Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Adding new dimensions to agricultural...
 Observations about constraints...
 Research that is planned and managed...
 Guidelines for implementing a farm...
 Management of research and...
 Some needs of farm focused research...
 Operational planning for farm focused...
 Administrative services for farm...
 Organizational structure for research...
 Technology for the livestock component...

Title: Compendium of notes on farm focused research and extension. Course AGG 4932: managing farming systems research and extension
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00054559/00001
 Material Information
Title: Compendium of notes on farm focused research and extension. Course AGG 4932: managing farming systems research and extension
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Waugh, Rovert K.
Affiliation: University of Florida -- Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences -- International Programs
Publisher: Institute for Food and Agricultural Sciences, International Programs, University of Florida
Publication Date: 1982
Subject: University of Florida.   ( lcsh )
Farming   ( lcsh )
Agriculture   ( lcsh )
Farm life   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- United States of America -- Florida
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: UF00054559
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Title Page
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
    Adding new dimensions to agricultural research and extension
        Page I 1
        Page I 2
        Page I 3
        Page I 4
        Page I 5
        Page I 6
        Page I 7
        Page I 8
        Page I 9
        Page I 10
        Page I 11
        Page I 12
        Page I 13
        Page I 14
        Page I 15
        Page I 16
        Page I 17
        Page I 18
        Page I 19
    Observations about constraints to adding new dimensions to agricultural research and extension
        Page II 1
        Page II 2
        Page II 3
        Page II 4
        Page II 5
        Page II 6
        Page II 7
    Research that is planned and managed (directed) for development
        Page III 1
        Page III 2
        Page III 3
    Guidelines for implementing a farm focused research and extension system
        Page IV 1
        Page IV 2
        Page IV 3
        Page IV 4
        Page IV 5
        Page IV 6
        Page IV 7
        Page IV 8
        Page IV 9
        Page IV 10
        Page IV 11
        Page IV 12
        Page IV 13
        Page IV 14
        Page IV 15
        Page IV 16
        Page IV 17
        Page IV 18
        Page IV 19
        Page IV 20
        Page IV 21
        Page IV 22
        Page IV 23
        Page IV 24
        Page IV 25
        Page IV 26
        Page IV 27
        Page IV 28
        Page IV 29
        Page IV 30
        Page IV 31
        Page IV 32
        Page IV 33
    Management of research and extension
        Page V 1
        Page V 2
        Page V 3
        Page V 4
        Page V 5
        Page V 6
        Page V 7
        Page V 8
        Page V 9
        Page V 10
        Page V 11
        Page V 12
        Page V 13
        Page V 14
    Some needs of farm focused research and extension from government
        Page VI 1
        Page VI 2
        Page VI 3
        Page VI 4
    Operational planning for farm focused research and extension
        Page VII 1
        Page VII 2
        Page VII 3
        Page VII 4
        Page VII 5
        Page VII 6
        Page VII 7
    Administrative services for farm focused research and extension
        Page VIII 1
        Page VIII 2
        Page VIII 3
    Organizational structure for research and extension
        Page IX 1
        Page IX 2
        Page IX 3
        Page IX 4
        Page IX 5
        Page IX 6
        Page IX 7
    Technology for the livestock component of farming systems
        Page X 1
        Page X 2
        Page X 3
        Page X 4
        Page X 5
        Page XI 1
        Page XI 2
        Page XI 3
Full Text
' D003











JUNE 1982


These notes are not complete and exhaustive in the treatment of the

different topics but hopefully will present some concepts and information

for the implementation of pragmatic agricultural research and extension programs.

The first version of these notes was written in February 1982 and this

present version in May and June of the same year. In this second version

Section I and II have been re-written and a new section on Management inserted

between Sections IV and V of the first version, thus the numbers of the sections,

starting with Section V of the first version have been increased by one, ie.,

V become VI, etc.

Also a brief preface has been added.

T- exx v kc A`

Robert K. Waugh /

International Programs
The University of Florida
Gainesville, Florida 32611

June, 1982


















Agricultural research and the promotion of the use of technology

in the developing countries has occurred in at least three phases and now appears

to be definitely entering a fourth phase. The first phase was a pre-World War II

phase, which varied considerably in nature in different countries but was directed

mainly toward educational and training programs and technology generation.

Following World War II a second phase was started, supported in large

part by foreign technical assistance programs, especially from the United States.

This second phase focused mainly upon the transfer of technology, the theory

being that since the United States had been very successful in applying technology

to agricultural production, certainly this technology, at least in part, could be

applied in many countries.

A third phase was then initiated when it was found that most of the

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 but largely ignored the kind of farm, and

was focused upon the biological nature of farming without much attention to the

cultural and economic aspects of agricultural production. As a result most of the

technology was "tested" under conditions more akin to the larger farms with more



At this time it seems evident that research in the developing countries

is entering a fourth phase. This is characterized by its focus upon a specific

clientele, with emphasis on the small and limited resource farmer. In order to

orient the research specifically, 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. In order to do this the disciplines

of the social sciences, as well as the farmer himself, are being brought into

agricultural research and extension.

This movement started within the developing countries, and was possible

because (a) much had been learned about agriculture within the individual countries,

(b) many expatriate scientists had gained experience in the phase three models and

have learned the strengths and weaknesses of it, and (c) perhaps most important

of all, cadres of local scientists and technicians had been trained who could not

only carry out much of the technical level work required by the new focus, but also

contribute leadership.

This phase four focus has already produced modest results in a few

countries and promises to be much more effective than phase three for improving

production and productivity of limited resource farmers and as a consequence has

attracted much interest worldwide. Staff members of many organizations have become

interested, and especially economists and anthropologists have been active in

conceptualizing the "process" of farm oriented research and extension,--in the

development of farm focused technological systems and services.

This compendium of notes on farm focused research and extension

has been written with the objective of presenting a descriptive summary of

the "status of the art" and hopefully contributing to the development of sound

and more relevant research and extension programs by recording ideas and recalling

experiences gained while working directly with such programs within the developing

countries. Most of my experience has been "on the ground" experience in Latin

America, especially in Colombia, Guatemala and Honduras and therefore my obser-

vations may be more relevant to that part of the world than other areas.

These notes have been written from the viewpoint of the overall system,

its focus, its management, and its operation. Very little specific methodology

is presented. But the information in these notes should be of interest to

Managers, Researchers and Extensionists alike because it not only is important

for all to have the same goals but for all to use an integrated and coordinated

process to strive toward them.


We Should Question

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 technical and scientific nature that have an impact on how we

live. 1/

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 population. There is much hunger in the world, and over a still

wider are there is very poor nutrition with unfortunate effects, especially upon

the health of the young. This has been due to (a) in some cases, a shortage of

food within the country and (b) in others, to a lack of a means of obtaining the

food. And much of the hunger and poverty is found precisely where it might be

expected that food could be produced and be directly available to the people ie.,

within the 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.

1/ Examples of these are the contributions ot the control of disease and the
understanding of the principles of nutrition and physiology. What has been
learned about disease control in farm animals is also applicable to humans.
Studies of animal nutrition have contributed to the improvement of human diets.
The understanding of reproduction and physiology have been advanced through
animal research. A detailed list of the contributions ofagricultural research
to the well being of mankind would be enlightening to most of us.

Have we had appropriate technology available and the extension system failed

in teaching people how to use it? Should the relationship between research and

extension be different? Have we skewed the advantages of technology so that it

is more relevant to those who have already been living better than many other?

Have we made enough effort to meet the needs of rural populations with limited

resources--to generate technology that is acceptable to them?

In attempting to answer such questions it should be kept in mind that

technology alone is not all that need be brought to bear upon the problem-- and

this immediately leads to the questionwhether or not agricultural research and

extension have given enough attention to the non-biotechnical aspects of rural

development. Also it is basic to keep in mind that 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. And similarly the question can

be asked if these other efforts have viewed technology correctly. However, since

the problem remains a large one, 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. 1/

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.

1/ 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 if in the building of transportation
and communication systems, the development of education, the policy of markets,
technology has been given sufficient attention.

Two of these are the Plan Puebla in M6xico and the Caqueza Project in Colombia.

The work was focused differently in each project: toward maize production in the

Plan Puebla and the cropping systems of the farmers at Caqueza. However, in each

case the work was directed toward specific clientele; in both the strategies and

methodologies were changed as project personnel gained experience, basing the

changes upon results in order to evolve a system of work designed to generate

relevant technologies and effecting adoption into farmers' production systems.

As in the case of the two projects mentioned above, most of the experience

where a strong effort has been made to direct biological technology to meet the

needs of a specific client from a broader point of view than just purely the

biological, has been through projects developed within or connected with organiza-

tions of strong biological orientation, and in which the entire institute has not

been re-focused.; the major programs of the institutes changed very little.

ICTA in Guatemala

ICTA in Guatemala (Waugh 1975) was one of the first examples, if not the first,

of a new decentralized institute that was organized with this philosophy and


1/ 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 examnie 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 if in the building of transportation and
communication systems, the development of education, the policy of markets,
technology has been given sufficient attention.

Some of the principle points of the strategies of ICTA were (a) to focus upon

the farm, (b) to give high but not exclusive priority to limited resource farmers,

(c) to learn as much as possible about farming from the pragmatic viewpoint of

farming itself and the farmer, (d) to involve the farmer (this included the farmer's

test as a self-managed demonstration) both to teach the farmer and to learn from him,

(e) to integrate the social sciences as a part of the system to generate biological

technology and (f to maintain strong commodity programs but closely coordinated with

the on farm area research teams.

ICTA, from its inception, decided to continue strong commodity teams, and the
on-farm research, to be conducted by on-farm area research teams was viewed as a new

dimension to research and not as something drastically new.

The ICTA institutionalized three aspects of research which constitute a new

focus--new dimensions: (a) ICTA combined research of both reductive and holistic

nature into one integrated system, (b) it used the farm focus not only at the on-

farm level of research, but also to orient the commodity and discipline (including

economics) research (component research) and (c) it integrated non-biological dis-

ciplines into the process of generation of biological technology. A fourth aspect

related to the generation of technology that ICTA institutionalized early in the

development of the institute, which was not an added dimension to research, was

in-service training to prepare young agronomists to work more efficiently under

the new focus, which has had a major influence upon both the commodity research

and the on-farm research.

More recently ICTA has been working to add a fifth new dimension --that of

close linkage and coordination with extension.

Why did ICTA add these new dimensions to the process of generation of

technology? Briefly, Guatemal 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, and still do, a high percentage of the basic food

grains for the country.

Transfer (Extension) is Receiving Attention.

