• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 Coordination of la Maquina Pilot...
 Head of ICTA's activities in Region...
 Director of the Technical Production...
 Recommendations














Title: Technical assistance to the Agricultural Science and Technology Institute (ICTA) of Guatemala
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073325/00001
 Material Information
Title: Technical assistance to the Agricultural Science and Technology Institute (ICTA) of Guatemala
Physical Description: 50 leaves : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Crisostomo-Vergara, Carlos
Publisher: Servicios Tâecnicos del Caribe
Place of Publication: San Juan Puerto Rico
Publication Date: 1979
 Subjects
Subject: Agriculture -- Research -- Guatemala   ( lcsh )
Agricultural assistance, American -- Guatemala   ( lcsh )
Technical assistance, American -- Guatemala   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Guatemala
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: Carlos Crisostomo-Vergara.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "July 1974-December 1979."
General Note: "Project - USAID - Guatemalan Government , PTO - T-520-197-1-3-4006 - PROG. AG. 74-2."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073325
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 81995683

Table of Contents
    Title Page
        Page i
    Table of Contents
        Page ii
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Coordination of la Maquina Pilot Projet
        Page 3
        Background
            Page 3
            Page 4
        Diagnosis and formulation of strategies
            Page 5
            Page 6
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
        The results
            Page 10
            Page 11
            Page 12
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
        Conclusions and recommendations
            Page 18
            Page 19
    Head of ICTA's activities in Region IV
        Page 20
        Background
            Page 20
        Diagnosis and strategy
            Page 21
        The results
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
            Page 30
        Conclusions and recommendations
            Page 31
    Director of the Technical Production unit of ICTA
        Page 32
        ICTA, its organization, objectives and operations
            Page 32
            Page 33
        The Technical unit for production
            Page 34
            Page 35
            Page 36
            Page 37
            Page 38
        Executing the activities
            Page 39
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
    Recommendations
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
Full Text
Is,
5c9,


TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE TO THE


AGRICULTURAL


SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE


(I C T A )


* OF

GUATEMALA


FINAL REPORT

Eng, Carlos Crisostomo-Vergara


JULY 1974 December, 1979


PROJECT SAID


- GUATEMALAN GOVERNMENT


PTO T-520-197-1-3-4006- PROG, AG. 714-2


SERVICIOS
BOX
SAN JUAN,


TECNICOS DEL CARIBE
3029
PUERTO RICO 00903


~8"j~
O~zf










TABLE OF CONTENTS


Page


INTRODUCTION---------------------------------- 1

COORDINATION OF LA MAQUINA PILOT PROJECT-------- 3

Background--------------------------------- 3

Diagnosis and Formulation of Strategies---- 5

The Results-------------------------------- 10

Conclusions and Recommendations------------ 18

HEAD OF ICTA'S ACTIVITIES IN REGION IV---------- 20

Background-------- ---------------------- 20

Diagnosis and Strategy--------------------- 21

The Results------------------------------- 22

Conclusions and Recommendations------------ 31

DIRECTOR OF THE TECHNICAL PRODUCTION
UNIT OF ICTA------------------------------------ 32

ICTA, Its Organization,Objectives
and Operations----------------------------- 32

The Technical Unit for Production---------- 34

Executing the Activities------------------- 39

RECOMMENDATIONS--------------------------------- 48














INTRODUCTION



This is the final report on the technical assistance provided

by Servicios T&cnicos del Caribe to the Agricultural Science and

Technology Institute (ICTA) of Guatemala, during the period covered

from July 1974 to December 1979, under USAID financed Contract

PIO/T-520-197 1-3-40006 Pro. ag. 74 -2, as amended. Agronomist

Carlos E. Cris6stomo Vergara performed as the resident Advisor under

the Contract.

The technical services were originally contracted for a twelve

month period. However, based on results obtained and agreement among

the parties, said period was extended several times reaching a total

of 66 months, as shown below, together with the main function assigned

to the technician in each extension of the contract.


Period

July 1/74 -June 30/1975

July 1/75 -Dec. 31/1975

Jan 1/76 Dec.31/1976
Jan. 1/77 Feb. 28/1977
March 1/77 April 30/1978
May 1 /78 April 30/1979
May 1 /79 Dec. 31/1979
Total


No. of Months

12

6

1i2^
2
14
12 J
8
66


Title

i Coordinator La M1quina
Pilot Project
SCoordinator La MAquina
Pilot Project
Head ICTA's Activities Region IV
Head ICTA's Technical Division
It II it I:
ii ii it I i
Advisor,Head Technical Division







- 2 -


As noted above, the level of responsibility assigned to the

technician increased progressively during the life of the contract.

The main functions assigned for each one of the principal periods

are summarized below:

Coordinator La MIauina Pilot Project

1) Provide professional guidance and orientation to the ICTA's

research teams on crop production in La Maquina, geared to develop

strategies to identify needs of small farmers and to coordinate re-

search and experimentation activities for developing solutions to the

problems confronted by these producers and ways of transferring the

technologies developed.

2) Provide in-service training to the technicians participating

in the Pilot Project.


Head ICTA's Activities Region IV

1) Assist ICTA in increasing its capacity to conduct research

and experimentation on crops required under"Plan Nacional de Desa-

rrollo Rural'' heading the technical and administrative functions of

ICTA in Region IV (La Maquina y Nueva Concepci6n), oriented towards

the development of technology to increase productivity and social

well being of small and medium size farmers.

2) Provide technical guidance, orientation and in-service trai,

ning to technicians operating in the region.








- 3 -


Chief, Technical Division of ICTA

Collaborate to strenghen ICTA'S research program to increase

food production, heading the Technical Division of ICTA at the

national level.

Advisor to the Technical Division of ICTA

Collaborate with ICTA in consolidating the activities of the

Technical Division,.providing guidance and orientation to the newly

appointed Chief of the Technical Division so as to assure continuity

of its operations at the termination of the technical assistance.It

is important to mention that the New Director of the Technical Di-

vision was the first Guatemalan to hold this position, occupied until

then by expatriates.Thus, one of the fundamental tenents of techni-

cal assistance was complied with.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROJECT

Coordination of "La Maquina"
Pilot Project"

Background

At the time services under this contract were initiated,ICTA

had already selected three pilot areas where first efforts were being

made in conjunction with farmers to assess the validity of results obtai-

ned in ICTA'S Production Centers (Experiment Stations) under the conditions

prevalent in rural areas,before making definitive recommendations. The

three pilot areas where limited to the Quezaltenango Valley,seve-








- 3 -


Chief, Technical Division of ICTA

Collaborate to strenghen ICTA'S research program to increase

food production, heading the Technical Division of ICTA at the

national level.

Advisor to the Technical Division of ICTA

Collaborate with ICTA in consolidating the activities of the

Technical Division,.providing guidance and orientation to the newly

appointed Chief of the Technical Division so as to assure continuity

of its operations at the termination of the technical assistance.It

is important to mention that the New Director of the Technical Di-

vision was the first Guatemalan to hold this position, occupied until

then by expatriates.Thus, one of the fundamental tenents of techni-

cal assistance was complied with.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE PROJECT

Coordination of "La Maquina"
Pilot Project"

Background

At the time services under this contract were initiated,ICTA

had already selected three pilot areas where first efforts were being

made in conjunction with farmers to assess the validity of results obtai-

ned in ICTA'S Production Centers (Experiment Stations) under the conditions

prevalent in rural areas,before making definitive recommendations. The

three pilot areas where limited to the Quezaltenango Valley,seve-








-4-


ral municipalities of Juticapa Department and La Maquina Settle-

ment Project.

