• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Concept
 Design
 Implementation
 Evaluation
 Institutionalization
 Reference
 Annex A - Project description...














Group Title: CDIE working paper series - Center for Development Information and Evaluation ; 112
Title: Botswana agriculture technology improvement (633-0221)
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073330/00001
 Material Information
Title: Botswana agriculture technology improvement (633-0221)
Alternate Title: Agricultural technology improvement project, Botswana
Physical Description: 1 v. (various pagings) : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: United States International Development Cooperation Agency, Agency for International Development
Place of Publication: Washington D.C
Publication Date: 1981
 Subjects
Subject: Agricultural development projects -- Botswana   ( lcsh )
Agricultural systems -- Botswana   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Technology transfer   ( lcsh )
Genre: federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Summary: Compilation of memoranda and documents establishing authorization of the Agricultural Technology Improvement Project in Botswana, including annexes with project background and a farming system chart.
General Note: At head of title: Unclassified.
General Note: Cover title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073330
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 39822501

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Concept
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Design
        Page 3
    Implementation
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Evaluation
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
    Institutionalization
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    Reference
        Page 16
    Annex A - Project description sheet
        Page 17
        Page 18
Full Text


0.&,2



CDIE WORKING PAPERS


CDIE WORKING PAPER NO. 112

Case Studies of
A.I.D. Farming Systems Research & Extension (FSR/E) Projects


Case Study No. 1
Botswana Aaricultural Technology Improvement Project (633-02211


by

Kerry J. Byrnes2

Center for Development Information and Evaluation
Agency for International Development
Washington, DC 20523


This CDIE Working Paper is one of the case studies prepared
for a cross-cutting analysis of A.I.D. FSR/E projects, A Review of
A.I.D. Experience with Farming Systems Research and Extension
Projects (A.I.D. Evaluation Special Study, forthcoming). The 12
FSR/E projects reviewed in this series are:

Botswana Agricultural Technology Improvement (633-0221)
Gambia Mixed Farming and Resource Management (635-0203)
Lesotho Farming Systems Research (632-0065)
Malawi Agricultural Research (612-0202)
Senegal Agricultural Research and Planning (685-0223)
Tanzania Farming Systems Research (621-0156)
Zambia Agricultural Development Research & Extension (611-0201)
Nepal Agricultural Research and Production (367-0149)
Philippines Farming Systems Development-Eastern Visayas (492-0356)
Guatemala Food Productivity and Nutritional Improvement (520-0232)
Honduras Agricultural Research (522-0139)
ROCAP Small Farm Production Systems (596-0083)

Info'-rnc on on how to order any of the CDIE Working Papers this
series s provided on the last page of this report.

Senior Social Science Analyst, Program and Policy Evaluation
Division, CDIE. This case study, prepared under a CDIE contract
with Labat-Anderson Incorporated, is based on a review of project
evaluation documentation. Interpretation of the data reported is
that of the author and should not be attributed to A.I.D. or Labat-
Anderson Incorporated.










Botswana Agricultural Technology Improvement Project (633-0221)


The Botswana Agricultural Technology Improvement Project
(ATIP) was authorized, as a five-year project, September 24,
1981, for $9,180,000. The Project Grant Agreement with the
Government of Botswana (GOB) was signed September 29, 1981.
Technical assistance (TA) to ATIP was provided by the Mid-America
International Agricultural Consortium (MIAC), with Kansas State
University (KSU) as lead university. The TA contract was signed
July 1, 1982, providing seven TA positions including an FSR
specialist (also chief of party), three agronomists, two
agricultural economists, and a livestock expert. Members of the
TA team began arriving in country in August 1982, and were fully
on board by August 1983. In late 1985, USAID/Botswana extended
the original PACD of July 1987 to September 1989.

The first external evaluation of ATIP was conducted in 1984
(Francis, et al., 1984), while the second external evaluation was
conducted in 1986 (A.I.D., 1986). At that time, USAID/Botswana
was planning to extend the PACD to September 1990, although no
additional A.I.D. funds or positions were being requested for the
extension. USAID/Botswana continues to support ATIP, with TA
still provided by MIAC but under a new contract.

At the time the second evaluation of ATIP was conducted in
1986, several farming systems (FS) projects were active in
Botswana. These were the Evaluation of Farming Systems and Agri-
cultural Implements Project (EFSAIP), the Integrated Farming
Pilot Project (IFPP), and the Agricultural Development Ngamiland
Project (ADNP). These projects were aimed at testing farmers,
reactions to the technical packages recommended by the Department
of Agricultural Research (DAR) of the Ministry of Agriculture
(MOA). By contrast. ATIP's mandate was to improve the capacity
of the MOA's research and extension program to develop and extend
recommendations relevant to the needs of resource-poor farmers.

The present case study is based primarily, unless otherwise
noted, on the second evaluation (A.I.D., 1986).


Concept What was the basic technical idea underlying the
project?


Botswana has experienced rapid economic growth in recent
years in mining and livestock production. However, this growth
provided limited employment opportunities and few direct benefits
to the 85% of Batswana living in rural areas. After an initial
attempt by the Government of Botswana (GOB) to rapidly expand
social services in the rural areas, the government began to place
greater attention on improving agricultural production by small










farmers who till the country's limited arable land. However, in
contrast to many developing countries, Botswana farmers do not
depend upon arable agriculture as their main source of income.
Generally, farmers pursue other activities having higher or more
certain returns to resources (e.g., livestock, off-farm jobs).

Farmers in Botswana who till ten hectares or less of arable
land and own 40 or less head of cattle are classified as small
farmers. Approximately 70% of the country's crop farmers, an
estimated 70,000 households fall in this category. Slightly less
than half of the households in ATIP's project area are headed by
women. With the exception of plowing, most cropping tasks are
managed and often performed by women.

Botswana is prone to periods of severe drought that often
extend over a number of years. As of 1986, a severe drought had
ravaged the country for four years, with many locations facing a
fifth consecutive year of drought. During the first two cropping
seasons cf ATIP, farmers' grain yields in project areas were
between zero and 20% of the long-term average yields. Thus, ATIP
has found it difficult "to extrapolate from field plots to any
meaningful agronomic or livestock production predictions in the
region" (Francis, et al., 1984:5). The GOB was compelled during
the drought to concentrate its limited resources on drought
relief programs rather than on aqi-cultural development programs.

In 1984, a National Food Strategy was initiated to coor-
dinate food-related programs. The aim of this strategy is to
improve seed production and distribution, to increase food
production from both dry land and irrigated farming systems, and
to build the grain fund to an adequate level.

ATIP's purpose was "to improve the capacity of the Ministry
of Agriculture's research and extension progr-ms to develop and
effectively extend farming systems recommendations relevant to
the need of the small farmer" (Project Paper, p. 11). Two of
the three sub-purposes identified in the PP were (PP, p. 12):

To improve the capacity of the DAR to develop
technologies appropriate for small farmer needs.

-- icrove the capacity of the extension service to
transfer technologies which can be utilized by small
farmers and strengthen and institutionalize the linkage
between the research and extension departments.'


.*...T s thir sub-purpose was to ensure that adequate supplies
c: rec seed for major agricultural crops are available for
s;stri :izo to Botswana farmers. At the time of the second
eva3-ti 7, n. progress had been made in achieving this sub-purpose
de t a. G3B decisic n to defer implementation of a seed processing











The basic technical idea underlying ATIP was to develop
appropriate technologies for the limited resource farmer. This
approach, which the first evaluation referred to as the "Farming
Systems Approach to Research" (FSAR), requires that the
researcher

become familiar with the current cropping system of the
farmer, understand the principal constraints to production,
and design alternative technologies which will solve con-
straints perceived by the farmers within the range of his or
her resources. It is not enough to apply the same
technology or even the same method of breeding crops or
improving soils used in other countries, but rather the
researcher needs to understand what the farmer is doing and
why, and then develop a technology or set of practices which
is consistent with the objectives and limitations found on
these farms. It may not be easy to explain this approach to
research directors or planners, but the long-term results
will show that the methodology is valid. However, like all
research undertakings, concrete results take a decade or
more to achieve (Francis, et al., 1984:13).


Design How was this basic technical idea translated into a
project?


The first evaluation was enthusiastic about ATIP's design.
"Future FSR design teams for other projects and countries should
be encouraged to read this project's PP. It could serve as a
model for future FSR projects" (Francis, et al., 1984:10). The
project's design attempted to accomplish a number of objectives:

-- T institute a system oZ on-farm research and
experimentation to identify constraints and develop
solutions for small farmer production problems;

To strengthen the capability of the DAR and its
research stations to undertake research on small farmer
crops (cereals and legumes); and

To institutionalize linkages between the DAR and the
extension service, Department of Agricultural Field
Services (DAFS), to ensure that the technologies
developed for small farmers are disseminated to them.


plan. Subsequently, the project's third sub-purpose was revised
as follows: 'To provide Botswana farmers in the pilot areas with
relevant innovations in agricultural production technology and
methods through field trials, demonstrations and farmer training"
(A.I.- ., 1936:6) .










To meet these objectives, the design of ATIP provided for
the identification of production constraints as well as trials to
test, adapt, and demonstrate technology appropriate for producing
basic food crops. FS activities in the field were to be carried
out by two teams of Batswana and MIAC workers. Each team was to
be assigned to three villages in a specified region (Mahalapye or
Francistown), and was to include TA specialists in agronomy and
agricultural economics. Also, a livestock specialist was to work
with the field teams. The PP specified that the GOB would
provide a sociologist for ATIP.

An additional two expatriate technical specialists were to
serve on ATIP at the national level and in support of field
activities. Leadership in FSR was to be provided by the Chief of
Party (COP), while an extension specialist was to serve as the
Research Extension Liaison Officer (RELO). Both were to assist
in improving DAR's capacity to focus on problems relating to
small farmer needs, strengthening the linkage between the DAFS
and the CAR, and improving communication and cooperation among FS
projects operating in the country.

The project design also provided for long-term, short-term,
and on the job training. While this irnluded provision for ten
long-term participants to study for B.S. or M.S. degrees, the
first evaluation in 1984 noted that: "More total training, both
long-term and short-term, will be needed as inputs to assure
progress of the project toward institutionalization of the FSR
focus" (Francis, et al., 1984:6).


IrD!ementaiicn How was the project managed by the host-country
implementing agency, the TA team, and USAID?


By 1985, ATIP's fourth year and the fourth consecutive year
of drought in Botswana, the project placed less emphasis on
descriptive work and more on design and testing. While several
technologies derived from station-based research had been tested
in "maximum yield" plots in the project's first two years, the
project had found "no consistency to performance nor general
application of technology aside from the Segaolane sorghum
variety" (A.I.D., 1986:22). The evaluation concluded that: "Few
interventions had been sufficiently tested and proven... t eve
forward to the dissemination stage" (A.r.D., 1986:5).

Also, while noting that a strong link between extension and
research is essential for FSR/E to succeed, the evaluation found
that ATIP had not yet satisfactorily made this link (A.I.D.,
1986:42). Although some progress had been made, the DAFS had not
yet embraced the FS approach to research and extension.










Progress in the project's early years was hampered by
numerous factors. First, since the project's start in 1981, the
GOB had not designated a counterpart to MIAC's COP. The evalua-
tion also noted that the "unmet covenant requirement of a
national research strategy [had] seriously hindered institution-
alization of a national FSR methodology" (A.I.D., 1986:61).

Second, while the COP was recognized as a leader in FSR/E,
his administrative duties limited him to spending only 20% of his
time in the field, "with much of this allocated to routine
administration" (A.I.D., 1986:56). In the evaluation team's
view, the COP needed to be provided additional administrative
support. The team saw this need as critical since the ATTP team
members had "limited experience...in field implementation" of
FSR/E (A.I.D., 1986:26).

Given the "limited experience" of the ATIP field team in
working in a FS mode, the first evaluation concluded that "a
positive and unique feature" of the project was the decision to
use "a flexible FSR implementation methodology in the two agri-
cultural regions" (Francis, et al., 1984:11). However, the
second evaluation noted that this approach had the "potential
limitation...that nothing can be generalized from the process,
and thus each new region or village will have to be studied using
a different methodology" (A.I.D., 1986:27).

Third, while the evaluation note- "a growing appreciation of
the farming systems perspective" in the MOA (A.I.D., 1936:18),
there was "little indication that...FSR..-.had been understood and
adopted" or "that this approach is likely to be widely adopted by
the MOA in the near future" (A.I.D., 1986:18). While several of
the FS projects in the country had submitted a proposal to the
MOA for irstitutionalization of FSR, the position of FSR within
the MOA had not yet been determined. This led the second evalu-
ation team to conclude that: "There is no indication to date of
lasting interest in FSR" in the MOA (A.I.D., 1986:19).

Fourth, to assist in coordinating research and extension,
ATIP funded a Research and Extension Liaison Officer (RELO) who
was based in the Research and Extension Coordination Unit (RECU)
cf the DAFS. However, the RECU was located under the DAFS' Crop
Production Div'sion, and did not have any authority to coordinate
the research, extension, and training aspects of FSR/E. Nor did
the RECU have any authority over several other MCA units whose
full participation and cooperation would be essential for FS to
be successful (A.I.D., 1986:35).

-hess-.c=r.. ea luatic found t..at th -E'LO's -o3rk:, during the
r c:z-t'n f:irt f-.r -yers, did not Pr:duco











sufficient meaningful linkage mechanisms at the national
level or at the two ATIP sites between [FSR] teams and
extension agents or between these teams and commodity
research groups.... Perhaps a strategy of placing the RELO
at Francistown or Mahalapye for an intensive effort toward
integration at the field level would have offered more to
show than is apparent in the current project. The approach
has worked well in other countries where the entire field
team has interaction, extension linkage has high priority,
and the RELO has the time to lead and direct this strategy
(A.I.D., 1986:67).

Further, several Crop Production Officers (CPOs) believed
that administrators in the DAFS had little or no interest in FS
because no administrator had ever attended an ATIP-sponsored FS
workshop. One workshop report stated that the CPOs felt that
"until...real interest in and support for the Farming Systems
Approach are demonstrated by administration, ...it will be a
waste of time for field staff to study and develop the technique
further" (cited in A.I.D., 1986:36).

Why had national and field level DAFS staff not cooperated
fully in implementing ATIP? The second evaluation answered this
question as follows:

FS has not been "institutionalized" like [other] programs,
which the DAFS staff..."must" implement; and which, together
with other national programs (in addition to normal advisory
and extension roles), keep them fully occupied. ...that FS
is not institutionalized (and perhaps will not be, in the
absence of some clearly conclusive and positive results) is
a major problem.... It is also questionable, even if it
were institutionalized (or otherwise formalized by govern-
ment) that it would really get the necessary support at the
field level. Field people appeared...to be heavily over-
worked and very busy implementing national programs (A.I.D.,
1984:36-37).

However, the evaluation noted that another FS project was located
under the DAFS at the regional and district levels and apparently
had not had the serious research/extension coordination problem
being experienced by ATIP.

The second evaluation also raised a question concerning the
job description of the CPO who provides:

a link between the Chief Crop Production Officer and the
Regional and District Extension staff and farmer in carrying
out recc-mended improvements in crop production. Also
serves as the link...between extension staff and the
Research Department, ensuring a two-way flow ,: information
(A..I.D., 1986:37).











As the evaluation asked, if this is the job description of the
CPOs and they are not cooperating in FS work,

then what degree of institutionalization will it take to get
them to participate? Perhaps the best that can be expected
is for them to be receptive, show interest, and keep
informed on...FS work in those districts and regions where
FS projects exist.... Perhaps the ATIP would be in better
standing and have better support from field services if it
came under DAFS, ...like one of the other Botswana FSR
projects does...rather than DAR (A.I.D., 1986:37).

Interestingly, other donor-supported FS projects in Botswana
had not reported having the same research/extension coordination
problems because they are regional projects and/or come under the
direction and leadership of DAFS. Also, other FS projects were
not mandated to coordinate research and extension at the national
level. Viewing the need to improve research/extension coordina-
tion, the second evaluation indicated that the task required not
only the RELO's input but that all ATIP staff place a greater
emphasis on this critical activity (A.I.D., 1986:2).

Fifth, there was a lack of trained personnel among the
Batswana. While most required counterparts had been provided,
these did not always have the level of training "to take best
advantage of their association with TA personnel" (A.I.D.,
1986:21). While several Batswana had returned from degree-level
training, the majority had not. The project sociologist to be
provided by the GOB was not appointed until late 1984, and did
not have any formal sociological or anthropological education.

The second evaluation stressed the importance of long- and
short-term training but particularly on the job training and
inservice training, the latter overlooked in the PP. In regard
to inservice training, the evaluation stated:

The need to improve, promote and strengthen inservice
training, particularly for DAFS, cannot be overemphasized
since [DAFS] depends] to a large extent on inservice
training to help improve and upgrade [Agricultural
Dercnstratcr; performance (A.I.D., 1986:58).

ith res-ect:- c -n the job training, the evaluation stated:

In the...absence of FS in the existing...educational
institutions (i.e., the University and [Botswana Agricul-
tural ,COlege ), it would appear that on the job training
within the existing farming systems projects will continue
for some rime to be the main and only way of introducing and
sensitizing extension personnel to FS concepts and to this
br-ca approach in extension and research as a strategy to
development (A.I.D., 1986:58).











While the first evaluation (1984) recommended that a course
on FS be incorporated in the BAC curriculum, this had not
materialized by the time of the second evaluation in 1986.

Sixth, the second evaluation noted the need for ATIP field
teams to collaborate more effectively (a) with research station-
based scientists in describing current cropping systems and
constraints and in setting research priorities, (b) with
district-level extension agents to facilitate feedback to
station-based researchers, and (c) with the DAFS in studying the
process of adoption and the effects of adoption on production.

Factors limiting collaboration with extension included the
lack of component technologies or packages of practices profit-
able for farmers, the low level of preparation of ADs, the lack
of specialized training of Crop Production Officers and Animal
Production Officers, differences in professional training levels
and attitudes between research and extension staffs, and the many
duties extension agents have for administering other national
programs. As the second evaluation noted:

The ADs and others in the system are...given a wide range of
responsibilities in administration of government programs,
...in drought relief, supervising subsidies for plowing,
destumping, and fencing, and distribution of improved
seed.... This allows little time for what would generally
be considered extension activities, and little flexibility
within the current priorities to work with ATIP. A
closer integration with research would help to facilitate
the search for and understanding of alternative technolo-
gies, but this is difficult because of the multiple roles
which extension agents and specialists must play (A.I.D.,
1986:23-24).

The second evaluation also considered the possibility that
extension staff had not cooperated in ATIP because of a lack of
understanding of the FS approach. However, the evaluation team
found that senior level extension staff had a very good basic
knowledge of FS. However, the extension staff

expressed concern that some things ATIP is doir.g is not
really FS. They felt...that the ATIP wa? not focus-
ing enough attention on...important problems id-ntified by
farmers, but rather on what they...had decided to do
research on. They...felt that...ATIP...had ignored some
good suggestions that they had offered (A.I.D., 1986:42).

Seventh, ATIP faced a shortage of data processing facili-
ties during the project's early years. With the additional
microcomputers that arrived in 1985, data entry and analysis
became more timely. The project established a uniform system of
data coding, cataloguing, and retrieval across all project sites,











and much of the data had been summarized, analyzed, and written
up for use by ATIP and the MOA by the time of the second
evaluation.

The second evaluation also commented on project support from
USAID/Botswana and the GOB. The Mission's support to ATIP was
found to be adequate, although a continuing need was identified
to streamline expense reimbursement. While most of the GOB's
contributions to ATIP had been made at the levels set forth in
the project agreement, the evaluation found that

GOB support in terms of housing and living allowance has not
been adequate, and this problem may soon lead to the loss
of...vital trained counterparts. MIAC, the MOA and AID/
Botswana have been negligent in attending to the basic
living requirements of...ATIP Batswana staff. To have
supported advanced degree training of such a highly
motivated group only to lose them because of lack of housing
and other basic essentials, which were agreed upon in the
project agreement between AID and the GOB, is l'.ic~-~cs
(A.I.D., 1986:55).

As the evaluation also reported, "there is [an]...exodus of...
graduates from the Ministry to join the private sector and
parastatal organizations in search of better paying positions"
(A.I.D., 1986:58). Indeed, in a survey of the problems affecting
extension efficiency and crop production improvement, the prob-
lems most identified were those impinging "most directly on the
worker--personal matters such as housing, evaluation and promo-
tion, lack of transport and lack of long-term, short-term and in-
service training opportunities" (A.I.D., 1986:37). Extension
workers did not feel that extension efficiency or crop improve-
ment were kept low by a lack of technical innovations (A.I.D.,
1986:40).


Evaluation How was the project's performance measured or
assessed?


Between ATIP's inception and 1986, MIAC had provided some 25
person years of TA and 29 specialized short-term technical
consultants. Seven full-time MIAC employees were based in
Botswana. Although the majority of the ATIP team "had no prior
FS experience" (A.i.D, 1986:55), the second evaluation

was impressed with the MIAC...staff on site.' Few FSR proj-
ects have been afforded the opportunity to gather such a
critical mass of scientific expertise. ATIP...methodolo-
gies are on the leading edge of Farming Systems innovations
in Africa. The chief of party has performed an outstanding
service of conceptualization in this FS program.... Few











teams in Africa can surpass the quality of ATIP FS work
performed to date. The current methodologies employed and
under constant refinement are exemplary (A.I.D., 1986:
54-55).

Yet the evaluation found it "difficult to document" (A.I.D.,
1986:28) impact of ATIP and its FS methodologies. In terms of
recommendations, the RELO was reported to have stated that FS
projects in Botswana had developed "little in the way of appro-
priate technology that can be passed to extension officers for
transmittal to farmers" (A.I.D., 1986:41). However, attributing
increased farm production and incomes to a farming systems
approach per se may be difficult since the eventual benefit

may be expressed as yield of a new variety of sorghum or
millet, the water conservation and subsequent yield advan-
tage from an alternative tillage or planting procedure, or
an increased total food mix from an intercrop or a rotation
of crops. Yet this...may have been the result of a farming
systems approach to...constraints and a perspective which
views the whole farm. rather than single component tech-
nologies [emphasis added] (A.I.D., 1986:28).

With the limited and erratic rainfall during ATIP's first
four years, there was "no indication of consistent and demon-
strated increases in production [or] income as a result of intro-
duced technologies, except under favorable soil and rainfall
conditions" (A.I.D., 1986:18). Yet, in the face of the severe
agro-climatic situation, ATIP's efforts to develop and refine a
FS methodology were seen by the second evaluation as one of the
project's key contributions. The surveys also contributed to a
better understanding of farming systems, crops and livestock, and
income, and to a better appreciation of the complexity of arable
cropping in this environment. This, the evaluation indicated,
led to a "major strategy change" identified as a contingency
planning approach. A contingency planning approach

indicates certain practices when a set of conditions occur;
this is followed by other practices as appropriate. The
procedure could be called a decision tree. ...this approach
builds on current farmer systems, and allows the technical
scientist to infuse specific practices only when there is
high probability of success (A.I.D., 1986:65).

Further, the evaluation stated,, the approach

may be the most viable for...unpredictable climate and poor
soil conditions. The ATIP teams are developing...options
for testing with farmers -- these involve a set of "what if"
questions and subsequent practices which are followed under
each set of conditions (A.I.D., 1986:27).











One result of the change in strategy was that the ATIP field
teams came to place a greater emphasis on the role of farmer
"decision making under...harsh conditions."

Accepting the difficult and highly variable conditions as a
...constraint of this environment, rather than an exception
to the norm, gives the teams an opportunity to develop
strategies which can result in more stable production and
income in this high risk situation. This is a major change
in focus since the last project evaluation in 1984
[emphasis added] (A.I.D., 1986:28-29).

The second evaluation also noted potential benefits of on-
farm research. For example, ATIP staff were interacting with DAR
research specialists in designing and implementing on-farm
trials. DAR research specialists familiar with the results of
these trials are in a better position to influence station-based
scientists to place a greater emphasis in their research agenda
on priority problems of low-resource farmers. At the same time,
the collaboration of DAR researchers with a regional ATIP team
provides a- opportunity for the team to draw upon this resource
in setting t~e team's priorities.

Another factor to consider in evaluating a FSR/E project is
that of the project's impact on agricultural policy. The second
evaluation noted that ATIP field teams could be more effective in
(a) collecting key information from farmers about the effects of
national policy on their potential productivity and income, (b)
identifying possible modifications in policy which will enhance
productivity and income, and (c) working with colleagues in the
MOA to provide information to decision makers in the Department
of Planning and Statistics (DPS).

Thus, evaluating a FSR/E project involves many dimensions.
The ATIP staff addressed this problem in a paper on "Progress and
Needs in On-farm Research in Botswana," presented at the FS
Networkshop in Maseru, Lesotho, November 25-28, 1985:

Traditionally, research has been geared towards an objective
of increasing yield per unit area or per animal. There is
often the implicit assumption that farmer motivation is cash
oriented and that the farmer has reasonable access [to] and
control over available resources. This does not hold true
for the average low-resource farmer in Botswana. Evaluation
needs to be based on criteria relevant to goals adopted by
and resources controlled by farm families (cited in A.I.D.,
1986:Annex J, p. J-2).

Identifying relevant evaluation criteria is interrelated
with the problem of establishing credibility in the face of
expectations of quick results. ATIP's FS Networkshop report
noted in this regard that:











Poor credibility can be partially attributed to the dif-
ficulty of achieving quick relevant results in the harsh
unstable climate of the country. Lack of credibility has
limited the support for institutionalization in the upper
echelons of the Ministry (cited in A.I.D., 1986:Arnex J, p.
J-2).

At the same time, the "pressures from donor agencies and govern-
ment officials for 'quick results,' whether real or imagined,
result in frustrations for FS teams" (cited in A.I.D., 1986:Annex
J, p. J-2).

Finally, in evaluating ATIP, the first evaluation team
proffered the following thoughts on the problem of evaluating
FSR/E projects:

There is...a general concern about the relevance of FSR
evaluations. FSR projects...are part of overall programs,
or strategies, for modifying agricultural research para-
digms. Such modifications themselves are long-term in
nature. Results tangible results from such paradigm
shifts are even longer-term (Francis, et al., 1984:12).

As the evaluation team noted, most FSR practitioners believe FSR
time-frames should be 10-20 years. However,

AID generally puts a five-year maximum on projects. The PES
[Project Evaluation Summary] format makes it extremely
awkward to evaluate a project, or research strategy, which
everyone implicitly acknowledges to be 10-20 years in
length, in an explicit, five-year time frame. Agreement
should be reached on some practical suggestions for conduct-
ing FSR project evaluations which will be more satisfactory
to USAID Missions, AID/W, and project contractors (Francis,
et al., 1984:12).


Institutionalization Hew did the project provide for the
implementing agency to develop a sustainable capability to
continue to perform the types of activities supported by the
project?


The second evaluation noted ATIP's "essentially institution-
building...nature" (A.I.D., 1986:4), and that training had been
an important and successful component of the project. However,
the evaluation also pointed out that the FSR concept "is a dif-
ficult one to articulate and to incorporate into an established
research and extension system, since the impact may not be as
easily measured as that of a new maize hybrid or an irrigation
scheme" (A.I.D., 1986:1). In this regard, the first evaluation
pointed out that a "major conceptual difficulty in institution-











alizing" FSR/E is "starting with a 'bottom-up' approach in an
organization which has an essentially 'top-down' operating mode
and decision-making structure" (Francis, et al., 1984:10). Thus,
as the second evaluation emphasized, decision makers at the
nationall level as well as regional and.district agricultural
officers need to understand "how the farming systems approach can
enhance the effectiveness of the research and extension system"
(A.I.D., 1986:1).

Integration of FS into ongoing research and extension
programs is one criteria for evaluating a FSR/E project. This
integration may be achieved through institutionalizing a link
between research and extension. In the case of ATIP, this might
have been achieved by "tighter project design, including as a
condition precedent formal working agreements between extension
and research units signed prior to first disbursement" (A.I.D.,
1986:66). However, the project's Logical Framework was revised,
following the first evaluation in 1984, when

it became apparent that the original Logframe was overly
optimistic and unrealistic. While...ATIP...is already
identifying technical changes which will work under specific
conditions, it is not likely that these will increase grain
production by 10% or increase per capital income by 10% (as
stated in the original Logframe) (A.I.D., 1986:6).

Changes of this magnitude, the evaluation noted, could only come
about through favorable weather and a longer-term FSR/E effort.

The second evaluation felt that an important criteria in
assessing 4TIP's impact would be the MOA's acceptance of a FSR/E
approach and adoption of changes enabling research and extension
to work effectively together -o meet farmers' needs. But ATIP
was only one of several FS projects in Botswana. The evaluation
noted "the difficulty in rationalizing these approaches into one
methodology and form of organization which could be accepted and
implemented by the government" (A.I.D., 1986:28).

Thus, while the MOA was considering, at the time of the
second evaluation, a proposal to institutionalize FSR/E in the
M A, the VOA's "uncertainty of how to deal with the...proposal
reflects the need for more...orientation of decision makers about
the process...arnd...examples to illustrate how the approach can
benefit Botswana" (A.I.D., 1986:28). The RECU addressed this
problem by organizing a National Training Coordinating Committee.
The committee proposed that the remaining long-term training
under ATIP be for DAFS staff to acquire M.S. training in skills
essential to future work in FSR/E and effective coordination of
research and extension. Also being considered were recommenda-
tions for in-zcuntry and in-service FS training of extension
workers at the BAC and regional training centers.










A related issue discussed in the second evaluation was that
of

how to institutionalize a sufficient sociological input for
the remainder of ATIP and in future [FSR/E) in Botswana. It
would be dangerous to assume that...expatriate economists on
ATIP and the BS and MA level Batswana economists on future
FS teams would have the methodological and technical skills
to provide the required sociological input into [FSR/E)
(A.I.D., 1986:52).

Although the proposal to institutionalize FSR/E called for the
part-time input of sociology into the regional FS teams, the
second evaluation expressed concern over the limited number of
professional staff in the Rural Sociology Unit (RSU) of the
Ministry's DPS and the many'demands upon them. In the evaluation
team's view, greater attention needed to be given to enhancing
the RSU's capacity to provide sociological input to ATIP as well
as to institutionalizing this support capacity.

Although ATIP was cognizant of the objective of institu-
tionalizing FSR/E in Botswana, the second evaluation reported
that institutionalization was

no longer expected to take place before the end of the
present MIAC contract. Rather, ...the project will have
provided sufficient experience and empirical evidence by the
PACD to demonstrate whether...the FSR approach should be
institutionalized. USAID, however, does expect the MOA to
make a decision regarding...institutionalization of FSR by
1989 and to make appropriate policy and organizational
changes to accomplish this...(A.I.D., 1986:6).

The rationale for extending the PACD to September 1990 was
to provide an additional year in which to test the FSR approach.
The second evaluation concluded that Botswana's severe agro-
climatic conditions had not given ATIP "an opportunity to fully
test the effectiveness of an FSR approach or develop technologies
appropriate to varying rainfall conditions" (A.I.D., 1986:5).
Extending the PACD would provide the added time and level of
effort needed to draw conclusions about the appropriateness of
FSR in Botswana, and would provide the MOA "time to solidify
[its] views on the appropriateness of institutionalizing the FSR
approach on a national scale" (A.I.D., 1986:6).

With the decision by USAID/Botswana to extend the PACD, the
Mission developed a revised Logical Framework for ATIP. TA and
training were to continue as key inputs, with USAID/Botsdana and
the GOS providing support for each input. For the remaining LOP,
the second evaluation concluded that the project's "prime con-
cern" should be a regional approach to "build strong linkages and
improve interactions between the ATIP teams and local extension











specialists" (A.I.D., 1986:61), as distinct from attempting "full
scale" institutionalization at the national level. According to
the revised Logical Framework, key FSR/E- related outputs by the
end of the project will be:

a minimum of two Batswana Farming Systems Teams, fully
staffed and using approved and tested methodology....
Alternative crop and livestock technologies will have been
farm tested and ready for dissemination in at least six
areas.

...approximately 20 qualified staff will be placed in key FS
and related positions. Institutionalization of FSR, with
corresponding organizational structures and systems will be
in place and operating effectively (A.I.D., 1986:8).

