• TABLE OF CONTENTS
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 Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Introduction
 A typology of agri-support...
 Defining and classifying farmer...
 Overcoming institutional constraints...
 Essential conditions for farmer...
 Identifying targets of opportu...
 Footnotes
 Reference














Title: Using farmer organizations to support communication for technology transfer in agriculture
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 Material Information
Title: Using farmer organizations to support communication for technology transfer in agriculture
Series Title: Using farmer organizations to support communication for technology transfer in agriculture
Physical Description: 51 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Byrnes, Kerry J., 1945-
Publisher: Unknown
Publication Date: 1986
 Subjects
Subject: Agriculture -- Technology transfer -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Farms, Small -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Developing countries
 Notes
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 50-51).
Statement of Responsibility: by Kerry J. Byrnes.
General Note: March 21, 1986.
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: "Technical services for this project are provided by the Academy fro Educational Development under contract no. DPE-5826-C-00-5054-00."
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00083016
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 213363119

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
    A typology of agri-support factors
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Defining and classifying farmer organizations
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Overcoming institutional constraints to farmer organizations
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Essential conditions for farmer organizations
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
    Identifying targets of opportunity
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
    Footnotes
        Page 49
    Reference
        Page 50
        Page 51
Full Text

K. '/


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Using Farmer Organizations to Support

Communication for Technology Transfer in Agriculture [*]


Kerry J. Byrnes
Consultant
Academy for Educational Development


March 21, 1986
















[*] This paper was prepared in support of the Communication for
Technology Transfer in Agriculture Project, funded by the Offices of
Education, Rural Development, and Agriculture, Bureau for Science and
Technology, Agency for International Development. Technical services for this
project are provided by the Academy for Educational Development under Contract
No. DPE-5826-C-00-5054-00. The views expressed in the paper are the author's
and do not necessarily reflect those of the Agency for International
Development or the Academy for Educational Development.









Table of Contents


I. Introduction..................................................... 1

II. A Typology of Agri-Support Factors................................ 2

III. Defining and Classifying Farmer Organizations...................... 9

IV. Overcoming Institutional Constraints to Farmer Organizations.......19

A. The Olson Perspective........................................ 19

B. The Runge Perspective................... .................... 25

V. Essential Conditions for Farmer Organizations......................29

A. Conditions for Group Action:
Guideline Questions....................;................... 32

B. Factors Influencing Incentive to Contribute:
Guideline Questions......................................43

VI. Identifying Targets of.Opportunity.................................46

Footnotes...... *.... ......... **.........* .................. ........49

References............... ............. .......... ............ .....50

Figures:

Figure 1. A Typology of Agri-Support Factors............................ 6

Figure 2. Path of Development of Farmer Organizations...................14

Figure 3a. Access to Production Assets by Type of Farmer Organization.....16

Figure 3b. Access to Production Services by Type of Farmer Organization...17

Tables:

Table 1. Potential Tasks of Farmer Organizations............................11

Table 2. Access to Agri-Support Factors (Production Assets &
Production Services) by Small Farmers in Zimbabwe................ 15

Table 3. Factors Influencing Farmers to Contribute to
a Farmer Organization Which Seeks a Group Good....................23








Using Farmer Organizations to Support


Communication for Technology Transfer in Agriculture


I. Introduction

A key objective of the Communication for Technology Transfer in
Agriculture (CTTA) Project is to develop, demonstrate, and disseminate an
effective methodology for using communication to support agricultural
technology transfer to small farmers in the developing countries. Building on
state-of-the-art concepts and practices in behavioral science, development
communication, and social marketing, the CTTA Project methodology will
integrate mass media (e.g., radio) and interpersonal (e.g., extension)
channels as linked components of an overall communication program designed to
facilitate the transfer of improved agricultural technologies to the project's
primary target audience (i.e., small farmers). As part of this integrated
communication program, the project will effectively involve, as appropriate,
key secondary audiences that traditionally have been channels of contact with
the farmer. Such secondary audiences include agricultural research, farmer
training, input supply, produce marketing and, of particular relevance to this
paper, various types of local groups, organizations, and associations. This
latter audience represents.not only potential sources of information essential
for guiding CTTA Project development in a target region but also channels
through which relevant information (e.g., messages about the proper use of an
improved technology) and resources (e.g., credit, production inputs, markets)
can be communicated or made available to farmers in the region. In this
paper, we will focus on one segment of this audience, namely, farmer groups or
organizations.

What role can farmer groups or organizations play in helping the CTTA
Project achieve its technology transfer objective and how can this role be
developed to its fullest potential? There is now considerable evidence that
farmer groups or organizations can play a catalytic role in helping small
farmers to increase the productivity and income-earning capability of their
farming systems (see Byrnes, 1985, for a review of relevant literature).
Basically, this catalytic role is one of assisting the individual member
farmers of a group or organization in improving their access to and control
over key agricultural support (agri-support) factors essential for increased
farm productivity and farmer income. While improved agricultural production
technology is likely to be one of several key agri-support factors in any
given situation, small farmers in the developing countries are typically not
able to take advantage of such technology unless two conditions are met.
First, these farmers must have adequate information about the technology's
availability and proper use. Second, these farmers must have access to the
specific agri-support factors required for adoption and profitable use of the
improved technology. It is in helping to ensure that these two conditions are
met that the CTTA Project and farmer organizations share a mutual interest.









Accordingly, this paper provides CTTA Project personnel with a set of
variables or conditions relating to farmer organizations that is specifically
relevant to the CTTA Project's objectives and methodology and which should be
considered during the target audience analysis, behavioral analysis, and
developmental investigation phases of CTTA Project implementation in a target
region. More specifically, the paper presents guidelines for collecting what
may be called "market research" information on farmer groups or organizations,
analyzing this information, and evaluating whether and how such groups
(organizations) could be usefully incorporated into the design and
implementation of a CTTA Project communication intervention.

The paper does not advocate that the CTTA Project should establish farmer
groups or organizations (e.g., cooperatives) as a part of a communication
intervention for a given target region. However, it is possible that project
field staff, based on research and experience in a particular target region,
may find that the creation or strengthening of one or more farmer groups or
organizations in the region, although not an absolute necessity for successful
transfer of improved agricultural technology to small farmers, can greatly
facilitate and accelerate this process.

In the same spirit, the paper neither advocates any particular type of
farmer group or organization as more appropriate for accelerating technology
transfer nor proposes any step-by-step methodology for creating or
strengthening farmer groups (organizations). However, the paper does take the
position that CTTA Project field staff should be cognizant of any farmer
groups or organizations that exist in a project's target region, the factors
or conditions essential for them to effectively represent and advance their
member farmers' interests, whether and how such groups or organizations can
play a role in helping the CTTA Project to achieve its technology transfer
objectives in the target region, and what role the CTTA Project can itself
play in helping existing or new farmer groups (organizations) to function as
beneficial agents for developmental change in small farmer agriculture.

The type of institutional analysis of farmer organizations proposed in
this paper is intended to complement the already proposed CTTA Project
research techniques (e.g., target audience analysis). To this end, the paper
is divided into six sections. Following this Introduction (Section I),
Section II presents a typology of agri-support factors, defines the concepts
of collective action and group good, and identifies three institutional
constraints to collective action by farmer groups (organizations). In Section
III, the concept of farmer organization is defined and several schemes for
classifying farmer groups or organizations are presented. Section IV focuses
on the problem of overcoming the identified institutional constraints to
farmer organization. Here the discussion reviews two different perspectives
on how to deal with the problem of ensuring that farmers in a target region
will support a collective action effort such as a farmer organization.
Section V identifies ten essential conditions for collective action by
farmers. For each condition, a list of questions is provided which may be
used as a guide for collecting the data needed to assess whether each of the
ten conditions is present, absent, or deficient in a target region. Finally,
in Section VI, the discussion turns to a second set of questions which project
field staff may utilize as a guide in identifying targets of opportunity for
effectively enlisting the support and participation of farmer organizations as
a component element of the project's designed communication intervention for a
target area.


-2-









II. A Typology of Agri-Support Factors


The ability of small farmers to increase their agricultural productivity
and farm income depends in part on their skill in making decisions about the
management of agricultural systems. Small farmers have a virtually innate
ability to manage the various agricultural systems which they and their
ancestors have traditionally operated (Harwood, 1979). Over the years,
however, the small farmer's decision-making environment has become
increasingly complex in terms of the range of public and private sector
institutions and organizations that provide and/or regulate goods and services
essential for increasing the productivity and income-earning capability of the
farmer's agricultural system. The increasing complexity of the farmer's
decision-making environment has, in turn, significantly raised the levels of
risk and uncertainty which small farmers face as they make decisions about the
management of the various factors potentially influential in determining their
agricultural systems' productivity and income-earning capability. These
"factors" or, as we shall call them, "agricultural production support factors"
(or agri-support factors) are defined in the following typology:

1. Land -- to provide the physical structure (soil) and nutrients essential
for crop or animal production.

2. Access to Unit of Production -- to provide the right to use a particular
unit of production (e.g., a parcel of land) for crop or animal
production and to derive a benefit from such use.

3. Water -- to provide essential moisture for crop or animal production.

4. Technology -- to provide the how-to knowledge for producing a particular
crop or animal.

5. Production Inputs -- to provide the seeds/seedlings, fertilizers,
chemicals (herbicides, insecticides, and fungicides), traction, and
implements required for producing a crop or animal according to a
particular technology.

6. Capital -- to provide the financial means (in cash or credit) to
purchase the production inputs used in producing a crop or animal
according to a particular technology.

7. Labor -- to provide for the performance of the various physical tasks
and cultural practices involved in producing a particular crop or
animal.

8. Markets and Market Information -- to provide outlets for the sale of
surplus production, awareness-knowledge (information) on market
conditions (e.g., market prices), and performance of processing,
storage, and other marketing functions.

9. Infrastructure -- to provide the physical base for the communication of
technological and market information; and the transportation of people,
.production inputs, and produce.

10. Policy -- to provide a favorable environment for investment in
agriculture (e.g., currency exchange rates, crop/input price ratios,
institutional support for contracts, etc.).


-3-









Only some of these ten agri-support factors (e.g., seed as a production
input) actually enter'physically into a farmer's agricultural system (e.g., a
maize-bean cropping system). However, the farmer's management decisions must
be made in view of all of the agri-support factors directly or indirectly
impacting on the physical process of production. Here direct factors are
those that physically enter the production process (e.g., production inputs
such as fertilizers), while indirect factors are those that "condition" the
decisions which farmers make about the use of direct inputs (e.g., market
prices). Thus, whether a farmer may choose to take a production credit loan
(the agri-support factor of capital) to buy fertilizer (the agri-support
factor of production input) depends on the farmer's perceptions of how much
surplus production that fertilizer will yield above the farmer's consumption
requirement and whether it will be possible to sell this surplus at a profit
in some market (the agri-support factor of markets and market information).

When looking at the farm management decisions a farmer has to make, it is
useful to remember that the farmer's demand for any agri-support factor is a
derived demand. In other words, demand for an agricultural commodity (e.g.,
maize) by consumers is primarily a function of consumer income and the price
of the commodity, while demand for an agri-support factor (e.g., fertilizers)
used in producing this commodity is primarily a function of the market prices
of the commodity and the the agri-support factors used in producing the
commodity, assuming the .existence of markets and marketing channels. All
things equal, high maize prices motivate maize farmers to produce increased
yields and to demand a variety of yield-increasing inputs. Of course, without
reasonably well-functioning markets, these prices do not get signalled to
producers; and, without reasonably high income levels, high maize prices
depress consumer demand for maize. Thus, the derived demand for inputs to
produce higher maize yields will vary positively with maize prices and
negatively with agri-support factor prices., when each factor is considered
separately. When considered together, along with consumers' income levels,
the relative weight of the "price effect" and the "income effect" will
determine the demand for maize, and thus the derived demand for inputs.

