Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Chapter I. Phases of development...
 Chapter II. Adding new dimensions...
 Chapter III. Observations about...
 Chapter IV. Research that is planned...
 Chapter V. Guidelines for implementing...
 Chapter VI. Animal research in...
 Chapter VII. Management of research...
 Chapter VIII. Some needs of farm...
 Chapter IX. Operational planning...
 Chapter X. Organizational structure...

Title: Client-oriented agricultural research and extension
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00053940/00001
 Material Information
Title: Client-oriented agricultural research and extension
Physical Description: 1 v. (various foliations) : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Waugh, R. K.
Publisher: International Programs, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida,
Publication Date: 1984.
Subject: Agriculture
Farming   ( lcsh )
Farm life   ( lcsh )
General Note: "Draft copy for class use."
General Note: "Farming Systems Support Project"--Cover.
General Note: Errata slip (1 leaf) inserted.
General Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Funding: Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00053940
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: notis - ocm3655

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Unnumbered ( 2 )
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
    Chapter I. Phases of development of agricultural research and extension in the developing countries
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Chapter II. Adding new dimensions to agricultural research and extension
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 14a
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Chapter III. Observations about constraints to adding new dimensions to agricultural research and extension
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Chapter IV. Research that is planned and managed (directed) for development
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    Chapter V. Guidelines for implementing a farm focused research and extension system
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
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        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
    Chapter VI. Animal research in the systems mode
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Chapter VII. Management of research and extension
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Chapter VIII. Some needs of farm focused research and extension from government
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Chapter IX. Operational planning for farm focused research and extension
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Chapter X. Organizational structure for research and extension
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 1
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        Page 4
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        Page 4
Full Text



R. K. Waugh

(Draft copy for class use)



These notes are based on experiences
with some very wonderful people in
different parts of the world. I would
like to name each of them but the list
would be too long to include here. My
thanks to all of them.

Steve Kearl spent several hours
improving the readability of this
publication and I.thank him for his

R. K. W.


These notes have been written from the overall
viewpoint of agricultural research/extension systems:
organizational structure, focus and orientation of programs,
purpose of different kinds of methodologies, implementation,
management, and operation. The main, but not exclusive,
focus of these notes is upon:

-Research and extension that is oriented to a specific
clientele, especially small, limited resource farmers and
their families.

-Research and extension that is oriented through what is
frequently called the farming systems approach.

-Research and extension in the developing countries.

-The implementation and management of research/extension
organizations and their programs.

Technology generation and dissemination for the small,
limited resource farmer is given emphasis because the small
farmer represents a large segment of the world poor. The systems
approach promises to be effective in helping this segment and, in
fact, could become more important in all research. The third
world setting is given emphasis because that is where the
majority of small, limited resource farmers and their families
are found. Management is emphasized because it has been a weak
aspect of governmental research/extension organizations, and must
be improved or the client-oriented research may be no more
successful than research/extension of the past. However, what is
to be managed is discussed more than the qualities of management.

The concepts presented should be of interest to managers,
researchers and extensionists alike because everyone is a manager
to some degree. As these three elements work together
programmatically it is not only important for all to have the
same goals, but for all to use an integrated and coordinated
process to strive toward them.

The nature of agricultural research/extension has changed
relatively little over the last several decades, but it has
changed. It will continue to change; it must continue to change
in order to meet its mandate as a public service. Most of the
changes have occurred from external pressures rather than from
innovative action on the part of research/extension itself. Will
we, the researchers/extensionists, continue to wait for external
pressures to make change, or will we become more innovative and
have more input into design and strategies of technology

generation and dissemination? Hopefully we can become more
active. If we are to prepare ourselves to do this it should be
helpful to be cognizant of the nature of past changes while
looking at the nature of possible future change. In doing so the
basic principles of science, of our professions, must not be
lost. But we must not only seek an understanding of the laws of
the universe but also how to direct them for the benefit of the
clientele. (Whyte, 1981)

The ideas expressed are based on experiences gained while
working directly with such programs within the developing
countries. Most of this experience has been "on the ground" in
Latin America, especially in Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras and
may reflect more relevance to that part of the world. However,
information in the literature, dialog with colleagues, as well as
some rather brief glimpses of Asia, Africa and the Caribbean
Islands, leads to the belief that there are common principles
which can be applied in most countries.

The farming systems approach to agricultural research and
extension is not closely defined in these notes, but the
principles of the systems approach are discussed throughout the
eleven chapters. These notes then are about the farming systems
approach. Terms such as farming systems approach (FSA) and
farming. systems research (FSR and FSR/E to include extension) are
used interchangeably.

These notes are written for the purpose of. sharing ideas
with others interested in improving agricultural research and
extension. The ideas expressed should not be taken as- inflexible
models but as guidelines to be considered in order to evolve
agricultural research and extension programs that are suitable to
the different characteristics of governments, of agriculture, and
of the cultural and economic situations to be found in different
Robert K. Waugh
Steamboat Springs,
February, 1984

Page -ii




I. Phases of Development of Agricultural Research and
Extension in the Developing Countries

II. Adding New Dimensions to Agricultural Research and

III. Observation About Constraints to Adding new Dimensions.
to Agricultural Research and Extension

'IV. Research That is Planned and Managed (Directed) for

V. Guidelines for Implementing a Farm Focused Research and
Extension System

VI. Technology for the Livestock Component of Farming

VII. Management of Research and Extension

VIII. Some Needs of Farm Focused Research and Extension from

IX. Operational Planning for Farm Focused Research and

X. Organizational structure for Research and Extension


Page iii



Agricultural research and extension has evolved in at
least three phases in the developing world, and now
definitely seems to be entering a fourth. In some countries
it started before World War II while in others it is more
recent. The current evolution of a systems approach, is
part of the emerging fourth phase. It is the continuation
of a process, the result of many forces surrounding
agriculture -- such as the need for food, the pressures as a
result of development in other parts of the world, economic
opportunities for commercial enterprises, and the efforts of
governments to improve the level of rural life.

Introductory phase.

Pre-World War II agricultural research and extension
varied considerably in nature in different countries. In
some cases agricultural research was initiated by the
national governments themselves, while in others it was
effected by colonial powers or by international agricultural
and trading companies who were interested in export crops.
The establishment of experimental stations, faculties of
agronomy, and vocational schools characterized this phase
but few, if any, of these had much relevance to the majority
of farmers. Resources were committed to national food
production, to export income and to introduce agricultural
research. Small farmers with limited resources were not
considered to be active participants in the development
schemes; indeed, they were given very little consideration.
-'Transfer phase.

Following World War II a second phase evolved,
supported in large part by foreign technical assistance
programs, especially from the United States. Focused mainly
upon the transfer of technology, this phase was based on the
premise that the success of the United States in applying
technology for increasing food production could be repeated
in the developing countries. Extension systems were seen as
the key to informing the farmer and demonstrating the value
of more productive technologies. The prevailing belief was
that productive technologies from developed countries could
be transferred to other countries.

Applied research phase.

A third phase evolved with the realization that most
technology was "location specific" and would at least need
adaptation before being of much value in the developing
countries. Applied research was initiated in many countries
to adapt, modify and generate technologies that would be
more relevant to the ecological conditions of the country.
This early research largely ignored small farmers, it
focused instead upon the biological nature of farming
without much attention to the cultural and economic aspects
of agricultural production.

Manpower development and institution building were
emphasized. Applied and adaptive research were focused
especially upon plant improvement, agronomic practises and
livestock production. Cadres of nationals were trained and
organized into national programs supported heavily by
foreign aid as well as by national agencies of government.
In some countries these national programs became well-
institutionalized. Also, regional and international
organizations were developed such as the International
Agricultural Research Centers. Thus not only were many
national agricultural research programs organized but an
international chain of research centers was developed that
could support national programs.

This phase of research has had some successes. Total
food production in the developing countries has been
increasing more rapidly than in the developed (Barr, 1981;
Waugh,1980) during the last several years. However food
production per capital has not been rising as rapidly in the
developing countries as in the developed. Large segments of
the world population are passed by and have not benefitted
very much from technology.

Client oriented phase.

The fourth phase of agricultural research and
extension, like its forerunners, has emerged as a result of
various forces and pressures in development. Paramount in
this phase has been widespread drought, population growth
and the need for food. There has been the growing question
in the minds of the world's agricultural leaders and
development agencies of how food needs can be met and the
plight of poor rural families can be improved. It has been
from this felt need that new approaches have been developed.

One of these relatively recent approaches is
characterized by its focus on a specific clientele. We will
call this fourth phase client-oriented because it focuses on
the client's needs and functions with their participation in
the evaluation of technologies. In consideration of the
client and the client family, the entire farming enterprise

Chapter I Page 2

is considered as a whole or a system. This approach has
come to be known by various but similar terminology; some of
the commonly used terms are the farming systems approach
(FSA), farming systems research (FSR) and farming systems
research and extension (FSR/E).

This phase is placing emphasis on the small and
limited-resource farmer. The disciplines of the agricultural
and social sciences, and the knowledge and skills of the
farmer are being brought together into agricultural research
and extension. In order to specifically orient research
much of the research has been moved to the farm; cultural
and economic aspects are given consideration with the
biological in the orientation of research and its transfer.

This approach evolved within the developing countries,
with three main factors contribution to its origin. First,
much had been learned about agriculture within the
individual countries, and its nature required a different
approach to be now successful in development. Second, many
expatriate scientists had gained experience in the phase
three models and there were a greater understanding of its
strengths and weaknesses. Third and perhaps most important
of all, cadres of local scientists and technicians had been
trained who could carry out much of the technical level work
required by the new focus. What is more, this provided a
capacity to contribute improved leadership and management,
based on the experiences of the programs of the applied
research phase.

This fourth phase has already produced modest results
in a few countries. It promises to be much better targeted
for improving the agricultural production of limited
resource farmers. As a consequence, it has attracted
interest world-wide. Economists and anthropologists,
especially, have been active in conceptualizing the
"process" of farm-oriented research and extension for the
development of farm-focused technology systems and services.

While the emphasis of farm-oriented research and
extension is now directed toward the small and
limited-resource farmer, there is no reason to believe that
client-oriented research should be restricted to this group.
This focus should serve any-scale farmers, larger or small,
if they are part of the target group.

The sharply focused objectives of farm-oriented
research are very similar to industrial research. Wherever
there are production problems to be-solved -- where
technology is needed for development, and the target
population does not have ready access to other sources of
technology, this approach should be considered.

Chapter I Page 3

Research is client oriented in the U. S. An
interesting case can be made to support the premise that
agricultural research started in the systems mode in the
United States. Historically, farmers' needs and desires
were met, in part because the researcher himself was a
farmer, and partly because the farmer was a direct evaluator
of technology. Agricultural research remained in this mode
until the period following World War II. At about that time
an "institutional drift" started to take place, where
research gave more emphasis to fundamental research.
Extension moved toward broadening their clientele, to
include, for example, urban gardining and lawn care.

Some programs of agricultural research in the United
States, remain client-oriented and extension is still
heavily client-oriented, but the clientele, in both areas
has changed considerably. Where the farmer-client continues
as a major focus of both research and extension the farms
have become larger and more business-oriented rather than
family-oriented. Farmers tend to become a secondary
clientele for research in the sense that they now obtain
much of their technical needs in some "packaged" form from
industry. Industry uses the information from governmental
research as well as from its own research programs. Thus
industry is also part of the clientele of governmental
agricultural research in the U. S. This has had an effect
upon agricultural development in the third world through the
kinds of training that personnel receive when sent to the U.
S. to study, and through the kinds of technical aid
programs that U. S. scientists have developed abroad.

Chapter I Page 4

Chapter II


Are Changes Necessary?

While sometimes not readily obvious, research and extension
in the developing countries, have gone through several
evolutionary stages. The evolution may come slowly, either
through internal initiative or from external decision and
pressure. Logical change is a requirement for all research and
extension organizations in order for them to meet their mandates.

Change may take many forms -- in organizational structure,
in program emphasis, or through different management. Some
changes are drastic and some are new dimensions that are easily
accomodated without organizational stress. The advantage of one
kind over another usually depends greatly upon the local
circumstances. For example, a change of research from a
centralized organization in the Ministry of Agriculture to an
autonomous decentralized institute is a major change. It may
offer the opportunity to fill positions with more competent
personnel, reorganize programs, adquire organizational
flexibility and freedom'from political influence. As a result,
staff may be motivated, programs more sharply focused upon
specific objectives and the research output improved.

Major change, however, may result in internal strife. It
may tear down the old programs and not have the capacity to
develop new ones, with the result being organizational chaos.

On the other hand, improvements, even small ones, can
sometimes be made in an organization by modification and
reorientation of current programs that avoid drastic changes.
The kind of modifications which should be applied depend upon the
local situation. The important point is whether or not the
changes effected will result in improvement.

Implied but purportless change also frequently occurs. The
name of the organization and the names on the doors are changed.
The outward appearance may be changed; but internally everything
remains as before. This kind of change is not objective; it will
seldom result in research/extension improvement.

Rationale for Change in Agricultural Research and Extension

A strong case can be made in support of agricultural
research and extension. Their contributions accrue from

increased food production, as well as from many other advances of
a technical and scientific nature that have an impact on how we
live.(l) But one can cite examples where it is obvious that
agricultural research and the dissemination of information have
not contributed very much to large groups of the world's

There is much hunger in the world, and over a still wider
area there is very poor nutrition with unfortunate effects,
especially upon the health of the young. This has been due in
some cases to a shortage of food within the country, in others,
to a lack of a means of obtaining the food. Much of the hunger
and poverty is found precisely where it might be expected that
food could be produced in adequate amounts and be directly
available to the people, i.e. within rural areas. Even though it
is clear that the agricultural sector, with its organizations for
the generation of technology and dissemination of results is not
alone culpable, the question can be asked if agricultural
research and extension have done everything they could to improve
the lot of the people. Consider the following related questions:

Have we had appropriate technology available but the
extension system has failed in teaching people how to use it?

Should the relationship between research and extension be

Have we skewed the advantages of technology so that it is
more relevant to those who have already been living better than
many others?

Have we made enough effort to meet the needs of rural
populations with limited resources -- to generate technology that
is acceptable to them? Perhaps the strongest argument for change
in agricultural research and extension can be based upon the
continued need for more food, accompanied by the need to
alleviate the rural poverty that persists in many of the
developing countries.

The technological system (research and extension) of the
United States might measure highly successful if it is evaluated
on the basis of total production, crop yields and production per
man. But in making these increases the :technological system
never focused very much on the marginal, limited-resource farmer
(Carlin, 1979); and farms in the U.S. increasingly have become
larger. Marginal farming persists, supported in part by off-farm
activities. None of this translates very well to developing
countries where research/extension programs are younger, prone to
the instability of governments, and where earlier phases of
develpoment are the norm.

There are two situations where there is urgent need to
develop a more effective technological system in support of

Chapter II Page 2

farming. One is the well documented case of small farmers in the
developing countries where the concern is both for total national
food production and for the wellbeing of a large segment of the
world's population. The second is the case of the small,
limited-resource farmer in the developed countries. In this case
the concern is not one of total food production but for the
economic well-being of a segment of the population.

Have Governments Viewed Technology Correctly?

Technology alone is not all that need be brought to bear
upon the problem -- and this immediately leads to the question of
whether or not agricultural research and extension have given
enough attention to the non-biotechnical aspects of rural
development. Many efforts, other than the generation and
dissemination of technology, have been directed toward the
problems of food production and the quality of rural life. We
are now asking if research has worked closely enough with such
non-biological efforts. But. similarly, the question can be asked
if these other efforts have viewed technology correctly. Have
governments invested enough in research and extension (Boyce and
Evenson, 1975)?

Since the problems of agriculture remain widespread and of
global proportions, it is obvious that what has been done to date
has not been adequate. Neither the programs of research and
extension nor other strategies of price, infrastructure, credit,
health, education and other social programs have coalesced on
behalf of the small farmer. (2)

Examples of Change of Focus.

There are several examples where biological and social
scientists have worked together to make biological technology
more relevant to the case of the client (Shaner et. al., 1982).
Two of the early ones are the Plan Puebla in Mexico (CIMMYT,
1974) and the Caqueza Project in Colombia (Zandstra et.
al.,1979). The work was focused differently in each project:
toward maize production in the Plan Puebla and the cropping
systems of the farmers at Caqueza. In each case the work was
directed toward specific clientele. Strategies and methodologies
changed as project personnel gained experience, but the objective
of evolving a system to generate relevant technologies and
effecting adoption into farmers' production systems remained

Generally, as with the Plan Puebla and Caqueza project, an
effort to direct biological technology to meet the needs of a
specific client does not effect major changes in the core
programs of an institution. A change of focus from a broader
point of view to a more directed focus conserves the strong
biological orientation and scientific methodology of the
organization. In fact, many successful projects that are

Chapter II Page 3

client-oriented are developed within or connected with
organizations of a strong biological orientation.

ICTA in Guatemala

ICTA in Guatemala (Waugh, 1975; Whyte, 1981; McDermott and
Bathrick, 1982) was one of the first examples (if not the first)
of a new decentralized institute that was organized with the
philosophy and orientation of client-oriented research. Some of
the principal strategies of ICTA were:

-to focus upon the farm;

-to give high but not exclusive priority to limited resource

-to learn as much as possible about farming from the
pragmatic viewpoint of farming itself and the farmer;

-to involve the farmer (this included the farmer's test
.plots as self-managed demonstrations) both to teach the farmer
and to-learn from him;

-to integrate the social sciences as a part of the total
system to generate biological technology; and

-to maintain strong commodity programs.but closely
coordinated with the on-farm area research teams so that the
component research was focused upon the needs of specific farming

Even with a philosophy and orientation of client-oriented
research, ICTA decided to continue with strong commodity teams.
The on-farm research, to be conducted by on-farm area research
teams, was viewed as a new dimension to the overall ICTA research
program and not as a substitute for commodity research.

ICTA institutionalized three aspects of research which
constituted a new focus with new dimensions. First, ICTA
combined research of both reductive and holistic nature into one
integrated system. Second, it used the farm focus not only at
the on-farm level of research, but also to orient the commodity
and discipline, or component research (including economics).
Third, it integrated non-biological disciplines into the process
of generation of biological technology.

