• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Preface
 OTA workshop participants, Sept....
 OTA staff
 Table of Contents
 Summary and options
 Introduction
 Introduction
 Issues in technology developme...
 Issues in technology transfer
 Issues in technical assistance
 Issues for African governments
 Appendix
 Reference
 Back Cover






Group Title: United States Congress Office of Technology Assessment Technical memoranda
Title: Africa tomorrow
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053815/00001
 Material Information
Title: Africa tomorrow issues in technology, agriculture, and U.S. foreign aid
Series Title: A technical memorandum
Physical Description: vii, 145 p. : ill., maps ; 26 cm.
Language: English
Creator: United States -- Congress. -- Office of Technology Assessment
Publisher: Congress of the United States, Office of Technology Assessment :
For sale by the Supt. of Docs., U.S. Govt. Print. Off.
Place of Publication: Washington D.C
Publication Date: [1984, i.e. 1985]
 Subjects
Subject: Agricultural assistance, American -- Africa   ( lcsh )
Economic assistance, American -- Africa   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- International cooperation   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Technology transfer -- Africa   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographies.
General Note: "December 1984."
General Note: "OTA-BP-F-31"--P. 4 of cover.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00053815
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: African Studies Collections in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001301121
oclc - 11740422
notis - AGF1868
lccn - 85600503

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Preface
        Page iii
    OTA workshop participants, Sept. 12-13, 1984
        Page iv
    OTA staff
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
    Summary and options
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Summary
            Page 3
            The role of foreign assistance
                Page 3
            Limitations of U.S. assistance
                Page 4
                Page 5
            The recipients of foreign assistance
                Page 6
            The responsibility of African governments
                Page 6
            Africa tomorrow
                Page 7
        Options
            Page 7
            On the right track
                Page 7
                Page 8
            New initiatives
                Page 9
                Page 10
                Page 11
                Page 12
                Page 13
                Page 14
    Introduction
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Food problems in Sub-Saharan Africa
            Page 17
    Introduction
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Agricultural systems in Sub-Saharan Africa
            Page 20
            Page 21
        U.S. interests in assisting developing countries
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
    Issues in technology development
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
    Issues in technology transfer
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
    Issues in technical assistance
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    Issues for African governments
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
    Appendix
        Page 85
        Page 86
        List of additional reviewers
            Page 87
        The CGIAR in Africa
            Page 88
            Page 89
            Page 90
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 93
            Page 94
        "Rural Africa: Modernization, equity, and long-term development," by Uma Lele; and "Facing up to Africa's food crisis," by Carl K. Eicher
            Page 95
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
            Page 101
            Page 102
            Page 103
            Page 104
            Page 105
            Page 106
            Page 107
            Page 108
            Page 109
            Page 110
            Page 111
            Page 112
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 115
            Page 116
            Page 117
            Page 118
            Page 119
            Page 120
            Page 121
            Page 122
            Page 123
            Page 124
            Page 125
            Page 126
            Page 127
            Page 128
            Page 129
            Page 130
            Page 131
            Page 132
            Page 133
            Page 134
        List of acronyms
            Page 135
            Page 136
    Reference
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text



AFRICA TOMORROW:

ISSUES IN TECHNOLOGY,

AGRICULTURE, AND

U.S. FOREIGN AID


A TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM


DECEMBER 1984
















I S- ?'
CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES
SOffice of Technology Assessment
SWashington, D. C. 20510
P









Office of Technology Assessment


Congressional Board of the 98th Congress

MORRIS K. UDALL, Arizona, Chairman

TED STEVENS, Alaska, Vice Chairman


Senate
ORRIN G. HATCH
Utah
CHARLES McC. MATHIAS, JR.
Maryland
EDWARD M. KENNEDY
Massachusetts
ERNEST F. HOLLINGS
South Carolina
CLAIBORNE PELL
Rhode Island


CHARLES N. KIMBALL, Chairman
Midwest Research Institute
EARL BEISTLINE
University of Alaska
CHARLES A. BOWSHER
General Accounting Office
CLAIRE T. DEDRICK
California Land Commission


JOHN H. GIBBONS
(Nonvoting)


Advisory Council


JAMES C. FLETCHER
University of Pittsburgh
S. DAVID FREEMAN
Tennessee Valley Authority
GILBERT GUDE
Congressional Research Service
CARL N. HODGES
University of Arizona


House
GEORGE E. BROWN, JR.
California
JOHN D. DINGELL
Michigan
LARRY WINN, JR.
Kansas
CLARENCE E. MILLER
Ohio
COOPER EVANS
Iowa


RACHEL McCULLOCH
University of Wisconsin
WILLIAM J. PERRY
Hambrecht & Quist
DAVID S. POTTER
General Motors Corp.
LEWIS THOMAS
Memorial Sloan-Kettering
Cancer Center


Director


JOHN H. GIBBONS


This is an OTA Technical Memorandum that has neither been reviewed nor
approved by the Technology Assessment Board.









AFRICA TOMORROW:

ISSUES IN TECHNOLOGY,

AGRICULTURE, AND

U.S. FOREIGN AID


A TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM


DECEMBER 1984


Technical Memoranda are issued by OTA on specific subjects analyzed in recent OTA
reports or on projects in process at OTA. They are issued at the request of Members
of Congress who are engaged in committee legislative actions which are expected to
be resolved before OTA completes its assessment.


CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES
Office of Technology Assessment
Washington, D. C. 20510


i"
:I

5
/~.' II\,,,,,,\ '





















Recommended Citation:
Africa Tomorrow: Issues in Technology, Agriculture, and U.S. Foreign Aid-A Technical
Memorandum (Washington, DC: U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, OTA-
TM-F-31, December 1984).




















Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 85-600503

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents
U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D C 20402





Preface


The United States has a stake in the agricultural development of sub-Saharan Africa.
Alleviating hunger and malnutrition, expanding stable markets for U.S. products, and
maintaining the availability of critical and strategic materials provide humanitarian,
economic, and political reasons for a continuing American interest in Africa. Most African
countries are predominantly agricultural and their well-being and future development
are tied closely to that sector. Therefore, agricultural assistance probably will continue
to be a major area of U.S. involvement.
Food problems in Africa are substantial: in no other region of the world has per
capital food production declined steadily for over two decades. The Congress expressed
its concern for these problems in 1984 with a major supplemental appropriations bill
and the creation of a Select Committee on Hunger. This technical memorandum on
agricultural technology and U.S. foreign assistance in sub-Saharan Africa was requested
by the Select Committee, with support from the Africa Subcommittee, House Foreign
Affairs Committee. OTA was asked to investigate several topics relating to current and
future African agriculture: technological needs, successful technology development and
transfer, and the roles of public and private foreign assistance.
This paper is the result of 6 months' work, including: 1) a 2-day workshop with
14 invited experts on African agriculture, 2) a visit by an OTA contractor to the Inter-
national Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Nigeria, and 3) additional OTA staff re-
search. We do not pretend that this is a definitive work on specific types of agricultural
technologies. Instead the paper outlines major issues constraining the development and
transfer of sustainable technologies for low-resource food producers. Our findings re-
flect broad consensus on which potential congressional action can be based. The prob-
lems of food production in sub-Saharan Africa are acute. Opportunities for improving
the situation abound, however, and many are available to Congress.
This paper was prepared by Scott McCormick, Ted MacDonald, Phyllis Windle,
and Chris Elfring, OTA wishes to thank the workshop participants and additional re-
viewers for their substantial contributions as well as the many others who generously
provided information.


JOHN H. GIBBONS
Director





OTA Workshop Participants, Sept. 12-13, 1984


George Burrill
Associates in Rural Development
Burlington, VT
Charles Francis
Rodale Research Center
Emmaus, PA
Elon Gilbert
Center for Research on Economic
Development
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI
Thomas Hayden
CODEL
New York, NY
James Henson
International Program Development Office
Washington State University
Pullman, WA
Marilyn Hoskins
Department of Sociology
Virginia Polytechnic Institute
Blacksburg, VA
Shelly Kessler
Urban Resource Systems, Inc.
San Francisco, CA
Carl Lindblad
Volunteers in Technical Assistance
Arlington, VA


Sauveur Mahotiere
Plant Science Department
Fort Valley State College
Fort Valley, GA
Gerald Matlock
Department of Soils, Water, and Engineering
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ
Robert McDowell
Department of Animal Science
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY
Uzo Mokwunye
International Fertilizer Development Center
Muscle Shoals, AL
Anita Spring
Department of Anthropology
University of Florida
Gainesville, FL

OTA Staff
Barbara Lausche
Edward F. MacDonald
Scott McCormick
Walter Parham
Phyllis N. Windle





OTA Staff on Africa Tomorrow: Technology and Agriculture


Roger Herdman, Assistant Director, OTA
Health and Life Sciences Division


Walter E. Parham, Food and Renewable Resources Program Manager


Analytical Staff

Phyllis N. Windle, Project Director
Scott McCormick, Analyst
Edward F. MacDonald, Research Analyst

Barbara Lausche, Senior Analyst1
Chris Elfring, Editor2
George Scharffenberger, Contractor3


Administrative Staff

Phyllis Balan' and Patty Durana,4 Administrative Assistant
Nellie Hammond, Secretary
Carolyn Swann, Secretary


'Until Aug. 31, 1984.
'November 1984.
'July 1984.
'From Sept. 24, 1984.






Contents


Chapter Page
1. Sum m ary and O options ............................................. ........................ 3
S u m m ary ................................................................................. 3
The Role of Foreign Assistance ................ ............................................ 3
Limitations of U.S. Assistance ................ ............................................. 4
The Recipients of Foreign Assistance ................... .............................. 6
The Responsibility of African Governments ......................... .................. 6
A frica T om orrow ........................................................................ 7
O p tio n s . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7
O n the R eight T rack ...................................................................... 7
N ew In itiativ es .......................................................................... 9
2. Introduction ........................ .............................................. 17
Food Problems in Sub-Saharan Africa .................................................. 17
Agricultural Systems in Sub-Saharan Africa ....................... ....................... 20
U.S. Interests in Assisting Developing Countries .. ...................................... 22
3. Issues in Technology Development ................. .................................... 27
4. Issues in Technology Transfer .............. ................... ............................. 43
5. Issues in Technical Assistance ........... ............................................. 59
6. Issues for the African Governments ............... .................................... 75
Appendix A: List of Additional Reviewers .............. .................................. 87
Appendix B: The CGIAR in Africa ............................................................ 88
Appendix C: "Rural Africa: Modernization, Equity, and Long-Term Development," by Uma Lele; and
"Facing Up to Africa's Food Crisis," by Carl K. Eicher ....... ................ ............... 95
A appendix D : List of A acronym s ................................................................ 135
References ............... .......................................................... 139


List of Tables

Table No. Page
1. Population Growth Rates in Sub-Saharan Africa .................. ....................... 18
2. Food and Agriculture in Selected Countries ...... .................. ................. 20
3. Centers Supported by the CGIAR, 1984 ................. ............................... 35
4. The 1890 Institutions ............................................... ....................... 37
5. The Role of Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs): Articles of Faith ......................... 67


List of Figures

Figure No. Page
1. Sub-Saharan A frica ....................................................................... 5
2. Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America Population Growth Rates, 1950-2000 .............. 18
3. Index of Per Capita Food Production, 1961-65 to 1983 .................. ............... 19
4. Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin America Yields for Staple Crops .......................... 22
5. Population Projections for Sub-Saharan Africa:.1985-2025 ............................... 28
6. Urban Population Projections for Sub-Saharan Africa: 1985-2025 ............................... 28
7. AID-Financed University Contracts and Grants for Technical Assistance to Host Countries-In
Millions, Fiscal Years 1970-1980 ...................... ................................. 36
8. AID-Financed University Contracts and Grants for Technical Assistance to Host Countries In
Numbers of Contracts and Institutions, Fiscal Years 1970-1980 ................................ 36
9. Integrating Farming Systems Research and Agricultural Extension for Technology Transfer ........ 54
10. Ecological Areas of Africa ................................................................. 77









Chapter 1
Summary and Options





Chapter 1

Summary and Options


SUMMARY


Africa's* problems in the immediate future will
almost surely worsen. In no other region of the
world has food production per capital declined
steadily for the last two decades. Population
growth is the highest in the world and little ex-
pectation exists that this situation will change
quickly. Food production simply is not keeping
pace with population growth and each year there
are more hungry. The current drought has aggra-
vated the suffering and increased stresses on nat-
ural resources.
Africa's declining per capital food production
has been blamed on many factors: environmental
limitations, inadequate incentives for farmers, a
lack of appropriate research on food crops, poorly
developed extension and management systems,
general insensitivity to cultural and environmental
conditions, local governments' failures to deliver
physical and economic inputs on time, lack of in-
frastructure, and an inability to identify the prob-
lems facing producers. All of these factors, in ad-
dition to large population growth, play a part in
the problem.
Foreign assistance is one mechanism used by
the United States to help solve these problems.
The American people traditionally are generous
with their public and private assistance. Since
foreign aid was first initiated after World War II,
the United States has supplied funds, food, and
expertise throughout the world, and since 1950
it has directed special attention to developing
countries. Foreign assistance programs have
grown to reflect our understanding of the human-
itarian, economic, political, and security benefits
they produce. What is apparent now, however,
is that many opportunities exist to improve assist-
ance programs, especially in sub-Saharan Africa,
and to encourage constructive activities within the
developing nations themselves.



*Africa, as used in this report, refers to Sub-Saharan Africa (see
fig. 1).


The Role of Foreign Assistance
Foreign assistance has the obvious goal of help-
ing to improve recipients' lives. Agricultural assist-
ance, whether direct food aid or technological as-
sistance to improve food production, aims to
alleviate hunger and malnutrition. But in Africa
and other parts of the world, the United States
also has economic and political rationales for its
foreign assistance policies. Foreign aid is a mech-
anism to promote U.S. interests. Developing
countries currently receive 40 percent of all U.S.
exports and are the fastest growing market, by
value, for U.S. goods and services. Twenty per-
cent of U.S. farm acreage grows crops destined
for developing countries. Foreign aid is also used
as a nonmilitary tool to further numerous foreign
policy objectives such as promoting regional and
economic stability, securing access to strategic fa-
cilities, and encouraging cooperation with the
U.S. on international issues.
Agriculture is the central focus of much Amer-
ican aid to sub-Saharan Africa. The Agency for
International Development (AID) allocates about
60 percent of its African assistance to agriculture,
or approximately $150 million for fiscal year 1985.
Foreign aid can be used to meet short- and long-
term goals. Short-term aid, for example, includes
emergency food supplies for crises such as the cur-
rent devastating famines in Ethiopia, Chad, and
Mozambique. Such aid serves a critical purpose.
Long-term aid is aimed at helping the developing
countries become more self-sufficient in food pro-
duction. For example, such aid includes support
for research on improved livestock and crop vari-
eties. Long-term aid includes technology transfer,
research, education, and other actions to promote
future well-being.
In the face of famine or other crises, long-term
agricultural goals are sometimes neglected. But
this is extremely short-sighted. Short-term aid
alone is not a viable way to improve conditions
in Africa. What is needed is a blend of both short-
and long-term aid, shaped by long-term goals.





Chapter 1

Summary and Options


SUMMARY


Africa's* problems in the immediate future will
almost surely worsen. In no other region of the
world has food production per capital declined
steadily for the last two decades. Population
growth is the highest in the world and little ex-
pectation exists that this situation will change
quickly. Food production simply is not keeping
pace with population growth and each year there
are more hungry. The current drought has aggra-
vated the suffering and increased stresses on nat-
ural resources.
Africa's declining per capital food production
has been blamed on many factors: environmental
limitations, inadequate incentives for farmers, a
lack of appropriate research on food crops, poorly
developed extension and management systems,
general insensitivity to cultural and environmental
conditions, local governments' failures to deliver
physical and economic inputs on time, lack of in-
frastructure, and an inability to identify the prob-
lems facing producers. All of these factors, in ad-
dition to large population growth, play a part in
the problem.
Foreign assistance is one mechanism used by
the United States to help solve these problems.
The American people traditionally are generous
with their public and private assistance. Since
foreign aid was first initiated after World War II,
the United States has supplied funds, food, and
expertise throughout the world, and since 1950
it has directed special attention to developing
countries. Foreign assistance programs have
grown to reflect our understanding of the human-
itarian, economic, political, and security benefits
they produce. What is apparent now, however,
is that many opportunities exist to improve assist-
ance programs, especially in sub-Saharan Africa,
and to encourage constructive activities within the
developing nations themselves.



*Africa, as used in this report, refers to Sub-Saharan Africa (see
fig. 1).


The Role of Foreign Assistance
Foreign assistance has the obvious goal of help-
ing to improve recipients' lives. Agricultural assist-
ance, whether direct food aid or technological as-
sistance to improve food production, aims to
alleviate hunger and malnutrition. But in Africa
and other parts of the world, the United States
also has economic and political rationales for its
foreign assistance policies. Foreign aid is a mech-
anism to promote U.S. interests. Developing
countries currently receive 40 percent of all U.S.
exports and are the fastest growing market, by
value, for U.S. goods and services. Twenty per-
cent of U.S. farm acreage grows crops destined
for developing countries. Foreign aid is also used
as a nonmilitary tool to further numerous foreign
policy objectives such as promoting regional and
economic stability, securing access to strategic fa-
cilities, and encouraging cooperation with the
U.S. on international issues.
Agriculture is the central focus of much Amer-
ican aid to sub-Saharan Africa. The Agency for
International Development (AID) allocates about
60 percent of its African assistance to agriculture,
or approximately $150 million for fiscal year 1985.
Foreign aid can be used to meet short- and long-
term goals. Short-term aid, for example, includes
emergency food supplies for crises such as the cur-
rent devastating famines in Ethiopia, Chad, and
Mozambique. Such aid serves a critical purpose.
Long-term aid is aimed at helping the developing
countries become more self-sufficient in food pro-
duction. For example, such aid includes support
for research on improved livestock and crop vari-
eties. Long-term aid includes technology transfer,
research, education, and other actions to promote
future well-being.
In the face of famine or other crises, long-term
agricultural goals are sometimes neglected. But
this is extremely short-sighted. Short-term aid
alone is not a viable way to improve conditions
in Africa. What is needed is a blend of both short-
and long-term aid, shaped by long-term goals.








Three major weaknesses are seen by many ob-
servers to limit the effectiveness of U.S. foreign
aid: it is too shortsighted and crisis-oriented, too
political, and suffers from unclear and inconsist-
ent goals. Critics argue that American foreign as-
sistance policy erroneously strives for a "quick
fix"-development projects are generally too short
in duration (3 to 6 years), with limited attention
to follow-up. This is particularly disadvantageous
to research projects, which generally require
longer durations to show results. It will take long-
term commitments to make lasting improvements
in the difficult agricultural problems faced by sub-
Saharan Africa.
Similarly, American foreign assistance some-
times seems preoccupied with new ideas, chang-
ing focus from year to year so programs do not
have time to chart real progress. Irrigation, edu-
cation, mechanization, fuelwood, and others have
each had a moment in the limelight. The U.S.
Government lacks a stable, long-term political
commitment to foreign assistance; development
policy shifts every decade or so, with mixed
results, and public support waivers greatly.
Development assistance policies are shaped
more by political considerations than the actual
needs of developing countries. Priorities and ini-
tiatives shift with administrations as foreign pol-
icy goals change, and administration's policies
sometimes conflict with legislated goals. This may
further some American economic and political ob-
jectives but can be detrimental to immediate hu-
manitarian goals and long-term hopes for inter-
national cooperation and development.
America's foreign assistance goals not only are
unclear they seem at times inconsistent. How, for
instance, does the country reconcile its efforts to
help developing countries become more self-suf-
ficient in food production when our agricultural
sector relies on those nations as essential markets?

Limitations of U.S. Assistance
Sub-Saharan Africa is over twice the size of the
United States and is made up of 45 different coun-
tries (fig. 1). The area contains a wide range of
climates and environments and a diversity of
cultural, economic, and political characteristics.


About 70 percent of Africa's 400 million people
live in rural areas. They are predominantly farm-
ers and herders-subsistence level producers who
work with few economic and natural resources.
Yet these "low resource" farmers and herders pro-
vide most of Africa's food. Much of the region
is also characterized by the major role women
play in food production.
Sometimes foreign assistance donors lose sight
of these vast cultural and environmental differ-
ences. U.S. assistance, for example, can result in
major failures if it is based largely on western tra-
ditions: a high-technology, capital-intensive, prof-


Photo credit: U.S. Agency for International Development
Low-resource producers raise the overwhelming majority
of food in Africa. These producers are those who face
major constraints in their access to economic, natural,
and technological resources. Low-resource farmers,
such as these from Senegal, generally use hand tools
and family labor, till 2 to 10 acres of land, and
have little capital.












Figure 1.-Sub-Saharan Africa


800 m

-1300 km


SOURCE: General Accounting Office, "Africa's Agricultural Policies: A More Concerted Effort Will Be Needed If Reform is Expected," GAO/NSIAD-83-36,
Sept. 8, 1983. (Adapted from map by Martin Greenwald Associates, Inc.)


' ii' i.' "' i r '








it-maximizing orientation. A consensus is emerg-
ing that the technology most needed in sub-
Saharan Africa should be:
low-risk,
resource-conserving,
small-scale,
affordable (not capital intensive),
locally produced and repaired,
adapted to local labor availability, and
consistent with traditional agricultural
methods.
In essence, technologies* must be appropriate
for the local setting. To be appropriate, the nat-
ural limitations of the African environment must
be considered in the design of the technology. To
be appropriate, livestock, cropping, and forestry
technologies must be integrated with each other
and with nonagricultural sectors. In addition,
local producers need increased involvement in the
agricultural development process. Foreign assist-
ance agencies need to solicit the input of local pro-
ducers when identifying agricultural problems,
planning, and implementing projects or research.
Local people have an intimate knowledge of their
needs and environment, and they are likely to be
more receptive to projects that are partly their
own. The challenge, then, is to devise systems that
involve local people and that integrate on-farm
work into the larger framework of established na-
tional programs and international assistance.

The Recipients of Foreign Assistance
It seems an easy question: "Who needs assist-
ance?" But identifying, let alone reaching, appro-
priate recipients can be difficult, especially if the
objectives of the aid are unclear. If America's
overall goal is to help Africa increase food pro-
duction, assistance needs to be focused on low-
resource producers because they are the backbone
of Africa's food system. If America's goal is meet-
ing the basic needs of the poorest, assistance
should take a different bent because the poorest
people include not only farmers but also landless
and urban populations.


*Technologies include implements, management systems, and
other processes for applying knowledge.


In the past, assistance strategies largely have
neglected the important role played by women in
African agriculture. Women in Africa contribute
up to 80 percent of all farm labor, they manage
one-third of the region's farms, and they tend vir-
tually all the kitchen gardens. Yet, directly and
indirectly, women are excluded from community
meetings, extension services, and access to credit.
Few women have entered the ranks of agricultural
professionals working for donor agencies or de-
veloping country ministries.
Directing special attention toward women may
seem to be one solution to this problem. Disre-
garding the crucial role of African women in agri-
culture is unwise, yet specifically aiming projects
at women's needs also may be inappropriate. A
more realistic approach is to recognize that wom-
en need to be integrated into development plan-
ning as partners. Extension services, in particu-
lar, need improvement in this area. To date, the
track record for attempts to integrate women into
agricultural assistance programs has been poor.
Targeting any specific group-e.g., the poor-
est-can be difficult. First, can the group be
defined explicitly-who are they-and how can
they be reached effectively through donor assist-
ance? Is key information about the group avail-
able? Does the group remain constant from year
to year? How can sustainable, replicable programs
be designed that will reach that group? Realistic
approaches account for the special constraints cer-
tain groups face and ensure that these groups are
included in development assistance.

The Responsibility of
African Governments
The primary responsibility for improving food
production in sub-Saharan Africa lies with the
African governments themselves. Foreign assist-
ance is just that-assistance. But in most of Africa,
a variety of obstacles inhibit the design and man-
agement of sound national agricultural strategies.
Some government institutions face unmanageable
tasks trying to coordinate large numbers of don-
ors. When levels of support are erratic, the prob-
lem is compounded and host countries have few
incentives to plan comprehensive programs to
meet their actual needs.








it-maximizing orientation. A consensus is emerg-
ing that the technology most needed in sub-
Saharan Africa should be:
low-risk,
resource-conserving,
small-scale,
affordable (not capital intensive),
locally produced and repaired,
adapted to local labor availability, and
consistent with traditional agricultural
methods.
In essence, technologies* must be appropriate
for the local setting. To be appropriate, the nat-
ural limitations of the African environment must
be considered in the design of the technology. To
be appropriate, livestock, cropping, and forestry
technologies must be integrated with each other
and with nonagricultural sectors. In addition,
local producers need increased involvement in the
agricultural development process. Foreign assist-
ance agencies need to solicit the input of local pro-
ducers when identifying agricultural problems,
planning, and implementing projects or research.
Local people have an intimate knowledge of their
needs and environment, and they are likely to be
more receptive to projects that are partly their
own. The challenge, then, is to devise systems that
involve local people and that integrate on-farm
work into the larger framework of established na-
tional programs and international assistance.

The Recipients of Foreign Assistance
It seems an easy question: "Who needs assist-
ance?" But identifying, let alone reaching, appro-
priate recipients can be difficult, especially if the
objectives of the aid are unclear. If America's
overall goal is to help Africa increase food pro-
duction, assistance needs to be focused on low-
resource producers because they are the backbone
of Africa's food system. If America's goal is meet-
ing the basic needs of the poorest, assistance
should take a different bent because the poorest
people include not only farmers but also landless
and urban populations.


*Technologies include implements, management systems, and
other processes for applying knowledge.


In the past, assistance strategies largely have
neglected the important role played by women in
African agriculture. Women in Africa contribute
up to 80 percent of all farm labor, they manage
one-third of the region's farms, and they tend vir-
tually all the kitchen gardens. Yet, directly and
indirectly, women are excluded from community
meetings, extension services, and access to credit.
Few women have entered the ranks of agricultural
professionals working for donor agencies or de-
veloping country ministries.
Directing special attention toward women may
seem to be one solution to this problem. Disre-
garding the crucial role of African women in agri-
culture is unwise, yet specifically aiming projects
at women's needs also may be inappropriate. A
more realistic approach is to recognize that wom-
en need to be integrated into development plan-
ning as partners. Extension services, in particu-
lar, need improvement in this area. To date, the
track record for attempts to integrate women into
agricultural assistance programs has been poor.
Targeting any specific group-e.g., the poor-
est-can be difficult. First, can the group be
defined explicitly-who are they-and how can
they be reached effectively through donor assist-
ance? Is key information about the group avail-
able? Does the group remain constant from year
to year? How can sustainable, replicable programs
be designed that will reach that group? Realistic
approaches account for the special constraints cer-
tain groups face and ensure that these groups are
included in development assistance.

The Responsibility of
African Governments
The primary responsibility for improving food
production in sub-Saharan Africa lies with the
African governments themselves. Foreign assist-
ance is just that-assistance. But in most of Africa,
a variety of obstacles inhibit the design and man-
agement of sound national agricultural strategies.
Some government institutions face unmanageable
tasks trying to coordinate large numbers of don-
ors. When levels of support are erratic, the prob-
lem is compounded and host countries have few
incentives to plan comprehensive programs to
meet their actual needs.








