Farming systems research/extension...
 List of publications
 West African farming systems research...
 Farming systems research and extension...
 European agricultural development...
 Ad hoc task force on an association...

Title: Farming Systems Research-Extension newsletter
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00071920/00003
 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.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00071920
Volume ID: VID00003
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 20382328
lccn - sn 91013250

Table of Contents
    Farming systems research/extension symposium - October 9-12, 1989
        Page 1
    List of publications
        Page 2
    West African farming systems research network, 2nd symposium - August 28-September 1, 1989
        Page 3
    Farming systems research and extension (FSR/E) in support of sustainable agriculture
        Page 4
    European agricultural development networks unite in AGRINET
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Ad hoc task force on an association for sustainable farming systems R/E
        Page 8
Full Text
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Number 2, 1989

Farming Systems Research-Extension Newsletter

Farming Systems
Research/Extension Symposium
October 9-12, 1989


The 1989 Farming Systems Re-
search/Extension Symposium is the
ninth in a series, hosted this year by the
University of Arkansas in collaboration
with Winrock International Institute for
Agricultural Development. Sponsors of
this year's conference include the Ford
Foundation, the United States Agency
for International Development, and the
United States Department of Agricul-
A keynote address will be given by
Dr. Mohan Man Sainju, Ambassador to
the United States from The Royal
Kingdom of Nepal. One of the 1989
Conference themes is FSR/E and the
Concepts of Sustainability, and a
plenary address will be made on this
topic by Dr. Peter Hildebrand, University
of Florida, and Dr. Charles Francis,
University of Nebraska. A plenary
address on Farmer Participation in
Agricultural Development will be given

Call for Papers on Indigenous
Knowledge of Tree Management

The Center for Indigenous Knowledge
for Agriculture and Rural Development
CIKARD) seeks publications and pri-
mary documents to include in a com-
prehensive bibliography on the use of
indigenous technical knowledge for
private tree management.
The bibliography will focus on tradi-
tional management practices of trees,
shrubs or other woody plants by indi-
viduals, their families or kin groups.
Management includes planning, selec-

by Dr. Jacqueline Ashby, of Centro
International de Agricultura Tropical
(CIAT), Colombia. Institutional Develop-
ment will be the topic of a presentation
by Dr. Obdulia F. Sisson, University of
The Phillipines/Los Banos, and Environ-
mental Quality will be covered in a
plenary session by Mr. Jeffrey Leonard
of the World Wildlife Fund and the
Conservation Foundation. Additional
topics include categories of the role of
farming systems in sustaining productiv-
ity and profitability.
A full day of the Symposium will be
devoted to concurrent sessions with a
regional focus. Major regions consi-
dered include Africa, Asia/Near East,
Latin America, and the United States.
Additional sessions will examine
conference themes on a global basis
through a series of concurrent sessions,
followed by synthesis presentations.
Of particular interest to many prac-
titioners are two separate plenary
sessions scheduled for open meetings
of the Association for Sustainable
Farming Systems Research/Extension.
Ad Hoc Task Force Committees will
have an opportunity to present their
reports and make recommendations to
those in attendance. Past formative

tion, propagation, growing, mainte-
nance, protection, production, harvest-
ing, and conservation. We also are
interested in materials on indigenous
intercropping and spatial management
practices, and knowledge of ecological
interrelationships of trees, crops and the
soil. "Grey literature" such as confer-
ence papers, research results, special
reports is of particular interest.
The bibliography will be compiled in
cooperation with FAO. Please send any
information to Olivia Muchena at
CIKARD, Iowa State University, 318
Curtiss, Ames, IA 50011, USA.

meetings of this group have proven to
be lively and productive sessions.
Pre- and Post-Symposium activities
include a number of short courses and
other activities of interest. These are
listed on the accompanying Symposium
Pre-registration Form, (page 7), along
with associated costs for participation (if
any). To pre-register for the Symposium
and any of the listed short courses,
complete the Pre-Registration Form
and return it with the proper remittance
International Agricultural Programs
300 Hotz Hall
University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701 U.S.A.
For a complete Pre-registration
packet or for information on any aspect
of the Symposium, contact Pamela
Styles at the above address, or by
telephone: (501) 575-6857.


