Ninth annual international FSRE...
 Comments on the association from...
 Keynote address presented at the...
 1990 farming systems research-extension...
 Farming systems research-extension...
 Invisible women: Gender and household...
 Suggested reading
 Membership information

Title: Farming Systems Research-Extension newsletter
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00071920/00002
 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.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00071920
Volume ID: VID00002
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
    Ninth annual international FSRE symposium: "Impacts of farming systems research-extension on sustainable agriculture"
        Page 1
    Comments on the association from the president, by Peter E. Hildebrand
        Page 2
    Keynote address presented at the 1989 FSRE symposium, by Dr. Mohan Man Sainju
        Page 3
        Page 4
    1990 farming systems research-extension symposium
        Page 5
    Farming systems research-extension and the concepts of sustainability, by Charles A. Francis and Peter E. Hildebrand
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Invisible women: Gender and household analysis in agriculture research and extension
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Suggested reading
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Membership information
        Page 16
Full Text

Number 3, 19
The third in a Series of Fl

Farming Systems Research-Extension Newsletter

Ninth Annual International
FSRE Symposium:
"Impacts of Farming
Systems Research-Extension
on Sustainable Agriculture"

From October 8 through 11, 1989,
more than 300 persons from over
forty-five countries participated in
the 1989 International Farming
Systems Research-Extension Sympo-
sium hosted by the University of
Arkansas and Winrock International
Institute for Agricultural Develop-
ment. This symposium was spon-
sored by the Ford Foundation, the
United States Department of Agri-
culture, and the United States
Agency for International Develop-
ment. Conference themes included:
1) FSRE and the concepts of sus-
tainability; 2) the role of farming
systems in sustaining productivity
and profitability, farmer participa-
tion in agricultural development,
institutional development, and
environmental quality; and 3)
special topics. The Arkansas/Okla-
homa Low Input and Sustainable
Agriculture (LISA) Network Confer-
ence was held just prior to the
symposium along with several short
courses focusing on skills related to
farmer participation research and
sustainable agriculture.
To address the special regional
concerns of developing countries
and provide a forum for the growing
interest in farming systems in the
United States, the first full day of
the symposium (October 9) was
organized around concurrent
sessions with a regional focus on

Africa, Asia/Near East, Latin Amer-
ica, and the United States. The
keynote address was provided by Dr.
Mohan Mon Sainju, the Royal
Kingdom of Nepal Ambassador to
the U.S. (see below). Following the
concurrent sessions, a panel presen-
tation entitled "Making Sustainable
Agriculture an Effective Tool for
International Development" was
provided. The major speakers on
the panel included Dr. John Ragland
from BIFAD, Dr. Thurman Grove
from USAID, Dr. Clive Edwards from
Title XII, and Dr. Richard Harwood
from Winrock International Insti-
tute for Agricultural Development.
Highlights from the second and
third day of the symposium in-
cluded plenary addresses given by
Dr. Charles Francis and Dr. Peter
Hildebrand on "FSRE and the
Concepts of Sustainability," Dr.
Jacqueline Ashby on "Farmer Partici-
pation in Agricultural Develop-
ment," Dr. Obdulia F. Sisson on
"Institutional Development," and
Dr. David Groenfeldt on "Environ-
mental Quality." Concurrent global
sessions followed these presenta-
Over one-hundred research
papers were presented, nearly
twenty percent by women, repre-
senting the importance of the
involvement of women in agricul-
ture. In addition, a large collection
of posters and promotional materi-
als displayed activities being carried
out by organizations and individuals
committed to the FSRE methodol-
ogy around the world.
An important event that occurred

at this symposium was the forma-
tion of an Association for Farming
Systems Research-Extension (AFSRE).
This association consists of a broad-
based and multidisciplinary group of
FSRE practitioners. The primary
activities of the AFSRE are to provide
continued support for the Farming
Systems Symposium, to publish a
farming systems journal, and to
distribute a farming systems news-
letter to members throughout the

In This issue

Ninth Annual International FSRE
Symposium-page 1

Comments on the Association from
the President by Peter E. Hildebrand-
page 2

Keynote Address Presented at the 1989
FSRE Symposium by Dr. Mohan Man
Sainju-page 3

1990 Farming Systems Research-
Extension Symposium-page 5

Farming Systems Research-Extension
and the Concepts of Sustainability
by Charles A. Francis and Peter E.
Hildebrand-page 6

Invisible Women: Gender and
Household Analysis in Agriculture
Research and Extension-page 11

ISNAR Publishes Study Results-
page 12

Suggested Reading-page 13

Membership Information-page 16


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.

On behalf of the association, we
wish to thank the University of
Arkansas/Winrock FSRE Symposium
Coordinating Staff for the excellent
job they have done in hosting the
symposium for the past three years.
In particular, we wish to acknowl-
edge the efforts of Dr. Tom Westing,
Dr. Donald Voth, Ms. Beth Barham,
Ms. Pamela Styles, Ms. Nancy
Christman, and Dr. Robert Hudgens.
The success of this year's symposium
is largely due to their contribution.
Further symposia will be held for the
next few years at Michigan State


Peter Hildebrand
President of AFSRE
University of Florida

The Association for Farming Systems
Research-Extension, AFSRE, was
created in a plenary session of the
ninth annual International Farming
Systems Symposium held at the
University of Arkansas in October
1989. The creation of the Associa-
tion followed two years of work by
two ad hoc committees. The first
was chaired by Steve Kearl who is
currently working on a project in
Cameroon. It was established in
1987 to continue the network
created as a result of the U.S. Agency
for International Development-
funded Farming Systems Support
Project, FSSP, and related efforts
from other donors around the
world. It was replaced by the
second ad hoc committee in 1988,
which was chaired by George Axinn,
who is currently the Food and
Agriculture Organization representa-
tive in India. It worked towards the
creation of an association to serve
the needs of farming systems practi-
tioners working around the world
and to continue to support the
international symposium.

The association is an interna-
tional society organized to promote
the development and dissemination
of methods and results of participa-
tory on-farm systems research and
extension. The objective of such
research is the development and
adoption, through the participation
by both male and female farm
household members, of improved
and appropriate technologies. Such
technologies will meet the socio-
economic needs of farm families;
adequately supply global food and
fiber requirements; and utilize
resources in a sustainable and
efficient manner.
One of the primary activities of
the association will be to continue
supporting the International Farm-
ing Systems Symposium. After six
annual meetings at Kansas State
University and three at the Univer-
sity of Arkansas, future symposia
will be held for the next few years at
Michigan State University. An-
nouncements and a call for papers
will appear in the next issue of this
This FSRE Newsletter is the third in
a series of four sponsored by the first
ad hoc committee and is the first
supported by the AFSRE. The next
jointly published newsletter will be
distributed to the full FSSP mailing
list of about 5,000 persons. Subse-
quent newsletters will be sent only
to members of the AFSRE. There-
fore, if you wish to continue receiv-
ing this newsletter, you will need to
join the Association. Membership
information is included on page 16
of this newsletter.
The AFSRE will also publish the
Journal of Farming Systems Research-
Extension. Initially, the journal will
include those papers presented at
the symposium, which will be peer-
selected and reviewed for publica-
tion. The first issue is in progress
and should be available by mid-
February. Three issues are planned
for 1990. Those who participated in
the 1989 symposium, as well as
association members and institu-
tional subscribers, will receive

copies. Beginning next year, only
AFSRE members and institutional
subscribers will receive the journal.
A directory of members will be
maintained. This directory will
allow sorting for special mailings or
notification of selected members of
announcements of interest to them.
Officers elected at Arkansas are:
President, Peter Hildebrand, Florida,
USA; President-elect, Harold
McArthur, Hawaii, USA; and Secre-
tary/Treasurer, Tim Finan, Arizona,
USA. Board members with specific
charges are: Editor, Tim Franken-
berger, Arizona, USA; Membership,
Noel Young, Kansas, USA; Network-
ing, Virgilio Carangal, Philippines;
Fund Raising, Robert Hudgens,
Arkansas, USA; and Nominations/
Elections, Hilary Feldstein, New
Hampshire, USA. Board members at
large are: Jacques Faye, Burkina
Faso; David Gibbon, Netherlands;
Nimal Ranaweera, Sri Lanka; Ger-
man Escobar, Uruguay; Don Voth,
USA; and Nancy Axinn, India. Co-
chairs of the 1990 Symposium are
James Bingen and Dale Harpstead
from Michigan State University and
Harold McArthur, President-elect of
the AFSRE.
The creation of the Association
has resulted in a great deal of excite-
ment. We look forward to a large
and active membership. Please use
the membership form in this news-
letter or a copy of it to become a
member. You may also wish to
provide copies to friends and col-
leagues who may be interested in
learning more about AFSRE. We
hope to see many of you at the
symposium next year.