Despite limitations, African governments have
significant opportunities to improve food produc-
tion. One way is to increase incentives for rural
producers. Another task is to provide more ade-
quate reward and support for government exten-
sion workers in rural areas. They can also encour-
age integration of women producers into agricul-
tural planning. In all, what is needed is a more
active and long-term commitment to food pro-
duction. But it must be remembered that food pro-
duction is only one part of the agricultural sec-
tor and that agriculture is only one part of an
overall development strategy. While changes must
be made by African governments, donors will
have a special responsibility to provide appropri-
ate support.


Africa Tomorrow
Despite the magnitude of its problems, Africa
has reasons for optimism. Ten years ago, India
faced a similar plight and many feared that the
enormity of the problems could not be overcome.
Yet today India feeds itself. Africa's problems, of
course, are unique and require unique solutions.
But evidence exists that Africans and donors are
beginning to address key questions and find some
answers. Since the problems are severe and com-
plex, their solution will require greater commit-
ment than now exists.


The United States can continue to play an im-
portant role in improving food production and
alleviating hunger and malnutrition in sub-
Saharan Africa. The best hope of increasing food
production lies with improving opportunities for
the low-resource producers-they provide an
overwhelming proportion of the region's food
supplies and yet they have been largely ignored.
The United States can contribute appropriate as-
sistance with agricultural education, research, and
technologies.
Today, Africa is a continent in trouble. The
United States could make certain choices that in-
crease the likelihood that Africa's future will be
a hungry one-facing the possibility of social and
environmental problems of global dimensions. Or
the United States could strengthen its leadership
in foreign assistance, examining the part that this
country can play in alleviating Africa's dilemma
and coordinating with other nations to help Africa
reach a future chosen by its people.
For some substantial number of the world's
poor, the United States still holds out the future
to which they aspire. What they require from us
is not advice .. but action alongside them in the
task of hastening their economic development. Be-
longing to the same world population, we have
as large a stake in the outcome as they do.
-Gerard Piel, 1984 President-elect, AAAS
Chairman of the Board, Scientific American


OPTIONS


On the Right Track
In recent years, Congress has taken a number
of actions that have confirmed America's com-
mitment to increasing Africa's food production
in equitable and sustainable ways. Legislation has
resulted in initiatives that address many of the
findings of this report. OTA finds that each of
the initiatives remains relevant and important.
Their direction is, for the most part, consistent
with recent information on technology and food
production in Africa.
This section reviews some of this report's ma-
jor conclusions and the existing legislation that
OTA feels is both relevant and appropriate to re-


solving some of the problems presented. Unless
otherwise noted, the provisions cited refer to the
Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (U.S.
Congress, Feb. 1984).

Emphasis should be placed on low-resource
producers: The Congress finds that the great-
est potential for significantly expanding food
production lies in increasing the productivity
of small farmers who constitute a majority
of agricultural producers in developing coun-
tries [sec. 103(c)].
Greater emphasis is needed on research for
low-resource producers: Agricultural research
shall: 1) consider the special needs of small








Despite limitations, African governments have
significant opportunities to improve food produc-
tion. One way is to increase incentives for rural
producers. Another task is to provide more ade-
quate reward and support for government exten-
sion workers in rural areas. They can also encour-
age integration of women producers into agricul-
tural planning. In all, what is needed is a more
active and long-term commitment to food pro-
duction. But it must be remembered that food pro-
duction is only one part of the agricultural sec-
tor and that agriculture is only one part of an
overall development strategy. While changes must
be made by African governments, donors will
have a special responsibility to provide appropri-
ate support.


Africa Tomorrow
Despite the magnitude of its problems, Africa
has reasons for optimism. Ten years ago, India
faced a similar plight and many feared that the
enormity of the problems could not be overcome.
Yet today India feeds itself. Africa's problems, of
course, are unique and require unique solutions.
But evidence exists that Africans and donors are
beginning to address key questions and find some
answers. Since the problems are severe and com-
plex, their solution will require greater commit-
ment than now exists.


The United States can continue to play an im-
portant role in improving food production and
alleviating hunger and malnutrition in sub-
Saharan Africa. The best hope of increasing food
production lies with improving opportunities for
the low-resource producers-they provide an
overwhelming proportion of the region's food
supplies and yet they have been largely ignored.
The United States can contribute appropriate as-
sistance with agricultural education, research, and
technologies.
Today, Africa is a continent in trouble. The
United States could make certain choices that in-
crease the likelihood that Africa's future will be
a hungry one-facing the possibility of social and
environmental problems of global dimensions. Or
the United States could strengthen its leadership
in foreign assistance, examining the part that this
country can play in alleviating Africa's dilemma
and coordinating with other nations to help Africa
reach a future chosen by its people.
For some substantial number of the world's
poor, the United States still holds out the future
to which they aspire. What they require from us
is not advice .. but action alongside them in the
task of hastening their economic development. Be-
longing to the same world population, we have
as large a stake in the outcome as they do.
-Gerard Piel, 1984 President-elect, AAAS
Chairman of the Board, Scientific American


OPTIONS


On the Right Track
In recent years, Congress has taken a number
of actions that have confirmed America's com-
mitment to increasing Africa's food production
in equitable and sustainable ways. Legislation has
resulted in initiatives that address many of the
findings of this report. OTA finds that each of
the initiatives remains relevant and important.
Their direction is, for the most part, consistent
with recent information on technology and food
production in Africa.
This section reviews some of this report's ma-
jor conclusions and the existing legislation that
OTA feels is both relevant and appropriate to re-


solving some of the problems presented. Unless
otherwise noted, the provisions cited refer to the
Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (U.S.
Congress, Feb. 1984).

Emphasis should be placed on low-resource
producers: The Congress finds that the great-
est potential for significantly expanding food
production lies in increasing the productivity
of small farmers who constitute a majority
of agricultural producers in developing coun-
tries [sec. 103(c)].
Greater emphasis is needed on research for
low-resource producers: Agricultural research
shall: 1) consider the special needs of small








Despite limitations, African governments have
significant opportunities to improve food produc-
tion. One way is to increase incentives for rural
producers. Another task is to provide more ade-
quate reward and support for government exten-
sion workers in rural areas. They can also encour-
age integration of women producers into agricul-
tural planning. In all, what is needed is a more
active and long-term commitment to food pro-
duction. But it must be remembered that food pro-
duction is only one part of the agricultural sec-
tor and that agriculture is only one part of an
overall development strategy. While changes must
be made by African governments, donors will
have a special responsibility to provide appropri-
ate support.


Africa Tomorrow
Despite the magnitude of its problems, Africa
has reasons for optimism. Ten years ago, India
faced a similar plight and many feared that the
enormity of the problems could not be overcome.
Yet today India feeds itself. Africa's problems, of
course, are unique and require unique solutions.
But evidence exists that Africans and donors are
beginning to address key questions and find some
answers. Since the problems are severe and com-
plex, their solution will require greater commit-
ment than now exists.


The United States can continue to play an im-
portant role in improving food production and
alleviating hunger and malnutrition in sub-
Saharan Africa. The best hope of increasing food
production lies with improving opportunities for
the low-resource producers-they provide an
overwhelming proportion of the region's food
supplies and yet they have been largely ignored.
The United States can contribute appropriate as-
sistance with agricultural education, research, and
technologies.
Today, Africa is a continent in trouble. The
United States could make certain choices that in-
crease the likelihood that Africa's future will be
a hungry one-facing the possibility of social and
environmental problems of global dimensions. Or
the United States could strengthen its leadership
in foreign assistance, examining the part that this
country can play in alleviating Africa's dilemma
and coordinating with other nations to help Africa
reach a future chosen by its people.
For some substantial number of the world's
poor, the United States still holds out the future
to which they aspire. What they require from us
is not advice .. but action alongside them in the
task of hastening their economic development. Be-
longing to the same world population, we have
as large a stake in the outcome as they do.
-Gerard Piel, 1984 President-elect, AAAS
Chairman of the Board, Scientific American


OPTIONS


On the Right Track
In recent years, Congress has taken a number
of actions that have confirmed America's com-
mitment to increasing Africa's food production
in equitable and sustainable ways. Legislation has
resulted in initiatives that address many of the
findings of this report. OTA finds that each of
the initiatives remains relevant and important.
Their direction is, for the most part, consistent
with recent information on technology and food
production in Africa.
This section reviews some of this report's ma-
jor conclusions and the existing legislation that
OTA feels is both relevant and appropriate to re-


solving some of the problems presented. Unless
otherwise noted, the provisions cited refer to the
Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as amended (U.S.
Congress, Feb. 1984).

Emphasis should be placed on low-resource
producers: The Congress finds that the great-
est potential for significantly expanding food
production lies in increasing the productivity
of small farmers who constitute a majority
of agricultural producers in developing coun-
tries [sec. 103(c)].
Greater emphasis is needed on research for
low-resource producers: Agricultural research
shall: 1) consider the special needs of small








farmers; 2) include research on the interrela-
tionships among technology, institutions,
and economic, social, environmental, and
cultural factors affecting small-farm agricul-
ture; and 3) make extensive use of field test-
ing to adapt basic research to local conditions
[sec. 103A].
Technologies should account for the particu-
lar needs and constraints of the low-resource
producer: Emphasis shall be placed on use
of relatively smaller, cost-saving, labor-using
technologies most appropriate for small
farms, small businesses, and small incomes
of the poor [sec. 107].
Greater emphasis is needed on the role of
women in development: U.S. assistance
should promote the participation of women
in national economies of developing coun-
tries and the improvement of women's status
as an important means of promoting the total
development effort [sec. 102(b)(6) and sec.
113(a) c.f.].
The Congress declares that the principal pur-
pose of U.S. bilateral development assistance
is to help the poor majority of people in de-
veloping countries to participate in a proc-
ess of equitable growth through productive
work and to influence decisions that shape
their lives, with the goal of increasing their
incomes and their access to public services
which will enable them to satisfy their basic
needs and lead lives of decency, dignity, and
hope [sec. 102].
Assistance efforts are more efficient and ef-
fective if donors coordinate: U.S. assistance
efforts shall be planned in coordination and
cooperation with assistance efforts of other
countries, including the planning and imple-
mentation of programs and projects on a
multilateral and multidonor basis [sec. 102(b)
(11)].
* More effective evaluation is needed for pro-
jects and programs undertaken by AID: The
International Development Cooperation
Agency (IDCA) is directed to improve the as-
sessment and evaluation of the programs and
projects carried out [sec. 125].
* Private and voluntary organizations have a
major role to play in assisting the poor in
meeting their basic needs and in increasing


public awareness of hunger and poverty in
developing countries: Congress finds that de-
velopment can be assisted and accelerated
through an increase in activities planned and
carried out by private and voluntary orga-
nizations and cooperatives. Their financial
resources should be supplemented by contri-
butions of public funds without compromis-
ing their private and independent nature [sec.
123].
To increase public awareness of the polit-
ical, economic, technical, and social factors
relating to hunger and poverty and to ensure
the effectiveness of private and voluntary or-
ganizations in dealing with world hunger
abroad, AID is urged to assist private and
voluntary organizations [International Secu-
rity and Development Cooperation Act of
1980, Title III, sec. 316].
To help increase food production in Africa,
the Federal Government should support and
encourage appropriate research by U.S. uni-
versities, national and regional research fa-
cilities in Africa, and international agricul-
tural research centers: This support should
be provided on a long-term and continuing
basis. The United States should improve U.S.
land grant and other eligible universities' par-
ticipation in international efforts to apply
more effective agricultural sciences to the
goal of increasing world food production,
and should provide increased and longer
term support to the application of science to
solving food and nutrition problems of the
developing countries [sec. 296(a)].
To prevent famine and establish freedom
from hunger, various components must be
brought together in order to increase food
production including:
1. strengthening the capabilities of universi-
ties to assist in increasing agricultural pro-
duction in developing countries,
2 institution-building programs for develop-
ment of national and regional agricultural
research and extension capacities in devel-
oping countries that need assistance,
3. international agricultural research centers
[sec. 296(b)].
* Development is primarily the responsibility
of African governments: Development plan-









ning must be the responsibility of each sov-
ereign country. U.S. assistance should be ad-
ministered in a collaborative style to support
the development goals chosen by each coun-
try receiving assistance [sec. 102(b)(2)].
Further efforts to prevent degradation of nat-
ural resources are vital to sustained agricul-
tural development: The President is author-
ized to furnish assistance for developing and
strengthening the capacity of developing
countries to protect and manage their envi-
ronment and natural resources. Special ef-
forts shall be made to maintain and restore
the land, vegetation, water, wildlife, and
other resources upon which depend economic
growth and human well being, especially of
the poor [sec. 118(b)].
While this legislation is consistent with the find-
ings of this report and suggests that the United
States has taken steps in the right direction, Con-
gress has a continuing role to play in monitoring
the progress of these efforts and correcting any
unexpected adverse effects of its original legisla-
tion or amendments. OTA's preliminary analy-
sis suggests that Congress could continue to en-
courage the executive branch to demonstrate that
specific legislative instructions are being carried
out. Requests for reports from the executive
branch and holding congressional hearings are
two methods for doing this.

New Initiatives
Another way the Congress could enhance the
effectiveness of U.S. assistance to Africa is by
undertaking certain new initiatives. OTA finds
that important changes in the U.S. approach could
substantially improve food production.

A Commitment Measured in Decades
Finding: U.S. assistance needs to be long-
term and consistent over time if the
United States is committed to increasing
food production in Africa. Currently, the
United States supports hundreds of short-
term projects designed to encourage
long-term development. The goals and
objectives of these activities are often
unclear and inconsistent and their effec-
tiveness is hampered by political con-
siderations.


Many experts are coming to agree that long-
term improvements in food production require
commitments-for projects and agricultural re-
search-of at least 10 to 20 years. AID-sponsored
projects seldom last this long, although AID con-
tends that the trend in project length is upward.
Most programs face annual scrutiny, and politi-
cal and fiscal considerations determine their con-
tinuation. While monitoring project effectiveness
is appropriate, certain types of projects, particu-
larly research efforts, are not likely to show im-
mediate results and will require long-term con-
tinued support.
The inclusion of political factors in designating
recipients of U.S. assistance is always controver-
sial. Evidence exists that frequent shifts in both
development approaches and countries designated
as acceptable recipients reduce the effectiveness
of U.S. assistance. Much U.S. assistance is chan-
neled through private and voluntary organiza-
tions. Some of these groups, especially those with
long-term programs in Africa, are particularly af-
fected by U.S. policy changes.
In addition, the United States sponsors some
programs that have seemingly conflicting goals-
e.g., attempts to increase local food production
while simultaneously providing aid to dispose of
U.S. agricultural surpluses or expand markets for
U.S. food products. The Food for Peace Program
(Public Law 480) is often cited as an example of
America's unclear and conflicting foreign assist-
ance goals.
These factors-the short-term, political, and
unclear nature of U.S. foreign aid-are major
limits to its effectiveness. Congress could begin
to resolve these issues by several means.
Option: Congress could examine the soundness
of AID's major operational method-the design
and support of individual local projects-as a
means of providing long-term, well coordinated
assistance. Alternatives that might provide less
fragmentary aid with fewer administrative bur-
dens could be examined-e.g., supplying funds
in lump sums for large program areas such as in-
stitutional development, training, and university
post-graduate program development. The need
for such "program" assistance in research funding
could be evaluated in detail. Other alternatives
might include adopting the most effective provi-


38-856 0 85 2 : QL 3








sions used by other bilateral donors or integrating
all types of aid into individual country programs.
Option: Congress could reemphasize its com-
mitment to coordination among public and pri-
vate donors by exploring new ways to encourage
this coordination, such as: a) hear testimony from
donors on their needs, b) investigate the need to
bring additional donors into existing donor coor-
dination groups, and c) explore other means to
strengthen coalitions of public and private donors.
Option: Congress could evaluate whether AID's
cooperation with private and voluntary organi-
zations is meeting the congressional intent in Sec-
tion 123 of the Foreign Assistance Act. This eval-
uation could include: thoroughly examining the
effectiveness of these organizations' work versus
government funding; clarifying whether Congress
intended that their programs be confined to cer-
tain countries designated by AID as acceptable
recipients of U.S. assistance; and assessing wheth-
er AID should model the scale of its programs
after some private and voluntary organizations'
small-scale efforts, which many experts regard as
a particularly effective approach.
Option: Congress could require that AID in-
crease the average duration of individual assist-
ance projects/programs designed to increase long-
term development of African food production.
For example, Congress could stipulate that the
average length of such projects should increase
to 10 to 15 years by a given target date.
Option: Congress could request that the Gen-
eral Accounting Office (GAO) conduct a major
evaluation of Public Law 480's effects on African
food production and synthesize its considerable
body of past Public Law 480 work. Such a study
would capitalize on GAO's a) ability to conduct
local investigations in Africa, b) expertise in
accounting, and c) extensive record of Public Law
480 analysis. Important issues include the alleged
displacement of local farmers and technologies,
shifts in diet, and disincentives for local food pro-
duction.


Reaching Those Most in Need
Finding: The possibility of successfully di-
recting agricultural assistance to meet
the needs of specific target groups re-
mains debatable.
The Foreign Assistance Act, section 128, re-
quires that 40 percent of AID's funding be directed
toward the poorest residents. And the spirit of this
legislation is important in ensuring that AID meets
its responsibilities to assist the poorest people of
Africa.
However, many questions have arisen regard-
ing the best method to accomplish this goal, AID's
relative success in meeting it, and whether agri-
cultural assistance is the most effective way to
meet the poorest people's needs. Some of the poor-
est people may be those with little or no access
to land or livestock, female heads of households,
the chronically underemployed in urban areas, or
refugees. Projects designed to stimulate employ-
ment and other income-generating activities or to
meet basic needs may be more appropriate uses
of funds for assisting these poor. At the same time,
aid to increase food production could be directed
toward alleviating the constraints of low-resource
producers, who are usually poor themselves but
maybe not the "poorest."
Reliable data on the heterogeneous group called
"the poor" are scarce. Therefore, much remains
to be done to understand the poor who face severe
economic, social, technical, or environmental con-
straints on their attempts to increase food pro-
duction. More information is needed on the types,
proportions, and magnitude of their problems as
well as the constraints faced by other poor peo-
ple such as the landless and unemployed.
Congress could assist in this effort by determin-
ing the beneficiaries of agricultural versus income-
generating projects and examining the need for
special attention to low-resource producers.
Option: Congress could reiterate its commit-
ment to Section 128 of the Foreign Assistance Act








by holding hearings to determine strategies and
funding levels necessary to meet the needs of the
poorest rural residents. Witnesses could include
representatives from: a) African governments at
the national and regional levels-e.g., national
ministers of health, water resources, agriculture,
and women's affairs, and representatives of the
Organization of African Unity; b) international
food agencies such as the United Nations' Food
and Agriculture Organization (FAO); c) private
and voluntary organizations with expertise in ru-
ral land reform and community development; and
d) the U.S. Agency for International Devel-
opment.
Option: Congress could consider new legisla-
tion and funding that would be specifically aimed
at reducing constraints which inhibit the majority
of low-resource producers from increasing food
production.
Option: Congress could require AID to provide
information on: a) how the Agency could increase
its effectiveness in evaluating its own programs
and incorporate this information into future proj-
ect design and implementation, and b) the level
of funding necessary to fulfill this task. Congress
could also help make evaluation a project design
tool by encouraging AID to: establish an evalua-
tion staff officer for each mission and regional
AID office; collect improved baseline demograph-
ic data in host countries-e.g., data disaggregated
by sex and economic class; and include the pro-
posed beneficiaries (especially women and low-
resource producers) in the design and evaluation
phases of project development.
Option: Congress could investigate the relative
merits of the "grass roots" development strategy
represented by the African Development Foun-
dation (ADF). Congress could support the ADF
by: carrying over the Foundation's unallocated
fiscal year 1984 funds into 1985, funding ADF past
fiscal year 1986, supporting ADF's forums on
"grass roots" development, and strengthening the
organization's management and technical ca-
pacity.

Women: The Invisible Producers
Finding: Women contribute significantly to
the production of food crops but have
limited access to extension services,
credit, and training.


Women contribute up to four-fifths of the la-
bor and management for the production of food
crops in Africa. They receive few services to help
them increase food production despite the fact that
their important role has been recognized interna-
tionally for over 10 years. Women represent some
of the most overworked and undersupported and,
in most cases, some of the poorest of the rural
population. Therefore, providing assistance to
women farmers and herders is crucial to increas-
ing African food production.
Many ways exist that African women produ-
cers can be assisted by donors such as the United
States and by African governments. Primarily,
women need greater access to extension services,
affordable credit, reliable land rights, and train-
ing in food production technologies that are gen-
erally more available to men. Women develop-
ment experts and agricultural professionals will
be better able to provide these services in many
countries due to cultural constraints. Congress
could assist African food producers by helping to
make more women agricultural experts available.
Option: Congress could direct AID to give pri-
ority to hiring women agricultural professionals
as project officers. Over the last several years,
AID appears to be recruiting more female Inter-
national Development Interns. Increased emphasis
could be placed on increasing women staff in AID
Africa missions, given the importance of women
in agricultural development in Africa. It is also
important that the women recruited have train-
ing in agriculture and environmental science as
well as health, nutrition, and social science.
Option: Congress could direct AID to expand
the selection of African women for overseas train-
ing courses. Over the past 7 years, only 16 to 18
percent of all the African participants were wom-
en. Congress could consider imposing standards
on AID for the selection of more women so that
equal numbers of men and women are trained.
Option: Congress could direct AID to upgrade
the Women in Development (WID) position in its
African missions to ensure that the WID officer
is involved in all phases of project identification,
development, implementation, and evaluation
and that WID officers are people with technical
expertise and developing-country field experience.
Congress could request periodic reports on AID








progress on these activities as well as AID's prog-
ress in implementing its Women in Development
Policy Paper.
Option: Congress could direct AID to encour-
age host countries to recruit additional female
agricultural extension staff. Also, Congress could
request that AID develop training courses for
African male and female extension agents that
would provide methods for them to reach women
food producers.

Technology Types: The Right Stuff
Finding: Farmers and herders with little ac-
cess to economic and natural resources
hold the key to increasing food produc-
tion in Africa. Technologies to help these
low-resource producers are largely lack-
ing, especially in developed countries
such as the United States.
A consensus exists that low-resource producers
are the group most likely to increase food pro-
duction enough to feed a significantly greater
number of Africa's population. A consensus also
exists regarding the types of technologies these
producers need: low risk, resource-conserving,
small-scale, adapted to local labor conditions,
consistent with traditional agricultural methods,
affordable, and locally produced and repaired.
Some of these technologies can be adapted from
current traditional practices. A need also exists
for new types of technologies, especially given the
large projected increases in total and urban Afri-
can populations.
U.S. agricultural technologies-both equipment
and management systems-generally do not ex-
hibit the characteristics most needed by low-
resource producers. Therefore, many attempts to
use U.S. agricultural technology directly in Afri-
can food production have been unsuccessful.
Many feel that America's considerable agricultural
expertise has much to offer Africans, but care will
need to be taken if it is to be brought to bear ef-
fectively.
The Congress directed that special attention be
given to "appropriate technology" in section 107
of the Foreign Assistance Act. OTA finds that
such attention is justified and that methods could
be devised to make relevant information devel-


oped in the United States more available to Afri-
can researchers and producers.
Option: Congress could reaffirm its commit-
ment to section 107 of the Foreign Assistance Act
by holding hearings on AID's implementation of
this legislation and the institution created to do
so (ATI-Appropriate Technology International).
These hearings could consider whether section 107
should be amended to alter its language calling
for "labor-using" technology. Recent recognition
exists that low-resource producers face periodic
labor shortages; thus sometimes "labor-using"
technology can be inappropriate to their needs.
Option: Congress could design a program to
link U.S. experts in technology for low-resource
producers to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's
(USDA) international training activities in order
to increase their relevance to African conditions.
This would require that USDA involve non-
USDA staff such as returned Peace Corps volun-
teers, field representatives of private and volun-
tary organizations, and researchers in "alterna-
tive" agriculture.

A Worldwide Network for Agricultural Research
Finding: The United States is in a unique
position to encourage strong national
and international agricultural research fa-
cilities in Africa. The inclusion of farmers
and herders in this work, as well as the
widespread dissemination of its results,
is vital to making research effective.
The United States has played a major role in
supporting agricultural research in Africa, both
via the international agricultural research centers
and via programs coordinated by U.S. universi-
ties. The United States supplies approximately 20
percent of the core budget for the Consultative
Group on International Agricultural Research
(CGIAR), which sponsors the international cen-
ters, and also supports staff and students. Some
universities have a long history of international
activity but their programs have shifted accord-
ing to changing African and American views of
the most appropriate U.S. assistance.
Congress is involved directly in determining
how U.S. scientists take part in African research.
Many U.S. university programs, for example,









were instigated after Title XII of the Foreign As-
sistance Act made special AID programs availa-
ble to them. Experts suggest that past approaches
to support African research need to be supple-
mented with new programs. These should give in-
creased attention to developing national research
centers in Africa and providing additional train-
ing for African agricultural scientists at home,
rather than in the United States. Such efforts
would benefit agricultural research while build-
ing local institutions and management capacity,
another vital African need.
A consensus exists that alleviating two key
problems could increase the effectiveness of agri-
cultural research. First, low-resource producers
need to be incorporated into the process of de-
signing, planning, and evaluating research. And,
second, research results should be disseminated
widely and effectively.
Option: Congress could direct increased re-
sources into national research centers and univer-
sities in Africa by: helping to develop expanded
African graduate programs in food production;
encouraging U.S. universities to increase coop-
erative programs with national universities; pro-
viding funds for USDA and State Agricultural Ex-
periment Stations to work with African national
centers on problems of common interest-e.g.,
sorghum breeding or dairy production; making
American researchers available to help African
countries develop agricultural training programs
for Africans in Africa or other appropriate devel-
oping countries.
Option: Congress could establish a way for U.S.
technology to be used to disseminate agricultural
information in Africa. This might include: increas-
ing the availability and interpretation of satellite
imagery on natural resources for African govern-
ments; encouraging microcomputer manufactur-
ers to provide agricultural services that are suit-
able for African conditions; ensuring that all U.S.
support for international, regional, and national
research centers provides adequate funds for in-
ternational travel, documentation and distribu-
tion of findings, and purchase of relevant pub-
lications.
Option: Congress could highlight the current
and potential benefits, both to Africa and the


United States, of farmer/researcher cooperation
by holding hearings on farming systems research
as it is conducted in the United States and in
Africa.

Agricultural Extension Services:
Delivering the Goods
Finding: Agricultural extension systems in
Africa generally are ineffective at either
identifying food producers' constraints
or disseminating information on technol-
ogy, credit, or inputs.
Despite having formal extension systems in
place, most African countries' extension services
generally are ineffective in transferring informa-
tion and inputs. Most: a) lack clear goals and ob-
jectives; b) provide little support for or few in-
centives to staff working with low-resource
producers, especially women; c) coordinate poor-
ly with research institutes in identifying the ma-
jor constraints of low-resource producers; and d)
may promote technologies that primarily benefit
the wealthy rural producers.
Numerous attempts have been made to provide
alternative extension models, improve infrastruc-
ture and supervision for staff, and increase the
frequency of in-service training courses. Congress
has provided support for development of African
extension systems by both AID and USDA. Con-
gress could act to strengthen existing African sys-
tems further.
Option: Congress could investigate the prob-
lems facing African extension systems and the
most effective U.S. role to meet the needs of low-
resource producers in increasing food production.
This could include input from AID, USDA, the
World Bank, and others.
Option: Congress could direct AID to identify
extension problems unique to each country. AID
mission staff could interview agriculture officials
and local university staff and hold workshops to
solicit the views of local leaders and low-resource
producers.

