DEVELOPING NOTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES IN A FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH CONTEXT
James A. Chapman
Chemonics International Publications Series
DEVELOPING NOTIONAL TECHNOLOGIES IN A FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH CONTEXT
James A. Chapman
Chemonics International Publications Series
Occasional Papers, Technical Notes and Films in Development
This paper was prepared by James A. Chapman, agricultural economist working for Chemonics International. It was
published in June 1985 as part of the Chemonics International Publications Series, Chemonics International Consulting Division, 2000 M Street, N.W., Suite 200,
Washington, D. C. 20036. It is based upon the author's Ph.D. dissertation (Chapman 1983) which was undertaken with the cooperation and support of the International Rice Research Institute, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the Agricultural Economics Department of Michigan State University. Responsibility for the material presented lies strictly with the author and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the institutions mentioned.
List of Tables and Figures ............................. iv
INTRODUCTION ............................................. I
NOTIONAL TECHNOLOGY DEFINED ............................. 1
PROJECT BACKGROUND AND DESCRIPTION ...................... 2
The Project Setting ..................................... 3
Cropping Potential in Iloilo ............................ 7
FARMING SYSTEMS DYNAMICS IN ILOILO: A QUALITATIVE VIEW ..................................... 10
The Family and its Situation ........................... 10
Umero's Cropping System Since 1975 ..................... 14
CONCEPTUALIZING NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR ILOILO .............. 16
An Example of Notional Technology ...................... 21
Testing Notional Technology ............................ 22
CONCLUSIONS ............................................ 27
A Methodology for Notional Technology Development ...... 28 BIBLIOGRAPHY ........................................... 33
TABLES AND FIGURES
1 Location of the Iloilo research site ........... 4
2 An agroclimatic map of cropping
potential in the Iloilo rainfed area ........... 9
3 The suitability of traditional
cropping practices to Iloilo
agroclimatic conditions ...................... 18
4 A labor profile for a rainfed rice farm
planting traditional rice varieties ........... 19
5 Agroclimatic suitability of early maturing
rice varieties to Iloilo conditions ........... 20
6 Ratoon rice cropping under Iloilo
agroclimatic conditions ...................... 21
7 A methodology for technological
development .................................. 29
1 Percentage of cropland in various
cropping patterns, Iloilo Outreach Site,
1974-79 ....................................... 6
2 Percent of the total area of the farms of
45 economic cooperators under different water management classes, Iloilo, crop
years 1976-79 ................................. 6
3 Percentage of cropland of 45 farmers in
various cropping patterns by water
management category, Iloilo Outreach
Site, 1976-79 ................................. 8
Recently there has been a growing emphasis on the development and diffusion of agricultural technology in less developed countries as a means to promote rural development and provide basic food supplies to the rural population. A great deal of investment in agricultural research has taken place, with major expenditures by philanthropic foundations and developed country governments going to fund International Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs).
Partly as a result of this investment, high-yielding and early-maturing varieties of rice and wheat have been developed and diffused. While production technologies based on these varieties have had a large impact on total output, the benefits have not been distributed equitably among all producers. Although technologies were developed without regard to specific sizes or types of farms, they were developed under certain agroclimatic conditions, using certain types and levels of inputs. As a
result, researchers in effect developed technologies appropriate for producers with command over good natural resources and sufficient capital to obtain the necessary inputs.
Numerous studies have confirmed that the technologies of the green revolution were much less attractive to producers lacking the required resources (e.g. Morss, et. al., 1976; Pearse, 1980). The adopting group tended to be relatively large, well-educated and wealthy farmers, while the non-adopters tended to be smallscale, uneducated, resource-poor farmers. Social scientists have spent much time and effort in ex post evaluation of the reasons small farmers have not benefitted greatly from new agricultural technology. The major point that this paper seeks to demonstrate is that it is possible for social scientists to join forces with biological scientists in the ex ante design and evaluation of technology consistent with the needs of specific target populations (e.g. small farmers). Specifically, the paper focuses on the development of notional technology, first defining the concept and then presenting an illustration of how the concept was used in a farming systems research project in the Philippines.
NOTIONAL TECHNOLOGY DEFINED
As far as this author can determine, the term "notional technology" was coined by Anderson and Hardaker (1979) and defined as undeveloped or poorly developed technology having a recognized potential for adoption by farmers in specific ecological and socio-economic circumstances. More specifically, it is
the potential solution to one or more problems that inhibit gains in production or productivity, and therefore, in monetary or nonmonetary benefits for small farm families. It requires the
creation of new concepts, or the modification of existing concepts. As such, the development of notional technology is as much an art as a science. It depends largely on the ability of researchers to analyze, synthesize and invent. According to
Anderson and Hardaker (1979):
Notional new technologies are, because of their hypothetical nature, cheap to invent and bounded only by the imagination of the inventor.. Since more fully
developed technologies usually have their genesis as notions, attention to generating notional ne w technologies should not be disregarded. Evaluation of this
category can range from intuition to analysis, but analytical appraisal is essentially confined to work on
models rather than on real systems.
Talking about notional technology in an abstract sense does not provide the reader with a very clear picture of the process by which it is generated or its eventual usefulness. Therefore, the remainder of this paper is dedicated to the presentation of an instance in which notional technology was "invented" and evaluated during the course of a cropping systems research project undertaken in the Philippines.
PROJECT BACKGROUND AND DESCRIPTION
The development of notional technology described herein took
place as part of the author's Ph.D. dissertation research under the sponsorship of the Cropping Systems Program (CSP) of the
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).
Research on cropping systems at IRRI was begun in the late 1960s by Richard Bradfield. His article (Bradfield, 1972) reveals techniques for fitting a variety of legumes and other crops
between rice plantings, with the primary objectives of improved human nutrition and soil fertility maintenance. Through his
innovative experiments, he revealed the opportunities available for more intensive and diversified cropping.
In the early 1970s, research emphasis shifted from determining productivity of new or improved cropping patterns to the study of cropping patterns on existing farms where rice was the basic crop. In 1974, the CSP was enlarged to include a multidisciplinary team to undertake research on existing and improved
The CSP chose to focus efforts on rainfed lowland and upland rice areas in South and Southeast Asia. Priority was given to
areas where it was possible to increase cropping intensity, i.e., the number of crops planted per growing season on a single unit of land.
