Abstracts on farming systems research and development[edit | edit source]

Acknowledgements[edit | edit source]

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Farming systems research and development

Review, book, indigenous knowledge, agricultural development, case studies, projects, decision-making systems, concepts, social systems, resource management, World Bank

1. Using indigenous knowledge in agricultural development.[edit | edit source]

World Bank Discussion Papers 127, Washington, D.C., USA,
ISBN 0-8213-1884-5, 1991, 34 p. + references

The success of a development project often depends on local participation. Familiarity with indigenous knowledge can help change agents understand and communicate with local people, enhancing the possibilities for participatory and sustainable approaches to development. This enables project staff and local people to work as partners in planning and implementing development activities.

This paper reviews three types of project scenarios: projects where local knowledge provided an improved approach to managing natural resources than proposed project technologies, projects that inadvertently ignored indigenous structures, and those projects whose success at meeting their objectives can be linked to the incorporation of indigenous knowledge components.

The World Bank, as well as numerous other development agencies, has been actively seeking ways of ensuring participatory decision-making, strengthening development capacity at the individual and institutional levels, and assuring long-term sustainability of the development process.

Ethnic groups in dozens of ecological zones have generated a vast body of indigenous natural-resource management and agricultural knowlege.

Collectively they represent a dynamic information base that has supported an immense population by adapting to constantly changing circumstances. These indigenous knowledge systems have been largely ignored in many developing countries.

Indigenous knowledge is a knowledge that is unique to a given culture or society. It is the basis for local-level decision-making in agriculture, health care, food preparation, education, natural-resource management, and a host of other activities in rural communities. Such knowledge is passed down from generation to generation, in many societies by word of mouth.

Indigenous technologies used effectively by one society can be used to solve problems faced by another society in a similar agroecosystem located in another part of the world.

Research indicates that the farmers' decisions to reject an innovation are often rational when viewed through the indigenous system.

Indigenous knowledge should result in an improved development, such as the higher incomes resulting from increased crop production due to better soil and water conservation resulting, f.e. from the use of Vetiveria grass.

Several types of indigenous knowledge and decision-making that are useful for development are outlined in this paper:

- Mixed cropping and forest gardens
- Indigenous technical knowledge of tree management
- The role of indigenous organizations in decision-making for development
- The management of common property natural resources
- Incorporating farmers' knowledge in international rice research
- Ethnoveterinary medicine
- Indigenous crop pest management
- Agriculture in Iowa

There are several key areas where development agencies can take a leading role in promoting use of indigenous knowledge for development.

These include support to systematically record and preserve indigenous knowledge for development efforts at national resource centers, provide training opportunities to incorporate indigenous knowledge components into educational institutions, conduct participatory research on indigenous knowledge systems, and establish systems for global networking and electronic exchange of indigenous knowledge. The following suggestions are discussed in more detail in this paper.

- Biodiversity and indigenous knowledge
- Global network of indigenous knowledge resource centers
- Research on indigenous knowledge systems
- Global networking for indigenous knowledge and development

Particulary global networking as carried out f.e. by ILEIA is an important method to incorporate indigenous knowledge systems and enhance the technology transfer.

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Farming systems research and development

Review, on-farm research, case studies, surveys, USA, sustainable agriculture, low-input systems, strategies, holistic approach, sustainable practices, sample selection procedures

2. On-farm sustainable agriculture research: lessons from the past, directions for the future.[edit | edit source]

J. of Sustainable Agriculture, 1, (2), 1991, pp. 43-87

The unique roles of on-farm research in assisting with the development of sustainable agriculture are outlined in this article.

On-farm research, as used in this article, pertains to scientifically-designed investigations undertaken on the field of commercial farmers. The research may pertain to only some or all crop and livestock enterprises on particular farms. On-farm research is intended to be distinct from on-farm demonstrations in which improved technologies developed on-station are tried out on farmers' fields.

Demonstrations usually do not involve formal replications or other required features for the statistical analysis of data collected.

In detail the following aspects are dealt with in this paper:

- Systems nature of sustainable farming
- Strategies to effectively address issues in sustainable agriculture
- Unique roles of on-farm research in assisting the development of sustainable agriculture
- Documenting existing sustainable practices and experiences
- Experimenting with new sustainable practices/enterprises
- Issues for consideration in the next generation of on-farm research
- Comparative tests of sustainable and conventional farms
- Partnership among university specialists, private organizations, and farmers in the design and conduct of on-farm research.

Applied to sustainable agriculture, on-farm research can be used for

- documenting the sustainable practices and experiences of commercial sustainable farmers and
- experimenting with new sustainable practices/enterprises on the fields of commercial farmers.

The systems nature of sustainable agriculture requires the strategic use of:

- multidisciplinary research teams;
- whole-farm, holistic analasis;
- long-term research programs
- and "synthetic" as well as analytic approaches.

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Farming systems research and development

Review, manual, developing countries, market research, sustainable development, culturally-adapted research, sociology, economics

3. A manual for culturally-adapted market research (cmr) in the development process.[edit | edit source]

Publ. of Grant, 40 Babbage Road, Roseville Chase, N.S.W.2064, Australia; 1991, AD 12.00 + AD 2.00 for postage

This manual outlines how CMR promotes participatory development by eliciting the views from the ultimate users of developmental activities.

It concentrates on adapting established market research methods to the setting of different Third World cultures. In doing so it should help to fill the gap which presently exists in the available development literature relating not only to user research but also how to make it culture-specific.

Apart from international, national and non-governmental developmental agencies, the manual will be of interest to administrators and implementors of development programmes, development planners, politicians, educationalists and Third World market researchers.

The manual is organized as follows:

Part I discusses not only the reasons why CMR has to become an integral part of the development process, but also why existing evaluation procedures have largely failed to increase the rate of project successes and how CMR can help to improve project efficiency.

Part II outlines relevant established market research methods and provides guidelines for their use in the development process.

Part III sets out by means of key cultural variables how market research can be culturally adapted.

Part IV suggests a model structure to integrate CMR into developmental activities.

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Farming systems research and development

Review, book, environment, natural resources, holistic approach, soil fertility, development policy, resource degradation, stabilization, strategies, price policy, subsidies, fiscal policies, land tenure systems, agricultural trade, GDI

4. Environmentally compatible agricultural development. Resource, food and income security as a task for development and structural policy.[edit | edit source]

Publ. of German Development Institute (GDI); Berlin; 1992, 56 p. + notes

The disastrous combination of rapid population growth, under development and dwindling resources on the one hand and advancing industrialization and climatic change due to pollutants on the other calls for a change of attitude towards nature.

The value attached to nature and the organization of economic activities that use its dwindling resources need to be reconsidered. Given the multicausal linkages, this needs to be done at all levels of the economy and in almost all spheres of life in both industrialized and developing countries.

The application of purely economistic and, therefore, reductionist models to land development in the tropics and subtropics with their particularly fragile ecosystems, has had devastating effects on the natural balance, causing erosion, soil salination, soil and landscape degradation, disastrous droughts or flooding. The economic, social and demographic consequences of such anthropogenic processes of land destruction and of the climatogenic processes closely associated with them are declining yield capacities, increasing poverty and the uprooting of sections of the population, as more and more people flee the effects of environmental destruction to seek food and a living elsewhere.

Production and consumption should therefore increasingly form part of substance and energy cycles which preserve resources and that agriculture should again develop more as a form of site-specific production based on regional comparative economic-ecological cost advantages.

Agricultural development, whether in the South, where its destructive impact on the land tends to be determined by the system, or in the agricultural economies of the North, whose adverse effects on the environment tend to be compulsive, is causing rising environmental costs. In the former case, these largely consist of on-farm costs in the shape of losses of yield and output due to sheet erosion, soil salination, soil degradation or nutrient leaching; in the latter case, they consist largely of "external costs" in the shape of surface and ground water pollution, land clearance, the loss of species or the contamination of food products with chemical residues. In the debate on global warming the agricultural economies of both North and South are, moreover, accused of increasing emissions of carbon dioxide and methane due to mechanization, large-scale livestock farming and the growing of lowland rice.