Early in 1974 an agreement was signed between ICTA and DIGESA

(Direcci6n General de Servicios Agricolas) making possible for DI-

GESA promoters, working in the pilot areas, to be transferred, on a

temporary assingment, to ICTA and charged with functions related to

carrying out field trials on a number of farms located in those areas

where technology developed by ICTA would be tested under local con-

ditions. Overall objective was to integrate both research and exten-

sion under one single institution which would be ICTA thus assuring

a continuous flow of improved technology from its very source to the

ultimate usen:the farmer.

The technician working under the Contract was assigned the respon-

sibility of carrying out and coordinate activities in the La Maquina

Pilot Project, located in the municipalities of Cuyotenango and San

Andr6s Villa Seca of Suchitep6quez and Retalhuleu, respectively, co-

vering an area of 34,478 hectars mainly farms 20 hectars in size -

where DIGESA promoters, under the leadership of a technician from

ICTA, were carrying out the following activities:

Fourty (40) corn field 'trials where ICTA Tropical
101 intervariety hybrid was being compared with
"Criollo" corn.

Seven (7) rice field trials where IR-22 and CICA-4
varieties were being compared with local material
utilized by the small farmers.

Fourty four (44) soybean field trials to determine
how this crop new to the area would perform
under local conditions.








5 -
These were additional responsibilities to the normal functions
of the agricultural promoters (Extension Agents).

Diagnosis and Formulation of Strategies

During the first six months of the contract, basic information

on the zone was developed to guide the activities to be carried out

in the area. Beside reviewing written material available; assis-
tance was given to the Systems Team of the International Center of

Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in conducting a sample survey in the area.

One hundred farmers in the Pilot Project were interviewed. Results,

however, were made available too late when the program was already

underway. However, having participated as an interviewer and in fre-

quent meetings with CIAT personnel provided a good insight into the

production systems being followed in the area and the problems being

encountered, which together with other relevant information permitted

to describe the following situation:

La MAquina settlement is located 1423" latitud north and 91035"

longitud west, with an elevation that varies from 6 to 150 meters

above sea level. Ecologically it is classified mainly as a Dry Sub-

tropical Zone (Holdridge 1974) having a median temperature of 27C,

a maximum median of 35C and a minimum median of 200C. Median annual

rainfall is of 1860 mm received mainly from May to October.

Predominant soil series is, according to Simmons, Ixtan clay with

Ixtan "franco limoso" in a minor scale; although soils of the Champe-

rico series are found in association with the above mentioned series.

Topography is ondulated with a smooth slope toward the coast.








6 -

Principal crops are corn, ajonjoli, and rice, accupying 74; 44

and 2 percent, respectively, of agricultural land in two seasons:

May and August. Two crops are produced annually based on a rotation

of corn ajonjoli, mainly.

Corn utilizes around 17,500 hectares with an annual average pro-

duction of 28,500 metric tons and a median yield of 1.6 tons per
hectare;which is the result of: only 3 percent of area in corn being

planted to improved varieties, potential yields of "Criollo" varie-

ties are low, high incidence of mulching due to height toplants and

strong winds, high incidence of pests not properly controlled,plants

have to compete with weeds, low use of fertilizers, shortage of labor,

limited financial resources, adverse weather conditions. Corn is plan-

ted when the rainy season starts (end of April and beginning of May)

and on rare occasions a second crop is planted in September inter-

cropped with the first planting made in.April May.

Sesame, second in importance, occupies approximately 10,000 hec-

tares planted at the end of July and beginning of August intercropped

with corn when plants have reached physiological maturity. Annual pro-

duction averages 4,000 metric tons with yield of 0.4 tons/hectar.

Varieties more commonly used were introduced to the area years ago and

farmers have been selecting and keeping their own seed which they now

named Blanquina and Chicote. Principal problems include high inciden-

ce of fungous, diseases, low yield potential and no utilization of fer-

tilizers.








- 7 -


Rice constitutes the third traditional crop in importance

in the area with an area of approximately 500 hectares, average

annual production of 1,000 metric tons and yields of 2 tons/hec-

tare.It is produced on impermeable soils of the Champerico se-

ries found in small lots all throughout the entire parcelation

project. Factors accounting for low productivity are varieties

with low yield potential and susceptible to bending poor distri-

bution of plants in a particular plot due to inadequate planting

techniques, high weed competition with plants due to inadequate

controls, inadequate pests control, very limited use of fertili-

zers.

Other crops of some importance are beans, cassava, "achiote",

water melon, tomatoes, peanuts and a squash variety whose seed

is utilized as an spice. Some fruit trees like mango citrus,

papaya cashew(maran.6n) and guava, among others, are also grown in

the area.

Around 20 percent of the area is pastureland and forage utili-

zed mainly for beef cattle.

Absence of technical assistance is notorious, Promoters visiting

farmers one or two times annually, on the average;the rest of the

time utilized on paper work and carrying out credit activities.

Another point of reference to define activities to be conduc-

ted in the area were the field trials being carried out by the Pro-

moters. Results obtained on these trials are summarized below:







8-

Corn yields of the ICTA Tropical 101 hybrid
were, on the average, 3.5 tons/hectare compa-
red with 1.6 tons/hectare of the "Criollo"
materials.

Rice variety CICA-4 yield were 4.4 tons/ hectare,
IR-22 averaged 5 tons/hectare,compared with an
average of 2.2 tons/ hectare obtained on Blue
Bonnet-50 seed kept by farmers.

An eruption of the Fuego Volcano made it im-
possible to obtain dependable results on the
soybean trials.

Although ICTA had defined policy to solve problems confronted

by small and medium size farmers making them a party to the process

of developing and transferring technology, it was necessary to hold a

series of meetings with ICTA officials(General Manager,Deputy Manager,

Associate Director, Technical Director) and on ocassions with members

of the Technical Division with the purpose of consolidating the metho-

dology to be utilized. Both groups, particularly the latter,showed

enough flexibility to adjust methodology to the cropping systems and

type of farmers found in the various zones.

In the specific case of La Maquina Project a series of activi-

ties were defined to becarried out in plots provided by farmers. These

are described below:

Farmer's Tests' (Parcelas de Prueba)

Work done in conjunction with the farmer, utilizing plots of

one "cuerda" of land (1,166 sq. m.) for each treatment, with no re-

petition, where the farmer provides the land and labor needed, and

ICTA provides technical assistance and additional inputs needed, the

latter to be repaid by the farmer at the time of harvest. The pur-

pose is to evaluate farmers use and management of improved technology

as compared with his traditional operations.








9 -

Farm Trials (Ensayos de Finca)

These are applied research activities carried out directly

by ICTA. The farmer provides the land only. The idea is to adapt

research findings to actual field operations and feedback researchers

with real operations results.

Research

Work was carried out on fertilizers, control of plant insects

and diseases, weed control, etc. ICTA provided inputs, the farmer

provided the land. The idea is to develop new technology adapted to

meet the pressing needs of the farmers in the region.

Field Day

Meetings of farmers (10-20) to observe and discuss farm trials

and research carried out on the farms were sponsored. This is an

effective method of promoting improved farm practices.

Production "Clinics"

Meetings of all collaborating farmers for each crop were held.

The purpose of these "Clinics" was to exchange ideas with the farmers

on the results of work in progress. Farmers are valuable in assisting

in the orientation of research to meet felt needs.

It should be mentioned that the ICTA/DIGESA contract was can-

celled since DIGESA Promoters, because of their credit activities,did

not have the time to provide the assistance needed by ICTA. Further-

more, they requested certain conditions to be satisfied before their

transfer to ICTAwhich could not be met.







