1988 FSR/E symposium: Contributions...
 1989 FSR/E symposium
 Identification of results of farming...

Title: Farming Systems Research-Extension newsletter
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00071920/00001
 Material Information
Title: Farming Systems Research-Extension newsletter
Alternate Title: Farming Systems Research Extension newsletter
Physical Description: v. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Farming Systems Research and Extension Network
University of Florida. Institute of Food and Agricultural Science
Publisher: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1989-
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
Dates or Sequential Designation: No. 1-
General Note: Title from caption.
Funding: Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
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Bibliographic ID: UF00071920
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 - 20382328
lccn - sn 91013250


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Table of Contents
    1988 FSR/E symposium: Contributions of FSR/E towards sustainable agriculture systems
        Page 1
        Page 2
    1989 FSR/E symposium
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    Identification of results of farming systems research and extension activities: A synthesis
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        Page 11
        Page 12
Full Text

Number 1, 1989
The First in a Series of Four

On behalf of the Ad Hoc Task
Force on an Association for
Sustainable Farming Systems
Research/Extension, universities
and other institutions which are
interested in possibly hosting the
Sustainable Farming Systems
Symposium in 1990 or 1991 are
requested to make themselves
The series of Farming Systems
Symposia was started at Kansas
State University, which hosted
the first six annual meetings. The
University of Arkansas and
Winrock International invited the
Symposium to Fayetteville for the
sessions in 1987, 1988, and 1989,
and the first two of those have
been successfully completed.
During the 1989 Symposium,
scheduled for 8 to 11 October, it
is planned to have a business
meeting which might organize an
association. The association
would function to enhance future
symposia, as well as other means
for exchanging information
among those concerned with
Sustainable Farming Systems
Research and Extension.
However, since decisions
regarding the site of future
meetings, the timing of such
meetings (annual or biennial,
etc.), and financial arrangements
require significant lead time, this
invitation is intended to faciliate
a head start in the process.
Interested institutions should
make their potential availability
known to George H. Axinn, who
is serving as Chairperson of the
ad hoc Task Force.
Dr. George H. Axinn, Professor, Dept.
of Resource Development, 323 Natural
Resources Bldg., Michigan State
University, East Lansing, MI 48824

Farming Systems Research-Extension Newsletter


The Farming Systems Research and
Extension (FSR/E) Network held its
8th Annual Symposium, October
9-12, 1988 in Fayetteville, Arkansas,
supported by USAID, Ford Founda-
tion, Rockefeller Foundation, USDA
and the Farm Foundation. Program
emphasis included four major
1) FSR/E accomplishments in the
2) methodologies for assessing
the impact of FSR/E;
3) gender and intra-household
issues in FSR/E; and
4) the role of information/com-
munication systems in FSR/E.
A notable aspect of the program
included a full day of concurrent
regional sessions: Africa, Asia, Latin
America, and the United States. The
United States was considered as a
region to explore, among other
concerns, the ways in which FSR/E
experiences in lesser developed
countries can be applied within the
context of USDA's Low Input and
Sustainable Agriclture initiative. In
addressing the question; "Should
FSR/E methodologies differ when
applied to the U.S. setting?,"
discussants concluded that FSR/E
practices are basic, applicable to U.S.
agriculture without modification, and,
therefore, the Low Input and
Sustainable Agriculture initiative
could benefit directly from experience
In addressing the main theme of
the Symposium Contributions of
FSR/E Towards Sustainable
Agricultural Systems a number of
presenters made a case for

establishing a natural linkage
between FSR/E and sustainable
agriculture. Among them, Charles
Francis, from the University of
Nebraska, stated: 'The future
success of agriculture to provide food
and income will depend on our ability
to develop sustainable crop and
animal production systems... The
process of resource and need
identification, farmer and scientist
evaluation of alternatives, local
involvement in testing viable options,
and ownership of the activity through
all its stages essentially the FSR/E
model is proving more effective
than conventional (approaches) to
increase productivity (and income)
over a wide range of situations."
Special Reports Highlighted
Three invited speakers attracted
the central attention of Symposium
participants: Timothy Frankenberger,
Kerry Byrnes, and Deborah
Merrill-Sands. Timothy Franken-
berger, representing the Farming
Systems Network Steering Commit-
tee, shared the main findings of the
"Asessment of FSR/E Experiences",
a study sponsored by USAID's
Bureau of Science and Technology.
Kerry Byrnes, from USAID's Bureau
for Program and Policy Coordination,
Center for Development Information
and Evaluation, presented the
primary conclusions from the study
"Synthesis of AID Experiences:
FSR/E." Deborah Merrill-Sands, from
ISNAR (International Service for
National Agricultural Research),
spoke on the lessons from a
nine-country study on "Assessing the
Institutional Impact of On-Farm,

