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International Programs Country Capability Statements


Afghanistan - 1975-1979. Central Helmand Drainage Project.

NRCS provided assistance to the Government of Afghanistan to assist in the development of a drainage project and to train Afghan nationals to develop, implement, maintain, and manage drainage projects and to manage and properly use drained soils. As the project ended, farm production increased substantially following drainage installation that helped to reduce and improve salinity of the soils. About one-fourth of he previously idle land in the project areas was brought into use. The counterparts developed significantly toward self-sufficiency and made contributions to continued work in the Helmand Valley and other similar work in the country.

Algeria – 1963-1965. Rural Rehabilitation.

NRCS collaborated with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Government of Algeria, and the International Voluntary Services to implement the rural rehabilitation project of four areas in Algeria. The objectives were to executive work projects in soil conservation and land management; to establish a system of technical supervision and organization to assure technically sound and efficient use of resources; to give supervision in layout and execution of work consisting of technically sound conservation practices; to develop long range guidelines for effective use of land, water, and plant resources; and to train a cadre of Algerian nationals to continue and expand the work for the GOA. As the project ended, a large number of conservation practices were planned and applied that resulted in improved land conditions and increased production; two plant materials nurseries were established; and technical guides for conservation and guides for use with soil surveys were developed.

Australia – 1987-1988. Natural Resource Conservation Project.

The project was instituted under a Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific and Technological Cooperation in Agricultural Research and Development between USDA and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in New South Wales (NSW) of Australia. The purpose was to learn the NRCS-NSW approach to soil conservation and make recommendations on activities that might have application for improving the technical delivery system of NRCS. The two agencies had mutual interests and renewed special efforts to work together more closely to provide worldwide leadership and direction in the area of erosion control and land management.

Australia – 1991-1992. Pasture Management in Northern Australia.

NRCS collaborated with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization at the Davies Laboratory in Townsville on a project to improve beef production from pastures without causing land degradation. The goal was to develop management practices for sustainable, profitable beef production from native and improved pastures in the tropics. The objective of ensuring that transfer of technology resulted in quality conservation assistance to the end user was realized.

Botswana – 1979-1981. Crop Production Project.

NRCS provided leadership and training to the Arable Lands Development Programme, which was the Ministry of Agriculture’s major project for rural development—to increase crop production on small farms; to advise the Government of Botswana on the formulation and implementation of conservation policies; and to train Botswanian technicians. Husbandry practices were developed, coordinated, and instruction was provided to agricultural demonstrators, which contributed to the large increase in crop production.

Brazil – 1965-1968. Resources Survey Project.

NRCS worked with the Team of Pedology and Soil Fertility of the Ministry of Agriculture to develop soil resource data that would help locate areas suitable for cultivation by farmers who move from the over-populated rural areas along the eastern coast to colonize relatively unpopulated areas in the interior of the country. A schematic soils map, interpretative map, and text for the project area were completed and published; ten areas were selected for more detailed reconnaissance level surveys based on the schematic soils map; and Brazilian nationals received training and were hired by the Ministry of Agriculture.

Canada – 1989-1992. Water Quality Project.

NRCS collaborated with the International Joint Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to identify and control problems dealing with surface and groundwater quality issues related to rural nonpoint source pollution under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. This binational effort improved coordination between the Conservation Technology Information Center and the Cartography Unit of Agriculture Canada.

Cote d’Ivoire – 1965-1967. Southwest Region Soil Survey Project.

Under an agreement with the Government of Cote d'voire, soil surveys and investigations were undertaken to provide an evaluation of the Region’s resources in soils and forests. The objectives were to establish a land use evaluation of the soils for the growth of adapted crops; and to provide an inventory of the Region’s forest resources with recommendations for their proper use and improvement. This serves as the basis for further action by the Government in the development of these resources.

Ecuador – 1966-1968. Water Use and Management.

In collaboration with the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Extension Service, and the Ministry of Agriculture, NRCS provided water use management training to the Ecuadorian equivalent (INEHRI) of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. This was accomplished through seminars, demonstrations, and consultations with counterparts, field engineers, agronomists, and soil scientists of the government agency. As a result, INEHRI has continued its efforts to provide technical assistance in water use management to water users in irrigation projects and to provide necessary technical assistance in the rice production zone to accelerate land preparation and water control measures. The income of many people increased because of better water use management and the resultant higher level of production.

