Title: Identification of results of farming systems research and extension activities
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 Material Information
Title: Identification of results of farming systems research and extension activities a synthesis, a summary
Physical Description: v. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Frankenberger, Timothy R.
Publication Date: 1989?
Copyright Date: 1989
 Subjects
Subject: Agricultural systems -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
General Note: Typescript (Photocopy)
Statement of Responsibility: Tim Frankenberger.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00094264
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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Resource Identifier: oclc - 226342243

Full Text



Identification of Results of Farming Systems
Research and Extension Activities: A Synthesis
A Summary


I. Purpose of the Study
The purpose of this study was to review, analyze and document the results of
Farming Systems Research and Extension (FSR/E) projects/programs that have been
implemented worldwide. This study focuses on the factors that affect sustainability of
FSR/E within national agricultural research and extension systems. It seeks to determine
the degree to which externally funded FSR/E projects have assisted in institutionalizing
the FSR/E approach into these systems, and the extent to which governments will
support these activities. The study relied on field case studies in Indonesia, Guatemala,
Botswana and Costa Rica, and a secondary review of FSR/E programs. Key topics
addressed in this study within the context of institutional sustainability include
organizational structure; training; content of FSR/E programs; process of technology
assessment; linkages with commodity research programs; extension; agricultural support
systems; facilities of agriculture and other government programs; networking; and
information dissemination.

I. Impacts
There are numerous problems associated with measuring the technical impact of
FSR/E contribution to small farmer development. As Baker and Norman (1988) point out,
there are three boundary issues which confound such assessments:
1. The relative contributions of conventional research and FSR are not separable
since they are complimentary activities
2 The adoption of technologies depends upon a wide range of circumstances,
including the performance of support systems which are not under the control
of FSR teams;
3. Because FSR/E approaches encompass technological developments and
institutional change, significant results are not realized until after 10-25 years.

Due to these problems, this study has chosen to concentrate on major issues associated
with the institutionalization of FSR/E programs in National Agricultural Research and
Extension Systems.
The major impacts are organized under seven headings. These include: the
organizational integration of FSR/E; cost sharing in the FSR/E program; short-term and
long-term training; institutional and international linkages; information dissemination and
public policy; farmer participation; and impacts on technology transfer.
From Table 1, the most important impacts across projects and programs include: 1)
cost sharing in FSR/E programs with National Agricultural Research and Extension
Systems; 2) improved research and extension linkages; 3) technologies tested and adapted;
and 4) feedback from farmers used. For Africa, the major impacts were: 1) cost sharing







with FSR/E programs with National Agricultural systems; 2) technology tested and
adapted; 3) improved research/extension linkages; 4) improved links with research; 5)
feedback from farmers used; 6) influenced research design/priorities; 7) improved links
with other institutions; and 8) farmer participation in research. For Latin America, the
major impacts were: 1) cost sharing of FSR/E programs with National Agricultural
systems; 2) improved research extension linkages; 3) inservice training for extension; 4)
technology tested and adapted; 5) improved links with other institutions; and 6) feedback
from farmers used. For Southeast Asia, the major impacts were: 1) cost sharing of
FSR/E programs with National Agricultural systems; 2) short-term training; 3) feedback
from farmers used; 4) improved iesearch/extension linkages; and 5) technology tested and
adapted.

II. Constraints to FSR/E Project/Program Implementation
Overall, the major constraints to FSR/E program implementation across countries
were: 1) competition with other institutions in the research organization, and 2) weak
links between research and extension (See Table 2). For Africa, the major constraints
were: 1) competition with other institutions; 2) the environment; 3) access to trained
manpower; 4) staffing of field teams; 5) cost of technology and access to inputs; 5) poor
linkages with policy makers; 7) weak links with research and extension; 8) on-farm
experience of research staff; and 9) the role of extension. For Latin America, the major '
constraints were: 1) competition across institutions; 2) weak links between research and
extension; 3) budget constraints; 4) cost of technology and access to inputs; 5) poor
linkages with policy makers; and 6) agricultural prices and marketing. For Southeast
Asia, the major constraints were: 1) weak links between research and extension; 2)
project design; 3) design of on-farm trials; and 4) involvement of farmers in the research
process.

