• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 List of appendices
 Acknowledgement
 Introduction
 The objectives of the joint NCARTT/UOJ...
 What is the meaning of farming...
 The procedures of farming systems...
 Where is FSR going at NCARTT? A...
 The farm as a system
 An overview of the NCARTT combined...
 (In arabic) use of existing information...
 Basic differences between formal...
 How to interview farmers
 (In arabic) collecting farming...
 Topic guidelines for the RASCS
 Additional tools for collecting...
 Planning on-farm experiments
 Extension workplan summary
 General characteristics of on-farm...
 Introduction to field week...
 Specifics of NCARTT combined sondeo...
 Use of data collected from...
 Selecting cooperating farmers
 Notes on on-farm trial design and...
 Types of experiments and evaluation...
 Monitoring trials during the...
 (In arabic) steps for economic...
 The farmer's circumstances
 Introducing measures of impact...
 Team reports and RASC workplan...
 Evaluation
 Appendix






Title: Proceedings of the Jordanian Farming Systems Research and Extenstion Training Workshop
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00054781/00001
 Material Information
Title: Proceedings of the Jordanian Farming Systems Research and Extenstion Training Workshop
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Ministry of Agriculture
Gaudreau, M. ( Editor )
Khraisat, E. ( Editor )
Galt, D. L. ( Editor )
Publisher: The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Ministry of Agriculture, the National Center for Agricultural Research and Technology Transfrer, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit
Publication Date: 1989
 Subjects
Subject: Farming   ( lcsh )
Agriculture   ( lcsh )
Farm life   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: Asia -- Jordan
 Notes
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: UF00054781
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 29888243

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
    List of appendices
        Page 1
    Acknowledgement
        Page 2
    Introduction
        Page 3
    The objectives of the joint NCARTT/UOJ farming systems research training workshop
        Page 4
    What is the meaning of farming systems research?
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    The procedures of farming systems research
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Where is FSR going at NCARTT? A strategy statement
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
    The farm as a system
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Procedural model
            Page 28
            Page 29
        Structural model
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
    An overview of the NCARTT combined sondeo
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
    (In arabic) use of existing information in FSR/E
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
    Basic differences between formal and informal surveys
        Page 50
    How to interview farmers
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
    (In arabic) collecting farming record information
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
    Topic guidelines for the RASCS
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
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        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
    Additional tools for collecting farmer information
        Page 83
        Crop calendar
            Page 84
            Page 85
    Planning on-farm experiments
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
    Extension workplan summary
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
    General characteristics of on-farm trial types
        Page 99
        Page 100
    Introduction to field week exercise
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
    Specifics of NCARTT combined sondeo process
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
    Use of data collected from farmers
        Page 116
    Selecting cooperating farmers
        Page 117
        Page 118
    Notes on on-farm trial design and evaluation
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
    Types of experiments and evaluation considerations
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    Monitoring trials during the season
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
    (In arabic) steps for economic analysis
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
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        Page 146
        Page 147
    The farmer's circumstances
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
    Introducing measures of impact of on-farm research
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
    Team reports and RASC workplan outputs
        Page 156
        Assignment: Revision of RASC workplan for 1989/90
            Page 156
            Page 157
        Khaldieh report
            Page 158
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        Ramtha report
            Page 180
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        Deir alla report
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        Shoubak report
            Page 207
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        Mushaqar report
            Page 227
            Page 228
            Page 229
            Page 230
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        Rabba report
            Page 241
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    Evaluation
        Page 262
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        Page 265
        Page 266
        Future training needs expressed~by participants
            Page 267
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    Appendix
        Page 271
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Full Text


HAT]NMAL
AORICULTURAL
P dJCT
~11iWiLQI~eiK
ip~oIiieir


O6~'









MOA/NCARTT/MEU
Training Report No. 0189













PROCEEDINGS OF THE JORDANIAN
FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND
EXTENSION TRAINING WORKSHOP


August 5-24, 1989





Edited by

M. Gaudreau
E. Khraisat
D. L. Gait


Published by

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Ministry of Agriculture
the National Center for Agricultural Research and Technology Transfer
Monitoring and Evaluation Unit

Supported by the

United States Agency for International Development
Through a Contract With The
Consortium for International Development via
Washington State University

Implementing the
Jordan National Agricultural Development Project (JNADP)
Amman, Jordan
and
Pullman, Washington


USAID Contract No. ANE-0264-C-00-7006-00


















PROCEEDINGS OF THE JORDANIAN
FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH AND EXTENSION TRAINING WORKSHOP


August 5-24, 1989


Edited by

M. Gaudreau
E. Khraisat
D. L. Gait














Contents Authored by

D. L. Gait, NCARTT/JNADP Socio-economist/FSR Specialist
A. F. Al-Kadi, Head, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, NCARTT/MOA
M. Gaudreau, Soil Scientist/FSR Specialist, TRD, Inc.
Y. Tamimi, Dept. of Agronomy and Soil Science, Univ. of Hawaii
J. Gammoh, Head, Extension Division, NCARTT/MOA
M. Salem, Department of Agricultural Economics, Univ. of Jordan
S. Arabiat, Dean of the Agricultural College, Univ. of Jordan
Y. Rushdi, Acting Director and Director of Research, NCARTT/MOA
N. Katkhuda, Head, Stations and RASCs Section, NCARTT/MOA
E. Khraisat, Socio-economist, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit
Participants from six NCARTT regional centers
and
Participants representing NCARTT Research and Extension Sections









TABLE OF CONTENTS


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . . .

INTRODUCTION . . .. . . ..

The Objectives of the Joint NCARTT/UOJ Farming Systems
Research Training Workshop . . . .
What is the Meaning of Farming Systems Research? .
The Procedures of Farming Systems Research . .
Where is FSR Going at NCARTT? A Strategy Statement. .
The Farm as a System . . . . .
Procedural Models. . . . . .
Structural Models . . .........
An Overview of the NCARTT Combined Sondeo. .. ...
(In Arabic) Use of Existing Information in FSR/E .
Basic Differences between Formal and Informal Surveys. .


How to Interview Farmers . . . .
(In Arabic) Collecting Farming Record Information.
Topic Guidelines for the RASCs . . .
Additional Tools for Collecting Farmer Information
Farm Map . . . . .
Crop Calendar. . . . .
Planning On-Farm Experiments . . .
Extension Workplan Summary ..... . .
General Characteristics of On-Farm Trial Types .
Introduction to Field Week Exercise . .
Specifics of NCARTT Combined Sondeo Process .
Use of Data Collected from Farmers . .
Selecting Cooperating Farmers. . . .
Notes on On-Farm Trial Design and Evaluation .
Types of Experiments and Evaluation Considerations
Monitoring Trials during the Season . .
(In Arabic) Steps for Economic Analysis. . .
The Farmer's Circumstances . . .
Introducing Measures of Impact of On-Farm Research
Team Reports and RASC Workplan Outputs ... .
Revision of RASC Workplan for 1989/90 ..... .
Khaldieh Report. . ... . ..
Ramtha Report. . . . .
Deir Alla Report . . .. .
Shoubak Report . . . .
Mushaqar Report . . . .
Rabba Report . . . . .


EVALUATION ..................
Future Training Needs Expressed by Participants..


. .262
. .267


...




... .
. .












o o
. .
.. .








o o
o
S .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. ..
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
. .
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* .
. .
. .


S2

S3



4
5
S8
13
22
28
30
36
40
50
51
56
62
83
83
84
86
93
99
.101
.105
.116
.117
.119
.122
.125
.129
.148
.151
.156
.156
.158
.180
.195
.207
.227
.241









LIST OF APPENDICES


1Al List of Participants for FSR/E Training Course
1A2 List of Trainers for FSR/E Training Course
1B (In Arabic) List of Participants and Trainers for FSR/E
Training Course
2A Agenda for NCARTT FSR/E Training Workshop
2B Actual Agenda for FSR/E Training Workshop
2C (In Arabic) Agenda for NCARTT FSR/E Training Workshop
3 The Purpose of Training in the FSR Approach
4 Why FSR? The Evaluation of the FSR Approach
5 FSR Definitions
6A (In Arabic) FSR in ICARDA
6B (In Arabic) University of Jordan/Agriculture Faculty
7A (In Arabic) The Relationship between the RASCs, NCARTT and
the Agriculture Department
7B (In Arabic) NCARTT
7C1 (In Arabic) Extension Programs
7C2 (In Arabic) Evaluation of Extension Programs
7C3 The Objectives of the Extension Division
8 Activity: Interdisciplinary Teamwork-
9 (In Arabic) Sources of Information
10 (In Arabic) Topic Guidelines for Farmer Interviews
11A Farm Maps (in both languages)
11B Crop Calendar: Bugenyuzi Commune
12A (In Arabic) Notes on a "Bad" Farmer Interview
12B (In Arabic) Notes on a "Good" Farmer Interview
13A Exercise: List 1 for RASC Team Field Week Form
13B Exercise: List 2 for RASC Team Field Week Form
13C Exercise: List 3 for RASC-Team Field Week Form
13D Exercise: List 4A for RASC Team Field Week Form
13E Exercise: List 4B for RASC Team-Field Week Form
13F Exercise: List 5 for RASC Team Field Week Form
14 (from Caribbean Agricultural Research Unit's On-Farm Manual)
Chapter 3. Problems (with on-farm trials)
15 (In Arabic) Unexpected Problems with On-Farm Trials
16 Results of On-Farm Potato Fertilizer and Insect Control
Trials in the Mantaro Valley, Peru.
17A (In Arabic) First Week's Evaluation Form
17B (In Arabic) Field Week's Evaluation Form
17C (In Arabic) Whole Training Course Evaluation Form








ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


The editors, authors and facilitators of the Jordanian FSR/E
Training Workshop wish to acknowledge the assistance of the
following individuals and institutions, without whom the training
could not have taken place:

-- The 238 Jordanian farmers who were patient during our
individual interviews with them early in week two, and the 94
Jordanian farmers who attended the farmer group meeting on
Thursday of the field week.