The CSP concentrated on resource utilization on small rice farms, seeking to increase -the benefits derived by crop production from available physical resources (e.g., rainfall, solar radiation, and soil) that are not readily modifiable (Zandstra, 1978). It also considered biological and economic factors at the farm level as they influence the performance of cropping systems. Though CSP research was carried out at specific sites, the objective was the development of technologies--Including new ways of combining crops into cropping patterns--which were appropriate for a large number of areas with similar climatic and physical conditions. Therefore, factors in the community or on the farm which restricted the adoption of new techniques did not necessarily cause research on these techniques to be abandoned. A large part of the ongoing effort of CSP focused both on the generation of component technology!/ for cropping patterns, and on management of improved technology. The generation of new component technology depended upon feedback from CSP researchers to biological scientists at IRRI.2/
The Project Setting
In 1975, the CSP began research in a rainfed rice growing area in Iloilo Province, Panay Island, West Visayas, Philippines (figure 1). The research site was originally selected as agroclimatically representative in terms of soil, water management, weather and geomorphic land relationships.
From 1975 to 1979, the CSP carried out the following activities at the site:
1. In early 1975, a baseline survey was taken of
about 25 percent of all farmers in the site area (241 respondents). From baseline information, 45 farmers were chosen at random to participate in an intensive farm recordkeeping study. Much of the information for the site description was provided by the selected farmers, who also provided a source of feedback for cropping systems researchers.
2. A large number of new cropping patterns were
developed and tested on farmers' fields.
1/ Component technology involves changes in the management of
single crops or crop mixtures which occupy a field during a
single crop cycle.
2/ An example of feedback from an economist to plant breeders
is presented In Chapman (1979).
.0 Oton GUIMR
Figure 1 Location of the Iloilo research site.
Most of the effort was focused on developing
means of increasing cropping intensity (the number of crops planted in a single season), with special emphasis on growing two or more
crops of rice.
3. Farm-household record-keeping activities were
undertaken involving mainly two aspects: (a)
the collection and analysis of input-output data from experimental cropping pattern test fields; and (b) the collection of inputoutput data and prices to determine relative pattern profitabilities and resource flows in the farm-household economies of the 45 farmer
The driving force behind the cropping system technology
development was the utilization of high-yielding rice varieties with low photoperiod sensitivity. Varieties possessing this characteristic mature in a more or less constant period of time,
regardless of day length. Traditional rice varieties generally mature during the same period each year, each variety responding to its own particular day length requirement. A traditional crop is often in the field for six to eight months before harvest.
Modern varieties have tended to be of the early to intermediate maturing type. The principal advantage of early maturing varieties (EMVs) lies not in their yield potential or pest resistance, but rather in their suitability for multiple cropping
systems where more than one crop is grown sequentially on the same land during one year (Harwood, 1976).
A good measure of the success of cropping systems research in a specific area is the extent to which the recommendations derived from research results are adopted by farmers in the area.
The data presented in table 1 present relative changes in cropping patterns (percentage of the area planted to each pattern) at the Iloilo site during the time that the project was in existence. Most significant are the changes from a single rice crop pattern to double rice crop or rice-upland crop patterns.
The information presented does not, however, fully depict the actual situation In the rainfed portion of the Iloilo site. Shortly after the CS? began work in Iloilo, an irrigation system was constructed which converted substantial hectarage within the
site boundaries to partially and fully irrigated status by 1976. Nearly all of the villages where CSP farms were located had parts of their lands come under irrigation. As shown in table 2, by 1978, over one-third of the area farmed by the 45 economic cooperators was fully or partially irrigated.
Table 1: Percentage of cropland in various cropping
patterns, Iloilo Outreach Site, 1974-79b
Pattern -74-'75 '75-'76 '76-'77 77-'78 '78-'79
Two or more rice 5 20 38 49 45
One rice + one or
more upland 11 28 30 17 31
Two or more upland 2 5 12 6 8
One rice + fallow 82 47 20 27 14
One upland + fallow -- -- -- 1 2
a/ Derived from: Genesila, Servano and Price, 1979. b/ The 1974-75 data represent average results of a 205 farm
baseline survey conducted in January 1975. Data from 197579 came from a farm recordkeeping study on 45 farmers
selected randomly from the baseline list.
Table 2 Percent of the total area of the farms of 45 economic
cooperators under different water management classes,
Iloilo, crop years 1976-79
Crop Year Irrigated irrigated Lowland Upland Total
1976-77 15 7 68 10 100
1977-78 24 5 61 10 100
1978-79 23 11 56 10 100
Source: Genesila, Servano and Price, 1979.
As previously stated, one of the major objectives of the CSP
was to develop new technologies for rainf ed lowland and upland areas. Therefore, some disaggregation of the data by water
management class was useful in order to distinguish the effects of the research on the target population. In table 3, the
percentages of land cultivated by the 45 CSP economic cooperators and devoted to different cropping patterns are displayed according to water management category. The figures demonstrate that technology focused on facilitating the establishment of two
or more rice crops during a single growing season has been rapidly adopted by farmers with irrigated and partially irrigated land. The adoption rate of multiple rice cropping on rainfed lowland was much lower (19 percent to 30 percent). Evidently, the double rice crop pattern for rainfed land was less stable because of year-to-year variations in rainfall intensity and duration. On the other hand, multiple cropping with one rice crop followed or preceded by one or more upland crops greatly increased in rainfed areas. Much of the increase was due to the fact that farmers adopted the early maturing varieties (EMVs) in the rainfed areas, thus increasing the amount of time that sufficient moisture was available for planting other crops before or af ter rice.
The importance of water and the utilization of EMVs in facilitating increased cropping intensity is clear. All of the farmers in the study were in relatively similar positions in 1974
with respect to water management, since none of the area was irrigated. Those farmers with land that came under full irrigation managed to muster sufficient labor, power and material
resources to enable them to plant two or more rice crops beginning in 1976. This suggested that water was a key resource
limiting the adoption of more intensive cropping practices, especially with regard to planting two or more rice crops in a single season.
Cropping Potential in Iloilo
A somewhat clearer picture of cropping potential in Iloilo is presented in figure 2. Time, In months, is measured along the
axes, while rice and upland crop growing seasons are depicted on the upper and lower portions respectively of the diagram. The rice-growing (drought-free) season usually lasts for 5-6 months (July-November). During the remaining months, the probability of drought stress conditions for rice is quite high. Upland crops can be grown during two periods of the year: at the beginning of
the wet season (May to mid-June), and in the transition period from an overly wet to an overly dry state (mid-October to midFebruary). From mid-February through April, upland crops on the
field would likely suffer from drought stress, while from midJune to mid-October, the probability of excessive moisture and flooding is high. The "competitive" period, when either rice or an upland crop can be grown, generally has a duration of just over one month (mid-October to late-November).