A clear example of the derived demand concept is provided by production
inputs (e.g., fertilizers) which the farmer buys and which enter directly into
the physical process of production. Here "derived demand" means that the
particular quantity of fertilizer used by a farmer is basically determined by
the extent to which using that quantity will bring the farmer a favorable
return from the sale of the agricultural surplus produced by using that amount
of fertilizer. Thus, the quantity of fertilizer a farmer will use varies
inversely with the price of this input and directly with the price which
consumers (or marketing intermediaries) are willing to pay for the surplus
produced by using the quantity of fertilizer in question. If the farmer
expects that consumers (or intermediaries) will not want to buy the surplus
produced by using a particular quantity of fertilizer, or will not want to pay
a sufficiently high price for it, then the return which the farmer will earn
by producing (and selling) that surplus may not be sufficient to earn the
farmer a fair return (profit) over the costs associated with using the
particular quantity of fertilizer in question. Accordingly, the farmer will
have little or no incentive to use that particular fertilizer quantity and
either will use less fertilizer than that amount or will not use any
fertilizer at all. Thus, the level of economic incentive a farmer requires as
a condition for using a particular agri-support factor is part of the total
structure of incentives (cf. Runge, 1984a; Runge, n.d.) involved in motivating
the farmer to increase the productivity of his (her) agricultural system.


-4-









A graphic depiction of the typology of agri-support factors is given in
Figure 1. As the reader may observe, Figure 1 specifies a relationship
between the "income-earning capability" of the farm family household, "farm
management decisionmaking" (by the farmer), and the typology of agri-support
factors. The household's "income-earning capability" is based on the various
non-farm (including off-farm) employment and agricultural production
activities in which household's members engage. The latter of these
employment activities, agricultural production, is directly influenced by the
farmer's "farm management decisionmaking" which may be defined as including
three components:

1. Informal research decisions -- those decisions involved in conducting
informal experimentation to identify improved agricultural production
technologies.

2. Technology choice decisions -- those decisions involved in selecting,
among available technologies, a particular technology for production of
a particular crop or animal.

3. Production implementation decisions -- those decisions involved in
putting a traditional agricultural production technology into practice.

Next, as illustrated by Figure 1, the various agri-support factors enter
into the farmer's decisionmaking as regards farm management and, thereby,
impact on the productivity and income-earning capability of the farmer's
agricultural system. Clearly, the potential for a farmer's "production
implementation decisions" to be effective in achieving a particular production
or income objective set by the farmer depends on the farmer having adequate
access to and control over the quantity and quality of agri-support factors
required to meet the farmer's objective. Indeed, the unavailability,
insufficiency,,or inappropriateness of any one agri-support factor (e.g.,
inadequate storage) can preclude the farmer from being able or having the
incentive to increase the productivity and income-earning capability of his
(her) agricultural system. Accordingly, how effectively small farmers can
access and control the specific agri-support factors they require will
determine to a large extent how successful they will be in increasing their
farm productivity and income.

Traditionally, farmers have accessed basic agri-support factors (labor
and production inputs such as seed) through a limited number of institutions
or organizational forms (e.g., the family). Over time, however, agricultural
systems have become increasingly dependent for the provision of agri-support
factors on a much larger number and variety of institutions and organizational
forms (see Figure 1) which, taken collectively, comprise what we may call the
"agricultural production support system" (or agri-support system).

Typically, small farmers individually exert very limited control over the
quantity and quality of the agri-support factors they require. Indeed, the
lion's share of the control over the supply of many agri-support factors
required by farmers often lies in the agri-support system over which
individual small farmers have little or no control. To garner countervailing
power vis-a-vis the agri-support system, farmers have engaged at times in
collective action (or group action) aimed at helping group members obtain
improved access to and control over essential agri-support factors. Such
collective action may be embodied in a number of types of farmer groups or
organizations as listed in Figure 1.


-5-







Figure 1. A Typology of Agri-Support Factors.


ILJTSRATIVE TYPES OF AGRI-SUPPORT AGRI-SUPPORT FAM MANAGEMENT DECISI WAKING INO0ME-EARNING
FARMER ORGANIZATION SYSTEM FACTURS H (BY FARMER) CAPABILITY

Local Government Policymaking Farmer's Perceptions,
(village council) Legislation Policy Knowledge & Beliefs, Non-Farm
Farmer Associations Local Administration Values Attitudes Skills p meant
Construction Committee Commnication Infrastructure
Local Development Transportation
Association (IA)
Informal
Marketing Cooperative Commodity Markets Markets Research Non-Farm
Marketing Association (Assembly, Whole- & Market Decisions Income
Pre-Coop Producer Group sailing, Retailing) Information

Labor Exchange Group Family
Mechanization Coop Wage Market Labor
Credit Union Family
Credit Cooperative/Group Moneylenders Capital
I Saving Club Banks / Ss Technology Total income
o choice of Farm Family
Input Supply Cooperative Retailers & Other Decisions Household
Input Supply Store Sale Agents Production
Buying Club/Pre-Coop (e.g., stockists) Inputs
Producers Association Informal Information
FSR Group Exchange Network
T&V System Group Formal Research & Technology .
Farmer School Extension System Production
Implementation Farm Income
Water Users Association Traditional Regu- Water Decisions
Irrigation Channel Group lation Mechanisms
Joint/Group Farming Land Tenure (owned, Access to Pro- ___
Production Cooperative fixed rent, etc.) duction Unit
/ [ Natural Resource Base I rcu tural
Land Clearing Group Land Market Land (Climate, Topography, Production &









A farmer group (organization) may provide its members with improved
access to or control over essential agri-support factors by (1) developing the
group's own capability to deliver essential agri-support factors to the
group's member farmers and/or (2) acting as the group members' agent and
negotiating with traditional, market, and/or bureaucratic systems for improved
delivery of agro-support factors to the group's members. In either case, to
the extent that collective (group) action by a farmer group or organization is
effective in helping the group's member farmers obtain improved access to
agri-support factors, such "improved access" constitutes what we may call a
"group good."

A group good may be defined as a benefit available only to individual
members of a group regardless of whether any particular person in the group
has contributed to the development or attainment of the group's ability to
provide the benefit to the group's members. On the other hand, where the lack
of collective action by a group's member farmers effectively precludes the
member farmers from having improved access to essential agri-support factors,
such farmers will likely continue to incur what may be called a "group bad," ,
that is, the "costs of not contributing" to support collective action. Norman
Uphoff (personal communication) suggests one "cost" (or group bad) that
individual farmers could weigh and which may tilt them toward supporting one
or more farmer organizations. If farmers are seen as unorganized and,
therefore, as "weak," farmers will be taken advantage of more often in market
or political arenas--clearly a "group bad." So a farmer could rationally
support one or more farmer organizations without reckoning specific benefits
from any individual organization, just to "show the flag" and to let potential
adversaries know that they shouldn't try to mistreat or exploit farmers.

Effective collective action by a group to attain a group good for the
group's members can be jeopardized by the presence of one or more of the
following institutional contraints or problems: (1) the "free rider" problem,
(2) the "inconsequentiality" problem, and (3) the "organizing" problem. The
free rider problem refers to the situation where a group member does not
perceive any individual utility in supporting the collective action that is
necessary if the group is to be able to make a group good available to its
members; nevertheless, the group member is willing to personally enjoy or
otherwise take advantage of the group good as long as it is available to all
members of the group. In effect, such a group member is taking a "free ride,"
enjoying the group good but not contributing in any way to the group-oriented
effort that is essential in making the good available to all group members.
Obviously, if every potential or current group member is only willing to be a
free rider and is unwilling to contribute in any way to the support of the
group-oriented effort essential for making the good available to the group's
members, then there will not likely be a sufficient level of contribution to
support forming or sustaining the group; as a result, there will be no
collective action to make the group good available to any person.

In the case of the inconsequentiality problem, potential or current
members of a group or organization perceive that their individual
contributions to support collective action by the organization to attain a
group good will represent such a small portion of the organization's resources
that these contributions will be inconsequential in affecting the outcome of
the group's effort to make the good available. Consequently, such individuals
will not come forth with the individual contribution necessary to support
effective collective action by the group to attain the good in question.


- 7 -








In the third potential problem area, namely, the organizing problem,
potential or current members of a group perceive that the costs of organizing
collective action to attain a group good are sufficiently high so as to
preclude the possibility of the group being able to cover the full costs
involved in making the good available. Accordingly, the level of individual
support required to cover these costs will not be forthcoming and the
collective action required to attain the good in question will not be
undertaken.


-8-









III. Defining and Classifying Farmer Organizatons


The research literature on farmer organizations documents the variety of
farmer organizations existing in the developing countries (cf. Uphoff and Van
Dusen, 1984; Esman and Uphoff, 1984; Oxby, 1983; Johnston and Clark, 1982;
Cernea, 1981; Lele, 1981; Nesman, 1981; Obern and Jones, 1981; PCARR, 1981;
and Morss, et al., 1967). The initiative for establishing a farmer
organization may arise from any of several sources:

1. Individual farmers may take the initiative to organize themselves into
some form of an organization in order to gain a measure of
countervailing power in relation to traditional (e.g., large farmers or
landlords), market, or bureaucratic institutions and organizational
forms.

2. A government may require that farmers organize themselves into some
organizational form as a condition for gaining access to a particular
agri-support factor (e.g., that farmers organize into a "credit society"
as a condition for a group loan).

3. An outside agent of one type or another may sponsor or promote
organizational efforts to establish some form of farmer organization
which the agent believes will effectively facilitate and motivate
farmers to gain access to one or more agri-support factors.

While the source of initiative for establishing a farmer organization is
a potentially important variable, a more important question is whether such
organizations can play a role in helping their member farmers to achieve three
interrelated objectives:

1. Togain an increased measure of access to and control over essential
agri-support factors that are not readily available to individual
farmers through existing traditional, market, or bureaucratic
organizations.

2. To reduce the levels of uncertainty and risk which small farmers must
face in making decisions about the management of their agricultural
systems.

3. To increase the productivity and income-earning capability of
agricultural production systems operated by the small farmer.

The interrelationships between and among these objectives are readily
apparent. While certain activities of a farmer organization may focus on
getting (gaining access to) specific agri-support factors (ASFs), others can
focus on using specific ASFs, or on helping farmers to make better farmer
management decisions given the availability of these ASFs. Getting control
over access to ASFs (objective #1) may directly contribute to production and
income (objective #3). Reducing levels of risk and uncertainty (objective #2)
may come from getting ASFs, like timely availability of production inputs, or
from collective action to use ASFs, such as coordinated planting dates to
reduce pest/disease losses or joint crop protection measures against animal
damage.


-9-








With these three objectives in mind, we may now define a farmer
organization as any group of farmers that enables its individual members to
achieve more effective control over the supply of, access to, and/or proper
use of one or more agri-support factors entering directly or indirectly in
agricultural systems operated by the individual members of the group. This
definition is intended to include various types of formal and informal farmer
groups, regardless of the group's sex composition.

Farmer organizations may be classified in different ways (cf. Torgerson,
1977). One classification scheme, suggested by Esman and Uphoff (1984:72-82,
295), proposes a typology of eight potential tasks (or functions) which a
local organization or, more specifically, a farmer organization could
undertake in behalf of its membership. These functions or tasks, as shown in
Table 1, can be viewed as four pairs, constituting a continuum from initiating
activity (A) to influencing the external political-administrative environment
(D). In between are activities pertaining to resources and services which
constitute the inputs and outputs of organization. Of course, any given
organization may undertake only a few or one of the identified functions; and
there is empirical evidence to suggest that a new farmer organization is more
likely to be successful if it limits its activities, at least in the initial
stage of getting organized, to one critical function, for example, water
management as in the early stages of the water users groups in Sri Lanka's Gal
Oya project (John Ericksson, personal communication).

Another classification scheme, suggested by Robert C. Flick (personal
communication) of Agricultural Cooperative Development International,
identifies four main kinds of farmer organizations, as follows:

1. A business organization that seeks to improve farmer income by providing
services needed by the farmer in order to produce (e.g., an input supply
cooperative, an irrigation society, etc.);

2. A supply management organization that seeks to enforce production quotas
to control the amount of a particular crop reaching the market (e.g.,
the supply of California Navel Oranges is controlled by a marketing
order);

3. A research, promotion, quality (grades and standards), and advertising
organization that seeks to improve varieties, develop quality guidelines
for the market, and expand the market (e.g., The California Almond
Association); and

4. A representational, lobbying organization that seeks to improve farmer
income by advancing farmers' interests on the political and governmental
front (e.g., The National Council of Farmer Cooperatives, The National
Farmers' Union, The American Farm Bureau Federation, Land O'Lakes
Political Action Committee, etc.).