Dr. Mohan Man Sainju
Nepalese Ambassador to the United

The last five decades have seen
many positive changes. Not only
have most of the countries of the
third world emerged out of various
forms of colonialism and isolation
in the pursuit of nation building,
but many of them have been able to
undertake development programs in
order to improve the living standard
of their people. Consequently,
some countries in the developing
world have made extraordinary
strides and have emerged as newly
industrialized countries. With the
help of developed countries and
multilateral institutions, production
technologies have been developed
and improved. If macro figures are
any indication, there should and
could not be food problems in the
world. There are documented
instances where the "green revolu-
tion" has changed the status of a
country from one of food starvation
and low production to one of food
The history of development has
also shown its painful side over
these decades. There are more poor
people than ever before on the
planet today. Despite all the devel-
opment plans and the billions of
dollars spent in the name of devel-
opment, the majority of people in
the developing world are still
outside of the mainstream of the
development process. The least

a Paper presented on October 9, 1989, at
the Farming Systems Research and Exten-
sion Symposium, which was jointly spon-
sored by Winrock International and the
University ofArkansas.
b See the World Bank President's speech
to the Joint Annual Meeting of the World
Bank and the International Monetary Fund
on September 26, 1989.

developed countries, especially
those which are land-locked, are
poorer today than they were a
decade ago despite the adoption by
the international community of the
Substantial New Programme of
Action for the Eighties. Meeting the
bare minimum needs is still a dream
for millions of people who live
below the poverty line. The gap
between the rich and the poor,
instead of narrowing, is widening,
and this process seems to accelerate
with the help of science and tech-
nology. Countries which had
experienced some success have had
reverses in their economies. The
eighties is witnessing increasing flow
of resources from developing coun-
tries to the developed ones, instead
of the other way around.
There are several reasons that
explain what and where things went
wrong. Many of the donor countries
and multi-lateral organizations, such
as the World Bank, devoted much.
more attention to the macro eco-
nomic situation and became bogged
down in standard economic analy-
ses. The person, who was supposed
to be the central focus, was replaced
by statistics. Happily, this situation
is gradually changing for the better.b
Rural development strategy
emerged as a new and innovative
concept that shifted the focus of
development efforts toward rural
people and especially toward small
holders whose productivity and
efficiency had previously not been
well recognized. This well-intended
strategy also failed in many in-
stances, primarily due to lack of
political will and a committed
bureaucracy. Similarly, the need for
institutional change in agriculture
did not result in its implementation.
Because ownership of land in most
developing countries is usually
skewed, large numbers of farmers are
still outside the mainstream of
development benefits. The man
behind the plough is the most
neglected person in the rural socie-
ties of third world countries. Hence,
the distribution of farm income is

likely to be even more skewed.
It is true that technological
advances and innovations have
been instrumental in bringing
positive change in agricultural
production. At a time when there is
a limit to arable land, the role of
technological change undoubtedly
plays an important role in agricul-
tural development. However, it
should not be forgotten that these
changes entail a complex process
that ranges not only from tradi-
tional to scientific farming, but also
involve a complex web of biological
and socioeconomic interactions. For
these reasons, we must work with
farmers and not work for them.
Many of the agricultural develop-
ment strategies in the past missed
that point: farmers were expected to
learn from research stations, yet
agricultural scientists worked for
them in isolation.
Agricultural development strate-
gies in the past also overlooked
women. Despite the fact that
women constituted 78 percent of
the African and 71 percent of the
Asian agricultural workforce, they
were rarely involved in training, ex-
tension, or research programs. The
studies and evidence assembled
clearly suggest that women must
become a primary focus in order to
enhance agricultural output and to
alleviate rural poverty. There is
substantial evidence that suggests
that women's participation is not
only critical in increasing farm
production, but that their involve-
ment and income directly support
household budgets and promote
child nutritional status. Other
research indicates that in times of
economic crisis women's income
has played an important role in
rural families.
In a nutshell, what went wrong
was this: We simply did not recog-
nize our mistakes and did not learn
from the past mistakes.
Agriculture is and will remain, for
many decades to come, the back-
bone of the economies in both Asia
and Africa. In many developing

countries it is still a major source of
employment and a critical contribu-
tor to gross domestic products. The
agricultural sector has been the
principal source of foreign exchange
earnings for many countries and
without its success, economic
development, including industrial
growth, is not conceivable. Despite
the increasing growth of urban
areas, many people will continue to
live in the rural areas of Asia and
Africa in the years to come.
The challenge that the global
economy faces today is clear: accel-
erate growth and reduce poverty.
This challenge cannot be faced
without giving high importance to
the agricultural sector. Agricultural
development not only includes
technological changes to increase
farm output, but also focuses on the
person who will be treated as the
central element of the development
process. Hence, improvement in the
quality of life for millions of poor
people becomes the real challenge.
Farming systems research has
experienced increasing emphasis for
some time. It represents a signifi-
cant change in the agricultural
development scene because it
develops a linkage between research
and its various clients. It is antici-
pated that through such a linkage
researchers would have better
information relating to farmers'
conditions and needs. It is hoped
that through interaction with
farmers, new technologies can be
tested, adapted, and finally put into
practice. The experiences gained and
the examination of results can be
very important not only to refine
concepts but also to strengthen the
strategy for more effective results.
This is precisely what is expected
from an international symposium
such as this one. The only request I
would make to this august gathering
is this: Please examine farming
systems research and extension from
a wider perspective without losing
sight of the ultimate objective it is
supposed to attain. Please allow me
to examine a few issues to which we

need to pay attention.
Any strategy for agricultural
development has to focus on small
holders and poor farmers. Ways
must be found'to increase farm
output for these farmers. There are
several instances of international
cooperation that highlight the
feasibility of working with the rural
poor and small holders to increase
farm output and reduce poverty.
How these success stories should be
related to farming systems research
and extension is the question
agricultural scientists and socioeco-
nomic experts need to address.
The sustainability of agriculture is
also a critical issue today. We must
find techniques that can help
increase farm output without
necessarily increasing the use of
chemical inputs and engineering
investments. Increasing population
pressure is forcing small farmers to
turn to marginal land for cultiva-
tion, which in turn increases the
possibility of natural resource
degradation. Farming systems
research can contribute by setting
priorities and developing a wide
range of technological options that
respond to farmers' needs. The
experience of, and techniques
adopted by, permaculture are one
small example to consider as a
As has been discussed, the
importance of women in agriculture
must be recognized. They have
considerable potential for both
increasing farm output and, more
importantly, contributing to the
socioeconomic uplift of families in
rural areas.
Institutional change in the
agricultural sector in the form of
agrarian reform needs to be given
due emphasis, so that small holders
and small farmers receive due
incentives for increased farm output.
The effective implementation of
the farming systems research strat-
egy is difficult to perceive without
decentralization, which helps build
institutional capability at the local
level. Hence, whereas on the one

hand there needs to be institutional
linkage between farming systems
research and national research
structures, there is an urgent need to
let the local level accept and effec-
tively carry out new functions and
The impact of farming systems
research primarily depends on
several factors:

1. If farming systems research is
to be effective in creating impact,
the data it generates must be reli-
able. Therefore, the caliber of re-
searchers must be an important
factor. There may be occasions
when researchers deal with in-
creased variables, which may be less
controllable, and hence critical
judgement may be necessary.
2. Farming systems research is
normally carried out by an interdis-
ciplinary team of people. Some-
times there is a tendency to place
them into one division or one
organizational setup that may seem
convenient and functionally easier.
However, experience suggests this
approach is not healthy for the
effectiveness of the strategy. In
other words, various disciplines
must be encouraged to work within
the team without being compart-
mentalized into one administrative
3. The lack of strong linkages to
the extension system has been one
of the weaknesses of farming sys-
tems research. The impact of
farming systems research is doomed
to be poor if researchers are not
intimately familiar with farmers'
problems. Similarly, production
programs cannot be extended unless
research is intimately related to
extension work.
4. The concept of the holistic
approach as an important element
of farming systems research has yet
to be seen at an impact level. The
holistic approach allows the system
to deal with technical, biological,
socioeconomic, and institutional
aspects of agricultural production.
The challenge is getting extension

personnel to appreciate a holistic
approach and utilize results in
production programs.