More recently the processes of transfer as a continuing step has been given

attention. ICTA, as an institute with its principle mandate being the generation

and promotion of the use of technology appears to be forging meaningful linkages

with extension (Waugh 1981, manuscript). The programs of research and extension

in Honduras have been seeking means of coordinating the evaluation of technology

at the farm level, and the University of Florida has a program of activities iden-

tified as Farming Systems Research/Extension (FSR/E), which operates in North Florida .

Later (Section IV) this set of notes presents a technological system as a

guide to the operational aspects of a farm oriented research and extension system.

This system is based largely upon experiences in ICTA in Guatemala but also draw

upon experiences in other countries such as Honduras.

The systems outlined in Section IV of these notes is not given with the

intention that this be accepted as the only good design that can be structured.

However, hopefully it contains the basic components of a feasible system; no part

is based soley upon conceptualization but based on some experience of an applied


Rationale for Change in Agricultural Research and Extension

Perhaps the strongest argument for change in agricultural research and exten-

sion 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 has been

highly successful if we evaluate it 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 (can I find a

reference?); and farms in the U.S. increasingly have become larger. Marginal

farming persists, many times supported in part by off farm activities.

It seems clear that there are two situations where we should look to develop

a better technological system of research and extension.

One is the case of the small, limited resource farmer in the developed countries.

The North Florida Project is an example ( ). There are other cases were projects

have been developed to focus upon similar situations. (The Virginia Highland

Project). In North Florida the "small, limited resource farmer represents conside-

rable acreage of farmland, but with increasing competition from larger farms, stronger

competition from other regions, and increasing costs of production under difficult

ecological conditions he finds himself in an economic squeeze. The concern is not

one of total food production but for the economic wellbeing of a segment of the


The second case is the well documented one of the small farmer 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.

Research and:extension as a source of information. In the

developing countries where a very large number of small farmers live in

poverty, and where technology has not alleviated their situation very much,

there are undoubtedly many :cases where there is no agricultural solution. In

these cases the agricultural technological system cannot be expected to find

a solution.

But when there is no technological solution to their 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?

One reason that research and extension have not contributed more basic

information for planning and development is because governments have not given them

much opportunity to participate in decisions. Another reason is that research and

extension frequently do not have the right kind of information--that is useful to

planners. They do not have this kind of information because research has focused

principally upon understanding, and maximinzing the output of biological processes

and not upon the broader agro-socioeconomic conditions that might be changed through


Governments need information of the output that can be expected when

technology is applied. The agronomist, for example, knows that variety "x" of

maize has a potential of 100 bushels per acre. But this value may be twice too

high to estimate the impact of this variety on a given area.


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

they have done very little to realistically evaluate expected yields; what they usually

estimate are potential yields.

Lack of realistic estimates of what farmers, on the average, will

obtain form technology has also made the work of transfer more difficult.

The political nature of research. It seems obvious that agricultural

research has wished to remain apolitical. This is especially true at the level

of the individual researcher. He is finding it more difficult with time to remain

aloof from public opinion. The use of chemicals may draw the wrath of the ecologists

and a study of heat tolerance in dairy cows the eye of the SPCA. But he seems

to subconsciously understand that no one will deny that the maize plant should

be improved or that weeds should be controlled. He prefers his projects to

be viewed in the non-political light. He publishes his findings for all to read

but once published is not concerned about who uses the technology. He has demons-

trated the point of his hyothesis, he has contributed to the academic hopper of

knowledge, and with publication he considers his responsibility at an end.

In the U.S. a bridge has been constructed to connect the generation of

scientific results with its application through joint appointments with responsibi-

lities in both research and extension, as well as through industry. The clientele

for technology has been relatively well educated; the farmer has been mobile, inte-

rested, subjected to economic pressures to increase production and has been very

adept at using technological information to increase production. The system has

functioned remarkably well.

In the developing countries this bridge between the generation

of scientific results and the application of the corresponsing technolgoy has not

been nearly so strong. In the U.S. the limited resource farmer has been at a disad-

vantage in adapting technology in comparison with the farmer of greater resources.

In those instances where scientific information does not flow easily

and readily into applied use, then focusing research upon the farm, toward specific,

defined regions is proving to be more effective than the traditionally oriented

technological system. But under the form focused system research and extension

cannot remain as apolitical as in the past. The individual agronomist does not

need become a politician in the sense of party politics, but he needs be more

aware of the need for greater input from his profession into decisions--what

and where and how.

Reductive vs. holistic research and extension. Research has been

criticized for being too reductive, ie., it separates a small piece of a biological

system, isolates it, and studies it under controlled conditions which frequently

are very different from the conditions where the biological system normally functions.

Diagram I-1 illustrates the fractionization of corn production research--and this

illustration is my no means complete. It does not take in to account that corn

production is a sub-system within the farming unit.

It says nothing about the socio-economic aspects of corn production.

And furthermore it would, in practise include many other biological aspects that

might need attention and thus the fractionization of the biological components

would be even greater than shown.

In practise, 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.


DIAGRAM X-1. Schematic illustration of reductive research on corn production.



Therefore it is logical to conclude that 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; he goes to the field, but usually is

not interested in the holistic nature of farming. In the field heobserves the biological

system in which he is interested. From this he conceptualizes how he might influence

the biological system through plant breeding, control of insects, control of weeds,

the use of fertilizer etc. He then studies the system on the experiment station

and returns to the field to test his resutls. He exposes his results to a wider

ecological range than is found on the experiment station. But he does not return

to the holistic system of the farmer. He controls plant nutrients, plant density,

weeds, etc. He presupposes that the farmer can, and will, control the same production

factors. The experiment station remains the point from which results are dissemi-

nated. How results are brought to a farming region and disseminated to farmers is

the responsibility of the extension agent. (Diagram I -2 A).

Farm focused research has the advantage that it produces results

at the farm level; these are immediately available to the extension agent, who

along with farmers and researcherhave 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. There is a systematized means of returning the results of component

research to the holistic system of farming.

Diagran I-2


Traditional commodity and discipline research
Farm focused research and extension




Integrating biological and social sciences. It is not always easy to

combine the 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 means must be found

to involve social scientists jointly with agronomists and other biological


In ICTA a socioeconomic group was organized and identified as the

Socioeconomic "Discipline".Thus Socioeconomics was identifiable, had

organization, budget. It was given guidelines for developing a program,

it was assigned responsibilities, it was supported by the institute and

was thus given the opportunity to develop activities as well as image.

Socioeconomics had its own niche; it was not just added to the institute;

it was integrated into the institute in a manner similar for other activity


The guidelines for Socioeconomics were:

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

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

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 effective.

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

5. Participating in the evaluation of the institutional projects.
(Waugh, ICTA-Four Years of History. ICTA. 1975).

This kind of structural arrangement did not solve (remedy) all of the

problems of integrating the social and biological sciences within the Institute.

It did not eliminate friction, it did not develop a program of work, it did not

assure the development of agro-socioeconomic methodologies that were productive

or beneficial toward making agricultural research more relevant to the conditions

of the farmer.


However this arrangement did give structure and organization so that managerial

inputs, direction and control to both the biological and social sciences could

be brought to bear upon the units or groups with the objective of evolving an

effective system of work.

It is very likely 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.

In conjoining groups of different disciplines it is only natural that

the personalities involved and their attitudes be recognized as important


Also in the case of mixing sociological and biological disciplines

the methodologies have been shown to be very important.

For example in ICTA the traditional survey technique was not satisfac-

tory for gathering information. Too many questions were asked; volume of

information collected overshadowed the pertinent information; it was too

costly and the analysis was cumbersome and too slow. Additionally 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 surveyorywere needed and in their contact with farmers

they alluded to idealistic principle. 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 trans-

ferred to the agronomists who were conducting the biological research. Because

of the time involved the biological researcher did not participate in surveys.


ICTA cancelled the traditional survey as a standard methodology, which

was replaced by the rapid reconnaissance or sondeo,'(ref. Hildebrand).

This had many advantages over the traditional survey. Since it was done over

a short period of time the agronomists could participate. Results could be

summarized rapidly. The agronomist's 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 many research

systems is the one proposed by Lagemann (Johannes Lagemann, Farming Systems

as a tool for identifying and conducting research and development projects.

CATIE, 1981.) His plan proposes that data collection and analysis be spread

over a period of 20 months. The systems includes on-farm experimentation

after seven months and some research data could be available before all

data were analyzed and thus can be used in the elaboration of the 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


The traditional farm record used to study costs of production and the

economics of the farm enterprise is another methodology that collects much

data that is difficult to analyze, is slow or time consuming and in general,

while undoubtedly it has its place, is 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 to farm focused



Again the point here is that the methodologies to collect economic and

cultural information should be compatible and functional with the biological experi-

mentation if they are to be integrated in agricultural research systems.

In ICTA it seems that t'ere were at least two points of importance in the

integration of social sciences with the biological sciences that have not been

emphasized previously, (a) one is to give enough organization to the social

sciences so that they can be identified, supported and given direction. (b)

the other is that the methodologies be made compatible with the dynamic nature

of the research needed to serve the clientele.

The agronomist can learn to make sociological observations-- in other words

can learn to not only understand the biological processes of farming but to

understand the farmer culturally. The average agronomist is not trained to

do this, and he probably will not begin to learn until he becomes aware of the

importance of non-biological effects upon the technology that he generates.

Likewise there are few social scientist that have much comprehension of the

biology of agriculture. If social scientists are brought into a biologically

oriented institute they will have to be given the opportunity for not only

studying the cultural-ecomic aspects of farming, they will have to learn the

general substance or biological research.

The "sondeo" methodology described by Hildebrand (reference)

and the more formal reconnaissance methodology of Hart (reference)

are examples that contribute to the learning of both biological and social

science personnel, and in these cases especially the agronomist and animal

scientist. The biological scientist plays a somewhat secondary roll to the

social scientist in the sondeo, at least until he gains experience.


The social scientist can likewise learn a lot about biological research

by taking a secondary role in the on-farm research. However in neither case

would the secondary role be a procedure to be recommended over a long conti-

nuing period.

In integrating biological and social science disciplines it should be

kept in mind that within the social sciences there are major differences

just as in the case of the biological. The economist does not do what the

anthropologist does. Their methodologies differ one form the other. And

it seems clear that the biological scientists views them quite differently.

The biologist seems to understand economics better than anthropology. The

biologist has had more personal experience in trying to understand economics

in his daily life. Whether or not the biologist understands the nature of

economics as applied by the economist he usually understands that technology

must be economically feasible to be adopted by producers. The economist usually

goes further in the quantification of information and data than other social

scientists. Also economists have had more experience with the reality of

decision making than most social scientists and seems to have developed more

common ground of understanding between these two disciplines than in other

cases. The agronomist may deprecate economic models, but he probably under -

stands the substance of them.

