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/ Page 1

Dr. bildebratd. FSSP p.m.

Farming systems approach to Agricultural Research and Extension has
two major components that we can separate. One we call;using the farming
systems perspective which means understanding the farming systems the

system under which people farm and the goals and problems and constraints

and resources of farmers for policy and support development and in this

case we have a high ration of variables,pArameters. Parameters are things

that don't move that we don't feel that we can do anything with variables

are the things that we work with. As opposed to that we have the other com-
ponent, major component, farming systems research and extension. Which is

development and desemination of reliment? improved technology for farms.

This is within the farm ?to a large extent and because of that we have
a high ratio of perameters to variables. If a credit system does not exist

for the farmers you are working with you don't consider that ttere might be
one in the future we work with ONMXXMXX~XXKN initially without a credit

system. If a credit system is developed then you can modify your technology

accordingly. So it is the ladder ? within the farm gate on-farm technologies

that we really are concentrating on early in our farming systems project and
our farming systems work. Rather then looking at problems of marketing,

or credit and other things which we don't minimize we realize they are

very critical but you can't tackle everything at once so that's where we

are concentrating on early on in this project. Now FSRE which is that part

that we talk about on-farm technology design, is applied, client orientated
biological research, support by the socio-economic sciences in a team
effort and enhanced by extension responsibility. Those are all key eleminents

this is the bottom line this is what we are working with. The well being

of the farm family. For whom is FSRE? I mentioned farm families,there is
the small farms you always immediately get in an argument over what's a
small farm. How large is a small farm? etc. That creates problems. Limited

resource farm that's a little better but still you can get into problems





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Hildebrand FSSP p.m.

exactly how do you define limited resources? It seems to me that probably

the best type of definition we can come up with is farms which ref-2 t. home

rather then a business. There they are becoming involved with the family the

customs of the family, a whole lot of other constraints that are not imposed

upon farms, which refers ? to business, and for whom it is easier to solve

many of their problems. WHy must technology be generated specifically for

this type of farm? It is quite obvious if you look at this, which is in

North Florida that the resources on this farm producing irrigated tobacco

are completely different from this farm also in North Florida very close

to the other one the whole resource basis is different the reason they

are farming is different and you have to have different technologies to

solve the problems of these different kinds of farmers. Three factors make

the small family farm different from the farm which refers.to business and

these in turn effect the appropriateness of biological technology. First,

the quantity and quality resource varies tremendously from large commercial

concerns to smaller ? Diversification of enterprises small family

farms are usually highly diversified which means that management is diversified

- it is spread out thin. And third, quantity and quality of management -

quantity not only because it is spread out thin but also because of the fact

that its off farm very frequently, off-farm work is important there is not

much of it available. Speaking economically then if we look at a normal

production response service input level you can see if you be in it at a

very low level of inputs, which might be with poor quality, poor resources,

you have no residual fertility for instance, you limited responses early on

if you get to farms that have ,higher levels of residual fertility or other

higher levels of high quality imputs in general, you begin with a higher

response and.that means that you get completely different response surfaces

for added inputs. If you look at a half unit here a poor resource farm will

get very little response whereas a good resource farm starting out up here






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Hildebrand FSSP p.m.

will get alot of response from a half unit. The kinds of responses that

you get completely vary. Another thing which is important to consider is

that it takes time to learn you don't reach this is potential in technology-

you don't reach that immediately unless you are a very good manage or unless

it is a very simple change, so it takes time from present yield to potential

yield. To get potential yield earlier requires simpler technology, something

that's very simple just changing a variety. If nothing else needs to be

changed yotL can get that easily. If it is more complex technology XMM%/u

have to change variety, time of planting, distance of planting, pest control

fertilization etc. it takes more time. Or you can get it faster if you are

a faster learner. If you are a full time manager or if you have a college

education. Slower learners, part time manager, etc. it takes more time.