In conclusion, I would like to
state that I believe farming systems
research and extension is indeed a
desirable strategy, which still needs
to be rigorously operationalized.
First and foremost, it requires
change in the attitude of scientists
and extension experts. They need to
accept that this strategy demands
them to look beyond the parochial-
ism of their disciplines and keep
themselves open to the immense
knowledge that exists around them.
To quote one of the agricultural sci-
entists who worked for a number of
years in the developing world trying
to help and advise governments and
scientists in improving agricultural
output: "Perhaps the best lesson to
learn is to listen to farmers, learn
their problems, needs, and goals and
then work with farmers on their
fields to improve technologies, to
achieve their perceived objectives,
[and] not what scientists and exten-
sionists think they need."


The 1990 Symposium, hosted by
Michigan State University (MSU),
will celebrate two important mile-
stones. It marks the tenth anniver-
sary of the Farming Systems Re-
search-Extension Symposium (FSRE)
and celebrates the first birthday of
the new Association for Farming
Systems Research-Extension (AFSRE).
The program committee is work-
ing hard to design a meeting format
that will provide a framework for
challenging dialogue and discussion,
and allow ample time for important
collegial interaction. The provi-
sional theme, Role of Farmers in
FSRE, should generate some
thought-provoking presentations
and interesting panel discussions.

Following many of the sugges-
tions offered by those who attended
the first AFSRE meeting in Arkansas,
the 1990 Symposium will be organ-
ized around a series of invited
papers and panel presentations, and
an expanded schedule of abstracted
poster sessions. A call for papers will
be announced by February 1990.
Depending on the subject matter,
certain papers will be designated for
oral presentation and others for
poster sessions. Whether presented
orally or in a poster session, all
completed papers may be submitted
for consideration for publication in
the new AFSRE publication, Journal
of Farming Systems Research-Exten-
Within the scope of the general
theme, the symposium organizers
hope to identify issues that are
relevant to FSRE activities in the
various regions of the world and to
the emerging Low-Input Sustainable
Agriculture (LISA) research programs
in the United States. Topics for
possible panel session include:
Farmers as a Source of Indigenous
Role of Farmer Organizations in
Farmers and the Management of
On-Farm Research;
Role of Farmers in the Design and
Evaluation of On-Farm Research;and
Farmer-Based Methodologies.
Sessions will be organized around
key topics and issues, rather than by
region, in an effort to foster in-
creased cross-regional dialogue. The
program committee is currently
soliciting suggestions for panels and
panel heads. If you have any ideas
or are interested in organizing and
chairing a panel or offering a pre- or
post-symposium workshop, please
contact the program committee by
February 1, 1990.
The committee is also looking for
suggestions for a special presenta-
tion that would commemorate the
tenth anniversary of the sympo-
sium. Initial ideas include a brief
analysis of symposia from 1981 to
1989, including participants and

range of topics and issues addressed.
A tentative title might be "The FSRE
Symposium Over the Years: What's
Been Covered and What's Still With
Ideas and suggestions are wel-
comed, particularly from individuals
who have attended all of the previ-
ous meetings at Kansas State Univer-
sity and the University of Arkansas.
The 1990 Symposium will be held
in East Lansing, Michigan, October
14-17 at the University Place Holi-
day Inn and the MSU Union, which
is located nearby. Additional rooms
have also been reserved at the
University Inn. Room reservations
and conference registration forms
will be distributed by Michigan State
University shortly after January 1,
1990. Participants who will be
arriving by plane should be ticketed
to either Lansing or Detroit, Michi-
gan. It is about an hour and 30
minute drive from Detroit to the
MSU campus. Significant discounts
for airfare on Northwest Airlines can
be obtained through Anderson
International Travel. Symposium
attendees can receive 5% off of
supersaver fares and 40% off of
coach class fares.
More detailed information on
travel and the symposium program
will be distributed by direct mailings
and in the next issue of the FSRE

1990 FSRE Symposium Program

Harold J. McArthur
College of Tropical Agriculture and
Human Resources
University of Hawaii at Manoa
3050 Maile Way, Gilmore Hall 214
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
Telephone (808) 948-6441
FAX (808) 948-6442

James Bingen
Michigan State University
324 Agriculture Hall
East Lansing, Michigan 48824-1039
Telephone (517) 355-0175
FAX (517) 353-5174

Dale Harpstead
384 E. Plant & Soil Science Building
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan 48824
Telephone (517) 355-6885
FAX (517) 353-5174


Charles A. Francisb
Peter E. Hildebrandc


Farming Systems Research and
Extension (FSRE) has strongly
influenced the direction of agricul-
tural development over the past two
decades. Involving farmers, change
agents, and researchers, this partici-
patory approach to technological
improvement has evolved as an
efficient means to develop individ-
ual components and more inte-
grated systems that are uniquely
suited to specific biophysical and
socioeconomic conditions. Farmers
under similar conditions, and for
whom specific recommendations are
appropriate, are grouped in FSRE
into identifiable Recommendation
Domains. The technologies recom-
mended conform with the biophysi-
cal and socioeconomic constraints
that create environments within the
domains, based on the philosophy

aPresented at the ninth annual Interna-
tional Farming Systems Symposium,
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville,
October 8-11, 1989.
bProfessor, Department of Agronomy,
University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE
President, AFSRE, and Professor, Food
and Resource Economics, University of
Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

that new technologies must conform
with the environments where they
will be used, because most farmers
are unable to modify their environ-
ments to meet the needs of new
technologies. This characteristic
differentiates FSRE from the ap-
proach of developing conventional
technologies to dominate environ-
ments through use of machinery,
chemicals, irrigation, and other
capital-intensive inputs.
The philosophy of sustainable
agriculture is gaining ground in a
world becoming acutely aware of
finite fossil fuel resources and
adverse impacts of agriculture and
other industries on the environ-
ment. In spite of substantial ad-
vances in productivity through
applications of fertilizers, pesticides,
and irrigation, we are learning that
inappropriate or excessive use of
these inputs can have unexpected
and undesirable effects on the
environment, natural ecosystems,
and the world's human inhabitants.
In order to develop the systems that
will provide for our needs without
endangering the quality of life of
future generations, we must concen-
trate on an efficient use of renew-
able resources that are available
within the immediate production
environment. We need to reduce
fossil fuel use to minimum essential
levels. We must develop technolo-
gies that conform more closely with
the environments where they will be
used. The urgency associated with
coming to grips with the problem is
becoming more evident every day.
These necessities precisely coincide
with the capabilities of the FSRE
FSRE practitioners work with
families who live on the land and
are acutely aware of their surround-
ing environments and how they are
influenced by farming practices and
systems. Because farmers participate
in the development and testing of
alternatives, their evaluation criteria
will be used for screening. These
may differ from the narrower and
often misleading criteria used by

researchers trained in specific
disciplines. This aspect, in itself,
enhances the efficiency and effec-
tiveness of the technology develop-
ment and adoption process. When
the farmers' concerns and resource
base are more explicitly taken into
account, technologies thus devel-
oped are more readily adapted to the
farmers' environments. Perhaps
most important, FSRE on-farm
research and technology evaluation
methods have proven efficient for
screening and selecting technologies
that conform to the divergent
environments found on farms
throughout the world.