If there is to be an economic-ecological and innovative-organizational move towards the progressive application of ecological standards in agriculture and forestry, a number of basic conditions will need to be met at national and international level. These conditions are outlined in this paper.

Resource stabilization and food and income security are unlikely to be achieved with individual promotional instruments, but rather as a complementary task of measures taken under price, innovation, structural and trade policies. Agricultural development policies that are socially, economically and ecologically balanced may therefore emerge from the interplay among:

- national reforms of agricultural structures and prices based on economic-ecological principles,
- international commitments to internalize environmental costs in agriculture and
- a local commitment by each producer to use resources in a way that is compatible with the environment.

Agricultural development policies compatible with nature will therefore be able to prove themselves in practice only in the long term, in keeping with the general demand for globally responsible thinking and conception and locally responsible action to the benefit of the environment and international society.

Author's summary, shortened.

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Farming systems research and development

Review, USA, sustainable agriculture, downstream perspective, soil erosion control, property rights

5. The economics of sustainable agriculture: adding a downstream perspective.[edit | edit source]

J. of Sustainable Agriculture, 2, 1992, pp. 75-87

The objectives of this downstream perspective and assessment of the economics of sustainable agriculture in this paper are:

- to explain to a general audience (broader than economists) that sustainability from an economic perspective as a minimum requires accounting for both on and off-site effects of economic activity;
- to focus on soil erosion and related water quality impacts (including changing property rights) as the major sub-set of downstream economics of alternative farming systems, and
- to present some empirical results and policy implications of Ohio downstream impacts which would seem to be generalizable to many other settings.

More empirical evidence is needed regarding on-site and downstream costs (particularly groundwater contamination) and returns of alternative tillage and rotation systems if socially optimal systems are to be identified. The evidence to date suggests that on average downstream costs of soil erosion are not trivial and that they exceed the average on-site costs of soil erosion. This implies that some form of tax, subsidy, technical assistance or regulatory intervention may be appropriate and necessary. The evidence also suggests that downstream costs per unit of soil loss can vary dramatically from site to site.

This points to the extreme importance of targeting control measures.

The empirical evidence on the economics of soil erosion to date suggests the following for consideration:

- Further research and extension of information to farmers on sustainable reduced tillage and expanded rotation systems which reduce downstream costs without reducing profitability to the farmer.
- More comprehensive research on downstream costs of soil erosion and related chemical contamination of water and identification of any strong correlated or proxies, e.g., population, existence of harbors, density of private wells, etc. for these impacts.
- Taxes on the inputs, such as nitrogen (e.g., N without inhibitors) and selected pesticides (e.g., Atrazine) which have been most problematic in surface and groundwater contamination to at least provide revenues for further research.

In sum, more comprehensive economic assessment, particularly of the downstream costs and benefits of alternative farming systems, is likely to favour those systems that are less erosive and chemically intensive.

This in turn leads to the need to reassess the entitlements and property rights related to alternative farming systems and their downstream impacts. Evidence to date suggests shifts in favour of the impacted downstream users and these trends will probably continue. Thus, sustainable agriculture is an idea that is currently ecologically, and in many cases, economically attractive. In addition, its future economic attractiveness is likely to increase.

1044 92 - 2/128

Farming systems research and development

Review, agricultural research, monitoring and evaluation, impact assessment, guidelines, evaluation concepts, terms, ISNAR

6. Monitoring and evaluation in the management of agricultural research.[edit | edit source]

ISNAR Working Paper No. 14; Int. Service for Nat. Agric. Research (ISNAR), The Hague, Netherlands, 1988, 29 pp.

This paper introduces the general topic of monitoring and evaluation, including a brief definition of terms, and the functional roles of different types of evaluation in research systems.

It provides the framework for the development of a series of materials on the comprehensive topic of monitoring and evaluation.

Research managers have become increasingly aware of the importance of installing M/E procedures into their organizations, but the successfulness of these efforts has been mixed.

Monitoring and evaluation are not new concepts. Yet research institutes have had little success in integrating effective M/E into their organizations.

Many different terms are used in the literature to describe the methods and techniques used in program evaluation. The central features of all these approaches are that they are analyses of program processes, not just program content. They have implications for improving efficiency and effectiveness. They include quantitative and qualitative techniques.

Most research programs in developing countries are responsive to larger development objectives. A comprehensive program evaluation should include, therefore, representatives from development and extension organizations, and a mechanism for bringing user feedback into the process. Program evaluations may also include representatives from planning and finance ministries, depending on the size and importance of the program.

The best key indicators of project performance are objective, quantifiable, and unambiguous. They can be verified if necessary. A good monitoring system is not more time consuming than the benefits justify, collects no superfluous data, is timely in data analysis, interpretation, and feedback, and is useful to researchers.

This paper does not attempt to cover the monitoring and evaluation procedures associated with personnel appraisal and financial and administrative management. These topics are considered in other ISNAR papers on human resource management and in general management literature.

This paper underlines the importance of integrating monitoring and evaluation into routine management practices, so that they are viewed by both those conducting evaluations and those being evaluated as tools for improving research.

In addition to the main text there is an annex which more thoroughly discusses the evaluation of ongoing research, largely through annual reviews and comprehensive program reviews.

The annex has tried to illustrate the importance of integrating monitoring and evaluation activities into day-to-day management practices in national research organizations. It concentrated on the internal monitoring and evaluation which should take place for ongoing research, and focuses primarily on the necessary reporting requirements of the researchers themselves.

The ISNAR working papers series is a flexible instrument for sharing analysis and information about relevant organization and management problems of the agricultural research systems in developing countries.

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Farming systems research and development

Review, Africa, agricultural development, institutions, colonial period, post independence period, national agricultural research, sustainability, ISNAR

7. Sustainable institutions for african agricultural development.[edit | edit source]

ISNAR Working Paper No. 19; Int. Service for Nat. Agric. Research (ISNAR), The Hague, Netherlands, 1989, 26 pp. + annex

The thesis of this paper is that after a third of a century of independence, many African states are several generations behind Asia and Latin America in terms of their stage of scientific, political, and institutional maturity.

It is hypothesized that the stage of institutional maturity of individual African states will play a critical role in determining the type, amount, and sequence of foreign aid that can be absorbed with integrity. But most donors normally ignore the stage of institutional maturity of individual African states and prepare a continent-wide strategy to strengthen institutions such as a national agricultural research system or a national extension service.

What flows from Africa's agricultural research history over the past 60 years is the simple but powerful proposition that current institution-building strategies and lending approaches that are effective in Asia and Latin America will have to be sharply modified to fit the earlier stage of development of many countries in Africa. In addition, because of the differential stages of development between

African countries, institution-building approaches in middle-income countries in Africa, such as Zimbabwe and Cameron, are likely to fail in Guinea, Chad, Burundi, Somalia, Uganda, and Ethiopia.

A subregional strategy should be prepared to strengthen the three core national agricultural services--research, training, and extension--for each of the five major agroecologies: Sahel, coastal West Africa,

Central Africa, Eastern Africa and the Horn, and Southern Africa. Each strategy should include basic concepts research networks to link researchers in NARS with regional and international institutes.

The subregional approach to research planning has the potential of capturing research spillovers. But to implement such an approach, African states and donors must deal with some complex political issues limiting the development of sustainable institutions.

The paper is organized as follows:

Chapter I: Introduction
Chapter II: The African development context
Chapter III: Institutions and African development
Chapter IV: Institutional development during the colonial period: 1930-1959
Chapter V: Institutional development during the post- independence period: 1960-1988
Chapter VI: Longer-term issues to ponder: 1990-2020
Chapter VII: Reflections on the World Bank's strategy to strengthen NARS in Africa
Chapter VIII: Implications for African States, donors and ISNAR

Summarizing this paper presents some thoughts on the development of sustainable institutions for African agricultural development. The focus is on strengthening the three core institutions research, training, and extension that form the institutional base of agriculture. Primary attention is devoted to strengthening national agricultural research systems (NARS), and secondary attention, to training and extension.

The ISNAR working paper series is a flexible instrument for sharing analysis and information about relevant organizational and management problems of the agricultural research systems in developing countries.