- 10 -











Table 1. Potential Tasks of Farmer Organizations (Adapted from Esman and
Uphoff, 1984:72-82, 295).

A. Intra-Organizational Tasks

1. Planning and Goal-Setting: assessments of community or group needs and
of various problems, means, and strategies; formulation of plans to deal
with needs and problems.

2. Conflict Management: efforts to resolve conflicts within community or
organization, to facilitate production or maintain social harmony.

B. Resource Tasks

3. Resource Mobilization: gathering community resources for development
effort, or gaining resources from outside sources through effort of
farmer organization.

4. Resource Management: efficiency and correctness in resource use,
including financial, organizational, and natural resource management.

C. Service Tasks

5. Provision of Services: delivery or distribution of services, either
those of the farmer organization or from outside sources with farmer
organization involvement.

6. Integration of Services: coordination of services, either farmer
organization's or outside sources', so that they most efficiently and
effectively meet members' needs.

D. Extra-Organizational Tasks

7. Control of Bureaucracy: efforts to make government staff work harder,
more flexibly, and more cooperatively with and for members to ensure
attendance-at office, field visits, lack of corruption, etc.

8. Claim-Making: efforts to get government decisionmakers to deal with
farmer problems and needs; may include getting rules altered, budget
allocations changed, etc.


= 11 =








A third scheme for classifying farmer groups (organizations) is presented
in Bratton's (1985) study of the role of farmer groups in food production in
Zimbabwe. This scheme is built on the premise that the type of collective or
group-oriented action in which farmers engage is largely determined by the
nature of the resource (or agri-support factor) around which collective action
takes place (Ostrom and Ostrom, 1979). "This seems eminently sensible since
the relative scarcity and the cost of the resources are likely to effect the
scale of the organization required to mobilize it and the amount of commitment
that collective actors will have to make" (Bratton, personal communication).
Accordingly, Bratton focused on the questions of whether and to what extent
the nature of a scarce resource (agri-support factor) is influential in
determining the type and likelihood of collective action by farmers to obtain
improved access to and control over that resource (factor).

Another concern addressed by Bratton is that of how farmer groups enable
farmers to increase their control over an uncertain and risky environment.
The risks associated with dryland agriculture can be reduced to the extent
that farmers have improved access to the resources required for production.
The source of environmental uncertainty and risk may be physical (e.g.,
rainfall) or institutional (e.g., like unreliable input supply). The
mechanisms whereby farmer organizations enhance the farmer's control over an
uncertain and risky environment may include obtaining new ideas and practices,
supplementing a meager household resource base, or creating effective demand
for services (Bratton, personal communication). With these considerations in
mind, Bratton looks at the specific mechanisms by which Zimbabwe farmer groups
improved farmer access to agri-support factors, reduced uncertainty and risk,
and increased agricultural productivity and farmer income.

First, Bratton classifies agricultural production support factors (or
production resources as he calls them) into two categories: (1) production
assets which are basic material goods that are vested in the farm family
through ownership or use rights); and (2) production services which are
supplied by public and/or private agencies but are not owned by the household
though it may purchase and consume them. In terms of this paper's typology of
agri-support factors, production assets would include land (and access to unit
of production), labor (and draft power), and certain production inputs (e.g.,
saved seed). On the other hand, production services would include water
(irrigation), technology (technical information), certain production inputs
(e.g., fertilizers), capital (credit), markets and market information,
infrastructure, and policy.

Second, Bratton distinguishes between (a) the level of production in
small farmer agricultural systems (or the level at which the farmer mobilizes
and allocates production assets); and (b) the level of exchange, (or the level
at which the farmer enters transactions, usually involving money, to access
production services outside the household or village.

Third, Bratton derives a typology of farmer groups that distinguishes
between (1) farmer groups designed to "pool" production assets from household
resources at the level of production, and (2) farmer groups designed to "bulk"
demand for production services from the state or market at the level of
exchange. Here Bratton suggests that one may also distinguish at the level of
exchange between those farmer groups delivering public or group goods and
those dealing only in private goods; and that one may also identify those
groups designed to operate both at the production and exchange levels to pool
production assets and bulk demand for production services, respectively.


- 12









Fourth, Bratton identifies four types of farmer groups, as follows:

1. An information group is a farmer group designed to bring farmers
together for information or educational purposes.

2. A labor group is a farmer group designed to "pool" the labor assets of
individual households.

3. A market group is a farmer group designed to "bulk" purchases and sales
of production services (e.g., agricultural credit, production inputs,
and agricultural produce marketing).

4. A multipurpose group is a farmer group designed to engage in both
pooling for production and bulking for exchange.

Fifth, Bratton proposes that these four types of farmer groups may be
arrayed developmentally, where some groups engage in more "complex tasks,"
while other groups are more dependent on "member cooperation." Here task
complexity refers to the number of tasks undertaken, the number of actors
involved, and the extent to which procedures are bureaucratized. On the other
hand, member cooperation refers to the frequency of contact among members, the
amount of time each member contributes, and the value of personal assets
contributed for group use. Bratton then proposes a model, based on the
interaction of these two variables, of how farmer organizations grow and
change (see Figure 2). According to this model,

...market groups are more complex than labor groups. They have more
members, keep more formal records and must coordinate their activities
with outside agencies. Labor groups, however, are more cooperative than
market groups. Although they are smaller, member contact is more
regular and intensive and involves the commitment of assets. Multi-
purpose groups only come about when labor groups add supply and
marketing to their repertoire of functions. They are the most complex
and cooperative organizations of all (Bratton, 1985:5).

Table 2 summarizes key findings from Bratton's survey of 464 randomly
selected households in four rural districts of Zimbabwe. Of the sampled
households, 204 (44%) belonged to one or more of the four identified types of
farmer organizations. As shown in Table 2, group membership played a
significantly greater role in facilitating farmer access to production
services than to production assets. In turn, the improved access to
production assets afforded by group membership had a significant impact on the
productivity and income-earning capability of farmers who were group
members. In the 1981/82 season, group farmers had maize yields that were 64%
to 137% higher per acre and production levels (in tons) that were 89% to 172%
higher than did individual farmers; as regards sales, group farmers sold two
to seven times more maize and at a higher average price than did individual
farmers.

Finally, as the reader may observe in Figures 3a and 3b, there is
evidence that, as groups develop along the path which Bratton hypothesizes
(Figure 2), farmer organization will play an increasingly smaller role in
helping members to "pool" production assets and an increasingly greater role
in helping members to "bulk" demand for production services. Interpreting
these findings, Bratton (1985:12-13) writes:


- 13 -









Figure 2. Path of Development of Farmer Organizations (Bratton, 1985)


FORMAL
INSTITUTIONS


Supply and Marketing
Cooperatives
(no pooled assets)


Producer
Cooperatives
(pooled private
p assets)


Collective
Cooperatives
(collectively owned
assets)


INFORMAL
ORGANIZATIONS


Multipurpose
Groups


Market
Groups


Scale of Member Cooperation


(Low)


(High)










Table 2. Access to Agri-Support Factors (Production Assets & Production
Services) by Small Farmers in Zimbabwe (Adapted from Bratton, 1985).

All Individual Group
Farmers Farmers Farmers

( - - -% - - - )

Production Assets

Land 12 11 13

Labor 38 21 46*

Draft oxen and implements 44 48 40

Production Services

Technology:
Advice from extension workers 55 31 86*
Advice from missions and
fertilizer companies -- 16 54

Credit
Loan from credit scheme 18 7 32*
Recovery rate -- 54 71-92

Production inputs (fertilizer) 61 48 77*
Obtained directly from
manufacturer 38 77
Ordered early for cash rebate
and early delivery -- 44 58
Paid cheaper bulk road
haulage rates (**) 44 59

Markets and Market Information
Sold crop through an official
marketing agency 39 25 57*

Infrastructure (transportation)
Complaints about transport 77 61

Complementary package (technology,
fertilizer, and market) 14 57

p = .001
** "...in Wedza in 1984 group farmers ultimately paid an average of 13%
less for a bag of compound maize fertilizer than their individual
counterparts. In multipurpose groups in Zwimba the savings were as high
as 33Z" (Bratton, 1985:16).


- 15 -








Figure 3a.


Access to Production Assets by Type of Farmer Organization
(Bratton, 1985).


Information
Groups


Market
Groups


Multipurpose
Groups


0 Labor

Draft


Type of Organization


- 16 -


Labor
Groups


90

to
go









Figure 3b.


Access to Production Services by Type of Farmer Organization
(Bratton,'1985).


Information
Groups


Labor
Groups


.Market Multipurpose
Groups Groups


0 Credit

E Fertilizer

IE Market


Type of Organization


- 17 -








...farmer organization has a rather limited effect on the mobilization
of agricultural'assets at the level of production. In some cases, as
with land, group organization is unable to overcome the pressing
resource constraints faced by the household. In other cases, as with
draft power, group organization performs primarily to complement...
social obligations for reciprocal exchange. Group members enjoy a
general advantage only in'their capacity to mobilize extra labor from
work parties. . ....as groups develop, pooling of production assets
declines.... This is true partly by definition; market groups, for
example, were formed for collaboration only at the level of exchange.
But...multipurpose groups show lower levels of labor and draft pooling
than the simpler type of organization form which they evolved, that is,
the labor group.

Bratton (1985:21) concludes that small farmers will more readily organize
at the exchange level than at the production level and that the "nature of the
resource" (or agri-support factor) around which farmers will most readily
organize is more likely to be a "central service" (or production service such
as credit) than a "household asset" (or production asset'such as land). This
finding is consistent with the D.A.I. (1984:xiv, 56-57) study on "cooperatives
in development" which found that:

To be successful, a cooperative must be organized around a key resource
that an institution can effectively and efficiently mobilize, provide,
or market. Agricultural cooperatives appear to be most successful when
they are organized around a key stage in the production cycle that
responds well to scale or technology -- which an institution can
provide. This is typically in agro-industry, storage, marketing,
and key crops.

Thus, Bratton's analysis is useful in indicating how differences in the
characteristics of an agri-support factor can influence not only a farmer's
incentive to join a farmer organization (or engage in collective action to
obtain improved access to and control over a particular type of agri-support
factor) but also the type of farmer group that is organized.


- 18 -









IV. Overcoming Institutional Constraints to Farmer Organizations

As noted earlier in Section II, effective collective action by a group to
attain a group good for the group's members can be jeopardized by one or more
of the following institutional contraints or problems: (1) the "free rider"
problem, (2) the "inconsequentiality" problem, and (3) the "organizing"
problem. Any and/or all of these three problems can constitute a significant
constraint on or impediment to the collective action required if a group good
is to be made available to a group's members. Thus, if a group's collective
action effort is to be successful, it must provide current and potential group
members with sufficient "incentive" to overcome or preclude the potential
dampening effect which these three problems can have on an individual's
motivation to support to the group's collective action effort. How best to
resolve this "incentive" problem has been the focus of much discussion in the
literature. The following summarizes the views of two of the key protagonists
in this discussion--Mancur Olson and C. Ford Runge.

The Olson Perspective

Nearly twenty years ago, Mancur Olson (1965) proposed a theory or "logic
of collective action" which deals with situations where a set of individuals
(e.g., farmers) can obtain a potential benefit (e.g., irrigation) only if they
get together into some form of organization (e.g., water users group) which
has the.capability to provide the benefit to its members. Olson distinguishes
between two benefit classes--public goods and private goods. A private good
is a good whose consumption can be restricted to those who have paid for it
(e.g., a privately-owned well and pump), whereas a public good is one which,
if it is provided at all, must be made available to all potential
beneficiaries whether they have contributed or not to making the good
available (e.g., water along an irrigation canal). Given this distinction,
Olson advances the proposition that public goods may not be provided even if
everyone concerned might actually be better off making the required
contribution and receiving the benefits in question.