There is some basis to think that economics might well be developed as a

discipline within research, and develop the other social sciences within the

transfer mechanism (extension) where the social scientist should find more

application for his discipline in the areas of communication, in transfer

of information and in group organization.


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." With economics

the value of a continuing role seems greater. However there is an incon-

gruent situation. The anthropologist, even though he were not needed in

research full time, might be in-a position to make important contributions

over a long period. But he cannot be expected to make his best contributions

if he is not continually in contact with the area upon which research is

being focused. If the social sciences were to be developed and institu-

tionalized within extension they would be in contact with the rural scene,

and also be available to support the research activities when needed, as

well as playing a continuing feed-back role from extension as is visualized

for other extension personnel.


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. Usefulness must be forseen and results must confirm it:

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.

2. The social sciences should be organized in such a mannerthat
they are given identification and 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 output from social sciences must be used
by the biological scientists as well as being useful to management.


New.Orientation or Drastic Change?

Some people have voiced the opinion that farm oriented research (FSR/E)

is a drastically new thing. However, it can be argued that such systems, for

example that used by ICTA in Guatemala, simply make use of existing "tools"

and adapt them to organize and execute more objective and pragmatic programs.

The traditional basic biological training of agronomists allows them to

develop skills in on-farm research designed to meet farmers needs. No one

has suggested that sociology, anthropology or economics, that can be applied

to FSR/E does not already exist. We probably do not need drastically different

agronomists or economists--just a new orientation and focus.

The same is true for methodologies. Methodologies do change, but the

"sondeo", the farm records (the cropping logs used in FSR/E), the on-farm

experimentation used in farming systems research are all modifications, and

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 to implement farm focused (FSR/E)

be drastic or can we add new dimensions to already existing programs? In

summary it seems logical to conclude that the focus, ie. the orientation which

focuses upon the needs of the clientele represents considerable change.

(RKW, May 1982)


Non-biological disciplines are integrated with the biological; much of the

research is conducted on-farm within the systems of farmers. These do repre-

sent change. But in practice the major change is the primary consideration

given the client. Most of the methodologies are modifications of already

known procedures, and do not represent drastic change.

Some Bottlenecks to Implementation

Government. The Introduction of change in public service institutions

whether here in the U. S. or in other countries is not simple process. Insti-

tutional custom, bureaucracy, and politics may become major factors that influence

change or deter it. If the changeisviewed 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. These ideas will need

be interpreted in terms familiar to those of government responsible for making

high level decisions and obtaining approval of the proper groups such as the


The approval of high level government is usually a slow process. It will

take time. Thus the question might be raised as to whether the introduction

of FSR/E could be accomplished within an already existing organization and

done in such a manner that it is not considered a major one. This might have

advantages in some situations. Work can be initiated at the farm level,

experience can be gained rapidly. However in this case the political support

may not be forthcoming when it is needed. The new focus would be low profile;

its image may be weak.


Also since it was established within an already existing organization,

probably by decision of a few people, it may have only a few supporting it.

Enough support for any new orientation may not be forthcoming at the time

that it 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. Therefore the new system should be implemented in such a manner

that it will be given sufficient support over a period of time sufficient

to demonstrate its advantages.
Just as periodic change that comes through elections or other routes

can be a serious limitation to stability and continuity in technical programs

it can also be an impediment to implementing change. A change in government

may result in lack of time to institutionalize major modifications in programs.

A full grown program cannot be well established over a short period

of time. Furthermore it is not logical in most instances. Politicians

frequently attempt to force a rapid change and attempt to

establish new programs already full grown, even though 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 it 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, step-wise change difficult.


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 bureaucrati-

zation. When this occurs bureaucracy becomes more and more resistant to change

and the resulting inability to make logical change in benefit of the clientele

is one of the reasons for revolutionary change by force.

To move from experiment station oriented research to farm focused research

and the development of integrated activities with extension do require change.

But as pointed out previously, the needed changes do not necessarily 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 professio-

nals in the traditional programs.

Viewpoint of professionals. The viewpoint of professionals may be

a determent to establishing a farm focused research system. Currently existing

programs will probably be staffed with traditionally oriented Dersonnel, with

the research activities organized by croD, species of animal and by dicciplinPs

The agronomists (biologists) may feel that their scientific domain is

being invaded, and overshadowed by socio-economics. They may not be comfor-

table 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.

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 (distrusts)

may exist in the minds of key people who would not give their full colla-

boration--and furthermore may influence even the younger scientists who

have a genuine interest in correcting any defieciencies 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 workload of the extension

agents may already be heavy and to develop 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.

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. And

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 in much lower

than the potential. Most biological research is conducted under controlled

conditions which give 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. Both increase the sensitivity

of research in the evaluation of biological performance and detection of

differing treatments.

In addition to making decisions of biological performance based on

results under well controlled conditions, the agronomist usually further

studies a selected portion of his results in regional trials in which the

new variety (or other technology) is submitted to varying ecological condi-

tions such as soil and climate. However in order to study the effect of

the ecological variations many of the conditions are still controlled; such

as plant nutrients, insects, etc. These conditions, even though the trial

be conducted off-station and on-farm usually do not represent farmer


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. This means that

the agronomist estimates the potential value of this contribution but does

not estimate the true immediate value to farmers, which is information that

farmers need to know.

This lack of the recognition of the need, not only for the potential

value of a technology, but also the estimated real value to farmers, weakens

the forseen 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, he has often seeded a few rows of it in order to compare it with

his currently used variety. The importance of this propensity of U.S. farmers

for evaluating technology has probably never been evaluated, but without much


doubt has been very important.

But small farmers in the developing countries have lacked the information,

know-how and resource 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 while at the same time

educating the farmer in the use of it, and serve as a much better basis than

usually is available for making recommendations to other farmers with assurance

of satisfactory results.


It has been customary that agricultural researchers in the United States

largely determine individually or among themselves (department level) both

the focus (orientation) and methodology of their research. 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. was never directed to help the subsis-

tence farmer. The subsistence farmers were largely passed by, farms have be-

come larger and now corporate farming is coming to the front.

This system, successful according to our standards, has not made a large

enough impact in the developing countries where the small limited resource

farmers are in the majority. Rural areas are under developed, there is much

rural poverty, and many countries are moving from food exporters to importers.

Research and the resulting technology cannot solve all of the problems

of rural development or of food production in the developing countries. How-

ever there is sufficient evidence to believe that agricultural research can

make a much greater contribution than it has inthe 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 FSR here in the U.S. does focus the research according

to the needs and desires of the limited resource farmer, to a better degree

than any other research strategy that has been applied. FSR is relatively

new. Not many people have had experience working in.such a system. It pre-

sently is in a dynamic transitional stage of evolution but much of the method-

ology has been conceptualized and tested in operating programs, although

admittedly the number of programs where it has been tried are still relatively


few and are relatively new. The new orientation does not change the scienti-

fic principles of research, but should contribute to a dynamic application of

scientific methodolgoy to the further evolution of more effective research

beyond its present status.

Despite the fact that the new research focus applys the same scientific

principles as traditional resaerch, implementation of the new system has been

slow. Perhaps the lack of understanding on the part of decision makers of the

importance that research needs direction in order to meet development needs and

the belief on the part of researchers that they will lose the perogative to

determine their own research, leads them to be fearful of the new orientation.

However in the cases where the new focus has been used it has been the

research group that has largely determined 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 agri-

cultural development needs.

It is suggested that the following classification ofresearch may help

both the researchers and research managers to understand the importance of

research that is directed toward identified objectives:

a. Fundamental Research

This is research conducted without an immediate client in

mind. It contributes to the knowledge hopper. Financing for

this kind of research does not depend on any immediate economic

value of the results. It is done principally by academic insti-


b. Industrial Research

This is research that seeks specific results and is highly

directed to produce results of some economic value. It is usually

directed toward a specific clientele or market. The resulting economic


gain is returned directly to the industrial company. This kind

of research is highly directed.

c. Research for Development

This is the kind of research needed for helping agriculture

in the developing countries. It should be directed toward speci-

fic goals or clientele. The research should not be oriented by

individuals or small groups unilaterally.

The results of this kind of research should be of inmediate economic

value. Payment for this research is not returned directly to the

organization but eventually gets there through some centralized agency


In conducting this kind of objective and directed research,

basic and applied lose their meaning. The research is conducted be

it basic or applied if it promises to produce the goals sought in a

reasonable time limit. What is needed is research that is managed

to meet the needs for development.



"Research on improved farming technologies canr 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, under their natural and economic conditions."
(Assessing farmers' needs in designing agricultural technology. CT1M'T
Econor-ics Staff. IADS Occasional Paper, 1981)


During the last several years, scientists and others interested in

food production and rural development have concluded that the effectiveness

of agricultural research can be much improved by conducting more of it

on-farm, orienting the research in a more holistic manner in addition to

continuing the traditional commodity research and involving the farmer in

the process of technology generation and evaluation. Emphasis is being

given to conjoinfng socio-economic considerations with the biological.

This new focus is frequently, especially in the United States, referred

to as Farming Systems Research (FSR). Almost everyone agrees that the

research should be focused upon the entire farm as a unit, although there

is very little systems methodology used in the biological agronomicc)

research and some would prefer a different terminology to describe this

new orientation. Perhaps Farm Focused Research or Farming Research would

be more appropriate.

Less attention has been given to the extension of the research results

than to the research itself. Benor and Harrison (D. Benor and J.Q. Harrison,

Agricultural Extension- The Training and Visit System. World Bank, 1977.)

have proposed a training and visit system for extension. This plan, well

executed, undoubtedly could improve the extension services in many countries.

It proposes that the linkage between research and extension be through the


traditional subject matter specialist. While this arrangement has been

proven to have merit in some countries, it generally has not been used

in the developing countries, perhaps in part because of lack of trained

personnel. In any event, it seems clear that extension has not received

the technical back-stopping that it needs. At the same time extension

has not served as a mechanism to assure the continuous flow of technology

from the experiment station to the user.

One of the objectives of a research program should be to integrate

their activities into a system that will assure a constant flow of tech-

nologies from the point of their generation to their use in production

systems that will increase production and improve the well being of the

rural population over a sustained period. The world has now 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.

The plan presented here to organize a technological system with the

objective of assuring a continuous flow of relevant and tested technology

from the point of its generation to its use by farmers is based largely

upon experiences in Guatemala and Honduras. (R. Waugh, ICTA-Four Years of

History, ICTA, 1975), (Secretaria de Recursos Naturales, Funcionamiento

del Programa Nacional de Investigacion Agropecuaria y su Integracion en

us Sistema Tecnologico. PNIA, Secretaria de Recursos Naturales, Honduras,


It is proposed to incorporate into the technological system what is

generally considered farming systems research but goes further and assigns


additional activities to both research and extension. As mentioned

previously, there is less experience with extension using the systems

approach than for the research activities. However, none of the activities

proposed are based solely upon conceptualization but have been used in some

manner in research and extension programs.

