Report for external review


Material Information

Report for external review site visit CSUBotswana Cowpea Project, December 10-15, 1984
Portion of title:
CSU/Botswana Cowpea Project
Alternate title:
Colorado State University/Botswana Cowpea Project
Physical Description:
9 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Hildebrand, Peter E
Publication Date:


Subjects / Keywords:
Beans -- Economic aspects -- Botswana   ( lcsh )
Cowpea -- Economic aspects -- Botswana   ( lcsh )
Agricultural extension work -- Botswana   ( lcsh )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Statement of Responsibility:
by P.E. Hildebrand.
General Note:
Caption title.
General Note:

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
oclc - 646829474
lcc - HD1410.6.B55 H55 1984
System ID:

Full Text

Report for Extenal Review: Site visit

CSU/Botswana Cowpea Project

December 10-15, 1984

By P.E. Hildebrand

Notwithstanding the continuation of the severe drought in

Botswana, this project has made great strides since last year. Facing

a dramatic situation of very limited precipitation and unpredectible

rains, the main objectives of the project are to devise tillage and

planting practices to allow planting of cowpeas immediately when

sufficient rain has fallen and to produce varieties adaptive to the

conditions of the country.

Botswana is primarily a livestock country. Livestock and

off-farm work are the major earning activities of the farmers. Crops

then, are a cash-saving activity meaning that if a crop is produced,

livestock will not have to be sold to provide food for the family.

Given this structure and the uncertain potential for producing them,

crops that are mostly produced under very low input situations. This

is the challenge facing the Cowpea CRSP in Botswana.

Release of the early, erect variety ER-7 by the Government of

Botswana has created a great deal of enthusiasm for the CRSP.

Acceptance of the variety among most of those interviewed is evident,

but it is not unanimous. Concerns are on improving varieties similar

to the ER-7 and on the technic of blending varieties to provide

multipurpose leaves (spinach) for human consumption, forage for

grazing, and grain. The project is working on varietal improvement

but does has not have the resources to consider the other aspects


The variety/spraying tests conducted with several farming systems

groups in the country and approximately 30 agricultural extension

agents (A/Ds) also received mixed reaction. In particular, the work

with the A/Ds was mostly misunderstood. The Project was working with

the A/Ds to test a hypothesis that thrips were causing blossom drop.

The Project supplied sprayers to the A/Ds, seed, and training. The

extension agents were very happy with this collaboration and

substituted it for some of the demonstration plots they are required

to have. Hence, it was not work added to the A/D burdens and it did,

for nearly the first time, provide a strong link to research.

However, this activity was viewed by many outsiders as an attempt to

demonstrate to farmers the value of chemical insect control. For that

reason, many people in the country were quite opposed to the activity.

As a result of the review, it is hoped that this misunderstanding has

been cleared up.

At the time of the evaluation last year, concern was expressed

about the relationship between the CRSP and the Agricultural

Technology Improvement Project (ATIP). The situation has improved

significantly during the last year. ATIP conducted two bench-mark

surveys for the CRSP, and has analized the results and written reports

which are very useful. They are also testing varieties coming from

the CRSP and tillage equipment being produced by it. To date, field

testing of CRSP results by ATIP has been light, but both anticipate

that more will be done as more promising varieties are selected and as

the ATIP project begins to put somewhat less emphasis on its multiple

visits survey and therefore more on field trials.

The environment for enhancing the collaboration among several of

the units within the Division of Agricultural Research (DAR) appears

very favorable at the present time, and indeed some is already

occurring as mentioned above.

The concern expressed by the Director of Agricultural Research,

David Gollifer, for relatively more station research and relatively

less field testing by the CRSP can be met when the field testing is

taking over by the ATIP Farming System Teams. This is a favorable

shift in emphasis and can enhance the institutionalization of the

foreign donor projects into the Division of Agricultural Research.

1. Involvement and support from US institution.

a. Institutional integration.

The project is supported by the Department of Agronomy at

Colorado State University. One professional and one administrative

position are involved. Services include backstopping, administration,

and a proposed research project involving low night time temperatures.

b. Institutional back-up support provided.

CSU purchases and ships equipment and manages salaries of

personnel in Botswana.

c. Institutional interest in continued involvement.

Unknown to this reviewer.

d. Actions needed.

The research being planned in Colorado on low night time

temperatures should be initiated in Summer, 1985.

2. Project administration.

a. Fiscal management.

No problems that we are aware of.

b. Program management and logistics.

In-country the team is still functioning with inadequate

transportation. Requests for clearances in Washington have been

delayed excessively. Nonetheless, the US-PI is managing well, a

completed program, and utilizes resources wherever they can be found.

A surprising number of persons and projects are collaborating with the

CRSP effort.

c. Actions needed.