Table 3. Percentage of cropland of 45 farmers in various cropping
patterns by water management category, Iloilo Outreach
Cropping Pattern 1976-77a 1977-78b 1978-79b
Two or more rice 30 19 28
One rice + one or more uplandc/ 43 30 46
Two or more upland 4 2 -One rice + fallow 21 48 25
One upland + fallow 2 -- 1
Rainfed Ul and
Two or more rice -- -- -One rice + one or more upland 66 8 6
Two or more upland 21 73 74
One rice + fallow -- 6 -One upland + fallow 13 13 20
Two or more rice 39 90 71
One rice + one or more upland -- 3 22
Two or more upland -- -- -One rice + fallow 61 7 6
One upland + fallow -- -- 1
Two or more rice 96 100 96
One rice + one or more upland -- -- 3
Two or more upland -- -- -One rice + fallow 4 -- -One upland + fallow -- -- 1
a/ Derived from Roxas and Genesila, 1977.
b/ Source: Genesila, Servano and Price, 1979.
c/ Upland refers to all crops grown in the area other than rice.
Drought A stress _M Excessive
J F M A M i-J U A S' 0 1N D 0 T--F M'A'
Figure 2 An agroclimatic map of cropping potential in the Iloilo rainfed area.
Note: The environmental conditions for rice are specified above the diagonal; those for upland crops below the diagonal. These conditions correspond to areas with 5-6 wet C> 200 mm) and 2-4 dry (< 100 mm) months per year.
The seasons given for planting and growing rice and upland crops can be considered "safe" in the sense that in most years, yield reductions due to drought stress or excessive moisture will not occur during those periods. Planting and/or harvesting outside these two periods involves increased risks with the level of risk increasing as crops spend more time outside the safe periods. One of the major objectives of cropping systems research is to design cropping patterns that will fit climatic conditions as closely as possible in order to protect farmers from unacceptable risks.
FARMING SYSTEMS DYNAMICS IN ILOILO: A QUALITATIVE VIEW
The preceding description of Iloilo farming conditions focuses very heavily on the crop agroclimate. The nature of farming systems is determined by social, economic and cultural factors as well. Such factors, however, do not lend themselves to easy description. Rather than list important socio-economic aspects of Iloilo farm systems, an attempt is made to give the reader an idea of the interplay between society and climate by looking at a specific case.
The following narrative is based upon the situation and experience of an actual farm family. However, since there is a great deal of heterogeneity among farms even within a small geographic area, not all of the experiences described happened to all farmers, nor did they all happen to any one farmer. What is presented, then, is the description of a composite farm which illustrates the conditions, problems, and typical reactions of small farmers.
The Famil and Its Situation
Jos6Umero lives with his wife Elena and their children in a small ni a hut near their one-hectare farm in a small village in Iloilo province. The Umeros are young (age 35), and have two sons who are too small to handle work in the fields.
The land that the Umeros farm is not irrigated, so they must depend upon rainfall to provide sufficient moisture to grow their crops. About one-half of their land is sloped, with lighttextured soil, so that the soil quickly loses moisture when the rains stop even though the field is divided into level portions and bunded. The other half is flat land, just below the sloped portion, with heavier soil and better moisture retention. Ordinarily, the flat land floods first because of its heavy-textured soil and because it also receives water which runs off the slope. The flat land, however, is not immune to water loss, as it too permits water to seep down to nearby fields which are lower.
The Umeros do not own the land they farm, but rent it on a harvest share basis. The landlord receives one-third of the output, net of harvesters' share, as payment for the use of the
land. In a good year (with high rice yield), the share of the crop the Umeros receive is enough to meet their family rice consumption needs, repay debts and provide seed f or the next planting, with a little extra to sell in order to buy family consumption items. In a bad year (with low rice yield), the Umeros cannot even harvest enough for their own consumption, and must rely upon relatives and friends who have a bit of surplus to lend them the items they need to subsist until the next harvest.
The results of one year influence to some extent the
cropping decisions that Jos6 makes the following year. Af ter a bad year, Josh is pessimistic. The family has little money, and they have accumulated debts that need to be repaid. Since crop losses are mainly due to drought, Josb is hesitant to go deeper into debt borrowing for fertilizer for fear that his investment will be lost if severe drought occurs. On the other hand, after
a good harvest, Jos6 becomes more optimistic because he has enough to feed his family and pay off at least part of his debts.
He becomes more willing to try different approaches to farming, such as trying new varieties or adding more fertilizer. Because he is cautious, however, he normally tries something different on only a small portion of his land in order to see for himself the value of the new approach.
Since the Umeros began farming in 1963, their usual cropping system consisted of planting one rice crop followed by an upland crop or fallow. Until 1976, the rice Jos6 planted was of the traditional type: t allI, late maturing and often plagued by insects and diseases. The varieties that gained greatest acceptance in the area were chosen as much f or their eating qual ity as their yielding ability, since the yield of most varieties was much the same.
In the early 1970s the Umeros learned of a new type of rice, sometimes called "miracle rice," which did not grow as tall was resistant to pests and diseases, and supposedly produced high
yields. Jos6 was given some seed by the local extension agent. He was told that he must apply large amounts of f ertil izer so the plant would grow and produce well, use herbicide to control
weeds, and use insecticide to kill insects, even when he could not see them. Josb knew from the beginning that he could not afford to buy all the materials in order to do what the extension agent was suggesting. Nevertheless, he accepted the seed and chose to plant it in one of his better fields. He decided to treat the new rice just as he did the local varieties.
He sowed the new rice into a seed bed. The extension agent suggested that the miracle rice should be transplanted between 15 and 25 days after seeding. However, when that time arrived, the seedlings were too small and delicate. So Josh waited until they were tall enough, about 40 days after seeding. Unfortunately, a typhoon came that was quite strong and blew the roof off his house. This event delayed transplanting still further.
After transplanting, the Umeros kept a careful watch on the progress of their new rice, with anxious expectation of a bountiful harvest. From time to time while the crop was growing, Josb noticed tiny brown insects on the leaves of some of the plants. Surely these insects could not be causing trouble, since they
were so small and did not appear to be doing much damage. He
did, however, notice that some plants appeared to be much smaller than others. JosLe thought that surely the seed that the extension agent had given him had a mixture of at least two varieties. The seed people from the government were always doing that. That is why he preferred to save some of the grain from the previous harvest to use as seed for the next year's crop. Besides, it was cheaper and he did not have to go into debt to obtain seed.
What really worried Jos6 was the fact that the plants were not producing many tillers, which meant fewer panicles of grain to harvest. Perhaps, he thought, each panicle would be very long, which would make up for the reduced number. He thought
about buying a little bag of fertilizer and applying it to see if things would change.
Jos6 wanted to sell two chickens in order to get one-third of a bag of fertilizer, but Elena was against it. First of all, they could not be sure of a good harvest because as yet no grains were visible. Second, since the family had no cash on hand, the chickens were a ready source of cash to buy medicine in case one
of the children fell ill, a source of food in case guests came, or something to trade in case rice supplies ran low. She suggested that they wait until the grains were visible and filled, so they would at least be assured of harvesting something. Who knew whether a drought would come, and if so, they would harvest nothing.
It was at times like these that Josbrealized what awonderful decision he had made when he married Elena. She seemed to have such good sense, such an ability to analyze, even though she
had only barely f inished primary school before she had to quit to work in the fields to help support her family. Josb felt disappointed about the fertilizer, but even more, frustrated because
he could not provide a better life for Elena and the children. Nothing else to do that hot afternoon but collect some tubal from the coconut trees, sell what he could, and sit out by the road in
front of the local sari-sari store2, watching the jeepneys and tricycles pass by wile d' ringing away his worries.
When the panicles did appear and the grains were filling, Josh6 took the two chickens into town to sell in order to buy a small bag of fertilizer. When he came back, Elena seemed to be upset about something, but Jose, wasted no time in applying all the fertilizer to the crop.
1/ Coconut wine.
2/ Local small store, usually family owned and operated.
Harvest time for the new rice came earlier than Jos6 had expected. The fertilizer had failed either to help the growth of the plants or increase the size of the panicles. Jos6 vowed never again to apply fertilizer so late. Elena wanted to say "I told you so," but decided to be supportive of her husband, believing that one has to make mistakes in order to learn from them.
Because the rice matured before the wet season was over, the Umeros had to build a special shed in which to stock the rice in order to keep it from rotting in the field. Since the rice was wet when it was put to the shed, some of the grains germinated, while others rotted or turned brown. The wet rice was extremely difficult: to thresh, so the Umeros had to spend a longer than normal amount of time in threshing. Winnowing was impossible until the rice and other particles dried out. Since daily rainfall was still common, the rice, placed on large straw mats out in the sun, had to be carefully watched and hauled in and out of the shed as weather conditions dictated.
When the rice was finally dried and winnowed, the yield was about three cavans3 of p2alay, somewhat less than the Umeros normally harvested from that field using their traditional variety. Their expectations had not been fulfilled, even with all the extra expense and effort they had put in.
Jos6 felt that he had failed, and went to see the extension agent who gave him the seed. He complained that the seed was mixed with other varieties, and that the shorter variety hardly produced at all. The extension agent asked JosL if he had followed all of the recommendations he had given him. Jose stated that he had not, and began to explain the reasons why. While he spoke, the extension agent kept looking down and fumbling with some papers on his desk, making a comment or asking a question from time to time without looking up. When Jos6 finished
speaking the agent looked up, shrugged his shoulders, and continued fumbling with papers on his desk.
On top of everything else, the milling and eating quality of the new rice was poor. When one of the rolling rice mills passed near their house, Elena rushed out with a bag of palay to be milled so that the family could try the new product. What she got back was disappointing, as the percentage of broken grains was quite high. She prepared the rice, but her family did not want to eat it. They did not like the taste, the texture was bad, and it wasn't sticky enough. Josb suggested selling it to the NGA (National Grains Authority) at the fixed government price, or to the Chinese middlemen who come around offering low prices for palay whenever the NGA warehouses were full and farmers were desperate to sell. Elena said she would be ashamed to sell it, and that she would feed it to the pig and use it to raise a few more chickens.
3/ Cavan = 44 50 kg.
Umero's CroP2ing Sstem Since 1975
In 1975, Josh heard about experiments that were being conducted in the area for growing two crops of rice in one year. That sounded like a great idea if only it were possible. He knew of a local variety, Kapopoy, which farmers in the area usually interplanted with corn on their higher fields with lighter soils. They did this in years when a typhoon would bring rain before the normal onset of the wet season. The only thing that farmers could be sure about the rainfall is that it never took the same pattern from year to year. The rains could begin early (April) and end early (September), they could begin late (July), and end early (September), or some intermediate pattern could occur.
Furthermore, the period before the onset of the rains was often unstable; a typhoon, then drought, another typhoon, then drought again, and so on until rains were no longer intermittent.
Josh dry seeded Kapopoy on his best field (the one most able to retain water) just after the first typhoon in April. Fortunately, heavy rains came in April that year and the Umeros were able to harvest a good crop of rice during early to mid-August. Shortly thereafter, Josh prepared a seedbed for the photoperiod sensitive variety, BE-3, which would mature in December. He then proceeded to prepare the land for transplanting, plowing twice and harrowing four times in order to puddle the soil and control weeds. By the end of September, all of the field was planted. The yield obtained at harvest in December was not as good as that of the previous crop, nor as good as yields they had obtained from BE-3 in previous years. Nevertheless, Jos6 and Elena decided that there was promise in double cropping and were glad to have the extra stock of rice. As it turned out, 1975 had been a very good year in terms of rainfall and the length of the growing season.
During 1975, the Umeros were contacted by people from the Cropping Systems Program of IRRI, and were asked to provide information about their daily farm activities, income and expenses, crop choices and yields, and a monthly inventory of their livestock. From the IRRI people, they heard about new rice varieties similar to the ones they had tried in earlier years. The Umeros were understandably skeptical, but liked the "early maturation" quality of the new varieties. Improvements, they were told, had also been made in eating quality and in pest and disease resistance.
Before the start of the 1976 crop season, Josh was able to
obtain some seed of two new rice varieties being used by a neighboring farmer, IR-28 and IR-36. Even though some farmers in the area had achieved good results with the new rice, Josh remembered his earlier experience with new rice varieties and was not willing to plant them on his best land.
Largely due to their good luck the previous year, the Umeros decided again to direct (dry) seed Kapopoy on their lower field after the first April rain. He did the same with the IR-36 on a
small parcel near the middle of this higher field. Rainfall was scarce during April after Jos6 had planted. The seeds germinated, and there was a fairly long spell without rain (two weeks). Many of the seedlings died, especially in the field where IR-36 was planted. Jos6 also noticed an unusually large number of weeds. There wasn't much he could do then, because he was busy preparing a seedbed and plowing and harrowing other fields which would soon be transplanted with the variety Kabangi. The dry seeded Kapopoy crop was also highly weed-infested, but a greater percentage of seedlings survived the drought because the lower field had retained more moisture.
The original stand in the IR-36 field was poor, so Jos& broadcast the rest of the seed his neighbor had given him into the more sparsely populated areas. Weeds were thick and the crop continued to look bad, and Jos6 wondered if there would be any harvest at all. When he had time, he visited the fields of other farmers to compare their crops. Many of the farmers in the area had planted later than Jost, waiting until the fields were flooded before preparing land and broadcasting pre-germinated seed (wet seeding). The stands in the wet seeded fields were much better than his, and weed problems were significantly less because farmers had had time to prepare their fields more thoroughly. The only thing Jose wondered about was whether or not it would still be possible to get in a second crop if one waited much after April to plant the first crop.
The Umeros' experience in 1976 with double rice cropping did not turn out to be nearly as good as the year before. The dry seeded Kapopoy yield was down from the previous year. IR-36 and IR-28 matured at different times, so they were difficult to harvest--the field barely yielded enough for seed for the next planting season. Jos6 transplanted BE-3 as a second crop following Kapopoy, but the yield was low due to early termination of the rains. The Umeros worked hard during the dry season, greatly increasing the area planted to watermelon, in order to avoid falling too deeply in debt.
Many of the farmers who were able to plant only one crop of IR-36 produced more than Jost did with his double crop. Farmers seemed to prefer IR-36 over the other new varieties, both for its high yielding ability and for its eating quality. Many people found the flavor and consistency of IR-36 similar to that of the more popular local varieties.
Mainly because of the information gained the previous year, the Umeros decided to switch from dry seeding to wet seeding for the 1977 crop year. Jose's confidence in the new varieties was strengthened by what he had seen and heard, so he decided to plant nearly all of the farm to IR-36 and IR-28 with the seed that he had saved. Always in the back of his mind was obtaining a second rice crop, so he hoped for an early onset of the rains so he could get the first crop established as soon as possible.
Josb knew that his best chance for a second crop was on lower (plain) fields, so he started land preparation in late May when heavy rains enabled puddling. He finished land preparation and seeded IR-36 at the end of June and then began working on the sideslope. He finished wet seeding IR-28 on the sideslope by the middle of July.
The Umeros began to harvest IR-36 on the plain in the third week of September. For this process, Josh employed mostly hired laborers, who received 1/6 of the pajay harvested for cutting, bailing, hauling, threshing and winnowing. Elena supervised the measuring and took care of the drying. The IR-28 was ready for harvest a week later, so more hired laborers came in to harvest the sideslope fields.
Because the Umeros were hiring labor for harvest, Jos6 was free to begin land preparation for the succeeding crop. As the harvesters cleared a field, Josb began plowing it. His intention was to at least get the lower fields plowed and planted for a second rice crop. September rains were quite heavy, and land preparation on the plain was quite difficult due to heavy flooding. At the same time, Josh now expected that heavy rains would continue or that the end of the season would be later than usual, as the beginning had been late. This meant that he might be able to get a good second crop on the sideslope if he could get it planted soon and rains continued. In the middle of October he decided to shift his land preparation activities to his higher sideslope fields. Josb worked extremely hard getting the land ready as soon as possible, because when the rains stopped, the higher fields would dry out quickly. He finished preparing and wet seeding all of his fields during the last week of October.
Unfortunately for the Umeros, the rains did not continue to be heavy, the rainfall levels dropping to less than 100 mm per month in November and December. The yields for the second rice crop were very low, with many of the fields producing little or nothing.
CONCEPTUALIZING NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR ILOILO
While not by any means providing a complete understanding of Iloilo farming systems, the preceding section along with the description of cropping potential in the Iloilo rainfed areas facilitated the identification of critical problems and the development of hypotheses for possible solutions.
The discussion with regard to cropping pattern adoption indicates that water constraints, more than capital or labor, limit the potential for rice-based multiple cropping. Furthermore, as figure 2 indicates, there are definite seasons when rice or upland crops can be grown, as well as periods of the year when neither can survive.
To c lari fy these points it is useful to examine a tradi tional Iloilo cropping pattern superimposed on the agroclimatic map (figure 3). Traditional rice varieties mature only during a
certain period of the year when specific daylength requirements are met. In Iloilo, the most common traditional rice varieties mature in December when nearly all rains have subsided. It is quite beneficial to be able to harvest rice at the beginning of the dry season, when plenty of sunshine is available for solar drying. This minimizes losses due to grain rotting and germination and facilitates the maintenance of acceptable standards of grain quality. Moreover, traditional varieties mature at the
same time, regardless of planting date, enabling farmers who are forced to plant late in years of late rainfall onset to catch up while sustaining relatively minor yield losses. As shown in
figure 3, a traditional rice variety can be planted in June and harvested in December. Two months would remain for growing an upland crop af ter rice, in most cases too short a period to be able to plant and harvest a crop.
One disadvantage of the traditional varieties is the simultaneity with which labor is demanded for specific crop activities, especially transplanting and harvesting. It is possible to stagger land preparation, seeding and transplanting of traditional varieties without much penalty, though the tendency in rainfed areas is to plant nearly simultaneously with the onset of the rainy season. At harvest time, all rice in the area matures at once, creating a large demand for harvest labor. As Iloilo is
not a particularly labor-abundant area, the harvesting process f or any one farm of ten lasts the whole month of December and absorbs large amounts of labor, thus creating a labor "bottleneck"s.
An actual labor profile for a rainfed farm planting only traditional rice varieties is presented in f igure 4. Land and seedbed preparation took place during the June to early August period. Seedlings were transplanted during mid-August through early September, and the mature plants were harvested during December and January. Due to the lateness of crop establishment,
which was caused by a late rainfall onset and the early termination of the rainy season in 1977, no upland crops were established either before or after rice.
In the mid-1970s, early-maturing rice varieties (EMVs) were introduced in Iloilo and gradually adopted by rainfed farmers. As is evident from figure 5, EMVs provide the potential for
increased cropping intensity if the time gained during the wet season can be utilized productively.
Since EMVs are relatively fixed in their length of field
duration (4-5 months) both planting and harvesting can be staggered. Staggering allows for increased efficiency in the use
of labor as seasonal labor demand peaks can be "smoothed", thus presenting much less of a constraint to increased fa rm in g activity.
A UPLAND CROPS ML
A Drought __stress _--U M= Excessive
Figure 3 The suitability of traditional cropping practices to Iloilo agroclimatic conditions.
Note: Time for land preparation activities is measured along the diagonal (a), while time for planting through harvesting is represented as bars emerging from the diagonal (b).
Figure 5 Agroclimatic suitability of early maturing rice varieties to I loilo conditions.
HOURS/WEEK TRANSPLANTING 600 500
JUN. JUL. 1 AUG. SEPT. I OCT. NOV. DEC. JAN.
Figure 4 A labor profile for a rainfed rice farm planting traditional rice varieties.
In order to realize their yield potential, EMVs require increased amounts of fertilizer (especially nitrogen). This implies the increased use of relatively scarce small farm resources, namely cash or credit to obtain inputs. Recommendations by researchers also call for increased use of other complementary inputs such as herbicide and insecticide. These inputs, however, appear to affect yield less strongly than does the fertilizer.
As figure 5 indicates, early maturing rice varieties planted in June are ready for harvest in approximately 110 days from the date of initial planting, allowing for the possibility of planting a subsequent rice crop or an upland crop. A second rice crop, however, would face a high probability of drought stress during the periods of flowering and ripening. Information
gathered from CSP cropping pattern trials in Iloilo indicates that expected yield from second rice crops are roughly one-half the yield levels of rice crops established at the beginning of the wet season. Moreover, while first crop yields tend to be somewhat stable, second rice crop yields exhibit large yearto-year variations, implying that double rice cropping is a very risky proposition at best.
As one would expect, the introduction and acceptance of new technology brings new problems along with benefits. The harvest of an EMV planted at the beginning of the wet season occurs during the part of the season when the frequency and intensity of rainfall are high. The rice must be harvested wet, causing the manual threshing process to be more difficult and time consuming. Significant yield losses may also be incurred due to grain rotting and germination if rice is allowed to remain wet over a long period. The sun is the most common energy source for drying rice. It is a scarce resource during the wet season.
On balance, the advantages of the new varieties seem to outweigh the disadvantages, as evidenced by the adoption behavior of farmers (table 1).
An Exampfe of Notional Technology
Armed with a pretty thorough understanding of Iloilo rainfed farming systems in both agroclimatic and socio-economic aspects, it becomes possible to generate ideas about technologies that might significantly improve small farm productivity and income.
For example, the idea arose of trying to obtain increased food production by growing a ratoon crop. Ratooning of rice is the use of the plant's regenerative ability to produce a subsequent crop (or crops) from field stubble after the harvest of the first or planted crop. The expected yields of a ratoon crop are almost always lower than those of the main crop. The principal advantage, then, is the potential saving of both time and labor. The time-saving feature of ratoon cropping is what makes it most attractive as a potential new technology for rainfed areas with agroclimatic conditions similar to those prevalent in Iloilo.
The principal characteristics of a cropping pattern featuring ratoon are shown in figure 6. Since the period from initial ratoon growthto grain maturity is short, the first rice crop can be established late enough so that the risk of drought stress at the beginning of the wet season is low. Ratoon growth begins immediately after (or sometimes before) the harvest of the plant crop. New shoots are produced at the base of the plant or grow from the nodes of previously cut tillers. Since ratoon matures in much shorter time than a planted crop, a rice-rice ratoon pattern can be undertaken within the limits of the rice growing season.
As figure 6 indicates, during the latter third of the wet (rice growing) season, there occurs a period during which upland crops cannot be planted due to excessive moisture. Furthermore, not enough time is left in the season to plant a second rice crop safely. Ratoon fits nicely in that "niche", making use of otherwise unproductive land. In many locations, the possibility would still exist for growing and harvesting an upland crop after ratoon.
Another feature that makes ratoon cropping potentially attractive in a rice-based cropping pattern is the reduced labor requirement. Since no land preparation or planting labor is required for ratoon, farmers may utilize otherwise idle land and still avail themselves of alternative employment opportunities such as harvesting on neighboring fields. Ratoon cropping then
becomes a complementary rather than a competitive activity, as output can be generated with low levels of inputs and management.
Testing Notional Technology
Once a notional technology is conceptualized, it may be possible to do some testing to determine likely benefits or uncover potential problems. There are a number of ways of testing, though they are usually restricted to work on models or the collection of opinions.
As part of the study on which this paper is based, participating farmers were questioned as to their preference between rice varieties currently available and a proposed new variety that would produce as ratoon about one-third the yield of the planted crop. All of the farmers had previous experience with ratoon, though few had "planted" it intentionally. The word for ratoon translated from the local dialect as "volunteer rice". During years in which there was substantial rainfall late in the rice-growing season, some newly harvested rice plants would regenerate. In most years, farmers did not consider the ratoon rice to be worth harvesting, as the yields were extremely low. In years when it was harvested, the largest share went to the hired harvest labor.
When presented with the idea of ratooning the new varieties with the expectation of a better yield, farmers responded positively. Of twelve farmers queried, ten stated that they would
J F M A M J J A S 0 N D J F M A
Figure 6 Ratoon rice cropping under Iloilo agroclimatic conditions.
favor the adoption of a ratoon variety rather than risk planting two crops of the currently available new varieties. One of the farmers stated that he would try to plant two rice crops if the onset of the wet season was very early, and plant a ratoon variety otherwise. The other farmer indicated that he could not predict his response to a ratoon variety until he had had firsthand experience with it.
During the three previous cropping seasons in the Iloilo area (1976-79), an average of over 70 percent of the rainfed lowland was planted to either rice-upland crop or rice-fallow patterns. Ratoon cropping could conceivably increase the productivity of nearly all of this land, provided that ratoon yields were sufficiently high to warrant the expenditure of labor for harvest.
The notion of ratoon technology has so far passed a number of logical tests regarding feasibility within current Iloilo agroclimatic and labor supply conditions, and desirability as evidenced by farmer responses.
At this point, research resource allocation questions arise. What is the expected value of ratoon technology? What ratoon yield must be attained in order for the technology to reach economic viability? How much should be spent on ratoon research versus research on other technologies? These are very difficult questions that cannot be answered without careful quantitative analysis, based upon several assumptions regarding the performance of ratoon technology.
A linear programming model (LP) was developed for use as a tool in determining minimum yield performance levels, likely adoption rates (in terms of percentage of total land planted to ratoon), and the expected benefits to farmers of ratoon technology. The salient features of small farm rice production systems in the rainfed areas of Iloilo were incorporated into the model, and tests were then conducted to determine likely outcomes when the notional technology is included in the set of technologies currently available to farmers.
The LP model included the possible rice cropping activities which take place at different times over the course of a year.1 In order to capture the effects of labor and power constraints, as well as yield variation according to time of planting, the model was partitioned into 28 weekly periods and 2 additional periods of longer length. This method also allowed rice production activities to be distributed throughout the season, thus providing a more realistic picture of farmers' cropping activities.
_/ The growing of upland crops was not explicitly incorporated
into the LP model since the agroclimatic requirements for their growth differ from those of rice. Upland crops are
thus complementary to, rather than competitive with, rice.
Two types of rice production activities were included in the model, one representing the wet seeding of an early-maturing
variety (existing technology), and the other a variety with characteristics similar to the EMV but also possessing vigorous ratooning capability. The technical input coefficients for labor, power and purchased inputs (cash) were derived from Iloilo farm record data. A number of constraints were placed on the land, restrictions by size and type, and minimum requirements for production activities, including family labor and power supply, consumption, and seed for subsequent planting. The yield levels incorporated in the model reflected the low input use typical of the region, so it was unnecessary to include cash availability as a constraining factor.
Rice yields were varied according to three factors: rainfall pattern, planting date and landscape position. The initial planting activities could begin during any of the first 18 weekly p er io d s. Once a rice crop was established, yield then varied
according to the length of the rainy season (short, medium and l ong) In general the lower landscape position (plain) has a greater multiple rice crop potential than the upper position (sideslope), a fact that was reflected in the yield levels incorporated into the model.
In order to detect the benefits of new technology to farms with different resource endowments, land constraints were varied to represent two situations: small land area (SMFM), and large land area (LGFM).
As a means of validation and verification, the model was
tested for correspondence to logical expectations based on prior knowledge of the farm system. The results of the initial runs, incorporating various lengths of the rainy season, indicated that multiple rice crop potential increased the longer the length of the season and the lower the landscape position. This corresponded well with expectations.
Model results were also compared with historical cropping practices. It was found that the model was unable correctly to predict the actual patterns adopted. The discrepancy occurred because the model was equipped with ex ante knowledge of the
rainfall pattern, while farmers made decisions in a situation of rainfall uncertainty that did not coincide with the best outcomes 22i 2ost. This model defect was corrected later on by imposing a
strategy likely to be adopted by farmers, as evidenced by both their actual behavior and opinions related during interviews. The imposed strategy consisted of allowing only single or double
crop options on plain fields, and single or ratoon crops on the sideslopes.
Once the model was deemed to be reasonably accurate in terms
of producing results logically consistent with expectations and historical practices, a number of experiments were conducted in an attempt to gain increased insight into the likely effects of
introducing new technology on cropping practices, rice production and farm incomes.
The first experiment consisted of parametrically varying yield levels of the ratoon crop in order to determine a minimum yield that would be attractive to farmers as well as potentially attainable by plant breeders. The range of yields explored was determined subjectively, both by observing yields of ratoon crops in the CSP trials and through discussions with plant breeders.
The model results indicated that ratoon technology would be adopted even at very low yield levels on the sideslope land, even though at such levels it is likely that farmers would graze the land rather than harvest the rice. The adoption rate!/ was stable from .25 to 1.0 ton per hectare and then increased significantly at the 1.25 tons per hectare level. For subsequent runs of the model, ratoon yield was set at 1.0 ton per hectare, assumed to be the minimum level at which the technology would become economically attractive for adoption by farmers.
A second experiment was undertaken in order to obtain an indication of the rates of adoption and the potential benefits to farmers from the introduction of ratoon technology. The initial results, for both small and large farm sizes, showed that ratoon cropping replaced the single crop pattern, with little effect on the area double cropped. As expected, ratoon achieved the highest adoption rates in the shorter rainy seasons and on the sideslope landscape position.
Comparison of the net monetary returns in cases with and without available ratoon technology indicated that the economic benefits of ratoon were concentrated during the short growing seasons on the smaller farm. The benefits were more evenly distributed among the different rainfall situations on the larger farm, largely due to the presence of binding labor constraints which inhibit double cropping even during intermediate and long growing seasons.
In order to obtain information regarding expected benefits of ratoon, the probabilities of each rainfall situation were calculated. The average expected benefit was then determined by multiplying the net benefit under each rainfall situation by the probability of occurrence of that situation and summing the results. The figures obtained represented expected yearly income increases of 6.5% and 8.1% for the small farm and large farm, respectively, under conditions of perfect knowledge regarding rainfall patterns.
In order to account for decisions made under rainfall uncertainty, the probable farmer strategy described earlier was imposed on the model. The model was then rerun for all rainfall and farm size situations, both with and without the availability
1/ The adoption rate reflects the percentage of land assigned
to new technology by the model.
o f ratoon technology. The r e s ults indicated increas es i n expected net returns of 13.3% for the small farm and 12.0% for the large farm.
The results of the LP analysis indicate that the expected net benefits of ratoon technology are not overly impressive,
given the minimum ratoon yield level set and the relative quantities specified of different types of land (sideslope and plain). Therefore, it would be advisable for plant breeders to try to develop ratooning varieties with a yield capability somewhat higher than that specified in the model.
An interesting result that the modelling exercise helped bring out is that ratoon technology Is biased towards farmers with poorer quality resources, in this case sloped rather than flat land. Therefore, those farmers with mainly sloped land with little or no potential for multiple rice cropping would benefit relatively more than farmers with plain land suitable for planting two or more consecutive rice crops. Furthermore, it is also biased in favor of farmers who are relatively risk-averse, as it allows an additional harvest under low risk and low input (both capital and labor) conditions. Thus, the poorer the
quality of the land, and the more risk-averse the farmer, the
greater the potential advantages of ratoon technology over currently available technologies. These considerations would make ratooning quite attractive as a component of a rural development
project that attempts to improve the welfare of the relatively poorer (though not necessarily the poorest) members of the rural population.
The processes of identifying farm problems, and of deriving notional technologies to solve them, leads to two major conclusions that pertain to future activities in farming systems research. The first is that the generation of new technology appropriate to specific farming conditions should begin with a solid understanding of the needs and circumstances of those for whom the technology is designed.
The second conclusion reiterates the multidisciplinary nature of farming systems research. Since farmers' decisions and productive possibilities are highly affected by the agroclimatic and socio-economic environments under which production takes
place, the integration of information from both biological and social sciences will be necessary in order to achieve an understanding of the relevant system variables and the dynamics by which they operate. With such an understanding, the chances of developing new technologies to alleviate farm problems will certainly increase.
A Methodology for Notional Technology Ptytj2pjfR1
The material presented in this paper, and other ideas acquired during the research process in the Philippines, formed the basis for a methodology with the potential to promote the creation, and eventual full-blown development, of notional technology.
The methodology focuses on the farmer as the key element. To reduce the burden of information collection, and to allow
researchers to focus quickly on the farmer's major constraints, the farmers play a dual role, as providers of information and as evaluators of new ideas that arise during the course of the research.
A diagram of a "farmer-participant" agricultural research methodology is given in figure 7. The research process begins with substantial interaction between researchers and farm and community systems. Ideally, economists and agronomists should be able to generate socio-economic and agroclimatic environmental profiles, which can be combined to provide an initial site description (Cock, 1979).
Concurrent with the farm and community-level effort, a study should be made of the policies governing the relationships between small farmers and the rest of society. These include price, credit and tax policies, general input and product market conditions, and public and private efforts toward the generation and transfer of agricultural technology.
If political conditions are deemed conducive to small farm progress, then farm-level research can begin. If political and economic conditions are not favorable, then i't would be worthwhile assessing possibilities for changing them. If substantial changes in the policy environment do not appear feasible, then a search for solutions other than improved technology per se might
Small farms commonly produce a number of products, each of which faces a determined set of economic conditions in terms of prices, markets, etc. As a result of the mandates of the International Agricultural Research Centers, most farming systems research has focused on basic food crops that feed the majority of the world's population. It is quite. common for national policies related to food crops to be designed to maintain a lowcost market basket. Therefore, the scope is limited for inducing technological changes or for farmers to derive substantial benefit from technological improvements. In such a situation, it may be wise to redirect the research focus toward products where the
economic outlook in terms of potential benefits to farmers is more favorable. Strategies along this line could include introducing nontraditional crop and livestock products, searching for
new market opportunities, or organizing small farmers to improve their bargaining power. The strategy selected obviously depends upon the prevailing political and economic relationships.
PUBLIC POLICY RESEARCH 1
FARM AND COMMUNITY SYSTEMS
I'NOTIONAL" TECHNOLOGY SETS
FigurePTABE 7 A TECHNOLOGY T DEVELOPMENT
FARMERS Figure 7 A Methodology for
Actions should be taken only af ter thorough study to determine where the problems really lie.
If the policy environment is f ound to be f favorable f or certain farm production activities, or if adjustments in the
environment are feasible, work can begin on the development of new technologies. At this point, decisions need to be made regarding what technological changes are biologically possible and economically feasible. An attempt should be made to predict the ecological and socio-economic consequences in order to deter-,
mine the relative desirability of technologies, should they be developed (Hertford, 1979).
The next step Is farmer evaluation. It does not involve
field trials, but rather the collection of thoughts and opinions of a select number of farmers at the site about the feasibility and viability of hypothetical technological change. This step should help reduce the required number of technologies that must be dealt with at a developmental stage. In talking with farmers, one is likely to discover new variables which could inhibit the adoption of certain types of technologies. Since farmers are
operating with more information than scientists about certain aspects of farming (especially traditional farm and community systems), and less information about other aspects, the combination of the two sets of information will likely lead to better
decisions than the use of either set of information alone. Many times, farmers will not be able to give easily understandable reasons why they do what they do. Farming practices evolve over
time in response to the environment, and traditional practices sometimes continue even though the environment may have been modified. Farmer actions with no apparent logical base should be
considered carefully, and attempts should be made to learn the underlying reasons to see whether those reasons are still valid under existing environmental conditions. A sufficient number of farmer opinions should be solicited so that researchers feel sure that the opinions are representative.
Technological alternatives that are rejected by farmers, after being declared possible-and feasible by biologists and
social scientists, should be reevaluated in the farm and community system context to find out whether it is worthwhile making adjustments so that the technology can "fit". As researchers pass through the re-evaluation phase, more knowledge is accumulated which may cause reconsideration of technologies already accepted by farmers as feasible.
Once notional new technologies have been conceived and evaluated, the set of all acceptable technologies coming out of similar processes at different sites should be assembled for ranking. Ranking will facilitate the allocation of research
resources to the development of technologies with the highest "payoffs". Technologies with potential acceptability over a large range of environmental conditions should receive high pri30
or ity, as shoul d those wh ich uti1i ze f armers' current resourc e levels to their greatest extent without major system modif ications .
With the basic groundwork accomplis-hed, scientists can begin to f ind ways to achieve acceptable performance of the new technologies on the experiment station, if biologically feasible. Social scientists can collaborate by specifying limits of acceptable performance and by using models to test their st ab ili t y synthetically under different environmental conditions.
New technologies can be released as they are developed and eventually become part of the farmers' "opportunity set". C on tinued research will need to be done to ref ine the system. it will be done by searching f or productivity increments through better crop management practices or multiple cropping. Farmlevel outcomes may bring out previously undiscovered problems that may require the development of other new technologies. Performance monitoring by researchers completes the feedback "loop" and makes the process dynamic.
Over time, farming systems and their environments will change, so all technologies are interim in nature. Capital-using technologies may replace capital-saving ones if the interim technologies can produce enough gain to allow capital accumulation to
A number of technologies can be developed and tested in specific environmental situations. They may, however, be appropriate for use in other areas for reasons not yet understood by researchers. Though farming systems exist in a large number of environments, the number of technologies in some way suited to the different environments may be small. Technologies designed at research stations can be thought of as "seed" material. That is, the basic ideas and materials are developed and presented to farmers for adaptation before adoption. No single technological package will be wholly adopted by farmers, because of the variety of environmental conditions and limitations in different farming areas. Therefore, as certain parts of technological packages are
accepted while others are changed or rejected, farmers actually invent their own new technologies. There is no onef appropriate technology for any area, so farmers should be provided with a
number of technologies from which they can choose. A larger
objective of research, then, is not to develop one or more specific technologies, it is to expand the farmers' opportunity set. The farmers themselves are the ultimate judges of which technology, or set of technologies, is most appropriate.
A quote from Morss et al. (1976) in an evaluation of the Plan Puebla project in Mexico summarizes well the major conclusion of this paper:
In the last analysis, the crux of the rural development dilemma lies less with persuading small farmers to
adopt new behavior recommended by outsiders than it
does with persuading outsiders to change their behavior and attitudes toward small farmers. And chief among the changes required of outsiders is the realization of their own vulnerability; that they do not have all the answers; that they cannot monopolize the process of rural development; that they cannot, in brief, help
small farmers without the latter's assistance.
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