The following is an outline of a technological system, firstly

presenting the groups or units that participate in the system and secondly,

the activities to be conducted by the groups. The system is explained from

the functional viewpoint rather than the organizational because the activ-

ities could be conducted under different organizational structures.

Groups or Units that Participate in a Farm Focused Technological System

This proposal for the different groups or units of the system is not

intended to suggest the overall organizational structure for research

and extension programs. These groups are proposed as a means of effecting

the relationships between the activities that are presented later. Other

groups might be added as indicated, for example, experiment stations, seed

programs, and laboratories. The extension program would not be expected

to dedicate all of their time in collaborating with research but would,

as their primary responsibility, would work to disseminate the technology

to the masses.

1. Research group

a. Commodity teams
b. Discipline teams
c. On-farm area teams
d. Other groups

2. Extension

a. On-farm area teams
b. Other


3. Farmers

Commodity Research Teams

Every country needs commodity teams for the most important crops.

These teams continue to use proven scientific methodology, but can be more

effective and efficient through the additional testing of new varieties

by the area teams.

Commodity teams normally conduct on-farm research but principally

to test new genetic materials and varieties under wider 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 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, may be assigned to the commodity teams. However, there are other

groups that have broad responsibilities such as soil or socio-economics

whose work is related not so much to one specific crop but to all or many.

They may be organized as discipline groups.

It is sometimes more difficult to determine and evaluate the programs

of work for these discipline groups than for commodity groups, so 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.


On-Farm Area Research Teams

The Commodity and Discipline Teams usually have national respon-

sibilities. For example, the country probably does not need more than

one Maiz Team and thus the one team must meet the needs of the country.

On-farm Area Teams are assigned to specific defined areas of concentration

of activities. These On-farm Teams have three principal, technical

functions: (a) Collaborate with Commodity and Discipline Teams,

(b) conduct area specific research and (c) collaborate with extension.

The On-farm Area Research Team is the one group or unit not usually

found in research organizations that can make the results of research more

relevant to the conditions of the farmer. They can give a new dimension

to agricultural research-- that of focusing research not upon the exper-

iment station, but upon the farm-i.e., by adding a holistic approach to

the reductive. They can improve the effectiveness of commodity (component)

research by more thorough testing of technologies generated by commodity

teams. 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. They are no longer

limited to the experiment station or publications for sources of information.

In other words, these teams can fill the void that too frequently exists

between research and extension.

An example: Commodity research teams conduct off-station trials,

usually regional yield trials over a wide spectrum of ecological conditions.

But these trials usually have several lines of advanced breeding materials;

they are not tested using the farmers' methods of cultivation, but with

standardized experimental designs and controlled conditions; and usually

there are only a relatively few of such trials separated one from the other


by long distances. These trials are needed and the commodity teams

can seldom conduct enough of them. The on-farm research team can help

increase the number of such trials which makes selection of new materials

more efficient because there is more information taken from even a 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) and these tested in simple agro-

technical trials in many places within a region, using farmers' practices

as a control treatment. The following step then, is to further test the

one or two best lines in farmer managed trials, some of which are super-

vised by researchers and others by extension agents. In this manner,

not only do researchers and extensionists participate in the selection

of new varieties, but also the farmer.

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 ade-

quately staffed and can be given adequate support and supervision. This

means that most farm focused research will have to start with a few teams

and the area covered expanded as resources become available. 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 easier to

supervise and direct a dozen or more established and trained teams than


it is to supervise three or four teams which have but little experience.

Also a step-wise or phased expansion allows the system to be molded to

the conditions which prevail in different areas.

However, there are advantages in starting with more than one team--

to not put all the eggs in one basket. Three teams in three different

areas is a good number and should be manageable. Each area will present

different conditions of work and if one team fails, the entire project

has not failed. Also, the varied conditions and different groups of

personnel as team members develop a wider base of experience from which

to evaluate to work, when there is more than one 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 farmers will have

to be developed.

Expansion of the farm teams can be effected under two strategies, one

not being exclusive of the other.

One strategy is to expand the area of concentration once the original

area is "covered", that is to say 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, but

at the same time starting first stage research in an adjacent area.

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.

In the Highlands of Guatemala two teams were formed. Each team of

five members each initially covered an area of about 10,000 hectares.

Five years later, the same two teams together were covering about 120,000



Composition of On-Farm Area Research Teams

The composition of an on-farm research team will logically be varied

according to the local situation: The kind of farming in the area and

its technical level, roads and other infrastructure, community oragnizai.tons,

resources available, etc.

For example, if horticulture or cattle are important in an area, the

team should include one or more members competent in these areas. And if

the 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 can be organized in which individual members have

some special interests or capabilities so that one member can complement

the work of others. Even in the case of young team members not formally

specialized, some 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,

but each team member should conduct a variety of trials that have been

planned to carry out the work plan.

The number of members of the area research teams will vary, but there

should be enough members to develop a team effort. One or two people do

not make a team.


Especially at the beginning, it is difficult for a one or a two-

member team to establish a good information base about an area, deter-

mine the parameters for the technology, and learn to understand the

farmers' practices. The information needed to form a good base will

vary, but information as to varieties, planting dates, fertilization,

insect and disease problems, use of herbicides, early in the work can

be the key to rapid 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 and progress can be very slow if

there are not an adequate number of team members.

Other Grouos in Research

Other groups within the overall research group will be needed. These

might be experiment station management and operation, a soils laboratory,

a library and a structured in-service training, etc.

On-Farm-Area Extension Teams

In order that Extension have an input into the orientation of research,

on-farm extension teams participate in the evaluation of new technology with

three objectives:

(a) in order to objectively evaluate technology,

(b) in order to become competent in the management of technologies

(c) in order to evaluate the acceptability of technology to farmers.

This results in two advantages. The feed-back from extension can orient

technology objectively and can also 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 research. This


allows him to objectively contribute to the information base for the area

and also learn first hand about the area.

Later, he can continue to evaluate technology, use the experience and

the evaluation trials in the transfer of information to farmers.

Other Extension Groups

Other extension groups may be working within the same area for special

extension programs. These should be determined according to the goals of

extension and the kinds of activities assigned to them.


Farmers will not be a direct part of the research and extension

programs. Hcwever, they should be involved in several phases of research

and extension. First, they should be involved, and the principal source

of information, for the characterization of a farming area. Second,

they should participate in the research and its evaluation, and third,

should become involved in the extension of technology. A dynamic parti-

cipant group will learn more rapidly than the complacent individual.


Activities and Responsibilities of the Groups or Units of a Technological

System for Farmers

The purpose of organizing and systematizing the activities of a

technological system is to assure the necessary steps to effect a contin-

uous flow of relevant technology and information from its point of gen-

eration to the point of its use in farmers' cropping 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 technological system must function in harmony with credit and

marketing systems and the farmer must have the necessary inputs available.

A sequence of activities is shown in Diagram I. The system is not

only sequential but also cyclical with return loops in the sense that one

phase is based on a prior one and at any phase in the sequence, the tech-

nology can be either discarded or returned to a prior step for modification

or further validation. The biological phases of the system can be concept-

ualized as (a) study of components, (b) integration of components into

production systems, (c) the validation of the technology by researchers

and extension personnel and the evaluation by farmers before being recom-

mended to farmers on a large scale. Much of this work is conducted on-farm

with the participation of extensionists and farmers.

The activities to carry out the phased technology generation, testing

and transfer are:

a) Characterization and analysis of farming areas in two phases,

first the initial phases and later the continuing phases,

b) Operational planning for the distribution of resources and

the work plan which is in agreement with a yearly budget.


c) Generation of technology, both the component research and the

farming area research, and

d) Transfer of technology to the farmer through support of Exten-

sion by research and the technical support of the farmer by

extension. Also,evaluation by the farmer is a part of the

transfer process as well as a part of the research.

e) In addition it is suggested that an in-service training program

be organized within the technological system to prepare person-

nel for both research and extension within the farming area.

These five activities are outlined in Table 1 and are discussed below.

Characterization and Analysis of Farming Areas

Characterization and analysis refers to the collection of pertinent

agro-sccioeconomic information for the purpose of selecting areas of con-

centration and orienting the research and extension activities. It is

assumed that the general area has already been selected on which research

and extension should focus their work.

There are two phases to characterization and analysis. The first

phase collects information and selects the specific areas of concentration

and serves as the basis for operational planning.

The second phase is a continuing phase, or up-dating phase, where

additional information is used to add to, and perhaps modify the initial

information. This second phase characterization then is continuous and

dynamic and is done in conjunction with the operational planning. In

this second phase characterization,research results become relatively more


There are at least three different situations that will affect the

procedures used in characterization:





Characterization and analysis; agro-socioeconomic information


(a r-


Agronomic and

S Component research

Integration of components

Validation and evaluation

Transfer and production

Commodi ty

Farmers' tests
and evaluation
of acceptability


- L. v "! "L.- -- I- I -- -L .... C. Q .





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

2. Continuing Phases
a. Modification of previous information
if indicated
b. Information gathering
-farm records, case studies,
additional scndeos
c. Addition of information from research
results, farmer acceptability and

1. Financial
2. Personnel
P. Physical resources
4. Review of infor-ation
5. Annual work nLans and budgets

1. Plant-Improvement
a. Intr duc.ions
b. Breedin._
c. ProTeny testing
d. Off-sta-tion testing
e. SelectLon of varieties for areas
f. Basic seed
g. Crop specific studies

2. Agronomic
a. E:,olorattov trials
b. Agro-technical tri;
c. Agro-technical-ecor
d. Researcher managed
e. Farmer mann-ed eva
f. Evaluation and acc

nomic trials

validation trials

luation tests

eptability studies

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

2. Continuing phase
a. Transfer to Large number of farmers
b. Backstopping of Extension by Research

1. In-service training for research
2. In-service training for transfer


3 i




1 3

3 I 1 2
3 I 1 2









I i-

1 I



Il i 1 /1 _





1 _____
- 1~--




3 2 1 3
3 1 3----

I T 1



3I_ 33
2 --- j.

A- Commodity and discipline research
B- Farming area research
1- M 4,-,-r- ,-n--.t -i" i- --;n"- 2- nar--i r- nat.nn 3-- inirnlvpman 1r


F,'.:: ERS

E:-:TENS ,10::



i ?

2 i


1. Old farming areas, moderate to dense population, traditional agri-

culture, long standing cultural patterns, some but sketchy technical

information about the agriculture. There is some but probably inade-

quate infrastructure and services such as roads, market, credit, etc.

