• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 A.I.D. evaluation publications
 Title Page
 Executive summary
 Table of Contents
 Preface
 Acknowledgement
 Project data sheet
 Map of Central America
 Setting
 The small farmer cropping systems...
 Impacts and discussion
 Summary of conclusions and lessons...
 Appendix
 Special studies
 Back Cover






Group Title: A.I.D. project impact evaluation report ; no. 14
Title: Central America
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053862/00001
 Material Information
Title: Central America small-farmer cropping systems
Series Title: A.I.D. project impact evaluation report
Physical Description: 1 v. (various pagings) : ill., maps ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Hobgood, Harlan H
United States -- Agency for International Development
Publisher: Agency for International Development
Place of Publication: Washington D.C.?
Publication Date: [1980]
 Subjects
Subject: Farms, Small -- Central America   ( lcsh )
Cropping systems -- Central America   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Central America   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by Harlan H. Hobgood...et al..
General Note: Distributed to depository libraries in microfiche.
General Note: "December 1980."
Funding: Project impact evaluation ;
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00053862
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 001276530
oclc - 07857560
notis - AGC7183

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    A.I.D. evaluation publications
        Unnumbered ( 2 )
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Executive summary
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
    Preface
        Page iv
        Page v
    Acknowledgement
        Page vi
    Project data sheet
        Page vii
    Map of Central America
        Page viii
    Setting
        Page 1
        The problem: agricultural research and the small farmer
            Page 1
    The small farmer cropping systems project: Description
        Page 2
        History: an idea evolves
            Page 2
        Objectives and approach: Focusing the idea
            Page 3
        Effectiveness: Translating the idea into a reality
            Page 4
    Impacts and discussion
        Page 5
        Impacts on CATIE as a research and training institution
            Page 5
            Page 6
            Page 7
            Page 8
        Impacts on national, regional, and international organizations
            Page 9
            Page 10
            Page 11
            Page 12
        Impacts on small farmers
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
    Summary of conclusions and lessons learned
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Appendix
        Page A
        Evaluation methodology
            Page A 1
            Page A 2
            Page A 3
        Report on impacts on CATIE and on other organizations
            Page B
            Page B 1
            Page B 2
            Page B 3
            Page B 4
            Page B 5
            Page B 6
            Page B 7
            Page B 8
            Page B 9
            Page B 10
            Page B 11
            Page B 12
            Page B 13
        Evaluation of CATIE's production data
            Page C
            Page C 1
            Page C 2
            Page C 3
        Nicaragua country report
            Page D-a
            Page D-b
            Page D 1
            Page D 2
            Page D 3
            Page D 4
            Page D 5
            Page D 6
            Page D 7
            Page D 8
            Page D 9
            Page D 10
            Page D 11
            Page D 12
            Page D 13
            Page D 14
            Page D 15
            Page D 16
            Page D 17
            Page D 18
            Page D 19
            Page D 20
            Page D 21
        Guatemala country report
            Page E
            Page E 1
            Page E 2
            Page E 3
            Page E 4
            Page E 5
            Page E 6
            Page E 7
            Page E 8
            Page E 9
        Honduras country report
            Page F
            Page F 1
            Page F 2
            Page F 3
            Page F 4
            Page F 5
            Page F 6
            Page F 7
            Page F 8
            Page F 9
            Page F 10
            Page F 11
            Page F 12
        Costa Rica country report
            Page G-a
            Page G-b
            Page G 1
            Page G 2
            Page G 3
            Page G 4
            Page G 5
            Page G 6
            Page G 7
            Page G 8
            Page G 9
            Page G 10
            Page G 11
    Special studies
        Unnumbered ( 110 )
    Back Cover
        Back Cover
Full Text
S7Z.




A.I.D. Project Impact Evaluation Report No. 14
Central America: Small-Farmer Cropping Systems












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December 1980


Agency for International Development


PN-AAH-977








A.I.D. EVALUATION PUBLICATIONS


PROGRAM EVALUATION DISCUSSION PAPERS

No. 1: Reaching the Rural Poor: Indigenous Health Practitioners
Are There Already (March 1979)
No. 2: New Directions Rural Roads (March 1979)
No. 3: Rural Electrification: Linkages and Justifications
(April 1979)
No. 4: Policy Directions for Rural Water Supply in Developing
Countries (April 1979)
No. 5: Study of Family Planning Program Effectiveness
(April 1979)
No. 6: The Sociology of Pastoralism and African Livestock
Development (May 1979)
No. 7: Socio-Economic and Environmental Impacts of Low-Volume
Rural Roads--A Review of the Literature (February 1980)
No. 8: Assessing the Impact of Development Projects on Women
(May 1980)
No. 9: The Impact of Irrigation on Development: Issues for a
Comprehensive Evaluation Study (October 1980)

EVALUATION REPORTS

PROGRAM EVALUATIONS

No. 1: Family Planning Program Effectiveness: Report of a
Workshop (December 1979)
No. 2: A.I.D.'s Role in Indonesian Family Planning: A Case
Study With General Lessons for Foreign Assistance
(December 1979)
No. 3: Third Evaluation of the Thailand National Family Planning
Program (February 1980)
No. 4: The Workshop on Pastoralism and African Livestock
Development (June 1980)

PROJECT IMPACT EVALUATIONS

No. 1: Colombia: Small Farmer Market Access (December 1979)
No. 2: Kitale Maize: The Limits of Success (May 1980)
No. 3: The Potable Water Project in Rural Thailand (May 1980)
No. 4: Philippine Small Scale Irrigation (May 1980)
No. 5: Kenya Rural Water Supply: Program, Progress, Prospects
(June 1980)
No. 6: Impact of Rural Roads in Liberia (June 1980)
No. 7: Effectiveness and Impact of the CARE/Sierra Leone Rural
Penetration Roads Projects (June 1980)
No. 8: Morocco: Food Aid and Nutrition Education (August 1980)
No. 9: Senegal: The Sine Saloum Rural Health Care Project
(October 1980)
No. 10: Tunisia: Care Water Projects (October 1980)
No. 11: Jamaica Feeder Roads: An Evaluation (November 1980)
No. 12: Korean Irrigation (December 1980)
No. 13: Rural Roads in Thailand (December 1980)
No. 14: Central America: Small Farmer Cropping Systems
December 1980)


(continued inside back cover)













CENTRAL AMERICA: SMALL FARMER CROPPING SYSTEMS


Centro Agron6mico Tropical de Investigaci6n y Enseianza (CATIE)
(Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Training)

with A.I.D.'s

Regional Office for Central American Programs (ROCAP)




PROJECT IMPACT EVALUATION NO. 14






by

Harlan H. Hobgood, Team Leader
Bureau for Development Support
Rufo Bazan, Agricultural Scientist
Interamerican Institute of Agricultural Sciences
Rollo Ehrich, Agricultural Economist
Bureau for Development Support
Francisco Escobar, Rural Sociologist
University of Costa Rica
Twig Johnson, Development Anthropologist
Bureau for Program and Policy Coordination
Marc Lindenberg, Political/Institutional Analyst
Development Studies Program


December 1980




The views and interpretations expressed in this report are those of the
authors and should not be attributed to the Agency for International
Development.












EXECUTIVE SUMMARY


During the ferment of the early 1970's when development analysts and
foreign aid policy makers wee raising fundamental questions about who bene-
fits from economic growth in the LDCs, about what development really means,
and about how the world was to feed itself, small-holder agriculturalists in
the Third World came in for special attention. Several studies reached the
same major conclusions: (1) In most of the Third World, the small holders
are producing the majority of the nations' food crops. (2) Their tradi-
tional farming practices have been little affected by improvements in agri-
cultural technology. (3) They and their landless or near landless rural
neighbors are not benefitting from the general economic growth of their
societies. (4) To meet rising global food demand, the small holders must
increase their production largely through better agricultural technology and
more efficient use of their limited resource endowments.

These studies also generally agreed that if the poor small-holder
households could produce more at fair market prices, not only would they
benefit more, but labor intensive production systems would also provide more
work opportunities for the growing numbers of underemployed rural poor.

The logic of this analysis is at the heart of the Small Farmer Cropping
Systems research project evaluated in this report. The project's strategy
emerged from the concern of AID officers in the Latin America Bureau/Wash-
ington and in AID's Regional Office for Central American Programs (ROCAP)
in Guatemala for precisely these issues. They found a small group of agri-
cultural scientists at the Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and
Training (CATIE) at Turriabla, Costa Rica who had initiated experiments to
increase the production of the traditional multicropping systems of Central
America's millions of small-holder farmers. CATIE crop scientists
recognized that these small-holders represented nearly half of the area's
population and although they farmed less than 30% of the area's arable land,
they produced some 70% of its staple food supplies. Most of these holdings
were ten acres or smaller and were planted to traditional basic products,
such as corn, beans, cassava, and potatoes, in combinations of multicrop
systems suited to the varied ecologies of the area. Few of these small far-
mers had benefitted from the agricultural technologies that most larger
mono-crop producers had adopted with considerable success by using advanced
inputs and sophisticated knowledge of the market on large-scale farms.

The objective of this project was to develop a capacity at CATIE to
understand and improve the total farming system of these small holders. The
strategy was to build at CATIE a cadre of agricultural scientists from
several disciplines who would work with national agricultural institutions
in Central America to conduct collaborative cropping systems research with
the small producers on their farms, throughout the region. As improved
cropping alternatives were developed, it was expected that the national
institutions would further verify the potential for increased production and
income gains and then extensively disseminate the results to small farmers
throughout the country.

This evaluation shows that the project has accomplished its basic
objective. In a short five year period, 1975-79, this small $1.6 million











grant has helped to produce a powerful capacity to bring agricultural
research to the small farmer's fields. It provided the incentives for
building a new interdisciplinary approach for understanding small-farm
multicrop systems and for testing agronomically sound alternatives for
improving those systems. It brought the agricultural scientists from their
research station to the peasant farmers and has begun to stimulate
corresponding interest and commitments from national agricultural institu-
tions in all of the Central American republics as well as substantial
interest and program support from the international donor community.
CATIE's work has captured the attention of many in the great international
agricultural research centers.

It is too soon for such an innovative and short-lived experiment in
agricultural research to have wide-scale impact on large numbers of small-
farm households in the region. But the potential for such impact within the
,decade of the 1980's has been established. The promise from this institu-
tional capacity building project is a bright spot in AID's search for effec-
tive means of reaching those millions of truly small farmers whose limited
agricultural resource base is not only their only hope for prosperity,
dignity and development but also the entire area's best hope for avoiding
great scarcity in basic food staples in coming years.

The evaluation was based on three weeks of intensive field interviews
conducted in January-February 1980 in Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras and
Nicaragua, with regional and bilateral AID mission staff, CATIE agricultural
scientists, as well as personnel of national agricultural institutions, and
with members of small-farm households in each of these countries. Field
work was complemented by international telephone interviews with other donor
personnel and by numerous written and personal secondary sources in AID
Washington.

The evaluation concludes that the project's impact on CATIE has been
profound and lasting, to the long-term benefit of small-holder agriculture
in Central America. The expanded research capacity of CATIE for performing
collaborative, on-farm systems work with national organizations throughout
the region is already producing the rapid adoption of a new production
alternative in Nicaragua. As more of its work is verified for other ecolo-
gical zones in Central America and the increased productive potential is
demonstrated on a scale wider than initial pilot tests, we expect to see
similar dissemination of results in future years. To prove this potential
for impact on the ultimate beneficiaries, the team recommends that a follow-
up evaluation be conducted in 1983-1984. By then, the promise evident from
this first stage effort should be flourishing on hundreds of farms in the
region through higher yields from new cropping systems developed through
CATIE's research initiatives.








iii



TABLE OF CONTENTS

Page

Executive Summary. . . . . ... . i

Table of Contents. . . . . ... . iii

Preface. . . . . ... .......... .iv

Acknowledgements ............... .. ... vi

Project Data Sheet ................ ..... vii

Map of Central America ................. .. viii

I. The Setting

The Problem: Research and the Small Farmer. ..... .1

II. The Small Farmer Cropping Systems Project: Description

History: An Idea Evolves. .............. 2
Objectives and Approach: Focusing the Idea. ..... 3
Effectiveness: Translating the Idea into a Reality . 4

III. Impacts and Discussion

Impacts on CATIE as a Research and Training Institution.. 5
Impacts on National, Regional, and International
Organizations. ............. 9
Impacts on Small Farmers ................ 13

IV. Summary of Conclusions and Lessons Learned ........ 16

Appendices

A. Evaluation Methodology
B. Report on Impacts on CATIE and on Other Organizations
C. Evaluation of CATIE's Production Data
D. Nicaragua Country Report
E. Guatemala Country Report
F. Honduras Country Report
G. Costa Rica Country Report














PREFACE


In February 1980 a six person team evaluated the Small Farmer Cropping
Systems research project (SFCS) funded by AID's Regional Office for Central
American Programs (ROCAP) and carried out by the Center for Tropical
Agricultural Research and Training (CATIE) located in Turrialba, Costa
Rica. The primary objective of the SFCS project was to create a coor-
dinated regional research approach for improving the cropping systems of
small farmers in Central America CATIE was to accomplish this objective
through carrying out multicropping systems research at a central experiment
station in Costa Rica and through on-farm research activities with a small
number of selected farmers in five Central American countries.1

To conduct the impact evaluation the team included two Central
Americans --a soils scientist and a rural sociologist--and four AID
professionals-- an agricultural economist, an anthropologist, a political
scientist, and a senior general development officer. All AID team members
spoke Spanish and had worked in Latin America previously.

To arrive at its findings, the team looked at secondary source data and
also interviewed 8 of the 12 SFCS staff, a total of 15 CATIE staff, 5
senior staff members of the Interamerican Institute of Agricultural
Sciences (IICA) and some 45 key members of national, regional and inter-
national institutions. In addition, the team interviewed 15 AID officers
from five missions including ROCAP. They also conducted on-farm interviews
with 28 (37%) of 75 participating small farmers and other members of the
farm households. Team members visited four countries --Guatemala, Costa
Rica, Honduras and Nicaragua-- and more than eight provinces and districts
within these countries. They spent a week preparing for the field research
and several weeks analyzing their findings and preparing this report.
Because of time and travel limitations, the team was unable to visit either
El Salvador or Panama. This was particularly regretable in the Salvadorean
case since all reports indicated that the project was especially effective
there.

Before departing for the field, the team participated in a workshop and
then prepared a matrix which included areas of project impact and kinds of
impacts for assessment. Once in the field, the team refined the matrix and
prepared a series of open-ended questions to be asked during interviews.
After interviews were completed, the team analyzed their field notes
together and developed a consensus on the significance of the responses.
They buttressed the interview data and direct field observations with
secondary source data on CATIE, the SFCS experiments, and research studies
produced. (See Appendix A on Methodology for detailed discussion).


Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua. A sixth
participant, Panama, was later added to the project.










A Note on Evaluation Objectives

Evaluating the impact of agricultural research is particularly dif-
ficult. The payoff to research in terms of production and incomes may take
a decade or more. If one waits this long, however, there arises the analy-
tic problem of attribution--of all the changes noticed over a decade, which
one can really be attributed to a specific amount of research? The problem
is even greater in the case of the Small Farm Cropping Systems Project,
which is not only recently completed, but has as its aims the development
of new methodological organizational capabilities, rather than the creation
and dissemination of a particular technological improvement.

While it is too early to assess the "ultimate" impact of this project,
one can ask about what difference this project has made--on the imple-
menting institution, on the way research is carried out, on other national
and international institutions, and on the small farmers who have par-
ticipated thus far. One can also make a preliminary assessment of the
potential of this type of research for producing improved technological
alternatives appropriate to small farmers. Unlike other evaluations
oriented to problems of implementation, this involves going beyond the
explicitly stated objectives of the project.











ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


Although the evaluation team is solely responsible for the contents of
this report, we are deeply indebted to numerous people who provided generously
of their time to assist us in the process of its preparation.

We are particularly indebted to the staff of ROCAP both in Guatemala and
in San Jose. Mr. Robert Hechman, Acting Mission Director and Mr. Donald Feister
SFCS project manager, provided extensive background information and, particularly
important, facilitated our visits throughout the region. Both Robert McCullough
and Jim Murphrey made our comings and goings from San Jose as efficient and
pleasant as possible with secretarial help, local transport, and unreserved
hospitality.

Our stay at Turrialba was filled with stimulating and candid interchange
with all of the staff and with the unstinting hospitality of the CATIE admin-
stration. We owe special thanks to the Director, Dr. Santiago Fonseca and
his Deputies, Dr. Eduardo Locatelli and Dr. H6ctor Mufoz for their preparations
for our visit and their attention to all of our information requirements
and our physical needs. Above all, the team must acknowledge the intellectual
and human qualities of the outstanding staff of agricultural scientists associated
with the Small Farmer Cropping Systems project who provided us, both in our
field visits throughout Central America and in our interviews at Turrialba, an
understanding of and appreciation for the dynamic program with which they were
associated. Particularly we would thank Pedro Oioro, Head of the Annual Crops
Program and Raul Moreno, former SFCS project director; the field scientists which
included Anibal Palencia, Nicaragua; Donald Kass, Guatemala; Robert Hart,
Nicolas Mateo and Nery Mayorga, Honduras; as well as Miguel Holle, Nora Solano and
Carlos Burgos scientists based at CATIE.

The Mission Directors and AID mission staff in Tegucigalpa, Guatemala, Managua
and especially in San Jose helped with our in-country field visits and facilitated
our interviews with host-country officials. And in each of the countries we
found the fullest cooperation and frank expression of views from both senior
officials and field staffs of the participating agencies: the Secretariat of
Natural Resources (SRN) in Honduras; the Institute of Agricultural Science and
Technology (ICTA) in Guatemala; the Ministry of Agriculture of Costa Rica and the
Ministry of Agricultural Development in Nicaragua. In Honduras, we benefited
from the special field knowledge of Orlando Hernandez, a local social psychologist
and in Guatemala we had similar support from Rolando Duarte, an anthropologist
from the Central American Nutrition Institute (INCAP) who joined in our field work.

We also benefitted greatly from our visits with the personnel of the Inter-
american Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IICA). Our special thanks to
Jose Emilio Araujo, IICA Director and his colleagues Malcolm McDonald and
Gilberto Paez for their hospitality and extensive knowledge.

Certainly our deepest appreciation and long lasting respect goes to the small-
farm households of Central America. From these kind people, we received the
generosity of their tables, a night of shelter under their roof, and an under-
standing of the joys and hardships of drawing their life substance and the
food for thousands of others from their modest but cherished lands.














PROJECT DATA SHEET


1. Location:






2. Project title:


Central American Regional. Administered by AID's
Regional Office for Central American Programs
(ROCAP). Specific countries participating:
Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica,
Nicaragua, and Panama.


Small Farm Cropping Systems


3. Project number: 596-0064


4. Project implementation: FY 1975 FY 1979


5. Project funding:


AID $1,663,000 (Grant) Substantial contributions in
money, personnel, vehicles, office space, facilities
and contact accounting services were made directly
and indirectly by CATIE (the implementing
institution), the Interamerican Institute of
Agricultural Sciences (IICA), and the research insti-
tutions of the participating countries.


6. Implementation Arrangement: Project Agreement between the Center for
Tropical Agriculture Research and Training (CATIE) and
AID's Regional Office for Centeral American Programs
(ROCAP). Subsequent agreements were made between
CATIE and each national agricultural research organi-
zation to support on-farm research in the participa-
ting country.








viii






MAP OF CENTRAL AMERICA



Indicates sites of the Small Farmer Cropping Systems Project.

Each project site included several small farms on which experiments
were conducted.








I. SETTING

The Problem: Agricultural Research and the Small Farmer


It is now widely recognized that solving the world's food crisis will
require programs of research and development which benefit the vast number
of relatively small scale producers in the developing countries. Farming
small plots of relatively marginal land, and with little access to improved
means of production, distribution and consumption, these small farm fami-
lies often supply the bulk of an area's food supply.

In Central America, for example, where population growth is expected to
double food requirements by the year 2000, more than 70 percent of the
staple foods are produced by these small scale systems of agriculture, even
though they occupy only 30 percent of the cultivable land. Almost half the
population of Central America, some 8 million people, are members of rural
households that farm 4 hectares (10 acres) or less. Another 2 million
people belong to families that farm 4 to 35 hectares.

While the urgent need to develop improved technology appropriate to
small scale agriculture has been recognized for some time, efforts to do so
have been hampered by a lack of the necessary research and development
tools. The traditional tools of agricultural research in the United States
have developed in the context of very different agricultural systems.
These have been characterized, for example, by: abundant land of high
quality; a temperate climate with adequate rainfall; massive industrial and
commercial expansion; an educated rural population; rural access to capi-
tal, credit and a variety of service industries; cheap petrochemical sour-
ces of energy; attractive off-farm employment opportunities for rural
labor; farmer access to important political and economic institutions sen-
sitive to the requirements of the rural sector; and large scale government
support for a decentralized system of research and extension. To service
the needs of this agricultural system, powerful and highly specialized
research tools have been fashioned. This specialized toolkit is par-
ticularly suited to crafting solutions to the biochemical and engineering
problems of capital intensive agriculture. Research is normally focused on
some particular aspect of one crop, for example, genetic research on a
disease resistant variety.

This type of research has produced the much heralded green revolution.
However, the small producers of Central America have benefited little from
these advances in agricultural technology. Benefits have gone principally
to the larger farmers who have access to the capital and information
required to utilize the improved seed varieties, fertilizers, herbecides
and pesticides involved in the new technologies. These farmers tend to be
highly commercialized and mechanized producers of single crops often
oriented to international markets.

The small farm households that produce most of the region's food,
however, manage a different sort of agricultural system. They are usually
more isolated, working relatively marginal lands carved from steep volcanic
hillsides or from humid tropical undergrowth. Instead of producing a
single crop for sale in the market, they produce a variety of crops, often
in combinations in the same field, for household consumption as well as for
market. Their stake in the harvest goes beyond profitability to family
survival. Many of these cropping systems have been developed over cen-








I. SETTING

The Problem: Agricultural Research and the Small Farmer


It is now widely recognized that solving the world's food crisis will
require programs of research and development which benefit the vast number
of relatively small scale producers in the developing countries. Farming
small plots of relatively marginal land, and with little access to improved
means of production, distribution and consumption, these small farm fami-
lies often supply the bulk of an area's food supply.