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Farming systems research and development

Review, human resource management, agricultural research, planning, training, ISNAR

8. Human resource management for national agricultural research: lessons from ISNAR's experience.[edit | edit source]

ISNAR Working Paper No. 18; Int. Service for Nat. Agric. Research, The Hague, Netherlands; 1988, 18 pp. + annex

This paper reviews ISNAR's experience in helping national agricultural research systems (NARS).

Thebetter manage their human resources and identifies key lessons from that experience.

The paper is intended for the generalist agricultural research manager and discusses some key concerns and lessons. The underlying premise is that all managers and supervisors need to become adapt in effectively and efficiently managing their human resources.

This paper is divided into three parts:

- Overview and highlights of ISNAR's experience by major area,
- lessons from this experience, and
- conclusion.

The diversity of approaches used by ISNAR is illustrated by a few examples.

In many of these countries, the conditions of service of researchers have been reviewed in detail, with attention given to such items as grade structures, personnel costs as a proportion of the recurrent budget, salary differentials etc..

ISNAR has recently documented fresh evidence that the number of researchers in developing countries has more than doubled in the past 20 years, well ahead of the growth in recurrent expenditures for agricultural research during the same period. In many countries the need for additional scientists remains substantial, but the potential supply from academic institutions is variable in quality and quantity as well.

In the future, it will be essential that the NARS first undertake strategic planning and then set priorities, formulate programs, and estimate manpower requirements.

Recent ISNAR experience indicates also a few concerns, which are outlined in this paper.

In terms of the broader areas, problems of efficiently managing growth of manpower, research programs, and training institutions are likely to remain high on the agenda of most NARS.

Under conditions of scarce financial resources coupled with the pressing need for producing and delivering useful research some hard choices involving shifts in strategy, reduction of marginal programs, redeployment of personnel, restructuring of organizations, and rationalization of research station networks will be inevitable.

1047 92 - 2/131

Farming systems research and development

Review, agricultural research, technology transfer, developing countries, linkage mechanisms, evaluation criteria, political factors, technical factors, oganizational factors, ISNAR

9. A conceptual framework for studying the links between agricultural research and technology transfer in developing countries.[edit | edit source]

ISNAR LINKAGES Theme Paper No. 1; Int. Service for Nat. Agric. Research, The Hague, Netherlands; 1989, 28 pp. + references

This paper synthesizes the contributions of seven papers commissioned by ISNAR as part of an international project to study the links between agricultural research and technology transfer.

In particular, the paper addresses four basic questions:

- What linkage mechanisms exist and what are their characteristics?
- What contextual factors influence which linkage mechanisms are appropriate to use and how?
- Which of these contextual factors can be controlled or influenced by policy makers and leaders of research and technology transfer institutions?
- What limitations do contextual factors impose upon the use of linkage mechanisms?

ISNAR initiated a major international comparative study on the links between agricultural research and technology transfer in developing countries. This study was developed in response to requests from agricultural research managers for advice in this area.

Many institutions have noted the problem of poor links between research and technology transfer in developing countries.

This framework is the subject of this paper, and represents the first phase of the ISNAR study. It is the result of 18 months spent synthesizing the experts' contributions and reviewing the available literature.

This framework should help leaders of research systems find out what paths exist and where they lead. The specific routes to guaranteed improved performance are not yet known, but this paper gives some indications of their general direction. It opens with an elaboration of the key concepts of the framework, and then discusses the criteria for evaluating performance. This is followed by analyses of the political, technical and organizational factors which affect linkage mechanisms in the development and transfer of agricultural technology.

Experience has shown, however, that it is impossible to come up with a set of general recommendations which would be appropriate in all circumstances. Solutions which work well in one context perform poorly in others.

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Farming systems research and development

Case studies, Africa, Asia, Latin America, on-farm research, extension, linkage problem, sustainability, ISNAR

10. Linkages between on-farm research and extension in nine countries.[edit | edit source]

OFCOR Comparative Study No.4; Int. Service for Nat. Agric. Research, The

Hague, Netherlands, 28 pp. + references

ISNAR initiated a major study on the organization and management of on-farm, client-oriented research (OFCOR) in national agricultural research systems (NARS).

In this study, OFCOR programs are analyzed in terms of the functions OFCOR can perform within the larger research and extension process.

The intention is to provide a body of practical experience upon which research managers can draw as they strive to strengthen OFCOR as an integral part of their research systems.

The study focuses directly on the issues of implementation and institutionalization.

By region, the countries studied are:

- Latin America: Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama
- Africa: Senegal, Zambia, Zimbabwe
- Asia: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal

The case studies provide important insights and lessons on the general issues, as well as specific guidance for research policy and the organization and management of OFCOR in their countries.

The cases reflect a variety of institutional settings and strategies for introducing and developing OFCOR. They also reflect the broad range of models used in the organization and management of OFCOR. The profiles outlined highlight the features of each case.

The study is organized as follows:

- In Chapter 1, the relationship between on-farm research and extension is contrasted in three countries - Guatemala, Nepal and Zambia.
- Chapter 2 draws on evidence from all nine countries to analyze the experience with six mechanisms for linking on-farm research and extension.
- Chapter 3 points out the lessons that emerge from the case studies for research managers using on-farm research as a means of strengthening the links between research and extension.

The case studies report several examples of links between research and extension that have not lasted.

The most successful cases of institutionalization are those where links have been forged simultaneously at several levels of the administrative hierarchies of the organizations involved. Good cooperation at the field level is impossible to sustain unless regular opportunities to meet and work together are actively supported by management.

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Farming systems research and development

Review, agricultural research, resource-poor farmer, farmer participation, research management, ISNAR

11. Resource-poor farmer participation in research: a synthesis of experiences from nine national agricultural research systems.[edit | edit source]

OFCOR Comparative Study Paper No. 3; Int. Service for Nat. Agric. Research, The Hague, Netherlands; 1989, 34 pp. + references

This paper is a result of a collaborative group effort. It is based on the case studies prepared for the ISNAR study on organization and management of on-farm client-oriented research in national agricultural research systems.

This paper reviews the experiences of resource-poor farmer participation in the agricultural research process and draws out lessons for agricultural research managers. Participation in this context is seen as the involvement of farmers in research activities as clients, colleagues, partners, planners, and evaluators in the research process.

The paper reviews the experiences of nine national agricultural research systems: Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, Senegal, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Nepal. In these countries, resource-poor farmers have been designated as major clients of research and all have had major on-farm client-oriented research (OFCOR) efforts in operation for several years. One of the principal objectives of these programs has been to promote participation of resource-poor farmers in research. This has been stressed because it increases the cost-effectiveness of research and helps keep research priorities focused on the clients.

The analysis is divided into four chapters. The first chapter looks at the types of farmer participation in research in the country case studies. A typology of four modes of participation (contract, consultative, collaborative, and collegial) is used to differentiate the ways in which resource-poor farmers participate in research programs.

The typology has implications for management and some of these are briefly described. The OFCOR programs in the country case studies are then described, with particular reference to the nature of participation. Modes of participation are subject to development policy, national agricultural research policy, institutional context, and changes in research methodology. Some of the ways in which these factors have contributed to changes in programs are considered.

Chapter 2 discusses the levels at which resource-poor farmers and scientists interact, looking in particular at the village, national, and regional levels. The complex and often difficult circumstances at the village level have implications for managers; and several aspects of these are discussed, including bias, the status and role of scientific staff, local politicians, community representatives, and the staff of extension and development agencies. These factors contribute to the way in which a research program is implemented; they are crucial to the nature and extent of resource-poor farmer participation.

A major part of chapter 3 discusses meetings between researchers and resource-poor farmers as an important complement to trials and surveys.

Such meetings require careful design and clear objectives if the resources allocated to working with farmers are to be used efficiently and effectively. Farmers can be involved in meetings in a number of ways. These are set out, bearing in mind the location-specificity and nature of the research program. The case studies show considerable experimenting with different types of meetings to improve farmers participation; some of those at the village and national level are described.