client-Oriented Research Programs."
The three participants agreed in
their findings on several points: that
the adaptive and applied research
functions of FSR/E have been the
most successfully implemented; that
FSR/E has played an important
bridging role between extension and
agricultural research; that FSR/E
teams placed under research
divisions have better access to
research results and can influence
priorities easier than those placed
under extension; and that FSR/E by
itself cannot be expected to make a
major impact within the limitations of
a three- or five-year project.
Committee Retires,
Task Force is Established
At the final evening session of the
Symposium the Farming Systems
Network Steering Committee
presented a report on its activities
during the year on behalf of the
Network, including study results of the
"Assessment of FSR/E Experiences,"
a compilation of available FSR/E
training offerings, response to
USAID's concept paper for future
support to FSR/E, and USAID
funding for this, the first of four
transitional FSR/E Newsletter issues.
Steering Committee members were
rendered a standing ovation for their
efforts on behalf of the Network;
members included Kathy Alison,
Jerry Eckert, Cornelia Flora, Tim
Frankenberger, Peter Hildebrand,
Michael Joshua, Steve Kearl,
Rosalee Norem, and Tom Westing.
Ex-officio members included Chris
Andrew, Roberto Castro, Jim
Chapman, Kerry Byrnes, and Henk
Knipsheer. Special appreciation was
extended to USAID and to Winrock
International for their generous
support to Steering Committee
During the Open Network Forum
which followed, an Ad Hoc Task
Force was selected to further the
interests of those present that there
should be similar symposia in the
future. The instruction given to the
group was to make preliminary plans
for some kind of an association which
might become a sponsor, or at least

an advocate, for future symposia and
perhaps publication and distribution
of the proceedings of future symposia.
The following individuals were
selected to become the Task Force:
George H. Axinn, Michigan State
University, CHAIR
Virgitio Carangal, IRRI, Phillipines
Jacques Faye, SAFGRAD/OAU,
Burkina Faso
Hilary Feldstein, New Hampshire
Timothy J. Finan, University of
Cornelia Flora, Kansas State
A. M. Foster, BCCI, Zambia
Anita Frio, IRRI, Phillipines
Peter E. Hildebrand, University of
Robert E. Hudgens, Winrock
International, Arkansas
Paul Kleene, DSA/CIRAD, France
Liu Xin-Hao, Beijing Agricultural
Harold J. McArthur, University of
Susan Poats, Florida
Donald E. Voth, University of
Two others who were deeply
involved in the management of the
last two symposia, and who are
responsible for much of the planning
and implementation of the next
symposium, are serving as ex-officio
members. They are: Tom Westing,
Director of International Agricultural
Programs at the University of
Arkansas; and Beth Barham, of the
same office.
Five committees have been
appointed, and are giving thought to
the needs of the future. They are:
Future Symposia Program and Site
Committee (Harold McArthur, Chair);
Editorial Committee (Cornelia Flora,
Chair); Finance Committee (Robert
E. Hudgens, Chair); Constitution
Drafting Committee (Timothy Finan,
Chair); and Nominating Committee
(Donald Voth, Chair). Any readers of
this FSR/E Newsletter who would like
to participate in these activities are
encouraged to write to George Axinn,
or to contact one of the Committee
Chairs. Axinn is Professor, Depart-
ment of Resource Development, 323

Natural Resources Building,
Michigan State University, East
Lansing, Michigan 48824-1222.
The Planning Committee for the
1989 Symposium (scheduled for 8 to
11 October) has set aside time for a
Business Meeting of the potential
new association on the first morning
of the Symposium. Among other
matters to be discussed at that
session will be (1) the purpose of the
association, (2) a name of the
association, (3) constitution and
by-laws, (4) officers for the next year,
(5) means of publication of future
proceedings (possibly in quarterly
installations), and (6) finance of an
association and of future symposia.
Depending on decisions made at
that time, the group may go ahead
with decisions on the site of the 1990
Symposium, and other future plans.
Preliminary effort in this direction
includes an open invitation to
institutions which might be interested
in hosting future symposia. Since
planning for such a large international
meeting usually takes several years,
it is hoped that some "head start" will
be achieved during this year.
According to Axinn, "The Task
Force is an open group, and inputs
from anyone interested in farming
systems research and extension are
welcome. The present membership
was either nominated or volunteered
during the last Symposium, or was
co-opted by the Chair because of
prior experience. They represent only
the informal collection of individuals
who have been involved in recent
"It is appropriate," he believes, "that
these individuals come from Africa,
Asia, Europe, and Latin America as
well as North America. That reflects
symposia participation. Those from
the USA are probably over-rep-
resented, but that is for convenience
during this ad hoc year, in which
communication is being carried on
without financial support. If an
Association for Sustainable Farming
Systems is actually formed, its
managing committees will probably
reflect the world-wide nature of the
farming systems approach."


