Don't be afraid of the future:...
 Impact of FSRE in Africa, by J....
 From the secretary
 Training and outreach programs
 News and notes
 New publications
 AFSRE membership information request...

Title: Association of Farming Systems Research-Extension newsletter
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00071919/00005
 Material Information
Title: Association of Farming Systems Research-Extension newsletter
Alternate Title: AFSRE newsletter
Physical Description: v. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Association of Farming Systems Research-Extension
Publisher: Association of Farming Systems Research-Extension
Place of Publication: Tucson AZ
Frequency: semiannual
Subject: Agricultural systems -- Research -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Agricultural extension work -- Research -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
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General Note: Description based on: Vol. 4, no. 1 (1993); title from caption.
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Table of Contents
    Don't be afraid of the future: Defining and meeting FSRE's goals
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Impact of FSRE in Africa, by J. O. Olukosi and A. O. Ogungbile
        Page 4
        Page 5
    From the secretary
        Page 6
    Training and outreach programs
        Page 7
    News and notes
        Page 8
        Page 9
    New publications
        Page 10
        Page 11
    AFSRE membership information request form
        Page 12
Full Text

Association for Farming


Janice Jiggins2

Officers of the Association, friends and
colleagues from around the world, I am going to
speak tonight with some passion. I believe the
goals of the Association are not going to be
realized in the difficult years that lie ahead unless
each one of us individually brings some passion
to achieving those goals. The Association of
Farming Systems Research and Extension (AFSRE)
is needed now more than ever before, and I have
been asking myself: What values and interests
does it speak for?
In the coming years we have an important role
to play as advocates of an alternative view to
ones expressed by those who wish to see the
fertility of poor women in poor countries
controlled, and environmentalists who believe
that the world's natural resources are being
degraded or lost, to such an extent and so fast,
that population control is the single most
important policy concern for both developing
countries and industrial countries.
There are many neomalthusians who are busy
publishing alarmist scenarios based on trend
extrapolations, in which population and food
supply are headed in the very near future toward
an inevitable crisis. The current famines in sub-
Saharan Africa, and the demand on world food
stocks arising from civil war and other political
upheavals in the former Soviet empire, merely

' Address prepared for the AFSRE Symposium, Michigan State
University, East Lansing, September 13th-18th, 1992.
SIndependent Consultant, President AFSRE 1993-94.

Volume 4,
Number 2, 1993

Systems Research-Extension

Don't Be Afraid of the Future:
Defining and Meeting FSRE's
by Janice Jiggins............................
Impact of FSRE in Africa
by J.O Olukosi
and A.O. Ogungbile......................
From the Secretary .......................
Training & Outreach
Programs ................................... 7
News & Notes..................................8
New Publications .......................10

seem to give weight to these simple linear
arguments. I do not wish to deny that there
are serious problems related to fast rates of
population growth, or that there is strong
pressure on food supplies in many places
throughout the world. However, if we take
systems concepts seriously, we cannot
accept these simple linear modes of
thinking. We have a role to play as
professional agriculturalists in helping
people understand the nature of system
dynamics, and in helping them live with the
policy uncertainties that such a way of
thinking implies.
There is an important dimension to the
population-environment debate that I find
shocking and unacceptable. For example,
Professor Jonathan Stone, Professor of
Anatomy at the University of Sidney,
recently wrote: 'The view common to
religious and humanist traditions, that
human life is sacred and good, will soon be
challenged by the biological reality that
human life is destroying the ecology of the
Earth, that we humans are a plague" (Stone,
1991). Dr. Maurice King, a renowned
specialist in tropical medicine, in an article
in The Lancet in September 1991, argued
that investment in child survival was
premature. He personally attacked Dr.
Richard Jolly, Assistant Director of UNICEF,
for promoting the survival of children when

The Association for Farming Systems Research-Extension is an international society organized to promote the development and dissemination of methods and results of
participatory on-farm systems research and extension. The objective of such research is the development and adoption through the participation by farm household
members-male and female-of improved and appropriate technologies to meet the socioeconomic needs of farm families; adequately supply global food, feed, and fiber
requirements; and utilize resources in a sustainable and efficient manner.