This possibility is explained by Olson as follows. In deciding whether
to make the required contribution to help defray the costs of making a good
available, the rational, self-interested individual will consider the expected
utility of his contribution and will compare it with the alternative uses to
which it might be put. The expected utility of the contribution is not the
benefit the individual will obtain, for if the benefit is a public good it by
definition would be available to all potential beneficiaries if it is provided
at all. What is at issue is not simply the benefit in question but rather the
individual's perception of the difference which his (her) contribution will
make to the probability of the benefit actually being provided. The rational
individual, Olson proposes, reasons as follows: "Since I get the benefit
whether or not I contribute, it is only worth contributing if it makes a
significant difference to the chance of the benefit indeed being made
available." Thus, the rational individual considers the difference which that
individual's contribution will make to the likelihood that the benefit will be
provided and then multiplies this by the utility of the benefit in question.


- 19 -








This may be illustrated by the following hypothetical example set in a
developing country context. Suppose that it is technically and economically
feasible for farmers to form a produce marketing cooperative, and that the
cooperative could successfully negotiate a contract with a vegetable processor
that would enable the cooperative to pay each member farmer an increase of
$.10 per bushel in the price of each bushel of cucumbers a member farmer sells
to the cooperative. Suppose too that a participation fee (membership dues) of
only $.01 per bushel sold, if paid by all the potential beneficiaries, would
be sufficient to finance the cooperative. On the surface it would seem that
all the members of the cooperative would thus make a gain of $.09 per bushel
sold. But Olson, to the contrary, would argue that it may be quite rational
for no one to contribute and thus for no price increase to be secured.

Olson's argument would be based on the following line of reasoning. As
suggested above, the farmer, being a rational, self-interested individual,
will consider the difference which his contribution would make to the
likelihood of the benefit being provided and then multiply this by the utility
of the benefit in question. If the farmer expects that a $.01 contribution
per bushel sold raises the probability (of the farmer getting the $.10 per
bushel price increase) by 0.01, then the expected utility of the contribution
is equivalent to 0.01 x $.09 or $.0009 (assuming that utility is a linear
function of money). Under these conditions, the farmer would clearly be
better off not paying $.01 per bushel sold and instead spending the money
thereby saved on something else. All the other potential contributing farmers
will reason likewise; none of them will be.willing to pay the $.01 per bushel
sold; no cooperative will be formed; and no price increase will be obtained.

This example illustrates Olson's counterargument to the conventional
wisdom which would assert that individuals with common interests will join
together to further those interests. It will not be enough, to use a
different illustration, for debt-ridden farmers to realize that, in order to
break the traditional pattern of farmer dependence on the village moneylender
for loans, it is in their common interest to engage in collective (group)
action to organize themselves into a "savings and loan society". Such
realization will in no way guarantee the occurrence of effective group action,
for each farmer will also realize that an individual's own efforts will have
no noticeable effect on the success of the organizational effort. Thus, in
the absence of special conditions (to which we shall come shortly), rational,
self-interested farmers will not act to achieve their common or group
interests. More specifically, such farmers will not join cooperatives or any
other types of farmer organization.

Since, however, small farmers do sometimes support and participate in a
wide variety of farmer organizations of one type or another (see Figure 1),
one must conclude--or at least one may hypothesize--that such farmer support
of and participation in farmer organizations depends on a set of special
conditions being present. As a basis for identifying these special
conditions, Olson proposes the concept of the large or latent group. When we
think about a large number of small farmers (e.g., the population of small
farmers in a village or region), we are thinking about what Olson would call a
"latent group." Such a large number of farmers is called a "latent group"
because the individual farmers have a potential or latent capacity for
action. It is here that Olson identifies the first of the aforementioned
special conditions, as an incentive that distinguishes between those
individuals who support collective (group) action in the common interest and
those who do not.


- 20 -









The potential or latent capacity for individuals in a latent group to
engage in collective (group) action can be realized or "mobilized" only with
the aid of "selective incentives." Olson (1965:51) writes that: "Only a
separate and 'selective' incentive will stimulate a rational individual in a
latent group to act in a group-oriented way."

In such circumstances group action can be obtained only through an
incentive that operates, not indiscriminately, like the collective good,
upon the group as a whole, but rather selectively towards the individuals
in the group. The incentive must be "selective" so that those who do not
join the organization working for the group's interest, or in other ways
contribute to the attainment of the group's interest, can be treated
differently than those who do (Olson, 1965:51).

Olson next examines the type of selective incentive that is required to
ensure that individuals in a latent group will support and participate in
collective (group) action. Here Olson focuses on the importance of "social
incentives" as distinct from "economic incentives." A "social incentive" may
be defined as either a negative or positive nonmonetary sanction, in that it
can either coerce by punishing those who fail to bear an allocative share of
the costs of the group action, or it can be a positive inducement or reward
offered to those who act in the group interest. Examples of positive
sanctions or "rewards" (of a nonmonetary nature) include social status,
prestige, respect, self-esteem, friendship, fellowship, social acceptance,
etc. As Olson (1965:60) states, "everyday observation reveals that most
people value the fellowship of friends and associates, and value social
status, personal prestige, and self-esteem." These various types of
nonmonetary sanctions are really what one may call "individual, noncollective
goods" which the individual receives from the group (or society) in exchange
for appropriate patterns of behavior by the individual.

Because it is the group (society) which determines how much of an
"individual, noncollective good" (e.g., social status) to give a person in
exchange for that person following specific behavior patterns, and because
"individual, noncollective goods" are generally valued (desired) by the
individual, the group is in a strategic position to use "social incentives"
(positive and negative sanctions) to encourage the individual to do his part
toward achieving the group's goal. And because social incentives, whether
administered by the group's leaders or members, have the characteristic of
distinguishing among individuals, such social incentives are a type of
selective incentive that potentially may be used to mobilize a latent group or
segments thereof to support and participate in collective (group) action.

A second condition for stimulating individuals to act in a group-oriented
way for the achievement of a public good is that the number of individuals
needed to provide it be relatively small. Generally, social incentives are
effective only in groups of smaller size, specifically, in groups which are
sufficiently small that the members have face-to-face contact with one
another. Such face-to-face contact, as one observer notes, has been one of
the keys to the success of the new irrigation (water users) groups in the Gal
Oya water management project in Sri Lanka, where the organizational base is
the "turn-out" group consisting of farmers organized around a "turn-out"
(lowest level in the irrigation system). [1]


- 21 -









The condition that a group be "relatively small" for effective collective
action is based on four considerations. First, "in any large group everyone
cannot possibly know everyone else, and the group will ipso facto not be a
friendship group; so a person will ordinarily not be affected socially if he
fails to make sacrifices on behalf of his group's goals (Olson, 1965:62). By
contrast, in a friendship or a small group, it is difficult for an individual
not to be affected socially if he fails to make sacrifices on behalf of the
group's goals. Second, in a relatively small group, each individual's
contribution makes a very much larger impact on the likelihood of the benefit
being provided, thus increasing the expected utility of the contribution.
Third, in a relatively smaller group, there is greater scope for communication
and strategic bargaining. Fourth, the greater the number of individuals that
are involved in an effort to organize a group, the greater the organizational
costs will be and the less likely that any one individual could be found who
would be prepared to act as organizer.

Thus, Olson concludes that the larger the number of individuals required
to participate if a public good is to be provided, the less likely they are to
do so. Thus, it is not assumed or expected that individuals in a large or
latent group will organize for coordinated action merely because, as a group,
they have a reason (e.g., an economic incentive) for doing so, or that social
incentives will alone provide sufficient motivation for the individuals in a
latent group to engage in collective (group) action to obtain a collective
goal. Indeed, as Olson (1965:65) observes, "most...large economic
organizations...have had to develop special institutions to solve the
membership problem posed by the large scale of their objectives."

Olson's theoretical framework is based on the assumptions of rationality
and self-interest; that the rational, self-interested individual considers the
expected utility of his contribution to the provision of a public good and
compares it with alternative uses. It is therefore not unreasonable to
conclude, as in the case of the Alphan farmer, that the farmer, as a rational,
self-interested individual, will not contribute $.01 per bushel sold to a
cooperative that would secure a $.10 per bushel price increase, if he
perceives that there is only a slim (e.g., a one in a hundred) chance that the
$.01 will make all the difference between the cooperative being a success or
it being a failure. The farmer is better off keeping his money and spending
it on something else; and the cooperative accordingly will not be formed.

This example, however, is based on some rather arbitrary assumptions
about the contribution's required size ($.01), the probability (0.01) that it
will make a difference, and the size ($.09) of the ultimate benefit. If these
assumptions are not made or, more generally, if one cannot specify on an a
priori basis the type and level of "selective incentive" that will be
necessary to stimulate a farmer to act in a group-oriented way, then one
cannot readily predict whether the cooperative or, more generally, a farmer
organization will be formed. It becomes clear, therefore, that our ability to
predict whether a farmer will contribute to a group-oriented effort or, more
specifically, will engage in collective action to support a farmer
organization depends, to a very great extent, on our ability to identify some
type and level of "selective incentive" sufficient to motivate potential
member farmers to provide the level of support or contribution essential if
the organization is to be effective in affording its members access to a
desired common benefit (public good).


- 22 -








Toward developing an ability to identify what would constitute a
sufficient incentive for collective action, Mitchell (1979) proposed a
typology of factors potentially influential in determining the level of
incentive an individual will have to engage in collective action. [2] These
factors, as outlined in Table 3, include the costs of contribution, the
benefits of contribution, and the costs of not contributing. In the case of
farmer organizations in the LDCs, Mitchell's typology is relevant because it
identifies a number of factors that may influence the level of incentive that
current or potential member farmers have for participating in and supporting
the collective action required if such organizations are to be able to provide
their members with improved access to agri-support factors.



Table 3. Factors Influencing Farmers to Contribute to a Farmer Organization
Which Seeks a Group Good (Adapted from Mitchell, 1979:100).

A. Costs of Contribution

1. Money
2. Time
3. Loss of social status and reputation

B. Benefits of Contribution

1. Possible increase in a group good
a. Utility of the good for the farmer
b. Amount of the good the farmer expects to receive personally
c. Perceived effectiveness of collective action to achieve the
good

2. Receipt of selective goods
a. Goods and services
b. Sociability
c. Social status
d. Self-esteem

C. Costs of Not Contributing

1. Possible continuance of or increase in a group bad
a. Disutility of the group bad for the farmer
b. Amount of the group bad the farmer has received or expects to
receive personally
c. Perceived effectiveness of farmer contributions in preventing
the bad

2. Receipt of selective bads
a. Loss of goods and services
b. Reduced social status
c. Guilt








.It should be apparent that information and communication can play an
important role in determining how potential and actual group members perceive
each of the the factors identified in Mitchell's typology. One researcher
(Moe, 1977) has shown that small contributions made members of a group become
more understandable if one does not assume that potential contributors have
perfect knowledge of the marginal costs, marginal benefits, and the prevailing
supply of relevant group goods (or bads) when they contemplate making a
contribution. Consequently, if potential members underestimate the marginal
costs and/or overestimate the benefits, the likelihood is increased that such
individuals will contribute to the group. Mitchell (1979:120-121) has
suggested that groups working to achieve a group good may more effectively
utilize communication to change potential contributors' perceptions of the
potential benefits of contribution s (and the potential costs of not
contributing) than perceptions of the costs of contributing. To be effective,
a group's communication messages must highlight (if not exaggerate) the threat
posed by group bads (e.g., low market prices, high input costs, usurious
interest rates, etc.) and/or the desirability of the group good the group
seeks to obtain and the group's organizational effectiveness in preventing
undesired bads and obtaining desired goods.


- 24 -








The Runge Perspective

Olson's "logic of collective action" implies that farmers will not
support a group-oriented effort (e.g., a farmer organization) without some
form of "selective incentive." Since there are numerous instances where
farmer organizations exist without any apparent provision of a selective
incentive, one must ask what other factors) may account for the existence of
such organizations. Runge's (1984b) answer to this question is that the
organizational problem is not really one of providing selective incentives but
rather one of providing potential contributors with "assurance" that each and
every individual will contribute his (her) fair share toward ensuring that the
organization in question will be able to provide the desired group good.

Thus, returning to the cucumber marketing example, the individual Alphan
farmer should know that his (her) real choice is not between (a) supporting a
marketing cooperative and getting the benefit of organization and (b) not
supporting the cooperative but yet getting a benefit which others foolishly
make possible for him. Rather the farmer's real choice is between (a) and (c)
not supporting the organization and not getting the benefit, with the
likelihood of (a) subject to the level of assurance which individual farmers
have that all other farmers will provide the necessary support required for
the group to be able to provide the desired benefit (Kimber, 1981).

