Title: Validation of technology
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066782/00001
 Material Information
Title: Validation of technology
Physical Description: 10 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: Spanish
Creator: Fumagalli, Astolfo
Waugh, Robert K
Publication Date: 1977?
Subject: Agriculture -- Research -- Guatemala   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Guatemala
Statement of Responsibility: Astolfo Fumagalli y Robert K. Waugh.
General Note: Panel title.
General Note: Photocopy that includes handwritten editing of draft edition.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00066782
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 - 71365863

Table of Contents
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Full Text

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CieenH Gineral


Dr. Robert K. WAUGH

ICTA Aoricultural Scicnce and Technological
institute (Instituto de Cioncia y Tccnolog'a

ICTA was organized as a decentralized institute of the Governmental Agricultural Sector

of Gjua:;-mala. The rain objectives are the generation and promotion of technology to in-

crease c;jricultural production in.the country, and contribute to rural development and the

vwetl!-.:ing of the rural population.

To date the main priorities have been the basic food grains: maize, beans, rice, wheat

and sor'hum. Secondary priorities have been horticultural crops, mainly for export', and

swine. Some work has been done with soybeans and other crops. Food crops vMill undoubte-

dy continue to be of top priority for the long run., but new policies will very likely be applied

to horoiculture, other crops and cattle in the future.

!CTA works For all farmers'of Guatemala, but the small farmer is considered .the prin-

cipal ci:ent.

ICTA was organized, keeping in mind that a lot of technology is available:

a. Previously generated technology within Guatemala and that more would be

generated in the future within ICTA.

b. Technology from the international Centers, a relatively new source.


c. Universities would continue to be generators'of technology.

d. Governments generate technology and make technologies generated by other

Sources available.

c. Industry offcrs a lot of technology (fcretlizers, seeds, herbicides, etc.)

f. There are also other sources of technology (foundations, regional organi-

nations, etc.)

The technology from all of those sources would have to be tested or re-validated

under. ;hc conditions of its application if it were to be recommended to the small farmer.

It was also understood that the.highly varied characteristics of the country of Guatemala

would make the validation a major task.

We could not identify any policy, strategy, mechanism nor institutional structure

upon v;hich to base the validation of technology, other than the traditional, and not

sufficently effective, ones. Therefore ICTA would develop a strategy and execute it.

- 2a -

H-r.in emphasis is given to the validation of technology. However, within ICTA .;-

we consider the validation as a part of the overall process of identifying, gcn'ration,

modifying, adapting and transferring technology. Therefore the validation of tech-

nolony within ICTA is more than just FX5E technology under farm conditions. It

is tho aim of ICTA that the work of validation of technology start the transfer process,

fhat some technologies can be generated in the process, that modifications end adap-

tatio:s can be made, that the farmer should become part of the team, and thi-" some

proli:.Inary measures of acceptance can be taken. We believe that all of these

along with studies to understand farmers and their practises are important for a

national program. An international institute may have a much more direct interest in

the evaluation of the technology without some of the variants of. the system followed in


We sturiead only four years ago, anld our sruitcuI; hava already pas:Jd Ihrough

evdlutionary stages; at times it was the basic strategy that was modified, and just as fre-

queniy it has been the logistics and tactics that has been modified.

What we wiiIl tr to present here is wherecwe stand today.

in organizing ICTA and developing the strategies which we are now 'o; lowing we

- 3 -

did not use the term "validation", but the term testing, or "prueba". By validation

of technology in the ICTA concept, we are considering:

a. Technological evaluation, not a broad brush, general evaluation of plant

materials or fertilizer, but an intense, concentrated testingg to come up with

an evaluation of the results of the technology in comparison with the traditio-

nal technology within specific and defined geographical areas or zbnes.

b. Economical evaluation.

c. Modification and adaptation of the technologies to the local conditions

and when grown in the common crop mixtures of the region.

d. A farmer evaluation of the technology.

c. An evaluation of the acceptance of the technology by farmers who have

rost-.led h thchnolofy.

We! consider that the process to this point is research. The process of transfer has

been initiated, to be sure, but the generalization of transfer of the technology follows

tho above mentioned phases of work.

Presenting our ideas it is difficult to know where to start because we huve de-

vieoi.:! a traditional "vicious cycle".

Phiase I

But we start with what we call, for lack of a better term, Phase i the gene-

ration of technology, sources of technology, or we might say a knowledge hopper,

/ ( ;I'


cjf) F~


T- RA S EO .



