DR. A. -i,,SEN
FARMING SYSTEMS RESEARCH
MONTHLY REPORT CHITEDZE. P.O. BOX 158
DR.. A., HANSEN JULY 1981 TEL. 72f855
The most significant single activity was planning and beginning
to implement trials of local maizes. These trials are the result
of a recommendation from the farming systems survey of LRDP (Lilongwe
plain area) that I directed in late April, will have.a direct impact
on extension recommendations to smallholder farmers (see LADD local
maize trialssrepoit), and are a clear expression of this project's
commitment to smallholder agriculture and to action research.
Since the LRDP survey had identified the importance of small-
holder experimentation with fertilizers on local maizes, I held
several meetings in July with agricultural research and development
personnel.te plan on-station and on-form trials. As finally agreed,
the trials will include a random sample of local maizes from from the
Lilongwe Agricultural Development Division (LADD), and the research
will overlap with the National Sample Survey of Agriculture (NSSA).
After selecting the sample of farmers, a team went out in late July
to collect 15 kilograms of local maize seed from each of the 12 LRDP
farmers. In August, seed will be collected from the other areas in
LADD (Thiwi Lifidzi and Ntcheu).
Other activities during July included working with Dr. J.T.
Legg, Chief Agricultural Research Officer, and Dr. D.E. McCloud on
plans to restructure the Department of Agricultural Research so it
could support more closely the agricultural development program.
The draft of Legg's proposal I wrote for him constituted more than
half of his 20 July "Proposal for Restructuring the Department..."
During July I attended the field day at Sangano Research
Station and observed smallholder intercropping near there (under-
sowing wheat in maize fields), as well as travelling to Zomba to
talk with Chancellor College faculty.
During Aygust I will finish sample selection and seed collection
for the lo~e maize trials and will select and be interviewing small-
holder families for the two Lilongwe area samples of 50 contiguous
households for the long-term study of former innovations and decision -
100% research in July.
Anita and Akim, my wife and son, arrived on 9 July, a happy event
for us all since we had been apart for more than five months. They
arrived during a festive time: Malawi celebrates its independence
6 July and for three successive weekends, while the juxtaposition of
Independence Days caused the American Embassy to celebrate the 4th of
July on the 11th.
1. Staffing continues to be a critical impediment to effective
program development. There are no professional staff to
tutor, and the inadequate office staff (now down to one
accountant) means it is impossible to get reports, memos
and letters typed. I had to submit the draft on restructuring
to Dr. Legg in longhand. A word processor and an electric
typewriter would help, as would secretaries. This is not an
unforseen problem since I'"alked about it last fall with Chris
Andrew in Gainesville, but we have not solved it.
2. The imminent arrival of more UF/USAID professionals is welcome
indeed (especially for me the economist), but we will encounter
an office space problem. The animal scientist will probably
take the office where I am now, but there is no other office
for me nor another for the economist nor another for our staff
as we acquire them.
Farming Systems Analyst Professor and Chief of Party