By project's end, USAID/Botswana anticipated "an ongoing FSR
approach...established and tested in selected areas of Botswana"
(A.I.D., 1986:8), with the following having taken place (A.I.D.,
1986:9):

The DAR will be structured to respond more effectively
to FSR and to farmers' needs. Specifically, on-station
research at the DAR will be structured to uise a
commodity approach, emphasizing cereals and legumes,
and systems will be established to respond to requests
and suggestions from extension and FS teams, and to
conduct trials based upon these requests.

Improved linkages will have been established between
the MOA's research and extension departments resulting
in the development and dissemination of more relevant
production technologies. The RECU will be staffed with
qualified Batswana and functioning effectively; the
DAFS will be disseminating tested technologies in pilot
areas; and improved communication will be taking place
between DAFS and farmers in pilot areas.

Technologies will be identified and tested in the pilot
areas which increase small farm production and yields
and/or improve returns to labor/capital.

Further, the second evaluation noted that the GOB had
decided to undertake an Agricultural Sector Assessment starting
in 1986. This exercise would probably result in the development
of a research strategy "that may provide for...a National Farming
Systems Research and Extension Program" (A.I.D., 1986:18). How-
ever, at the time of the second evaluation, the proposal for
institutionalizing FSR/E had been with the MOA for about six
months and no response had been received.










16

References

A.I.D.
1986 Second External Evaluation of Agricultural Technology
Improvement Project, May-June, 1986. (PD-AAU-907)

Francis, Chuck, Cornelia Flora, Boyd Whittle, and Howard Sigwele
1984 First External Evaluation of Agricultural Technology
Improvement Project, July, 1984. (PD-BAU-445)












Annex A. Project Description Sheet.


This Project Description Sheet lists the core, operational,
and generic constraints identified in this project, per the
following codes: core (C), operational (0), and generic (G). A
positive (+) sign after a constraint indicates that the project
was effectively coping with the identified constraint.4

Core Constraints (C)

C.1 Farmer Orientation
C.2 Farmer Participation
C.3 Locational Specificity of Technical and Human Factors
C.4 Problem-Solving Approach
C.5 Systems Orientation
C.6 Interdisciplinary Approach
C.7 Complementarity with Commodity and Discipline Research
C.8 Technology Testing in On-Farm Trials
C.9 Feedback to Shape:
a. Agricultural Research Priorities
b. Agricultural Policies

Operational Constraints (0)

0.1 Stakeholder Understanding of FSR/E
0.2 Agricultural Research Policy/Strategy Defining Role of FSR/E
0.3 Long-Term Commitment of Resources
0.4 Existing Research Capability and Shelf Technology
0.5 Consensus on FSR/E Methodology
0.6 Capability to Process Farming Systems Data
0.7 Consensus on Criteria for Evaluating FSR/E
0.8 Links with Extension
0.9 Links with Agri-Support Services
0.10 Links with Farmer Organizations

Generic Constraints (G)

G.1 Project Management Structure
G.2 Government Funding to Meet Recurrent Costs
G.3 Staffing with Trained Manpower
G.4 Management of Training
G.5 Management of Technical Assistance
G.6 Factors Beyond a Project's Control


"An analysis of these constraints in 12 FSR/E projects appears
in A Review of A.I.D. Experience with Farming Systems Research and
Extension Projects, A.I.D. Evaluation Special Study (forthcoming),
available from A.I.D.'s Document and Information Handling Facility
(per instructions on last page of this report).










Botswana/ATIP Agricultural Technology Improvement Project
(611-0201)

Initial Authorization: 1981 (for 5 years)

Goal: "to improve the welfare of small farmers and increase
national food production through the development, extension and
adoption of relevant technology"

Purpose: "to improve the capacity of the Ministry of
Agriculture's research and extension programs to develop and
effectively extend farming systems recommendations relevant to
the needs of the small farmer" Project sub-purposes included:

To improve the capacity of the Department of Agricultural
Research (DAR) to develop technologies appropriate for small
farmer needs.

To improve the capacity of the extension service to transfer
technologies which can be utilized by small farmers and
strengthen and institutionalize the linkage between research
and extension departments.

Oupuuts:
1. Strategy developed for agricultural research emphasizing
small farmers ("Farming Systems Approach to Research");
2. New technologies tested on farmers' fields;
3. New technologies tested at the DAR, based on ideas initiated
by FSR and extension; and
4. Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board seed production unit
completed and functioning.

:Inlementing Agency: Department of Agricultural Research,
Ministry of Agriculture.

TA Contractor: Mid-America International Agricultural Consortium
(MIAC), with Kansas State University as lead university.

Evaluations: Two -- an external evaluation in 1984 (Francis, et
al., 1984); and an external evaluation in 1986 (A.I.D., 1986).

Constraints: C.4, C.6, C.9.a (4), C.9.b, 0.1, 0.2, 0.4, 0.5,
0.6, 0.8, G.2, G.3, G.4, G.5, G.6.




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