there wasn't sufficient production of food to
keep them alive [King, 1991]. The Association
cannot remain quiet as these voices are raised;
we have a role to play in guarding the moral
I am going to go briefly into some personal
history. My maternal grandfather's half-brother
was a farmer and prosperous cornbroker in
Linconshire in the eastern part of England.
When I was eight years old, we went to visit
Shim, and I still remember him saying to me:
"Janice, always watch where the money goes,
...the watch where the money is going." This is the
lesson I want to share with you tonight. The
Association annual repayment of debt interest and capital
from developing countries amounts to over three
needs to times as much as these countries now receive in
aid. Notwithstanding various debt rescheduling,
debt forgiveness, and other mechanisms to ease
play a role the burden, annual repayments of interest are
rising, and the real value of aid flow is
as advocate declining. Africa as a whole is repaying more
than its total spending on health and education.
Private investment is not compensating for this
regarding shortfall in assistance. Although foreign direct
investment in developing countries rose by
macropolicy almost 80 percent in absolute terms between
1980-84 and 1985-89, the share of developing
issues." countries in total investment flows fell by 25
percent. From 1979-1989 the 42 least developed
countries received only 0.7 percent of all flows
S to developing countries. Seventy-five percent of
the developing country share was received by
the 10 newly industrializing countries
(Singapore, Brazil, Mexico, China, Hong Kong,
Malaysia, Egypt, Argentina, Thailand, and
Colombia). Thus there has been a very strong
polarization and concentration of finance and
profit. It is hardly surprising that, for example,
many countries in West Africa can no longer
sustain effective, publicly funded research or
extension services. On the one hand, it is
nonsense to try to fix in farmers' fields the
problems caused by collapse at higher systems
levels. On the other hand, we have to show that
FSRE can make a cost-effective contribution to
addressing the problems of crisis.
Parallel to the concentration of financial
flows is a very disturbing concentration in
nutrient flows from developing to industrial
countries. For example, in 1984 the Benelux
countries imported 12 million tons of cassava
chips from Thailand, principally for use in
livestock concentrates including pig and poultry
feed. These chips contained 90,000 tons of K20.
Total use of potassium fertilizers in Thailand in
1984 was 75,000 tons for all crops. Long
distance nutrient flows such as these,
subtracting fertility from one production system
and concentrating it in another, are inherently
unsustainable and make the management of

environmental concerns all the more problematic.
I have already said that, in the coming years,
the Association needs to play a role as advocate
regarding these kinds of macropolicy issues. It
also has important professional contributions to
First, FSRE, as a concept and a set of
professional practices, forms an important bridge
between formal science, with its power as well as
limitations, and the emerging body of experience
with participatory technology development (PTD).
PTD practitioners are learning how to work with
science and research institutions. However, there
is still a need for some kind of intermediate
practice that could serve to link the strengths at
both ends of the spectrum.
Second, as the world experiences more of the
unpredictable and extreme weather events
associated with climate change, members of the
Association are almost uniquely in touch with the
experience of farmers who know how to farm and
survive in the context of extreme variation and
instability in weather patterns. We have important
roles to play, not only in sharing with other
farmers the knowledge and experience of those
who have a long tradition of survival in such
circumstances, but in distilling the principles of
that experience to share with centers of formal
knowledge and learning.
Third, as we enter an era of unprecedented
biophysical and anthropogenic change, the
advantages of a professional network such as
ours has increasing value. We cannot wait; there
is not time for all that we know, all that we learn,
to be expressed in scientific journals, at
professional meetings, and in the form of learned
papers. We need to push information around the
network as fast as possible.
If we are to play these kinds of professional
roles, we also need to be strategic in planning for
our own future. One thing we have not done
sufficiently is document our successes in a form
nonspecialists can understand. Those who have
attended these Association meetings in the past
will appreciate that we are very critical of each
others' practice and achievements, and rightly so.
However, we also take home a feeling of the very
major contributions we have made over the last
10 years, to the realm of understanding, but also
to achievement in farmers' fields. If we are going
to raise money, if we are going to be taken
seriously as advocates for certain values and
points of view, we need to make sure that those
who are not yet persuaded of our cause recognize
our success. We also need to be more active in
recruiting patrons. As any sales person will tell
you, it is very hard work raising custom through
cold calling; that is, calling on sources of
potential finance that know nothing about you or
your achievements. We need our patrons in high
places. Each of us in our own country needs to

talk with those who sit on top of the money pots,
work in centers of learning, and guide and shape
agricultural policy and development assistance
policy. For example, Dr. Prasad, Deputy Director
of Extension in the Indian Council of Agricultural
Research (ICAR) in India, has played an
exceptional role in helping to establish the
International Federation for Women in
Agriculture. He is sympathetic to the goals of this
Association, and we should not only call on him
when we need his help. Dr. Thomas Odhjiambo
in Kenya is another example. He and many others
around the world realize that we are making
common cause with their own programs. They
should be our professional colleagues and aware
of our successes. Together we need to articulate a
claim on increasingly scarce resources.
There is also virtue in more actively seeking
links with other networks. Here women have
shown us the way in linking the Women in Rice
Farming Systems network, based at the
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the
Philippines, to the Asian Rice Farming Systems
network. This kind of piggy-backing, however
difficult it is to achieve in its early days, has real
advantages. It is an excellent way to get close to
those who work in formal science establishments,
to help broaden their outlook on what is needed
and what can be achieved. It has the advantages
of sharing administrative, secretarial, and other
kinds of logistical resources. Furthermore, it helps
legitimate and give weight to the interests and
goals we espouse.
We also have to be more active in getting close
to those who control the funding for the
Consultative Group for International Agricultural
Research (CGIAR). I am sure I am not the only
person in this room tonight who has voiced
criticisms, sometimes intemperately, of the
Consultative Group (CG) system. This has not
always won us their friendship. I have recently
participated in an external review of the
International Centre for Research in Agriculture
(ICRA), which is based in the Netherlands and
funded by a number of European donors out of
their allocation for the CG institutions. In a
number of cases, the European donors have been
giving more to the ICRA's annual course, which
trains around 20-25 people a year, than it does to
any other member of the CG family. I have
learned from that review of the difficulties the
donors now face in determining the appropriate
allocation of resources between research
functions and training functions within the CG.
There are certainly members of the CG centers
who believe if it comes to a resource crunch,
research activities should take priority over
training. Perhaps the AFSRE could use this
moment of difficulty to its own advantage. The
Association plays both a research and a training