In 1986, the International Service for
National Agricultural Research (ISNAR)
launched a major study on the in-
stitutionalization and organization and
management of on-farm, client-
oriented, research in national agricul-
tural research systems. ISNAR is now
publishing the findings and conclusions
of the study. All publications from the
study will be available in 1989.
The objective of the study is to
provide a body of practical experience
and advice for research managers to
draw upon as they strive to strengthen
on-farm research and make it an
integral and stable part of their research
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 which have formally
integrated on-farm client-oriented
research as a major activity and have
at least five years experience imple-
menting this type of research. Nine
countries were included in the study:
Ecuador, Guatemala, Panama,
Senegal, Zambia, Zimbabwe,
Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Nepal.
Each case study, prepared by a team
of national researchers, analyzes the
organization and management

of on-farm research in the national
research systems, assesses its
strengths and weaknesses in terms of
the effective and efficient implementa-
tion of on-farm research, draws out
practical lessons for research mana-
gers, and provides concrete recommen-
dations for strengthening the conduct of
on-farm research in the country.
In addition to the case studies, ISNAR
is producing a series of comparative
study papers on key management
themes which 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 publica-
tions are available upon request and
free-of-charge to institutions and
individuals managing or working in
on-farm research (see list below).
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 address.


Publications now available:
Case studies
No. 1 Kean, S. and L. Singogo. 1988.
Zambia: A Case Study of the
Organization and Management
of the Adaptive Research
Planning Team (ARPT), Minis-
try of Agriculture and Water
Development. The Hague:
International Service for National
Agricultural Research (ISNAR).
No. 2 Ruano, S. and A. Fumagalli.
1988. Guatemala: Organization
y Manejo de la Investigacion
en Finca en el Instituto de
Ciencia y Tecnologia Ag-
ricolas (ICTA). The Hague:
International Service for National
Agricultural Research (ISNAR).
No. 3 Kayastha, B., S. Mathema, and
P. Rood. 1989. Nepal: A Case
Study of the Organization and
Management of On-Farm
Research. The Hague: Interna-
tional Service for National
Agricultural Research (ISNAR).

Comparative study papers
No. 1 Merrill-Sands, D. and J. McAllis-
ter. 1988. Strengthening the
Integration of On-Farm Client-
Oriented Research and Exper-
iment Station Research in
National Agricultural Research
Systems: Management Les-
sons from the Nine Country
Case Studies. The Hague:
International Service for National
Agricultural Research (ISNAR).

No. 2 Ewell, P. 1988. Organization
and Management of Field
Activities in On-Farm Re-
search: A Review of experi-
ence in Nine Countries. The
Hague: International Service for
National Agricultural Research
No. 3 Biggs, S. 1989. Resource-poor
Farmer Participation in Re-
search: A Synthesis of Experi-
ences in Nine National Agricul-
tural Research Systems. The
Hague: International Service for
National Agricultural Research.
Publications Forthcoming in 1989:
Case studies
Avila, M. E. Whingwiri, and B. Mom-
beshora. In press. "Zimbabwe: A
case study of five on-farm research
programs in the Department of
Research and Specialist Services,
Ministry of Agriculture." The Hague:
International Service for National
Agricultural Research (ISNAR).
Budianto, J., E.S. Ismail, Siridodo, P.
Sitorus, D. D. Tarigans, A. Mulyadi,
Suprat. In press. "Indonesia: A case
study on the organization and
management of on-farm research in
the Agency for Agricultural Research
and Development, Ministry of Agricul-
ture. The Hague: International
Service for National Agricultural
Research (ISNAR).
Cuellar, M. In press. "Panama: Un
studio del caso de la organization
y manejo del program de investiga-
cion en finca de productores en el
Institute de Investigacion Ag-
ropecuaria de Panama." The Hague:
International Service for National
Agricultural Research (ISNAR).

