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This article in NSE

  1. Vol. 36 No. 1, p. 120-128
     
    Received: Feb 21, 2007


    * Corresponding author(s): jshroyer@ksu.edu
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doi:10.2134/jnrlse2007.361120x

The Dryland Agriculture Applied Research Project in Morocco: A Perspective 12 Years after Completion

  1. John Ryana,
  2. Mohamed El-Mouridb,
  3. James P. Shroyer* *c and
  4. Mohamed El Gharousd
  1. a International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), P.O. Box 5466, Aleppo, Syria (formerly technical assistant/soil science, Settat)
    b International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA), Regional Office, Tunis, Tunisia (formerly center director, Settat)
    c Extension Agronomy, 2014 Throckmorton, Kansas State Univ., Manhattan, KS 66506 (formerly technical assistant/agronomy, Settat)
    d INRA, Settat (Dryland Agriculture Center)

Abstract

The Dryland Agriculture Applied Research Project (DAARP) in Morocco (1978–1994) was a joint partnership between USAID, the Mid-America International Agricultural Consortium (MIAC) involving five U.S. universities, and the host country's Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA), Morocco. This major international development assistance program focused on improvement of the productive potential and human welfare in Morocco's semiarid, rainfed cereal production zone. The project dealt with (i) infrastructure development involving establishment of a dryland research center in Settat and a network of agricultural research substations; (ii) human resources capacity building, involving training junior national scientists at the graduate (M.S., Ph.D.) level, and INRA support staff in nondegree courses and training programs mainly at MIAC universities; and (iii) establishment of a viable research program related to dryland agriculture. The scientific mentoring and program development was done by a relatively small team of expatriate technical advisors, mainly from the United States, with project oversight by periodic external reviewers at discipline and overall program level. The DAARP had its strengths and weaknesses, its successes and failures. In this article, written by four scientists intimately involved with the project, an overview of the project is presented, highlighting its achievements and the lessons learned from its implementation. The article highlights the extent to which the DAARP is sustainable 12 years after completion, indicating that its shortcomings can be mainly attributed to a failure of the Moroccan government to fully live up to its commitments following completion of the project.

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