role-not directly, but through the activities of
its membership. Surely there are some
opportunities for linkage with the work of the
CG centers that may be of mutual benefit.
I wonder, too, whether the time has not come
to think about seeking sponsors from the
corporate sector. Many of us have reservations
about making friends with or getting close to
corporations such as the big fertilizer companies
or the big oil companies. A critical review may
suggest they are part of the problem and not
part of the solution. Nonetheless, it is clear that
corporations such as Shell, or Fisons, are
positioning themselves very quickly in the new
fields of integrated pest management,
bioengineering, and other related initiatives that
are just barely on the horizon. They are seeking
ways to work with and not simply deflect the
criticisms of environmentalists who are
concerned with issues of sustainability. We have
something to contribute to their work, and I
hope they have something to contribute to ours.
Finally, I know from reading and personal
contact that many of the interesting experiences,
concepts, and research activities that led us to
our own engagement with farming systems work
have their parallels in Japan and in the former
Soviet Union. We need to make personal contact
with those experiences, with those individuals,
and join our strengths in a broadened
Association. It is very pleasing that John
Caldwell has been based in Japan this year and I
am sure he will help us in making stronger
contact with Japanese colleagues. We need
similar ways to access our friends and
colleagues in the former Soviet Union and
Eastern Europe.

King, Maurice. 1991. The Lanclet. September. Also during a
public debate with Dr. Richard Jolly, Deputy Executive
Director of UNICEF, held at the Free University,
Amsterdam, November 20, 1991, reported in Onze
Wereld 12.
Stone, Jonathan. 1991. Quoted in an article reporting the
conference A Plague of Humans. New Scientist, October.


"Together we

need to

articulate a

claim on






J.O. Olukosi and A.O. Ogungbile2

For a number of reasons, the impact of Farming
Systems Research-Extension (FSRE) in Africa must be
measured with caution. First, African countries are at
different stages of development in their FSRE endeavor.
Second, assessing the impact of FSRE is not an easy task
because FSRE is only one of the several inputs
contributing to the process of agricultural development;
thus its success depends on the effective functioning of
other components. Furthermore, the most important
results of FSRE are often neither readily apparent nor
tangible, as in the case of generating feedback on
farmers' production conditions and prioritizing problems
in order to enhance the relevance and efficacy of
research, development planning, and agricultural
policies. This makes it very difficult to isolate the
specific impact of FSRE for evaluation. Third, there is a
paucity of literature on FSRE impact assessment. Fourth,
the organization and strategies of FSRE programs in
each African country have been influenced greatly by
the historical background of agricultural research in the
area, the mandate of institutions in which they are
located, and the available resources.
The impact of FSRE in Africa is therefore illustrated
best by using a country-specific example. The case of
Nigeria is reviewed here not because it is the best, but
because it is the most familiar to the authors.
Subsequently, the paper focuses on the subregional
initiatives in West Africa and other parts of the
continent. The conclusion is a summary of the global
African achievements, problems, limitations, and future

Following independence, research continued to
emphasize cash crops to the detriment of food crops.
By the late 1970s, Nigeria became a net importer of
grains. A directive was issued in 1981 by the Federal
Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) that each of
the principal food crops research institutes in Nigeria
should incorporate a farming systems research program
into its research activities in order to develop a
comprehensive agricultural system that was
technologically, economically, and ecologically stable.
In 1982 the FMST organized a training workshop on
' Keynote presentation at the Twelfth Annual Association for
Farming Systems Research Extension Symposium, Michigan State
University, East Lansing, September 12-19, 1992.
2 Institute of Agricultural Research, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,