Egypt - 1983-1996. Irrigation Management Systems Project.

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, NRCS collaborated with the Ministry of Public Works and Water Resources in on-farm water management, planning water resources projects, operation and maintenance of irrigation systems, and related subjects. The Government of Egypt (GOE) has a good understanding of the challenges that it faces in improving irrigated agriculture and utilizing its water effectively. As a result, the GOE has developed and will continue to develop programs to deal with major issues.

Guatemala – 1977-1980. Small Farmer Improvement.

The Government of Guatemala, with the help of an U.S. Agency for International Development loan, established two regions to operate pilot soil conservation projects. Practices included those that eliminated excessive runoff and those that allowed for sufficient time and water storage so that water can infiltrate the soil. The practices resulted in an increase of new crops and grasses; increased crop yields; increased farm income; improved soil structure; increased moisture retention; and a better ecological balance.

Haiti – 1980-1984. Integrated Agricultural Development.

NRCS collaborated with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Government of Haiti on the implementation of the soil conservation and watershed restoration phase of this project. The major soil conservation priority included agriculture and the environment. The objectives were to develop their capability to select, design and implement work plans for sites; to assist in developing and publishing guidelines for design, construction, and maintenance of conservation structures; to assist in developing and implementing training programs for personnel and participating farmers.

India - 1966-1972. Soil and Water Management Project.

NRCS worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Ministry of Agriculture to assist in achieving self-sufficiency in food production; to help achieve an adequate supply and distribution of essential agricultural inputs accompanied by appropriate technology; to help develop the indigenous institutions, technical skills, and management capability necessary to assure the full application of these inputs. Pilot projects were established in three states to be used to develop and test soil and water management practices; technical handbooks and guides were developed and given widespread distribution; assistance was provided in the developing and improving technical and administrative institutions; personnel were trained in water utilization and management, irrigation, soil conservation, agricultural research, soil survey and classification; and Soil Taxonomy was adopted as a basis and guide for soil classification and mapping.

Indonesia - 1985-1992. Upland Agriculture and Conservation Project.

The goal of the project was to increase farm production and incomes, while minimizing soil erosion, in densely population upland areas in Java by improving farming systems and farm technologies and management. The purpose was to expand and improve institutional capacities, primarily at provincial, district, and farm levels, and to experiment with and apply alternative approaches to upland farming. Part of the success of the project came as a result of the ability of NRCS to bridge the complex working relationships between the Government of Indonesia, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and project consultants in all components.

Italy – 1975-1976. Soil Degradation Assessment.

The objective of this Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) sponsored project was to make a world assessment of soil degradation by assembling and compiling information; developing methodologies for assessment; and initiating the compilation of a world map that identifies soil degradation and degradation hazards. A methodology was developed; a large volume of data was assembled; and a soil conservationist position was added to the FAO staff.

Kenya – 1977-1978. Marginal Semi-Arid Lands Study.

The study was to assist the Government of Kenya in identifying, evaluating, and quantifying the developable agricultural resources of its marginal and semi-arid lands; and to establish procedures for examination, classification, and mapping of soils. A soil survey and resource inventory were completed for two areas and use and development recommendations were developed. These reports will provide guidelines for making a soil survey and resource inventory for other parts of Kenya.

Liberia – 1973-1977. Agricultural Program Development Program.

The objective of the program was to enhance the institutional capabilities of the Government of Liberia in developing their National Soil Survey; in providing a trained cadre of Ministry employees to staff and manage the National Soil Survey; to conduct soil surveys on lands in Liberia that will be used to provide field training or technicians; and to develop a Liberian soil survey staff and program. Training was given to personnel at the Ministry; guidelines for mapping, classification and interpretation of soils were developed; soil surveys were completed on several project areas; and one survey report was published and will be used as a guide for future survey efforts of the Liberian Soil Survey.

Mexico - 1982-1995. Program for Integrated Rural Development of the Humid Tropics (PRODERITH).

