USAID support for the Collaborative Research Support Program

Report
from US Agency for International Development
Published on 19 Oct 2009 View Original
The Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) is a long-term, multi-disciplinary research and training effort to address the problem of food insecurity and malnutrition in developing countries. The principal partners in this research and training are scientists from U.S. universities working in collaboration with scientists in developing country universities, national and international research centers, the private sector, and NGOs. There are currently eight active CRSP programs, involving 60 U.S. universities and academic and research institutions in more than 60 developing countries.

USAID support for the CRSP is an important component of the U.S. Government's comprehensive approach to improving global food security. This strategy emphasizes the importance of partnerships in finding country-led solutions to world hunger and acknowledges the key role science and technology plays in boosting agricultural productivity.

In FY 2008, USAID provided $29 million to support CRSP research, training and technology transfer activities.

FY 2008 Research Highlights

Increasing Sorghum Production in Africa: Sorghum is a staple food in many places in Africa and Asia. The Sorghum, Millet and Other Grains (SMOG) CRSP has developed over 30 stress-tolerant and high-yielding sorghum varieties as well as soil management best practices that have increased sorghum yield by 20 to 50 percent. The economic benefit of some of the technologies is as high as $9.90 for every $1.00 spent on research and development. The introduction of these technologies, a new and innovative marketing strategy, and farmer training significantly increased yields in Senegal, Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso. The combined effect of the yield and price gains on farmers' income has been dramatic -as high as 278 percent in Senegal.

Increasing Farmer's Income in Uganda: In Uganda, tomato farmers participating in an Integrated Pest Management CRSP that promotes the use of a tomato variety resistant to bacterial wilt, combined with the use of local organic mulch, cut their pesticide use in half and received 2.5 times more income for their produce.

Increasing Bean Production in Latin America: Since 2007, the Dry Grain Pulses CRSP has successfully released 14 improved bean varieties in Latin America. By planting these improved varieties, farmers are able to achieve good yields year after year while climatic, pest, and disease stresses reduce yields by 90 percent in local varieties. Through concerted public sector efforts to disseminate these improved technologies, over 200,000 farmers in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Haiti now cultivate the improved varieties both for home consumption and for cash.

Improving Child Nutrition in Ghana: A Global Livestock CRSP project aimed at improving children's consumption of animal source foods in rural Ghana, involving community-level microcredit with entrepreneurial skill development, improved the frequency of children's consumption of these foods, knowledge of child nutrition, and household food security in target communities. Within a year children had greater improvement in weight-for-age scores from baseline levels. In addition, the project achieved 100 percent repayment on four loan cycles, and women in participating households experienced higher levels of savings.

For more information about USAID programs, please visit http://www.usaid.gov.