ADVISOR: Peter E. Hildebrand
US AGENCIES: University of Florida
ATTACHED TO: MAG DGE y PA
FIELD: Agricultural Economics
(Farm Management and
LENGTH OF TOUR: April 1972 to October 1974
Basically the position was created for the purpose of helping the NAG
establish a Department of Farm Management with responsibilities in
research, extension and teaching. The Department originated in the
DGEA y P (now DGE y PA) and later (March '73) was transferred to CENTA.
Corollary duties associated with the position included: 1) helping
AID and MAG develop the CENTA loan paper, 2) initiate and guide the
agricultural sector analysis of MAG and AID, and 3) advising in other
miscellaneous areas such as computer programming and various strategy
and loan papers.
1) Creation of a Department of Agricultural Economics at CENTA with a
staff of seven technicians and two advisors (one with the Peace Corps).
The Departmental budget for 1974 was 0107,000 and for 1975 the request
was for 9265,000. The Department is active in research, extension and
2) Development of an operational linear programming model of the small
and medium farm sub-sector, excluding cotton, coffee and sugarcane farms.
Emphasis was on the potential effect of a grain storage and marketing
program and the results were utilized in the IRA loan paper.
3) Analysis of the vegetable production potential of the Zapotitan
District including the development of an operational linear programming
model of the District and completion of an M.S. thesis by David Zimet
(University of Florida) which contributed to a TAB study on the potential
for vegetable production and exports in Central America and Mexico.
This study was undertaken through a $30,000 sub-contract negotiated
between North Carolina State University (NCSU), the University of
Florida and the MAG.
4) Major contribution to CENTA loan paper which resulted in the
$4 million loan to that institution.
5) Development of operational computer programs in analysis of
variance, multiple and stepwise regression and linear programming
which are being used by CENTA, DGE y PA, CONAPLAN, DGORD, IRA and the
6) Completion of several research projects in vegetables, grains,
livestock and sugarcane.
7) Development of a multiple cropping system (Multicultivos)
specifically adapted to the land short, labor abundant conditions
of the country and based on the production of basic grains and
vegetables, the highest priority agricultural products in the five
year plan. This system provides the technology for a national pilot
promotion program in 1975 and a massive demonstration program in 1976
which will have as goals: 1) an increase in the production of basic
grains and vegetables, 2) an increase in rural incomes, particularly
among small farmers, and 3) a decrease in rural unemployment. National
interest in these multicultivo programs was also responsible for the
request by CENTA for a new expanded University advisory contract team
which is now in the process of negotiation.
. HILDEBRAND, PETER E. "Andlisis Agroecon6micos mediante Superficies
de Respuesta", Departamento de Administraci6n Agricola, DGE y PA, MAG,
San Salvador, El Salvador, Septiembre, 1972.
ANDREW, CHRIS O. y PETER E. HILDEBRAND "Planificaci6n y Ejecu-
ci6n de Investigaci6n Aplicada" Departamento de Administraci6n Agri-
cola, DGE y PA, MAG, San Salvador, El Salvador, Septiembre, 1972.
PERA, EDUARDO y PETER E. HILDEBRAND '"Anilisis Econ6mico de
Fertilizaci6n en Cinco Hortalizas en San Andres", Departamento de
Administraci6n Agricola, DGE y PA, MAG, San Salvador, El Salvador,
HILDEBRAND, PETER E. "Unforeseen Consequences of Introducing New
Technologies in Traditional Agriculture", XVth International Conference
of Agricultural Economists, Sao Paulo, Brazil, August 20-30, 1973.
"GuFa para el Cultivo del Tomate", Circular No. 104, CENTA, MAG,
Santa Tecla, El Salvador, Enero, 1974. (Contributed).
HILDEBRAND, PETER E. y EDWIN C. FRENCH "Producci6n de Pepinos
Utilizando Tallos de Maiz", Departamento de Economia Agricola, CENFA,
MAG, Santa Tecla, El Salvador, Febrero, 1974.
HILDEBRAND, PETER E. y EDWIN C. FRENCH "Un Sistema Salvadorefio de
Multicultivos: Su Potencial y sus Problemas", Departamento de Eco-
nomia Agricola, CENTA, MAG, Santa Tecla, El Salvador, Febrero, 1974.
"Estudios sobre la Aceptaci6n del Consumidor y el Potencial de Mer-
cado del Tomate Fiesta", Serie Estudios Agroecon6micos No. 6,
DGE y PA, M G, San Salvador, El Salvador, Marzo, 1974. (Contributed).