Runge (1983:1) identifies institutions as the key factor in providing
actors with information that helps in reducing uncertainty over and providing
assurance as regards the expected actions of others. Specifically, Runge
defines institutions as any public system of rules or "rules of the game" that
provide assurance respecting the actions of others, thereby "making possible
greater cooperation and coordinated action" in a particular choice environment
(Runge, n.d.:1-2). Institutions, as a public system of rules, provide for
certain penalties and defenses when violations occur. "Operationally,
institutions guide the behavior of people with respect to each other, and to
their own and others' belongings, possessions, and property" (Runge,
n.d.:l). As an example, note the frequent reliance in developing countries on
common property arrangements, in which a community's members have certain
rights to be included in access to resources. Institutions sharing this
inclusivity property reduce uncertainty and risk in environments where a low
subsistence level from season to season makes life chances precarious and
places a premium on institutions such as common property. "Where weather and
natural calamity dominate the pattern of life, the assurance that misfortune
will not lead to certain death is provided by social institutions which spread
risks by means of the right to be included" (Runge, 1983:9).

Institutions, in Peter Dorner's words, "assure a degree of security with
respect to the accepted procedures of human interaction and response" (cited
in Runge, n.d.:l). By playing a crucial role in setting expectations,
institutions have the impact of "conferring expected value to the stream of
future benefits associated with human activity. By defining rights and
privileges, responsibilities and obligations, ...institutions fix people's
expectations of the future" (Runge, n.d.:l). In short, institutions serve to
reduce uncertainty and increase the potential for cooperation and coordinated
action. Depending on the circumstances, institutions may act as obstacles to
change or "may facilitate change by altering people's views of the likely
consequences of certain actions" (Runge, n.d.:2).


- 25 -








In Olson's perspective, free rider behavior is inevitable in the absence
of selective incentives, regardless of what others are expected to do.
Indeed, expectations about or uncertainty over others' behavior is irrelevant
and nonproblematic. Moreover, even if all agree not to take a free ride,
there is no incentive to keep the agreement; it will eventually be broken and
free rider behavior will resume. The Runge perspective brings the Olson
perspective into question by asking: Does it seem reasonable that farmers
would decide whether or not to join a cooperative regardless of what they
expect other farmers to do?, It seems more reasonable to argue that farmers
considering a decision whether to join a cooperative will base their decision
at least in part on what each farmer expects of other farmers. Of course, the
problem faced by each farmer is that of uncertainty (or lack of information)
about other farmers' actions.

The idea that an individualistic behavior pattern (i.e., free rider
behavior) as distinct from other behavioral alternatives (e.g., individual
support of collective action) is always and necessarily the dominant behavior
pattern may also be questioned. Consider an environment characterized by
mutual interdependence, in which expectations of others'-behavior are
relevant. For example, if each Alphan farmer expects other farmers to graze
as many sheep as possible on a small pasture, each may decide to graze as many
sheep as possible, completely disregarding the potential harm that overgrazing
could bring.to the community and individual farmers. But an individual
farmer's decision to graze as many sheep as possible is not one that has been
made on a purely individualistic basis with complete disregard to expectations
of other actors' behavior. If each farmer were assured by some institution
(rule or custom) that the other farmers would not attempt to take a free ride
by overgrazing beyond a set individual limit, each farmer is likely to
restrict grazing of sheep to the assigned limit.

This example highlights just how important expectations and the problem
of uncertainty'are to the farmer. It also helps to point out that selective
incentives (e.g., "enforcement from above") are potentially not the sole or
primary factor that can influence individual behavior. Indeed, selective
incentives may be far less important than agreement developed within a village
or community through a process of mutual accommodation. In such a setting, a
farmer organization may arise from the "bottom up" (e.g., spontaneous, "grass
roots" initiatives) as the result of local rules and customs.

The possibility of individual farmers' expectations of others' actions
being made with greater confidence is enhanced if some existing rule of
behavior permits farmers' actions to be predicted with accuracy (Ullman-
Margalit, 1977). Runge (1983:5) refers to a wide variety of institutions, in
different biophysical and cultural environments, that provide assurance and
reduce uncertainty over others' actions. All too frequently, however,
existing institutions remain unrecognized as development practitioners seek to
implement what they see as rational solutions to what they have identified as
the problems. Thus, it is more likely that an existing institution will be
identified on a post hoc basis as a constraint to adoption of a development
initiative (e.g., technology transfer) than on an ex ante basis that would
permit the initiative to be designed in such a way that the institution serves
to support rather than impede the initiative in question.


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In contrast to Olson's perspective, Runge's description of the "assurance
problem" (AP) provides.an alternative approach to identifying the determinants
of collective action. Unlike the Olson perspective, the AP does not assume
either free rider behavior as a predominant behavioral pattern or an
inevitable dependency on or primacy of selective incentives as a necessary
condition for collective action. Nor does the AP lead to the conclusion that
farmer organizations can only be fostered through top-down imposition and
enforcement of new and essentially alien institutions.

As described by the AP, whether or not farmers will support a farmer
organization or attempt to free ride the benefits (group goods) made available
by such an organization depends on expectations. If I expect other farmers
along a turn-out canal to draw more than their fair share of water, I will
probably be inclined to overdraw also. But if I expect other member farmers
of the local water users association to draw only their allotted shares of
water, I may also have an incentive to draw no more than my allotted share.
Thus, where a farmer has assurance that other farmers will draw no more water
than each farmer's fair share, the possibility of free rider behavior (drawing
more water from the irrigation canal than one's allotted share) will not be a
dominant strategy for any farmer.

In the face of uncertainty, expectations formed (and informed) by
appropriate institutions (rules) can make a difference. Where there is
rampant free riding on a group good (e.g., nonrepayment of production loans
drawn on a credit line exclusively for small farmer credit groups), this
behavior may stem from expectations that are either uncoordinated by existing
"rules of the game" or coordinated by prevailing norms which lead individuals
to expect nonrepayment by others, leading each to take out a loan before the
credit line closes (or similarly to draw more water before the canal runs
dry). While enforcement from above or special conditions (i.e., selective
incentives) may be sufficient to prevent or minimize free riding, it is not
necessarily the most efficient or equitable approach.

Alternatively, the AP suggest that what is necessary is to develop a
basis for mutual accommodation and consent based on a set of rules. The basis
for this may lie in existing rules or potentially in rules which can be
negotiated by the group.

The lesson of the assurance game is to let individuals...innovate self-
binding rules which best serve their needs before enforcing rules from
outside. Rules will be better suited to the needs of the group...and more
likely to succeed.... These rules may come in many shapes and forms, not
all of which are familiar. The institutional opportunity set of
solutions...is much wider than we think...(Runge, 1981:603-604). [3]

Even if old institutions present apparent obstacles for establishing farmer
organizations that facilitate improved farmer access to agri-support factors,
there still may be elements of these institutions (rules) which, having
certain strengths, are worth preserving or adapting, or which can serve as the
basis for adding new rules. In terms of Runge's perspective (i.e., the AP),
there are potentially various institutional forms, depending on the history,
traditions, and biophysical resources of the group involved, that can
successfully coordinate expectations. The problem for applied and adaptive
research is finding the appropriate institutions for a particular situation.


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The "free rider," "inconsequentiality," and "organizing" problems can
"readily be seen as problems of uncertainty and expectations. Solving these
problems entails, in part, providing farmers with information on relative
productivity and income-earning capability under current institutional
relationships (e.g., without improved access to agri-support factors) as
compared with alternative institutional arrangements (e.g., with improved
access to agri-support factors made possible through collective action on the
part of farmers supporting an appropriate farmer organization). This
information can provide farmers with a less uncertain (more informed) basis
for making allocational decisions about which types of organizations to
support. Technical information must be complemented by knowledge of the
existing structure of local institutions and their comparative capacity to
regulate the behavior of farmer organizations and their member farmers.
Relevant here for farmer decisionmaking is information about the attitudes
which farmer have about farmer organizations, joining and being a member of
such organizations, abiding by the rules of these organizations, farmer
confidence in existing or proposed mechanisms for redressing wrongdoing, etc.

To attempt to a pure "top-down" approach, in effect, seeking to impose
farmer organizations on villagers, is to run the risk that potentially
valuable information contained in local institutions (rules) will be
ignored. Of course, "the best sources of this information are the people
themselves, with whom consultation can provide an understanding of the
institutions most compatible with technically efficient resource management"
(Runge, 1983:8). This implies a dual role for those (donors, governments, and
technical assistance agencies) who seek to promote greater utilization of
farmer organizations as a form of collective action through which farmers can
gain improved access to essential agri-support factors. First, practitioners
of farmer organization development, must approach the issues of farmer
productivity and income-earning capability with sufficient technical expertise
to be able to assure the affected--the farmers--that the information in
question (e.g.; income-increasing potential of a particular type of farmer
organization) is sound. Second, they must approach allocational and
distributional issues with sufficient attention to local definitions of
fairness so that they are able to gain a locality-based constituency. "Where
technical and allocation questions are interdependent," as Runge (1983:9)
stresses, "both technical and institutional information is crucial."

The second implication follows from the first. Not only consultation
with local people but also guidance from existing local institutions is
essential for the successful identification of institutional as well as
technical innovations. Such utilization of and reliance upon locally
available knowledge is increasingly being exploited by anthropologists
studying "indigenous knowledge systems" (Chambers, 1983; Warren, 1984) and by
farming systems research practitioners (Whyte and Boynton, 1983). Involvement
of farmers and local leaders, buttressed by the assurance conveyed by the
incorporation of traditional rules into the design of organizations providing
farmers with improved access to agri-support factors, can increase the
likelihood that such organizations will be effective and self-sustaining
without having to rely indefinitely on selective incentives or the imposition
of top-down enforcement.


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V. Essential Conditions for Farmer Organizations


The preceding section's review of the Olson and Runge perspectives may
have left the reader asking: Is the development of farmer groups or
organizations ultimately dependent on the initiative of farmers themselves or
is there a role which outside organizations (e.g., donors, developing country
governments, technical assistance agencies, technology transfer projects such
as CTTA) can play in initiating and assisting in action to support the
development of farmer organizations? The reader may also be asking: What is
the relative importance of "selective incentives" as compared with
"institutions" in determining the level of incentive farmers will have for
participating in and contributing to the collective action required to support
the development of farmer groups (organizations) in a CTTA Project's target
region? The solution to or way out of such quandaries, as C. Ford Runge
(personal communication) has proposed, is to:

...recognize the problem as one of assurance, which can be provided by a
combination of bottom-up organization and top-down assistance.... The
problem is to find the right combination .. and rethink the conditions
necessary for a combination of bottom-up and top-down activities to
generate farmer organizations.

What does this solution or approach imply for the CTTA Project in a given
target region? It implies that the project's field staff should determine
whether the necessary "conditions"--potentially including both "institutions"
and "selective incentives"--are in place for farmer groups or organizations to
be able to play a useful role in helping the project achieve its technology
transfer objectives in the target region. This determination may be made
during the target audience analysis, behavioral analysis, and developmental,
investigation phases of project implementation in the target region. Assuming
that some combination of "institutions" and "selective incentives" may be a
necessary condition for initiating and/or sustaining farmer organizations in
the target region, what can be said in a more specific way as regards the
necessary conditions for collective action by farmers? As a basis for
answering this question, let us briefly review a study which Doherty and Jodha
(1979) conducted on "conditions for group action by farmers."