Farming systems research and
extension methods have been
widely tested and applied over the
past two decades in a range of
ecological and economic circum-
stances. Client participatory and
location-specific in nature, this
approach has extended the meth-
odological resources available to
administrators in public institutions
who are concerned with the applica-
tion and credibility of recommenda-
tions derived from research. Holistic
and interdisciplinary in its focus on
total systems, FSRE takes into
account the multiple goals of the
farm family as well as the economic
and resource situation in which the
farm operates. When we consider
the time dimension within which
the family makes decisions and
plans for the future, the long-term
sustainability of production and
profit become central to system
design (Francis and Hildebrand,
There is little agreement about
precisely what is meant by "sustain-
able agriculture." Growing concerns
about the finite fossil fuel resource
base upon which modern agricul-
ture depends and about the quality
of our environment bring new focus
to the philosophy of sustainability.
The perspective in which we are
developing this philosophy was

eloquently reviewed by Lockeretz
(1988). Given the immediate and
continuing needs of an expanding
population for food, as well as
concerns about resources and the
environment, a definition given by
Harwood (1988) seems appropriate:

...an agriculture that can evolve
indefinitely toward greater human
utility, greater efficiency of resource use
and a balance with the environment
that is favorable both to humans and
to most other species.

The importance of the fusion of
sustainable agriculture philosophy
with the methods and experiences
from farming systems research and
extension is amply illustrated by the
focus and topics of the 1989 Inter-
national Farming Systems Research-
Extension Symposium in Fayette-
ville. In addition to recurring
themes of productivity, profitability,
farmer participation, and institu-
tional development, the papers this
year reflected a clear priority on
resource issues and environmental
quality. This paper describes our
current awareness of complex issues
in agricultural development and
how an emerging consensus on sus-
taining agricultural production is
impacting the mainstream of re-
search and extension.

FSRE Methodology and
Sustainable Agriculture

The client participatory nature of
FSRE enhances the capability of
research and extension organiza-
tions to incorporate farmers' goals,
resources, concerns with their own
future, and their experience into the
technology generation and diffusion
processes. These characteristics all
influence the production environ-
ments and the farming systems
found on different farms. It is
because of the diverse nature of
these environments that technolo-
gies need also to be diverse. FSRE
methodology has recognized this
need it is suitably expressed in

the commonly used term, Recom-
mendation Domain. In responding
to the concerns for a more sustain-
able agriculture, more emphasis
must be placed on developing
genetic materials and farming
practices that fit within biophyiscal
and socio-economic environments
of different farming systems. This
will necessarily be based on a fuller
understanding of these environ-
ments and on on-farm research to
evaluate technology through envi-
ronmental interactions. This in turn
will depend on enhanced multidisci-
plinarity, another of the basic facets
of FSRE methodology.
Sustainable agriculture will
require augmented technological
innovation and diversity. The
development of a wider array of
genetic materials and farming
practices is encouraged by on-farm
research and evaluation early in the
technology development process. In
this process, screening is usually
initiated under controlled condi-
tions where researchers feel they are
better able to detect any differences
in their treatments or materials.
Acceptance and rejection at this
stage determine which of the poten-
tial new technologies receive further
evaluation and which are rejected.
Because of environment-by-treat-
ment interaction, treatments that
respond well under controlled
conditions (and usually in superior
production environments) may not
respond well under environments
more representative of farmers'
conditions. But also, and with
potentially more serious effects,
treatments that manifest less poten-
tial under the favorable conditions
usually found on experiment sta-
tions, and are, therefore, rejected for
further evaluation, may well be
those which would be superior
under real farm conditions. Hence,
early evaluation of potential new
technology on farms and under real
farm conditions, a basic feature of
the farming systems approach, can
help assure more technological
diversity and a more sustainable agri-

culture in the future.
As compared with conventional,
capital-intensive agriculture, it is
widely agreed that sustainable
agriculture is more information- and
management-intensive. For sustain-
able technology to be adopted, it
will have to fit into the manage-
ment capabilities of farm managers
and within their resource base in
each recommendation domain.
Again, the multidisciplinary proce-
dures used in the farming systems
approach are appropriate to helping
researchers and extension workers
understand the capabilities of
farmers in their research domains.
Rapid reconnaissance surveys or
"sondeos," a well known compo-
nent of farming systems methodol-
ogy, were developed to help under-
stand farmers and their conditions.
The participation of farmers and
persons from several disciplines in
on-farm research also helps in
understanding farms and farmers.
The longer-term desires of society
do not necessarily coincide with the
short-term needs of individual
farmers. Farmers are concerned
with family survival and welfare,
and may use practices and resources
in a way that, from society's per-
spective, is non-sustainable. Farm-
ing systems methodology can con-
tribute in two ways to help alleviate
these conflicts. First, by understand-
ing the needs of the family, practi-
tioners are better able to develop
technologies that satisfy farmers'
needs while at the same time use
scarce resources more efficiently.
Secondly, policy makers can take
advantage of the knowledge of
farming systems teams to help
devise policies more in harmony
with society's needs and, at the
same time, provide the appropriate
policy incentives to encourage
farmers to use more sustainable
A more sustainable agriculture
will not be achieved just because
society desires it: means must be
derived for efficiently achieving the
diversity of location-specific tech-

nology necessary to support it.
Farming systems methods are cost-
and time-efficient in this regard.
The conventional method for
developing a new technology re-
quires several years of evaluation
and screening under controlled con-
ditions before it is submitted to farm
conditions. As explained above,
after several years of testing, this
process can result in
1) the selection of technology by
researchers which does not do well
under real conditions and is there-
fore rejected by farmers;
2) the rejection of technology by
researchers because it did not
perform well under controlled
conditions, but which might have
done well under real conditions; and
3) the release of a successful

Designing and developing tech-
nology for well characterized socio-
economic and biophysical condi-
tions, followed by early on-farm
testing to minimize the rejection of
useful technology, can reduce the
time span from conception to
adoption and increase the adoption
success rate. Coupled with the fact
that farmers supply a significant
amount of research resources for on-
farm research (Franzluebbers et al.,
1988), FSRE is an efficient approach
from both time and cost perspec-

Sustainable Agriculture

Farming systems could be viewed on
a time spectrum as having impor-
tant past, present, and future dimen-
sions. All that has occurred in past
cropping seasons choice and
management of specific crop spe-
cies, incorporation of animal or
green manure, cropping intensity,
soil conservation practices, climatic
conditions has predisposed a
specific field as well as a farm with
certain potential for productivity in
the current year. Events of past
farming seasons have contributed to
the experience base that influences

management in the current year.
The dynamic cyclical and linear
changes in one field could be called
the "progressive biological sequenc-
ing" of practices and biological
consequences that occur in that
field as a result of a given manage-
ment strategy (Francis et al., 1986).
As the management of this one field
influences practices in other parts of
the farm, the interactions that take
place are also managed by the astute
operator; this could be called "inte-
grative farm structuring" in that
farming operation (Francis et al.,
1986). This is the space and time
continuum within which farmers
operate and decisions are made.
Crop and animal patterns are
based on family goals, land and
other available resources, labor, and
production potential of the farm.
These are dimensions of the produc-
tion system that are quantified or
otherwise made explicit in the
methodology of farming systems
research and extension. Decisions
made for the current year not only
affect immediate farming success in
terms of food, income, and profita-
bility, they influence the potential
for future productivity of the land.
In a real way, past practices and
current decisions determine to a
large extent future sustainability.
How well the farm family can
sustain production and profit into
the future will depend on how well
the goals for food and income can
be reached within the short-term
land, labor, and other resource
constraints of the family. There
may be trade-offs between short-
term profits and long-term produc-
tivity, for example, in using all land
for cash crops versus planting some
areas in green manure crops and
thereby providing nutrients for
future crops. Choice of some sub-
optimum crops in terms of immedi-
ate profits may lead to greater long-
term productivity or sustained profit
or less variation in family income.
Families living too close to the edge
of economic survival in both devel-
oped and developing countries may

not have the luxury of considering
long-term productivity of soils or
the total farm. Finally, how we
evaluate sustainability, of practices
or systems, depends on how this
philosophy is defined: sustainable
for how long, and under what
assumptions about resources and
quality of the environment? The
methods developed in a farming
systems context are uniquely suited
to provide some of this information
and focus.