The fourth chapter draws out lessons and implications for research managers. It concludes by placing emphasis on the need to support local research practitioners in finding ways to develop new methods and techniques for increasing the participation of resource-poor farmers.

One of the most important findings from this study is that research practitioners have been innovative and have developed a wide variety of mechanisms to involve farmers in the research process.

Support must be given to local researchers, and funds must be allocated for communicating experiences with farmer participation among researchers in different regions and in different countries.

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Farming systems research and development

Review, Africa, Asia, Latin America, Senegal, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama, case studies, on-farm research, organisation, management, ISNAR

12. Organization and management of field activities in on-farm research: A review of experience in nine countries.[edit | edit source]

OFCOR Comparative Study No. 2, Int. Service for Nat. Agric. Research, The Hague, Netherlands, 1988, 42 pp. + annex

ISNAR initiated a major study on the organization and management of on-farm, client-oriented research (OFCOR) in national agricultural research systems (NARS).

The objective is to analyze the critical organizational and managerial factors which influence how national research institutes can develop and sustain OFCOR programs to realize their specific policies and goals.

This paper is one of a series comparing and analyzing the concrete experiences with OFCOR of national institutes in the nine countries studied. It is focused on how the field staffs have been organized, both in relation to other parts of the system and internally. It analyzes how the research process has been managed, and the procedures used for planning, programming and review. The organizational implications and management requirements of different methodologies are discussed, although it has not been a goal of the study to evaluate the effectiveness or efficiency of different research methods, or to assess their impact.

Closely related topics are analyzed in separate papers: the linkages between on-farm and on-station research, the experience of the participation of farmers, and the linkages between OFCOR and extension institutions.

This paper has concentrated on a limited set of issues directly related to the organization and management of the field research personnel and their activities. General lessons drawn from the experience of the case studies are summarized in this paper:

- Improving focus on the targeted clients
- Selecting collaborators
- Maintaining an interdisciplinary perspective
- Sustaining feedback
- Administering field operations
- Providing leadership

On the basis of the experience it is accepted that no package of technology, no matter how high its yields or economic returns on an experiment station, will necessarily out-perform current varieties and practices under farmers' conditions. A technology which is heavily dependent on inputs from outside of the immediate region, and which is very sensitive to hazards and variations in the environment will not be sustainable on small farms.

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Farming systems research and development

Africa, agricultural development, analysis, socio-political model, land holding systems, demographic aspects, housing, food, land exploitation, education, extension, research, administration, social integration, CTA

13. Social and human dimensions of agricultural development in africa in the perspective of the year 2000 (dimensions sociales et humaines du developpement agricole de l'Afrique dans la perspective de l'an 2000. ).[edit | edit source]

In: Agriculture in the Year 2000 - The Case of ACP-Countries; Proc. of an Int. Forum: Green Government and CTA, Netherlands, ISBN 92-9081-0440, 1990, pp. 99-104

A theoretical analysis of this phenomenon has already shown that the economic - technological approach to development is insufficient if there is no concurrent reference to the socio-political framework, because development efforts are essentially social actions geared to a certain type of society which they are trying to change.

Experience has shown how important the above mentioned dimensions are since they are decisive for development, particularly in agricultural regions of a traditional nature, as is the case in Africa.

With other words, in every development effort in sub-Saharan countries, the social and, more generally, the human dimensions of the undertaking constitute a fundamental problem. In agricultural areas, and taking into account the specific local context, these aspects constitute a key problem.

And yet, the social and human factors are always more or less neglected, at the same time, nearly all the attention is focused on the financial, technological and technocratic factors.

The author explains that it is thus impossible to speak specifically about social and human dimensions of agricultural developement as evidenced by the historical reality of each African country.

The only thing that is attempted, is to try to approach the problem within the context of an abstract socio-political model of a qualitative nature elaborated in stages and based on common or related features of the countries in question. The practical utility of such a model lies in the fact that it represents a reference value. By comparing the model with the situation prevailing in a given country differences and similarities to the model enables observations on the fabric and internal dynamics of the social structures of the country. Furthermore by comparing the existing social structures of the society in question with the social infrastructure dictated by the chosen type of development, it is possible to ascertain discrepancies and identify the necessary measures to be taken in order to reconcile the two.

Such an attempt calls for a multi-dimensioned analysis.

The levels of observation and analysis necessary to the construction of an integrated rural development model in Africa are described.

This model emphasizes the distance between North and South which is increasing. If this gap is not closed, not only will the misery of poor nations persist, but there will be greater danger for world peace through new wars.

The theoretical sociological model of their current development conditions which has been described allows:

- a description of their deficiencies and needs which have to be faced, from the sociological angle,
- the formulation of a series of measures which are required by social and human considerations and which can contribute to the general effort in connection with economic, organizational and technological measures,
- the confirmation that action for development must follow efficient planning.

The planning must prescribe measures for the development of every sector of life, as well as measures for the appropriate combination of their dynamics.

This paper is rather theoretical and the whole effort described above is difficult to accomplish.

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Farming systems research and development

Review, book, Africa, Ghana, study, ethnic group, social system, traditional society, ecology, religion, spiritual interaction, cooperation

14. Nature and society.[edit | edit source]

Diss. Univ. Mnnster, FRG; Verlag P. Lang GmbH, Abt. WB, Postf. 940225, DW 6000 Frankfurt/M. 90; ISBN 3-631-45235-7, 1993, 264 pp.; price DM 74,--

The Tallensi, an ethnic group of 60.000 people who are mainly farmers on a subsistence level, are considered as a paradigma for a stateless society, which organizes its social life on a highly decentralized basis

- a "tribe without rulers".
This was the research result of the widely known British social anthropologist Meyer Fortes who did his field research among the Tallensi in the mid 30s of this century. Since then British colonial rule and since 1957 the state of Ghana were established. The Tallensi were confronted with the effects of development aid and christian mission became significant not only for the Tallensi but for all the other ethnic groups in the semiarid parts of Northern Ghana.

What impact did all these changes have on the political system of the Tallensi?

This was the main question the author had when he started a 32-months research stay among the Tallensi in 1986. During that time he was living in a local extended family, doing participant observation.

With this work the question has been answered how the Tallensi were able to keep up their political system and egalitarian social structure and to fit it into changing social situations. By a detailed description of the Tallensi-Festivals he works out the significance of "nature" (hunting, fishing, food) as a counterpart to "culture" (agriculture, village life, clan relations).

This work gives an interesting view "from inside" how an ethnic group has developed certain social techniques of keeping the social and economical equilibrium. The book offers an important contribution to the discussion wheather stateless societies are per se ecological societies which live "in harmony with nature and environment". One of the social effects is that egalitarian societies can only keep up their social system by religious and spiritual interactions which are based on a solidarical and equal cooperation of all the segments of the ethnic group.

This book is clearly written and well worth the attention of those interested in traditional societies which live in harmony with nature and environment. The book is highly recommended for scientific audiences and practicioners looking to extend their general awareness of this exciting area.

1053 92 - 2/137

Farming systems research and development

Review, Latin America, Peru, Caribbean, Haiti, sustainable development, theory and practice, key terms, fragile lands, poverty, policy, technology, institutions, interventions, watershed development, integrated approach, environment education, extension, conservation,

15. Development of fragile lands: theory and practice.[edit | edit source]

Publ. of Developm. Strategies for Fragile Lands (DESFIL), Washington, USA; prepared for U.S.Agency for Int. Development, USA; 1988, 21 pp.

In this paper the author attempts to synthesize an integrated approach to the sustainable development of fragile lands.

The paper is divided into four sections:

- In the first the author deals with the problem of terminology and suggest definitions that will capture the breadth and complexity of the issues under discussion.
- In the second section, the causal factors in the creation of fragile lands will be briefly described.
- In the third, the DESFIL approach is presented, in both theory and practice, recent experience in Latin America and the Caribbean is discussed.
- In the final section, a set of guidelines for an integrated approach to the resolution of fragile lands issues, specifically, the sustainable development of such lands, is provided.