A fourth aspect, that ICTA institutionalized early in the
development of the institute, was in-service training to prepare
young agronomists to work more efficiently under the new focus.
This has had a major influence upon both the commodity research
and the on-farm research with respect to the generation of
technology. More recently, ICTA has been working to add a fifth

Chapter II Page 4

dimension -- that of close linkage and coordination with

Why did ICTA add these new dimensions to the process of
generation of technology? Briefly, Guatemala wished to stimulate
food production and at the same time have the technology
contribute to the standard of living of the small farmers, who
were producing a high percentage of the basic food grains for the

New Orientation for Extension

There are cases where research and extension are working
together to establish a new dimension in the relationship between
generation and transfer of technologies, rather than rely on the
traditional linkages. Benor and Harrison (1977) have proposed
the training and visit (TV) approach to extension which
emphasizes organization, training, dedication and supervision,
but with a design to reach village-level farmers. Under the TV
system extension follows traditional patterns and relies heavily
upon extension subject matter specialists for the linkage between
technology generation (research) and the extension activities.

However, the transfer process can also be considered a
continuation of the generation of technology, and not as a
discrete. function solely of extension. ICTA, as an institute
with its principal mandate being the generation and promotion of
the use of technology, appears to be forging meaningful linkages
with extension, wherein extension participates in the evaluation
of technology (Waugh, 1981). The programs of research and
extension in Honduras have been seeking means of coordinating the
evaluation of technology at the farm level (PNIA, 1981), and the
University of Florida has a program of activities identified as
Farming Systems Research/Extension (FSR/E), which operates in
North Florida (Tefertiller, 1980).

Research and Extension as a Source of Information for Planning.

In developing countries a large number of small farmers live
in poverty; technology has not alleviated their situation very
much. There are undoubtedly many cases where there is no
agricultural solution to this dilemma. But when there is no
technological solution to the rural plight, should not research
and extension help identify these instances? Should not better
information be furnished to planners and programers about the
limitations as well as the contributions of science and
technology to problem solving?

Research and extension have not contributed more basic
information for planning and development because:

1. Planning usually is conducted centrally within the
government by a unit specialized in planning and into which

Chapter II Page 5

research and extension have little access.

2. Research and extension do not have the right kind of
information. Research has focused upon maximizing the
output of the biological processes of production without
reliable estimates of the results when technology is managed
by farmers.

3. Research and extension have not understood the requirements
of inputs, credit and markets for successful use of
technologies, and have not made it clear to policy makers
and economic planners what must accompany the technology in
order that it make an impact.

Governments need information about the output that can be
expected when technology is applied. The agronomist, for
example, knows that variety "x" of maize has a potential yield of
100 bushels per acre. But this is not a good value to estimate
the impact of this variety on a given area. If many farmers were
to use this variety their average yield might only be 50 bushels
per acre. Research and extension can estimate the production that
might logically be expected if a large number of farmers within a
given area were to use a technology, but what they usually
estimate are potential yields. Likewise, research and extension
pay little attention to what should accompany the technology. In
dialogue with government there frequently is an inordinate
emphasis placed on the seed variety of a crop without emphasizing
the need for fertilizer, credit or markets necessary to make the
new technology successful. Research and extension must improve
their capacity to inform government in terms that are meaningful
for planning and policy.

The Political and Apolitical Nature of Research.

Research in the laboratory and in the experiment station
tends to be apolitical. The public is not generally
well-informed about research activities in these environments.
When research is reported in the popular press and it creates a
platform for public sentiment because it is of a sensitive
nature, the research is no longer apolitical. Work with
chemicals may draw criticism from ecologists. Putting dairy
cattle under stress to understand the effect of high temperature
on milk production may bring the wrath of the Society for the
Prevention of Cruelity to Animals. However the researcher's work
to improve the corn plant or to control weeds is relatively
apolitical (Even here, in the areas of genetics and cloning, for
example, it is possible for a plant breeder's work to become
politicized, but it is the exception rather than the rule).

Under the farm-focused system, research and extension cannot

Chapter II Page 6

remain as apolitical as in the past. The individual researcher
needs to be more aware of the what, where, how and why research
can be more political. For one thing, on-farm research and
farmer-managed trials have considerably more visibility than
traditional research station activities. These are open to
public view and scrutiny. That makes them susceptible to
criticism. There is a contingent liability in having research so
out in the open, too: the risk of failure. When a plot fails
for some reason on the research station it goes unnoticed except
by the researcher. When the same thing happens in an on-farm or
farmer-managed trials it receives public notice by a community
peer group; it has become politicized.

Reductive vs. Holistic Research and Extension.

Research has been criticized for being too reductive, i.e.
it separates a small piece of a biological system, isolates it,
and studies it under controlled conditions, frequently very
different from the conditions where the biological system
normally functions. Diagram II-1 partially illustrates the
fractionization of corn production research. The illustration is
by no means complete. It does not take into account that corn
production is a subsystem within the farming unit. It says
nothing about the socio-economic aspects of corn production.
Furthermore, it would, in practice, include many other biological
aspects that might need attention and the fractionization of the
biological components would be even greater than shown.

In practice, a component is usually studied on the
experiment station or in the laboratory. A small fraction of an
agricultural system is studied because it is impossible to study
it within the whole system; it is too complex, and the great
variation of the natural system would mask the response to a
treatment which the scientist is studying. The error of research
has not been due to reductive methodologies, but in not returning
the component being studied to the holistic, natural system for
evaluation after it has been studied under controlled conditions.

It is frequently stated that the researcher does not go to
the field. This statement does not present the true picture; the
researcher goes to the field, but usually is not interested in
the holistic nature of farming. In the field, the researchers
observe biological systems that interests them most. From this,
the researcher conceptualizes how the biological system might be
influenced through plant breeding, control of insects, control of
weeds, the use of 'fertilizer, etc. The researcher then studies
the system on the experiment station and returns to the field to
test the results.

These results are exposed to a wider ecological range than
is found on the experiment station. But the researcher does not
return to the holistic system of the farmer. The researcher
controls plant nutrients, plant density, weeds, and many other

Chapter II Page 7

variable, and presupposes that the farmer can, and will, control
the same production factors. The experiment station remains the
point from which results are disseminated. Under this system,
how results are brought to a farming region and disseminated to
farmers is the responsibility of the extension agent (Diagram

Farm-focused research does not remove the need for
traditional research but, it adds a new dimension. It evaluates
technology under farmers' conditions. The results are
immediately available to the extension agent, who along with
farmers and researchers have participated in the evaluation of
new technology. The "distance" between the generation of
technology and the point of its use is essentially eliminated.
Research and extension are interrelated at the farm level.
Traditional research conducts on-farm (perhaps off-station would
be a better term) research. But on-farm research under a systems
approach takes on a quality different from the on-farm
(off-station) regional yield trials, conducted traditionally. It
goes further by evaluating the biological system when the
non-experimental variables, including management, are allowed to
fluctuate within a range that might be expected under the
farmers' conditions of production. Traditional research gives an
estimate of what would happen if farmers were to control
variables as the researcher does. On-farm research can give an
estimate of results if farmers were to use the new variety.
While both of these estimates are important to farmers, planners
and researchers, the second is frequently (usually) missing.
There is a need for a systematized means of returning the result
of component research to the holistic system of farming which can
be accomplished under a systems approach. In fact, thiis is what
the systems approach is all about.

Integrated Biological and Social Sciences.

It is not always easy to combine sociological and
biological disciplines and get them to function in a coordinated
and objective manner. But if the cultural and economic aspects
are to be conjoined with biological aspects, some pattern of
organization and work must be found to involve social scientists
jointly with agronomists and other biological scientists.

In ICTA, a socioeconomic group was organized and identified
as the "Socioeconomic Discipline." Thus socioeconomics was
identifiable, had organization and budget. It was given
guidelines for .developing a program, assigned responsibilities,
supported by the institute and thus given the opportunity to
develop activities as well as image. Socioeconomics had its own
niche; it was not just added to the institute but was integrated
into the institute in a manner similar for other activity groups.

The guidelines for socioeconomics were: (Waugh, 1975)

Chapter II Page 8

1. The micro-economics of the systems presently in use by the
small farmer.

2. An analytical function to assure the recommended practices
are economically favorable for the farmers.

3. Detecting and identifying the desires and needs of the small
farmer with the objective of making the research more
efficient and the transfer of technology to the farmer more

4. Contributing to the feedback of information from the field
to the commodity programs and to the administration.

5. Participating in the evaluation of the institutional

These guidelines and the structural arrangement did not
solve all of the problems of integrating the social and
biological sciences within the institute. It did not eliminate
friction or assure the development of agro-socioeconomic
methodologies that were productive or agricultural research more
relevant to the conditions of the farmer. This arrangement,
however, did give structure and organization, so that managerial
coordination, direction and control could be exercised on the
organizational units. It is very likely that, had the structural
organization (and thus managerial input and control) been absent,
the attempt to integrate the biological sciences with the social
sciences would have resulted in chaos and failure.

Methodologies have been shown to be very important in mixing
sociological and biological disciplines. For example, in ICTA,
the traditional survey technique was not satisfactory for
gathering information. Too many questions were asked; volumes of
information collected overshadowed the pertinent information.
The analysis was cumbersome, too slow and too costly. The long
survey did not seem to be the best methodology to be used for
farmers who are always busy and have little sympathy for
government representatives. Furthermore, several surveyors were
needed and in their contact with farmers, they alluded to
idealistic principles. This was a dangerous thing under a
government concerned with political stability. Also, when the
personnel of the socio-economic unit conducted the survey, the
information was not transferred to the agronomists who were
conducting the biological research. Because of the time
involved, the biological researcher did not participate in

ICTA cancelled the traditional survey as a standard
methodology, and replaced it by the rapid reconnaissance or
"sondeo" (Hildebrand, 1981). This had many advantages over the
traditional survey. Since it was done over a short period of

Chapter II Page 9

time, agronomists could participate. Results could be summarized
rapidly. The agronomists' participation resulted in better
transfer of information to the biological scientists who later
would be conducting research in the area. This joint
participation in the sondeo "forced" dialogue between agronomists
and the social scientists.

Thus the methodology of the social scientist should be
functional within the research system, i.e. compatible with the
biological research system. An example of a methodology that
would not be satisfactory in on-going research systems is the one
proposed by Lagemann (1981). His plan proposed that data
collection and analysis be spread over a period of 20 months.
On-farm experimentation, initiated, after seven months of
collecting information would furnish some research data that
could be available before all data collected were analyzed in the
20 month schedule. Such a plan could be used in the elaboration
of plans for a large, long-term development project. However, it
would be very costly and time consuming for the routine data
collecting methodology of a research program.

Traditional farm records, used to study costs of production
and the economics of the farm enterprise, is another methodology
which collects much data that is difficult to analyze. While it
has its place, it is time consuming and, not what can be most
productive as an integrated part of the biological research
system. The farm records that were developed in ICTA
(Hildebrand, 1979) to record cropping practices, inputs and
yields on a single crop basis, are much more compatible with
farm-focused research. The point is that the methodologies to
collect economic and cultural information should be compatible
and functional with the biological experimentation if they are to
be integrated into agricultural research systems.

The biologist can learn to make sociological observations --
not only to understand the process of farming, but to understand
the farmer culturally. The average agronomist or animal
scientist is not trained to do this, and probably will not begin
to learn how until becoming aware of the importance of
non-biological implication of technology generation. Likewise,
few social scientists have much comprehension of the biology of
agriculture. If they are brought into a biologically-oriented
institute they will have to be given the opportunity not only to
study the cultural-economic aspects of farming, but to learn the
general substance of biological research.

The sondeo methodology described by Hildebrand (1981) and
the more formal, but still rapid, reconnaissance methodology of
Hart (1980) are examples of data gathering that contribute to
learning by both biological and social science personnel. The
biological scientist plays a somewhat secondary roll to the
social scientist in the sondeo, at least until experience is
gained. The social scientist can likewise learn a lot about

Chapter II Page 10

biological research by taking a secondary role in the subsequent
on-farm research. In either case the secondary role would not
recommended over a long period of time.

There are major differences between disciplines of the
biological and social sciences. This becomes readily evident
when various disciplines are integrated in a multi-disciplinary
effort. On the one hand this creates discrepancies in arriving
at a concerted approach to research, on the other it means there
is a tremendous opportunity for various disciplines to make a
meaningful and professional contribution to its design and
direction. Some of these discrepancies/opportunities are
discussed below in a general way.

The economist does not do what the anthropologist does and
their methodologies differ. The biological scientist in turn
views them both quite differently, seeming to understand
economics better than anthropology, perhaps because the economist
usually goes further in the quantification of information and

The biologist may not understand the substance of behavioral
sciences -- in fact, may consider them as lacking substance. The
biologist has been taught to be suspicious of what appears to be
fact if it has not been evaluated by scientific methodology,
evaluating by measurements of tangible material. Usually some
measuring device such as a ruler or a scale is used to observe
length or weight which produces a specific numerical value. The
social scientist evaluates less tangible material -- beliefs,
acceptance, preference.
The input that sociologists and anthropologists can make to
improving the relevance of research seems to be greater at the
beginning of the farm-focused research than later as the system
"matures." The value of a continuing role seems greater with
economists. But these are generalizations and don't always hold
true. The behavorial scientists, even though not needed in
research full time, might be in a position to make important
contributions over time. Still, anthropologists cannot be
expected to make their best contributions if they are not
continually in contact with the area upon which research is being

For sociologists/anthropologists, neither the role in the
research/extension process, nor the location within
organizational structure are well defined (Rhoades and Booth,
1983). The problem is not whether sociologists/anthropologists
should participate in the generation/transfer process, but how to
identify their roles and organize them in the institutional
structures. It is important to define their role more clearly
and determine an institutional location for a number of reason.
Definitions are needed to have a manageable operation, to clarify
methodologies and coordinate activities, to develop plans of work
and budgets, and to justify their inclusion for the purpose of

Chapter II Page 11

obtaining economic support.

Sociologists/anthropologists have viewed their roles as
being participants in research. To improve the continuity of the
process of generation/transfer through extension/research
coordination, collaboration, and feedback, they may be most
effective working from the side of transfer in the following

1. The evaluation of technology, especially as perceived by

2. In determining strategy for and routes of communications.

3. Organization of groups for evaluation and transfer of

4. Feedback to research through participation in reconnaissance
of farming areas, evaluating farmer acceptance of
technology, and other research/extension collaborative
activities such as review of research results and planning.

This arrangement would allow continued contact on the part
of sociologists/anthropologists with farming systems and farmers'
conditions. They would then be well-oriented for reconnaissance
work in collaboration with research, for strengthening feedback
to research and for other research/extension collaborative

Research might consider developing a strong micro-economics
component while extension might develop an active, hanrds-on
behavorial science activity. In fact, one might ask why
behavorial scientists have not given attention to playing such a
role, thus developing a new dimension in extension to link to
research at the same time that research is developing new
dimensions that are contributing to their linkage with extension.
These comments about the social sciences is not a suggestion to
limit their participation to extension aspects of agricultural
development, but is proposed as one means to organize one of
their roles within a technological system. McDermott (1982)
suggests that the role of the social sciences can be considerably

In summary, in order to integrate the social sciences with
the biological sciences for the purpose of generating biological
technology, success will depend upon the usefulness of the
outcome. This usefulness must be planned and results must attest
to its importance in the following ways:

1. The substantive qualities of the social science disciplines
must be maintained while at the same time they are adapted
to what almost assuredly will be a new work environment.

Chapter II Page 12

2. The social sciences should be organized in such a manner
that they are given identification, can be supported
(budget, etc.), and can be evaluated.

3. The methodologies must be compatible with the dynamic,
biological, farm-focused research. Both the time required
and degree of simplicity of methodologies used by the social
scientists are important considerations. Lengthy and
complex methodologies should be avoided. The methodologies
used by social sciences must result in an output that is
used by the biological scientists as well as being useful to

Systems science and the farming systems approach.

Systems science is based upon groups of interrelated
elements or components that together function as a unit, ie.
together the components form a system. Since the components of a
system are interrelated, modifications or changes in one
component of a system affect the entire system. Systems are
hierarchical and a group of interrelated components are
subsystems of a higher level system (Hart and Pinchinat, 1980).

In farming systems research the farm is viewed as a system.
This then furnishes some basis for studying, not only a mono-crop
performance, but also the relationships of a crop with other
crops in a cropping subsystem and, similarly, the cropping
subsystem in relation with other subsystems, such as the
livestock subsystem and the human element within the farm unit.
Historically researchers have had an overriding interest in one
crop. This focus, along with a lack of knowledge of or interest
in other disciplines has limited their study to relatively.small
subsystems of the farming system.

In a highly simplistic sense the "farming systems approach"
views the farm as an identifiable unit or system in which all
related things (subsystems) are considered for the purposes of
developing plans of research and when evaluating the results of
research. In practise, however, the most important
interrelationships are selected as subjects of research because
of the impossibility of studying everything at one time. Once
problems of primary importance are solved, the nature of, and the
solution to other problems can be studied.

The assignment of the priorities will depend upon many
factors. Each farm unit is different, and it is impossible to
make a detailed study of each farm, or to develop specific
technologies for each one. Therefore, the most important common
characteristics of the farming systems are identified and
problems selected accordingly for research so that the research
thrust is appropriate for many, if not all, of the farms within a
given area.

Chapter II Page 13

Errata Chapter II, Page 14

FSRE&D. The broad approach to farming systems research
and development has been termed by the acronym FSR&D (Shaner
et al.-1982). Within this broader terminology two
complementary components of FSR&D have been recognized
(Norman, 1982, 1983; Hildebrand and Waugh, 1983).
Hildebrand and Waugh designated these as FSIP, the farming
systems approach to infrastructural support and policy, and,
FSR/E, farming systems research and extension.

Also systems have outputs and inputs. For example the farmer
obtains fertilizer externally. He sells output (the price of
which may be affected by government policy) in order to purchase
fertilizer. Thus consideration must be given to factors external
to the farm system such as market price, government subsidies,
fertilizer supply, transportation etc. At the same time there is
a myriad of factors internal to the farm system over which the
farmer exercises some control. These internal factors must be
considered in relation to prevailing external influences that
directly affect the farming system.

In some cases research will have to consider external
factors as fixed parameters. This is because research can do
very little about them. For example if there is no market for
horticultural crops, this must be recognized as a major
constraint to growing these crops. Research for such crops would
receive a low priority because of this major constraint.