The ninth annual Farming Systems Research/Exten-
sion Symposium, hosted by the University of Arkansas
in collaboration with Winrock International Institute for
Agricultural Developmeant, will be held at the Center
for Continuing Education at the University of Arkansas
in Fayetteville October 8-11, 1989.
1989 Themes and Structures
The 1989 Symposium will examine the "Impacts of
Farming Systems Research/Extension on Sustainable
Agriculture" first regionally and then globally across the
following sub-themes:
FSR/E and the Concepts of Sustainability
The Role of Farming Systems in Sustaining:
Productivity and Profitability
Farmer Participation in Agricultural
Institutional Development
Enivronmental Quality
Special Topics
Special training courses such as the 1988 "The
Microcomputer: Agricultural Applications," will once
again be offered prior to and following the Symposium,
both at the University of Arkansas and at other
institutions, and will be advertised as they are
developed. The Symposium itself will officially open with
a reception Sunday night, October 8, and adjourn
Wednesday evening, October 11, 1989.
Feedback from the 1988 Symposium indicated a
strong support for the focus upon FSR/E from a regional
perspective, allowing more attention to the details of
concrete systems environments. On Monday, October
9, 1989, therefore, there will be four concurrent
programs, each focusing upon the sub-themes above
within one of the following regions:
Africa a Latin America
Asia/Near East a United States
Tuesday and Wednesday, October 10-11, the
sub-themes will be addressed from a broader global
perspective. Emphasis will be placed on presentations
which offer a synthesis of issues within a given
sub-theme, cutting across regional differences.
Call for Papers
All papers submitted for consideration are requested
to address the main theme of "Impacts of Farming
Systems Research/Extension on Sustainable
Agriculture". Were planned improvements fully adopted

and implemented? Will the system introduced continue
to function successfully on its own, with little or no
additional inputs? What are the critical factors at both
the micro and macro level which will ensure its ongoing
success? What general recommendations and
conclusions concerning small farm development have
emerged from FSR/E? How can these recommenda-
tions be communicatedeffectively to project designers,
implementors, and policy makers? A small number of
commissioned papers will be presented for each
sub-theme within the regional and global sections of the
program. The remainder of the program will be
organized around brief presentations of contributed
papers followed by an open facilitator-led discussion of
a given sub-theme in which paper authors will act as
panel discussants. Contributed papers to be included
in the program will be selected based on abstracts
Papers are invited which will address the content of
each of the sub-themes as follows:
FSR/E and the Concepts of Sustainability -
Sustainability in agricultural systems is an issue of
growing interest and concern. How are the key
concepts of sustainability and of FSR/E related?
What complimentarities exist? Are there any
The Role of FSR/E in Sustaining Productivity
and Profitability How can FSR/E contribute to
the development of stable and increasingly positive
input/output relationships and economic profitability
for agriculture over both the long and short term?
The Role of FSR/E in Sustaining Farmer
Participation How can FSR/E contribute to the
development of on-going patterns of farmer
participation in the agricultural research and
development process?
The Role of FSR/E in Sustaining Institutional
Development How can FSR/E best support
institutional development, and contribute to
building strong,stable, and sustainable institutional
structures for agriculture?
The Role of FSR/E in Sustaining Environ-
mental Quality What can FSR/E contribute to
building patterns of agricultural production and
resource use that not only do not degrade, but
actually enhance environmental quality?