The Pressure for Reform
Finding: African governments, though fac-
ing increasing external pressure for








change, generally support economic pol-
icies that favor urban consumers at the
expense of incentives for low-resource
food producers.
During the last two decades, African govern-
ments generally have opted for economic policies
that favor urban consumers. Prices paid to pro-
ducers for food crops have been artificially low,
while inflated currencies and increased interna-
tional borrowing allowed relatively inexpensive
food and consumer goods to be imported.
Now, African governments face several con-
flicting forces that threaten their economic inde-
pendence. The International Monetary Fund
(IMF) and the World Bank are increasing the re-
strictions on foreign assistance and rescheduling
loans. Many governments find it difficult to fulfill
these strict conditions while simultaneously pur-
suing their own national priorities.
Option: Congress could assist African govern-
ments, via U.S participation in policymaking at
the IMF and the World Bank, by encouraging
greater cooperation between these organizations
and African governments. Congress could exam-
ine the feasibility and desirability of monetary pol-
icies advocated by African countries such as more
gradual currency devaluation, longer loan repay-
ment periods, and appropriate conditions for fur-
ther loans.
Option: Congress could require that AID report
on uses of the Economic Support Fund (ESF) to
alleviate international debts in African develop-
ing nations, including the role of the ESF to ab-
sorb the effects of rapid increases in the price of
food and consumer goods in urban areas.


The Resource Base: Keeping
Renewable Resources Renewable
Finding: African governments and interna-
tional donors exhibit a limited commit-
ment to controlling the degradation of
Africa's natural resource base.
Deforestation, loss of soil fertility, and other
types of land degradation are major problems in
Africa. They are caused by increasing pressure on
a finite natural resource base and unsustainable
agricultural development.
Sustainable food production requires the inte-
gration of sound environmental policies into agri-
cultural programs. Experts in developing coun-
tries note the continuing need for increased
amounts of information on the environmental im-
pacts of technologies that are part of U.S. devel-
opment projects. Congress could assist this proc-
ess in several ways.
Option: Congress could require that AID report
on efforts agencywide and within the Africa Bu-
reau in particular to fulfill the requirements of sec-
tion 118 (c)(1) of the Foreign Assistance Act that
the environmental consequences of development
projects and programs be considered.
Option: Congress could investigate the status
of AID's environmental profiles for African coun-
tries and mandate that the profiles be integrated
into the agricultural development strategies.
Option: Congress could provide funds for a sig-
nificant increase in the number of appropriately
trained environmental field officers for AID field
missions and regional offices.









Chapter 2
Introduction









Table 2.-Food and Agriculture in Selected Countries


A ngola ....................
Benin .....................
Burundi....................
Cameroon .................
CAR .....................
C had ......................
Congo ....................
Ethiopia ...................
Ghana ....................
G uinea ....................
Ivory Coast .................
Kenya .....................
Lesotho ...................
Liberia.....................
Madagascar ...............
M alaw i ....................
Mali ......................
M auritania .................
Mozambique ...............
Niger......................
N igeria ....................
Rwanda.....................
Senegal ...................
Sierra Leone ...............
Som alia ...................
South Africa ...............
Sudan .....................
Tanzania ...................
Togo ......................
Uganda ....................
Upper Volta ................
Zaire ......................
Zam bia ....................
Zimbabwe .................
Total ....................


Volume of food imports
(000 metric tons)
1974 1981
149 244
8 93
7 19
81 106
7 14
50 14
34 56
118 207
177 256
63 134
172 619
15 534
49 95
42 111
114 268
17 113
281 102
115 182
62 368
155 89
389 2,441
3 16
341 458
72 58
42 432
127 476
125 305
431 265
6 62
37 37
99 71
343 538
93 295
56 21
3,880 9,099
(+134%)


Food aid in cereals
(000 metric tons)
1970 1980
0 25
9 11
6 12
4 9
1 3
13 14
2 2
59 228
43 94
49 34
4 0
2 173
14 44
3 26
7 26
17
114 50
48 106
34 155
75 11
7 0
19 15
28 153
10 12
110 330

50 195
148 237
0 4
16 57
0 51
17
1 84
18
876 2,213
(+153%)


Average index of food
production per capital,
1979-81
1969 1971 = 100
81
96
100
101
102
106
82
85
74
87
110
85
86
95
94
96
88
77
73
73
91
104
76
81
65
104
102
91
90
86
94
96
92
92
91a


aAverage (mean), weighted by population.
SOURCE: World Bank, World Development Report, 1983, In: U.S. Congress, House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Feeding the World's Population: Developments in
the Decade Following the World Food Conference of 1974 (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1984), p. 76.


AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA


Sub-Saharan Africa is at least twice the size of
the entire U.S. and is made up of 45 countries (fig.
1, ch. 1) with diverse climatic, environmental, cul-
tural, socioeconomic, and political characteris-
tics. To understand the limitations and possibili-
ties of increasing food production in Africa, it is
essential to examine African agricultural systems
carefully. Varying soils and climatic and ecolog-
ical factors define a multitude of ecological sys-
tems ranging from the hot, humid rainforests of
the Congo River Basin, to the highlands of Kenya


and Uganda, to the tall and short grass savannas
that grade into the Sahara Desert to the north and
the Kalahari and Namib Deserts to the southwest.
For a more in-depth analysis of African agricul-
tural systems, see Moran (1979) and Ruthenberg
(1980).

Despite the considerable diversity of agricul-
tural systems in Africa, some broad generaliza-
tions can be made regarding "typical" character-
istics and general trends.








Of the approximately 400 million people in
Africa, at least 70 percent live in rural areas. The
vast majority of these represent subsistence farm-
ers and pastoralists. While production generally
is geared toward subsistence levels, these low-
resource producers also provide the major source
of food for the rural and urban sectors, and raw
materials for export and domestic manufacturing
(Lele, 1981). With 30 to 60 percent of GNP being
derived from agriculture, the need for a healthy
agricultural sector is evident.
Africa is often misleadingly characterized as
having low population densities and abundant
availability of land (Moran, 1979). While these
factors might suggest favorable conditions, in
large measure they simply reflect the poor envi-
ronmental condition of much of the continent:
low, unreliable rainfall and poor soils. In fact,
human populations in Africa tend to be strongly
clustered around water supplies, roads, and areas
with better soil. Even where populations are low
in absolute terms, they are high relative to the
limited carrying capacity of the land. Large areas
of land are not available for settlement because
of rock outcrops, tsetse flies, river blindness, or
other similar causes. On most of the remaining
land, once one takes into account carrying capac-
ity, the population is sufficient to stress the envi-
ronment (Moris, 1984).
Fourteen sub-Saharan countries have inade-
quate amounts of land "to support on a sustain-
able basis populations as large as those already
reached in 1975" assuming subsistence food levels
(World Bank, 1984b). These countries represent
one half of the 1981 populations and approxi-
mately one-third of the region's land area.
Land tenure patterns, though changing, are rel-
atively egalitarian. Farms are generally small, with
2 to 10 acres under cultivation at any one time
(Eicher and Baker, 1982). Labor comes from the
entire family with women playing a major role
in food production and contributing significant
labor to cash crop production and animal rear-
ing. Land preparation traditionally has been ac-
complished through slash and burn techniques
and planting has been rotated with long fallow
periods, usually at least 8 years. Because of in-
creased population pressure on land, however,


these practices are becoming less and less
prevalent.
Farmers often engage in intercropping-the
staggered planting of several varieties of crops in
the same field. Although often not recognized as
such by outsiders, these complex cropping pat-
terns are adaptations to the delicate environment
in recognition of the soil's susceptibility to leach-
ing and erosion. Intercropping also is less risky
and better suited for subsistence farming to pro-
vide family food supplies. For similar reasons,
farmers sometimes cultivate several separate fields
simultaneously. Intercropping has the particular
benefits of providing extended soil cover for mois-
ture retention, making better use of soil and water,
and decreasing weed growth.
Farmers in Africa make relatively little use of
systematic irrigation or commercial inputs such
as fertilizers. Yields per hectare of staple crops are
lower in Africa than in other developing regions
(fig. 4).
Availability of arable land, until relatively re-
cently, was sufficient in most countries to sustain
the traditional (land extensive, low input, rota-
tional, long fallow period) agricultural systems
without presenting major problems. Today, how-
ever, increased population pressure has resulted
in increasing pressure on the land. The need for
increased production has led to expanded use of
marginal land with low and unreliable produc-
tivity. In addition, fallow periods have been re-
duced leading to even further declines in yields.
Savannas, which traditionally have been used for
herding, are now being converted to permanent
cultivation. These factors contribute to serious
degradation of the natural resources.
Cattle and other livestock play a critical role
in the total economy of many African countries,
particularly in arid and semiarid areas where agri-
cultural production is more uncertain. In evalu-
ating agricultural development schemes and
evolving agricultural systems, particularly mixed
crop-livestock systems, it is important to under-
stand the role livestock play and can play as a
source of food and investment (see Box A). Prac-
tically all producers maintain some form of live-
stock. In some circumstances livestock can use
available resources more effectively than crops









(Henson, 1984). Livestock can also represent the
major source of cash flow for low-resource pro-
ducers, an important factor to consider when ex-

Figure 4.-Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, and Latin
America Yields for Staple Crops


1965 1967 1969 1971 1973 1975 1977
Years
SOURCES: Latin America and Asia-Food Production Yearbook, Sub-Saharan
Africa-ESCS estimates, In: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Prob-
lems and Prospects In Sub-Saharan Africa, Foreign Agricultural
Research Report No. 166, August 1981.


amining strategies for enhancing yields that re-
quire the farmer to purchase inputs (Brumby,
1984).


Photo credit: Emment George, U.S. Agency for International Development
Livestock products supplement the protein supplies,
income, and prestige of many African households, in
addition to contributing foreign exchange as exports.
In mixed farming systems, livestock also are used for
plowing. Here, two Maasai herders watch over
cattle in Tanzania.


U.S. INTERESTS IN ASSISTING DEVELOPING COUNTRIES


The United States is in a real sense the creation
of European foreign aid, received in relatively
small amounts at critical points in our history, ap-
plied with energy and ingenuity by Americans to
American resources ... .The early experience of
the United States demonstrates the value of for-
eign aid for the military security and economic
development of a young, threatened, and relative-
ly poor nation. With the help of foreign grants,
military assistance, loans and other capital invest-
ments, the national independence of the United
States was secured, our essential economic foun-
dations established, and our own economic de-
velopment begun (U.S. AID, n.d.).


The United States began its own foreign aid
programs with the Marshall Plan, the massive
U.S. assistance program to rebuild Europe after
the devastation of World War II. Aid to devel-
oping countries officially began in 1950 when
Congress passed the Act for International Devel-
opment. Despite the proliferation of U.S. foreign
aid legislation and changes in strategy and focus,
the reasoning for U.S. interest has remained fairly
constant.

In general terms, foreign aid is seen as a mech-
anism to promote U.S. economic and national se-


SRoots andtubers
Latin Amencea

Asia

Sub -aharan, Africa


1?0~i~
1:~:~~:~~:~

1::~ ~:~~:~~
'
'
"










Box A.-Trends in Livestock Development
The Sahelian drought of 1968-74 focused international attention on African pastoral societies. The
overgrazing and famine that followed the absence of rains convinced some environmentalists (Hardin,
1968; UNCOD, 1977) and economists (Monod, 1975; Konzacki, 1978) that traditional pastoral societies
failed to manage their resources effectively.
Based on this assumption, range management interventions were supported by both the Agency
for International Development (AID) and the World Bank. The early projects either attempted to settle
the pastoralists within western style ranches (to introduce range management techniques for the increased
marketing of the animals) or to "expand" grazing opportunities into seasonal rangeland by drilling deep
wells. However, these interventions generally caused severe deterioration of the range and adversely
affected socioeconomic conditions. Proliferation of wells in the Sahel introduced additional livestock
into seasonally grazed areas and caused severe overgrazing (Clark, 1977; Glantz, 1976). Ranches intro-
duced in East Africa and Botswana have shown disastrous results, in some cases, completely degrading
both the vegetation and soils of the area (Horowitz, 1979; Banks, 1981).
Now a growing awareness exists of the complexity of livestock systems in Africa. "They differ strik-
ingly on the degree of movement involved, from highly mobile nomadic systems to relatively sedentary
ones . In some of the intermediate rainfall areas, livestock production is integrated with cropping
and farmers take care of their own animals or in other areas crop producers consign animal
care to specialized herder groups" (Institute for Development Anthropology, 1982). Within livestock
production systems, livestock serve many purposes. They serve as a source of milk, meat, social pres-
tige, capital, savings, draft power for plowing, and insurance against drought (Hjort and Dahl, 1976;
Institute for Development Anthropology, 1982).
Several national and international research centers now generally agree on the types of research
that can appropriately benefit livestock producers (Horowitz, 1979). The systems approach used to inte-
grate livestock and cropping systems shows promise in providing solutions to problems of low-resource
producers. One organization, the International Livestock Centre for Africa (ILCA), views poor animal
health and nutrition during dry seasons as the main constraints to increased production. ILCA emphasizes
research on mixed farming systems as its main objective, providing a forage-legume link between crop-
ping and livestock enterprises and increasing yields in both. Alley cropping, for example, can increase
crop yields and provide browsing for small ruminants by intercropping trees such as leucaena with cereal
crops. In the semiarid zones, intercropping millet and cowpeas can increase yields and improve the value
of forage (ILCA, 1984).
ILCA and others are conducting research in arid and semiarid zones on the control of the tsetse-trans-
mitted trypanosomiasis, the introduction of appropriate plows for people with few livestock, range man-
agement for communal livestock systems, and dry season water management. However, much needs
to be done in improving dairy yields of livestock, exploring possible supplemental feeds, and decreasing
calf mortality rates.



curity interests. More specifically, the economic part of U.S. assistance spending comes back in
argument is made that assisting the developing the form of demands for American goods and
countries helps "convert the threat of economic services. It has been estimated that about 70 per-
chaos into long-range opportunities: the building cent of bilateral U.S. assistance disbursements and
of new trading partners, and new free societies 50 percent of our contributions to multilateral de-
of private enterprise" (Andreas Task Force, 1984). velopment banks are spent on U.S. goods and
Developing countries represent 40 percent of U.S. services (U.S. Department of State, 1983). Devel-
export markets and are the fastest growing mar- oping countries are particularly important mar-
ket, by value, for U.S. goods and services. A large kets for agricultural products, with 20 percent of








U.S. farm acreage devoted to producing for them
(U.S. Department of State, 1983). Every billion
dollars of farm exports generates another 25,000
to 30,000 jobs in the United States (Andreas Task
Force, 1984).
In terms of security interests, aid is seen as a
non-military tool to achieve numerous foreign
policy objectives including:
promoting regional and economic stability,
encouraging democracy,
securing or maintaining access to strategic fa-
cilities,
countering Soviet influence,
encouraging cooperation with the U.S. on in-
ternational issues (U.S. GAO, 1983).
The plight of the developing world poses a
threat to our own security. A contented United
States cannot live unscathed in a world of hunger
and famine. Nor can the United States live un-
harmed in a world of seething unrest and unstable
governments that hunger and famine creates (An-
dreas Task Force, 1984).
The United States depends on developing coun-
tries for a number of important commodities and
Africa possesses a significant share of many of
these. For example, the United States imports over
90 percent of its cobalt, bauxite, and manganese.
Zaire and Zambia are the world's leading produc-
ers of cobalt and together provide about 50 per-
cent of U.S. import requirements. Guinea has
more than a quarter of the world's bauxite re-
serves and provides some 30 percent of U.S. im-
ports. Gabon provides 26 percent of total U.S.
import requirements of manganese, which in 1983
reached 99 percent (Kamarck, 1982; U.S. Depart-
ment of the Interior, 1984a,b).
Each of these materials has vital industrial and
military applications. Concern exists that strate-
gic materials from Africa are particularly suscep-
tible to interruption due to instability in many
supplier countries. The argument is made that
economic assistance acts as a stabilizing factor and
cements U.S.-supplier country ties, thereby reduc-
ing the threat of supply disruptions.
Beyond the arguments related to U.S. economic
and security interests, more altruistic motivations
historically have played a large part in develop-
ment assistance. The arguments of humanitarian
or moral obligations to alleviate suffering in the


world have been used effectively to generate con-
siderable support, particularly during periods of
crisis such as drought, famine, and other natural
disasters.
Conflicts may arise between U.S. interests in
assisting sub-Saharan African countries and
broader domestic and foreign policy goals. In par-
ticular, the objective of making Africa more food-
self-sufficient may conflict with United States de-
sires to expand international markets for its agri-
cultural products. The Overseas Private Invest-
ment Corporation (OPIC), the Federal agency
created to mobilize and facilitate "the participa-
tion of U.S. capital and skills in the economic and
social development of less developed countries,"
places high priority on export development. How-
ever, the General Accounting Office (GAO) notes
that OPIC should "explore possible conflicts
which might arise between country development
objectives and U.S. export interests" (U.S. GAO,
Feb. 1981).
The objective of greater agricultural develop-
ment in the Third World quickly confronts the
question of competition with U.S. exports for ex-
isting markets. Short-run competitive relation-
ships will, of course, arise. However, the real in-
terest of American agriculture is in expanding the
total world market .rather than obtaining
slightly larger shares of a stagnant or shrinking
market (Andreas Task Force, 1984).
The divergence of interests, however, threatens
to widen, especially given U.S. efforts to expand
its agricultural exports significantly in the short
term as a means of reducing its overall trade def-
icits. This issue raises a number of issues relating
to agriculture, technology, and assistance for sub-
Saharan Africa which the Congress should
address.
Agricultural surpluses traded on new interna-
tional markets transformed the United States into
the prime world agricultural exporter. This pro-
voked a continuing debate regarding the appro-
priate U.S. role in world agriculture: Should the
United States be the "breadbasket of the world"
(with potential long-run depletion of its natural
resources)? Or should the United States act as
technical assistance provider to help less devel-
oped countries strengthen their own agricultural
systems (with long-term prospects of LDCs reduc-
ing their need for American agricultural imports
and eventually even competing with U.S. imports
in world markets)? (USDA, 1984c).








Chapter 3
Issues in
Technology Development






Chapter 3

Issues in Technology Development


The best hope for increasing food supplies in
Africa lies with the low-resource farmers and
herders who provide an overwhelming propor-
tion of the region's food. Yet can these people be
helped to increase their production enough to feed
today's populations, let alone the additional
millions who will be added as Africa's population
grows?
American expertise can have a role in this ef-
fort. This section explores the types of technol-
ogy needed to face this future growth, including
the role agricultural research plays in developing
suitable technologies. In particular, it looks at
what types of technology are suitable for African
cultures and environments. Later sections of this
report focus on issues in technology transfer, tech-
nical assistance, and the responsibilities of the
African governments themselves.
The issues examined here include the suitability
of existing technologies and their appropriateness
for conditions likely in Africa's future, the indirect
role that nonagricultural technologies can serve
to increase food production, how the United
States and other nations can best share their scien-
tific and research expertise, how current research
information can be shared most effectively, and
the need for food producers to have an expanded
role in planning and implementing agricultural re-
search.

Issue 1: Many technical solutions introduced into
sub-Saharan Africa for food production are not
suitable for present conditions nor for condi-
tions likely to prevail in the near future.

Preliminary Findings
* Increased food production requires increased
use of well adapted existing technologies and
new ones. The most suitable technologies prob-
ably will be consistent with traditional African
agricultural methods, reflect local conditions,
be affordable, locally produced and repairable,
and involve low risks and low inputs.
* Large demographic changes are under way in
Africa, and innovative agricultural technologies


relevant to these changes-e.g., urban agri-
culture-are needed but largely unexplored.
* Few technologies have been designed for low-
resource food producers who generally seek to
minimize risk rather than maximize production.
A growing consensus is emerging that devel-
oping these technologies deserves high priority.
* Technology development should consider the
status of the natural resource base, its inherent
capabilities, and the potential impacts of new
technologies, but often this is not done. Re-
sources are degraded or susceptible to degrada-
tion in many parts of Africa. Important dif-
ferences exist between the African and U.S.
resource base.
* An integrated or "systems" approach to tech-
nology development is promising but seldom
taken. Too often technologies are developed
piecemeal with little regard for long-term sus-
tainability. For example, work on crops and
trees is not integrated with animal production
systems even though many producers combine
them.
* The social and cultural situations into which
technologies are introduced are vital but often
overlooked-e.g., often women's unique roles
in African agriculture, pastoralism, and forestry
are underemphasized.
* Conditions in the United States are significantly
different, ecologically and socially, for most
agricultural technology developed in the United
States to be transferred directly to sub-Saharan
Africa. Much U.S. technology requires levels
of technical and managerial support that now
cannot be met in Africa.
* Expanded agricultural research is needed on
traditional staple food crops and small-scale
food production instead of continued empha-
sis on cash crops.

Discussion
The decline in per capital food production in
Africa has stimulated a reexamination of the types
27









of agricultural technology chosen for development
and transfer. Hindsight has shown that introduc-
tion of Western technologies into peasant com-
munities often has proved inappropriate (Altieri,
1984; Harwood, 1979). Some agricultural tech-
nology has worked against the natural resource
base, further undermining food production (Com-
mins, 1984; Twose, 1984). Also, population dis-
tribution between inland/coastal and rural/urban
areas is shifting and total population is increas-
ing rapidly (figs. 5 and 6). As such, specialized
technologies may be needed to produce sufficient
food. Large demographic shifts, continuing envi-
ronmental degradation, as well as numerous proj-
ect failures, suggest that some changes in technol-
ogy development are needed.

A consensus is emerging on the kinds of tech-
nology most needed to meet Africa's future food
needs. Participants in OTA's workshop described
these technologies as: low risk, resource-conserv-
ing, small-scale, locally produced, affordable,
easily repaired, and based on traditional meth-
ods. Also, technologies must be suited to labor
conditions because "production cycles alternate
short periods of intense work, requiring a sea-
sonally effort-saving form of investment and in-
put, with long periods of 'underemployment' "


Figure 5.-Population Projections for Sub-Saharan
Africa: 1985-2025


I r- i i I I I
1980 1985 1990 1995 2000
Years


2020


Key:
A Total Sub-Saharan + Mid-Africa
West Africa 0 East Africa
SOURCE: United Nations Population Projections, Medium Variant, 1980.


(Lipton, 1977c). Participants also noted, however,
that many technologies must be tailored to the
particular site of application and the expected
users. Therefore, generalizations cannot be made
about the best technology for all types of produc-
tion, regions, and countries because of the var-
ied conditions and varied agricultural production
systems.
The adaptation and use of traditional agricul-
tural methods is expected to be an essential start-
ing point (U.N. FAO, April 1984; Wad, 1984).
Traditional agricultural systems include: agrofor-
estry, multiple cropping, minimum tillage, cover
cropping, living mulches, small-scale irrigation,
and large and small livestock management. Com-
monly, traditional technologies have been over-
looked by researchers, governments, and donors
despite their prevalence and advantages. For ex-
ample, 98 percent of cowpeas grown in Africa are
interplanted with other crops (Francis, et al.,
1976). Yet intercropping has received little re-
search attention. This is a traditional technology
to:
.. promote diversity of diet and income source,
stability of production, minimization of risk, re-
duced insect and disease incidence, efficient use
of labor, intensification of production with limited


Figure 6.-Urban Population Projections for
Sub-Saharan Africa: 1985-2025


0

C

0
o 2r
100


0 1 -" i1
1980 1985 1990 1995 2000
Years


A Total Sub-Saharan + Mid-Africa
West Africa 0 East Africa
SOURCE: United Nations Population Projections, Medium Variant, 1980.




























Photo credit: George Scharffenberger, OTA
Traditional agricultural methods are appropriate starting points for developing improved agricultural technologies. IITA
is researching the traditional risk-reducing, yet efficient, practice of intercropping (e.g., cowpeas and cassava).


resources and maximization of returns under low
levels of technology (Altieri, 1983).
Kitchen gardening, an agricultural activity per-
formed almost exclusively by African women, is
another largely neglected traditional technology.
These gardens often contribute to household in-
come, show higher per-acre yields than field
crops, and are the places where producers exper-
iment with new seeds, new inputs, and new plant-
ing technology. Yet often they are perceived by
donors and researchers as women's hobbies and
usually do not receive funding, inputs, technical
assistance, nor research in proportion to their im-
portance (Tendler, 1982).
Urban agriculture is another use of traditional
technologies that may be of increasing impor-
tance. Almost all African countries are urbaniz-
ing more rapidly than other low- and middle-
income countries while overall development is
slower; most growth is occurring in each coun-
try's largest city (PADCO, 1982). Many urban
residents face problems obtaining affordable and
reliable food supplies, although food prices have
been kept artificially low in many urban areas.
Urban Resource Systems, Inc., estimates that the


incidence of malnutrition is accelerating more
rapidly in cities than rural areas of developing
countries and that the urban poor consume fewer
food calories than their rural counterparts.

"Meanwhile, for millions of the urban poor, the
potential capacity of the urban system to produce
food may be a factor on which their survival may
hinge" (Boyden and Celecia, 1981; Nelson and
Mandl, 1978). Methods such as intensive cultiva-
tion, rooftop gardening, composting, urban for-
estry, irrigation using renewable energy for pump-
ing, aviculture, and aquaculture can be used to
increase urban food supplies.

Urban agriculture projects exist in some African
countries, their contribution to nutrition is docu-
mented, and their special importance during food
shortages is easily observed (see Urban Resource
Systems, Inc., 1984). For example, open lands are
used by the unemployed to grow vegetables and
fuelwood in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (OXFAM,
1983; Wade, 1983). The City Council in Lusaka,
Zambia, began an Urban Agriculture and Nutri-
tion Project in 1977 (Wade, 1983), receiving some
assistance from UNICEF and an American PVO.








This program maintains demonstration vegetable
gardens in several squatter settlements and on ur-
ban fringe lands. Lusaka planned a special urban
agriculture and nutrition service to promote ur-
ban food production (Ledogar, 1978). Home food
production also is part of a local development plan
for areas near Douala, Cameroon (Barbedette,
1978).
Steady use of many kinds of existing technol-
ogies during the 1980s and 1990s could increase
food production substantially. First, however,
African countries would need to determine and
eliminate non-technological constraints, such as
pricing policies. Africa also faces a number of
special technical problems requiring new techno-
logical approaches. Important research areas
include: plant breeding for unfavorable environ-


ments, soil and water conservation, environ-
mental monitoring, mechanization, fodder crops,
livestock immunization, fisheries estimates, and
livestock management. The aim should be:

.. small scale but highly productive and eco-
logically sound permanent farming systems that
not only take advantage of such modern inputs
as better varieties, mineral fertilizers and mechan-
ical equipment, but also make full use of crop
residues for animal feedings, and of crop and ani-
mal residues and nitrogen-fixing crops to main-
tain fertility. These are likely to be increasingly
based on the close integration of crop, livestock
and forestry production, and in some cases fish
production as well (U.N. FAO, April 1984).
Research to help develop such technologies
seems to be scarce. As much as 98 percent of the


Photo credit: George Scharffenberger, OTA
Alley-cropping food crops (e.g., maize) with nitrogen-fixing bushes (e.g., gliricidia) is an adaptation of intercropping
designed to increase yields as well as provide fodder andlor fuelwood.


~


i'



I~;I









world's modern technological capacity is concen-
trated in the industrialized countries (Singer,
1977). An estimated 90 percent of all scientific re-
search conducted worldwide takes place in devel-
oped countries and is directed specifically to their
own needs (Perez, 1978).
Trends in American agriculture make it unlikely
that most U.S. technologies will be appropriate
for Africa. U.S. research on small farms, for ex-
ample, comprises only a fraction of the annual
Federal research budget. Plant breeders in the
United States generally have not sought to adapt
crops to unfavorable environmental conditions
(Boyer, 1982) and research on technologies to limit
farm and ranch inputs such as water, fertilizers,
and pesticides has not received much attention.
A few notable exceptions exist, however, such as
research conducted at the Rodale Research Cen-
ter in Pennsylvania (U.S. Congress, OTA, Oct.
1983). Some experts contend, though, that the
technical feasibility of developing "low-input"
technology for agriculturally marginal areas is un-
known (Ruttan, 1982).
Much American agricultural technology has
been described as "high tech." It involves com-
plex and expensive machinery, integration of large
amounts of information from distant sources, and
high managerial skills. These features significantly
limit its applicability in Africa. In addition, U.S.
climate, soils, natural vegetation, and domesti-
cated animals are different in important ways
from those in Africa. Therefore, American tech-
nology commonly is not suitable for direct trans-
fer overseas, and care must be taken to evaluate
its suitability before introduction.
Some argue, however, that much developed-
country research is adaptable or transferable to
developing countries. Authors of the 1971 U.N.
World Plan of Action called for developed coun-
tries to divert a specified part of their domestic
research efforts toward technology appropriate
for developing countries (Singer, 1977). Basic re-
search on plant and animal physiology is one ex-
ample. If U.S. universities conducted research on
important African crops, the results would be ex-
pected to be useful in Africa.
In fact, however, Africa's staple food crops
have not received major research worldwide


(U.N. FAO, April 1984) and different uses of the
same crops in different countries may limit wide-
spread use of research results. Sorghum, for ex-
ample, is used in the United States for livestock
feed and syrup. In Africa, it is used for human
food and brewing beer. These uses require differ-
ent crop research strategies. Research programs
for millet, cassava, yams, cowpeas, and open-
pollinated corn have begun only recently, and "the
scale of worldwide research effort on individual
staple food crops has been in inverse ratio to their
importance in Africa" (U.N. FAO, April 1984).
U.S. technology, in its broadest definition, is
used extensively to train many African agricul-
tural students in the United States. Such training
is often inappropriate for the conditions to which
the students will return. Thus the need to provide
education and training in Africa is stressed in-
creasingly. U.S. training is likely to remain nec-
essary in the short term until African educational
institutions can fully develop. Indigenous insti-
tutions, American faculty, and foreign students
in the U.S. could benefit if foreign graduate
students at American universities conducted re-
search in their own country or in countries hav-
ing similar environments.
Congress has attempted to encourage a new
generation of technologies for developing coun-
tries. In 1975, the Agency for International De-
velopment (AID) was directed to support the de-
velopment and dissemination of "capital-saving
technology" in section 107 of the International
Development and Food and Assistance Act. AID
defined this as technology that: requires little cap-
ital per worker, is small-scale, easily replicable,
easily serviced and operated by untrained users,
and involves local people and resources. AID
responded by establishing a private nonprofit
group, Appropriate Technology International
(ATI), providing policy directives to missions, and
designing two systems to make technological in-
formation available to project staff.
Despite this encouragement, problems in devel-
oping, introducing, and using such technologies
continue. An analysis conducted by the General
Accounting Office (U.S. GAO, 1984) found that
AID's management does not encourage use of cap-
ital-saving technology, that the information sys-









teams have severe weaknesses, and that ATI is used
little by AID country missions. Another analysis
found that capital saving technology projects
compared favorably with "appropriate technol-
ogy" projects in the United States but almost all
were plagued by planning and/or implementation
problems (Associates in Rural Development,
1982). AID evaluated ATI's worldwide work in
1982 and found that it seems to have had little
impact in the four African countries studied, but
the potential is growing in Kenya (Samper, 1982).

Issue 2: The development of some types of non-
agricultural technologies is important to en-
able women farmers and herders to increase
food production as well as to ensure that
foreign assistance reaches the poorest rural
residents.

Preliminary Findings
* Poor rural residents without land may benefit
more from nonagricultural assistance and tech-
nologies-e.g., income-generating projects such
as soap-making or crafts.
* Certain labor-saving household technologies
could allow women producers to devote more
time to agriculture. These include improved
water systems, more accessible fuelwood sup-
plies, and improved methods for processing,
storing, and preserving foods.
* Improved human and animal health also are
important factors in increasing food production.

Discussion
With the New Directions legislation of 1973,
the goal of helping those most in need in devel-
oping countries became an explicit part of U.S.
foreign assistance. The results of this directive are
far from clear, however, and questions remain
about the size and structure of the poorest popula-
tions in sub-Saharan Africa and elsewhere (Tendler,
1982). These unanswered questions have impor-
tant implications for technology development. A
large part of the income of the poorest farm house-
holds may be earned in nonagricultural activities
(Chuta and Liedholm, 1984). For these people,
activities such as small-scale trading, crafts, fish-
ing, and peddling, may be important (Tendler,


1982). Only some of these activities require agri-
cultural technology.
Time to devote to agriculture can be a limiting
factor for women producers in Africa. Increas-
ing agricultural production may depend, there-
fore, as much on developing improved technol-
ogy to save them time in other activities and at
crucial periods during the growing season as it
does on improved agricultural technology.
Most rural African women work 9 to 10 hours
a day in the fields, then spend as many as 7 or
8 more hours fetching water, collecting and car-
rying fuelwood, looking after children and the


Photo credit: World Bank Photo by Ray Witlin
A woman in Burkina Faso roasting groundnuts while
watching her child. Nonagricultural technologies that
reduce some of the labor constraints that women face
in fuelwood and water collection could allow them
more time for agricultural activities.









elderly, cooking and preserving food, and help-
ing to store and market crops (Carr, 1978). Also,
they may grow vegetables or make soap to earn
cash for school fees and food items such as salt
and sugar. And they take part in community proj-
ects such as building roads.
Technologies intended to provide lighting and
increase the efficiency of cooking have attracted
much attention as ways to lighten women's bur-
dens. Planners felt that improved stoves, for ex-
ample, could decrease alarming deforestation and
reduce time spent on fuelwood collection. Many
of these projects have been less successful than
was hoped, however. It seems that the time
women spent collecting fuelwood and the mag-
nitude of deforestation attributed to their activi-
ties were overestimated (Tinker, 1982). In addi-
tion, sometimes the perceived needs of women
differed from what projects offered. More recent
efforts-e.g., to introduce solar ovens and make
simple adjustments to currently used stoves-are
more successful (Tinker, 1982).
African women themselves have identified the
need for new water technology to ease the bur-
dens of carrying water daily for drinking, cook-
ing, washing, and irrigation:
Evidence shows that life for the rural woman
has been getting harder over recent years. Wor-
sening drought conditions in many African coun-
tries mean that women have to walk further dis-
tance and for more months during the year to
collect water. A recent study in Ethiopia revealed
that in 75 percent of the households under survey,
the women spent 3 hours or more on a single
journey to collect water. Women in many villages
in Upper Volta set out to collect water at dawn
and rarely return with their daily supply before
noon (Carr, 1978).
Evidence exists that food production may in-
crease when water technology improves. In Kenya,
for example, the installation of tin roofs for rain-
water collection saved 2 to 10 hours per day per
household. Women expanded their gardens and
raised more chickens and pigs for urban markets
as a result (Tinker, 1981).
African women also have noted the need for
technologies suited for transporting small loads
of fuelwood, water, and produce, and improved


technologies for food processing. The latter in-
clude grinding mills for producing flour from
corn, millet, sorghum, and rice, a task that can
take 1 to 2 hours each day (Carr, 1978). Some
estimates suggest that food processing and prep-
aration take more time and energy than either col-
lecting firewood or water (Tinker, 1982).
Considerable evidence exists that disease is an
impediment to agricultural development and thus
food production in some parts of Africa (Ruttan,
May 1984). Agriculture is impossible due to on-
chocerciasis (river blindness) in some fertile river
valleys in West Africa. It appears that disease
vectors increase as cultivation increases, even-
tually causing abandonment of the cleared land.
Trypanosomiasis, carried by the tsetse fly, is a
serious public health problem, and it makes live-
stock production impossible on approximately 6
million square miles of land. Technologies are
available to prevent or cure some tropical diseases
but often their application is costly. Research in
biotechnology may make new low-cost technol-
ogies available but its application is, in some
cases, decades away (U.S. Congress, OTA, 1985).

Issue 3: Disagreement exists regarding the op-
timal way for the United States to support
scientists and provide funds for research on
African food production.

Preliminary Findings
An integrated system of national and regional
agricultural research institutions in developed
and developing countries tied to the interna-
tional research network has great potential but
has yet to be achieved.
U.S. contributions of personnel and funds to
the International Agricultural Research Centers
have been vital to their substantial successes.
National agricultural research centers in Africa
need strengthening and this could require a ma-
jor U.S. commitment.
American institutions have played and continue
to play important roles in educating African
scientists. The tailoring of certain programs
could be improved to fit the situations students
face at home-e.g., by providing in-country








training or training in comparable developing
countries.
Few U.S. universities can sustain the long-term
commitment required for African technology
development and transfer because: 1) funding
is tied to short-term contracts and assignments,
2) the number of American scientists with train-
ing and experience under conditions different
from the U.S. temperate zone is limited, and
3) few U.S. universities and colleges provide in-
centives for faculty to conduct overseas agri-
cultural research.
Arguments exist regarding the best roles for
American scientists and universities to play in
African development. Some universities are at-
tempting to "internationalize" their charters and
to increase their involvement in development.
At the same time, some developing countries
seek to decrease the role of expatriates, limiting
opportunities for U.S. personnel.
Non-land grant universities and smaller land
grant institutions have not played a large part
in international agricultural development efforts.
The 1890 colleges have conducted research for
small, low-resource farmers in the U.S. Their
expertise may prove to be relevant to develop-
ing countries. Long-term overseas work may
jeopardize their local programs, however, be-
cause their scientific staff usually is small.

Discussion
Many experts acknowledge that the global agri-
cultural research system has weaknesses that need
to be improved (Eklund, 1983; World Bank,
1984a). However, they have not agreed on the
best way to achieve this nor the optimal roles of
the different institutions that comprise the system:
the international agricultural research centers, na-
tional and regional agricultural research institu-
tions in Africa, and developed-country research
facilities, especially universities.
Most American assistance for multilateral agri-
cultural research is channeled through the global
network of international agricultural research
centers funded by the Consultative Group on In-
ternational Agricultural Research (CGIAR). Thir-
teen centers exist; four are located in Africa and


most of the others have significant programs there
(table 3; app. A). The United States has provided
19 to 28 percent of the annual core funding for
CGIAR since 1972 (CGIAR, 1983).
The Centers have contributed to increases in
food production in developing countries and gen-
erally are regarded as successful innovations
(Schultz, 1984). Their greatest impact has been
in breeding high-yielding varieties of wheat and
rice (Plucknett and Smith, 1982). The perception
exists that they have made the "easy" research
gains, though, and are beginning to lag in using
recent biological advances (Ruttan, 1983). Fund-
ing is expected to remain relatively constant after
spectacular increases in the 1970s.
Debate continues regarding the proper level and
form of U.S. support for CGIAR. Some note the
increase in U.S. bilateral assistance and fear that
the longstanding U.S. commitment to CGIAR is
waning (Scharffenberger, 1984). On the other
hand, some U.S. university officials contend that
AID allocates money to the international centers
at the expense of support for American institu-
tions (Campbell, 1983).
Most experts, however, recognize the need for
a cooperative, not competitive, global agricultural
research system. Also, a consensus exists that na-
tional and regional facilities in Africa deserve in-
creased support in order to make the entire sys-
tem most effective (Lele, 1981; World Bank,
1984a). Links between the international and na-
tional centers are important as well as links among
national institutions (Ruttan, Sept. 1984).
National agricultural research centers in devel-
oping countries expanded greatly in the last dec-
ades. Most of the growth occurred in a few coun-
tries, however, and Nigeria is the only African
nation among them. Ruttan (Sept. 1984) lists sev-
eral concerns regarding these national efforts in
Asia, Latin America, and Africa:
investment in facilities appears to exceed that
in scientific staff development,
administrative burdens stifle research,
frequently locations are chosen without ade-
quate regard for factors that contribute to
success,
often research budgets do not reflect the eco-
nomic importance of particular commodities,










Table 3.-Centers Supported by the CGIAR, 1984


Acronym
(year established) Center Location
IRRI (1960) ..... International Rice Research Institute Los Banos, Phillipines


CIMMYT (1966) ...Centro Internacional de Mejoramiento
Maiz y Trigo



IITA (1967) ..... International Institute of Tropical
Agriculture




CIAT (1968) ...... Centro Internacional de Agricultura
Tropical


CIP (1971) ....... Centro Internacional de la Papa
WARDA (1971) ....West African Rice Development
Association
ICRISAT (1972).... International Crops Research Institute
for the Semi-Arid Tropics




ILRAD (1973) .... International Laboratory for Research
on Animal Diseases
IBPGR (1974) .....International Board for Plant Genetic
Resources
ILCA (1974) ......International Livestock Center for
Africa
IFPRI (1975) ...... International Food Policy Research
Institute
ICARDA (1976) .... international Center for Agricultural
Research in the Dry Areas




ISNAR (1980) ..... International Service for National
Agricultural Research


Mexico City, Mexico




Ibadan, Nigeria




Cali, Colombia



Lima, Peru
Monrovia, Liberia

Hyderabad, India




Nairobi, Kenya

Rome, Italy

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Washington, DC, U.S.A.

Aleppo, Syria




The Hague, Netherlands


aCGIAR supported core budget, net of capital, at the bottom of the bracket (from 1983 Integrative Report).
SOURCE: Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, "The CGIAR in Africa," Washington, DC, 1984.


Research
programs
Rice
Rice based cropping
systems
Maize
Bread wheat
Durum wheat
Barley
Triticale
Farming systems
Maize
Rice
Sweet potato, yams
Cassava, cowpea,
lima bean, soybean
Cassava
Field beans
Rice
Tropical pastures
Potato
Rice

Chickpea
Pigeonpea
Pearl millet
Sorghum
Groundnut
Farming systems
Trypanosomiasis
Theileriosis
Plant genetic sources

Livestock production
systems
Food policy

Farming systems
Wheat, barley,
triticale, broad
bean, lentil,
chickpea, forage
crops
National agricultural
research


analysis of research priorities is not well-
informed,
leaders of some research systems appear to
presume that research can be done without
scientists,
a number of national systems are vulnerable
to cycles of donors' development policies.

Ruttan notes further that both African govern-
ments and donors will face critical questions as
they develop national agricultural research facil-


ities. Most smaller countries, with populations
ranging from 2 million to 10 million, have the re-
sources to develop their own research systems in
10 to 20 years. National research systems in
smaller developing countries, such as Sierra Le-
one, may require a generation to reach their
ultimate size-little larger than a branch station
in Texas. They will remain dependent on the in-
ternational agricultural research centers, multina-
tional firms, and developed countries for much
agricultural technology. But they need the scien-


1984 budget


(millions of
dollars)
22.5


Geographic
focus
Global
Asia

Global
Global
Global
Global
Global
Tropical Africa


Global
Tropical Africa

Global
Global
Latin America
Latin America
Global
West Africa

Global
Global
Global
Global
Global
Semi-Arid tropics
Global
Global
Global

Tropical Africa

Global

Dry areas of West
Asia and North
Africa



Global








tific capacity to draw on the global research
system.
U.S. universities are an important part of that
global system and have been involved in inter-
national work for decades. Massachusetts State
College worked with Japan in 1876; other univer-
sities followed in the early 1900s. The pace ac-
celerated after 1949, when President Truman
dedicated the United States to helping develop-
ing countries. Large numbers of U.S. university
faculty work in developing countries now. Wash-
ington State University, for example, has formal
exchange agreements with 17 countries, and more
than 120 faculty had foreign assignments in 1983
(Yates, 1984).
The type of international work that universities
conducted has shifted with time. In the 1950s
many universities attempted to transfer Ameri-
can agricultural technology directly. By the 1960s
their attention shifted to institution-building.
These activities decreased and research efforts in-
creased in the late 1960s and early 1970s when
AID funding for universities peaked (figs. 7 and
8). More recently, universities and individual
American scientists have worked with the global
network of international agricultural research
centers and contracted for AID mission-oriented
work (Perez, 1978).



Figure 7.-AID-Financed University Contracts and
Grants for Technical Assistance to Host
Countries-In Millions, Fiscal Years 1970-808


Many evaluations of universities' involvement
in international activities were completed in the
1960s and 1970s. U.S. personnel made a large con-
tribution to overseas successes, but some common
problems were noted. These included: lack of
long-term planning, difficulties in the AID/univer-
sity relationship; lack of social, cultural, and po-
litical sensitivity on the part of the U.S. personnel;
lack of planning and coordination by funders,
universities, and developing country institutions;
and inappropriate education for developing-
country students in the United States (Perez,
1978). Some of these evaluations recommended
new American institutions to remedy these prob-
lems. The Gardner Report (1964), for example,
suggested forming a National Institute for Edu-
cation and Technical Cooperation to take over
U.S. development-related research and mobilize
university involvement in developing countries.
The Federal Government provides substantial
assistance to U.S. universities for international
agricultural development. Few State governments
have supplied the charter or the funds for similar
efforts. Citizens in some States feel that their
universities should work on State problems and
that international work leads to increased com-
petition for markets between local farmers and
ranchers and their developing country counter-


Figure 8.-AID-Financed University Contracts and
Grants for Technical Assistance to Host Countries-
In Numbers of Contracts and Institutions,
Fiscal Years 1970-80a


S. 11:1


1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980
Fiscal years
aData do not Include AID grants and loans involving host country contracts with
U.S. universities.
bData for fiscal year 1975 are not available.
SOURCE: General Accounting Office, AID and Universities Have Yet to Forge
an Effective Partnership to Combat World Food Problems, ID-82-3,
Oct. 16, 1981.


1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1976 1977
Fiscal years


1978 1979 1980


I 1 Number of contracts
I I Number of universities involved
aData do not include AID grants and loans involving host country contracts with
U.S. universities.
bData for fiscal year 1975 are not available.
SOURCE: General Accounting Office, AID and Universities Have Yet to Forge
an Effective Partnership to Combat World Food Problems, ID-82-3,
Oct. 16, 1981.


S Tille XlI legislation
-passed December 1975









parts. A few State universities, however, have
changed their original charters to reflect their view
of more global responsibilities, and Federal pro-
grams have increased universities' interest and
ability to fulfill them.
The university must provide educational op-
portunities that will enable the citizens of our state
and nation to make sound decisions based on an
awareness of the global environment in which we
live and work .. .Our students and clientele
[must be] able to see the relationships that will
continue to bind this country more closely to the
global community this I believe to be one of
the premier responsibilities of the global univer-
sity (Yates, Executive Vice President and Provost,
Washington State University, 1984).
Title XII of the Foreign Assistance Act, passed
in 1975, provides the rationale and means by
which universities have become more involved in
international agricultural research and develop-
ment. It committed U.S. universities and colleges
to help solve food problems in developing coun-
tries. The General Accounting Office reports that
"Title XII has been instrumental in bringing new
vigor and awareness to international work in the
U.S.-university community" (U.S. GAO, 1981).
But GAO also notes that U.S. universities have
limited capacity to take part effectively in these
AID programs due to deterrents to faculty over-


seas assignments, sporadic funding from AID, in-
come tax burdens on faculty, and cumbersome
AID contracting procedures. AID faces similar
constraints due to skepticism in AID missions
about the relevance of involving U.S. universities
as "partners in development" and some experi-
ences with poor university performance.

Some universities have not been drawn into this
international work extensively, and concerns ex-
ist that Title XII contracts are awarded on the basis
of geographic politics more than expertise. In ad-
dition, some technologies-e.g., biotechnologies
-are being developed largely outside of the land-
grant system in private universities and research
firms. This raises questions whether certain tech-
nologies may be unavailable to developing coun-
tries because of the funding structure for inter-
national agricultural work in the United States.
Similarly, some experts contend that the 1890
Land Grant Colleges (table 4) have not partici-
pated in overseas research in proportion to their
potential. Since their creation, the 1890 institu-
tions have been involved extensively in domestic
community development under conditions that
parallel those in developing countries (Williams,
1979). Shortage of qualified personnel, however,
has led them, like some other universities, some-
times to substitute outside contractors on AID


Table 4.-The 1890 Institutions Were Added to the Land-Grant System to
Compensate for Exclusion of Blacks From the 1862 Land-Grant Universities
Institution Location
Alabama A&M University ............................. Normal, AL
Alcorn State University ............................. Lorman, MS
University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff ...................... Pine Bluff, AR
Delaware State College ............................. Dover, DE
Florida A&M University ............................. Tallahassee, FL
Fort Valley State University ............................ Fort Valley, GA
Kentucky State University ............................. Frankfort, KY
Langston University ............................... Langston, OK
Lincoln University .................................... Jefferson City, MO
University of Maryland-Eastern Shores ................. Princess Anne, MD
North Carolina A&T ................... ......... Greensboro, NC
Prairie View A&M University ........................... Prairie View, TX
South Carolina State College .......................... Orangeburg, SC
Southern University .. ........ .................. Baton Rouge, LA
Tennessee State University .............. ........... Nashville, TN
Tuskegee Institute .................................... Tuskegee, AL
Virginia State College ................................. Petersburg, VA
SOURCES: B. D. Mayberry, "Mechanisms for the Delivery of Appropriate Technology-Extension," The Unique Resources of
the 1890 Land-Grant Institutions and Implications for International Development, Thomas T. Williams (ed.) (Baton
Rouge, LA: Southern University Unemployment-Underemployment Institute, 1979), p. 42; Southeastern Consortium
for International Development, Washington, DC.








projects and has resulted in an uneven achieve-
ment record.
U.S. agricultural colleges are in transition, with
more women, minority, and urban students enter-
ing. The effect of these trends on the conduct and
content of domestic and international research and
development activities is unknown.

Issue 4: Research information on science, tech-
nology, and development is less effective than
it could be because it is not adequately coordi-
nated, shared, or disseminated.

Preliminary Findings
Limits to the flow of research information re-
sult in needless duplication of effort and slower
progress.
Research findings sometimes are not dissemi-
nated across national boundaries and institu-
tional affiliations.
Advancing information technologies, such as
communication satellites and microcomputers,
have the potential to make large amounts of
information available at low cost to users scat-
tered around the world.
This potential remains largely unrealized in de-
veloping countries because many lack the in-
frastructure to provide adequate power or to
repair programming.

Discussion
Leaders in developing countries called upon the
U.N. Education, Scientific, and Cultural Orga-
nization (UNESCO) for a "new world informa-
tion order." One of their concerns was ensuring
access to information technology. Evidence ex-
ists that problems with sharing information con-
tinue and that some of the thornier policy issues
remain. For example, problems are expected to
arise from different national philosophies and laws
regarding flow of data and from connecting in-
formation systems across national boundaries
(U.S. Congress, OTA, 1981).
Traditional methods of sharing agricultural
information exist and some contend that inter-
national cooperation in agricultural research is
increasing. Today, some 100 international agri-


cultural networks exist worldwide, ranging from
international nurseries to teams working on spe-
cific problems (Plucknett and Smith, 1984). Com-
munication problems affect these groups, although
most publish newsletters and hold workshops to
disseminate their findings. Feedback within the
network may be slow and links between networks
and outside scientists may be weak.
Information dissemination on small-scale tech-
nologies is considered critical. Both Volunteers in
Technical Assistance (VITA) and Volunteers in
Asia organize data bases on these technologies
(U.S. AID, 1981). The nature, scope, and level
of information needed by various recipients varies
as widely as the sources of information. "To build
reliable, comprehensive, and up-to-date services
is obviously a major undertaking and will be quite
costly" (Singer, 1977).
Groups such as the United Nations Industrial
Development Organization (UNIDO) and the In-
ternational Development Centre in Ottawa, Can-
ada, also stress the need for information technol-
ogies as development tools. In March, UNIDO
suggested that developing countries build in-
digenous capabilities for information manage-
ment. One concept it endorsed was a low earth
orbit satellite as a low-cost communication tool
for a variety of uses by widely scattered people
(VITA, 1984). Uses might include broadcasting
messages and transmitting documents, thus cir-
cumventing cumbersome international mails.
Satellite systems, like many contemporary com-
munication technologies, rely on computers.
While some developing countries have computer
systems that are reliable, stories abound of com-
puters idled because no one can use them or be-
cause simple repairs cannot be made locally. Agri-
cultural problems in sub-Saharan Africa often
result from the lack of basic infrastructure: serv-
ices and facilities such as roads, tools, and repair
and storage facilities may be missing. The role for
elaborate technology such as computers and sat-
ellites and their actual costs must be evaluated
carefully if they are to compete for funds with in-
frastructural development.
Generally, the United States has well-developed
services for sharing agricultural research informa-
tion via mail systems, telephones, libraries, and









publishing houses, and the United States is a
leader in advanced electronic communications.
These systems are being used to benefit African
countries, but problems remain. For example,
computer use in the United States by government
donors and private voluntary organizations (PVOs)
is accelerating. Many PVOs face "significant prob-
lems in the selection of hardware and design of
software" (Biddle, 1984). The Agency for Inter-
national Development has a computerized system
to make project descriptions and other informa-
tion available. It is beset by problems, however,
including lack of completeness, definitional incon-
sistency, and incompatibility with other data sets.
The holdings of American libraries related to
Africa are relatively weak. The Library of Con-
gress, for example, does not have an extensive col-
lection of African national documents (Moris,
1984).

Issue 5: Food producers have a limited role in
agricultural research and this decreases the
effectiveness of the research.

Preliminary Findings
Experts increasingly call for greater producer
involvement in identifying problems for re-
search and in developing and testing new tech-
nologies.
Examples suggest that this approach better en-
sures that research meets the needs of its users
and increases the likelihood of a project's
success.
Methods of conducting and evaluating on-farm
research are not well-developed.
Many institutions working with subsistence
producers are not structured to encourage in-
volvement of farmers and herders.
Participatory research and planning requires
formal coordination among food producers, ex-
tension workers, and researchers.

Discussion
Experts in agricultural development have a
growing belief that the present organizational
framework of agricultural research and develop-
ment does not serve the interests of many devel-


oping countries. This has prompted a search for
new structures that will reach more rural people.
It is generally accepted that farmers and herders
must be involved in later stages of technology
transfer such as technology evaluation and exten-
sion. Studies of technology transfer in the last 30
years show that failure often resulted because
clients were not involved effectively (Jedlicka,
1977).
Recent evidence indicates that producers' in-
volvement in earlier stages-i.e., in identifying
agricultural problems for investigation and plan-
ning and participating in research-is crucial also.
Subsistence farmers have been effective in plan-
ning and designing research, especially in identi-
fying important environmental features (Jedlicka,
1981). Also, farmers have carried out their own
experiments, sometimes making agronomic break-
throughs before researchers (Howes and Chambers,
1979) and integrating biological, economic, en-
vironmental, and social factors in their decisions
(Francis, 1981).
The challenge is to devise a system of research
that involves small producers and integrates on-
farm work with established national programs
(Whyte, 1981). Some research of this type com-
bines: 1) research on multiple cropping systems
instead of monocultures, 2) research on the role
of animals in farming systems, 3) on-farm testing
in addition to experiment station work, 4) an em-
phasis on interdisciplinary collaboration, and 5)
the participation of people responsible for exten-
sion and economic development.
This type of research has had some notable suc-
cesses. The value of involving farmers in all stages
of project work in Ethiopia, Egypt, Pakistan, and
India has been noted (Lowdermilk and Lattimore,
1981). The unique vitality of Israeli agricultural
research in which farmers are also researchers was
identified recently (U.S. Congress, OTA, May
1983).
Numerous factors make such research difficult.
These include nonsupportive research organiza-
tions and government agencies and the complex-
ities of conducting on-farm research. Participatory
research is a more complex form of interdisciplin-
ary research and requires high levels of com-








petence and experience. Few successful models of
interdisciplinary research exist (Rhoades and
Booth, 1983). Also, lack of political and admin-
istrative continuity among local groups and in-
ternational donors is a major problem. Economic
and cultural gaps between producers and research-
ers also may hinder cooperation.
In the United States, farmers and ranchers are
involved in setting research priorities through gov-
ernment agency users' groups and through their


representatives in farm, ranch, and commodity
organizations. Attempts to involve the rural poor
by developing similar organizations in Africa gen-
erally have not succeeded. Some attribute these
failures to the imposition of organizations by "out-
siders." They contend that meaningful participa-
tion must come about through the emergence of
local people's own organizational choices, but few
examples exist yet (Oakley and Marsden, 1984).








Chapter 4
Issues in Technology Transfer





Chapter 4

Issues in Technology Transfer


Developing technologies suitable for Africa is
only one step in helping increase food production.
Those technologies also must be adapted and
disseminated among the African people. This calls
for successful technology transfer-another area
where the United States has expertise to share.
U.S. agriculture is vastly different from African
agriculture, so U.S. involvement must be consid-
ered carefully. The technologies used will need to
be different, as will the extension systems used
to distribute them. The most effective technology
transfer will be based on unique African social
and agronomic conditions.
This chapter examines a number of important
issues in the realm of technology transfer. For in-
stance, should certain groups of people be iden-
tified for special assistance? How can women, the
critical labor force in African food production,
be integrated more effectively into the technol-
ogy transfer process-including improved access
to extension services and credit? And how can ex-
tension services in Africa be improved to meet
producers current needs while preparing them for
the future's even greater food demands?

Issue 6: The possibility of directing agricultural
project assistance to meet the needs of spe-
cific target groups continues to be debated.

Preliminary Findings
It is difficult to define explicitly and to divide
the "poorest of the poor" into categories such
as smallholders, landless, and urban or rural
un/underemployed.
Directing project assistance to specific target
groups may alienate those other groups ex-
cluded and the national staff and donor rep-
resentatives responsible for implementing
projects.
However, if women and other disadvantaged
producers are not identified as groups that re-
quire additional technological assistance, proj-
ect planning and implementation may ignore
their problems and benefit them little.


* Both donors and African governments need im-
proved definitions for low-resource producers
and other categories of the poor.
* A low-resource producer is one who lacks ac-
cess to natural resource, economic, and/or tech-
nological inputs to overcome constraints to in-
creased food production.
* National development plans do not necessarily
indicate African governments' commitment to
low-resource producers.
Discussion
The magnitude of the problem seems over-
whelming; substantial numbers of poor people ex-
ist in the developing countries. However, deter-
mining the number of people who lack sufficient
income for adequate subsistence remains difficult.
For example, the U.N. Food and Agriculture
Organization and the World Bank provide dif-
ferent estimates of 450 million and 1.3 billion, re-
spectively, as the number of people living below
subsistence level in all developing countries (Eicher,
Mar. 1984).
There is no question that Africa contains some
of the world's most impoverished countries and
people.
A few statistics provide stark evidence that
Africans are the poorest of the world's poor.
Three out of five are chronically malnourished.
Twenty-two of the world's 36 poorest countries
are in Africa. For every 1000 African children
born, 120 will die before their first birthday.
Eighty percent of the continent's population have
no access to adequate health services and only one
in four has safe water to drink. Africans die
sooner (average age 49) and are less literate (only
36 percent) than in any other part of the world
(Swift, 1984).
Other figures are equally disturbing. For exam-
ple, Kenya and Ethiopia had 55 and 68 percent,
respectively, of their 1975 populations below an
income level sufficient to provide adequate nu-
trition (Chenery, 1979). The total number of poor
is difficult to estimate, as are the relative num-








bers between countries. Compared with Tanzania,
which has an annual per capital GNP of $280,
Chad, with only $80 per capital, seems dismally
poor. But Tanzania has an official inflation rate
of 13 to 30 percent and scarce foreign exchange.
Both of these factors severely affect the poorest
20 percent of the population. Zimbabwe, on the
other hand, is classified as a middle income coun-
try with an average per capital GNP of $850. But
the country experiences large differences in income
distribution. How can the poor of Zimbabwe be
compared with those of Chad and Tanzania?
Economic development has many definitions
and models. Concern about beneficiaries is com-
mon. "Trickle down" or "over" or "up" indicate
perceived mechanisms for ensuring distribution
of the returns from agricultural production. Some
technological developments have been relatively
class neutral. In Zimbabwe, introduction of the
maize hybrid SR 52 was adopted by a large ma-
jority of small farmers (Eicher, 1984). Generally,
however, research, economic, and extension in-
stitutions have developed and transferred tech-
nology, information, and benefits to relatively few
farmers. Development assistance has not been
directed toward the poorest of the African coun-
tries, either in total assistance (Lappe, 1980), or
as agriculture, nutrition, and rural development
assistance (U.S. AID, 1984). Some of the more
disadvantaged smallholders lack reliable access to
affordable land, credit, and labor and receive less
development assistance than "progressive" farmers
(Wortman and Cummings, 1978).
U.S. development assistance, since 1973, has
been mandated to help the poorer segments of the
rural population. However, given the present
levels of development assistance and the project
approach used by AID, difficult problems exist
in assisting target groups. The problems include
lack of target group definitions, unreliable data
on these groups, and lack of sustainable and
replicable agricultural development programs that
will reach them (Tendler, 1982; Esman, 1978). In
rural areas, for example, how do the "poorest of
the poor" differ from smallholders or subsistence
farmers? Are the "poorest of the poor" actually
farmers or are they the landless rural inhabitants
or migrants to the satellite communities of the
larger urban areas? Are they seasonal farm la-


borers who supplement their income with other
sources of income? Are they men or women or
both? Are other strategies necessary for meeting
the needs of the poor without natural resources
versus the poor without money?

Differing opinions exist on the best methods for
effectively reaching the poorer smallholders. Some
specialists propose that development assistance
directed towards the poor should be replaced with
a more general production approach accepting the
.necessity and the desirability of working
with existing power structures and the most pro-
gressive and dynamic elements in the rural areas,
hoping that over the long term, questions of in-
come inequalities and other problems can be ad-
dressed as they emerge" (Morss and Morss, 1982).
Attempts to target specific groups for develop-
ment assistance may irritate donors and recipi-
ent governments and possibly lead to impractical
projects with few long-term benefits (Morss and
Morss, 1982). Another view assumes the failure
of the target approach has been the inability to
consider adequately the different categories of im-
poverished groups, the impacts of technology on
them, and the suitable assistance programs that
meet their articulated needs.

Commonly, agricultural development projects
have implicitly assumed the existence of an eco-
nomically homogeneous "peasantry," overlook-
ing the class and income divisions which divide
most rural populations.

The rural poor, while sharing a common pov-
erty, are comprised of many social groups, dif-
fering in occupation, location, sex, status, and re-
ligion (Uphoff, et al., 1979).

It seems important that donors and host gov-
ernments together determine the needs of various
poor rural groups. Some groups of rural poor may
not even be reached through agricultural devel-
opment projects and may require other assistance
approaches. Uphoff, Cohen, and Goldsmith (1979)
and Esman (1978) identify five distinct groups of
people in this category who have marginal or no
access to land.
1. Agricultural workers: landless people who
seasonally sell their labor to work on farms.








2. Non-agricultural workers: landless who are
marginally in the formal economic sector or
engage in informal economic activities.
3. Marginal tenant farmers: those landless or
marginally landless who gain access to land through
contractual agreement with other farmers.
4. Marginal farmers: those who have title or
customary rights to small or marginal farms.
These farmers face production constraints due to
a lack of water, credit, technology, markets, and
good quality land.
5. Non-sedentary rural households: nomadic or
semi-nomadic pastoralists and other migratory
groups who lack recognition of their legitimate
land rights and who face increasing natural and
economic degradation of their land and water re-
sources. Within this group there are several sub-
groups characterized by their access to and con-
trol of livestock.
Clearly, certain groups face special constraints
because of their perceived social status. Women
and ethnic minority groups of some countries
especially face more severe problems with access
to land, credit, suitable technology, and politi-
cal forums.
Data on the number of landless in Africa are
scarce. However, one study provides information
which questions the assumption that there is abun-
dant underused land of decent quality. Average
figures indicate that 8 to 10 percent of rural Africa
is landless and up to 30 percent of the rural
population is near-landless (Esman, 1978).
Among the landless, refugees represent prob-
ably the poorest class of people in Africa. The ex-
act number of people in this group is very diffi-
cult to determine because of their mobility and
because famine and civil strife cause constantly
shifting environmental, social, and political con-
ditions. Refugee populations in several countries
(e.g., Botswana and Somalia) have been settled
and are involved in integrated rural development
projects. Some settled populations have produced
high agricultural returns. In Botswana, for exam-
ple, two refugee communities have per hectare
yields that are higher than contiguous areas (Dis-
trict Agricultural Officer, 1982). However, most
refugee populations are composed of pastoralists


who are being forced to settle in refugee camps
in marginally productive areas and to adapt to
a new way of food production. It is unlikely that
these groups will be able immediately to produce
sufficient food for their own subsistence or for
surplus.
Alternative approaches to project assistance
might include increased emphasis on integrated
rural development, increased levels of funding
allocated to "grass roots" organizations, and in-
creased program funding for research. Partici-
pants at the OTA workshop were concerned that
a target approach toward groups of poor, out-
side the existing administrative structure, could
not alleviate poor people's problems. Therefore,
they advocated the more integrated approach to
development. Concern exists, though, that the
poor will be left out if there are no attempts to
integrate them into national, regional, and local
planning efforts.
Addressing common constraints of low-re-
source producers seems necessary. Eicher and
Baker (1982) and others have defined "small-
holders" to be those farmers who produce on 2
to 10 acres of land, use mostly family labor, till
their land with mostly hand tools, and maintain
a small capital stock. Esman (1978) adds that these
marginal producers face severe constraints to in-
creased food production. OTA's definition of low-
resource producers incorporates the above char-
acteristics of Eicher and Baker but adds that low-
resource producers are those smallholders and
herders who often face major constraints in their
access to economic, natural, and technological re-
sources. The farmer must face constraints such
as access to reliable productive land, affordable
credit, timely inputs, extension advice, draft
power, agricultural training, decent producer
prices, and seasonable labor. Migratory and semi-
nomadic herders face constraints in access to live-
stock, reliably productive range, veterinary and
extension services and management advice, reli-
able dry season watering points, and technologies
on forage crops that will decrease dry season nu-
tritional stress.
The consensus of the OTA workshop was that
both African governments and donor agencies
need to improve definitions for the target group








of low-resource producers, which represents the
majority of constrained rural producers; deter-
mine the constraints that these producers face and
reasonable interventions to overcome them; and
ensure that this group is integrated into develop-
ment program planning. Equally important re-
mains the goal of meeting the needs of those poor
who can only marginally be assisted by improved
agricultural technologies, identifying ways to gen-
erate income and provide basic needs.

Issue 7: Women contribute significantly to food
production in Africa, but have limited access
to extension services, credit, and training.

Preliminary Findings
* The prevailing model of African agriculture
contends that men are the farm managers.
However, up to 33 percent of farm managers
south of the Sahara are women, and in the re-
maining households, women do significant
farm work.
* Women contribute substantial amounts of la-
bor, capital, and management toward the pro-
duction of Africa's food. Estimates of women's
contribution range from 60 to 80 percent, al-
though regional differences exist.
* In addition to their agricultural contribution,
women also do most household chores, such
as collecting firewood and water, cooking,
repairing and maintaining the compounds,
childcare, and marketing surplus garden crops.
* Women are as innovative as their male coun-
terparts in adopting new technologies, yet they
receive only a fraction of the services and have
fewer contacts with extension staff.
* Women represent only a minute portion of the
agricultural extension staffs. Because of cultural
norms, male extension workers generally will
not consult with women farmers in the house-
hold without the presence of an adult male
family member, even if the woman is the farm
manager.
* Most agricultural training programs for women
do not stress agricultural production but tend
to be oriented toward home extension.


* Women have little access to formal institutional
credit because they usually lack the access to
land, livestock, and other forms of collateral.
Women hold few policy and managerial posi-
tions within agricultural ministries, especially
those positions relating to animal and crop pro-
duction, research, and field services.
Community meetings are traditionally seen as
a forum for men to discuss issues affecting the
community and for government extension staff
to discuss new agricultural strategies and proj-
ect proposals. Women are almost always ex-
cluded from these meetings or are too busy to
attend.
Women usually are not included in plan-
ning projects intended to increase food pro-
duction.

Discussion
This one they call 'farmer'; send in teachers to
teach him to farm (while I'm out growing the
food); lend him money for tractors and tillers
(while I'm out growing the food); promise him
fortunes if he'd only raise cotton (while I'm out
growing the food); buy our land from him to add
to your ranches (while I'm out growing the food)
No, I aren't stop working and I won't
abandon that thing I was born for: to make sure
my children have food in their bellies (Taylor,
1984).
African women play a major role in food pro-
duction. Women's labor and management con-
tribute significantly to food production, with esti-
mates ranging from 60 to 80 percent in many
places (Boserup, 1970; Tinker, 1981). These fig-
ures may not include women's sizable livestock
activities (McDowell, 1984). Furthermore, in most
agricultural systems, it is difficult to distinguish
between food and cash crops, since many cereal
crops qualify as both. Women are expected to
contribute work toward the production of cash
crops, and their labor provides a significant pro-
portion of the total agricultural component of
Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Men, however,
are generally the recipients of the income gener-
ated. Because of the extremely important role
women play in agriculture, a more complete
































rotVk


A

r -


Photo credit: World Bank Photo by Ray Witlin
African women contribute a substantial amount of the total labor to the production of food crops.
Here, Senegalese women harvest sorghum.


knowledge of the constraints women face in agri-
cultural production is necessary. Therefore, it is
necessary to understand not only the agricultural
responsibilities of women but also the intra-
household dynamics.
In farming, men and women traditionally as-
sume responsibilities for certain tasks. Social,
cultural, economic, and environmental conditions
usually are factors in the labor patterns of both
rural men and women. Men generally clear, pre-
pare, and plow the land, and women plant, weed,
harvest, process, and store the food crops. How-
ever, there are many regional variations in this


model. It can not automatically be assumed that
each household is a self-contained unit with all
the household members cooperating and sharing
responsibilities and management functions. More
appropriately, a woman's role in food production
could be considered as semi-autonomous with
levels of cooperation among household members
differing with each household (Gladwin, et al.,
1984).
Cultural differences, demographic and socio-
economic conditions, and labor availability all
produce variations in the general model. Some of
these include situations where:









1. Some farm operations are shared by the
members of the household. The division of
labor might be dependent on such factors as
seasonal availability and the value of cash
crops relative to food crops. The pattern
might follow that described above, but women
might have to do some of the typically
"male" tasks.
2. Women and men of the same household
share the responsibility for a common field
on which cash crops are grown, but the
women produce food crops on separate
fields. Presumably, the labor patterns will
be similar to the general model, but the man
probably will have control of the woman's
labor and the cash returns from the crops.
The woman usually will provide separate la-
bor and management for the food crop field.
3. Women and men grow separate crops, either
on common or on separate fields. For exam-
ple, groundnuts and beans might be viewed
as a woman's crop, while maize is a man's.
4. Women are the household heads and respon-
sible for all the management and most of the
labor (Spring, 1984).
The most typical model in pastoral and mixed
agricultural systems has men responsible for the
care of larger livestock (e.g., cattle) and women
responsible for smaller ruminants (goats and
sheep). Men are usually entitled to the returns
from the sale of cattle and women are responsi-
ble for milking and allocation of the milk between
the needs of the family and the herd (Hjort and
Ostberg, 1978; Spencer, 1973). However, other
patterns developed out of expediency include
women sharing all livestock responsibilities with
men, caring for different types of livestock (e.g.,
goats and sheep), doing different tasks than men
with all the livestock, or taking care of all the live-
stock (Spring, 1984). Women, generally, cultivate
the food crops for family consumption, especially
in situations where the men are mostly absent
tending herds (Spencer, 1965; Spencer, 1973;
Gulliver, 1955).
Women usually handle most of the domestic
chores, including the collection of firewood (for
cooking) and water often from distant sources,
cooking, cleaning, and childcare. A typical rural


women's day averages 13 to 15 hours and it is not
unusual to see women hoeing with babies strapped
to their backs.
Male migration to urban areas in search of em-
ployment adds to the burden imposed upon ru-
ral African women. With the male absent from
the household the women must organize labor for
land clearing and plowing and the management
of cattle. Women also become de facto heads of
household and farm managers. As Tinker notes:
Today between 25 and 33 percent of all house-
holds are de facto headed by a woman due to di-
vorce, death, desertion, long-term migration, or
because she never married. These female headed
households constitute the poorest group in every
country (Tinker, 1981).
In several countries, the figures are even higher:
e.g., Botswana: 40-45 percent (Bond, 1974), Le-
sotho: 67 percent (Spring, 1984). However, this
managerial role has not been recognized and
women still are excluded from institutional in-
volvement in agricultural planning, credit for pro-
duction, access to de facto or de jure title to land,
extension services, and farm production training.
Instead, women generally receive traditional train-
ing in nutrition, health, home extension, and
handicraft production.
Access to extension services is extremely impor-
tant, but these systems frequently fail to contact
women. For many social and political reasons,
large amounts of agricultural information and
services are directed toward the "progressive"
male farmer (Berger, et al., 1984; Roling, et al.,
1981). Extension agents are restricted by cultural
norms from approaching female heads of house-
hold without a man present. They also receive few
incentives for approaching women and poorer
farmers who lack access to sufficient land and in-
come to purchase agricultural inputs. The assump-
tion is that this information will be disseminated
from the "progressive" male farmers to household
members and other farmers in the community, but
quite often this is not the case (Fortmann, 1978).
In summary, the problems that women face re-
garding access to agricultural services are:
1. Male planners and extension staff view
women as the domestic labor force in the








household who also provide agricultural la-
bor; women are seen as "farmers' wives"
(Spring, et al., 1983).
2. Women have few channels for communicat-
ing their problems to local leaders or to gov-
ernment agricultural staff.
3. Most research information transferred by
agricultural extension staff is aimed at those
farmers who have capital for such practices
as land clearing and plowing and introduc-
tion of mechanical planters, fertilizer, and
grain-milling equipment. Usually only men
are able to take advantage of these innova-
tions. As a consequence, increased land
under cultivation exacerbates the labor bur-
den on women or eliminates some of wom-
en's extra income-earning activities.
4. Limited research exists on methods to alle-
viate the production labor constraints of
women (in hoeing, planting, weeding, har-
vesting, and processing), and few attempts
have been made to disseminate information
useful to women by institutionalized agricul-
tural extension programs. Women receive
fewer visits from extension agents than men
do (Fortmann, 1978; Staudt, 1975; Spring,
et al., 1983).
5. Women farmers are less likely than men to
have sufficient income to purchase necessary
agricultural inputs (Berger, et al., 1984).
6. Access to land is necessary for agricultural
credit and for membership in most agricul-
tural societies that distribute inputs, infor-
mation, or technical assistance (Berger, et al.,
1984; Moris, 1981; Schumacher, 1981).
7. Even though women tend to be as innovative
as men (Fortmann, 1981; Staudt, 1975),
seldom are they selected for farmer training
courses. When they are, they are often too
busy to attend or cannot organize childcare,
or attend to find that only home economic
courses in nutrition and family welfare are
offered.
The OTA workshop participants and other ex-
perts find it is extremely important that the con-
straints rural African women face are addressed.
The problems in reaching women are partly po-
litical and partly institutional. Political problems


such as access to land and participation in the
decisionmaking process at the local, district, and
national levels could be addressed by African
governments if increasing the food contribution
of female headed households is a priority. Sev-
eral possible changes have been proposed that
would contribute to assessing the needs of women
farmers and provide services that they could use:
1. Recruitment of additional female extension
staff. Extension staffs in most African coun-
tries are predominantly male. Men make up
between 94 and 99.7 percent of the staff in
those countries with more than 20 extension
agents (Berger, et al., 1984). It is assumed
that female extension staff will contact women
more frequently than male staff. Therefore,
priority could be placed on recruiting more
female extension staff.
2. Training courses for all extension staff that
explain the role of women in agriculture and
that develop techniques designed to encour-
age the participation of women farmers in
the delivery of extension services.
3. Introduction of village level women para-
professionals to work with women farmers
(Ministry of Agriculture, 1983).
4. Incentive systems for extension staff that en-
courage working with low-resource pro-
ducers, especially women.
5. Ensure that women have access to credit, ei-
ther by developing appropriate credit insti-
tutions or expanding indigenous credit so-
cieties.
6. Design village based programs aimed where
women gather-e.g., at village water points.
7. Include women as beneficiaries of land re-
form or allocate them rights of use to land
in traditional systems.
8. Ensure that farmer training courses stress-
ing food production techniques are available
to women on an equal basis with men.
9. Emphasize the use of farming systems research
(FSR) to investigate the intrahousehold dy-
namics within farms. For each situation and
condition, it is important to identify goals,
decision criteria, and the context of the deci-
sions for women (Gladwin, et al., 1984;
Spring, 1984).




































Photo credit: U.S. Agency for International Development
Many organizations have called for changes in agricultural extension systems to meet the needs of low-resource producers,
especially women. One suggestion is to work with groups of people where they normally gather. Village water supplies,
like this one in Niger, offer opportunities to reach women without disrupting their work activities.


Issue 8: Extension systems in Africa lack clear
objectives and adequate structure for increas-
ing food production.

Preliminary Findings
* Extension systems are in place in most African
countries, but generally seem to be ineffective
in transferring information between farmers
and researchers.
* The objectives of extension programs com-
monly are confusing to the field staff or the
farmers.
* Farmers often have inappropriate expectations
of extension.
* African extension systems frequently have few
technical innovations to propose to farmers as
options to current technology because research-


ers and the extension service are in different
ministries (or divisions) and usually coordinate
poorly.

* Extension services generally have few subject
specialists who can communicate effectively
with both researchers and extension staff.

* Agricultural research and extension services
commonly do not take into account the needs
of low-resource farmers. Most planning and
implementation have been centralized and the
innovations introduced tend to be directed
toward more "progressive" farmers.

* The U.S. research and extension model assumes
that the existing technological base is under-
productive and that technological innovations
can increase farm productivity.








* The U.S. land grant model of agent/farmer in-
teraction, which uses applied research, could
be modified to suit specific country conditions
in Africa.

Discussion
One institution directly involved in technology
transfer is the agricultural extension service. On
a day to day basis, staffs attempt to transfer in-
formation on available technologies and farming
practices to farmers. The United States and many
other donors have spent several billions of dollars
on developing and strengthening extension sys-
tems (Watts and Claar, 1983). But these attempts
have failed to contribute significantly to increases
in food production or to reach the poorer seg-
ments of agricultural societies (Moris, 1981; An-
thony, et al., 1979; Richardson, 1983). Some
problems of African extension systems most fre-
quently mentioned are inappropriate models,
poorly defined goals and objectives, poor orga-
nization, inadequate human and financial re-
sources, lack of suitable technology to extend, fail-
ure of agricultural ministries to identify target
groups, loss of skilled field staff due to promo-
tion, predominantly male staffs ignoring women
producers, and the lack of remuneration, trans-
portation, and respect for the field agents (Kellogg,
1983; McDowell, 1984; Moris, 1981; Spring,
1984).
The historical development of Africa deter-
mined the evolution of most extension systems.
In Francophone Africa, the French extension
model (sometimes combined with the U.S. land
grant system) was based on a cash crop economy.
The British introduced an extension system in East
Africa and parts of West Africa designed to stim-
ulate production of food and cash crops for the
British market, even though the domestic British
model for extension was based on food produc-
tion (Watts and Claar, 1983). In each of these
areas fragments of these models still remain and
affect the objectives of the systems.
The model that the United States has been pro-
moting in many areas of Africa is based on the
U.S. land grant system of research, education, and
outreach. Using this system, attempts have been
made to transfer both international and national


research to "progressive" farmers and herders,
assuming that the adoption of innovative agricul-
tural techniques will be passed on to other low-
resource producers. However, "[developing coun-
tries] have systems oriented to serving govern-
mental needs. They stress things, not people. They
are not client-centered and not well set up to reach
small farmers, to create credibility or to transfer
knowledge" (Watts and Claar, 1983).
Five general approaches to agricultural exten-
sion exist in Africa. They are: 1) the conventional
or innovation-centered approach, based on a
package of innovations to be distributed to indi-
vidual farmers, usually the more "progressive"
ones; 2) the commodity-focused approach, based
on the promotion of a single cash crop and the
inputs necessary for a timely harvest and a suit-
able remuneration for the producers; 3) commu-
nity development-cum-extension approach, which
integrates agricultural extension with other com-
munity development activities; 4) the "animation
rurale" or extension techniques used to organize
groups of producers to solicit needs and provide
information relevant to those needs; and 5) the
farmer-focused or the Training and Visit System
approach, which emphasizes providing recom-
mendations based on the circumstances of the
farmer, regular in-service training for the exten-
sion agents, tightly scheduled visits to the farmers,
and close supervision (Pickering, 1984).
Problems exist with each of these approaches.
The conventional approach generally involves the
introduction of relatively expensive technical
packages of inputs. Because of the risk involved
with the expense of the complete package, it is
difficult for low-resource producers to adopt any
of these innovations. Consequently, frustrated
agents work mostly with the more "progressive"
farmers who have the financial means to purchase
the packages, and the majority of low-resource
producers are excluded. Since the agents work
almost exclusively with wealthier farmers or
herders, perceived problems that require further
attention of research institutes do not represent
the problems of low-resource producers (Stavis,
1979).
The commodity approach obviously does lit-
tle to promote the increased production of food








crops as it deals exclusively with the production
of a single cash crop. It can be directed toward
small holders, but as with the conventional sys-
tem, the tendency generally requires expensive
packages of innovations.

The "animation rurale" approach, by working
with groups of producers, has the advantage of
reaching more farmers and herders with limited
staff. Not only does this allow the extension sys-
tem to reduce costs but the technique provides a
structure for optimizing economies of scale in
some farm operations and gives them some con-
trol over the extension system (Stavis, 1979). The
disadvantage some see is that local groups are dif-
ficult to form (Pickering, 1984). However, this
problem often can be overcome by working with
indigenous groups instead of introducing new
ones.

The community development-cum-extension
approach is criticized because it diffuses the ex-
tension efforts among too many activities and
diminishes the impact that extension agents can
have on introduction of agricultural technologies
(Pickering, 1984). However, enough concern was
expressed at the OTA workshop about agricul-
tural development proceeding in a manner iso-
lated from rural development to justify examin-
ing this approach.
Finally, the Training and Visit System (TVS)
approach represents the World Bank's attempt to
strengthen conventional extension systems. Exten-
sion agents are being supported with in-service
training, closer supervision, and infrastructural
support. Also, they are relieved of many of their
non-agricultural responsibilities. The system also
is designed to ensure that extension supervisors
work with a limited number of agents and that
the agent/farmer contacts are regularly scheduled
(Benor and Harrison, 1977). The system gener-
ally uses contact with individual producers but
can be used for group extension activities. The
advantage of the approach is that it strengthens
existing systems and provides regular in-service
training. The disadvantages are: 1) it requires a
high level of recurrent costs that most African
governments cannot afford and 2) by reinforcing
existing systems, it may affect little the informa-
tion flow to low-resource producers, may ignore


indigenous production techniques, and may con-
tinue to promote technological packages that are
inappropriate to local social, environmental, and
economic conditions.
OTA has developed several conditions for the
successful transfer of technology (Box B). One
necessary condition requires that both users and
transfer agents be involved in the choosing, plan-
ning, and implementation of the technology so
that it meets the actual needs of the user. This en-
sures a two-way educational process; the agent
relating technical and institutional support infor-
mation, and the farmer identifying constraints and
needs. Generally, extension agents deliver the
message or physical inputs to the community and
measure the outputs. This organizational struc-
ture allows no opportunity for feedback from
farmers to reach the researchers and assumes that
the government agricultural hierarchy knows
what is best for the farmers (Nobe, 1983; Moris,
1981).
Another equally important condition is that the
technology be adapted to the users' local bio-
physical and socioeconomic situations. This im-
plies that extension systems not only have to in-
troduce technologies that fit the local conditions
but also must be sensitive to the existing farming
systems and indigenous technologies. The exten-
sion system should be able to transfer informa-
tion in both directions. The farmers' problems
need to be presented to agricultural researchers
and policy staff, while the researchers need to
present suggested improvements back to the
farmers.
To reach low-resource producers effectively and
increase food production, African governments
and donor agencies must establish clear objectives
for agricultural development, target groupss, and
alternative structures for agricultural extension
systems that assist in meeting objectives. An ef-
fective extension system should: 1) provide mech-
anisms for research/extension coordination, 2)
establish clear terms of reference that rural peo-
ple understand and support, 3) develop methods
for understanding the constraints of and provid-
ing opportunities for low-resource producers, 4)
identify indigenous agricultural technologies and
determine their effectiveness, and 5) function on
the premise that client participation is crucial.










Box B.-Conditions Necessary for Successful Technology Transfer
The OTA assessment on technologies to sustain tropical forest resources identified a number of neces-
sary conditions for successful technology transfer. For most technologies, the lack of these conditions
seems to be constraining wider adaptation and adoption:
Technology is transferred most effectively by direct people-to-people actions. People who are to
adapt and apply the technology need to learn it directly from people who have experience applying it.
The technology needs to be adapted at the user's end to local biophysical and socioeconomic con-
ditions.
Well-qualified people with knowledge about the technology are needed on the source end of the
transfer, and receptive, capable people are needed on the receiving end. These people may be local
transfer agents or they may be the end users.
Another type of actor, the "facilitator," is also necessary. Facilitators understand the technology
transfer process, including the market for the technology and its products and the political, social,
and economic constraints and opportunities that affect all the other actors.
Users and transfer agents should be involved in choosing the technologies and in planning and im-
plementing the transfer process so that the technology and the transfer meet actual needs and are
appropriate for the local situation.
All parties involved-source, transfer agents, facilitators, and end users-must feel that they are
winners and must, in fact, be winners. Each actor's self interests should be identified at the start
of the technology transfer process so that they can be addressed.
Each participant must be aware of subsequent steps in the transfer process so his or her actions
are appropriate to the late steps. This requires early definition of roles for each person involved.
The environment for technology demonstrations should be similar to the environment that will ex-
ist during subsequent steps of the transfer process. Pilot transfer projects should not be unrealistically
easy.
The initial commitment of resources to the process should be sufficient to carry the technology transfer
until it is self-supporting.
The transfer process must include mechanisms through which all participants can contribute effec-
tively to interim evaluations and improvements.

SOURCE- U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Technologies to Sustain Tropical Forest Resources Summary (Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing
Office. March 1984)


[T]he fundamental problem lies not, as is com-
monly assumed, between researchers and exten-
sionists much more serious was a failure by
both research and extension to perceive farmers'
problems from the farmer's own perspective .
If research and extension are to offer useful rec-
ommendations to farmers, they must look at the
whole farming system (Collinson, 1984).
A farming systems research (FSR) approach
provides a methodology that has promise. Far-
ming systems research is "an approach to agri-


cultural research and development [of technology]
that views the whole farm as a system" (Shaner,
et al., 1982). The primary goal of FSR is to in-
crease the productivity of the farming system
given the complete range of societal goals and the
constraints of the farming systems (Gilbert, et al.,
1980). Characteristics of FSR include: 1) location-
specific research, 2) development of improved
technologies for a target group of farmers, 3) an
interdisciplinary nature, 4) an iterative approach
to technology development, 5) using the house-








hold as the management unit, and 6) farmer par-
ticipation in the research development (CIMMYT
Economics Staff, 1984; Shaner, 1983).
Figure 9 indicates this step-wise technological
transfer process with sufficient feedback provi-
sions to ensure the development of technologies
appropriate to farmers' needs. OTA workshop
participants felt that FSR could be a very useful
method for determining farmers' constraints and
developing technologies with the farmers (on their
fields) instead of for them. However, since AID
is questioning the cost-effectiveness of the ap-
proach, the OTA workshop participants felt that
the approach needs to be simplified and needs to
incorporate conventional extension systems in the
process.
Agricultural extension remains ineffective in the
identification of farmers' constraints and in sup-
plying useful technology in response to these con-
straints. African governments could develop con-
cise objectives that stress the need for farmer
participation, coordination between researchers
and extension, and alternative approaches for
dealing with low-resource producers. However,
even with more effective extension systems, one
thing should be emphasized.


Figure 9.-Integrating Farming Systems Research
and Agricultural Extension for Technology Transfer


SOURCE: Willis W. Shaner, "Linking Extension with Farming Systems Research,"
In: Knowledge Transfer in Developing Countries, J. B. Claar and L. H.
Watts (eds.), Proceedings of a Conference on International Extension,
Steamboat Springs, CO, July 1983.


[E]xtension programs by themselves in the
absence of land tenure reforms and vigorous,
egalitarian input supply programs, should not be
expected to reverse the trend toward concentra-
tion of assets in the rural society, or to save the
small, poor, or inefficient farmer. They can, how-
ever, assure that the small farmer is not disadvan-
taged with regard to information (Stavis, 1979).

Issue 9: The lack of training and back-up support
for extension field staff contributes to inade-
quate information transfer.

Preliminary Findings
Physical constraints affecting extension agents
have been lack of transportation, decent hous-
ing, in-service training, access to information,
and remuneration/incentives for working in ru-
ral areas with few services.
Extension agents sometimes act as input dis-
tributors instead of information disseminators.
Field agents have been burdened with a sub-
stantial number of nonagriculturally related
activities that limit extension work.
The agent/farmer ratio remains low in most
countries, which encourages a "progressive"
farmer approach instead of a broader group ap-
proach.
Inadequate numbers of well-trained field staff
is a problem. The recruitment of field staff usu-
ally is biased toward urban residents with lit-
tle farm experience. Excellent staff are promoted
out of the field; no incentives are offered to con-
tinue working in rural areas.
Overemphasis is placed on paper work instead
of field accomplishments.
Agricultural training institutes generally have
taught extension staff individual farmer inter-
vention techniques. Group extension activities
usually are given low priority.
* In-service training is limited and does not pro-
vide opportunities for staff to provide feedback
to trainers.
Discussion
Extension services, as with most institutions in
Africa, suffer from weak human resources devel-









opment. Depending on the area, a typical exten-
sion agent is expected to communicate with be-
tween 100 and 800 farm families (Anthony, et al.,
1979; Pickering, 1984). In addition, the agent also
will have several nonagriculturally related tasks
to accomplish. These include attending monthly
agricultural meetings that may require several
days of travel time, distributing agricultural in-
puts, monitoring credit collection, settling local
disputes between farmers, and serving as a local
government agricultural representative (Watts and
Claar, 1983). These impositions on the staff serve


to limit motivation. Most extension agents live
in fairly remote areas, lack adequate housing and
transportation, receive low salaries compared
with urban counterparts, are given inadequate
technical information and moral support, receive
little in-service training, and perceive limited po-
tential for career advancement (Moris, 1981;
Hyden, 1983; Watts and Claar, 1983).

As a result of the extended network and lack
of support, an extension agent generally responds
in at least two detrimental ways. One is that the


Photo credit: Ray Witlin of the World Bank
Agricultural extension systems are generally weak and offer few incentives for staff to work in the more remote areas
with low-resource producers, especially women. Here, an agricultural demonstrator shows male farmers of the Casamance
region of Senegal how to use a single-furrow plow.








agent realizes the physical constraints (and the
lack of incentives to operate otherwise) and limits
the number of field visits to those farmers who
are either immediately accessible or "progressive"
enough to more readily accept government ad-
vice and/or inputs. The agent will also attend
community meetings where contact with a larger
body of farmers is possible. The other response
is that a growing emphasis is placed on quantifica-
tion of inputs and outputs to justify the extension
agent's existence. The agent then becomes a dis-
tributor of inputs, not an extension agent. Nei-
ther one of these responses results in an extension
agent who communicates with target groups of
farmers or who is an active disseminator of tech-
nology based on perceived and/or articulated
farmers' problems.
In the past several years, the World Bank ini-
tiated an extension support program that was de-
signed to eliminate some of these problems. The
program, called the Training and Visit System
(TVS), strengthens the extension system by se-
parating it from other conflicting responsibilities
and through credibility-building support pro-
grams. Moris (1981) identifies other reform meas-


ures of the TVS as: assignment of a reasonable
number of farm families to each agent, provid-
ing reasonable supervisor/agent ratios, identifica-
tion of innovations that will have an immediate
impact, intensive in-service training on a sched-
uled basis, provision of methods for the improve-
ment of farm management before encouraging
purchased inputs, developing contact links with
research bodies, and providing sufficient trans-
port and incentives for the contact staff.
The TVS deals with the credibility, institutional
weakness, and incentive issues. Criticisms of the
system are that: 1) it is based on the false assump-
tion that exogenous technologies exist that are
suitable for local ecological, social, and economi-
cal conditions, 2) it requires large recurrent bud-
gets to operate, and 3) it does little to eliminate
the male bias in extension systems. However, as
others have indicated, the TVS does a great deal
to strengthen the inadequate human resources
component of extension systems. It could be
evaluated further to determine its role in upgrad-
ing existing extension systems, especially with re-
spect to FSR.









Chapter 5
Issues in Technical Assistance






Chapter 5

Issues in Technical Assistance


Technology development and technology trans-
fer are of course key to American efforts to in-
crease food production in Africa. But the effec-
tiveness of these efforts depends in large part on
the effectiveness of technical assistance programs.
That leaves a major question: is it possible to de-
termine if assistance-whether through public or
private channels-is working?
This section discusses issues relating to the ef-
fectiveness of technical assistance, some directed
at U.S. Government policies and others at non-
governmental organizations and private busi-
nesses. For instance, how are assistance efforts
hindered by the lack of clear U.S. goals and lack
of long-term U.S. commitment to development?
Are the impacts of large amounts of aid propor-
tionately effective? How can assistance programs
be evaluated to determine if they were successful?
And what roles can private businesses and non-
governmental organizations be expected to play
in increasing food production?

Issue 10: U.S. foreign aid to Africa operates with-
out clear goals and objectives and without a
long-term commitment to development.

Preliminary Findings
Foreign aid benefits the United States substan-
tially, both economically and politically, but
this has not been made clear to the American
public. Therefore, development assistance re-
mains controversial, with little constituency for
reform.
Increasing agricultural production, as well as
food security, in sub-Saharan Africa requires
a long-term commitment to development with
continued technical support and assured funding.
Long-term technical assistance is difficult to
provide under the short-term political condi-
tions common to American foreign assistance.
Development priorities and initiatives shift from
administration to administration as foreign pol-
icy goals and AID staff change.


* Countries' eligibility for technical assistance
changes, sometimes frequently, as a result of
internal and external political changes.
* Administration policies may conflict with pre-
viously legislated goals; competition between
old and new initiatives and thus staff confusion
may result.
* Foreign aid projects usually are too short to
have long-term, positive impacts on the diffi-
cult agricultural problems in sub-Saharan
Africa.
* The trend in length of projects conducted by
AID cannot be determined because of problems
with the data base.

Discussion
American foreign aid provides substantial ben-
efits to the United States. For this reason, it has
received the strong support of every administra-
tion since World War II.
Congress has been less steadfast in its support
of U.S. foreign aid. Historically, U.S. security and
political benefits have been regarded as the most
important ones. Some Members recognize that
large amounts of U.S. foreign aid money return
to the United States as purchases of U.S. goods
and services. In fact, procurement policies ensure
that most foreign aid funds are spent in the United
States. Therefore, foreign aid has economic bene-
fits at home and overseas. Other Members of
Congress have advocated foreign aid on human-
itarian grounds.
Still other Members of Congress can be de-
scribed as:
advocates of particular development strat-
egies-e.g., women in development;
supporters of new approaches-e.g., the
African Development Foundation;
uninterested parties because the foreign aid
budget item is relatively small; and
committed adversaries on the grounds that
foreign aid is a bad investment, harming the








United States and the recipients (Morss and
Morss, 1982).
The American public, as a whole, is not an en-
thusiastic or reliable supporter of foreign aid. Less
support exists for foreign aid than any other type
of Federal spending according to recent Louis Har-
ris surveys (Morss and Morss, 1982).
The diversity of congressional interests, the lack
of a strong public constituency, and most Presi-
dents' disinterest in the specifics of foreign aid bills
have led to "grab-bag" legislation. Currently, AID
development projects must meet some 75 legisla-
tive and statutory requirements before approval
(Commission on Security and Economic Assist-
ance, 1983). In addition, Congress has demon-
strated a wide array of concerns during reviews
of U.S. foreign aid, "concerns that frequently have
little to do with the congressional intent reflected
in its own aid legislation" (Morss and Morss,
1982). In recent years so little congressional in-
terest has existed that it was difficult to enact
foreign aid authorization and appropriation bills
(Nowels, 1984).
U.S. foreign assistance programs that have
emerged from these considerations are designed
to: 1) promote support for humanitarian relief ef-
forts, 2) foster export expansion, 3) enhance a
stable international economy, 4) expand support
from other Western donors through multilateral
institutions, 5) support regional peace initiatives,
6) provide security for friendly governments, and
7) counter Soviet and Soviet-supported influence.
These goals sometimes are not compatible nor are
they generally translated into measurable objec-
tives in set time frames. In addition, their rela-
tive priorities and relative effectiveness are open
to varying interpretations (Wilhelm, 1983).
U.S. foreign aid is now near an all-time-low lev-
el as measured in percentage of gross national
product and constant dollars. The proportion of
bilateral development funding aimed at Africa has
decreased recently, but other programs for Africa
have increased due to larger emergency food de-
liveries under Public Law 480 and proposals for
new programs (Nowels, 1984). In 1983, the Sec-
retary of State established a bipartisan commis-
sion to conduct a comprehensive review of the
goals and objectives of American programs and


to identify ways to increase support for them. The
Carlucci Commission concluded that:
In Africa there is an economic crisis of major
dimensions that will call for a serious long-term
response by the U.S., the donor, and the recipi-
ent countries. Failure to deal with these problems
can have serious security implications (Commis-
sion on Security and Economic Assistance, 1983).
The Commission also suggested that the United
States:
increase foreign aid funding;
expand support for foreign aid among Fed-
eral leaders and the public;
use aid to support economic policy reforms
and promote the private sector;
increase concessionality of military aid;
increase flexibility in aid;
establish a new Federal agency to coordinate
and administer foreign aid programs;
adopt a country approach to aid;
increase emphasis on science and technology,
human resources development, and institu-
tion-building;
support development objectives of the Food
for Peace Program;
ensure integrated programs for sub-Saharan
Africa and the Caribbean Region; and
improve evaluation of bilateral and multila-
teral programs (Commission on Security and
Economic Assistance, 1983).
The proposed Federal agency was the Commis-
sion's recommendation for dealing with the frag-
mented nature of foreign assistance programs. It
reflects Commission members' perceptions that all
forms of foreign assistance need to be integrated
into programs in which funding levels, related ac-
tivities, and degree of concessionality are based
on both the recipients' needs and U.S. objectives
(Wilhelm, 1983). This proposed agency has not
been established, although some of the Commis-
sion's other recommendations have been imple-
mented.
The Agency for International Development
(AID) is charged with implementing most U.S. bi-
lateral foreign aid policies. The congressional
mandates in 1973 known as "New Directions" in-
troduced new concerns into the design of AID
programs (Morss and Morss, 1982). Interpreta-








tion of the legislation has been difficult, with AID
favoring projects with visible short-term effects
rather than long-term projects with less immedi-
ate benefits (Stokeld, 1982). In addition, short-
term shifts in the proportion of assistance desig-
nated for military, economic security, and devel-
opment programs occur and are controversial
(Nowels, 1984; Commission on Security and Eco-
nomic Assistance, 1983).
The eligibility of particular countries for foreign
assistance changes with political changes in the
United States and in the host country. For exam-
ple, assistance to Tanzania and Ethiopia was af-
fected by shifts to socialist policies in these coun-
tries, despite the avowed humanitarian purposes
of some assistance. This problem is likely to in-
crease as the U.S. Government funds larger por-
tions of the private and voluntary organizations'
budgets. Their ability to respond to humanitarian
needs for agricultural assistance may be decreased
by their closer ties to U.S. foreign policy.
The effects of such policy shifts on technology
can sometimes be direct. For example, Congress
enacted section 107 of the International Develop-
ment and Food Assistance Act of 1975, authoriz-
ing AID to expand its efforts with capital-saving
technology. AID has emphasized private sector
initiatives since that time and some AID staff
perceive that the two efforts conflict (U.S. GAO,
1984).
Agriculture is the central focus of much Amer-
ican aid to Africa, reflecting a wide consensus in-
side and outside of the American Government that
agricultural development is the most important
long-term concern for the entire African continent
(Whitaker, 1984). AID allocates about 60 percent
of its African assistance to agriculture, or approx-
imately $150 million in fiscal year 1985 (U.S. Con-
gress, Committee on Appropriations, 1984). De-
bate continues whether development assistance to
Africa remains too low or is poorly balanced with
other types of assistance.
The U.S. Government has struggled to deter-
mine the most effective type of rural development
aid for decades (Ruttan, 1982; 1983). Community
development was emphasized in the 1950s. In the
1960s, donors supported narrower agricultural
production programs and institution-building.


"Integrated rural development" was popular in the
early 1970s, only to be replaced by the "basic
needs" approach in 1973. Now the "basic needs"
approach is being severely questioned. The num-
ber of families whose most basic needs are not
met continues to grow (Ruttan, World Develop-
ment 12(4), 1984) and, especially in Africa, reli-
able food surpluses do not exist (Eicher and Baker,
1982).
Finding an appropriate niche for American in-
volvement is essential, given a limited foreign aid
budget and continuing severe food problems (Fal-
con, 1984). The Carlucci Commission notes that
the United States is virtually alone among bilateral
donors in supporting projects developed by resi-
dent staff. Critics claim that this approach leads
to fragmentation. For example, AID supports ap-
proximately 1,000 projects in Africa now (Eicher,
October 1984). Suggestions for new approaches
include:
greater multilateral coordination with indi-
vidual donors assuming responsibility for aid
to certain regions of the world or sectors of
activity; and
greater emphasis on general long-term pro-
gram aid instead of specific project aid, espe-
cially in agricultural research.


Issue 11: The evaluation process used by AID
does not enable a consistent determination of
the effectiveness of the Agency in providing
technologies to low-resource producers.

Preliminary Findings
* AID evaluations prior to 1980 measured proj-
ect inputs and outputs and were weak on any
kind of qualitative or quantitative information
regarding other types of positive outcomes of
the AID projects.
AID's Africa Bureau developed guidelines in
1982 for evaluating the rate of technology adop-
tion for its projects. The guidelines have not
been used consistently and AID plans to discon-
tinue them.
Too much attention is paid to starting new proj-
ects and not enough to implementing and eval-
uating existing ones.








* The problem at AID missions is part attitudinal
and part staffing; most missions have too many
obligations for the size of their staffs.
Evaluation reports commonly are not taken ser-
iously by the mission directors. They appar-
ently consider evaluation a peripheral activity,
do not have full-time evaluation officers, and
see little value in using evaluations in the de-
sign stage of new projects.
Host country counterparts usually do not par-
ticipate in the evaluation process because the
process is seen as being negative and they do
not wish to be involved in a process that may
influence their own standing in the government.
Intended beneficiaries of projects are seldom in-
cluded in the evaluation process. This partici-
pation could assist project implementors in de-
termining socioeconomic impacts.
Duration of projects is too short to measure
results effectively and establish continuity; feed-
back is needed during the life of the project.
AID handbooks require that AID missions use
past project experience in designing new proj-
ects. However, this guidance is not consistently
followed or enforced by AID.
African ministry planners and beneficiaries are
seldom involved in the evaluation and design
phases of AID projects.
* In-service training of AID mission staff may not
include guidelines on evaluation procedures and
the importance of feedback planning.

Discussion
AID's effectiveness in transferring technology
appropriate to increasing food production by low-
resource producers in Africa can be measured by
its own project evaluations. Any agency involved
in project design and implementation must be able
to learn constructive lessons from past perform-
ance to improve ongoing and future project de-
sign. Through interviews and other research,
OTA examined the AID evaluation process.
Stressing field autonomy, the AID missions de-
termine which projects in their respective port-
folios require mid-term and final evaluations. The


projects selected represent the development em-
phasis of the mission's Country Development
Strategy Statement (CDSS). For example, a mis-
sion concentrating a substantial portion of its
budget on FSR would presumably want to iden-
tify a larger number of its FSR projects for eval-
uation.
The Africa Bureau of AID/Washington receives
2-year evaluation plans of each mission. The Bu-
reau identifies larger issue areas for evaluation and
determines if the composite evaluation plans from
each mission will gather the necessary informa-
tion. If not, the Bureau requests additional infor-
mation or conducts its own evaluation to gather
the necessary information. The Bureau then ap-
proves the respective mission plans for the review
of the Center for Development Information and
Evaluation (CDIE).
The CDIE oversees AID's evaluation process.
This center reviews mission evaluation plans and
the Africa Bureau, conducts assessments (impact
evaluations on selected topics), and provides in-
formation on development theory, past AID proj-
ects, and technical data through its development
information system.
In 1979, AID re-established its Africa Bureau
evaluation unit. Its evaluation officer requested
a study by the U.S. Department of Commerce
Census Bureau on the effectiveness of the AID
evaluation process regarding its appropriate tech-
nology projects. The Census Bureau concluded
that AID missions did not use project evaluations
because the evaluations contained little informa-
tion for subsequent project design. Specifically,
"technology transfer for the purpose of the proj-
ect was not defined, adoption was not defined,
the variables needed for monitoring adoption
were not identified and the degree to which tech-
nology existed prior to project implementation
had not been measured" (U.S. Department of
Commerce, 1983). A separate report also con-
cluded that the AID evaluation process produced
no comparative or consistent data with which to
compare projects within the AID portfolio (Asso-
ciates in Rural Development, 1982). Finally, an
AID-commissioned impact assessment concluded
that the absence of information on project char-
acteristics makes a comparative analysis of AID's









projects difficult (Crawford and Barclay, 1982).
However, a more fundamental question remains
on the value of the original project goals and ob-
jectives. Crawford and Barclay (1982) identified
some of the major problems with evaluating the
effectiveness and goals of AID in conducting re-
search for small farmers.
[T]here [is no] guarantee that the original proj-
ect objectives are realistic and can themselves
serve as an adequate basis for evaluating project
performance. Project goals and purposes are
sometimes written to guide the authorization of
project funds rather than to guide project evalua-
tion. The majority of sample projects, at least
nominally, concentrated on research whose ulti-
mate goal was to benefit small farmers. General-
ly, the projects concentrated on crops that small
farmers grew or worked in resource poor areas
where small farmers and the rural poor comprise
most of the population. Except to note that this
was the project goal, however, evaluations gave
little attention to measuring the success of such
efforts or evaluating alternative methods of reach-
ing the smallscale farmer (Crawford and Barclay,
1982).
In an attempt to develop procedures that AID
could use to collect uniform data for project com-
parison, the Census Bureau proposed 11 guide-
lines that all evaluations were to address. The
guidelines contained categories for the measure-
ment of those constraints the project attempted
to overcome, technologies introduced and re-
placed, justification for the assumptions that the
beneficiaries would adopt the technologies, post-
project adoption rates, the type of technology
transfer system, and the impact on the intended
beneficiaries. The guidelines were approved for
use by the Africa Bureau in March 1982.
Recent OTA interviews with AID officials in-
dicate that AID has not consistently used the
guidelines and feels that the guidelines should be
discontinued. In their place, AID will propose that
evaluations outline some general problems so that
common concerns and experiences can be com-
piled for use by project design personnel. How-
ever, this approach may not provide comparative
data to determine the impacts of projects upon
intended beneficiaries or excluded groups, espe-
cially women.


OTA finds that sufficient evidence exists to in-
dicate that at present the AID evaluation process
serves little purpose in assisting project design of-
ficers and certainly gives little comparative infor-
mation of the impact of AID's projects upon the
rural poor. AID's efforts to strenghten its evalua-
tion capacity could be strongly supported. Within
Congress, AID, and host country ministries, the
evaluation process could be seen in a more posi-
tive perspective. An audit process is less effective
than one that encourages the use of qualitative
and quantitative information for improved proj-
ect design. However, AID could do much more
to ensure that the beneficial or adverse impacts
upon groups of rural poor are measured. The
most beneficial change would be to involve host
country planners and project beneficiaries in the
evaluation process in a manner that allows ob-
jective criticism of projects without punitive re-
sponses from the government or AID.

Issue 12: The results of recipient countries re-
ceiving large quantities of concessional food
aid are not clear.

Preliminary Findings
* Food aid is an important type of development
assistance. The need for food aid in Africa will
persist because of constraints on agricultural
production in drought-prone and other areas.
* The impacts of concessional food aid sometimes
are negative; food aid can displace indigenous
farmers from the marketplace, shift dietary
preferences, decrease incentives for increasing
local food production, and discourage recipi-
ent governments from undertaking needed agri-
cultural reform.
Goals of donor and recipient countries, and
long-term versus short-term interests of each,
may conflict when donors provide large
amounts of food aid regularly. For example,
arguments exist whether commodity benefits
have been achieved along with development
benefits in the Public Law 480 programs.
Development programs may be forced to com-
pete with food aid programs, given the down-
ward trend in overall foreign assistance.









*Certain U.S. States benefit substantially from
sales of Public Law 480 commodities. Experts
disagree regarding the current and future im-
portance of Public Law 480 in disposal of U.S.
surpluses.

Discussion
In 1984, the U.S. celebrated the 30th anniver-
sary of its primary food aid program, Food for
Peace (the Agricultural Trade Development and
Assistance Act of 1954, Public Law 480). Amend-
ments during its three decades have shifted the
program from local currencies to dollars, deleted
references to the use of American surpluses, and
tied food aid to development assistance and pol-
icy reform in recipient countries.
Public Law 480 has three components as a re-
sult of these amendments. Title I provides favor-
able terms for financing private sales of commod-
ities to "friendly" countries. Title II authorizes
emergency donations handled by international
agencies and U.S. private and voluntary groups.
Title III provides food for resale and then local
use of the proceeds for approved projects or pol-
icy initiatives (USDA, July 1984a).
The total African Public Law 480 program in
fiscal year 1984 was estimated at $258.9 million
with about one-fifth of that amount supplied as
emergency food aid. AID proposed that the pro-
gram for fiscal year 1985 be funded at $234.7 mil-
lion, without including estimates of emergency
needs (U.S. Congress, Committee on Appropria-
tions, 1984). The current famine has accelerated
shipments of Public Law 480 commodities; alloca-
tions approved in the first month of fiscal year
1985 are approximately 75 percent of total ship-
ments in fiscal year 1984 (Cook, 1984). Food aid
is expected to be a continuing need in Africa, espe-
cially in the areas where climate fluctuates widely
and more droughts are probable.
This program has been an important source of
emergency food aid for African countries. Also,
Public Law 480 benefits the United States substan-
tially: 12 American States each sell approximately
$50 million of agricultural products annually;
most other States sell smaller amounts (USDA,
July 1984a). Doubts exist, however, about its
long-term effects on agricultural development and


whether it is the best method to achieve some-
times conflicting goals. Despite repeated attempts
to evaluate Public Law 480's effects on individ-
ual countries, the program continues to face
charges that:
Public Law 480's main beneficiaries are Amer-
ican farmers and the U.S. merchant marine. Pub-
lic Law 480 has bankrupted poor farmers, encour-
aged the welfare ethic in recipient countries and
squandered billions of tax dollars (Bovard, 1984).
Food aid never constitutes a lasting solution to
problems of hunger and food production. It may
save lives in emergencies but even then donors
might not anticipate needs or make deliveries in
a timely fashion. Large quantities may strain the
capacity of recipient countries to store and dis-
tribute products efficiently (Matzke, 1984; Okig-
bo, 1982).
Other fundamental questions about food aid
are asked. Critics charge that food aid prolongs
dependence and hampers efforts to increase food
production in recipient countries. The main dan-
gers are:
encouraging postponement of overdue agri-
cultural reforms in recipient countries, thus
creating artificial food "emergencies" and de-
tracting from the effectiveness of agricultural
development assistance;
making domestic markets unpredictable and
discouraging local producers from increas-
ing production;
shifting dietary preferences to wheat accel-
erates demands for that grain. Many Afri-
can countries cannot produce wheat for cli-
matic reasons and thus may become perma-
nently dependent on imports; and
not reaching the people in most need nutri-
tionally (Clay and Singer, 1982; Matzke,
1984).
No consensus exists on these broad questions.
But Clay and Singer (1982) note that widespread
criticism of Public Law 480 has been replaced by
more ambivalent views of its potential positive
and negative effects.
The General Accounting Office has investigated
many aspects of this program, publishing 28 re-
ports from 1976 to early 1984. Their findings
include:





































Photo credit: F Botts of United Nations/FAO


The role of food aid continues to be controversial. As an emergency measure, it is crucial during times of drought and
famine. However, the long-term effects may produce disincentives to increased food production. Here, Burkina Faso
villagers collect emergency food aid during the Sahelian drought of 1973.


* U.S. costs could be cut by more timely col-
lection of local currencies, altering cargo pref-
erence laws, and shipping with long-term
country and regional requirements in mind;
* limited attempts to use Title III for agricul-
tural reform are unsuccessful and constrained
by U.S. and recipient country administrative
problems;
* Public Law 480 funds could be used in inno-
vative ways-e.g., for developing irrigation
projects;
* closer watch should be kept on equitable dis-
tribution of aid to refugees, monitoring and
auditing of commodity transport, and the
programs in certain countries; and
* AID needs to document that food aid does
not increase disincentives to local food pro-


duction and that sales under Title I help the
poor.

Title III, the Food for Development section, is
intended to contribute to long-term agricultural
gains in sub-Saharan Africa. Its multi-year agree-
ments are unique in Public Law 480 programs.
To the extent that these funds are used for agri-
cultural projects, agricultural technology will play
an important role in the program. The role of
projects versus policy planning has been the sub-
ject of considerable debate within the program,
however. The Office of Management and Budg-
et has been a major advocate of decreasing proj-
ect spending, sometimes at odds with the U.S. De-
partment of Agriculture and U.S. AID (Garzon,
1984). Criticisms are made that projects are poorly


Alt e1 IIII. ni




....... ....LI


6.MMW








formulated. They are not commonly oriented to
technologies suitable for low-resource producers.
The number of countries that take part in Ti-
tle III programs is small: only six agreements were
signed in its first 4 years; two of these were in sub-
Saharan Africa (Senegal and Sudan). Other po-
tential recipients in Africa "are unable to sign
agreements because of internal instability, polit-
ical differences with the USA or reasons of polit-
ical ideology" (Garzon, 1984). Since 1981 when
Garzon completed his analysis, the number of
countries signing Title III agreements has declined
and GAO questions the merits of continuing the
program.

Issue 13: Private voluntary and nongovernmen-
tal organizations (PVOs) may have particularly
useful roles in African agricultural develop.
ment, but these are neither clear nor constant.

Preliminary Findings
PVOs have played a major part in U.S. devel-
opment assistance, first by providing humani-
tarian, then social and economic development
aid.
Often their work with technology has been lim-
ited due to lack of interest and expertise and
a low level of technical back-up, but this is
changing.
The roles of PVOs are shifting as government
funds supplement private contributions.
These shifts may require that more attention
be paid to identifying PVOs' particular strengths
and to designing, managing, and evaluating
projects with these strengths in mind.

Discussion
Many PVOs played an important historical role
in Africa. The provision of social services, in-
cluding emergency food relief, new schools, roads,
and irrigation facilities, has been an important and
successful role for many. For example, "a study
covering the 1969 to 1973 period found that
church organizations provided about 20 percent
of the total hospital and maternity beds in all
Africa" (Tendler, 1982). These programs may
have had small overall impacts on development


but their local impacts appear to be significant
(Sommer, 1977).
In the past 20 years many PVOs shifted their
work from disaster and food relief toward devel-
opment assistance. This shift can be attributed
both to the PVOs' assessments of the roots of pov-
erty and to AID's congressionally mandated
attempts to bring PVOs into the development
process. Now AID provides PVOs with several
hundred million dollars annually. Twelve to six-
teen percent of AID's development and disaster
assistance funding is available to PVOs due to
1981 congressional action (U.S. AID, May 1982a).
Private voluntary organizations are diverse.
They vary in size, budget, ideology, degree of spe-
cialization and expertise, use of volunteers, age,
program content, structure, and style of opera-
tion. The large disaster and development groups,
such as CARE and Catholic Relief Services, gen-
erally have large budgets and close ties to the U.S.
Government. Often the religious PVOs generally
are smaller, but have large numbers of people lo-
cated in villages. For example, about 8,450 Amer-
ican missionaries work in Africa (Hayden, 1984).
Humanitarian groups, like religious PVOs, main-
ly rely on private contributions. A distinct set of
these organizations focuses specifically on tech-
nical assistance-e.g., Volunteers in Technical
Assistance (VITA) and Technoserve. In addition,
individual PVOs are joined in various permanent
and temporary coalitions.
While these differences make generalization dif-
ficult, PVOs commonly perceive themselves as a
community with common characteristics. One set
of features that many American PVOs claim to
share is: the lack of public appreciation for their
work in developing countries and consequent
problems with fund-raising, the predominance of
U.S. Government influence, the nature of their
leadership, and the difficulties inherent in oper-
ating overseas programs (Biddle, 1984).
Another set of characteristics allegedly describes
the way PVOs work. These features are accepted
inside and outside of the community to such an
extent that Tendler (1982) describes them as "arti-
cles of faith" (table 5; see also Hyden, 1983). The
people who accept these articles advocate an ex-
panded role for PVOs in American development








Table 5.-The Role of Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs): Articles of Faith
Theme Assumptions of PVOs
Reaching the poor .......... long experience working with the poor
Participation ............... include poor beneficiaries in decisionmaking process
Process v. outcome ......... interested in long-term process, not execution of specific
tasks
function to establish process for poor people to gain
control of lives
not interested in output measures of traditional
evaluations
The public sector ........... deal "people-to-people," not government-to-government
do not channel money through the public sector
Flexibility, experimentation .. can be flexible and experimental because they are small,
not in the public sector, and do not have to show fast
results
Local institutions .......... have special ability to work with and strengthen local,
private institutions
Cost ..................... can benefit the poor at lesser cost than large public
sector organizations
SOURCE: Adapted from: Judith Tendler, Turning Private Voluntary Organizations into Development Agencies: Questions for
Evaluation, U.S. AID Program Evaluation Paper No. 12 (Washington, DC: U.S. AID, April 1982).


assistance. Most aid recipients appear to agree that
PVO aid is flexible, honest, prompt, coordinated
with other efforts, available to needy and remote
areas, and open to experimentation (Sommer,
1977). Critics note, however, that PVOs do not
necessarily exhibit such features as flexibility and
continuity. Therefore, the degree to which these
features are accurate is important in considering
the future role of PVOs in development assistance.
Problems in evaluation have hindered a clear
understanding of what PVOs do well and what
they do uniquely. Evaluations of PVO work have
been a continuing concern of donors, and the co-
hesiveness of the PVO community is illustrated
by its collective lack of enthusiasm in respond-
ing to these concerns. Often external evaluations
are feared because of their potential for diverting
efforts from "important" activities, because they
represent an outside intrusion, because they may
affect the organization negatively, or because they
are perceived to be highly political (Tendler,
1982). The 1973 Foreign Assistance Act began the
trend to regular evaluation. As AID made more
money available to PVOs, it also required greater
accountability. Difficulties persist in measuring
project significance versus operational perform-
ance and in including intended beneficiaries in the
evaluation process (Sommer, 1977).
Relations between governments and PVOs have
changed as governments have come to rely more
upon them. PVOs often maintain an adversarial


rhetoric about their advantages over government
assistance and their need for independence. In
fact, however, the operations of many groups
have become closely tied to government aid in
various ways. Some of the larger relief organiza-
tions receive nearly 80 percent of their funds from
the U.S. Government (Sommer, 1977).
Government/PVO relations also take other
forms. In some cases, PVOs serve as innovators
from which governments learn and replicate proj-
ects. This role seems less common than PVOs con-
tend, however, and perhaps is limited to new
PVOs in early stages of growth. In other cases,
PVOs serve as precursors to governments, filling
a need until governments are able or willing to
address the same problems. PVO/government re-
lations can be categorized more generally and
completely as complementary, filling unoccupied
territory, competitive, brokering, replicating, or
government takeover (Tendler, 1982).
Many of these relations are replete with am-
bivalence. Some PVOs refuse all government
funds to avoid: 1) compromising their programs,
2) appearing to be linked to official U.S. Govern-
ment policy, and 3) accepting government plan-
ning and evaluation methods.
PVO involvement in agriculture has increased
recently. For example, several groups made par-
ticular contributions in bringing "Green Revolu-
tion" technology to the poor (Sommer, 1977).









Box C.-Is The Peace Corps a PVO?
The Peace Corps is an anomaly among development assistance groups. It is an independent agency
of the Federal executive branch but displays features similar to many private and voluntary organiza-
tions (PVOs). These organizations share a people-to-people approach, immersion in the local cultures,
a small-scale focus, and the emphasis on meeting basic needs.
Important differences exist between the Peace Corps and PVOs, too: 1) the comparative overseas
inexperience of most Peace Corps volunteers, 2) the lack of "institutional memory" within the organiza-
tion due to its 2-year tours and 5-year staffing rules, and 3) the greater security provided by Federal
funding.
The Peace Corps was created in 1961 to:
help the people of interested countries meet their needs for trained personnel;
help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the people served; and
help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.
Since 1961, at least 100,000 Americans have served in more than 90 countries. Today there are some
5,400 volunteers and trainees in 60 nations, 2,400 of whom work in 23 nations in sub-Saharan Africa
(U.S. Peace Corps, 1984a).
While the essential goals of the Peace Corps have remained constant, the Agency has undergone
several changes. During its first decade, the great majority of volunteers had liberal arts backgrounds
and little professional experience. As the program broadened in size and deepened in technical scope,
questions emerged, both at home and abroad, whether the volunteers had adequate expertise and train-
ing. Economic development gained greater priority and less emphasis was given to cross-cultural ex-
change as a result. The proportion of "B.A. generalist" volunteers is a measure of this change; it declined
from about 60 percent in the early 1960s to less than 25 percent in the late 1970s (Rice, 1981). The em-
phasis on specialized skills is accelerating in response to current needs, particularly in Africa, and greater
efforts are being made to recruit volunteers in such fields as biology, agronomy, forestry, and environ-
mental science.
Another trend, begun during the "new directions" of the 1970s, continues. The Peace Corps is em-
phasizing cooperative projects with donors such as AID and PVOs. For example, the Peace Corps recently
launched an Africa Food Systems Initiative in response to the food crisis in Africa. This program calls
for the Peace Corps "to work in conjunction with AID and several PVO partners to assist small-scale
farmers develop, adapt and implement the appropriate technologies designed to overcome [current ob-
stacles] and thus foster self-sustaining food systems" (U.S. Peace Corps, 1984b).


However, Tendler's (1982) analysis suggests that
agricultural assistance has certain characteristics
that may makc PVO success in this area difficult.
Many agricultural projects require a high degree
of expertise. This is not compatible necessarily
with the more generalist nature of many PVOs.
It appears that the benefits of agricultural projects
are especially vulnerable to monopoly by the rich
and, while PVOs are generally regarded as par-
ticularly sensitive to reaching the poor, sometimes
this cannot be documented. Many within the PVO
community dispute Tendler's findings. They argue
that limited agricultural expertise is required for


work with simple technology for low-resource
food producers and that professionalism is rising
among PVO staff.

Good relations and frequent interactions with
large government donors are particularly impor-
tant in relation to technical areas such as agricul-
tural research. The smallness of most PVOs means
that they must rely on the large donors for state-
of-the-art information on effective development
methods. In most cases, PVOs have limited sup-
port systems to provide technical information to
volunteers in the field. Therefore, cooperation,









not competition, is likely to benefit large donors
and PVOs.
Some assert that "governments stand to bene-
fit tremendously by allowing private and volun-
tary efforts to take root in society and thereby
provide effective entry points for public sector in-
puts" (Hyden, 1983). How best to accomplish this
is not clear. Certain trends in PVO aid exist: 1)
greater attention to long-term development, 2) ac-
cepting professional consulting roles, and 3) great-
er recognition that development education in the
United States is important. If PVOs continue
along this route, they would continue to supple-
ment government aid programs but perhaps lose
their pioneering role (Sommer, 1977). Their con-
sulting role is likely to bring them into greater con-
flict with for-profit firms engaged in similar work.
Sommer urges that American PVOs seek new
roles, cooperating with other PVOs worldwide.
Such cooperation, especially with local African
PVOs, is an explicit objective of some groups.
American PVO leaders, however, note the diffi-
culties of coordinating international and local ef-
forts (Biddle, 1984). Special considerations apply
to working with African PVOs. Generally, local
PVOs are not strong. They have received little
recognition in their own countries and are weaker
than those in other developing countries. They
may offer an important way to compensate for
government failures and complement more appro-
priate government efforts, but they will need out-
side assistance for some time in order to develop
a stronger local base (Hyden, 1983).

Issue 14: The extent to which American busi-
nesses will provide technical assistance to
low-resource food producers is limited.
Preliminary Findings
The U.S. Government is beginning a major ini-
tiative to bring American private enterprise into
development assistance, but it appears that
most investment will be outside of the agricul-
tural sector.
Technology developed by multinational firms
for poor countries often emphasizes capital in-
tensive inputs rather than technologies more
appropriate to the needs of the low-resource
producers.


* Private investment generally goes to more
wealthy developing countries with more devel-
oped infrastructures, more developed markets,
and greater political stability.
* Problems of accessibility, limited capital, and
needs for varied packaging make low-resource
producer markets unattractive to agribusi-
nesses.
* Incompatibility exists between the profit-max-
imizing strategies of agribusiness and risk-aver-
sion practices of low-resource producers.
* U.S private sector involvement in agricultural
technology for low-resource farmers in sub-
Saharan Africa is primarily in the form of
development assistance programs financed
through the U.S. Agency for International De-
velopment.
* Certain critical components of agricultural de-
velopment assistance probably will not and
cannot be provided by the private sector.
Therefore, a unique obligation remains for the
Federal Government.

Discussion
The Federal Government is encouraging the
U.S. private sector to invest in low-income de-
veloping countries. It has established such bodies
as the Bureau of Private Enterprise within the
U.S. Agency for International Development and
the Overseas Private Investment Corporation
(OPIC). The objective of encouraging U.S. pri-
vate sector investment in developing countries is
to boost trade, create jobs, nurture indigenous en-
trepreneurial activity, develop management skills,
and provide increased capital flows into countries.
Private enterprise is seen as "the engine that
makes growth occur most quickly" (U.S. AID,
May 1982b). The focus of these initiatives will be
on those developing countries with more devel-
oped infrastructures and markets and which dis-
play sociopolitical atmospheres conducive to free
market initiatives. As a result, the primary bene-
ficiaries will likely be the relatively wealthy coun-
tries in the developing world, despite efforts to
encourage investments in the poorest countries.
While the goals mentioned above would bene-
fit an African country's overall economy, the abil-








ity of U.S. private enterprise to benefit the agri-
cultural sector directly, and in particular assist
low-resource producers in increasing food produc-
tivity, is uncertain.
Direct private investment in agriculture in Afri-
ca historically has been in large plantation-type
agriculture emphasizing export crops. Even in this
area, however, investments have been limited in
recent years largely due to concerns over nation-
alization or other government interventions.
Rather, most transactions have been sales of in-
puts and purchases of outputs for processing (Lip-
ton, 1977a).
While up to 90 percent of farming in Africa is
done by the traditional sector, this group remains
a "peripheral" market for agribusiness products
such as seeds, fertilizer, agricultural chemicals,
mechanical motive power, and processing equip-
ment (Turner, 1984). Only about 10 percent of
purchased farm inputs in Third World countries
go to farmers cultivating under 10 acres of land
(Lipton, 1977b).
While the low-resource producer markets for
agricultural inputs are potentially very large, they
are not spectacularly lucrative. Western-based
suppliers face a variety of problems including:
1. Problems of accessibility, both physical and
mental: Poorly developed infrastructures
and the remoteness of many producers re-
sult in high transportation costs. Making
low-resource producers aware of available
products and encouraging them to use them
can cause further problems with inappro-
priate scale of use.
2. Possible unsuitability of available technol-
ogies: Most technology is designed around
Western (capital intensive) agricultural sys-
tems and is not suitable for low-resource pro-
ducers in developing countries.
3. The pattern of government policies and pri-
orities in poor countries: In many countries
there is a reliance on quasi-governmental
bodies to handle distribution and purchases.
There are also inadequate incentives for food
production in the rural sector in most coun-
tries (Lipton, 1977b).
The great bulk of world trade in agricultural
inputs is between developed countries. As such,


the products of agribusiness are designed to meet
the needs of developed country commercial agri-
culture rather than those of the peasant farmer.
The technologies developed are most often inap-
propriate for the rural sector in sub-Saharan
Africa and can cause serious problems. "The in-
creased use of agricultural inputs [tends] to mod-
ify and, in some cases, distort the farm structure
in these countries to accommodate the new in-
puts" (Clayton, 1977).

Western manufacturers, in general, have diffi-
culty adapting to low-resource producer markets.
In particular, conflicts arise between the indus-
tries' desire to exploit economies of scale in re-
search, design, transport, and storage, and their
need to adapt to low-resource producers' input
requirements and local circumstances (MacKin-
tosh, 1977). Low-resource producers require a
multitude of package types, chemical formula-
tions, languages, soil conditions, and active in-
gredients. Providing safety instruction and follow-
up monitoring, particularly on potentially toxic
inputs, present further problems (Lipton, 1977d).

Limited liquidity and difficulties in obtaining
credit cause serious problems for businesses try-
ing to expand markets to low-resource producers.
Perhaps more difficult to overcome, however, is
the divergence between profit-maximizing strat-
egies of agribusiness firms and the risk-aversion
practices of low-resource producers.
[A]gribusiness has been conditioned by and has
responded to the capitalistic, profit maximizing
agriculture of the developed world. The operat-
ing environment of the peasant farmer is very dif-
ferent from this. [They] often operate within a
vicious cycle of poverty which limits [their] farm-
ing objectives and opportunities for farm inputs.
[Their] energies are constrained by limited knowl-
edge, inadequate land and capital resources, a
risky physical economic environment and inade-
quate infrastructure (Clayton, 1977).

To take advantage of the potential traditional
sector market, it is essential to account for the
needs of the low-resource producer. Clayton
(1977) suggests some steps that should be taken:
1. adapt farm inputs to match the scale of peas-
ant farming,








2. improve the marketing and distribution of
inputs to the advantage of small farmers, and
3. temper straight commercial objectives to
take account of the real development needs
of poor countries.
In emphasizing the role of private enterprise as
an agent for development in Africa, some people
believe that the U.S. comparative advantage in
agriculture and the major importance of agricul-
ture to African economies make this sector an ap-
propriate focus for U.S. agribusiness involvement
(Andreas Task Force, 1984). However, the tech-
nologies and agricultural system that have enabled
the United States to become the "breadbasket of
the world" are not necessarily transferable to
Africa. Thus the idea of comparative advantage,
at least in terms of technology transfer, loses
validity. Witness OPIC's efforts to expand its in-
surance and lending for agricultural projects but
its difficulty in finding suitable projects (Andreas
Task Force, 1984). OPIC's 1983 annual report sug-
gests that of 104 projects supported, only 9 were
located in sub-Saharan Africa, and of these none
were directly related to agriculture.
The current development agency focus on ru-
ral development projects has provided a boom to
those businesses who produce for low-resource
producers, the so-called "appropriate technology"
firms. Indications are, however, that most of these
exporting firms lie outside the United States.
Many operate in countries that have historic co-
lonial ties to their markets, although India and
China present serious competition because of their
large domestic markets that support export sales
(Turner, 1984).
The United States also seems to be disadvan-
taged due to a more contentious factor-the prac-
tice of certain countries (e.g., France and Japan)
to heavily link their foreign aid policies to their
industrial policies in an effort to expand their mar-
kets into developing countries. The result has been
a frustration on the part of American firms who
think they are losing ground in developing-coun-
try markets as a result. This has prompted in-
creased pressure on the U.S. Government to
practice a similar strategy (U.S. Congress, Joint
Economic Committee, 1982; Commission on
Security and Economic Assistance, 1983). For the


most part, the United States has refrained from
linking its foreign aid policies and industrial pol-
icies because it recognizes the need to "press hard
for free markets, open access to markets, and for
the overall benefits of comparative economic
advantage in producing and distributing the free
world's products and services" (Andreas Task
Force, 1984).
The vast majority of agricultural equipment
sales to African countries come from Western
manufacturers. United Nations figures indicate
that of the estimated $1 billion of agricultural
equipment sold to Africa (most representing trac-
tors and tractor-drawn implements for the com-
mercial agricultural sector), local manufacturers
account for only $150 million (Turner, 1984).
There is a growing sense, however, that "large-
scale imports of basic equipment can only be a
short- to medium-term solution to supplying the
African farmer. If programs to improve produc-
tivity are to be sustained, equipment will have to
be supplied from within Africa itself for foreign
exchange consideration if nothing else" (Turner,
1984).
While it is unlikely that most African countries
will be able to develop indigenous industries to
produce large equipment in the near future, the
potential for further development of smaller scale
industries, especially those that could meet the
needs of low-resource producers (e.g., small-scale
machinery, implements, and fertilizers) can be
seen as a realistic short-term goal. However, prob-
lems have been encountered by such businesses
currently operating in Africa. A 1983 U.N. Indus-
trial Development Organization (UNIDO) report
states that the approximately 70 companies in
Africa producing for the traditional sector were
"in crisis, with nearly all facing financial and struc-
tural difficulties and many in danger of going
bankrupt or being forced to diversify out of agri-
cultural machinery supply."
Many of the problems these companies face are
common to much of African industry: shortage
of spare parts and raw materials, and a lack of
technical and management skills. These latter con-
straints provide an area where U.S. private sec-
tor involvement could prove very useful, such as
the International Executive Service Corps (IESC).








Other problems exist that are particular to pro-
ducing for the low-resource producer: general in-
solvency of the clients and consequent limited
market size. In addition, government policies have
sometimes exacerbated problems (Turner, 1984).
These problems would also be encountered by
U.S. investments and are, in large part, respon-
sible for the limited investment in African coun-
tries. Sub-Saharan Africa represents a mere 2
percent of total U.S. direct investment abroad
(Stokeld, 1982).
The above analysis provides a rather skeptical
view of any extensive U.S. private industry in-
volvement in Africa. Perhaps it should be clarified
that this skepticism is focused on the ability of
U.S. agribusiness to assist directly with the tradi-
tional African agricultural sector. There are areas
of agricultural sector development where U.S. pri-
vate investment may prove much more effective


and profitable, particularly in such areas as food
processing and marketing infrastructure. How-
ever, in developing mechanized food processing
operations, consideration should be given to the
impact on the low-resource producers, particu-
larly potential adverse impacts on income gener-
ation through their own processing activities.
The creation of a free enterprise environment
may result in a greater shift of low-resource pro-
ducers away from a largely subsistence economy
toward a market economy. The greater liquidity
and market structure this creates would likely pro-
vide increased incentives for private sector invest-
ment in low-resource producers. In the meantime,
however, profitability in such investments is lim-
ited, particularly in the poorer countries in sub-
Saharan Africa. As such, increasing productivity
in this sector will continue to rely predominantly
on investments from the public sector.








