ICTA

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Material Information

Title:
ICTA an international farming system
Alternate title:
ICTA
Physical Description:
1 v. (unpaged) : ; 28 cm.
Language:
Spanish
Creator:
Martinez, E
Guatemala -- Ministerio de Agricultura
Publisher:
s.n.
Place of Publication:
Guatemala
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Agriculture -- Guatemala   ( lcsh )
Genre:
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:
Guatemala

Notes

General Note:
Photocopy.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 669528081
ocn669528081
System ID:
AA00008151:00001


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ICTA AN INTERNATIONAL FARMING SYSTEM


E. Mart~ine:



Research can be directed toward different goals. It may be used to

increase the scientific knowledge, or for teaching purposes or to achieve

development on the industrialized nations, the three types of research are

conducted simultaneously and it has been the basis of their continuous

development. This is true in the case of industry as well as agriculture.

In the case of the developing nations, where human and material

resources are scarce, research should be the first priority in order to

enhance the starting point for development, however, for several reasons

this often do not occur, and therefore development is very slow.

Fortunately in recent years there has been some successful projects and

by analyzing them some experiences can be use in similar projects,

especially in the critical points.

Guatemala recently reached self-sufficiency on their basic food grains

as a result of a well planned and implemented "Plan of Rural Development"

of which research was an important component.

In 1971, Guatemala decided to improve the agriculture and in order to

accomplish that goal they reformed the agricultural public sector which

included research, extension, commercialization and credit.

In the case of research, it was decided that a new institution needed

to be created, and for that purpose a team was formed: two pre-projects








served as basis for a final third project which later was known as the

"green book". It is perhaps important to mention that in the elaboration

of the "green book" the team was formed by 4 nationals of Guatemala and 2

expatriates. The 4 nationals had a perfect knowledge of the agriculture in

the country, their problems and constraints, and they had expertise in

planning soils fertility. Agronomy in general and strong background in

plant breeding. On the other hand, the 2 expatriates were scientists with

long experience in Latin American agriculture as well as with international

centers.

The "green book" is particularly important because it was the "blue

print" into which ICTA was developed. It tell precisely what crops to work

with, in which areas, how many kilograms to increase in each case, with

what type of farmers, it also says what type of organization is expected,

how many researchers, how to function, how and when to train the personnel,

number of experimental stations and cost. of the whole operation. The

"green book" makes clear that ICTA is created with a specific purpose in

mind.

OBJECTIVE

ICTA was created in order to achieve the following objectives:

A To improve the income of traditional farmers who produce the basic

grains such as: corn, rice, beans, wheat and sorghum.

A To improve the productivity of the agricultural traditional sector.

GOALS

For a research institution clear-cut goals are essential.

What crops?: In the case of ICTA the mandate was to work with:

corn


beans







rice


sorghum

wheat

Generally research institutions tend to cover many crops, therefore,

dispersing they strenght in many activities. By concentrating in only 5

crops it was possible to staff each commodity with at least one plant

breeder and share among them the disciplines needed.

HOW MUCH INCREASE YIELD?

Corn: From 1156 to 1450 Kg/ha = 294 Kg/ha

Beans: From 724 to 769 Kg/ha = 45 Kg/ha

Rice: From 2136 to 3600 Kg/ha = 1464 Kg/ha

Sorghum: From 936 to 1344 Kg/ha = 408 Kg/ha

Wheat: From 1463 to! 1694 Kg/ha = 231 Kg/ha

WHERE?

The "green book" indicates in what area the new technology should be

applied in order to increase the yield. They were called "impact areas".

For corn the areas where in the Altiplano with 60,000 has. and the low

lands, La Maquina and Nueva Concepcion with 40,000 has. to make a total

area of 100,000 has.

For wheat the area was the Aitiplano with 31,500 has.

For beans two areas were chosen in the Orient Jutiapa with 12,000 has. and

Chimaltenango with 2,000 has., for a total of 14,000 has.

In the case of rice the area chosen was Champona with a total of 10,000

has. The "impact area" for the five crops will be in total 165,000 has.

W~hi~h FeFkrOB~nte about a00 of the total area under cultivation with those

crops (831,000 has.).

WITH WHOM?






The number of farmers dedicated to grow corn were 65,000, in the case

of wheat 8,000, beans 5,000, rice 1,000, and sorghum 3,000 making a total

of 82,000 small farmers. Considering 6 members for family it gives a total

of 492,000 persons or 17.6% of the population that depend of those crops.

IMPLEMENTATION

As the objectives to be reached where well define, the next step was to

form the commodity teams which will be the foundation of the whole project.

Of the quality and performance of those teams depended the success or

failure of the project. The first task was to create a team-conscience,

and to raise self-confidence, among personnel, by making clear to all of

them what the goals were and what was expected of each researcher, and the

strategies were discussed in such a way that they were fully understood by

everybody and at the same time everybody feel responsible for them. This

was accomplished by weekly seminars in which everybody attended as well as

weekly conferences attended by the coordinators, which subsequently held

team conferences. National commodity programs normally consists of few

local selections with a very narrow germplasm base. Therefore, they are

limited in productivity, adaptability, resistance to insect or diseases and

other traits. However, the local germplasm should be the starting point,

and the idea is to increase and broaden as much as possible the germplasm

in order to be able to find the desire traits. Unfortunately, to maintain a

large germplasm is very expensive and many nations cannot afford. That is

the main reason why the international centers were created. Their mandate

being to create and maintain a large germplasm in order to serve the needs

of national programs. Therefore it is important to build a link between

national programs and international centers. In the case of ICTA an

aggressive strategy was adopted from the beginning and consisted in sending








breeders to the international centers during the harvest season, in order

for them to get aquainted with the genetic material and breeding procedures

as well as breeders of the international programs. The national breeders

explain to the international breeders what their local problems were and

what; their needs were, and in that way a dialogue was established. The

national breeder was permitted to go through the all breeding program and

he could chose and take back with him, what ever he wanted. Also the

international breeder was invited to visit the national program. Using

this strategy, the national programs were able to select the "cream" of the

germplasm of the international centers and in that way to improve rapidly

their national programs.