10 -

ICTA decided that the Production Coordinators in pilot areas

would also supervise other ICTA activities in their areas. In

the case of La Maquina Project there were two Production Centers

in one of which administrative personnel and the corn-sesame pro-

gram were concentrated. The technicians from the Republic of

China were assigned to the second Production Center.These techni-

cians were originally assigned to the Instituto de Transformaci6n

Agraria (INTA).


THE RESULTS


Tests and Transfer of Technology

Members of the Team:

Eight (8) Agricultural Engineers

Two (2) Agronomists

Two (2) Students from the Faculty of
Agronomy of Universidad San Carlos who
were complying with their farm practice

Four (4) Peace Corps Volunteers

Projects were so located in participating farmers plots that

each one could be observed by a minimum of 12 farmers, at the same

time that the projects were a representative sample. The results

were as follows:

Corn

It was shown that improved seeds tried were superior to the

"Criollo" both in yield and in growth. The use of improved seeds

and adequate cultivation practices increased productivity in corn








- 11 -


by 108% and profitability was increased by 66% with an increase

of 43% in investment compared to traditional practices. The use

of fertilizers did not increase yields significantly but

they increased production costs by 38% and reduced profitability

by 29%. The traditional practice of planting corn at the begin-

ning of the rainy season intercropped with sesame planted during

late July or early August proved to be the most effective system.

The use of herbicides proved to be advantegeous over hand weeding

but care should be taken with the use of fertilizers having high

residual effect; it affected sesame yields.Breeding stock (corn)

produced in Guatemala needs improvement. Though production is

higher than the "Criollo" there is a high incidence of rot(grain).

As an alternative a number of imported varieties were selected.

The use of granulated insecticides to control leaf diseases pro-

ved to be a sound and economic practice. There are doubts as to

the need of controlling soil plagues.

Rice

The improved variety CIGA-4 proved to produce higher yields than

the varieties commontly used by the farmers. The use of nitrogen

increased yields of CIGA-4 but its high price in 1975 cancelled

any increase in income.

Drought spells brought about substantial losses in certain

areas. It is risky to plant rice near the coast. The best areas

are "Sector A" and part of "Sector B" of La Maquina. In the








- 12 -


"Farmer's Tests" there were weed problems but in evaluating

herbicides it was found that there are some products or- combi-

nation of products that proved to be effective. In comparison

with traditional practices, yields increased by 76% when using

the recommended technology excluding fertilizers. Yields increased

by 122% when using fertilizers while income increased by 42%

and 39% respectively against 29% for the traditional system.

Aj onjoli

The results in this crop were not above those currently

obtained by farmers. Yields were very low, about 0.5 tons per
hectare. There was no response to the use of fertilizers. Fun-

gous diseases attacked severely. Because of this reason it was

decided to start a specific program for this crop to produce di-

sease resistant stock and of a higher yield potential. "Ajonjoli"

is an export crop which increases farmers income. It is also a

good alternative as a second crop in La Maquina.Emphasis should be

placed in developing improved and adequate technology for

this crop.

Soybeans

Growing soybeans does not represent a good alternative for

La Maquina settlement.Yields, when intercropped with corn were low

and there is not a promising local market.

Beans

The experience on beans was erratic. In some areas yields

were satisfactory, in others the crop was lost because of excess








- 13 -


rain at harvest time. Production costs were found to be low.

There was no response to the use of fertilizers. Some trials on

planting season should be carried out in the future. It seems

that production for home use is the most that can be expected

because of climate.

"Frijol de Costa" or Cowpea

This crop was planted at the beginning of the rainy season

as an alternative for intercropping with corn. The results were

not satisfactory. Yields were low. Though some families found

cowpeas acceptable, this grain will have difficulties as a subs-

titute for beans.

Transfer of Technology

Though the idea was that the project would carry on its ac-

tivities to the point of transfer of improved technology produced,

there were difficulties in carrying this action to an end, mainly

because this function in the public sector-belongs to DIGESA,thus

facing and interinstitutional conflict of duplication of efforts.

However,satisfactory results were achieved in the transfer of

technology since all activities were carried out in the farm and

in close collaboration with the farmers;fields days were organized,

seminars clinicss de producci6n", meetings with DIGESA personnel

were successfully organized.

The publication of bulletins with recommendations on the

most important crops also helped in promoting the use of improved

technology.








- 14 -


The Corn- "Ajonjoli" Program

This program was handled by two Agronomists detailed in La

MAquina. There was a support activity on the genetic improvement

of corn in the "Zona Baja". The main activity was carried out from

the Centro de Producci6n Cuyuta.

Increasing plant population, lowering the height of the plant

and increasing yields were the main objectives. The following

varieties were used:ICTA -B-l; Queztzal Oro Blanco (Opaco) and

Sintetico Amarillo. Some germ material originating in CIMMYT was

also evaluated. Out of this effort some varieties were selected for

farm trial.

Republic of China Technical Mission

Five technicians from Tiwan carried out their activities in a
to
20 has. plot transfered / ICTA by the Ministry of Agriculture.The

objective was to look for a better land use on the basis of an in-

tegrated farm plan oriented towards home consumption needs and re-

gular sales instead of one seasonal sale. To that end the following
I
crops were planted: corn, rice, soybeans, cowpeas, camote, cassava,

peanuts and vegetables. Swine were raised and fish ponds were made

to grow Tilapia and Carpa from Israel. Production was satisfacto-

ry. Field days were organized and farmers became interested in the

project though not necessarily as an.integrated project. The pro-

ject has some inherent limitations such as the need for irrigation

and abundant water for vegetable growing and for the fish sub-pro-

ject.








- 15 -


Socio-Economic

The socio-economic component was in charge of one Agricul-

tural Engineer and one Agronomist. They contributed to the evalua-

tion of the different planting systems prevailing in La Maquina

conducting farm income studies, and assisting in promoting the

use of simple farm records.

Twenty five farmers were selected at random for the project.

They were trained to keep a daily record of activities including

farm records such as labor, inputs, value of the crop, income and

expenses, etc. The information was collected for each crop and

later on analyzed.

These farm records, in addition to their importance to the

research workers, served to stimulate the farmers to keep records.

Through special meetings held with this purpose, other farmers

started to keep farm records and accounts.

The results of this activity were similar, to a large extent,

to those obtained at the "Parcelas de Prueba". This activity

should be continued. It will help to evaluate the use of improve-

ments in technology.

In-Service Training

Regular meetings were held with the personnel of the project

to plan and discuss the activities to be undertaken and to examine

the problems arising in daily operations. Field days for technicians

were organized. The exchange of ideas between technicians and far-

mers was an important part of the in-service training.Specialists

from ICTA participated in a number of meetings. Two Agricultural








- 16 -


Engineers were sent to CIAT for a period of 6 months for training

on crop production.

Administrative Activities

Administrative activities were coordinated so as to provide

adequate support to technical activities. Though this activity re-

quired considerable time, it made possible for the Advisor to be

in a position of authority to provide necessary logistic support.

to all the technicians. In the past, the main problems originated

in the centralized system of operations. The Advisor was assigned

a Chief of Field Operations, an Assistant pay master and adequate

secretarial and office support.


OTHER ACTIVITIES


Seed Production

The team under the leadership of the Advisor had the respon-

sibility for increasing the production of improved seeds of some

crops using the facilities at Centro de Producci6n Cuyuta where

irrigation is available. This activity was carried out with the col-

laboration of ICTA'S technicians who are in charge of specific

programs.

In collaboration with Dr. Plant and Eng. Manlio Castillo,Pro-

duction Coordinators at Jutiapa and Parasitology Program, respec-

tively, a seed production program was prepared. The

project was presented to the Interamerican Development Bank and

the amount of $616,000 was assigned for this purpose (Grant 66% and

44% national funds).