Problems with Definitions

The broad definitions given in the
introduction provide a useful
philosophical framework within
which to consider specific practices
and systems. The confusion sur-
rounding terms was described by
Lockeretz (1988), and this is not
likely to be resolved due to the
range of people and organizations
embracing these terms, if not the
concepts, described here. Choice of
the term, sustainability, is compli-
cated by the fact that it is too good;
everyone appreciates that agriculture
must be sustainable. But we differ
in the interpretations of conditions
and assumptions under which this
can be made to occur. And we differ
in time frames. One mechanistic
definition was advanced to help
researchers and farmers choose
specific practices as components of
production systems to lead to
specific goals (University of Ne-
braska, 1987):

A sustainable agricultural system
is the result ofa management strategy
which helps the producer to choose
hybrids and varieties, soil fertility
packages (including rotations), pest
management approach, tillage meth-
ods and crop sequence to reduce costs
of purchased inputs, minimize the
impact ofthe system on the immediate
and the off-farm environment; and
provide a sustained level ofproduction
and profit from farming.

This definition lacks specificity in
terms of time frame, resource
availability, and environmental
impact, all of which must be consid-
ered if we are concerned about
evaluating specific technologies and
how "sustainable" certain systems
will be when comprised of these
pieces of technology.

Evaluation Criteria

Not only do we have problems
defining sustainability, we have no
useful means of measuring it. For
example,how much more sustain-
able is one practice or system than
another? Furthermore, we have not
incorporated appropriate evaluation
criteria into our research and exten-
sion procedures. Among other
shortcomings is the failure to take
into account time and resource
dimensions. One of the most
common evaluation criteria for
measuring the effect of alternative
technologies on crops is kilograms
per hectare. The use of this criterion
implies that 1) quantity produced is
the important result of the produc-
tion process, 2) land is the most
limiting resource, and 3) the length
of the production process is not
relevant. Economists usually con-
sider net income per hectare as the
important criterion. This implies
that quantity, itself, is not impor-
tant, but the difference between
how much it is worth and how
much it costs to produce. However,
this criterion still implies that land
is the most limiting resource and
that the length of the production
process is not relevant. To compare
two different kinds of rotations
would require the incorporation of
the length of the rotation in years.
For example, yield or net income per
hectare, averaged over the number
of years each rotation lasts, could be
These relatively common criteria,
however, do not improve our
measures of sustainability nor our
capabilities to compare the sustaina-
bility of different systems. If we are

concerned with nitrate contamina-
tion of ground water, for example,
we will need to begin using such
criteria as kilograms per unit of
nitrate leached or net income per
unit of nitrate leached. Another
criterion might be kilogram per unit
of toxic chemical applied. In either
of these cases, an increase in the
criterion would presumably be
associated with more sustainability.
But time is still not included in
either case. If we are concerned
with the depletion of tropical rain
forests, perhaps a useful criterion
would be kilogram'per hectare of
forest destroyed. Comparing two
systems with this criterion would
allow us to choose the one which
either produced more for the same
amount of destruction or produced
the same amount with less forest
Even with these criteria, however,
we have still not solved the problem
of incorporating the time frame into
the measure of sustainability. If
"more sustainable" means "longer,"
then we certainly must be able to
measure longevity. A paper pre-
sented at the symposium (Hilde-
brand and Ashaf, 1989) reports an
unsuccessful attempt to do this.

From Philosophy to
Management Practices

Although sustainable agriculture is
considered a philosophy to guide
technology development and the
design and implementation of
resource-efficient farming systems,
in practice this means the choice of
specific inputs, practices, or manage-
ment options that will contribute to
the overall goals. The component
technologies or practices must be
sorted out in relation to the natural
and cropping environments; the
goals of the farm family; the re-
source base within which the farm is
managed; and society's goals with
respect to the use of natural re-
sources and the importance of
respecting the well-being of future

Because of the climatic and farm
location specificity of practices and
crop/animal systems, it is difficult-
if not impossible-to generalize
about farming practices that meet
the criteria described above. Yet
there are general approaches to de-
velopment of technology and
examples of specific practices that
help to illustrate both philosophy
and principles of sustainable agricul-
ture (Francis, 1989; Francis and
Youngberg, 1989).
Crop varieties and hybrids that
include genetic tolerance or resis-
tance to insects, plant diseases,
drought, and extremes in tempera-
ture are especially useful in reducing
input costs and risks of crop loss.
Different maturities of crops within
species provide more flexibility for
planning cropping and crop/animal
integrated systems, for example by
avoiding drought, making best use
of available rainfall, providing
forage as well as grain, or fitting a
specific niche in a farming system.
Genetically diverse varieties or
hybrids often provide greater bio-
logical buffering to resist unexpected
variation in climatic conditions.
Sustainability of systems and
reduced production costs may be
promoted by greater use of biologi-
cal or cultural control methods for
insects, diseases and weed problems.
Integrated pest management makes
increased use of information as a
substitute for all or part of the
pesticides purchased to control un-
wanted species in a field. Crop
rotations can play a major role in
improved systems. Alley cropping
and other agroforestry systems can
make more efficient use of the total
natural resource base throughout
the year and protect the soil against
wind and water erosion. The
increased diversity of these patterns
also helps to attract and preserve
biotic diversity, often giving an
enhanced potential for biological
control of pests. Rotations, as well
as carefully designed agroforestry
patterns, can promote nutrient
cycling and efficient resource use.

These can be coupled with reduced
tillage to save fuel, maintain crop
residue cover, and minimize poten-
tial for soil erosion. Reduced chemi-
cal applications and tillage often
will enhance soil arthropod popula-
tions and activity.
Diversity of crop and animal
species and products from the farm
can further buffer the economic
returns to land, labor, and capital.
When maximum attention is paid to
value-added products, this economic
stability or sustainability can be
enhanced even further. Feeding
non-marketable grains or crop
residues to livestock before sending
the end product to market can give
higher returns to inputs, and ma-
nure can be returned to the land.
With non-chemical management,
organic food channels provide
higher prices for products and
potentially greater return to the
grower. New avenues for marketing,
consistent with farm location, time
available, and family goals, can
further enhance the value of farm
produce. If farm-related industry is
promoted, both on the farm and in
nearby communities, it is possible to
enhance both the sustainability of
farms and the community infra-
structure that is essential for their
long-term viability.
Precisely which practices fit into
each operation and which of the
above really fits into any specific
farming system depends entirely on
the local resources, management
options available, ability of the farm
operator, family members to imple-
ment the changes, and whether
these help the family to meet long-
term goals. There is growing con-
cern about health and safety on the
farm, and this is leading to research
and testing of a wider range of alter-
native practices. In any case, the
methods of FSRE are uniquely suited
to the screening of potential alterna-
tives, the search for other options
suggested by farmers, and the
practical testing of these practices
against current management ap-
proaches. In many locations, a

limited research base and few
recommendations for some of these
practices are available. The methods
outlined above, which are available
in FSRE, are well recognized as
viable routes to evaluate applica-
tions of new technologies or prac-
tices in a real-world situation while
farmers are gaining experience with
them at the same time.
There is a growing literature
about the critical role sustainability
will play in future decisions in the
agricultural industry. There are
numerous examples of environ-
mental impacts of current systems
in symposia publications from the
past decade (Bezdicek, 1984; Ed-
wards et al., 1989; Power, 1987).
Crop protection alternatives without
chemicals, or with drastically re-
duced applications, have the
potential to significantly reduce the
total amount of pesticide introduced
into the environment (Bird et al.,
1989; Liebman and Janke, 1989;
Ware, 1989). Soil fertility potentials
and economics in reduced chemical
fertilizer systems have been de-
scribed and documented (King,
1989). Finally, the conversion to
systems with lower inputs has been
explored and quantified by a num-
ber of researchers and farmer col-
laborators (Andrews et al., 1989;
Kirschenmann, 1988). Recently the
National Academy of Sciences
published a National Research
Council book on alternative agricul-
ture (National Academy of Sciences,
1989). This emerging literature on
alternative management systems
gives greater confidence to exten-
sion and development people in the
field who are promoting systems
that depend on reduced inputs. The
application of FSRE methods in the
testing and widespread demonstra-
tion of these techniques will provide
even more information on how they
apply in a wider range of circum-
stances. Environmental and resource
issues will be better understood as
educational activities are focused on
farmers as well as the general public.


