WAFSRN meeting a big success -...
 New materials tried and tested...
 Gender issues in FSR/E
 Livestock in mixed farming systems...
 Animal traction in a farming systems...
 Women, agriculture, and FSR/E in...
 Liberia survey report available...
 FSR/E management information...

Title: Farming Systems Support Project newsletter
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00071908/00013
 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: VID00013
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
    WAFSRN meeting a big success - 2nd West African integrated livestock systems networkshop
        Page 1
        Page 2
    New materials tried and tested in the Gambia diagnosis and design training - Economic analysis of crop-livestock on-farm trials
        Page 3
    Gender issues in FSR/E
        Page 4
    Livestock in mixed farming systems research methods and priorities
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
    Animal traction in a farming systems perspective
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
    Women, agriculture, and FSR/E in Lesotho
        Page 13
        Page 14
    Liberia survey report available - Step-wise methods for on-farm research
        Page 15
    FSR/E management information needed
        Page 16
Full Text

Volume Four, Number Two
Second Quarter, 1986

Farming Systems Support Project Newsletter

WAFSRN Meeting a Big Success

The West African Farming Systems
Research Network (WAFSRN) held
its first annual meeting March 10-14
in Dakar, Senegal, at the Novotel.
Fourteen of the 17 WAFSRN mem-
ber nations sent representatives to a
meeting attended by more than 50
participants. Those nations attending
included Benin, Burkina Faso, Camer-
oun, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau,
Ivory Coast, Mali, Mauritania, Niger,
Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, and
Togo. Representatives were unable
to attend from the countries of Cape
Verde, Ghana, and Liberia.
The meetings provided a very good
start to the West African Farming
Systems Research Network. The four-
day meetings began Tuesday with an
opening address by the Director of
ISRA, representing the Honorable
Minister of Rural Development of
the Republic of Senegal. Drs. George
Abalu and Jacques Faye, co-directors
of the initial steering committee of
WAFSRN, chaired this session. The
opening remarks were followed by a
welcoming address by Dr. Bruce
Scott of IDRC, the supporting host
for these meetings.
The substantive issues began Tues-
day with country report presenta-
tions from those countries with the
longest history of FSR/E in West and
Central Africa: Mali, Nigeria and
Senegal. The rest of Tuesday was
spent listening to an analysis of these
approaches by Dr. David Norman
and in general participant discussions
of the four presentations. Norman
pointed out that four major issues
were of such importance in FSR/E
approaches that they require atten-

tion of all administrators and re-
searchers involved in the approach
anywhere. These four general areas
1. Linkages between FSR/E and com-
ponent (and subject matter spe-
cialties) research, for more stress
on adaptive on-shelf technologies
and systematic feedback into tra-
ditional researcher's agendas;
2. Linkages between research and
extension/development: placing
FSR/E approach in (a) research,
(b) extension/development, or (c)
specially-created development
3. Sequencing of FSR/E activities:
by necessity, flexibility must be
allowed for skipping certain stages
sometimes, spending longer in
some phases at times, and for
simultaneously working across
several phases at times (there is
little doubt that currently the
weakest phase is dissemination);
4. Problems of donor agency support
(too much money, too quickly)
and sustainability of the FSR/E
approach when donor support is
no longer available or when it is
greatly reduced in magnitude.
Wednesday was devoted to two
major activities. The first was the
presentation of capsule FSR/E re-
ports from countries having less
lengthy experiences with FSR/E,
namely Ivory Coast, Cameroun,
Burkina Faso, Togo, Benin, Sierra
Leone, Mauritania, Niger, Guinea-
Bissau and Guinea. All country pre-
sentations (including the three given
(continued on page 2)


West African




The Steering Committee of the
West African Integrated Livestock
Systems Networkshop is pleased to
announce that the Farming Systems
Support Project (FSSP), in collalor-
ation with other organizations, will
sponsor a second regional network-
ship on draught animal power en-
titled "The introduction, intensifica-
tion and diversification of the use of
animal power in West African farm-
ing systems: implications at farm
level". The networkshop will be held
in Freetown, Sierra Leone from 19-
25 September 1986. It is being held
under the auspices of the West Africa
Integrated Livestock Systems Com-
mittee, an associate body of the West
Africa Farming Systems Research
Network (WAFSRN), and the host
organization will be the Sierra Leone
Work Oxen Project. Provisional an-
nouncements regarding this Network-
shop were sent earlier this year, and
letters have been mailed to a list of
persons assembled by the Steering
The planning of this networkshop
began in March 1985 in Togo, at the
previous regional networkshop en-
titled "Animal Traction in a Farming
Systems Perspective". This first
networkshop was organized by the
(continued on page 16)