2. Old farming areas, low to dense population, very little infrastruc-

ture, established cultural patterns or technical informa-

3. New farming areas, very low population, very little infrastructure,

frequently of limited access, disperse cropping patterns but little

tradition established in agriculture.

In examples 1 and 2, once the government has decided to focus atten-

tion upon the area, a review of the documented information and the rapid

reconnaissance (sondeo) (Hildebrand, ) can serve as the basis for

selection of the areas of concentration for research and extension, and

research can be initiated within a short time. In case 1, research may

already be functioning. In this case, the characterization and analysis

should be made and any research results used to add to the information.

In case 3, the characterization will require more time for mapping,

surveying soils, and collecting basic information, and the sondeo alone will

probably not be a sufficient base to select areas of concentration. Since

in this case a good characterization of the area will take several months, it

is suggested that in addition to the surveys and sondeo, the research be

started immediately as a parallel activity. The research would be explora-

tory, looking for alternative technologies and for establishing broad

parameters. The specific research thrust might not be determined for one or

two years. During this initial research, the future extension agents should

be selected not to do extension work, but to work full time for at least one


cropping season, with the research group to help establish the parameters

and seek technical alternatives for the initial extension thrust.

Examples of these three situations are, respectively, the Highlands

of Guatemala, the Llanos of Colombia and Venezuala, and areas of the

Amazon headwaters.

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.

SIn some cases there may be a regional planning office that can help

coordinate the characterization with national policy and review the docu-

mented 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 respon-

sibilities between research and extension (Secretaria de Recursos Naturales,

Funcionamiento del Programa Nacional de Investigacion Agropecuaria y Su

Integracion en un Sistema Tecnologico, PNIA, SRN, Honduras, 1981) in which

Extension concentrates more on characterization of areas of influence of

an extension agent, collecting 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 pro-

duce one document of their observations.

The second or continuing phase of characterization and analysis should

consist of modifying any information that is incorrect. Additional information
should be used to bring the previous information up to date. 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 in annual regional operational planning.

Operational Planning

A situation that is frequently observed is that research and exten-

sion do their operational planning individually and in competition with

each other. This uncoordinated process not only results in illogical

assignment of financial and human resources to research and extension,

but furthermore, does not allow coordination of the research and extension


Therefore, it is suggested that research and extension jointly study

their needs according to a projected program. After the budgets for each

have been approved, annual regional planning sessions can be held between

research and extension to review all of the information collected and form-

ulate their annual work plans which must be made compatible with the re-

sources available (budget, personnel, and physical facilities).

The planning sessions should be held at the regional level. For re-

gional planning to be objective, there must be assignment of resources

to the regions--budget, personnel, and physical facilities. Also, the

national commodity programs that are interested in the crops of a specific

region must attend the regional planning sessions. A plan then should

be made between the national commodity and discipline teams and each of

the On-Farm Area Research Teams. Likewise, each On-Farm Area Research

Team should at this planning session make a work plan with the extension

group of its area.

Generation and Evaluation of Technology


The system under discussion is proposed as an organized and

systematized, but flexible,.iterative and reiterative, aiding farmers and

improving the quality of rural life through the use of technology: the

generation and evaluation of technology is one of the key activities on

which the success of the system depends. Without well-oriented, pragmatic

research, the system will have no strong base from which to feed technol-

ogies and information into the transfer process; the extension services

will continue to receive fractionated information and will continue to

depend, not upon research as a source, but upon recipes for technologies

from various sources.

While much of the methodology used within the system is the proven

scientific methodology for which researchers have been trained, some is
focused in a manner different from the traditional methodology, as

well as the addition of new ones, in order to meet the needs-of the farmer.

In other words, with the objective of making technology just as relevant

and acceptable as possible to the farmer, there is a reorientation of the

traditional component research which is reductive in nature, and a new,

more holistic, dimension added in which technologies are validated under

conditions of the farmer, and with his participation.

Furthermore, under the plan of this system, Extension collaborates with

Research in the evaluation of technology; the evaluationby both Research

and Extension with the participation of the farmer initiates the process of

transfer. Research assumes a primary responsibility to support Extension

in the transfer.

The generation and evaluation of technology is presented in two parts:

(a) plant improvement and (b) agronomic. Animal research is not included in

this description although the agronomic aspects of animal research that are

the primary products of the soil, such as pastures, can be treated in a


similar manner. Animal research involves secondary (meat) and tertiary

(milk) products and the step-wise procedures, although similar, are

sufficiently different to omit them from this description. (See section VIII.)

Plant Improvement

Plant improvement is principally, but not exclusively, plant breeding.

The following steps seem to be the principal ones used in plant improvement;

perhaps there are other or additional steps in the process and these may vary

with different species of plants.

Introductions. Introductions of genetic material are made to broaden

the genetic base for selection for the purpose of plant improvement. This

should be the responsibility of one 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 respective Commodity Program.
Progeny testing. Progeny testing is the evaluation of the new genetic

combinations which result from plant breeding. This is a primary responsi-

bility of the Commodity Program, but the On-Farm Area Research Teams may

participate in some cases so that the material be evaluated under specific

or broader ecological conditions.

Off-station testing. Off-station testing is usually done under con-

trolled 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 pri-

mary responsibility of the respective Commodity Team, but in order to

conduct a sufficient number of trials under different ecological condi-

tions, the On-Farm Area Research Teams will 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, in

adequate quantities, may not be available, especially in the case of

some crops such as beans where the amount of seed required for a given

area is relatively large in comparison with a crop such as maize.

However, the advantage which accrues from the participation of

On-Farm Teams in this off-station testing can be very great. 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

Conmnodity 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 is a means of involving, even though in a small

part, the On-Farm Team members in the selection of new varieties. It

increases the effective size of the Commodity Program.

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.

In addition to the problem of adequate supplies of seed of the advanced


breeding lines mentioned above, the transportation of the seed so that

it arrives in time for planting can be a problem. Also, the Commodity

Team may view the On-Fann Team as a source of cheap labor and impose

a large number of trials. It must be remembered that the On-Farm

Team will probably collaborate with several Commodity Teams. Also, the

On-Farm Team has other research work and the value of this kind of

testing must be estimated in comparison with the other work of the Team.

Therefore, good planning is important for the success of this kind of


Selection of varieties for areas. The off-station testing should per-

mit the selection of the 2 to 4 best lines which are then tested in

several researcher manages 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 and therefore it is suggested that the On-Farm

Area Research Team assume the primary responsibility for this testing.

The Commodity Program will participate in the selection of the lines to

be tested, furnish seed, and participate in the planning of the experi-

ments. Also, members of the Commodity Program should visit the 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

farmer's 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 commercial production. Basic seed requires small

amounts of seed of purity and high quality. It is suggested that the Com-

modity 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 respon-

sibility 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. However, in some cases,

there are specific studies that the Commodity Team should conduct. If a

new variety requires a planting date or plant population different from

that normally used, the Commodity Team should furnish this data.


The agronomic aspects of the technology usually will be the responsi-

bility 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 even'may participate to the extent of playing a major role.

Exploratory trials. Exploratory trials will 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, 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 Researcher managed evaluation trials. Designs are varied according

to the objectives but usually will have several treatments and be repli-


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, replicated, and

plot size is frequently too small to gain experience in the management of

a given technolo-y. ThereFore, the agro-technical-economic trials are

larger with fewer treatments, or perhaps only one. The size will depend

upon farm size. Where farms are large, for example 10 to 20 hectares, the

trials may be as large as a half hectare or even one hectare.

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 they 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 managed evaluation tests. Farmers are involved in all On-farm

testing and experimentation. They usually furnish the land for experimental

plots and may help in caring for them. However, up to the time of the

farmers' tests, 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. Thp tests are not replicated but are dispersed

throughout the area on several farms. It is recommended that the farmer pay for

the inputs. In ICTA in Guatemala, if the farmer did not have the small

amount of capital to purchase the inputs at the time of seeding, ICTA

furnished them and the farmer paid at harvest time.

The farmer should not be subjected to undue risk. Therefore, at this


stage the technology should have been well validated prior to the test

by researchers and extension agents.

The area used for a farmers' test will depend upon the size of the

farm but should be relatively small. In Guatemala the size of the new

technology parcel was usually one cuerda which varied by region from

of a hectare to 1/16 of a hectare.

The farmers' test replaces the traditional demonstration managed by the researcher

or extension agent. Demonstrations managed by researchers, by design have

defects that reduce the confidence of the farmer in the results. Demon-

strations are designed to be successful, and when there is a failure, it

is embarrassing to the person responsible for it. For this reason, the

management of demonstrations is carried to the extreme in order to assure

success. This favorable treatment is not typical of the average farmer.

Also, the far-er knows that the government has more resources than he

has and may unconscienciously infer to himself that therefore it is not

suitable for him. The farmer's test, managed by the farmer himself, serves

as a better basis for decision 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. (Hildebrand, .

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, in Guatemala, the percentage of

users is multiplied by the percentage of their crop in which the technology


was applied and the product divided by 100 to give an index of accepta-

bility. (S.R. Ruano, Evaluacion de la aceptabilidad de la tecnologia

generada por el ICTA para el cultivo de maiz en el parcelameinto La

Maquina, 1976-77. ICTA, Guatemala). This index has a fault if used alone

without explanation. It does not differentiate which influenced the

index more, the number of adapters or the percentage of the crop to

which a technology was applied. For example, if 80 percent of the farmers

used the practice on 30 percent of their crop, the index would be 24.

But also, if 30 percent of the farmers used the practice on 80 percent of

their crop, the index would also be 24. So, the component values are needed

to understand the index. ICTA more recently has used a graph to show the

number of users and the percentage of their crop on which they used the


Using the same percentages as the example above, the graphic indexes

now used by ICTA look like Graphs 1 and 2.

IV- 27

Graph 1

100-- Index= 24



S 60--
S 50--
a 40-



10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100

Percentage of Crop

Graph 2

Index = 24

Percentage of Crop






10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100


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 of 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 such as

private industry that furnishes inputs and credit, community development

projects that may be private or governmental, adult education programs

for rural areas, etc., that can further their own activities toward their

goals by promoting the use of technology. These should not be overlooked.

The initial phase of technology transfer. The evaluation of technology

in the farm focused technological system does six things favorable to


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 the researcher in the


b. It acquaints the extensionist with the new technology and gives

him the opportunity to acquire the skill to manage it.

c. It not only produces relevant technology and 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 his general agronomic education,

on written materials or verbal information. He can work with the

technology in his own areas before transferring it.

e. It introduces technology to a few farmers. And 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 though which research can continue to technologically

back-stop extension activities.