No one would advocate a "non-
sustainable agriculture!" On the
other hand, even though we are not
able to define nor measure "sustain-
able agriculture," the concerns
which it expresses are here to stay.
We must become more concerned
with our biosphere and with the
well-being of future generations.
This means we must develop agricul-
tural practices that are less damaging
ecologically and more efficient in
the use of both renewable and non-
renewable natural resources. As
developers of agricultural technolo-
gies in the broadest context, we
must work with policy makers and
heed society's concerns as reflected
in policies they make. We must
become attuned to the world around
us and accept the challenges which
are forthcoming. Farming systems
research and extension methodolo-
gies are uniquely suited to this task.
Let's get on with the work.


Andrews, R.W., S.E. Peters, R.R.
Janke, and W.W. Sahs. 1989.
Converting to sustainable farming
systems. Chapter 10 in: Sustainable
Agriculture for Temperate Zones, C.A.
Francis, C.A. Flora, and L.D. King
(editors). New York: John Wiley &
Sons, in press.

Bezdicek, D.F. 1984. Organic Farm-
ing: Current Technology and Its Role in
a Sustainable Agriculture. Madison,
Wisconsin: American Society of
Agronomy Special Publication 46,
192 pp.

Bird, G.W., T. Edens, F. Drummond,
and E. Groden. 1989. Design of
pest management systems for
sustainable agriculture. Chapter 12
in: Sustainable Agriculture for Temper-
ate Zones, C.A. Francis, C.A. Flora,
and L.D. King (editors). New York:
John Wiley & Sons, in press.

Edwards, C.A., R. Lal, P. Madden,
R.H. Miller, and G. House (editors).
1989. Sustainable Agricultural Sys-
tems. Proceedings of the Interna-
tional Conference on Sustainable
Agricultural Systems, Ohio State
University, Columbus. Ankeny,
Iowa: Soil & Water Conservation
Society, in press.

Francis, C.A. 1989. Sustainable
agriculture: myths and realities.
Journal of Sustainable Agriculture,

Francis, C.A., R.R. Harwood, and J.F.
Parr. 1986. The potential for
regenerative agriculture in the
developing world. American Journal
ofAlternative Agriculture, 1:65-74.

Francis, C.A. and P.E. Hildebrand.
1988. Farming systems research and
extension (FSRE) in support of
sustainable agriculture. Proceedings
of the Eighth Annual Farming
Systems/Extension Symposium,
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville,
October 10-12. 6 pp.

Francis, C.A. and G. Youngberg.
1989. Sustainable agriculture: an
overview. Chapter 1 in: Sustainable
Agriculture in Temperate Zones, C.A.
Francis, C.A. Flora, and L.D. King
(editors). New York: John Wiley &
Sons, in press.

Franzluebbers, A., C. Francis, P.E.
Rzewnicki, R. Thompson, G. Lesong,
and R. Elmore. 1988. Relative costs
and efficiencies of on-farm versus
on-station research. Department of
Agronomy, Cooperative Extension
Service, University of Nebraska,

Harwood, R.R. 1988. History of
sustainable agriculture: U.S. and
international perspective. Proceed-
ings of the International Confer-
ence on Sustainable Agricultural
Systems, Ohio State University,

Hildebrand, P.E. and M. Ashaf.
1989. Agricultural sustainability as
an operational criterion. Ninth
Annual International Farming
Systems Symposium, University of
Arkansas, Fayetteville.

King, L.D. 1989. Sustainable soil
fertility practices. Chapter 5 in:
Sustainable Agriculture for Temperate
Zones, C.A. Francis, C.A. Flora, and
L.D. King (editors). New York: John
Wiley & Sons, in press.

Kirschenmann, F. 1988. Switch-
ing to a sustainable system. Wind-
sor, North Dakota, Northern Plains
Sustainable Agricultural Society, 18

Liebman, M. and R.R. Janke. 1989.
Sustainable weed management
practices. Chapter 4 in: Sustainable
Agriculture for Temperate Zones, C.A.
Francis, C.A. Flora, and L.D. King
(editors). New York: John Wiley &
Sons, in press.

Lockeretz, W. 1988. Open ques-
tions in sustainable agriculture.
American Journal of Alternative
Agriculture, 3:174-181.

National Academy of Sciences.
1989. Alternative agriculture. Wash-
ington, D.C.: National Academy

Power, J.F. (editor). 1987. The Role
of Legumes in Conservation Tillage
Systems. Proceedings of the Na-
tional Conference, University of
Georgia. Ankeny, Iowa: Soil and
Water Conservation Society.

University of Nebraska. 1987.
Sustainable agriculture...Wise and
profitable use of our resources.
Lincoln: University of Nebraska,
Department of Agronomy, Coopera-
tive Extension Service, 220 pp.

Ware, G.W. 1989. Complete Guide to
Pest Control, With and Without
Pesticides. Fresno, California:
Thompson Publishers, 290 pp.

Invisible Women: Gender
and Household Analysis in
Agriculture Research and

A presentation has been developed
to assist agricultural researchers,
extension workers, and managers of
research and extension projects in
learning about gender issues in
agriculture and to use gender analy-
sis as a descriptive and analytical
tool in their work. Gender analysis
is increasingly being recognized as a
critical aspect of program and
project success. The module can be
used alone as a separate module on
gender within a larger training
course or as an introduction to other
training activities on gender issues.
The presentation is available as a
slide set or VHS video. It is accom-
panied by a trainer's guide that
includes scripts in English, Spanish,
and French, and description lists for
the slides. The video version is
presently available only in English;
however, Spanish and French
versions will be available in 1990.
Copies of either the slide set
($100.00) or the video ($35.00) may
be ordered. A limited number of
free sets are available to developing
country nationals. For more infor-
mation, please write:

Dr. Susan V. Poats
108 N.W. 26th St.
Gainesville, Florida
USA 32607

ISNAR Publishes Study

In 1986 the International Service for
National Agricultural Research
(ISNAR) launched a major study on
the institutionalization and organi-
zation and management of on-farm,
client-oriented research in national
agricultural research systems. ISNAR
is now publishing the findings and
conclusions of the study. All publi-
cations from the study will be
available in 1989.
The objective of the study is to
provide a body of practical experi-
ence and advice for research manag-
ers to draw upon as they strive to
strengthen on-farm research and
make it an integral and stable part of
their research systems.
The approach has been to learn
from the experiences of research
managers in developing countries.
The analysis is built around case
studies of national research systems
that have formally integrated on-
farm client-oriented research as a
major activity and have at least five
years experience implementing this
type of research. Nine countries
were included in the study: Bangla-
desh, Ecuador, Guatemala, Indone-
sia, Nepal, Panama, Senegal, Zambia,
and Zimbabwe.
Each case study, prepared by a
team of national researchers, ana-
lyzes the organization and manage-
ment of on-farm research in the
national research system; assesses its
strengths and weaknesses in terms
of the effective and efficient im-
plementation of on-farm research;
draws out practical lessons for
research managers; and provides
concrete recommendations for
strengthening the conduct of on-
farm research in the country.
In addition to the case studies,
ISNAR is producing a series of com-
parative study papers on key man-
agement themes that synthesize the
findings, conclusions, and lessons
to be drawn from the cross-country
analysis. A final synthesis paper will
be ready by the end of 1989.

