRSP, developed and being managed by the

University of Georgia, has established collaborative research

projects between U.S. universities and research institutions in

Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean.

Peanuts, an important food and cash crop in many countries

in Africa, Latin America, and Asia greatly need research on

diseases and a number of other constraints to production and

utilization which have reduced the contribution of the peanut to

the economies of some of these countries, particularly in

semi-arid tropical Africa. Here foliar, soilborne, and viral

diseases, drought, lack of well adapted varieties, and insects

have reduced production. Mycotoxim contamination (largely

aflatoxin) has been the cause for much of the reduction in

utilization of peanuts in Africa and other continents.

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Already, the Peanut CRSP scientists working with scientists

of Nigeria and Germany have identified an important virus that

damages peanut crops in Africa. Peanuts in the United States

are susceptible to this virus. The German scientists are able

to work on the virus in their laboratories in Germany which does

not grow peanuts. This international collaboration could bring

about control of the virus with benefit to both Africa and the

United States.

The CRSP on Soils Management, managed by North Carolina

State University, operates research sites in four countries; one

in South America, two in Africa, and one in Asia. One of the

principal constraints that this CRSP researches is methods of

continuous crop production and soil management to replace

shifting cultivation and decrease bush fallow and slash and burn

farming, practiced in much of the tropics. This method places a

great demand on land (5 to 10 acres in fallow for every acre

cultivated), requires tremendous amounts of labor in initial

clearing and burning, with cropping limited to two to three

years, has low crop yields, and destroys potential forests.

The Nutrition CRSP, managed by the University of California,

Berkeley, has established research sites in Mexico, Kenya, and

Egypt, where surveys are underway. This CRSP aims to determine

how people function with marginal diets, and to analyze the

- 15 -

composition of food in such diets. These findings will be

important to host country policy makers in their food import,

production, distribution and welfare programs.

The Aquaculture CRSP, developed by Oregon State University,

has sites in Africa, Central America, and Asia. Research

underway aims at improving fish production by developing and

testing better management practices suitable for developing

countries to maximize utilization of available natural resources.

The Stock Assessment CRSP is being planned by the University

of Maryland. Its aim is to develop methods for assessment of

stock suitable for use by small coastal fishermen in developing

countries as a means of improving management and production of

their fisheries resources.

CRSPs have begun to establish ties with Mission technical

assistance projects. The Bean and Cowpea and the Sorghum and

Millet CRSPs are providing scientific research backup to the

Farming Systems Project in Botswana; the Sorghum and Millet CRSP

is providing scientific information to the SAFGRAD ("Semi-Arid

Food Grains Research and Development) countries and to the

Cereals Research and Development project in Niger. The Tropical

Soils CRSP is also allied with this project in Niger. The

Peanut CRSP is providing research support to a USAID technical

- 16 -

assistance project in the Cameroons. Several other such ties

are being developed.

While most of the CRSPs have developed cooperative

agreements with several of the international research centers,

two of the CRSPs have joined with two of the centers to carry

out joint research programs for AID. These introduce new

concepts in international agricultural research, and will serve

as important precedents and models that can bring more

scientific expertise to bear on constraints in a collaborative

research approach that offers great potential for accelerating

solutions and for extending benefits to farmers more rapidly.

The two models are the Bean/Cowpea CRSP and CIAT which are

planning to carry out a regional research program on beans in

East Africa, and the Sorghum/Millet CRSP and ICRISAT which are

planning to conduct for AID a regional research program in

Southern Africa, SADCC countries (Southern Africa development

Coordinating Commitee organized by member countries).

By William F. Johnson


September 1983 (Short Version) I

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