These are critical factors. We look at it again economically the gross income

and net income subtracting cost, from the present situation reflected against

what potentially is gross income from new technology. But if you look at the

cost of new technology you can see that there may be a loss if a farmer doesn't

get the anticipated results the first two or three years but still invests

that amount he is going to make a loss early on. With small farms that have

low volumns it is hard to amortize this early loss with future income. This

means again, that you have to think in terms of simpler rather than more

complex technology for farmers which are part time. Or which have limited

resources for any one of the individual enterprises. How do we work with

this? First of all we have developed over time a series a sequencing?

of activities first of all to understand what happens on farms to provide

us with the information we need to initiate the technology generation. And

also for testing this technology on farms. First, researcher managed experio-

ments or trials and secondly, farmer managed trials. This is farm data from




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Malawi. I won't go into exactly how the environmental index is calculated

but what we have here is a relatively poor environment for corn, corn data,

and relatively good environment from producing corn. This environment can

be created for any number of reasons. It can be poor soil, poor management,

low rain fall verses high rain fall, etc. Here you ,might have a widow, an

older widow, who has very little to work with even on good soils, might be

down here, whereas, a young healthy farmer might even be up there. So it is

the whole environment that we are considering when we are looking at family

farms. THese are data from On-farms compare these with this which is from

an experiment station in the area. Experiment stations, generally speaking

are on superior environment that's a created environment it can also be

and frequently is on some of the better soils. But it is a created environment

so that means that much of the work done at an experiment stations can't

automatically be applied to farms. It does not mean that it is not applicable

at all. It can add to the total source of information that we have on which

to make judgements about the appropriatness of technology. Here you can see

the experiment station data. And some of the farms are up here but most of

the farms are down here this is very typical type of response. Now this

is the response over different environments of one technology you can do this

same thing for different technologies two or three technologies. THen from

a recommendations domain you are looking at a group of farms or an area on

which you want to make recommendations you can partition or refine your

domains depending on the kinds of responses. If you have another technology

that comes through something like this you can say O.K. the farms with a poor

environment for corn, and that doesn't necessarily mean it is poor for every-

thing, this technology would be superior and over here with good environment

producing corn another technology may be superior. So you can refine your

recommendation domain and direct extension efforts much more efficientlyy




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Hildebrand FSSP p.m.

with this kind of information. What it does then is compress research

extension and the farmer in such a form that they are all working together

in the farming systems mode and reduces problems of communication, reduces

time to achieveresults, time of getting technology developed and into the

hands of the consumers. You mentioned ICTA in Guatemala, this is an

institute that was designed in the outset with the farming systems concept

in mind. It wasn't called that this was in 1972-3-4- the ideas were there.

May 10? and it is organized as an entire institute on this concept with

experiement-stations and this sequenceing. Farmer experiments directed by

researchers, farmers tests, experiments or trials directed by farmers, managed

by farmers promotion or extension and production with all the feedback mecha-

nisims built in. You start out out here finding out what is happening, feed

that back in and L9ZMX %XM~XO begin the process. Let's look at an

example in Southeast Guatemala to give you a little bit of an idea of how

you go through this process. This is an area of about seven hundred feet

above sea level it is quite broken, the rainfall isn't very high, the basic

cropping systems, cropping pattern, on the hill is corn and sorgum planted

usually in rows very similar to this, and interplanted all with beans. Those

are the primary food crops and the sorghum primarily, some of the corn fodder

for instance is livestock feed. That is the most important system. Livestock

are very important but the livestock belong primarily to the land owners

who maintain the right to graze any crop residue. So that influences the

patterns have verses owners of land. Because of the soils, the condition of

the soils, slopping, many of them very rocky, the primary land preparation is

just gathering up the crop residue and burning it after the cattle have been

through and grazed it. The farming systems approach identifies problems in

specific systems. Define the system you are working withjvery briefly we did

that, now what are the problems in that system? What are the things that





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Hildebrand FSSP p.m.


can strain production, or that restrict increase in productivity of the system.

One of the most important things that we realize is that they have a dry period

right in the middle of the growing season that is given a name down in Central

American it is called the coniquala ? and it can vary from two

to four weeks. What this does is create a situation which labor at planting

time becomes a critical limiting factor. They have to wait until the rains

starts to plant and then they plant as fast as they can, as much as they think

they can plant until they get a cut off time when they realize if they plant

any more they won't get maturity before the coniquala? So that becomes

one of the most critical limiting factors on the system. Bean seed is another

one which limits the system. First of all the production of beans is low.

Secondly, they have poor storage facilities, thirdly, they eat it, and fourth

they sell it. Because as you get toward planting season the price rises and

they sell it because it is always tempting to get the money. So they end

up at planting time with a very limited amount and if you ask them what does

beans yield they will say so many pounds per pound planted not so many pounds

per acre. That is an indication that this is more critical then land for them.