A continuing shift of on-farm trial responsibility from the

CRSP to the ATIP Farming Systems Project will provide the CRSP team

more time to undertake additional needed research.

3. Personnel.

a. Paid/unpaid.

Seven persons are being paid by the CRSP. Two of these are

Batswana studying for MS degrees and two are women. One is on loan

from the CRSP project in Tanzania.

Unpaid: six individuals including one new peace corp

volunteer to replace the volunteer who has recently left.

b. Adequate number and type.

Given the resources available to the project, this does not

appear to be a constraint.

c. Involvement of women.

Two women work directly with the project and many other work

in a collaborative mode with the project.

d. Effectiveness.

All the personnel appear to be functioning in a highly

effective manner.

e. Staff concerns.

Concerns were expressed that the US-PI has not been able to

interact as much as would be desirable with the staff because of heavy

administrative and travel demands. This is not to critize the travel

which is viewed as being highly productive in itself, but it does lead

to a valid concern from the staff.

f. Actions needed.

Given the fact that the reviews and reports are required and

the travel highly productive, no specific changes in action seem


4. Equipment and facilities.

a. Availability.

Transportation remains a problem to the team. The host

country institution provides what transportation it can, but this is

very limited by their own very limited resources. Requests for

vehicle purchase have been delayed many months in Washington.

b. Adequacy.

The land which is provided on the Sabele Station for

irrigation appears to be shallow and of poor quality. This may have

some negative impact on the research product.

c. Actions needed.

More rapid approval of transportation requests from

Washington. If possible, provision of an area with better soils on

the Sabele station.

5. Project progress.

a. Frequency and usefulness of US/HC team travel.

By combining home leave with business travel, several CRSP

locations were visited. Stops were also made at three US universities.

Though this created a fairly long absence of the PI from the host

country, it appears to be a highly effective use of the PI's time.

b. Level of the US/HC team communication and communication

with HC AID Mission. Generally this seems to be adequate.

c. Appropriateness of activities to goals.

All activities of the team appear to be appropriately

directed to goals of the project.

d. Progress toward research objectives.

Three baseline surveys have been completed. One of these was

designed especially for women farmers. The continuing drought has

hampered the capability of the team to obtain much of the data

desired. However, progress is being made in reaching the objectives

of the project. In particular, the germ plasm collection has been

increased to 700 entries. Tillage implements have been devised and

are moving into the testing stage.

Karen Conniff arrived in host country too close to the initiation

of rains to be able to prepare a research proposal as well as she

would have liked. Given the uncertainty of rains in the country,

however, it was necessary for her to establish one of her trials. The

objectives of this project could be refined and possible can still be

incorporated into a later planting yet this year.

e. Progress toward training objectives.

Two host country students, one male and one female, and one

female US student are engaged in graduate study in the US. Another

female US student is conducting dissertation research in host country.

Two host country technicians received short term non-degree training

at IITA.

f. Attention to issues of related disciplines

including WID.

Highly satisfactory.

g. Contribution of work to small farmers systems.

The project is working very closely with small farmer

systems. This category is highly satisfactory.

h. Contribution of work to US agriculture.

Some of the generic material developed or screened in host

country may well be adaptable to the drier conditions found in the US.

New information on drought can also be utilized in US agriculture.

The proposed research on low night-time temperatures can also be

directly applicable in the US.

i. Actions needed.

None specifically indicated.

6. Active linkages established.

a. Host country institutions.

The CRSP has established linkages with a large number of

host country organizations. This is effective in aiding progress

toward project objectives and institutionalizing project activities in

the host country.

b. US organizations.

Linkages have been established with the University of

California, Kansas State University and Michigan State University.

c. Other CRSP Projects.

Linkages has been established with CRSP projects in Brazil,

Senegal, Nigeria and Tanzania.

d. Actions needed.

None indicated.

7. Summary of status.

a. Specific strengths.

A very active and enthusiastic US-PI. This applies equally

to all the staff working in the host country.

b. Specific weaknesses.

The level of training of host country technicians is still

lower than desirable. Continued efforts will need to be made to

improve the host country capability in this category.

c. Change from previous review.

The host country PI position is still being filled by an

administrator on a temporary basis. Otherwise all concerns of the ERP

in the last review have been significantly improved upon.

d. Expected schedule of future outputs.

Much of the progress in producing outputs depends upon the

rains. However, new lines to replace or augment ER-7 should be

available for nation wide testing in two years. Tests of the tillage

equipment are being initiated and results will be available within one


8. Summary of recommendations.

Efforts directed toward enhancing the collaboration of the

commodity units within the DAR with the ATIP farming systems project

should prove to be highly productive and should be actively pursued.

December 20, 1984