International Programs News & Views Volume 16
Long Term International Assistance
Palau is provided through an NRCS field office in partnership with a Palau Soil and Water Conservation Council. Since November 1997, a resource conservationist has been providing technical assistance to the Bureau of Natural Resources and Development. The purpose is to identify resource issues and opportunities on private lands, and to provide recommendations for voluntary action to reduce or prevent environmental degradation for the nation.
Future Activities in Central America NRCS has provided short-term technical expertise in the agriculture and natural resource rehabilitation efforts for areas damaged by hurricanes in Central America. As a result of our leadership in reconstruction efforts in Nicaragua and Honduras, there will most likely be a major long-term role for NRCS through normal USAID Participating Agency Service Agreement activities in addition to funding by the recent Supplemental Appropriations. NRCS and the Forest Service will complete the majority of the work on a reimbursable basis.
The following are examples of past activities.
USAID Sponsored Egypt - Irrigation Management Systems Project, 1983-1996.
NRCS collaborated with the Ministry of Public Works and Water Resources to provide assistance in on-farm water management, planning water resource projects, and operating and maintaining irrigation systems. The Government of Egypt now has a good understanding of the challenges in improving irrigated agriculture and utilizing its water effectively.
Indonesia – Upland Agriculture and Conservation Project, 1985-1992.
The goal of this project was to increase farm production and incomes, while minimizing soil erosion, in densely populated upland areas in Java by improving farming systems and farm technologies and management. Institutional capacities were expanded and improved, primarily at provincial, district, and farm levels. Part of the success of the project was the ability of NRCS to bridge the complex working relationships between the Government of Indonesia, USAID, and project consultants.
Peru – National Soil and Water Conservation System, 1980-1986.
NRCS assisted the Government of Peru 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. The project emphasized helping small-scale Andean farmers install conservation practices on their farms.
The Gambia – Soil and Water Management Project, 1978-1991.
NRCS worked with the Government of The Gambia to establish a Soil and Water Management Unit 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.
World Bank Sponsored Mexico – Program for Integrated Rural Development of the Humid Tropics, 1982-1995.
NRCS worked closely with the Government of Mexico 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 resources for future generations while promoting economic prosperity.
Host Country Sponsored Nigeria – Soil Survey Project, 1981-1984.
Three soil scientists and a cartographer assisted the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in the implementation of the Soil Survey of Nigeria. The team provided comprehensive training in U.S. Soil Taxonomy, providing a sound technical base for Nigerian scientists to build on.
Saudi Arabia – General Soil Map, 1983-1986.
Under the auspices of the Saudi Arabian-U.S. Joint Commission on Economic Cooperation, ten 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. This product is a high quality soil resource inventory that gave the Kingdom the necessary information for future planning for the agricultural sector.
Author and Editor: Gail C. Roane (retired), International Programs Division