17 -

In collaboration with Dr. Plan a program for production and

marketing of improved seeds was designed before the BID pro-

ject was in operation. Seeds were to be sold through the "Produc-

tion Centers" of the teams responsible for trials and transferring

of technology. In this way La Maquina Project received 200 qqs.

of improved corn seed; 310 qqs. of improved rice seed and some

beans and "ajonjoli" seeds.









- 18 -


CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS


The institutional strategy of carrying on applied research

in the farms themselves proved to be effective. It makes possi-

ble for research workers to operate on the basis of the real pro-

blems and needs which in turn facilitates the search for practi-

cal and reliable solutions to existing problems. This practice

should be continued.

The validation of technology through farmer's tests

makes it possible for the farmer to participate directly in

technology development program. On the basis of his observations

he makes his own conclusions. The system makes it possible for the

researcher to know inmediately if the results meet the needs of

the farmers or if additional work or revisions should be made.

This system is valid and should be continued.

The continuous relationships between the researcher and the

farmer makes possible the exchange of experience which help both.

Though the methodology used was successful in the transfer

of technology there is ground for improvement. A government policy

decision is urgent as to the integration of efforts of all sector

institutions in the area of transfer of technology.

Administrative mechanisms should be examined to reduce bu-

reaucratic procedures that often have negative effects on scheduled

field operations.









19 -


It is convenient to start thinking about decentralization of

certain operations. La Maquina experience deserves careful

evaluation.








- 20 -


HEAD OF ICTA'S ACTIVITIES IN REGION IV


Background

ICTA'S strategy for national coverage was designed on the

basis of three Pilot Projects. New areas were to be added on the

basis of the existing regionalization scheme of the agricultural

sector. It was anticipated that"La Maquina Project" would be

extended to the East and to the West, thus covering a large part

of southern Guatemala. In this area there are a number of settle-

ments producing cotton, sugar cane and livestock, mostly for ex-

port.This area covers the Departments of Escuintla, Suchitep6quez,

Retalhuleu and part of San Marcos and Quezaltenango. It is within

Region IV of the agricultural sector.

On the basis of the above mentioned program the duties of the

Coordinators of the three projects were extended in 1976 to the Re-

gion as Regional Coordinators. The Advisor was appointed Director

of Region IV. His activities covered the settlement of Nueva Con-

cepci6n in the Departamento de Escuintla with an area of 34,909

has., subdivided in 20 has. farms.

In addition to supervising regional activities the Regional

Directors represented ICTA in the "Regional Agricultural Committees"

whichwere organized by the Ministry of Agriculture as an advisory

body to the "Agricultural Public Sector Coordinating Committee "

(COSUCO).








- 20 -


HEAD OF ICTA'S ACTIVITIES IN REGION IV


Background

ICTA'S strategy for national coverage was designed on the

basis of three Pilot Projects. New areas were to be added on the

basis of the existing regionalization scheme of the agricultural

sector. It was anticipated that"La Maquina Project" would be

extended to the East and to the West, thus covering a large part

of southern Guatemala. In this area there are a number of settle-

ments producing cotton, sugar cane and livestock, mostly for ex-

port.This area covers the Departments of Escuintla, Suchitep6quez,

Retalhuleu and part of San Marcos and Quezaltenango. It is within

Region IV of the agricultural sector.

On the basis of the above mentioned program the duties of the

Coordinators of the three projects were extended in 1976 to the Re-

gion as Regional Coordinators. The Advisor was appointed Director

of Region IV. His activities covered the settlement of Nueva Con-

cepci6n in the Departamento de Escuintla with an area of 34,909

has., subdivided in 20 has. farms.

In addition to supervising regional activities the Regional

Directors represented ICTA in the "Regional Agricultural Committees"

whichwere organized by the Ministry of Agriculture as an advisory

body to the "Agricultural Public Sector Coordinating Committee "

(COSUCO).








- 21 -


The Regional Chiefs or the Regional Directors of the dif-

ferent sector institutions were the members of the Agricultural

Regional Committees. They would operate under the leadership of

DIGESA'S Regional Chiefs and were entrusted the responsibility

for interinstitutional coordination of agricultural development

efforts.

Diagnosis and Strategy

During early 1976 the "Parcelamiento de Nueva Concepci6n" was

visited with technicians from the Technology Transfer Team of

La Maquina. The purpose was to take general cognizance of the si-

tuation and to held informal interviews with farmers.

The different sector institutions operating in the area were

visited. The following description is based on information collec-

ted and publications available.

The Parcelamiento de Nueva Concepci6n is located at 14015'

north latitude and 91'18' west longitudes. Altitude 10 75 meters

above see level. It is classified within the HImedo Seco Zone.

Median annual temperature 28" C., maximum monthly temperature

(April, May and June) 35" C. Minimum monthly temperature (January)

190C. In general there are no sudden temperature changes.

Rainfall: 1600 to 2300 mm. per year mostly during May to

October. Highest rainfall: August October.

Soils: sandy-loam or sandy-clay with abundant organic matter

in the northern part of the project. Sandy soils prevail in the

southern part of the project. It is mostly an area of plain land.

Soils types I and II prevail.








- 22 -


In this Project there are three planting seasons:

1) "De humedad" March

2) "De Fuego" May at the start of the rainy season.

3) "De Segunda" August

The most -important crops are: corn, rice, "ajonjoli" plan-

tains, pasture and kenaf. There is also some double purpose cat-

tle.(Beef and dairy).

On the basis of the results of activities in La Mdquina the

teams on "Pruebas de Tecnologia" emphasized farm tests (ensayos

de finca). The number of "Parcelas de Prueba" was reduced.

Taking advantage of the organization of the "Comit6 Regional

de Desarrollo Agricola" it was agreed to emphasize the transfer of

technology through DIGESA Promoters and through the technicians

of other Sector institutions.



THE RESULTS


Technology Tests in La Maquina

Staff: Seven Agricultural Engineers

One Agronomist

One Student from the Faculty
of Agronomy of the University
of San Carlos

Two Agricultural Engineers resigned to accept positions in the

private sector. Substitutes were appointed.

All activities were developed on the farms themselves.Crops

covered: corn, "ajonjoli" and rice.







- 23 -


Corn

It was confirmed that the use of improved seed is the most

important factor in increasing yields. Unless improved seed is used

it is not advisable to modify the traditional system component.

The chemical control of weeds, increasing plant population,control

of leaf diseases increase yields when used on improved varieties.

Preventive soil treatment as well as the use of fertilizers

do not increase yields significantly while they reduce profita-

bility significantly.

Seed produced by the Corn Program, namely, ICTA Tropical 101,

ICTA B-l and La MAquina showed good yields, good agriculture

characteristics and good tasseling and solid ears of corn.

It has been confirmed that recommended plant population is

correct. Fertilizing and the use of micro-nutrients didn't have a

significant effect on yields.

A number of herbicides and combination of herbicides proved to

be effective in the control of weeds and had no residual effects

on "ajonjoli".

In the case of "siembras de segunda" a favorable response to

nitrogen application was noticed. However yields were not very

high because of lack of rain and plant diseases.-This confirm why

farmers prefer to make small "siembras de segunda".

Rice

Variety CICA-4 was discarded because of its susceptibility

to Pricularia orizae in northern Guatemala. Prices were lower than








- 24 -


for other varieties. ICTA'S rice program is using Variedad

ICTA-6 which has shown good yields in La Maquina. A favorable res-

ponse to the use of nitrogen was observed. Herbicides selected last

year proved to be effective in weed control in parcelss de prue-

ba". Using ICTA'S recommended technology yields of 4 tons per ha.

were obtained. The profitability was 93%.