Faye, J. and J. Bingen. In press.
"Senegal: Organisation et gestion de
la recherche sur les systems de
production, Institut Senegalais de
Recherches Agricoles." The Hague:
International Service for National
Agricultural Research (ISNAR).
Jabber, M., and Md. Zainul Abedin. In
press. "Bangladesh: A case study of
the evolution and significance of
on-farm and farming systems re-
search in the Bangladesh Agricultural
Research Institute". The Hague:
International Service for National
Agricultural Research (ISNAR).
Soliz, R, P. Espinosa, and V. Cardoso.
In press. "Ecuador: Un Estudio de
caso de la organization y manejo del
program de investigaciones en
finca de productores (PIP) en el
Institute de Investigaciones Ag-
ropecuarias." The Hague: Interna-
tional Service for National Agricul-
tural Research (ISNAR).
Comparative study papers
Bingen, R. J. and S. Poats. In prepara-
tion. "The development and manage-
ment of human resources in on-farm,
client-oriented, research: Lessons
from nine country case studies."
Ewell, P. In press. "Linkages between
on-farm research and extension in
nine countries".
Merrill-Sands, D. et al. In preparation.
"Alternative arrangements for or-
ganizing on-farm, client-oriented,
research: Comparative strengths
and weaknesses".
Merrill-Sands, D. et al. In preparation.
"Institutionalizing on-farm, client-
oriented, research in national agricul-
tural research systems: A synthesis
of experiences from nine countries".

28 August 1-September 1989


Most West African countries have adopted during the
current decade research methodology on farming systems
in order to enhance the efficiency of their national
agricultural research system to be more responsive to the
needs and priorities of small-scale farmers.
Significant experience, albeit very disproportionate in
value, was thus accumulated in terms of knowledge,
technical results, research methods and techniques,
pluridisciplinary practices, farmers' participation and of
institutionalizing of approach.
The symposium will enable practicians to do the
stocktaking themselves. Emphasis will be laid on the
comparison by agroecological zone of the problems
identified and the technologies experimented with a view
to determining the basis for collaborative research between
teams whose promotion will be assured by WAFSRN. A
critical study, as well as confronting of the approaches used
within the national systems, will also be done in order to
better seize the required methodological readjustments.

Eminent African researchers will be called upon to
present the symposium theme. Two and a half days will be
devoted to exposes and deliberations in working groups
divided into agroecological zones: (1) Irrigated and inland
valley zones (2) Forest and humid zone (3) Sudanian or
savannah zone (4) Sahel zone. Two moderators have been
designated per working group.
The conclusions and recommendations of the working
groups will be presented at a plenary session so as to
enable inter-zone comparisons.
The General Assembly of the network will convene on
the last day: activity report,i fresh orientations, renewal of
the Steering Committee.
The working languages will be English and French.
The network will bear the costs of two participants for
each country: the first one will be designated by the
research authorities and the second will be the author of
the best communication. Donors have been approached to
assist in the participation of researchers.
For additional information regarding this symposium
contact: Jacques Faye
WAFSRN Coordinator
c/o SAFGRAD B.P. 1783
Ouagadougou, BURKINA FASO
Telephone: 226 30 85 00
Telex: 5381 BF

The Gender and Agriculture Project

Editors: H. S. Feldstein and J. Jiggins

The Methodologies Handbook is a collection of
practitioners' experience of gathering and analyzing gender
sensitive data and applying it to the design, testing and
evaluation of agricultural technology development and
extension. Contributions include examples from South and
SouthEast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.
They focus on operational methods of proven cost
effectiveness and manageability used by male and female
research and extension personnel.
The publication (in English) will be available on sale at
the end of 1989. The price, publisher, and date of
publication will be announced later. A limited number of
free copies will also be available. Please fill in and return
the form below if you are interested in receiving a free copy.
Preference will be given to developing country nationals.



PROJECT DESCRIPTION (not more than 50 words)

In addition, requests accompanied by an official letter from
those carrying out training in gender analysis in FSR/E
and agricultural technology development can be con-
sidered. Return to H. S. Feldstein or S. Poats at either
address below.

Hilary Sims Feldstein
RFD 1 Box 821
Hancock, NH 03449
(603) 525-3772
CGNET E-Mail: CG1126

Dr. Susan V. Poats
108 NW 26th Street
Gainesville, FL 32607
(904) 378-5775
CGNET E-Mail: CG1045