Generca ion,



S- --- --
by ine

Eval dtoion
acce prance

YES .-





Indus ry,



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"fLCH Oi O -' ',- .... -

- 4-

that Is a boiling pot, never very constant, but with sufficient known characteristics,

both good and bad, to be able to recognize it, as science and research.

In Figure we call this the experiment staltion. Here information and knowledge is

received, and some generated. This system has some serious faults, but we have not found

how to replace it with any other system' It is difficult to short cut science without suf-

fering the consequences. We can speed up the process by pouring in more money, and we

can mncke the results.more relevant by understanding what happens to technology, both

specific: and general, at the interphase between technology and production. For this lat-

ter the validation (testing) process at the field ldvel can be effective.

Phase 2

Part of Phase 1 and all of the other phases operate at the farm level. The basic

premise of Phase 2 is tq mqve experimentation to the field under farm conditions. This

is not a substitute for work done under Phase i, but rather a continuation of Phase 1.

Neither is Phase 2 a. parallel to regional yield trials to determine broad adaptability of

plant material nor an attempt to demonstrate broadly a technical practice such as ferti-

1/ In using the term phase, or in showing these phases in blocks on Figure 1, we certainly

do not want to leave the impression that these are.separate steps. In fact we believe to

the cdnirary that the technological system should be a continuum. It might be conceived

as over-laps of phases. Neither does the process have to start on the left side of our Figure

1 and f~ow to the right. If nothing of this system existed, the most logical place to start

would be the farmers and their farms..

- 5

lizcr applications or plant populations. While it contributes to both of these points, it is

directed toward specific geographic area, which might be small or rather large, not on

a der,-ons:rational basis, but experimental to evaluate technology intensively (and concen-

trated) to determine its merits in comparison to-present practices.

At t.o same time the agronomists doing this work have the opportunity to learn the

details of local farmer practices. Varieties are evaluated ih association with other crops,

if this is a common farming practice.

This work is conducted with experimental designs, and statistical analyses. Technolo-

gies are'modified and adapted to local conditions, although this is given more attention

:sartiog ihe second year, especially 7 either is known about the region. Some local va-

rieties and local practices are always, included in the experiments. Also problems, pc'haps

not anticipated are detected.

The agronomists are becoming acquainted with local farmers, learn their terminology,

end develop relationships with farmers for the next Phase.

Obviously it is important to select farmers ithatc are representative of the circa under


Nci;onalsingle commodity programs and the groups doing field experimentation

cnd vi..nng should work closely together. Normally a iMize Program would hive 3 to
5 yic. trials with advance' materials on private farms. This was the pattern before

ICTA in Guatemala. This year thb ICTA Corn Program and the Regional Teams, working

togc;-he:- have 107 yield trials, all but 3 or 4 on private farms. This should be a tremen-

dous i:npetus to the work of identifying new materials. When selected, the ICTA local

or regional technicians will have confidence in the materials. And we are working hard

so thai other technicians of the Sector working on a regional basis will also know the

best of the advanced materials.

These yield trials are.in addition to other agronomic trials with maize within the

specific regions. These would be fertilizer trials, insect control, weed control and

other cultural practices.

li is also in this phase thait technologies generated by single commocily. ticcn are
....-- ,----t
combined, the nature of the combination depending upon local farming practices.

.i is at this stage that farmers start to become part of the technological team.

Al' this Phase we are trying)two activities in which lhe Socioeconomic Group plays

a Ice'ring role. One is pr'diagnosis (reconnaissance) to understand the most common

farmiTrg practices. The survey team should have agronomist participation. If conducted

soleiy by economists and sociologists there is another transfer problem -- from the

- 6-


economist to the agronomist.

There is some difference of opinion between the socioeconomic group of ICTA and

thoe economists. The socioeconomic group wants fewer and simpler trials and more

ia!of;ue with the farmers, especially the first year. I feel that ou- agronomists have

been s.ow in accepting the viewpoints of the Socioeconomic Group., At the same time

the s-tracgy of tl-e socioeconomic group would reduce technological testing this first

yecc, would reduce the scope of the screening and revalidation trials. The position

that we believe needs be taken is between that of these two groups.

The second activity of the Socioeconomic Group is initiating farm record to do-

cuir.;eni- farming practices.and to determine costs of production. We have started this

ac;ivi;y with 25 or 30 farmers with in a zone, whi ch should probab-ly-'bpe incrc';sed to

50 oi-r ;ore by the second year. ICTA personnel monitor the records of the farmers

:hricuh close contact and frequent dialogue.