In Central America, for example, where population growth is expected to
double food requirements by the year 2000, more than 70 percent of the
staple foods are produced by these small scale systems of agriculture, even
though they occupy only 30 percent of the cultivable land. Almost half the
population of Central America, some 8 million people, are members of rural
households that farm 4 hectares (10 acres) or less. Another 2 million
people belong to families that farm 4 to 35 hectares.

While the urgent need to develop improved technology appropriate to
small scale agriculture has been recognized for some time, efforts to do so
have been hampered by a lack of the necessary research and development
tools. The traditional tools of agricultural research in the United States
have developed in the context of very different agricultural systems.
These have been characterized, for example, by: abundant land of high
quality; a temperate climate with adequate rainfall; massive industrial and
commercial expansion; an educated rural population; rural access to capi-
tal, credit and a variety of service industries; cheap petrochemical sour-
ces of energy; attractive off-farm employment opportunities for rural
labor; farmer access to important political and economic institutions sen-
sitive to the requirements of the rural sector; and large scale government
support for a decentralized system of research and extension. To service
the needs of this agricultural system, powerful and highly specialized
research tools have been fashioned. This specialized toolkit is par-
ticularly suited to crafting solutions to the biochemical and engineering
problems of capital intensive agriculture. Research is normally focused on
some particular aspect of one crop, for example, genetic research on a
disease resistant variety.

This type of research has produced the much heralded green revolution.
However, the small producers of Central America have benefited little from
these advances in agricultural technology. Benefits have gone principally
to the larger farmers who have access to the capital and information
required to utilize the improved seed varieties, fertilizers, herbecides
and pesticides involved in the new technologies. These farmers tend to be
highly commercialized and mechanized producers of single crops often
oriented to international markets.

The small farm households that produce most of the region's food,
however, manage a different sort of agricultural system. They are usually
more isolated, working relatively marginal lands carved from steep volcanic
hillsides or from humid tropical undergrowth. Instead of producing a
single crop for sale in the market, they produce a variety of crops, often
in combinations in the same field, for household consumption as well as for
market. Their stake in the harvest goes beyond profitability to family
survival. Many of these cropping systems have been developed over cen-











tries to get the most out of very small holdings while at the same time
reducing the risks from blight, rot, drought or pests through the ecologi-
cal diversity of the plants cultivated.

If technological improvements are to increase the productive efficiency
of these small farmers, they must be designed for and adapted to the spe-
cial needs and constraints of small farm systems. The Small Farm Cropping
Systems Project was an initial attempt to develop the research tools and
institutional capacity to accomplish these tasks. This report attempts to
assess the impact of that project.


II. THE SMALL FARMER CROPPING SYSTEMS PROJECT: DESCRIPTION

History: An Idea Evolves

Recognizing the opportunity that this challenge presents, a small group
of agricultural scientists in the Tropical Crops and Soils Department of
the Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Training (CATIE) at
Turrialba, Costa Rica, began in 1973 to experiment with improvements upon
the traditional peasant multicropping system.

Earlier they had made a survey of Central American agriculture which
led them to the following conclusions: 1) most of the basic food staples,
beans and corn in particular, were produced by small farmers whose average
farm unit was less than 5 hectares; 2) most of the beans and corn produced
were cultivated using multicropping rather than single cropping techniques;
and 3) the agricultural technologies produced by international, regional or
national research centers did not reach the small farmers who were using
traditional, low-input technologies.

As a first action, these scientists initiated an experiment on plots at
CATIE's Turrialba station in order to test the productive potential of
various crop systems in combinations of five main crops: corn, beans,
cassava, rice and sweet potatoes. As they experimented and became more
familiar with other similar research, such as Richard Bradfield's farming
systems research at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the
Philippines, they recognized the great varieties in, and complexities of,
the multicropping systems that small farmers employed. They realized that
the approach required a range of expertise that only an interdisciplinary
research group could provide. It also required opportunities to work off
the research station and on the peasant farms in the widely different eco-
logical zones of Central America in order to test the alternative systems
under actual growing conditions.

During this period, AID agriculture officers in the Washington Latin
American Bureau and in the Regional Office for Central American Programs
(ROCAP) had developed a keen interest in formulating a research strategy for
understanding and improving small farmer cropping systems. Until then, the
principal analagous work that had been done was that of Bradfield in the
Philippines. None had been attempted in the Americas. Therefore, when in
1974 CATIE proposed holding a regional conference to explore the dynamics
and possibilities for cropping systems research, AID/ROCAP, under the
leadership of Donald Feister, its senior agriculturalist, warmly supported











tries to get the most out of very small holdings while at the same time
reducing the risks from blight, rot, drought or pests through the ecologi-
cal diversity of the plants cultivated.

If technological improvements are to increase the productive efficiency
of these small farmers, they must be designed for and adapted to the spe-
cial needs and constraints of small farm systems. The Small Farm Cropping
Systems Project was an initial attempt to develop the research tools and
institutional capacity to accomplish these tasks. This report attempts to
assess the impact of that project.


II. THE SMALL FARMER CROPPING SYSTEMS PROJECT: DESCRIPTION

History: An Idea Evolves

Recognizing the opportunity that this challenge presents, a small group
of agricultural scientists in the Tropical Crops and Soils Department of
the Center for Tropical Agricultural Research and Training (CATIE) at
Turrialba, Costa Rica, began in 1973 to experiment with improvements upon
the traditional peasant multicropping system.

Earlier they had made a survey of Central American agriculture which
led them to the following conclusions: 1) most of the basic food staples,
beans and corn in particular, were produced by small farmers whose average
farm unit was less than 5 hectares; 2) most of the beans and corn produced
were cultivated using multicropping rather than single cropping techniques;
and 3) the agricultural technologies produced by international, regional or
national research centers did not reach the small farmers who were using
traditional, low-input technologies.

As a first action, these scientists initiated an experiment on plots at
CATIE's Turrialba station in order to test the productive potential of
various crop systems in combinations of five main crops: corn, beans,
cassava, rice and sweet potatoes. As they experimented and became more
familiar with other similar research, such as Richard Bradfield's farming
systems research at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the
Philippines, they recognized the great varieties in, and complexities of,
the multicropping systems that small farmers employed. They realized that
the approach required a range of expertise that only an interdisciplinary
research group could provide. It also required opportunities to work off
the research station and on the peasant farms in the widely different eco-
logical zones of Central America in order to test the alternative systems
under actual growing conditions.

During this period, AID agriculture officers in the Washington Latin
American Bureau and in the Regional Office for Central American Programs
(ROCAP) had developed a keen interest in formulating a research strategy for
understanding and improving small farmer cropping systems. Until then, the
principal analagous work that had been done was that of Bradfield in the
Philippines. None had been attempted in the Americas. Therefore, when in
1974 CATIE proposed holding a regional conference to explore the dynamics
and possibilities for cropping systems research, AID/ROCAP, under the
leadership of Donald Feister, its senior agriculturalist, warmly supported










the activity. Following the conference AID and CATIE formalized the Small
Farmer Cropping Systems Project (SFCS) which was approved for 1.6 million
dollars in grant funds to CATIE to be executed during 1975-79.

The purpose of the evaluation summarized in this report was to deter-
mine the impact that this project has had. The evaluation team recognized
that this was a unique agricultural research activity. CATIE was not being
charged with the task of developing a new bean, corn or casava variety.
Rather it was taking on the task of developing a different research
approach for understanding and improving the highly varied small farm
cropping practices of the region. This would require innovative inter-
disciplinary collaboration, and a bold proposal to do the research on
working farms throughout Central America with the support and cooperation of
national institutions in five different countries. The evaluation team
needed to learn if this project had indeed created a capacity and
demonstrated the potential it promised. Most important, the evaluation team
wanted to know that,if given the time necessary for validating and
packaging research results obtained in this initial project, it showed the
potential of increasing the production from small farms and improving the
incomes of peasant cultivators.



Objectives and Approach: Focusing the Idea

The primary purpose of the project was to create a coordinated regional
research approach for increasing the productivity and incomes of small far-
mers in Central America through improved cropping systems. CATIE was to
accomplish this objective through multicropping systems research carried out
in the fields of small farmers in five Central American countries (Costa
Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala). To do this, CATIE
had to reach agreement with each participating country on a program of acti-
vities including close collaboration with a national institution. The in-
country research process was to include 1) the design and implementation
of surveys of small farmer characteristics and practices; 2) the use of
these materials to compile profiles of target area farmers and their farming
practices; 3) the design and implementation of on-farm research to increase
small farmers' yields through making marginal changes in existing farmer
practices; 4) the development of alternatives and ten area-specific recom-
mendations by the end of the project period.

It should be clear that the researchers did not expect to have any
significant impact on a large number of small farmers within the limited 4
to 5 year period of this project. They recognized that a ten-year lag nor-
mally takes place between investments in agricultural research and
measurable impact on farmers. They hoped to get a new research process
started but did not propose to complete the adaptation cycle through larger-
scale dissemination/verification efforts with the national institutions.
This was a realistic assessment of the possible. One must remember that, at
this time, no one knew much about how to do this kind of research. With
hindsight, however, it was, in the team's judgement, the major short-coming
in this innovative project design. But to have carried through the logic to
include extensive verification and dissemination work, which is the province
of the national institutions, would have required as much as twice the AID












funding and a six to EXHIBIT 1
eight year project
eight year project SMALL FARMER CROPPING SYSTEMS RESEARCH PROCESS
authorization. At the
time, AID procedures only STEPS
allowed for five year
projects.
1 SURVEY SECONDARY
Beyond the develop- DATA SOURCE DATA
ment of on-farm research
in five countries,
however, were some FARMER AND AREA PROFILES
broader goals. By imple- 2 DESCRIPTION OF FARMER
meeting the project, CROPPING SYSTEMS
CATIE's capacity to do
small-farm cropping
systems research would be 3 ON-FARM RESEARCH TRIALS
enha d ad te ins- SUPPLEMENTED BY CENTRAL STATION
enhanced and the insti- EXPERIMENTS
EXPERIMENTS
tuiton as well as the
frames of reference of (End of ro
(End of Project
its researchers and stu- 4 CROPPING SYSTEM ALTERNATIVES Output as Origina:
dents might be improved Designed)
-------------------------------------------------- ----------
in the process. In 1974 ----Elems --.. l in .the
neither the CATIE 5 VERIFICATION STUDIES applied research
researchers nor other cycle not adequate
agricultural scientists provided for in t]
knew exactly how to deve- 6 DISSEMINATION
lop a useful small farm
systems research process.
CATIE researchers would
have to learn in the
country settings where research activities would take place. The process
might also influence national institutions in other Central American
countries as well.

Effectiveness: Translating the Idea into a Reality

In actual practice the project accomplished most of its explicit objec-
tives, although not without some difficulty. Agreements were signed almost
immediately between CATIE and the governments of Costa Rica, Nicaragua and
Honduras (1975) and work proceeded rapidly. However, although agreements
were signed with the governments of El Salvador and Guatemala in 1976, work
did not begin until 1977 in the former country, and 1978 in the latter,
because of misunderstandings between CATIE and the participating institu-
tions. Furthermore, political tensions resulted in slowdowns in the work in
El Salvador. Surprisingly, in spite of the Nicaraguan revolution, the new
project made headway there and exceeded all expectations. By 1977, on-farm
research had yielded what appeared to be two cropping system alternatives
which increased yields dramatically. In 1978 and '79, in the midst of
bloody fighting during the revolution, the alternatives were verified with a
larger group of farmers. By 1980, the new revolutionary government of
Nicaragua took an active interest in disseminating the new alternatives to
small farmers in the Matagalpa and Esteli areas through an organization
called PROCAMPO which was part of the Ministry of Agricultural Development
(MIDA).











Project effectiveness was, however, hampered by other factors. On the
institutional side, for example, the SFCS project put an early strain on
CATIE's limited core staff and funds to meet the counterpart contributions
required by the AID/ROCAP project. Consequently, with accelerating demand
for CATIE's services and additional projects with other donors, the admi-
nistration was unable to build a solid cash reserve fund or meet cyclical
cash flow problems. Moreover, the short-term funding of the SFCS project
made recruitment of desirable professional staff difficult. In addition,
the project was hampered because the original project agreement did not spe-
cify the exact nature of the 10 area specific recommendations which were to
result from the on-farm research in the five Central American countries par-
ticipating in the project. By the end of the project ROCAP conceived of
these as 10 specifically detailed "technical packages." Each tech-pack was
to describe a cropping system alternative in a specific ecological area
which was more productive than the existing farmer system. It was ROCAP's
intention that these products would be extendable by national institutions
to analogous ecological areas. Although CATIE researchers did produce the
tech-packs, they viewed them as "alternatives" for improving specific
cropping systems and felt that it was premature to recommend them for uncri-
tical acceptance and general dissemination.

The project did produce a series of important impacts on CATIE and its
faculty and students, on national and international institutions, and on
the farmers who participated with CATIE researchers in on-farm trials.
Because of the SFCS project's perceived success by both AID/ROCAP and CATIE,
a follow on "production systems" project was authorized in 1979, which
included not only annual crops, but perennial crops and animals as well.

The order of this paper follows the logic of what is essentially an
institutional capacity-building activity. Therefore, we first look at CATIE
itself, then at the national and international institutions cooperating with
CATIE or influenced by it, and only last do we discuss the ultimate poten-
tial beneficiaries, the small farmers themselves. Our reasons for con-
ducting extensive interviews with the farmers was not so much to determine
the immediate beneficial impact of the project upon them--it was clearly
recognized that in this research effort it was premature to expect much--but
rather to better assess the potential of this significant new research
approach and of CATIE's role in fostering it. We will not only document the
accomplishment of project objectives, but look beyond them as well.


II. IMPACTS AND DISCUSSION

Although the explicit objective of the project was to "create a coor-
dinated regional research approach for improving the cropping systems of
small farmers in Central America," the project helped to alter CATIE as an
institution, especially the staff and students in the Annual Crops Program.
(See Exhibit 2 following.)

IMPACTS ON CATIE AS A RESEARCH AND TRAINING INSTITUTION

Before the SFCS project was funded CATIE's research was largely in the
area of soils, monocrop cultures and animal production. Work took place











Project effectiveness was, however, hampered by other factors. On the
institutional side, for example, the SFCS project put an early strain on
CATIE's limited core staff and funds to meet the counterpart contributions
required by the AID/ROCAP project. Consequently, with accelerating demand
for CATIE's services and additional projects with other donors, the admi-
nistration was unable to build a solid cash reserve fund or meet cyclical
cash flow problems. Moreover, the short-term funding of the SFCS project
made recruitment of desirable professional staff difficult. In addition,
the project was hampered because the original project agreement did not spe-
cify the exact nature of the 10 area specific recommendations which were to
result from the on-farm research in the five Central American countries par-
ticipating in the project. By the end of the project ROCAP conceived of
these as 10 specifically detailed "technical packages." Each tech-pack was
to describe a cropping system alternative in a specific ecological area
which was more productive than the existing farmer system. It was ROCAP's
intention that these products would be extendable by national institutions
to analogous ecological areas. Although CATIE researchers did produce the
tech-packs, they viewed them as "alternatives" for improving specific
cropping systems and felt that it was premature to recommend them for uncri-
tical acceptance and general dissemination.

The project did produce a series of important impacts on CATIE and its
faculty and students, on national and international institutions, and on
the farmers who participated with CATIE researchers in on-farm trials.
Because of the SFCS project's perceived success by both AID/ROCAP and CATIE,
a follow on "production systems" project was authorized in 1979, which
included not only annual crops, but perennial crops and animals as well.

The order of this paper follows the logic of what is essentially an
institutional capacity-building activity. Therefore, we first look at CATIE
itself, then at the national and international institutions cooperating with
CATIE or influenced by it, and only last do we discuss the ultimate poten-
tial beneficiaries, the small farmers themselves. Our reasons for con-
ducting extensive interviews with the farmers was not so much to determine
the immediate beneficial impact of the project upon them--it was clearly
recognized that in this research effort it was premature to expect much--but
rather to better assess the potential of this significant new research
approach and of CATIE's role in fostering it. We will not only document the
accomplishment of project objectives, but look beyond them as well.


II. IMPACTS AND DISCUSSION

Although the explicit objective of the project was to "create a coor-
dinated regional research approach for improving the cropping systems of
small farmers in Central America," the project helped to alter CATIE as an
institution, especially the staff and students in the Annual Crops Program.
(See Exhibit 2 following.)

IMPACTS ON CATIE AS A RESEARCH AND TRAINING INSTITUTION

Before the SFCS project was funded CATIE's research was largely in the
area of soils, monocrop cultures and animal production. Work took place












EXHIBIT 2


IMPACT PROFILE OF S.F.C.S. PROJECT ON CATIE


CATIE Before: 1973/74
Budget: $1,406,000

Staff: 34 professionals: 22 core, 12 special projects.

Institutional Membership: University of Costa Rica,
Government of Costa Rica, IICA.


Orientation: Research on the extension station at
Turrialba in Tropical Agriculture-soils, plants and
animal product lines. Beginnings of cropping systems work
on CATIE plots at Turrialba along with some conceptual
systems modeling.

Role Concept: CATIE's work was dominated by tropical
agricultural scientists interested in plants, animals
and their productivity, products and characteristics
under the conditions of the humid tropics. As one CATIE
scientist put it "The Center's research activities started
in the scientist's mind and then to testit in the con-
trolled laboratory environment of the station."



Training: Teaching was concentrated on the MS degree
program jointly with University of Costa Rica based
largely on class work plus thesis research at Turrialba.
Some short courses and seminars on special tropical agri-
culture subjects. Conducted one regional seminar on
farming (cropping) systems research -- the state of the
art and the initial work at CATIE. Only 7 faculty members
listed systems as an area of teaching interest and only 1
formal course was offered in the MS program on systems.



Disciplinary Focus: Traditional approach to research
and training tasks along disciplinary or product lines:
soils, entomology, horticulture, etc.

Staff worked by disciplines as individuals or collabora-
tively within their disciplines on larger research tasks..


Regional Environment: Relatively stable Isthmian govern-
ments, each (with exception of El Salvador work with the
University of Florida and the multicropping work of ICTA
in Guatemala) were pursuing what little research they were
doing largely on monocultures based on trials of genetic
mater'.al produced by the international centers (CIAT,
CIMMYT, CIP, IRRI, etc.).


CATIE After: 1979

Budget: $7,979,000.00

Staff: 80 professionals: 25 core, 55 in special projects.

Institutional Membership: Those of 1973/74 plus, Govern-
ments of Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama with pros-
pects of El Salvador and the Dominican Republic in 1980.

Orientation: Project supported field work in different
ecological zones in all 5 Central American countries plus
Panama. Twelve scientists permanently assigned in country
exclusively engaged in small farmer, on-farm, cropping and
production systems applied research.

Role Concept: CATIE's work is dominated in most aspects
of institutional activity by a new and pervasive concern
with the small farmer and his system of production. As
the same CATIE scientist put it in contrast to the former
orientation: "Now CATIE scientists start by trying to
understand what is in the small producer's mind by inter-
acting with him, observing his production system and his
problems then to design with him promising alternatives
to increase his efficiency, productivity and income."

Training: CATIE has graduated over 30 NS students who did
thesis research on aspects of small farmer cropping
systems. A major three-month intensive seminar on "Agro-
systemas" for the professionals is now offered. It has
provided short courses, seminars or component training
for graduate students in farming systems for approximately
400 professionals from all over the Americas. Fourteen
faculty members now list systems as a teaching field.
Four formal courses on systems are offered in the MS pro-
gram. In 1980 alone 18 short courses were offered on
systems subjects.

Disciplinary Focus: Although requiring technical proficiency
from MS students in a traditional discipline, CATIE has
developed a strong interdisciplinary element in most train-
ing to encourage multidisciplinary problem analysis in
cropping/production systems and their corresponding
solutions.

Staff tends to seek cross interdisciplinary approach to
research in a systems context.

Regional Institutional Environment: Highly unstable politi-
cal conditions with rapid change-over in both political and
technical leadership in the national agricultural research,
training and extension institutions. CATIE has become a
center of institutional stability with a thin but con-
tinuing support capacity to the national institutions For
supporting the small farmer orientation through basic and
applied research and training.











almost entirely at the experiment station in Turrialba. The SFCS project
allowed CATIE researchers, particularly those in the tropical crops and
soils department (later changed to the annual crops department) to work in
different ecological zones in all of Central America. Twelve scientists
were engaged on a full-time basis on SFCS research in the participating
countries. The project altered the role concepts of many of the faculty,
the content of teaching, training and research and the academic organization
of the institution.

Impact on CATIE Professional Staff

Underlying significant change in a training and research institution is
the change in expectations that faculty have of themselves, their jobs and
each other. The rigors of implementing the SFCS project forced the
researchers themselves to alter their ideas on a deeply personal level.
One researcher expressed the SFCS team members' attitudes well:

"Much of what I learned about agriculture and poor farmers during my
graduate work in the United States was thrown into doubt. I was
taught that Third World farmers were irrational and tradition bound
and that they needed to change their attitudes. My role in the
change process was to be quite indirect. Problems were to be brought
to me at the research station and I was to conduct experiments under
conditions of rigorous control. If the rigorous conditions could not
be met, the research wasn't worth doing.

The past four years have taught me a great deal. Instead of staying
on the research station, I learned that I needed to go to the farmers
and learn from them. I learned that small farmers make plenty of
mistakes but they are not basically irrational. They have very good
reasons for doing much of what they do. We know farmers better now
and they have changed us. We know that we can still maintain a fair
level of experimental control in on-farm research while getting the
benefits of interacting with the farmer at the same time."

The SFCS staff recognized the need for interdisciplinary efforts. They
also noted the difficulties as well. For example, occasionally each scien-
tist would do his work on a survey or experiment in the absence of the
others. This is encouraged by the structure of the specialized sciences,
which provide few rewards for interdisciplinary research. At times, there-
fore, the project looked like a series of discrete pieces completed sepa-
rately rather than as the product of an interdisciplinary team. Moreover,
they noted the need for more social science analysis to provide knowledge of
social conditions, vital to the understanding of farming practices and of a
farm household's readiness to adopt changes to these practices. While
important strides have been made, much remains to be learned about the who,
what, when, where, why and how of interdisciplinary research.

As a final adjustment, researchers found that they had to learn to be
more flexible and to play multiple roles. This appeared to be particularly
crucial to the success of field staff. The more successful field staff
learned how to be more than simply researchers. They had to operate in a
rapidly changing political environment. Because they could not always call
on disciplinary specialists to solve particular problems, they needed to










know a little of everything and to switch from the role of researcher to
that of change agent, from political strategist to organizational alliance
builder, or to friend and member of the farm family.