Continuing phases of technology transfer. New ideas for the contin-

uing phases of transfer have not been advanced conceptually and tested in

operating programs to the same extent (degree, level, as much) as has the

evaluation phase of research (initial phase of transfer). However, the

evaluation methodologies used in the technological system should be fully

compatible with traditional systems of mass transfer and some experience

has been gained with new methods of transfer (Waugh, unedited manuscript,

Structuring a Technological Linkage Between Agricultural Research and

Extension, 2nd rough copy in English, 1981) (Waugh, El Caso del ICTA en

Guatemala como Instituci6n Dedicada a la Generacion y Validacion de

Tecnologia para Pequ los Agricultores. Institute de Ciencia y Tecnologia

Agricolas, Guatemala, 1980).


Farmer managed tests for introducing new technology

There is evidence that farmer managed tests for the evaluation

of results of research are effective in transferring technology to

farmers. (Evaluacion de la Aceptabilidad de la Tecnologia Generada por

el ICTA para el Cultivo de Maiz en el Parcelameinto La Maquina, 1976-77).

Essentially, 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, farmer lay extension agents worked with groups of

fanners 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 farmer agent, who explained the

new technology.

This kind of arrangement is interesting because it works with groups

rather than the individual farmer, and in this respect has some similarity

to the Training and Visit system described by Benor and Harrison (World

Bank, about 1975). In the case of Guatemala and Honduras, the 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 thus had contact with

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, in the developing countries with small

farmers, an extension agent should work with 600 to 1000 farmers in order to be

IV- 32

effective within an acceptable cost. (Hayami ) and

adequate coverage.

To initiate a program of extension along these lines, the extension

agent, in order to gain experience, might work for one or two cropping

seasons with the farmer agent as a helper, conducting farmer managed tests

under the supervision of a researcher as an in-service training experience.

,Back-stopping of Extension by Research. A primary responsibility

of Research should be to technologically support Extension in all phases

of transfer, explaining technology, design of farmers' tests and in some

cases, furnishing seed. The researcher should also help the extension agent

to meet unexpected problems of a technological nature and in analyzing data, and

in studying the farming problems of the area.


Trai,,ing is not a direct part of the methodology of the techno-

logical system, but can be integrated into the system. (Waugh, In-Service

training for farm focused research: The ICTA model, manuscript, third

draft, 13I1). Each year ICTA conducts in-service training courses of

about 10 months duration, in separate courses for young researchers and

for extensionists.

In the case of the research course, the on-farm research methodologies

are taught. The course is integrated into the work plan of the Institute

in one of the regions where ICTA works, and the trainees spend about 50%

of their time on institutional research, about 25% of the course time is

spent on theoretical subjects taught in the classroom, and about 25% on

field level learning exercises. Thus about 75% of the course time is spent

in the field and 25% in the classroom.

In the course for extensionists, they spend about 20% of their total

work time in the course, the remainder of their time being spent on their


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 the farmer

managed trials as a tool for transfer. This training course also is one

of the methodologies for backstopping of Extension by Research.

These courses can be integrated into the research and extension

programs by structuring and organizing courses which are managed by a

course coordinator. The course coordinator arranges for the classroom

lectures and exercises and decides jointly with the leaders of On-Farm

Research Area Teams what the field work will be and 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" vdho conduct research under his supervision (close supervision).



"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.

Drucker ( ) points out that the essence of management is responsibility.

This responsibility appears in many forms, ie., responsibility for organization,

for efficiency, for programs, for production. The management (person) then

carries out the management (action) that he feels will have the right effect

upon that for which he has responsibility.

Universities, hospitals and research organizations do not have managers-

they have presidents, heads of departments, directors, etc. These have

responsibility for supervising and directing; therefore they are managers;

they are management and have 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 management is carried out at different levels

within a structured organization. This means that much of the management is

performed by persons other than the top level management. In order that

this process function efficiently and smoothly, responsibility must be felt

at different levels. Top management supervises lower level.management, and

is responsible for the effects of lower level management. This means that

lower level management has a responsibility to higher level management.

The areas of managerial responsibility for research and extension can be

classified as follows:

1. Policy:

(a) Interpretation of policy that comes from government or from
the board of directors.

(b) Definition of internal policy

2. Operations:

(a) Administrative functions

(b) Technical support functions

3. Technical programs:

(a) The who, what, how and where of the technical work. The technical
support functions under No. 2 (b) above refer 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 not complete. 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 clasifiable under

one of the three areas given above.

Management as a discipline

Management is not a clearly defined thing. It is somewhat vague, but

it is also real. Management as a discipline is now being given considerable

attention. Business administration is a major field of study at many

universities. Many agree that the principles of management are important and

this discipline undoubtedly has much to offer research and extension. However

it seems difficult or impossible to teach the principles of management as

other disciplines are taught. Experience and the individual qualities of the

managers become important factors in success or failure of management. There

is a social quality to management.

a,. *, .' ^ A .--.. ,. ~ t v "

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, 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

"do it". His information was helpful but it did not assure a successful

end product. And such is the nature of management.

Some observations about management of research and extension

Management is complex. It relates in some way to everything that happens

in an organization. It is comprehensive. Here are a few observations about


Management by administrative services. A manager has administrative

responsibilities such as decisions as to how to allocate funds and procedures

to be followed, but here we wish to refer to administration as the group of

people in an organization responsible for the financial accounting, the

processes to be followed as in the case of purchases, the documentation

needed to name personnel to positions, the record of inventories, other

institutional records, etc.

These processes of administration are necessary so that the organization

may function with some order, but it is important that they function in

support of the operational programs, ie. the programs for which the organiza-

tion was established. The administration should perform services in support

of the objectives and mandate of the organization.

The administrative procedures to be followed, ie. the procedures for

purchasing, for naming new staff, for approval of travel, etc., function

as an orifice through which administrative functions must pass. This

figurative orifice is ajustable like the iris diaphram on a camera. The

administrative processes can be allowed to flow through easily or can be

slowed down. Furthermore this orifice can be used selectively by management,

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. And very likely we have all seen cases

where the orifice became completely closed for some reason. In other

words funds were frozen or purchases prohibited. Governments use this

orifice 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, perhaps for purposes other than originally

intended, is to close the orifice somewhat as a suprize near the end of

the year, and unspent funds from program budgets are returned to the central


The managers of operating programs can defend themselves to a considerable

extent from this kind of administrative management by buying ahead, laying

in a stock of non-perishable items. This requires planning.

But in some cases administration itself can unduly influence the flow

through this administrative orifice as will be discussed below.

Administration then is an important management tool for top management.

Through administration he can support and serve, or restrict, the operating

programs which carry out technical functions.

Administration can oversee the adherence to rules and regulations and

procedures in order to guard against incorrect use of funds and to safeguard

the equipment and facilities of the organization. This is important because

rules and procedures not only safe guard funds and property of the organization


but can also be used to avoid unintentional malpractices and thus

"protect" the individual who approves use of funds or handles monies and


However, in overseeing the rules, regulations and approved procedures,

which are sometimes complex and subject to interpretation, the administration

may essentially take over control of the organization. They can restrict

the flow through the administrative orifice by unilateral decision. 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 as easy as is possible, rather than directing the work of

administration to serve and support the programs.

Thus while administration, as a group assigned to operate many of the

routine functions of the organization, can be a useful tool for management

it must be used correctly.

If there is good reason to carry out a function within government there

are almost always legal procedures which will permit it. However, it is

bothersome to administration to seek legal means if it involves procedures

other than the usual and easiest ones because they require additional work.

Administration is fearful that one modification, even though legal, correct

and efficient will lead to additional request 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; the non-routine does not follow the system. And administration knows

that if exceptions become too frequent they no longer will have a routine

that is so necessary for a normal flow. When carried to the extreme the routine

system no longer exists.


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 (the scientists), and thus is not necessary.

My observation is that frequently there is some basis to make this


However the only way for administration to serve dynamic and thus

changing operational programs is to make modifications in the administrative

procedures. For example, the same procedures for purchases in support of

research conducted on the research station may not give good support to

the more disperse regionalized on-farm research. Administrative procedures

can be one of the reasons why the scientist would prefer to work on the

experiment station rather than at the farm level. Administrative procedures

that favor the experiment station could be related 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. Remember that efficiency is not a good

measure of service.

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--that would support

operative programs--at least were willing to support the minister.

Direction (management) by budget. The budgeting process, both the

budget assignment and the process of budget execution should be used to

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 place work is carried out.

Budget is a means of assigning responsibility at each unit that has a

specific function.

The organization that does not relate specific responsibilities to

budget will probably have a low grade management. In so far as possible

those who are responsible for certain work, should have a corresponding

budget that is related to the work, and have responsibility for spending

funds. (Of course there must be some rules and regulations as to what

the funds are used for, and procedures for obligating funds and making

disbursements.) Work output then can be evaluated in terms of cost.

The technician who cannot anticipate the financial resource that will

be assigned to his work may receive too much money or too little. 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, who

then should reconcile the funds available with a plan of work.

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. Specific budget assignment can not only give direction to the

research and other activities in technical programs but gives a basis for

control and termination of them.

Budget is a powerful management tool.

Conflict between technical and administrative management. The hierarchical

nature of management can cause problems in the management of research organiza-

tions because there are usually two channels with managerial levels in each:

the administrative channel and the technical channel. At times one channel

trys to impose management action upon the other. Also it is sometime difficult

to separate administrative management from technical management.

For example, the head of the experiment station may wish to impose manage-

ment upon the maize program which is headed by a highly trained scientist.

The head of the maize program is (or feels that he is) 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 the plot should be planted there is conflict

about the use of labor and machinery. This conflict needs the attention of

higher level management, but since higher level management cannot make a

decision in each instance it must find some systematized method such as a

weekly planning meeting between the commodity programs which function on the

station, and the station management. This is presented here only as an example;

this kind of managerial conflict is frequent in research organizations.

Delegation of responsibility vs. assignment of responsibility. Is there

a difference between the delegation of responsibility and the assignment of

responsibility. There is a difference and it may be important. An institution

or a research program has a mandate--a responsibility to produce a result--

effect an impact. It is the institution that is responsible;

the groups within the institute or program are delegated part of the respon-

sibility of the institute. But the assignment of the individual, for

example, is to conduct work of a genetic nature as a corn breeder while

the delegated responsibility would be to increase production and produc-

tivity of corn. The scientist assigned to the maize program may feel that

his first responsibility is to conduct scientific research; he may be

interested in his professional image from the viewpoint of a scientist; he

may not deeply feel a responsibility for increasing the productivity of

corn. If taken in this light there is a difference.