Poster Presentations
The presentation of research results and projects,
and the opportunity to talk informally with project
personnel in attendance, will be accomplished by
organizing poster sessions in the late afternoon and
evening of Tuesday, October 10. No competing
programs or sessions will be scheduled during that time.
Posters will all be presented at the same location, with
authors/presenters present at designated times during
the poster session period for discussion of their project.
Individuals or groups are invited to make more than one
Publication of Abstracts/Proceedings
All abstracts submitted by the deadline and selected
for presentation will be published for distribution at the
Symposium. Selection of papers for publications in the
1988 Symposium proceedings will be based strictly
upon post-symposium peer review. All papers must
be received in final form at the time of the
Symposium to be considered. Only a limited number
of papers will be published, thus acceptance for
presentation does not assure publication in the
Deadlines and Procedures
All abstracts must be submitted as a minimum of 1
page (maximum of 3 pages) no later than May 1,1989
and must be accompanied by a completed Abstract
Information Form. Please pay attention to the type of
presentation, indicating whether it is regional or global

and into which sub-theme it falls. If it is regional, please
write in the region.
Authors/presenters will be notified by June 30 of their
selection for participation in the 1989 Symposium A
preliminary program and Symposium pre-registration
information will be mailed in July. Registration fees will
be $190.00 for non-students and $100.00 for students.
Late registration will begin September 15. After that,
fees will increase to $235.00 and $125.00 respectively.
All papers to be considered for publication must be
received in final form at the time of the Symposium. All
Symposium papers, whether presented or not, and
submitted 30 days prior to the Symposium, will be
available to the extent possible at a local copying service
indexed by key words for individual purchase.

Travel Support
For those requiring travel support in order to attend
the 1989 Symposium, you must include a valid telex,
telephone or FAX number where you may be reached.
The request for support form is attached. Contact
information is imperative. Only those submitting this
information will be considered for funding.

For Further Information
Contact Ms. Pamela Styles, Symposium Coordinator,
International Agricultural Programs Office, 300 Hotz
Hall, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas
72701. Telephone 501-575-6857, FAX 501-575-5055
and Telex 314000.


Mailing Address:

Telephone Number:

Telex Number:

FAX Number:

(Country code, city code, number)

Do you require partial__ or full__ support?

(Country code, city code, number)

Origin of Travel?
Dates of Travel?

(departure date)

(return date)

Were you funded for the 1988 Symposium: yes__no__ If yes, full orpartial- support?
In order to be considered for support you must complete all information on this form. Please be sure to give only
current information so that we may contact you in the fastest possible manner. Mail this form along with your abstract
form to: FSR/E Symposium, International Agricultural Programs Office, 300 Hotz Hall, University of Arkansas,
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701 USA ATTN: Pamela Styles

(Please complete both sides of this form)

Senior author: (Surname first) Institution

Mailing Address:

Telex Telephone Number/FAX

Second author: (Surname first) Institution

Mailing Address:

Telex Telephone Number/FAX

Third author: (Surname first) Institution

Mailing Address:

Telex Telephone Number/FAX

FSR/E and the Concepts of Sustainability
The Role of FSR/E in Sustaining Producl
and Profitability
The Role of FSR/E in sustaining Farmer
The Role of FSR/E in Sustaining Instituti
The Role of FSR/E in Sustaining Enviror

Regional Focus Global/Synthesis
[ i [ ]
[ ] [ ]
[ ] [ ]
[ i [ i
[ ] [ ]

If regional in focus, indicate region:
Who will present the paper?
Paper Session or Poster session _Language of Presentation
As in the past, travel support will be very limited. Please indicate what your travel needs would be if your paper
is accepted:
Would you require support to attend? yes no _
If yes, please complete the REQUEST FOR TRAVEL SUPPORT form.
Write an abstract of your paper or presentation, and attach it to this ABSTRACT INFORMATION FORM. Abstract
should be no shorter than 1 page and no longer than 3 pages.


Title of paper on Presentation:

Please repeat surnames of authors:

Please give two to four key words describing the paper or presentation:

Has the paper you propose to present at the Symposium been published previously?__ If yes, please list.

Have other publications been generated by your paper or from your research?_ If yes, please list.

What was the time period of your research (please include actual dates of project/research)?

Was research conducted in the field?

Who are potential users of this information?

What was your relationship to the activity? Consultant Graduate Student


Please list methodologies used for research.

Briefly state findings of your research.

What regions were represented in your research?.

Complete and mail this form (attached to a written abstract of 1 to 3 pages) to:
FSR/E Symposium
International Agricultural Programs Office
300 Hotz Hall
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701, USA
Telex 314000


Special Training Offerings are to be presented pre-symposium October 2-6 or post-symposium October 12-17 on
topics related to farming systems research. Training duration may be several days to a full week. Training offerings
will be subject to review by the Symposium Planning Committee.
Please use attached form to submit Special Training Offerings and your estimated fees. You may use additional
sheets if necessary. Training offerings should be self-sustaining and contribute to the total Symposium interchange.
Suggested budget considerations: room fees, equipment fees, honorarium, others.
The deadline for proposed symposium offering is May 1, 1989. Notification of acceptance and preliminary logistical
planning will begin June 30, 1989.