NRCS worked closely with the Government of Mexico's World Bank funded project to increase agricultural production in the tropical regions; to alleviate rural poverty; and to develop an economic base through infrastructure improvements. The dynamics and scope of the effort will change with time but will be sustained by those interested in the conservation of their country resources for future generations while promoting economic prosperity.

Micronesia – 1996-2001. Natural Resources Conservation Project.

Under provisions of the U.S. Department of State and the Government of the Federated States Micronesia (FSM), NRCS provides technical services, managerial assistance and leadership in initiating, developing, and coordinating a natural resource program. NRCS also partners with the Pohnpei Soil and Water Conservation District to provide services for resource protection. The FSM are interested in developing a stronger agricultural base for economic and cropland sufficiency. Several USDA natural resource programs may be applicable to help bring about the needed stabilization and improvements—soil, water, and related conservation programs will be basic to these needs.

Nepal - 1980-1988. Resource Conservation and Utilization Project (RCUP).

The project improved the standard of living of the rural population through increased agricultural production, and developed employment opportunities in rural areas. Under the South-east Consortium for International Development, NRCS provided technical services to the Government of Nepal in the protection andrestoration of the soil, water, and plant resource base upon which the rural population is totally dependent. The multifaceted and integrated RCUP was designed as a 5-year project formulated within the framework of a long-term perspective that attempted to halt the rapid degradation of Nepal's environment in two river drainage basins in the western part of the country. The RCUP strategy incorporated two primary approaches. One was the implementation of resource conservation practices and social change procedures to restore and protect the soil, water, and forest resource bases. The other was the strengthening of Nepalese institutional capacities to train adequate numbers of skilled technical and supervisory resource management professionals to carry out the project and to deal with the problem over the longer run.

Nicaragua – 1965-1967. Agricultural Reform and Development.

Under the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Ministry of Agriculture in the Government of Nicaragua, NRCS provided technical advisory services covering well defined sectors of the rural development program; and assisted in planning project activities designed to provide a better living for farmers and other rural dwellers. Agricultural improvement programs most needed was water development for irrigation of cultivated lands or for the improvement of the grazing industry. Demonstration plots of grasses and legumes were installed to develop and test procedures and to train Nicaraguan nationals. Procedures developed and plant materials tested provided a strong basis for the national forage program. Land use planning must be a national effort and policy development must be done effectively by scientists, technicians, and political and social leaders.

Nicaragua - 2000-2002. Emergency Watershed Protection.

The torrential rains of Hurricane Mitch in October 1998 caused a great deal of damage to the infrastucture, cropland, forestland, and stream channels in Nicaragua. The Government of Nicaragua (GON) has had major problems in many of the watersheds in the country. Rehabilitation of agricultural land, forest tree plantings and stabilization of streambanks is a necessary component of the overall watershed management effort. Under the U.S. Agency for International Development and the GON, NRCS is assisting in rehabiliating the damaged crop and pastureland, reducing the threat of future flooding, and providing leadership and guidance in overall watershed management activities.

Nigeria – 1965-1971. Soil and Water Conservation Management.

The objectives were to organize, plan, and implement a soil and water conservation and management program in specific areas; and to provide training in the Ministry of Agriculture for local agricultural employees. A technical guide for soil and water conservation and management was prepared to provide a base for sound conservation practices; and a training school was established by joint Ministry Project areas to be used for training and demonstration purposes. The project areas were also used to familiarize farmers with conservation practices and needs; guidance was provided to the Ministry of Agriculture by strengthening their organization for soil and water conservation and management; and a sound soil and water conservation program was developed.

Nigeria – 1981-1984. Soil Map of Nigeria Project.

An NRCS team provided an introduction to Soil Taxonomy for soil scientists in the Federal Ministry of Agriculture. The team reached agreement on major soil properties and boundaries, and the development of the map had an immediate beneficial effect as a teaching tool. Nigerian soil scientists received training in methods and procedures used in the identification and description of significant soil properties necessary to produce consistently high quality data. The map will be of major lasting value to Nigerian soil scientists, users of soil survey data, and students of soil science throughout the world.

Pakistan - 1977-1981. On-Farm Water Management Project.

