1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
To fund, implement and support international collaborative research projects and other related scientific activities such as workshops, including the continuation of scientific projects and activities funded under the previous ARS – CRDF agreement # 59-0210-8-011, through the CRDF Global Solutions - FOCUS program.
1b. Approach (from AD-416):
The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), supports international scientific research projects and related activities involving collaboration between U.S. and foreign scientists. ARS’s collaborative research is related to civilian agricultural research, and through this cooperative agreement with CRDFGlobal, provides necessary support to U.S. and foreign individuals and institutions who are cooperators to assist the implementation of projects. ARS will provide funds and material support under this agreement to cooperators, including individual salary support, equipment and supplies, travel and institutional support. CRDF Global will support the ARS’s efforts in the implementation of its international collaborative projects by providing financial, administrative and logistical support. CRDF Global has the infrastructure and capacity to support the distribution of project resources to identified recipients by the ARS as technical cooperation and assistance to the extent allowable in the host country; ARS and associated technical partners will develop project proposals with their foreign counterparts and serve as collaborators throughout the life of the project and provide technical oversight.
3. Progress Report:
ARS-CRDF cooperation broadened this year to support a number of diverse activities from collaborative research projects, to workshops to short term scientific consultancies in support of food security, biosecurity and strengthening U.S. agriculture. Ongoing oversight of collaborative research projects and related scientific activities also continued. Collaborations: Implementation of collaborative research projects between ARS and Uzbekistan labs under the State Department Biosecurity Engagement Program (DOS/BEP): 1) improvement of cotton for tolerance to wilt, salinity and earliness, development of cottonseed with high levels of (+)- gossypol as feed for non-ruminant animals; 2) evaluation of potential germplasm resistance against root-knot nematode and Fusarium wilt diseases in cotton. At two workshops co-sponsored by the American Association for the Advance of Science and the Uzbek Academy of Sciences, ARS-DOS/BEP projects managed by CRDF were recognized as “the most successful of all U.S. Government supported programs because their activities were based on mutually beneficial research interests such as cotton research and built on Uzbekistan’s agriculturally-based economy.” Anew agreement is underway with India (Mukteswar, India) for a new BEP-funded project to study the ecology of foot and mouth disease transmission. Food Security projects were also initiated with the Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA) in support of the “African Goat Improvement Network-Implementation of tools for genetic resource conservation, improved health and improved breeding.” Workshops: ARS/USAID sponsored International Aflatoxin Control Workshop in New Orleans, LA; ARS-Rural Development Agency (South Korea) workshop “Stable Agricultural Food Production for Climate Change Adaptation” in Salinas, CA; meetings with China MOST “11th Annual Joint Working Group” and a technical “Water Management Technology” in Fort Collins, CO; African Swine Fever Virus Gap Analysis Workshop at Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Orient Point, NY; and Animal Influenza Viruses Workshop, Athens, GA. Foreign Scientist Exchanges: In support of the ARS partner programs, CRDF supported Korean scientists visits to the ARS locations. CRDF also supported a research project planning trip on sweet sorghum by foreign scientists from various countries. Short term technical consultancies: In support of ARS partnership activities with the USAID Bureau of Food Security, CRDF provided support for three short term technical consultancies in the areas of aquaculture, food security and rural development, and water and natural resource management.