The need for a system.An automobile is a mechanical system effective for

transportation. Automobile manufacturers know this and thus assemble the

mechanical parts into a coordinated and synchronized system. They also have

a system of manufacture and assembly. This system of manufacture is important

to put the final system together (the vehicle). Since the manufacture and

assembly is systematized management can evaluate the final product and in

turn evaluate the systematized process of manufacturing and assembling the

auto at each step. The manufacture and assembly can be managed because it

is done through a system. Likewise, even though agricultural research is

not a simple assembly of mechanical parts, it needsbe systematized in order

that it be managed. The organizational structure of an-institute or program

for research and extension and the system are inter-related but organizational

structure does not constitute a system. Farming Systems Research and Extension

can be put into a system (See Section IV).

Evolution of a System. ICTA, which has been cited as an example several

times in these notes, evolved a system. The basis concepts that ICTA applys

today were identified during the early stage of formation. But ICTA did not

start to function with a system already completely identified. (Waugh,1975,

Waugh, 1982, Notes). If the basic concepts of work can be identified by

v- 10

management then organizational structure and the technical work can be

directed toward the evolvement of a system. (Diagram V-1).

"Not all the eggs in one basket." The evolution of a system must be

a directed process, ie. a guided process where one method of working is

phased into another mode. If the changes or modifications are very abrupt

it is no longer an evolution--it is radical change. At times this may be

necessary. However 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 phase or step.

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.

In ICTA this was done by selecting three zones as locations in which to

initiate the work of field teams. The three zone 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 the 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 method of "not putting all the eggs in one basket" was also a means

of hedging against risk. Had one of the regions been viewed by government

as a failure, there was still chance of two successful regional ventures

into a new system

Schematic evolution of an agricultural research and extension system






S-. ----. .^--------




__________- PHASE III

(------ -----......PHASE IV

Diagram V -1.


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 monopolies, 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.

In the case of agriculture, research and extension have lost some of their

monopolistic qualities, especially for large farmers, who can get much or

even all of their technology from private industry. However small farmers

in the 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 econonomic gain by the private .company. And the

little farmer has not been a good, profitable market for technology generated

by private industry.

Government research, with its monopolistic qualities, has not had to

develop a strong policyof service to its constituency. (See Research and the

Family Farm, Cornell University, 1981.) There are of course exceptions

but in general governmental research has been financed (perhaps not adequately)

whether or not there be a policy of service.

Effectiveness vs. 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 constituency. This is one more

confirmation that technological systems to serve the farmer must be focused

upon the client and his operation, ie. the farm.

Drucker (1974, pages 130-136), 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 consti-

tuency. Therefore when New York needed a fourth airport the only supporters

of the Port Authority were the banks. It is precisely this lack of considera-

tions for the client that farm focused programs can help remedy.

"Living with bureaucracy". Bureaucracy is blamed for much of the

inefficiency of government and the programs that governments support. We all

recognize that bureaucracy takes on some very unfavorable characteristics.

It looses its effectiveness to serve the clients of government activities

when it works to perpetuate the system, and thus is no longer working to

serve the programs of action. But bureaucracy does have a system. Without

a governmental system (as apart from but related to governmental structure)

chaos would be the results.

The opportunity for individual programs within government to change the

nature of bureaucracy is indeed limited. Agricultural research and extension

are usually small programs and there is little that they can do to change the

bureaucratic process without intervention of high levels of government.

Management should always strive to improve the flow through the bureaucratic


However, usually there is little to be gained by resistance to the

process by the individual through incompliance with the requirements

of the system. Much time is lost because the individual does not furnish

the system what it has decided that it needs in order for it to function.

For example, in filling out purchase orders, incomplete specifications, too

few copies or lack of proper identification of the program or of the funds to

be used may result in the purchase of incorrect material or slow the

process of purchasing. Also incompliance can slow functioning of the

system, causing an "overload" of work, that not only affects the incomplete

purchase order but also other purchase orders.

Therefore it is usually more favorable for a program to furnish the

bureaucratic system what it needs--or deems it needs-in order to function.

This means that it is usually necessary for the individual within a

bureaucratic system to do two things: (a) learn how the systems functions

and its requirements and (b) plan and anticipate what .needs to be obtained

through the system. The premise for this recommendation is based upon

the remote possibilities of change, at least rapid change, and the work must

go on.

Bureaucratic systems can be changed. But the individual gripe or verbal

criticism usually has little effect. In order to effect change the

cooperation of top level management, and very likely the cooperation of even

higher levels of government will be needed. What the individual can do

which may or may not be effective, but is more objective than individual gripes

or resistance, is documentation showing shortcomings in the process, which

in turn hopefully can be treated with a supportive top management, which has

much more opportunity to effect change than the individual.



The demands of farm focused research and extension on government are

similar in kind as for traditional research and extension programs. However,

the nature and the quality of the needs change, requiring a more dynamic,

positive and flexible action on the part of government. Government's policy

for the agricultural sector must be clearly stated. More decisions need to

be made. The administrative procedures must function without undue and un-

foreseen obstacles.

The need lies with the nature of the new focus which results in more

dynamic, more mobile and more decentralized field activities. Research and

Extension are less passive. Research is no longer limited to the experiment

station and the product to scientific publications. Extension is not limited

to farmers' meetings, the distribution of bulletins and verbal recommenda-

tions. Farmers' problems must be seen, heard and understood. Research and

Extension work more closely with the private farmer and test technologies

on his land. They become more visible in the eyes of the farmer client and

accrue obligations to him. When it is agreed to plant a trial on farmer's

land on a given date the time must be kept. No one but the researcher will

note that a planting is done late on the experiment station. But experiments

that are planted late on private farms are visible to the farmer and will be

viewed as "poor farming"; furthermore, such trials do not produce good results.

The research program no longer just develops varieties but tests them

on-farm and with the participation of extension and the farmer himself. But

the new variety is of no value to the farmer unless he can obtain seed. Seed

must be increased. Greater demand can be expected for other inputs such as

fertilizer, insecticides and herbicides. Markets must absorb any increased

production--and perhaps there will be a need for increased storage capacity.


This dynamic nature of research and extension requires:

1. Clear national policy--that is understood,--that is communicated

to research and extension.

2. Administrative services that can aid research and extension in

the preparation of budgets that are adequate, but not wasteful,

and that are in phase with the needs of the programs--that 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; when the insecticide will be needed cannot al-

ways be predicted but must be available when needed.

3. Operational planning conducted jointly by research and extension

in order that their activities be coordinated. 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. Yearly work plans

cannot be elaborated a year in advance, except in a general way,

because the research results are not yet available from the

latest plantings. 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 and supports 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 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 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.

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 are weak. Flexibility is required in making the

day to day decisions in the field. However, chaos will result if

there are not clear lines of administration and authority. Plan-

ning and anticipation of material needs as well as for decision

making is necessary.

5. Delivery of equipment and materials on time is necessary for effic-

ient work and is necessary to maintain a good image in the eyes of

the farmer. On-farm research is a mobile research. It requires

dependable transportation. Distribution of seed and materials for

farm trials must be received in time.

6. Strong and clear government support. The field teams need support

and logistic back-stopping. Field teams not only need this sup-

port but must feel that they have it. They will not develop enthu-

sism for their work with a passive administration. Lack of commun-

ications, unclear policy, and inadequate financing are interpreted

as "no one cares about us" and work moral and discipline will degen-

erate. And the work will suffer from lack of continuity. Since

the environment in which teams work may be uncomfortable, this

should be off-set by compensation, the opportunity to visit family,

visits by their hierarchical superiors.


7. Comprehension of the strategy of the new research/extension focus.

All of the personnel of government does not need to understand

the details of the methodology being used. But the personnel of

the higher hierarachical levels of government needs to understand

some of the major principles involved and the strategies being

applied. Some of the critical aspects of the system are:

a. Commodity and discipline (component) research that is

oriented to meet the needs of the farmer. Professional

interest should not dictate the research projects. There-

fore research must be directed.

b. Research teams that are responsible for the technology of

specific and defined areas.

c. Research that supports extension

d. Extension that participates in the evaluation of technolo-

gies, understands the technologies, that participates in the

feedback of information, that transfers technology to a

large number of farmers.

e. Farmer participation in the evaluation of research and in its


f. Evaluation of the activities of research and extension that

is based upon objective measurements. Unobjective measure-

ments are number of experiments, number of farmers contacted,

number of bulletins written, etc.

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.



Operational olannina refers to the what ,where, when and how of research

and extension activities. Planning has not been considered so much an activity

to further the programs but a task to meet the political and administrative

requirements. Seldom do research and extension jointly plan their operations.

Operational planning is necessary in order to:

1. Coordinate the activities of the groups which participate in

the farm focused technological system, i.e., commodity and

discipline research teams; on-farm area research teams and

extension teams.

2. Execute a plan of work in agreement with governmental policy.

3. Develop good administrative procedures and use funds efficiently.

4. Manage efficiently, give direction to the research and extension

and develop a dynamic technological thrust.

Operational planning is discussed under the following headings:

Governmental policy

Internal policy for research and extension

Periodic review of programs and results.

Planning for yearly budgets and work plans

Governmental Policy

Research may consider itself, and may be considered by government, as

policy neutral. If research works to produce new varieties, to control in-

sects and weeds or shows that crops will yield more with fertilizer, and

these results may or may not be used but are available for those who wish

to use them, it is acting in a way that makes it almost independent of

government policy. Who will say that research shouldn't develop a better

VII -2

corn plant? Who will say that you shouldn't learn how to control weeds?

However, if research decides to learn how to increase production and pro-

ductivity in a specific area, and not in another area, that they will focus

upon specific crops, and will involve the farmers in the process of techno-

logy generation, then it is no longer policy neutral.

In the first case the agronomist works principally in the experiment

station and has published his results which are available to be used by

government or individuals as they see fit. In the second case research re-

sults are not only produced but are also studied for their effect in a par-

ticular fanning 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 intervention in specific areas and specific crops,

is not policy neutral.

Extension services to farmers are almost always considered less policy

neutral and more affected by the decisions of ministers than is research.

In fact, extension is frequently considered a principal arm of the government

to carry out policy.. So with a technological system focused upon 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 but also

operational planning.

Policy will have to be understood and interpreted in terms of a plan

of work; while the broad policy may seem explicit,interpretation is not al-

ways easy and implementation may present further problems. For example,

Research and Extension may not have the resources, nor the managerial capa-

city to cover the areas of high priority as determined by government. Using

resources too dispersely may not be effective while too much concentration

may reduce coverage excessively.