WAFSRN... (continued from p. 1)
on Tuesday) were given openly and
covered accomplishments, problems
and future needs. These presenta-
tions led to a frank and open exchange
between all participants, a vital
requisite for a network in order to
establish meaningful communication
between different countries and
approaches to FSR/E. Such a task
is not that simple in a region of the
world dominated by two major
languages and historical research
The second major activity of Wed-
nesday's session was dividing the
participants into four smaller working
groups to discuss topics of importance
and immediate relevance to WAFSRN.
These topics included:

1. "Linkages Between FSR and
component Research";
2. "Linkages Between Research
and Development Activities";
3. "Sequencing of Field Activities
and the Roles of Various Disci-
plines"; and
4. "Coordination of Donor Assis-
tance for National FSR Activ-

All sessions were well-attended, with
chairpersons appointed to facilitate
discussion and rapporteurs appointed
to record major points and recom-
mendations for the plenary session
the following day. After the four
small working groups concluded their
meetings, a group met formally to
discuss FSR/E project evaluation
criteria. (The results of the informal
evaluation criteria meeting were sub-
sequently used in a meeting of the
Evaluation Task Force of the FSSP
held the following week in Washing-
ton, D.C.).
The Thursday morning session was
dedicated to brief presentations by
each of the small working groups, as
well as to follow-up discussion of
these reports by all participants.
The afternoon sessions were devoted
to two activities, the first being a
panel discussion. The panel, compos-
ed of Drs. Dunstan Spencer, David
Norman, Jacques Faye and Sibiri
Sawadogo, focused on progress in,
and needs of, national programs im-

plementing the FSR/E approach.
The second activity of Thursday
morning was, "Lessons from the
Implementation of FSR in Africa".
This topic was covered by opening
the discussion to the floor, with
various participants responding.
Friday sessions began with a pre-
sentation by Dr. Marie-Helene Collion,
IDRC-Senegal, entitled, "Reflections
on a West African Farming Systems
Network", followed by participant
discussion. WAFSRN administrative
matters were next on Friday's agenda.
A discussion of them followed Dr.
George Abalu's presentation of his
General Report on the organization
of WAFSRN. Finally, the election
of the new Steering Committee was
proceeded by charging that elected
body with the following three tasks:
1. Exploring the possibilities of
funding sources of WAFSRN;
2. Approaching a permanent coor-
dinator for the network; and
3. Placing WAFSRN into
SAFGRAD (as first choice of
location), with IITA and
ICRISAT as alternatives.
Those elected by country partici-
pants to serve on the current
WAFSRN steering committee are:
1. Jacques Faye, Directeur, De-
partment Systems, Senegal
2. Pascal Fotzo, Charge de tours,
Dschang University, Cameroun
3. Dossou Adjahossou, Directeur
de la Recherche Agronomique,
4. Tiecouradie Diarra (in absentia),
IER, Mali
5. Raymond Unamma, Assistant
Chief Scientific Officer, Nigeria
6. Dunstan Spencer, (Incoming)
Head, FSR Unit, IITA, Nigeria
7. Jean-Francois Poulain, IRAT/
CERDAT-CEARC, Montpellier,
8. (ex-officio) Taye Bezuneh, Direc-
tor of Research, SAFGRAD,
Burkina Faso
After declining several times to run
for the new steering committee, Dr.
Abalu was roundly applauded by all
participants for his contributions in
getting WAFSRN off the ground.
Finally, the current WAFSRN