-- The 43 participants, who exhibited such uniformly
outstanding attitudes toward the training and, more importantly,
toward the work aspects of the workshop. Their willingness to
work on team and group activities was high enough to make our
jobs as trainers and facilitators much easier.

-- His Excellency the Minister of Agriculture Dr. A. Badran,
for opening and closing the workshop; Mr. O. Bilbeisi, Director
of Projects at the National Center for Agricultural Research and
Technology Transfer (NCARTT), for arranging and facilitating the
opening and .closing ceremonies; and Dr. R. C. Cummings, USAID
ARDO, for his timely remarks during the opening ceremony.

-- The directors of the six Regional Agricultural Service
Centers (RASCs), for their collaboration in the use of their
facilities, staff and vehicles during the field activity week and
for their assistance in working in the regional areas; and the
heads of the NCARTT headquarters divisions, sections and units,
for their cooperation in allowing representatives to attend the
training workshop and participate in the RASC team activities.

-- Mr. F. Quashir, USAID JNADP Project Officer, and Dr. R.
C. Cummings); Dr. G. Rodewald, Acting Chief of Party, Jordan
National Agricultural Development Project (JNADP); Dr. Y. Rushdi,
Director of NCARTT; Mr. N. Katkhuda, Head, Stations and RASCs
Section, for their extreme efforts in making sufficient funds and
human resources to available so as to allow the training to be
done in the manner most technically correct.

-- JNADP support staff (S. Issa, S. Nesheiwat Rihani and Z.
Abd Rabu) and NCARTT support staff (N. Al-Bana, R. Altick, K.
Qutaineh and H. Qaqish) for their efforts in assisting with the
logistics necessary, allowing the training to be a success. The
three NCARTT/MOA drivers for devoting their services for a week
of driving in the Shoubak area and to and from Mushaqar each day.

-- NCARTT, the MOA and the University of Jordan (Jordan);
USAID, the Consortium for International Development (CID) and
Washington State University through the JNADP, and TRD, Inc.
(U.S.A.), for encouraging and funding the facilitators.









INTRODUCTION


A Farming Systems Research Workshop was conducted at NCARTT
Headquarters in Al-Baqa'a from August 5-24, 1989. The
participants were NCARTT researchers and extension personnel from
the Center and from each of the six RASCs. Resource persons from
the University of Jordan, consultants to the Jordan National
Agricultural Development Project, as well as personnel from the
Monitoring and Evaluation Unit and Extension Division of NCARTT
facilitated the workshop. A list of participants and resource
persons is found in Appendix 1.

The purpose of the workshop was to introduce new NCARTT
personnel to and further develop the understanding of all NCARTT
personnel regarding the concepts and procedures of Farming
Systems Research and Extension and to provide them with the
skills necessary to formulate research and technology transfer
workplans that are more relevant in addressing farmer specified
needs. While this was a training activity, it was also a
workshop, with the output being a revised workplan incorporating
on-farm research and technology transfer interventions responsive
to farmers' needs.

During the three weeks of the workshop (Agendas, Appendix
2), the participants worked in interdisciplinary teams organized
by-RASC with a representative of the NCARTT Center integrated
into each RASC team. The .first week's activities in Amman
introduced the participants to the concepts and procedures of
Farming Systems Research and Extension. During the second week,
the teams worked out of their respective RASCs to informally
interview farmers about their crop and livestock systems, and to
discuss with them the problems that limit their production.

Training activities in Amman the third week were oriented
toward the evaluation and interpretation of on-farm research.
The teams also had time to revise their workplans using the data
collected in the field. Because farmers have many constraints
that are outside the domain of research and technology transfer,
the participants made recommendations about agricultural policy
issues.that impact farmers.

This report will focus on the Farming Systems Research
process as it was used by the RASC teams, the outputs of the
workshop, the workshop evaluation, and future training needs
expressed by the participants. The participants received over
forty handouts as training materials during the workshop. These
handouts are incorporated as appropriate into the text of this
report.








WORKSHOP PROCESS


WEEK 1: INTRODUCTION TO FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH

The objectives of the Farming Systems Research Workshop
were presented in the following handout:


THE OBJECTIVES OF THE JOINT NCARTT/UOJ
FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH TRAINING WORKSHOP


by
Dan Gait, NCARTT/JNADP Socio-economist/FSR Specialist
and
A. F. Al-Kadi, Head, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, NCARTT/MOA


July 13, 1989


The objectives of this Farming Systems Research training are
to allow all participants to master these skills:

o Conduct a Rapid Rural Appraisal (RRA) survey of a
representative sample of farmers from a given,
homogeneous area of Jordan;

o Analyze this information collected from farmer
interviews to identify and prioritize

The predominant farming systems (both crop and
livestock enterprises), including any fallow in
these patterns,

The major constraints within each predominant crop
or livestock enterprise, as revealed by farmer-
identified problems;

o Working together (researchers and technology transfer
personnel), formulate both

farm-level and station-level research trials, and

research and technology transfer workplans which
will be more relevant in addressing farmer-
specified needs;

o The ability for NCARTT headquarter and RASC staff to
work together as parts of interdisciplinary teams to
focus on practical solutions to identified farmer
constraints at each RASC, leading to the either








research or technology transfer work (or both) at both
the RASC and NCARTT headquarter levels.


The purpose of training in FSR (Appendix 3) is to provide
research and extension personnel with communication skills,
analytical skills, and management skills so they can work with
farmers to address their problems through appropriate research
and extension interventions.

Farming Systems Research has evolved in developing countries
(Appendix 4) because the impact of traditional agricultural
research has not reached the majority of the world's farmers.
With the evolution of FSR over the past twenty years, there has
been agreement on the two basic characteristics of FSR, that is
interdisciplinary work and collaboration with farmers.

What is the meaning of Farming Systems Research, and how
will the FSR approach be defined in Jordan?


WHAT IS THE MEANING OF FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH?

May 15, 1989

by
D. L. Galt
NCARTT/JNADP Socio-economist/FSR Specialist
and
A. F. Al-Kadi
Head, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, NCARTT/MOA


INTRODUCTION -- TRAINING OBJECTIVES:

This FSR training handout presents a working definition of
FSR. It also describes the relationship between research,
extension, and farmers. When FSR training participants have read
this material, they should be able to:

(1) Provide a definition of FSR in the Jordanian
agricultural research and technology transfer setting; and

(2) Describe the relationship, between researchers,
extension personnel, and farmers in FSR in Jordan.








WHAT IS THE MEANING OF FSR?


As we saw in the FSR training document No. 1-1-6, the FSR
approach is less than 20 years old. Partly for this reason,
there are a great number of definitions of FSR. The definition
which is most often quoted is the one provided in the "FSR Bible"
by W. W. Shaner, P. F. Philipp and W. R. Schmehl, Farming Systems
Research and Development: Guidelines for Developing Countries,
Westview Press, 1981. We will NOT give you that definition here,
as it is too complicated for our needs. However, we have
included this definition in the APPENDIX to this handout for
those of you who are interested. (The reference Shaner, et al.,
may be found in the NCARTT library or in the Monitoring and
Evaluation unit.)

We define the FSR approach in Jordan as follows:


FSR is agricultural research which involves several research
disciplines, working together with technology transfer and
farmers, to tailor and attend research solutions to groups of
farmers who are subject to similar agronomic, ecologic and socio-
economic constraints.


This meaning will vary by region here in Jordan, but the key
elements of it -- interdisciplinary research, cooperation between
research and extension, and including farmers as full partners in
the research and technology transfer process -- must be present
throughout the process whenever it is applied in the Kingdom.

This interaction between researchers, extension personnel,
and Jordanian farmers can best be demonstrated with a simple
diagram. The following figure shows how this relationship starts
out and develops over time. Notice the predominance of research
at the beginning, the predominance of extension during the middle
of the process, and the predominance of the farmers toward the
end of the process. This indicates a natural progression in
the relationship between researchers, extension personnel, and
farmers. The relative roles vary by trial type, and the lines
dividing the three groups are not fixed. The amount of
involvement of each group with a set of on-farm trials is also
flexible.









RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN RESEARCH, EXTENSION & FARMERS'
INVOLVEMENT IN ON-FARM TRIALS


YEAR 1 YEAR 2 YEAR 3


Research Involvement



Extension Involvement



Farmer Involvement



However, it is generally true that at the beginning of work
with any set of trials, researchers have the most to do with
design, layout, monitoring, harvesting and analyzing the results.
Likewise, later (during the second year, for example) extension
becomes more involved in a set of trials. Finally, during the
last year, or later in the process, extension passes more and
more of the responsibility for trial management to farmers, this
is indicated by the right-hand side of the figure above.

In common FSR terminology, researchers are most involved in
exploratory trials (year 1), technology transfer personnel are
most involved in verification trials, and farmers are most
involved in demonstration trials. As the diagram shows, however,
no group is excluded at any stage of the process. The important
fact of FSR is that all three groups -- researchers, technology
transfer personnel, and farmers -- work together as partners
across the entire process of research and technology transfer.


APPENDIX


The following definition of "FSR" is the definition used by
Shaner, et al., in their FSR text, Farming Systems Research and
Development: Guidelines for Developing Countries, to define
"FSR&D" (Farming Systems Research and Development). This
definition is THE SAME DEFINITION used by the Farming Systems
Support Project (FSSP) to define "FSR/E" (Farming Systems
Research and Extension). It is:








"FSR&D is an approach to agricultural research and
development that

o views the whole farm as a system

o focuses on (1) the interdependencies between
the components under the control of members of the farm
household and (2) how these components interact with
the physical, biological, and socioeconomic factors not
under the household's control." (p. 13)





While national agricultural research programs and
international agricultural research centers implement FSR
differently depending on the resources available and their
institutional structures, there is general agreement on the key
elements of the FSR process: Diagnosis and planning,
Experimentation, Analysis, interpretation, and redesign, and
Dissemination.



