The Norman Borlaug Institute for Internationally Agriculture (contractually represented by Texas A&M AgriLife) develops, coordinates, and leads international agricultural development programs for the Texas A&M University System. Named in honor of the 1970 Nobel Prize winner, “Father of the Green Revolution,” and faculty member at Texas A&M University for a quarter of a century, the Borlaug Institute strives to further Dr. Borlaug’s legacy of improving global food security, livelihoods, and resilience through applied agricultural research and extension. The Institute’s mission is “To employ agricultural science to feed the hungry, and support equity, economic growth, quality of life, and mutual respect among all peoples.”
To this end, the Borlaug Institute:
- Provides agricultural technical assistance in developing countries;
- Conducts problem-solving research to support economic development;
- Leads agricultural training in the U.S. and foreign countries;
- Supports the federal government in its conduct of U.S. foreign assistance;
- Advises on agricultural policy and regulation; and
- Partners with foreign universities to promote the land-grant model of teaching, research, and extension.
Whether as the prime contractor or as a subcontractor, the Borlaug Institute has implemented numerous agricultural development and food security projects globally which in the last several years has exceeded $139M thus making it one of the largest such university-based programs in the country. This has included work in:
Asia: Bangladesh, Burma/Myanmar, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Vietnam.
Europe & Eurasia: Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan.
Latin America & the Caribbean: Brazil, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Trinidad and Tobago.
Middle East and North Africa: Iraq, Jordan, Tunisia.
Sub-Saharan Africa: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Zambia.
The Borlaug Institute’s core competencies include:
- Agricultural extension methodologies;
- Value chain assessment and market development;
- Agricultural productivity (crop, livestock, fisheries);
- Post-harvest handling and cold chain management;
- Climate Smart Agriculture and improving resilience;
- Serving as the institutional home for the World Coffee Research Program;
- Human and animal nutrition;
- Gender and youth development in agriculture;
- Agricultural policy analysis, development, and reform; and
- Advanced, applied research in multiple disciplines across 14 academic departments on the main campus:
|Agricultural Economics||Horticultural Sciences|
|Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications||Nutrition and Food Science|
|Animal Science||Plant Pathology and Microbiology|
|Biochemistry / Biophysics||Poultry Science|
|Biological and Agricultural Engineering||Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences|
|Ecosystem Science and Management||Soil and Crop Sciences|
|Entomology||Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences|
The agriculture program of the Texas A&M University System, known as Texas A&M AgriLife, is comprised of:
- Texas A&M AgriLife Research;
- The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service;
- The Texas A&M Forest Service;
- The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory; and
- The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University in College Station, TX.
Texas A&M AgriLife is the largest university-based agriculture program in the country and has been pursuing its land-grant mission for almost 130 years. Texas A&M AgriLife Research was ranked No. 1 in agricultural sciences expenditures for fiscal year 2012 and again in 2013, the latest year for which figures are available, according to the National Science Foundation (NSF). The System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a statewide network of 11 universities plus an engineering campus located in Qatar’s Education City, seven state agencies, a comprehensive health science center – the only one with an emphasis on rural public health – and the George H. W. Bush School of Government and Public Service. System members educate more than 120,000 students and reach another 22 million people through service each year. With more than 28,000 faculty and staff, the System has a programmatic presence in every one of the state’s 254 counties.
A unique aspect of Texas is that given its size and geographical location, in its great diversity the state has every agro-ecological zone found in the developing world. With an agricultural research and/or extension presence in every county and agro-ecological zone, the Borlaug Institute is able to draw from, apply, and transfer expertise relevant to every part of the developing world’s agriculture sectors. Additionally Texas is one of a few states that has a coastline as well as shares an international border and thus, respectively, has expertise in coastal and marine science as well as in trans-boundary issues such as international disease vectors and food safety import/export concerns, among others.
The Borlaug Institute is led by its Director, Dr. Elsa Murano, who previously served as U.S. Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food Safety, as Vice Chancellor of Texas A&M AgriLife, and as President of Texas A&M University. For several years she was a presidential appointee to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD) which serves as an advisory board to the USAID Administrator. The Borlaug Institute has six sub-units:
|1. Office of Program Development||4. Office of International Training Programs|
|2. Office of Program Implementation||5. Office of External Relations|
|3. Business Operations Office||6. World Coffee Research Program|
The Program Development Group has staff dedicated to proposal writing, cost proposal preparation, and recruiting and staffing. Each regional program has a Regional Director and a Program Coordinator. The regions are: Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa. Opportunities in Europe and Eurasia are shared by the Asia and MENA offices. The Business Operations Office has experienced staff and operational systems to administer and monitor the programmatic, logistical, and financial needs for successful implementation of international development projects. The Institute works in close cooperation with the fiscal institutions and guidelines of the Texas A&M University System to maintain the highest level of fiscal control, responsibility, risk management, and fiduciary duty.