Chapter 6
Issues for the
African Governments





Chapter 6


Issues for the African Governments


Technology development, technology transfer,
and technical assistance each have an important
function to perform if food production in Africa
is to be increased. The primary responsibility for
improving food production, however, lies with
the African governments themselves. What is
needed is a continuing, active commitment to food
production-an ability to translate rhetoric into
action.
This chapter examines the many, sometimes
complicated, issues for which the African govern-
ments themselves are responsible. One critical is-
sue facing African governments is their inadequate
institutional foundation, which makes it difficult
to plan and manage far-reaching development
strategies. African governments also face increas-
ing pressure to reform economic policies. An issue
often neglected in the face of more visible or im-
mediate problems is the status of the natural re-
source base; a firm commitment to sustain their
natural resources is essential to long-term agricul-
tural development in Africa.

Issue 15: The commitment of African govern-
ments to sustaining the natural resource base
is critical to long-term agricultural devel-
opment.

Preliminary Findings
Research on soil erosion and conservation in
Africa is weak or non-existent. Few countries
have conservation programs capable of deal-
ing with the magnitude of the problems they
are facing.
Conflicts exist at the national level between
short-term objectives of meeting immediate
needs and long-term objectives of maintaining
natural resources.
The combination of increased population pres-
sure on the land and the degree of land degra-
dation that continues to occur in many parts
of Africa suggest that the resource base may
no longer be able to support a continuation of
many traditional agricultural practices.


* An urgent need exists in many countries to re-
duce the rate of land degradation, reclaim land
already degraded, and introduce or adapt pro-
duction methods that fit the constraints of the
natural resource base.
* In examining strategies for reducing land deg-
radation, an integrated approach should be
taken that looks at the entire production
system.
* For conservation programs to be effective,
support and involvement are needed from the
rural population. It is unlikely that simply
legislating programs will work.
* Problems of environmental degradation in Afri-
ca are quite different from those in indus-
trialized countries. In Africa, environmental
problems stem predominantly from poverty.
Development and industrialization are per-
ceived as cures for, rather than causes of, envi-
ronmental degradation.
Environmental awareness by African govern-
ments is a relatively recent phenomenon and,
unlike in most developed countries, it has been
stimulated from outside the country. There is
some suspicion and apprehension by many
African governments that outside emphasis on
environmental issues represents efforts to stem
industrial development in Africa.


Discussion
The magnitude of problems facing most coun-
tries in sub-Saharan Africa is enormous. These
problems are due not only to food shortages but
also are a result of economic woes resulting from
stagnant economic growth and an inability to gen-
erate adequate foreign exchange. In addition, sev-
eral countries are facing civil strife or are engaged
in war. In light of the immediacy of these prob-
lems, it is understandable why countries have
been unable or reluctant to address the longer
term questions of degradation of their natural re-
sources.








Compounding the problem is the difficulty of
the task at hand. Hudson (1983) takes the perspec-
tive of relating the problems facing Third World
countries' efforts at soil conservation to those in
the United States:
If you think you have problems in making soil
conservation work in the United States, spare the
thought for countries in the Third World, where
the problems are much worse and the difficulties
of applying solutions are much greater. [If] soil
conservation cannot be made to work effectively
in the United States, with all the advantages of
research, extension, and conservation services,
plus wealthy, educated farmers on good land with
gentle climates-if with all these benefits conser-
vation is not successful-then what hope is there
for struggling countries that have few, if none,
of these advantages.
Land degradation is caused by a variety of often
interrelated processes: soil erosion, deforestation,
overgrazing, waterlogging and salinization, dam-
age by sedimentation, inefficient cultivation prac-
tices, shortened fallow periods, and spreading des-
erts (McPherson, 1984). In terms of its impact on
Africa's agriculture, the implications are alarm-
ing. Estimates suggest that with the current rate
of soil loss, Africa could experience a decline in
its potential rain-fed crop production of about 15
percent during the next two decades (McPherson,
1984).
The problems stem largely from the poor qual-
ity of African soils. The continent did not experi-
ence the glaciation that created the more robust
soils in other continents. In general, African soils
tend to be highly weathered, with a low humus
content (which is important for providing nutri-
ents and retaining moisture) and are very suscep-
tible to damaging processes such as erosion and
leaching (Lofchie and Commins, 1984). Some soils
that are rich in nutrients and capable of support-
ing relatively intensive agriculture do exist in the
region, however, such as the volcanic soils of the
Kenyan Highlands.
Ecological variability (fig. 10) presents prob-
lems in itself as it adds complexity to the task of
formulating "environmentally conscious agricul-
tural planning" (Lofchie and Commins, 1984).
Adding further complexity is the variability of


social and cultural factors that play a large role
in land use patterns.
In formulating strategies to combat land deg-
radation, it is important to look at the full array
of human activity that contributes to the prob-
lem in a given region. The diversity and interrela-
tionships of these anthropogenic modifications of
the environment were examined for the West Afri-
can Sahel (National Research Council, 1984). Nine
major activities were defined that contributed to
the decline in the region's ability to support human
populations: bush fires, trans-Saharan trade, site
preferences for settlements, gum arabic trade,
agricultural expansion, proliferation of cattle, in-
troduction of advanced firearms, development of
modern transportation networks, and urbani-
zation.
Most tropical forests in Africa also are severely
threatened as a result of stress on the system. In
Ivory Coast, for instance, timber cutting for ex-
port has resulted in a shrinking of the forest to
one-third of its size only 25 years ago (Lofchie and
Commins, 1984).
Most likely, peasant farmers and pastoralists are
aware that some of their activities damage their
resources. But few alternatives exist because they
are striving to meet the most basic needs (Hud-
son, 1983). This is particularly true regarding sub-
sistence producers faced with the need to move
into marginal lands (see Box D). The responsibility
falls on the governments to address the problem.
In describing the solutions needed for one form
of environmental degradation, Erik Eckholm
wrote that desertificationn is seldom a technical
problem that can be solved with an injection of
knowledge and money alone. It is a socio-eco-
nomic and developmental problem linked to basic
patterns of national life (solutions) require
difficult political, cultural and bureaucratic reform"
(Cross, 1983). It is unlikely, however, that simply
legislating programs of land use would be effec-
tive. To succeed, conservation efforts must have
support "from below," as they will have to do the
work. Full involvement of the rural sector is re-
quired (Hudson, 1983).
Research on soil erosion and conservation is
weak or nonexistent in Africa. Some basic theory









Figure 10.-Ecological Areas of Africa
300 20 10 0" 10 20 30 40


50o 60


20" 10" 0 10 20 30* 40* 50 60*
SOURCE: Adapted from P. O'Meara and P. Martin (eds.), Africa, Indiana University Press, In: E. F. Moran (ed.), "Changing Agricultural
Systems in Africa," Studies in Third World Societies, No. 8, July 1979.


can be applied generally but site specific data is
required. Some regions can make use of interna-
tional or national research centers, but many can-
not. In addition, national research organizations
have difficulty obtaining information. There are
a limited number of experienced soil conservation


scientists, since this is not a priority field in most
African countries (Hudson, 1983).

Fundamental differences exist in how environ-
mental problems are viewed in Africa and in de-
veloped countries. In Africa, environmental prob-










Box D.-How Much Land, How Many People?
Africa is often portrayed as an underpopulated region with vast acres of untapped land. It is true
that its average population density is low-less than one-fifth of Asia's. But considering the rudimentary
farming practices in most of Africa, some countries are becoming crowded, at least in the sense of limited
food production potential. This is one of the main findings of the FAO's recently completed project,
Land Resources for the Future.
Of course, the goal of self-sufficiency in food production cannot be recommended for all countries.
But those that do not manage it must generate enough foreign exchange outside of agriculture to import
food (or face the prospect of continuing dependence on food aid or rising malnutrition). For many Afri-
can countries, nonagricultural exports are unlikely to provide a viable short-term source of foreign ex-
change.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) compared potential population-supporting capaci-
ties-determined by soil and climatic conditions and levels of farm technology-to actual and projected
populations. The calculations for Africa as a whole confirm the conventional wisdom: even at subsistence
farming levels (i.e., no use of fertilizers or pesticides, traditional seed varieties and cropping patterns,
and no conservation measures), there is enough land to allow food self-sufficiency for a population 2.7
times larger than the actual population in 1975. When the results are tabulated by country, however,
a much more complex picture emerges.
Of 40 sub-Saharan countries (excluding Djibouti and the smaller island nations), 14 do not have
enough land-assuming subsistence level farming-to support on a sustainable basis populations as large
as those already reached in 1975. The 14 are Botswana, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi,
Mauritania, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, and Uganda (see map); as a group,
they account for one-third of the land area of sub-Saharan Africa and about half of its 1981 population.
In some areas of these countries-parts of Kenya, Ethiopia, and Nigeria, and much of Rwanda and
Burundi-higher levels of inputs in denser areas mean more people are being supported. But these coun-
tries will face increasing difficulties as populations double again in the next 20 to 30 years. Small landlocked
countries such as Rwanda and Burundi face particularly serious problems. Population pressure has led
to more intensive farming methods, based on higher and higher labor inputs. But the remoteness of the
countries and their terrain make it expensive to use advanced technologies; they also limit agricultural
and nonagricultural export opportunities, and thus the scope for importing food. Low rainfall and
remoteness also create considerable problems for Sahelian countries like Niger.
Nevertheless, there are 11 countries, largely in central Africa, still possessing extensive areas of
underused land. According to FAO, the land of the Congo and the Central African Republic is capable
of supporting populations more than 20 times larger than they had in 1975; in the case of Gabon, the
multiple reaches almost 100. Together, the land-abundant countries of sub-Saharan Africa occupy about
30 percent of the region's land but account for only one-fifth of its 1981 population.
As populations increase further in the land-scarce countries of sub-Saharan Africa, the pressure for
people to migrate to land-abundant countries will mount, particularly where they share a common bor-
der. Migration already brings mutual benefits to countries such as the Ivory Coast and Upper Volta.
As pointed out in chapter 5 (World Bank, World Development Report, 1984), however, the opportunities
for accommodating population growth through international migration do have limits. Political and social
factors introduce uncertainty even where economic benefits could be great. The recent expulsion of
Ghanaians from Nigeria provides an example.
Throughout Africa, traditional methods of farming require more land per capital than in regions
such as Asia, where irrigation and double-cropping are more common. To avoid a fall in agricultural
output per worker, land-scarce countries will require new technologies-fertilizers, improved seed, and
different farming techniques-supported by pricing policies to encourage production. But such meas-












ures alone might not be enough. According to FAO's calculations, seven sub-Saharan countries-Burundi,
Kenya, Lesotho, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, and Somalia-would not achieve self-sufficiency in food
in the yeat-2000(when their combined population ii expected to reach about 80 iMillion) ever if their
agricultural techniques were to match those now found on commercial farms in Asia and Latin America.

SOURCE. World Bank WIr'd Development Report New York- Oi.tnrd Univer...v P.res luly 1084, Bao 8 I pp. I04-.i5 appears wirh perminlon


Ratio of populalion-
supporling capacity to
actual population
density. 1975
Less Inan 1.0
W" 1.0-50
r_ 5.1 and above
I Data nol availat


lems are predominantly related to poverty. In
developed countries environmental problems are
often related to industrialization. In Africa, there-
fore, development and industrialization are seen
as cures, rather than causes, of environmental
problems (Howard-Clinton, 1984).

A further problem exists in how certain African
governments perceive developed countries' em-


phasis on African environmental problems. Some
African governments view this concern as a means
of retarding African industrialization. Howard-
Clinton (1984) sees this related to the evolution
of environmental awareness among African gov-
ernments. Unlike the experience of most devel-
oped countries, concerns over environmental is-
sues were addressed to governments from outside
their borders (many starting with 1972, U.N. Con-








ference on the Human Environment in Stock-
holm), rather than by national scientists or envi-
ronmentalists and the general public (Howard-
Clinton, 1984). It is in this North-South context
that this apprehension exists.
In examining the benefits of conservation ef-
forts, a long time-frame is required. This presents
serious problems for both African governments
and African farmers and pastoralists.
.. [T]he managers of national land re-
sources are also political leaders. Their time
scale seldom extends beyond the date of the next
election. On the whole, they are not interested in
long-term conservation. The farmer's [and herd-
er's] economic cycle is even shorter. [They are]
probably working on cash flows over 12 months,
so it is unreasonable to expect [them] to pay now
for preserving the land for posterity. That is a lux-
ury [they] cannot afford (Hudson, 1983).
In examining who should pay for conservation
programs, in wealthier countries it makes sense
to have this cost borne by those who use or de-
grade resources. In developing countries, how-
ever, the poor farmers and herders simply can-
not afford this; therefore, the burden falls on the
government. A financial commitment of this level
is a major undertaking for any government.
United Nations figures suggest that to rehabilitate
all damaged irrigated land, half the affected
rangelands, and 70 percent of rain-fed farmland
over the next 20 years would cost $48 billion
(Cross, 1983).
Some encouraging signs exist that some govern-
ments, supported by the rural sector, are taking
action. Most notable is Kenya, which mobilized
its national institution "Harambee" (meaning "self-
help") and, with strong support from President
Daniel Arap Moi, has developed a major soil con-
servation program. In addition, in 1982, FAO
published a "world soil charter" as a means of en-
couraging government support for soil conserva-
tion efforts. Without such efforts, the charter
predicts, productive capacity of land could de-
crease 20 percent by the end of the century (Cross,
1983).
While it is apparent that successful efforts to
reduce land degradation will require firm com-
mitments by national governments, there are


ways U.S. assistance could be effective. One is
obviously through financial support, such as
through World Bank conservation projects. In ad-
dition, the United States could take better account
of the particular environmental constraints in as-
sisting African governments plan agricultural de-
velopment strategies. "The relationship between
environmental deterioration and agricultural stag-
nation is still too often ignored in the formula-
tion of strategies" (Lofchie and Commins, 1984).
The United States could also assist African gov-
ernments in compiling an inventory of resources
and assist in the development of baseline data on
resource degradation in order to identify areas
most seriously affected.
An integrated approach to solving land degra-
dation, and development problems in general,
should be taken. There is a "need to look at the
entire production system and to understand in-
terrelationships between people and such compo-
nents as food crops, livestock and feed supplies,
trees, soil fertility, water quality and quantity, and
housing supplies" (McPherson, 1984). Recent re-
search efforts show promising results in address-
ing certain aspects of land degradation through
strategies using an integration of crops, animals,
and trees (Brumby, 1984).


Issue 16: Institutional and human resource de-
velopment in Africa is inadequate, thus mak-
ing improved indigenous management sys-
tems critical.

Preliminary Findings
* Institutions, especially those engaged in re-
search and training, are less developed in Africa
than in Latin America or Asia.
* Some government institutions face major prob-
lems trying to coordinate the large amounts of
project aid supplied by many donors.
* Proliferation of donor projects allows little in-
stitutional continuity; few incentives exist for
host countries to plan programs that they truly
need.
* Many projects fail because of administrative
weaknesses and incompetence.









* Indigenous institutions are subject to the same
development shifts as donor agencies.
* Countries have different approaches to man-
agement, and Western models, based on indus-
trial societies, may be inappropriate.
* Human resource development is inadequate. In-
ternational and national training programs
commonly are insufficient to fill the number of
needed research and planning positions. Na-
tional in-service training courses are usually
weak in disseminating new information.
* Training Africans too often is done in the
United States when local and third country lo-
cations may be more appropriate.
* African universities generally are undersup-
ported and underused in research activities. Few
have any or adequate graduate level programs.

Discussion
The successful transfer of technologies depends
on the availability of institutions that can effec-
tively manage development programs. Problems
exist at different levels with African institutions
that deal with both program and project devel-
opment. Some of the problems are inherent in
bureaucracies everywhere but some raise ques-
tions about the assumptions and structure of ef-
ficient African management systems. Some prob-
lems relate to individual human factors and some
are due to inefficient levels of financial and human
resources. Government institutions in most Afri-
can countries have been inundated with donor
project assistance for rural development. The pro-
liferation of aid renders many ministries incapable
of coordinating donors' projects and interests. The
Ministry of Agriculture in Malawi, for example,
reported 44 donor-financed projects in 1981
(Morss, 1984). Coordination of this number of
projects requires inter- and intra-ministerial co-
ordination that can strain existing staff levels. Co-
ordination is also hampered by power struggles
between various ministries. Delegation of respon-
sibility is then transferred to local government
units with few human and financial resources
available to implement rural development projects
(Morss and Morss, 1982).


Donors have attempted to strengthen institu-
tions through infrastructural support and overseas
training. Buildings have been constructed for
schools, research stations, and ministry and local
government office space. Staff members from cen-
tral ministry levels have attended U.S. univer-
sities, but they usually obtain undergraduate and
graduate degrees in technical areas. Technical staff
sometimes acquire limited management and or-
ganizational skills through short courses on ru-
ral development and management planning given
by organizations like the USDA graduate school.
With this limited managerial training, technicians
frequently become ineffective managers.
The options normally available to correct weak
institutional development imply more donor as-
sistance for graduate level technical and manage-
ment training. There have been calls for additional
funding from several sources (Lele, 1981; World
Bank, 1981). However, an increasing number of
people recognize that human resource develop-
ment through overseas training may not improve
management skills significantly. Organizational
and social realities in Africa may necessitate alter-
native management strategies-ones that may not
seem as efficient initially but which fit into the
cultural setting. Until then, project implementa-
tion and technology transfer will continue to be
difficult and non-replicable once donor agency
representatives leave. African management sys-
tems share similarities that may be contrary to
Western management ideals. Some of these are:
1. flexible attitudes that regard "contracts" as
conditional based on the outcome of unspe-
cified events.
2. policy that is not dependent on precedent.
Decisions are spontaneous and usually have
little institutional memory.
3. flexible attitude toward time management
due to high levels of uncertainty in most
African developing countries.
4. bureaucracies that are structurally over-
developed and hierarchically complex.
5. limited opportunities for advancement cre-
ating competitive struggles. Therefore, few
alternative policy suggestions are made for
fear of alienating superiors (Moris, 1981; Hy-
den, 1983).








Management systems could develop according
to African desires and expectations so that incen-
tives exist for project implementation and main-
tenance. African governments could "identify new
management training methods that enable man-
agers to become more effective in the African
environment" (Hyden, 1983). Donors, on the
other hand, could relinquish some control over
the use of their funds to ensure that recipient
governments have some interest in maintaining
and replicating beneficial projects. Donors could
consider the possibility of providing program sup-
port instead of project support as a means of
allowing governments more autonomy (Morss,
1984).
By far the most unquestionable though unquan-
tifiable benefit of education to Africa would be
that of learning by doing, which is now lost to
that ever growing and changing expatriate com-
munity. It is ironic that most African countries
do not have the capacity to propose alternative
plans to those presented by donors for using do-
nor funds to reflect their own long-term needs for
higher education (Lele, 1981).

Issue 17: Though facing increasing external pres-
sure to change, African governments maintain
economic policies that generally favor urban
consumers instead of providing incentives for
low-resource producers.

Preliminary Findings
Keeping the urban prices of food, goods, and
services low is important to African gov-
ernments.
* Agricultural policies in most African countries
apparently provide little incentive for increas-
ing smallholder production.
* Several African governments provide quasi-
governmental marketing outlets for agricultural
produce, which may set prices, supply inputs,
and market produce.
* Official market grain prices are set artificially
low to ensure subsidized food prices for the ur-
ban populace and thus political stability.
* Many feel that little indigenous pressure exists
for agricultural policy reform; thus many ex-
ternal financial institutions and some donors


are taking measures to influence African poli-
cies by providing conditional assistance.
International financial institutions and AID
generally support a package of macroeconomic
measures intended to stimulate export trade, re-
duce spending, and increase incentives for in-
creased agricultural production.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) usu-
ally recommends devaluation of local currency
to stimulate export trade. This measure, how-
ever, raises the cost of all imported farm inputs
(e.g., fertilizer and implements) and imported
food.
Both of these internal economic adjustments af-
fect the ability of the low-resource producers
to invest in increased food production technol-
ogies and diminish the internal purchasing pow-
er of the poor.
Numerous factors affect the productivity of
food crops, and increases in production prices
without other policy changes may not increase
the production of food crops.
Pressure for policy reforms is a very sensitive
issue because it involves the question of nation-
al sovereignty.

Discussion
The long-term decline in food production in
Africa has been blamed on many factors: lack of
incentives for producers, lack of appropriate re-
search on food crops, poorly developed extension
and management systems, general insensitivity to
cultural and environmental conditions, failure of
governments to deliver physical and economic in-
puts on time, and inability to identify the prob-
lems facing low-resource producers. Another fac-
tor receiving major attention is the impact of
macroeconomic policy upon agricultural pro-
duction.
During the past two decades, African govern-
ments generally opted for economic policies that
favor urban consumers. Up until 1979, prices paid
to farmers in most countries were set below world
market commodity levels so that urban food
prices could be kept low (Christensen and Wi-
tucki, 1982). Trade policies and official currency








overvaluation also allowed the importation of rel-
atively inexpensive food and consumer goods
(Christensen, et al., 1984).
African governments now face several conflict-
ing forces that threaten to undermine their own
economic independence. During the early 1970s,
the commercial banks offered relatively low-in-
terest loans and because many African govern-
ments depend on external sources of capital for
development, these loans were attractive. This
borrowing, and that necessitated to meet late
1970s balance of payments deficits, left sub-Sa-
haran Africa with projected average annual com-
mercial amortization payments of $8 billion, ex-
clusive of International Monetary Fund (IMF)
obligations of $1.6 billion (Browne, 1984).
In response to growing debt, they have turned
to the IMF to reschedule some of their loans.
However, the IMF loans require the fulfillment
of certain conditions including:
1. devaluation of local overvalued currencies
to match internal rates of inflation;
2. limitations on the level of domestic spending,
including wage ceiling levels and the elimi-
nation of subsidies on consumer goods;
3. elimination of unprofitable government en-
terprises (e.g., marketing parastatals);
4. relaxation of price controls;
5. increase in interest rates; and
6. expansion of exports and reduction of im-
ports (Browne, 1984).
Several countries (e.g., Tanzania and Nigeria)
have resisted the IMF measures and maintain that
they are too severe, especially in the short run.
Most developing countries rely on one or two ma-
jor export crops (e.g., cocoa, coffee, tea, or cot-
ton) for foreign currency, and devaluation of local
currency theoretically makes exports more attrac-
tive to other countries. But levels of demand for
the exports is fairly inelastic for many of these
commodities because of consumer preferences
within developed countries. Devaluation con-
versely causes increasing prices for imported con-
sumer goods, and shifting demands affect the
prices of other domestic goods. Therefore, to de-
veloping countries, raising the ceiling of price con-
trols and devaluation of local currencies probably
mean increasing costs for imported food to ur-


ban consumers, a restriction in the availability of
basic goods and services, and increasing costs for
imported agricultural inputs (especially fertilizers),
while not necessarily increasing export revenue
to compensate for the costs of such policy
changes. In the short-run, African governments
express concern over the possibility of political
instability, substantial protests, or food riots.
The World Bank and AID, among others, also
stress the importance of governments developing
agricultural policies that encourage small produc-
ers to increase production of food and cash crops
(World Bank 1981; U.S. AID, 1982). Although
the World Bank argued that price incentives were
most important in 1981, more recently they have
suggested that improving the performance of the
agricultural sector means more than "getting your
prices right" (World Bank, 1984a). However, they
appear to require that several conditions similar
to those of the IMF be met to receive continued
development assistance (Stokeld, 1982). Agricul-
tural policy adjustment includes support for in-
frastructural research, extension, and human re-
source development but primarily stresses the
need for macro- and micro-economic reforms. For
example, AID considers an appropriate policy
framework as one that:
... relies largely on free markets, the provision
of production incentives [which] are affected by
direct attempts by government to influence the
prices of food or agricultural products and inputs,
but in many countries macro-economic policies
affecting exchange rates, interest and wage rates
and tariffs and taxes have an even more power-
ful impact on incentives to produce, employ, con-
sume, save, and invest (U.S. AID, 1982).
Increasing producer prices paid to agricultur-
alists and herders may exacerbate the problem for
African governments. Without subsidies, the
prices of domestic agricultural products will in-
crease along with those of imported food stuffs.
Evidence exists suggesting that increases in pro-
ducer prices for a specific crop will stimulate more
land to come under cultivation and higher total
yields for that crop (Christensen and Witucki,
1982). But it is not clear who would benefit. With
no new technologies available, production in-
creases will require more inputs of fertilizers and
purchased inputs. Therefore, the farmers most








likely to benefit are those who can afford to pur-
chase the necessary inputs, not the overwhelm-
ing number of subsistence farmers who may not
be engaged in agriculture as a full time occupa-
tion (Christensen, et al., 1984; Christensen and
Witucki, 1982; Eicher and Baker, 1982).
Price incentives for one crop (e.g., maize) may
also cause producers to shift their emphasis be-
tween crops, not increase production (Eicher and
Baker, 1982). A number of non-price factors may
instead affect the level of productivity substan-
tially compared with the effects of producer price
increases. Lack of reliable rainfall, timely deliv-
ery of agricultural inputs, seasonal labor, exten-
sion advice, suitable technologies, and market-
ing infrastructure remain serious constraints.
For the African herder, livestock may represent
more than an economic good. The number of
stock accumulated depends on many complex so-
cial, environmental, and political decisions in ad-
dition to economic responses. Increased prices will
not necessarily bring more cattle into the market-
place (Horowitz, 1979).
The calls for more reasonable macroeconomic
policies and appropriate incentives to rural pro-
ducers seem valid. It appears that the rural sec-


tors of many African countries require some in-
centives and support for increasing production.
However, the conditions for IMF loans and con-
tinuing multilateral and bilateral development
assistance could be more palatable politically to
African governments. Donors could do more to
recognize the constraints that African govern-
ments face. A recent study indicates that only 20
percent of the African countries following the IMF
economic adjustment programs met the proposed
economic growth targets. In light of this, there
are several ways that the IMF could assist African
developing countries without stripping them of
their autonomy. The IMF could show more flex-
ibility in working with the African governments
in working out longer term devaluation and cost
reduction measures. Further, the political and eco-
nomic realities of African countries have to be
considered by the IMF when negotiating, for it
continues to be the responsibility of the African
governments themselves to readjust their econo-
mies (Mtei, 1984).
It should be understood that for any program
to be successful, it must be supported by the peo-
ple of the country implementing the program, and
the atmosphere of peace and social stability must
prevail (Mtei, 1984).








Appendixes






Appendix A

List of Additional Reviewers


These persons, in addition to participants in OTA's September workshop, reviewed the draft Technical
Memorandum:


Claudia Carr
Department of Conservation and Resource Studies
University of California
Berkeley, CA
Kay Davies
Women in Development
U.S. Agency for International Development
Washington, DC
Carl Eicher
Department of Agricultural Economics
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI
Louise Fortmann
Department of Forestry and Resource Management
University of California
Berkeley, CA
Cal Martin
Africa Bureau AFR/TR
U.S. Agency for International Development
Washington, DC


Jon Moris
Department of Sociology, Social Work,
and Anthropology
Utah State University
Logan, UT
Haven North
Evaluation Branch PPC/DCIE
U.S. Agency for International Development
Washington, DC
Vernon Ruttan
Department of Agricultural and
Applied Economics
University of Minnesota
St. Paul, MN
George Scharffenberger
U.S. Peace Corps
Washington, DC




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