IV. Lessons Learned
1. The lack of cooperation between research and extension is common in national
agricultural research and extension systems. FSR/E can play an important bridging
role between extension and agricultural research. FSR/E teams test technology
from research, and provide researchers with feedback from farmers and extension to
help set research priorities. Technologies are not always directly transferable from
research to extension.
2. All FSR/E projects within a country should be placed under one administrative
umbrella. Placing FSR/E programs under research rather than extension may be the
preferred mode. FSR/E teams placed under research divisions have better access to
research results and can influence priorities easier than those placed under
extension. Linkages with extension are more likely to develop due to the location
of FSR/E teams n the field.
3. As research programs decentralize, FSR/E teams could form the core of regional
research teams working in different ecological zones.
4. Unless incentives are provided, it will be difficult to retain trained manpower in the
field as long as career advancement is contingent on placement in a centralized
research organization. Consequently, there is also little professional reward for
interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration. Despite this, human capital
development is essential to the success of viable FSR/E programs.






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5. The reluctance of esearchers to test and disseminate technologies and practices on
farmers fields until final solutions are reached is limiting potential production
improvements unnecessarily. There is a need to test best bet alternatives so that
farmers can participate in the assessments.

6. FSR/E activities carried out on a project basis independent of on-station research
programs are usually unable to undertake long-term research. This leads to a
failure to develop credibility among planners, on-station researchers and extension
agents. In addition, the scale of projects may be the biggest barrier to national
sustainability of externally funded development initiatives. Thus, serious
consideration should be given to initiating FSR/E activities in a project mode.
7. Impact on agricultural policy is one area where FSR/E programs have not fulfilled
their potential. The way results are presented is often the key. An honest
assessment must be made as to what extension can use, what research can use and
what policy makers will read. Executive summaries which highlight major points
could have significant impacts, especially if the information is packaged
appropriately to address policy issues.
8. A well prepared plan or strategy which outlines the process of technology. .. -
assessment could help improve the linkages between commodity focused researchers,
FSR/E teams and extension. Such a plan would specify disciplinary responsibilities,
methodological stages, and feedback channels. This plan could then be used to
orient new researchers who come into the research or extension program.
9. One of the main limitations for FSR/E has been access to good on-shelf
technologies for immediate agro-ecological adaptation. This is especially true for
marginal areas under harsh conditions, often where FSR/E teams are assigned to
work. Under such conditions, research pay-offs are often limited in the short run,
and may take considerable time to develop. FSR/E programs have always been more
successful in more favorable environments. In harsh climates, fewer successful
interventions are available and it is often necessary to substantially modify the
existing farming system. Thus, it is inappropriate to assume that viable results can
be achieved in the same time frame for bth types of environments. Such
comparisons may have led to the impression that FSR/E approaches have not lived
up to expectations (Baker and Norman, 1988).
10. A major difference between on-station testing of technology and on-farm testing is
the value placed on cause/effect relationships. On-station trials focus on such
relationships, whereas on-farm trials are less controlled. Farmer assessments play a
key role in such trials, which are not necessarily considered valid to on-station
researchers. This can influence the speed at which research recommendations are
passed on to extension. In addition, the need of some researchers to determine
cause and effect relationships in on-farm trials has influenced the emphasis placed
on farmer managed technology validation.
11. Successful FSR/E programs tend to have sufficient capital for operating expenses.
An appropriate ratio of expenditures for staff and operations will ensure that on-
farm testing is feasible. Expenditures of 90 percent of the budget for salaries will
significantly limit research opportunities.
12. Expatriate technical assistants should be directly incorporated into the structure of
the research organization and extension system. They should not be placed in
richly endowed projects that have little resemblance to the working realities of







national scientists and extension workers. Attempts should be made to work within
the existing resource base.
13. Past experience with systems research can facilitate the successful integration of
FSR/E programs into the national agricultural system.
14. Farmer participation in bottom-up planning and research is difficult to achieve
within a research system that requires lines of authority and responsibility to be
clearly defined by the central office. Adapting a flexible and dynamic bottom-up
development process to a highly centralized and vertically structured research
organization is a difficult task. In the same way that farmers select and modify
technologies to fit these particular farming system and resource base, govemments
are attempting to adjust and incorporate the FSR/E process within the national
agricultural structure (McArthur and Rerkasem, 1988).
15. Projects that focus on short-term technology generation and/or production
objectives may impede rather than reinforce the long-term goal of integrating the
concept and methods of the FSR/E process into the national agricultural.system
(McArthur and Rerkasem, 1988).