Ajonjoli

Material selected by the "Ajonjoli" Program was tried. The va-

rieties Maporal and Aceitera, both from Venezuela showed tolerance

to fangous diseases Their yields are higher than traditional varie-

ties. Efforts are underway.to produce enough seed for next year's

plantings. It has been found that the 2nd. week of July is the best

planting season. Plantings should not be made after August 15th.

Higher yields are obtained in double row planting between rows of

corn.Studies on plan population are contemplated.

Transfer of Technology

With the organization of the "Comit6 Regional de Desarrollo

Agricola" the mechanism for interinstitutional communications in

the field of the transfer of technology started to take shape. On

the basis of ICTA'S findings the farmers of La Maquina were no lon-

ger required by BANDESA to buy and apply fertilizer which was unne-

cessary. As a result of ICTA'S findings the amount of the loan per

hectare was reduced. Farmers were receiving Q.250 while the real

need was only Q160. In this way a better use of credit was promoted

for the benefit of both the farmer and the Bank. The relations







25 -
between field personnel of different institutions was strengthened

DIGESA promoters participated actively in the "Field Days" spon-

sored by ICTA. The design of demonstration plots used by the Exten-

sion Agent was revised and ICTA'S system for "Parcelas de Prueba"

was adopted. Technology developed by ICTA was used also by Extension

Agents.

Field Days,Seminars, "Clinicas de Produccion" and the publica-

tion of bulletins with recommendations on improved technology, were

continued.

The Corn Program

An Agronomist was detailed in the Corn Program. Two other Agro-
had
agronomists Vho / been originally assigned to this program were trans-

ferred to the "Ajonjoli" Program and to Chimaltenago. However the

program was strengthened through the contract signed between ICTA

and CIMMYT, using USAID funds. Coordination between this program and

the "Pruebas de Tecnologia" activities was strengthened also.Joint

trials for evaluating research material were carried out at the

farm level. Basic material for the future development of new varie-

ties and hybrids was selected. Plant population studies were con-

tinued. Emphasis was placed on the improvement of the corn ears.

The evaluation of genetic stock from CIMMYT was continued. Out of

all this work some varieties were selected for evaluation at the

farm level.

The Ajonjoli Program

One Agronomist participated in this program. He worked for 6

months with irrigation facilities and for 6 months without such

facilities.









- 26 -


Activities were concentrated in the selection of "genetic

lines" departing from existing material, in. search of resistance

to diseases. The evaluation of material imported from Mexico,Ve-

nezuela and Nicaragua was carried out. The amount of seed for

field trial of pre-selected material, was increased. The phase

"Pruebas de Tecnologia" was emphasized.

The Republic of China Technical Mission

This activity was continued in the 20 hectares provided to

the Mission. Yields were satisfactory. The number of pigs was in-

creased over last year. Small farm machinery was imported from

Taiwan, including a small rice processing plant with which they

provided husking service to small farmers. They also worked with

farmers by planting demonstration plots for different crops.Some

field days were organized and carried out in this project for techni-

cians and farmers from the public sector.

Socio-Economic

This support activity continued with the same personnel of

the previous year. The number of farmers collaborating increased

by 50%. An evaluation of the acceptance of new technology

was carried out. Through this evaluation the impact of the

transfer of technology sponsored by ICTA was measured. The percen-

tage of farmers using the new technology on their own initiative

was determined. In the case of corn the evaluation showed an in-

creased in the use of improved seed (41%) and in the control of di-

seases (53%). Non of the farmers in the sample used fertilizer which







- 27 -


is consistent with ICTA'S recommendation. In relation to plant po-

pulation and the preventive control of soil diseases the index

showed 13% and 0% respectively. The effect of the transfer of

technology was also measured through the farm records. A sample of

49 farmers who planted corn showed that 60% used improved seed;

74% controlled leaf diseasesand only 5% used fertilizer.

Technology Trials in Nueva Concepci6n

This activity was not carried out as contemplated since the

technical personnel and logistic support were not provided. However,

in an effort to obtain some preliminary information based on farm

trials, an agronomist from La MAquina and two students participated.

Four Peace Corps volunteers also participated. Corn and rice were

covered with the fertilizers as follows:

Corn

The following aspects were covered: evaluation of commercial

and research material; plant population, and response to nitrogen.

It was found that the plantings made in March (Siembras de Hume-

dad) showed the highest yields up to 5.5 tons per ha. In the

plantings made in May when the rainy season started (Siembras de

Fuego) yield was substantially l9wer not more than 3.5 tons per

ha. The varieties produced by ICTA had the same performance as

commercial hybrids. Some of the research varieties surpassed the

yield of all material used. The "Criollos" were the lowest pro-

ducers. No response was found in relation to the use of nitrogen.

Only the "Siembras de Humedad" showed difference in plant population.







- 28 -


The best results were obtained with 40 and 50,000 plants per hec-

tare.



Rice

Both research and commercial material were studied. The va-

rieties produced by ICTA and the new "lines" distributed by the

Rice Program are producing 8 to 10 tons/ha, as compared to 4 to

5.5 tons/ha. produced by the commercial varieties commontly used

by farmers.

Transfers of Technology

Field Days were organized for both farmers and DIGESA techni-

cians. Farmers indicated their interest in the presence of ICTA in

their project and offered to collaborate next year by providing land

for ICTA'S activities. Field Days are a good technique to promote

improved technology.

In-Service Training

Regular meetings of the technical personnel assigned to the

project were held to discuss the methodology and execution of the dif-

ferent activities. Field Days and seminars were organized as part of

the in-service training program. ICTA'S specialists participated

in these activities.

One Agricultural Engineer was sent to CIMMYT for six months

to participate in a course on corn production.

Two Agricultural Engineers received in-service training offered

by ICTA in Jutiapa (10 months).







- 29 -


One Agricultural Engineer was sent to the Colegio de Post-

graduados de Chapingo, M6xico, to work towards a Master's Degree

in Soils.

Administrative Activities

The Advisor in his position of Regional Director had more autho-

rity in the coordination of administrative services. However the

centralized nature of administrative services continues to be a pro-

blem.

Other Activities

"Comit6 Regional de Desarrollo Agricola"

As a Member of this Committee the Advisor participated in a

number of meetings with the Chiefs and Regional Directors of the

other agricultural institutions of the Public Sector. Important

aspects of the agricultural development program for the region were

discussed. The prices for basic grains suggested by the Committee

were taken into consideration by the Instituto Nacional de Comer-

cializaci6n Agricola (INDECA) to fix buying and selling prices po-

licy. Suggestions were made to reduce delincuency. of loans granted

by the Banco Nacional de Desarrollo Agricola (BANDESA). As a result

of these coordinated efforts delinquency has been reduced.

A seminar of all the technical personnel from DIGESA was held

and all sector agencies had the opportunity of explaining their pro-

grams objectives and achievements.

ICTA received backing to extend its activities to Nueva Concep-

ci6n and La Blanca settlement. Some problems faced by the different

institutions were solved.








- 30 -


International Meetings

The Advisor participated in the XXII Annual Meeting of PCCMCA

where a round table was organized to present the development of

activities in La Maquina Project. The participants showed great in-

terest in this project and its approach to the development and

promotion of technology.

The Advisor participated in a meeting- organized by CIMMYT

in M6xico where applied research and the transfer of technology

were discussed extensively. Technicians from Central America and

the Caribbean participated in this meeting.








- 31 -


CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS



ICTA'S institutional strategy to generate adequate technology

has shown to be effective. Farmers are accepting the new technolo-

gy.
In Region IV, as a result of the organization of the Comit6

Regional de Desarrollo, there is a better coordination of the acti-

vities and programs of the different institutions of the agricultu-

ral sector. The program for the transfer of technology has multiplied

its effectiveness. Of course there is a pressing need for the conti-

nued improvement of this situation.