Funded by the Government of Pakistand and the U.S. Agency for International Development, NRCS assisted in the successful establishment and implementation of a 5-year on-farm water management program. Engineers provided advisory services in precision land leveling, watercourse improvement, irrigation water management, and improved agronomic practices. The project combined the need for a program to reduce high water losses occurring in watercourses with a Precision Land Leveling project that had been operating since 1973. Improved water management at the farm level could increase the water available for crop production, reduce the problems of waterlogging and salinity and result in higher yields and farmer income in Pakistan.

Pakistan - 1982-1990. Tribal Areas Development Project.

NRCS assisted in strengthening the capability of government institutions to implement development programs in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas near Peshawar to construct basic infrastructure (roads and irrigation works) of the region. The project was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and was designed to provide technical support to help improve the irrigation distribution systems, to assist in ground water development, and to assist in improvement of the utilization of water delivery to farmers.

Palau – 1997-2000. Resource Conservation Project.

The purpose of the cooperative agreement between the Palau Bureau of Resources and Development and NRCS provides an avenue to improve agriculture and forestry production while protecting the natural resource base in Palau. NRCS provides technical assistance in identifying resource issues and opportunities on private lands and in providing recommendations for voluntary action to reduce or prevent environmental degradation. In partnership with the Palau Soil and Water Conservation Council, people work together toward a healthy and productive environment through planned, wise, culturally appropriate use of island resources.

Peru - 1980-1986. National Soil and Water Conservation System.

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, NRCS assisted the Government of Peru (GOP) establish a National Soil and Water Conservation System, promote soil and water conservation technical development within the country, and carry out a demonstration soil conservation activity in pilot areas in various regions of Peru. The project emphasized helping small-scale Andean farmers install conservation practices on their farms.

Saudi Arabia - 1983-1986. General Soils Map of The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Under the auspices of the Saudi Arabian-United States Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation, NRCS soil scientists worked with the Land Management Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water to produce the General Soil Map of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The General Soils Map, a high quality soil resource inventory, gave the Kingdom the necessary information for future planning for the agricultural sector.

Senegal – 1968-1971. Agricultural Development in the Casamance Region.

The project was sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development and consisted of three basis phases—land development demonstrations, training of agricultural personnel, and a general hydrological survey of the region. At the end of the project, eight demonstration centers were in operation, specified training programs were completed, and a hydrological study for the entire Casamance Region was completed. A land development program involving 11 villages and more than 450 farmers was put into operation. It demonstrated that both traditional and new crops could be produced and using technically sound farming practices could increase yields. Training was prodded to Senegalese technicians that enabled them to take full responsibility for the project.

Thailand - 1966-1973. Soil and Water Conservation Development Project.

Under the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Thailand Department of Land Development (DLD), NRCS provided technical advisory services by training local technicians to use soil survey information in conservation planning and by showing farmers how to practice soil and water conservation in the field. Improving management and supervision in the Department were emphasized even more than the technical aspects. Assistance was provided in reorganizing the DLD to a line and staff organization that is better able to recognize and respond to problems. Soil interpretation guidelines were developed and a handbook was published; an economic study of land use and conservation treatment was completed; and a cost and return handbook was published. Farmers and villagers were encouraged to conserve and develop their land to meet the food needs of an expanding population and to raise their own incomes and standard of living.

The Gambia - 1978-1991. Soil and Water Management Project.

NRCS worked with the Government of The Gambia to establish a Soil and Water Management Unit, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, to help farmers combat soil erosion and water pollution. The Gambian agency, which now serves as a model for similar units in other African nations, has established projects throughout the country -- projects to curb flooding, soil erosion, sedimentation, and salt water intrusion. Hundreds of farmers have seen the positive results, and word has spread to thousands of others.

Tunisia – 1962-1970. Watershed Planning and Management Project.

NRCS worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Government of Tunisia (GOT) on this pilot demonstration project to develop a plan of operations to implement practical soil conservation treatment and water retention measures for the semi-arid Qued Marguellil watershed area in central Tunisia. With the systematic use of undesired obstacles (such as lack of equipment and proper vegetative cover) and a vigorous information and educational program provided by the GOT, satisfactory progress was made in accomplishing the objectives of this project.