Farming Systems Research (FSR) for the various
agricultural institutes. The next year, a National
Coordinator for FSRE in the country was appointed by
FMST. In 1984 the National Farming Systems Research
network was created and the first National Workshop was
held. By 1985 collaboration between the FSR network,
universities, and Agricultural Development Projects
(ADPs) was intensified and zonal workshops became
yearly events. The second, third, and fourth National
Workshops were held in 1986, 1988, and 1990
Through diagnostic surveys it has been possible to
characterize the various agroecological zones. The major
constraints identified during the diagnostic phase have
led to research prioritization. Of particular interest is the
development of improved technologies for crop mixtures
that technical scientists in the past were reluctant to
address because of the complexities involved and the
notion that such crop mixtures were primitive. Such
technologies include maize/cotton, maize/sorghum,
maize/cowpea, millet/sorghum, cassava/maize/egusi, and
yam/maize/egusi mixtures to mention a few (Olukosi et
al., 1991). Numerous newly developed improved crop
varieties of rice, cowpeas, maize, groundnut, sorghum,
and cassava were evaluated on-farm and such promising
technologies are passed on to extension staff in the form
of Small Plot Adoption Techniques (SPAT). Farmer
involvement is emphasized in demonstrating improved
technologies through SPAT. There are virtually millions of
SPATs established across the nation by the ADP extension
staff using the Training and Visit extension system. Yield
increases above farmers' traditional practices have been
Overall Achievements of FSRE in Nigeria, then,
include: (1) the creation of unified FSRE systems through
networking; (2) improved technology adoption; (3) strong
research and extension linkages; (4) infrastructural
development; (5) training of scientists; and (6)
information exchange.

When the Nigerian National FSR network was
established, the West African Farming Systems Research
Network (WAFSRN) was also being conceived. WAFSRN
was aimed at sensitizing other commodity-based and
interest groups to use the FSRE approach throughout
West Africa. By 1984 FSRE was initiated in the Ivory Coast
as a loosely organized on-farm research network

managed by an interdisciplinary team. The first set of
activities on Adaptive Crops Research and Extension
(ACRE) started in Sierra Leone in 1980, and the second
initiative started in 1985 at the Njala University. By 1985,
FSR activities were mandated to be coordinated by the
Burkinabe Agricultural Research Center in Burkina Faso.
In 1980 a seminar was conducted with French experts
in Benin Republic in which experts were drawn from
Senegal, Togo, and Ivory Coast. In Togo, experiences
from both the francophone and anglophone approaches
to agricultural development were combined. The FSRE
effort in Cameroon was linked with the university setting,
aimed at providing university staff with practical research
and students with a "hands-on" training medium. In
Mauritania, FSR started in 1986 with only two expatriates
to train the Mauritanian group. The Senegalese
experience started as far back as 1982 and covered the
Lower Casamance area, which includes an important rice-
growing area. The experience in Mali was similar to that
of Senegal, dating back to 1986, and the experience in
Ghana was similar to that of Nigeria.
Under WAFSRN, different groups are emerging to
address problems of common interest. For example, the
Collaborative Group on Maize based Systems (COMBS)
has as its central theme the integration of legumes into
maize-based systems in order to suppress weeds and
improve soil fertility. Others include the cassava-based
systems group (CORTIS), animal traction group
(WAATN), and the Sudano-Sahelian group (GREFMASS).
One major achievement of WAFSRN is the exchange of
information through the Journal of Agricultural Systems in
Africa, the WAFSRN Bulletin, WAFSRN Occasional Papers,
and a strong Documentation Unit. WAFSRN has also
succeeded in linking the various countries through
workshops, meetings, training, exchange visits, and on-
farm trials.

In Southern and Eastern Africa, the effort of CIMMYT
in propagating the FSRE approach has been noteworthy.
On-farm research (OFR) started in 1976 when an
agricultural economist was posted to Nairobi. During the
late 1970s and early 1980s, much of CIMMYT's effort was
geared toward orienting scientists of the National
Agricultural Research Institutes (NARIS) in the farming
systems research approach. In 1983 CIMMYT established
a regional OFR support project in Eastern and Southern
Africa with funds from USAID, a project that continues to
this day.
The CIMMYT project has been giving support to
NARIs in their OFR in the areas of formal training in OFR,
networking or information exchange, and direct
assistance and consultation to NARIs' OFR (Waddington,
1991). The great expansion of OFR in Southern and
Eastern Africa during the mid-1980s created a large and
continued demand for training of existing experienced
researchers and extentionists who were redeployed into
OFR and new researchers entering NARIs directly into
OFR. Since 1983, short training courses have been given
either regionally or in-country to cover aspects such as

production problem identification, analysis and
interpretation of survey data, planning on-farm research
programs, and implementing and analyzing OFR trials.
Several technical workshops have been held on
methodological and technical aspects. From 1983 to
1988, the project produced a Farming Systems Newsletter
quarterly. This was replaced by a Bulletin, now
produced twice yearly.
Intemal reviews of several OFR programs in Eastern
and Southern Africa have been facilitated in Botswana,
Swaziland, and Ethiopia. Many research teams in
countries such as Zimbabwe, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania,
Kenya, Uganda, and Lesotho have been assisted in
developing their research plans, implementing
diagnostic work and experiments, and analyzing and
interpreting their work. The impact of the OFR in
Eastern and Southern Africa has been considerable,
particularly in identifying production problems that
constrain smallholder farming systems and in adapting
technologies to alleviate those constraints.