Title of Training:



Phone: Telex:

Fax Number:


Request Pre-Symposium Request Post-Symposium (circle one)

Number of days Estimated Fee

Maximum Participants Minimum Participants

Training to be supported by: participant fees grant other sources

Estimated Budget Summary:
(use additional paper if needed)

Return to: Nancy Christman, University of Arkansas
International Agricultural Programs, 300 Hotz Hall
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701 USA
Telephone 501-575-6857
Telex 314000 FAX 501-575-5055



Timothy R. Frankenberger
Billie R. Dewalt, Harold J. McArthur
Robert E. Hudgens, G. Mitawa
Kanok Rerkasem, Timothy Finan
Cornelia Butler Flora, Noel Young

Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to
review, analyze and document the
results of Farming Systems Research
and Extension (FSR/E) projects/pro-
grams that have been implemented
worldwide. This study focuses on the
factors that affect sustainability of
FSR/E within national agricultural
research and extension systems. It
seeks to determine the degree to
which externally funded FSR/E
projects have assisted in in-
stitutionalizing the FSR/E approach
into these systems, and the extent to
which governments will support these
activities. The study relied on field
case studies in Indonesia,
Guatemala, Botswana and CATIE,
and a secondary review of FSR/E
programs. Key topics addressed in
this study within the context of
institutional sustainability include:
organizational structure; training;
content of FSR/E programs; process
of technology assessment; linkages
with commodity research programs;
extension; agricultural support
systems; faculties of agriculture and
other government programs;
networking; and information
There are numerous problems
associated with measuring the
technical impact of FSR/E contribu-
tion to small farmer development. As
Baker and Norman (1988) point out,

there are three boundary issues
which confound such assessments:
1. The relative contributions of
conventional research and FSR
are not separable since they are
complimentary activities;
2. The adoption of technologies
depends upon a wide range of
circumstances, including the
performance of support
systems which are not under
the control of FSR teams;
3. Because FSR/E approaches
encompass technological
developments and institutional
change, significant results are
not realized until after 10-25
Due to these problems, this study has
chosen to concentrate on major
issues associated with the in-
stitutionalization of FSR/E programs
in National Agricultural Research
and Extension Systems.
The major impacts are organized
under seven headings. These
include: the organizational integration
of FSR/E; cost sharing in the FSR/E
program; short-term and long-term
training; institutional and international
linkages; information dissemination
and public policy; farmer participation;
and impacts on technology transfer.
The most important impacts across
projects and programs include: 1)
cost sharing in FSR/E programs with
National Agricultural Research and

Extension Systems; 2) improved
research and extension linkages; 3)
technologies tested and adapted; and
4) feedback from farmers used. For
Africa, the major impacts were: 1)
cost sharing of FSR/E programs with
National Agricultural systems; 2)
technology tested and adapted; 3)
improved research/extension
linkages; 4) improved links with
research; 5) feedback from farmers
used; 6) influenced research
design/priorities; 7) improved links
with other institutions; and 8) farmer
participation in research. For Latin
America, the major impacts were: 1)
cost sharing of FSR/E programs with
National Agricultural systems; 2)
improved research extension
linkages; 3) inservice training for
extension; 4) technology tested and
adapted; 5) improved links with other
institutions; and 6) feedback from
farmers used. For Southeast Asia,
the major impacts were: 1) cost
sharing of FSR/E programs with
National Agricultural systems; 2)
short-term training; 3) feedback from
farmers used; 4) improved research/
extension linkages; and 5) technology
tested and adapted.

Constraints to FSR/E Project/
Program Implementation
Overall, the major constraints to
FSR/E program implementation
across countries were: 1) competition
with other institutions in the research