Charles A. Francis* and Peter E. Hildebrand**

This paper defines a close and complementary
relationship between Farming Systems Research and
Extension (FSR/E) and Sustainable Agriculture. Sustaina-
ble agriculture is a set of goals or objectives for agricultural
systems. FSR/E is a methodology that incorporates a
systems, or holistic perspective. When the time dimension
is incorporated in the systems perspective, sustainable
necessarily becomes a concern in FSR/E.
Concern about the sustainability of agricultural
production has been expressed in books throughout most
of this century: Farmers of Forty Centuries (King, 1911),
An Agricultural Testament (Howard, 1943), and Feeding
a Billion (Wittwer et al.,1987). Growing interest in this
concept has developed over the past several years. The
National Research Council of the National Academy of
Sciences of the United States is, at this writing, completing
a major study on "alternative" agriculture. Recent USAID
and World Bank projects, among others, must demonstrate
concern with "sustainability". Yet, the growing dialogue has
not contributed to a single definition of the term "sustaina-
A mechanistic definition is used by the Cooperative
Extension System in Nebraska (Univ. Nebraska, 1987):
"...a sustainable agricultural system is the result of a
management strategy which helps the producer to choose
hybrids and varieties, soil fertility packages including
rotations, pest management approach, tillage methods and
crop sequence to reduce costs of purchased inputs,
minimize the impact of the system on the immediate and
the off-farm environment, and provide a sustained level of
production and profit from farming."
More recently, Harwood (1988) defined sustainable
agriculture as:
"...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 Committee on Agricultural Sustainability for
Developing Countries, "a coalition of organizations
concerned about agricultural development" in a concept
paper, "The Transition to Agricultural Sustainability: An
Agenda for AID" defines sustainability in agriculture as:
"...the ability of an agricultural system to meet evolving
human needs without destroying and if possible,
improving the natural resource base on which it
The Agronomy News, in January 1989, reported a

*Professor, Department of Agronomy, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.
"Professor, Food and Resource Economics, University of Florida,

consensus achieved by 350 members of the ASA, CSSA
and SSSA following a "free wheeling two-hour discussion":
"A sustainable agriculture is one that, over the long term,
enhances environmental quality and the resource base on
which agriculture depends; provides for basic human food
and fiber needs, is economically viable, and enhances the
quality of life for farmers and society as a whole."
This group, as have others, agreed that the concept of
"low-inputs: is not essential to sustainable agriculture, but,
under some circumstances, may be an appropriate
approach to meeting the four criteria listed in the definition.
As reported by E. T. York in a recent issue of Environment,
the Technical Advisory Committee of the CG IAR considers
"The goal of sustainable agriculture should be to
maintain agricultural production at levels necessary to
meet the increasing needs and aspirations of an
expanding world population without degrading the
Some of the above statements convey the concept of
sustainable agriculture as a philosophy. The TAC
statement expresses sustainable agriculture as a goal to
be achieved. It is in this latter context that the relationship
between sustainable agriculture (an end) and farming
systems as a clearly defined methodology (a means to an.
end) can be seen.
The current polemic on sustainable agriculture obviously
manifests a concern with the thought that modern
agriculture, as practiced in much of the world today, is
non-sustainable. Conventional technologies and strategies
have led to an agriculture that uses non-renewable
resources at rates which cannot be sustained, and/or which
creates a gradual contamination of the environment.
Through the use of petroleum-based products for
mechanization and chemically enhanced production
practices, non-sustainable agriculture as we know it today
is in part the result of standardized practices over large
geographic areas.
The opposite extreme, a perfectly sustainable agriculture
(one that could go on forever) no longer dominates. It is
found only in a few cases and as isolated habitation in the
world's largest humid tropical forests where the population
density is so low that the environment can recuperate from
the occasional slash and burn scars created in the process
of sustaining human life.
A practical working definition of "sustainable" must lie
between these two extremes. In this context, it would
probably be useful to speak of "a more sustainable
agriculture" rather than the absolute term "sustainable". A
more sustainable agriculture than that being practiced

in what we might call "modern agriculture" today would
rely less on standardized, often chemically-enhanced
production practices and instead depend on renewable
resources and use practices more in tune with local
conditions. This implies more diversity in crops produced,
changes in rotation practices, the development (or
redevelopment) of germplasm well adapted to local
environmental niches (as opposed to germplasm with
"broad adaptability") and the necessary accompanying
changes in infrastructure. A more sustainable agriculture
would be more in tune with the local resource base, make
maximum use of internal production inputs, and have
potential for sustained production and profits further into
the future.
Farming Systems Research and Extension methodology
is well adapted to help create the type of technology
envisioned in a more sustainable agriculture. FSR/E
1) was developed to help generate technology which fits
the particular types of farming systems in a specific
2) has been especially successful in areas where
conditions often change rapidly from one zone or ethnic
group to another.
3) is an approach which acknowledges diversity as implied
in the concept of "Recommendation Domains"
(Harrington and Tripp, 1984).
Diversity, in turn, implies the need for problem solving from
many perspectives. FSR/E procedures:
4) have come to grips with the challenges of combining
disciplines to help solve problems whose solutions often
lie outside the mandates of single departments or