Teaching and Training

As the SFCS team members carried out the project, they also began to al-
ter CATIE's approach to teaching and training. They translated their in-
sights from the SFCS process into new farming system courses which were
introduced into CATIE's curriculum. For example, before 1974 only one
farming systems course was taught in the graduate program. By 1980, four
graduate level courses were offered. In 1974, there were no short-course
training activities in farming systems. By 1979, 18 of the 53 short courses
offered were on small-scale farming systems. Furthermore, by 1980, 39% of
the entering graduate class had declared their major field as annual crops--
a specialization with a heavy concentration in farming systems, making
annual crops the largest major for students. Finally, during the same
period the number of faculty with a farm systems area of concentration grew
from seven to fourteen.

Certain features of the farming systems approach did not, however,
penetrate the curriculum. For example, students still have little exposure
to rural sociology, anthropology or the social sciences which would enhance
their awareness of the division of labor in rural households, off-farm
employment opportunities, local cultural and social life, and other factors
critical to rural farm practices. Furthermore, they have no exposure to
farm management and rural household budgeting which might serve as
integrating concepts in a curriculum dealing with small farmer systems. In
addition, it would be useful to provide exposure to agricultural sector
management which would place the small farmer in the context of the
national and regional economy. CATIE management recognizes the need for and
is working to develop these next steps.

Impacts on the Academic Organization of CATIE

The internal organization was initially structured along traditional
disciplinary lines, e.g. soils, horticulture, and entomology. During the
course of the project, the organization was restructured along production
lines-- annual crops, perennial crops, forestry and animals. This change,
according to CATIE's management, was partially influenced by the SCFS
project's emphasis on interdisciplinary work.

Farming systems as an integrating concept did have its impact in the
annual and perennial crops areas. However, some areas of the school such
as animal production remained relatively untouched by mixed and multicrop
farming systems ideas. For example, in 1979 and 1980 no students from the
animal production major took the key course on farming systems, even though
small farmers certainly integrate livestock and poultry into their own
mixed and multicrop systems. This problem has been recognized and animal
production has been included in the follow-on project.

Before the end of the project, changes were made both in CATIE's top
management and in the project management. At the time of this evaluation,
tensions among the staff were still evident as a result of these changes.
But the sense of the team was that the SCFS project and its farming systems










approach, although contributing to the growth conditions that influenced
the need for change, also were providing the dynamic around which the
conflicts could be resolved into greater common purpose and more complete
staff harmony.

The SFCS Research Approach

The annual crops staff has moved away from traditional experiment
station-based agricultural research toward the on-farm approach.

However, there are some difficulties which dilute the ultimate impact
of SFCS as used at CATIE. The relationship between the central experiment
and in-country on-farm research was not fully developed. The central
experiment, developed before the SFCS project, was initiated by CATIE scien-
tists to test the viability of multicropping research. Although it was not
incorporated into the project proposal, it was used to train project staff.
It was also used in various training seminars and demonstrations for non-
staff trainees and visitors.

During the in-country research, farmers were selected without expli-
cit criteria. Sometimes farmers were includ'1 in studies because they were
accessible, at other times because their lands had a particular soil charac-
teristic, and at still other times because they were farmer leaders.
Consistent or at least explicit selection strategies would make research
results more comparable and reliable.

Competing Explanations of Impacts on CATIE

The SFCS project played a substantial role in changing the orientation
of CATIE but other factors contributed as well. For example, interest in
systems research was part of an emerging worldwide trend in the early
1970's. Furthermore, during this same period a rising tide of interest in
small-farm systems was running through the international agricultural
research centers. At the same time, the Central American governments began
to pay more attention to the needs and potential of the small-holders in
the region. CATIE could not have changed alone without these supporting
trends in the overall environment. Undoubtedly, the SFCS project served as
an important catalyst for some of these changes.

On balance, it is clear that the SFCS project had a powerful impact on
CATIE and on its becoming a dynamic force for innovative, small-farmer
oriented agricultural research. Its international influence in this field
is extending, not only throughout Central America, but well beyond.


IMPACT ON NATIONAL, REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS

CATIE's Expanded Function in the Region

In order to accomplish its objective of "encouraging an integrated
approach to small farm research in Central America", CATIE's role in the
region had to change. Although in 1973 its students were drawn from all
over Central America, CATIE carried out no off-site research. The Turrialba
center was supported, at that time, solely by IICA and the Government of
Costa Rica. Today, SFCS research is carried out in all of the Central









-10-


American countries and Panama in collaboration with national institutions.
The regional association of agricultural professionals (PCCMCA) regularly
devotes part of its annual meetings to review of papers on SFCS research.
CATIE continues to draw students from all over the region and now offers a
substantial number of short courses as well.

Impact on National Institutions5

Although CATIE's activities in the region have expanded greatly, its
impact on national institutions has been uneven. On the one hand, close
relationships were established with institutions in Nicaragua, El Salvador and
Guatemala. The collaborative experience has not only helped shape views of
researchers in those countries, but has altered the viewpoints of CATIE staff
as well. On the other hand, CATIE has had less impact on agricultural insti-
tutions in Honduras and Costa Rica.

Differences in country settings help to explain this contrast. CATIE's
work had greatest impact where host-country institutions and donors had made
substantial economic and political commitments to improving small farm
systems. The SFCS staff found it easy to negotiate cooperative agreements
in Nicaragua. There the national research organization, INTA, was just
beginning to define its approach and welcomed the SFCS methodology and
CATIE's support. In Costa Rica and Honduras agreements were forthcoming,
but the established institutions in agricultural research and extension were
more passive in their collaboration, less interested in changing their tra-
ditional orientation. In Guatemala and El Salvador, however, the research
institutions (ICTA and SENTA), had initiated research on small farmer agri-
culture. They were reluctant, initially, to have CATIE's involvement
through the SFCS project. But later, as CATIE developed a supportive stance
with these institutions, agreements were made for collaboration and in both
countries the work went well to the mutual benefit of the national institu-
tions and to CATIE.

Although CATIE gained early access in Costa Rica and Honduras, it never
was able to generate interest among agricultural professionals who were com-
mitted largely to traditional monocrop research. In Costa Rica, no consistent
CATIE strategy emerged, partially because no country resident was appointed to
manage the in-country research (a contrast with all of the other SFCS country.
research efforts). As a result, CATIE worked in relative isolation and its
findings were largely ignored, despite the efforts of individual researchers.


In Nicaragua, however, CATIE capitalized on its early access to build a
program with strong impact on national institutions. Anibal Palencia, a highly
innovative CATIE country resident,and a creative USAID mission rural development
officer, David Bathrick, built an alliance which helped the SFCS project per-
form research for INTA and INVIERNO, a multipurpose regional rural develop-
ment organization. In Nicaragua, major support was also received from the
IDRC and the central team at CATIE, who made numerous site visits. The


5 (Appendices D-G provide country-by-country details for the summary
comments in this section.)








-11-


relationships between CATIE and government staff became so good that the
SFCS project survived the revolution and is being integrated into the acti-
vities of the New Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA).

Resource Commitments from Other Donors

The CATIE staff believe that the SFCS project was important in at-
tracting support for related activities from other donors. Sixteen pro-
jects, initiated after the SFCS project began, brought CATIE over five
million dollars in additional resources for related small farm activities.
Representatives of donor agencies such as IDRC and the Kellogg Foundation,
mentioned that the success of the SFCS project provided them with incentives
to give CATIE additional resources.

Often these additional resources enabled CATIE to strengthen the SFCS
project. For example, in Nicaragua Kellogg Foundation grants to IDRC
helped the CATIE team to carry out a verification study with thirty farmers
in the Esteli area in conjunction with a similar SFCS-funded study in the
Matagalpa area. The Kellogg Foundation grants also enabled CATIE to give
short courses on small farmer cropping systems using materials developed
from the SFCS pro-
ject. It is largely EXHIBIT 3
these additional CATIS BUDGET
resource commitments
which explain CATIE's __ RESERVES 5 7979.600
resource growth (see COMMERCIAL OPERATIONS 5.1
Exhibit 3). __1_4__ Cr,
SPECIAL PROJECTS- DONOR FUNDED
While, as a con-
sequence of our CORE BUDGET
interviews with other LI
donors, we confirmed s 5.190.00
CATIE's claim that 1 -6
this AID project led 52 '''
to substantial addi- 'i '
tional support from
other sources, we
also learned that 55.7 .
donor coordination
was weak. The total
effort is fragmented
by the project-by- 0 15.7
project approach to 2 1.
gaining donor sup- 2 2.4
port. We found 63.2
little evidence of
efforts by donors or 1_73/74 1978 1979
by CATIE to coordin-
dinate the support effort. AID's own project approach tends to exacerbate
this condition. It is to CATIE's credit that there is not more duplication;
it is also to their credit that they made a strong, if unsuccessful, effort
to join the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research
(CGIAR) as an international center. Had they been able to do so, this would
have qualified them for the same regular support that the international
donor community provides to each qualifying institution.








-12-


Impact on AID

CATIE's work supported by the SFCS project is widely known and utilized
in AID Washington. When USAID missions in Panama and Honduras requested
assistance in developing projects in agricultural research and small farm
production, they were referred by the Bureau for Latin America and the
Caribbean (LAC) to CATIE for technical assistance in developing their pro-
jects. A senior Rural Development officer in LAC/DR pointed out that,
as a result of this project on-farm research with small farmers is now
accepted in the LAC Bureau. Also, when the Development Support Bureau
began to design a centrally-funded project aimed at synthesizing farming
systems research and developing adaptation methodologies, CATIE was one of
the first models to be examined. The methodology developed at CATIE
through the SFCS project has been selected as one of two special cases for
the project. Additionally, when AID was recently requested by the White
House to explore ways of increasing assistance to national agricultural
research efforts, the CATIE experience was immediately suggested as an
important avenue to explore.

International Recognition

By 1980, CATIE's work in Central America received increasing recogni-
tion in international agricultural circles. For example, in 1976, the
Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the CGIAR conducted a review of
farming systems research centers. Their report noted that some of the most
interesting work internationally was being done at CATIE. Another study by
the International Agricultural Development Service, done for AID and the
World Bank, described CATIE's proven ability to work with small farmers and
recommended further utilization of the process.

Follow-up--The Missing Element

The constraints imposed by USAID's four to five year project cycle did
not encourage a fully integrated SFCS research process by linking useful
research results to verification and dissemination stages. Instead the
project was designed to stop at the research output stage that could be
completed in the five year project period. However, in Nicaragua where the
work moved so rapidly and was so successful, the CATIE staff performed
verification studies in 1978 and 1979. Moreover, the CATIE team involved
Nicaraguan government officials and farmers in the verification trials.
This elicited such a high level of interest that in 1980 PROCAMPO, part of
the Ministry of Agricultural Development, began dissemination of a "sorghum-
bean multicropping alternative" which appeared to be successful during the
verification process. (See Nicaragua country report, Appendix D.)

Competing Explanations of Impact on National, Regional and International
Institutions

The timing and early entry of AID into the SFCS research area appears
to have been critical in permitting CATIE to make its own unique contribu-
tion to strengthening SFCS research capacity at the regional and national
level. It is essential to recognize, however, that the Central American
environment had become supportive of SFCS research as part of a global
trend. Research on small farmer agriculture was already underway at ICTA in








-13-


Guatemala and at SENTA in El Salvador with AID assistance through the
University of Florida. International donors and three Central American
governments had already begun to have an interest in the approach. CATIE
helped crystalize and mobilize this interest through its work on small
farmer cropping systems.


IMPACT ON SMALL FARMERS

It was not the objective of this project to improve levels of living for
large numbers of small farmers. Rather, they hoped to develop a research
capacity the products of which would be used by national agencies to produce
such improvements. Nonetheless, the project involved more than 75 farmers
in countries visited by the evaluation team and had substantial impact on
some of them.

Number and Type of Farmers Interviewed

The evaluation team interviewed 28 (37%) of the 75 participating far-
mers in four countries and more than eight geographic areas. Members also
visited some six neighboring farmers who knew of the work. (See Country
Appendicies D-G for detailed information and Appendix A for information
about the evaluation methodology). The farmers interviewed in all settings
except Costa Rica had average to poor quality land holdings in the 1-5 hec-
tare range. In general, these farm families had few possessions, no
indoor plumbing or running water, and primarily drew their livelihood from
working their small holdings. There were some notable exceptions: one
farmer who had five hectares of good land also had a fleet of buses and a
store. Many other farmers had multiple activities: one had a small butcher
shed and sold meat two days a week; another helped recharge auto batteries;
another hired himself and his oxen out to neighbors; another worked pri-
marily as a carpenter and yet another had left his fields to the family to
work while taking work himself as a banana hand.

Participation and Knowledge

There were substantial differences in what farmers knew about the pro-
ject and in how involved they were. In Nicaragua, and to a lesser extent
Guatemala, farmers interviewed had both high levels of participation in and
knowledge of the project. For example, several farmers interviewed in
Nicaragua and Guatemala could draw their own cropping patterns on the ground
with a stick and show how the SFCS experiment was different than their own
farming practice. Where Nicaraguan farmers tried a "sorghum-bean" system
instead of simply beans, they mentioned benefits of the new system such as:
natural fence-like qualities of sorghum to serve as a windbreak, reduction
of water evaporation from beans, and control of erosion. Most of all,
however, Nicaraguan farmers liked the risk-averting property of the two-crop
"sorghum-bean SFCS alternative". Those in Esteli noted that their neigh-
bors, who planted only beans in 1979, lost almost all of their crop to
slugs. They themselves lost much of their bean crop but harvested sorghum
successfully.

In contrast, most of the farmers interviewed in Costa Rica and Honduras
could not state the purposes of the on-farm experiments or their results.








-14-


Few could describe how the SFCS experiments differed from their own farming
practices. Only 4 of 17 interviewed said they had been asked for opinions
about the projects at the inception or during the trials. This is due to
the fact that research in Costa Rica was the most purely agronomic e.g.,
focused on such problems as slope and mineral content of certain soils.

Adoption

Because SFCS research was only at a preliminary stage, the evaluation
team could only ask participating farmers if they would try the alter-
natives demonstrated by CATIE during the next year. In Guatemala and
Nicaragua 10 of 13 farmers interviewed said they would do so. In contrast
only 3 of 17 interviewed in Costa Rica and Honduras said they would do so.
Some of the reasons for lack of willingness to adopt were: lack of
understanding of the approach, input constraints (i.e. no labor), and
uncertainty of markets. Also, in some areas, CATIE staff had a pretty good
idea of what would constitute useful improvements, while in other areas more
preliminary research was needed.

Although the team saw evidence that some neighbors of CATIE small
farmer project participants had spontaneously accepted CATIE's alternative
farming practices, team members were unable to develop systematic infor-
mation about informal adoption.

Yields

Substantial increases in yields for participating farmers were shown in
all of the SFCS research settings but Guatemala (which had only operated
for a year). In Nicaragua, where verification trials were used for the
sorghum-bean alternative in 1979, yields (Kg/Hectare) were less than for
the experimental alternative but more than for the original alternatives
used by the farmers. The evaluation team found the yield data impressive
but was concerned that the increases recorded were due at least partially
to problems in the study design. (See Appendix C on production data). The
team also was concerned that the Government of Nicaragua, justifiably
anxious to increase production after destruction during the revolution, had
moved to begin to disseminate the sorghum-bean alternative in the
Esteli/Matagalpa area before the results of the verification studies had
been thoroughly analyzed.

Explanations of Differences in Impact on Farmers

In some areas, the researchers had some clear ideas of what would
constitute an appropriate improvement on the existing systems; in other
cases they needed to do more preliminary investigations. In some areas the
researchers were working in a context of large scale government and donor
economic and political support for improving small farm agriculture; in
other areas they encountered relative indifference. In the former, the team
noticed substantial impact even from this preliminary effort; in the latter,
relatively little impact. CATIE could have little control over these cir-
cumstances.

There are three other aspects of the research process which can be
controlled by CATIE and which may influence the potential for impact of








-15-


research results. The first is the difference between doing "research with
small farmers" as opposed to doing "research on small farms." In the former
case there is active participation and involvement of the farmers in the
research and large amounts of interaction between farmer and researcher. In
the latter case, the ethos of the experiment station is brought to the small
farm and little effort is made to enlist farmer participation and involve-
ment. The latter approach may in fact be appropriate for the more basic types
of agronomic research, but this issue of alternative research procedures
should be more explicitly thought about.

The second aspect concerns the selection criteria for small farmer parti-
cipants. Participant selection seems in some cases to have been relatively hap-
hazard. Little time was allowed for this in the project design and farmers
often had to be found in a hurry in order not to miss that year's planting
cycle. The result is that many farmers are not "typical" in any systematic
way and this may in the future restrict the applicability of research results.

The third aspect of the research process which could be substantially
improved is in the integration of micro-economic and sociocultural science in
the research process. While some survey research and case studies of high
quality were done, they do not seem to have been adequately related to on-farm
research design and implementation. No anthropologist or rural sociologist of
a stature comparable to the agricultural scientists was included on the staff.
It is the team's view that research design and implementation, as well as the
upcoming tasks of verification and dissemination, can be substantially improved
by including more analysis of the non-agronomic aspects of the small farm
systems such as domestic division of labor, off-farm employment, the.develop-
mental cycle of the domestic groups, and access to markets and credit.

In conclusion, the evaluation team feels that the SFCS project had
important and positive impacts on CATIE, on institutions in the region, and
even on some of the participating farmers. The project not only provided
CATIE the opportunities to develop the potential of the approach, but also
the opportunity to identify and deal with some of its problems. With approp-
priate adjustments in the methodology and the strategy, SFCS work is
replicable and should make a significant contribution to improving levels
of living for the rural poor.









-16-


IV. SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS AND LESSONS LEARNED

CONCLUSIONS

1. The SFCS Project was authorized at a critical time and thus played a
vital role in helping CATIE transform itself from a traditional agri-
cultural research and graduate training institution, focused primarily
on monocrop research, to one with a demonstrated capacity for small farm
systems research.

2. CATIE demonstrated that this new methodology can produce important
information about small-holder agriculture and can improve multi-
cropping technology for increasing small-farm production.

3. The SFCS approach helped get researchers away from the experiment sta-
tion to on-farm settings where they learned a great deal about small
farmers and their complex problems. This experience produced a profound
respect for the small farmers and a conviction of the need for inter-
disciplinary research on their form of agriculture. This is reflected
through most of the institution in the new research activities as well
as in the teaching program.

4. The SFCS project enabled CATIE to make a substantial contribution to a
more integrated approach to SFCS research in the region. CATIE as a
result has established agreements with and is conducting on-farm work in
all of the Isthmian states and also has initiated an agreement with the
Dominican Republic. Critical linkages to national institutions were
established and joint research conducted. SFCS experiments are regu-
larly discussed in regional professional circles. The SFCS work helped
to attract an additional 5 million dollars from other donors for related
activity at CATIE. Finally, the work brought CATIE and SFCS research
additional international recognition.

5. Although not designed for large-scale farmer adoption, SFCS did
influence some of the 75 participating farmers. Where researchers
interacted with farmers and carried through from experimentation to
Verification and dissemination, and where national institutions took an
active role, the participating farmers showed a great deal of knowledge
and interest in the projects. Most said that they would try to use the
experimental methods in their own fields during the next year using
their own resources.

6. The SFCS project (with appropriate changes) is both replicable and
sustainable, and can serve as a powerful tool for assisting small far-
mers.

LESSONS LEARNED

1. To maximize potential impact on small farmers, development projects for
agricultural research into farming systems should be designed to include
the full cycle o' research through both verification and dissemination.
To provide for this full cycle, AID and other donors should allow for 6
to 8 year project authorizations in small-farm research programs.









-17-


2. It is difficult to obtain and sustain a holistic, interdisciplinary
focus within a highly trained disciplinary research and training insti-
tution, but to do so across all participating disciplines is critical in
the farming systems approach. There is no doubt that the annual and
perennial crops programs at CATIE made tremendous strides in embracing
the holistic, interdisciplinary approach, although the social science
and farm management elements were not fully provided in the mix.

3. There is a substantial difference between the needs of doing research on
small farms and doing research with the active interest and participa-
tion of small farmers. The former may well inform the agricultural
scientist about agronomic issues but only the latter is likely to both
educate the scientist about how the small-farmer household economy works
and the farmer about new agricultural options that will fit within that
economy.

4. The SFCS methodology, though highly promising as a research and produc-
tion improvement strategy for small farmers practicing multicrop, mixed
farming systems, can be improved with greater attention to some key
elements:

-- more explicit and consistent criteria for selecting the farm house-
holds for on-farm trials would provide a sounder basis for subsequent
generalizations about applicability of results;

-- where central station experiments are used their relationship to the
on-farm experiments should be more carefully articulated; and

-- more attention should be given to the non-agronomic elements (such as
input constraints, market analysis, household and area labor availa-
bilities by season) in the planning of research, the analyses of
constraints to production, and the implementation of research, veri-
fication and dissemination programs.

5. Maximum collaboration and information sharing should be sought among
related projects and programs. There is no doubt that both CATIE and
IICA tried to use information and resources from several programs to
support the SFCS activities. Yet it is equally clear that more could
have been done. As the number of regional projects at CATIE multiplies
from numerous funding sources and with lead responsibility spread
through the institution's departments, this concern for total program
collaboration and synergism will have to become an increasing concern of
senior management at the institution, as well as of the donor institu-
tions working with CATIE.

6. CATIE's experience in Nicaragua provides, as one example, innovative
suggestions for shortening time lags between initial experimentation and
ultimate impacts on small farmers. By selecting farmers for experiments
who met both agronomic requirements of the research as well as community
leadership requirements, CATIE helped forge a natural linkage between
research and later verification and dissemination activities.






































APPENDIX A

EVALUATION METHODOLOGY








APPENDIX A A-i


IMPACT EVALUATION METHODOLOGY USED BY THE AID PROJECT TEAM

METHODOLOGY


Research Objectives

The SFCS project designers' primary objective was to create "a coor-
dinated regional research approach for improving the cropping systems of
small farmers in Central America". In an effort to assess how well the SFCS
project accomplished this objective, the evaluation team studied three
impact areas: the impact of the project on national and regional institu-
tions and their research in Central America; the institutional impact of the
project on CATIE, and its own research and teaching orientation and on other
organizations including AID; and the impact of the project on its small
farmer participants.