FSR&D. The broad approach to farming systems research and
B8ad98opatihihatheebraedaedtbymfhelagyotym eJkapirhtaey et al.
components of FSR&D have been recognized (Norman,1982,1983;
Hildebrand and Waugh, 1983). Hildebrand and Waugh designated
these as FSIP, the farming systems approach to infrastructural
support and policy, and, FSR/E, farming systems research and

FSIP and FSR/E. FSIP is "macro" in the sense that it deals
with policy and infrastructure. In many ways FSIP is external to
research and extension organizations. Research and extension
organizations, for example, have little control over government
policy or input into FSIP. This does not mean that it is to be
ignored. Infrastructure and policy directly affect the
agricultural sector through financial and collaborative support
of government (or lack of it). Government agencies and national
programs, then, as a part of FSIP, cannot be ignored. Research
and extension can influence FSIP, based on their firsthand
knowledge of rural conditions provided there is a mechanism for
feedback from the field to policy makers. FSIP relies heavily
upon socio-economic studies, that are farm oriented, and
supported by agro-biological sciences. The principal product of
FSIP is information. The primary clients are policy makers and
managers of services and infrastructure. Research and extension
are also clients, to the degree that they use FSIP information to
orient research and extension activities.

Compared with FSIP, FSR/E is "micro". It deals with on-farm
technology generation, evaluation and delivery. FSR/E is focused
largely behind the farm gate or within the farm as a system.
Parameters can be treated more as variables, especially as they
relate to technology. Thus FSR/E is heavily agro-biological
research, supported by the socio-economic sciences. The

Chapter II Page 14

principal product is technology. The primary clients are
extension agents and farmers.

These two components are compatible and complementary.
Traditionally, agricultural research has not been closely
connected with policy and infrastructure. The systems approach
makes it logical, and by definition necessary, to bring these two
components together. Although not necessarily completely
integrated, they are not only compatible but have an input into
one another. FSR/E can have significant impact on policy because
it can provide more detailed, firsthand information on farms,
farmers and their families than FSIP can easily obtain.
Similarly, FSIP can have significant impact on agricultural
technology and its dissemination, because it can provide FSR/E
with more complete information than it would otherwise be able to
obtain. Both components can be considered together comprising a
more complete agricultural development thrust than either can
accomplish singly (FSIP + FSR/E = FSR&D).

FSR contributes to a normal process of technology selection.
In many ways this sequence parallels what farmers have been doing
for centuries. The farmer manages a complex set of biological
processes to use resources at his-or her disposal in order to
produce useful products, either for home consumption, sale or
trade. The choice of crop and livestock and the methods of
cultivation, husbandry, harvesting and disposal are determined
not only by physical and biological conditions, but also by
economic and socio-political factors which are a part of the
milieu within which the farmer operates.

Through a process of trial and error, season.by season and
through the generations, farmers move toward technologies and
allocation of resources which they deem appropriate to make best
use of those at their disposal. While the choices made by each
farmer are different, given the objectives of each individual
farm family, those with similar resources and constraints tend to
make similar choices as to crops, livestock and management
practises, especially within a given farming area. Scientific
research and extension can contribute to, and accelerate this
process because research can identify the possibilities for use
of new technologies much more rapidly than the farmer, and
extension programs can inform more people, and do it more
rapidly, than would normally occur. Of course organized
scientific inquiry also may change the evolution :of technology by
deriving technologies that the farmer 'alone would not generate.
FSR/E is a method for speeding up the evolution of technologies
for production and productivity, at the same time evaluating the
technologies with the participation of the farmer to determine
its relevance to the particular farming area.

Chapter II Page 15


(1) Examples of these are the contributions of disease control
and a better understanding in the areas of nutrition and
physiology. What has been learned about disease control in farm
animals is often applicable to humans or has some relevance in
medical research. Studies of animal nutrition have contributed to
the improvement of human diets. The understanding of
reproduction and physiology has been advanced through animal
research. A detailed list of the contributions of agricultural
research to the well-being of mankind would be enlightening to
most of us. Also there are several economic studies of the
contributions of research (Boyce and Evenson, 1975).

(2) These notes focus upon the generation of biological
technology for the improvement of agricultural production and
productivity from the biological, cultural and economic
viewpoint. However, is it not just as important that the
non-biological programs of development examine more closely how
to favor national and local objectives with a better
understanding of the nature and value of biological technology?
It needs be queried whether or not in the building of
transportation and communication systems, the development of
education and the policy of markets, technology has been given
sufficient attention.

(3) W. F. Whyte (19-81) discusses the transition of agricultural
research and extension. He describes briefly four major projects
which can be considered as part of the transition to more
client-oriented programs. Whyte's perceptive paper gives insight
for focusing agricultural research and extension so that they are
more relevant to the small, limited resource farmer, however I am
not entirely in agreement with all of his observations. He
discusses ICTA and states, "It was the creation and evolution of
a Socio-Economic Unit that stimulated the development of what we
now consider the distinctive ICTA organizational model for
agricultural research." A Socio-Economic (SE) Unit was organized
early in the life of ICTA and it did make contributions to the
orientation of the programs but it had little to do with the
institutional organization or structure. Its greatest
contribution was to the design of methodologies used in
field-level research; ICTA was seeking new methodologies and the
ideas and inputs from the SE Unit came at an opportune time. The
success of ICTA in applying a new approach and new methodologies
was due to a strong agronomic base, an institutional mandate, a
top management decision to orient the research toward specific
farming areas and an identified clientele, a dedicated staff, and
to the fact that ICTA sought a means of bringing cultural and
economic factors into consideration along with biological
considerations. To say that the "special flavor" of ICTA was due

Chapter II Page 16

to the SE Unit leaves the wrong impression and does not credit
the r8le of agronomists in developing the ICTA approach. Another
description of ICTA is given by McDermott and Bathrick (1982). I
suggest that if you read one of these reports on ICTA, that you
also read the other. Both of these reports about the same
institution are highly favorable, but very different in

Chapter II Page 17

DIAGRMII-l. Schematic illustration of reductive research on corn production.

Strength of stalk


Date to

Yield potential Plant population

lant date
coverage Improvement

Drought y \eed control
PRODUCTION preparation
( Yield Date to
V I------ I Matrit-v


Diagram II 2

Traditional cormodity and discipline research
Farm focused research and extension







The Systems Approach: new orientation or drastic change?

The client-oriented phase of agricultural research and
extension discussed in Chapter I was outlined as a farming
systems approach (FSA) and one that required change for its
implementation. He we address the degree of change
necessary to institute and utilize the approach.

Some people have voiced the opinion that client
oriented research is a drastically new approach to
technology development. It also can be argued that the
approach simply makes use of existing "tools" and adapts
them to organize and execute more objective and pragmatic
research and extension programs.

The traditional and basic biological training of
agronomists allows them to develop skills to produce
technologies designed specifically to meet farmers' needs.
No.one has suggested otherwise for sociologists,
anthropologists or economists; their skills can also be
applied to farming systems research. We do not need
drastically different biological or social scientists --just
a new orientation and focus for their abilities.

The same is true for methodologies. Methodologies do
change with the systems approach, but the sondeo, the farm
records (cropping logs), the on-farm experimentation and the
sharper focus of component research are all modifications,
usually simplifications, of already existing methodologies.

The reason for concern about whether research and
extension need drastic change or just a new focus and
orientation (using methodologies based on already existing
professional competence) is that it affects implementation
of farm focused research. Do we need a new cadre of
professional people or can present personnel operate under
the new orientation? Is there a place for traditional
research, and the personnel involved, in farm oriented
research? Is there a place for reductive research as an
integrated part of programs developed with a new focus?
Will the changes required to implement a farm oriented
approach be drastic or can we add new dimensions to already
existing programs?

The focus, or the orientation of the disciplines in the

farming systems approach which focuses upon the needs of the
clientele, represents considerable change. Non-biological
disciplines are integrated with the biological and much of
the research is conducted on-farm, within the systems of
farmers. These do represent change; but in practice most of
the methodologies are modifications of already known
procedures. A major change is the primary consideration
given the client. Also, unfortunately, major institutional
changes may be needed.

Some Bottlenecks to Implementation

Government. The introduction of change in public
service institutions in any country is not a simple process.
Institutional custom, bureaucracy, and politics may become
major factors that influence change or deter it. If the
change is viewed as a major one (whether it truly is or
not), it will be necessary to have the help of someone with
power of decision or influence that is sympathetic to the
idea, who can explain the changes using the appropriate
terminology. Most of the people interested in FSR/E will
make the explanation too detailed and too technical. FSR/E
needs to be presented in terms familiar to government, at a
level high enough to be responsible for making decisions and
obtaining approval of governmental bodies such as a
legislature or parliament.

The approval of high-level government, necessary for
major institutional changes, is usually a slow process.. It
takes time. An alternative is the introduction of FSR/E
within an already existing organization, done in such a
manner that it is not considered a major institutional
change but a change of organizational focus. Advantages are
that work can be initiated at the farm level and experience
can be gained rapidly. In this alternative introduction of
FSR/E political support may not be forthcoming when it is
needed. The new focus might be low-profiled; its image may
be weak. Also, if it were established within an already
existing organization, by decision of a few people, it may
have only a few supporting it. Additional support may not
be forthcoming at a time when the activities should be
expanded. And as is the case for the extension services,
farm focused research that is limited to a small area and a
small clientele will almost certainly never make much of an
impact upon the agriculture of the country. These are
potential disavantages that could affect the efficacy of the
research and the ability of the research organization to
carry out long term expansion.
Any new system should be implemented in such a
manner that it will be given adequate and necessary support
over a period of time sufficient to demonstrate its
advantages. Just as periodic change that comes through

Chapter III Page 2

elections or political appointments can be a serious
limitation to stability and continuity in technical
programs, it can also be an impediment to implementing

A complete farming systems research program cannot be
well established over a short period of time. Politicians
and international technical aid and financial agencies
frequently attempt to force a rapid change including
establishment of new, full-grown programs. In most cases it
would be more logical to develop them over several years by
initiating a program on a small scale and then expanding
activities as experience is gained and personnel are
trained. Striking "while the iron is hot" is a political
axiom that must not be ignored, because programs initiated
under one regime of government may not be continued, or may
not receive adequate support under the next. Furthermore,
elected officials want to be identified with change --
change that can be seen during their period in office. This
situation makes long-term, stepwise change difficult. The
lack of institutions of government that adequately serve the
populations is frequently a major constraint to needed
change (McDermott, 1983; Moris, 1983).

The fear of change. One factor that may deter
implementation of farm-oriented research is mistrust in the
minds of people because they fear that change may be
disadvantageous to them. This reluctance for change
contributes to the stabilization of bureaucracy. The
inability to change or modify research and extension
programs (the same applies to other service programs) and to
evolve programs to better serve the constituency, is a sign
of over-bureaucratization. When this occurs, bureaucracy
becomes increasingly resistant to change and the resulting,
inability to make logical change for the benefit of
clientele is one of the reasons for revolutionary change by

To move from experiment station-oriented research to
farm-focused research and the development of integrated
activities with extension requires change. But needed
changes do not negate the continued participation of
professionals of traditional programs. If there are
professionals in the traditional programs that may be hurt
due to re-focusing of research and extension programs, they
probably already are weak as professionals in the
traditional programs.

Viewpoint of professionals. The viewpoint of
professionals may be a deterrent to establishing a
farm-focused research system. Currently existing programs
will probably be staffed with traditionally oriented
personnel, with the research activities organized by crop,

Chapter III Page 3

species of animal and by discipline.

Agronomists and animal scientists (biologists) may feel
that their scientific domain is being invaded and
overshadowed by economic and behavorial science disciplines.
They may not be comfortable in a multidisciplinary situation
where their work will be evaluated not only on the basis of
biological performance, but also from the viewpoint of
cultural and economic considerations. Some may believe that
the integration of the results of their research into
production systems will not be well done. They may believe
that on-farm research cannot be sufficiently controlled, or
they may take the position that no new focus is needed in
order to conduct on-farm research.

Professionals may consider that some of the
methodologies used in FSA are not truly research. They may
consider them more of a demonstration than research, which
does not lead to articles acceptable for publication in some
of the prestigious professional journals. Although they may
foresee the importance of "adaptive" and "applied" research
in order to integrate new technologies into farming systems,
and may understand the need to convert the results of their
research into useable technologies they may also be
reluctant to participate in a professional capacity. Since
publications contribute heavily to their academic and
scientific rating in their respective institutions, and by
their colleagues, they do not consider FSA professionally

Those who understand the reasons for farm-focused
research will probably feel that there are logical and
satisfactory answers that should allay the fears of the
scientists. Nevertheless, these mistrusts may exist in the
minds of key people whose full collaboration is needed, but
may not be forthcoming -- and furthermore may influence even
the younger scientists who have a genuine interest in
correcting any deficiencies of reductive research. Most
developing countries have limited human resources trained
for science and all of the personnel working in the
traditional programs are usually urgently needed if
farm-oriented research is to be successful.

Extensionists may doubt that they are capable of
conducting on-farm trials or supervising farmers' tests to
evaluate the technology generated by "their more
sophisticated" colleagues. The work load of the extension
agents may already be heavy and developing linkages with
research may be interpreted as additional work. They may
also fear that they will be dominated by their research
colleagues who frequently are trained to higher academic
levels than extension personnel.

Chapter III Page 4

The intent here is not to treat this subject in detail,
but to point out that what is logical to one group may be
objectionable to another. Since top management cannot
establish a successful farm-focused system without the
collaborative participation of the individuals involved in
executing the work, it is important to have a consensus
among the people involved to develop a new kind of program.

Lack of recognition of need to measure variation at the
farm level. It has long been recognized that average
production by farmers, especially in the developing
countries, is much lower than the potential. Most
biological research is conducted under controlled conditions
which gives results in the upper range of the potential.
Just as it is logical to study small fractions of biological
systems in order to be able to manage and understand them,
it is also logical to use conditions favorable for a high
level of performance, thus increasing the sensitivity of
research in the evaluation of biological performance and the
detection of differing treatments. This is exactly what
happens on research stations. Also, in addition to making
decisions of biological performance based on results under
well-controlled conditions experiment station biologists
usually go a step further and study a selected portion of
their results in regional trials in which the new variety
(or other technology) is submitted to varying ecological
conditions such as soil.and climate. However, in order to
study the effect of the ecological variations, many
conditions still are controlled; such as plant nutrients,
insects, etc. These conditions, even though the trial is
conducted off-station and on-farm, usually do not represent
farmer conditions.

Generally, it is recognized that farmers will obtain
varying-results, which average considerably lower than the
estimated potential results. There is usually no attempt to
measure this variation of farmers' results. The biologist
estimates the potential value of his contribution under
favorable conditions but does not estimate the true and
immediate value to farmers, which is information that
farmers need to know. 'The immediate value as perceived by
farmers is important to obtain subsequent and widespread
adoption. This almost always requires some additional work
and so it is usually not done; this weakens the foreseen
need for farm-oriented research.

Over the years, farmers in the U.S. have frequently
made their own personal evaluation of new technologies.
Before accepting a new variety, for example, the farmer has
often seeded a few rows of it in order to compare it with
varieties currently used. The importance of this propensity
of U.S. farmers for evaluating technology has probably never
been evaluated, but without much doubt has been very

Chapter III Page 5

important. Small farmers in the developing countries have
lacked the information, know-how and resources to do this on
their own. Farmers' tests, supervised by research and
extension personnel under a farming systems approach can
help estimate the value of new technology to farmers, at the
same time educating the farmer in the use of it. This
approach serves as a much better basis than usually is
available for making recommendations to other farmers with
assurance of satisfactory results. It also serves to
feedback results to component (commodity) research so that
their output is more relevant to the conditions of the

Other constraints usually exist. Lack of collaboration
among governmental institutions, insufficient funds, lack of
commitment on the part of government, intervention of a
political nature, and policy that does not motivate farmers
are all constraints to agricultural research and
development. Norman (1983) stresses the need for
collaboration and the establishment of linkages within
government, which may not be easily arranged. Sometimes
researchers and extensionists must just do the best they
can. But it should be remembered that the attitude of
personnel within research and extension can help to
overcome, or alleviate, constraints. (1)

Chapter III Page 6


(1) Ken McDermott (1982) stated: "Of all the persons
involved in agricultural development from the person with
the hoe to the Minister of Agriculture and beyond him to
both the other elements of national government the Minister
must deal with and now the international donors--all of
these actors, the farmer is not only (a) the most rational
of the lot, he also (b) is highly dependable or predictable
in his rationality. The problem lies with the rest of us.
We are literally part of the problem." Can the social
sciences -- the behavorial sciences -- contribute to
conceptualizing the problems and identify measures to
improve the institutions that affect agricultural

Chapter III Page 7



It has been customary for agricultural researchers in the
United States to largely determine, individually or among
themselves (department level), both the focus (orientation) and
methodology of their research. Only the broad general area is
determined by policy and by assignment of budget. This has been
a strategy that has produced very good results, especially for
the commercial farmer who produces the bulk of the food.
However, we should keep in mind that agricultural research in the
U.S. has not been directed to help the subsistence farmer for the
past 35 years. Subsistence farmers nowadays are largely passed
by; farming has become increasingly commercialized and corporate
farming is coming to the front.(1) This system is successful
according to our standards in the United States and other
developed countries but it does not have much to offer per se to
developing countries where the small limited-resource farmers are
in the majority. Modern scientific research geared for
commercial agriculture in a developed country does not translate
well to conditions.where rural areas are underdeveloped, there is
much rural poverty, and many countries are moving from food
exporters to importers.

The fact is, research and the resulting technology cannot
solve all of the problems of rural development or of food
production in the developing countries. Policy, infrastructure
and the economic situation become key aspects of development.
However, there is sufficient evidence to believe that
agricultural research can make a much greater contribution than
it has in the past. In order to do this, the research will have
to be focused (planned) to produce the results that farmers can
use and will accept. The new dimension to agricultural research,
usually identified as FSA or FSR, does focus the research
according to the needs and desires of the limited- resource
farmer, to a greater degree than any other research strategy that
has been applied.

FSR is currently in a dynamic, transitional stage of
evolution, but much of the methodology has been conceptualized
and tested in operating programs. Admittedly, the number of
programs where it has been tried are still relatively few,
relatively new and not many people have had experience working
with the approach. This new orientation does not change the
scientific principles of research, but should contribute to a
dynamic application of scientific methodology to further
evolution of more effective research beyond its present status.