steering committee met Friday even-
ing with international support repre-
sentatives including the meeting
host-IDRC (Canada)-as well as GTZ
(Germany), the Ford Foundation
(U.S.A.), CIRAD (France) and the
FSSP (USAID/ U.S.A.) were present.
While cautious optimism was the
main tone set by the donors at this
meeting, it was repeatedly pointed
out that most donors have been
seriously affected by recent funding
cutbacks or shifting agricultural
research priorities. Mainly for this
reason, the only donor able to offer
some immediate funds to the newly-
emerging network was CIRAD
(France). Other donor representatives
present will consult with their home
offices to consider and determine
ways that their organizations might
effectively support the network.
The FSSP will continue to actively
cooperate and network with
WAFSRN. Hopefully, certain in-kind
support may also be forthcoming
from the FSSP, as our project has
been an active repository for (a) FSR
materials from, (b) biodata of persons
interested in working in, and (c) ad-
dresses of many FSR/E practitioners
working in West and Central Africa.
The original WAFSRN steering
committee (which consisted of Drs.
George Abalu, Ahmadu Bello Univer-
sity, Nigeria; Jacques Faye, Directeur,
Department Systemes, Senegal; Peter
Matlon, ICRISAT, Burkina Faso;
Jean-Francois Poulain, IRAT/
CER-DAT-CEARC, Montpellier,
France; Henk Mutsaers, I ITA, Nigeria;
Leopold Fakambi, FSA/UNB, Benin)
is to be congratulated for organizing
and then facilitating the first annual
WAFSRN meetings in a very orderly,
yet flexible, manner. Now that the
network has met for the first time,
and has identified many areas of
mutal interest and concern, we all
hope for the best and wish WAFSRN
success as it supports FSR/E ap-
proaches in the national programs of
its 17 member nations. The FSSP
strongly feels that this is not the
time for donors to be hesitant in
supporting WAFSRN. On the con-
trary, the excellent momentum begun
in Dakar should be encouraged. M


New materials tried and tested In The Gambia

Diagnosis and Design Training

The FSSP West Africa FSR/E
Regional Training Course was held
in The Gambia, April 7 through
April 25, 1986. Virginia Polytechnic
Institute assisted the FSSP by deliver-
ing the training course. John Cald-
well (Horticulture) was the lead
trainer and Dan Taylor (Agricultural
Economics) coordinated the course.
The Gambia Agricultural Diversifica-
tion Project (G.A.R.D.) was very
supportive. The FSR/E component
of the G.A.R.D. project facilitated
valuable field experience for the
workshop participants and the work-
shop participants' output from field
exercises provided additional infor-
mation useful to upcoming G.A.R.D.
implementation plans.
The workshop was attended by
thirty-one participants representing
The Gambia and five other African
countries including Sierra Leone,
Nigeria, Ghana, Mauritania, and Bots-
wana. Resource persons from The
Gambia, Senegal, Nigeria, the Philip-
pines, and Latin America provided
first hand case study examples of
farming systems research and exten-
sion methods. Lectures, case studies,
practical exercises and extensive field
team exercises provided a variety of
learning environments for participants.
The Gambia has been the site of
two previous FSSP workshops. In
1984, a ten day workshop was held
on Diagnosis (FSSP Newsletter,
Volume Two, No. Two, Second
Quarter 1984). A one week workshop
addressing On-Farm Experimentation
was held in 1985 (FSSP, Training
Workshop Report, FSSP/GARD On-
Farm Experimentation Workshop,
The Gambia, May 20-25, 1985).
Based on feedback from participants
and trainers in these as well as other
workshops, FSSP decided to take a
slightly different approach for the
1986 workshop. Ensuring that par-
ticipants of the workshop on Design
had previously attended the Diagnos-
tic workshop, and that the partici-
pants at the Diagnostic workshop
would have the opportunity to attend
the follow-up workshop on Design
was often difficult and limited the

effectiveness of the workshops. There-
fore, it was decided to lengthen the
workshop to include both Diagnosis
and Design at one time. The course
included one week devoted to general
diagnostic methodologies and two
weeks to on-farm trial design and
analysis methodologies.
In week one, training focused on
rapid rural appraisal by use of the
informal survey. Specific attention
was given to contrasting informal
and formal survey methods, 'open'
versus 'topic guidelines' approaches
to informal surveys, and the use of
open-ended questions. Using these
skills, each team conducted a two-
day sondeo in one of four villages.
Each group processed their infor-
mation and produced a sondeo
report. As the G.A.R.D. has recently
conducted surveys in the same areas,
the results of the workshop partici-
pants' sondeo and the initial sondeo
were combined to be used in the
following week's design exercise.
The second week focused on the
design phase of FSR/E, using data
from the sondeo exercises as well as
the initial G.A.R.D. survey results.
Each group identified a priority
problem for trial design, developed
a treatment objectives statement,
developed treatment options and
reduced them to a manageable
treatment subset, assessed field size
and diversity and selected an appro-
priate experimental design. Oral and
written reports were prepared.
Trial implementation and the
analysis of trial results based on
biological, economic, social and
cultural criteria were the major
topics of the final week.
The evaluation of the workshop
showed that the participants were
very satisfied with the course and
termed it a success. The lack of
time, which is often the major
complaint of participants in a short
course, was not noted as a major
constraint in the first two weeks.
However, it was noted that during the
final week on analysis, not enough
time was available to cover all that
was originally planned. As we move

on in the process of training in
FSR/E we have learned a number of
very valuable lessons in the past
which contributed to the success of
this workshop. Training units address-
ing Diagnosis and On-Farm Experi-
mentation developed by the FSSP in
response to a felt need proved to be
valuable resources for trainers and
participants. In preparation for future
training efforts, continued emphasis
should be placed on the development
of materials and practical examples
of the integration of biological, eco-
nomic and social analysis. 0

Economic Analysis

of Crop-Livestock

On-Farm Trials

Winrock International has been
awarded a grant from the Office of
International Cooperation and De-
velopment (USDA) in order to
develop training materials for the
economic analysis of livestock on-
farm testing within mixed crop-live-
stock farming systems. This general
objective will be pursued by extract-
ing, synthesizing, and summarizing
the accumulated experience with
on-farm livestock research in Asia
and elsewhere in the world. One of
the products will be a training manual
which will illustrate case studies
which can be used to strengthen
analysis of on-farm research. This
effort will complement current
USAID efforts to help develop train-
ing materials for Farming Systems
Research in national programs via
the Farming Systems Support Pro-
ject (FSSP) at the University of
For this purpose, Dr. Pervaiz
Amir left on March 7 for a long-
term assignment (15 months) at
SEARCA and IRRI. Farming Sys-
tems practitioners are encouraged
to send any suggestions, background
material, experiences, problems, or
other information which might help
Dr. Amir in his task. Correspondence
can be sent to him via I RR I, P.O. Box
933, Manila, Philippines, or via Henk
Knipscheer at Winrock Headquarters,
at Morrilton, Arkansas 72110.m


The University of Florida hosted
an international conference February
26-March 1, 1986 entitled "Gender
Issues in Farming Systems Research
and Extension". Sponsored by the
Women in Agriculture Program, the
conference was a joint effort of the
Center for Latin American Studies,
the Center for Tropical Agriculture
and the Center for African Studies.
Marianne Schmink, Co-Director of
the Women in Agriculture Program
and faculty member of the Center
for Latin Amerian Studies was the
conference organizer, and Susan
Poats, Associate Director of the FSSP
was the program coordinator. Fund-
ing was provided by the Ford Foun-
dation, the Rockefeller Foundation
and the University of Florida.
The primary objective of the con-
ference was to bring together scholars
and practitioners with expertise and
interest in FSR/E and in issues re-
lated to the role of gender in agri-
culture. An interdisciplinary, com-
parative format gave a new perspec-
tive on the importance of gender
issues in Africa, Asia, Latin America,
the Middle East, the Pacific, the
United States, and other parts of the
world as they affect farming systems
projects and agricultural development.
There were 91 speakers in fifteen
formal paper sessions and three
roundtable discussions, and an after-
lunch lecturer. Latinamericanist Dr.
Carmen Diana Deere of the Univer-
sity of Massachusetts at Amherst
delivered the keynote address "Rural
Women and State Policy: An Evalu-
ation of the Decade". Films and
recent publications on FSR/E and
Gender were available for review
during the conference and several
social events facilitated a high level
of information exchange and net-
working. Attendance at conference
sessions was consistently high. A total
of 298 persons were registered or on

the formal program and many others
from the campus and local area attend-
ed without registering.
The conference was formally
opened by Dr. Chris Andrew, Direc-
tor of the FSSP, on behalf of the
University of Florida. In his opening
remarks he said:
"The intellectual capacity assem-
bled in this room to address gender-
related issues in on-farm research is
second to none. We are fortunate
this week to have presentations by
people who have traveled from more
than twenty countries, from forty
universities (eleven non-U.S.), from
three International Agricultural Re-
search Centers and many other
national donor, private voluntary
organizations and private entities.
From studying the titles in the confer-
ence program, twenty-two countries
are specifically mentioned and we
know that more will be discussed.
Nearly every region of the world is
"The intra-household concept, as
an integral and dynamic part of the
farm system must consider gender
issues. I emphasize integral and
dynamic because we must take care
not to establish artificial boundaries
to accommodate conventional simpli-
city. With a broad view of the house-
hold, third world food security can
be addressed in a national policy
framework. We need a conceptual
focus that recognizes the farm house-
hold as a critical element in successful
agricultural policy for research and
development. To enunciate and ad-
dress the interdependent needs of
women and men in farming systems
as they interact with the bio-physical
environment is an important goal.
"The critical importance of agri-
culture to the vitality and strength
of many of the world's countries
is widely recognized. At the same
time, the increasing diversity, com-