Single copies of the study's
publications are available upon
request and are free-of-charge to
institutions and individuals manag-
ing or working i'n on-farm research.
Publications may be ordered from
ISNAR, P.O. Box 93375, 2509 AJ,
The Hague, Netherlands, Attn: Dr.
D. Merrill-Sands. All requests
should include name, institutional
affiliation, profession, and mailing

Publications available:
Case studies
1. Kean, S., and L. Singogo, 1988.
Zambia: a case study of the organiza-
tion and management of the adap-
tive research planning team (ARPT),
Ministry of Agriculture and Water
2. Ruana, S., and A. Fumagalli,
1988. Guatemala: organization y
manejo de la investigation en finca
en el Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnolo-
gia Agricolas (ICTA).
3. Kasyastha, B., S. Mathema, and
P. Rood, 1989. Nepal: a case study
of the organization and manage-
ment of on-farm research.

Comparative study papers
1. Merrill-Sands, D., and J.
McAllister, 1988. Strengthening the
integration of on-farm client-
oriented research and experiment
station research in national agricul-
tural research systems: management
lessons form nine country case
2. Ewell, P., 1988. Organization
and management of field activities
in on-farm research: a review of
experience in nine countries.
3. Biggs, S. 1989. Resource-poor
farmer participation in research: a
synthesis of experiences in nine
national agricultural research

Forthcoming in 1989:
Case studies
Avila, M., E. Whingwiri, and B.
Mombeshora, In press. Zimbabwe:
a case study of five on-farm research
programs in the Department of

Research and Specialist Services,
Ministry of Agriculture.
Budianto, J., I. G. Ismail, Siridodo,
P. Sitorus, D. D. Tarigans, A.
Mulyadi, Suprat, In press. Indone-
sia: a case study on the organization
and management of on-farm re-
search in the Agency for Agricultural
Research and Development, Minis-
try of Agriculture.
Cuellar, M., In press. Panama:
un studio del caso de la organi-
zacion y manejo del program de
investigation en finca de produc-
tores en el Instituto de Investigacion
Agropecuaria de Panama.
Faye, J., and J. Bingen, In press.
Senegal: organisation et gestion de
la recherche sur les systems de
production, Institut Senegalais de
Recherches Agricoles.
Jabber, M., and Md. Zainul
Abedin, In press. Bangladesh: a
case study of the evolution and
significance of on-farm and farming
systems research in the Bangladesh
Agricultural Research Institute.
Soliz, R., P. Espinosa, and V.
Cardoso, In press. Ecuador: un
studio de caso de la organization y
manejo del program de investiga-
ciones en finca de productores (PIP)
en el Instituto de Investigaciones

Comparative study papers
Bingen, R. J., and S. Poats, In
preparation. The development and
management of human resources in
on-farm, client-oriented research:
lessons from nine country case
Ewell, P., In press. Linkages
between on-farm research and
extension in nine countries.
Merrill-Sands, D., et al., In prepa-
ration. Alternative arrangements for
organizing on-farm, client-oriented
research: comparative strengths and
Merrill-Sands, D., et al., In prepa-
ration. Institutionalizing on-farm,
client-oriented research in national
agricultural research systems: a
synthesis of experiences from nine

Suggested Reading


L Agriculture and Human Values

Agricultural Development and the
Quality of Life: An Anthropological
View, by Peggy F. Barlett and Peter J.
Brown, Spring 1985, Vol. 2, No. 2,
pp. 28-35.

Agricultural Development and The
Theory of Induced Innovation, by
Paolo Palladino. Spring-Summer
1987, Vol. 4, Nos. 2-3, pp. 53-64.

Extension Systems and Modern
Farmers in Developing Countries,
by Celia Jean Weidemann. Winter
1985, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 56-59.

In the Field A Proposed Framework
for Designing Livestock Develop-
ment Projects in West Africa: The
Gambia as an Example, by Neil A.
Patrick and Sandra L. Russo. Spring-
Summer 1987, Vol. 4, Nos. 2-3, pp.

Integrated Natural Resource Man-
agement: Why?, by Lawrence R.
John. Spring-Summer 1987, Vol. 4,
Nos. 2-3, pp. 94-110.

Rationality of New Technology for
Small Farmers in the Tropics, by
Charles A. Francis. Spring 1985, Vol.
2, No. 2, pp. 54-59.

Rural People, Resources, and Com-
munities: An Assessment of the
Capabilities of the Social Sciences
Agriculture, by James C. Hite. Win-
ter 1987, Vol. 4, No. 1, pp. 27-41.

Towards a Grassroots Approach to
Rural Development in the Third
World, by Miguel A. Altieri. Winter
1985, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 45-48.

The Underside of Development: Ag-
ricultural Development and Women
in Zambia, by Anita Spring and Art
Hansen. Winter 1985, Vol. 2, No. 1,
pp. 60-67.

Women in Agriculture, by Cornelia
B. Flora. Winter 1985, Vol. 2, No. 1,
pp. 5-12.

L Journal of Production Agriculture

Challenge for the Future: Incorpo-
rating Systems into the Agricultural
by A. Weiss, and J.G. Robb, 1989,
Vol. 2, pp. 287-289.

In a systems approach, the distinction
between research and extension is
blurred. There must be an appropri-
ate reward structure that acknowl-
edges this continuity of effort if
systems are to be successful. A
systems structure can take at least
three forms: ad hoc, center, or
departmental status. Guidelines to
evaluate systems efforts are given.

J American Journal of Alternative

On-Farm Experiment Designs and
Implications for Locating Research
by P.E. Rzeqnicki, E.R. Thompson,
G.W. Lesong, W. Elmore, C.A.
Francis, A.M.Parkhurst, and R.S.
Moomaw, 1988, Vol. 3, pp. 168-173.

Research plots that are large enough
to accommodate regular farm ma-
chinery are thought to contain too
much field variation to allow reliable
interpretation of experimental
results. This study was conducted to
determine whether experimental
error was controlled on a wide
variety of agricultural field trials that
used plots larger than those nor-
mally used by researchers. The in-
vestigation included trials conducted
on an experiment station as well as
trials conducted on actual commer-
cial farms. The planning and man-
agement of the experiments ranged
from those completely conducted by
university researchers to those
completely done by farmers.

The level of experimental error in
all the trials was well within the
limits normally accepted by re-
searchers in agronomy. Plots rang-
ing in length from 125 to 1200 feet
and as wide as one to two passes of
standard farm machinery gave
experimental results that were
statistically sound. Statistical re-
quirements for randomization and
replication were all met.

The ability to use large plots and
farmer participation enhances the
testing of new technology on farms.
This leads to new opportunities to
test crop production factors in a
systems setting under actual farm
conditions. The statistical reliability
of the on-farm designs analyzed in
this study should increase coopera-
tion among researchers, extension
workers, and farmers in research

J Culture and Agriculture

Culture and Agriculture is the bulletin
for the Culture and Agriculture
Group, which is an organization of
academics and practitioners inter-
ested in agriculture development
and agrarian transformation. Culture
and Agriculture welcomes members
concerned with social, biological,
and environmental aspects of
agriculture who are interested in
dialogue, debate, and collaboration.
The spring/summer issue (Num-
ber 38) of Culture and Agriculture fea-
tured several articles of interest to
FSRE practitioners. These articles
focused on the impact that FSRE
work is having throughout the
world. David Norman's paper,
"Accountability: A Dilemma in
Farming Systems Research," dis-
cusses how FSRE work has had
difficulty in achieving accountabil-
ity due to its multiple client focus,
limited access to research resources,
and need for incorporating societal
goals. The rest of the articles sum-
marize the findings of a USAID-
funded worldwide survey that
reviewed, analyzed, and docu-

mented the results of FSRE projects/
programs. This study sought to
determine the degree to which
externally-funded FSRE projects
have assisted in institutionalizing
FSRE within national agricultural
research and extension systems.
Contributing authors included
Timothy R. Frankenberger, Timothy
J. Finan, Billie R. DeWalt, Harold J.
McArthur, Robert E. Hudgens,
Cornelia Butler Flora, Noel Young,
Kanok Rerkosem, and G. Mitawa.
The study relied on field case studies
in Indonesia, Guatemala, Botswana,
and Costa Rica, and a secondary
review of FSRE programs. Culture and
Agriculture is published three times a
year. The editor welcomes relevant
contributions articles, news items,
publication announcements for
consideration in future issues.
Address comments, contributions,
and requests for mailing to:

Culture and Agriculture
Office of Arid Lands Studies
The University of Arizona
845 N. Park Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85719

Q Alternative Agriculture News

Alternative Agriculture News is pub-
lished monthly by the Institute for
Alternative Agriculture, Inc., a non-
profit research and education
organization headquartered at 9200
Edmonton Road, Suite 117, Green-
belt, Maryland 20770. The newslet-
ter is provided as a service to mem-
bers. Individual membership in the
Institute is available to organic
farmers, agricultural researchers, and
other interested persons at $15.00
per year. All contributions are tax-
deductible. For information, con-
tact the Institute.