DIGESA Promoters spend most of their time in credit activities.

A policy decision is required on this matter since Promoters are

counted upon to promote new technology.

The need for expanding activities to increase its coverage

made it necessary to extend activities to Nueva Concepci6n Settle-

ment before the technical resources necessary were available. Fortu-

nately some positive results were achieved. Additional national

backing is needed by ICTA.

The continuity of the programs depends, to a large extent, on

the stability of the personnel trained. Some technicians resigned

because of salary problems. The situation may turn critical if ade-

quate measures are not taken by the Central Government.








- 32 -


DIRECTOR OF THE TECHNICAL PRODUCTION
UNIT OF ICTA


ICTA, Its Organization,Objetives and Operations

The "Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnologia Agricola"(ICTA) started

operations on May 10,1973. It is a decentralized institutions of

the Public Agricultural Sector of the Government of Guatemala.It

has the responsibility of generating and promoting the use of science

and technology.

ICTA is organized under a Board of Directors presided by the

Ministry of Agriculture, who is at the same time Chief of the Sec-

tor. The other ex-officio members of the Board are the Ministers of

Economy, Public Finance, the Secretary General of the Consejo Nacio-

nal de Planificaci6n Econ6mica, the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture

of the University of San Carlos and a representative of the private

sector appointed by the other members of the Board.

The Advisors to the Board are: The General Manager of ICTA, the

Director General of DIGESA, the General Manager of BANDESA, the Ge-

neral Director of INDECA and the President of the Instituto Nacional

de Transformaci6n Agraria (INTA).

The administration and operations of ICTA are under a General

Manager and an Assistant General Manager. To carry on its activities

ICTA has three units: The Technical Unit for Production; the Ad-

ministrative and Finance Unit and the Planning and Programming Unit.


The Organization Chart of ICTA follows:








- 32 -


DIRECTOR OF THE TECHNICAL PRODUCTION
UNIT OF ICTA


ICTA, Its Organization,Objetives and Operations

The "Instituto de Ciencia y Tecnologia Agricola"(ICTA) started

operations on May 10,1973. It is a decentralized institutions of

the Public Agricultural Sector of the Government of Guatemala.It

has the responsibility of generating and promoting the use of science

and technology.

ICTA is organized under a Board of Directors presided by the

Ministry of Agriculture, who is at the same time Chief of the Sec-

tor. The other ex-officio members of the Board are the Ministers of

Economy, Public Finance, the Secretary General of the Consejo Nacio-

nal de Planificaci6n Econ6mica, the Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture

of the University of San Carlos and a representative of the private

sector appointed by the other members of the Board.

The Advisors to the Board are: The General Manager of ICTA, the

Director General of DIGESA, the General Manager of BANDESA, the Ge-

neral Director of INDECA and the President of the Instituto Nacional

de Transformaci6n Agraria (INTA).

The administration and operations of ICTA are under a General

Manager and an Assistant General Manager. To carry on its activities

ICTA has three units: The Technical Unit for Production; the Ad-

ministrative and Finance Unit and the Planning and Programming Unit.


The Organization Chart of ICTA follows:




MGl CANHBI ZATaON OF U CTA


BOARD OF DIRECTORS


AUDITING


GENERAL MANAGER


I SECRETARY


I-


1


LEGAL ADVISOR



PUBLIC RELATIONS


ADMINISTRATIVE & FINANCIAL
SERVICE UNIT






ADMINISTRATIVE SERVICES

PERSONNEL

FINANCES

ACCOUNTING


TECHNICAL UNIT
FOR PRODUCTION


PROGRAM UNIT









GENERAL PLANNING


PRODUCTION CENTER
"LABOR OVALLE"
TECHNOLOGY TESTING


REGION II AND III


REGION IV
COORDINATOR
PRODUCE! I ON CENiER
"CUYUTA" AND
"LA ," '.UL "
TECHNOLOGY TESTING


REGION VI
PPFODUCTiO; C'ENTFR
"CHIMAI TENANGO"
AND "SAN JERONIMO"
TECHNOLOGY TESTING


REGION VI
COORDINATOR
PRODUCTION CENTER
"JUTIAPA"
TECHNOLOGY TESTING


1

REGION VII
PRODUCTION CENTER
"EL OASIS" AND
"CRISTINA"
TECHNOLOGY TESTING


SN CENTRALIZED ACTIVITIES
{ REGIONAL EXECUTION
OF PROGRAMS


rz
I- CORN o
BEANS
oz o v WHEAT -
||_o_,3 RICE -
S O SORGHUM I
c- HORTICULTURE
X -
o I- SWINE Jc
u *, SESAMEj n 0
________ ______________ 1 U


I-


p -------traeBCOsBw= daB-a I ac


IL.


h12saw i ajuiMB-mu Cr


tr Dgjf H ra'in ii... j .M- i.^iiiir .~


~"------^--------~ ~-----`---`--


-- ~ __ ..._~_~.








- 34 -


The Technical Unit for Production

This unit is responsible for the applied research activi-

ties. All research is oriented towards the solution of agricul-

tural problems which in some way affect rural welfare. It should

develop methods to increase agricultural productivity,promote

the use of technology by the farmers and promote regional devel-

opment. Its activities are to follow the determination of the

Public Sector.

The Technical Unit is structured along the lines of Produc-

tion Programs on specific crops, namely, corns, beans, rice,wheat,

sorgum, "ajonjoli", vegetables and livestock. These in turn are

supported by: Prueba de Tecnologia (Technology Trials);Socio-eco-

nomics; Soils and Water Management; Seed Production and Training.

There are also technical services namely: Production Centers;Seed

Processing Plant; Soils Laboratory and the Germ Plasm Bank.

There is a Technical Director who is responsible for the

operations of the Unit, to the General Manager. There are Program

Leaders and support activities (socio-economic) that constitute

the technical coordination team that serves as an advisory body

to the Director of the Unit. There is also a body of scientists

and technicians responsible for field work activities.

The methodology used contemplates an integrated operation -

Production Programs and Supporting Activities functioning as

a multidisciplinary team at the regional level. This gave origin








- 35 -


to what has been designated as the Agricultural Technology System

for Production which is illustrated diagramatically on page 36.

The following are the different phases of the system:

Diagnosis of Action Areas

Before the research program is designed the problems and cha-

racteristics of the target group are identified. For that purpose

socio-economic information is compiled on. the selected areas.

Originally ICTA carried out surveys to collect necessary in-

formation to design its regional research program. This method

proved to be ineffective because of the following reasons:

1) The survey is time consuming. Analizing

the survey and writing the report and

conclusions takes much time. As a result

the findings are delayed and not available

when needed to plan the research activi-

ties.

2) The cost of the survey and the analysis

of the information is expensive for an agency

having a very limited budget.

3) The findings of the surveys are claimed not

to be very reliable since the farmer is not

likely to provide the correct information

when interviewed in the formal way required

by an extensive written questionnaire.





TECHNOLOGICAL SYSTEM. FOR AGRICULTURE


AGRICULTURAL l
SECTOR


AGRO-SOCIOECONOMIC INFORMATION


Generation
of
Technology

Technology


Farmers
tests

Eva uation
by the
farmer


acceptance


Promotion


Agricultural
Sector
Agencies


Organized
Groups


Private
Sector
Industry,
etc.


FEEDBACK OF INFORMATION


Promotion


Farmers


_ __ _q_ __ I __







- 37 -


4) The farmer resents being subjected to con-

tinous surveyslo population, anthropolo-

gical, sociological.