1. The impact of FSRE in Africa has centered on
rationalizing research priorities. FSRE initiated the
process for solving farmers' problems and influenced
component research, which has produced technological
2. A strong linkage between research, extension,
farmers, and input agencies has been established, and
the institutionalization of FSRE in African countries has
been achieved within the period of a decade.
3. Exchange of information through networking,
workshops, meetings, etc. is also a great achievement of
FSRE in Africa.
4. Training young researchers in the general FSRE
approach has increased awareness throughout Africa
and the training of more experienced scientists in the
participatory approaches will contribute to an even
greater impact.
5. Infrastructural development in some areas has
improved as a result of the awareness created through
diagnostic surveys.
6. Research endeavors in the areas of integration of
crop production, livestock, agroforestry, and the
environment have started.

Poor planning and implementation of OFR
diagnostic surveys sometimes resulted in inappropriate
experimental programs that were themselves poorly
done. In some countries, available technologies
practiced by commodity research on-station were very
few, yet OFR programs have been restricted to pulling
down and adapting these existing technologies on-farm.
Where OFR has successfully adapted technologies,
extension services have found it difficult to make impact
at the farmers' level, often due to inadequate supply

(FSRE in Africa continued on page 6)

".. the most


results of

FSRE are

often neither






I would like to take the opportunity of this
forum to share some important information with
our readership and fellow FSRE practitioners.
Our organization has a membership of just over
300, and all membership fees go into the
production of the Journal and Newsletter. This
revenue, however, is not sufficient.
Consequently, as most of you may have
wondered and some have written, we suffered
an irregular publication schedule over the last
year. As the Journal editor (Tim Frankenberger)
and I announced at the last International
Symposium at Michigan State in September 1992,
our financial situation could not maintain a
steady flow of publications. Much of our
membership enjoys a subsidized fee structure,
and our inflow of resources could not get us to
press despite a strong backlog of publishable
articles. That was the down side.
On the bright side, however, help has
arrived. Thanks to several sources of outside
support that responded to the creative efforts of
our always optimistic President, David Norman,
we have obtained the necessary funds to
maintain a regular and predictable publication
schedule of two Journals and three Newsletters
every year. So let us give thanks to the Ford
Foundation, for a $50,000 institutional grant, to
an anonymous donor who gave us a $10,000
challenge grant, and to James Olukosi, our
colleague and representative from Nigeria, who
helped effect the printing and distribution of the
last Journal issue. We will use these resources
to introduce stability and consistency to the
services provided to you, our membership, and
to reach out for that illusive goal of institutional
I suspect that many of you would appreciate
an accounting of the Journal issues, so that you
can check the AFSRE shelf in your library.
Journals published to date are as follows:
Volume I: Nos. 1, 2
Volume II: Nos. 1, 2, 3
Volume III: Nos. 1, 2 (printed in Nigeria)
Volume IV: Nos. 1, 2 (in preparation)
Volume 4(1) of the Journal is currently being
mailed. We have also published two issues of
the Newsletter this year. If you do not have
these issues for the years that you have been a
member, please contact us and we will supply
the missing copies.
As part of the staff here at the University of
Arizona, I want to thank you for your patience
and understanding throughout this crisis. I am
convinced that our steel has been tempered, and
we should feel encouraged to move toward a
goal of sustainability at a level of services that
benefits our organization and its membership.
We still embody the only formal development
approach that specifically directs its explicit

focus toward the resource-poor farm household.
Our work is important; let us continue to advance
in theory, in method, and, most importantly, in


Timothy J. Finan

(FSRE in Africa continuedfrom page 5)
and distribution of inputs. Also, until recently there has
been a lack of research regarding the integration of crops,
livestock, and agroforestry components.
In many African countries, FSRE has been unable to
address macropolicy issues. Also, there is a lack of
financial commitment on the part of most African
countries to funding research in general and FSRE in
particular. To date, achievements have been made
through the assistance of international donor agencies.
Most of this assistance is ad hoc and short term, whereas
FSRE needs long-term commitment. Furthermore, outside
funding is dwindling as donor emphasis shifts away from
agriculture and Africa in general.

Abalu, G.I.O, 1989. The role of farming systems research in shaping
food and agricultural policies in the semi-arid tropics of sub-
Saharan Africa. Paper presented at the SAFGRAD Workshop on
appropriate technologies for sustainable agriculture in sub-Saharan
Africa, Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, April.
Baker, D.C., and D.W. Norman. 1986. A framework for assessing
farming systems activities in national settings in West Africa: With
special reference to Senegal, Nigeria and Mali. In G.I.O. Abalu, H.
Mutsaers, and J. Faye, eds., Farming systems in West Africa:
Proceedings of the West African systems research network workshop,
Dakar, Senegal, March 10-14 .
Olukosi, J.O., K.A. Elemo, V. Kumar, and A.O. Ogungbile. 1991.
Farming systems research and development of improved crop
mixtures technologies in the Nigerian Savanna. Journal of West
African Farming Systems Research Network 1(1):17-24.
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.
Waddington, S.R. 1991. CIMMYT On-farm research support project for
southern and eastern Africa. In Southern African Farming Systems
Research and Extension NeusletterJune, pp 5-9.