HOW IS FSR DONE?
THE PROCEDURES OF FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH

May 15, 1989

by
D. L. Galt
NCARTT/JNADP Socio-economist/FSR Specialist
and
A. F. Al-Kadi
Head, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, NCARTT/MOA


INTRODUCTION -- TRAINING OBJECTIVES

This FSR training handout will cover briefly the stages
involved in an FSR approach. It will make these stages as
specific as possible to Jordanian conditions by placing them
within the institutional context of NCARTT. When FSR training
participants have read this material, they should be able to:

(1) describe a set of FSR stages which will allow research
and extension in Jordan through NCARTT to work more effectively
to address farmers problems;








(2) describe how FSR trials are based on a combination of
socio-economic and biological factors important at the farm
level.


WHAT ARE THE PROCEDURES OF FSR?

The number of steps involved in the procedure of FSR vary
from as few as four to more than 10. The number of steps, and
the details of each step, depend on which IARC or National
Program has developed the approach. However, the key elements
of the FSR/E process remain the same, regardless of the number of
steps included in the procedure. These elements of the procedure
are usually referred to as stages of the FSR process. These key
stages are as follows:



KEY STAGES OF THE FSR PROCESS FOR NCARTT


STAGE 1:



STAGE 2:

a.
b.
c.

STAGE 3:


Diagnosis and planning.



Experimentation on-farm and on-station via

Exploratory trials
Verification trials
Demonstration trials.

Analysis, interpretation (of the above trials),
and redesign of the next round of trials.
Analysis includes both


a. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), and
b. Marginal economic analysis.


STAGE 4:


Dissemination of verified results (technology
transfer).


DETAILS OF THE STAGES OF FSR


STAGES 1


AND 2: DIAGNOSIS, PLANNING AND EXPERIMENTATION


Planning is included with diagnosis because the two are
inseparable. During the rest of this FSR training session,
diagnosis, planning and the design of on-farm (exploratory)
trials take place together in what is called, the "combined
sondeo". A regular sondeo, which is Spanish for "rapid
reconnaissance survey", has already taken place in Jordan. The
sondeo occurred during 1987.








A sondeo is defined as a "...quick, informal or exploratory
survey..." (by Shaner, et al., p. 216). However, the combined
sondeo in Jordan differs from a regular sondeo in the following
three ways:

(1) It explicitly includes researchers and Technology
Transfer personnel from NCARTT headquarters and from
each regional center (RASC);

(2) It explicitly includes design of farm-& station level
trials at both the RASC and NCARTT headquarters levels;
and

(3) It explicitly includes the process of annual workplan
development at both RASC and NCARTT levels for both
research and Technology Transfer.


This combined sondeo diagnostic exercise combines NCARTT
headquarter and RASC researchers with RASC Technology Transfer
personnel into interdisciplinary research teams in active, open
dialogue with individual farmers. This open dialogue leads to
the sequential identification of farmers'

(1) predominant farm systems (and timings of fallow), and
(2) the problems and constraints of each predominant
system.

This process of identification in turn will lead the teams
to prioritizing researchable constraints. This identification of
researchable constraints in turn will lead to the design of
simple exploratory on-farm trials for 1989/90 to address some
the most important of these constraints.

This NCARTT/RASC research/technology transfer teamwork will
also lead to a set of recommended trials for NCARTT experiment
stations to address those researchable constraints which as yet
have no research solutions. Finally, the extension programs for
1989/90 will be planned for each RASC and for the Extension
Division at NCARTT headquarters.

The combined sondeo will be institutionalized at NCARTT.
Each year, another combined sondeo will take place before the
annual planning process. In this manner, each RASC and the
NCARTT Section Heads will be able to update their farm-level
research workplans and programs, keeping them current and
assuring that they always address farmers' felt needs, problems
and constraints.








STAGES 3 AND 4: ANALYSIS, INTERPRETATION, REDESIGN AND
DISSEMINATION (OF IMPROVED TECHNOLOGY)

Exploratory trials designed for 1989/90 will be analyzed
next year. Such analysis will be done using Analysis of Variance
(ANOVA) and marginal economic analysis. Later in this FSR
training, participants will be given some training in marginal
economic analysis. Another training will have to be scheduled
to review statistical analysis (ANOVA).

Following analysis of the results of the exploratory farm
trials, a repeat combined sondeo will take place at each RASC.
This time, the combined sondeo team will assess the impact of
their research and technology transfer programs 1989/90,
including the analyses of the exploratory farm-level trials.
Again, farmer opinion will be sought and used to assist
researchers and technology transfer personnel fine-tune, expand,
reduce, or change trials and programs.

This 2nd year, verification trials will be designed. The
verification trials contain less treatments than exploratory
trials; but more treatments than demonstration trials. Both
researchers and extension personnel are involved in the design,
layout, management and analysis of these verification trials.

When verification trials have produced satisfactory results,
the most productive treatments in them are advanced to
demonstration trials. During this year,technology transfer
personnel are involved to a maximum degree, whereas researchers
are less involved.


More detailed information about the-plans of the NCARTT FSR
approach is contained in FSR Training Document No. 1-2-9: "Where
is FSR Going at NCARTT?".


Appendix 5 is a set of definitions commonly used in FSR. It
was handed out as reference material for the participants.

Studying farming systems and identifying constraints to
agricultural production are not new to Jordan. Such activities
have been conducted by the University of Jordan, ICARDA, and over
the past two and one-half years, by NCARTT itself. A description
of these activities is found in Appendix 6.

To understand better how FSR can be institutionalized within
NCARTT, there were a series of presentations discussing the
functions of NCARTT, the RASCs, and Technology Transfer. The
handouts from these presentations are found in Appendix 7.








Since interdisciplinarity is one of the basic concepts of
FSR, the participants were presented with some key points of
interdisciplinary research and technology transfer.

Interdisciplinary can be defined as involving frequent
interactions among those from different disciplines who work on
common tasks and come up with better results than had they worked
independently.

Characteristics of an interdisciplinary team are:

Competent, Dedicated, Agreeable members

Sensitive, Balanced leadership

Collaborative teamwork

Frequent communication

Effective institutional support

from FSSP, Vol 1, "Diagnosis", pp. 27-31


The RASC teams then worked together to brainstorm on
solutions to problems in tomato production in Jordan (Appendix
8). Some of the potential solutions identified were: change
cropping pattern in order to increase tomato production, develop
and multiply improved tomato seeds, use soil analysis results to
select appropriate varieties, develop an appropriate spraying
schedule.

After the exercise, the participants were asked to reflect
on the advantages and disadvantages of working as a member of an
interdisciplinary team. The advantage cited by the participants
was that they came up with better solutions more quickly.
Working as part of an interdisciplinary team gave them a clearer
picture of the problems. They could cite no disadvantages.

To be useful, FSR/E must become part of the operating
methodology of a National Research Program. At NCARTT, FSR/E is
in the process of being institutionalized. This training
workshop is an important step in that process. A strategy
statement explaining how the process of FSR can be implemented at
NCARTT was presented.








WHERE IS FSR GOING AT NCARTT?
A STRATEGY STATEMENT


by
D. Gait, NCARTT/JNADP Socio-economist/FSR Specialist
and
A. F. Al-Kadi, Head, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, NCARTT/MOA


TRAINING OBJECTIVE: When participants finish with this material,
they should be able to explain briefly how FSR will be used in
Jordanian agricultural research and technology transfer.


INTRODUCTION

This handout presents the most important step in FSR in
Jordan: moving from where we are (the "status quo") to where we
should be going. This handout presents the complete FSR approach
for Jordan through NCARTT.

FSR began jointly under the Jordan National Agricultural
Development Project (JNADP) and NCARTT in early 1987. Training
in the sondeo process was held for selected NCARTT staff in early
1988. Demonstration trials have been placed on RASC stations and
in farmer's fields by several NCARTT research sections.


The Monitoring and Evaluation Unit (MEU), was created by the
JNADP and the GOJ and began to function at NCARTT. One of the
mandates of this unit is to assist other NCARTT research sections
and all RASCs implement FSR in Jordan.

This handout outlines the Jordanian strategy for increasing
the efficiency of FSR in research and technology transfer. It
tells where Jordan will be going with the FSR approach over the
next three years. It points out that the FSR approach is an
asset to each section and RASC. The FSR approach must contribute
positively to research sections and RASCs: if it does not, then
the approach must be modified. until it does.

An FSR approach adapted to Jordanian conditions will lead to
improved technology from a given section or RASC which is more
adapted to farmers' needs than will adherence to traditional
research and technology transfer. The key to successful use of
FSR is for each section and RASC to select those parts of the FSR
"menu" which help most in their research programs and workplans.
During this training, each section and RASC will be encouraged to
"pick and choose" from a broad FSR menu those ideas and methods
which are most appropriate to their unique research and
technology transfer programs.







The rest of this FSR training handout moves the NCARTT FSR
approach along a path toward placing greater emphasis on
addressing real farmer needs. This workshop is dedicated to
teaching each of you how to identify and prioritize farmer
systems and constraints (both include farmer needs), to determine
which of these needs are appropriate for either research or
technology transfer, and to design research and technology
transfer programs to address these needs more realistically than
in the past.


STATUS OF FSR IN NCARTT

Much of research and technology transfer at NCARTT can be
characterized by a one-way, "top-down" flow from NCARTT to
farmers (Top two arrows, FIGURE 1, part (A).) The weak or
nonexistent "backward" linkage from farmers to NCARTT is shown by
the broken arrow at the bottom of FIGURE 1, part (A).

The FSR approach should strengthen this traditionally weak
backward linkage between Jordanian farmers and agricultural
researchers. This stronger linkage is shown by the larger number
of solid arrows flowing from the farmers through technology
transfer personnel and the RASCs to NCARTT headquarters in part
(B) of FIGURE 1. This stronger flow of information from farmers
to NCARTT will lead to the use of more farmer needs in designing
research and technology transfer programs.