Overall Research Strategy

Because the SFCS project designers developed no pre-set impact measures
when the project began and collected no systematic information about impacts
during the project period, the evaluation team was at a disadvantage. The
team had to create impact measures after the fact, and then reconstruct a
profile of the preproject situation at CATIE as well as the state of
research in the region based on interviews and secondary source data. This
type of "ex post facto" research is subject to two major limitations.
First, if the profile created of the institution (CATIE) and of research
activities in the region during the preproject period is inaccurate, then
the findings about changes during the project period will be misleading.
Second, even if reconstructed profiles are accurate and the situation at
CATIE and in the region is very different today, these differences may not
be due to the project, but rather to outside events.

To try to overcome the limitations of "ex post facto" research, the
team used two devices. First, they cross-compared CATIE staff recollections
with those of key informants outside of CATIE and with secondary source
material. Second, they listed a series of alternate explanations for why
changes took place during the project period.

In order to arrive at its findings, the team interviewed 8 of the 12
SFCS professional staff, a total of 15 CATIE scientists and administrators,
5 senior officers of IICA, and some 45 key members of national, regional and
international institutions. In addition the team interviewed 15 AID offi-
cers from five Missions including ROCAP. They also interviewed 28 (37%) of
the 75 farmers participating in the project in Costa Rica, Honduras,
Nicaragua, and Guatemala, plus at least six neighbors to the farmer-
participants.

Data Collection Format

Given limited time, the large number of countries to be visited, and
the differences in the kinds of interviews to be conducted, the team agreed












that no pre-set standardized questionnaires could be developed. Instead
they elected to develop a common general framework which delineated the key
impact areas and general open-ended questions about each impact area.
Before departure to the field, the team participated in a workshop and then
prepared a general matrix of key open-ended questions and impact areas.
Once in the field and being joined by their local collaborators--a Costa
Rican sociologist and an IICA agricultural scientist--they refined the
matrix and developed an interview packet which included impact areas and de-
tailed open-ended questions. Each team member used this interview packet as
the source for his interview questions. After interviews were completed,
the team analyzed their field notes together and developed similar analysis
of responses to the open-ended questions. They buttressed their interview
data with secondary source data on CATIE, the SFCS experiments, and the re-
search studies.

Field Interviews

All four AID/W team members participated in two days of interviews at
ROCAP/Guatemala and in a half-day exchange of views with USAID/San Jose's
senior staff and rural development personnel. Joined by local collabora-
tors, the full team then discussed the project with IICA's San Jose head-
quarters personnel and proceeded to Turrialba. After three days of inquiry
at CATIE plus brief visits to the experimental plots at the center and a
field visit to a nearby farmer, the team divided into two groups of three
each to visit Costa Rica field sites with participating farmers (See Costa
Rica country report). Thereafter the team returned to Turrialba to revise
its general interview packet before dividing into the three country teams
of two evaluators each plus a CATIE SFCS scientist. Each country team (see
separate reports on Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras) spent a week inter-
viewing national institution staff members and, with them, visiting the
participating farmers and members of their households on their land. They
also interviewed AID Mission personnel in each country.

Analysis and Report Drafting

During the final week, the team reassembled in San Jose to conduct sup-
plementary interviews at IICA, with San Jose based ROCAP advisors, and with
CATIE staff and then to deliberate on their findings. Time permitted only a
final half-day of debriefing on general findings for ROCAP, CATIE and IICA
personnel at Turrialba.

Final analysis plus some data checking awaited the AID/W team's return
to Washington where this report was prepared.

Final Report

Drafts of the report were reviewed by ROCAP, CATIE and IICA for accura-
cy of material and for comment on findings. Colleagues in AID/W provided
criticisms and suggestions. This process resulted in several iterations of








A-3


the report. Although the evaluation team valued each of the contributions,
whether substantive or editorial, the final document is solely the respon-
sibility of the authors, including any errors or omissions that may have
escaped our eyes before its printing.





































APPENDIX B

IMPACT OF THE PROJECT
ON CATIE AND
ON OTHER ORGANIZATIONS











APPENDIX B



IMPACT OF THE SMALL FARMER CROPPING SYSTEMS PROJECT ON CATIE AS AN

INSTITUTION, ON AID, AND ON OTHER ORGANIZATIONS


General Impact on CATIE

The central purpose of the Small Farmer Cropping Systems project was to
orient CATIE's research and graduate training toward the problems and needs
of the small farmers of Central America by building its capacity to
understand and then improve upon indigenous production systems.

Until this project was initiated, systematic and scientific agricultur-
al research in the Americas was not oriented toward the small producers of
the region. It focused on improving the productive potential of specific
crop lines through breeding programs, and through soils, pest, weed and cli-
matalogical investigation. Such research purported to be essentially
neutral as to the scale of farming of its ultimate users. In reality, the
primary users of the research output tended to be the larger, mono-culture
producers with more capital and with ready access to the newest and more
promising plant materials, seeds, chemical agents and, of equal importance,
with access to and knowledge of the product market.

Yet in the Central American isthmus some 8,000,000 people, nearly half
of the total population in the six isthmian countries, are members of rural
households that work agricultural landholdings of less than 4 hectares (8
acres). An additional 2,000,000 rural people live on holdings of 4 to 35
hectares. Although these lands represent less than 30% of the area under
agricultural production, the people who work them provide more than 70% of
the staple foods consumed in the region. In the main their farming prac-
tices are attuned to the high risk nature of their survival enterprise:
most often these marginal lands, carved from steep volcanic hill-sides or
from humid tropical overgrowth, are farmed with a mixture of crops -- corn,
beans, wheat, yucca, potatoes, and some vegetables. At best, a small
surplus above the household's subsistence needs is marketed. In bad years,
the household survives even if one or more of the crops in their system
should be lost to blight, drought, rot, pests, or "bad luck." These systems
of cultivation are the products of centuries of natural adaptation of native
crop varieties to the human and natural environment of the farmers. Often
they are intricate and even elegant mixes that attempt to maximize the fra-
gile resource endowments of human labor working with sunlight, soil,
moisture and the plants themselves to meet the subsistence needs of the
household while minimizing the risk of total failure and consequent want or
even starvation.

It would not be fair to say that, before 1974, the Central American
Agricultural research and extension establishment was unconcerned and
uncommitted to improving the lot of this vital sector of rural society.
However, it is fair to say that their methods for assisting were tradi-
tional mono-culture approaches based on experiments on research stations











far from these farms and on extension services whose limited outreach capa-
city attempted to deliver the research findings by exortation and occa-
sionally by demonstration of one or more of the mono-culture developments.

The research and graduate training center at Turrialba, which had be-
come CATIE in 1973, was oriented toward the traditional approach. It had
distinguished itself in research on coffee, cocoa and other cultures of the
humid tropics and as a graduate training center for agronomists. Beginning
in 1970, the Interamerican Institute of Agricultural Sciences (IICA)
reviewed the state of agricultural research and training in the Americas.
It concluded that, given the growth of the great international research cen-
ters at CIMMYT in Mexico, CIP in Peru, CIAT in Columbia, IRRI in the
Philippines, and others, as well as the growth of national research and
agricultural training institutions around the hemisphere, it was time to
modify or discontinue its own separate work at Turrialba. At first, it con-
sidered "turning over" the facilities to the Government of Costa Rica to
form a national center. After detailed negotiations and deliberation the
decision was reached to create a joint center with IICA and the Government
of Costa Rica with the intention of extending its outreach to Central
America and the Caribbean. At the time, it appeared that the traditional
orientation toward tropical mono-cultures and graduate agronomist training
would continue. Initially it did.

By 1973, however, a small group of Turrialba scientists had become in-
tensely interested in the complex fabric of the small farm systems of the
region. They conducted a survey of Central American agriculture which led
them to conclude that:

most basic food staples--particularly beans and corn--were produced
by small farmers whose average farm unit was less than 5 hectares;

most of the beans and corn produced were cultivated using multicrop-
ping rather than single cropping techiques; and

improvements in agricultural technology, produced by international,
regional or national research centers, did not reach the small far-
mers, who were using traditional low input practices in their
cropping systems.

They also began to experiment on plots at CATIE with variations in
these systems to see if they might not improve production through incremen-
tal modifications such as introducing new rowing patterns, new varieties of
older cultivations, different intermixtures of traditional crops, or
altering the sequences of multi-crop patterns. This work was done with five
main crops: rice, corn, beans, casava, and sweet potatoes. Though working
only at Turrialba on the CATIE plots, they began to think in terms of the
several ecological zones of the isthmus and the systems adapted to each that
would require scientific examination by several agricultural disciplines and
would need supporting linkages to the IICA soils, climatic and other data










resources. In 1974, with warm support from ROCAP's Agricultural Development
Officer, Donald Feister, CATIE conducted a regional seminar to view and
discuss this initial work. Out of it came a jointly developed proposal for
an AID-supported research project on Small Farmer Cropping Systems. The
project was approved by AID for $1.6 million to be executed by CATIE in
1975-79.

There is no doubt among the evaluators that the project has achieved
its central purpose. Its impact on CATIE has been profound, in some
respects even revolutionary. In other respects the impact has barely begun
to surface. Following is a summary of those institutional impact areas.

Institutional Orientation

Although CATIE is a relatively new organization, it grew from an estab-
lished institutional framework. Its site and buildings at Turrialba, Costa
Rica, comprised the first headquarters of the Interamerican Institute of
Agricultural Sciences (IICA), created in 1942. In 1960, when IICA moved its
offices to San Jose, Turrialba continued to serve as the Institute's
training and research center until, thirteen years later, CATIE's new
charter was approved. Even then, most of its staff and its sponsors thought
of it in terms of the traditional role it had played but reoriented toward
Costa Rica and the Central American states plus the Caribbean area. Talk
about small farmers and their systems as a priority for research was new
when the AID project was approved in 1974. Yet the philosophy, in the four
to five years following, has successfully permeated the major part of the
institution's thinking. There is no doubt that the SFCS project was a most
significant influence in that change. On a policy level the new direction
is now institutional doctrine. It was clearly and eloquently stated by the
CATIE Director in his speech on the occasion of the celebration of
Turrialba's twenty-fifth anniversary:

Present technology, in general, has been developed for farmers who
have the economic resources to implement it. This technology is
aimed at maximization of yields, a strategy requiring application
of high levels of inputs at appropriate times. It requires econo-
mic resources, as well as certain level of education, to adapt it.
This predicament becomes worse, and even more complicated, when an
attempt is made to apply to the small farms of the tropical zones,
a technology generated in the temperate zone and geared to the
economy of the developed countries. It is obvious that basic, in-
depth studies of technologies appropriate to the small farmer are
needed, keeping in mind his limitations to mention a few land,
inputs and education.

We must acknowledge the interest of the international community in
agricultural research as expressed through the creation and sup-
port of various international centers. These centers occupy a
definite place and play an important role in certain stages of











research. They were responsible for the dramatic increases in
wheat and rice production, what is known as the "Green
Revolution". But despite these impressive endeavors, the tech-
nology generated has not spread to the great mass of farmers, and
despite the bold efforts of these centers, hunger and malnutrition
persist. Food reserves fell in 1973 to the alarming level of a
world crisis, overshadowed only by the energy crisis due to the
latter's great economic impact.

CATIE, through its regional projection, has been responsible for
stimulating or strengthening research work on production systems
in the countries of the Isthmus, especially in the area of annual
crops for the small farmer. This type of research requires a
change of viewpoint. In this approach, research activities are
interdisciplinary and oriented directly toward the farmer. This
differs from the traditional method of research conducted in
separate disciplines at the experimental station.

One of the factors contributing most decisively to strengthening
the Center, and to developing its own unique character, is the
emphasis on research as the major element in generating an
appropriate technology for the small farmer. CATIE's emphasis on
research as its main function is greatly enhanced by its orien-
tation toward production systems, thereby identifying it inter-
nationally as having a defined potential, and as being different
from other centers. This is complemented by CATIE's unique and
advantageous position among the regional and international centers
of having the related disciplines of agricultural, and forestry
production under the same roof.

Research has thus become the framework for the basis of CATIE's
work, and its main function, oriented toward production systems,
is to generate adequate technology for the small farmer.1

Operational Orientation

CATIE's new small farmer systems orientation significantly impacted on
the operations of the agricultural scientists associated with the
institution's annual crops program. To understand how different crops would
be better cultivated together within alternative systems, agricultural
scientists specialized in certain crops --corn, wheat, yucca, beans-- and in
entomology, soils and fertilizers and herbicides, developed an inter-
disciplinary approach to the task. The evaluation team's interviews with
CATIE's scientists confirmed that this was a major breakthrough directly
related to the execution of the project. However, we did find that the
interdiscipline only marginally included social scientists such as anthropo-
logists and economists during the base-line survey stage and even less
during field research. The consequence, as is noted elsewhere, was a
neglect of many important decisions facing rural households such as alter-


1 Published in Activities at Turrialba, Vol. 6 No. 4, October December,
1978 pp. 3-4.











native uses of labor, the division of labor within the household, and such
other important factors as the market opportunities for alternative pro-
ducts, credit availability and relative costs of inputs (seeds, fertilizers,
pesticides, etc.) to the farm. The interdisciplinary orientation among the
agronomic scientists within the annual crops division was solid, but, for
the other essential disciplines, were only marginal to the enterprise.
Moreover, it was equally clear from our interviews that the scientists out-
side the annual crops program, in livestock, forestry and natural resources,
had not yet accepted the interdisciplinary approach. This is understandable
since the SFCS project concentrated on annual crops. But the follow-on
AID/CATIE project, just initiated at the time of our visits, goes further to
support production systems thus incorporating animals, forage, trees and
tree crops into the farm systems research, for a more complete rural house-
hold systems perspective. It is reasonable to assume that this will broaden
the interdisciplinary orientation at CATIE beyond the annual crops, pri-
marily agronomist, boundaries. It is hoped that social scientists will be
so incorporated into the enterprise as to create a fuller and more compre-
hensive interdisciplinary capacity.


Methodology

Although the SFCS project grew out of the initial work at CATIE, it
went well beyond it. The initial method was to simulate, on a small plot at
the Turrialba research station, several mixes of crop systems and then to
conduct controlled experiments with incremental changes to the system aimed
at increasing total production. The early idea was to develop systems
packages or technical packages (tech-packs), the results of which had been
carefully tested under the controlled conditions of the station, and then
extend them to the farmers with analogous soil and climatic environments.

The AID/CATIE project recognized that this interesting start was mis-
sing two major elements: the critical factor of the small farmer himself
and his thinking about and working of the system plus the growing conditions
of the different ecological zones found throughout Central America.
Therefore, the project called for a transport of the methodology away from
the station to the plots of the small farmers throughout the Isthmus.
Baseline socio-economic and agronomic surveys were conducted in the target
areas of participating countries. And once participating farmers were
selected (see the country reports for details), the scientists began to work
the research methodology on small plots within the holding.

It was clear from our interviews that to a greater or lesser degree,
the participating farmers were little consulted about the trials to be
tested on their holdings. In the majority of cases, the methodology of
controlled scientific research at Turrialba had simply been transported from
the research station to another place. The scientist was fully in charge.
The farmer was little or not at all involved. He was an interested
observer, sometimes contributing labor to the plot, sometimes benefitting
from the dialogues with the scientists and from the subsequent harvest.











From the point of view of many agronomic scientists reasonable stan-
dards of validity and reliability required such an approach. From an AID
management perspective this methodology provided a quantifiable output,
eight to ten carefully tested tech-packs ready for validation and extension
by national institutions to analogous ecological zones of the Isthmus.
Indeed, that output expectation was incorporated into the project paper.

The debate around this issue was continuing at the time of the evalua-
tion team's visits. Several CATIE scientists had become convinced that the
inclusion of the farmer in the research on systems had to allow for his pre-
ferences, his work behavior, and his total household and farm management.
Thus a set number of tech-packs was a constraint on developing more open-
ended alternative systems that could be described, analysed and used for
further adaptive work. They resisted the idea of producing easy-to-transfer
models for analagous ecological zones precisely because of the individuality
of the households and their farming practices.

The team concluded that both sides of this debate had merit. We con-
cluded that the output objective of tech-packs was an excellent discipline
for the researchers (most admitted it as being so) in forming a time and
product boundary to the research effort and a framework for documenting and
analyzing the results of the trials. Yet it ran the risk of justifying the
selection of passive participants and therefore excluding one of the most
important elements (in the minds of many the most important element) of the
farmer's household resource and farm system management as an essential fac-
tor to be observed and understood through the research. Our conclusion is
that, under the new production system project (SFPS), both methods should be
pursued.

The impact on CATIE of pursuing the interdisciplinary testing of crop-
ping systems on farmers' land has been profound. It has reinforced a broad
commitment to the small producer, and a desire for greater understanding
of his world. But without a methodology that includes the analysis of the
farm household's management of the system and its interactions with the
total socio-economic environment as part of the effort, the applicability
and replicability of the agronomic findings will be dubious. The whole-
system concept of the SFCS and the SFPS research is clearly violated and,
to an extent, invalidated, when the vital human role in the system is not
also systematically observed, analysed and factored into the assessment of
production alternatives of what, where, how, by and for whom.

Organization and Staff

During the SFCS project's execution and, in large part because of it,
the CATIE staff grew from 34 professionals to 80. AID funding supported a
small portion of that growth (12) and the rest represents expansion to meet
new demands from other funding sources attracted to CATIE largely by the new
small farm systems orientation.











To better deal with this growth in both the research portfolio and in
special training activities, CATIE did effect one reorganization in 1978.
However, the concentration of most SFCS work remained in the Annual Crops
Program. The reorganization failed to create a genuine cross cutting, on-
going capacity to access and manage technical resources across other organ-
ization lines (Perennials, Animal Production, and Renewable Resources). The
problem is even more apparent under the new SFPS project which requires such
a capacity to cut across CATIE's organization structure to accomplish the
project's objectives than it was in the SFCS project. The most glaring
organizational and scientific resource gap, however, lies in CATIE's failure
to include a clear place within the organization for the behavioral scien-
ces. CATIE has no permanent staff capacity for socio-economic analysis.
The one permanent staff economist is not sufficient to the task. Clearly a
socio-anthropological research capacity within the "interdiscipline" that
CATIE is trying to form is essential to meet that commitment. Hopefully,
this difficiency will soon be remedied; we were assured that it would be.
But we were not convinced that management had yet come to terms with the
issue of how to turn its predominately disciplinary organization structure
into an interdisciplinary operational matrix.

Financial Management

When the SFCS project began, CATIE's annual budget was only $1,406,000
(1973/74). The year the project ended (1979), the budget had grown to
nearly $8,000,000. Much of this growth was due to special donor funding
attracted to it because of the institution's new orientation and its per-
ceived promise for developmental initiatives in Central America.

Yet, the SFCS project put an early strain on CATIE's limited core staff
and funds to meet the counterpart required by the AID/ROCAP project.
Consequently, with accelerating demand for CATIE's services and additional
projects with other donors, the administration has not been able to build a
solid cash reserve fund to meet cyclical cash flow problems, nor has it
given adequate attention --until recently-- to the need to strengthen its
core funding as a proportion of the total budget. Currently the core
budget accounts for approximately 20% of operations with nearly 70% coming
from special project funds. This results in a tendency toward periodic
financial crisis and staff insecurity caused by a lack of reasonable
guarantees of tenure beyond the life of the short term projects. Short of
a major improvement in the core budget through increases in membership
quotas (IICA, University of Costa Rica, Government of Costa Rica, and other
state members), a major long-term non specific program support grant, or a
sale of assets to establish a working capital reserve (none of which seems
likely), CATIE and the major international donors --including AID-- should
consider other alternatives. Among them would be substantial initial
advances against new projects, and a more appropriate administrative
overhead formula to include capital and cash reserve requirements. Donor
agreements should be longer-term, from 6 to 10 years, so that key scien-
tific staff could be recruited with reasonable security of tenure and a











more complete research, verification, dissemination cycle incorporated into
project design.

Management of Field Operations and Relations with IICA

Before the signing of the AID/CATIE agreement to undertake the Cropping
Systems project, CATIE's future appeared to be tied to the Turrialba sta-
tion with its links to IICA as an Interamerican research and training
center and with the University of Costa Rica under its graduate agri-
cultural education program. This project was the vehicle for propelling it
toward field activities in all of Central America. Through it CATIE
learned how to operate a field staff jointly with IICA country offices as
the project evolved. It can now provide timely and effective logistical
support to that staff. The project made that possible. It is now an
integral part of CATIE/IICA operations with their collaborative field
operations in all six of the Isthmian states. It is quite likely that,
without the resources and the region-wide farmer outreach concept of this
activity, CATIE would be today much as it was in 1974: without the potent
field research capacity and influence of a regional institution and without
the well-managed joint operations mode for support from IICA.

The difference is illustrated by the fact that it took nearly three
years under the 1975 SFCS project to get agreement among the five Central
American States to collaborate in the activity. Yet it took only 60 days to
get all six of the Isthmian states to agree to the 1979 Small Farmer
Production Systems project, the AID supported follow-on to SFCS.

The evaluation team does feel that CATIE and IICA do need further work
to improve their joint management at the field level. But each is aware of
the opportunities to do so, and improvements in communications, division of
labor and joint operations are planned.

Teaching and Training: Evidence of Project Impact

There was substantially more training on cropping systems at CATIE in
1979 than there was before the SFCS project was initiated in 1974. In 1974,
only one "systems" related course (3% of all courses) was offered in the
Master's Program. By 1979, however, four courses (9%) listed in the CATIE
catalogue were rated by key informants as being related in some way to
farming systems concepts. Moreover, in 1974 no short courses were offered
on cropping or production systems; but in 1980, 18 farming systems courses
were conducted. Finally, out of a faculty of 40 in 1974, only seven had an
area of concentration in systems, but by 1979, 14 of 63 professors listed
farming systems as one of their areas of concentration. Such empirical data
points serve as a loose form of validation for the more general comments of
CATIE staff about how farming systems thinking had influenced teaching at
CATIE.