At present ICTA uses a combined approach: available infor-

mation)soils surveys, population studies, production surveys,

etc.) recognizance trips made by the regional technical team to

sounds and explores the community. The technical team is composed

of agronomists and the socio-economic technicians thus providing

a multidisciplinary approach with greater capacity to sense the

farmers needs and the farm problems.

The agricultural and socio-economic exploration not to

call it a survey is carried out in a short period one or two

weeks. During this period a team of one agronomist and one mem-

ber of the socio-economic group visits the region and interview

the largest number farmers possible. They observe and take notes

on the physical condition of the soils, climate, management of

crops and many other conditions or situations that, in one way

or another, affect the farm and the farm family. Every day the

group holds a meeting to discuss their findings and when this stage

is completed there is a final meeting in which the group dis-

cusses its findings and prepares a written report on its conclu-

sions.

It has been found that this kind of approach has the fol-

lowing advantages:








- 38 -


a) It can be completed in a short period.

b) The costs is very low compared with the

usual socio-economic surveys.

c) The informal approach to the farmer

brings better and more reliable informa-

tion.

d) The farmer is happy to provide the infor-

mation since the interviews are short com-

pared to the survey.

e) The agronomists who will work in the area

get a first hand feeling of the existing

conditions.

Existing farm records are another good source of information

for planning research. These contain a daily record of the ac-

tivities carried out in each crop. A simple record includes inputs

used, labor employed-family and hired labor use of machinery.

All items include cost and the area where used. Records are kept

by the farmer with the assistance of the technicians from "Prueba

de Tecnologia" and the Rural Socio-Economic Team; provide a good

base to determine profit or loss. Of course, this information is

of great importance both for the farmer and for ICTA.

Collection of Information and Materials Available

Once the diagnosis is completed, available information is

examined to identify technological alternatives generated by Inter-








39 -

national Research Centers, Universities, Governments and other

national programs such as industrial sector, foundations, regional

organizations, the Institute itself and others.

Planning and Programming of Activities

With this background, and on the basis of the requirements

of the "Plan Nacional de Desarrollo" the planning and programming

of activities is started. This work is carried out at the regio-

anl level with the participation of the supporting personnel as-

signed to the area. The group includes personnel from DIGESA,the

other chief of programs or Regional Directors of the Agricultural

Sector. Under the leadership of ICTA'S Regional Director in

coordination with the Technical Director a Regional Operations

Plan is prepared on the basis of needs and resources available.

This exercise is generally carried out at the beginning of the year

and takes about one week of intensive work in each region.

Executing the Activities

For the execution of the operating plan, the following phases

are anticipated. Research to take place in the "Centros de Pro-

ducci6n" of ICTA.Various aspects are taken up at this stage such

as evaluation of germ plasm, creation of new varieties, study of

the physiology of yields, resistance or succeptability to plant

diseases and insects.

Field Trials (Ensayos de Finca) properly located in the area

under study in plots provided by farmers make possible evaluating








- 40 -


technical and economic results of experiments carried out in dif-

ferent ecological conditions; and generating, adapting and evalua-

ting, technically and economically alternatives to solve farm

problems.

This research activity, controlled by the researcher, counts

on the participation of the farmer who contributes land and-its

preparation. ICTA fincances the inputs and the labor necessary.It

is at this time that the feed back farmer-researcher farmer takes

place. Is a process of paramount value in improving technology

produced.

Farmer's Tests (Parcelas de Prueba)

Technologies considered to have adequate economic and techni-

cal possibilities are then given to farmers for their own eva-

luation under the collaboration and assistance of the technicians.

The unit is the same used by farmers .(manzana, tarea, cuerda) so

that the farmer himself can compare his technology in relation to

the new such as a new improved variety, quantities of fertilizers

to be used, methods and time of planting. In this process ICTA

provides inputs required and the farmer repaid at harvest time.

All other costs are borne by the,farmers.

Evaluation of Acceptability

With the purpose of assuring the success of alternatives de-

veloped, the degree of acceptance is measured on the basis of

the utilization of new technology by those farmers that participa-

ted the previous year in farmer's tests. The idea is to find what

are they making of the practices they learned to manage under the









41 -

supervisor. An index of acceptability is developed based on the

percentage of farmers that adopted the new technology on their

own initiative, and the area on which it was applied.

Transfer of Technology

First and most important clients of ICTA are the "Change

Agents" (Credit and Technical Assistance Promoters) of the "Di-

recci6n General de Servicios (DIGESA)". Communications between these

tow institutions have progressed. In 1978 the Regional Committee

(formed by representatives of the various institutions) in Region

IV approved and a seminar was conducted by ICTA for DEGESA'S Pro-

moters to acquaint them on ICTA'S recommended technologies and

transfer methodologies to be utilized.

This in-service training was extended in 1979 to include
and
also Region VI personnel/is expected to cover all the Regions

eventually. Promoters, in addition to their regular work, are de-

dicating half a day per week to participate in seminars, institutes,

surveys, fields days. They also participate in farm trials and

farmer's tests.

The success of the Production Technology System rests on the

fact that 80% of the activity is carried out on the farms themselves

which, in turn makes it necessary for the technicians to live in

the area under prevailing conditions. There is a continued exchan-

ge of ideas and experiences which in turn helps to better orient

research work to tackle actual and pressing needs.








- 42 -


Activities Carried Out

Since the very beginning ICTA'S Technical Production Unit

had been headed by a Consultant, financed by the Rockefeller Foun-

dation under an agreement with the Government of Guatemala. This

Agreement was implemented by ICTA and the "Centro Internacional

de Agriculture Tropical CIAT". The Concusltant resigned because

of personal reasons in 1976.

ICTA'S management made an analysis of the personnel situa-

tion and decided to designate the Servicios T6cnicos del Caribe

Advisor as Director of the Technical Unit. AID concurred.

A new Regional Director was appointed for Region IV. The

technician selected was one of the Agronomists in the "Prueba de

Tecnologia" Project at La Maquina.

The appointment of the Advisor to the new position coincided

with the presentation of results and operations plans for the va-

rious areas of activities of the Technical Division providing a

good opportunity to analyze the activities to be carried out. Due

to budget limitations ICTA'S activities had been spread too thinly.

A plan was proposed to the General Manager to concentrate

on ongoing activities limiting new activities to an absolute mini-

mum. This plan was approved including the utilization of Agricul-

tural Engineers .that were completing the course offered by ICTA in

Jutilapa to reenforce key activities. The personnel, the machinery,

the equipment and the vehicles were redistributed.








- 43 -


The centralized administrative structure and of the Unit

itself made it necessary for the Program Coordinators and sup-

port activities to spend much of their time on administrative

matters, thus affecting their principal function in supervising

and assisting in needed field activities. The Director of the

Unit had to take over a large part of the administrative activi-

ties of the Coordinators and to rely on the Regional Directors

for assistance. This resulted in greater efficiency of the Coor-

diators.

Later on a reorganization project for the Technical Unit was

developed with the participation of Coordinators, Regional Di-

rectors and other units of ICTA. It was discussed and approved

by the General Manager. Interdisciplinary technical teams have

been organized under the leadership of the Regional Directors.The

Coordinators are discharging their important duties effectively.

The presentation of research results was regionalized. A

week was dedicated to each region and all personnel assigned to

the Regional Team participated. Since 1978 the following groups

have been added:

Regional Agricultural Committee and DIGESA'S

Agricultural Promoters

Previously, these presentations were made before the Coordina-

tors and Regional Directors and it was more of a report to the

General Manager without a technical discussion of the results.