FIGURE 1

(A) (B)
STATUS OF RESEARCH AT NCARTT PROPOSED STATUS
OF RESEARCH AT NCARTT

E E

F X N F X N

A <------ T <------ C A <------ T <------ R <------C

R <------ E <------ A R <------ E <------ A <------A

M N R M ------> N ------> S ------>R

E > S > T E ------> S ------> C ------>T

R I T R I s T

S O S O

N N









Farm-level research at NCARTT now consists of demonstration
trials. These trials combine components of available (shelf)
technology. They are designed to provide groups of farmers with
"best bet" technical packages.

This NCARTT FSR process is shown in the TOP HALF of FIGURE
2. Here, "appropriate" technology is placed in demonstration
trials on farmer's fields. Harvest, analysis and reports of
results of these trials are all performed by NCARTT researchers.


In FSR terms, these trials represent researcher-managed
demonstration trials. However, such technology is generally no
further along the research pipeline than a "verification" stage
at best or, at worst, the "exploratory" stage (see the bottom
half of FIGURE 2). However, since these are still research
trials, they should be renamed to reflect their true status.
This is because "demonstration trials" are at the end, not the
beginning, of the farm research process. While demonstration
trials may be designed in collaboration with research, they are
carried out by technology transfer personnel and farmers working
together. This is not the current situation in Jordan.




FIGURE 2


YEAR 1


YEAR 2


YEAR 3


TOP HALF: "APPROPRIATE"
TECHNOLOGY:


"APPROPRIATE"
TECHNOLOGY:


"APPROPRIATE"
TECHNOLOGY:


T > DEMONSTRATION ---->DEMONSTRATION ---->DEMONSTRATION
N E TRIALS TRIALS ----> TRIALS
CS C
AH H F F F
REN A A A
TLO R R R
T FL M M M


G > "UNADAPTED"
Y TECHNOLOGY:


BOTTOM HALF: EXPLORATORY
PHASE


----> MORE
----> APPROPRIATE
TECHNOLOGY:


VERIFICATION
PHASE


----> MOST
----> APPROPRIATE
----> TECHNOLOGY:

DEMONSTRATION
PHASE








WHERE FSR IS GOING AT NCARTT


NCARTT research sections and RASCs should move toward the
situation shown in the BOTTOM HALF of FIGURE 2. First, NCARTT
researchers must acknowledge that all available technology may
not be entirely appropriate to farmers' conditions. In addition,
all necessary technology has not yet been completely developed or
verified under farmers' conditions. In either case, exploratory
trials, followed by verification trials, must come before
demonstration trials. FIGURE 2 shows this to take three years.


THE FSR FARM-LEVEL TRIAL APPROACH

To move a "set" of improvements from a research station to
acceptance by farmers, a minimum of three years is usually
necessary. While the process may take less time, generally it
takes more. However, we will present the FSR trial process as
being three years in length.


Year 1: Exploratory Trials

FIGURE 2 shows that FSR begins with the greatest amount of
uncertainty during the exploratory trial phase. Exploratory
trials are planned and carried out when researchers have
developed improved technology on-station which has yet to be
tested under farmer's actual conditions. At this stage,
technology is "unadapted". However, during the combined sondeo
exercise, farmer's researchable constraints can be addressed by
designing exploratory trials which incorporate "best guess"
components of such station-developed technology.

There is a large difference between the conditions under
which farmers must operate their farms and those of most
experiment stations. This first set of farm-level trials is
called "exploratory" because the improved technology has not been
verified under the biological, economic, social, and cultural-
conditions found on Jordanian farms.

Using the term "exploratory" allows research to admit to
both technology transfer personnel and farmers that such
technology is "improved" only under experiment station
conditions. These trials are entered into as a partnership
between research, technology transfer and collaborating farmers.

This partnership means that it is not necessary for the
government to "guarantee" a certain level of yield to
participating farmers. Won't the risk be too great, and farmers
be unwilling to participate? While this is always a concern,
remember that such trials are designed using prioritized,








farmer-identified constraints. Therefore, the technology is
presumed to be as low-risk and as appropriate as possible.

Thus, NCARTT researchers and technology transfer staff will
design exploratory trials around the major researchable
farmer-identified constraints. This begins the "exploratory"
phase of on-farm research. Such trials are usually
researcher-managed. They consist of relatively small plots of
several promising treatments. They are usually replicated at
least once (for a total of two reps) per farm. A set of these
trials is placed on any number of farms, but eight should be
considered a minimum number.

These trials are refined through seasonal observations and
formal and informal analyses. The analyses consist of (1) ANOVA,
(2) other formal analyses, and .(3) dialogue with farmers hosting
such trials. Farmer opinions will be gathered during a follow-up
sondeo which will include RASC personnel and representatives of
the major NCARTT sections.


Year 2: Verification Trials

The next year, the FSR approach enters the "verification"
phase with on-farm, farmer-managed trials (center section, BOTTOM
HALF, FIGURE 2). These trials are designed and monitored by a
combination of NCARTT researchers and technology transfer staff
during the next combined sondeo. Verification trials are
implemented by the technology transfer personnel of the
appropriate RASCs working even more closely with farmer
collaborators this year than last. It is during the verification
of improved technology that technology transfer becomes the
leading partner in the FSR process.

Verification trials consist of an intermediate number of
treatments (less than exploratory trials and more than
demonstration trials), with plots of intermediate size (larger
than those of exploratory trials but smaller than those of
demonstration trials). Only the most promising improved
technology components are kept in the trials when they move from
the exploratory to the verification stage. The decisions of
which treatments to keep and which to eliminate are made
following the formal and informal analyses of the exploratory
trials. In Jordan, such decisions will be made next year during
the follow-up (recurrent) combined sondeo.

The number of farms selected as hosts for these verification
trials is flexible and intermediate between those used for
exploration and those used for demonstration. As a general rule,
aim for a minimum of 15 farmers to host verification trials.

As before, these trials are formally analyzed using ANOVA.







An additional formal method of analysis is added during the
verification stage. This new method is marginal economic
analysis. Again, farmer dialogue by way of the follow-up
combined sondeo mentioned above supplements agronomic and
economic evaluations. If the marginal economic analysis shows
the improvement to be quite profitable, farmers should also be
stating their preference for it quite strongly. This method of
using recurrent combined sondeos allows all farmer reactions to
improved technology to be recorded and fed back to NCARTT
researchers and policy makers through technology transfer staff.

Year 3: Demonstration Trials

Finally, during the third year, the FSR approach enters the
"demonstration" phase (right-hand side, BOTTOM HALF, FIGURE 2).
By this time, demonstration trials should be implemented entirely
by participating farmers with assistance from the technology
transfer personnel of the trial-hosting RASCs.

During this final stage, individual trials consist of a few
(one or two) large blocks (plots), unreplicated on many farms.
While it is hard to put numbers on this stage, a minimum of 20
farms should be considered for hosting any set of demonstration
trials. After this year, the improved technology is ready for a
"block" program through technology transfer personnel, at either
the RASC or directorate level. Having been verified and
demonstrated, this set of technology is completely in the hands
of farmers and technology transfer staff.

Thus, the transition from researcher-designed,
researcher-implemented trials (during the exploration phase) to
researcher/technology transfer-designed, technology
transfer/farmer-implemented trials (during the demonstration
phase) occurs over three crop years. Improved technology judged
to fit most nearly the highest priority needs of a group of
farmers has gradually been tested under their real farming
conditions until the most risk-free and profitable treatments
have emerged as those components most useful to these farmers.


STEPS IN FINE-TUNING FSR TO NCARTT CONDITIONS

Several steps are necessary to assist NCARTT transform
sectional research programs in order to incorporate more of the
FSR approach into them. These seven steps are outlined below.
Note that we have completed numbers one and two and are working
now on number three.


STEP 1: Joint Explanatory Meetings. A series of joint
meetings between NCARTT Section Heads and the Head of the
Monitoring and Evaluation Unit and the JNADP FSR Specialist have








taken place to discuss how the FSR approach might assist each
section in its research program.

STEP 2: Involve the Regional Centers. RASC visits have
taken place to assure support for FSR training, both in terms of
philosophy and logistics.

STEP 3: Training in the FSR Approach. FSR Training will be
held in the Summer of 1989 for selected RASC staff and NCARTT
section representatives. Emphasis will be on relevant FSR theory
and implementation of the FSR approach under Jordanian
conditions. In addition, emphasis will be placed on the concept
of the "combined sondeo". The combined sondeo in Jordan contains
the following elements:

a. Section representatives are joined at each RASC by
selected research and technology transfer staff. First,
individual farmers are interviewed randomly for a minimum of two
days to determine (1) the predominant crop and livestock systems
of the area, and (2) the constraints upon these systems and
between the systems;

b. afternoon research and technology transfer group
sessions are spend in (1) detailing these predominant systems,
and (2) listing and prioritizing the constraints in (and between)
each;

c. one or two days are dedicated to the preliminary
design of trials to address the prioritized, but researchable,
farmer-identified constraints;

d. one or two days are spent producing a preliminary
group report of the combined sondeo (by assigning sections to the
individuals with the most knowledge of the subject content).
This report includes draft on-farm and on-station trials, as well
as workplans for both research and technology transfer at both
the RASC and NCARTT Headquarters levels; and

e. the final day includes a group meeting between those
participating in the combined sondeo and the farmers interviewed
earlier in the week. During this meeting, the research and
technology transfer staff present (1) the prioritized constraints
per system to the farmers, and (2) the suggested exploratory
research trials they have drafted. Farmers are encouraged to
participate in the dialogue by giving their opinions and
suggestions for trial refinement.

This training in FSR will lead to an increase in
interdisciplinarity, both at the RASC and NCARTT headquarters
levels. In addition, such training should assist RASC directors
assign duties to their staff, based on a team approach to both
research and technology transfer.







STEP 4: Farm-Level Trials. Beginning with 1989/90,
exploratory trials can be planned and placed with farmers around
each RASC. These exploratory trials will each consist of small
plots of NCARTT shelf technologies aimed at solving a specific,
high priority problem, as identified by the combined sondeo
carried out during the FSR training workshop in 1989. Next year,
the most promising treatments from this year's exploratory trials
can be advanced to verification trials. Such verification trials
consist of slightly larger plots of those treatments which were
superior in the exploratory trials of last year. Finally, in
1991/92, demonstration trials can evolve naturally from the
verification trials, consisting of proven improved technology,
larger plots (or blocks), and only one or two treatments.
Responsibility for each set of trials moves gradually from
research through technology transfer to the farmer-collaborators.

STEP 5: The Recurrent Combined Sondeo. A combined sondeo
will be carried out by NCARTT section representatives and RASC
personnel at each RASC on an annual basis. This sondeo will
usually take place after cereals harvest (June) but before
workplans are due (August 1). The purpose of this recurrent
combined sondeo is to assist both research and technology
transfer-staff to refine their farm- and station-level trials and
workplans for each season.

STEP 6:. Data Analysis Training. A refresher course on
statistics and a hands-on Michigan Statistics (MSTAT) computer
training on design and analysis of farm.trials will be given to
the biometrics and economic staff of RASCs and NCARTT sections.
MSTAT is a menu-driven statistical package which includes ANOVA
for any trial design type and includes modified stability
analysis, marginal economic analysis, and the ability to design
field book forms.

STEP 7: Annual FSR Conference. An annual FSR Conference
should be scheduled for Jordanian researchers and technology
transfer personnel. This Conference, designed to allow FSR
researchers and technology transfer personnel share professional
FSR experiences, should begin next year. The FSR Conference will
provide ample time for presentation of FSR results via a series
of invited papers from NCARTT sections and RASC FSR staff, as
well as for discussion of both specific FSR results and the
general direction FSR is taking at NCARTT.


CONCLUSION

FSR has gotten off to a good start in Jordan through NCARTT.
Research and technology transfer have been centralized at
Al-Baqa'a, and six RASCs have been created and staffed. Many MOA
personnel have been transferred, and new staff have been hired,
to fill vital RASC research and technology transfer slots in many









disciplinary areas.


This year also marks the first time that demonstration
trials have been extended from NCARTT headquarters to the RASCs.
However, these trials are researcher-designed,
researcher-implemented and researcher-managed. FSR methodology
normally calls for such trials to be implemented by a combination
of technology transfer and farmer collaborators.

To fine-tune the FSR approach in Jordan, the Monitoring and
Evaluation Unit proposes to assist NCARTT Sections move toward a
series of research trials at the RASC level which will begin in
an exploratory phase, proceed through verification, and end with
demonstration trials. During this process, responsibility for
design, implementation, monitoring, harvest, and analysis of
trials will pass gradually from researchers to technology
transfer agents to farmers. Feedback of farmer opinion will
continuous throughout the process, and will be obtained by a
series of annual combined sondeos. These combined sondeo
activities also allow sections to work closely with RASC FSR
research and technology transfer personnel in designing and-
refining the series of exploratory-verification-demonstration
trials and annual workplans.


After next year, the process of FSR in NCARTT. should be
pretty well adapted to the unique aspects of Jordanian
agriculture. The following years should see the FSR process
become more and more fine-tuned. NCARTT sections should be able
to pick and choose additional FSR activities from the overall FSR
menu as such activities become appropriate to the research
programs of individual sections. Working relations between
NCARTT headquarters and the RASCs will smooth out and solidify
along the lines of more meaningful scientific research by means
of greater emphasis on interdisciplinary teamwork. Working
relations between traditional research and technology transfer
will be strengthened, as both divisions of agricultural
development learn more and more from one another.

Finally, but most importantly, Jordanian farmers will be
able to adopt more appropriate improved technology sooner than
they do now. This latter result should in turn lead to (1)
greater profits accruing to Jordanian farm families, and (2) some
macroeconomic relief on Jordanian imports (in the cases of
cereals and meat products) and to an increase in lucrative
Jordanian agricultural exports (in the cases of vegetable and
fruit products).







One of the reasons that interdisciplinarity is so important
in agricultural research is that farmers manage multiple
enterprises. To understand what farmers do and why they do it, a
systems approach is needed. No one discipline contains the
necessary background (knowledge and tools) to understand and deal
with this complexity.



THE FARM AS A SYSTEM

by

M. Gaudreau, NCARTT/JNADP Consultant
and
E. Khraisat, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, NCARTT/MOA

Adapted from: Volume I, Unit II: Modeling the Farming System,
FSSP training manuals, Gainesville, FL.


TRAINING OBJECTIVE: At the end of this session, the participants
will be able to understand the concept of farm as a system and
be able to construct and use structural and process models to
describe and analyze farmers' circumstances and decisions.


INTRODUCTION

To develop a research or extension program that addresses
farmers' problems, it is important to know what farmers do and
why they do it. Farmers in Jordan, like farmers in other parts
of the world, have multiple enterprises that they manage. They
therefore make choices about how to use their resources to best
fulfill their goals and objectives.

Since farms are composed of different components that
interact, it is useful to master and apply the concept of a
system to farming enterprises. In this session of the workshop,
we will explore the meaning of the word system, see how it
applies to farms, and learn about two types of qualitative models
that can be used to describe and analyze farmers' circumstances
and decisions.


WHAT IS A SYSTEM?

A system is a collection of interrelated parts or
components. When one is changed, all the others are affected
since the parts are interacting. A system has boundaries. It is,
in effect, defined by the boundaries that are placed on it, so
that each system is a subsystem (or part) of a larger system.








Let's look at how systems are hierarchical (parts of
increasingly larger systems) by using an olive tree as an
example. On a micro level, the tree is composed of cells (if
you are a biochemist/geneticist, you will want to- start even
lower and talk of DNA molecules). Groups of cells function
together as organs, for example, leaves. The leaves interacting
with stems form a tree limb, and tree limbs with the trunk form
the tree. Each level (cell, leaf, limb, and tree) is a system by
itself but it is also a subsystem of each successive level.

We arbitrarily defined the boundary of the system we wanted
to describe as a single olive tree but the tree is also part of a
larger system, the orchard, and the orchard is part of a farmer's
total farming operation and so on.

The concept of a system can be very useful to us in
understanding what farmers do and why. Farm operations can be
very complex and farmers are used to integrating information when
they make management decisions. Let's look at the farm as a
system.


FARM AS A SYSTEM

A farm is a system made up of subsystems which would include
the cropping system, the animal system, and the farm family
(household) or socio-economic subsystem. It functions within a
community (a system itself) and is affected by environmental
factors that are outside its control.

The cropping system is made up of plants which use the sun,
soil nutrients, and water (inputs) to produce a crop yield
(output). The animal production system uses pasture, feed
supplements, and water (inputs) to produce meat, animal products
and manure (outputs). The farm family (household) is fed,
clothed, and sheltered (inputs) and makes management decisions
(output) on how best to use their resources to attain their
objectives.

The inputs to one subsystem may be the outputs of another,
for example, soil nutrients to crops (input) can be supplied by
the manure (output) from the animal system. The inputs may also
come from outside the immediate boundaries of the farm, for
example, water for irrigation, or seeds and fertilizer from the
market.

The farming system may be extremely complex or very simple.
For example, in the humid tropics of Indonesia, farmers grow
several crops a year on both their paddy fields and their upland
fields. They have trees and perennial crops in the household
gardens and most upland fields and household gardens are
intercropped. Many families have cows, water buffalo, and ducks,







and at least one member of the family works off-farm. In
contrast is a Minnesota corn and soybean farm which is highly
mechanized and produces only one crop a year.

One way to describe a system and summarize its properties is
to use a model.

WHAT IS A MODEL?

A model is a means of describing and summarizing a system.
It helps researchers to understand what they are studying and
where there are gaps in their knowledge. Models can be simple or
complex, quantitative or qualitative. Let's look at a simple
quantitative model:

Y = 5X

This model describes the response of sorghum production (Y =
kg. of sorghum) to nitrogen inputs (X = kg. of nitrogen
fertilizer). It says that adding one kg. of nitrogen increases
sorghum production by 5 kg.

An example of a simple qualitative model would be the
drawing your children bring home from school showing your house,
family, and pets.

Our objective in FSR is to describe not only the farm
production system but also human behavior in order to understand
how farmers manage their farms. This is much more complex than
modeling fertilizer response.

There are two types of models which are useful in FSR: 1)
the structural model and 2) the process model. Both of these
models are qualitative. Given the complexity of farming systems,
it is a good idea to start out with a qualitative description of
the system. As more information becomes available through on-
farm research and in-depth socio-economic surveys on specific
topics, quantitative models such as econometrics and linear
programming may be used.


THE STRUCTURAL MODEL

The structural model focuses on the interaction and
integration of the crop subsystem, the animal subsystem, and
socio-economic subsystem including the off-farm enterprises of a
farm family. The principal components include the household,
crops, and animals. A structural model of a farming system in
Jordan, adapted from Mc Dowell and Hildebrand (1980), is found
below.










































The household (farm family) is the focus of the farm unit.
Emphasis is placed on labor use, the roles of crop and livestock
enterprises and sources of human food, household income, and
animal feed.

The solid arrows depict strong flows or linkages (for
example, the use of crops for food and construction materials by
the family). Less important linkages are shown by broken arrows
(for example, the contribution of forest resources to animal
feed).

The model represents a first step in describing the farming
system. There are other activities that could be included such
as off-farm activities if they are important to the functioning
of the system. The linkages between each crop and animal
enterprise and other parts could be drawn out instead of lumping
enterprises into the two categories of crops and livestock.

25








The structural model is important for orienting and guiding
the work of the interdisciplinary team. Understanding the context
within which new technologies are to be used will help the team
evaluate their potential impact. For example, the model shows
that crops are not only produced for food and sale, but are used
for construction materials, ritual purposes, animal feed,
bedding, and mulch. In assisting the farmer to increase
production of grain for food and sale, the team must insure that
other critical uses are not sacrificed.