Recent Southeast Asian Publications
Related to FSRE
Developments in Procedures for
Farming Systems Research:

Proceedings ofan International
Workshop, 13-17 March 1989, Puncal,
Bogar, Indonesia. Edited by Soleh
Sukmana, Pervaiz Amir, and Djojo
M. Mulyadi, Agercy for Agricultural
Research and Development (AARD),
Co-sponsors: Winrock, CIMMYT
and IDRC.
Contains 27 papers divided into
sections on Overview, Methods,
Experience and Institutions, Man-
agement, Communication, and
Extension. Topics covered include:
evolution and future of farming
systems in Indonesia; approaches for
on-farm and client-oriented
research; sustainable agricultural
systems; on-farm agroforestry; home
gardens; crop-animal interactions;
organization and management of
on-farm research; communication
between research and extension;
and introducing a farming systems
perspective in MS degree curricula.
Available from AARD and
Winrock International Institute for
Agricultural Development, Bangkok,

Sustainable Rural Development in Asia:
Selected Papers from the Fourth SUAN
Regional Symposium on Agroecosystem
Research, Khon Kaen University, Khon
Kaen, Thailand, July 4-7, 1988. Edited
by Terd Charoenwatana and A.
Terry Rambo.
Contains 18 papers and 9 ab-
stracts organized around five sub-
headings: The Sustainability of Rural
Ecosystems; Measuring the Sustaina-
bility of Rural Ecosystems; Critical
Problems of Sustainability and
Suggested Solutions; and Research
Approaches for the Study of Sus-
tainability. Topics covered include:
diversification in highland cropping
systems in Northeast Thailand;
water resource development in the
Philippines; role of trees in paddy
fields; cost of soil erosion; dams as
agents of rural development; inte-
gration of conservation into the
development process; and farmer
participation in the development of
sustainable cropping systems for
sloping acid upland.

Available from the SUAN Secretariat,
Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen
University, Khon Kaen 40002,

Filipino Women in Rice Farming
Systems Selected papers from the
Consultative Workshop on Women in
Rice Farming Systems in the Philip-
pines, March 26, 1987.
Sponsored by the University of
the Philippines, Los Banos, the Phil-
ippine Institute for Development
Studies, the Center for Policy and
Development Studies, the Interna-
tional Rice Research Institute (IRRI),
and the Ford Foundation. Contains
14 papers dealing with the role
women in root crops technology,
handwatering agriculture, integrated
pest management, cooperatives, and
extension training.
Available from IRRI or through

Rapid Rural Appraisal: Proceedings of
the 1985 International Conference and
Rapid Rural Appraisal in Northeast
Thailand: Case Studies.
The proceedings, published in
1987, contain 16 papers organized
around three subheadings: The
Need for RRA, Its Evolution and
Underlying Concepts; Important
Methods, Tools and Techniques in
RRA; and Contents and Types of
RRA Applications. The companion
volume of case studies was pub-
lished in 1988 and contains an
introduction and overview of RRA
activities at Khon Kaen followed by
six case studies. The cases demon-
strate the application of RRA to such
issues as fuelwood, dairy production,
maintenance of small-scale water
resource systems, cooperative labor
and the environmental effects of a
national park road.
Both volumes are available from
the Rural Systems Research Project,
Faculty of Agriculture, Khon Kaen

Man, Agriculture and the Tropical
Forest: Change and Development in
the Philippine Uplands, Edited by Sam
(continued on page 16)

Membership Information

First year fees for membership in the AFSRE are US$40 for citizens of the United States, Canada, Europe, Japan,
Australia, and New Zealand. For students studying in these countries the fee is US$20. The membership rate for
residents of all other countries is US$10. Membership dues can be paid by a check drawn on a U.S. bank, or by
international money order payable to the Association for Farming Systems Research-Extension in U.S. dollars. Mail
membership fees, along with the membership directory information, to:

Dr. Tim Finan, Secretary/Treasurer
Department of Anthropology
University of Arizona
Tucson, Arizona 85721 USA

Members will receive copies of the Journal of Farming System Research-Extension (beginning with the proceedings of
this year's symposium) and the FSRE Newsletter and will be eligible to participate in elections of, and serve as,
officers and Board members of the Association. First year members will also be eligible to vote on the constitution,
which will be presented at the symposium at Michigan State University, October 1990, and distributed to members
of record before that time.


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 Fax Telex
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 US dollars, to the treasurer if you can legally do this in your country of

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

4000 -- 1. 4 I.- `i F A C3 I. '.i--( 1.8

GAINESVIL..LE~, FL 326:1.1

(continued from page 14)
Fujisaka, Percy E. Sajise, and Romulo
A. del Castillo. Winrock Interna-
tional Institute for Agricultural De-
velopment, Bangkok, Thailand,
The book contains 13 papers
dealing with different aspects of
upland development in the Philip-
pines. Topics relevant to FSRE
include: economic impact analysis;
social forestry; agroforestry systems
for smallholder farmers; and land
tenure. A final paper by Fujisaka
and Sajise presents a synthesis of
lessons, unresolved issues and
implications with respect to change
and "development" in the uplands.
Available through AGRIBOOKS.

Agroecosystem Research in Rural
Resource Management and Develop-
ment. Edited by Percy E. Sajise and
A. Terry Rambo, September 1985.
The volume contains selected
papers from the Second SUAN-EAPI
Regional Symposium on Agroecosys-

tem Research, hosted by the Pro-
gram on Environmental Science and
Management (PESAM) of the Uni-
versity of the Philippines, Los Banos.
Issues addressed by the various
authors include: land resource
management; contribution of
homegardens to diet and income;
agricultural systems research in Asia;
rapid community appraisal; and
land use decision making. One
paper of particular interest to FSRE
researchers is a comparative discus-
sion by Christopher Gibbs of human
ecology, agroecosystems research,
farming systems research, and
cropping systems research in Asia.

A Review of AID Experience: Farming
Systems Research and Extension
Projects 1975-1987 by Kerry J.
This book focuses on AID's expe-
rience with farming systems re-
search and extension projects. The
study is based on a review of evalu-

ation documentation for a sample of
twelve AID-funded FSRE projects
implemented during the 1975-1987
period: seven projects in Africa, two
in Asia, and three in Latin America
and the Caribbean. The study
contributes to the ongoing discus-
sion within AID about the potential
of FSRE, or the useful elements
thereof, to assist the Agency in
meeting its mandate. Prepared
under a Center for Development
Information and Evaluation (CDIE)
contract with LABAT-ANDERSON
Incorporated, the study was com-
pleted in December 1988.
Send inquiries to: CDIE, Bureau for
Program and Policy Coordination,
Agency for International Develop-
ment, Washington, DC 20523-1802.

The FSRE Newsletter is supported by a grant (58-319R-9-0G3) from the Office of International Cooperation (an
agency of the United States Department of Agriculture), the Office of International Programs, Institute of Food
and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, contributions from AFSRE members, Title XII funding, and the
Office of Arid Lands Studies, University of Arizona. The editor welcomes articles, news items, and publication
announcements for consideration In future issues.

Address comments, contributions, and requests for mailing to:

Timothy R. Frankenberger, Editor
Farming Systems Research-Extension Newsletter
Office of Arid Lands Studies
The University of Arizona
845 N. Park Avenue
Tucson, Arizona 85719
FAX (602) 621-3816

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