The specialization in the CATIE Master's Program with the most direct
utilization of farming systems thinking is the Annual Crops Program. By











1980 a majority of the short courses offered by the Annual Crops faculty
were related to systems and a course in "Systems of Agricultural Production"
had been incorporated into the Master's Program. Furthermore, in 1979 the
number of students (12) entering CATIE in the Annual Crops Program for the
first time surpassed the previous lead program, Animal Production (10).
This meant that 39% of the 1979-81 CATIE entering students had an area of
concentration in Annual Crops, while only 32% had an area of concentration
in Animal Production. Since staff funded by ROCAP's SFCP Program performed
much of the systems work within the Annual Crops Program, one can argue that
the SFCP Program is substantially responsible for the increased emphasis on
systems training. It must be noted, however, that interest in small farmer
cropping and production systems has increased world-wide during the same
period. This is seen in the growing volume of farming systems literature,
like Richard Harwood's book on Small Farm Development and in publications of
the international research centers. Thus, the influence of the ROCAP-funded
SFCS program on CATIE must be weighed in light of such other factors.

How Far Has Systems Thinking Penetrated the Curriculum?

Many of our informants argued that while farming systems thinking has
had a substantial impact on CATIE as an institution, such thinking is by no
means predominant. In fact, they argue that the Masters and Training Course
offerings are still oriented along disciplinary lines (perennial crops, an-
nual crops, animal production, and renewable natural resources). They
believe that the impact has been greatest in the Annual Crops Program and
least in the Animal Production Program, while intermediate level impacts
have taken place in the Perennial Crops and Renewable Natural Resources
Programs.

Some of the more formal data support these assertions. For instance,
if one analyzes the student composition of Dr. Robert Hart's course in
"Systems of Agricultural Production", one finds that 50% of the students in
1979, and 67% in 1980, came from the Annual Crops Program (See Table 4). In
contrast, no students concentrating in Animal Production took the course in
either of the years it was offered. At the same time, the number of
systems-related courses identified in the 1978-79 Master's Program was
highest for the Tropical Crops Program (Annual and Perennial Crops combined)
and lowest for Animal Production. Finally, in the area of short courses,
Annual Crops offered the highest proportion of their training courses in
systems-related areas. Animal Production short courses in systems-related
areas, as a proportion of their total training courses, scored third out of
the four programs.

While the data might actually overstate the degree of separation of
animal production activities from other activities at the Institute, they do
raise question about the kind of role that Animal Production Program faculty
and students will play in the new AID-supported small farmer production
systems project. Will the animal component of this new activity be treated
within the whole-farm system? There is cause for concern.









B-10


Farm Management and Small Rural-Household Budgeting

The evaluation team has concluded that a practical integrating focus is
needed in the CATIE curriculum and in its systems research. The concept of
interdisciplinary team work on agronomic aspects of the research and its
applications is a laudatory advance. But there is need for a means of
operationalizing the products in the context of the small-farm household's
world. Our recommendation to CATIE and to ROCAP collaborators is that a
training module on farm management and small rural-household budgeting
should be developed, based on careful case work with farmers now par-
ticipating in CATIE systems research. One approach to this is demonstrated
in the record keeping systems developed with small farmers by Dr. John K.
Hatch in several Latin American countries.2 This simplified system of input-
output budgeting, coupled with analysis by behavioral and economic social
scientists of labor usage by farm households plus market analysis, could be
combined to provide the beginning of a powerful focal orientation to the pro-
duction and cropping systems approach. It could also serve CATIE as the
means for further drawing together across the boundaries of its product-line
oriented organization the essential pieces to develop the theoretical and
applied material needed. To this emphasis could be added a broad rural sec-
tor management perspective so that systems students and scientists would be
reminded of the larger context into which the small rural households of
Central America must make decisions that link backward and forward within the
rural sector in their societies.



THE IMPACT OF CATIE/ROCAP SFCS PROJECT ON OTHER ORGANIZATIONS


CATIE and the International Agricultural Research Community

There are a number of indicators of the international recognition that
the SFCS project has brought to CATIE. For example, in 1976 the Technical
Advisory Committee (TAC) of the Consultative Group on International
Agricultural Research (CGIAR) conducted a review of Farming Systems Research
at the international agricultural research centers. The CGIAR recognized
that a critical part of the solution of the world's food problem lies in
increasing the production of the many millions of small farms in the deve-
loping countries. They noted, however, that little research had been
devoted nationally or internationally to the intensification of these small
farm systems. Most research had been focused on single crop or animal pro-
duction in relative isolation from other components of farming systems.
Though this review focused on the work of the international centers, the
report mentions that some of the most interesting corrective work was going
on at CATIE. A section of the 1976 report is devoted to describing the AID-
supported activity at CATIE.

Another indicator of the impact which this project has had on CATIE's
position in the international community is a recent study by the



2 John K. Hatch, Rural Development Services, Ann Arbor, Michigan.









B-11


International Agricultural Development Service (IADS) under contract to the
World Bank. The purpose of the study was to develop recommendations to
strengthen agricultural research and farmer advisory services in Central
America and Panama. The study makes many recommendations. Of all the
recommendations, six were identified for special attention by the countries
in the region and external assistance agencies. Of these six special recom-
mendations three involved CATIE. In them, CATIE was recommended because of
its proven ability to work with small farmers as demonstrated through the
Small Farm Cropping Systems Project.

These examples reflect the kind of impact that AID has sought to
achieve. By supporting an experimental and relatively untried "new"
approach to agricultural research on small farm development, widespread
attention and partial emulation and support is being gained from other donor
organizations.

Support From Other Donors to CATIE

The staff at CATIE has pointed out that the SFCS project has been very
important in attracting support from other donors for related activities.
In a review of their current project portfolio, we identified sixteen small-
farmer related projects with a total value of $5,390,810. They are listed
in the table at the end of this Appendix.

In addition to these projects, CATIE is currently negotiating with a
variety of bilateral agencies (Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom,
Canada) and international agencies (OAS, IDB, the World Bank). One such
discussion would lead to funding for a small farmer project between CATIE
and the government of Honduras.

Dr. Ed Webber, of the Canadian International Development Research
Center (IDRC) in Bogota, Colombia, confirmed that the SFCS project played a
central, if not exclusive, role in the development of three IDRC-funded pro-
jects.

The team also contacted Dr. Robert C. Kramer of the Kellogg Foundation,
who confirmed that during his visit to CATIE as Kellogg's Agricultural
Program officer for Latin America, the senior staff of CATIE had emphasized
the work done and capabilities developed through the project. His favorable
review of these activities played a central role in Kellogg's decision to
approve a 1.1 million dollar Technology Transfer grant for training Central
American agricultural research and extension personnel.

CATIE's claim was further substantiated by other IDRC staff members.
Dr. Carol Vlassoff, at IDRC headquarters in Ottawa, Canada, made inquiries
on behalf of the evaluation team to confirm that CATIE had used their SFCS
work in arguing their case for IDRC support for improving small farm produc-
tion systems in Honduras, for a similar project in Nicaragua, and for a
regional semi-arid food crops project. She also pointed out that Dr.
Mateo, the CATIE resident SFCS scientist (in Honduras) had helped develop a
bilateral project to be supported there by IDRC with CATIE support.









B-12


Impact on AID/Washington

CATIE's work in the SFCS project has become widely known in AID
Washington. When USAID missions in Panama and Honduras requested assistance
in developing projects in agricultural research and small farm production,
they were referred by the Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)
to CATIE for technical assistance in project design. Richard Hughes, Rural
Development officer in LAC/DR, pointed out that as a result of this project,
on-farm research with small farmers is now accepted in the LAC Bureau and in
both the Agriculture and the Rural Development Offices of the Development
Support Bureau (DSB). "They have been sensitized to it and see it as a good
approach." When a Development Support Bureau centrally funded project aimed
at synthesizing farming systems research and development methodologies began
to be designed, CATIE was one of the first places visited. Its methodology
has been selected as one of two special case studies for the world-wide DSB
applied research project. Finally, when AID was recently requested by the
White House to explore ways of increasing assistance to national agri-
cultural research efforts, CATIE was immediately suggested as an important
example of innovative approaches to examine.








B-13


21 1 j1J~ I


TME


1. UK, (CDA) 1976-78

2. CIP (Int'l 1976-80
Potato Cent.)
3. Oregon State/ 1976-79
IPPG (Int'l Plant
Protection Cent.)
4. Peace Corps/ 1976-in-
Action definite
5. Canada IDRC 1976-79
(Int'l Development
and Research Cent.)
6. Canada IDRC 1978-80

7. Canada IDRC 1978-79

8. OAS (Org. of Am. 1978-79
Sts.)

9. Honduras INA 1978-79
INA (Instituto
National Agrario)
10. Peace Corps/ 1977-83
Corps/Action
11. USA, IBM 1979-81

12. USA Kellogg 1979-83
Kellogg
Foundation

13. (EEC) European 1978-80
Econ. Community
14. IBD, Interamer- 1979-82
ican Devel. Bank
15. OAS 1978-79

16. Canada IDRC 1978-82


TOTAL


AMXNT OF
SUPPORT


$ 50,000

$ 320,000

$ 180,000


$ 50,000/
year
$ 475,000
Canadian

$ 120,710
Canadian
$ 120,900
Canadian
$ 125,000


$ 20,000


$ 350,000

$ 60,000

$1,114,000



$ 570,000

$1,650,000

$ 23,900

$ 161,300
Canadian


$5,390,810


BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF
PROJECT


Study of role of insects in food production
system.
Adapt potato varieties for tropical lowland
snall farm cropping systems
Develop alternative disease management stra-
tegies for Central American salln farmers

Provide Peace Corps Volunteers to assist
CATIE
Milk and meat production for snall farmers
using residues of harvests

Applied research on anall farm cropping
systems in Honduras
Applied research on snall farm cropping
systems in Nicaragua
Cropping systems research caopcnent of
Western Honduras integrated regional devel-
opment project
Improved cacao hybrid seeds fcr snall farm-
ers in Honduras

Technical assistance to strengthen snall
farm cropping systems work at CATIE
Training and human resource development for
snall farm production systems research
Institutional development of Natinal Re-
search and Extension agencies in six Central
American countries. Focused on training
and tech.
Rural Development Pilot project. Small farm
production research and technology transfer
Applied research on milk production for
snall farmers of Central America
Small farm production system research in
Honduras
Applied research on drought-resistant food
crops for mnll farms in semi-arid regions
of Central America





































APPENDIX C

EVALUATION OF CATIE'S PRODUCTION DATA











APPENDIX C



EVALUATION OF CATIE'S PRODUCTION DATA


Baseline Data

Baseline information on farms and farmers for the areas participating
in the farming systems program were broad in scope and deep in detail.
Information gathered on each area included soils and climate charac-
teristics, pests and diseases, crops, general geographic information,
markets and marketing, and anthropological information on the farm fami-
lies. Both available secondary information from censuses and special sur-
veys and direct field surveys were used in data collection and analysis.
Special consultancy reports were developed on each major data element,
methodology established and reviewed, and procedural guidelines developed
to assist future researchers in selection of areas, conducting initial
diagnostic studies, identification of production constraints, designing
experiments and selection of alternative production schemes.

An Evolving Art

This work as well as subsequent efforts to assess the economic poten-
tial for the alternative systems tested represent a forward step in produc-
tion data collection and analysis. This is new and unfamiliar terrain for
most agricultural economists. Although some criticisms are made here along
with some suggestions for further work, CATIE must be credited for its
efforts in the base line surveys and in the scientific measurement of the
results from the cropping experiments. This art will further evolve us
more research on cropping and production systems requires the use of alter-
native methods for both agronomic and economic measurement.

Need for Marketing Data

Perhaps the weakest data element was the collection and use of
marketing information. While extensive studies were carried out under a
special grant from DS/AGR, the relationship of these studies to selection
of farms and crop enterprises was tenuous. Price and cost information were
generated and used in expost evaluations of net income effects of alter-
native crops, but the information was not used to determine the cropping
alternatives or to select research sites. Attention to market analysis was
apparently added into the project somewhat belatedly, and then only as an
ad hoc activity supported by outside funds. Furthermore, review of the new
follow-on project in production systems indicates that market analysis
still occupies a somewhat tenuous position in the project design.

It is strongly recommended that demand analysis be thoroughly
integrated into the baseline analysis employed in the Production Systems
project. Two sets of studies should be especially emphasized. First,
price analysis for each crop tested should include a thorough investigation
of variability over time with careful estimation of risk functions based on












price variability. Second, the size of expected demand for prospective
crop alternatives must be projected to estimate long term expected average
prices for calculating expected net returns to farmers.

Data on Field Trials

Agronomic practices for traditional and alternative cropping alter-
natives were recorded in great detail, estimating hours of labor per prac-
tice over time and total investment in purchased inputs. Thus,
quantitative differences in labor use and application of purchased inputs
were measured for each alternative tested and compared directly to the far-
mers traditional practices. Cost differences were thus calculated directly
by comparing actual data for the trial farm.

Using this methodology, the economic implications were impressive.
However, as CATIE notes, the limited size of test plots and the short time
frames covered by the experiment make generalizations impossible at this
point.

A major methodological problem that warrants further examination is in
the economic analysis of traditional versus alternative practices in that
the parameters for the traditional practice were estimated from survey data
for the area as a whole, while data for the alternative were taken only from
the farms participating in the research. Error of an indeterminate magni-
tude could have resulted from attempting to compare cooperators' data with
averages for the zone. Cooperators may have been better managers than
average, soils may have been significantly different than the zonal
average, or rainfall patterns may have deviated from the norm for colla-
borating farms. In short, paired comparisons of yields and costs may be
preferable as pairing could eliminate error arising from such uncontrolled
variables.

Another practice that bears careful examination is that of estimating
factor prices and product prices on the basis of data for only one month:
factor/product prices could be temporarily distorted, seasonal changes in
price relatives may not have been accounted for, and temporary shifts in
either supply or demand in local markets could distort the monthly average
price relative to longer-term norms.

However, the rather high percentage increases in net returns calculated
for the alternative practices signal the need to view them as indicative.
Additional years of experimental results on much more extensive applications
as well as alternative methods of analysis are required before reliable
estimates of economic benefits can be computed.

Labor Costs to Individual Households

In this context, more attention needs to be given to the analysis of the
labor factor in calculating not only costs of alternative systems but in











calculating its elasticity. The alternative opportunities in the off-farm
labor market require greater attention in order to determine labor's availa-
bility and at what factor cost. Behavioral scientists point out that econo-
mic assumptions frequently fail to take into account the social costs and
benefits to the household system that alternative uses of labor involve at
various points in the household's developmental cycle. This involves a
better understanding of the sex-role and age-group division of labor in the
household, the availability of outside-hire or barter labor, and how alter-
native human activities at certain seasons affect these availabilities.

Benefit/Cost Calculus for Farming Systems Research

Farming systems research would appear to be quite costly per unit of
research activity undertaken, given that highly trained scientists work with
a limited number of on-farm trials. However, the quality and immediate
applicability of the results may be much higher than under traditional
experimentation/extention systems. For example, improved feedback between
farmer and researcher may eliminate errors in identification of truly useful
research activities. Furthermore, conducting the research on collaborating
farms should improve the adaptability of the research results as some adap-
tive trial and error action would already have been done before farmers
actually adopt the recommended practice. In short, higher absolute costs
may be more than compensated by quicker, more relevant or adoptable results.

The true internal rate of return to investment in farming systems
research probably depends primarily on the degree to which the time between
experiment and farmer adoption can be reduced by improved precision in iden-
tification of farmers' requirements. Two primary elements would contribute
to the benefit stream generated by farming systems research. First, innova-
tions that "fit" the farmers socio-economic system could be generated
through collaborating more readily than through traditional research,
demonstration, extension system, enabling in effect a combining of some
research and extension "steps" into a single research/demonstration step.
Diffusion of results is thus theoretically enhanced by improved "relevancy"
of the research trial itself, and the demonstration effect of carrying out
research in collaboration with selected farmers in an area.

It is too early in the project to measure adoption rates so no attempt
can be made to generate benefit/cost information. It is recommended that
data be gathered on adoption rates over the next few years and that this
information be applied to improved estimates of changes in yields and net
returns to alternative systems toward generating benefit-cost estimates.






































APPENDIX D

NICARAGUA COUNTRY REPORT










APPENDIX D


CATIE EVALUATION TEAM


NICARAGUA COUNTRY REPORT


I. LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE CATIE EXPERIENCE IN NICARAGUA 1976-79

II. REVIEW OF CATIE PROJECT IMPACTS IN NICARAGUA 1976-80

A. General Overview

B. Impact on Farmers

General

Number and Type of Farmers

Farmer Participation

Knowledge and Adoption

Yields

C. Impact on National and International Institutions

General

Formal Agreements and Relationships

Coordinated Research with National Organizations

Dissemination of Findings by National Organizations

Allocation of National and International Program Resources to CATIE
Program

Role of the Nicaragua USAID Mission

Sustainability in a Revolutionary Situation

D. Impact of the SFCS Methodology on the Researchers, Farmers, and on
CATIE

A Flexible Research Approach

The Ability to Play Multiple Roles

Impact on CATIE













I. LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE CATIE EXPERIENCE IN NICARAGUA 1976-79


1. The small farmer cropping systems (SFCS) methodology used in Nicaragua
helped produce two cropping systems alternatives (maize-common bean relay and
sorghum-common bean system) which produced higher yields and income in on-farm
experimental plots than traditional alternatives. Preliminary analysis of
small scale efforts at verification of these results with larger groups of
farmers in the Matagalpa (15 farmers in 1979) and Esteli (18 farmers in 1979)
areas reveal lower yields than in the experimental plots but higher than in
the traditional alternatives.

2. While the SFCS methodology generated productive cropping alternatives
at the experimental level which maintained their validity during preliminary
verification efforts, the methodology appeared to serve an additional very
important function. The SFCS methodology helped to break down some of the
traditional barriers which separate agricultural researchers from small
farmers. The SFCS approach helped to move researchers away from the experi-
ment station and from research on single crops, to on farm settings where they
would learn in great detail about small farmers and their problems. The
alternatives generated and the detailed knowledge of small farmer systems
compiled are substantially different from the results of more traditional
agricultural research. In fact, the SFCS methodology appears to require a
substantial change in the agricultural researcher's frame of reference.

3. While the SFCS approach helps agricultural researchers gain new
insights about farmers and their problems, there is still a substantial
difference between doing research on small farms and doing research with the
active interest and participation of small farmers. The SFCS methodology does
not insure that researchers will involve farmers in the process, or that they
will learn as a result of experience. Thus under the worst circumstances the
linkage between research, verification, and dissemination may never take
place. For example, in the San Isidro del General area of Costa Rica, the
researchers learned a great deal about small farm practices. However, the
farmers interviewed had little idea what the researchers were doing on their
land. They could not repeat the objectives of the experiments and had not
adopted most of the agricultural practices demonstrated. In contrast, in
Nicaragua the farmers interviewed were well aware of the purposes of the ex-
periments. They could describe both the experiments and verification efforts
in detail and many were going to use the new methods in the next planting
season. There are a number of plausible explanations for this difference:












a. In Costa Rica the researchers may have been more interested in estab-
lishing basic information about agronomic conditions in developing
cropping alternatives for small farmers. (Some agricultural researchers
argue that during this preliminary research stage farmers may under-
stand little because researchers are working on initial experiments
which are hard to describe.)

b. The Nicaraguan CATIE team may have built their cropping alternative
experiments more carefully upon the specific problem farmers said
they had. They may also have tied their experiments more closely to
recognizable current practices of farmers in the area.

c. The researchers in Nicaragua may have worked to involve the farmers
more intimately in the experimental efforts and their purposes.

d. The charisma of the team leader and team member's ability to communi-
cate with farmers might have made a substantial difference.

e. Nicaraguan team members appeared to be pursuing a research-verification-
dissemination strategy instead of a research only strategy.

f* Experiments were designed with agronomic variables in mind but
farmer participants were selected on the basis of other criteria
as well. For example, many farmer participant fincas (large farms)
not only were representative of the appropriate agronomic con-
ditions, but the farmers themselves were sometimes chosen because
they were community leaders or innovators who might help in later
dissemination efforts.

g. Unanticipated environmental conditions worked in favor of the
researchers and their cropping alternatives. For example, an infes-
tation of slugs during the September-December 1979 planting season
(2nd crop) destroyed much of the bean crop of small farmers in the
Esteli area. Farmers participating in the verification of the
sorghum-bean alternative, believed that they lost less of their bean
crop than their neighbors, and that in addition they harvested a
successful sorghum crop that their neighbors did not have. Thus,
many farmers interviewed believed they had powerful personal evidence
of the utility and risk averting characteristics of the sorghum-bean
alternative. Preliminary analysis of rather incomplete production
data supports this assertion.

h. Because multiple organizations (INTA, INVIERNO and the Banco Nacional)
worked in the same area as CATIE, farmers appeared to be more used to
using technical assistance than in some of CATIE's older country
projects.












In addition, some general conditions may have facilitated all work in Nica-
ragua:

a. In Nicaragua CATIE worked with two relatively new national organiza-
tions (INTA and INVIERNO). Because these organizations were without
set patterns or rituals and because they were searching for viable
programs and approaches, CATIE may have had more collaborative
support in Nicaragua than it got from the more well established
organizations in Costa Rica, Guatemala and Honduras.

b. Other donor organizations to the IDRC contributed substantially to
making the Nicaragua through funding and staff assistance.

c. CATIE may have been able to catalyze its Nicaragua problem quickly
because it deployed more resources for initial base line surveys
and experimental work than in some of the other countries. CATIE
felt that Nicaragua's close proximity to Costa Rica made it
easier to drive from Turrialba, Costa Rica to the sites in
Nicaragua than to the other Central American sites. Thus,
the CATIE central staff contributed substantial time and effort.

d. Because of the political situation the Government of Nicaragua
defined the area where CATIE worked as a high impact area. They
cleared many of the bureaucratic roadblocks more quickly than might
occur in a less politically critical situation.

4. The Nicaraguan project team's conscious effort to link experimenta-
tion to verification and dissemination may provide a few innovative sugges-
tions for shortening the time lag between initial experimentation and ultimate
impact on a larger group of farmers. By selecting farmers for experiments who
met both the agronomic requirements of the research as well as community
leadership requirements, the Nicaraguan team helped forge a strong natural
link between research and verification and dissemination in the community.
The researchers capitalized on the high status of community leaders which lent
the experiments credibility and generated interest. Furthermore, the leaders
themselves helped generate interest and commitment of individuals in the
community to participate in the verification stage.

5. Linking research more closely to verification and dissemination is
not without its dangers. For example, the revolution in Nicaragua disrupted
the formal verification stage for the two cropping alternatives in both 1978
and 1979. Several times team members wisely chose not to risk their lives
to help initiate planting and later to collect data. Thus, formal verifica-
tion of the alternatives was never fully completed.













Fears of large-scale shortages of basic grains in the post revolutionary
period have led the staff of one of the Rural Development Ministry (MIDA)
field offices to attempt to disseminate the sorghum-bean alternative even
though it has not been carefully verified. Difficulties may be encountered.

6. The Nicaragua CATIE experience helps to bring out one major concep-
tual problem of the SFCS methodology. While the SFCS approach provides power-
ful information about small farmer's fincas as systems, there has been little
attempt in the CATIE project to make detailed studies of the relationship of
crop alternative proposed for the finca to the market system. Under the worst
of circumstances, cropping system alternatives could be disseminated widely
without considering whether the crops involved have sufficient markets. For
example, in Nicaragua, the sorghum-bean alternative is being disseminated
without serious study of the market limitations or demand requirements.
Because Nicaragua is expected to have shortages in basic grains during the
1980 planting season, the failure to study the sorghum-bean marketing climate
may cause few significant problems. Such a failure in other countries could
result in actual income loss to farmers.

7. As the Nicaraguan government moves to serve both small farmers and to
organize landless groups in asentimientos (collective production activities),
the SFC methodology faces a challenge. It has proved useful in Nicaragua
for farmers in the 3 to 10 manzana group. Might it be useful as well in making
asentimientos more productive? How useful is it with farmers with less than 3
manzanas of land? While their productivity may increase, improvements in
levels of living may be more severely constrained by structural factors such
as lack of land.


II. REVIEW OF CATIE PROJECT IMPACTS IN NICARAGUA 1976-80

A. General Overview


From the moment one sets foot in Nicaragua in 1980 it is impossible to
forget that a revolution has taken place. Sculpture-like configurations of
twisted steel along the highway from Augusto Cesar Sandino Airport to Managua
serve as a reminder that the area once contained much of Managua's light
industry. Fields of rubble in Masaya, Matagalpa, and Esteli have replaced the
central markets. Salt is hard to get and everyone has their own story about
the revolution and its aftermath. Signs and posters from the Frente Nacional
de Liberacion Sandinista are everywhere.












Given the situation it is hard to imagine that the CATIE project in small
farmer cropping systems (SFCS) would have had much impact during these turbu-
lent years. In fact, bloody fighting with heavy casualties and damage to
infrastructure took place in the Matagalpa-Esteli area where the major project
efforts were concentrated. Yet to the surprise of our evaluation team, the
project appeared to have functioned effectively during this period of intense
change. Many of its institutional relationships in Nicaragua have been
maintained, particularly at the field level. In fact it is about to embark on
a joint effort with a government agency field office to disseminate one of its
alternatives in the Matagalpa-Esteli area. It was apparent to our team that
the project had a series of unusual impacts. But before we review these
impacts it would be useful to describe the project's general focus and objec-
tives.

CATIE's SFCS effort in Nicaragua contains a set of loosely defined steps
(see Exhibit 1) which lead from initial base line surveys to the diffusion of
technical information to farmers. Some of these steps are: 1) design and
implementation of surveys and secondary data collection; 2) use of these
materials to compile profiles of target area farmers and their farming prac-
tices and environments; 3) design and implementation of on farm research; 4)
development of alternatives for small farmers; 5) testing the validity of the
alternatives with larger groups of farmers (verification); and 6) dissemina-
tion of the alternatives through national institutions.

The initial SFCS project proposed for Nicaragua attempted to accomplish
only the first four of those steps in this process. These objectives were
accomplished quickly and the team attempted to carry out steps five and six
(verification and dissemination activities) as well. Briefly, a project
agreement between the Nicaraguan Ministry of Agriculture and CATIE was signed
in October of 1975. A national advisory committee was developed in 1976 to
oversee the project and set policy. Baseline studies were completed during
1976. Small farm experiments were carried out in 1976-77. Two cropping
system alternatives were proposed in 1977 (Maize-bean and sorghum-bean). A
series of important institutional relations were developed throughout the
period. Informal verification activities took place in the Matagalpa area in
1978 and in the Matagalpa and Esteli areas in 1979. In spite of the disrup-
tions of the revolution, the project seemed to have some unusual impacts. Let
us look at some of these impacts in more detail.









D-6


B. Impact on Farmers

General

Impact on farmer participants in the CATIE Nicaragua project appeared to
be more substantial than in the other country projects. A larger group of
farmers was involved. They participated more actively in the project beyond
simply contributing their labor. They appeared to be the most knowledgeable
about the purposes of the experiment and verification trials than any of the
other CATIE country project group farmers. The majority of the farmers
interviewed were very favorably impressed with the new cropping system alter-
native used by CATIE and most were planning to use it. Finally, while the
yields per hectare for the sorghum and frijol alternative were not as high for
farmers during the verification trials as during the experimental trials, they
were substantially higher than for the farmer's usual alternatives.

Number and Type of Farmers

Because the CATIE Nicaragua project completed both experimental and
verification activities, they worked with a larger group of farmers in 1979
(33) than the other country projects. Initially, they performed on farm
experiments with 6 farmers in the Matagalpa area and in 1978 undertook verifi-
cation activities with 25 farmers in the same location. In 1979 verification
activities were undertaken with 33 farmers from the Matagalpa area and 18 from
Esteli (see Exhibits 2-4). The average size of land holding for the verifi-
cation group was 5 manzanas or around 3.5 hectares.

Due to limited time and travel difficulties, it was possible to conduct
depth interviews (of one to two hours in length) with only 24% of those
farmers participating in the 1979 verification exercise (8 of 33). Two of the
farmers had 4 to 10 manzana farms and the other six had less than 4 manzanas.
The average farm size for the group interviewed was 4 manzanas or roughly 2.9
hectares (slightly smaller on an average than those in the verification
group). Both the farmers we interviewed and the farmers in the verification
group had average holdings well below the 7.5 hectare average for the Esteli
area where 36% of the farmers had farms of less than 2.1 hectares and another
36% had between 2.1 and 5.6 hectares (see Exhibit 5).

Farmer Participation in the Project

The CATIE team relied on a unique strategy of selecting farmers based
partly on agronomic variables and partly on their reputation in the community
as leaders and innovators. They consciously assumed that research, verifica-













tion, and dissemination were interrelated activities and that they could
strengthen these linkages by gaining participation from farmer leaders who
might later help in the verification and dissemination process. Farmer
leaders were identified during the initial large-scale survey process under-
taken in the study areas.

Although the staff relied on an area diagnostic survey to gain knowledge
of farming systems in the area, they worked in depth with 6 farmers to iden-
tify some of their problems and concerns. Based on their discussions, the
researchers designed on-farm trials with the six farmers. Although farmers
were not given a major role in selecting alternatives for experimentation, the
alternatives and their pros and cons were discussed. Farmers provided their
labor and were involved in all phases of the experiments and verification
trials. One staff member virtually lived nearby during the planting and
harvest season in 1978 and 1979 and both he and the farmers reported that
their relations were excellent.

Farmer participation in the verification strategy, particularly in
Matagalpa, was based on active assistance of farmer leaders. Staff asked
leaders to identify two to three key individuals in a series of areas around
Matagalpa who might want to participate in a verification trial. These people
were asked to come to a meeting to discuss the project. CATIE's representa-
tive said he made a strategic mistake by not informing the leaders that he
needed farmers with less than 10 manzanas of land (7 hectares) and with
certain agronomic characteristics. However, once the criteria were cleared
up, farmers were then selected for verification activities.

Knowledge and Adoption

All farmers interviewed had a high degree of knowledge about the experi-
ments and verification trials they participated in. They were able to describe
their own cropping systems in detail and then show how the experiments and
trials differed from their own ways of doing things. They described what they
perceived to be some of the benefits of the sorghum-frijol system such as:
natural fence-like qualities of sorghum to serve as a wind break, reduction of
water evaporation from beans, and control of erosion. Most important to all,
however, seemed to be the risk averting property of planting sorghum-frijol
instead of simply frijol in the second planting period. Those in the Esteli
area noted that their neighbors in 1979 who planted only bean lost almost all
of their crop to slugs. In contrast, they lost much of their crop of bean but
harvested sorghum successfully.












All of the 8 farmers felt that the sorghum-bean alternative was useful to
avert risk and increase yields in spite of higher input costs. Six of the 8
farmers said they would use the system next time in their second planting
(September-December 1980). One said he would try vegetable crops instead and
another did not think it was worth planting beans in his area again. In
addition to accepting or rejecting the formal sorghum-frijol alternative, all
8 farmers had adopted at least some new practices (such as fertilizer use)
during the study period which they said they had learned from the researchers.

Yields

The experimental alternatives for maize and bean, and sorghum and bean
presented by CATIE reported substantial increase in yields (KG/hectare) and in
income generated for the maize-bean alternative and the sorghum-bean alterna-
tive when compared to current practice (see Exhibit 6).

Although data was collected on the 1978 and 1979 verification trials, it
was incomplete due to the war. From the existing data for the Matagalpa area,
however, it is possible to look at the KG/Hectare yields for sorghum and bean
for the 1979 second planting season. The data show that while the yields
(KG/Hectare) are less than in the experimental alternative, they are still
higher than for the original alternative used by the farmers (see Exhibit 6).
Full income data was not available.

C. Impact on National and International Institutions

General

Assessment of the impact of the CATIE program on national institutions in
Nicaragua presented special problems. For example, although CATIE's resident,
Anibal Palencia, reported that he had developed good relationships with field,
middle, and upper echelons in both the Nicaraguan Institute of Agricultural
Technology (INTA) and the Institute for Farmer Improvement (INVIERNO), most
upper and middle level public servants fled the country or were replaced in
1979 after General Anastasio Somoza D. left the country. At the same time,
the top level leadership at IICA, where CATIE staff had their office, as well
as those at the USAID mission and IDRC (the Canadian Development Foundation)
were also replaced after the revolution. Thus, it was necessary to recon-
struct the evidence of institutional impacts from "organizational survivors,"
members of the new government and officials outside of Nicaragua who had
worked previously with the program.

In general, it appears that the CATIE program in Nicaragua had more
profound and sustained impact on Nicaraguan institutions than the other CATIE
country projects. Formal relationships with Nicaraguan institutions were












developed more quickly and actual collaborative work began almost immediately.
CATIE appeared to shape the way both INTA and INVIERNO thought about agricul-
tural research in CATIE's target region. The three organizations collabora-
tively carried out diagnostic surveys and INTA and INVIERNO to help implement
verification and dissemination efforts. Both INTA, INVIERNO and international
organizations like IDRC helped provide staff and limited'resources at differ-
ent times during the project's life. Finally, unlike many of the other
country situations, the local USAID Mission took an active interest in the
project, tried to help integrate its activities into the Mission agricultural
strategy, and in several key instances, used leverage to help CATIE develop
crucial relationships with other AID-funded organizations. Let's look at some
of the information about institutional impacts in more detail.

Formal Agreements and Relationships

The legitimacy of the CATIE program in Nicaragua was formally established
in October of 1975, through an agreement between CATIE and the Nicaraguan
Ministry of Agriculture. The Nicaraguan agreement was the first to be signed
outside of Costa Rica and established the basis for CATIE's future formal
relations with INTA. Work with INTA began almost immediately.

In 1976, Anibal Palencia, CATIE's resident for Nicaragua from 1976-79
formed a National Advisory Committee made up of officials from Nicaragua's
major agricultural sector institutions. Since none of the committee members
presently reside in Nicaragua, it was difficult to establish any clear picture
of the activities of the committee. Anibal Palencia reported that the commit-
tee helped to set overall policy for CATIE work in Nicaragua, to help deter-
mine the target areas for project emphasis (Matagalpa-Esteli), and to suggest
the formal contact with INTA.

Coordinated Research with National Organizations

CATIE helped perform the small farm cropping systems research for the
Matagalpa-Esteli area from 1976 to the present in conjunction with INTA. INTA
personnel helped carry out a CATIE survey of the Matagalpa area. During the
four year period from 1976-79 CATIE's institutional point of contact changed
within INTA. At first CATIE activities were related to a subunit of the Basic
Grains Division of INTA (see Exhibit 7 for organization chart). Later, the
relationship was specifically with the Division of Regional Investigation with
a specific focus on the Matagalpa-Esteli area. Finally, the CATIE team
mobilized their resources to fill a gap in small farm systems research in the
Matagalpa-Esteli area for two of the major organizations working there (INTA








D-10


and INVIERNO, the Banco Nacional did not collaborate directly). This was done
through a new organization called PIAPA which provided research information to
both INTA and INVIERNO.

CATIE began to have contact with all levels of INVIERNO staff in 1977 and
ultimately helped focus INVIERNO's extension work through its research efforts.
INVIERNO staff participated along with CATIE and INTA in the implementation of
the diagnostic survey of the Esteli area in 1978.

Dissemination of CATIE Findings by National Organizations

Staff and former INTA and INVIERNO employees both indicated that CATIE
formed relationships with INTA field agents and INVIERNO change agents (agen-
tes de cambio) to provide field days which included information about some of
the cropping alternatives developed through the program.

Allocation of National and International Program Resources to CATIE's
Program

INTA directly assigned a staff member to the CATIE project. That staff
member, Filamon Diaz, played a major role in setting up the field experiments,
contacting the farmers, collecting the data and evaluating the results. At
the same time in 1978-79 the Canadian Development Foundation (IDRC) helped pay
the salaries of two technical staff to carry out the verification of CATIE
alternatives for sorghum-bean in the Esteli area. Anibal Palencia coordinated
the team and maintained a high level of cohesion until he left in 1979. Even
in the absence of the resident in 1980, the group continues to carry out its
activities.

Role of the Nicaraqua USAID Mission

The USAID rural development officers during the project period reported
that they were favorably impressed with the CATIE project and its leadership.
Initially, one RDO had difficulties establishing working relationships with
the CATIE team leader because he had to work through the Director of the IICA
office first. However, once a clear line of communication was established
between the RDO and the CATIE Resident, a collaborative relationship devel-
oped. The RDO began to see the utility of the SFCS approach for research in
the target area where two other organizations (INTA and INVIERNO) with bilat-
eral aid mission funds were working. When it appeared that several officials
within INTA were blocking CATIE's ability to perform a research function for
both INVIERNO and.INTA, the RDO and the CATIE Resident worked out a strategy
which gave CATIE a role in a new organization called PIAPA, which would
perform research for both INTA and INVIERNO.







D-11


Sustainability in a Revolutionary Situation

CATIE's relationship to Nicaraguan organizations at the field level in
Matagalpa and Esteli were broad enough to insure some continued ties to
specific people even though public sector priorities in agriculture and the
service delivery organizations have been totally reorganized (see Exhibit 8
for organization chart). CATIE's strongest relationships are with the field
office of PROCAMPO (formerly INVIERNO) in the Matagalpa-Esteli area. PRO-
CAMPO, a department in the new Ministry of Agricultural Development (MIDA) has
the specific charge to work with small farmers to increase production, expand
cooperation through the development of cooperatives, and to encourage collec-
tive production where possible. The PROCAMPO field office staff is designing
and carrying out field days with farmers to disseminate information about the
CATIE developed sorghum-bean alternative. CATIE staff are playing backup
roles. Additional evidence of sustainability is also available. INTA con-
tinues to assign one staff member to CATIE and has been approached to assign
an additional person.

Future relations with INTA are unclear since its functions have been
severely restricted during its incorporation into MIDA (see Exhibit 7).

CATIE, like all outside organizations with programs in Nicaragua, faces a
critical set of problems. It must adapt itself to new government policies and
priorities in the post revolutionary period. It must also create a new set of
relationships with middle and upper level staff in newly emerging and highly
fluid Nicaraguan national organizations. CATIE's effort to readjust its role
will be easier than for many organizations. Its contacts at the field level
remain in place and may well serve as a springboard for the new upper and
middle level relationships.

D. Impact of the SFCS Methodology on the Researchers, Farmers and
on CATIE

A Flexible Research Approach

Observation of the researchers and discussions with them and farmers
indicated that SFCS research required a more flexible attitude toward research
design than would normally be permitted in traditional agricultural research.
For example, traditional agricultural researchers usually wait for problems to
be brought to them and then conduct research on experiment stations without
exploration of the broader social or cultural context which generated the
problem. In contrast, the SFCS researchers went directly to farm settings,
performed diagnoses and tried to determine what the problems might be and
what their environmental context was. Second, the traditional agricultural








D-12


performed diagnoses and tried to determine what the problems might be and
what their environmental context was. Second, the traditional agricultural
researcher uses an empirical approach to help maximize the effect of experi-
mental variables while all extraneous factors including his own behavior are
rigorously controlled. While the SFCS researchers in Nicaragua had an inter-
est in control, they could not exclude the influence of a less controllable
environment. Furthermore, they hoped that farmer learning was taking place
during the experimentation. Thus, they were willing to opt for less control
in return for greater realism. Finally, the traditional researcher hopes for
valid and reliable studies with a high degree of experimental replicability.
In contrast, the SFCS researcher in Nicaragua hoped for as much validity and
reliability as possible but more for replicability by farmers. Thus, the
approaches had to be altered or at least adjusted to make them useful to
farmers. Farmers were not selected randomly but rather because they were
leaders and might influence other farmers.

These features might be considered characteristics of the flexible
research attitude we observed in Nicaragua. It is impossible to say that they
are impacts which changed the researchers as a result of using the methodol-
ogy. It is equally plausible that those involved with the Nicaragua project
had these attitudes toward research before the project began and gravitated to
the project as a result of their attitudes.

The Ability to Play Multiple Roles

Another set of researcher characteristics which we noticed was the
ability of the Nicaragua CATIE team members to play multiple roles. Because
they had to operate in a rapidly changing environment and because they could
not call on disciplinary specialists to solve their problems, they appeared to
be able to do a little of everything and also to switch roles from that of
experimental researcher to social change agent, to political strategist and
organizational alliance builder, as the situation dictated. Again it is
impossible to say whether the researchers learned these behaviors as a result
of the experience, or whether they brought these skills to the experience.
However, it is useful to think about the importance of these kinds of skills
when team members are being recruited.

Impact on CATIE

It is unclear what the impact of the more flexible approach required for
SFCS research in Nicaragua will be on central CATIE staff. If the institution
itself moves back toward more structured disciplinary and empirical approaches








D-13



for future field activities and activities at CATIE then the impact of the
Nicaragua and other country experiences might be judged as minimal. However,
it is clear that CATIE's Nicaragua experience with SFCS research might serve
as a model for other country projects where the primary object is to choose
between research, verification and dissemination of information useful to
improving the productivity and levels of living of small farmers.








D-14

EXHIBIr 1


SMALL FARMER CROPPING SYSTEMS RESEARCH PROCESS


STEPS


DISSEMINATION


FARMER AND AREA PROFILES.

DESCRIPTION OF FARMER CROP-

PING SYSTEMS.





D-15


EXHIBIT 2


NMP


OF AICN/P/R/*U


PRO Ycr


c aTr6










EXHIBIT 3


MAP OF CATIE
VERIFICATION
SITE AREAS
NEAR MATAGALPA, Esqufpula
NICARAGUA


San Dion:-.io


Susulf


Sub-Estaci6n
INE














MATAGALPA


Piedra Coloreda


Guadalupe


Entrada a Mataealpa


o Verification Sites


D-16


San Ram6n
E
-









EXHIBIT 4
MAP OF CATIE VERIFICATION
SITES NEAR
ESTELI, NICARAGUA
1979


To Honduras
Frontier


Las Capules


Pueblo


Rosaro


Regadio


Santa Cruz


La Estanquela


El Despoblado


Concepcion


Los Camaras


D-17


0 Project Sites











EXHIBIT 5
Size of Agricultural Holdings in
the Esteli Area Compared
to Average Size of
Holdings of CATIE Project
Participants


CATIE Esteli Survey
1978


Size of Holding


1979
CATIE
Verification
Trial Participants


No. of
Farmers


1980
Size of Holdings
of CATIE
Verification Trial
Participants
Interviewed by
Evaluation Team


0 2.1. Ha.


33 farmers with
an average holding
of 3.5 hectares


5.6 10.5

above 10.5

Total


8 farmers with
an average
holding of 2.8
hectares


18%

100%


D-18


2.1 5.6


36%











EXHIBIT 6


COMPARISON OF PRODUCTIVITY AND COSTS


OF TRADITIONAL VS. ALTERNATIVE CROPPING SYSTEMS IN
NICARAGUA


TRADITIONAL SYSTEM

Maize bean


ALTERNATIVE SYSTEMS

Maize bean


VERIFICATION STUDY
OF ALTERNATIVES


Maize KG/Hectare
Bean KG/llectare
Value of Production
Cost of Production
Net Income per Hectare


2500 KG/H
552 KG/II
554.24 CA$ 1
407.54 CA$
146.70 CA$


5200 KG/H
1000 KG/I
1098.00 CA$
517.00 CA$
580.73 CA$


Bean KG/Hectare
Sorghum KG/IHectare
Value of Production

Cost of Production
Net Income per Hectare


TRADITIONAL BEAN
SYSTEM IN SECOND
CROP 2

650 KG/H

Not available by 3
separate planting


SORGHiM-BEAN ALTERNATIVE
IN SECOND CROP


809 KG/HI
840 KG/HI
Not available by 3
separate planting


VERIFICATION STUDY DATA
MATAGALPA AREA, SECOND CROP4


529 KG/H 5
710 KG/H
Not available


(1) CA$ = US Dollar
(2) Second crop occurs from September-December
(3) Data on alternative costs exists for first and second crops only.
(4) Study in 1979 with 15 farmers in Samulali area near Matagalpa.
(5) These figures are average (mean) yields of KG/H for the 15 members of the Verification study group. The
range of (KG/H) yields for beans was between 21 KG/H and 1083 KG/H and the group median was 584 KG/H.
The range of (KG/H) yields for sorgum was between 282 KG/H and 1666 KG/H and the group median was 758 KG/H.
The closeness of mean and medians in both cases indicates rather normal distributions.


NO DATA








EXHIBIT 7


CHART OF CATIE PROJECT RELATIONS WITH 'lFE NICARAGUAN INSTITUTE OF AGRICULTURAL TEI-NOLOGY (INTA)
AND 'TIE INSTITUTE OF FAIRMR IMPROVEMENT (INVIERNO).