THE PROCESS MODEL

The process model is used to develop an understanding of how
farmers manage their farms. The model focuses on four types of
information:

1. Farmers' Objectives and Priorities

The first priority of farmers is.often to assure a stable
supply of foods at all periods of the year. Other objectives are
influenced by cash requirements and the level of risk that
farmers can live with. These will affect the tradeoffs that
farmers make in their investments: invest in production or spend
for home consumption; invest in farm or non-farm enterprises; and
how they will allocate their resources among enterprises.

2. Environment (natural and socio-economic)

How do physical factors such as soil, rainfall, altitude
influence a farmers' management decisions? The socio-economic
environment includes such factors as land tenure, household
composition and labor patterns by gender and by age, markets, and
access to inputs and credit. Farmers are affected by
institutions outside their control such as rural development
organizations and government agencies which establish
agricultural policies.

3. Resource Availability and Use

Land, labor, capital, and management practices are used by
farmers to attain their goals and objectives. What types of land
are available and how will they be used? What is the total and
seasonal availability of labor? What is the composition of the
labor force? Do farmers have access to cash when needed, access
to machinery or draft power, access to other inputs such as seeds
and chemicals?

4. Principal Constraints

It is important to identify the constraints farmers face.
Constraints may be linked to resource availability such as peak







season labor requirements or cash for purchasing inputs. They
may be linked to environmental factors such as soil fertility,
rainfall distribution and variation,"lack of markets, and land
tenure issues.

The researcher uses this information to develop an
understanding of farmer management strategies. That is, how
farmers use their resources to meet their objectives in the
environment in which they live and given the constraints which
they face. These strategies include selection of enterprises and
their relative importance in the system as well as the cultural
practices used. Often these reflect ways farmers minimize risk.

Why is it important to understand farmers' management
practices? Farmers know a lot about their environment and their
agricultural enterprises. In many instances, farmers recognize
their problems and have ways, which vary in effectiveness, for
dealing with these problems. Our objective is to work together
with them to improve their ability to deal with their problems.
Tapping their knowledge will help researchers identify evaluation
criteria for screening technologies which are acceptable to
farmers. Understanding the current situation is necessary before
we can determine how best to modify it.

The following is an example of a process model examining
strategies for land preparation/planting in Middle Kirinyaga,
Kenya.

PROCESS MODEL FOR LAND PREPARATION/PLANTING IN MIDDLE KIRINYAGA,
KENYA

Objectives Environment Resources Constraints Farmer Mat.
Strategies

Stable food Low rain- 2-3 ha. Short rainy No-till
supply (maize fall farms season planting
& beans).
Rich loam Family labor Lack of Hire or
oxen borrow oxen
Sale of maize Good market Little cash plant before
& beans for access Oxen not rains
cash for pur- Only about available
chases Uncertain 30% own oxen at planting Hire or
rainfall borrow oxen
after rains

Prepare land
and plant
with hoe


Both of these tools, the structural model and the process







model, can aid researchers to organize what they know about
farming systems and to identify areas where additional
information is needed for a better understanding of the
production and management decisions made by farmers.


The participants worked in RASC teams to develop both
structural and process models describing farming systems found in
their areas. Examples of the process models and structural
models are included in this report.


PROCESS MODEL--RABBA


Objectives

Production


Selling


Environment

Drip Irr.


Resources

10 ha.

Laborers


Sandy clay


Constraints

Diseases


Insects


Farmer Mgt.
Strategies
Add fert.
with water
by irr.

Spray insect.
with machine
from ag. dept


Processing


High cost
of inputs
chemicals
insecticides
fertilizers


Grading of
fruit


PROCESS MODEL--DEIR ALLA


Objectives


Environment


Family Plastic
Consumption houses


Trade


Irrigated

Fertile
soil


Resources

50 dunum
open field


10 dunum
plastic
houses

Cows and
Poultry


Constraints

Marketing



High cost
inputs


Amount of
water


Farmer Mgt.
Strategies
Different
planting
dates

Suitable
varieties


Use machines

Use plastic
houses


. 28











PROCESS MODEL--RAMTHA


Objectives


Environment Resources Constraints


Family Heavy red
Consumption soil


Sale of
Surplus


Rainfall
>=350 mm


100 dunum

Laborers

Rented
Machinery


Farmer Mgt.
Strategies


Lack of
improved seeds

Cracked soil






STRUCTURAL MODEL: RABBA


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STRUCTURAL MODEL: KHALDIEH


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STRUCTURAL MODEL: RAMTHA


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STRUCTURAL MODEL: SHOUBAK


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STRUCTURAL MODEL:


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STRUCTURAL MODEL: MUSHAQAR


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As part of the workshop, the participants were to conduct a
combined sondeo to determine the predominant farming systems in
the area and to identify farmers' problems and constraints within
priority systems. The procedure for the combined sondeo is
summarized below.


AN OVERVIEW OF THE NCARTT COMBINED SONDEO

by
D. Gait, NCARTT/JNADP Socio-economist/FSR Specialist
and
A. F. Al-Kadi, Head, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, NCARTT/MOA

July 14, 1989

The NCARTT combined sondeo can be summarized in the
following steps:

1. Interview farmers informally

2. Discuss farmer interviews to

a. Allow frequency of farmer response to rank
predominant farming systems

b. Use RASC team expertise to focus on a some of the
selected, predominant systems

3. Within these selected, predominant systems,

a. Allow frequency of farmer response to group and
rank farmer-identified problems

b. Use RASC team discussion to decide which problems
to work on for either research trials or
technology transfer programs

4. Identify the constraints which cause all selected
problems to be problems. Assign each constraint to one of three
categories:

a. "R" if the constraint should be solved by research

b. "TT" if the constraint should be solved by
technology transfer

c. "N" if the constraint either cannot be solved at
present or if it is beyond the mandate of NCARTT










5. Draft design on-farm or on-station trials around those
constraints which can be solved by research

6. Draft a technology transfer program around those
constraints which can be solved by technology transfer

A diagram showing the decision making process to be followed
during the combined sondeo is presented on the next page.







FSR TRAINING DOCUMENT NO. 1-4-X


NCARTT COMBINED SONDEO DECISION TREE



INTERVIEW FARMERS -----> REJECTED FARMERS


ACCEPTABLE FARMERS


PRIORITIZE SYSTEMS ----> REJECTED SYSTEMS
IDENTIFY COMPONENTS


ACCEPTED SUB-SET OF
PREDOMINANT SYSTEMS
I

PRIORITIZE PROBLEMS WITHIN -----> REJECTED
SELECTED COMPONENTS OF SYSTEMS PROBLEMS


IDENTIFY CONSTRAINTS BEHIND
PROBLEMS AND ASSIGN TO:
-----RESEARCH OR EXTENSION--------


DRAFT SET OF EX-
TENSION ACTIVITIES
I I
I I


CROP


RELATED


LIVESTOCK
RELATED


DRAFT EXPLORATORY
TRIAL SETS FOR:
-----------------------STATION(S) AND FARMS-------------


I

NCARTT HQ
I I
CROPS

LIVESTOCK


RASC
I I
CROPS

LIVESTOCK


Fl F2 F3 F4 F5 F6 F7


CROPS AND/OR LIVESTOCK
ON-FARM TRIALS









To prepare for going into the field, it is important to
learn as much about the area as possible from secondary sources
of information. Some of the sources of information that are
useful in FSR/E are described below. A more theoretical
treatment is found in Appendix 9.










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NCARTT will be using informal surveys as part of the
combined sondeo to get information from farmers. There are
advantages to both formal and informal surveys. However, in
general, to start a field program and get an overview of the
area, informal surveys are preferred.





BASIC DIFFERENCES BETWEEN FORMAL AND INFORMAL SURVEYS


>>>> INFORMAL SURVEY <<<<


ADVANTAGE TO INFORMAL:

1. --NO QUESTIONNAIRE IS USED


2. --QUESTION FORMAT ALLOWS
UNLIMITED FOLLOW-UP WITH FARMER

3. --MORE ACCURATE IN GATHERING
TYPES OF INFORMATION FROM FARMERS
WHICH TAKES SOME "DISCUSSION"

4. --ANALYSIS IS EXTREMELY QUICK

5. --EASIER TO DEVELOP "TRUST"
BETWEEN INTERVIEWER AND FARMER

6. --PROCESSING COSTS ARE LOW

7. --QUICK TURN-AROUND MAKES IT
OF MOST IMMEDIATE USE TO
RESEARCH AND EXTENSION

8. --EASIER TO MAKE SURVEY
"CULTURALLY SENSITIVE"

9. --DEVELOPMENT TIME AND COSTS
ARE LOWER


1. --STATISTICAL ANALYSIS
POSSIBLE


IS NOT


2. --TRAINING OF STAFF IN USE IS
MORE IMPORTANT

3. --MORE DISCUSSION BETWEEN
INTERVIEWERS IS NEEDED TO
COMPLETE THE INFORMAL ANALYSIS

4. --REQUIRES MORE DIVERSE
PROFESSIONAL STAFF TIME TO DEVELOP


>>>> FORMAL SURVEY <<<<


--A WRITTEN QUESTIONNAIRE, OR
FORMAL SURVEY INSTRUMENT, IS USED

--FOLLOW-UP LIMITED BY FORM OF
QUESTION AND SURVEY INSTRUMENT

--LESS ACCURATE IN GATHERING
TYPES OF INFORMATION FROM FARMERS
WHICH TAKES SOME "DISCUSSION"

--ANALYSIS TAKES LONGER

--DIFFICULT TO DEVELOP "TRUST"
BETWEEN INTERVIEWER AND FARMER

--PROCESSING COSTS ARE HIGH

--DELAY IN USE IS VERY COMMON
BECAUSE ANALYSIS TAKES SO LONG


--MAY BE HARD TO MAKE SURVEY
INSTRUMENT "CULTURALLY SENSITIVE"

--DEVELOPMENT TIME AND COSTS
ARE HIGHER (I.E., DESIGN & PRETEST)


ADVANTAGE TO FORMAL:

--STATISTICAL ANALYSIS IS POSSIBLE


--TRAINING OF STAFF IN USE IS
LESS IMPORTANT

--LESS DISCUSSION BETWEEN
INTERVIEWERS IS NEEDED TO
COMPLETE THE FORMAL ANALYSIS

--REQUIRES LESS DIVERSE
PROFESSIONAL STAFF TIME TO DEVELOP








Interviewing skills are very important in FSR/E, because
informal surveys, while appearing to be "chats" between
technicians and farmers, are really directed conversations with
farmers. Some techniques for interviewing farmers were
presented.