Phase 2 also includes economic evaluation of the technology. "Agronomic Trials"

arc ce:nucted. These trials are larger, simpler and usually are not ieplicatcd.. These

provid:i:- economic data as well as experience with'the practice on a somevh lrger

scckI,. When highly successful this giveQ added confidence to the techniciaCsz and

if no;- r contributes additional information as to the degree of soundness of th-e practice.

i: at this stage of the validation, we can answer in the affirmative the question

t a


"Is s valuable techno!ogy-for immediate use by the farmer?", we are ready o i-est

the technology in what we have designated Phase 3. If the answer is no or doubtful,

such information must be fed back to the groups assigned to generate technology. The

fccdback: system is important.r

The Phase 3 strategy, farmers' tests, was designed:

a. To get technology in the hands of farmers without much risk. --,

. b.' .To understand what happens to our technology when managed by farmers.

c. To incorporate farmers more deeply into the technological system and to have

Farmers evaluate our technology.

d. To eliminate paternalism, the farmer pays for the inputs. He "owns" th e.trial.

c. To remove dependence upon demonstrations. Our evaluation of demonstrations

at this time, with little objective data to-confirm our belief, is that demonstra-

tions have little value.. A demonstration is something done by the government,

which has almost unlimited resources. We believe that demonstrations have the

inherent defect of being always designed and planned to be successful. They

do not face up to the realities of small scale farming. Testing technology should

'be conducted to validate that new technology is better than what is currently

being used; we cannot always expect the experiments to be successful.

e. To evaluate the acceptance of the technology by the farmer. The season following

the farmers' tests, farmers are checked to determine if they have increased the


area seeded using the new technology.

The success of this Phase rests upon cooperation of farmers. We have had no problem

in idc;i'oying such cooperators, starting with Phase 2.

Fiorn.ers are asked to try the technology. They are asked to test it. We do not

recomne;nd that the farmer seed all of his area to the new variety or using a new techno-

logy. We suggest how he try the new material or method. We sell him the inputs (we

loan hin the inputs if he does not have the rrcans to acquire them and he pays us at harvest

time, usually in cash, sometimes in grainI.

tiry to get yield data from his plot or test (prueba). If we cannot, such as in

the cc;a., of the farmer having harvested the test plot before we arrive, we don't feel bad

about .:. The farmer has already seen the results.

There is an indication that the size of'the plot is important. If it is too small, even

though i-ho-diffcrences be great, the farmer is not impressed, gives it little observation.

The size of the plot undoubtedly depends upon the availability of land. In La M6quina

some of these plots are as much as one manz~cna (7,000 sq. -melers), in the H1ighainds as

small as a cuorda. (The size of the cuerda varies by region in Guatemala'from 1/6 of a

manzcr.a to 1/16.

in general, we believe'that the farmers' tests should be of very simple design.

Pc; p:, -;S' i start is made with two treiaments, with and vwithour fertilizer. So1;e,- Farmers

in La, M;.';uina have 1tsctd as many as three or four varieties of bomn at one tim'c..

If the answer to thc question as to the immediate value of the technology is negative,

it must be feb back to Phases 1 and 2. If the answer is yes, the technology is ready for

gcznerali zed transfer through the mechanisms.

rr':,.nsfer of technology is not the subject of this discussion. But one point scoms cer-

itain. i- the valicdaion can take place before the eyes of the transfer agent, or v/ih his

par~icii : iHton, part of the battle of transfer is already won, before the effort to ge9oralize

the technology is made. it is important to validate the technology, not only in the eyes

of the fo'rmr but also in the eyes of the transfer agent.

In ol'hcr words, a linkage between validation and the generalization of the transfer

process is needed. During,1976 a special'effort was made in ICTA to put the "Promotores".

of DIGESA (DIGESA is the direct operating arm of the Ministry of Agriculture responsible

for ca r,;or program of supervised credit) in contact with our experimental field work and

the fanrmr.es' tests' This'was done informally through conferences, meetings, field days and

the RReionaI Committee of the Agricultural Sector, which is chaired by the 'Regional Direc-

tor of DGESA. This system has merit, but at the suggestion of DIGESA this year on a trial

basis we are working with DIGESA personnel to further the linkage between validation and

transfer by helping DIGESA "Promotores" conduct "Pruebas de Fincas" on private farms.

- 10-

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