ZIMET, DAVID J. "The Economic Potential for Increasing Vegetable
Production in the Zapotitan District, El Salvador", University of
Florida, 1974. (Unpublished M.S. Thesis).
HILDEBRAND, PETER E. "Analisis Econ6mico de Fertilizaci6n de
Cara de Azucar", Departamento de Economia Agricola, CENTA, MAG,
Santa Tecla, El Salvador, Octubre, 1974.
HILDEBRAND, PETER E. 'Manual del Uso de una Computadora Electr6-
nica para Regresi6n y Analisis de Varianza", Departamento de Eco-
nomia Agricola, CENTA, MAG, Santa Tecla, El Salvador, Octubre, 1974.
WAJOR DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED:
Problems which inhibit the efficient execution of the duties of an advisor
can be grouped into 3 general categories. One of these is a clear defini-
tion of duties as interpreted or desired both by the host government
and/or institution and by the sponsoring agency or agencies. A second
area pertains to the human resources available to work with. The third
general category necessary for the efficient conduct of duties relates
to the physical resources available to the advisor and/or the persons or
institute to which he is attached.
1) Definition of Duties
At the onset of the tour, the principal duty was clear, though general
in nature. The MAG had requested and USAID/UFLA supplied through an
"Institution Building" contract, an advisor to establish and develop a
Department of Farm Management in IAG. This department was to be
established initially in the DGEA y P and later transferred, as a more
general Department of Agricultural Economics, to CENTA. During the
course of the tour both AID and MAG modified the basic definition of
duties to a certain extent.
Through two changes of administration of the agricultural program of AID,
the emphasis has changed from one of primarily institution building to
primarily research to the presently evolving action program of extension
and applied research. When the emphasis was on research, the role of
institution building was clearly of secondary importance from the AID
point of view. In the present situation institution building again
becomes important as a necessary aspect of the action program.
With respect to the MAG, the basic problem in clearly defining a goal
involves the nature of the agricultural economics program of CENTA and
the location of the agricultural marketing portion of agricultural
economics. To date, all marketing activities are being conducted by
IRA and the DGE y PA. Neither of these units, however, treats the
problems of the farmer in marketing a wide range of products and in
purchasing inputs. This aspect of agricultural economics clearly fits
within the scope of the CENTA Department of Agricultural Economics and
the CENTA loan document and other documents of the GOES provide for this
policy. However, so far only the farm management portion (except for
teaching at ENA) has been transferred to CENTA.
It is also not clearly understood how the CENTA program in farm management
differs from the agricultural economics work of the DGE y PA. The
DGE y PA studies the farmer from the macro or sectorial point of view -
a cost of production study, for example, is a study of the farm sector
as is. The Agricultural Economics Department of CENTA is concerned with
how the farmer can improve his situation how can he better utilize
his resources. The DGE y PA is not equipped for nor does it have time
to do this type of work.
2. Human Resources
The MAG has a severe shortage of well trained, professional personnel.
This is particularly acute in agricultural economics, a phenomenon found
generally around the world. This shortage has been so acute that during
most of 1973 my only counterparts were two perito agronomos -- I was
acting head of the Department from March 1973 to July 1974. During
this period, a very important element of the functioning of the
Department was Tito French, a Peace Corps Volunteer in Horticultural
Production. Had this Volunteer not been available during the tour,
achievements would have been significantly reduced.
With respect to human resources, it must be said that the MAG has done
everything in their power to supply people to the Department within
budgetary restrictions and availability of appropriately trained and
motivated people. Nevertheless, the scarcity of people has reduced the
productivity of the project.
3) Physical Resources
The productivity of this position has depended on the provision of
resources from several sources. Basic to the contract were resources
from the MAG and AID/E1 Salvador (both direct and via the UFLA Contract).
Other resources utilized have been from private industry in El Salvador
(FERTICA, BAYER Quimicas Unidas, and the Ingenio Central Izalco), from
the North Carolina State University Contract and from the Peace Corps
(in the form of the PCV).
MAG and CENTA have been very generous in supplying resources for the
project and the Department even to the point of exceeding budgeted
items. In 1973, when the Department shifted to CEITA, there was no
budget to provide normal expenses. Personnel were loaned to CENTA from
DGE y PA and CENTA provided operating funds from several departments and
from administrative funds.
Funds provided through the NCSU Contract were critical to the accomplish-
ments achieved in the tour of duty. These were utilized not only for the
analysis of the linear programming model of the Zapotitan District, but
also for vegetable and multicultivo experiments because of their implica-
tions in the potential for production and exports of vegetables from El
Salvador. Even though MAG provided resources up to their maximum
capability, the achievements accomplished in this tour could not have
been realized in the absence of the NCSU funds.
The Ingenio Central Izalco provided land, labor, supplies and laboratory
facilities for a continuing study of the economic application of fertilizer
on sugarcane. BAYER and FERTICA have provided significant amounts of
pesticides and fertilizers for the experimental work in Multicultivos at
a time when, because of the energy crisis, this work would have had to
have been curtailed drastically in its absence.
At times AID/E1 Salvador has been reluctant to provide resources for
the execution of this project. For many months transportation was a
problem forcing me to use a great deal of time just trying to provide
myself adequate transportation to carry out all the responsibilities of
the position. The AID Mission also opposed additional funding which
would have been available through a continuation of the NCSU sub-contract.
On the other hand, they did provide generous funding for computer analyses
which proved to be very productive.
NARRATIVE OF THE TOUR:
The first 7 weeks were devoted to the CENTA loan paper by mutual consent
of MAG, AID and UFLA. Some time during this period was also spent working
with IRA which was to have been included in the original loan.
The ultimate nature of the results of the tour depended on a large number
of factors. The first decisive factor was the lack of an operating
budget for the Department of Farm Management during the first year.
Initially the Department had a head with a Master's degree in Agricultural
Economics, three other technicians and a secretary. We were also provided
with office equipment and office supplies, but that was all. We had no
operating budget and/or transportation; we were completely dependent on
the AID vehicle.
Because of budgetary restrictions we were dependent on doing cooperative
work with other departments or entities who could provide the necessary
resources. Within the first month (June, 1972) we had chosen four
studies (or potential studies) upon which to concentrate. Two of these
were successful and were responsible in large part for the general nature
of the departmental program during this tour of duty.
A basic need of a farm management department is good information regarding
farm prices of inputs and products. One of our first projects was to
obtain farm level grain prices in cooperation with the Marketing 7
Department of the DGEA y P. A questionnaire was pretested but the
project got no further. To date, farm level prices still are not
available -- one reason for the need of a marketing section in the
department of CENTA.
A second project was to determine costs and returns on 70 corn demonstra-
tion plots in 17 Extension agencies in cooperation with the Extension
Service. Although cooperation from Extension was very good, it turned
out that the plots had been established too long before we initiated
the project to be amenable to providing adequate information. However,
we used what information we could get to design record forms and train
some agents in their use, so that we could initiate a new project on
the bean demonstration plots which were to be planted in August.
This project was quite successful and preliminary analysis of the
data indicated significant differences between the traditional seeding
methods and the recommended methods in the 400 m2 demonstration plots.
Unfortunately, during one of the 6 changes of office location within
the Ministry, all of the records on this project were lost and have
never been found. Hence, the project was never completed.
One of the most successful and continuing projects was the initiation
of a fertilizer study on 6 vegetables in cooperation with the Horticulture
Department of ENA. Initially we superimposed simple fertilizer
experiments on the vegetable plots that the students were then planting.
The students and the Horticulture Department provided land, labor and
supplies. Results of this first study were published and have provided
information for continuing studies on vegetables. Cooperation with the
ENA and the Horticulture Department was, and continues to be, excellent.
As a result and natural consequence of this cooperation and initial
work, the work in Multicultivos is located basically at ENA.
The fourth important area of work which the Department (while still in
the DGE y PA) developed was related to sector analysis. Preliminary
talks had already been held between the MAG and North Carolina State
University on a proposed study of the potential for vegetable produc-
tion in El Salvador. This eventually was worked into a joint project
between MAG, NCSU and UFLA, and was financed by a $30,000 sub-contract.
The funds contributed toward the support of a graduate student (David
Zimet) and research expenses. Zimet arrived in February, 1973 and
completed his thesis a year later.
In December, 1972, I began work on a sector analysis for AID and the
MAG and worked mainly with David Weisenborn of AID. This effort
required nearly full time for about 3 months and ultimately contributed
to the IRA loan paper. This work plus Zimet's thesis are providing the
basis for a continuing sector analysis on which Zimet is now working with
Planificaci6n of the MAG.
Another continuing project was initiated in September, 1972, when the
largest ingenio in the country the Central Izalco requested help
through the Minister of Agriculture to carry out economic studies on
fertilizer use in sugarcane. This experiment, to study N, P and K as
well as time of application of the fertilizer, was planted on a 4 manzana
field at the headquarters of the ingenio near Sonsonate, in November,
1972. The ingenio furnished labor, chemicals, laboratory analysis and
recorded all data and we supplied the design, analysis and preparation
of data. A progress report on the first year's results is now being
published. Already the ingenio has modified its fertilizer use policy
based on the preliminary results.
Also, in November, 1972, we initiated two experiments with the Animal
Science Department of CENTA. One was on the feed value of cull egg-
plants fed to pigs and the other was on the economics of feeding steers
in the dry season. Both experiments were completed and the results
appeared very interesting but we were unable to obtain all the necessary
data from the Animal Science Department to complete the analysis and
write up the results. Repeated efforts on my part as well as by Prof.
Reaves failed to obtain the weekly feed consumption data for the steers
or the analysis of the prepared ration fed to the pigs as a comparison
even though both were reportedly (and should have been) readily available.
This is one failure I have never been able to understand.
The most significant work and that which has attracted the most attention
has been in Multicultivos, initiated in June, 1973. As was mentioned
earlier, this work evolved from the vegetable work we were conducting
at ENA which in turn had developed because of our necessity of working
with someone who had resources.
The Department completed several experiments in vegetables and was
heavily involved in experiments with the Fiesta tomato at the request
of the Director of Research. Although only one publication on produc-
tion of vegetables was completed, the results have been incorporated
into the newer work on Multicultivos and will eventually appear as
recommendations in this form.
A key element at this time was the work of PCV Tito French in the
Department. Our initial goal in the plots which were to become the
first Multicultivos trials was to determine the feasibility of using
corn stalks as stakes for tomatoes. Bamboo stakes were becoming
scarce and expensive and we. were using large numbers in the vegetable.
work. Hence, we planted six plots of corn in double rows. A seminar
on multiple cropping by Dr. Richard Bradfield at about the same time
and earlier work by Damon Boynton in El Salvador, stimulated our
interest, so we superimposed our first multicultivo trials on the
double rows of corn. As the potential of the double rows in a crop
system became evident we began to seriously design a system which
had the potential for increasing productive rural employment, increasing
incomes on small farms and intensifying the use of land to aid in the
increased production of basic grains and vegetables.
Our first reports on Multicultivos were presented at an international
conference on multiple cropping in Turrialba, Costa Rica, in February,
1974. As a result of this conference and others in El Salvador, Guate-
mala and Gainesville, international interest was generated in the project.
Interest in the project in El Salvador has increased tremendously over
the same period of time.
As of this date, there are 7 regional trials in progress, 1 1/2 manzanas
in experiments and demonstration plots at ENA and nearly 1 manzana in
trials with the bean, corn .and weed control programs of CENTA. A
training program in Multicultivos is in progress for 12 PCV's, and
others are planned for 30 agents and agronomos from various organiza-
tions in El Salvador and for 90 students from the Barcenas Agricultural
School in Guatemala. For next year 8 to 10 pilot regional multicul-
tivos promotion projects are planned with the Extension service and
other agencies and all extension agents will participate in training
programs with the hope that a national promotion program can be
initiated in 1976.
In 1974 and 1975 the promotion program and much of the research will be
administered by the Department of Agricultural Economics. In 1976
the promotion program will be in the Extension service and much of the
research program will be directed by other Departments. At that time
Agricultural Economics plans to be researching on the incorporation of
Multicultivos on farms, on rotations using multicultivos, and the
inclusion of livestock in the system.
This heavy influence of Agricultural Economics on Multicultivos is due
to two factors. One is that the system was developed by the Department
and hence, the original interest was centered there. Secondly, CENTA
recognized that the combination of crops into systems to improve
resource use was the area of work of Farm Management and therefore
Multicultivos was logically centered in the Department. But there is
a huge amount of work related to Multicultivos that is best accomplished
in other departments. CENTA now is requesting an expanded University
advisory team to help develop research programs for several departments
which will contribute to the overall Multicultivo effort.
I leave this position with a great deal of sorrow, but also with pride
in the accomplishments and with strong hopes for continued, strong
development of the Department of Agricultural Economics of CENTA and
its programs in research, extension and teaching. In July, 1974,
Adrian Chac6n became the Department Head and provides the maturity,
experience and training necessary for guiding the Department. The
other personnel in the Department are mostly very enthusiastic about
the program, and if they do not leave because of salary problems will
continue to provide strong support.
In conclusion, it has been my pleasure to work with a fine group of
Salvadoreans and North Americans on this project which has been well
supported by the GOES from the level of the Minister of Agriculture on
down. To the Minister of Agriculture and to CENTA, I offer to help in
any way I can and whenever possible from my new post with ICTA in