Doherty and Jodha (1979), in a study of adoption of new technology by
farmers in India, applied Olson's "logic of collective action" to the problem
of identifying conditions for group action by farmers. Defining "group
action" as "measures adopted or taken by a group to provide its members with
common benefits," Doherty and Jodha (1979:2) hypothesized seven conditions as
essential for group action by farmers. A careful reading of their analysis,
however, indicates at least ten distinct conditions which may be hypothesized
as essential for collective (group) action by farmers, as follows:

1. Group sanction: that utilization of collective action to seek a common
benefit or good through a group-oriented approach is sanctioned within
the society in which a group is to function; [4]

2. Group identity: that the actual or potential members of a group (or
organization) see or identify themselves as being members or potential
members of the group by virtue of having one or more characteristics in
common;


- 29 -








3. Group size: that the group's size (i.e., number of members) is
appropriate relative to the specific benefit or good provided by the
group to its members (e.g., in a marketing cooperative, the individual
member's share of market power increases as more farmers become
members);

4. Group structure: that the group has an adequate organizational
structure in terms of leadership as well as managerial, administrative,
and financial procedures;

5. Group good: that it is impossible to exclude any group member from
consuming a group-provided good or benefit, if one member consumes it;

6. Organizational good: that a group good will not be available to the
group's members unless they (the potential beneficiaries) organize
themselves to provide it;

7. Functional identity: that a group good functions in the same way for
all of a group's members (e.g., in an irrigation scheme, different sized
farms receive the same amount of water per unit area); [5]

8. Divisible good: that it is possible to divide a group good so that
individual members of the group may utilize it;

9. Individual profit: that individual or collective use of a group good by
group members enables each individual to earn a minimum acceptable net
return after costs and risks are taken into account; and

10. Compensatory profit: that the level of return enjoyed by a group
member's use of a group good is sufficiently high to cover not only the
required level of individual profit but also the transaction costs and
loss of individual discretion involved in joining, cooperating with, and
supporting the group.

Doherty and Jodha (1979:222) looked at various types of farmer
organizations in India, including marketing cooperatives (improved access to
markets and market information), credit cooperatives (improved access to
capital), and farmer groups engaged in such activities as land shaping and
construction and maintenance of surface runoff reservoirs or tanks (improved
access to land and water). They found that the conditions of "group good" and
"functional identity" are important in determining whether there is scope for
collective action. Whether the benefit sought is an "organizational good" is
important in determining whether "the farmers' active participation or simple
acquiescence to an administered plan" is necessary. While noting the
importance of profits ["individual profit"], Doherty and Jodha (1979:222)
point out that, to generate group action, profits have to be divisible among
individuals ["divisible good"], and that individuals must be compensated by
some further increment ["compensatory profit"] for the loss of discretion
experienced in adhering to the group's rules. As regards "group size," the
researchers conclude that small groups of five to fifteen farmers can be
effective as task groups but that "only larger groups in the neighbourhood of
100 farmers can maintain the momentum and enforce the rules necessary to keep
up group action on their own over the long term" (Doherty and Jodha,
1979:222). Finally, as regards "group sanction," Doherty and Jodha emphasize
that an "ultimate guarantor" such as the government (or a similarly impersonal
institution) must back collective action in concept and practice.


- 30 -








The Doherty and Jodha (1979) study should be recognized as an exploratory
attempt to apply theoretical ideas derived from Olson's "logic of collective
action." While they proposed that their hypothesized list of conditions
provides a "useful framework for the evaluation of the likelihood of
successful cooperation by farmers" seeking a common benefit or good, the
reader should take note of certain weaknesses in their framework. For
example, it is not clear from their study how certain conditions (e.g., group
size) should be interpreted or specified in terms of function or weight. To
illustrate, Olson's "logic of collective action" would suggest that as the
size of a group increases, social incentives become less effective as
motivators for collective action and collective action itself becomes less
likely. Yet Doherty and Jodha distinguish between "task groups" (5-15
members) and "larger groups" (around 100 members) and propose that "only
larger groups...can...enforce the rules necessary to keep up group
action...over the long term."

The reader may also note that the Doherty and Jodha (1979) framework
focused more on basic or generic conditions for group action and less on how
specific characteristics of an agri-support factor (or a-group good) shape or
modify the conditions or structure of incentives for individual farmers to
participate in and contribute to group action to improve their access to the
agri-support factor. While this latter concern was addressed in Bratton's
(1985) study of farmer groups in Zimbabwe, Bratton's analysis presented
relatively little information about how .other characteristics or conditions
other than the characteristics of an agri-support factor may also have
influenced the level of incentive for Zimbabwe farmers to participate in
farmer groups. Such other characteristics or conditions could include not
only "institutions" as emphasized in the Runge perspective and identified in
the Doherty and Jodha study on "conditions for group action" but also
"selective incentives" as emphasized in the Olson perspective and identified
in Mitchell's typology of factors potentially influential in determining the
level of incentive an individual farmer will have to support a collective
action initiative such as a farmer organization.

Where any key or essential condition for group (collective) action is
absent or seriously deficient, efforts specifically aimed at supporting the
development of farmer organizations are not likely to be successful, unless
these efforts first take corrective measures as regards the missing or
deficient conditions. In terms of the specific needs of the CTTA Project,
where any essential condition is absent or deficient, caution must be
exercised in identifying whether there is any meaningful role which farmer
organizations can play in supporting a communication intervention aimed at
accelerating the rate of transfer of agricultural technology to farmers. At
the same time, where a key condition is absent or deficient, the CTTA Project
may be able to play a very useful role by serving as a "buffer institution"
that effectively relaxes the constraint created by the absent or deficient
condition. For example, certain CTTA Project messages to be disseminated in a
target region may need to be designed to provide a farmer organization's
potential and actual member farmers assurance that their support of this
organization is effectively enabling the organization to provide its member
farmers with access to key agri-support factors (e.g., credit, production
inputs such as fertilizers, markets, etc.). As project implementation
progresses, communication messages also may be needed that provide information
about how an organization's member farmers can obtain membership benefits and
how member farmers are translating their membership benefits into higher
agricultural productivity and farmer income.


- 31 -








The research literature as well as past experience indicate that there is
great potential for farmer organizations to play this type of catalytic role--
helping their member farmers convert membership benefits (i.e., improved
access to agri-support factors) into higher farm productivity and farmer
income. The first step toward tapping into and developing this potential in a
CTTA Project target region is determining if the requisite conditions for
group (collective) action by farmers are in place in the region. Such a
determination provides the basis for diagnosing whether requisite conditions
are present, absent, or deficient and what actions may be necessary to address
existing constraints. The approach to be used in making this determination
may be viewed as similar to or as an extension of the behavioral analysis
approach which will be developed by the CTTA Project during the developmental
investigation phase of project implementation in a target region.
Specifically, just as the behavioral evaluation criteria of behavioral
analysis may be applied to the problem of screening the behavioral
requirements and potential constraints to the adoption of a new agricultural
technology by farmers in a CTTA Project target region (Ray, et al., n.d.), it
is proposed here that project field staff may similarly apply the identified
"conditions for group action" and Mitchell's typology to the problem of
screening the behavioral requirements and potential constraints to farmer
participation in and support of farmer groups (organizations) in the project's
target region.

Conditions for Group Action: Guideline Questions

Accordingly, the discussion that follows proposes a list of specific
questions to be considered in assessing whether each of the identified
"conditions for group action" is present or absent in a CTTA Project target
region (e.g., in a pilot site where a communication intervention is to be
designed and implemented). It is not intended that this list be exhaustive;
the intent is rather that the list be suggestive of areas that potentially
impact on whether any specific condition is present, absent, or present but
deficient. The data required to answer these questions may be collected
during the target audience analysis, behavioral analysis, and developmental
investigation phases of CTTA Project implementation in a target region.
Further work will need to be conducted in the field to identify appropriate
measurement, recording, and analysis procedures for handling the data that
would be generated in answering the listed questions. Such field work could
also explore the possibility of developing a composite measure or index that
could be used to rank farmer groups or organizations in terms of their
potential for assisting the CTTA Project in achieving its technology transfer
objectives in a target region, as well as other ways in which the data
collected on farmer groups (organizations) could be productively utilized in
the design, implementation, and evaluation of a CTTA Project communication
intervention. Some consideration of this latter point is developed in Section
VI's discussion on "Identifying Targets of Opportunity." For the moment,
however, the list of "conditions for group action" and the associated
questions is presented in the following pages.


-- 32 =








1. Group sanction: that utilization of collective action to seek a common
benefit or good -through a group-oriented approach is sanctioned within
the society in which a group (or organization) is to function.

This condition focuses on the question of whether there are legal and
normative precedents for individuals in groups (or organizations) to utilize
collective action to seek a common benefit for the group's members. Relevant
questions include:

a. Is there a precedent for farmers to trust farmer groups or organizations
(e.g., cooperatives) outside their own families?

b. Is there a precedent for allowing group decisions, rather than personal
decisions, to govern the use of some personal resources?

c. Do existing laws allow, prohibit, or otherwise regulate the formation,
existence, and functioning of farmer groups such as associations,
cooperatives, or other types of farmer organizations?

d. Do existing governmental policies favor or oppose the development of
farmer organizations? Do these policies encourage farmer-owned and
controlled organizations (e.g., cooperatives) or parastatal
organizations which are essentially owned and controlled by the
government?

e. Do the policies of banks and private sector firms favor or oppose the
development of farmer groups (organizations)?

f. Do existing budgeting and program planning processes allocate adequate
resources to support the development of farmer organizations?

g. What projects are currently being implemented that include farmer
organizations (e.g., cooperatives)? What activities are being supported
by these projects (e.g., organization, training, technical assistance,
credit, marketing, etc.)?

h. What is the role and institutional capability of PVOs, organized
churches, and individual religious clergy as regards sanctioning and
supporting the development of farmer organizations?

i. Who are the prominent and influential proponents of farmer
organizations; by the same token, where do the sources of opposition to
farmer organizations lie?

j. Are farmer organizations seen as being or do they function as taxation
devices and instruments to promote political support for those in
control of the government?

k. What norms and attitudes do farmers and significant others (e.g., donor
agency representatives, agri-support professionals, etc.) hold as
regards the value and feasibility of farmer organizations, joining and
being a member of such organizations, abiding by the rules of these
organizations, farmer confidence in existing or proposed mechanisms for
redressing wrongdoing within such organizations, whether farmer
organizations are effective in benefitting member farmers, etc.?


- 33 -








2. Group identity: that the actual or potential members of a group (or
organization) see or identify themselves as being members or potential
members of the group by virtue of having one or more characteristics in
common.

This condition focuses on the question of whether farmers in a target
area share a common identity or perception of themselves as being members of
specific farmer groups or organizations. Relevant questions include:

a. What informal and formal groups (organizations) exist that have a
membership comprised of farmers?

b. To what extent do the member farmers of a group (organization) share a
sense of trust, mutual interest, and group solidarity?

b. What is the name of the group (organization)?

c. What was the source of the initiative for the creation of the group
(organization)--e.g, local or extra-local?

d. How old is the group (organization)?

e. Is the group (organization) autonomous or is it affiliated at the
regional or national level with some federation of groups
(organizations)?

f. What are the criteria and/or requirements for a farmer to become a
member of the group (organization)?

g. Does the group (organization) have a list of the names and addresses of
the group's members?

h. Do farmers who are listed as members of .a group (organization) identify
or see themselves as members of the group?

i. In addition to specific criteria and/or requirements for membership in a
group (organization), do the group's actual (or potential) members share
other characteristics (e.g., territoriality, tribal affiliation,
ethnicity, religion, values, language, literacy, socioeconomic status,
political party affiliation, patterns of interaction or communication,
etc.) that serve to reinforce a sense of common identity?

j. To what extent are the member farmers of a group (organization)
incorporated into the political system? To what extent do political
leaders support the group?

k. What benefits do actual members of a group (organization) see themselves
as enjoying because they are members of the group? Are these benefits
perceived as benefits by potential members of the group?


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3. Group size: that a group's size (i.e., number of members) is
appropriate relative to the specific benefit or good provided by the
group to its members?

This condition focuses on the relationship between the actual size of a
group (organization) and the size of group minimally required if the group is
to be able to provide a specific good or benefit to its members.

a. What size (number of farmers) is minimally required if a group
(organization) is to be able to provide a specific good or benefit to
its members?

b. How many farmers in a target area potentially would be interested in
becoming members of the group (organization)?

c. What is the level of awareness knowledge among farmers in the target area
as regards the existence of and benefits provided by the group
(organization)?

d. What is the level of how-to knowledge among farmers in the target area
as regards the procedures involved in joining and participating in the
group (organization)?

e. How many farmers in the target area are members of the group
(organization)?

f. Why did farmers who are members of the group (organization) join the
group?

g. Why do farmers who are not members of the group (organization) not join
the group? (What do these farmers give as their reasons for not joining
the group?)

h. Are membership dues and monthly quotas reasonable given the income
levels of potential members of the group (organization)?

i. Has the membership of the group (organization) been increasing or
declining? Why?