Concluding, the integrated approach is briefly outlined. Such an approach includes:

- Political commitment, policy, and planning:

If such an approach is to have any chance of success, there must be a commitment on the part of national governments. Such a commitment must be demonstrated through the enactment of appropriate policies and development strategies and provision of the necessary resources to implement them.

- Technological interventions, adaptive research, and monitoring:

Enough is known about technological interventions, using both western and indigenous models, to improve the sustainability of present land-use systems. Many of the possible technical interventions are site-specific and must be adapted to the prevailing environmental conditions. There is no standard technical package that can be extended, just as there is no standard way of disseminating these interventions, since they must be adapted to prevailing social and political conditions. Of equal importance, however, is the need to monitor the effectiveness of these technological interventions and, whenever it is necessary, to modify them.

- Institutional strengthening and coordination:

Public sector institutions dealing with fragile lands issues are often weak and fragmented - whether they are in the Ministry of Planning, the Ministry of Agriculture, or the Ministry of Natural Resources. The necessary conditions for their strengthening include political commitment, the availability of resources, as well as the required technical competence.

- Enhancing local organizational capacity:

Local organizations of farmers and their families fulfill important functions in the sustainable development of fragile lands by acting as vehicles. Equally important in this connection are the NGOs working in natural resources management, which often serve an intermediary function as indigenous grassroots support organizations.

- Environmental education and extension:

This is the most realistic and practical way of disseminating what is known about fragile lands issues to those most affected by them. It is also the first step in translating this knowledge into action.

- Conservation and development:

There is no essential contradiction between sustainable economic development and conservation of the natural resource base.

Potential activities include nature tourism, natural-forest management, game cropping, and sustainable extraction of minor forest products.

1054 92 - 2/138

Farming systems research and development

Review, book, agricultural research, network effects, sustainable development, national agricultural research systems, ICRISAT, IDRC

16. Agricultural research networks as development tools: views of a network coordinator.[edit | edit source]

Copublication of the Int. Development Research Ottawa, (IDRC), Canada and the Int. Crops Res. Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics; India; ISBN 92-9066-205-0, 1991, 108 pp., LDC: USD 7.50, HDL: USD 18.30

An Agricultural Research Network (ARNET) is a cluster of scientists or institutions linked together by a common interest in working dependently or interdependently on an identified shared problem or problems. ARNETs are popular with agricultural research scientists, administrators, and donors as tools to strengthen the research capability of national agricultural research systems (NARSs) and to identify, address, and solve farmers' problems.

An effective network will overcome isolation, facilitate sharing of research information and ideas, help reduce unnecessary duplication, provide the critical mass of effort needed to give quick answers to pressing problems, and hasten scientific breakthroughs.

ARNETs have five important components: membership, research, coordination, communication, and assets.

Networks are dynamic and responsive to changing needs in agricultural systems.

There are many types of ARNETs depending on the problems that need to be addressed, the membership and its requirements, the extent of coordination available or needed, the research strategy developed, and the assets available.

The author shares in this book the results of his search to understand the workings, benefits, costs, and pitfalls of networks and he provides information from his own experience and that of others to help those wishing to organize and operate ARNETs.

This book is highly recommended for all those working in international development.

1055 92 - 2/139

Farming systems research and development

Review, book, economics, price distorsions, market intervention, protection measures, income gap measures, aggregation, sensitivity, domestic resource costs, policy relevance, FAO

17. Measures of protection: methodology, economic interpretation and policy relevance.[edit | edit source]

FAO Economic and Social Development Paper No. 84; FAO, Rome, Italy; ISBN 92-5-102859-1; 1989, 58 pp. + appendices

This paper analyzes the properties and the policy significance of the measures of protection currently used by economists in a variety of national and international situations.

The main objective of the paper is to define a set of operational rules to measure the extent and the consequences of government market interventions, with a view to provide guidance for the evaluation of structural adjustment policies involving movements to freer trade. This objective is pursued through a survey of the different measures and of the underlying theoretical constructions and a review of their implications for economic policy.

The paper is oganized as follows: the first section describes the problem area and the possible theoretical approaches and classifies the measures into the three categories of the "price gap", income gap" and "real income gap", according to whether they measure price, incomes or welfare differences due to protection. These three gap measures are reviewed in the second, the third and the fourth section.

Summarizing and concluding the following has been stated:

- Measures of protection have been devised with the two-fold objective of quantifying trade distortions through the measurement of its effects on several economic variables: prices, value added, exchange rates, producers and consumers welfare, government income. More recently general equilibrium models have attempted to measure effects on wages, employment and growth.

- All the measures were born conceptually within the single country context. That is, they measure the effects of single or multiple government interventions by comparing the level of a single variable
(e.g. domestic price of a particular commodity) after the intervention with the level that the same variable would have taken without the specific intervention.

- Measures of protection can also be classified in the two categories of "ex ante" and "ex post" measures, according to whether they refer to presumptive or first round effects, or to real comparisons with and without protection. The "ex ante" measures can be easily performed only for tariffs, taxes and subsidies, while the "ex post" ones, based on real price comparisons, can be used for all government interventions, including quantitative restrictions.

Measures of protection can be a valuable tool for policy making, provided that they are used with caution. Both ex ante and ex post measures should be used in the policy process of structural adjustment for different tasks: the ex ante measures to agree on the removal of tariff levels and other specifications, the ex post measures to evaluate priorities and set monitorable targets.

1056 92 - 2/140

Farming systems research and development

Review, bibliographies, Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Zambia, women, development CTA

18. Women in development in southern africa; an annotated bibliography.[edit | edit source]

Publ. of the Centre Technique de Cooperation Agricole et Rurale (CTA), Postbus 380, 6700 A.J. Wageningen, Netherlands.


92-908-1084-X; VOL. IV ZAMBIA COMPILED BY M. MISENGO AND K.L. CHANDA, 78 pp., ISBN 92 909-81085-8

Women in development in Southern Africa is the series title of a four-volume bibliography which covers Botswana (Volume I), Lesotho (Volume II), Malawi (Volume III) and Zambia (Volume IV). The proposal to compile a bibliography of women in development was made in 1987 at the workshop on Agricultural Information Sources held in Malawi and sponsored by CTA. Participants, conscious of the growing awareness of the indispensable role of women in development, expressed interest in undertaking this project, a project which CTA agreed to sponsor.

Each volume contains an annotated list of authors. There are over 300 entries in the Botswana volume which include both published and unpublished material. The entries have been divided into eleven broad subjects including agriculture, health and welfare, legal rights, economic development and education. Within each subject area the entries are arranged alphabetically according to the author. Each entry is numbered and contains detailed bibliographic information and, in most cases, this is followed by a description of the publication. The other three volumes follow the same basic format.

The bibliographies are aimed at researchers, extension workers, development personnel, teachers and trainers. They bring together all the available material on issues concerning women and development in the four countries.

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Farming systems research and development

Review, book, developing countries, industrialized countries, resource guide, women, organization, rural development, health, migration, tourism, education, communication

19. Women in development: a resource guide for organization and action.[edit | edit source]

ISIS Internat. Inf. and Comm. Service; Intermediate Technology Publications Ltd., 103-105 Southampton Row, London WC1B 4 HH, UK; ISBN 1-85339-105-0, 1991, 226 pp., UKL 12.95, paperback

For too long now policy-makers and decision-makers attempting to consider women's needs where development plans and policies are concerned, have ignored a basic principle. They have failed to consult the organizations and groups that have been set up for and by the women themselves. In the past this has led to development which has at best neglected or, at worst, been detrimental to women.

Women's experiences of development, their struggles for rights, for the adequate supply of basic needs such as food, water, shelter, health and education, and their continued ability to mobilize and organize themselves successfully in order to execute change, must be recognized if any serious debate on the issues surrounding women and development is to take place.

'Women in development' is a guide which offers some answers written by women, for women, in both developing and industrialized countries. It examines the insights that women themselves have brought to the debate, with specific attention to the following areas: multinationals; rural development; health; migration and tourism; education and communication.

