TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY

A Plan for Collaborative Research on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management

Panel for Collaborative Research Support for AID's Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Program

Board on Agriculture

Board on Science and Technology for International Development

National Research Council

NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS
Washington, D.C. 1991



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TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY: A Plan for Collaborative Research on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY A Plan for Collaborative Research on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Panel for Collaborative Research Support for AID's Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Program Board on Agriculture Board on Science and Technology for International Development National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1991

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TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY: A Plan for Collaborative Research on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This report has been prepared with funds provided by the Bureau for Science and Technology, Office of Agriculture and Office of Rural Development, U.S. Agency for International Development, under Grant No. DAN-5052-C-00-6037-00. The U.S. Agency for International Development reserves a royalty-free and nonexclusive and irrevocable right to reproduce, publish, or otherwise use and to authorize others to use the work for government purposes. Library of Congress Catalog Card No.91-61818 ISBN 0-309-04540-1 A limited number of copies are available from: Board on Science and Technology for International Development Office of International Affairs National Research Council 2101 Constitution Avenue Washington, DC 20418 Additional copies are available for sale from: National Academy Press 2101 Constitution Avenue Washington, DC20418 S-378 Printed in the United States of America

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TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY: A Plan for Collaborative Research on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management PANEL FOR COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH SUPPORT FOR AID'S SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM LOWELL HARDIN, Chairman, Purdue University JOHN AXTELL, Purdue University HECTOR BARRETO, Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento de Maíz y Trigo, Guatemala BARBARA BRAMBLE, National Wildlife Federation PIERRE CROSSON, Resources for the Future CLIVE EDWARDS, Ohio State University RICHARD HARWOOD, Michigan State University G. EDWARD SCHUH, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota ROBERT WAGNER, Phosphate and Potash Institute (Retired) Ex Officio Members PATRICIA BARNES-MCCONNELL, Collaborative Research Support Program, Michigan State University LEONARD BERRY, Florida Atlantic University PEDRO SANCHEZ, North Carolina State University JAN VAN SCHILFGAARDE, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ft. Collins, Colorado Staff MICHAEL MCD. DOW, Study Director JAY DAVENPORT, Senior Project Officer CURT MEINE, Staff Associate NEAL BRANDES, Study Assistant NANCY NACHBAR, Program Assistant

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TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY: A Plan for Collaborative Research on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management BOARD ON AGRICULTURE THEODORE L. HULLAR, Chairman, University of California, Davis PHILIP H. ABELSON, American Association for the Advancement of Science DALE E. BAUMAN, Cornell University R. JAMES COOK, Agricultural Research Service at Washington State University ELLIS B. COWLING, North Carolina State University ROBERT M. GOODMAN, Visiting Professor, University of Wisconsin, and National Research Council Scholar-in-Residence PAUL W. JOHNSON, Iowa House of Representatives NEAL A. JORGENSEN, University of Wisconsin ALLEN V. KNEESE, Resources for the Future, Inc. JOHN W. MELLOR, International Food Policy Research Institute DONALD R. NIELSEN, University of California, Davis ROBERT L. THOMPSON, Purdue University ANNE M. K. VIDAVER, University of Nebraska CONRAD J. WEISER, Oregon State University JOHN R. WELSER, The Upjohn Company Staff JAMES E. TAVARES, Acting Executive Director ROBERT M. GOODMAN, NRC Scholar-in-Residence CARLA CARLSON, Director of Communications BARBARA J. RICE, Editor

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TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY: A Plan for Collaborative Research on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management BOARD ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ALEXANDER SHAKOW, Chairman, The World Bank PATRICIA BARNES-MCCONNELL, Michigan State University JORDAN J. BARUCH, Jordan Baruch Associates BARRY BLOOM, Albert Einstein College of Medicine JANE BORTNICK, Congressional Research Service GEORGE T. CURLIN, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases DIRK FRANKENBERG, University of North Carolina RALPH HARDY, Boyce-Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell University FREDRICK HORNE, Oregon State University ELLEN MESSER, Allan Shaw Feinstein World Hunger Program, Brown University CHARLES C. MUSCOPLAT, Molecular Genetics, Inc. JAMES QUINN, Dartmouth College VERNON RUTTAN, University of Minnesota ANTHONY SAN PIETRO, Indiana University ERNEST SMERDON, University of Arizona Ex Officio Members GERALD P. DINEEN, Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Engineering JAMES B. WYNGAARDEN, Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Sciences Staff JOHN HURLEY, Director MICHAEL MCD. DOW, Associate Director