commodity programs, or even outside the traditional
agricultural university or research institute.
5) feature partnership with farming families who help in its
planning and implementation.
The current rate of degradation of the environment
demands urgency in achieving more sustainable
agricultural practices. In practice, FSR/E:
6) reduces the time from conceptualization to adoption by
incorporating the knowledge base of farmers into the
process of technology generation.
7) stimulates the acquisition and use of new technological
information by farmers by helping them learn about it
first hand. This is critical because sustainable
agricultural requires more management time, substitut-
ing information for external inputs. By its very nature,
then, FSR/E methodology is distinctly appropriate for
helping develop the kind of agricultural practices that
are more in tune with local resources, that will help to
enhance the environment, and ultimately, help create a
more sustainable agriculture.
ASA/CSSA/SSSA. 1989 (Jan.) Agronomy News. p.15.
Committee on Agricultural Sustainability for Developing Countries. 1988.
The transition to sustainable agriculture: An agenda for AID.
Harrington, L. and R. Tripp. 1984. Recommendation domains: A
framework for on-farm research. CIMMYT Economics Working Paper
02/4. Mexico.
Harwood, R. R. 1988. History of sustainable agriculture: U.S. and
international perspective. Int'l. Conf. Sustainable Agriculture Systems,
Ohio State Univ., Columbus.
National Research Council. 1989. Alternative Agriculture. National
Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C. (In press).
York, E. T. 1988. Improving sustainability with agricultural research,
Environment 30(9):18.

European Agricultural Development Networks Unite in AGRINET

Editor's Note: Bertus Haverkort (AGRINET
Coordination Committee member, ILEIA,
Leusden the Netherlands) and George Axinn
(chair, Ad Hoc Task Force on an Association for
Sustainable Farming Systems RIE) have been in
communication about the potential for future
collaboration. Regarding AGRINET's position
toward possible collaborative organization of a
"sustainable farming systems symposium",
Haverkort stressed complementarity. The aims of
such a seminar, he stated, would be:
"To promote holistic and sustainable systems
approaches to agricultural development in the
third world, and to support institutional initiatives
in this regard taken in third world countries.
To give a-strong platform to nationals from
developing countries.
To support the development of local organizations
in third world countries engaged in the above.
To develop a wide range of concepts, methods
and intervention approaches based on good use
of local resources, the complementary use of
external inputs and integration of local knowledge
and initiatives with external sources of information
and development opportunities.
To articulate seminar conclusions to policymaking
and funding agencies."

AGRINET is an association of
European-based networks for Third
World agricultural development estab-
lished in 1989 by:
the Information Centre for Low
External Input Agriculture (ILEIA,
Leusden, Netherlands).
* the Reseau Recherche-Developpe-
ment (RRD based at GRET, Paris,
* the four networks operated by the
Overseas Development Institute,
London, England:
Agricultural Administration
(Research & Extension)
Social Forestry
Pastoral Development
Irrigation Management
These networks have an aggregate
membership of some 8000 individuals
and institutions. The coordination
committee of the umbrella organization,
AGRINET, comprises at present: Paul

Kleene (CIRAD, Montpellier), Danielle
Ribier (RRD, Paris), John Farrington
(ODI London) and Bertus Haverkort
(ILEIA, Leusden the Netherlands).
AGRINET recognizes that each
constituent network currently serves a
distinct clientele having its own interests
and requirements. It does not restrict
the freedom necessary to meet these
individual needs. The underlying
objectives of AGRINET are, rather, to
identify areas of common interest
among the networks which are more
efficiently conducted jointly than indi-
vidually, and to make the necessary
financial and administrative arrange-
ments for these to be carried out.
The fundamental objective of AG-
RINET and of its constituent networks
is to contribute to improved living
standards in rural areas via increased
resource-productivity on an equitable
and sustainable basis. It seeks to