Abstract from SPORE

1058 92 - 2/142

Farming systems research and development

Africa, women, economics, rural areas, income generation, employment, poverty, FAO, UNESCO

20. Income generation and african rural women: choice or mere neglect.[edit | edit source]

In: FAO Economic and Social Development Series No. 44, FAO, Rome, Italy, 1988, pp. 143-154

This article aims to examine the economic outlook and conditions of rural areas in Africa, with particular attention to the income/employment and attitudes of women. It explores those critical issues that deal with the continuing and long-term impact of unemployment and underemployment and poverty, as well as examining those forces that play a part in the development of the rural woman's image and status.

Women in Africa actively pursue economic endeavours in related farm-and non-farm activities to supplement the little they receive from farming.

Women's rural non-farm activities are generally aimed at income or employment generation and are visible all over the continent. Trading and marketing constitute two key areas of these economic pursuits.

Modern economic parameters have assigned women to inferior placements in the rural framework, primarily as a result of the process of modernization.

In addition to the obstacles of modernization, limited access to land and related resources; lack of control over their own labour; and lack of mobility because of family responsibilities and social and cultural restrictions have to be mentioned.

A set of recommendations for income-generating projects are mentioned:

- It is essential for women to change their attitudes and venture into more lucrative areas that are at present taboo.

- For example, the West African "market mammies" are famous for their economic control in the fishing industry.

- Capital or credit facilities must be created to help women with economic initiatives.

- Expanding income opportunities for skills/trade for women means expanding indigenous productive skill areas or popular skill attractions (tailoring, poultry-keeping, dairy production) through more systematic and organized marketing schemes. This is because markets do not expand fast enough and new markets must be sought.

Traditional skill areas will have to be therefore more vigorously enriched and organized (quality control, production schedule, product-symmetry-shape, size, colour) to serve as real income-generating projects.

- Women require and should obtain more training in terms of mental change, and also to meet the required managerial and technical expectations of the programme (bookkeeping, clerical skills).

Grass-roots training should be given priority.

1059 92 - 2/143

Farming systems research and development

Case study, Asia, Israel, traditional agriculture, technology transfer, development approach, social structure, infrastructure, agricultural technology, agronomy, economy, crop budget, tomato, cucumber, melon
RYMON, D. and U. OR

21. Accelerating technology transfer by means of atta (advanced technologies in traditional agriculture).[edit | edit source]

J. of Sustainable Agriculture, 2, (1), 1991, pp. 103-118

This paper adopts the approach to increase agricultural production in order to supply growing food requirements.

Over the past 20 years a rapid adoption process of agricultural technology has taken place in the Jiftlik Valley, west of the Jordan

River in Israel.

This case study covers close to two decades of development from the end of the 1960s until the mid-1980s. During that relatively short period the traditional agriculture of the region underwent a dramatic change as a direct result of the introduction of a new agricultural technology based on drip irrigation. Increased yields, and the corresponding increase in farmers' incomes have resulted in capital accumulation and further development; in this sense the technology has played a key role in upgrading the lifestyle of the local population.

Vegetable production has increased more than tenfold and net income of most of the farmers has increased by an even greater factor, thanks to the improved quality of the produce. This dramatic change can be attributed to the innovativeness and full participation of the farmers.

At the start of the technology transfer process the study population was characterized by two socio-economic features: a traditional but stable social structure, and the existence of a continuous market demand for the high-value crops it produced.

Against this background the main elements contributing to the development were:

- suitable agricultural technology;

- the physical support system, e.g., credit and infrastructure;

- a balance of privately and publicly supplied extension services; and

- backing in the form of appropriate intervention by the government.

The overall objective was to replace the traditional technology by an appropriate modern one, as a package of techniques. Accordingly, the following components were introduced:

- Earth-built water ponds to enable provision of the water supply according to crop needs, independently of the traditional allocation based on water rights.

- Drip irrigation system including all of its peripheral components.

- Seeds (usually hybrid varieties) and seedlings.

- Plastic sheeting (used for mulching, low tunnels, etc.).

- Chemicals (fertilizers, insecticides, fungicides, etc.).

The Valley population has enjoyed a stable social structure for decades.

The traditional collaboration between landlord and farmers has not been altered during the period of adoption of the new technology.

The main lesson to be learned is that accelerating technology transfer to a farming community - as opposed to a step-by-step approach - is a viable option; this without the prior development of a complete infrastructure comprising all of the required "software" and "hardware".

The ATTA approach (Advanced Technologies in Traditional Agriculture) may therefore offer an economically and socially acceptable way to overcome shortages of relatively high-value food crops in the growing metropolitan centers of developing countries.

A stable social structure is an important factor. In assessing the sociocultural elements that may affect the introduction of an advanced technology.

Farmers' participation and organization are extremely important for successful, and rapid technology transfer. At the outset, participation requires initiative on the part of the farmers, and their involvement will increase as their confidence builds up.

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Farming systems research and development

Review, book, projects, people, participation, experience, key elements, development, ILO

22. Projects with people: the practice of participation in rural development.[edit | edit source]

Publ. of the Intern. Labour Office (ILO), CH-1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland; ISBN 92-2-107282-7, 284 pp., paperback, 32.50 Swiss francs

Experience - as the author points out - has shown the importance of involving rural people in decisions concerning their own development.

His book presents a convincing case for encouraging participative processes, not as a manageable element of a project, but as the fundamental dynamic of the project itself. He stresses that participatory development must be consciously based on people, their needs, their analysis of issues and their decisions. It must trust that people, whatever the condition of their poverty and oppression, can progressively transform their environment with the help of, but not dominated by, external agents.

The author provides us with descriptions of some experiences in participative efforts which show - in his judgement - successes and failures, but also different concepts of the nature of participation, and the gap between participation as an objective and its actual implementation. Although he also provides useful insights into key elements concerning the practice of participation, and suggests possible methods and activities, he fails to address this gap directly.

Participation of rural people in development projects is not a smooth simple process where people speak freely and honestly about their problems and the alternatives they visualise, where decisions are taken regardless of local problems, of loyalities, differences and silences.

Conflicts are an everyday issue, and they help forge the process in a more "participative" but messy way. This means that one cannot speak naively of "the village" or "the rural poor", as if they were a homogeneous category, as the author often slips into doing.

The author assumes that by incorporating the felt needs of the people, by encouraging their participation, these projects will be incorporate.

However, this is not an automatic process. One wonders why participation is hardly ever conceptualised the other way around: to include the participation of the outsider in the projects of the local people.

Abstract by M.V. Martinez, shortened.

1061 92 - 2/145

Farming systems research and development

Review, book, Latin America, agriculture, technological innovations, debt crisis, public sector, research, private sector, biotechnological revolution, IICA
JANVRY, A. DE et al.

23. Technological innovations in latin american agriculture.[edit | edit source]

Program Papers Series No. 4 of the Inter-American Institute for Coop. on Agriculture (IICA), San Jos_, Costa Rica; ISSN 0046-0028; 1987, 86 pp + appendices

This paper discusses some of the issues in the field of biotechnology within the context of the debt crisis in Latin America and its effects on the region's agricultural sectors. In analyzing the issues, the authors highlight their effects on the behaviour of the region's technological systems. More important, they also point out their implications in terms of the agricultural technology policy options open to Latin American countries at this time.

This report is written to identify a feasible strategy that attributes to agriculture a key role in the reactivation of the Latin American economies and, to technical change, a key role as an important source of growth and of dynamic comparative advantages.

The paper is organized as follows:

- Technological discontinuities: Adjustment to the crisis and biotechnology

- Latin American agriculture in the context of the debt crisis

- Technological change in Latin American agriculture

- Public sector research

- Role and performance of the private sector

- The biotechnological revolution

- Implications for agricultural technology in Latin America

In more detail the paper starts by reviewing in Part 2 the implications of the debt crisis for Latin American agriculture, most particularly for market prices and government expenditures. The authors then analyze in Part 3 the past patterns of the rate and bias of technological change, contrasting the periods before and since the beginning of the debt crisis. In Part 4, they look at the organization of public sector research and how it has been affected by the crisis. Part 5 is devoted to the role of several agents in the private sector in the generation, transfer, and diffusion of technological change. This includes input suppliers on the side of backward linkages, agroindustries on the side of forward linkages, and producers' associations. Finally, in Part 6 the authors identify several major features of the biotechnology revolution and discuss how they create both opportunities for and threats to Latin American agriculture. Finally the paper concludes in Part 7 with a number of important policy implications.

