The Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture is a university-based organization of the Texas A&M University System. Founded in 1984 as the Office of International Agricultural Programs, The Institute was renamed in 2006 and continues to carry on and expand the legacy of our namesake — the late Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Norman E. Borlaug — by playing a key role in fighting world hunger.
The Borlaug Institute designs and implements sustainable programs of international development that integrate research, training (extension) and education to benefit the peoples of developing countries across the globe. The Institute’s development programs take place in-country to augment entire agricultural industries by addressing key issues along industry value chains.
For example, the “Ethiopia Sanitary & Phytosanitary Standards and Livestock & Meat Marketing Program” (SPS-LMM) was aimed at boosting the Ethiopian meat and live animal export industry. SPS-LMM accomplished this by augmenting several areas along the industry’s value chain including: veterinary service capacity; meat marketing practices; and surveillance and diagnostics of a certain avian flu virus in livestock. Exports as a result of the program rose from a combined base of $45.5 million in 2005/2006 to $211 million in 2010/2011. Ethiopia’s reputation as a meat and livestock exporter improved while SPS-LMM helped open new markets and lift certain trade bans.
Projects like SPS-LMM, but with varying agricultural objectives, run concurrently in several countries at any given time — nations like South Sudan, Guatemala, Iraq and Afghanistan. These programs work toward achieving The Borlaug Institute’s goal of feeding the world’s hungry through practices that can continue long after each program has run its course. But we don’t do it alone.
While the Borlaug Institute serves as the prime, or lead organization in many of the development projects we undertake — in some cases we assist other organizations — implementing programs requires myriad partnerships with governmental, academic and private organizations the world over.
The SPS-LMM project, for example, was funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development and utilized a partnership with Ethiopia’s Ministry of Agriculture. Partnership systems for each of our ongoing development projects are often complex and many partners work with The Borlaug Institute on several projects at once.
In addition to our work abroad, The Borlaug Institute coordinates training programs at home for international agricultural leaders from developing countries such as Iraq, Pakistan, the Phillipines and several African nations. International training provides a set of tools that trainees can take back to disseminate in their home countries — another way to promote global agricultural sustainability. Access to Texas’ extensive climate and crop diversity, along with its robust animal agriculture network, have helped The Borlaug Institute and Texas A&M University instructors build the experience and expertise necessary to provide agricultural training programs relevant to many of the world’s ecological regions.
The Borlaug Institute’s initiatives are funded through a range of sources, the largest of which is USAID, which accounts for about 52 percent of The Institute’s portfolio. The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Defense account for a combined 30 percent of funding while the U.S. Department of Agriculture, various private organizations and nonprofit foundations comprise the remainder. The Borlaug Institute competes and collaborates with non-government organizations and other universities and organizations for the funding that allows us to carry out the work we do around the world.