realize this objective through a combina-
tion of networking and research.
Turning to the objective and methods in
more detail:
AGRINET and its networks recognize
that enhanced resource productivity
requires new technology, comprising
both hardware and the facilities (institu-
tions, services, methods, knowledge) to
put such hardware into effect. However,
conventional approaches which -
postulate the direct transfer of capital
intensive technologies from North to
*South have proven generally un-
satisfactory for the majority of rural
populations relying largely on rainfed
agriculture under difficult farming
conditions. Instead, technologies and
institutions have to be developed which
respond more specifically to the needs
and opportunities within local environ-
ments. Technology development of this
kind is characterized by close interaction
between research and development, by
strong participation from local com-
munities and by a holistic perspective
which places technological change
within the broader context of farming
systems interactions, including those
among crops, animals and trees. This
holistic perspective also has important
sociopolitical components, seeking to
understand relations within and among
groups in the rural community (farmers,
landless laborers, traders) and between
rural and urban groups in broader
institutional and policy issues.
AGRINET and its networks aim to
achieve these objectives through three
principal means:
information exchange via the
networks themselves
advisory work
The networks regard themselves as
a formalized mean of interaction among

professionals for the exchange of
information and experiences, and for
the development of methods and
concepts. The professionals catered for
by the networks include: fieldworkers of
governmental and non-governmental
agencies; administrators and policy-
makers in developing countries; donor
agency staff, and members of teaching
and research institutes. Essential
features of the networks include a
central register of members, and a
newsletter providing a two-way channel
of communication among members. In
some cases, information exchange is
further promoted by the publication of
the register of members, and by discus-
sion papers accompany the newsletter.
Workshops and seminars are a further
important vehicle of information ex-
Research and advisory work draw on
both fieldwork and literature reviews.
Thematic "working groups" have also
been used successfully.
The role of AGRINET
AGRINET is a coordinating agency
for specific functions of common
interest across the constituent networks.
These include:
(a) The translation and dissemination
of selected material from newsletters
or publications from French to
English and vice versa, including
articles, books, reports, bibliog-
raphies and abstracts. Translation
from and into other European
languages will also be made possi-
(b) Ajoint international seminar once
every two years for network members
to exchange and accumulate experi-
ences, examine and assess new
developments and concepts, and
formulate recommendations for
future directions in research, de-
velopment and networking.
(c) Establish working parties to
further elaborate on themes identified

under (b), to formulate operational
recommendations for policy makers
and to prepare the input for the policy
seminars (d).
(d) A policy seminar once every two
years, alternating with the interna-
tional seminars mentioned under (b),
to discuss the operational policy
recommendations between field
based network members and policy
and decision makers.
These seminars should function as a
bridge between decision makers and
field professionals and should facilitate
the translation of the accumulated
experiences in appropriate policies and
funding programmes.
(e) Jointly conduct research studies.
Two such studies have been iden-
tified: one is a review of the principal
European Institutions involved in
farming systems research, and of
their methodological approaches;
the other is a field study of the
experience gained by NGOs in
collaborating with public-funded
agricultural research and extension
(f) publication of an AGRINET
newsletter once per year, to be
distributed via existing networks, and
which would carry information on
existing and future joint activities in
eg. translation, seminars and re-
The core group of networks which
constituted AGRINET each consults
other networks within its own country
operating in similar subject areas,
coordinating activities and proposals
within the common areas of interest
outlined above. AGRINET is actively
seeking collaboration with networks
operating in similar thematic areas from
other European countries.
It is anticipated that a proposal for
funding the "common interest" activities
outlined above will be made to a
European Community agency in 1989.

The FSRE Newsletter is produced and distributed through the support of the United States Agency for International
Development, in part by a grant (58-319R-9-003) from the Office of International Cooperation and Development (an
Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture). Support is also received through the Office of International
Programs of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the Univeristy of Florida, and through the University
Centre of Dschang, Cameroon.

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Steve Kearl "C"
Department of State
Washington, D.C. 20523-2530

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Sensitivity Training and Interviewing Skills for Farmer Participation in Research
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Systems Approaches to Problem Solving in Agriculture, October 5-7 ($150.00)
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SFarming Systems Research-Extension Newsletter
3028 McCarty Hall, Gainesville, Florida 32611