Despite the fact that the new research focus applies the
same scientific principles as traditional research,
implementation of the new system has been slow. Perhaps it is
due to the lack of understanding on the part of decision makers
that research needs direction in order to meet development needs.
Perhaps it is due to the belief on the part of researchers that
they will lose the prerogative to determine their own research
and are therefore fearful of the new orientation. Whatever the
reasons, there are evident constraints to implementation.

Top management, with key personnel such as heads of programs
in research institutions, must form a management team that plans
and directs the research. (Waugh, 1983). In most instances where
the new focus has been used, the agricultural research group has
played a major role in determining the kind of research carried
out. The new orientation has furnished the researchers goals
toward which they themselves direct the research once the system
has helped them identify agricultural development needs.

The following classification of research can help both
researchers and research managers to understand the importance of
research that is directed toward identified objectives:(2)

1. Fundamental Research

Fundamental research is conducted largely to add. to the
"knowledge hopper". No direct or specific client is
identified; mankind is the projected client (3). It is
financed independently of immediate results. It is long
term research. Once financed, the researchers themselves
largely determine the course of the research. This kind of
research is characteristic of many universities, and
frequently is directly related to teaching, especially at
the graduate level. The objective of this kind of research
is to work on the frontiers of science. Since it produces
no immediate result that remunerates the research entity it
is financed through appropriations of governments, grants
from governments or philanthropic institutions and by
industry on a long term basis.

2. Industrial Research

Industrial research is in sharp contrast to fundamental
research in that the user (client) of the research result is
identified. Client acceptability becomes important. The
research is highly directed and sharply focused to obtain
results that can bring economic returns. These economic
returns accrue directly to the business organization that
has done the research. Such research is usually in close
proximity to distribution and marketing systems. The
objective of the research is not only to achieve new
information but to develop the results into a form
(technology) that is immediately applicable and that wil-

Chapter IV Page 2

accrue advantages to the user through its implementation or
employment. This is commonly called Industrial R & D
(industrial research and development).

3. Research for Development

Development research should have many of the
characteristics of industrial research, being well-focused
upon and directed toward*identified objectives with specific
groups of clients. The economic or social benefits do not
accrue directly to the research organization but to the
public which pays taxes. The research is financed through
centralized agencies of government, which operates
themselves on, and finance development research with, tax

In conducting this kind of objective and directed
research, basic and applied largely lose their meaning. The
research is conducted be it basic or applied if it promises
to produce the. goals sought within a time/cost frame.

The farming systems approach to research and extension,
within the above classifications of research, is R & D. It
not only conducts research to gain new information but
strives to develop the results of research into acceptable
technologies. Agricultural research directed toward
farmers, whether large or small, should be development
research or R & D. (4)

Conceptual Outline of Agricultural Research and Extension for

The outline below identifies various groups that might be
involved directly in agricultural research and extension.
Principal activities that they would carry out in order to
implement a systems approach are delineated.

Groups that would be involved. The principal groups that
would be involved in the generation, testing and transfer of new
technologies would be:


a. Commodity and discipline teams

b. On-farm area teams


a. Farm level extension agents

Chapter IV Page 3


a. Farmer collaborators.

The principal kinds of activities. The principal activities
of the groups mentioned above can be visualized as four kinds of

1. Management

2. Information gathering, to include characterization and
analysis of farming areas, as well as the results of
research, and other cultural/economic information.

3. Review and planning

4. A sequence of research and extension activities which would
consist of:

a. Component (discipline and commodity) research

b. Integration of components into farming systems and the
study of alternative technologies

c. Validation, verification or evaluation of technologies
by researchers, extensionists and farmer. This results
in initial transfer to farmers.

d. Transfer to a large number of farmers by the Extension
Service, backstopped or supported by Research.

The system would function by phases in a stepwise or
sequential manner, which would be cyclical in the sense that a
technology, at any phase in the generation process, could be
returned to a prior phase for modification, Diagram IV-1. There
would be overlap in each of the activities performed by the
different groups but it would be a planned overlap so as to avoid
duplication. These actions represent the principal flow of
internal activities and do not include external linkages that are
also important. In other words, these actions, represent the
internal activities of management, information gathering and
planning that should be directly involved with the generation of
technology and its dissemination. Diagram IV-2 elaborates upon
the concept and illustrates an overlapping division of activities
by national commodity and discipline research teams (component
research), on-farm research teams and extension teams. The five
rectangles of equal size just (below the center of the diagram)
divide the biological research and extension into different sets
of activities. Diagram IV-3 represents a more specific

Chapter IV Page 4

sequential procedure as it might be applied to the generation,
testing and transfer of a new variety of a crop.

The objective of Diagrams IV-2 and IV-3 is to show that the
generation, testing (evaluation) and transfer of new technologies
can follow a logical sequence and that these can be related to
the phased steps of the first model (Diagram IV-1) i.e.,
component research, integration of components, evaluation of
technologies and transfer.

Chapter IV Page 5


(1) This is a premise of the author. In a sense no farm group
was entirely by-passed by extension in the United States.
However it seems clear that neither research nor extension
focused upon the subsistence farmer. I have heard estimates that
extension essentially ignored as much as 30 percent of the farm
population, giving very little attention to the small,
subsistence farmer. In more recent years some special projects
have been focused upon the small farmer such as projects in the
Hills of Virginia, in the Ozarks of Missouri and in North

T. A. Carlin states, "For more than 30 years, analysts
and policy makers have considered small farms to be outside the
mainstream of commercial agriculture. Small farms were regarded
as subsistence operations, retirement residences and part-time
establishments." From: T. A. Carlin. 1979. Small-Farm Component
of U. S. Farm Structure in Structure, Issues of American
Agriculture. U.S.D.A. Agricultural Economics Report 438: 274-277.

(2) Mario Contreras, at the Primer Seminario de Investigaci6n
Pecuaria, September 3-6, 1979, Comayagua, Honduras, sponsored by
the Ministry of Natural Resources, used a similar classification
of research. The author is responsible for the abridged
description given in this text.

(3) In some cases the agency that is furnishing financial
support for the research is considered the client. In a sense it
may be a client. However, I prefer to think of the client as the
individuals, or groups of individuals that benefit from the
application of technology for the purpose of improving their
standard of living or for the purpose of production, and the
financial agency that supports research as a sponsor.

(4) This remains true in research and development in developing
countries where national programs, combined with foreign
technical assistance, is the primary and paramount agricultural
research effort. In developed countries, where business and
industry have research organizations geared toward industrial
R&D, the picture is less clear. Private enterprise in developed
countries has supplemented and often surpassed the efforts
supported by:government, particularly when scientific and
technological innovation produces profit.

Chapter IV Page 6



MANAGEMENT (Farming area (regional) activities)
Operat ions



- ~ I




- EI---- --- -- U _NUMUBI lO- l\FARMElL
(Phase II transf-er) I


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CI- m~--- -


I ,, L;;L r-- L--L ^---~






Diagram IV ?





Cd 77--7------- -- ------ ---
c I


S- ---- WHAT



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University of Ilorida, WHERE
(,ai esville]



Ile.CJirch by species

I' ANT Bill I IN(i

M.ke crosses and identify
Iprmisinq progeAty

I tree(


lrrs seed]




So o

Produce foundation seed




____ 0_ ___

Produce commercial


Distribil e
Smmer d i e'ed

integration into
1 production systems

Colm)onent research

Integration of components I

Va I nation and eval uat ion

I Transfer and prod action

EVALUATE 10 to 20

Selection for yield,
grain quality,
stability etc.

Produce basic seed'



~--~- h



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"Research on improved farming
technologies can make an important
contribution to agricultural development.
And, to be effective, part of that research
must be done on the farm, that is done in the
fields of representative farmers, uncer their
natural and economic conditions." (CIMMYT
Economics Staff, 1981)

"Some of our greatest improvements have
been the result of designers working closely
on processes with people in manufacturing, on
parts specification with vendors, and on
application needs with our customers." (J. A.
Young, President and Chief Executive Officer,
Hewlett-Packard, 1983)

One of the principal objectives of a research program
should be to integrate its activities into a system that
will assure a constant flow of technologies, from the point
of generation to their use in production systems. The world
now has had sufficient experience with agricultural research
to understand that this does not occur automatically, at
least to the extent necessary to make the needed impact with
limited resource farmers. Technologies that are more
relevant to the farmers' conditions and some kind of
organized transfer system are required beyond what exists
today. These changes can be initiated through the
improvement of present systems, an added dimension to
commodity research, a special arm of government, private
services, community organizations, or a combination of
these. The systems approach may have an answer to this

Scientists, development agencies, governments,
high-level decision makers and others interested in food
production and rural development have long been searching
for ways to improve the effectiveness of agricultural
research and extension. Over the last 10 years or so
several innovative approaches have been tried, in Colombia
(Zandstra et. al., 1979), in Senegal (Shaner et. al.,1982),
in the Philippines (Harwood, 1979), in Mexico (CIMMYT,

1974), in Guatemala (Waugh, 1975) as well as in other
countries (Whyte,1981; Shaner, 1982). These were earnest
attempts to improve agricultural research and the
application of technologies in food production, principally
by small farmers. From these projects came many ideas to
further conceptualize new approaches to research/extension.

In relation to the systems approach, less
attention has been given to the extension of the research
results than to the research itself, but it is not being
ignored. ICTA in Guatemala and the Ministry of Agriculture
of Honduras are forging linkages between research and
extension (Waugh, 1981). Benor and Harrison (1977) have
proposed a training and visit (TV) system for extension. The
TV system emphasizes training and follow-up visits to
village extenion workers and technical support through
subject matter specialists (SMS) (Epstein, 1983). The
important thing is that some roots for a new dimension to
agricultural research and extension have sprouted and have
been tested. ICTA, for example, now has ten years of


A discussion of the conceptualized technological system
is presented here in two parts: (a) a brief description and
discussion of principal groups that would be involved in
core activities and (b) a discussion of the core activities
consisting of characterization and analysis of farming
areas, review and planning, generation and evaluation of
technology and transfer. Both the groups and their
activities are summarized in Table 1.

This proposal for the different groups or units of the
system is not intended to suggest the organizational
structure for research and extension programs. Groups are
proposed as the minimum needed and which would perform the
activities discussed later in this chapter. Others would be
necessary, for example, experiment stations, seed programs
and laboratories, to complete the organizational structure,
whether or not included within a single entity. This outline
emphasizes the internal activities of research and

Component (Commodity and Discipline) Research Teams

Chapter V Page 2

Component research teams would have national
responsibility, as contrasted with the area responsibility
of on-farm research teams. There usually is a need for two
principal kinds of component research groups. One is
product oriented and concentrates on one or a few products
(such as milk production) or commodities (such as maize) and
these are called commodity teams. The other has
across-the-board responsibilities within a specific
speciality area such as soils, or economics. These are
called discipline teams.

Some projects which propose to use the systems approach
have not integrated commodity and discipline research into
the systems mode of research. For all practical purposes
they have remained separated from the newer dimensions of
research such as characterization and analysis of farming
areas and the on-farm testing of technologies. This is both
a misnomer for the project and a mistake in their approach.
Commodity and discipline research is a vital part of the
systems approach to the generation, testing and transfer of
technologies. Some may argue that traditional research has
taken a component approach, is reductive and not compatible
with the more holistic systems approach. But the systems
approach can be both reductive and holistic. Component
research can be systems-oriented in order to facilitate the
integration of technological components into farming systems
and is reason to include it in the farming systems approach
(Waugh, 1983).

Comodity Teams. Every country needs strong, national
commodity teams for each of the most important crops. 'Since
there may be.many crops that should be studied, it is
usually necessary to organize some commodity teams that are
responsible for more than one crop. The most important
crops will be represented by one-crop teams. In other
cases, two or more crops may be grouped under one team.
This is a better arrangement than having many small ones,
however, a frequent error is to spread responsibility of a
team over so many crops that their efforts are diluted and
are not very effective for any crop.

These teams should continue to use proven scientific
methodology, to be leaders in the areas of their commodity.
At the same time they can improve their effectiveness
through the additional testing of new varieties by the area
teams. Commodity teams normally conduct on-farm research,
principally to test new genetic materials and varieties
under wide ecological conditions. They usually cannot
conduct enough trials to test new technologies thoroughly
under conditions of variation typical of most farming areas.
With the collaboration of the on-farm area teams, the most
promising lines can be exposed to a much wider range of

Chapter V Page 3

conditions that not only include the ecological variations
but also bring into consideration different cropping
systems, along with cultural and economic conditions.

Discipline Teams. Personnel of most disciplines,
especially those related to specific problems of crops (as
plant pathologists and entomologists) are assigned to the
commodity teams. However, there are other aeas of broad
responsibility such as soils or socio-economics -where work
is related not so much to one specific crop but to all or
many crops as well as to the general environment.
Discipline teams are organized to address needs in these
broad areas.

It is sometimes more difficult to design and to
evaluate the programs of work for these discipline groups
than for commodity groups. Their role must be carefully
determined or they may not use their time and funds to meet
the overall goals of the program. The responsibilities of
commodity groups are more specific and easier to define and
evaluate. The Commodity and Discipline Teams usually have
national responsibilities. For example, the country probably
does not need more than one Maize Team and thus the one team
must meet the needs of the country.

On-Farm Area Research Teams.

On-farm Area Teams are assigned to specifically-defined
farming areas for concentration of activities on the
problems of the area. These On-farm Teams have three
principal, technical functions: to collaborate with
Commodity and Discipline Teams, to conduct area-specific
research, and to collaborate with extension.

On-Farm Area Research Teams are not usually found in
research organizations, but they are needed to make the
results of research more relevant to the conditions of the
farmer (Waugh et. al., 1983). They can give a new dimension
to agricultural research -- that of focusing research not
upon the experiment station, but upon the farm, i.e. by
using a holistic approach without losing technical ties with
the more reductive national commodity and discipline
programs. They can improve the effectiveness of commodity
(component) research by more thorough testing of
technologies generated by commodity teams. They can help
convert scientific results into usable technology. They can
reduce the distance from the researcher to the producer --
practically eliminate it. Extension can become more
effective because the extension agent can "find" technology
in their area. In this way extension is no longer limited to
the experiment station or to publications for recipe type
information. On-farm Research Teams can fill the void that

Chapter V Page 4

too frequently exists between research and extension. They
can also fill the role of subject matter specialists, when
backstopped by Commodity Teams. (Diagrams 11-2, IV-1, 2 and

An example: Commodity research
teams conduct off-station trials,
usually regional yield trials over a
wide .spectrum of ecological conditions.
These trials usually have several lines
of advanced breeding materials. They are
tested using standardized experimental
designs and controlled conditions;
usually there are relatively few trials
separated by long distances. These
trials are needed and the commodity
teams can seldom conduct enough of them.

A serious shortcoming exists by
relying only on this approach to field
trials: materials and technologies are
not tested using the farmers' method of
cultivation and under farmers'
conditions. Here is where the on-farm
research team can make a valuable
contribution to the efforts of commodity
research teams. The on-farm research
team can help increase the number of
trials, which makes selection of new
materials more efficient because there
is more information taken from an even
wider range of ecological conditions.
The next step can be the identification
of the two or three best lines (a
decision that should be made by both the
commodity and the on-farm team). This
selection can be tested in simple
agrotechnical trials in many places
within a region, using farmers'
practices as a control treatment.

The next step is to further test
the one or two best lines in
farmer-managed trials. Some of the
farmer-managed trials can be supervised
by researchers and others by extension
agents. In this manner, farmers as well
as researchers and extensionists
participate in the selection of new

Chapter V Page 5

This example does not illustrate
all of the activities of the On-Farm
Research Teams, but shows how a new
dimension can be added to conventional
commodity research.

Establishment of On-Farm Teams and the Expansion of
Coverage. On-Farm Area Teams should be established only when
they can be adequately staffed and can be given adequate
support and supervision. This means that most farm- focused
research will have to start with a few teams in a designated
and limited area. As resources become available the effort
can be expanded. This strategy will have to be followed
even though there is adequate financing because it is
unlikely that human resources will be available for extended
coverage at first. Also, managerial capabilities may be
limited. It is more difficult to supervise and direct three
or four teams that have little experience than a dozen or
more established and trained teams. Also a stepwise or
phased expansion allows the system to be molded to the
conditions which prevail in different areas.

Three teams in three different areas is a manageable
program to begin with, and offers some distinct advantages.
Each area will present different conditions of. work and if
one team fails, the entire project has not failed. Also,
when there is more than one team, the varied conditions and
different groups of personnel develop a wider base of
experience than a single team.

Professional experience, alone is not enough to
establish and manage good teams, especially the on-farm
teams. The concepts of the new research focus must be
understood and skills for communications with farmers will
have to be developed. This requires time and experience in
the field. Fielding more than one team provides a means for
more people to gain expierence used to improve and expand
the overall effort.

Expansion of the farm team activities can follow one of
two strategies, although neither is exclusive of the other.
One strategy is to expand the area of concentration once the
original area is "covered," that is, when the region is well
known and some effective technology is available and
validated. The area of coverage can usually be increased
without abandoning the original area completely, starting
first stage research in an adjacent areaat the same time.
The second strategy is to use one or more members from an
experienced team to furnish the leadership for a new team in
a new area.

Chapter V Page 6

ICTA began its on-farm research by organizing two teams
in the Highlands of Guatemala. Each team of five members
initially covered an area of about 10,000 hectacres. Five
years later, the same two teams together were covering about
120,000 hectacres.

Composition of On-Farm Area Research Teams. The
composition of an on-farm research team will logically be
varied according to the local situation. Some of the
influencing factors are the kind of farming in the area, its
technical level, roads and other infrastructure, community
organizations, and resources available. For example, if
horticulture or cattle are important in an area, the team
should include one or more members competent in these areas.
If horticulture production in the area is technically
advanced, at least one team member must have a good level of
competence in the production of horticultural crops.

Hopefully teams will be organized in which individual
members have some special interests or capabilities so that
each member can complement the work of others. Even young
team members, not formally specialized, will have developed
better skills in some areas than others. Thus one member
may be better informed about soils and fertilization,
another about statistical analysis, another about plant
disease and still another about economical analysis.
Advantage should be taken of this divergence, however,
individual team members should not be permitted to conduct
experimentation only along the lines of their special
interest. Each team member should conduct a variety of

One or two people do not make a team. The number of
members of the area research teams will vary, but there
should be enough members to develop a team effort.
Especially at the beginning, it is difficult for a one or a
two-member team to conduct enough experiments to establish a
good information base about an area, determine the
parameters for the technology, and learn to understand the
farmers' practices. The information needed to form a good
base will vary, but information gathered early in the work
pertaining to varieties, planting dates, fertilization,
insect and disease problems and use of herbicides, for
example, can be the key to success. If there are several
important crops grown in the area, and especially if they
are grown in association, a large number of trials are
needed. Progress can be very slow without an adequate number
of team members.

Other Research Support.

Other services within the overall organization will be

Chapter V Page 7

needed to support field staff. These might include
experiment station management and operation, a soils
laboratory, a library and structured in-service training.
Some of these services will be extant and ned only to render
their support; others may have to be established.

Farming Area Extension Agents.

Extension agents can improve their technical
capabilities and at the same time have an input into the
orientation of research if they are included in the
activities of the on-farm teams. Extension agents, familiar
with the farming of the region can be a valuable resource
through their participation in the characterization of
farming areas and in the evaluation of new technology. They
can contribute and learn through their participation in
on-farm team activities with the following objectives:

-to contribute to the characterization and
analysis of farming areas;

-to objectively evaluate technology;

-to become competent in the management of

-to evaluate the acceptability of technology to

This has two advantages. First the feedback from
extension can orient technology objectively. Second, the
process can improve the capability of extension agents to
explain technologies to farmers.

In a new area, before there is new proven technology to
be transferred, the extension agent might profitably work in
the first phase of on-farm-research. This allows the agent
to objectively contribute to the information base for the
area and also learn first-hand about the area before making
recommendations to farmers. Later, the agent can continue
to evaluate technology, using the experience in the transfer
of information to farmers.


Farmers will not be an institutionalized part of the
research and extension programs. They should be involved in
several phases of research and extension. They should be
involved in, and a principal source of information for, the
characterization of the farming area at the outset. They
should participate in the research and its evaluation both
in on-farm trials of the researchers and in farmer-managed

Chapter V Page 8

trials. As technologies are generated, tested nd adapted,
farmers should become involved in the dissemination.


The purpose of organizing and systematizing the
activities of a technological system is to assure the
necessary steps to effect a continuous flow of relevant
technology and information from its point of generation to
the point of its use in farmers' systems. The technologies
offered to the farmer should be adequately validated and
there must be a close relationship between the generation
and the transfer of the technology.

The system outlined in Diagram IV-2 is not only
sequential but also cyclical in the sense that one phase is
based on a prior one. At any phase in the sequence, the
technology can be either discarded or returned to a prior
step for modification or further validation. The biological
phases of the system can be conceptualized as (a) study of
components, (b) integration of components into production
systems, and (c) the validation of the technology by
researchers, extension personnel and farmers before being
recommended to other farmers. Much of the work of phases
(b) and (c) is conducted on-farm with the participation of
extersionists and farmers. These phases are closely related
and coordinated with information gathering and review and

Initially, information gathering and planning proceed
the biological sequence of activities. After the system has
functioned for a time information gathering, review and
planning become a part of the cycle of work and one does not
necessarily proceed the other. What is sought is the
product of the biological activities, ie. technology. How
these activities are conducted and managed, however, will be
influenced by the cultural and economic information that is
gathered. Review and planning is the process to decide what
to do and how it will be carried out, ie. the process for
developing plans of work.


(These activities are outlined in
Table 1 and are discussed below.)

Characterization and Analysis of Farming Areas

Chapter V Page 9

Characterization and analysis refers to the collection
of pertinent agro-socioeconomic information to select areas
of concentration and orient the research and extension
activities. It is assumed that the general area has
previously been selected, based on policy and institutional

There are two chases to characterization and analysis.
The first phase collects information and selects the
specific areas of concentration-. This serves as the basis
for the first work plan. The second phase is a continuing
and updating phase, where additional information is used to
add to, and perhaps modify, the initial information. Second
phase characterization is dynamic in that it is reviewed
periodically in conjunction with the operational planning.
In this phase, research results become relatively more

Geographic areas .have different farming traits that
affect the procedures used in characterization. This is
especially true for the initial characterization on which
the first research activities are based. Consider three
different areas outlined below as examples.

1. Old farming areas --moderate to dense population,
traditional agriculture, long standing cultural
patterns. Some,. but. sketchy, technical information
about the agriculture. Some, but probably inadequate,
infrastructure and services such as roads, market,and

2. Old farming areas --low to dense population, very
little infrastructure, established cultural patterns or
technical information.

3. New farming areas -- very low population, very little
infrastructure, frequently of limited access, disperse
cropping patterns but little tradition established in

These three situations exist for example (1) in the
Highlands and Guatemala, (2) the Llanos of Colombia and
Venezuela and (3) areas of the Amazon headwaters.

Once a government has decided to focus attention upon
an area, such as examples 1 or 2, a review of the
documented information and the rapid reconnaissance (sondeo)
can serve as the basis for selection of the areas of
concentration for research and extension. Research can be
initiated within a short time. In example 1, research may
already be functioning, in which case, the characterization
and analysis can incorporate prior research results.

Chapter V Page 10

In example 3, characterization will require more time
for mapping, surveying soils, anu collecting basic
information. The sondeo alone will probably not be a
sufficient base to select areas of concentration. Since a
good characterization of this area will take several months,
it is suggested that research be started immediately as a
parallel activity. This initial research would be
exploratory, looking for alternative technologies and for
establishing broad parameters. Specific research thrust
might not be determined for one or two years. During this
initial research, future extension agents should be
assigned, not to do extension work, but to work full time
for at least one cropping season, with the research group.
This will help establish the parameters and seek technical
alternatives for the initial extension thrust. At least
some of the personnel that will constitute the on-farm area
research team should participate in the characterization and
analysis. The same should be true for extension agents.

In some cases there may be a regional planning office
that can help coordinate the characterization reconnaissance
and review the documented information. If this is not the
case, both research and extension should jointly assume the
responsibility for the initial work and in any event, should
be principal participants.

It has been suggested that there might be a division in
the primary responsibilities between research and extension
in characterizing farming areas (PNIA, 1981) in which the
extension agents, collect information of infrastructure,
-markets, etc., with research giving more attention to the
unit of production i.e., the cropping systems. However,
both should work together in groups and produce one document
of their combined observations.

The second or continuing phase of characterization and
analysis should consist of adding additional information,
making corrections and modifying information to reflect
changed situations. Data from farm records, case studies,
additional sondeos, research results, and studies of farmer
acceptability should not be allowed to accumulate, but
should be used. This information can be reviewed during
annual regional operational planning,conducted annually on a
regional basis.

Operational Planning

Operational planning is the term used here to refer to
the process of reviewing results and elaboration of plans of
work. These must be in concordance with institutional
objectives, institutional strategies and the resources

Chapter V Page 11

available. It should be organized so that those actively
engaged in research/extension activities review their
previous activities and results and participate in planning
the technical work. It is included here because it is one of
the principal activities, and one of the principal
responsibilities, of research and extension. This is
discussed in greater detail in Chapter IX.

Generation and Evaluation of Technology

The generation and evaluation of technology is a key
activity on which the success of the farming systems
approach depends. It is presented here in two parts: (a)
plant improvement and (b) agronomic. These two terms are not
used in a precise manner here, only to represent
approximately the kinds of work done under controlled
station conditions and the farm level. ( Animal research is
discussed in chapter VI.)

Plant Improvement (.Commodity teams).

Plant improvement is principally, but not exclusively,
plant breeding. The following steps are principal ones used
in plant improvement: Introductions, Breeding, Progeny
Testing, Off-Station testing, .and selection of varieties for
areas. There are additional steps in plant improvement that
vary with different work objectives and/or with the species
of plant but these are sufficient, as examples, to outline
the considerations to be covered in this chapter.

Introductions. Introductions of genetic material are
made to broaden the genetic base for selection in plant
improvement. This should be the responsibility of the
respective Commodity Program. Should other groups, such as
an Area Research Team, collect, or otherwise introduce new
-materials into the research program, it is suggested that
the material be registered with the Commodity Program.

Breeding. Breeding here refers to the manipulations of
genetic materials which result in progenies and their
subsequent evaluations. This is the responsibility of the
Commodity Programs.

Progeny testing. Progeny testing is the evaluation of
the new genetic combinations which result from plant
breeding. This is a primary responsibility of the Commodity
Program, but the On-Farm Area Research Teams may participate
so that the material may be evaluated under specific or
broader ecological conditions.

Chapter V Page 12

Off-station testing. Off-station testing is usually
done under controlled experimentation in order to submit the
advanced breeding lines to broader ecological conditions.
Usually there are several lines (10 to 25 perhaps) in these
tests. The number is so great that it is not possible to
expose them to farmer conditions. Trials are replicated in
a manner similar to trials on the experiment station. This
testing is a primary responsibility of the respective
Commodity Teams, but in order to conduct a sufficient number
of trials under different ecological conditions, the On-Farm
Area Research Teams may also conduct some trials.

Commodity Teams may be hesitant to involve the On-Farm
Teams in this kind of testing. They may take the position
that the members of the On-Farm Teams are not trained to do
this kind of-work. Seed may not be available in adequate
quantities especially for certain crops such as beans, where
the amount of seed required for a given area is relatively

Many advantages can accrue from the participation of
On-Farm Teams in this off-station testing. More data is
available for selection of breeding lines. Materials are
selected from information over a wider ecological area. The
members of the On-Farm Team may make observations about
acceptability to farmers or suitability for a cropping
system that would not be evident to.the Commodity Team.
Also, the On-Farm Teams become acquainted with the advanced
lines and can anticipate when new varieties may be available
for their areas. This cooperative testing increases the
effective size of the Commodity Program. It also is a means
of involving the On-Farm Team members in the selection of
new varieties.

In order for this collaborative testing to be
successful, the On-Farm Teams must conduct the trials
correctly and furnish the results to the Commodity Team. It
must be remembered that the On-Farm Team will probably
collaborate with several Commodity Teams. While their
participation is desirable it should not be exhaustive. The
On-Farm Team has other research work and the value of
collaborative testing must be estimated in comparison with
other area responsibilities. Good planning is important for
the success of this kind of testing and management must be
alert to arbitrate differences of opinion which may arise
during the planning process.

Selection of varieties for areas. Off-station testing
should permit the selection of the 2 to 4 best lines. These
are then tested in several researcher-managed trials within
a region. A Commodity Program will probably not have enough
resources to do this kind of testing in a sufficient number
of trials, the On-Farm Area Research Team should assume

Chapter V Page 13

primary responsibility for this testing. The Commodity
Program will participate in the selection of the lines to be
tested, furnish seed to the On-F?arm Area Research Teams and
participate in the planning of the experiments. Members of
the Commodity Program should visit plot sites to evaluate
the experiments and to evaluate the lines. Some of these
trials may be replicated, but this is not necessary if
enough trials are conducted. In general, the farmers'
practices should determine the conditions of the experiment.
The farmers' variety should be included as the control.

Basic seed. Availability of seed for commercial
production is one of the problems in many developing
countries. The place to start to organize seed production
is with the basic seed which can be used to initiate the
increase of seed for commerical production. Basic seed
requires small amounts of seed of purity and high quality.
It is suggested that the Commodity Program be exclusively
responsible for this seed, which can be increased for
foundation seed which in turn can be used to produce
commercial quantities. Very likely a Seed Program will have
the responsibility of producing the foundation seed from the
basic seed, in which case the Commodity Program should
continue to be sufficiently interested in the product that
the farmer will purchase to monitor purity and quality of
the foundation seed.

Crop specific studies. Most of the agronomic work with
a crop will be covered by the On-Farm Area Research Teams.
In some cases, however, there are specific studies that the
Commodity Team should conduct. If, for example, a new
variety requires a planting date or plant population
different from that normally used, the Commodity Team should
furnish this information.

Agronomic (Work by On-farm area teams)

The agronomic aspects of the technology usually will be
the responsibility of the On-Farm Area Research Teams. In
some cases, the Commodity Programs will be involved with the
Area Team, and in other cases Extension will be involved or
may even participate to the extent of playing a major role.

Exploratory trials. Exploratory trials should be used
to establish broad parameters, to gain experience and
understand farmers' practices, and to initially evaluate
alternatives. Design of the trials will depend upon the
objectives, but in general, will be simple trials of few
treatments, usually without replication.

Agro-technical trials. Agro-technical trials is the
designation given to the study of integration of components,

Chapter V Page 14

to study production factors, for the purpose of ultimately
determining recommendations to farmers. The results of
these trials usually do not furnish recommendations to
farmers, but do show what to include in
agro-technical-economic trials and in research managed
evaluation trials. Designs are varied according to the
objectives but usually will have several treatments with

Agro-technical-economic trials.
Agro-technical-economic trials are useful in observing a
given technology and analyzing it economically.
Agro-technical trials usually have several treatments, with
replications, but plot size is larger with fewer treatments,
perhaps only one. The size will depend upon farm size.
Where farms are large, for example, 10 to 20 hectacres, the
trials may be as large as a half hectacre or even one
hectacre. The larger plot size in these trials is needed to
more closely simulate farmers conditions, gain experience
with the crop, and to estimate labor requirements and other
cost factors.

Researcher managed validation trials. These trials are
conducted in a manner similar to the trials for the
selection of varieties for areas. A technology is tested in
such a manner as to expose it insofar as possible to the
range of conditions that would be expected to occur if many
.farmers within a given area of concentration were to use the
technology. At times, this step can be omitted, but caution
should be practiced in doing so. These trials usually have
few treatments and are not replicated. The farmers'
practice is usually the control, especially if the new
technology is being applied to a traditional crop. The
situation is somewhat different for newly introduced crops.

These trials are a good point within the technological
system for extension agents to become involved. They
represent what the researcher expects will be relevant
technologies for incorporation in the farmers' systems of
production. If extension agents can become involved at this
stage, the new technology is better evaluated and agents
become acquainted with the new technology and learn how to
manage it before it becomes a recommendation to the farmer.

It is suggested that these trials not be considered
demonstrations, but as further evaluation. When the results
-are favorable these trials can be used as a tool for
transfer, and when used in this manner, they can shorten the
time interval between generation of technology and its use
by the farmer.

Farmer managed evaluation tests. Farmers should be
involved in all on-farm testing and experimentation.

Chapter V Page 15

Farmers usually furnish the land for experimental plots and
mlay help in caring for them. Up to the time of the farmers'
tests, however, the primary responsibility has been with the
researcher. In farmers' tests the farmer becomes the
primary evaluator. With some supervision by the researcher
or the extension agent, the farmer plants a
self-demonstration, usually to test one new technology in
comparison with his own traditional practice. The tests are
not replicated but are dispersed throughout the area on
several farms.

It is recommended that the farmer pay for the inputs
but the farmer should not be subjected to undue risk. The
technology being evaluated should have been well-validated
by researchers and extension agents prior to the
farmer-managed trials.

The area used for a farmers' test will depend upon the
size of the farm but should be relatively small. On small
farms in Guatemala where average frm size averaged less than
three hectares, the size of the new technology parcel was
usually one cuerda which varied by region from 1/9 of a
hectare to 1/16 of a hectacre.

The farmers' test replaces the traditional
demonstration managed by the researcher or extension agent.
Traditionally, management of demonstrations has been carried
to the extreme in order to assure success. This favorable
treatment is not typical of the average farmer. The farmers'
test, managed by the farmer himself, serves as a better
basis for decision making on the part of the farmer.

Evaluation and acceptability studies. Evaluation and
acceptability are conducted after the farmers' tests by (a)
discussing the test with the farmer who will have his own
personal evaluation, and (b) by checking with the farmer,
the following planting season, to determine to what extent
he has used the technology in his previous test (Shaner et
al., 1982). Acceptability to the farmer is based upon the
percentage of the farmers that have continued to use the
technology and the percentage of their crop on which they
have used the technology. In ICTA the percentage of users
was multiplied by the percentage of their crop in which the
technology was applied and the product divided by 100 to
give an index of acceptability. (Ruano, 1976) This index
has a fault if used without explanation: it does not
differentiate which influenced the index more, the number of
adapters or the percentage of the the farmer's crop to which
a technology was applied. For example, if, on the average,
80 percent of the farmers used the practice on 30 percent of
their crop, the index would be 24. If 30 percent of the
farmers used the practice on 80 percent of their crop, the
index would also be 24. So, component values are needed to

Chapter V Page 16

understand the index. ICTA more recently has used a graph
to show the nuiuer of users and the percentage of their crop
on which they used the technology.

Transfer of Technologies to Farmers

Farm focused research is oriented not only to generate
technology but to initiate the process of getting the farmer
to adopt new technologies. While farm-focused research does
initiate the process (does in itself get some farmers to
adopt technology, it is not designed to effect transfer to
the masses. It just doesn't reach enough farmers.
Therefore, it is important to connect the
generation-of-technology process with other transfer
mechanisms in order to reach a large number oE farmers. In
this description of a technological system to support
farmers, it is assumed that the principal mechanism for the
transfer of technology will be the Extension Service, which
will function as a part of the governmental structure.

There probably will be other groups that should be
linked with Research, as the Extension Service should, in
the private sector. Private industry that can further their
own progress by promoting the use of technology should not
be overlooked. Technology generation and transfer may find
difussion through industry that furnishes inputs and credit,
community development projects that may be private or
governmental, and adult education programs for rural areas.

The initial phase of technology transfer. The
evaluation of technology in the farm-focused technological
system does six things favorable to transfer:

a. It gives a high level of confidence that the
technology selected for recommendation is
favorable and acceptable (both the extension agent
and the farmer participate along with researcher
in the evaluation).

b. It acquaints the extensionist with the new
technology and provides opportunity to acquire the
skill to manage it.

c. It gives the extension agent experience in
managing it, but also gives the extension agent a
methodology to evaluate other technologies, or the
same technology, in a different geographic area.

d. It delivers the technology to a specific place
where it is needed by the extension agent in order
to transfer it. The extension agent does not have
to rely solely on a general agronomic education,

Chapter V Page 17

on written materials or verbal information. The
technology can be worked with in his own areas
before it is promoted for transfer.

e. It introduces technology and tests its relevancy
for farmers. The extension agent can use the
methodology of the farmer managed tests to present
the new technologies to additional farmers.

f. It forms a linkage, a close relationship, between
Research and Extension through which research can
continue to technologically back-stop extension

Continuing phases of technology transfer. New ideas
for the continuing phases of transfer have not been advanced
conceptually or tested in operating programs to the same
extent as the evaluation phase of research (initial phase of
transfer). The methodologies used for the evaluation of new
technologies, however, should be useful to agents who have
worked in traditional systems of mass transfer. (Waugh,
1980, 1981).

Farmer-managed tests for introducing new technology.
There is evidence that farmer managed tests for the
evaluation of research results are effective in transferring
technology to farmers (Ruano, 1976). This same methodology
mentioned by Ruano, has been used by World Neighbors at San
Martin Jilotepeque in Guatemala, and by the Ministry of
Agriculture at Santa Rosa in Honduras to transfer new
technologies to farmers. In both cases, extension agents
worked with groups of farmers or committees. Members of the
farmers' groups then conducted simple tests comparing a new
technology with their traditional technology. They were
guided or supervised by the agent, who explained the new
technology. This kind of arrangement works with groups
rather than the individual farmer, and in this respect has
some similarity to the Training and Visit system (Benor and
Harrison, 1977).

In the case of Guatemala and Honduras, lay extension
agents were responsible to a trained agronomist and received
a salary. In San Martin Jilotepque, the farmer-agent
worked with about four groups of farmers, with as many as 25
farmers per group, and so had contact with about 100
farmers. A trained agronomist extension agent should be
able to supervise several of the farmer agents -- perhaps
three to ten depending upon local conditions. If an
extension agent could supervise 10 farmer agents, who in
turn could work with four groups of 25 farmers each, the
coverage by the extension agent would be 1000 farmers.
Without enough information to make a categorical statement,
there is reason to believe that an extension agent could

Chapter V Page 18

conceivably work with from 600 to 1000 farmers (Hayami,1975)
in a developing country.

To initiate a program of extension along these lines,
the extension agent, might work for one or two cropping
seasons, in order to gain experience, with the farmer-agent
serving as a helper, conducting farmer managed tests under
the supervision of a researcher as an in-service training

Back-stopping of Extension by Research. A primary
responsibility of Research should be to technologically
support Extension in all phases of transfer. Researchers
must be prepared and available to explain technology, design
farmers' tests and in some cases, furnish technology (eg.,
seed). The researcher should also help the extension agent
to meet unexpected problems of a technological nature, in
analyzing data, and in studying the farming problems of the


Training is not a direct part of the methodology
of the technological system, but can be integrated into the
system (Waugh, 1981a). ICTA, in Guatemala, conducted
in-service training courses of about 10 months duration, in
separate courses for young researchers and for

On-farm research methodologies are taught in the
research course. The course is integrated into the work
plan of the Institute in one of the regions where ICTA
works. Trainees spend about 50 percent of their time on
institutional research and 50 percent in the classroom and
in conducting field training exercises. Of the total total
time, during the 10 months, about 75 percent is spent in the

In the course for extensionists, they spend about 20
percent of their total work time in the course, most of
which is in the field. The remainder of their time is
spent on their regular extension responsibilities. The
course is focused principally on the farmer-managed trials
as a means of involving extension personnel and farmers in
the evaluation of technology as well as the use of
farmer-managed trials as a tool for transfer. This training
course also serves as a way for Research to backstop

These courses can be integrated into the research and
extension programs by structuring and organizing courses

Chapter V Page 19

which are managed by a course coordinator. The course
coordinator arranges for the classroom lectures and
exercises and determines the field work jointly with the
leaders of On-Farm Research Teams. Some members of the
On-Farm Teams become field instructors for the course. A
field instructor can supervise the work of at least three
trainees. The field instructor is compensated for time lost
from research by having three "trainee-helpers" who conduct
research under his supervision.

Chapter V Page 20


(1) Concepts continue to be tested in the places mentioned
previously and in additional areas, for example Nigeria
(Abalu, 1983), Botswana (Norman, 1983) and PanamA (Tarte,

Chapter V Page 21




1. First Phase
a. Review of documented information
b. Specific studies when needed
c. Reconnaissance (sondeo)
d. Selection of areas of concentration

2. Continuing Phases
a. Modification of previous information
if inricratrd




K;' B






1 3
3 1 .1.. 3_
3 --------



Information gathering
-farm records, case studies,
additional sondeos 1 2- 3
Addition of information from research 3 1 2 3
results, farmer acceptability and
acceptance ____

Finani a1


1. Plate

2. Agr





Personnel 1 1 1
Physical resources .. 1 1 1 ___
Review of information 1 1 1
Annual wor: oplas and budgets I1 _

nt Improvement
TnHtr _._'i t ions


Proznny rescing______
Off-sc.icn csting 1_ 2
Selec:-lo or -arieties for areas 2 I 2 ___ 3
Basic seed _____
Crop specific studies 1 3 j

Exoloratorv trials 1_
Agro-tec.nical trials 3 1 ___
Aro-ec. nicai-econo.ic trials ___, __ 3
Researcher managed validation. rials 1
Farmer m:naled evaluation tests L 1_ 2
Evaluation and acceptability studies 1 2 3_

1. Initial phase
a. Evaluation of technology by re:
extensionists and farmers


2. Continuing phase
a. TransfEr to large number of far-erss
b. Baczsto'.Li.cg .f Extension bv Re earz:h

1. In-servic- traini-n for rasesr'_-
2. In-s.- i~ f : ran.3: r












I.-------- -- --

3 !

mi ij I -

.A- Co-.-.-dity anid :i"scip Lne rcsear:h
B- Far-ning area research
1- Major part iipiion ; 2- pacrtci,':-ion; 3- in':1olv'.':


-1 rr T v rr T 7 q


- i -i -i

. _' ,.






Livestock production research in the developing
countries has had two major weaknesses. One of these is that
much of the livestock research has been reductive without
integration of results into systems used by farmers.
Secondly, livestock has not received much attention as an
important component of farming systems, especially those of
the limited-resource farmers.

The biological systems of cattle production are
extremely complex. They involve both plant and animal
systems. The animal is a secondary product of the soil after
plants and animal products such as eggs and milk are thrice
removed from the soil. Also, though many of us view animals
as important principally for food and traction, their
utility in farming systems go far beyond these outputs. A
report on livestock in mixed farming systems (FSSP, 1984)
classified the contributions of livestock to human welfare
as: Food, fiber, traction, waste(fertilizer etc.) storage
(grain, capital) conservation, pest control, cultural,
inedible products and income. The task force estimated
annual value of livestock in Africa as $10 billion, with 50
percent attributed to services or other benefits such as
manure, traction, transport and barter. Thus some
contributions of animals may be difficult to identify and
even more difficult to evaluate.

Animals are mobile. This allows them to harvest their
food under some conditions but under others the feed must be
harvested by man and transported to them. This further
complicates the research because it means that anmials are
managed very differently from time to time, and from one
place to another.

Making use of animals and their products is also very
different from harvesting crops. Common food grains are
usually harvested annually, but a cow or goat might be
sacrificed for food after a period of years. The same
animal might otherwise be kept for milk, with the product is
harvested daily over a period of many months and several
lactations. These factors complicate the farming system and
complicate research. Another complicating factor that is a
distinct disadvantage of animal research in comparison with
crop research, is that there will be very few animals on
small farms.

Animals, as an important component of the farm
operation, are frequently overlooked, ignored or given a low

priority both by researchers and decision makers. For
example, in the dynamic Caqueza Project in Colombia
(Zandstra et. al., 1979) 51 percent of the land was in
pastures, 31 percent was fallow and 18 percent in annual or
permanent crops. The development thrust, however,
emphasized crops. Perhaps the complexity of animal systems,
especially as associated with cropping systems, has
discouraged those who might otherwise conduct research in
this area (Harwood, 1979).

A recent publication (Winrock International, 1982)
strongly recommends that animals be studied as a part of
farming systems. CATIE has used a systems approach to
animal production(CATIE, 1978). This institute has also
focused heavily on the study of cropping systems but has
done little to study both animals and crops together as part
of the same institutional research thrust. ICTA is
developing a pragmatic animal research focus, but at first,
as they were developing their research focus, gave major
emphasis to crops.(ICTA-CATIE, 1981)

Systems-oriented research for livestock has not been
advanced as far as for crops. There are very few examples
which serve as a solid basis to recommend specific new
methodologies. Nevertheless, drawing from the farm-focused
generation of technology for crops, along with the recent
experiences of such organizations as ICTA, CATIE and ILCA, a
farm-focused research system should include the animal
aspects that are an integral part of the farming system.
Effective technologies can be generated for improvement of
the animal component in limited resource farming.
Observations and Suggestions about Animal Research

-By definition the animal component should be included
in a systems approach whenever animal production is an
important part of the systems used by farmers. The
objectives should be either to improve the animal part
of farming systems or to find alternatives to it.

-Animals frequently are more important than they are
believed to be.

-Since animals depend upon plants for food, the
experience gained from the farm oriented research for
crops can be applied to improve-feed supplies for

The conceptual route for sequential research is the
same for animals as for crops:

Chapter VI Page 2

1. Characterization nd analysis of farming areas;

2. Component research;

3. Integration of components;

4. Evaluation of technology in researcher managed studies;

5. Evaluation of technology in farmer managed trials; and

6. Transfer to a large number of farmers.

On- farm studies of livestock are more difficult and
probably a more disruptive intervention than with crops. In
developing plans of work and methodologies for research,
judgement will have to be made about what is conducted
on-farm and what should be done on the experiment station.
In some cases more of the integration studies of new
technologies will have to be conducted on-station. In other
cases the farmer himself will have to play a greater role in
integration and evaluation.

The Use of On-station Modules for Animal Research.

Most of the integration of technological components for
crops, along with researcher validation, can and should be
done at the farm level under farmers' conditions. This is
not easily done with animals. Both CATIE and ICTA have used
researcher-managed modules on experiment stations to study
integration of the results of component research into the
production systems of farmers. These modules are simulated
farmer units of production. While these modules can never
exactly duplicate farmers' production systems
they can serve to evaluate technologies integrated with
small farmers' practises to a greater degree than is usually
possible on research stations.
Use of modules to study small farmer systems is a low
cost means of conducting these activities in animal

A critical aspect is that the modules must represent
farmers' conditions. This means that it probably will be
necessary to purchase farmer-type animals and also employ
labor that knows and is able to carry out farmers'
practices. The management of even small units or modules on
the experiment station, that truly represent farmers'
conditions, requires strong commitment and dedication.

Depending upon ecological conditions and the size of
representative farms, the unit probably need be no more than
4 to 10 hectacres. Two to six such modules could be

Chapter VI Page 3

developed and different practices could be compared,
components studied, and risks evaluated before obtaining the
collaboration of farmers to evaluate the technology.

Chapter VI Page 4




"Management" is a difficult term to explain. It
serves to signify both the action of directing, as well as
the person or persons who do the supervising. Management is
the action taken based on responsibility to direct resources
(human, financial, physical) to obtain results -- presumably
results that are in agreement with the institutional

Drucker (1974) points out that the essence of
management is responsibility. -This responsibility appears
in many forms; responsibility for organization; for
efficiency; for programs; for production. The management
(person) then carries out the management (action) that is
determined to have the effect of guiding or directing these
areas of responsibility.

All organizations have managers, although the
management position may go by various titles. Universities,
hospitals and research organizations do not have managers
per se -- they have presidents, heads of departments,
directors, etc. Each of these has responsibility for
supervising and directing therefore, they are managers.
They are part of management and have leadership
responsibilities for the function and operations of their
respective organizations.

The manager of an organization or entity is usually at
the top hierarchical level of the organization, but the
management function is carried out at different levels
within a structured organization. This means that much of
the management is performed by persons other than top level
management. For this process to function efficiently and
smoothly, responsibility must be delegated at different
levels. Top management supervises lower-level management,
and is responsible for its effectiveness. Lower level
management has a responsibility to higher level management.

Managerial responsibility for research and extension
can be identified in three complimentary areas: policy,
operations and technical programs.

Policy includes interpretation of policy that-comes
from government or from the board of directors and
definition of internal research policy.

Operations involves administrative functions and
technical support functions.

Technical programs deals with the who, what, how and
where of the technical work. The technical support
functions under operations above, refers to operational
aspects such as the management of the experiment station.
These are quite different from the responsibility of giving
orientation and direction to the technical programs.

Some would insist that the above list of three areas is
incomplete. If for example, one wishes to consider
responsibilities for finance or for public relations apart
from operational responsibilities, the author would not
argue the point. But here such responsibilities are
considered as classifiable with operations, above.

I g mansQgment and other managers. Management is
usually visualized as the functions and responsibilities of
a few top officials of an organization. Since management is
hierarchical everyone is a manager to some degree. Various
management functions are carried out by heads of programs
and units of an organization. The function of
administrative services is not to be confused with
management. Most of the administrative personnel are no more
managers than researchers or extensionists. Top
administrative leaders should be part of a management
"team", as should heads of technological programs. The
nature of this management team can usually be identified.
When top management wishes to communicate with lower
hierarchical levels it-is done through a management "chain-
of command".

Due to the nature of the systems approach, which
requires linkages and coordinated action, the management
team takes on greater importance than in the case of most
traditional research/extension programs. Management is not
soley a function of giving orders. It includes seeing that
things get done by establishing channels of communication
and making arrangements for something to happen.
Intervention by management is more critical when the
arrangements involve more than one group such as between a
commodity program and a field team. The systems approach
requires more linkages and coordinated action than
traditional research and therefore there are more
arrangements to be made.

For example and on-farm research team may need seed of
a promising new variety for testing which is not yet
available commercially, and must obtain it from a commodity
breeding program. Managers must make the arrangements for
timely delivery of the seed.

Chapter VII Page 2

On-farm teams will need help in solving technical
problems. Managers must arrange to whom requests for such
help should be made.

There are, within technological organizations, at least
three kinds of managers:

1. Those who spend almost all of their time managing, such
as top management.

2. Those who spend most of their time directing technical
programs, but also have some general management as well
as administrative responsibilities.

3. Those who spend most of their time on administrative
matters attending to the procedures and mechanisms of
purchasing, accounting, inventories and general
housekeeping within the organization.

Managemefnt in order to function, needs three things
brought together at each focal point of management within
the organization. These are:

-Responsibility must be delegated, understood and
accepted, both by managers and subordinates .

-Authority to influence behavior or action, with the
limits of application and the extent of authority
clearly understood).

-Resources of a human, financial and physical nature
must be identified and available.

How these three requirements brought together is
determined by several factors such as the "style" of top
management, the organizational structure, and the type of
administration. Top management must be aware of the need for
these three requirements. It will then have to be decided
how to assign responsibility and make it felt; how authority
will be delegated, how resources will be assigned and how
limits will be put to them. Job descriptions, assignment of
inventories and assignment of budget, are tools of top
management to "manage" lower management levels.

Management as a disciline.. Management as a discipline
is now being given considerable attention. Business
administration, for example, is a major field of study at
many universities. There is considerable agreement that the
principles of management are important and that this
discipline has much to offer research and extension. At the
same time it seems difficult or impossible to teach the
principles of management as other disciplines are taught.

Chapter VII Page 3

Experience and the individual qualities of managers become
important factors in success or failure of management. There
is a social quality to management.(1)
Manaagent by administrative services. A manager has
administrative responsibilities, such as decisions about the
allocation of funds and procedures to be followed in
spending them. Administrative services are responsible for
the financial accounting, the processes to be followed as in
the case of purchases, the documentation needed to name
personnel, the record of inventories, and so forth. The
administrative procedures have an obligation to function in
an orderly manner in support of operational programs for
which the organization was established.
Administrative procedures, i.e. the procedures for
purchasing, for naming new staff, for approval of travel,
etc., function as a faucet through which administrative
functions must pass. This figurative faucet has a valve
that's controlled by management. The administrative
processes can be allowed to flow through easily or can be
slowed down as management opens or closes the valve.
Management can use this valve selectively and thus favor one
program or activity in relation to others. Perhaps this
technique on the part of management does not represent good
management; but it is a tool of management that is widely
used. We have all seen cases where the valve became
completely closed for some reason, in other words, funds
were frozen or purchases prohibited.

Governments use this approach as a means of saving
money by just slowing down the rate by which it is spent.
Sometimes this is used for an austerity program. Another
way for governments to save funds is to close the valve near
the end o+ the year, requiring unspent funds from program
budgets to be returned to the central office. Managers of.
operating programs attempt to guard against this kind of
administrative management by buying ahead, laying in a stock
of non-perishable items.

Administration then is an important management tool.
Through administration, management can support and serve, or
restrict, the operating programs which carry out technical

Administration can oversee the adherence to rules,
regulations and procedures in order to guard against
incorrect use of funds. It serves as a safeguard over
equipment and facilities of the organization. This also
avoids unintentional malpractices, and "protects" the
individual who approves use of funds or handles monies and

Rules,regulations and approved administrative
procedures are sometimes complex and subject to

Chapter VII Page 4

interpretation. Administration can essentially take control
of the organization by restricting the flow through the
administrative themselves. This can happen in subtle ways.
Rules may be applied when not necessary. Rules may be
interpreted in such a way as to make the work of
administration as simple, and easy as possible, rather than
to serve and support the program.

If there is good reason to carry out a function within
an organization, there is almost always a rule or a
procedure which will permit it. However, it is bothersome
for administration to deal with exceptions involving
procedures other than the usual and easiest ones, because
this requires additional work on their part. Administration
is fearful that one modification, even though legal, correct
and efficient will lead to additional requests for
non-routine procedure. The volume of work that flows
through the administrative process is usually so great that
some systematized routine must be followed in order to
handle it. Non-routine requests for administrative services
do not follow the system. Administration knows that if
exceptions become too frequent they no longer will have a
routine that is necessary for a normal flow. Exceptions,
when carried to the extreme, eliminate the routine system.

Administration may also believe that the need for the
exception is due to lack of planning and lack of
anticipation of needs on the part of the operational
programs. As a reprisal, administration may try to
castigate technical personnel by slowing the administrative
procedures. Frequently there is some basis for this
accusation, but not the reprisal.

Often the only way for administration to serve dynamic
and changing operational programs is to make modifications
in administrative procedures. For example, the same
procedures for purchases in support of research conducted on
a research station may not provide suitable support to more
disperse regionalized, on-farm research. Administrative
procedures can be one of the reasons why a scientist might
prefer to work on the experiment station rather than at the
farm level. Administrative procedures that favor the
experiment station could be relative to the system of
purchasing supplies, obtaining gasoline, the assignment of
per diem and assigning transportation.

Good administration, that strives to support the
service function, can make good management easier.
Efficiency is not always the best measure of this service;
effectiveness is often the better measure. (2)

Management b b hyget, The budgeting process, both the
budget assignment and budget execution should be used to

Chapter VII Page 5

contribute to good management. Again, responsibility is the
essence of using the budget to develop both effectiveness
and efficiency in research and extension. Responsibility
must be felt at each work place. Budget is a means of
assigning responsibility, and making it felt at each unit
that has a specific function. An organization that does not
relate specific responsibilities to budget will probably
have a low grade management.

Realistically,those who are responsible for certain
work should have a corresponding budget and have
responsibility for spending funds. At the same time there
must be some rules --regulations pertainin to the use of
those funds, and procedures for obligating funds and making
disbursements. Work output then can be evaluated in terms
of cost.

Lack of an assigned budget, where top management
distributes funds piecemeal as each request is made, will
lead to chaos. Periodically the scientist, or a small group
of scientists, should be assigned a specific budget. They
should then reconcile the funds available with a plan of

This system not only allows the output to be evaluated
in terms of funds spent, but also gives a basis for cost
accounting. In this manner, more or less emphasis can be
given to a specific kind of work, and more or less results
can be expected. A characteristic of bureaucratic service
institutions is that once a project of work is started, it
may be continued for years; the only reason for for
assigning funds to the project is that the project exists.
Specific budget assignment can not only give direction to
the research and other activities in technical programs, but
also provides a basis for control and termination of them.
Budget is a powerful management tool.

Conflict between technical and administrative
manaqment. The hierarchical nature of management can cause
problems in the management of research organizations because
there are usually two channels with managerial levels in
each: the administrative channel and the technical channel.
At times one channel tries to impose management action upon
the other. Also, it is sometimes difficult to separate
administrative management from technical management.

For example, consider the following hypothetical
situation where management in one area of an organization
might come into conflict with management in another. The
head of an experiment station may wish to impose
administrative or technical decisions on commodity programs
which are headed by highly trained scientists. The heads of
the commodity programs are (or percieve their position to

Chapter VII Page 6

be) at a higher hierarchical level than the head of the
experiment station. The head of the station controls the
labor and machinery needed to plant experimental plots.. If
there is disagreement as to the time when plots should be
planted there is conflict about the use of labor and
machinery. This needs the attention of higher level
management, but since higher level management cannot deal
with every conflict there must be a systematized approach to
address these internal confrontations. In this case a weekly
planning meeting between station management and the
commodity programs which function on the station might serve
to avoid or resolve this kind of managerial conflict which
is frequent in agricultural research organizations.

gDelegtion of responsibility vs. assignment o3f
Cres9osibility. Is there a difference between the
delegation of responsibility and the assignment of
responsibility? Yes, and it may be important. An
institution or a research program has a mandate, a
responsibility to produce a result or effect an impact. It
is the institution that is responsible; the groups within
the institute or program are delegated part of the
responsibility of the. institute. But the assignment of the
individual, for example, might be specific research in the
genetics of maize, while the delegated responsibility would
be to increase production and productivity of corn. The
scientist assigned to the maize program may feel that the
first responsibility is to conduct scientific research. The
scientist may be most interested in a professional image
from the viewpoint of a scientist; and may not feel a deep
responsibility 'for increasing the productivity of corn. If
taken in this light, there is a difference between
delegation of responsibility and the assignment of


Ibt 0D for a syatD.il A system is needed in order to
manage. In research organizations there are really two
principal systems, one being the operational system through
which the organization functions and a technological system.
The system, in these cases, is the "road map" that shows the
"routes" to take when something is to be done. It is the
pattern for taking action. Once a system is established
management does not need to oversee each step of work along
a system.

Since automobile manufacture and assembly is
systematized, management can evaluate the final product and

Chapter VII Page 7

in turn evaluate the process of manufacture and assembly at
each step. The entire process can be managed because it is
done through a system. Likewise, even though agricultural
research is not a simple assembly of mechanical parts,- it
needs to be systematized in order to be managed. The
organizational structure of an institute, or for research
and extension programs may be highly interrelated, but
organizational structure does not constitute a system.

Evolution of a systems If the basic concepts of work
can be identified by management then organizational
structure and the technical work can be directed toward the
evolution of a system (Diagram VII-1). Starting with
information and experience available, a plan of
organization, strategy, and technical work can elaborated.
Adjustments are then made periodically, perhaps yearly, as
the institution grows and the personnel gain experience.
This approach has the disadvantage of arriving at a system
over time, however, However, it has the advantage of
evolving a system modeled specifically for a given set of
conditions. The principle of this approach is to use the
experienced gained to move logically toward a system of
organization or of work.

The evolution of a system must be a directed process, a
guided process where one method of working is phased into
another. If changes or modifications are abrupt it is no
longer an evolution -- it is radical change. At times this
may be necessary. A system molded to the conditions of
government and of farming is more likely to be obtained if
the modifications are not radical, but logical ones based on
the experience gained in a previous step of the evolutionary

In the evolution of a system it is helpful to have
comparisons of procedures. If one method is better than
another, then the modification is based on the better. ICTA
provides an example. Three zones were selected in which to
initiate the work of field teams. The three zones were
widely separated; they were representative of three ethnic
groups, three ecological conditions and three different
farming areas. A team was established in each zone. The
teams were given guidance and support but were also allowed
some flexibility in their work. Because of the different
conditions and due to different personal characteristics of
team members, the system of work was different in each zone.
This allowed management to view different modes of work.
There were comparisons that could be made to select
modifications and guide the evolution of the "ICTA system."

This was also a means of hedging against risk. Had
one of the regions been viewed by government as a failure,
there was still the potential for the two successful

Chapter VII Page 8

regional ventures to provide guidance to future efforts,
while justifying government support.

Some qualities of service institutions of government.
Agricultural research and extension are usually organized as
institutions of government with the proposed objective of
serving farmers. There are, of course, many service
institutions. They differ from private institutions and
have their own special characteristics.

They tend to be monopolistic, at least for a majority
of the people. The children of most families attend public
schools. Which school they attend, is designated by
government. They have no other choice. For these families
the public school system is a monopoly (Friedman, 1983) (3).

In agriculture, research and extension have lost some
of their monopolistic qualities for large farmers, who can
get much or even all of their technology from private
industry. But the majority of small farmers in developing
countries, must obtain most of their new technology from
governmental agencies. Of course, they obtain some
technology from private sources; but the small farmer cannot
"buy" technology which has been generated specifically for
him. He takes what there is. Some of it is very good, but
it is technology that has been generated with a specific
market in mind and with the objective of economic gain by
private companies. There are exceptions, but in general the
little farmer has not been a good, profitable market for
technology generated by private industry.

Effectiveness s. e efficiency Drucker points out that
while efficiency is important in public service
institutions, the most important measurement is
effectiveness. Efficiency in use of funds, for example,
will not assure effectiveness to the contituency. This is
one more confirmation that technological systems to serve
farmers must be focused upon them.

Chapter VII Page 9


(1) A professional photographer told me many years ago that
he had no technical secrets. He said, "I will try to answer
any question that you ask me (about photography), but you
will still have to carry out the photographic process, and
you will never get the same results that I do." He was
willing to tell me everything that he knew about
photography. But I still had to actually go through the
experience and do it. His information was helpful but it
did not assure a successful end product. And such is the
nature of management.

(2) A friend of mine once recalled his consultation with
the minister of agriculture in a foreign government about
the interpretation of a regulation for the use of funds
regarding a purchase that he wished to make. The minister
called his legal adviser to ask whether or not it was
possible to use the funds to make the purchase. The legal
adviser indicated his willingness to give his interpretation
but then said, "But Mr. Minister, I would like to know if
you wish to approve the purchase or deny it." This minister
probably had a good legal adviser and a good administrative
group -- supportive of operative programs -- that at least
were willing to support the minister.

(3) This statement using schools as an example of the
monopolistic qualities of governmental institutions was
included in the 1982 version of these notes. Therefore it
was interesting to find Friedman's statement highlighting
the school monopoly and giving some details of the school
system in Time Magazine in 1983.

Agricultural research for small farmers, in at least most of
the developing countries, by necessity, must be monopolistic
for the time being. The fact that it is monopolistic does
not mean that it is not effective. However recognizing its
monopolistic nature should help managers, researchers and
extensionists understand the importance of identifying the
real needs of the clientele as contrasted to just supposing
what the real needs are.

(4) Drucker (1974) cites the case of the New York Port
Authority to illustrate that being business-like is not
enough. The Port Authority has been business-like;
construction costs have been low; their credit rating is
good. But it did not consider a policy of service to its
constituency. Therefore, when New York needed a fourth
airport the only supporters of the Port Authority were the
banks. It is precisely this lack of consideration for the
client that farm focused programs can help remedy.

Chapter VII Page 10

Schematic evolution of an agricultural research and extension system.





| "' __,__




The demands of farm focused research and extension on
government are similar to those of traditional research and
extension programs. The nature and the quality of
farm-focused needs though, change over time. This requires a
more dynamic, positive and flexible action on the part of
government. There is greater need for policy and its
interpretation. More decisions need to be made. The
administrative procedures must function without undue delay
and in spite of unforeseen obstacles.

The need lies with the nature of the new focus, which
results in more dynamic, more mobile and more decentralized
field activities. Research is no longer limited to the
experiment station and the product is not limited to
scientific publications. Extension is not limited to
farmers' meetings, the distribution of bulletins and verbal
recommendations. Research and Extension work more closely
with farmers and test technologies on their land. Both
Research. and Extension become more visible in the eyes of
the rural community and accrue obligations to participating
farmers. For example when it is agreed to plant a trial on
a farmer's land on a given date the plan must be adhered to.
On the experiment station no one but the researcher will
note that a planting is done late, but crop trials that are
planted late on private farms are visible to other farmers
and will be viewed as "poor .farming." Furthermore, such
trials do not produce good results.

Government must be prepared to address a variety of
needs and to provide solutions to address these needs as
they arise. A new variety is of no value to the farmer
unless he can obtain seed. Seed must be increased in order
to promote a new variety. Increased demand can be expected
for other inputs such as fertilizer, insecticides and
herbicides. Existing markets must absorb any increased
production or new outlets must be found. There may be a
need for increased storage capacity. All of these represent
the dynamic potential and variety of needs that may be
generated through farm-focused research and extension.

Some specific needs of farm-focused research and
extension are identified below:

1. Clear national policy is needed that is understood and
that is communicated to research and extension.

2. Collaboration from entities of governments is needed in
many areas such as policy formulation, planning,
marketing, credit and development of infrastructure.

3. Operational planning conducted jointly by research and
extension to coordinate their activities is essential.
Budgets must be reconciled with work plans. This may
require special attention and action on the part of
government and fiscal administrators. Budgets are
usually submitted several months to a year in advance
of the time when they will be used. Annual work plans
cannot be elaborated a year in advance, except in a
general way, because research results are not yet
available from the latest cropping season. Thus, funds
approved may not agree with the most logical work plan.
The yearly work plan and the budget should be adjusted
so that funds are used efficiently in support of an
efficient work plan. Budgets that are approved too
late, or are too inflexible to be adjusted to the work
plan are disruptive of efficient and effective research.
Since researchers and extensionists usually are not
good administrators, and do not understand the vagaries
of budget development and handling, they will have to
be trained in these aspects.

Work plans should be developed annually at-the regional
level. This means that budgets should also be assigned
and adjusted to the regional plan of work. It is
extremely difficult for centralized operational
planning to develop work plans according to the needs
of each region. Centralized personnel are not in a
position to do so; those in the region are.

4. Clear lines of administration and authority are a must.
Farm-focused research and extension function in a
disperse manner when viewed by central administration.
Frequently infrastructure and communications in support
of research and extension are weak. Flexibility is
required in making day to day decisions in the field,
however, chaos will result if there are not clear lines
of administration and authority.

5. Timely delivery of equipment and materials is necessary
for efficient work and to maintain a good image in the
eyes of the farmer. On-farm research is a mobile
research. It requires dependable transportation.

6. Strong and clear government support must be evident at
all levels. Field teams need support and,logistic
back-stopping. Field teams not only need this support
but must feel that they have it. They will not develop
enthusiasm for their work with a passive

Chapter VIII- Page 2

administration. Lack of communications, unclear
policy, and inadequate financing are interpreted by
field team members as "no one cares about us". This is
harmful to their morale and may be disruptive to their
research. Since the environment in which teams work
may be uncomfortable, this should be off-set by such
things as compensation, the opportunity to visit
family, and visits by their hierarchical superiors.

7. Comprehension by government of the strategy of the new
research/extension focus is important. All of the
personnel of government do not need to understand the
details of the methodology being used. But the
personnel of higher levels of government responsible
for funding and supporting national development need to
understand some of the major principles involved and
the strategies being applied. Some of the critical
aspects of the system that they should be aware of are:

a. The farm-focused approach employs commodity and
discipline (component) research by orienting it to
address the needs of the farmer. Professional
interest should not dictate research projects,
therefore, this research must be directed.

b. Research ..teams are responsible for the technology
of specific and defined areas.

c. Research and extension are mutually supportive in
a combined effort to generate technologies.

d. Extension participates in the evaluation of
technologies, understands the technologies,
participates in the feedback of information and
transfers technology to a large number of

e. Farmer participation in the evaluation of research
and in its transfer is basic to this approach.

f. Evaluation of the activities of research and
extension should be based upon objective
measurements. Objective measurements are the
number of farmers that adopt a technology and
increase yields, the amount of improved seed sold
to producers (not the amount of seed produced by
the seed program), credit repayments, etc.
Unobjective measurements are number of
experiments, number of farmers contacted, number
of bulletins written, etc.

8. Administrative services refer to financial accounting;
the handling of funds such as payrolls, purchases and

Chapter VIII- Page 3

sales; inventories; personnel records; and in some
cases to such services as housekeeping routines,
contractual arrangements. These services are needed
for the operation of research and extension and can
become critical in the farm focused technological

Administrative services are required that can aid
research and extension in the preparation of budgets,
that are adequate but not wasteful. Services must be in
phase with the needs of the programs ie., can deliver
equipment and materials on time. Farming is a
biological process that is not entirely predictable.
Use of an insecticide that is not needed is wasteful
but to delay its use may cause a loss of the crop. It
cannot always be predicted when the insecticide will be
needed, but it must be readily available when needed.

Technical personnel frequently citicize
administration for being too slow, inefficient and
excessively bureaucratic. At the same time,
administration considers technical personnel ignorant
of correct and proper procedures and irresponsible in
the management of resources. Undoubtedly there is some
basis for the position of both groups. Both sides have
shortcomings, and this must be recognized.

The Administrative Services bureaucracy
establishes systems for purchases, inventories,
payrolls and contracts. The bureaucratic system also
tends to protect the government employees from
accusations for improper and illegal use of funds and
property. Unfortunately, bureaucracy acquires some
very inefficient characteristics. This takes place
when the people working within the bureaucratic system
work for the system itself, try to justify it and to
perpetuate it, and do not work to serve the functional
programs. When this happens, results become secondary
to the system itself. Bureaucracy is more effective
when it works to serve the programs which are being

Outmoded bureaucratic systems of administration
can be improved; at least technically it is possible.
But bureaucracy is pervasive, having survived because
politicians and career service personnel have learned
how to perpetuate it. Usually research and extension
are "small fry" within the large system of government
and have little, if any, opportunity to change it.
Improvement in the administrative services for research
and extension requires two things: It requires an
administrative section within the government that is
willing to understand the problems of research and

Chapter VIII- Page 4

extension and is willing to do everything possible to
serve their activities. Improvement in administrative
services also requires research and extension personnel
that are responsible and are willing to learn the

Technical personnel of research and extension
frequently do not do their part in anticipating what
administration requires to function, such as submitting
budget requests on time and planning purchases in
advance. They make it difficult for the bureaucrat to
follow the bureaucratic system, and this results in
even less service to the operating programs. It is
important for research and extension personnel to
exercise good operational planning. This will help the
administrative system function better, and will
ultimately work to the advantage of the program.

This criticism of researchers and extensionists in
no way condones the inefficiencies of many
administrative systems that are found within
governments. These systems cause great losses through
inefficiencies in the use of funds and reduced results
of the programs of research and extension due to lack
of effective administrative services. Administrative
systems of government are particularly poor when
biological materials are involved. Many a storehouse
has been full of weevil infested grain simply-because
it was not sold on time.

Slow payment on the part of government makes'
businesses slow in responding to requests from
governmental agencies. Many times low quality
merchandise is purchased because it is cheaper in
price. There is no good excuse for these
inefficiencies, but research and extension alone will
probably be ineffective in correcting them. It will
require governmental decisions and action, along with
the cooperation of research and extension to improve
defects of bureaucratic administration.
Administrative services can improve and government
should determine how, and should effect such

Here, as a summary are some guidelines for
administrators; administrative services should:

-Expedite, not hinder or slow down the flow through
the administrative mechanisms.

-Teach, so that those who execute programs learn
what the administrative systems needs in order to

Chapter VIII- Page 5

-Protect, so that those who execute programs will
not be accused of illegal use of funds or other

-Execute but not impose unilateral decisions.
Consult when making decisions that affect the

-Be interested in the research and extension
programs and not work to serve soley the
bureaucratic system.

-Learn the requirements of research and extension
and how to serve them.

-Remember that effectiveness of the operational
programs is more important than efficiency of
programs. A responsibility of administrative
services is to make the output of research more

Chapter VIII- Page 6



Operational planning refers to a process for
defining the what, where, when and how of research and
extension activities. All too frequently operational
planning has been considered bothersome task to meet
political and administrative requirements. This attitude
overlooks the value inherent in the planning process: the
opportunity to asses progress and determine direction for
future efforts that will further programs.

The farming systems approach requires a sharp focus
upon objectives, communication of the objectives, and a plan
of work to be used as guidelines for the activities of
research and extension personnel. This is a critical step
for determining strategy and-function for the generation and
dissemination of technologies with identified clientele.
This is impossible without operational planning.

Research and Extension typically plan their operations
quite apart from one another and in their own interests.
When the two join forces in farm-focused research they
should alsojointly plan their operations in order to:

-Coordinate the activities of the groups which
participate in the farm focused technological system,
ie. commodity and discipline research teams, on-farm
area research teams and extension teams.

-Execute a plan of work in agreement with governmental
policy and in which Research and Extension are in
agreement with common objectives.

-Develop good administrative procedures and communicate
them to all personnel.

-Manage efficiently, give direction to the research and
extension, and develop a dynamic, effective,
technological thrust.

-Justify funding; identify sources of funding; equitably
allocate funds to prioritized activities; plan for
efficient use of equipment and other resources; and
determine and agree upon responsibilities of research
and extension groups.

Governmental Policy

Research may consider itself, and may be considered by
government, as policy neutral. If research works to produce
new crop varieties, control insects and weeds or demonstrate
that crops will yield more with fertilizer it is acting in a
way that makes it almost independent of government policy.
Who will say that research shouldn't develop a better maize
plant? Who will say that it shouldn't learn how to control

If research decides to learn how to increase production
and productivity in a specific area, it is no longer policy
neutral. If research begins to focus on specific crops
involving farmers in the process of technology generation,
then it is no longer policy neutral.

In the first case, the agronomist works principally in
the'experiment station and publishes the results which are
available to be used by government or individuals as they
see fit. In the second case research results are not only
produced but are also studied for their effect in a
particular farming area. In order to do this the new
technology is introduced into the area where it is visible
to farmers and extension agents. Farmers participate in the
evaluation of technology. Perhaps research, in this second
instance, is making an impact, or spending funds, on that
which government considers a high priority,/ and government
will support the work. But what if government thinks that
the work should be directed toward another area, or another
segment of the rural population and that rice should be the
crop given emphasis and not maize? The point is that
farm-focused research, with interventions in specific areas
with specific technologies, is not.policy neutral.

Farmers almost always consider Extension less policy
neutral and more affected by the decisions of ministers than
Research. In fact, Extension is frequently considered a
principal arm of the government to carry out policy. So
with a technological system focused on farming, both
Research and Extension must have relations with government
that will permit them to understand how the use of
technology is related to policy.

If there is no national policy then both Research and
Extension must face the problem of determining where to work
and on what, because it is almost certain that they cannot
cover the entire country with intensive farm-level programs.
In this case government may have thought very little about
how Research and Extension can contribute to rural
development -- and will have little basis on which to assign
them funds or give other support. A clearly stated policy
is needed, not only for general planning of government but

Chapter IX Page 2

also for operational planning of farm-focused research and

Policy will have to be understood and interpreted in
terms of a plan of work. While the broad policy of
government may seem explicit, interpretation is not always
easy and implementation may be problematic. For example,
Research and Extension may not have the resources, or the
managerial capacity to cover the areas of high priority
determined by government. Disperse resource allocation may
not be effective while too much concentration may reduce
coverage excessively.

Good operational planning can help develop a solid base
of information that can have an input into policy of
government. Policy makers in government need the kinds of
information supplied by the operational planning of Research
and Extension for Policy Planning at the national level.

Internal Policy for Research and Extension

Both Research and Extension should develop internal
policy as guidelines for their work. It should be
understood that policy is not a hard and fast rule; the hard
and fast should be stated in rules and regulations. Policy
then, can guide, give direction and still leave the
opportunity for imagination in the execution of the work.

Internal policy should reflect governmental policy.
While Research and Extension may be allowed some latitude
from the national policy, usually very little will be gained
from going directly against the principles of higher level
policy. Some policies will be converted into rules and
regulations and others into work strategies or reflected in
methodologies. The "sondeo" developed in ICTA was a
response to the policy of not conducting traditional,
time-consuming and costly surveys. Some examples of
internal policy that might be developed for farm oriented
research are given below. This list is by no means
exhaustive, rather it is intended to be representative:

-There should be strong commodity programs for the
crops of major economic importance.

-On-Farm Area Research Teams will consist of enough
members to develop a team effort, usually not less
than three.

-At least half to three-fourths of the research
will be conducted off-station and on-farm.

-Every effort will be made to support Extension and

Chapter IX Page 3

the transfer process to farmers.

-Not more than 70 percent of the total budget
should be used for salaries in order to assure
adequate operating funds.

-Institutional development will be based on the
expansion of strong, effective programs not on
capital expenditures for facilities. Once the
need for facilities can be demonstrated for a
program of action, every effort will be made to
meet the need.

-Experiment stations should be relatively small and
not more than 15 percent of the total budget
should be spent on their combined operation.

-Land will be rented for controlled experimentation
when there is not sufficient area on the
experiment station.

-Soil and water conservation, along with sustained
yields, will be given'consideration in the
development of farming practices.

These examples probably represent good internal
policies for research organizations in developing countries
but are given here only to illustrate the kinds of policies
that might be developed. It should be remembered that-
policy is a guideline, not a rule or regulation. It
obviously restricts, but it also permits some flexibity of
interpretation, thus allowing opportunity for individuals to
demonstrate imagination and initiative. All policies do not
necessarily have to be written, but they should be generally
understood and communicated to those concerned.

Periodic Review of Programs and Results

Both the broad governmental and the internal policy are
important as part of the information needed for planning the
work schedule. More important is the information resulting
from the most recent experimentation and continuing
characterization of farming areas.

Results of activities presented by the persons
responsible for.carrying out the work, is a direct method of
keeping colleagues informed about research and extension

Chapter IX Page 4

These presentations should be a part of regional
meetings, held annually to review the recent research
results, to prepare a plan of work and reconcile the budget
with the work plan.

Regional review is usually much better than national
review. More of the people who actually carried out the
work can attend regional meetings and discussion can
focuses on the region. Activities conducted at the national
level, such as commodity and discipline research, should be
also represented at the regional meeting. This means that
members of the On-Farm Area Research Teams, the Regional
Extension Teams and the Commodity and Discipline Programs
particiapte in the review.

Information to be presented should be summarized and
distributed. This summary information can be the basis for
annual reports. Researchers must take the time to summarize
and analyze their data. Research work should be step wise
and sequential, with each suceeding step being based on the
previous one. When results are not available this cannot be
done and research is not taking advantage of prior work.
Results of all pertinent activities should be included in
the review, especially of the most recent harvest which are
needed for the elaboration of the new plan of work.

The system of annual regional meetings for review and
planning have the disadvantage that national commodity and
discipline personnel will have to attend several regional
meetings. 'This is outweighed by the fact that their
participation at the regional level is important in order to
orient the component work so as to support the regional work
to the maximum possible. It is important for them to be
familiar with the regional work, with the people directly
involved in the regional work and to learn about regional
problems and concerns.

Planning for Yearly Budgets and Work Plans

Following the annual regional review, the plan of work
for the following year should be formulated by National
Commodity and Discipline Teams, the On-Farm Area Research
Teams and the Extension Teams. Collaborators must agree on
a plan which includes assignment of responsibilities. For
example, an On-Farm Team may agree to conduct'a given number
of trials to study advanced breeding lines of maize in
collaboration with the Maize Program. The National'Maize
Program may furnish seed. The design of the trial and the
data to be collected will have to be agreed upon, because
these trials will be useful to the national program for the
further selection of breeding materials.

Chapter IX Page 5

Here is another example that shows why it is necessary
for the On-Farm Teams and the Commodity Teams to plan
together. An On-Farm Team may decide to study new varieties
of maize in their area to determine the advantage over
present farmer varieties. Such trials are largely the
initiative of the On-Farm Team, with responsibility for
designing and conducting the trials. But they will need the
collaboration of the National Maize Program for seed. The
On-Farm Team will have to advise the Maize Program about the
quantity of seed they need of each variety. They will have
to arrive at an agreement as to how the seed will be
delivered, when and to whom?. If these kinds of plans are
not formulated ahead of time, the seed may not arrive on
time for a proper seeding.

For similar reasons, it is necessary for On-Farm Teams
and Extension Teams to plan jointly. This kind of
coordinated effort is needed in order to agree on assignment
of responsibilities for successful joint activities ie., who
does what and when.
Under this system of regional planning, the sum of the
activities of each program becomes the national work plan
for the program.

There may be some problems in planning and developing-
well balanced work programs. One may be that a commodity
program wants too much of their material tested by the
On-Farm Teams. There probably will be several Commodity
Teams, and if all wish a lot of material tested by the
On-Farm Teams, the total may be more work than the On-Farm
Teams can handle. The On-Farm Teams have more to do than
just test materials from commodity programs and they should
not neglect other important areas such as insect and disease
control, weed control, time of planting, plant populations
and others.

Another potential problem is that the Commodity Teams
may have personnel with more experience and more education
than the On-farm Teams. This is frequently the case when
On-farm Teams are first organized. The more experienced
personnel of the Commodity Teams may try to impose their
ideas on the younger and less experienced personnel of the
On-Farm Teams. For these reasons management must be
prepared to intervene and supervise in the planning
process. Management must be ready to arbitrate in case of
difference of opinion.

Some of the planning of details will have to be done by
individuals or by small groups. But individual planning or
unilateral planning by small groups should be brought into
context with the overall institutional plan. Simply
assembling small pieces of plans of work elaborated by
individuals or small groups will usually not result in a

Chapter IX Page 6

balanced plan. Management will have to constitute a higher
level group to reconcile the inclusion of the pieces. The
process of developing a plan of work that is well-balanced
usually improves considerably with time, perhaps over a
period of a few years. If this is the case, then it behooves
management to not only guide the process of planning but
also to develop it into a learning process.

What here has been labeled operational planning, then,
is not simply the planning of experimentation and the
gathering of information but the development of a coherent
plan of work that can be followed by component researchers,
on-farm teams and extensionists so that the combined efforts
contribute to the overall objectives of the organizations
involved. The plan of work becomes a tool of management and
guideline for the generation and dissemination of
technology. While there is much give and take in this
process it allows participation by all levels of
institutional personnel,.and the planning is done from the
farming area upward rather down from the top.

.The principal requirements for planning, that must be
reconciled and brought into balance in the development of a
plan of work can be summarized as follows:

1. Understanding of policy (national and institutional)
and institutional mandate.

2. Information about the farming region: social, economic
and technical,

3. Resources: Human, physical and financial.

Chapter IX Page 7



There are many organizational structures for
agricultural research and extension(Arnon, 1968). Only a
few will be mentioned here, with brief comments about some
of the characteristics of different organizational patterns
that have a bearing on their participation in an organized
and coordinated technological system for limited resource
farmers. Good technological support of farmers can be
developed under different organizational structures, but the
pragmatic generation of technology and its transfer to
farmers has some special requirements.

The reorientation of research and extension to develop
more pragmatic support for farmers, may not only introduce
conflict of ideas about the technological strategies and
scientific methodologies, but also about the organizational
structure. There probably is no one best structure. It is
difficult to determine why one organization functions better
than another, but some do. Is it because of organization,
management, leadership, dedication, support or personnel?
Or is it due to the compatibility of the research and
extension structures with structures of government? In any
given circumstance, the action to be carried out will have
to be fitted into a structure and that structure in turn
should be compatible with the organizations around and above

To a considerable degree the research/extension
structure follows a general pattern of national government
organizations. This organizational structure is not
determined by scientists but by managers of government.
This general pattern hold true around much of the world ad a
few of the prevailing organizational structures are
highlighted in this chapter.

The U.S. System

In the United States, colleges for agricultural and
mechanical training were created by the government in 1862.
Federal land was given to each state and money from the sale
of this land formed endowment funds for the new schools;
hence the name land grant colleges. Twenty five years later
and again through legislative action, agricultural
experiment stations were funded and created at these
agricultural colleges. Then in 1914 the government

established the Agricultural Extension Service, to
complement the activities of the agricultural colleges and
experiment stations. This brief overview of the land grant
system, incorporating teaching, research and extension, puts
the U. S. system into perspective.

Today this system can be viewed as a decentralized one,
integrated and located at land grant colleges in every
state. Together with several other collegesthese learning
centers constitute major universities. Each university has
a governing board and functions as an autonomous
organization within their respective states.
Research, teaching and extension each have separate
directors. These in turn are usually coordinated by a single
university such as a vice-president. The arrangements for
overlap between the three areas of research, teaching and
extension are sometimes complex but the system is
functional. The university and the groups within it are
stable, relatively free from external politics and can
develop their own arrangements for collaboration, even
though such arrangements may be informal they serve over
extended periods and further contribute to stability. Their
informality also gives them a great deal of flexibility;
working arrangements between individual staff members can be
easily modified. Major changes are not so easily introduced
but even here there is considerable flexibility.

The advantages of the land grant system can be
summarized as follows:

1. Although created by government and perpetuated through
government funding, the land grant portion of the
university is autonomous and decentralized from the
federal government. This allows each state to focus
upon what is determined to be important by the state.

2. The system allows and fosters close relationships
between research, teaching and extension, not only
professionally but also in the use of facilities. Much
of the collaboration is informal.

3. There is relatively little direct political
intervention, especially that coming from national
levels, combined with slow turnover of personnel and
continuity of programs to provide a great deal of

These are all favorable characteristics. However,
the systems approach with much of the research being done
on-farm, introduces new aspects. When the operation of the
system is examined it will be found that, at least in most
states, it is extension and not research that has a county

Chapter X Page 2

or regional organizational structure. This has implications
for a farming systems approach to research and extension.
If research, unilaterally, were to establish on-farm teams
they may or may not be compatible with the extension
activities already present. The establishment of on-farm
research teams coordinated with extension activities would
confront some important questions. Could the on-farm
research activities be dovetailed with present extension
activities? Would extension need to modify their programs
at the local level? Would a leader of an on-farm area
research team be responsible for developing the local
program in consultation with extension agents? Perhaps yes,
but who would reconcile differences of opinion between
research and extension at the field level? Would extension
have sufficient personnel to work directly with the on-farm
research team, or does extension already have a full program
of work that is difficult to modify?

In some states, Extension asserts dominance over other
university activities with farmers. There may be opposition
to research conducted within an extension area without
approval by extension. In some states the counties
contribute to the salary of the County Agent and thus the
agent has a direct responsibility to the County
Commissioners who are part of the local political power
structure. The manner in which County Commissioners view
social and economic strata can affect the work of the
extension agents. If research were to focus upon specific
clientele that could be identified with the social/economic
strata there well could be conflict.

In the U. S. the University of Florida was one of the
was one of the first to apply the principals of the systems
approach with the North Florida Farming Systems Research and
Extension Project (1). This project has not operated over a
sufficient period of time to evaluate its impact
(Tefertiller,1980). It functions under the Institute of
Food and Agricultural Science which is directed by a
vice-president of the university and through the Directors
of Research and Extension. This provides a centralized
authority to whom it is responsible, but a project review
has cited its lack of organizational structure: FSR/E
needs an institutional home, a minimum structure, and
legitimacy (Team for the Evaluation of the North Florida
Farming Systems Research and Extension Project, 1983). One
of the suggestions of the review team was that more
organization might be given to the program through joint
regional planning between the country extension
organizations and the research stations in the project area.

Divisions within the Ministry of Agriculture

One of the most common arrangements in Latin America is

Chapter X Page 3

to have divisions (direcciones) for both research and
extension within the Ministry of Agriculture. Usually both
the management and administration are centralized, with a
proximity to politics that intervenes in the divisions.
There is frequently a lack of continuity in leadership
because personnel changes correspond with changes in the
political parties that are in office. Decision making, both
technical and administrative, is usually from the top down,
and the personnel that does the technical work has little
input into either. Research and extension are subjected to
all of the bureaucratic procedures of the ministry.

Some Ministries have attempted to decentralize through
regionalization The country is divided into regions and the
Minister of Agriculture appoints a regional director for
each one. Regional Directors are delegated some authority
and serve as the minister's representative. This
arrangement may or may not be an improvement over the more
centralized authority. The authority of the regional
director may be so limited that he can contribute very
little to the organization except to represent the minister.
In other cases, the minister delegates enough authority to
the regional director to obtain greater flexibility and
agility in the operations of the programs being carried out.
In still other cases the regional directors have a lot of
authority and they become mini-ministers at the regional

The operating programs may function better under local
power than central authority, but it may be difficult to
establish strong national commodity research programs.- For
example each regional director may aspire to have a maize
improvement program even though one good national maize
program, with the collaboration of the regions, would be
adequate. This position on the part of a regional director
may keep the national maize improvement effort to be
fractionated. Regionalization of activities of the ministry
seems to function better for extension and on-farm
activities than for national activities.

Political interference in technical matters, under a
regionalized arrangement, may be as as bad as a centralized
arrangement. The bureaucracy may function somewhat better
because the regional director may intervene as a
representative of the minister. Another regional director
may represent one more cumbersome step in bureaucratic

Decentralized Institutes

Decentralized or autonomous institutes have been
established in some countries in order to escape from some
of the inadequacies of a bureaucratic system. Such

Chapter X Page 4

organizations are usually allowed more freedom of action
than the centralized ministry. If they are not, they may
maintain the centralized characteristics, in which case
centralization of management continues, but in smaller units
-- fractionated centralization.

Some autonomous institutes have regionalized their
operations. Whether they regionalize or not autonomous
institutions are apt to have more freedom from the influence
of politics.

A division of the ministry can be regionalized as
an autonomous entity give emphasis to, and stimulate either
research and extension, or both. An autonomous institute
can be a strategy to effect change. ICTA was organized as a
decentralized institute in order to give emphasis and
stimulus to agricultural research. It also served as an
opportunity to reorient the research, which would have been
difficult to do in the ministry due to traditionalism.

Decentralized or autonomous institutes are not immune
to intervention from politics. The right of autonomy and
flexibility can be taken away as well as conferred.

Agricultural Research Councils

Agricultural Research Councils have been used in Asia.
There are differing kinds of councils but the organizational
strategy is to assign responsibility for direction and
orientation of research to a body higher than the research
and development organizations. The rationale is that a
council would do a better job of analyzing problems and
orienting research than the individual organizations.
Agricultural Research Councils promote coordination and
collaboration of several research and development
organizations. They attempt to reduce duplication of effort
and in general guide the generation and use of technology.

Special Structures for Production Campaigns and for Defined
Area Projects

Production campaigns, animal health campaigns and
development projects are frequently given some special or
unique organizational structure. This can focus attention
upon the project, allow it to function with greater
. flexibility, or to meet the conditions of a bank loan or
other financial aid. These special arrangements, in a
sense, are an admission that the regular mechanisms of the
government do not function well.

Development projects may be given special
organizational arrangements because they are multi-sectoral
and the organization of the government does not lend itself

Chapter X Page 5

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