July 5-August 5, 1994

An intensive training course for international
participants of the United States Department of
Agriculture is being offered by the Bureau of
Applied Research in Anthropology at the
University of Arizona. This course is designed for
both men and women professionals and staff
responsible for working with planning,
implementation, and outreach in small-farm
programs. The goal is to provide participants with
skills to coordinate teams of professionals from
the biological and social sciences to identify and
solve relevant farm problems.
Farming Systems Research-Extension (FSRE) is
a multidisciplinary methodology for technology
development that merges research and extension
efforts. FSRE is a means of integrating farmers
with researchers and extensionists in a systematic
procedure for identifying and solving problems.
Multidisciplinary FSRE teams, composed of
research and extension personnel, work with a
diversity of farmers to identify problems and
constraints and then create, adapt, and test
alternative solutions designed specifically for
designated farm or field situations.
FSRE field teams initially identify problems and
constraints of target farmers through rapid survey
techniques designed specifically for this purpose.
Farmers are incorporated in a sequential search
for and testing of solutions and as much work is
carried out on farms as on experiment stations.
This course stresses the importance of an
interdisciplinary team approach and actively
involves participants in hands-on activities that
are designed to provide observable operations
that support the classroom learning.
At the completion of the course, participants
will have developed the knowledge and skills to:
Demonstrate an understanding of the FSRE
approach to solving farm problems including
generation, adaptation, validation, and diffusion
of scale, problem- and location-specific
Discuss the nature and diversity of family
farms and farm households, the constraints they
face, and the interrelationships between men and
women household members, crops, livestock,
markets, and other infrastructure.
Identify the biophysical, economic, and
social science methods required for professionals
from different disciplines to work together in
joint problem identification and solution efforts
under conditions of urgency and usually with
limited resources.

Understand the institutional and
administrative relationships and requirements for
the support of an FSRE Program whether in a
developed or developing country, and the
potential effect of an FSRE program on
agricultural policy, infrastructure, and
Develop a preliminary action work plan
demonstrating how FSRE may be utilized in the
participant's own work.
Participants should bring information
regarding their own projects for use in
classroom presentations and activities.
The training course includes a one-week field
trip to Alamos, Sonora, Mexico, where
participants will implement FSRE design and
For more information, please contact:

Dr. Thoric Cederstrom
Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology
Department of Anthropology
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona USA 85721
FAX (602) 621-9608

September 19 December 9, 1994

Offered by the Institute of Development Studies,
this course is designed for planners,
policymakers, and practitioners, working for
government at the national and subnational
level, donor agencies, nongovernmental
organizations, or training and academic
institutions. Countries are encouraged to send
teams of participants working on different
aspects of food security, and at different levels:
for example, national and district level food
security planners, early warning and relief
personnel, food marketing and food production
officers, nutritionists, etc. This enables
participants from the same country to work
together, sharing experiences and perspectives,
and relating the content of the course to their
own country context. It helps to strengthen
institutional capacity on food security within the
country concerned in a coherent way.
For more information contact:
The Chairman, Teaching Area, Institute Of
Development Studies
University of Sussex
Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 9RE UK

or by telephoning (0273) 606261;
fax: (0273) 621202/ 691647.


As part of a 1991 cooperative agreement,
arranged through the U.S. Department of
Agriculture's Office of International Cooperation
and Development (OICD), between the U.S.
Agency for International Development's Office
of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the
University of Arizona's Office of Arid Lands
Studies (OALS), the Arid Lands Information
Center (ALIC) has been developing a special
document collection and ProCite database
related to famine mitigation activities in Africa.
Initial collection efforts focused on three target
countries (Sudan, Ethiopia, and Angola) and
covered nine topics: early warning systems,
rapid assessment, gardening strategies, cropping
systems, livestock preservation, resources, cash-
and food-for-work programs, marketing
interventions, and conflict modification.
Subsequent efforts centered on southern African
nations and, specifically, on issues related to
household food security.
Many of the approximately 2,400 documents
in the collection are nonconventional in format,
including technical and field reports, project
papers, and reports from NGOs and PVOs
involved in food relief programs. Identification
of the documents was made by searching online
databases such CAB ABSTRACTS, AGRIS, and
AGRICOLA and through visitations to libraries
and information centers in the United States, the
United Kingdom, and various United Nations
libraries in Rome. Two bibliographies have been
published as result of these efforts. In addition,
other documents related to famine mitigation
activities are available for purchase including
three country profiles (Sudan, Angola, and
Ethiopia) and strategy papers (early warning and
vulnerability assessment, rapid food security
assessment, and AgPaks). For further
information about the collection, bibliographies,
database, or other publications, contact:

Director, Arid Lands Information Center
845 North Park Avenue
Tucson, Arizona USA 85719



The market information needs of the organic
food industry will be identified in a new survey
distributed nationally to more than 1700 farmers,
wholesale distributors, processors, retailers, and
researchers involved in the organic food trade.
The USDA-funded study will identify ways in
which the OMNIS Organic Wholesale Marketing
Report can be revised to better address the needs
of today's organic market place. The OMNIS
Report is the only publication to provide
systematic reporting of organic produce prices.
In its present form, the OMNIS Report lists
current wholesale prices for organic fresh fruits,
vegetables, and herbs, comparison prices for
conventional produce, and indications of over
and undersupply. It is published semimonthly.
OMNIS will use the survey to gauge demand
for new information, such as price reporting of
nuts, grains, beans, and livestock products, as
well as demand for regional process, changes in
the Report's format, and frequency of publication.
Results of the study and a revised OMNIS Report
are expected to be available in the summer of
The OMNIS Report was initiated in 1985 by the
Committee for Sustainable Agriculture, a nonprofit
organization, in response to organic farmers,
handlers, and retailers who needed price
information and statistical and historical data.
Subscriptions are available for US $39.00 per
year for 21 issues. Persons who wish more
information on the OMNIS Organic Wholesale
Marketing Report can contact:

Zabrae Valentine at (916) 446-1860.


People with special knowledge and skills in
sustainable agriculture are being sought for
inclusion in the 1994 edition of the Sustainable
Agriculture Directory of Expertise. Released in
June by Rodale Institute, the premier 1993 edition
of the directory is a "yellow pages" of 717 people
and groups with expertise in such topics as
building soil health, using pest-control tools, and
diversifying cash flow. The 300-page directory
was compiled by the staff of Appropriate
Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA), a
national sustainable agriculture information
service. It is a project of the Sustainable
Agriculture Network (SAN) and was funded by the
USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research and
Education (SARE) program. "We plan to regularly
update the directory to make it an even more
inclusive listing of people involved in sustainable
agriculture production research, information
dissemination, and agribusiness," ATTRA program
manage Jim Likens said.
1994 Directory of Expertise nomination forms
are available by contacting ATTRA in writing at:

P.O. Box 3657
Fayetteville, AR, USA 72702
telephone (501) 442-9824;
fax to (501) 442-9842.

Anyone wishing to order the 1993 Directory of
Expertise may send US $14.95 (price includes
postage and handling) for each directory to:

Sustainable Agriculture Publications
Hills Building, Room 12
University of Vermont
Burlington, VT USA 05405

Please make checks and money orders payable to
"Sustainable Agriculture Publications."



The federal government should make
substantial changes in the current pesticide
regulatory system to give infants and children
greater protection from possible adverse health
effects of the pesticides in their diets. This
report recommends that the federal government
"change some of its scientific and regulatory
procedures for pesticides" and "adopt a new
method of risk assessment to gauge more
accurately what proportion of the population
may be at risk." It also argues that tolerance
levels regulating permissible levels of pesticides
in food be based primarily on health
considerations rather than on agricultural
The 14-person committee that wrote the
report found that both quantitative and
occasionally qualitative differences in toxicity of
pesticides between children and adults exist,
and that infants and children differ both
qualitatively and quantitatively from adults in
their exposure to pesticide residues in foods.
Among its recommendations, the report said it is
essential to develop toxicity testing procedures
that specifically evaluate the vulnerability of
infants and children. It also recommended
refining estimates of total dietary exposure to
consider multiple pesticides with common toxic
effects. In estimating the risk that a pesticide
might cause cancer, toxicologists now assume a
lifetime of constant exposure. The committee
recommended "the development of new
methods that account for changes in exposure
and susceptibility that occur as a person


The Adaptive Economy:
Adjustments Policies in Small, Low-
Income Countries

Tony Killick
The Adaptive Economy was prepared for use in
seminars organized by the Economic
Development Institute of the World Bank for
officials working in the public sector of small,
low-income countries. It is an informal textbook
on the principles of adjustment policy, and is
based on the premise that all econorr' must
constantly adapt to changing circumsta,.r
they are to achieve a reasonable pace of
The author argues that adjustment is, in fact,
not simply a phenomena of the late twentieth
century, nor is it separate from, or preliminary
to, the struggle for economic development. The
book draws upon a wide range of development
experience, including recent theoretical and
empirical research, while avoiding a narrowly
economic approach.
The Adaptive Economy may be the first
systematic treatment of adjustment policy at this
level: the chapter on the nature and
determinants of a flexible economy is unique in
the literature. The book attempts to bridge the
gap between long-term development and
shorter-term programs of the type supported by
the IMF and World Bank; and between
structuralist and neoclassical approaches to
development policy. An extensive bibliography
is provided, with recommendations for further
To order, write:
World Bank Publications
PO Box 7247-8619
Philadelphia, PA USA 19170-8619