Ad Hoc Task Force on an Association for Sustainable Farming Systems R/E

Task Force Members:
George Axinn, FAO New Delhi
Virgilio R. Carangal, IRRI (Oregon)
German Escobar P., IDRC, Colombia
Jacques Faye, SAFGRAD/OAU, Burkina Faso
Hilary Feldstein, New Hampshire
Timothy J. Finan, University of Arizona
Cornelia B. Flora, Kansas State University
A. M. Foster, BCCI, Zambia
K. H. Friedrich, FAO Headquarters, Rome
Anita Frio, IRRI, Philippines
Peter E. Hildebrand, University of Florida
Robert E. Hudgens, Winrock International, Arkansas
Paul Kleene, DSA/CIRAD, France
Liu XinHao, Beijing Agricultural University, China
Harold J. McArthur, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Susan Poats, Florida
Donald E. Voth, University of Arkansas
Task Force Progress
Task Force Chairman George Axinn reports that the
Association for Sustainable Farming Systems is moving closer
to becoming a reality, with considerable activity among Task Force
committees. Regular correspondence between Axinn and the
Task Force has encouraged an active exchange of information
and kept Task Force members up to date on related activities.
Committees are completing their charges and preparing to report
back to their constituency.
Through this exchange, the FSRE Newsletter has received
considerable input (see articles elsewhere in this issue), including:
news of the 2nd Symposium of the West African Farming Systems
Network from Jacques Faye; progress on a concept paper on
FSR/E in support of sustainable agriculture, authored by Peter
Hildebrand and Charles Francis; and reports on various fronts in
relation to the 9th Annual Farming Systems Research/Extension
Axinn reports that interest in hosting future annual Farming
Systems Research/ Extension Symposia remains high, and that
requests for additional information have been received from
different parts of the world. Many of the expressions of interest
reflect what Axinn sees as fitting a "pattern of opinion which is
developing in which the future might see regional symposia all
over the world from time to time (some annual, but others not),
and perhaps a global symposium every second year, supported
by the new international association..."
Harold McArthur, in a letter to his task force group (Future
Symposia Program and Site Committee), stated, in part, "I have
had some informal indications of interest on the part of the SUAN
Group (Southeast Asian University Agroecology Network) and the
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for hosting a future
meeting in Asia. I am currently following up with Dr. Turd
Charoenwatana, the present SUAN chairman, on the possibility
of a Thailand venue. Kohn Kaen University recently hosted a

special workshop on research strategies for sustainable
agriculture and has had a long involvement with rapid rural
appraisal and farming systems research. I will be in the Philippines
in June and expect to assess the level of interest at IRRI and the
Visayas State College of Agriculture (VISCA) at that time."
Liu Xun-hao, after discussions with his colleagues in China,
suggests that "widely exchanging experience and research works
in every year's symposium should be a center topic." He also
suggests that the international symposium in 1990 or 1991 might
be conducted in a developing country, and that a central topic
might be "...development of sustainable farming systems in
developing countries. As I see, the differences of agriculture
between developing and developed countries is so big that they
are opposite in many fields."
Timothy J. Finan of the University of Arizona is making progress
with his committee on Constitution Drafting. They are dealing with
such aspects of the October 1989 agenda as: "a) the name of
the association, b) the purpose of the association, c) criteria for
membership, d) officers of the association, and e) relationships
with other national and international organizations."
Axinn has received phone calls and letters from institutions
interested in responding to the request for invitations to host future
symposia. Inquiries have been received from Virginia State
University at Petersburg, Wageningen Agricultural University in
the Netherlands, the University of Wisconsin at Madison and
Michigan State University, to name a few.
The Office of International Agricultural Programs at the
University of Arkansas has prepared a packet of information,
including financial data, which is being sent to organizations which
request information. As actual institutional invitations are received,
either by Axinn or Tom Westing, these are forwarded to Harold
McArthur for consideration by his selection committee.
Axinn notes that "The worldwide interest in sustainable farming
systems is still gaining momentum. I hope we can keep it moving."
Speaking of moving, FAO has asked George to rejoin their
organization as FAO Representative in India. His present address
is: Dr. George H. Axinn
FAO Representative, India and Bhutan
P.O. Box 3088
New Delhi 110 003 INDIA
Telephone: 693060
Telex: 3162216 FAO IN (India) FAX: 697496
To help maintain continuity and stability in task force activities,
Dr. Peter E. Hildebrand has agreed to serve as Deputy Chair. He
may be contacted as follows:
Dr. Peter E. Hildebrand
Dept. of Food and Resource Economics
University of Florida
2126 McCarty Hall
Gainesville, Florida 32611
Telephone: 904 3925830
Telex: 568757 FAX: 904 392 7127

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