So these are the two factors that we are looking at in this case beans, seed

scarcity and scarcity of labor at planting time. You need to increase the

productivity of these two factors to increase the productivity of the system.

OK you look for alternatives to the solutions for those specific problems -

directed research. One of the things we look out was stretching out the

planting season by planting beans before the rain. Now this works and you

can plant more land and be more productive if in fact the rains when they

start and when the beans germinate there is enough moisture for them. But

it is to risky because the beans can start to germinate and then the rains

stop again and they loose their seed. So that didn't work. But we looked

at a series of different systems like this and found that we could in fact

increase the productivity of the bean seed without reducing the production

per land unit. And because of lower Kemag competition because we reduced




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Hildebrand FSSP p.m.


the population of beans we were also able to increase the productivity of the

maize and the other crops planted with it. So we were making progress. We

finally selected one particularly systems and we began to test this under

more real farm conditions on large areas. The system that we selected is corn

and sorghum in twin rows and beans planted in a different pattern with the

lower population. This appeared to the researchers to be a much more highly

productive system about a 60% increase in productivity of the restrict in

resources. The next step then is to take it to the farmers and let them

do it on there own. This is to evaluate acceptability to the plan. So that

becomes the ultimate step. You go out and you lay out an area in this

particular case this is with the local seed no fertilizer it is all done

exactly the way the farmers normally do it except that the system of planting

is different. This is the test plot back here and this is the sorghum this

is after the corn and the beans have all been harvested. OK the farmer here

"How do you like that?" he'll say "that looks great." but the real test is

next year. Does he do it on his own next year when you are not there working

with him. You go back next year and see what they did. In this case this

farmer planted his entire Monzana ? that's all he had,in the system.

That means he likes it. You can calculate an acceptability index this is

not impact or adoption, you are still testing based on the proportion of the

there land area in which they use it. And if that is high enough you can

predict adoption and therefore you can increase the efficiency of the extension

efforts because you for what kind of farmer the technology is appropriate and

you have a high degree of confidence that in fact that technology is acceptable

to the client. Now lets look at Florida. At the University of Florida Farming

Systems as an approach has been brought in and is being institutionalized here

too. We mentioned this morning and we will mention again that institutionalizin

the process or the approach is not easy it varies from institution to insti-

tution and country. But we are working on it here. How did it come about and




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Hildebrand FSSP p.m.

why was Florida interested in this. Usually you think of the United States

as being something completely different. Well in my concept if we go back

in the history of the land grant system we had very few departments that

were very broad and there was quite a bit of overlap in the departments.

Furthermore, people who staffed these departments were generally farmers,

the understood farms, they knew about the decisions that were made. The

interrelationship with the family, to the production decisions etc. So

they knew the client and the environment in which clients were making decisions,

Because of specialization and progress and the scientific revolution and a

whole lot of other things departments began to be more specialized with less

overlap and sometimes there is vertially no overlap among departments. And

within departments the individual scientists became more and more specialized

to such a point that you really began to loose contact here. Communication

becomes difficult. What happens is that it is more and more difficult to

communicate with clients. The clients that the land grand systems normally

is working now is these large scale commercial farmers who can communicate

with these individuals. They're the type of management that allows then

to be able to do this and the system is serviceing this kind of client very

well. In the United States as abroad there are many many farmers who don't

have that available to them.. so that another system has to be superimposed

on here to be able to really communicate with the family farmer and be able

to solve his problems. So this approach utilizes scientists from the

different disciplines to supply the breath of vision ? normally supplied

by farm ? scientists. Now it takes several of us to have the breath

of knowledge that a farm ? scientist used to have in the early days of

the land grant system. Communication among scientist and scientist and farmer

returns and it is important to realize that the approach is not a substitute

for what exists rather provides an element for problem solving, client oriented

research that has disappeared in time in response to the technological and





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Hildebrand FSSP p.m.

scientific revolution. This new element is more powerful then the one that

disappeared because the FSRE? electively provides both more breath and more

depth then those individual farmer scientists were able to provide in the

early days of the land grant system. Here in Florida the members of the

XI MXgXXKX farming systems team are working with other scientists in the

various departments and with farmers we are working with the U.S. Department

of Agriculture in developing a farming systems program in North Florida.