Internal Policy for Research and Extension

Both Research and Extension should develop 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 imagina-

tion 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, very little

usually 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, and reflected in some methdologies. The "Sondeo"

developed in ICTA was a response to the policy of not conducting the traditional,

time consuming and costly surveys. Some examples of policy that miqht be

developed for farm oriented research are:


a. There should be strong commodity programs for the crops of

major economic importance.

b. On-farm Area Research Teams will consist of enough members to

develop a team effort, usually not less than three.

c. At least half to three-fourths of the research will be conducted

off-station and on-farm.

d. Every effort will be made to support Extension and the transfer

process to farmers.

e. Not more than 60% of the total budget should be used for salaries

in order to assure adequate operating funds.

f. Institutional development will be based on the expansion of strong

programs rather than building laboratories and other facilities.

Once the need for facilities can be demonstrated for a program of

action every effort will be made to obtain it.

g. Experiment stations should be relatively small and not more than

15% of the total budget should be spend on the operation of these


h. Land will be rented for controlled experimentation when there is not

sufficient area on the experiment station.

i. Soil and water conservation along with sustained yields will be

given consideration in the development of farming practices.

h. Etc.

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 regu-

lation. They should guide rather than restrict. Policy requires interpretation

but also should leave opportunity for individuals to demonstrate imagination and


initiative. These policies do not necessarily have to be written; but it does

need to be communicated to those it concerns.

Peri Review of Programs and Results

Policy, both the broad governmental and the internal are important as

part of the information needed for planning the work schedule. However, the most

important information needed are the results of the most recent experimentation.
Presentation of results of activities by the persons responsible for

carrying the work out is a direct method for communication and for keeping

colleagues of the research and extension programs informed.

It is suggested that annual regional meeting be held to (a) review the

recent results and (b) elaborate 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 carried out the work can usually attend a regional meeting and the

discussion focuses upon the region. The activities conducted at the national

level, such as commodity and discipline research, should be represented at

the regional meeting.

Both the regional personnel and the national program results should be

presented but only results pertinent to the region should be included in the


This means that members of the On-farm Area Research Teams, the Regional

Extension Teams and the Commodity and Discipline Programs participate in the

review. The information to be presented should be summarized and mimeographed

for distribution. This summarized information can be the basis for the annual

reports. Some researchers always present the excuse that they haven't had time

to summarize and analyze their data. In such cases results should be included

in the review of the following year. However the results of one season are

needed for the elaboration of the new plan of work.


The research work should be step-wise and sequential, the next step

to be taken being based on the previous one. When results are not available

this cannot be done and the researcher is not taking advantage of his prior


The system of annual regional meetings for review and planning have the

disadvange that personnel of the national commodity and disciplines will have

to attend several regional meetings. But their participation at the regional

level is important; they will listen to the point of view of those directly in-

volved in the regional work and learn about the regional problems.

Planning for Yearly Budgets and Work Plans

Following the review of results, the plan of work for the following year

should be elaborated. National Commodity and Discipline Teams, the On-farm

Area Research Teams and the Extension Teams should each elaborate a plan of

work. Collaborators must agree on a plan which

should include assignment of responsibilities. 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 Proqram. The National Maize Program will 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.

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, and it will be responsible for

designing and conducting the trials. But they will need the collaboration of

the National Maize Program for seed. They (the On-Farm Team) will have to

advise the Maize Program how much seed they need of each variety. It will

need to be decided how the seed will be delivered, and when. If these kinds


of plans are not made with anticipation, the seed may not arrive on time for

a proper seeding. This is an example why it is necessary for the On-farm

Teams and the Commodity Teams to plan together.

For similar reasons it is necessary for On-farm Teams and Extension

Teams to plan jointly.

Under this system of regional planning the sum of the activities of

the Maize Program (for example) in each region, becomes the national work

plan for the Program.

There may be some problems in the 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. However, there are probably 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. Also the On-

farm Team has much more to do than just test materials for Commodity Programs

and if these teams do too much testing of materials, they neglect other impor-

tant areas such as insect and disease control, weed control, time of planting,

plan populations, etc. Also if the Commodity Teams are the older and tradition-

al teams they may have older personnel with more experience and more education.

These then might wish to impose their ideas on younger and less experienced On-

farm Teams.



Administrative services refer to financial accounting; the handling of

funds such as payrolls, purchases and sales; inventories; personnel records

and in some cases housekeeping routines, contractual arrangements, etc.

These services are needed for the operation of research and extension and

can become critical in the farm focused technological system as mentioned

in the section on Needs of Farm Focused Research and Extension from Govern-


Technical personnel frequently critize administration for being too

slow, inefficient and excessively bureaucratic. At the same time adminis-

tration considers technical personnel ignorant of correct and proper proce-

dures and irresponsible in the management of resources. Undoubtedly there

is some basis for the position of both groups. Both sides have shortcomings,

and this rust be recognized.

Bureaucracy is not all bad. Bureaucracy establishes systems for purchases,

inventories, payrolls and contracts. If there were no system there would be

chaos. Also the bureaucratic system tends to protect the government employees

from accusations for improper and illegal use of funds and property.

Unfortunately bureaucracy usually acquires some very inefficient charac-

teristics. This seems to take 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

efficient when it works to serve the programs which are being executed.

The outmoded bureaucratic systems of administration can be improved;

at least technically it is possible. But it is big, has 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 oppor-

tunity to change it very much. However, it usually can be improved, and

this requires two things: (a) an administrative section within the govern-

ment that is willing to understand the problems of research and extension

and is willing to do all possible to serve these activities and (b) research

and extension personnel that are responsible and willing to learn the system.

The technical personnel of research and extension frequently do not do

their part in anticipating what administration requires to function such as

budget requests that are submitted on time and purchases that are planned in


They make it difficult for the bureaucrat tofollow the bureaucratic sys-

tem, and this results in even less service to the operating programs. There-

fore it is important for research and extension personnel to do their part and

hopefully can avoid the negative attitude of administrators. Good operational

planning can go a long way in making the administrative system function to

better advantage of the programs.

This criticism of researchers and extensionists in no way condones the

inefficiencies of many administrative systems that are found within govern-

ments and which cause great lossesthrough inefficiencies in the use of avail-

able funds and the reduced results that are produced by the programs of

research and extension due to the lack of efficient administrative services.

Administrative services can be improved and government should determine how,

and effect such improvements. The administrative systems of government are

particularly poor when biological materials are involved. Many a storehouse

is full of weevil infested grain simply because it has not been sold on time.

Slow payment on the part of government make businessmen 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 decision and action, along

with the cooperation of research and extension to improve defects of bureau-

cratic administration.

The following are some guidelines for administrators, presented here

as food for thought. Administrative services should:

1. Expedite, not hinderr or slow down the flow through the administra-

tive mechanisms.

2. Teach so that those who execute programs learn what the adminis-

trative systems needs in order to function.

3. Protect so that those who execute programs will not be accused

of illegal use of funds or other resources.

4. Execute, not impose unilateral decisions but consult when making

decisions that affect the program.

5. Serve the programs and be interested in the results and not work

to just serve the bureaucratic system.

6. Learn the requirements of research and extension and how to serve



There are many organizational structures for agricultural research and

extension (I. Arnon, Organization and administration of agricultural re-

search. Elsevier Publishing Co. Ltd., 1968). Only a few will be mentioned

here, with brief comments about some of the characteristics of different

organizational patterns that have a bearing upon research and extension and

especially upon their participation in an organized and coordinated technolo-

gical system for limited resource farmers.

The reorientation of research and extension for the purpose of develop-

ing more pragmatic support to 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. But

some structures have worked better than others, It is difficult to determine

why one organization functions better than another. Is it due to organization,

management, leadership, dedication, support or personnel? Or is it due to the

compatibility of the research and extension structures with those 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 organization around and above it.

Good technological support of farmers can be developed under different

structures, but the pragmatic generation of technology and its transfer to

farmers have some requirements (See section V. of these notes).

The author has had more experience in Latin America than in other areas
of the world and therefore his comments are probably more pertinent for this
area than others.

IX- 2

Therefore it is important to understand thegeneral concepts of the systems

approach to agricultural research and extension before deciding about structure.

It is helpfulto view the system, as has been mentioned in other sections of

these notes, as a sequential or stepwise and multidisciplinary methodology con-

sisting of:

Characterization and analysis of farming areas

Component (commodity and discipline) research

Integration of components

Researcher managed evaluation

Farmer managed evaluation

Transfer to many farmers

The organization then needs to serve these functions.

The U.S. System

The system of research and extension in the U.S. can be viewed as a de-

centralized system with each state having, not only research and extension,

but also teaching integrated and located at a land grant college, which in ad-

dition to agriculture has several other colleges, and which together form

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 but these

in turn are coordinated by a single official, or perhaps one of the three

serve as overall director and thus has a coordinating responsibility in addi-

tion to his responsibility for one of these three specific areas.

The arrangements for overlap bewteen the three areas of research, teach-

ing and extension are sometimes complex but the system is functional, probably

because the university and the groups within it are relatively free from exter-

nal politics.

IX -3

In summary the system has some advantages:

1. The university is autonomous and decentralized from the federal

government. This allows each state to focus upon what is deter-

mined 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.

3. There is good continuity of activities in each of the three areas

mentioned above.

These are all favorable characteristics. However on-farm research of

farming systems 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 or regional structure. If research were to

establish cn-farm area teams it should be understood that extension is al-

ready present in the rural areas. If research unilaterally establishes the

on-farm teams they may or may not be compatible with the extension activities

in a given area. How to establish on-farm resaerch teams so that their work

be coordinated with extension activities would be an important question. Can

the on-farm research activities be dovetailed with present extension activities?

Will extension at the local level need to modify their program? Would a leader

of an on-farm area research team be responsible for developing the local pro-

gram with extension agents? Perhaps yes, but who would reconcile differences.

of opinion between research and extension at the field level? Will 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 diffiuclt to modify?

Divisions within the Ministry of Agriculture

One of the most common arrangements in Latin America is to have divisions

(direcciones) for both research and extension within the Ministry of Agriculture.

IX -4

Usually both the management and administration are very centralized,

there is proximity to politics which probably intervenes in the divisions.

As a result there is frequently lack of continuity of leadership because

of changes of personnel 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

neither into technical nor administrative matters.

Research and extension are subjected to all of the bureaucratic proce-

dures of the ministry.

In some cases the ministries have attempted to decentralize by regionali-

zation wherein the minister appoints a regional director to be his represen-

tative and delegates some authority to him. 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 obtain greater flexibility and agility in the

operations of the programs being carried out.

In some cases the regional directors have a lot of authority and they

become mini-ministers, but at the regional level. The operating programs

may function better under local power than a central authority. In this

latter case it may be difficult to establish strong national commodity re-

search programs. Each regional director may aspire to having a maize improve-

ment program even though one good national maize program, with the collabora-

tion of the regions would be adequate. This position on the part of a regional.

director may keep the national corn improvement effort, for example, fraction-


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