Concluding, there is little question that biotechnology will transform agriculture in the next 30 years.

Because biotechnology will speed up the technological treadmill, increase production, and put downward pressure on prices, peasants will become increasingly marginal producers without assistance.

Biotechnology will not solve the social problems of Latin American agriculture; unless considerable effort is given to mitigating its impact, it will clearly worsen inequality, flowing only to those who can afford to adopt it.

For technology to play its role and contribute effectively to agricultural development and economic growth, action is required in terms of policy design as well as funding, organization and management of the technological process.

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Farming systems research and development

Review, reference book, agricultural compendium, tropics, subtropics

24. Agricultural compendium - for rural development in the tropics and subtropics.[edit | edit source]

Elsevier Science Publishers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; 1989, 740 pp.; USD 65.75, Dfl 125.00

When it first appeared in 1981 the Agricultural compendium was widely welcomed as a very comprehensive and authoritative reference book on every aspect of agriculture in the tropics and sub-tropics. It was an interdisciplinary work, directed not to the specialist but rather to field workers, with limited local resources, who needed to collate information in several different fields. It assumed a university or college background.

A second edition with minor revisions appeared in 1985, but in this third edition the work has now been thoroughly revised and updated, much new material added, and published in a larger format. A sign of the times, some graphical material is now presented as formulae, acknowledging the almost universal availability of pocket calculators.

Although the revision is comprehensive, the most important revisions are in the chapters relating to climate; soil and land classification; water control; land improvement; crop production; animal nutrition and fisheries; and sociology.

This is an entirely Dutch enterprise, commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries; produced and edited by EUROCONSULT of Arnhem; and with advisers drawn from institutions in the Netherlands, largely Wageningen Agricultural University. All concerned are to be congratulated on producing an internationally indispensable reference book.

Abstract by T.I. Williams

1063 92 - 2/147

Farming systems research and development

Review, book, guidelines, rural development projects, target groups, critical elements, process approach, project design, decision making, project components

25. Guidelines for designing development projects to benefit the rural poor.[edit | edit source]

Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy; 1986, 76 pp. + annex

The overriding objective of development initiatives is to generate self-sustaining improvement in human capabilities and welfare. This task has proved difficult, especially when development investments are to benefit economically, socially, and politically disadvantaged people in rural areas, as mandated by the World Conference on Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (WCARRD).

Empirical evidence proves that rural development projects with high degrees of organization and participation at the local level are more successful in accomplishing their objectives than those that lack these characteristics. Therefore, the participation of the rural poor in project design and implementation, as well as in monitoring and evaluation, has been given substantial scope in these guidelines.

These guidelines are not meant to provide an universally applicable blueprint for poverty-oriented rural development projects.

These guidelines are directed at the design of rural development projects.

These guidelines have been prepared to help implement the WCARRD policy framework and Programme of Action. For that reason, individuals will find them particularly useful in countries where governments are already committed to the WCARRD Programme of Action.

The primary WCARRD goal is to improve the standard of living and the quality of life of the rural poor in a self-sustaining manner. This entails generating improvements in human capability and well-being, without nurturing dependence on external assistance. The WCARRD policy framework recognizes that long-term economic progress will not occur without the full involvement and commitment of the rural poor themselves. They constitute a major resource for development.

The need for this manual is demonstrated by evaluations of agricultural and rural development projects. These evaluations show the frequent failure of project designs to identify the intended beneficiaries adequately or to adapt project activities to local conditions. The designs also often lack either realistic implementation plans or adequate monitoring and evaluation systems. These design problems usually result in serious implementation problems and a failure to achieve the desired long-term benefits.

In this sense, these guidelines are a complement to the "UNDP Guidelines on Project Formulation" which give less attention to people's participation, target group identification, alleviation of rural poverty, and the process approach.

This manual is organized as follows:

- Purposes of the guidelines
- Defining rural development projects
- Applying these design guidelines to different types of projects
- Identifying the target groups
- Critical elements in projects that benefit the rural poor
- The "process approach" to project design and development
- Functions of a good project design
- The steps to follow
- Specifying project objectives
- Specifying project components
- Determining project management and organizational arrangements
- Structuring the project design
- Phasing project interventions
- Relating project analysis to key feasibility issues
- Preparing a realistic implementation plan
- Designing a monitoring and evaluation system

These guidelines are most relevant for projects that intervene directly to help rural people in specific geographic areas. These range from sector-specific projects, such as the testing of new seed varieties, to large-scale multi-sector projects.

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Farming systems research and development

USA, case study, participatory education, grassroots development, regional development strategy, rural economic crisis, alternative strategy, IIED

26. Participatory education and grassroots development: the case of rural appalachia.[edit | edit source]

Gatekeeper Series No. 25; IIED, 3 Endsleigh Street, London WC1H ODD, UK, 1991, 13 p.

The failure of the traditional trickle-down methods of development is now well documented. Though better recognized in Third World countries, it is also central to the steady erosion of livelihoods in rural, resource-poor regions of the industrialized countries. Perhaps nowhere is it more evident than in rural Appalachian communities of the United States of America.

The Appalachian region refers to the mountainous region in the middle eastern part of the United States, stretching from as far north as western New York state, and running through parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia down to Alabama and Missisippi.

Historically, the region has contained some of the poorest socio-economic conditions of any region in the country. It is one of the least developed in the United States in factors including agriculture, unemployment, housing, urbanization, poverty, economic diversity, etc.

The economic crisis in the egion poses a crisis for traditional economic development policy. Historically, the development model for the region has been based on creating a favourable 'business climate', which in turn could be used to lure industry into the region. In the name of maintaining the business climate, workers received low-wages, and communities provided tax and other concessions to industry. Based upon a traditional understanding of 'trickle down' economics, the assumption was that what was good for business was good for communities and local livelihoods. To some extent, within its own definitions of success, the 'business climates' model of development worked. Thousands of industrial plants came to the region. The overall standard of living grew.

A number of methods were used which were similar to those employed in participatory research and extension approaches such as Rapid Rural Appraisal, Rapid Assessment Procedures, and Farmer Participatory Research. A central point was the emphasis upon the development of peoples' knowledge, and peoples' research and analysis as an important part of the process of beginning to reverse the pattern of dependence upon external economic forces. These methods include those described below:

- Oral histories
- Community surveys
- Community mapping and drawings
- Decision-makers interviews
- Videos and readings
- Brainstorming and feasibility studies
- Cultural components

The definition of successful development expands to include criterion broader than jobs and income, but also community participation, democratic participation and dignity. Community development - economic, cultural and social - flowers when people value themselves and their neighbours, and begin to work together in common endeavours.

As important as these may be, these case studies and the experience suggest a broader view, especially if one is interested in participatory development. In the latter approach, the development of 'infrastructure' includes human development, an education for creativity, regaining and understanding popular knowledge and history, democratic decision-making, and consciousness of religous and political symbols. With this investment, people can become better equipped to rebuild their own communities and economies.

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Farming systems research and development

Review, book, rural development, participatory methods, development practice, community development, cultural impact, grassroot movements, future directions

27. Approaches that work in rural development: emerging trends, participatory methods and local initiatives.[edit | edit source]

IERD Series No. 3; K.G. Saur Verlag, Mnnchen, F.R.G.; ISBN 3-598-21043-4; 1988, 414 pp.

The approache in this volume is a dialogue between local initiatives in development practice and emerging trends in the wider development community. In Part I, the focus is on broad development trends. One of the most prominent of these is the increasing importance being attached to the role of non-governmental organizations in development and the need to enhance their institutional capacity. Another is the desire to find ways for all, to talk, plan and work together.

Part II describes the processes or methods whereby various approaches to rural development have led to successful results. The intention here is to share some of the more of recent development experiences, from a variety of perspectives and a number of different countries.

These include participatory planning and problem solving, people-centered evaluation, training of trainers and innovative conferencing.