4. Group structure: that the group has an adequate organizational
structure in terms of leadership as well as managerial, administrative,
and financial procedures.

This condition focuses on the question of whether a group (organization)
has an organizational structure capable of: (1) effectively and efficiently
providing a desired good or benefit to the group's members, and (2) sustaining
itself in the long run without subsidies or self-destruction.

a. Has the leadership and management of existing groups (organizations)
been captured by one or more elites?

b. What regulations, if any, are in place to guard against opportunistic
behavior by managers and board of directors of the group (organization)?

c. Who are the formal leaders of the group (organization)? Were the formal
leaders of the group (organization) appointed by some authority or
elected by the group's members?

d. Who are the informal leaders of the group (organization)?

e. What rules and procedures are followed by the group (organization) for
group decisionmaking? On what kinds of questions or issues has the
group (organization) engaged in group decisionmaking?

f. Does the group (organization) rely on voluntary and/or hired manpower in
carrying out the group's functions?

g. What managerial procedures are followed in carrying out the functions of
the group (organization)?

h. What administrative rules and procedures are followed in carrying out
the functions of the group (organization)?

i. What financial procedures are followed in carrying out the functions of
the group (organization)? (Here financial procedures are understood as
including any revenue-generating, cost recovery, credit management,
and/or accounting practices followed by the group?)

j. What are the weaknesses in the leadership or the managerial,
administrative, or financial procedures of the group (organization) that
limit the group's ability to function effectively and efficiently?

k. Does the group have access to a special line of credit and to
opportunities for training and development of leadership and management?

1. What networking relationships and contractual obligations, if any, exist
between the group (organization) and (1) research and extension
organizations; (2) credit organizations; (3) public and private sector
production input supply organizations; (4) public and private sector
marketing organizations; and (5).government policy analysis and
decisionmaking units and interest groups that influence these units?

m. Is the management of the group (organization) under the discipline of
the market and group members or under political and governmental
discipline (as in the case of a parastatal)?


- 36 -









5. Group good: that it is impossible to exclude any group member from
consuming a group-provided good or benefit, if one member consumes it.

This condition focuses on the question of whether all the members of a
group (or organization) are able to enjoy a good or benefit provided by the
group if indeed the good (or benefit) is made available to even one member of
the group.

a. What good (or benefit) does the group (or organization) provide its
members?

b. What guarantees does a group provide its members that a good (or
benefit), if provided by the group, is available or will be available to
each group member? (The question of equitable access to the good by all
group members.)

c. What guarantees does a group provide its members that a good (or
benefit) provided by the group is or will be available only to group
members and not to individuals who are not members'of the group? (The
question of how the group prevents a group good being available to free
riders, i.e., individuals who are not members of the group and do not
share in defraying the costs incurred by the group in making the good
available to.its members.)


- 37 -








6. Organizational good: that a group good will not be made available to
the group's members unless they (the potential beneficiaries) organize
themselves to provide it.

SThis condition focuses, in part, on the question of whether and to what
extent a desired good is available from other potential providers (e.g.,
governmental agencies, private firms, or traditional institutions). Where an
adequate supply of a good is not made available by potential providers, this
condition focuses on the question of whether the good will only be made
available to the group's members if they organize and develop their own
capability to provide it.

a. What governmental agencies, private firms, or traditional institutions
currently provide the good in question?

b. What percentage of the farmers obtain the good in question from these
providers?

c. What percentage of the group's members obtain the good in question
directly from these providers and without any assistance from the group?

d. Does the group provide the good to the group's members or does the group
serve as a negotiator to arrange for the good's availability from or
delivery by some public or private sector organization?

e. Is it.feasible or advisable for the group to develop its own capability
to provide a particular good to the group's members?

g. What support is required of the group's members to ensure that the group
is able to develop and/or sustain the capability to provide a good to
the group's members?

f. What indicators are available of the willingness and ability of each
individual in the group to provide the individual support required to
support the development of the group's capability to provide a good to
group members?


- 38 -








7. Functional identity: that a group good functions in the same way for
all members of the group.

This condition focuses on the question of whether the good in question
functions in the same way or has the same meaning for all members of the
group. That a group good may not function in the same way for all group
members may be illustrated by the following examples:

Irrigation: In an irrigation scheme built and/or maintained by a water
users organization, do some users draw more than their allotted shares of
water?

Credit: In a credit scheme designed to channel loans to small farmers
through small farmer groups, are group loans being used to channel small
production loans to the small farmers who are members of the group or is
the "group" being used as a front to obtain a loan for a large farmer?

Production inputs: In a subsidized fertilizer scheme for farmer
cooperatives, are a cooperative's member farmers using the fertilizer on
the crop targeted by the scheme or are some farmers reselling the
fertilizer to generate cash?

Relevant questions to be addressed in assessing the condition of functional
identity include:

a. Do group members who enjoy access to a group good use the good in a
manner consistent with the group's objective in making the good
available to its members?

b. Does the group utilize screening and/or monitoring procedures to check
for compliance that a group good is being used by group members in a
manner consistent with the group's objective in making the good
available to its members?

c. Does the group utilize some mechanism to apply penalties to group
members who are not in compliance as regards the use of a group good by
individual members? (See question lOc as regards negative social
sanctions.)


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8. Divisible good: that it is possible to divide a group good so that
individual members of the group may utilize it.

This condition focuses on the question of whether individual group
members are able to obtain the quantity of a group good that is appropriate to
the specific requirements of the members' individual or collective farming
operations, and whether the profits generated by using the good are divisible
among the individual group members.

a. Is the group good available in appropriately-sized amounts (e.g., group
rental of a tractor)?

b. Is there an accepted means whereby the profits generated by the use of a
group good can be equitably divided among group members.?


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9. Individual profit: that individual or collective use of a group good by
S group members enables each individual to earn an acceptable net return
after costs and risks are taken into account?

This condition focuses on the question of whether individual group
members are indeed able to translate the time, energy, funds, etc. they invest
in making a group good available to group members into an acceptable level of
individual profit or net return after costs and risks are considered. For
example, if a group member borrows funds under a group loan to finance the
purchase of fertilizer, will he or she earn a sufficient return to justify the
cost and risks involved?

a. What increase in net returns or productivity and/or reduction in cost
and/or risk can be achieved by group members if they utilize a
particular group good?

b. What evidence is available to actual or potential group members that the
availability of a group good to the group's members would assist the
individual group member in achieving, on his (her)-own farm, a desired
level of increase in net returns (productivity) and/or reduction in cost
and/or risk?


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10. Compensatory profit: that the level of return enjoyed by a group
member's use of a group good is sufficiently high to cover not only the
required level of individual profit but also the transaction costs and
loss of individual discretion involved in joining, cooperating with, and
supporting the group.

This condition focuses on the question of whether actual or potential
group members perceive that supporting a group-oriented effort (e.g., a farmer
organization) brings some level of reward or compensation above and beyond
that of increased individual profit. The type of reward or compensation in
question here is one which the actual or potential group member perceives as
providing some balance to the extra costs (however minimal) the member incurs
and the individual discretion the member loses by joining, cooperating with,
and supporting a group-oriented effort such as a farmer organization. The
group (or organization) may provide this compensation through what is
sometimes referred to as a special or "selective incentive."

a. Does the group (or organization) employ any special or selective
incentives to encourage farmers to join and sustain their membership in
and support of the group?

b. If yes to (a), does the group employ any type of "economic" or material
incentive (e.g., a special premium) as an inducement to potential
members to join the group or to current members to continue their
membership?

c. If yes to (b), does the group employ any type of "social" incentives to
induce potential members to join the group?

d. What types of social incentives are employed by the group:

(1). To'coerce or punish group members who fail to bear a
fair share of the costs of group action; or

(2). To provide positive inducement or reward to group
members who act in the group interest?


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Factors Influencing Incentive to Contribute: Guideline Questions

In addition to the data generated in answering the preceding questions
relating to conditions for group action, it would also be useful to obtain
some indicators of farmers' own perceptions as regards the types of factors
identified in Mitchell's typology (see Table 3) as influencing farmers to
contribute to a farmer organization. Accordingly, the discussion that follows
provides a listing of questions which could be asked of farmers in a project's
target area. These questions could be asked both of farmers who are members
of farmer groups or organizations as well as of farmers who are not members.
Because Mitchell's typology focuses more on the issue of "incentives" and less
on that of "institutions," it may be suggested that farmers' responses to the
list of questions may provide more insight on the status of the "individual
profit" and "compensatory profit" conditions in a CTTA Project target region
than on the status of the other conditions. The outline sequence of
Mitchell's typology (Table 3) is followed in presenting the list of questions.

A. Costs of Contribution

1. Money

(1). Does the farmer see the group's required membership dues and/or
monthly quota as being reasonable or too high?

(2). What does the farmer see as the opportunity cost of the money
required to cover a group's membership dues and/or monthly
quota?

(a). What other goods and services do farmers purchase for an
amount equivalent to the group's membership dues and/or
monthly dues?

(b). What does the farmer see as the best alternative use of the
money that is being spent or could be spent on a group's
membership dues and/or monthly quota?

2. Time

(3). Does the farmer see the amount of time or effort required to
support a group as being reasonable or too much?

(4). What does the farmer see as the opportunity cost of the time
required to support a group? (In other words, what does the
farmer see as the best alternative use of the time that is being
spent or could be spent supporting the group?)

3. Loss of social status and reputation

(5). Which social groups comprise the principal reference groups for
the farmer? Do members of these groups have favorable or
unfavorable attitudes toward farmer groups (organizations)?

(6). Does the farmer feel that his social status or reputation is (or
would be) in any way lessened by joining, participating in, or
otherwise supporting a farmer group (organization)?


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B. Benefits of Contribution


1. Possible increase in a group good

a. Utility of the good for the farmer

(7). What added value or utility does the farmer perceive he gains
(or would gain) by having access to a group good?

b. Amount of the good the farmer expects to receive personally

(8). Does (or would) the farmer feel that the amount of the group
good received is adequate?

c. Perceived effectiveness of collective action to achieve the
good

(9). Does (or would) the farmer feel that group (collective) action
can be effective in achieving improved availability of a group
good for the group's members?

2. Receipt of selective goods

a. Goods and services

(10). What value does the farmer who is (or could be) a member of a
group place on goods and/or services provided by the group on a
selective basis to group members?

b. Sociability

(11). What value does the farmer who is (or could be) a member of a
group place on the sociability that may be experienced through
association with other group members?

c. Social status

(12). Does (or would) the farmer feel that his social status is
increased by joining, participating in, or supporting a group?

d. Self-esteem

(13). Does (or would) the farmer feel his own self worth is increased
by joining, participating in, or supporting a farmer group?

C. Costs of Not Contributing

1. Possible continuance of or increase in a group bad

a. Disutility of the group bad for the farmer

(14). To what extent is the presence of a group bad (e.g., lack of
an agri-support factor) viewed as intolerable by the farmer who
is (or could be) a member of a farmer group?


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(15).:As compared with the possibility of an increase in a group
good, is the threat of the continuance of a group bad or its
possible increase a more powerful incentive for the farmer to
support a farmer group which seeks to decrease the bad or to
prevent its increase?

(16). Does (or would) the farmer feel that he would be abandoning a
Good cause if he does not become a member of a farmer group or
drop his membership in the group?

b. Amount of the group bad the farmer has received or expects to
receive personally

(17). To what extent is the farmer a direct recipient of the group
bad?

(18). What are the farmer's expectations as regards the likelihood
that the farmer will continue to be the recipient of the group
bad?

(19). Does the farmer expect that the quantity of the group bad
received by farmers will increase?

c. Perceived effectiveness of farmer contributions in preventing
the group bad

(20). Does (or would) the farmer perceive that the support which he
can provide to a farmer group would be effective in decreasing
or preventing the increase of the group bad?

2. Receipt of selective bads

a. Loss of goods and services

(21). Does (or would) the farmeriperceive that he suffers a private
bad if a group good is made available to a group's members?

b. Reduced social status

(24). Does (or would) the farmer feel that his social status is
reduced by not joining a farmer group?

(25). Do (or would) a farmer's friends who are members of a farmer
group think less of the farmer if he fails to join the group.

c. Guilt

(26). Does (or would) the farmer feel any responsibility to
contribute to increasing the availability of group goods and
has he experienced any remorse if he has not yet done so?

(27). Does (or would) the farmer feel less guilty if he makes (or
were to make) a contribution to support the group working to
achieve increased availability of the group good?


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VI. Identifying Targets of Opportunity


Data for answering the listed questions may potentially be obtained from
secondary sources (e.g., census data, cost of production studies, etc.), key
informant interviews, focus group interviews, in-depth interviews, central
location (intercept) interviews, small sample surveys, and on-site observation
(e.g., on the farm or at meetings of farmer organizations). Where answering
certain questions requires conducting a survey to interview a sample of
farmers, samples should be drawn so as to include both farmers who are as well
as farmers who are not members of key farmer organizations operating in the
project's target area. In identifying the farmer groups or organizations
which exist in a target area, CTTA Project field staff should take care to
ensure coverage of all farmer groups (organizations) that seek to improve
member farmer access to agri-support factors essential for increasing the
productivity and income-earning capability of the farmer's agricultural
system. In particular, project staff should focus on those farmer
organizations seeking to improve the access of member farmers to the specific
agri-support factors required if these farmers are to be able to adopt and
profitably use the agricultural technology to be promoted in the specific
communication channels (e.g., radio, extension workers, etc.) used by the
project to transfer one or more selected technologies to farmers. Depending
on the requirements of a specific technology that the project seeks to
transfer, these agri-support factors may include but are not necessarily
limited to irrigation, credit, production inputs, markets and market
information, or government policy.

In any particular target region, the CTTA Project may seek to transfer
both high and low input production technologies, with each technology being
appropriate or inappropriate given the particular resource constraints of
individual farmers. It is therefore essential that project staff ensure,
during the target audience analysis, behavioral analysis, and developmental
investigation phases, that representative farmers in each significant target
group are interviewed. Such interviewing should provide criteria for
determining which farmers have the potential for adopting the high input
technology, which farmers are only capable at present of adopting the low
input technology, and how farmers in each of these groups are served or not
served by existing farmer organizations and other agri-support institutions.

The data collected on existing farmer organizations and current and
potential member farmers of these organizations should be evaluated by the
project's field staff with an eye to identifying targets of opportunity for
enlisting the support and participation of farmer organizations as a component
element of the CTTA Project's communication intervention in the project's
target area. Key questions which may serve as guidelines to project staff in
identifying potential targets of opportunity are listed below.

1. Around which agri-support factors in a CTTA Project target region is the
economic incentive the greatest for farmers to contribute to the support
of farmer organizations that will assist them in gaining improved access
to these factors?

2. In what ways can farmer organizations in a CTTA Project target region
support the project's development (specification) and product testing of
the technology to be transferred by the project to farmers?


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3. In what ways can the CTTA Project assist farmer organizations in a
project target region in raising the level of awareness among farmers
that there is a potential for farmer groups (organizations) to play a
role in helping member farmers:

a. To gain an increased measure of access to and control over essential
agri-support factors that are not readily available to individual
farmers through existing traditional, market, or bureaucratic
organizations?

b. To reduce the levels of uncertainty and risk which member farmers
face in making decisions about the management of their agricultural
systems?

c. To increase the productivity and income-earning capability of the
agricultural systems of member farmers?

4. In what ways can the CTTA Project assist farmer organizations in a
project target region in overcoming the three institutional problems
that can constrain collective action by farmers and the development of
farmer organizations? In terms of Runge's perspective, can CTTA
Project-designed communication messages help in providing assurance to
farmers in a target region that:

a. Potential and actual member farmers of farmer organizations in the
target area are not taking a "free ride" and that member farmers are
contributing their fair share to the individual contribution required
to support these organizations?

b. Contributions made by members can make a difference and are making a
difference toward providing members with desired benefits and goods?

c. It is possible for farmers to organize and that the costs of
organizing are not so high as to preclude being able to cover the
costs of making desired benefits and goods available to an
organization's member farmers?

5. In what ways can farmer organizations in a CTTA Project target region
contribute to the design and testing of the communication messages and
other intervention activities that will be used by the project to
achieve its technology transfer objectives?

6. In what ways can farmer organizations in a CTTA Project target region
assist in the implementation of the project's communication
intervention?

7. In what ways can CTTA Project communication messages be designed to
assist existing farmer organizations in providing information about the
services and benefits which these organizations provide their members
and how farmers who are not members can begin to enjoy these services
and benefits by becoming members?

8. How can representation of farmer groups (organizations) in a CTTA
Project target region best be included in the project-sponsored
interinstitutional coordination committee?


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9. How can farmer groups (organizations) in a CTTA Project target region
most beneficially relate to project-sponsored mass media and extension
communication activities?

10. In what other kinds of activities can existing or new farmer
organizations in a CTTA Project target region participate that will
enhance the overall efficacy and efficiency of the project in meeting
its technology transfer objectives?

11. What changes, if any, in the procedures of existing farmer organizations
are required to enable these organizations to effectively support the
technology transfer objectives of the CTTA Project in a target region?

12. What additional resources (funding, technical assistance, training,
etc.) are needed by existing farmer organizations to enable them to
effectively support the technology transfer objectives of the CTTA
Project in a target region?

13. What other communication messages and/or project interventions as
regards farmer organizations are required vis-a-vis other key audiences
(e.g., research/extension workers, marketing agents, government
policymakers) to support the technology transfer objectives of the CTTA
Project in a target region?


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Footnotes

[1] Olson proposes that social incentives can be effective in bringing about
group-oriented action in a large or latent group only when the large group is
a "federal" group or "federation" -- "a group divided into a number of small
groups, each of which has a reason to join with the others to form a
federation representing the large group as a whole. If the central or
federated organization provides some services to the small constituent
organizations, they may be induced to use their social incentives to get the
individuals belonging to each small group to contribute toward the achievement
of the collective goals of the whole group. Thus, organizations that use
selective social incentives to mobilize a latent group interested in a
collective good must be federations of small groups" (Olson, 1965:63). In Sri
Lanka's Gal Oya water management project, the turn-out groups are federated
into distribution channel associations and these into district-level
associations.

[2] Mitchell's (1979) "revised rational choice theoretical paradigm of
collective action," consistent with Olson's (1965) theory of collective
action, defines a "collective good" as a good that is available to everybody
in a group whether or not any particular person in the group has contributed
to the attainment of the good. However, the paradigm makes a useful
distinction between (1) "collective goods" which Mitchell defines as including
'public goods" and "group goods" and (2) "selective goods" (or, as Mitchell
calls them, "private goods"). A "public good" is a collective good that is
available to everyone in a society, while a "group good" is a collective good
that is available only to individual members of a particular group within a
society. On the other hand, a "selective good," which may also be called a
noncollective, individual, or private good, is any good that can be conveyed
by the group on a selective basis directly to an individual group member.
Note that Mitchell's definition of a "selective" or "private good" is broader
than Olson's definition, in that the latter's definition implies that a good
is a private good by virtue of the condition that one may acquire the
privilege of consuming it simply by paying for it.

[3] In a similar vein, Brubaker (1975:158] states:

The opportunities for eliciting more nearly voluntary economic expression
of individual priorities for collective goods may be far greater than most
of the contemporary orthodox literature suggests. If so, it may be
eminently worthwhile to explore more carefully means to expand the scope of
voluntary arrangements for provision of collective needs while perhaps in
some measure of correspondence reducing reliance on coercive institutions
with their own potentially detrimental effects.

[4] The condition of "group sanction" includes such variables as government
policies on and attitudes toward farmer organizations.

[5] Norman Uphoff (personal communication) observes that "functional
identity" is another way of saying that what he has called "the spite factor"
may operate sometimes, "where people will cut off their figurative noses to
spite their actual faces. If some benefit more than others (or benefit
without paying costs), some people (or some cultures) will refuse to engage in
collective action, even if individual benefits exceed their individual costs
(which is 'irrational,' but unfortunately common)."


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'- :; ' ,


References

Academy for EducationaL Development (AED)
1985 "Communications for Technology Transfer in Agriculture Draft Honduras
Implementation Plan," Academy for Educational Development, Washington,
D.C.

Bratton, Michael
1985 "A Share of the Plow: Small Farmer Organizations and Food Production
in Zimbabwe," Department of Political Science and African Studies
Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing Michigan.

Brubaker, Earl R;
1975 "Free Ride, Free Revelation, or Golden Rule?," The Journal of Law and
Economics, 18:147-161.

Byrnes, Kerry J.
1985 "The Potential Role of Farmer Organizations in Increasing the
Productivity and Income-Earning Capability of Small-Farmer Agricultural
Systems in the Developing Countries: A Concept Paper," a paper prepared
in support of the Communication for Technology Transfer in Agriculture
Project, Academy for Educational Development, Washington, D.C.

Chambers, Robert
1983 Rural Development: Putting the Last First. London Longmans.

Cernea, Michael
1981 "Modernization and Development Potential of Traditonal Grassroots
Peasant Organizations," pp. 121-139 In Directions of Change:
Modernization Theory, Research and Realities, ed. X.O. Attir, B.
Holzner, and Z. Suda. Boulder, Colorado: Westviev Press.

Doherty, Victor S. and N.S. Jodha
1979 "Conditions for Group Action among Farmers," pp. 207-223 in Group
Farming in Asia: Experiences and Potentials. Singapore: Singapore
University Press.

Esman, Milton J. and Norman T. Uphoff
1984 Local Organizations: Intermediaries in Rural Development. Ithaca:
Cornell University Press.

Harwood, Richard R.
1979 Small Farm Development: Understanding and Improving Farming Systems
in the Humid Tropics. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.

Johnston, Bruce F. and William C. Clark
1982 Redesigning Rural Development: A Strategic Perspective. Baltimore:
The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Kimber, Richard
1981 "Collective Action and the Fallacy of the Liberal Fallacy," World
Politics, 33:178-196.

Lele, Uma
1981 "Cooperatives and the Poor: A Comparative Perspective," World
Development, 9:55-72.


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Mitchell, Robert Cameron
1979 "National Environmental Lobbies and the Apparent Illogic of
Collective Action," pp 87-121 in Collective Decision Making:
Applications from Public Choice Theory, ed. Clifford S. Russell.
Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Moe, Terry M.1
1977 "Rational Action and Pluralist Behavior: A Revised Theory of
Interest Groups." Unpublished paper presented at the Annual Meeting of
; the American Political Science Association, September, Washington, D.C.

Morss, Elliott R., John K. Hatch, Donald R. Mickelwait, and Charles F. Sweet
1967 Strategies for Small Farmer Development, 2 vols. Boulder, Colorado:
Westview Press.

Nesman, Edgar G.
1981 Peasant Mobilization and Rural Development, Cambridge, Massachusetts,
Schenkman Publishing Company, Inc.

Obern, Catherine C. and Steven D. Jones
1981 "Critical Factors Affecting Agricultural Production Co-operatives: A
Review," Annals of Public and Co-operative Economy, 52(3):317-349.

Olson, Mancur
1965 The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of
Groups. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Ostrom, Vincent and Elinor Ostrom
1979 "Public Goods and Public Choices," pp 7-49 in E.S. Savas (ed.),
Alternatives for Delivering Public Services. Toward Improved
Performance. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press.

Oxby, Clare
1983 "'Farmer Groups' in Rural Areas of the Third World," Community
Development Journal, 18(1):50-59.

PCARR
1981 State of the Art: Farmers' Organization Research, Socio-Economic
Series No. 1, Philippine Council for Agriculture and Resources Research.

Ray, Howard, John Axtell, and Douglas Porter
n.d. "The Application of Behavioral Analysis to Agricultural Technology
Transfer," a Communication for Technology Transfer in Agriculture
Project paper prepared for the Agency for International Development by
the Academy for Educational Development, Washington, D.C.

Runge, Carlisle Ford
1981 "Common Property Externalities: Isolation, Assurance and Resource
Depletion in a Traditional Grazing Context," American Journal of
Agricultural Economics, 63:595-606.

1983 "The 'Tragedy of the Commons' and Resource Management," a paper
presented in the Ministry of Local Government and Lands, Gabarone,
Botswana.


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