ON-FAR.M TEAMS

Once having in operation the commodity-teams the next step was to

find-out what were the needs of the clientele. It was decided to form

teams, called production teams in order to comply with the mandate included

in the "green book", Pag. 72 and 73, in which it is clearly stated that

"the farmer will-form an active part on ICTA's activities" and "ICTA will

diagnose and do research at farm level".

At the beginning there was the idea to attach the production teams to

commodity programs so that the commodity team coordinator will be in

command. However, it became apparent that under this scheme the production

team could not be free to criticize the technology or varieties developed

by the commodity teams so the decision was taken that production teams will

be independent entities under the same technical director than the

commodity teams.

Production teams were formed with young recent graduate agronomists.

The reason was that we needed pelple willing to live and work in the field,







and with minds capable to mold to a different type of work. Three teams

were formed and assigned to three different areas. They wer suppose to be

strong in agronomy and their job was to establish some exploratory trials

on farmers fields but with the main purpose of observing what the farmers

where doing and why. By working everyday with the farmers a mutual

confidence was established and a flow of information was obtained first to

the production teams and to the commodity programs. This information was

transmitted through the weekly coordinators meetings, and the first ones

needed a lot of "refereeing" since the reality was very different of what

was thought to be the reality, and consequently many arguments were raised.

Whenever an argument could not be settled it was verified at the field

level. In these way an interaction was initiated and soon both parties,

commodity teams and production teams, realized that they needed each other,

in order to reach the goal that was the same for both teams.

'The explaratory experiments were simple experiments design to explore

soil fertility, or plant densities, or variety trials but soon it was

evident that alteration in the experimental design and interpretation was

necessary in order to improve our performance. Four of our best production

team members were sent to work under Dr. R. Laird and Turrent who had

experience of the Plan Puebla. These production teams added also the

economic and social dimension that enable them to understand better the

farmer's goals and problems.

Production teams also called on-farm teams have demonstrated to be a

very valuable and indispensable part of a development program but in order

for them to function efficiently the following is necessary:

A That the commodity teams respond to their needs. Producing the

technology required.








" That logistical support is provided as needed.


Vehicles, materials,


seeds, etc.

A That professional recognition is given to them for the type of work

they do.

h That the same incentives are offer to them, at the same level.

(Training, advance studies, seminars, trips, etc.)

A That minimum paper work is required from them.

A That the directors show interest and visit frequently their work.

From the above discussion it is clear that administration plays an

important rol. Normally, the administration services are located at the

capital and from there it is very difficult that they can provide the

logistic support that is necessary. In order to have an efficient

administrative service, the administration staff should have a clear

understanding of what the institution 5 goals are, and what are the

strategies to reach those goals, what are the missions of each.team, and

what is the rol of administration in the whole system.

In other words, it is important that the administration personnel feel

that they are involve in the same game. To facilitate and expedite the

logistic support a small administration unit is attach to each production

team.

EXPANSION OF THE PROJECT

As was mentioned earlier, at the beginning only three production teams

were formed and they were assigned to three different areas, as these

personnel gained experience, one of them was selected to start another team

in another area using new personnel, but having as a leader the experienced

one.

Whenever is possible, is better to place teams in areas adjacent trying








to create a network, so that teams doj not feel isolated.

SEED PRODUCTION

Seed in many instances is the key of the success. Availability of seed

is important in the production team work, starting with the experiments,

following with the "parcelas de prueba" and economic trials and farmer's

trials. In this process the demand of seed increase rapidly and if the

seed production is not coordinated with the production teams work this can

become a serious constraint. It become critical when it reaches the

massive use by the farmer. Seed production normally is under an official

institution, however, official institutions many times do not have the

flexibility required for seed production and consequently are not

efficient.

In the case of Guatemala it was taken the decision to foment seed

production on the private sector. As a result, there is in Guatemala

actually enough seed, inclusive to export to neighbors countries such as

Mexico, Salvador, Honduras, etc.



HAS ICTA ACCOMPLISH HIS GOAL?

In Table I we can see that ICTA not only accomplish his goal but the

technology developed went further that the 165,000 has. intended as target

areas and permeated and affected the whole area dedicated to those crops,

as can be seen on the third column. This is perhaps a good case in which

the technology was appropriate for farmers conditions so that several

disseminations means acted to extend that technology.

Again, money invested on research paid handsomely.





TABLE I


CROP


BEFORE ICTA

Kg/ha


GOALS

Kg/ha


TODAY

Kg/ha


Corn

Beans

Rice

Sorghum


1156

724

2136

936


1450

769

3600

1344


1636

986

2850

2080


TABLE II


PRODUCTION

BEFORE ICTA

Tons


TODAY

Tons


Corn

Beans

Rice

Sorghum


654,300

57,996

19,215

60,354


1,023,093

101,983

41,985

98,253


TABLE III


IMPORTATIONS


BEFORE ICTA


TODAY





Tons


Tons


2,416 h



1442A7

157AA~


Corn

Beans

Rice

Sorghum


81,482

3,909

207

153


ACorn for feed

Aje For seed

AAA For seed and feed




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