HOW TO INTERVIEW FARMERS

by
D. Galt, NCARTT/JNADP Socio-economist/FSR Specialist
and
A. F. Al-Kadi, Head, Monitoring and Evaluation Unit, NCARTT/MOA

July 15, 1989


INTRODUCTION

The combined sondeo depends heavily upon informal farmer
interviews. Later today, you will receive a general summary list
of question topics. The summary list will be modified by your
RASC team today, then used as a prompt to guide you in this
informal interview process. The key to interviewing farmers is
to make logical progress in questioning. Switch from one major
topic to another as needed. Don't skip from minor point to minor
point, nor from major topic to major topic back to the first
major topic. Do not interrupt one another when interviewing.
Avoid large groups of interviewers. Fill in information which
may have been left out or skipped as the interview is winding
down. Allow enough time to enter, exit, and be sociable with the
farmer and/or his family.


PRE-INTERVIEW ETIQUETTE

1. Talk to the Farmer. If the oldest son "manages" the
family farm, interview him, not his father. Of course,
be courteous and include the father in your discussion,
but remember the answers given by the decision maker.
If the farmer-manager is a women, interview her.

2. Use a sensitive approach. Timing of farmer interviews
are extremely important. Be sensitive to the daily
work schedule of farmers and their work habits. These
affect a farmer's willingness to give you a quality
interview. Don't start an interview just as it is time
for the call to prayer, for example.









3. Use a proper greeting and introduction. Before the
interview, greet the farmer according to local custom.
Explain your presence and the purpose of the interview
as soon as possible. Accept coffee or tea if offered.
This part of the interview process is known as the
"warm-up".

4. Most importantly, TREAT ALL FARMERS WITH RESPECT.
Don't patronize farmers. Don't preach to farmers.
Don't argue with farmers. Don't position yourself
"above" farmers. Farmers are a wealth of information:
they are your social resource!


TECHNIQUES TO USE IN INTERVIEWING FARMERS

1. Do NOT ask leading questions. Avoid: "Your dryland
cropping pattern is wheat-fallow-wheat, isn't it?"
Instead, phrase your question like this: "What is your
dryland cropping pattern?" Avoid: "You do spray to
control weeds, don't you? Instead, try asking, "Do you
spray for weeds?"

2. Avoid sensitive questions. Don't ask farmers how many
Dinar they earned last year.

3. Don't just "qet the facts". We are not using a formal
questionnaire. For this reason, follow up promising
leads. Allow the farmer to elaborate on his or her
response if it seems important. If a farmer replies,
"No" when asked if he sptays his weeds, it is natural
to ask him, "Why not?" The informal survey, or
combined sondeo, makes this type of questioning easy.
Don't worry if your farmer seems to be rambling on and
on....most farmers end up by saying something which is
important. Remember, antidotes often provide
unforeseen insights into realities of the farming
system we would otherwise forget to ask about.

4. Be flexible during the interview. This goes along with
the point above. If an interesting topic or question
comes up during the conversation, and it is not on your
master list of question topics, go ahead and let the
farmer talk more deeply about it. This is especially
true if he or she feels strongly about the topic. If
it seems to be a serious problem, make some attempt to
get at the root cause of it (identify the constraint
that makes the topic a problem).








5. Be careful when interviewing more than one family
member. Often family interest means that you and your
partner will end up in a discussion with the father,
the mother, and three sons. They may interrupt one
another or give conflicting answers to a given
question. What do you do?

In this situation, try to remember the response given
by the person who is the decision maker for that aspect
of the farming operation. For example, while the
father might be the main decision maker for a unit, his
second oldest son may operate the tractor and his
cultural equipment. When the discussion evolves to
questions about land preparation in the field, the
second son's responses are likely to be the most
accurate. However, listen to all family members and
don't exclude anyone from a discussion of their farming
system.


INFORMATION TO GATHER DURING A FARMER INTERVIEW

While the later handout (FSR training handout No. 1-3-8)
provides the general list of specific question topics for farmer
interviews, the following list provides the six major areas for
which information is obtained during most FSR interviews.

1. The predominant crop and livestock patterns, or
components, of each farming system. These should be
obtained according to the relevant domain: in Jordan,
these are often delimited by rainfall.

2. The major problems in each major crop and livestock
component. When you have identified the crop or
livestock components, go back through each and have the
farmer tell you about his problems in each. Here,
always use an open-ended question. Ask: "What is your
most important problem with your sheep?" Or,
alternatively, ask: "What problems do you have raising
barley?"

3. The division of labor. The three components to
division of labor are (1) by gender, (2) by age, and
(3) by payment. Are there certain tasks done only by
females? What are they? Likewise, are there jobs
which are only done by old persons? Or by young
persons (tending small sheep flocks by young boys or
girls, for example)? Are there tasks on the farm only
performed by hired'labor, not by family members (tomato
harvest by Egyptian laborers, for example)?








4. Crop and livestock yields. Obtain estimates of yields
of crops by season or year, whichever is appropriate.
Try to obtain weekly or monthly output of livestock
products (milk, for example).

5. Farmer's experiences. Note what has worked in the past
and what has not worked in the past. For example, a
farmer may not practice weed control because he has
noticed that 2,4-D no longer seems to control the weeds
in his wheat crop. This is extremely important
information to record for future research into weed
control in Jordanian wheat.

6. Farmer's needs. The farmer may mention these at any
time during the interview. Needs may be biological --
"I need a new variety of chickpea". Needs may be
socio-economic -- "I can't get any credit to buy
improved wheat varieties". Needs may be
infrastructural or institutional -- "We need more
irrigation water here!" Note them all down separately
immediately after the interview is over.


HELPS IN INTERVIEWING FARMERS

1. Make use of the crop calendar. One of the most
effective ways of getting information about the farm
system is to have the farmer help you make a crop
calendar. Begin with the main crop and proceed to
other crops during this season. Follow this by
repeating the process for any crops grown during the
next season. The resulting calendar provides a graphic
illustration of the entire farm system for each farmer.

2. Obtaining information about commercial crops. List
major fruits and vegetables, the areas dedicated to
each, and whether they are sold commercially. If they
are, find out where, when and for how much. Ask about
vine crops (grapes or berries) as well. If farmers
report an olive tree system, be sure to ask if olives
are the only crop grown in that parcel (often in
Jordan, grapes are interplanted with olives).

3. Obtaining information about livestock. Identify all
types of livestock in the system. For large animals
(camels, donkeys, horses, cows) obtain the numbers,
ages, genders, use, and feed sources for each. In the
case of feed sources, try to identify months of
shortages of feed. For small animals (sheep and
goats), obtain, numbers, genders, use and feed sources.
Again, try to determine if there are periods of chronic
feed shortages.








For all animals (and poultry), try to obtain general
and specific health information. Have animals or birds
died this past year? If so, what killed them?

Be sure farmer identify any problems associated with
raising livestock. Record all problems by animal or
bird type.


Finally, remember one thing: no one ever conducted THE
perfect interview. Likewise, no one has ever completely botched
up an interview. Have confidence in yourself and your partner
and things will go well. Treat farmers as you would have them
treat you!











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questions or forms to be completed. Instead, there are topic
guidelines that can be used when conversation lags or to make
sure information is collected on all aspects of the farming
system. Two examples of topic guidelines were given to the
participants to assist them (Appendix 10). The participants were
then asked to modify them so they would be appropriate for the
agricultural systems served by their RASCs. The guidelines
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Prior to going to the field, the participants were shown two
additional tools for organizing information collected from
farmers: (1) farm maps, and (2) crop calendars. An example of
each is found below; the others that were distributed to the
participants are in Appendix 11.



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After preparing the topic guidelines, mock interviews were
conducted to demonstrate bad and good interviewing techniques
(Appendix 12).

As part of the combined sondeo, the teams are asked to
determine the predominant farming systems (crop and animal) in
the area and the most important problems by system. As a first
step, frequencies of each can be used. Discussions based on
personal experience in the field help verify or modify the
impressions gained from the frequency analysis. The team then
determines which problems are researchable and whether they can
be solved by on-farm or on-station research. This then leads to
designing draft research trials.

In some cases, problems can be addressed by extension
interventions which can be added to the RASC workplan. In other
cases, problems are outside the realm of both research and
extension. Generally, such problems touch on policy issues.
The team can make recommendations to appropriate ministries to
address these policy issues.

The results of this process depend on team composition.
Often, the relative importance of the systems and the components
within the system is determined.by the disciplines and
backgrounds of the researchers and extension personnel performing
the task.


In order to practice this new process before the field week
exercise, the RASC teams completed a group exercise using a set
of farm maps as the source of field level information. An
example worked out prior to the workshop is found in Appendix 13,
and some results of the exercise are given here.

MAJOR CROPPING SYSTEMS FREQUENCY

Wheat-Fallow 8

Pasture 3

Olive-grape 3

Vegetables 2

Tobacco 2



MAJOR LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS FREQUENCY

Poultry 1








PROBLEMS BY SYSTEM FREQUENCY

Wheat-Fallow

Machinery (N) 8

Olive-Grape

Insects (R) (TT) 2

Disease (TT) 3

Pruning (TT)

Livestock

Diseases (TT)

Forages (R)


The next step in FSR/E is to plan on-farm research and
technology transfer interventions based on data collected from
farmers.

