Programs and Projects Accomplished in 2010

Projects with Ukraine, visit of Delegation

In late September of 2010, a delegation from Ukraine headed by the Minister of Agrarian policy of Ukraine visited the United States of America (USA) for to identify technologies that would contribute to the development of Ukraine's agriculture and rural economy, and to discuss agricultural and trade policies between the two nations. The trip and meetings of the Ukrainian delegation while in the USA as well some of the accommodations and transportation were organized by NCFAP. During the visit the delegation had meetings with many companies, NGOs, educational and scientific institutions and official representatives in Washington DC, the University of Maryland and Iowa State University

Specifically, the delegation members had meetings with Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of the US House of Representatives, Representatives of the US Senate, USDA and USAID, the Ambassador of Ukraine for the USA and US-Ukraine Business Council. Several companies also have been visited by the delegation. Among them are John Deere, The EX IM Bank, Grain Council, Stine Seed Company, Swine Genetic International, DuPont, Pioneer and Monsanto.

They visited University of Maryland, the Beltsville Research Station of USDA as well as they had many meetings in the Iowa State University, related to extension service and to the bio research development, particularly - visit to Bio CenturyResearch Farm.

As the result of these visits the following US - Ukrainian projects are now under consideration for development and implementation in Ukraine:

1. Engaging the Stine Seed Company in Genetic Engineering with Ukraine Seed Companies

2. Yield Forecasting and Related Sensing Activities Using the Satellite Information

3. Cooperation with the Swine Genetics Company of Iowa

4. Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI) Model for the Agricultural Sector of Ukraine

5. USA Support of the Development of National Extension Program for Ukraine

6. Biofuels Development in Ukraine

7. Grains Council Proposal for Support of the Livestock and Biofuels Industries in Ukraine

8. Preparing the Agricultural Industry for the John Deere Technologies to be imported

9. Finding Opportunities for Pioneer and Monsanto Companies to Develop Research Programs with the University of Life and Environmental Sciences of Ukraine and with the Ministry Farm to be developed near Kyiv.

The planned follow up activities involve USA companies, universities, NGOs and the USA Government. NCFAP has agreed to coordinate these activities, and necessary reciprocal visits between Ukraine and the USA.

NCFAP completed a consultancy with the National Food Policy Capacity Strengthening Program (NFPCSP) of the UN Food and Agricultural Organization in Bangladesh on the "Feasibility and Design of Postgraduate Courses on Food Security and Policy in Bangladesh"

The consultancy was completed during October/November of 2009 and March/April of 2010. It involved a series of visits to Bangladesh Universities and Government Ministries to determine how sustainable educational programs at the postgraduate level could be designed and how the NFPCSP could support this change in course orientation. The conclusion was to develop workshops on the use of available national surveys that could generate content for inclusion in existing courses for postgraduate programs at the Universities and within Government Agencies. The national surveys to be the focus of these workshops are the Household Income and Expenditure Survey, the Household Food Consumption Survey and Health Survey. The idea is to improve the capacity of the Universities and Government Agencies to include research and educational materials from these surveys. The materials from these surveys can provide the Universities and Government practitioners with improved capacities to analyze accessibility to food and nutritional status of the Bangladesh population. That is, to better estimate incidence and prevalence of food insecurity and to monitor it, and to evaluate policies that are directed to improve accessibility and nutritional status. Both short run and longer run policies are included in this effort. A specific plan endorsed by the Universities and Government Agencies for these workshops was developed by this consultancy. The final report from the consultancy is available on this web site.

Borlaug Chinese program was concluded by NCFAP with a trip to China by Christopher Goldthwaite and Debbie Nip, Borlaug Fellowship Program, Trade & Scientific Exchanges Division Office of Capacity Building & Development, which occurred in November of 2010

The purpose of the visit to China was to review with the past fellows the impacts of their training in the US. The team as well met with the town new Borlaug Fellows who will come to the US in 2011 and receive training and be hosted by NCFAP. These fellows will be trained in the detection of bio technology crops and in risk assessment. This training and hosting will occur under a new USDA project that has a value of approximately $100,000 dollars. The fellows coming this year will be for two periods, in late spring and one in late summer. They will come for periods of two weeks, and two per period. Both sets of fellows will visit Iowa in addition to spending time in Washington DC and nearby surroundings. The fellows for 2011 have already been selected and we are writing them now to communicate and better identify the training programs that will best fit their needs.