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TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY: A Plan for Collaborative Research on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Preface In response to growing support for sustainable international development strategies, the U.S. Congress has recommended that the Agency for International Development (AID) create a new Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP) that focuses on the research needs of sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. The Office of Agriculture in AID's Bureau for Science and Technology subsequently asked that the National Research Council's Board on Agriculture (BA) and Board on Science and Technology for International Development (BOSTID) undertake planning for the new CRSP. Collaborative research support programs were created under Title XII of the International Development and Food Assistance Act of 1975, which supports long-term agricultural research of benefit to developing countries and the United States. These programs are the primary mechanisms through which U.S. universities conduct such research. Currently eight CRSPs are conducting research on several important crops, livestock, soils, fisheries, aquaculture, and human nutrition. The charge to the National Research Council's Panel for Collaborative Research Support for AID's Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Program was to: (1) recommend a design for the new CRSP; (2) help AID define research priorities for the new CRSP; and (3) suggest management arrangements for administering the CRSP that will enable it to draw on and contribute to all of AID's agricultural, environmental, and rural development activities. Officials of AID requested that the panel, in carrying out its charge, try to define a process by which knowledge from all relevant AID-supported research, development, and training programs could be integrated and applied in the effort to advance profitable farming sys-

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TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY: A Plan for Collaborative Research on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management tems that improve local conditions while contributing to broader environmental goals. The panel is one of three units established at AID's request to assist the Office of Agriculture in reviewing its projects on sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. The Committee for a Study on Sustainable Agriculture and the Environment in the Humid Tropics is studying successful approaches to sustainable agriculture in the humid tropics. Its activities are managed jointly by BA and BOSTID. The Committee International Soil and Water Research and Development is assessing the needs and priorities in soil and water management for developing countries. Its activities are managed jointly by BOSTID and the Water Science and Technology Board. The Panel for Collaborative Research Support for AID's Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Program has focused on the need to promote integrated, multidisciplinary research across agroecological zones, among departments and institutions of U.S. universities, and in collaboration with other institutions, research institutes, national agricultural research systems, and the international agricultural research centers. Its principal objectives have been to foster a truly collaborative and participatory approach to the design of research and to involve the ultimate beneficiary of the research: the small-scale farmer and rural and urban poor in developing countries. From its inception, the panel has emphasized the need to draw on and actively engage in-country expertise and indigenous knowledge and practices in meeting its objective. At an organizational meeting in July 1990, participants stressed the fact that research under the new CRSP must focus on on-farm methodologies that effectively integrate the agronomic, biological, ecological, cultural, and socioeconomic factors that govern the performance and sustainability of agroecosystems. Only such integrated research can fill the critical gaps in scientific understanding of the foundation and functioning of sustainable agricultural systems. Of particular importance in this regard are the following: Conservation of soil and water resources and the impact on fertility of the soil's physical and biological characteristics, processes, and cycles; Cultural practices for improving soil fertility, controlling erosion, and maximizing biological production potential (for example, tillage methods, crop residue management, irrigation, alley cropping, and agroforestry); Integrated pest management systems, both pre- and postharvest; Indigenous practices and uses of germplasm and the economic and cultural consequences of biodiversity loss and preservation; The consequences of converting forest and savannah lands into range for cattle production; Institutional arrangements—local, national, and international—involving education, trade, finance, and prices;