- 44 -


The new approach provides an opportunity for field .workers to

present and discuss their reports. At the same time operating

plans for the next crop cycle were drafted. These plans were bet-

ter oriented towards the solution of problems usually on a priori-

ty basis. The participation of the other sector institutions im-

proved communications with ICTA and contributed to enhance the

credibility of its achievements.

The drafting of the Budget Project done by Coordinators was

now assigned to the region thus better reflecting field needs.

The Advisor recommended to the General Manager organizing

consultation groups to advise on institutional policies and make

recommendations to the General Management. As a result two Com-

missions were created.Seed Committee and Statistical Committee.

Through the Seed Committee some strategies were reexamined

and defined. They have had considerable impact in the production

and distribution of seeds at the national level.

Up to 1976 basic grains seed production was carried out by

the Research Centers of ICTA or under contract between the Pu-

blic Sector and private farmers. The promotion policy was based

on high prices for seed producers and low prices for the farmers

buying it so that they be motivated to plant the new improved

seed. Processing and marketing costs were not considered. Sales

moved very slowly. There were losses in storage and surpluses

were accumulated all resulting in an economic loss for the public

sector.








45 -
The Seed Committee assisted in changing this situation.

ICTA would dedicate itself from now on to the following acti-

vities:

1) Produce the basic genetic stock

2) Processing and storage of seeds

3) Price incentives for producers and
distributors of seeds

Private seed production jumbed. With the support of the

Public Sector both the availability and the demand of seed have

increased.

With the assistance of the Statistical Committee uniformity

in methodology used by the different teams has been achieved.

A seminar was organized for all technical personnel to dis-

cuss basic concepts in relation to the design and interpretation

of results. The seminar was carried out simultaneously in the

different regions.

The transfer of technology to guarantee that new developments

are used by the farmers has been a cause of permanent concern

of the General Manager and the Technical Unit.

The Advisor participated in the work of the Commission that

prepared a proposal for the Interamerican Development Bank. The

Proposal contemplated expansion and consolidation of the activi-

ties of ICTA and support for the seed production program. A model

for the transfer of technology was designed based on the Guatemalan

experience and on the ideas and concepts developed through dis-

cussion and self-evaluation in ICTA.








- 46 -


The model contemplates following ICTA'S production techno-

logy system to reach the farmer directly. For this purpose it has

been proposed that DIGESA Promoters be stationed in ICTA and

assigned to the regional teams. The regional teams would operate

in "modules". These modules would be integrated by 4 to 6 agro-

nomists in the phases of generating and testing of technology.

There would'be three Agricultural Promoters for each Agricul-

tural Engineer in the transfer of technology phase.

There would be ten community leaders for each agricultural

promoter in the phase of promoting or escalating the use of techno-

logy. These voluntary leaders would not receive a salary but

would be compensated indirectly.

The strategy discussed proposed that present credit functions

of the agricultural promoters be transferred to BANDESA personnel.

It also contemplated some overlapping of activities between the
researchers and agricultural promoters and-between the promoters

and community leaders to assure a continuous flow of information.

It was estimated that 25 "modules" would be needed to cover the

whole country of which 19 modules were contemplated for the pro-

ject. The rest would be implemented gradually during a four-year

period.

Visits were made to international and regional Research

Centers such as CIMMYT in Mexico, CIAT in Colombia; CATIE in Costa

Rica and EMBRADA and EMBRATER in Brazil. These visits offered

the Technical Director the opportunity of exchanging ideas with








- 47 -


scientists and technicians on common problems. It offer also the

opportunity to identify materials and information of interest

to ICTA.

The Advisor participated in national and international semi-

nars in which he had the opportunity of presenting some of

ICTA'S accomplishments and gathered useful information for the

use of the Technical Unit.

The field supervision entrusted to the Technical Director

could not be carried out fully because of his demanding admi-

nistrative responsibilities. This situation should be corrected

in the future. Adjustments will have to be made in administrative

set-up so that the Director can properly discharge his super-

visory duties.

In view of the fact that the external technical assistance

program would come to an end within a year, the Advisor recommen-

ded the appointment of a national to the position of Director of

ICTA'S Technical Division, with a period of overlapping. This

recommendation was approved by the General Manager and in November

1978 Agricultural Engineer Helio Ramiro Ortiz was appointed

Director. Eng. Ortiz has been working for ICTA since its early

years. First, he worked in plan nutrition in the Aaltiplano. La-

ter on he was sent to Chapingo, M6xico to get his M.S.Degree in

Soils. Upon his return he was appointed Leader of the "Equipo

de Pruebas de Tecnologia" and later on Regional Director. He meets

fully the requirements for the new post to which he has been

appointed.








- 48 -


REC 0 MMENDATIONS


1. ICTA needs to demonstrate that it has found an ef-

fective strategy to develop and transfer adequate

technology to the small farmer. This is necessary to

obtain needed National Government support to continue

expanding and diversifying its activities.

2. ..Theexpansioni.and diversification of activities should

be carried out gradually. It should be started in

those areas where there is population pressure on the

rural resources and where there are resources suscep-

tible to improvement in their use.

3. It is not advisable to spread its programs too thin

trying to cover all crops. It would be better to con-

centrate efforts on present programs and on new pro-

missing programs which clearly have a potential for

improving the economy and the welfare of the farmer and

his family.

4. It is recommended that action be taken to accelerate

the processing of the Loan Project prepared for the

"Banco Interamericano de Desarrollo (BID). These funds

are necessary for the above mentioned expansion and di-

versification of activities.-








- 49 -


5. It is necessary to further define the responsibility

of the transfer of technology and technical assis-

tance. It can not stand on no man's land.

It has been recommended that both functions be

assigned to ICTA. The important decision is to see to it

that some one is held responsible for the transfer

of technology generated by ICTA. The important thing is

not who does it but that it be done effectively and

efficiently and that some one is,accountable for it.

6. ICTA should take the initiative regarding the "Proyecto

de Diversificaci6n de Cultivos en el Altiplano" now

under consideration of USAID. It is proposed that the

project follows ICTA'S basic strategy.

7. The support ICTA has received through technical and

scientific assistance from international institutions

has been an important factor on the development of its

programs. It is strongly recommended that these va-

luable relationships be strengthened, at the same time

that new sources of support are looked for. Because of

the dynamic nature of applied research it needs conti-

nuity and a permanent evaluation of its strategies.

8. Some improvement in compensation of personnel is neces-

sary. These efforts already started should be continued.

The stability of present technical personnel is important

and an increase in salaries will help to keep this per-

sonnel in ICTA.








- 50 -


9. The training of personnel should continue to be of

concern to ICTA. Efforts should be increased in the

in-service and formal training programs.

10. The General Manager is fully loaded with admi-

nistrative and interinstitutional coordinating functions.

Those activities are, of course, fundamental to ICTA.

It is recommended that the duties and responsibilities

of the Deputy General Manager be reexamined.Without loo-

sing the necessary controls and without delegating res-

ponsibilities that belong to the General Manager,the De-

puty could be entrusted additional coordinating respon-

sibilities in relation to the "Unidad T6cnica de Pro-

ducci6n, Unidad de Servicios Administrativos, Unidad de

Planificaci6n y Programaci6n". Such arrangement could

help in improving the support to Regional operations,in

general.

11. The decentralization of the activities of the"Unidad de

Servicios Administrativos y Financieros" and of the "Unidad

de Planificaci6n y Programaci6n" has fallen short of ex-

pectations. It is recommended that these services be further

decentralized so that Regional Directors may have a better

control of the support services which are necessary for the

success of their activities..

NOTE

The numbering of recommendations in the English version does not correspond
to the Spanish version. However, the recommendations are similar in both
versions.




University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs