Evaluating on-farm research
 Farming systems research in...
 East India rice based farming systems...
 Research note on farmer experimentation...
 The Mantaro Valley project: Some...
 Adding a food consumption perspective...

Title: Farming Systems Support Project newsletter
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00071908/00010
 Material Information
Title: Farming Systems Support Project newsletter
Alternate Title: FSSP newsletter
Physical Description: v. : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Farming Systems Support Project
University of Florida -- Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences
Publisher: The Project
Place of Publication: Gainesville Fla
Publication Date: 1983-
Frequency: quarterly
Subject: Agriculture -- Periodicals -- Developing countries   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- International cooperation -- Periodicals   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
periodical   ( marcgt )
Dates or Sequential Designation: Vol. 1, no. 1 (spring 1983)-
Issuing Body: Issued by: Farming Systems Support Project, which is administered by: Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida.
General Note: Title from caption.
Funding: Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00071908
Volume ID: VID00010
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 - 10387162
lccn - sn 84011294

Table of Contents
    Evaluating on-farm research
        Page 1
    Farming systems research in Botswana
        Page 2
        Page 3
    East India rice based farming systems research project
        Page 4
    Research note on farmer experimentation in Southern Columbia
        Page 5
        Page 6
    The Mantaro Valley project: Some lessons from on-farm research in the Andes
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    Adding a food consumption perspective to farming systems research
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
Full Text


Evaluating On-Farm Research'

As research moves off station,
some support and operation costs
will be incurred. The logistics of the
support and budgeting for on-farm
research is an integral part of the
planning process. These costs will be
more than offset by the benefits of
conducting more of the research
under the physical, ecological, and
socioeconomic conditions faced by
farmers. Further, as leaders of com-
modity and disciplinary groups are
able to carry out more trials on-farm,
they are also better able to target
on-station research toward the needs
of client groups. Three principal
groups of clients use the results of
agricultural sector research. These
are: farm families; agricultural sector
support services which provide inputs
and/or marketing services to farms;
and public planning and policy clients,
such as legislatures, planning depart-
ments, or financial ministries.
As an FSR/E program matures,
some mechanism is needed by which
both on-farm and on-station research
activities can be evaluated, along
with their contribution toward re-
ducing the effects of constraints that
limit production. In this way, unpro-
ductive lines of investigation can be
discarded earlier. A rigorous review
procedure can help guard against a
tendency of many scientists to pur-
sue familiar research projects with
only minor changes, even if these
may no longer be yielding significant
new information of potential use by
An overall review will help identify
where cooperative research or an ex-

Peter E. Hildebrand and Federico Poey2

change of information should take
place. It will also identify duplication
of effort or where resources could be
better used on other priorities or in
other regions. Another benefit of
evaluation reviews is that participants
in the process (at all levels, including
support staff) develop a mission-
oriented outlook and the overall
program becomes more purposeful
and rewarding.
A further advantage of FSR/E is
that it helps to make the process of
research and development more un-
derstandable to public leaders, farm
client groups, and service organiza-
tions. It provides a visible example
of public and institutional commit-
ment to finding solutions for real
problems and to improving rural
life. These in turn can lead directly
to public support for research and
development, which may previously
have been lacking, and indirectly to
changes (where desirable) in public
policies toward agriculture.
While it is rarely possible to mea-
sure the cost and benefit ratio of an
FSR/E research program directly, it
is possible to evaluate progress against
goals and objectives, if these have
been clearly stated. It may also be
necessary to include measures or in-
dicators of progress in data gathering
and analysis activities. For example,
the rate of adoption of technology
introduced under the program is one
indicator of progress, as are the net
farm incomes, levels of production
per unit area, or total production
from an area measured over time.
Readers familiar with the complex-

ity of measuring such indicators,
particularly under multiple cropping
systems, will recognize the problem
of objectively measuring program
Adding to the complexity, both
research and farm managers must
take into consideration the conse-
quences of recommendations and
decisions, not only for the current
cropping season but also for future
seasons. For example, practices which
control soil erosion, preserve soil
moisture, and improve soil structure
and fertility may reduce current
earnings but also may improve future
income and family security. Similar-
ly, the planting of perennial crops,
including trees for fuel and timber
production, may reduce short-term
profits but substantially increase
future earnings. Conversely, practices
or crops which mine soil fertility
may increase current profits but

endanger future earnings.
The rate at which new technology
is adopted will depend foremost upon
its acceptability to farmers. It also
depends upon the effectiveness of
government systems in providing the
necessary support infrastructure, in-
cluding roads, inputs to the produc-
tion process, access to credit, and
markets for products which are pro-

11985 by Lynne Rienner Publishers, Inc.
Reprinted with permission, Hildebrand, Peter E.
On-farm agronomic trials in farming systems
research and extension, pp 154-156.
2See page 16 for information about authors and

Farming Systems Research in Botswana

by N. D. Hunter and T. Farrington*

During the early 1970's, the Min-
istry of Agriculture voiced itsopinion
that there wasa body of research
knowledge available which, if applied
by a large number of farmers, would
significantly increase the nation's
food production. However, concern
was expressed over the fact that this
body of knowledge seemed to have
had little impact on either yield
levels or total production (MOA,
1974). Apparently the technology
was not reaching the farmers or else
it was proving to be unacceptable,
either because of significant defic-
iencies in household and geographical
resources, or because of more
favorable alternatives for employing
those resources. An associated prob-
lem was the failure to explain the
yield gap that often exists between
research plots and farmers' fields,
when apparently the same tech-
nology was being utilized.
Early Developments
The result of this concern was the
acceptance that applied research
alone was not necessarily the most
appropriate tool for tackling pro-
duction constraints in an environ-
ment as diverse as that of Botswana.
Instead, it was considered necessary
that on-station/applied research be
taken into farmers fields for testing
(MOA, 1976). In recognition of this
need two projects (The Evaluation
of Farming Systems and Agricultural

*N. D. Hunter is Project Leader, IFPP, P.O. Box
69, Lobatse and T. Farrington is Agricultural
Economist, Department of Agricultural Research,
Private Bag 0033, Gaborone, Botswana.

Implements Project-EFSAIP, and
The Integrated Farming Pilot Project
-IFPP) were set up. Their initial
mandate, among other things, specif-
ically included the testing of tech-
nology/interventions at farm level.
It was soon found that such testing
would also require a thorough under-
standing of all the constraints facing
farmers. Latterly, their mandate has
included the development of a much
more detailed and wider based in-
vestigation into farmer problems and
An immediate feedback from this
kind of on-farm work as the unsuit-
ability of the research recommenda-
tions (autumn cultivations, row plant-
ing, use of fertilizer and improved
seed, good weed and pest control,
crop rotation, minimum tillage, and
soil/water conservation) as a total
package based on the multi-purpose
toolbar (IFPP 1977-1980, EFSAIP
1976-1984). However, the feedback
process did encourage the improve-
ment of some of the individual
components e.g. the row planting
technology that has already been
referred to. On the livestock side, it
was very quickly found that the
management recommendations pro-
duced under APRU ranch conditions
could not be applied to the situation
of the communal area farmer (IFPP
1979-1980). All this has helped to
focus research efforts into a much
wider range of farmer problems.

Current Situation
The momentum in on-farm research
has increased during the 1980's with
the establishment of the Agricultural

Technology Improvement Project
(ATIP) and the Agricultural Develop-
ment for Ngamiland Project (ADNP).
This process has generally become
known as farming systems research
and teams of this nature are now
established in Southern, Serowe,
Francistown and Maun agricultural
regions. The fundamental basis of
this approach is that one must have
a good understanding of the local
farming patterns and the influence
on those patterns. Secondly, one
needs to determine what innovations
and adaptations are likely to be
relevant. Therefore the work pro-
grams include elements of investiga-
tive, descriptive/diagnostic, designing,
testing and disseminating phases. In
essence, the approach improves the
farmer-extension-research comm-
munication as a complement to the
research-extension-farmer one.
During the last 3-4 years the on-
farm program has therefore concen-
trated on gaining a better understand-
ing of farmer resources, farmer
cropping systems, livestock manage-
ment systems, communal grazing
systems, mixed farming linkages,
fodder production, farmer drought
strategies and natural resource in-
fluences (ATIP 1983-1984, ADNP
1982, EFSAIP 1984, IFPP 1984).
The initial emphasis has been on the
investigative, descriptive and diagnos-
tic processes, except in the case of
arable agriculture, where a longer
background of work has enabled
some design and testing on tillage
treatments, plant varieties, et cetera.
Nevertheless the designing and test-
ing of ideas for introducing fodders

and improving communal grazing
management are coming forward.
Resulting from this program, there
has been a better recognition of the
need to move away from blanket
recommendations with more em-
phasis being placed on the need for
flexibility. Strategies must take into
account individual household varia-
tion with regard to access to factors
ot production and the need to mini-
mize the degree of risk involved. As
an illustration, row planting is
generally accepted as a means of
increasing yield. However, it may
not be appropriate to push row
planting technology to the exclusion
of traditional methods if a farmer
does not have access to the resources
necessary for the adoption of the row
planting package or an inclination to
The importance of linkages within
the farming system has also become
apparent. There is considerable inter-
action between crop and livestock
activities as well as off-farm employ-
ment. Thus, the uptake of interven-
tions in either the crop or livestock
sector may be totally controlled by
the relationship with other sectors.
This is particularly the case where an
input of either labor or cash is re-
quired. This understanding empha-
sizes the need for the farming systems
teams to bring together the arable
and livestock research work into the
mixed farming context.
Traditionally, research has been
geared towards an objective of in-
creasing yield per unit area or per
animal. There is often the implicit
assumption that farmer motivation
is cash oriented and that the farmer
has reasonable access and control
over available resources. Whilst this
may hold good for farmers in many
countries, the highly unpredictable
Botswana climate coupled with the
communal situation presents a far
more complex production pattern.
The technology required to achieve
an increase in total production can
be very different to that for an in-
crease in yield per unit area or per
animal. The need to address this
fact has been emphasized by the
farming systems teams. A good
example is the realization that we
need to look at livestock yield from

the combined aspect of milk, draught
power and meat production rather
than any single output.
Another major contribution of the
farming systems programs has been
to bring together research and ex-
tension staff at field level. This has
assisted in the identification of con-
straints and the development of solu-
tions. Most importantly however, the
interaction of research and extension
staff during the development phase
ensures a mutual awareness of both
technology and farmer circumstances
and greatly enhances the rate of

The Influence of Farming Systems
Given the mandate of testing re-
search recommendations the early
farming systems teams were respon-
sible for rejecting the improved dry-
land farming package centered on
the multi-purpose toolbar (IFPP
1977-80, EFSAIP 1982-83). While
this may appear to be a backward
step it should be remembered that
it did prevent an inappropriate
package being pursued and also
assisted in the refinement of row
planting methods that extension can
confidently take to the farmer as a
proven cropping strategy, whenever
and wherever the farmer is prepared
to intensify.
This success, coupled with growing
experience in identifying farmer
constraints, led to a very strong in-
fluence on the Arable Lands Develop-
ment Project (ALDEP) (Purcell 1982).
In particular, the packages concern-
ing animal drawn implements, water
catchment tanks, fencing and the
viable use of donkeys as a source of
draught power were based on the
early farming systems investigations.
On a more innovative note, the trans-
fer of the commodity fodder research
program into the farmer field situa-
tion, and its subsequent development
there, has led to the creation of the
current ALDEP fodder program.
Whilst the development of the
Communal Area Grazing Policy was
largely influenced by the Livestock
Evaluation Units report (Carl Bro
1982) the early experience in the
difficulty of transferring ranch pro-
duced research recommendations into

a communal situation added a signifi-
cant weight to the current shift into
communual area research (IFPP
1978-80, Willet 1981, Behnke 1982).
More specifically the pilot studies
undertaken by the joint APRU/farm-
ing systems programs have contri-
buted to formulating investigative
techniques for implementing the
Communal Area Grazing Policy (Abel
et. al. in preparation). Currently
these studies are attempting to design
or test management solutions as the
next process in achieving successful
implementation. This influence is also
reflected in the design of the recently
agreed National Land Management
and Livestock Development Project
(IBRD 1985).
The more recent Communal De-
velopment Area Strategy has also
received important contributions
from the farming systems teams. In
Ngamiland and Southern regions
in particular there has been a close
involvement in elucidating and de-
signing agricultural and land use
development in order to derive
implementation programs (ADNP
1982, RDU 1985). The Ngamiland
team has gone a stage further in that
it is now testing implementation
Being of fairly recent origin the
strongest influence of farming sys-
tems perhaps still lies in the future.
Nevertheless, there are areas that the
team are seeking to influence now.
These areas include a) improving
risk reducing strategies with partic-
ular emphasis on drought tolerant
varieties, tillage induced weed reduc-
tion, soil moisture improvement and
rescuing droughted crops by facili-
tating the idea of harvesting for
fodder rather than abandoning a
failed food crop; b) switching from
the current emphasis on individual
livestock and arable programs to
ones that recognize the inherent
arable/livestock/off-farm linkages
found in most Botswana households;
c) switching the emphasis from
recommendations that advocate
improvement by substituting tech-
nology to recommendations that
broaden the array of solutions,
needed by the farmer in this environ-
ment in order to give him/her greater
latitude; d) recognition of the role

that smallstock can play in provid-
ing rural incomes; e) increasing the
attention that needs to be given to
improving land productivity and
labor productivity.
The Future of Farming Systems
Farming systems work like much
of agricultural research and develop-
ment is a slow process. Of course if
it starts to get the right questions
asked with regard to what farmers
do and why, then farming systems
may help the rate of progress because
the problems addressed and the
solutions proposed will have a greater

chance of being directly relevant.
Nevertheless if Botswana is to main-
tain this relevancy beyond the life
of the existing projects, then some
thought has to be given to the future.
As IFPP finished in March 1985, it
has been the first to face this institu-
tional problem. In order to ensure
continuity in the farming systems
work programs, the Project has been
replaced by a Farming Systems Team
responsible for such work in Southern
Region (FSSR). Simultaneously
thought is being given to the insti-
tutionalization of farming systems in
Botswana and it is hoped that some-

East India Rice Based Farming Systems Research Project

B. P. Ghildyal*

Despite the dramatic increases in
yield potential made possible by the
development of dwarf high-yielding
rice varieties, average rice yields in
eastern India have remained virtually
stagnant at the low level of about
860 kg per hectare.
In eastern India rice is produced
on a wide range of land types and
under a considerable variety of
cropping patterns. Not uncommonly,
it is grown under extremely stressful
conditions, with output adversely
affected by erratic monsoons, un-
reliable water regimes, and pests,
diseases and weeds. Significant in-
creases in rice yields have been
achieved with irrigation during the
winter season, but irrigated acreage
remains limited. Accordingly, only
30 percent of the rice areas in
eastern India are thought to be
suitable for existing high-yielding
rice varieties, while for the remain-
ing 70 percent appropriate rice
technologies have not yet been
Rice research in India has been
focused primarily on the develop-
ment of new rice varieties which
would give high yields under opti-
mal conditions-i.e., on flat lands
with assured irrigation, uplands with
favorable rainfall, or low lands with-
out excessive flooding. Correspond-
ing little attention has been paid to
date to the very large areas where
rice is grown by small farmers in

resource-poor regions under stress-
ful agro-climatic conditions. As a
consequence, resource-rich rather
than resource-poor farmers have
been the principal beneficiaries of
research results thus far.
The five agricultural research
institutions participating are:
Narendra Deo University of
Agriculture & Technology,
Faizabad, East U.P.
Rajendra Agricultural University,
North Bihar
Birsa Agricultural University,
South Bihar
Kalyani University and Bidhan
Chandra Krishi Vishva
Vidyalaya (Agricultural
University), West Bengal
Central Rice Research Institute,
ICAR, Cuttack, Orissa
The five institutions differ in their
institutional strengths, disciplinary
capacity, past experience and sur-
roundings, agro-ecological and socio-
economic and cultural environments
and client groups. Each institution,
therefore, would develop its own
specific set of experiments, surveys
and communication methods. A
common theme, however, is the
commitment to on-farm research to
develop appropriate rice technologies
for resource-poor farmers.E

*Program Officer, The Ford Foundation, 55
Lodi Estate, New Delhi 110003, India.

thing on the lines of FSSR will be-
come available for the other regions
on completion of ADNP and ATIP.E
Abel, N.; Hunter, N.; Chandler, D.; Flint,
M.; Bagwasi, T. and Merafe, Y. (In prep.)
An investigation into the Problems and
Possibilities of Communal Area Grazing
Management in Ngwaketse Central Agri-
cultural District (Ministry of Agriculture,
ADNP (1982): Agricultural Development
Ngamiland Project Phase I Report
(1982) (Ministry of Agriculture,
ATIP (1983-84): Agricultural Technology
Improvement Project Annual Report
No. 1 (1983) and No. 2 (1984) (Mimeo;
Ministry of Agriculture).
Behnke, R. H., Editor (1982): Communal
Area Livestock and Range Research
Priorities Proceedings of CARG/MOA/
ILCA Workshop, Gaborone, 1982.
Carl Bro (1982): (i) An evaluation of
livestock management and production
in Botswana, with special reference to
communal areas. Final Report. (Vols
1-3 Jan. 1982).
(ii) The herd management study (Nov.
1982) Carl Bro International A/S.
EFSAIP (1977-84): EFSAIP Annual Re-
ports 1977-1984 (Ministry of Agricul-
ture, Gaborone).
EFSAIP (1984): Evaluation of Farming
Systems and Agricultural Implements
Project (EFSAIP) 1984. (Ministry of
Agriculture, Gaborone).
IFPP (1977-80): IFPP Annual Reports
1977-1980 (Ministry of Agriculture,
IFPP (1984): IFPP Phase 2 Work Program
1982-84 and Progress Report up to
June 1984, in Proposals for the Util-
ization of Staff and Development of
Work After IFPP Completion in March
1985 (Mimeo, Ministry of Agriculture,
IBRD (1985): The National Land Manage-
ment and Livestock Development Project
(Mimeo, Washington, 1985).
Ministry of Agriculture (1974): Integrated
Farming Pilot Project IFPP) memoran-
dum (Mimeo, Ministry of Agriculture,
Gaborone, 1974).
Ministry of Agriculture (1976): IFPP
memorandum (revised) (Mimeo, Min-
istry of Agriculture, Gaborone, 1976).
Purcell, R.A. (1982): A Note on the Evol-
ution and Nature of the Botswana
Arable Lands Development Program
(Ministry of Agriculture, Gaborone,
Rural Development Unit (1985): Com-
munal First Development Area Strategy
-Second Progress Report and Recom-
mendations (Ministry of Agriculture,
Gaborone, 1985).
Willet, A. B. J. (1981): Agricultural Group
Development in Botswana: Volume 2
(Ministry of Agriculture, Gaborone,


Research Note on Farmer Experimentation in Southern Columbia

Scott Guggenheim*
One of the more recently discarded myths about
small-farm production is the idea that traditional
agricultural practices can be improved upon easily. As
agricultural scientists have increasingly complemented
experiment station research with on-farm with research
techniques, an awareness of the realities of small
farmer production conditions-unpredictable weather,
declining soil fertility, input supply difficulties, fluctu-
ating prices and so on-have given the small farmer a
newfound and well-earned respect.
Hand in hand with agricultural researchers' increased
awareness that traditional agricultural systems are
usually functioning close to their optimum efficiency,
given farmer's resources and opportunities, has come a
re-evaluation of the concept of farmer "conservatism."
Few developers today would argue that farmer conser-
vatism is an adequate explanation for why farmers fail
to adopt improved agricultural technologies. Not only
has case study after case study shown that all too often
proposed technologies were poorly adapted to local
social and agronomic conditions (Ashby 1982, Bailey
1982, Gladwin 1976), but in fact evidence is fast
accumulating that many of the so-called "conservative"
farmers are not very conservative at all. Given the right
conditions, most small farmers are quite willing to adopt
improved technologies; more finely textured pictures
of the risks and incentives created by differential
resource endowments, social structures, and access to
economic and political institutions are demonstrating
that in many cases small farmers are quite adventure-
some. They will overlook high risk levels, carefully
adapt externally introduced agricultural technologies
to fit local agroecological conditions. Sometimes they
even adopt entirely new crops and techniques into
their traditional agricultural systems (Barlett 1979;
Rhoades 1985).
Nevertheless, the extent to which farmers are con-
stantly experimenting with nearly every aspect of
farming practices is often not fully appreciated. There
has been an assumption that a relatively well-tuned
farming system is the result of "natural selection"
rather than indigenous analysis and adjustment. Given
the large investments in research on innovations,
diffusion, of information and agricultural extension,
this assumption is surprising. Studies of how farmers
themselves innovate and spread new agricultural
practices would be of obvious use to agricultural
development workers.
The following list of farmer experiments was col-
lected during conversations and personal observations
made in the course of a four-week anthropological
study of farming systems in a farming community in
southern Colombia. The experiments were entirely
generated and managed by the farmers themselves,

*Anthropologist, IFDS/CIAT Phosphorous Project, Cali, Colombia.

with no direct input whatsoever from extension agents.
The village contains approximately 70 farm house-
holds, nearly all of which are small (4-20 hectare)
farms. In many senses typical of mid-altitude Andean
farming communities, these farms are located approx-
imately 1,000 to 2,000 meters above sea level. Crop
production in the villages is divided between subsistence
and commercial crops-maize, beans, cassava, sugar,
coffee, plantains, and tomatoes-grown both alone
and in various cropping combinations. With the notable
exception of tomatoes, input use on crops is low.
Fertilizer use on crops other than coffee is fairly recent;
chemical fertilizers were introduced approximately six
years ago and chicken manure, an organic fertilizer
commonly used throughout southern Colombia, has
been available for about ten years.
It should be emphasized that all of these experiments
were actually considered and labeled experiments by
local farmers. Most typically, they were carried out in
a small portion of a field, with the aim of comparing
results with standard techniques.
The farmers' experiments involved the following
1. Varying seed sources
2. Varying seed types
3. Varying the number of seeds per hole
4. Varying crop type/soil type matches
5. Varying planting distances (maize and cassava)
6. Varying land preparation practices (hiring plow-
man from municipality)
7. Experimenting with new intercropping combina-
8. Varying cropping sequences
9. Varying weeding implements- machete/short
handled hoe ("azadon")
10. Varying harvesting practices (removing, burning
11. Varying direction of planting cassava stakes
12. Varying bean seed mixtures
13. Experimenting with differential rates of fertilizer
14. Experimenting with chemical/organic fertilizer
15. Varying fertilizer application methods (broadcast
versus site)
16. Varying crops receiving fertilizer to study differ-
ential responses
17. Varying fertilizer types (chemical/organic) with
different crops
18. Varying fertilizer application frequencies on same
Many of these experiments parallel suggestions made
by agronomists- indeed there is reason to suspect that
a number of them may have been inspired by farmers
who saw or heard about recommendations made else-

where. The point being made here is not that all
farmers are actually disguised scientists, but that
detailed studies of how and why farmers make certain
kinds of experiments have the potential of offering
significant benefits to agricultural researchers.
What kinds of benefits can studies of farmer experi-
ments offer farming systems research teams? First,
they provide a rapid diagnostic tool for identifying
some of the principal constraints on agricultural
production perceived by farmers. Second, they provide
insights into how farmers both analyze the causes of
production and limitations and how they propose to
resolve them. Used with care, the studies can help
show the priorities farmers place on the constraints.
Third, the studies can also point up the ambiguous
opinions farmers frequently have about "improved"
agricultural technology by illustrating how they
attempt to modify it. In this case, for example, farmers
were quite explicit that their interest in trying various
organic/inorganic fertilizer mixes derived from the fact
they liked the ease and convenience of chemical
fertilizers but thought that adding organic fertilizers
(chicken manure) would counterbalance chemical
fertilizer's perceived long-term harmful effects on soil
structure (they believe that it makes soil turn powdery).
Fourth, with the rapidly growing interest in increasing
farmer involvement in both planning and managing
on-farm experiments, the type of information provided
by studying already existing experiments can be exceed-
ingly useful for designing research and encouraging
meaningful'farmer participation. Fifth, the outcomes
of farmer experiments are important, especially for
research focused on location specific technologies.
Positive results can provide useful pointers for setting
priorities, and negative experiences can indicate local
difficulties that are likely to be encountered. Again,
careful discussion of why farmers believed their
experiments to have succeeded or failed is crucial to
programs based on farmer participation in on-farm
research. N

Ashby, J. "Technology and Ecology: Implications for In-
1982 novation Research in Peasant Agriculture" Rural
Sociology, 47 (2):234-250.
Bailey, C. "Economic Diversification and Risk Management
1982 Constraints to the Adoption of Modern Rice
Technologies in the Result Agricultural Develop-
ment Project Area," Kajian Ekonomi Malaysia,
Barlett, P.F. "The Structure of Decision Making in Paso,"
1977 American Ethnologist, 4(2):285-307.
Gladwin, C. "A View of the Plan Puebla: An Application of
1976 Hierarchical Decision Models," American Journal
of Agricultural Economics, 5(5):881-887.
Guggenheim "Farming Systems in Limonar, Colombia." Un-
1985 published ms.
Rhoades, R. "Understanding Small-Scale Farmers in Develop-
1985 ing Countries: Sociocultural Perspectives on
Agronomic Farm Trials," Journal of Agronomic
Education, 13:64-68.

Large farmers in the Low Zone use tractors and heavy equipment.

In the Intermediate Zone, where topography permits and pota-
toes come after another crop in the rotation, farmers generally
plow with oxen.

Some on-farm trials were conducted on very steep fields, which
are common in the Intermediate and High Zones of the Valley.

The Mantaro Valley Project:

Some Lessons from On-Farm Research in the Andes

Doug Horton1

From 1977-1980, the International Potato Center
(CIP), in collaboration with Peru's Ministry of Agri-
culture and the International Maize and Wheat Im-
provement Center (CIMMYT), implemented a program
of interdisciplinary farm-level research in the Mantaro
Valley of highland Peru. Anthropologists, economists,
sociologists, plant physiologists, agronomists, path-
ologists, and entomologists were involved. The three
main objectives of the program were to (1) sensitize
CIP and national-program scientists to the value of
on-farm research, (2) develop and field test proced-
ures for on-farm research with potatoes, and (3) train
national-program personnel in the use of on-farm
research techniques. This article presents a brief
summary of the project's results.
1. Ecological conditions and farm type strongly
influenced farming practices and technological
In the Mantaro Valley, potatoes are grown in
three agro-ecological zones: the relatively flat land
of the Low Zone along the Mantaro River (3200-
3450 m above sea level); the sloping land of the
Intermediate Zone (3450-3950 m); and the more
steeply sloping fields of the High Zone (3950-
4200 m). Potato varieties, seed sources, rotations,
planting dates, implements, use of fertilizer and
pesticides, harvesting methods, storage, processing,
and forms of transportation all vary between the
Within each zone, potato technology also varies
across farms. This is particularly true in the Low
Zone, where large farms, with an average of 75
hectares of cropland (42 hectares of pptatotes),
specialize in commercial potato production. They
farm with tractors and heavy equipment, make
intensive use of purchased inputs, generate high
yields, and market over 60 percent of their harvest.
Small farmers, in contrast, have an average of only
1 hectare of crop land (0.2 hectares of potatoes).
They operate diversified, risk-averting, part-time
farming systems. Many farm with oxen or hand
tools, use few purchased inputs, have relativley low
yields, and market only about 10 percent of their

1 Head, Social Science Department, International Potato Center, Aptdo.
5969, Lima, Peru (on sabbatical leave at the International Food Policy
Research Institute, 1776 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC
20036, USA).


Lima o0 Cuzco



-1 Low zone 13200 3450ml


Intermediate zone 13450 3950 m)

High zone (over 3950 ml

Agroecological zones of Mantaro, Peru (adapted from Mayer 1979).
(Reprinted with permission from Figure 4, page 37, IDRC-219R,
Social scientists In agricultural research: lessons from the Mantaro
Valley Project, Peru. Ottawa, Ont., IDRC, 1984. 67. III.)

Farm surveys and on-farm trials showed that
most "modern technology"-including mechanical
implements, varieties, improved seed, chemical
fertilizers, pesticides, and new storage practices-
offered greater advantages in the Low Zone than
in the Intermediate and High Zones. This is not
surprising, since most agricultural R&D has been
conducted in the Low Zone, close to the valley's
major roads and urban areas.
2. The "technological packages" had many problems.
Belief in technological packages is widespread in
the development community. Based on the agrono-
mic principle of input interaction and on a superfic-
ial analysis of the "seed-fertilizer revolution" of the
1960s, many development experts and policymakers
have concluded that agricultural improvement
requires that farmers adopt complex technological
packages. To cite just one example, a recent World
Bank paper states that "the first requirement for
successful innovation is the availability of a package
of technical components that is complete, reliable,
and suitably designed for the conditions within
which it is to be applied."

On-farm trials were used to evaluate technological
packages designed by researchers and extensionists.
The packages included recommended seed, fertili-
zation, and insect control measures. These inputs
were tested in "low-cost," "medium-cost," and
"high-cost" packages. The individual elements of the
packages were tested on farms in single-factor trials.
The trials and subsequent evaluation of farmer
adoption in the area revealed three problems with
the technological packages:
1. Results varied greatly, and were, on average,
poorer than expected.
2. One key element of the packages performed
3. Farmers did not adopt the packages.

* 500*
a 300
> 00~
a 300\


Low-cost package
Medium-cost package
High-cost package
form #1-.

Change in Cost (thousand Peruvian sales)

Changes in costs and returns* resulting from use of
3 technological packages on 9 farms in the intermediate

*Changes in costs and returns are defined as the costs and
returns associated with each technological package minus those
associated with each farmer's own technology. Since the same
packages were evaluated on all farms, differences in results
among farms reflect the variability of (a) the farmers' own
technology, costs, and returns; (b) the agronomic performance
of the same technological packages on different farms. Some
readers may conclude from these results that more effort should
have gone into defining uniform agroecological zones, or
"recommendation domains". Our own conclusion, however, was
that these results reflect the true variability of ecological and
socio-economic conditions under which potatoes are grown in
the Mantaro Valley (and in many other mountainous areas).
Consequently, efforts to establish recommendation domains for
technological packages are not likely to be fruitful.
Source: E. Franco at. al. Evaluacion agro-economica de ensayos con-
ducidos en campos de agricultores an el Valle del Mantaro
(Peru) campana 1978/79. Departamento de Ciencias Sociales,
Documento de Trabajo No. 1986-4 (Lima: CIP. 1980).

Researchers and extensionists expected that the
high-cost package would double or triple yields, but,
on average, it increased yields by only about 50 per-
cent over the farmers' level. The low-cost package
yielded the same as the farmers' own technology,
and the medium-cost package yielded only about
20 percent more. Results of package trials also
varied dramatically across locations, indicating that
farmers needed a range of packages, not a single one.
The single-factor trials indicated that use of im-
proved seed-the technology considered by research-
ers and extensionsists to be the most important
element-actually reduced net returns.
Surveys conducted two years after the experiments
indicated that farmers had begun by using some of
the component technologies, but they had not adopt-
ed the complete technological packages. Further-
more, most farmers using new practices had not
adopted them to fit their specific needs and resources.
3. Technical knowledge was available to solve many
farmers' problems.
Problems with technological packages should not
be interpreted to mean that no technology was avail-
able to solve farmers' problems. On the contrary,
one of the key findings of the project was that
seed-potato storage could be improved through
application of well-known scientific principles of
seed-tuber physiology. Careful problem identifica-
tion and on-farm research led to successful develop-
ment and dissemination of improved, low-cost
storage technologies in the Mantaro Valley. As
reported by Rhoades, Booth, and others, further
use of the same farmer-oriented approach has led
to widespread application of similar principles
in other parts of Peru, the Phillippines, Sri Lanka,
Colombia, Guatemala, and elsewhere.
4. Technology could not be directly "transferred" to,
and adopted by, farmers.
In the conventional research-transfer paradigm,
new agricultural technology is developed by re-
searchers in laboratories and experiment stations
and then "transferred" via extension agent to the
farmers. Some very optimistic and sweeping state-
ments have been made concerning the amount of
demonstrated technology awaiting transfer to
needy farmers in developing countries. A 1976
issue of Scientific American dedicated to food and
agriculture stated, for example:
"By conservative estimates, presently demonstrated
agricultural technology, if applied to all land now in
cultivation could support a world population of 45
The "Training and Visit" extension system, promot-
ed by the World Bank and said to be implemented
in over 50 developing countries, is based on the
view that extension of known practices, with little
or no local testing, can substantially and rapidly
increase farmers' yields.
In the Mantaro Valley, two things become clear:
first, there was little "demonstrated technology"

that could be transferred directly to farmers with-
out local refinement through adaptive research;
second, farmers are not passive recipients of recom-
mended technologies but active researchers and
developers in their own right. The project team
learn much from farmers' creative adaptations.
Hence, it was concluded that "participatory" R&D
models involving farmers from the outset are more
likely to be successful than those based on the
"top-down" technology-transfer approach.
5. The interdisciplinary, on-farm research entailed
intense interpersonal conflict.
Scientific specialization along disciplinary lines
posed barriers to effective interdisciplinary research.
Communication was impaired by specialization. It

Technologists learned a great deal about potato cultivation in
the valley from their discussions with farmers.

was found, for example, that the term "improved
seed" meant very different things to plant pathol-
ogists, physiologists, and economists. To patholo-
gists, it meant disease-free seed; to physiologists
it meant seed with higher yielding capacity. To
economists, an "improved" seed was one which
increased the farmers' net returns. During the
course of the project, many time- and energy-
consuming discussions and disagreements resulted
from problems of communication. At the same
time, however, cross-disciplinary dialogue helped
clarify important concepts and ideas.
The incentive structure of the professions also
inhibited teamwork. This problem was especially
critical in the case of university students and young
professionals concerned with improving their
professional stature through publication in peer-
reviewed journals. Attainment of "high scientific
standards" generally requires that researchers use
procedures that are unsuitable for on-farm re-
search. Hence, the quest for conventionally defined
scientific rigor comes at the expense of relevance.
A third barrier to effective teamwork was the

informal pecking order of the disciplines. Biological
scientists sometimes felt, or acted as if they felt,
they were the logical team leaders, and that econo-
mists were needed only for calculating costs and
benefits. Economists, in turn, tended to view
anthropologists and sociologists as useful only for
assessment of qualitative, non-economic phenomena.
Successful interdisciplinary teamwork requires that
team members function as equal partners, with
joint responsibility for the team's performance.
Disagreement on what should be done and how
resulted in numerous conflicts among team members.
Flexible leadership, coupled with individuals' com-
mittment to the project's goals, were needed to
channel this inevitable conflict into constructive
6. The project was costly, in terms of operating capital.
On-farm research requires a mix of resources that
is radically different from that required for con-
ventional agricultural research. It requires little
capital (aside from vehicles and, perhaps, computer
equipment) but relatively heavy expenditures for
travel, per diems, and temporary field personnel.
Carrying out field work in mountainous areas such
as the Andes is especially demanding in terms of
transportation and logistical support. These re-
sources are, unfortunately, in short supply in the
research institutes of most developing countries.
7. The project's most valuable result was an institu-
tional innovation, rather than an impact on potato
On-farm research was used for ex post evaluation
of technology, to facilitate the transfer of technol-
ogy, and to develop new technology. Perhaps the
most important achievement of the project was
development of an applied agricultural R&D model
which integrates these three functions. Based on
their experiences in development and dissemination
of post-harvest technology, the post-harvest team
formulated the "farmer-back-to-farmer" model
which involves interdisciplinary teamwork in all
phases of a continuous research/diffusion process.
This model has become the focus of CIP's storage
courses, and is now being applied in the Center's
research on pest management and seed systems.
In collaborative projects involving CIP and national
programs, it is now being successfully applied in
several countries. Hence, the Mantaro Valley Project
has, indirectly, enhanced the institutional perform-
ance of CIP and several national programs. The
value of this improved institutional performance
is far greater than any increased production which
was achieved in the Mantaro Valley.
8. Informal surveys and simple on-farm trials had
many advantages over more "respectable," formal
Surveys. When microlevel information is needed
for planning or evaluating R&D programs, formal
questionnaires are usually applied. However, infor-

mal surveys or sondeos conducted by multidiscip-
plinary teams are often more time- and cost-effective.
Several problems with questionnaires can be
avoided with informal surveys. First, researchers
often draw up questionnaires in the office and
delegate fieldwork to hired enumerators or
extensionists. The resulting information is often
irrelevant, erroneous, or misinterpreted. In many
cases, better results could have been obtained in
the field. Second, responsibility for surveys is often
assigned to social scientists who have little under-
standing of production technology. The resulting
survey results is often too general to be useful to
production specialists. Involving production
specialists in an informal survey is a sure way of
improving the quantity and quality of technical
date. Third, good formal surveys generally require
a long time for planning, implementation, and
analysis of results. Informal surveys are more
appropriate where results are needed quickly-the
usual case in applied research programs. Fourth,
the interaction of researchers and farmers during
an informal survey improves communication and
helps consolidate a spirit of cooperation. This, in
turn, enhances productivity of the overall R&D
On-Farm Trials. The types of trials proposed for
on-farm research range from complex, replicated
factorial trials to simple demonstrations. Several
types of trial were used in the Mantaro Valley
Project, the conclusion being that in most cases
the trials should be kept simple. Simplicity offers
at least four advantages over conventional, more
complex, replicated designs:
1. Planning simple trials forces the team to think
hard, establish priorities, and focus research
on one or a few critical factors (instead of
testing anything and everything in large-scale
2. A research team can successfully manage a larger
number of simple trials, reducing sampling error
in heterogenous regions.
3. Complex replicated trials take more field space
than small trials and require closer management
on the part of researchers. Hence, their use
encourages research teams to work with rela-
tively large-scale, often unrepresentative,
farmers close to the road.
4. Farmers often cannot understand, and assess
results of, complex trials.
A research program can make good use of a range
of types of surveys and experiments of varying
complexity. My point is not that conventional,
This article is based on D. Horton, Social Scientists in Agri-
cultural Research: Lessons from the Mantaro Valley Project,
Peru (IDRC: Ottawa, 1984). A limited number of copies of this
publication (in English, Spanish, and French) are available from
IDRC, Box 8500, Ottawa, Canada K1G3H9, or from the author.
The Mantaro Valley Project was funded, in large part, by a

sophisticated methods are useless, but rather that
simpler ones have greater value for R&D programs
than has generally been realized.
9. Anthropologists played many useful roles in the
All agricultural research institutes employ biolo-
gists, most employ economists, but few have anthro-
pologists or sociologists. A number of widely
circulated publications on farming-systems research
consider economists as indispensable, whereas
anthropologists and other social scientists are
treated as optional, unnecessary, or potentially
dangerous. Our experience in the Mantaro Valley
Project does not support this view. Anthropologists'
contributions were found to be no less important
than those of economists. Their holistic ecological
framework and rapid, effective survey methods
were useful throughout the research process. Their
research publications have also proven to be useful
contributions to the farming-systems literature.
We found that, in general, an individual's contribu-
tions to the project depended more on his or her
flexibility and commitment to the team than on
academic training per se. Moreover, the success of
the Mantaro Valley Project as a whole derived
from the interaction and complementarity of the
disciplines, rather than the unique contributions
of any one discipline.
10. On-farm research is useful for identifying and solv-
ing production problems within existing systems,
but not for designing entirely new systems.
Many farming systems, or on-farm, research
projects have attempted to design new cropping
or farming systems. Few have succeeded. Our
experience leads to the conclusion that farmers
have a substantial comparative advantage over
researchers and extensionists in setting input levels
and blending component technologies into crop-
ping and farming systems which meet their specific
needs and are consistent with their resource endow-
ments. This is particularly true in rainfed areas,
where environmental and socioeconomic conditions,
and the resulting farming systems, are highly varied,
complex, and dynamic. For this reason, I am not
optimistic about on-farm research projects that
aim to design new cropping or farming systems.
Testing new technological packages and systems
can play a useful, limited, role in a farming-systems
program. But the principal payoffs from on-farm
research will come, I believe, through strengthened
institutional capacity to diagnose and solve key
problems within existing systems, rather than
attempts to change whole systems.E

grant from the Social Sciences Division of the International
Development Research Center (IDRC). This brief paper, which
attempts to synthesize the major lessons of the project, reflects
the creative efforts of many individuals, and views expressed in
several publications. Complete citations and bibliographic
references are in the above cited monograph.

Adding a Food Consumption Perspective

to Farming Systems Research1

Timothy R. Frankenburger2

Farming systems research (FSR) projects should
more effectively incorporate a food consumption
perspective in the design and testing of new agricultural
technology. Two reasons can be cited for why such a
perspective is essential. First, given the importance of
securing adequate family food supplies in the goal
sets of small farmers, FSR efforts which ignore these
goals are less likely to enhance the levels of well-being
of project participants. Second, food consumption
considerations help identify technological alternatives
compatible with consumption preferences of farm
families, thereby ensuring their likely acceptance.
(Tripp, 1982:1) One way to begin integrating a food
consumption perspective into FSR activities is to focus
on a number of linkages between certain aspects of
production and consumption patterns. Some of the
more important linkages include:
1) Seasonality of production-In most areas of the
world, there is a seasonal dimension to agricul-
tural production, food availability, malnutrition,
human energy expenditure, incidence of disease
and the terms of trade for the poor. Small farm
families may suffer through periods of depriva-
tion every year as a result of the adverse inter-
action of these seasonal aspects.
2) Crop mix and minor crops-As societies become
more integrated into regional, national and
international markets, non-food cash crops and
non-indigenous food staples may replace some
subsistence crops. The shift could have detri-
mental consumption effects (i.e., a delcine in
crop diversity, increased risk due to fluctuating
markets, exaggerated seasonal cycles of plenty
and want, elimination of wild plant food through
herbicides, less land available for the production

SExcerpt from a report commissioned by the Nutrition Economics
Group, Technical Assistance Division, Office of International Cooper-
ation and Development, United States Department of Agriculture, in
cooperation with the Office of Nutrition, Bureau for Science and
Technology, United States Agency for International Development.
Copies of the more comprehensive report of the same title are avail-
able from:
Nutrition Economics Group
Technical Assistance Division
Office of International Cooperation and Development
United States Department of Agriculture
4300 Auditors Building
Washington, DC 20250
2Timonty R. Frankenburger is an anthropologist at the University of
Kentucky and a Program Associate of the Farming Systems Support

of food crops, a breakdown of traditional food
sharing networks, etc.)
3) Income-Income can have an impact on con-
sumption levels depending upon how regularly
it is received (i.e., lump sums vs. periodic),
what form it is in (i.e., food vs. cash) and who
is the recipient in the household (i.e., women
vs. men). This linkage is strongly interrelated
with crop mix and seasonality.
4) The role of women in production-Women are
often responsible for growing food crops and
their income is usually for food purchases.
However, they are often neglected by agri-
cultural extension services. In addition, increas-
ing the agricultural labor demands of women
through cash crop intervention may lead to:
1) a change in cooking habits (i.e., fewer
meals and/or quicker, less nutritious meals);
2) women planting less labor intensive and less
nutritious food crops (i.e., cassava instead of
yams); and 3) less time devoted to child care
and breast feeding.
5) Crop labor requirements-The introduction of
new cash crops may require more human energy
input than previously grown crops, and the
added energy requirement may be greater than
the value of the output. These increased energy
demands could also have deleterious nutritional
effects on intrahousehold food distribution
patterns if some members of the household
require more food intake to meet the labor
demands of the new crops.
6) Market prices and seasonality-Market prices
and access can have an impact on consumption
patterns of small farm households. For example,
in most developing countries, high consumer
food prices coincide with small farmer food
shortages. In addition, government importing
and exporting policies may adversely affect
the prices of crops grown locally, keeping the
purchasing power of small farmers low. Finally,
market inefficiency and/or periodic market
instability can place a region that is dependent
on market purchased food in a vulnerable
(Following Tables 1-4, text continues on page 16).

Possible Strategies15 for Addressing Seasonal Food Shortages and Their Effects on Consumption

To fill the gap of pre-
harvest food shortages

To extend production

To provide a buffering
device for lean periods

To determine the best
planting strategies which
create complementarities
in growth and canopy cover

To reduce storage loss
and extend existing stocks

To avoid seasonally
high food prices

Suggested Stragegy
Research could be conducted
on short maturing varieties of
food crops

Better water management
and irrigation techniques
could be implemented
where feasible

Investment in small live-
stock could be encouraged

Research could focus.on
farmer practices of inter-
cropping and serial cropping

Cost-effective storage and
preservation techniques
could be devised and
utilized for food staples

Price regulating measures
could be implemented

Community grain banks
could be set up as food
security measure

1. Determine the important
attributes of existing varieties
2. Develop or identify new
varieties with similar desired
3. Varieties should be tested
through on-farm research
4. Disseminate successful
1. Assess existing techniques,
constraints and feasibility
2. Develop improved water man-
agement and irrigation techniques
3. Test new techniques on
farmers' fields
4. Disseminate successful techniques
1. Assess existing husbandry
patterns, constraints and
2. Identify appropriate live-
stock for farming system
3. Introduce livestock in on-farm
4. Encourage the adoption of
such husbandry practices if
proven successful
1. Assess existing cropping
practices, constraints,
and feasibility
2. Develop or identify improved
intercropping and/or serial
3. Test new planting strategies
on farmers' fields
4. Disseminate successful
planting strategies
T. Assess existing techniques,
constraints and feasibility
2. Develop or identify improved
storage and preservation
3. Test new techniques in
on-farm trials
4. Encourage the adoption of
successful practices
1. Government market inter-
ventions may be necessary
along with policy changes
1. Assess the contraints and
feasibility of establishing a
community grain store
2. Test the concept in
receptive villages
3. Encourage the establishment
of such grain banks if tests
prove successful

FSR team

Experiment station researchers

FSR team

Extension agents

FSR team

Experiment station researchers

FSR team

Extenion agents
FSR team

Experiment station researchers

FSR team

Extension agents

FSR team

Experiment station researchers

FSR team

Extension agents

FSR team

Experiment station researchers
(food technologists)

FSR team

Extension agents

Ministry level officials

FSR team
(maybe ethnographic research)

FSR team with extension agents

Extension agents

1These are derived from Longhurst, (1983:3) and AID (1982a:3).

Possible Strategies" for Taking into Account the Relationship
Between Crop Mix, Minor Crops and Consumption

To maintain adequate
food consumption level
to guard against nutri-
tional stress

Suggested Strategy
SResearch could focus
on both cash crops and
food crops

Projects could make careful
attempts not to reduce crop
diversity if adequate substi-
tutes are not available in
the market

Research could focus on
minor food crops grown
by women

Emphasis could be placed
on expanding output and
consumption of indigenous
vegetables before bringing
in new vegetables and fruits

To reduce storage loss
and extend existing stocks

To avoid seasonally
high food prices

Processing and preservation
techniques could be intro-
duced for minor crops

Farmers who purchase
food from the markets
with money earned from
cash crops could be
encouraged to buy in bulk
right after harvest (depends
on storage, see above)

1. Assess existing cropping
patterns for both food crops
and cash crops (non-food)
2. In proposed crop interventions
assess risks for alternative
crop mixes rather than crop
by crops
3. Test proposed crop mixes on
farmers' fields
4. Disseminate successful
planting strategies
1. Determine the existing
diversity of crops grown
2. Review availability (amounts
and types) of food in market
3. Assess the impact of proposed
interventions on diversity
(i.e., herbicides, mono-cropping,
strategies, etc.)
4. Test those interventions which
have a minimal impact on
diversity on farmers' fields
5. Disseminate successful inter-

1. Identify minor food crops
presently grown by women;
assess their contraints and
2. Develop or identify ways of
improving minor food crop
production (e.g., improved
varieties, new planting
strategies, inputs, etc.)
3. Test minor food crop inter-
ventions on farmers' fields
4. Disseminate successful
technology and/or practices
(same as minor crops)

1. Assess existing techniques,
constraints and feasibility
2. Develop or identify improved
methods of processing and
3. Test new techniques with
farm families
4. Encourage adoption of
successful practices
1. Assess existing purchasing
patterns, constraints and
2. Test new buying patterns
with a few farmers
3. Encourage farmers to buy food
in bulk if tests prove successful

FSR team

Experiment station researchers

FSR team

Extension agents

FSR team

FSR team

Experiment station researchers

FSR team

Extension agents

FSR team

Experiment station researchers

FSR team

Extension agents

(same as minor crops)

FSR team

Experiment station researchers
(food technologists)

FSR team

Extension agents

FSR team

FSR team with extension agents

Extension agents

'SThese interventions are derived from Longhurst, (1983:4-5), Fleuret and Fleuret (1980:254-256) and Reutlinger (1983:15).
19A mix of crops can likely reduce income and food consumption risks, particularly if the sources of risk are varied.

Possible Strategies21 for Taking into Consideration the Linkages
Between Women's Roles in Production and Consumption

Suggested Strategy



To avoid increasing the
labor demands placed on
women so that they do
not reduce labor inputs
into food crops, food
preparation and child

To increase production
of supplementary non-
staples to enhance the
nutritional well-being
of the household
To increase women's
access to cash inputs
and labor to maintain
adequate production
levels of both food
and cash crops

Cash crops could be
introduced that don't
directly compete with
food crops (especially
for women)

Labor saving technology
could be developed and/or
introduced to women to
help reduce excessive
labor inputs

Adequate community child
care facilities could be
introduced in situations
where agricultural labor
demands are high on women
(to avoid adverse nutritional
impacts on children)

Research could focus on the
crops grown by women in
order to devise nutritionally
beneficial interventions

Women's indigenous credit
associations and labor organi-
izations could be promoted
and/or strengthened
through project activities

1. Assess the seasonal labor
demands of present cropping
patterns and domestic duties
on women
2. Identify cash crop alternatives
which minimally compete with
present labor demands
imposed on women by food
crops and other duties
3. Test these cash crop alterna-
tives on farm family fields to
assess their demands on labor
4. Disseminate cash crop alterna-
tives which are complimentary
to women's existing seasonal
labor patterns
1. Assess existing technology
(farm as well as non-farm:
potable water access, food
processing, etc.), constraints
and feasibility
2. Identify or develop new labor
saving technology, wells, food
processing techniques, etc.
which are affordable to
small farmers
3. Test the new technology with
women farmers
4. Disseminate successful technology
1. Assess existing child care
practices as well as the
constraints and feasibility
of establishing a community
child care facility
2. Test the concept in receptive
3. Encourage the establishment
of such child care facilities
if tests prove successful
(see Table 2)

1. Assess existing credit associa-
tions and labor organizations
specifying their major con-
straints and potential
2. Introduce or strengthen such
organizations in a few receptive
villages as a test
3. Encourage the establishment
of such organizations if tests
prove successful

FSR teams

Experiment station researchers

FSR team

Extension agents

FSR team

Experiment station researchers
(including food technologists)

FSR team

Extension agents
Social scientist of FSR team
(ethnographic research)

Social scientist of FSR team
with extension agents
Extension agents

(see Table 2)

FRS team

FSR team with extension agents

Extension agents

21These interventions are derived from Longhurst, (1983:4-5), AID (1982a:5), and Katona-Apte (1983:36).


Types of Consumption Data that Could be Collected During the
Various Research Stages of FSR Projects

Diagnostic Stage

Design and Testing Stages

Questions to Address or
Information to Gather
Secondary Data which
are Indicators of
Nutritional Conditions
(e.g., clinic derived
data, census derived
data, school records,
household budget
surveys, previous
consumption surveys)
Household Food Supply
(home produced foods,
purchased foods, shared
foods, donated foods, etc.)
Types of Food Consumed
(traditionally grown, wild
food, and new foods)
Preparation Techniques
(methods, length of time
to prepare food, food
qualities, as they relate
to preparation)
Food Preferences
(distinguishing features
of preferred food)
Meal Times and Number
of Meals (associated
labor constraints)
Seasonality of Consump-
tion (food price fluctua-
tions, seasonal shortages)
Food Habits (eating
patterns, intrahousehold
food distribtuion, food
taboos, specialty foods,
foods used in celebration
and rituals)
Food Classification
Food Beliefs
24-Hour Recalls
Varietal Preferences
Marketing Habits
Food Storage Habits
Consumption Status
1) The amount of food
stored in the household
just prior to harvest and
the income or liquid
assets such as animals
which are available to
the household prior
to harvest
2) Subsistence potential
ratio (SPR) amount of
potential food produc-
tion divided by energy
requirement of the
entire household over
the year)
3) Frequency of con-
sumption of key foods
within 24-hour period

Target Area Reconnaissance
Selection Surveys


Formal Recommendation
Surveys Domains

On-Farm Evaluation and
Research Extension


*do at absolute minimum
+do if time, personnel and dollars permit

Selecion Srve Srvey

(continued from page 11)
A thorough understanding of these production/con-
sumption linkages is essential to ensure that FSR
activities maximize consumption benefits. An aware-
ness of these linkages enables the incorporation of
consumption concerns into every phase of the FSR
process. The following points suggest, ways in which
a consumption perspective can be integrated into
each stage of the FSR process:
1) Through the incorporation of consumption con-
cerns in target area selection, nutritionally at
risk regions are more likely to participate in
project activities.
2) By including consumption consideration in
diagnostic baseline studies, existing consump-
tion patterns are better understood.

3) Taking consumption concerns into account
in formulating recommendation domains may
ensure nutritionally vulnerable households are
considered in the design of intervention strate-
gies for on-farm testing.
4) Evaluating project performance by both pro-
duction and consumption criteria will provide
extension personnel with an idea of the potential
consumption impact of various proposed tech-
Efforts made to include a consumption perspective
in FSR project activities, will greatly enhance the
welfare of farm families. For this reason, consumption
concerns should receive more attention in future FSR
endeavors. E

Pocket-size French Glossary
A glossary of agricultural terms,
developed specifically for use by
development project personnel work-
ing in Francophone Africa, has been
published by International Programs
in Agriculture at Purdue University.
This small, spiral-bound Field Glos-
sary of Agricultural Terms in French
and English. Emphasis: West Africa
has more than 3,000 entries in both
English/French and French/English.
Cost (in U.S. dollars, including
postage and handling) is $4.00 per
copy in the U.S., $6.00 in Canada,
$8.00 for all other countries. Checks
should be made payable to Purdue
University. Orders should be mailed

to: Publications Mailing Room, 301
South Second Street, Lafayette, IN
47905-1092 USA.

Publications Available
from Development Training and
Communications Planning
The Asia and Pacific Programme
for Development Training and Com-
munication Planning (DTCP) is a part
of the United Nations Development
Program (UNDP). The DTCP is a
program support service to the
United Nations Development System,
providing training and consultancy
services in the areas of Organizational
Development, Management, Project
Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation,

On-Farm Agronomic Trials in Farming Systems Research and Extension

Peter E. Hildebrand and Frederico
Poey* have synthesized and elabor-
ated on the work of a team of agri-
cultural and social scientists, expert
in farming systems research and ex-
tension (FSR/E), in this new book.
They present the role and philos-
ophy of on-farm research in FSR/E
activities, describe a logical sequence
for technology development, and
explain the most-used statistical
procedures in easy-to-follow steps.
Hildebrand and Poey also outline
new ideas and methods for analyz-
ing agronomic data obtained outside
of the controlled conditions typically
found at experiment stations.
This is a practical, useful handbook
for anyone involved in or contem-

plating farming systems research and
extension activities. It contains spe-
cific information on the design of
various types of on-farm trials, field
data management and the analysis
of data, and includes the basic steps
for planning, initiating and manag-
ing an on-farm research program.
Cost (in U.S. dollars) is $8.95,
plus $1.50 postage and handling,
available from: Lynne Rienner Pub-
lishers, Inc., 948 North Street, Suite
8, Boulder, CO 80302.
*Peter E. Hildebrand is a Professor in the Food
and Resource Economics Department at the
University of Florida. Frederico Poey is Presi-
dent of Agricultural Development Consultants,
Inc. (AGRIDEC). Both Hildebrand and Poey
have been actively involved in the FSSP. Their
book was supported in part by this project and
is now used in FSSP training programs.

Training Methodology and Commun-
ication to Support Development.
Its wide range of UN-related pro-
ject experience is documented in a
list of publications, available on
request from:
Publications Editor
P.O. box 2-147
Bankok 10200, Thailand

Publications on
International Agriculture
Agribookstore, a mail order service
based in the United States, has be-
come the largest single source of
publications produced by the net-
work of international agricultural
research centers. It stocks books,
bulletins, slides and maps from
ICRISAT and ICRAF. The Agri-
bookstore also carries publications
from the Board on Science and
Technology in Development of the
National Academy of Sciences (USA),
the Consultative Grpup on Interna-
tional Agricultural Research (USA),
the International Council for Fe-
search on Agroforestry (KENYA),
the International Development Re-
search Centre (Canada), and the
International Agricultural Develop-
ment Service (USA).
A complete catalog is available
on request from Agribookstore,
lADS Operations, Inc., 1611 North
Kent Street, Arlington, VA 22209,

University of Florida Home Page
© 2004 - 2010 University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries.
All rights reserved.

Acceptable Use, Copyright, and Disclaimer Statement
Last updated October 10, 2010 - - mvs