INTA DIRECTOR INVIERNO






PRODUCTION 1977 79



TTAA REGIONAL -----
RESEARCH 1 CATIE o
PROJECT
LATE 1976


MANAGEMENT OF 4 CATIE PROJECT
CROPS EARLY 1976











EXHIBIT 8


ORGANIZATION (CART
MIDA (Ministry of Agricultural Development)


NATIONAL INSTITUTE
OF AGRARIAN REFORM
(INRA)


PROCAMPO* AGROI GENERAL DEPTS
Small Ag. Industry SERVICES
Farmers


CAS Sandinista Agricultural Communities
Collective agriculture


C.S. Cooperative Services
I I


- U.P.. -Y Large State- Ente-rprises
COMP Coordenation of Technical Services


* Formerly INVIERNO now has responsibility for small farmer programs.






































APPENDIX E

GUATEMALA COUNTRY REPORT









GUATEMALA COUNTRY REPORT


Review of CATIE Project Impacts in Guatemala

A. Project Setting

The mountainous terrain of tropical Guatemala has helped create a
patchwork of ecological diversity, ranging from humid tropics to dry
temperate. Most of the six million people are Indians. Most of the
Indians are poor and rural. Many of them are small farmers (less than
two hectares).

As in many developing countries, life is harsh for most rural
Guatemalans, with great inequalities in resources and opportunities. In
Guatemala, 87 percent of the farmers live on 18 percent of the land.
These 500,000 families, about half the country's population, not only
feed themselves but produce most of the basic food grains to feed the
rest of the country as well.

The staple of the Guatemalan diet is maize. Acreage planted in
corn is 10 times larger than acreage planted in the second largest crop,
beans. Sorghum, wheat and rice are also grown. The best agricultural
land is used to produce high-value export products such as coffee,
sugar, cotton, cattle and bananas. Most of these farms are large, owned
by the wealthy.

CATIE, under the Small Farm Cropping Systems Project (SFCS), has
worked with small farmers in close cooperation with the Guatemalan
Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology (ICTA). ICTA is a
relatively new organization (founded in 1973) which has national
responsibility for generating and promoting the use of science and
technology within the agricultural sector. Although CATIE and ICTA
signed a "memorandum of understanding" in November, 1976, field
experiments by a CATIE resident scientist only got off to a slow start
in February, 1978. Not until December, 1979, did Guatemala offer CATIE
continuing institutional support.

Most of the research undertaken by the CATIE scientist, Dr. Donald
Kass, in Guatemala has been concentrated in the Central Highlands, in
the region of Chimaltenango, designated Region V by ICTA. Dr. Kass, has
worked principally with small farmers in the "municipalities" of
Santiago Sacatepequez, Tecpan, Zaragoza, Comalapa, Chimaltenango, and
Santa Cruz Balanya.

Most of the small farmers in this area are Indian and speak various
dialects of Cakchiquel. Much of the region has been in continuous maize
cultivation for the last thousand years. Increasingly, over the last
century, small farmers have intensified and diversified their production
strategies in response to population pressure and the demands of nearby
national and regional market centers.











The CATIE research focused on corn and bean systems mixed with
horticultural crops using two research strategies. One focused on an
analysis of alternative production systems, using eleven different crops
planted in sequence, monoculture, or in rotation with maize. The other
research strategy focused on particular components of the systems (e.g.,
crops, insect and disease control, varieties, weed control, fertilizer)
and alternate management strategies for dealing with them. For example,
spatial and chronological arrangements were varied for eleven crops;
four varieties of maize, climbing bean, wheat and peas were compared;
maize density was altered in a variety of ways; and a study was made of
the magnesium requirements of potato and cauliflower.

The SFCS project was only active for 15 months in Guatemala, yet
activity continues under the subsequent Small Farm Production Systems
project.

B. Evaluation Methodology A Note

Two team members, Hobgood and Johnson, along with Guatemalan
anthropologist, Lic. Rolando Duarte, spent the week of Februrary 11 in
Guatemala. Five of the six municipalities where research involving
CATIE was done were visited. We were able to talk at some length (one
to four hours) with six small farmers who had participated in the
research. In five cases, we were able to speak to some members of their
families. We talked with a few non-participants. Given the short time
the project had been operating, we did not pursue non-participants
further.

Approximately half of our time was spent interviewing staff people
in relevant organizations. In Region V, we interviewed local ICTA
employees, Dr. Kass's counterparts on the Technology Assessment Team
(Equipo de Perueba de Teconologia); the ICTA Director for Region V, Ing.
Ricardo del Valle; field staff of the extension service (DIGESA); and
the field staff of a Swiss Evangelical Voluntary Organization working in
the area. In Guatemala City we met with: the Director of ICTA; Ing.
Carlos Ramirez; ICTA Technical Director, Ing. Ramiro Ortiz; the USAID
Mission Director, Deputy Mission Director and Rural Development Officer,
and senior officials of the Interamerican Development Bank.

C. Impact on Small Farmers

Fifteen months is a very short time for an agricultural research
activity. Evidence of major impact on a substantial number of farmers
was not an objective of the project and little evidence of such impact
was encountered. The team wished to talk with small farmer participants
to:

1. verify that research on small farms had been done;
2. get some sense of how the farmers participated in the research;
3. see if they understood it;










4. learn how representative the farmers were with whom the CATIE
staff was working;
5. observe the interaction between scientist and small farmer; and
6. inquire about the potential of such research producing usable
alternatives worth verifying and disseminating.

We had the pleasure of speaking with six farmers who had partici-
pated in the research: Anastasio, Fernando, Enrique, Jorge, Gabino, and
Pedro. All of them, including the families of five of the farmers, were
most hospitable and helpful. They tolerated with great dignity our
uncivilized pace and awkward questions, and we thank them.

All the farmers had small landholdings ranging in size from one to
three hectares. They were selected pretty much at random shortly after
the arrival of Dr. Kass. They seem quite representative of small farm-
ers in the area. Only two of them are located on a paved road. They
all produced primarily for family subsistence and secondarily for the
market. One produces only for the subsistence requirements of an ex-
tended family. The others produce for market as well, one almost ex-
clusively. All have some animals--a few chickens, a hog or two, a goat,
some sheep. Two have one or two oxen for traction. Only one has a
horse. Their families represent a broad range of points in the develop-
mental cycle of families: two are young with very young children; three
are middle aged; and one is at the end of a cycle, with the children all
placed and providing for the family's cash requirements.

All of the farmers participated in the experiments by providing
land and some labor. None participated in the initial identification of
problems to be researched, but three have influenced the type of sub-
sequent research done. All could explain something of the experimental
work done on their plots. Only one was really quite indifferent while
three were very enthusiastic and could describe experimental work in
great detail.

Interaction between these small farmers and the research scientist
has been intense. Kass lives near them, visits them weekly and has be-
come an intimate part of their lives. He participates not only in their
joint research efforts but in such things as:

1. the larger production and marketing system (e.g., talking about
the results of the previous harvest, problems with the present har-
vest, plans for future planting, and various marketing opportuni-
ties);

2. their health problems (e.g., securing medical attention for
family members);

3. their off-farm activities (e.g., arranging employment and hous-
ing for farmers' relatives);










4. intimate family matters (e.g., being consulted on possible
marriage plans).

Such intense interaction has some obvious benefits. To the small
farmers it provides a constant source of useful advise on a wide range
of agricultural and marketing problems and a one-man social services
agency. To the scientist it insures small farmer cooperation. Three of
the farmers we talked to made the point that Kass was "family", "their
land was his" and so on. (There are practical limits, of course. One
farmer, taking advantage of an unusually high, short-term fluctuation in
prices, harvested a research plot before the results could be analyzed.)

Such a close personal association with the farmers also allows the
scientist to learn about the extraordinary agronomic and socio-economic
complexity of the context in which particular crops and cropping systems
are placed. This includes much that may not be revealed by ex ante
survey research. Even during our direct interviews, many of the yes/no
answers we received regarding, for example, off-farm work by family
members, labor exchange, and participation of women in agricultural work
were inaccurate. The scientist could recall past observations which the
farmers considered "exceptions".

Moreover, this broad participation also continually informs the
scientist of the methodological limitations of purely agronomic ap-
proaches to cropping systems research where most of the limits on pro-
duction are non-agronomic. It allows the scientist to get beyond the
"crops and critters" components of systems to some of the complexities
of rural social life. Interesting work being done on vegetables, for
example, may be fine for farmers like Anistasio of Santiago Scatepequez.
Here a Swiss evangelical group has developed a vegetable processing and
marketing plant, stabilizing prices for broccoli, snow peas and cauli-
flower. He also has an active cooperative to provide him with such
inputs as fertilizer and pesticides. But it may not help Enrique of
Zaragoza, who cannot afford to harvest his beautiful crop of cabbage
because of seasonally failed demand. (Cabbage prices can vary by as
much as 600 percent.)

Intense participation also allows one to discover the contradiction
between the "good" farmer who does poorly and the "bad" farmer who does
well. The yields of Jorge, who does relatively poorly for himself and
his family, on experimental and non-experimental plots are among the
very highest in the small farmer sample. Gabino and family produce only
one-half to one-third the yield of Jorge but do much better managing
their whole social and material environment in terms of family labor,
labor exchange, and marketing opportunities. Finally, there is
Fernando, the very image of the old "traditional" Indian farmer, who
refused to intensify production on his small plot to produce for the
market at all. Again, the explanation for his agricultural behavior lies
outside the cropping system. His family is mature. The off-farm income










of his son and son-in-law provide the extended family of six adults and
three children with cash requirements and enough surplus to be among the
first in their mud-walled, tin-roofed "neighborhood" to have electricity
and their own television.

Based on growing knowledge of these systems and their rationality,
research is being focused on alternatives in the existing maize-based
system and on system-management issues rather than on new genetic
varieties. Even this short-lived research experience has been useful to
some small farmers. Anastasio, for example, had never thought of
planting cabbage with his corn. He has now seen the results of doing so
and can now do it, if he so desires. Furthermore, the resident ICTA
staff person took local farmers to view the research and some of them
plan to try it. Enrique, whose cabbage may rot in the field, is not too
interested in most vegetables, but is interested in producing a new
variety of the nutritious broad bean, a challenge to the scientist
because this crop has been neglected in basic research to date. And
both farmer and scientist are learning what things cannot be done.
Peas, for example, are a real problem given the extraordinary pod-
opening abilities of a local bird species not at all bothered by scare-
crows. Other research focused productively on farm-management alterna-
tives involved in the timing of fertilizer applications, spacing of
plants and varying their combinations and sequencing to produce higher
yields.

While only two years of research have been completed, some cropping
alternatives, such as maize and potatoes, have been favorably reviewed
by the farmers who worked with them. Yield increases have been demon-
strated for a variety of vegetable and maize combinations and farmers
seem ready and willing to produce them if some market stability were
insured. Good working relationships have been developed between the
farm families and both CATIE and ICTA staff. The SFCS project has had
substantial positive impacts, given the fact that it involved a very
preliminary and small effort (one scientist) over a short period of time
(15 months). Effective research was done on small farms with limited
small-farmer participation.

Interaction between scientist and farm families was warm, free
flowing and substantive. Most farmers understood a good bit about the
research being conducted. Their occasional lack of interest was very
reasonable--most of the research did not apply to their specific and im-
mediate concerns. However, frequent interaction with the CATIE scien-
tist allowed them to use his expertise on things which did interest
them. The participating farmers were quite representative of the small
farmers in the area and the research has shown its potential for pro-
ducing alternatives worth verifying and, perhaps, disseminating.

D. Impact at the level of National Institutions

At first glance, Guatemala should have provided the perfect insti-
tutional environment for CATIE's SFCS project. In 1970, the government










substantially reorganized the public agricultural sector. Within the
Ministry of Agriculture there was established the semiautonomous
Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology (ICTA) in 1973.

Like CATIE, ICTA was a new and enthusiastic research organization
dedicated to the development and testing of new technologies by doing
applied research in the field, working directly with farmers. Substan-
tial support was given ICTA by the donor community, principally by the
Rockefeller Foundation but including A.I.D. ICTA had developed its own
type of systems strategy based on: (1) taking the best available tech-
nologies developed at the International centers and other centers of
public and private research; (2) doing testing and adaptive research at
experiment stations; (3) further testing them on the farm and getting
feedback from farmers; and (4) transferring them to farmers through
various public and private organizations.

Although an ICTA/CATIE memorandum of understanding was signed in
November 1976, the CATIE resident scientist only began work in 1978. It
was not until December, 1979, that Guatemala beame a supporting member
of CATIE. Why the delay?

As the project began, there was some sense in ICTA that "they were
doing it already"; e.g., they were using systems approaches to work
directly with small farmers. They had developed their own "survey"
methodology, a quick "Sondeo", or site inspection, by an interdisciplin-
ary team followed by a more-detailed "Registro de finca" farm inventory.
This contrasted with CATIE's initial baseline study, which was a more
systematic and thorough survey. As Ing. Carlos Ramirez, current
Director of ICTA, put it, they were a "bit illegal" at the beginning
until they could be fit into ICTA's organization and activities.

After an initial "no start" in 1976 followed by a slow start in
1978, relations between the two organizations have constantly improved.
CATIE is now seen at various levels within ICTA as an important resource
that very much supplements, rather than duplicates, ICTA's work. They
understand and in some areas are adopting CATIE's systems approach which
bases research planning and the development of alternative technologies
4- on systems already being used by small farmers. ICTA has up to now
focused on adopting technologies developed elsewhere to local condi-
tions. They are also interested in the research results from CATIE
experiments with alternative ways of managing associated crops.

ICTA Technical Director, Ramiro Ortiz, attributes to Kass's re-
search a major role in moving work in Region V toward systems of asso-
ciated crops research and development. He has also asked Kass to help
develop the central statistical program of ICTA.

CATIE, we were told, is also an important resource for high-level
technical assistance and training. Several researchers from CATIE have











worked and consulted in Guatemala. ICTA sends people to short courses,
meetings and occasionally for long-term training. A number of people
pointed out that these were people ICTA could not afford to hire. The
salary structure of ICTA is such that it has trouble keeping the people
it does have (25 percent of the technical staff was lost to private
industry in the last year). We were also told that CATIE may provide an
element of stability and continuity in applied research. As a Regional
Institution, it is somewhat distant from national-level politics which
in Central America can shift rather dramatically. This may be important
since other donors have pulled out following a recent change in govern-
ment and ICTA is in the midst of a number of organizational uncertain-
ties.

One continuing source of contention between ICTA and CATIE/ROCAP is
the research location. ICTA's priority was for work in the Central
Highlands and they have insisted that it be done there. ROCAP and CATIE
would rather work in the lowlands which are ecologically more like other
parts of Central America. ICTA has rejected a CATIE request to have its
scientist divide his time between two regions on the theory that his
work would be too dispersed to be productive. They did, however, offer
to accept a second CATIE scientist to work full time in Jutiapa.

Over the course of the project, CATIE and ICTA began to learn how
to work together. Institutional pride, orientation to different centers
of gravity in the donor community, the insecurity of "new" institutions,
methdological differences and different priorities led to years of de-
lay. A flaw of the project was the early assumption that solid inter-
institutional relationships could be rapidly developed. This judge-
mental error influenced the pace of project activity not only in Guate-
mala but in Costa Rica as well.

E. Impact on the International Donors

The senior officers of USAID/Guatemala were uncertain, from their
observations, as to how much the short-lived SFCS relationship between
CATIE and ICTA had affected ICTA's approach to cropping-systems re-
search. However, their sense was that the CATIE project had been a
positive reinforcement to ICTA's small-farmer orientation. All agreed
that CATIE's resident scientist, Dr. Kass, had brought a dynamism and
dedication to the association. Moreover, they felt that the positive
reinforcement to ICTA was carrying through with the new CATIE project on
Small Farmer Production Systems. Their judgements about the positive
impact of the SFCS project were more in terms of the CATIE/ICTA
institutional support links than they were specific to the project's
research objectives.

The resident officers of the Interamerican Development Bank were
not familiar with the SFCS project.








E-8


In conclusion, given the initial delays as well as the brevity of
CATIE's work with ICTA under the SFCS project, it has had remarkably
positive results in Guatemala. The effective working relationships
between CATIE's resident scientist and the field offices of both ICTA
and DIGESA were noteworthy. The unusually intense, interactive rela-
tionship between Dr. Kass and the small-farmer participants in the
research was yielding significant insights into the interrelatedness of
agronomic work on alternative cropping systems, on the one hand, and the
larger socio-economic realities of the Guatemalan small-farm family, on
the other. It was clear, however, that the latter insights were not
being systematically captured as were the findings from the agronomic
experiments. Moreover, the need for thorough market surveys related to
specific experimental crops was apparent.

ICTA personnel manifest a general enthusiasm for the CATIE connec-
tion. Not only did they welcome the on-going contributions from Dr.
Kass and his technical reinforcement to ICTA field researchers, but they
particularly appreciated on-going access to the wide range of scientific
talent based at Turrialba and the periodic training opportunities avail-
able there. The Director of ICTA's Region V believes that the CATIE
approach to cropping systems has already led his agronomic staff toward
a similar methodology as an improvement over ICTA's earlier work. In
spite of this, the evaluation team was uncertain about ICTA's plan to
systematically follow the SFCS work with a full program to verify and
disseminate the most promising of the tested alternatives. On the other
hand, it was apparent that the field staff in the extension service,
DIGESA, was eager to do so. They were restive in their primary role of
farm credit advisors and looked toward CATIE's work with ICTA as a pos-
sible break-through that would draw them increasingly into the action
through more "field day"-type demonstrations of the better cropping
systems alternatives.

F. Lessons Learned from the CATIE experience in Guatemala, 1976-80

1. Establishing institutional linkages and collaborative relationships
requires a lot of time, effort, patience, persistence, and skill
which must be allowed for in project design, suggesting a need for
improved social analysis of institutional issues.

2. Intense participation between scientist and small farmer is both
possible and useful. It counters some of the limitations of the
cropping systems methodology which ignores many specific non-
agronomic constraints on agricultural production. The interaction
provides the researcher with some important data on the larger
farming system and socio-economic system of which the cropping
system is part.








E-9

3. The analysis of constraints on agricultural production is critical
for efficient research planning and design. Many of these con-
straints are non-agronomic, such as market access, transportation,
extreme price fluctuations, stable access to inputs, seasonal fluc-
tuations in labor supply, land tenure, access to credit, government
pricing policy, etc. These variables are inadequately dealt with
in CATIE's cropping systems methodology, particularly as it effects
research planning and small farmer selection.

4. Small farmer receptivity to innovation, experimentation and wil-
lingness to participate in research will be influenced by the de-
velopment cycle of his or her domestic group (e.g., new house-
hold with infant, household with small children, household with
older children planning marriages, mature household with children
already married and planning inheritance strategy).







































APPENDIX F

HONDURAS COUNTRY REPORT










Review of Project Impacts in Honduras 1975-79.

A. General Overview

CATIE's initial effort in Honduras began in 1975 through a work-
ing agreement (December 1975) signed by the Secretary of Natural Resources
and CATIE to carry out research on agricultural production systems
for small farmers.

By decision of the then Minister of Agriculture, Ing. Leonardo Callejas,
the Northern Region of the country (Region #3) was assigned as the region
where the CATIE Project would start operations.

At that time, Ing. J. Williams was the Director of the Northern Region
and Dr. Robert Hart was appointed as the CATIE's resident scientist with
his office in the Secretaria de Recursos Naturales (SRN), San Pedro Sula.
Dr. Hart remained in that position from February 1976 to June 1978 at
which time he was moved to CATIE's main headquarters in Turrialba, Costa
Rica. Dr. Rafael de Lucia took over Dr. Hart's position on July 1978 and
remained until late 1979 when he resigned his position with CATIE.
Dr. Nicolas Mateo succeeded Dr. de Lucia in September 1979 and was assigned
to Comayagua, the central unit of Programas Nacional de Investigocion
Agropecuoria (PNIA). He currently advises PNIA under the CATIE Production
Systems project.

The present evaluation largely addresses project impacts arising from
Dr. Hart's advisory period.

The National Team originally assigned to the Project by the Director of
Region #3 was comprised of Ing. Walterio Caceres of the Guaymas Experiment
Station and Agronomist Nery Mayorga of the Extension Service. Later in the
process Ing. Arnoldo Paz, also from the Guaymas Experiment Station, succeeded
Ing. Caceres until late 1977 when he resigned. Agronomist Mayorga remained
in the project until its termination in June 1979.

Project activities through June 1979 were concentrated mainly at four
sites. These were:

1. Yojoa, 50 kms. south of San Pedro Sula,
2. Agua Sucia, 30 kms. West of San Pedro Sula,
3. Cuyamel, 120 kms. Northwest of San Pedro Sula, and
4. Guaymas Experiment Station, 50 kms. east of San Pedro Sula.

It is important to note that at the time Dr. de Lucia took over
Dr. Hart's position the headquarters for the project was moved from San Pedro
Sula to the Central Research Unit at Comayagua. However, the four above-
mentioned sites were maintained as the main research sites.











The four sites selected by the project in the Northern Region clearly
conformed to a typical gradient of rainfall, with Guaymas and Agua Sucia
being at the extremes of the gradient (high and low rainfall respectively),
and Cuyamel and Yojoa falling in an intermediate range (medium/high and
medium/low rainfall, respectively). From the standpoint of temperature, all
sites can be described as hot. Impressions of the Guaymas Experiment Station
will be given separately, as it does not conform to a typical farm site.
Typical farming systems and the nature of the experiments carried out are in
each of the four areas are discussed in the following paragraphs.

Yojoa

Corn is the cash crop for small farmers in the area, while rice, beans
(phaseolus) and ayote (squash) are grown in rather small plots or land
patches cultivated mainly for family consumption. In the latter case, ayote
is normally intercropped with corn.

The average size of farm owned by farmers interviewed was about 3.5 man-
zanas (2.4 Has). Under the local production system corn for sale is grown
in monoculture as is rice. Fertilizers are normally used for both crops.

Research trials undertaken in this area included variations in spatial
arrangements of corn and rice, testing of sorghum and beans (Vigna
spp.) as possible new alternative crops, intercropping of corn and
beans, and testing fertilizer.

Cuyamel

Rice is the cash crop for the area while others grown, such as corn,
beans, sweet potatoes, cassava and plaintain, are mainly for family con-
sumption. Some cacao is also grown to supplement cash income. The
average farm size is about 10 manzanas (7 hectares).