organization; and 2) weak links
between research and extension. For
Africa, the major constraints were: 1)
competition with other institutions; 2)
the environment; 3) access to trained
manpower; 4) staffing of field teams;
5) cost of technology and access to
inputs; 6) poor linkages with policy
makers; 7) weak links with research
and extension; 8) on-farm experience
of research staff; and 9) the role of
extension. For Latin America, the
major constraints were: 1) competition
across institutions; 2) weak links
between research and extension; 3)
budget constraints; 4) cost of
technology and access to inputs; 5)
poor linkages with policy makers; and
6) agricultural prices and marketing.
For Southeast Asia, the major
constraints were: 1) weak links
between research and extension; 2)
project design; 3) design of on-farm
trials; and 4) involvement of farmers
in the research process.
Lessons Learned
1. The lack of cooperation between
research and extension is
common in national agricultural
research and extension
systems. FSR/E can play an
important bridging role between
extension and agricultural
research. FSR/E teams test
technology from research, and
provide researchers with
feedback from farmers and
extension to help set research
priorities. Technologies are not
always directly transferable from
research to extension.
2. All FSR/E projects within a
country should be placed under
one administrative umbrella.
Placing FSR/E programs under
research rather than extension
may be the preferred mode.
FSR/E teams placed under
research divisions have better
access to research results and
can influence priorities easier
than those placed under
extension. Linkages with
extension are more likely to
develop due to the location of
FSR/E teams in the field.

3. As research programs decen-
tralize, FSR/E teams could form
the core of regional research
teams working in different
ecological zones.
4. Unless incentives are provided,
it will be difficult to retain trained
manpower in the field as long as
career advancement is
contingent on placement in a
centralized research organiza-
tion. Consequently, there is also
little professional reward for
interdisciplinary and inter-institu-
tional collaboration. Despite this,
human capital development is
essential to the success of viable
FSR/E programs.
5. The reluctance of commodity
focused researchers to test and
disseminate technologies and
practices on farmers' fields until
final solutions are reached is
limiting potential production
improvements unnecessarily.
There is a need to test best bet
alternatives so that farmers can
participate in the assessments.
6. FSR/E activities carried out on a
project basis independent of
on-station research programs
are usually unable to undertake
long-term research. This leads to
a failure to develop credibility
among planners, on-station
researchers and extension
agents. In addition, the scale of
projects may be the biggest
barrier to national sustainability
of externally funded development
initiatives. Thus, serious
consideration should be given to
initiating FSR/E activities in a
project mode.
7. Impact on agricultural policy is
one area where FSR/E
programs have not fulfilled their
potential. The way results are
presented is often the key. An
honest assessment must be
made as to what extension can
use, what research can use and
what poilcy makers will read.
Executive summaries which
highlight major points could have
significant impacts, especially

if the information is packaged
appropriately to address policy
8. A well prepared plan or strategy
which outlines the process of
technology assessment could
help improve the linkages
between commodity focused
researchers, FSR/E teams and
extension. Such a plan would
specify disciplinary respon-
sibilities, methodological stages,
and feedback channels. This
plan could then be used to orient
new researchers who come into
the research or extension
9. One of the main limitations for
FSR/E has been access to good
on-shelf technologies for
immediate agro-ecological
adaptation. This is especially
true for marginal areas under
harsh conditions, often where
FSR/E teams are assigned to
work. Under such conditions,
research pay-offs are often
limited in the short run, and may
take considerable time to
develop. FSR/E programs have
always been more successful in
more favorable environments. In
harsh climates, fewer successful
interventions are available and it
is often necessary to substan-
tially modify the existing farming
system. Thus, it is inappropriate
to assume that viable results can
be achieved in the same time-
frame for both types of
environments. Such compari-
sons may have led to the
impression that FSR/E ap-
proaches have not lived up to
expectations (Baker and
Norman, 1988).
10. A major difference between
on-station testing of technology
and on-farm testing is the value
placed on cause/effect relation-
ships. On-station trials focus on
such relationships, whereas
on-farm trials are less controlled.
Farmer assessments play a key
role in such trials, which are not
necessarily considered valid to

on-station researchers. This can
influence the speed at which
research recommendations are
passed on to extension. In
addition, the need of some
researchers to determine cause
and effect relationships in
on-farm trials has influenced the
emphasis placed on farmer
managed technology validation.
11. Successful FSR/E programs
tend to have sufficient capital for
operating expenses. An
appropriate ratio of expenditures
for staff and operations will
ensure that on-farm testing is
feasible. Expenditures of 90
percent of the budget for salaries
will significantly limit research
12. Expatriate technical assistants
should be directly incorporated
into the structure of the research
organization and extension
system. They should not be
placed in richly endowed projects
that have little resemblance to
the working realities of national
scientists and extension
workers. Attempts should be
made to work within the existing
resource base.
13. Past experience with systems
research can facilitate the
successful integration of FSR/E
programs into the national
agricultural system.
14. Farmer participation in bottom-up
planning and research is difficult
to achieve within a research
system that requires lines of
authority and responsibility to be
clearly defined by the central
office. Adapting a flexible and
dynamic bottom-up development
process to a highly centralized
and vertically structured
research organization is a
difficult task. In the same way
that farmers select and modify
technologies to fit their particular
farming system and resource
base, governments are
attempting to adjust and
incorporate the FSR/E process
within the national agricultural
structure (McArthur and