In Part III, the emphasis is on what is happening at the grassroots and its impact on the development process. There is an increasing acknowledgement that the grassroots is the basic building block for effective and lasting development. Not only is there an awareness of the need to strengthen indigenous institutions but village-based initiatives themselves are calling for more attention and support. This key area from the perspective of the individual, small-scale projects, organizations and networks is examined.

The concluding chapter weaves together some of the insights contained in the three parts of the book and points to new directions for the future of development. The last part of the book contains appendices which list activities, programmes and resource materials that have been used in the third phase of the project.

An additional feature of this volume is the publication of interviews with six participants in India 1984. These six profiles acknowledge the critical contribution such people make to the entire development process.

Abstract from ATSAF-Circular

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Farming systems research and development

Africa, Ethiopia, review, workshop, participatory rapid rural appraisal, natural resource management, peasant association, IIED


28. Participatory rapid rural appraisal in wollo: peasant association planning for natural resource management.[edit | edit source]

Publ. of the Int. Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), London, UK, 1989, 86 pp.

This report is the result of a Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) exercise carried out in Ethiopian Red Cross Upper Mille and Cheleka Catchments

Project (UMCC-DPP) in Wollo Province.

The concern for the protection and management of natural resources in Wollo is central to the Ethiopian government's strategy in the highland areas. The Ethiopian Highland Reclamation study that was carried out following the 1984/5 famine claimed that vast areas of the highlands will be lost for cultivation and grazing due to accelerated soil erosion.

This report is divided into nine sections. Following an introduction to RRA methods and the approach taken in the training workshop, the information derived from the RRA Peasant Associations (PAs) is presented. A general profile of each PA is given followed by a summary of attitudes of different groups within the PA to issues of natural resource management, water, health, etc. This information, derived from the use of a range of RRA techniques, is then used to generate a list of problems and opportunities in the PA. These give rise to a series of 'Best Bets' for development which are formulated in a preliminary way and then taken back to the community, tested and revised in a series of group discussions. The finalized 'Best Bets' then are the basis for further practical action - from policy review, to research to project implementation. Within nine days of field and workshop work the RRA teams, in consultation with a range of groups within the community, came up with a series of practical options for future action. These are presented in the report and are supported by information derived for the environmental, agricultural and attitudinal profiles of the PAs.

The final sections of the report provide a comparison of outputs between the two PAs, a list of recommendations for immediate follow-up and a review and evaluation of the training workshop by the participants.

The final session of the workshop was used to discuss what the participants felt they had learned and achieved as well as the problems and limitations theyhad encountered in the work. Finally they discussed what the next steps should be in applying the RRA approach elsewhere.

There was general agreement among the participants that they had learned much from the exercise and had been able to fulfill many of the objectives which they had set themselves on the first day.

1067 92 - 2/151

Farming systems research and development

Asia, Sri Lanka, study, farmers' knowledge, agricultural practices, high-yielding varieties, seed treatments, chemical fertilizer, pests, diseases, weed control, yield


29. Farmers' knowledge of agricultural practices: a sri lankan experience.[edit | edit source]

Beitrege trop. Landw., Vet. med., 29, H3, 1991, pp. 283-287

This study investigates farmers' knowledge level for selected agricultural practices in order to understand how the dissemination process works under field conditions.

The study was carried out in one of the southern districts of Sri Lanka which comes under the low country wet zone.

The case materials were obtained through participation in different formal sessions established in the reformed extension system and conducting indepth personal interviews with extension officials as well as with farmers. The farmers were selected randomly; the sample contained 100 of them.

The agricultural practices were grouped as follows:

- high-yielding rice varieties (HYVs)
- pre-seed treatments
- plant establishment practices
- chemical fertilizer applications
- pests, diseases, and toxic conditions
- weed control
- weights and measures.

The Training and Visit (T&V) System of Agricultural Extension was introduced to developing countries since the mid-seventies, especially to strengthen the knowledge of the dissemination process.

The route from research to farmer involves several steps, especially on the route through the extension sub-system and farmer sub-system. In the latter part of the dissemination process, the message transmitted to the professional extension agent through the bureaucratic organizational structure and is handed over by him to a set of untrained communicators for further dissemination at the village level. It is evident that message distortion takes place in the process, often through levelling, adding, highlighting and modifying, in addition to the total loss of the knowledge or information.

It can be concluded that generally farmers were unable to gain sufficient knowledge for the innovations which are complex for their technical competence. On the other hand, some of the innovations are very costly. Hence, farmers do not show much interest to utilize such innovations in their fields. As a result, they do not demand knowledge.

The findings indicate that farmers have a medium level of overall knowledge on rice cultivation, so that there is a potential for further advancement of knowledge at the utilizer level.

The extension system has made efforts to advance farmers' knowledge mainly by launching training programmes for extension workers and extending the knowledge to a selected number of farmers by making time-bound regular extension visits. It is evident that the extension approach is effective for simple and low-cost innovations. For complex recommendations, alternative extension methods should be applied depending on the field situations. Further, recommendations must be cost-effective at the utilizer level and care has to be taken to provide the other elements of the development mix.

1068 92 - 2/152

Farming systems research and development

Africa, Zambia, study, rural development project, project effects, sustainability, cultivation systems, work oxen, commodity supply, cooperative development, self reliance, associations, beekeepers, craftsmen, institutions, SLE

RAUCH, T. et al.

30. The sustainability of the impact of the integrated rural development programme (irdp) zambia/nw-province.[edit | edit source]

Schriftenreihe des FB Internationale Agrarentwicklung of the Techn. Univ. of Berlin Nr. 116, Berlin, ISBN 3-924333-70-X; 1988, 257 pp + annex

This report is the result of a three-month survey carried out by a study team from the Centre of Advanced Training in Agricultural Development

(CATAD) of the Technical University of Berlin.

The study was conducted on request of and in close cooperation with the

Integrated Rural Development Programme/North Western Province in Zambia.

The book is organized as follows:

- Chapter I: Impact of the IRDP on non-participants and reasons for non-participation
- Chapter II: Sustained cultivation systems
- Chapter III: Sustainability of joint utilization of work oxen
- Chapter IV: Supply of relish
- Chapter V: Commodity supply
- Chapter VI: Cooperative development
- Chapter VII: Village self-reliance
- Chapter VIII: Associations of beekeepers and craftsmen
- Chapter IX: Observations on institutional sustainability
- Chapter X: Summarizing conclusions

The Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) in Zambia's

North-Western Province was inaugurated in 1977. Its major goal has been to improve the living conditions of the majority of the small-scale producers (farmers, bee-keepers, craftsmen) mainly by increasing their productivity and production. The approach has focused on providing these small-scale producers with access to inputs, credit and markets and to institutionalize such a mass-oriented service system after it has proved to be feasible and attractive for the target groups.

The aspects of sustainability analyzed in the study are so manifold that it is not easy to extract generalizing conclusions on the sustainability of the IRDP.

Meanwhile the major targets in terms of number of participants and production have been achieved. More than half of the rural households are actively involved. The services have been handed over to local agencies.

The IRDP has managed to make the masses of the small-scale producers the decisive factor for the regional economy (they are providing 80% of the supply, using most of the fertile land and investing their manpower in their own production activities), which can hardly be neglected anymore.

The small-scale producers are, to a certain degree, in a position to identify problems on the farm and village level on their own and to undertake problem-solving action (as far as they are provided with the necessary minimum of external support). They depend on institutions for certain means of production and for access to external markets, but they do not as much depend on support in terms of motivation, mobilization, organizational promotion and advice.

Concluding, the efforts of the IRDP to safeguard sustainability through introducing more adjusted cultivation patterns and new organizational structures have been too ambitious. The recommended intercropping packages are too sophisticated. The attempts to promote organizations which do represent the interests of the poorer sections would require massive interventions into social processes on the village level which are beyond the scope of a regional project covering 55 wards with more than 10,000 participating small-scale producers.

The IRDP's interventions directed towards the sustainability of its impact on the village level should be limited to a support of the people's own attempts by improving the information flow. This can be done without creating new, artificial structures by using the existing communication channels.

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