Kazakhstan Programs

Cooperation with the Kazakhstan National Agrarian University to assist in university restructuring, extension program design, economic lectures and writing the book on Extension Services. This is the beginning of a long term project that is designed to change the undergraduate and graduate curriculum in the University to a western standard. As well, there is a desire to develop an Extension Service that has the University playing a major role. To that end and for the first part of the long term project, a book on Extension in Kazakhstan, lessons from the US has been drafted and given to the Rector of the University for review and final editing. The book will be published in 2011. During 2010 Dr. Johnson and International Program Coordinator visited Kazakhstan two times during late summer and early fall. The book was delivered during the last visit, and as well there was discussion about assistance with the restructuring of the University. This restructuring was consistent with a proposal developed by Dr. Johnson on 2009. It appears that the Business/Economics/Law, the Water and Hydrology and the Veterinary Science wick be the first of the departments/colleges to be redesigned. The contract for this work will come to NCFAP during 2011. In addition there is a deepening of relationships between NCFAP and the University that has resulted in teaching of few classes and giving seminars when visiting the University.

Faculty Exchange Program Evaluation in Ukraine

In May 2010 NCFAP on the request of USDA was conducting the evaluation study assessed the effectiveness of the Exchange Programs relative to the program's purpose and objectives. The evaluation will be documented and will describe outcomes that occurred as a result of the Exchange Programs. The Exchange programs had operated in Ukraine for the period since 1995 till nowadays. Availability of an adequate sample population, passage of sufficient time for participants to incorporate acquired knowledge and skills, as well as access to the majority of these individuals will enable this evaluation study. Participants who had completed the EP, a sample of their administrators, and US professors who hosted the participants at their university will be surveyed.

The evaluation has three objectives:

- Assess if knowledge and skills gained through the EP enabled the participants to influence and develop agricultural economics education and agricultural systems in their country

- Assess the US host professors and university's influence on and support of the participants and participant's institutions, and reciprocal benefits

- Assess if the EP fostered new relationships between the US and Ukraine as well as continued linkages in terms of technical assistance, educational opportunities, trade, and additional areas

The study was conducted in Ukraine by NCFAP during the period May 1- May 21, 2010. It was analyzed and processed and the final report of the results of Evaluation Program was submitted to USDA.

Defining new Multi College - Multi University projects for the University of Nevada Lincoln

This project started in December of 2010 and will carry forward into 2011. The idea was generated by the Vice Chancellor for Research and is for the University to develop a major project that involves teaching research and extension. The first meeting to start developing the project was held in December of 2010. Johnson was the main speaker in a daylong session on possible topics for the project. Follow up meetings will be held in April of 2011, with actual work on project development to follow. NCFAP will be involved as directed by the Vice Chancellor in all phases of the project.

The Biofuel contract with the US Air Force was completed in 2010

The payment carried into the 2010, but most of the work had been completed in 2009. This is because the Air Force and its primary contractor pay for work after it is completed. The result of the conference that the Air Force contract was for is located in the NCFAP web page.

We have just begun working on a cooperative agreement with USDA/Chief Economists Office that addresses "coherency" between petroleum prices and feedstock prices from agriculture commodities - broadly defined

The agreement was signed and became operational on October 1, 2010 and will continue through the federal fiscal year - September 3, 2011. The idea of the analysis it to determine the relationship between feedstock prices and petroleum prices--to what extent are they inter interrelated. That is, what is the extent of coherency between individual feedstock prices and the petroleum price and how does this change over time. Obviously the feedstock and petroleum process are driven by different factors. The extent of these different factors will be examined by the use of co integration analysis. First, we will select feedstocks that are already used in biofuel production. Then we will apply the analysis to feed stocks that are further away from use like timber, switch grass and corm stove. Finally we will attempt to apply the analysis to feed stocks alternatives that do not yet have a market price--algae and municipal solid waste. The results will be useful to USDA for planning on impacts of increased use of feedstocls for fuel production and to the energy sector for determining the prices or price ratios that will draw agricultural feed stocks into fuel production.