LSU AgCenter – Recent Accomplishments in International Agricultural Development
The Louisiana State University Agricultural Center (LSU AgCenter) is a statewide campus of the LSU System responsible for agricultural research, extension and international programs. The LSU AgCenter provides off-campus educational programs that disseminate technical, economic and management information to agribusinesses and communities and conducts health, food safety, youth and leadership programs throughout the state.
The LSU AgCenter’s successful involvement in international development can be illustrated by the following:
- Cooperation with Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MESCYT) in the Dominican Republic on training scientists in agricultural economics, renewable natural resources and other agricultural sciences.
- USDA-funded Borlaug Fellowship. Global Research Alliance and Scientific Exchange Programs: Our office has hosted 22 Fellows from 14 countries under these programs. Research topics included climate change issues, crop genetics, food preservation, animal health control and improved animal reproductive technologies.
- USAID/Liberia-funded Food and Enterprise Development Program: LSU AgCenter International Programs partnered with Development Alternatives, Inc. to focus on support of Liberian agricultural value chains (rice, cassava, vegetables, and goats) and extension education and outreach, transforming three community colleges and a high school into vocational agriculture education training centers, and the development and implementation of the National Diploma of Agriculture curriculum.
- USDA-funded Monitoring, Evaluation and Technical Support Services Project: LSU AgCenter International Programs supported the USAID/Ghana Mission’s agricultural development and food security activities. Assistance was provided in program design, monitoring and evaluation, technical services for policy reform, and training for increased agricultural growth and food security.
- USDA-funded International Consultancy in Bio containment and Biosecurity Training and Management Project for Thailand: LSU AgCenter International Programs provided technical assistance and training on biosecurity and bio containment for staff at the Royal Thai National Institute of Animal Health.
- USAID-funded Partnerships for Food Industry Development: While focusing on products of animal origin, LSU AgCenter International Programs provided technical assistance to 11 target countries in former Soviet republics, Republic of South Africa, and Nicaragua. Key programmatic components included training and technical assistance and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), value added processing, central livestock markets, and control of Avian Influenza.
- USDA-funded USAID Food Safety Systems in Armenia Project, April 2006 – Present (two phases), Current Funding $1,440,000: The first phase was a four year food safety technical assistance program designed to provide basic food safety industry and regulatory training, strengthen in-country regulatory compliance and disseminate science-based food safety information. The second phase focuses on developing an Armenian cadre to provide food safety through the establishment of a food safety training coalition and planning assistance to the Armenian State Food Safety Service.
- USAID-funded Food and Enterprise Development (FED) Program in Liberia, September 2011 – Present, Current Funding $1,254,000: The LSU AgCenter is partnering with Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) to focus on: support of the Liberian rice, cassava, goat, and peri-urban vegetable value chains; improving farmers’ access to inputs; transforming existing vocational training centers into Centers of Excellence and establishing enterprise service centers in rural districts.
- USDA-funded Borlaug Fellowship, Global Research Alliance and Scientific Exchange Programs, February 2011 – Present, Current Funding $496,000: The LSU AgCenter has hosted 14 scholars from 12 countries under the programs. Research topics included climate change issues, crop genetics, food preservation, animal health control and improved animal reproductive technologies.
- USDA-funded Monitoring, Evaluation and Technical Support Services (METSS) Project, July 2010 – February 2012, Total Funding $1,500,000: The LSU AgCenter supported the USAID/Ghana Mission’s agricultural development and food security activities. The LSU AgCenter provided assistance in program design, monitoring and evaluation, and as needed, technical services for policy reform and training for increased agricultural growth and food security.
- USDA-funded International Consultancy in Biocontainment and Biosecurity Training and Management Project for Thailand, August 2008 – September 2010, Total funding $181,000: The LSU AgCenter provided technical assistance and training on biocontainment and biosecurity for staff at the Royal Thai National Institute of Animal Health through a USDA contract.
- USAID-funded Partnerships for Food Industry Development (PFID) Project, January 2001 – January 2010 (two Leader Award phases and one Associate Award), Total Funding $5,400,000: While focusing on products of animal origins, the LSU AgCenter conducted interventions in eleven target countries in former Soviet republics, Southern Africa and Nicaragua. Key among these included:
o Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) was facilitated by Train-the-Trainer courses provided for selected host-country individuals who then conducted HACCP courses in their respective countries. The LSU AgCenter and local partners assisted numerous processing plants in developing HACCP plans and verified compliance with international standards. This local capacity in training and education now resides in the International Institute for Food Safety and Quality (IIFSQ) in Ukraine and the Moldovan Center for Food Safety and Quality (MCFSQ) in Moldova, which were established under LSU AgCenter guidance. Both entities drafted food related legislation and national standards.
o The LSU AgCenter promoted value added processing in Moldova including smoked pond fish and canned meat from non-productive egg layers. The LSU AgCenter also coordinated in-plant training and technical assistance to improve profitability in Moçambique, Moldova, Nicaragua and Ukraine.
o Technical team members presented seminars and in-country experts devised strategic plans to work with local governments and organizations in developing region specific central livestock markets in Ukraine and Namibia.
o Public-Private Partnerships were developed in Togo and Zambia to address Highly Pathenogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI). This was facilitated through developing the social network within the two countries’ poultry sectors for collaborative security response and improving the two countries’ poultry associations to share best management practices and institute safety standards.
- USAID-funded Improving Income of Private Ukrainian Agricultural Producers through Agricultural Extension Projects, September 1998 – February 2005 (two projects), Total Funding $5,200,000: The LSU AgCenter and its Ukrainian partners provided an educational outreach system to assist privatized farmers. The project developed a Center for Private Farmer Training and Outreach in three provinces. This project helped develop new legislation authorizing extension services.
- USDA-funded Emerging Markets Program, January 2001 – December 2006, Total Funding $204,000: The LSU AgCenter facilitated U.S. exports of technology to improve beef cattle production in East Java, Indonesia. The East Java government later funded an Alliance Farm which generated a new breed of beef cattle suited to that climate using technology from US sources.
- USAID-funded ALIANZA (Agricultural Reconstruction and Strategic Development and Forestry Development) Programs, January 2000 – December 2002, Total Funding $766,000: The LSU AgCenter coordinated activities to contribute to the reconstruction and development of the Honduran agricultural and forestry sectors after Hurricane Mitch. The projects were based on a strategic planning framework and a participatory process to assess the agricultural and forestry situation and develop both near-term and long range strategic development plans.
Other activities of the LSU AgCenter include the following:
- The LSU AgCenter hosts an internally funded visiting scholar program for students and alumni of Kasetsart University in Thailand, “Escuela Agrícola Panamericana” in Zamorano, Honduras and “La Universidad Nacional de Agricultura” in Catacamas, Honduras. Many of these scholars have continued their education in the LSU Graduate School.
- The LSU AgCenter conducted two short-term training programs for visiting delegations: a Cochran Fellowship on food safety for eight Moldovan poultry producers in January 2011 and a seminar in July 2013 on food security for three West African participants under the sponsorship of the New-Orleans-based Siotoh Farms LLC.
- In August 2010, the LSU AgCenter provided a one-week thermal processing course under the sponsorship of the local firm “Grupo FS”.
- The LSU AgCenter provided technical assistance in rice production, processing and the use of rice hulls for energy in Mali from November 2004 to the fall of 2005.
- In 1990, the LSU AgCenter assisted Senegalese rice farmers in reclaiming salinized land.