Tunisia – 1970-1971. Accelerated Cereals Program.

Under the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Government of Tunisia, the project was designed for NRCS to train Tunisian engineers and technical on extension work with farmers and cooperatives to obtain good management practices such as use of improved wheat varieties, moisture conservation and weed control, and proper fertilization. Good irrigation was generally experienced, and some farmers were able to irrigate their fields at night for the first time ever.

Tunisia – 1970-1972. Accelerated Livestock Project.

Under the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Government of Tunisia, NRCS encouraged farmers in the fall and winter seasons to fulfill their forage requirements with legumes such as alfalfa, burseem and sulla and fescue and other grasses as well as barley for feed grains. In the spring and summer seasons, they were encouraged seedlings of alfalfa and such feed grains as corn, sorghum and sudangrass. Irrigation will play a very important role in both winter and summer feed and forage production if the following problems are addressed—the preparation of the land for good irrigation application; the proficiency of land leveling; and the use of proficient irrigators. The biggest priority means a change from old orchards on eroded lowlands to forage crops for farmers that are proposed to raise beef cattle for meat production.

Tunisia – 1973-1975. Integrated Agricultural Project.

Under the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Government of Tunisia, NRCS helped in demonstrating the beneficial effect of the proper utilization and integration of all agricultural production factors on irrigated land in the Medjerda Valley. The valley had great potential for food and fiber production; however, it’s agricultural resources were scarcely being tapped. NRCS encouraged farmers to eagerly improve their agricultural operations and their standard of living. An analysis was made; data were collected; detailed work plans were prepared for an overall physical and financial resources flow plan; a time-phased implementation schedule was completed; and a plan for meeting the credit and marketing needs of the area was completed.

Tunisia – 1977-1981. Forage Seed Production Project.

NRCS assisted the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Government of Tunisia, to establish a seed industry in Tunisia. Work in forage seed production was confined mostly to alfalfa, sudan grass, and sulla with the primary objective of introducing improved practices. NRCS concluded that Tunisia has a great potential to become the leader in forage seed production for the Mediterranean area. The priorities needed to accomplish this effort was the need for university trained personnel in seed production; encouragement of local forage seed growers to organize themselves into a Forage Seed Producers Association; and that institutional support be given to estimate forage seed requirements within Tunisia two to five years in advance

Tunisia - 1978-1981. Livestock Feed Production and Utilization Project.

NRCS assisted the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Government of Tunisia to train central and regional technicians in the extension of improved methods of dryland forage production on small farms. Limiting factors included forage production, forage quality, use of perennial forages, seed supplies of major dryland forage species, small farmer equipment and other resources, use of inoculates for legumes, and degradation of the rangeland resource. In order to address the overall aspects of dryland forage production, NRCS recommended maintenance of a strong agricultural extension program in forage and livestock production; enforcement of agricultural research; dryland forage production research; use of the integrated farm planning approach to farmers; and a national rangeland program.

Turkey – 1967-1970. On-Farm Water Development.

NRCS worked with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Turkish Food and Agriculture Division in developing the on-farm water project. Program emphasis largely addressed mechanical or engineering type conservation practices that are essential as a part of a total soil and water conservation program. More emphasis was placed on the vegetative (agronomic and grassland) phases of the program, as well as the training program for professionals and sub-professional technicians. NRCS recommended that the Government of Tunisia concentrate on achieving optimum utilization of developed water resources to attain increased production more in keeping with the potential of these resources. They should plan and apply essential management practices such as conservation cropping systems, use of crop residues, minimum tillage and irrigation water management and provide adequate follow-up assistance at each step.

Vietnam – 1967-1968. Irrigation and Rural Engineering.

NRCS provided technical assistance to the Directorate of Irrigation and Rural Engineering in the Ministry of Agriculture and the U.S. Agency for International Development in planning and implementing a program for the conservation, development, and utilization of land and water resources for maximum agricultural production. Demonstrations of the movement of water by mechanical pumps were made; two soil surveys were completed; seminars on surveys and soil classification were conducted; advice was provided on planning, designing, and constructing irrigation projects; assistance was given in land leveling and grading; and evaluation and feasibility studies were made for new projects.