Farming systems newsletter

Material Information

Farming systems newsletter
Caption title:
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center -- Eastern Africa Economics Programme
Place of Publication:
Nairobi Kenya
The Centre
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
v. : ill., forms ; 30 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Agricultural systems -- Periodicals -- Africa, Eastern ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )
periodical ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage:


General Note:
Description based on: No. 26 (July-Sept. 1986); title from cover.
Statement of Responsibility:
CIMMYT Eastern Africa Economics Programme, International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT).

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Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright, CIMMYT International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
18247451 ( OCLC )
sn 90040819 ( LCCN )

Full Text


No. 33


Page 1



- Research Extension Administrators Workshop .............. 2
- Survey Data Analysis for Economists ...................... 2


- University of London M.Sc. and Postgraduate Diploma
in Agricultural Development for External Students ....... 2
- African Dissertation Internship Awards .. ................ 5
- Fellowships for Development of Research Projects ........ 7
- Training Manual ............. ............................ 7


- Agroforestry Question for Informal Survey Work .......... 8


- Mapping Systems and Research Linkages with On-station
Research and with Extension at Bako, Western Ethiopia,
Gemechu Gedeno .......................................... 10


- CIAT ................ .................................... 26
- IFPRI .... ............................................. 27
- CORNELL UNIVERSITY ................... ................... 28
- CORNELL UNIVERSITY ...................................... 29

Page 2



This workshop will take place in Nairobi, Kenya. The
tentative dates are November 14-18, 1988.

Contact: Dr. P. Anandajayasekeram, CIMMYT, P.O. Box 25171,
Nairobi, Kenya.


The venue will be Nairobi, Kenya, October 1988. For more
information please contact: Dr. P. Anandayjayasekeram, CIMMYT,
P.O. Box 25171, Nairobi, Kenya.



Wye College offers an innovative post-graduate programme in
agricultural development overseas, designed for external students
and based on distance learning.

The programme leads to two possible qualifications, either
an M.Sc. or a postgraduate Diploma in Agricultural Development.
Both are awarded by the University of London through its unique
worldwide External System.

The focus of study is on the economics, planning and
management of agricultural development. The programme started in
1988 with over eighty students in forty countries.

The programme enhances opportunity for advanced training in
appropriate skills in the economics, planning and management of
agricultural development, has a great deal of flexibility built
into it, is considerably cheaper than the cost of full-time study
overseas, and means that people in important and responsible
posts can undertake further study without leaving gaps that are
often difficult to fill (a major opportunity cost consideration).

The courses are aimed at the needs of managers, planners,
economists and other professionals involved in:

area development projects, typically focused on small
farms and the households associated with these farms

Page 3

central government ministries, performing planning and/or
policy analysis work

programmes concerned with health, nutrition and women's

agricultural processing and marketing organizations

the management and planning of large scale agricultural
production units, whether public or private sector

aid agencies and non-government organizations concerned
with development.

For the M.Sc., students have to complete successfully eight
courses, four in Part I and four in Part II. Part I consists of
four compulsory 'core' courses:

agricultural economics for development

project planning, monitoring and evaluation

economic and social survey methods and data analysis

policy analysis for the agricultural sector.

Part II consists of four courses chosen (subject to
availability) from a number of options, including:

applied econometrics in agricultural development

food and food policy in agricultural development

business management for agricultural enterprises

economics of the development and operation of water

agricultural marketing strategies

the administration of agricultural development

women in agricultural development

social relations of rural communities (sociology of
agricultural development)

livestock development

environmental impact analysis

Page 4

It is possible to substitute for one of the Part II courses
a project or piece of research based on the student's work
experience, subject to approval by a tutor.

For the Diploma in Agricultural Development students have to
complete successfully four basic courses, which are the same as
for Part I of the M.Sc.:

agricultural economics for development

project planning, monitoring and evaluation

economic and social survey methods and data analysis

policy analysis for the agricultural sector.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified people
irrespective of nationality and residence. Examinations are
conducted in most countries of the world, but where this is not
the case candidates may sit the examination in London or at
another centre.

The qualifications required for registration are the same as
for Diploma and M.Sc. registration by internal students of the
University of London. For the Diploma, either a degree or
technical or professional qualification accepted by the
University is required, or work experience judged appropriate and
relevant by the University. For the M.Sc., a good degree in
Agriculture, Economics or Agricultural Economics, or other
appropriate discipline, accepted by the University is required.
Diploma candidates who do exceptionally well in their
examinations may be invited to consider changing their
registration to the M.Sc., and proceeding to Part II of the M.Sc.

It is important to note that the programme requires a high
level of English Language ability in reading and writing.

Total fees for the M.Sc are 2,950 and for the Diploma
1,650. In both cases, this includes an initial registration fee
of 350, valid for a period of up to five years, and a fee for
each individual course of 325 which covers study materials,
tuition and examination. The fee structure is thus:

M.Sc. 350 plus 325 x 8 = 2,950
Diploma 350 plus 325 x 4 = 1,650

Fees may be paid in total at th'e time of initial
registration. Alternatively, students may begin by paying the
initial registration fee plus fees for the courses they take in

Page 5

their first year, and then pay annually for the courses they take
in each subsequent year.

Registration, including payment of fees, for each academic
year commencing in February is closed on October 31st of the
preceding year, e.g. registration for 1989 has to be completed by
October 31st 1988.

For more information please contact: Dr. Henry Bernstein,
Director of the External Programme, Wye College, University of
London, Ashford, Kent TN25 5AH England, U.K., Telephone:
0233812401; Telex: 96118 ANZEEC G; Fax: 0233813320.


The Rockefeller Foundation is pleased to announce a program
to enable African graduate students enrolled in United States
universities to undertake supervised dissertation research in

The primary aim of the program is to increase the quality
and relevance of overseas advanced training for outstanding
African scholars and, thereby, to facilitate their transition
into a productive scientific career when they return to Africa.
To this end, the Foundation will provide support for
approximately 25 young African men and women who are enrolled in
U.S. universities to return to Africa for a period of 12-18
months to carry out doctoral research either in their home
countries or in another country where a local university or
research institute can provide adequate supervision in the
student's field.

The awards are open to citizens of sub-Saharan African
countries studying in the United States who are about to embark
on dissertation research in the fields of agricultural sciences,
health and life sciences, related social sciences and history.
Research projects must require field observation or use of
primary sources only available in Africa.

Interns will be selected through a highly competitive
process that includes both open applications and nominations by
faculty advisors or by directors of potential host institutions
in Africa. The applicant will be responsible for arranging
placement at an institution in Africa able to provide appropriate
research support, although in certain cases the Foundation may be
in a position to assist with placements. The candidate's U.S.
faculty advisor, the hosting institution in Africa, and the
funding agency with primary responsibility for financing the
student's graduate work must endorse the application. The

Page 6

program will be implemented in collaboration with the African
Academy of Sciences, based in Nairobi, Kenya.

The awards are intended to supplement each recipient's
current educational support package and might include one or more
of the following items: international travel and living expenses
for up to 18 months in Africa, local transportation and
research-related costs. Internship plans and budgets would thus
be negotiated to fit individual circumstances, but should not
exceed $24,000. In addition, awards will generally include an
administrative contribution of $2,500 to the African institution
and one field-site visit for the intern's U.S. faculty advisor.
In certain cases the Foundation will also provide funding to
enable the African host institution supervisor to attend the
intern's dissertation defense in the U.S. Successful applicants
will be asked to provide a letter from the appropriate
administrative office of the U.S. sponsoring university stating
the institution's willingness to administer the award (with the
exception of the contribution to the African host institution).

There is no formal deadline for applications, but it is
strongly urged that they be submitted well in advance of the
expected field work starting date. Preliminary inquiries
(enclosing a transcript) are encouraged to determine the
appropriateness of the research project and the proposed
institutional setting in Africa. The full selection committee
will only consider complete applications, which must include the

1. A written dissertation proposal submitted jointly by
the candidate and his or her U.S. faculty advisor. The
proposal should follow standard dissertation proposal
requirements and include the research objectives,
conceptual framework, methods and plan of work. It should
also discuss the project's relevance to African development

2. A letter from the sponsor at the proposed host
institution in Africa, confirming that the institution can
provide needed services such as laboratory facilities,
access to study sites, and technical advice.

3. A budget not to exceed $24,000, listing living, travel,
research and writing costs not covered by the applicant's
current educational support package. Information about
other sources of funding for doctoral research and writing
costs should be included.

4. A letter of endorsement from an appropriate official of
the funding agency with primary responsibility for

Page 7

financing the student's graduate work.

5. Post-graduate transcripts, a curriculum vitae, and an
abstract of the candidate's master's thesis when

Send all proposals and enquiries to: African Dissertation
Internships, The Rockefeller Foundation, 1133 Avenue of the
Americas, New York, New York 10036; or African Dissertation
Internships, The Rockefeller Foundation, P.O. Box 47543,
Nairobi, Kenya.


A variety of opportunities for African researchers,
individually or in teams, and research teams of African and
non-African researchers are available from the Project on African
Agriculture: Crisis and Transformation, sponsored by the Joint
Committee on African Studies of the American Council of Learned
Societies and the Social Science Research Council. The Project
aims to promote interdisciplinary analysis particularly
involving natural and social scientists of the agricultural
crisis in sub-Saharan Africa. Two cohorts of fellows will be
selected in 1988, one in May (application deadline: February 1),
and one in November (application deadline: August 1). One cohort
of fellows will be selected in 1989. The competition will occur
in March 1989 with a deadline of December 31, 1988. Awards for
periods of 3-12 months will be granted to support innovative
projects involving training and research activities.
Interdisciplinary applications are particularly encouraged.
Applicants may come from any of three categories: recent
graduates (minimum of Master's Degree or equivalent); mid-career
scholars at universities or research institutes; professionals in
government posts. For additional information write to:
Fellowship Program, Project on African Agriculture, Social
Science Research Council, 605 Third Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10158
U.S.A., telephone (212) 661-0280.


Each year since 1983 The International Livestock Centre for
Africa (ILCA) has given a course on the economic effects of
animal disease in Africa and the comparative value of various
control measures. This training in applied epidemiology has now
been delivered twice to francophone and three times to anglophone
African veterinarians. All told, more than 100 professionals
from 31 sub-Saharan countries have now received instruction in
what Schwabe calls the "revolution in veterinary medicine".

Although ILCA believe that veterinary epidemiology practiced

Page 8

in accordance with economic principles is the most practical
means of animal disease control, it is a complex speciality that
is still not widely used. Prominent among its practitioners,
particularly in under-developed parts of the world, are the
members of the Veterinary Epidemiology and Economic Research Unit
of Reading University. It is this group that has been mainly
responsible for teaching these ILCA courses.

ILCA has now published a training manual to improve the
quality of future courses and, more importantly, assist African
teachers in their efforts to extend knowledge on this subject.
It was written by those most responsible for teaching this
subject at ILCA. Its title is "Veterinary Epidemiology and
Economics in Africa".

The manual is available both in English and in French. If
additional copies are wanted, Africans can obtain them from ILCA.
For readers outside Africa, copies of the manual can be purchased
from: WINROCK INTERNATIONAL, 1611 N. Kent Street, Suite 600,
Arlington, AV 22209, U.S.A.



The following additions to the CIMMYT Guidelines for
informal survey were suggested by Dr. T. Bunderson, a USAID
funded technical assistant to the Malawi Department of
Agricultural Research. The additions are intended to serve as a
comprehensive survey of problems and practices relating to
agroforestry. Rather they are supplementary to the other survey
components, and will focus on key issues relating to existing and
potential uses of trees among smallhold farmers. The questions
qere designed for use in the Chitipa region of Malawi, but can be
easily be modified for other circumstances.

The topics covered in the questions below are designed to
discover the key constraints to agricultural activities, and how
trees are currently used or could be used to ameliorate some of
these contsraints.

General Agroforestry Practices and Problems

1. Determine the availability of wood for fuel and
building needs, and the sources of this wood.

2. Determine whether trees have been deliberately left or
grown on farmland or around the household.

Page 9

3. Try to specify the local names of these trees, and the
numbers of each, being careful to distinguish between
trees on farmland and those at the household.
(Remember to include fruit trees).

4. Determine the specific uses or functions of each of the
named tree species.

5. Determine if the farmer knows of any trees that improve
or do not harm crops grown under or near to them.
Specify tree names and crops.

6. Establish whether the farmer is familiar with the tree
Msangu msangu (Acacia albida).

7. Determine what value this tree has, and whether it
occurs in that area.

8. Does the farmer grow or buy any tree seedlings himself,
and if so, what species and for what uses.

9. If the farmer had a choice, would he increase the
numbers of trees on his farm, and which trees species
he would select.

10. Establish whether there are any tree nurseries nearby,
and what species are available in these nurseries.

Steep Hillside Cultivation

1. Establish whether the farmer grows any crops on steep
land. Specify which crops, and why such areas are used
for these crops.

2. Try to establish the relative periods of continuous
cropping vs. fallow in such areas.

3. What a,- the most important tree species in the fallow
and how long does it take them to grow to a reasonable

4. Determine the 3 most important factors affecting crop
production on steep land.

5. Determine wnat practices are used or could be used to
alleviate these problems.

Page 10




Gemechu Gedeno

Assistant Research Officer and FSR Agronomist
Institute of Agricultural Research
Bako Agricultural Research Centre
P.O. Box 3, Bako, Ethiopia

In developing nations farming systems research and extension
(FSR/E) is currently used to develop and adapt appropriate
agricultural technologies for small farmers in order to increase
their productivity. FSR/E methodologies have emerged as a result
of the appropriateness of many agricultural research results to
small farmers. The major reason for ineffectiveness of
conventional, station based agricultural research is its reliance
on a top-down approach which neglects the socio-economic
conditions of small farmers.

Although a number of projects have been initiated in
Ethiopia to transfer research results, farmers are often found to
be reluctant to accept most of the technologies on offer.
However, the body of knowledge available from on-sation research
is useful for FSR/E. Some of the findings can be used with only
slight modifications.

In Ethiopia the Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) has
undergone a number of institutional changes in recent years

a) the development of a commodity team approach which
brings together professionals from several disciplines
to work on a particular commodity,
b) the institutionalization of FSR/E within the
Institute and
c) the establishment of a research and extension
liaison department.

This paper describes the integration of OFR/E with
on-station research and with extension, as they relate to Bako,
Western Ethiopia. As an introduction I briefly describe

Page 11

off-station activities prior to FSR/E and the evolution of FSR/E
at Bako.

i) Off-Station Activities prior to FSR/E at Bako

Trials have been conducted on farmers' fields around Bako
Research Center since 1970/71 (IAR 1971). The objective of these
early trials was to evaluate different technologies from
on-station improved conditions under farmer conditions and to
demonstrate to farmers the value of the improved methods. The
trials were replicated and and plot size were small (e.g.
15-32m2 for maize). Management of the trials was optimum and
farmers participation in trials was minimal.

Farmers did not accept most of technologies demonstrated in
these trials. In seeking a better approach the Department of
Socio-Economics and Farm Management (now the Department of
Agricultural Economics and Farming Systems Research) conducted
the first multidisciplinary farming systems diagnostic survey in
1977/78 around Bako. The objective of the survey was to identify
farmers' important technical problems as perceived by the farmers
themselves (Mekuria, 1985).

Based on the problems identified and farmers' circumstances,
packages of innovations were identified and tested under farmers'
conditions. These tests evaluated the technologies under the
farmers' conditions and assessed farmers feed back.
Non-replicated plots were used and plot sizes for maize and
sorghum were one hectare. The farmers were responsible for all
inputs except the seed. This program, which was called the
Package Testing Program, played an important role in obtaining
farmers' reactions to new technology. The key observation in
this work was that farmers selected from the package of
innovations and modified the most important components. (Table

They were seen to change the fertilizer rate on maize from
75/75 to 18/46 kg/ha of P205. Follow up discussion with
farmers showed cash shortage and limited fertilizer supply were
the reasons. The row spacing the farmers used for maize was 55 x
40 cm instead of 75 x 30 cm recommended, which is dictated by the
plough width the farmers use. Fertilizer on sorghum was rejected
while improved varieties of Narvocy crops were accepted except
that seed supply limitations reduced adoption. The package
approach was implemented at Bako for 8 years from 1978-1985.
Even with the modifications described, farmers were able to
obtain better output than under their own management.

.Since the experiments had no control treatments it was not
possible to compare the package with the farmers' practices. It

Table 1. Farmers' reaction to technologies based on package testing.



State of



Reason for

Sorghum Recommendation


Why modification

Tech no l o g y



& local

Seed suply,


most local

Seed supply


Planting time



75 x 30cm

April & May

April for
green cobs

55 x 40cm



days after

- hoeing 15-30d
d.a.p.+ox cult.
+ pulling

-local plough -weedy condit.




clash with

75 x 15cm

broad cost


-oxen more

as for maize

as for maize

as for maize

late maturity shortage

Fert ilizer

75 kg N/ha

75 kg P=O,/ha

18 kg N/ha
46 kg PFzO/ha
-no fertilizer

cash shortage

supply shortage

75 kg N/ha
75 kg PrO./ha

- no fertilizer

- cash shortage

- priority for

Page 13

was also difficult to conclude whether the farmers' modifications
were appropriate or not.

Another important drawback of the package is the complexity
of the technologies; farmers hardly understood the components of
the package. The practical problems in implementing the package
testing program laid the ground for the switch to a farming
systems research approach during 1984/85.

ii) Evolution of Farming Systems at Bako

On-farm research using a farming systems and extension
prospective commenced in Bako in 1984. Although FSR/E projects
usually begin with surveys the researchers decided to begin with
two on-farm experiments, since they felt confident about their
understanding of the system based on the 1977/78 survey and the
package testing experience. The work was initiated by the
department coordinator, an M.Sc. economist based in Addis Ababa
260 km away. The department staff at Bako was one B.Sc.
agricultural economist who was assisted by researchers from other
disciplines on a part-time basis. In 1985 the department
recruited a full-time agronomist, a second agricultural economist
and the number of on-farm experiments increased from two to six

There has been a lot of improvement in implementation as the
work progressed. This is mainly due to the participation of the
researchers in the CIMMYT regional and in-country training
workshops. The major changes made in the programme between 1984
and 1987 are indicated in Table 2. Intensive system description
and understanding was achieved through diagnostic informal and
formal surveys in 1986. Thereafter survey data collection has
focused on specific agronomic and economic data. The survey
findings have contributed to trial design especially by defining
and explaining farmers' management practices. Increasing the
number of replicates per site has resulted in more reliable data
and better evaluation. Farmers have become much more involved in
trial management and in assessments of the treatments and
experimental results. Trials are now discussed with the farmers
before implementation. The discussion includes objective of the
trials, types of treatments and the responsibilities of the
farmers. On-farm experiments are now conducted on the fields of
the two target groups (producers' cooperatives and individual,
i.e. private farmers identified in the 1986 survey.

Page 14

Table 2. Key points in the evolution of on-farm research at
Bako, 1984 1987.

Information 1984 1985 1986 1987

Plot size (m2) 2000 200 & 100 20 & 200 20-40

Replicate/site 1 1 2 or 3 2 or 3

Total # of sies 4 27 21 18

Type of survey I + F SV SV

Farmers participation
in trial ** *** *

# of experiments 2 6 5 8

I = Informal survey, F = Formal survey, SV = Specific survey,

* = Good, ** = Better, *** = Best

As a result of on-farm experimentation it was possible to
modify research recommendations. Four examples follow:

1. To address a soil fertility problem on maize a fertilizer
experiment was conducted on farmers' fields for two
years at several locations. The treatments were based
on previous results from on-station fertilizer
experiments and the non-experimental variables were set
at an average farmers' level. The results indicated
that the economically acceptable rates were 41/46 or
100/50 kg/ha N/P205 depending on the cash availability
as opposed to the 75/75 kg/ha N/P205 research station
recommendation. The research station recommendation was
based on only an agronomic evaluation.

2. In an experiment on intercropping perennial forage crops
with maize to address a dry season feed problem three
years of results showed that two forage crops, Chloris
geyona (a grass) and Desmodium uncinatum (a legume) can
be successfully intercropped with maize if planted 55-60
days after planting maize, without affecting maize

Page 15

yields. The forage yield in the year after the
intercropping year was 7.41-1085 and 2.21-12.21 t/ha fro
Chloris and Desmodium.

3. For family food security sorghum varieties were tested
under recommended and farmers' management. The
recommended management was included to satisfy the
on-station researchers' belief that says improved
varieties should be tested under recommended management.
Preliminary grain yield results indicated that two
improved varieties (D1057 and IS9302) were superior to
the local under farmers' management but only one of the
two improved varieties (D1057) significantly outyielded
the farmers' variety under improved management.

4. A comparison of recommended hand weeding with the
farmers' weeding practice showed the farmers' practice
had a slightly higher yield and required lower labour
inputs at the labour peak period.

iii) Integration of FSR/E with On-station Research

Another important achievement of the FSR/E program at Bako
is the changing of station research thrusts. At present the
on-station research programmme is planned based on the priority
problems identified through the FSR/E surveys and from feed back
from the on-farm experiments. The following are only few
examples among many of where the FSR/E program has directed
on-station research:

1. The breeding of early maturing maize was not considered
important since the Bako area has sufficient rainfall
with good distribution over about five months. When it
was found that farmers suffer from late season food
shortage and use early varieties which yield lower than
the mid-late maturing varieties but solve the late
season food problem, breeding was started to increase
the yield potential of early maturing maize.

2. Lodging was identified as a problem with both local and
improved maize varieties. Breeding work was started to
introduce lodging resistance.

3. Study on fertilizer placement after observed differences
between the farmers' and the recommended fertilizer
placement methods led to on-station fertilizer placement

4. Several on-station have addressed the shortage of dry

Page 16

season feed and poor feed quality of oxen draft to
prepare the land. The experiments include over sowing
of natural pasture with legumes, feeding trials based on
crop residues and animal health research which has
impact on draft power but was neglected before.

Thus it is easy to see that the Bako FSR/E and on-station
research programmes are mutually supportive.

This close working relation is important for two reasons.
First, to ensure the development and transfer of relevant
technology for the small farmer. Second, to ensure the
institutionalization of FSR/E program in the national research
program in an effective and harmonious way with the on-sation
research programme. The rest of this section covers integration
during the various FSR/E phases, i.e. diagnosis, planning of
experiments, implementing experiments and evaluating the

Diagnosis: During this phase disciplinary scientists
participate depending on the relevance of their discipline to the
likely problems of the farmers in the survey area. A good
example is a full time involvement of the livestock specialist in
the Bako area surveys. The report was co-authored by economists,
agronomist and the livestock specialist. The survey findings are
presented at annual research planning and evaluation meetings
which involve station researchers. Further, the results are
published in progress and annual reports in summary form and
separately in detail. The survey results are used by the station
based researchers for problem identification and treatment

Planning experiments: In planning both OFE and on-centre
experiments all the details of new research proposals are
scrutinized by both FSR/E and on-station researchers. The areas
of scrutinity include the problem statement, background and
justification, objectives and materials and methods.

The formal forums hosting these interactions among
scientists are the annual centre preview, zonal preview, zonal
research and extension liaison committee (RELC) meetings and the
zonal review meeting (Figure 1). The participants at each level
are indicated in the boxes in Fig.l. For example, at the zonal
research and extension liaison committee (RELC) meeting
extensionists, planners and participants from other user
organizations screen the research programme for its relevance in
light or broader regional problems and objectives. At each of
the steps there is at least one member of the FSR/E team who
participates. This approach allows interaction of FSR/E with
researchers, extension staff and others and ensures that the

Page 17

proposals will be relevant to the problems
In addition, technical scientists often
members concerning the relevance of their
they present them in the above meetings.
calls concerned researchers for discussion
when felt necessary.

faced by the farmers.
consult FSR/E team
own proposals before
Also the FSR/E team
of specific problems

Figure 1. Procedures in planning and reviewing research
programmes in the Institute of Agricultural Research

Center pre-preview

Center manager chairman
Researchers at the centre
and its subcentres participants

Zonal preview

Zonal Research coordinator chairman
Centre Division coordinators participants

Zonal RELC meeting
Zonal RELC meeting

Zonal extension Head
Zonal Research coordinator
Division coordinators
Other user organization


Zonal Review

IAR manager cha
Department coordinators par
Zonal Division coordinators par
Zonal Centre managers par


As a result of planning discussions a new proposal could be
accepted, modified and accepted, suspended or rejected depending
on its relevance, technical validity and cost of implementation.


Page 18

The FSR/E team evaluates the relevancy of on-centre research
proposals and viceversa. However, differences in research
concepts and procedures remain between FSR/E and on-station
researchers. Important areas of difference are:

1. On-station researchers have a narrow view of what type
of experiments and treatments should be included in
on-farm experiments. They mostly question exploratory
and determinative types of experiments testing varieties
on farmers' fields before the varieties are released.
On-station researchers insist that only those treatments
that are tested on-station should be included in OFE
even when they do not fit into the farming system.

2. The levels of non-experimental variables in OFE is
another issue. On-station researchers claim that unless
the technology is proved to work under sub-optimal
conditions on the station, it is risky to test the
technology under sub-optimal conditions on the farmers'
fields. They are especially concerned about varieties.

3. On-station researchers do not understand the need to
relate the treatment selection to the current farming
system nor appreciate the importance of including the
farmers' practice for comparison in on-station research.

It is encouraging to note the situation is changing. For
instance, varieties that are at release verification trials stage
can now be simultaneously tested on farmers' fields under the
farmers' or sub-optimal conditions. With enough reasoning the
farmers' treatment from on-centre experiments can be modified in
OFE priority problems are the focal points for planning both
on-centre and on-farm research relating the treatments to the
current farming system. Including the farmers' practice for
comparison in trials is now the concern of most of the

While cooperation between on-station and on-farm researchers
at Bako is now high, as indicated in Figure 1, the region's Bako
research programme is jointly planned by researchers from all the
research Centres and Sub-centres in the region and at the
regional forms we continue to face the same problems we had at
Bako in the early stages.

Implementation of experiments: While the implementation of
OFE is the sole responsibility of the FSR/E team the team
organizes field visits for on-station researchers to comment on
and evaluate the management and performance of the experiments.
This gives a chance for the researchers to appreciate the field
level problems facing the FRS/E team. The researchers also

Page 19

discuss problems and trial management with the farmers hosting
the experiments.

The field visits are arranged at different plant growth
stages depending on the availability of the researchers. Special
visits are sometimes arranged to see discipline specific
problems. Except that the on-station researchers are sometimes
unavailable because of heavy work load the cooperation in this
respect is positive.

Evaluation of experiments: The on-farm results are analysed,
interpreted and reported by the FSR/E team. The information is
made available to the on-station researchers through the summary
reports presented at annual research meetings and through
periodic publications (i.e. the progress report and annual
reports). Likewise, the information from on-station research is
communicated to the FSR/E team so that the team is made aware of
the recent potential technologies which may be used to solve
farmers' problems.

The integration of FSR/E with station research and with
extension can be seen from the current technology development and
release mechanism (Figure 2). The linkage between FSR/E and
on-station research is stronger than that of FSR/E extension.
The FSR/E farmer linkage is the strongest. The current
technology development and release mechanism is complex when
compared to the previous one. The current theoretical channel is
on-station FSR/E research and extension service MOA
extension, however, because FSR/E is a recent addition to the
system some research results are passed directly from on-station
research to MOA extension or to MOA extension through research
and extension liaison service. Technology dissemination to the
farmers is mainly MOA extension's mandate.

The collaboration of FSR/E and on-station research in making
recommendations is poor. The two groups still make
recommendations separately. This can lead to arguments about the
recommendations. The system we prefer is that the FSR/E team
makes the recommendation in collaboration with the concerned
discipline specialists and vice versa.

Page 20

Figure 2. Integration of FSR/E with On-centre Research and
Extension in Technology Development and Transfer







<- very strong

On-centre <--- strong
/ weak

Farmer < i FSR/E

i i ^ ^

\ Research/Extension .L

How can FSR/E and On-station Research Linkages be improved?

1. By training disciplinary on-station research in FSR/E
principles and procedures. Our experience indicates
on-station researchers accept FSR/E principles and
procedures over time as a result of discussions at
different meetings and through informal contacts.
However, formal training of the on-station researchers
can help shorten the time to understand the principles
and procedures of FSR/E. As a result of three years
interaction at Bako centre we have established effective
understanding of FSR/E principles and procedures among
station researchers.

2. Every researcher should be formally informed about the
job description of the FSR/E team. This will clear the
confusions about the types of experiments the team
conduct (e.g. variety, NP rate).

3. Strong management can stimulate better linkages between
FSR/E and centre research. Credit should be given to
scientists for building stronger interactions.

4. Within the goals and objectives of the FSR/E and

Page 21

commodity research programmes a high priority should be
given for cooperation between the two groups.

5. Institutionalize visits between commodity researchers
and FSR/E staff to see their perspective experiments.
These visits are sometimes limited to one per season or
even ignored due to time constraints. The centre
management should consider visits important and
cooperate with the staff in pre-planning the visits.

6. Exchange of details of experimental results between the
groups can bridge the gap in information exchange which
exists because of excessive delay in the publication of

iv) The Integration of FSR/E with Extension.

In Ethiopia the Institute of Agricultural Research is
autonomous i.e. it is not under the direct control of the MOA
except that the MOA minister chairs the IAR board of directors.
The board of directors has a technical committee whose members
are two senior staff from each of the MOA, the Ministry of State
Farm Development, Ministry of Coffee and Tea Development, etc.,
to ensure that the research addresses need of the clients. The
linkage of the IAR with the MOA is strong at a senior level but
weak at an executive level.

Both IAR and MOA have recently reorganized extension
research linkages. The two major steps taken by the IAR are:

1. The institutionalization of FSR/E under the Department
of Agricultural Economics and FSR.

2. The addition of the Department of Research and Extension

The IAR through the Department of Agricultural Economics and
FSR/E has attempted to strengthen the FSR/E and extension
relationship by:

1. Organizing meetings with MOA higher officials to discuss
how the linkage between FSR/E and extension can be

2. Train the extension and research liaison staff in FSR/E
principles and procedures.

3. Making the field level extension staff cooparticipants
in the FSR/E programme.

Page 22

The agreement in meetings with the MOA higher officials
included that:

1. The higher extension officials would write formal
letters to lower level extension officers asking them to
cooperate with FSR/E in field activities.

2. The MOA and IAR officials would advocate the importance
of strong relationship between FSR/E and extension to
their respective staff.

In practice the advocation was well done but the formal
letter writing was overlooked. Above all, the how aspect of
field level cooperation, in incorporating the FSR/E programme
into the already overloaded extension activity was not thought

Thus, even though extension staff are trained in the
principles and procedures of FSR/E, the participation at a field
level is limited. At Bako, it is strong during diagnosis but
weak during experimentation. The strong participation during
diagnosis is due to low work pressure during that period in
contrast to during experimentation when extension agents have no
free time.

The Department of Research and Extension Liaison has a
division at Bako which has an agricultural economist working as
an extension specialist and an agronomist. Both are considered
to be conversant with research results and process the
information in a manner usable to extension agents. This
division works in close collaboration with a committee composed
of multidisciplinary researchers, including the FSR/E team

The committee mandate is to:

1. Demonstrate research results to extension staff, policy
makers, farmers and other user organizations.

2. Carry out periodic training for extension agents and
extension officers. Here the extensionists also share
their experiences as feed back from farmers with

3. Prepare extension materials, bulletins and pamphlets.
At the regional level the senior MOA officer is the
chairman and several extension officers are the members.
From IAR the members of the committee at two centres,
Bako and Jima, are also members at regional level. The
FSR/E team leaders play roles in matters related to

Page 23

FSR/E and extension integration as members of the

From the side of the Ministry of Agriculture the steps taken
to facilitate better technology adoption for increased
productivity by the small farmer are to:

1. Divide the country into zones (the Eastern, South
Eastern, Southern, Western, North Western, Northern
North Eastern and Central zones).

2. Mobilize staff from urban centres to rural areas.

3. Give more emphasis in terms of manpower and agricultural
inputs to surplus producing areas.

4. Adopt the train and visit (T & V) extension system in
the surplus producing areas.

5. Remove other non-technical limitations on crop
production. The T & V system has created a good forum
for a better researcher extension linkage through the
participation of researchers on the periodic extension
training sessions.

Despite the attempts made there is still a large scope for
further improvement of the Research/Extension linkage in general,
and FSR/E and extension in particular. The following section
deals with some suggested means of strengthening the relationship
between FSR/E and extension.

Means to strengthen the FSR/E and Extension Relations.

1. The Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR) and the MOA
should formalize the FSR/E and extension link so that
field level staff are allocated enough time to
collaborate. Staff with a BSc or higher degree should
be members of a FSR/E team while lower level staff
should be trained in laying out and monitoring OFE. In
the T & V areas the FSR/E should complement the T & V
system in:

a) Identification and prioritization of farmer
b) Identification and pre-screening of technical
c) Design and evaluation of on-farm trials.

2. Suggestion 1 may be more meaningful if the FSR/E is
jointly coordinated by IAR and MOA.

Page 24

3. Training extension staff at all levels in the principles
and procedures of FSR/E.

4. The FSR/E team should participate in the regular T & V
training programme.

5. The FSR/E team should organize field days for extension

6. There must be some sort of incentive for the extension
staff to participate in the FSR/E programme. The
incentive could be short and/or long term training and
promotion opportunities.

v) Conclusions

The Bako FSR/E programme's surveys and on-farm experiments
have produced useful feed back for the on-station research
programme and the on-station researchers are responding to the
problems identified. From the on-farm experimentation there is a
new recommendation available on fertilizer rate for maize and a
tentative recommendation on intercropping forage crops with maize
and sorghum varieties for producers' cooperatives. These
recommendations were only possible due to on-station research
results. Without a strong on-station research programme
effective on-farm experimentation is not possible.

The collaboration and understanding between FSR/E and
on-station researchers at Bako is progressively improving. The
positive IAR management response to some institutionalization
problems has contributed a lot to the success of the programme.
For further improvement, the suggestions made to improve the
integration of FSR/E with the on-centre research and extension
should be given due attention. In contrast the progress made in
FSR/E and extension linkage is not that impressive. The most
likely reason is that the IAR and MOA are somewhat independent
organizations. The staff of the two organizations are physically
separated and have their own programmes to follow. The
organizations should develop a common interest and reconsider the
importance of a strong institutional linkage to work out the

Page 25


I am grateful to Dr. Steven Franzel, Farming Systems
Research Advisor, for editing this paper and suggesting how'it
could be improved. I also extend my gratitude to Ato Legesse
Dadi, Asfaw Negassa and Tessema Tesso, team members of the Bako
Farming Systems Research Programme for their help.

Literature cited

IAR, 1971., 1972 and 1973 Bako Research Station Progress Reports
for the Period April 1970 to March 1973, Addis Ababa,

Mekuria, M., 1985, Current Status of Farming Systems Research in
Ethiopia: An Overview Paper presented at the National
Organization Workshop on Farming Systems Research, 23 26
Sept. 1985, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Page 26



Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT) has a
vacancy for the position of Head, Data Management for Research.
Data Management provides support to CIAT Programs and Units in
two main areas: Biometrics and Database Management. It is
supported by an IBM 4361 group 5 computer, running under the
VM/CMS operating system, with 50 terminals and personal computers
attached to it. Database management software consists of IDMS/R
and ISIS.

The Head of Data Management supervises the work of about 10
professionals and corresponding support staff. He or she
develops plans and budgets, defines policies and standards on
hardware and software, and coordinates data management activities
which aim to:

Advise scientists in the planning, design, analysis, and
interpretation of results of laboratory and field
experiments and socioeconomic surveys.

Develop computerized databases organized at different
levels of aggregate to satisfy information needs of bench
scientists, program leaders, and managers of the Centre
and collaborating national institutions.

Organize an effective computing service through the
evaluation and implementation of hardware and software
relevant to CIAT needs.

Plan and implement training programs on methods and
techniques of quantitative analysis of data for
scientists from both CIAT and collaborating national

This is a senior position for a creative and
forward-thinking professional, male or female, who has proven
capacity to work with teams of research scientists. He or she
must be able to extend the process of analysis to the
conceptualization and development of databases. The successful
applicant must have proven experience in the administration of
information management systems, preferably in a bioeconomic
research environment. He or she is expected to have a minimum of
five years experience in developing and administering scientific
databases. Experience with SAS and IDMS/R systems would be
advantageous. Also required is an advanced degree in either
computer sciences, systems engineering, statistics, mathematics,

Page 27

or other related area. Knowledge of biological sciences and
experience with biological research methods is desirable, as is
also an excellent command of English. A working knowledge of
Spanish would be advantageous.

Applicants with the above qualifications are requested to
send their curriculum vitae, date of availability, and names and
addresses of three professional referees before 30 May, 1988 to
Dr. Filemon Torres,, Deputy Director General, CIAT, Apartado
Aereo 6713, Call, Colombia.


The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI),
Washington, D.C., is seeking a specialist in human nutrition in
developing countries, to joih its Consumption and Nutrition group
(C and N) around Autumn 1988.

Desirable qualifications include: doctoral degree, or
corresponding publications and experience; se-veral years of
fieldwork; some familiarity with economics and social sciences;
and proven skills in statistics, technical writing, policy
analysis, and the development and management of research projects
involving collaborators of many nationalities.

The salary is competitive, and for non-U.S. nationals
tax-free in the U.S. Excellent support services are provided.
The post is initially for 3-5 years, but may be renewable. TFPRI
is primarily funded through the Consultative Group for
International Agricultural Research, but the appointee will be
encouraged to contribute substantially to fundraising efforts,
especially for new projects.

C and N, with the rest of IFPRI, has build up major data
bases, in parallel for several countries, on a range of
nutrition-related issues (e.g. the effects of crop
commercialization on nutrition; effects of food subsidies upon
food production, consumption and child nutrition). New work at C
and N will analyze the nutritional impact of policy options in:
consumer credit; access to land; technical progress in
agriculture as a source of population change; and interactions
between major agricultural projects and health.

Please forward CV and references, and requests for further
information to: Dr. Michael Lipton, IFPRI, 1776 Massachusetts
Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20036 U.S.A.

Page 28


The Nutrition Surveillance Program of Cornell University
invites applications for a Senior Research Associate (SRA) who
will serve as an economist for the research program on the
effects of macroeconomic policies on incomes, consumption, and
nutrition. Under the general guidance of the Project Leader, the
SRA will supervise several collaborating researchers and
coordinate project activities in selected African countries. The
duties of this position include:

preparation of detailed proposals and plans of activities
for the total research program which will be performed in
collaboration with local country researchers and
government policy-makers;

direct participation in selected country specific studies
as well as cross country integrative research activities;
focusing on linking macroeconomic policies with
household-level indicators of living standards and food

primary data analysis of national/regional
budget/agricultural surveys;

development of macro, sector, or partial equilibrium

supervision of staff, including Research Associates and
Research Assistants;

interaction with the appropriate staff of AID and other
multilateral agencies needed to achieve program

interaction with other staff and faculty at Cornell

other duties as required to successfully undertake and
complete the program activities and related research.

This position will be based in Washington D.C. with frequent
travel to Africa.

Applicants should have a Ph.D. in economics, agricultural
economics or related field, with a minimum of four years related
experience. Strong quantitative economic research, and economic
modeling skills/techniques and abilities; extensive experience in
quantitative analysis of poverty, food and agricultural issues of

Page 29

developing countries, and experience working with
interdisciplinary teams is desirable. Knowledge of French is
also desirable.

Send letter of application, curriculum vitae, and list of
references to: Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Director, CNSP, Cornell
University, 2033 M St., N.W., Suite 333, Washington, D.C. 20036


The Research Associate (RA) will serve as an economist for
the research program on the effects of macroeconomic policies on
incomes, consumption and nutrition. Under the general guidance
of a Senior Research Associate/Professor, the RA will work with
collaborators in selected African countries, and assist with a
variety of duties including:

the development of economic models;
primary data analysis of household budget/agricultural
supervision of data collection and gathering activities,
as well as field surveys;
interaction with the appropriate staff of AID and other
multilateral agencies as needed to achieve program
interaction with other staff and faculty at Cornell
other duties as required to successfully undertake and
complete the program activities and related research.

This position will be based in Washington, D.C. with a
possible posting in Africa of up to 24 months.

The candidate should have a Ph.D. in economics, agricultural
economics or related field. Strong quantitative economic
research, and economic modeling skills/techniques and abilities;
experience in quantitative analysis of poverty, food and
agricultural issues of developing countries, and interest in
working with interdisciplinary teams is desirable. Knowledge of
French is also desirable.

Send letter of application, curriculum vitae, and list of
references to: Per Pinstrup-Andersen, Director, CNSP, Cornell
University, 2033 M St., N.W., Suite 333, Washington, D.C. 20036

Page 30

Notes to contributors

The newsletter is published quarterly in January, April,
June and September.

News, comments, letters, research results and opportunities
concerning on-farm research in Southern and Eastern Africa will
be considreed for inclusion in this newsletter.

Contributions should be sent to:

Malcolm J. Blackie, CTMMYT, P.O. BOx 30727, Lilongwe 3,
MALAWI or Steve Waddington, CIMMYT, P.O. Box MP154, Mount
Pleasant, Harare, ZIMBABWE


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