As an example of the cooperation that exists among between the farming systems

program and other scientists here on the beef research unit is wheat, winter

wheat grazing trial and here is one set up on a farm. Now you can do things

on a station and you cannot do on a farm. Obviously, on the farm this farmers

first concern is feeding his cattle. So he puts additional constraints on

research. That is alright just take that into account. If you don't then

IXX grazing doesn't mean a whole lot to you anyway. So this is the kind

of cooperation that you get. We found now, after working a couple of years,

in Florida, combined with the experience that we have overseas, that we have

a lot of similarity in small family farm agriculture in the United States

in North Florida, and abroad. An example that's well known is the small farms

particularly subsistence farms have a lot of intercropping mixed cropping

systems. Abroad the same is true in North Florida this particular example

is peanuts and corn. Livestock is important in farming systems around the

world as it is in North Florida also among the family farmers. Off-farm work

like these wood carvers in Kenya is also important like this situation in

Ecuador where petroleum industry actually created a whole agricultural

industry in an area as the workers began to colonize etc. and continued to

work off-farm. And it is important as you all know in the United States.

The women contribution MWN# whether it in active farming or in other activities:

to help the family farming is the same in Guatemala or in North Florida they





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Hildebrand FSSP p.m.

all contribute to the family economy the economy of the farms it is not

just a business. Marketing is a problem for small farmers the world over.

WMMKX Whether someone down in the Amazon area is trying to sell a few rizoms?

of placanots ? or a farmer in North Florda -a small farmer trying to get

enough watermelons together to attract a broker or to get a trucker. Source

of input it the problem for small farmers everywhere. Again,whether it is in

North Florida, or like the bean situation we were talking about in Guatemala.

- where you are never quite sure what quality you are getting it is hard to

get the amount you wat etc. Irrigation is very seldom available to small

farmers in very limited quantities. Abroad there in Kenya or North Florida.

Storage is a problem too, for small farmers. These are potatoes stored in

North Florida. And this is corn stored under a house in the AMazon area.

Soils around the work on small family farms are poorer then on large commercial

farms to a large extent. And we think this is probably true in North Florida

although we are not positive we are still working on this. And its histori-

cal in North Florida as it is everywhere else. Make due is another character-

istic of the small family farms. Here is a homemade sugar cane press. In

Ecuador this is a typical kind of' ? you see on many farms in North

Florida small family farms. Make due. You don't go out ard buy the latest

tractor air conditioning arial ? Headset? etc. You can't do it. You

son't want to do it because you also have the family and the home to consider.

Credit for small farms is always a problem. I use this picture because you

can see three different spaces where this was built. maybe even four -

as money was available. Rather then go out and borrow and build it all at

once. This is a very good indication of the way small farmers view credit or

the lack of availability for credit for the small farmer. The one thing that

we found in common throughout the world is if you go out and talk to small

farmers, in the sense that you are there to learn from them, and jointly help

them to figure out better ways to produce or ways to improve the productivity





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Hildebrand FSSP p.m.

assistance ? there are always people that will whelp you and work with you.

If you go out there with the idea that they are farming wrong and I know better

how to farm then they do then is when you get this thing they say small

farmers aren't cooperating they don't want to change they won't listen to

you. they won't work. That is simply not true. It is the attitude that

you go out to work for them to help them that makes the difference. Now we

found these things to be true all over as I said. The conditions under which

we worked an-d the institutions we worked in have been tremendous ? variables.

This is an area in Norther Portugal that is full of small farms most of them

run by women whose husbands are off working either in the cities of Portugal or

in other parts of Europe. This is a small coffee farm in the Amazon area of

Ecuador. In a rain forest. This is one of the things we are looking at down

in that area where livestock is also important they like to have cattle.

- but cattle are hard to move around in dug out canoes. So for that and a

series of other reasons we thing that the african ?might be a real good

possibility along with improved varieties of ? This situation is

common in a a lot of Central America in the corn and bean areas. This is

Eastern Bolivia. You run into the same kinds of things the same kinds of

problems. There of course you have the alternatives, the farmers are raising

coca, which complicates things tremendously. The same situation we have in

North Florida with marijuana except that coca down there is legal. This is

is Salvador where they have tremendously high population pressure, very limited

land and we were looking for ways to increase the productivity of the land,

here,utilized productively all the labor that is available. We looked at all

those different kinds of systems IMXXKXKM and find that we do have a lot of

similarity and a lot of complementary for that reason we feel that we gained

working in Florida as well as we gained working abroad. We get a synergism

that helps solve problems all the way around




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