16. Networking is a key activity for overcoming methodological stagnation. The
training aspects of meetings are extremely valuable.
17. Many FSR/E projects/programs have not effectively used social science input
Despite the importance of characterization of areas, anticipating socio-cultural
problems, and the need for baseline studies to be used as comparisons for
evaluations, very few social scientists are brought into FSR/E programs. This is
due both to a shortage of trained personnel as well as perceptions on the part of
technical scientists. Consideration should be given to how social science input can
be useful to ongoing research activities after the diagnostic phase.
18. In spite of the fact that support for FSR/E programs has increased among national
planners in low income countries during the 1980s, USAID and other donors began
shifting their emphasis away from farming systems research. This declining support
dramatically reduced the pace of FSR/E institutionalization after 1985 (Baker and
Norman, 1988). Despite such reductions, numerous countries around the world have
reorganized their national research organizations to accommodate FSR/E. Regional
networks have been established such as the Asian Farming Systems Network and the
West African Farming Systems Network to allow scientists to share experiences and
learn new ideas. In addition, more than 10 universities in the U.S. have established
programs focused on American agriculture (Bake and Norman, 1988).
In light of these developments, USAID played a significant role in establishing
FSR/E programs around the world. As a development agency responsible for its past
initiatives, backstopping the FSR/E programs in the form of support for training and
networking is a necessary obligation.

V. Possible Trends
Baker and Norman (1988) have outlined a number of directions that the FSR/E
approach has evolved and speculate on future directions. These include the following:
1. A narrowly focused FSR/E approach which was developed at the IARCs has given






rise to a more comprehensive, longer horizon systems approach.


2. Farmer participation in FSR/E activities has increased through time.

3. The domination of FSR/E programs by donor agencies and expatriate technical
assistance has given way to localized programs.

4. There is declining interest in describing farming systems, and increasing interest in
pushing technologies through the testing stage and extension.
5. The evolution of FSR/E has been heavily influenced by the expanding number of
academic professionals representing several disciplines. These academics have shown
interest in expanding the focus of FSR/E and placed emphasis on farmer first
perspectives.

6. Bureaucrats in donor agencies and National Agricultural Ministers are questioning
the viability and affordability of decentralized, bottom-up approaches to
development They would like to see the emphasis shift to commodity focused
programs that address national planning goals in high pay-off environments.
.o"




TABLE 1

AFRICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS




Burkina.
IMPACTS Botswana Faso Gambia Ethiopia Lesotho Malawi Nigeria Mali

1. Organizational
Integration of FSR/E

a. FSR/E integrated
into National
Ag. Division X X

b. Influence on
research design/
priorities X X X

c. Interdisciplinary
teams created X X


2. Cost Sharing in the
FSR/E Program X X X X X X X


3. Short and Long-
Term Training

a. Long-term
training of
research and
extension X X
b. Training
rural
artisans X

c. In-service
training for
extension
d. FSR training at
universities

e. Short-term
training




TABLE 1

AFRICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS




Burkina.
IMPACTS Botswana Fasa Gambia Ethiopia Lesotho Malawi Nigeria Mali

4. Institutional and
International
Linkages

a. Improved
research/
extension links X X X X
b. Improves links
with other
institutions X X
c. Improved
research links X X X

d. Established
links to IARCs X X


5. Information,
Dissemination and
Public Policy

a. Policy
Input X X

b. Use of Media

c. Description
of farming
systems




TABLE 1


AFRICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS




Burkina
IMPACTS Botswana Fasoa Gambia Ethiopia Lesotho Malawi Nigeria Mall

6. Farmer
Participation
a. Improved farmer
confidence X

b. Feedback from
farmer used X X X X X

c. Farmer awareness
of government
programs X
d. Farmer
participation X X
in research


7. Impacts on
Technology
Transfer

a. Technology
tested and
adapted X X X X X
b. Increased role
of women X X X

c. Food production
increases
d. Increased
number of on-
farm trials Y




TABLE 1


AFRICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS





IMPACTS Somalia Swaziland Tanzania Zaire Zambia Zimbabwe Sudan

1. Organization
Integration of FSR/E
a. FSR/E integrated
into National
Ag. Division
b. Influence on
research design/
priorities X X
c. Interdisciplinary
teams created


2. Cost Sharing in the
FSR/E Program X X X X X X X


3. Short and Long-
Term Training

a. Long-term
training of
research and
extension X X

b. Training
rural
artisans

c. In-service
training for
extension
d. FSR training at
universities

e. Short-term X
training




TABLE 1

AFRICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS




IMPACTS Somalia Swaziland Tanzania Zaire Zambia Zimbabwe Sudan

4. Institutional and
International
Linkages

a. Improved
research/
extension links X X X X X X

b. Improved links
with other
institutions X X X
c. Improved
research links X X X X X