Rerkasem, 1988).
15. Projects that focus on short-term
technology generation and/or
production objectives may
impede rather than reinforce the
long-term goal of integrating the
concept and methods of the
FSR/E process into the national
agricultural system (McArthur
and Rerkasem, 1988).
16. Networking is a key activity for
overcoming methodological
stagnation. The training aspects
of meetings are extremely
17. Many FSR/E projects/programs
have not effectively used social
science input. Despite the
importance of characterization of
areas, anticipating socio-cultural
problems, and the need for
baseline studies to be used as
comparisons for evaluations,
very few social scientists are
brought into FSR/E programs.
This is due both to a shortage of
trained personnel as well as
perceptions on the part of
technical scientists. Consider-
ation should be given to how
social science input can be
useful to ongoing research
activities after the diagnostic
18. In spite of the fact that support
for FSR/E programs has
increased among national
planners in low income countries
during the 1980s, USAID and
other donors began shifting their
emphasis away from farming
systems research. This declining
support dramatically reduced the
pace of FSR/E institutionalization
after 1985 (Baker and Norman,
1988). Despite such reductions,
numerous countries around the
world have reorganized their
national research organizations
to accommodate FSR/E.
Regional networks have been
established such as the Asian
Farming Systems Network and
the West African Farming
Systems Network to allow
scientists to share experiences
and learn new ideas. In addition,

more than 10 universities in the
U.S. have established programs
focused on American agriculture
(Baker and Norman, 1988).
In light of these developments,
USAID played a significant role in
establishing FSR/E programs around
the world. As a development agency
responsible for its past initiatives,
backstopping the FSR/E programs in
the form of support for training and
networking is a necessary obligation.
Possible Trends
Baker and Norman (1988) have
outlined a number of directions that
the FSR/E approach has evolved
toward and speculate on future
directions. These include the
1. A narrowly focused FSR/E
approach which was developed
at the IARCs has given rise to a
more comprehensive, longer
horizon systems approach.
2. Farmer participation in FSR/E
activities has increased through
3. The domination of FSR/E
programs by donor agencies and
expatriate technical assistance
has given way to localized
4. There is declining interest in
describing farming systems, and
increasing interest in pushing
technologies through the testing
stage and extension.
5. The evolution of FSR/E has been
heavily influenced by the
expanding number of academic
professionals representing
several disciplines. These
academics have shown interest
in expanding the focus of FSR/E
and placed emphasis on-farmer
first perspectives.
6. Bureaucrats in donor agencies
and National Agricultural
Ministers are questioning the
viability and affordability, of
decentralized, bottom-up
approaches to development.
They would like to see the
emphasis shift to commodity
focused programs that address
national planning goals in high
pay-off environments. .

Return to: Distribution Center, Umberger Hall, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66505, USA

Hardcopy Microfiche
No. of No. of Total
Title of Paper copies Cost copies Cost cost

