Este es Un recursi protegldo por los Derechos de Autor Digitalizado con
su permiso Todos derechos reservados por el Instituto de Ciencia y
This is a Copynghted resource Digitzed with permission
All rights reserved by the institute de Ciencia y Technologa Argicolas
test une ressource GARANTIE LES DROETS D'AUTEUR Digrtalis
avec sa permission Tous drots r6seives par s Instituto de Ciencia y
SECTOR POMlico AGORPECUIARIO Y Df AIIMENTACION
INSTrTUTO DE CIENAY TECOLOGIAAGRICOLAS
2m 1 $ Carai, l P l. a Vl aNuv
POX (TOO 0ae eM
pJn1iF lf d F6 I ra
Eml"h D! HfHdibrsm
DO r0lrO ftenilIe inflam cme dle Dcno la d a $ W iud enmada *ja ocanedo
idrni0e 0 da ::ccoCnornla -mrl trf0[nll4M d1f1 ICTA aKle D tEpaHsi sui::nra BH
reuaigniricl Ionando aln hopalar fln la Pen':IO en Provid4n0a AJ KiDO 0?6
MOTelioparirjcular B&pi kl; &usurVsM R
A Peninnie iim" OR
1. Ar pfloI! OC laloI
VALIDATION OF TECHNOLU GY
g Aifo FUWAGALLi
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-
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
c. Industry offcrs a lot of technology (fcretlizers, seeds, herbicides, etc.)
f. There are also other sources of technology (foundations, regional organi-
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".
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'
SAGOSOCIC ECOO "C C ATION
T- RA S EO .
S- --- --
EVALUATE, ION -
_ ____ __ ^/.___* v/._
TECHNOLOGICAL SYSTEM F ?. AiG ;! i L
"fLCH Oi O -' ',- .... -
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.
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..
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
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
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
"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.