d. Established
links to IARCs


5. Information,
Dissemination and
Public Policy

a. Policy
input X X

b. Use of Media X

c. Description
of farming
system X












IMPACTS


TABLh I


AFRICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS


Zimbabwe Sudan


IL I ______________


6. Farmer
Participation

a. Improved farmer
confidence

b. Feedback from
farmer used

c. Farmer awareness
of government
programs

d. Farmer
participation
in research



7. Impacts on
Technology
Transfer

a. Technology
tested and
adapted

b. Increased role
of women

c. Food production
increases


d. Increased
number of on-
farm trials


Somalia


Swaziland


Tanzania


Zaire


Zambia




TABLE 1


SOUTHEAST ASIA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS


IMPACTS Indonesia Nepal Phillippines Thailand

1. Organizational
Integration of FSR/E
a. FSR/E integrated
into National
Ag. Division X
b. Influence on
research design/
priorities X X
c. Interdisciplinary
teams created X X

2. Cost Sharing in the
FSR/E Programs X X X X


3. Short and Long-
Term Training

a. Long-term
training of
research and
extension X
b. Training rural
artisans
c. In-service
training for
extension X X
d. FSR training at
universities X

e. Short-term
training X X X











IMPACTS


4. Institutional and
International
Linkages
a. Improved
research/extension
links
b. Improved links
with other
institutions
c. Improved
research links
d. Established
links to IARCs


5. Information,
Dissemination and
Public Policy

a. Policy Input
b. Use of Media
c. Description of
farming systems


TABLE 1



SOUTHEAST ASIA vSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS


Indonesia


_ I..


Nepal


Phillippines


Thailand




TABLE 1



SOUTHEAST ASIA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS


IMPACTS Indonesia Nepal Phillippines Thailand

6. Farmer Participation

a. Imporved farmer
confidence

b. Feedback from farmer
used X X X
c. Farmer awareness of
government programs

d. Farmer participation
in research X



7. Impacts on
Technology
Transfer

a. Technology tested
and adapted X X X
b. Increased role of
women X X
c. Food production
increases X

d. Increased number of
on-farm trials X




TABLE 1
'LATIN AMERICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAM




Costa Rica/
IMPACTS Brazil CATIE CARDI Guatemala Honduras Panama Paraguay

1. Organizational
Integration of FSR/E
a. FSR/E integrated
into National
Ag. Division X

b. Influence on
research design/
priorities X X

c. Interdisciplinary
teams created X


2. Cost Sharing in the
FSR/E Program X X X X X X


3. Short and Long-
Term Training

a. Long-term
training of
research and
extension X X

b. Training rural
artisans
c. In-service
training for
extension X X X

d. FSR training
at universities X X
e. Short-term
training




TABLE 1


LATIN AMERICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAM




Costa Rica/
IMPACTS Brazil CATIE CARDI Guatemala Honduras Panama Paraguay

4. Institutional and
International
Linkages
a. Improved
research/
extension links X X X X X

b. Improved links
with other
institutions X X X

c. Improved
research links X X

d. Established
links to IARCs X X


5. Information,
Dissemination and
Public Policy

a. Policy Input

b. Use of Media

c. Description of
farming
systems




TABLE 1
LATIN AMERICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAM




Costa Rica/
IMPACTS Brazil CATIE CARDI Guatemala Honduras Panama Paraguay

6. Farmer
Participation

a. Improved farmer
confidence
b. Feedback from
farmer used X X X
c. Farmer awareness
of government
programs XX
d. Farmer
participation
in research X

7. Impacts on
Technology
Transfer
a. Technology
tested and
adapted X X X X

b. Increased role
of women X
c. Food production
increases

d. Increased
number of on-
farm trials X X





TABLE 2

AFRICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS




Burkina
CONSTRAINTS Botswana Faso Gambia Ethiopia Lesotho Malavi Nigeria Mali

1. Environmental X X X X k X

2. Staffing of
Field Team X X X X

3. Target Focus to
Narrow X

4. Visibility of
Project/Project
Format X

5. Access to Trained
Manpower X X X X

6. Competition across
Institutions X X X X

7. Information
Dissemination X X

8. Cost of Technology
Access of Inputs X X

9. Poor Linkages with
Policy Makers X X X

10. Weak Links between
Research and
Extension X X X

11. Project Design X

.12. Participation of
( ii-, t .x
, i i X





TABLE 2


AFRICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS



Burkina
CONSTRAINTS Botswana Faso Gambia. Ethiopia Lesotho Malavi Nigeria Mali

13. Budget Constraints

14. Design of On-
farm Trials X X X

15. Post Production
Systems

16. On-farm Experience
of Staff X X X

17. Time Frame of
Project X

18. Role of Extension X X

19. Agricultural
Prices/Marketing

20. Management
Support X

21. Legacy of Past
Approaches

22. Data Management
and Analyses

23. Involvement of
Farmers in Research
Process X X

24. Non Equitable
Distribution of
BU.Hu t i i t





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TABLE 2

AFRICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS





CONSTRAINTS Somalia Swaziland Tanzania Zaire Zambia Zimbabwe Sudan

1. Environmental X X

2. Staffing of
Field Team X

3. Target Focus to
Narrow X

4. Visibility of
Project/Project
Format

5. Access to Trained
Manpower X X

6. Competition Across
Institutions X X X X

7. Information
Dissemination

8. Cost of Technology
Access of Inputs X X X

9. Poor Linkages with
Policy Makers X X X

10. Weak Links between
Research and
Extension X X

11. Project Design

12. Participation of
On-station
Researchers X X





TABLE 2
AFRICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS





CONSTRAINTS Somalia Swaziland Tanzania Zaire Zambia Zimbabwe Sudan

13. Budget Constraints X X X

14. Design of On-
farm Trials X X

15. Post Production
Systems X

16. On-farm Experience
of Staff X X

17. Time Fram of
Project X

18. Role of Extension X X X

19. Agricultural
Prices/Marketing X X X X

20. Management
Support X

21. Legacy of Past
Approaches X

22. Data Management
and Analyses

23. Involvement of
Farmers in
Research Process

24. Non Equitable
Distribution
of Benefits













CONSTRAINTS


25. Extension of
Technologies

26. Lack of
Technologies

27. Use of Socio-
Economic Data

28. Inappropriate
Technology


TABLE 2
AFRICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS


Somalia


Swaziland


Tanzania


TII I 1.


Zaire


Zambia


Zimbabwe Sudan




TABLE 2


LATIN AMERICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS


Costa Rica/
CONSTRAINTS Brazil CATIE CARDI Guatemala Honduras Panama Paraguay

1. Environmental

2. Staffing of
Field Team

3. Target Focus
to Narrow

4. Visibility of
Project/Project
Format

5. Access of Trained
Manpower X

6. Competition Across
Institutions X X X X

7. Information
Dissemination

8. Cost of Technology
Access to Inputs X X

9. Poor Linkages with
Policy Makers X X

10. Weak Links between
Research and
Extension X X X

11. Project Design

12. Participation of
On-station
Researchers




TABLE 2


LATIN AMERICA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS



Costa Rica/
CONSTRAINTS Brazil CATIE CARDI Guatemala Honduras Panama Paraguay

13. Budget Constraints X X X

14. Design of On-
Farm Trials X

15. Post Production
Systems

16. On-farm Experience
of Staff

17. Time Frame of
Project

18. Role of Extension

19. Agricultural
Prices/Marketing X X

20. Management
Support X

21. Legacy of Past
Approaches X

22. Involvement of
Farmers in
Research Process

23. Data Management
and Analyses.

24. Non Equitable
Distribution of
It e i t i ts X













CONSTRAINTS


TABLE 2


LATIN AMERICA


Brazil


Costa Rica/
CATIE


FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS


CARDI


Vt V


25. Extension of
Technologies

26. Lack of
Technologies

27. Use of Socio-
Economic Data

28. Inappropriate
Technologies


Guatemala


Honduras


Panama


Paraguay


LATN MEIC





TABLE 2


SOUTHEAST ASIA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS


CONSTRAINTS Indonesia Nepal Phillippines Thailand

1. Environmental X

2. Staffing of Field
Team X

3. Target Focus to Narrow

4. Visibility of Project/
Project Format X

5. Access of Trained
Manpower

6. Competition Across
Institutions X

7. Information
Dissemination

8. Cost of Technology
Access to Inputs X

9. Poor Linkages with
Policy Makers X

10. Weak Linkages between
Research and
Extension X X X

11. Project Design X X

12. Participation of On-
station Researchers X

13. Budget Constraints X





TABLE 2


SOUTHEAST ASIA FSR/E PROJECTS/PROGRAMS


CONSTRAINTS Indonesia Nepal Phillippines Thailand

14. Design of On-farm
Trails X X

15. Post Production
Systems

16. On-farm Experience of
Staff

17. Time Frame of Project X

18. Role of Extension

19. Agricultural Prices/
Marketing X

20. Management Support X

21. Legacy of Past
Approaches X

22. Involvement of
Farmers in Research X X

23. Data Management and
Analyses X

24. Non Equitable
Distribution of
Benefits X

25. Extension of
Technologies

26. Lack of Technologies


1. .I l t l)
2 i. 1n~appropri iatt




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