Mobilizing Savings and Rural Finance:
The A.I.D. Experience

Produced as part of the Research and
Development Bureau's Science and Technology in
Development series, this book examines a cross-
section of rural finance studies and programs
conducted in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It
examines important rural financial issues, offers
solutions, and highlights Ohio State University's
work in this area. The book contains in-depth
case studies of rural savings mobilization and
financial market reforms in Honduras,
Bangladesh, and Niger. It offers a review of
USAID progress, problems, and future lessons.
Based on the premise that financial issues in
developing countries should be a concern of all
development practitioners, the book demystifies
finance, demonstrates its role in every
development endeavor, and shows how USAID
research efforts offer new approaches to Third
World producers' financial needs. It may be of
interest to development practitioners and anyone
interested in international development.

To order, contact:
Melissa Brinkerhoff, Financial Markets Advisor
(703) 875-4491 or (703) 875-4394 (fax).


Annual Statistics Report, Thomas
Jefferson Fellowship Program

The report contains statistics on USAID-funded
international training at U.S. training facilities. It
includes worldwide and regional distributions and
trends cross-tabulated by gender, field of study,
degree objective, age, and HBCU use. Statistics
are presented in tables, charts, and maps.

Alan Kreger
209 SA-16
Washington, DC USA 20523-1601
(703) 875-4330.


Vetiver Grass: A Thin Green Line
Against Erosion

Contour planting of rows of vetiver grass is a
low-cost, effective erosion-control method.
Vetiver, a grass native to India, is known for the
vetiver oil extracted from its roots. According to
the National Academy of Science (NAS), its deep
roots and dense stands of sturdy stalks make it an
almost ideal plant for holding back water and soil
runoff. Vetiver varieties that do not seed are
easily vegetatively propagated from slips. They
form dense hedges but do not turn up as weeds
in adjacent fields. With R&D Research Office
support, NAS published a monograph of
experience from many countries suggesting that
vetiver can be adapted to many climates and
soils. The World Bank provided funding to
distribute 45,000 copies of the 171-page report.

Free copies are available from:
Wendy White, NAS
(202) 334-2639.

Family and Development Summary of
an Expert Meeting

Karen Foote and Linda Martin, eds.
This report of the July 1992 meeting of the USAID
Population Committee examines how the family
system can be used as a unit of analysis in
understanding needs, aspirations and patterns of
resource use and how families can be
incorporated in the design, monitoring, and
evaluation development projects.

Population Committee
National Research Council
2101 Constitution Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC USA 20418.

The Substance Behind the Images:
A.I.D. and Development

Challenges exist in the development field.
Environmental degradation, increasing world
population, structural adjustment, and the
spread of diseases such as AIDS are coupled
with changing democratization and
decentralization scenarios. It is important to
understand how and when development
strategies work and how to make them most
effective. Twenty years of experience in
development communication tells its own story
in this 60-page document.

The general public can order from:
Development Information Services
Document Distribution Unit
1500 Wilson Blvd., Suite 1010
Arlington, VA USA 22209

Cite book No. PNABN 992 and send US $3 per
paper copy, $1.25 per microfiche copy. Paper
copies are shipped book rate in the U.S. and
surface overseas.



United States, Canada, Western Europe,
Japan, Australia, New Zealand
All other countries

Members receive both the AFSRE News Sheet and the Journalfor Farming Systems Research-Extension. Membership
dues can be paid by a check drawn on a U.S. bank or by international money order payable to Association for Farming
Systems Research-Extension in U.S. dollars. Please send membership fees along with the completed form to:
Dr. TimothyJ. Finan, Secretary/Treasurer AFSRE
Department of Anthropology
The University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ 85721 USA

1. Family name

2. First name and middle name or initial

3. Female Male Age Citizenship

4. Title or position

5. Department

6. Institution

7. Postal mailing address

8. Telephone


9. Primary languages)

10. Other spoken languages (indicate fluent, f proficient, p, basic, b)

11. Other languages read

12. Highest educational degree Discipline

13. Current professional interests

14. Experience: Name of project, capacity, country
15. Would you like to volunteer to serve as an AFSRE country representative to collect association dues in local currency and forward them, in U.S.

dollars, to the treasurer if you can legally do this in your country of residence?

The AFSRE Newsletter is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation; contributions from AFSRE members; and the Office of Arid Lands Studies, The
University of Arizona. The editors welcome articles, news items, and publication announcements for consideration in future issues.
Timothy R. Frankenberger, Editor
Association of Farming Systems Research-Extension Newsletter
Office of Arid Lands Studies
The University of Arizona
845 N. Park Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85719 USA
Tel.: (602) 621-1955 Fax: (602) 621-3816
Staff: Associate Editors; JenniferJ. Manthei M. Katherine McCaston, & Daniel Goldstein Design; Sonia Telesco







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