On-farm research is very similar to on-station research in
many respects. The main differences are in the complexity of
experiments and the loss of some control over non-experimental
variables on farmers fields. The planning process is quite
similar and is reviewed below.




PLANNING ON-FARM EXPERIMENTS

by

M. Gaudreau, NCARTT/JNADP Consultant
and
Y. Tamimi, NCARTT/JNADP Consultant


Adapted from: Palmer, A.F.E. 1986. Notes on Planning On-Farm
Experiments. CIMMYT.
Stroud, Ann. 1985. On-Farm Experimentation.
Concepts and Principles. CIMMYT.


TRAINING OBJECTIVE: At the end of this session, the participants
will have a basic understanding of the factors involved in








research planning.


INTRODUCTION

After identifying the major problems affecting farmers in
the areas where you work, you will have established research
priorities. Now it's time to think about your work program and
to design the experiments that you will put on-farm.

Designing on-farm experiments is not much different from
designing on-station experiments. This handout will discuss
those aspects of on-farm research which require more reflection
and planning than perhaps are needed when working under the
optimal conditions of a research station. These include:

1. Objective of experiment and stage of experimentation
2. Choice of treatments and treatment levels
3. Environmental conditions (non-experimental variables)
4. Number of replications per site and number of sites per
experiment
5. Experimental design
6. Determination of plot size
7. Data to be collected
8. Management and logistical support

On-farm research has more logistical demands and
researchers have less control over what happens particularly as
farmers become more involved in the management. Therefore, well-
planned research will help you to respond to crises in the field
and even avoid some of them.

OBJECTIVE OF EXPERIMENT AND STAGE OF EXPERIMENTATION

The objective of the experiment should answer, at least in
part, the problem you have identified in the field with farmers.
It should be simple and concise. One experiment cannot answer
all questions. Several small, simple experiments may be better
than one large one. Break a complex problem into manageable
sections then put the segments back together after receiving the
results. For example, this strategy may be useful in determining
which parts of the wheat technology package would be acceptable
to farmers..

The objective of the experiment will determine all the other
factors that will be discussed in this handout: treatment number
and type, the number of replications and sites, data
requirements, plot size, management, and stage of
experimentation.

If the objective of the research is to test several
technologies that may be appropriate but have not been widely








tested, for example, control measures against pests or weeds, an
exploratory trial is indicated. Exploratory trials are also used
to identify critical management factors and to better define
production problems. When the objective of the experiment is to
test the best-bet technical options identified in exploratory
trials, verification trials are used. Demonstration trials are
used when the objective of the experiment is to determine the
acceptability of the technology to farmers.


CHOICE OF TREATMENTS AND TREATMENT LEVELS

The number of treatments and treatment levels will depend to
a large extent on the objective of the experiment. The
treatments should contribute to overcoming the identified
constraints. It is important to keep on-farm experiments as
simple as possible, so the number of treatments should be
limited. Six treatments in a split plot design is generally
considered to be as complicated as one should be in on-farm
research.

A question that researchers should ask themselves in
selecting treatments and treatment levels is : Is the technology
being tested a realistic option for the farmer? For example, a
full factorial fertilizer trial is not appropriate for an
exploratory trial if only a certain combination fertilizer is
available (unless you are doing preliminary work for the ministry
to determine which fertilizers to import).

The purpose of the control treatment is to provide a
standard of comparison for the other treatments. However, it is
not always necessary to have a control in an exploratory
experiment. There are several types of controls that can be used
in on-farm research: optimum levels of the treatments, farmer's
practice, current extension recommendation, and untreated (zero
level). Depending on your objective, one or more of these
controls can be useful for comparison of research results. A
very common control to use in verification and demonstration
trials is farmer practice. Most farmers are not interested in
adopting a new technology if it does not outperform what they are
currently doing.


ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS (NON-EXPERIMENTAL VARIABLES)

Environmental and management factors (non-experimental
variables) make major contributions to the variability found in
on-farm research. Variability between farms is usually greater
than within a farm. A problem exists for researchers when non-
experimental variables interact with and change the treatment
response.








There are several ways to deal with non-experimental
variables in on-farm research. One way is to stratify the
research sites by factors such as soil type, rainfall, and
irrigation management. This is particularly useful when a
limited number of sites will be used (exploratory trials). But
by the time the technology reaches the verification trial stage,
it is more important that they be tested over a wide range of
environments to determine their stability. In this case,
researchers should monitor the plots and record differences in
non-experimental variables, and describe in detail the farmers'
practices. This will help in explaining the variability and will
permit later stratification useful in determining extension
recommendations for homogenous farming systems.

Another alternative is to plan how to manage the non-
experimental variables during the trials. For example, it may
be necessary to weed the plots of a fertilizer trial or irrigate
plots that dry up. It is important to specify the management
operation, the date they are to be done (if known) and identify
the person responsible. A final way of dealing with non-
experimental variables is to ensure that all plots on one farm
are managed by the farmer in a similar way. That way there is no
longer a distinction between the researcher's plot and the
farmer's plot. This also helps to involve the farmer earlier in
the on-farm research process.


REPLICATION AND NUMBER OF SITES

The number of replications used in on-farm research depends
on site variability, type and complexity of the trial,
management, space, type of precision wanted, and type of data
needed. In general, .2-4 replications per farm are recommended
for exploratory trials, 1-2 replications for verification trials,
and one replication per farm for demonstration trials.

In some on-farm research, sampling variability is more
important than precision between fields and replication across
fields or over years should be used. Also as farmer involvement
in the trial increases, the number of replicates per location
should decrease. This helps keep the trial simple, manageable,
and understandable. Operational size plots may not be able to be
replicated because of their large size.

Because on-farm research is not completely under the control
of the researcher, you can expect between 20 and 30% of the plots
installed to be lost and the data unavailable for statistical
analysis. In planning the number of sites on which you want to
install a particular trial, keep this loss in mind. As you move
from exploratory trials to demonstration trials, the number of
sites will increase while the number of replicates per site will
decrease.










EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN


Decisions as to the "best" design for on-farm experiments
must take into account the number and nature of treatments, the
availability of land suitable for the experiment on the
participating farms, and the resources available. It is a basic
principle that plots within blocks be as uniform as possible-with
respect to slope, soil texture, weediness, plant number (except
where this is an experimental variable), plant height and girth
and so on. Block size (the number of plots per block) is often a
major factor determining appropriate designs. Plots within
blocks don't have to be contiguous (next to each other) and
blocks can differ with respect to the above characteristics.

The most commonly used experimental designs in on-farm
research are the randomized complete block design and the split
plot. These designs can both be used for factorial arrangements
of treatments.

The randomized complete block design keeps variability among
treatments within a block as small as possible and maximizes
differences between blocks. When there is a gradient in a field,
for example a fertility gradient, place the blocks across the
gradient (perpendicular). Block size will depend on plot size,
but the larger the block, the more likely that there will be
variability within the plot that is unaccounted for.

Sometimes treatment operations such as tillage or irrigation
make it difficult to manage on randomly assigned plots. Split
plot design facilitates plot layout and management but sacrifices
precision on the treatment applied to the main plot or larger
plot.

PLOT SIZE

Plots should be large enough to represent input use patterns
and yield but not too large to impose an unreasonable burden or
risk to the farmer. A rule of thumb is that the experimental
area should not exceed 20% of the cropped land. In general, use
of larger plots is recommended for demonstrations, operational
scale testing, better farmer understanding, seed multiplication,
insect trials, trees, labor measurements, and tillage operations.
Smaller plots are used to explore a range of technology as in
screening and levels trials. Size is determined by management
type and manager resources. Many management problems are not
apparent on small plots.









DATA TO BE COLLECTED


Only collect data that will be used. For example,
agronomists traditionally take a lot of data on crop development
from emergence to harvest. Not all of it is required to evaluate
a trial particularly when the technology has reached the
verification stage. At this point, socio-economic information
plays a more prominent role in data collection.

Farming systems researchers have discussed the need for a
minimum data set that will permit transfer of technology from one
location to another with similar agro-ecological and socio-
economic characteristics. Information on plot characteristics
(plot history, soil characteristics, etc.), management aspects
(dates and order of operations performed, water management,
cultural practices, etc), performance aspects (yield, losses due
to pests, quality, etc.), and socio-economic aspects (farmers'
observations, characteristics of other parts of their farming
system) needs to be taken. But the data should be of good
quality and either contribute directly to the evaluation of the
technology or to enhance your understanding of the farming
system.

Farmer opinions should be solicited throughout the research
process. For example, you can ask farmers by what criteria they
select their new varieties and incorporate these criteria into
your data collection sheets. Awn length may be as important as
stalk length in evaluating wheat varieties if birds are a problem
in the area.


MANAGEMENT AND LOGISTICAL SUPPORT

As you move from exploratory to demonstration trials,
farmers become increasingly involved in the management of both
experimental and non-experimental variables. It is important to
determine who is responsible for providing the resources used in
the experiment. Does the farmer's involvement at the
exploratory level include letting you use his land or must you
rent it? Who provides the inputs? When equipment is involved,
who provides it?

The team should establish a schedule of field operations,
determine what materials are needed, identify the person
responsible for each operation, and establish a contingency plan
particularly for such common problems as lack of rain, pest,
damage, and a delay in operations. Be prepared to make
compromises and be flexible.








On-farm research requires more logistical support
particularly transport. Transportation issues affect the
technical aspects of the trials particularly site selection and
numbers. Are collaborating farmers clustered in groups or are
they spread out to be more representative of the various farming
systems in the area? If you make an appointment to install a
trial, will the vehicles be available ? Will there be benzene?
Transportation to and from the fields must be programmed into the
research.

If you install the trials, you should follow up on them.
The team should agree on a monitoring schedule to do this. Such
a schedule should consist only of vital measurements or
observations.


On-farm research is very rewarding but initially it requires
more planning and the ability to compromise and be flexible.



The extension program planning process is also important.
It is reviewed here.










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