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TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY: A Plan for Collaborative Research on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Common issues related to property resource management, land tenure, and other public policies; and The impact of policy incentives or disincentives on the production of cash crops for export or food crops for local consumption. The development of research methodologies to address these key gaps in knowledge is a formidable task. The further implementation of the necessary research to fill these gaps will require an enormous commitment of resources over an extended time. Participants in the organizational meeting agreed that the new CRSP should not be restricted to, but should concentrate on, the more fragile agroecosystems in targeting its initial investments for maximum effect. They also noted the need for an open planning process for the CRSP. To this end, the panel together with invited participants from the land-grant colleges and universities and other interested organizations—more than 120 people—convened in November 1990 for an open forum on international sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. At the day-long forum, invited speakers and other participants reviewed the CRSP record and the experience of collaborative international agricultural research at U.S. universities. During 3 days of intensive follow-up discussions, participants discussed research priorities and suggested guidelines for establishing and managing a program to encourage research on sustainability, agriculture, and natural resources in U.S. institutions and their developing country counterparts. The panel met twice after the November forum. This report summarizes the findings from the forum and the subsequent panel discussions. An executive summary provides a synopsis of the rationale and principal recommendations for the new Collaborative Research Support Program on Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management. The panel 's findings and specific recommendations are then presented in greater detail in the main body of the report. The papers presented at the open forum and the discussions that followed generated several significant statements on agroecosystem research and management. These are included as appendixes. A concurrent subpanel was convened to summarize and provide guidance to AID on activities involving integrated pest management, an area of particular importance to sustainability. The discussions of the subpanel will be published in a separate report in late 1991. The panel has tried to accommodate as faithfully as possible the many viewpoints germane to this topic. The panelists and participants in the November forum, though diverse, were in fact in welcome accord on one principal point: the need for research to focus on the integration of the social and natural sciences in progressing toward sustainability. Not all participants would agree on the means of accomplishing this challenging task. Further, the report does not deal in any depth with population policy

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TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY: A Plan for Collaborative Research on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management and family planning concerns, which are important factors in the sustainability formula. Nonetheless, within the scope of this report, the broad consensus regarding the nature of the scientific and managerial challenge bodes well for the future. In particular, the challenge of bringing together the varied disciplines, with their different traditions, approaches, and languages, must be met to gain a better understanding of the nature of sustainability. Members Panel for Collaborative Research Support for AID's Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Program

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TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY: A Plan for Collaborative Research on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Acknowledgments As with all endeavors that try to bring different perspectives together and distill large amounts of technical information into a coherent form, this effort has been a challenging one. The panel deeply appreciates the extensive advice it received in the short time available for completion of this report. The panel is entirely responsible for any shortcomings of the report. Several people deserve special thanks: those who participated in and, in many cases, prepared written papers for the forum and subsequent workshop, and who later commented on the draft report; others who were unable to attend the meeting but who reviewed and offered comments on the draft; and Thurman Grove, for his substantive assistance as liaison at the Agency for International Development. We would also like to acknowledge the intellectual contributions of Charles Benbrook and Charles B. McCants. Invaluable assistance was provided by Jay Dorsey, Chris Elfring, Patricia A. Harrington, Mary Francis Schlichter, and Lynn Wolter.

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TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY: A Plan for Collaborative Research on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Contents     EXECUTIVE SUMMARY   1      The Concept of Sustainable Agriculture,   1      The Research Challenge,   2      The Grant Program,   5      Conclusion,   8  1   DEFINING THE NEED   9      Agriculture, Environment, and Development,   10      Characteristics of Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Systems,   12      The Research Challenge: Adopting a Systems-Based Approach,   14  2   EXPANDING THE MANAGEMENT CHALLENGE   17      History and Evolution of the Collaborative Research Support Programs,   17      CRSP Involvement in Sustainable Agriculture,   19  3   CONSIDERATIONS AND CRITERIA FOR THE SANREM PROGRAM DESIGN   21      Program Objectives,   22      Critical Areas of Inquiry,   24  4   SANREM PROGRAM MANAGEMENT AND GRANT ADMINISTRATION   27      Organization and Management of the SANREM CRSP,   27      Grant Administration,   30

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TOWARD SUSTAINABILITY: A Plan for Collaborative Research on Agriculture and Natural Resource Management      Content of Research Proposals,   34      Conclusion,   40     REFERENCES   41     APPENDIXES    A   Introduction to Operational Issues,   43  B   Sustainable Agriculture, International Agricultural Research, and Strategies for Effective Collaboration,   47  C   Soil Research for Agricultural Sustainability in the Tropics,   66  D   The Agroecosystems,   91  E   Integrated Nutrient Management for Crop Production, 105    F   Integrated Pest Management for Sustainability in Developing Countries,   109  G   Project Bibliography,   134  H   Program Participants,   139     AUTHORS   144