EEP Visits Peru Project
by Anu Gupta
In September the PD/A CRSP External Evaluation Panel (EEP) undertook the second of three visits to CRSP sites by traveling to research and extension facilities in Peru. EEP members Kevan Main, Deputy Director of the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institutes Aquaculture Division, in Fort Pierce, Florida, and David Cummins, former Director of the Peanut CRSP, were joined by PD/A CRSP Director Hillary Egna and USAID Project Officer Harry Rea. The visitors toured host facilities at the Instituto de Investigaciones de la Amazonia Peruana (IIAP) and the Universidad Nacional de la Amazonia Peruana (UNAP), both in Iquitos, and the IIAP Quistococha research station, located outside Iquitos.
They were guided by Marcos De Jesus, the project Research Associate, and had the opportunity to meet host country project staff members Salvador Tello and Fernando Alcántara, as well as university administrators. By coincidence, Dennis del Castillo Torres, president of IIAP, was familiar with the work of the CRSPs, having previously collaborated with the Peanut, Soils Management, and SANREM (Sustainable Agriculture and Natural Resources Management) CRSPs in Africa. At Quistococha EEP members met with Palmira Padilla Perez, the IIAP aquaculturist, and other staff.
Members of the EEP were impressed with the project, particularly by researchers' and extensionists' use of resources, which are limited outside the capital city of Lima. They found that CRSP research using locally available species and diets, led by US Regional Coordinator Chris Kohler, put together with the efforts of local extension organizations, has directly aided local farmers.
In addition to visiting host country institutions, EEP members stopped by several nearby farms active in aquaculture. On these visits, they were guided by Marco Colace of Terra Nuova, an Italian nongovernmental organization that works with farmers along the Iquitos-Nauta road. EEP members found that the relationship between Terra Nuova and the CRSP, a linkage established by Adoption/Diffusion Project Leader Joe Molnar, has been particularly beneficial to farmers along the road. They also visited farmers along the Napo River.
This site visit was part of the five-year in-depth review process required by BIFAD (Board of International Food and Agriculture Development) guidelines. In June, the EEP visited sites in Thailand, and in November they will travel to Kenya. The review process will continue through the CRSP annual meeting in Orlando, Florida, in January 2001.