2. Proceedings of Kansas State University's 1981 Farming Systems
Research Symposium Small Farms in a Changing World:
Prospects for the Eighties. Edited by Wendy J. Sheppard (April 1982)
3. The Farming Systems Approach to Research (by David W. Norman)
and Farming Systems Research and the Land-Grant System:
Transferring Assumptions Overseas (by Cornelia Butler Flora)
(October 1982-FSR Background Papers)
4. A Farming Systems Reseach Bibliography of Kansas State
University's Vertical File Materials (Revised).
Edited by Gretchen A. Graham (July 1986)
5. Proceedings of Kansas State University's 1982 Farming Systems
Research Symposium-Farming Systems in the Field. Edited by
Cornelia Butler Flora. Compiled by Wendy J. Sheppard (April 1983)
6. Proceedings of Kansas State University's 1982 Farming Systems
Research Symposium: Animals in the Farming System. Edited by
Cornelia Butler Flora. Compiled by Penny P. Nichols (May 1984)
7. Third World Women: A Select Bibliography. Compiled by Martha Tomecek
8. Farming Systems Research & Extension: Implementation and
Monitoring-Abstracts (1984 Symposium Abstracts).
Edited by Cornelia Butler Flora (October 1984)
9. Selected Proceedings of Kansas State University's 1984 Farming
Systems Research & Extension Symposium: Implementation and
Monitoring. Edited by Cornelia Butler Flora and Martha Tomecek
10. Farming Systems Research & Extension: Management and
Methodology-Abstracts (1985 Symposium Abstracts).
Edited by Cornelia Butler Flora and Martha Tomecek (October 1985)
11. Farming Systems Research & Extension: Management and
Methodology (Peer reviewed selections from papers given at Kansas
State University's 1985 Farming Systems Research Symposium).
Edited by Cornelia Butler Flora and Martha Tomecek (August 1986)
12. Farming Systems Research & Extension: Food and
Feed-Abstracts (1986 Symposium Abstracts).
Edited by Cornelia Butler Flora and Martha Tomecek (October 1986)
13. Selected Proceedings of Kansas State University's 1986 Farming
Systems Research and Extension Symposium: Food and Feed.
Edited by Cornelia Butler Flora and Martha Tomecek
13a Addendum to Selected Proceedings of Kansas State University's
1986 Farming Systems Research and Extension Symposium:
Food and Feed. Edited by Cornelia Butler Flora and Martha Tomecek
14. How Systems Work. Farming Systems Research Symposium 1987:
Abstracts (October 1987)
15. How Systems Work. Proceedings of Farming Systems Research
Symposium 1987 (October 1987)
16. Contributions of FSR/E Towards Sustainable Agricultural Systems.
Farming Systems Research/Extension Symposium 1988:
Program and Abstracts (October 1988)
17. Contributions of FSR/E Towards Sustainable Agricultural Systems.
Farming Systems Research/Extension Symposium 1988:
Proceedings (October 1988)

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Farming Systems Research-Extension Newsletter
3028 McCarty Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611

The FSRE Newsletter is supported in part by a grant (58-319R-9-003) from the Office of International Cooperation and Development (an agency of the USDA) and through the Office of International Programs,
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.


In 1987, ODI published a review
entitled "Farmer Participatory
Research: A Review of Concepts and
Practices". This appeared as Network
Discussion Paper No. 19 and formed
the subsequent background paper for
Robert Chamber's Workshop at IDS
in July 1987 ("Farmers and
Agricultural Research: Complemen-
tary Methods") and for the ILEIA April
1988 workshop ("Operational
Approaches for Participative
Technology Development in
Sustainable Agriculture"). The paper
has subsequently been expanded
and updated, and appeared as ODI
Occasional Paper No. 17 in October
Some of the material reviewed in
Discussion Paper 19 was abstracted
at the time (Network Paper No. 22)
but ODI is now undertaking a more
ambitious program of abstracting
material particularly grey literature -
on farmer participatory research. The
plans are to enter author, title,
keywords and abstracts into ODI's
computer system, so that the material
can be computer searched. As a

spin-off from this process, we shall be
mailing a print out of the full
bibliographic details (including
abstracts) to contributors and to all
members of the network.
In this connection, we need to be
certain of having full and up-to-date
a set of material as possible. We
should therefore like to request:
copies of any published or
unpublished material authored by
yourself in this area, additional to
what you might already have sent
updates on any changes to the
bibliographic details of what you
may have already sent us.
pointers to other work in this field
(with photocopies of literature, if
possible) so that we can broaden
the coverage of our abstracting.
Send farmer participatory research
literature to:
Agricultural Administration Network
Overseas Development Institute
Regent's College, Inner Circle
Regent's Park, London NW1 4NS

Call for Papers and References
Scholarly papers on and refer-
ences to ethnoveterinary medicine
(folk knowledge and practices of
animal health and disease) are
being sought for publication of an
annotated bibliography and prep-
aration of an interdisciplinary an-
thology on the subject worldwide.
This effort is directed by Dr. med
vet E. Mathias-Mundy, with the as-
sistance of C. M. McCorkle, PhD,
and T. Schillhorn van Veen, DVM.
Interested parties should contact
Dr. Mathias-Mundy at: CIKARD
(Center for Indigenous Knowledge
for Agricultural and Rural Develop-
ment), 318 Curtiss Hall, Iowa State
University, Ames, IA 50011, USA,
Phone 515/294-0938. 0

A four-volume set of material developed
for training professionals in farming
systems research and extension is
available from Media Marketing, P.O.
Box 926, Gainesville, Florida 32602.
The $175 set includes volumes on
diagnosis in farming systems research,
design techniques for on-farm ex-
perimentation, analysis and interpreta-
tions of on-farm experimentation, and a
trainer's manual. s

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