Research projects dealt mainly with various spatial arrangements
for corn and rice (intercropped vs. monocultures); corn and beans (Vigna
spp.); corn and velvet beans; corn and cassava (intercropped vs. mono-
cultures); and corn and pipian (squash).

A remarkable fact observed in this zone was the use of velvet bean,
which grows wild, as green manure, for weed control, and as a source of
organic matter. It is also possibly a source of nitrogen through symbiotic
fixation.

Normally farmers grow their food crops in monocultures, are aware of
the use of fertilizers and use chemicals for weed and insect control. CIMMYT
possibly has had an influence on the adoption of some of these practices,
as some of these farmers had already cooperated with CIMMYT in their trails.











Agua Sucia

Corn is the principal cash crop in the area along with watermelon and
other melons. Tomatoes supplement cash income to a lesser degree. Research
trials included spatial arrangements of corn and tomatoes, sweet pepper,
sorghum and beans (Vigna spp.). The latter three crops were tested mainly as
possible new alternatives. Farmers in the area were the smallest in the
project, averaging about 2.5 manzanas (1.75 hectares). The area also was
found to be the most marginal in terms of climatic conditions in that con-
tinuous and prolonged droughts during most of the research period damaged
the experiments almost totally.

In all three areas participant farmers were selected by the researcher
and the extension agent, and later advised either in groups or individually
about the purposes of the research trials to be conducted on their land.
They did not participate in the design of the trials, their involvement being
mainly in caring for the plots, carrying out tasks such as planting, weeding,
and harvesting. Their involvement was typically enlisted upon request of the
researcher who would pay in cash for the job on the basis of estimated time
involved. Discussions of ongoing research between researchers and farmers
were held at various times.

The trials basically involved comparison between local seed varieties as
well as local agricultural practices and improved varieties and alternative
practices.

In every site it was evident that a close relationship developed between
the researcher and the farmer (Hart in Yojoa and Nery in Cuyamel and Agua
Sucia). However, it was evident that not all farmers were acquainted with
ongoing work in the other selected sites within their own community, nor
did outside farmers typically know much about the research going on in the
area.

The Guaymas Experiment Station

The station occupies an area of about 240 hectares devoted partially
to various types of traditional trials. Priority is given to corn, rice,
soybeans and cassava monoculturess). CATIE's SFCS project carried out some
trials dealing with spatial arrangements of corn and rice, corn and pipian,
corn and cassava, corn and beans (Vigna spp.), and a variety trials with
beans (Vigna spp.). These experiments and their results have been reported
in the annual reports of the Station. However, as in the case of the on-farm
research, the real impact of the CATIE activity appears to be very low. At
the termination of the project the research methods introduced by CATIE were
not continued, nor were they actively promoted, nor is the information generated
being used extensively by researchers in this regional agricultural development
station.












B. Impact on Farmers

General

It is too early to judge whether the project has had a lasting
impact on production and net farm income. Estimation of the ultimate impact
on small-farmer well-being must await accumulation of data from verification
trials and estimates of diffusion rates for the new technologies introduced.
However, certain important conclusions regarding adoption rates, farmer co-
operation in the research and indications of potential changes in crop
yields can be gleaned from the on-farm interviews conducted during this
evaluation and from published studies of technical, economic, and social
results of the project.

Number and Type of Farmers

Annex 1 summarizes the major results of the interviews. Thirteen far-
mers participated in the effort. Eight of these were interviewed and two
additional farmer-neighbors were added to provide some indication of dif-
fusion tendencies.

Farm size varied greatly among the three areas, averaging four manzanas
(one Manzana equals 0.7 hectares) in Yojoa, eight in Cuyamel and only two
in Agua Sucia. Family size tended to be positively correlated with the
size of farms. Farmer's in Yojoa were loosely associated as a community,
having been beneficiaries of a recent agrarian reform. Although they
made decisions independently, and marketed their produce independently,
they cooperated with their neighbors in some farm activities such
as plowing and harvesting. The nominal community head or leader, Lauro
Gutierrez, was interviewed.

Farmers in Yojoa can be characterized as smaller, poorer, and less
advanced technologically than the national norm. They had an advantage
over farmers in the Agua Sucia area in that rainfall was greater and less
variable in Yojoa. Farmers in Cuyamel were larger and more progressive
than the national norm and rainfall there was the most favorable of the
three zones observed.

Farmer Participation in the Project

Dr. Hart and his national counterpart, Mr. Nery, selected farmers
partly as being representative of typical farmers as identified by the base-
line studies but largely through Mr. Nery's personal knowledge of the farmers
gained through many years of extension work in the region. Thus the farmers
finally selected cannot be considered to be strictly representative of far-
mers of the region. Moreover, some, such as Lauro and Jose, were selected
because they were leaders while others, such as Sebastian, were selected
because they were innovators.











All farmers except two of the very smallest in Agua Sucia participated
in the project by contributing labor to the experimental plots. All were
compensated, either in cash on an hourly basis or in kind (gifts of ferti-
lizer or seeds, etc.). The smaller, poorer farmers were paid a cash wage
while larger, more progressive farmers accepted gifts of inputs from time
to time in exchange for their labor.

Only two of the ten farmers interviewed participated significantly
and consistently in decisions regarding crop combinations to be tried,
practices, and the like. Sebastian (Yojoa) and Marcelino (Cuyamel) were
outstanding in their enthusiasm, intelligence, and willingness to inno-
vate or take risks. It was apparent that their direct participation as
collaborators significantly affected the researcher's choice of practices
and crop combinations, and that their observations over the course of
the trials tempered the conclusions and recommendations derived from the
research. Most other farmers participated only passively, contributing
labor upon demand and observing the results of the experiments. It was
clear that most participants only vaguely understood the nature of the
experiments and the research process. All, however, took away information
about two or three practices that would have been sufficient to induce
adoption of such practices, had other conditions been favorable.

Two farmers in the Cuyamel area identified a traditional practice, culti-
vation of a wild bean to provide fertilizer and weed control in maize, that
will be incorporated into future research trials and further adapted
if successful. This is an example of an important potential benefit of
direct farmer participation, feedback not only of problem identification
but solutions as well.

Knowledge and Adoption

Farmer understanding of the research goals and results ranged from
good (including close collaboration on a partnership basis on the part
of two progressive farmers) to poor. The degree of knowledge depended
primarily on the presence or absence of an innovator's mentality. Farmers
that were progressive and risk-taking innovator's jumped in with both
feet, working with the researcher, contributing their own ideas, and
interacting on a weekly basis with the researcher on virtually all
phases of the research. The average farmer, however, contributed his
labor but only vaguely understood the purpose of the research, research
methods used, and overall results. However, all farmers indicated an
understanding and willingness to try at least one non-traditional prac-
tice growing directly out of the research.

Only three of the ten farmers actually adopted a recommended practice
(several practices in one case). These farmers were those already identified
as close collaborators, innovators, and apparent risk takers. However, the












remaining farmers, outside of those in the Agua Sucia area, indicated a de-
sire to adopt at least one practice generated by the research project.
The reasons they didn't adopt the practice or practices ranged from un-
availability of seeds (second crop of beans in Yojoa) to lack of credit
(Cuyamel).

A tentative conclusion regarding knowledge and adoption which has impli-
cations for design of future research/extension programs for small farmers,
is that a larger "extension" element than was initially present in the
Honduras case may be desirable in order to induce improved farmer par-
ticipation and adoption of results. Apparently only progressive or excep
tional farmers take immediate advantage of the researcher's knowledge and the
research results on his farm. Put another way, it is concluded that including
change agents (specially trained researcher, extension persons) in the day
to day operations of the trials would probably pay off in terms of the
"added value of knowledge imparted". Average farmers may only respond to
people especially trained as change agents. Highly trained, research
scientist's are not generally skilled at understanding the farmer and his
practices or relaying results to him so require assistance from such trained
change agents in order to maximize the impact of the on-farm research trials
on farmers' behavior.

Yields

Completed agronomic and economic analyses were published only for the
Yojoa area for maize + pipian, maize + beans and cowpeas vs. beans. In all
cases experimental yields were significantly higher than the farmer's tra-
ditional practices. However, in the economic analysis of alternatives for
the yojoa training, experimental yields were compared to baseline averages,
not directly to cooperator's yields, thereby possibly introducing an upward
bias in the yields from experimental results relative to yields from tra-
ditional farm practices.


General impressions gained from interviewing farmers were that many
practices tested in the on-farm research contributed to an increase in
yields that could be readily observed by the farmers. That is, without
actually measuring precise changes farmers judged that these practices im-
proved yields. At least some trials then were perceived by most farmers
to have significantly increased yields.

As indicated above, several of the more innovative, risk-taking farmers
were willing to adopt the best of the new practices immediately, without wait-
ing for further verification. However, average or poorer farmers obviously
would require verification, additional extension work, and perhaps proof that
marketing services, credit, and the like were to be readily available. In
short, yields apparently were improved in the best of the alternatives tried,
but the results were not sufficiently dramatic to stimulate widespread in-
terest in trying the practices.











C. Impact on National and International Organizations

General

CATIE established formal relationships with the regional re-
search leadership in Northern Honduras but the resident CATIE researcher
obtained only nominal contact with working-level research and extension
units. CATIE thus in effect planned and executed its on-farm trials
with only minimal direct involvement of local research personnel. This
minimal level of involvement of national research personnel seems to
have been the policy of the Hunduras institutions. Consequently the
methodology of systems research was never fully adopted by the Northern
Regional research units and the extension service had virtually no involve-
ment in building a longer-lasting link between extension activities and
the new on-farm systems research methodology. When the CATIE resident left
in 1978 little institutional follow-up on the part of the Ministry of
Natural Resources (SRN) occurred. There was no system in place for be-
ginning to modify the traditional research and extension dichotomy nor did
the research leadership indicate any plans for modifying traditional re-
search methods.

In short, the weak institutional links and lack of significant changes
in institutional behavior owed in part to the low level of rapport with
middle-level research and extension units. More importantly, CATIE re-
searchers were not successful in involving these units directly in the
program. Local-level assistance in the project was provided but this
assistance was purposely separated organizationally from the other
Honduran research and extension units. Honduras institutions were
apparently reluctant to give full support to the new research methodol-
ogies, contributing to the slow rate of impact on these institutions.

Impact on National Level Institutions

The Head of the National Research Program (PNIA), of the Secretaria de
Recursos Naturales (SRN), Dr. Mario Contreras, was the highest officer
interviewed by this evaluation team. This branch of the SRN is the main
contact between CATIE and the SRN. Also, official personnel of the SRN
were interviewed at the Regional levels as the SRN has created a regional-
ized system in order to adapt the system to the political divisions created
under the current government. The country is divided into seven regions.
Under the system adopted by the SRN, each Regional Director of the SRN makes
most technical and administrative decisions concerning his own region. Thus,
the officials in the Northern Region (#3) and the Central Region (#2) inter-
viewed were key persons in ascertaining the degree of institutional impact
of the CATIE project.

The national-level leadership indicated that the greatest impact and in-
fluence of CATIE had been through its research approach and in its support
for the PNIA in its efforts to delineate their new policies and strategies












for undertaking on-farm agricultural research. These efforts are still in
the process of being consolidated and the national leadership expressed hope
that both CATIE and ICTA (Instituto de Ciencia Y Tecnologia Agropecuaria) of
Guatemala would continue advising them on systems research methodology. It
should be noted however, that official rhetoric at the national level and
observed fact in the field appear to be somewhat at odds. The researchers
in the Northern Region (#3) have apparently rejected the on-farm systems
research approach. Research at the Comayagua Center, while utilizing on-
farm trials, employs single-crop techniques only, so it must be concluded
that the impact of CATIE's small-farm systems methodology is still prob-
lematical in the Honduras case. However, it is also true that single
crop systems are more important in the Comayagua region than in the three
northern sub-regions reviewed in this evaluation, thus justifying somewhat
more attention to single crop systems.

CATIE itself, outside of the USAID small-farm systems research project,
appears to have had an important impact on the national institution (SRN)
through training of national personnel, both in service and through short
courses, seminars and other training modes.

At the sub-national level (region) there are two contrasting situations.
First, are the conditions associated with the development of the project while
it was linked to the Northern Region (1976-1978). Second, are the conditions
currently prevalent under the new policies of PNIA, the Central Research Unit
in Comayagua, and the new AID-supported Small-Farm Production Systems project.

In the first case it is clearly evident that the impact of the project
at the institutional level was low owing mainly to lack of proper coordination
between the project and the regional research program. There was close com-
munication between Hart and the former Regional Director, who gave full sup-
port to the project right from the beginning. This support was made clear
by the assignment to the project of two technicians, one from the research
station and one from the extension service. However, communication between
the Regional Director and the research staff was weak so that poor connections
developed between the CATIE project and the research program as a whole.
Furthermore, there is currently a lack of knowledge by present officers at the
regional level in San Pedro Sula of the final results achieved by the project
in the region. No final reports nor oral presentations were made at the
time of closing the project in the region. All in all, the present research
program in the Northern Region appears not to have been influenced much by
CATIE's work. Clearly the power of the regional Director and his apparent
unwillingness to fully integrate the CATIE approach was a significant
impediment to project impact on research methodologies used by the Northern
Regional Research Station.

There seems to have been some indirect influence on the research pro-
gram of the Northern Region in that the regional office follows the policies
issued by the PNIA towards the performance of research at the' farm level.
However, research and technical assistance is directed toward those farmers











having benefitted from the Agrarian Reform, or those who are organized into
groups, almost completely disregarding the individual farmers that had been
the target of the CATIE on-farm research program.

The question remains whether or not the project has had an impact on the
development of new research programs in the Central, area, (Comayagua) where
Ministry priorities are apparently being directed. The answer is: Probably
not. In fact, according to the head of the Central Unit, the results obtained
by the project in the Northern Region have not been evaluated; nor are the
researchers there fully acquainted with the ecological characteristics of the
sites there involved; nor with the validity of their findings; nor do they be-
lieve they can afford the risk involved using the tech-packs produced (three
tech-packs were produced by the project) at the Yojoa site.

D. A Note on CATIE's Current Programs in Honduras

What then are the current links between CATIE and PNIA? What is
CATIE's present role? According to Dr. Rosales, Head of Research in the
Comayagua Region, the mandate of the national research plan is to pursue re-
search in food crops and vegetables. To undertake this job seven projects
have been developed in four regions:

-- Beans in the Danli region
-- Ajonjoli in the Choluteca region
-- Soybeans, vegetables, maizes precoces and highland
corn in the Comayagua region
-- Rice and tropical corn in the Northern region.

How should the research be performed? It is up to each Region to decide
on the topics and strategies to carry out research. It is also a mandate to
provide technical assistance to farmers who benefitted from the Agrarian Re-
form. Therefore, low priority or no priority at all is given to individual
farmers. While the research goals or targets of PNIA and CATIE are not
closely matched, the research methodology being followed by PNIA is close to
CATIE's farming systems methodology.

The current CATIE representative is acting as an advisor to the PNIA pro-
grams rather than following the somewhat independent research program which
characterized earlier CATIE efforts. This would seem to indicate a healthy
adaptation to the Honduran policy environment and should lead to more effect-
ive institutionalization of CATIE farming system methods.

E. Some Recommendations Specific to the Honduras Case

The fragil nature of institutional development in international tech-
nical assistance efforts was clearly evident in the Honduras case. The departure
of two key people, Dr. Robert Hart and Mr. Nery Mayorga, extension specialist
assigned to the zone to work with Hart, had a severe negative effect on the








F-10


institutional process. Upon the team's arrival a full crop year had passed
with virtually no contact with farmers and researchers alike by CATIE
scientists. Worse, the key person at the farmer level left the project in
September 1979, allowing no follow-up to two years of research effort.

It is clear that two years is a very short time, given that contacts
had to be carefully cultivated after a lengthy selection process. The
upper echelon's of the SRN had enthusiastic words for small farmer systems
research and we were assured that steps were being taken to introduce the
systems methodology into their regional agricultural research system. How-
ever, the San Pedro Sula region has returned almost completely to the crop-
oriented "traditional" approach that has become so comfortable to adminis-
trators and scientists alike. The new regional director, Mr. Juan Jose
Osorto, was emphatic in favoring an approach similar to that being proposed
by CATIE. However, his scientists were resisting adoption of such metho-
dology, probably because they had not been closely involved with the CATIE
project in its early years. Moreover, crop-oriented "programs" in corn,
soybeans, etc., carrying the major financial resources coming in from
foreign donors, definitely shape the research strategy of this regional
station.

Two things could be done to revive the project and its activities in
the San Pedro Sula region assuming that the Northern Regional Director
were in agreement. First, Dr. Hart with the help of the new CATIE
representative, Mr. Nicolas Mateo, should prepare a final report on project
activities (Memoria) and present a seminar to scientists, extensionists and
administrators. Second, serious effort should be made to re-direct the
SRN's priorities toward this region. SRN has, according to Mr. Mateo, in-
sisted that CATIE concentrate all efforts under the new Farm Production
System Project in the Comayagua and Esperanza regions. Excluding the San
Pedro Sula Region (3) from follow-on activities will result in losing
virtually all the investment in cropping systems research made by CATIE
since 1977 in Honduras. The first recommendation would complete CATIE's
obligation to the SRN and stimulate renewed interest in cropping systems
research at that regional station. The latter recommendation should be
done to salvage the basic objectives of "proving" the farming systems
research methodology.

As is described elsewhere in this report, the potential impact of such
research on farmer well-being cannot be ascertained from the Honduras data.
Dr. Hart's departure and what followed left the question in the air because
two years is not nearly enough time to prove anything in such a complex
undertaking. It should be emphasized that the marginal benefits of adding
at least two more years of experience to the program at San Pedro Sula (The
Northern Region) are certain to be many times greater than the marginal costs,
including marginal political costs to CATIE. Thus, valuable data on insti-
tutional dynamics and on potential farm-level impacts of the farming systems
approach would be generated by redirecting some of CATIE's current efforts
to the Northern Region.









F-ll


F. Tentative Conclusions Regarding the Farming Systems Methodology

CATIE's approach to farming systems research in Northern Honduras
during 1976-78 while generating much useful data on research methods and
farming systems, failed to reach its objectives on several counts. First,
it did not lead to a lasting change in Honduran research and extension
institutions probably because Honduran institutions were not willing to
facilitate close collaboration between the CATIE advisors and local,
middle-level researchers. Second, a related shortcoming was the apparently
overly intensive application of scientific talent to a limited number of
research sites. It would probably have been more cost effective to have
spread the principal researcher's energies over more trials by utilizing
lower-level research assistants, extension specialists, and extension
agents more imaginatively. Such use of national research and extension
personnel may have enhanced the CATIE advisor's effectiveness and also
contributed to positive change on the part of the Honduran research
institutions.

The latter conclusion tacitly assumes that the principal investigator
can capture all relevant feedback from farmers and the on-farm trials by
placing himself one-step removed from day-to-day contact with the farmers
and the on-farm research plots. That is, it is assumed that the scientist
can organize his assistants in a way that will not jeopardize the very
important benefits to be derived from close contact with the farmer and
his ecological milieu. The Nicaraguan experience reported elsewhere in
these annexes would seem to support the efficacy of this assumption. It
is apparent from that analysis that the critical feedback element was more
than adequately captured, even though the CATIE investigator/advisor "dele-
gated" much direct management of the research to collaborators and assistants.
This tentative conclusion should be further analyzed in some depth as it is
critical to the efficacy of the whole methodological approach.







ANNEX 1
Stluiary of Fanner Interviews, Honduras*


Farmer.and
Region


Ulmd
<'M7:1>^


Family
Si yP


Participation


Knowledge
Level


Adoption


Yields


e -
oh


Yojoa
1


2


3


4

Cuyam
5


7





Agua Sucia

8




9
10 -


UIbor Wecision Fer
Yes-_ Yes


Yes


Good knows exp., under-
stands goals etc.


50/0O. Picked up some-
thing. Became "case"
stu 11 y


Yes Innovator


No I.1ked Deans but no
seed was available.


I I I I I I


14
(10 cul-
tivable)






(works
off
fanm))


Yes


Good. compared several
ctiib. fijol, rice, maize
tree crops.


I I I I ______ I -I.


6


Yes


Poor didn't understand
why fertilizer wasn't used
on rthe "'onlrol'" lots


No Observed no change in
yields except rice. No
capital for tree crops.
Resists change.


tlo Like beas bt no
seed wras available. No
tivrket for Ayote.


Convinced that inter-
crop good for yields,
tree crops.
Extensive inTou-iatio in
a case study.


Rice yields higher but ID
no change in other crops


Bean yields better than
traditional levels.


o-- I I th pos


12
(3 chil-
dren
grown)


5
(Is a
leader)


I05 --- Yes


--1-------I ----- I


Yes






Vl 1


Fed
back
use of
wild
beans
as fer-
rilizer


Wild
beans
as fer-
t-il iepr


Observe
ed re-
suits
with
good
accu-


none


'No I none
. o [ ]M--W
NO 10110


Good knew yield differ-
ences, labor use differ-
ences, etc. lad running
water and cultivated gar-
den ornamentals.


Good knew perfonrimce
of beans/maize vs. yucca/
ilaize.


Good could draw trials
in dirt and explain what
was going on.


50/50. understood that
Ilusillo was ok for
drought. Ticntoes/water-
melon profitable of cash
_crops. ______ ___
1s',r not olse.rvant.
Srl(:' nortivation.
'- or lac :;eJ itivation.


Yes Yucca and nmize.
Pineapple is an inno-
vator.


. I I I z I


Yes Adopted rice and in-
tend to try yucca/maize in
May, (primavera). Fijol./
tnize in the Fall.


No Credit unavailable.
Liked beans and ferti-
lizer but not mixed crops.


No Drought. Intends to
try nlstillo next year.



Ik U IUualtsl poor and lack.-
ed motivation .
l l r:;.ults xpor.


Higher. Mixed crops
also lalor saving.


Labor saving. Higher
yields fran double
beans.


Definitely higher but
lack of credit inhibits
adoption. Official
credit in hands of un-
reliable agent.


No Drought




Ho Ur-oit',lt

lo Drougyiit


*Exp. ,'anis totaled 13. The loutal tinder interviewed was 10 (8 exp. and 2 neighbors).

**Each number represents an individual farmer.


--


- -- l -


T-~~ -- r- '-- 1 1 -


----~ ~'--- --


---- ~ ~~~ -
I


-I--------------------


el







































APPENDIX G

COSTA RICA COUNTRY REPORT




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