plexity and intractability of the
problems facing agricultural devel-
opment make it imperative that
agricultural research systems change
and adapt to address specific realities.
One of these is the role of women in
agriculture. Another is that gender
issues are being considered together
with the farming systems approach,
an agenda that likely could not have
found a platform ten years ago. In
the ebb and flow of agricultural
research this conference represents
something of a revolution in agricul-
ture and a revolution in communica-
The conference offered an excel-
lent opportunity for exploring and
testing new ideas and successful
approaches for incorporating gender
sensitivity in agricultural research
and development. Several groups
took good advantage of the situation
and the critical expertise of the con-
ference participants. The FSSP and
the Population Council used the con-
ference to test one of the Intrahouse-
hold and FSR/E Case Studies. The
case tested was written by Charles
Chabala and Robert Nguiru and
based on FSR/E project activities in
Zambia. Hilary Feldstein, Rosalie
Norem, and Kate Cloud conducted
the abbreviated training sessions and
approximately sixty conference parti-
cipants took part. Their detailed
evaluations and suggestions for im-
provements were used to finalize the
case, and it has been used subsequent-
ly for training activities at the Virginia
Polytechnique Institute and State
University and in FSSP's regional
FSR/E training course held during
April in the Gambia. The participation
of several Zambians and others who
have worked in Zambia in the
training test was particularly useful.
Seven other case studies are being
developed and should be ready for
testing later this year.
Highlighted repeatedly during the
conference was the need to inventory
and assess the usefulness of various
methodologies used in dealing with
gender issues. An ad hoc special
methodology workshop was held on
Saturday afternoon following the
close of the formal conference and

attended by more than seventy-five
people. Janice Jiggins and Hilary
Feldstein are using this session as the
base for developing a methodologies
handbook to accompany the case
studies. This activity is funded by
the Ford Foundation.
Aside from the high level of in-
terest in the formal and ad hoc
sessions, informal networking was

intense among those present. These
interactions demonstrated the re-
markable level of interest in the
practical aspects of integrating atten-
tion to gender issues into agricultural
research and extension. The confer-
ence provided a meeting place for
people with diverse disciplinary and
area expertise to learn from one
another. The most exciting outcome

of the conference was the discovery
of such a broad base of research al-
ready underway on gender issues in
agriculture. A total of sixty-four
written papers were available in a
three-volume set at the conference.
The Women in Agriculture Program
will revise a selection of these for a
two-volume publication as a follow-
up to the conference. a


in mixed farming systems

Research Methods and Priorities

Editor's Note: In June of last year a workshop (with the above title) was sponsored jointly by the Farming Systems
Support Project (University of Florida) and the International Livestock Center for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Objectives of the workshop included presentation, discussion and evaluation of research methods and design
techniques used in on-farm and on-station trials, in terms of their usefulness and application to farming systems
research in mixed crop/livestock farming systems. During two concurrent group working sessions the role of on-
station research and the role of on-farm research were discussed at some length. A summary of those discussions
follow, as presented by their respective chairpersons and rapporteurs. The summary of On-Station Research was
prepared by Howard Olson (Southern Illinois University) and John Mclntire (ILCA). The summary of On-Farm
Research was prepared by John Tothill (IL CA) and John Mclntire (IL CA).

The Role of On-Station Research (OSR)

OSR should focus on testing
higher yielding variants of old enter-
prises (eg. from other countries) or
testing on new enterprises as suggested
by ex-ante analysis and by on-farm
research (OFR). Because this kind of
research (introducing new enterprises
or improving old ones) has to be more
controlled than OFR, it should be
done on station before OFR unless
the technology is well established
and unless there are reasonable
grounds for believing that OSR can
be omitted.

1. Research should be oriented to
farmers' needs obtained from ex-ante
analysis or from OSR surveys.
2. OSR should take in considera-
tion national policies. One way to
facilitate communication would be
to include those who set policy in
the group setting research priorities.

If national policies seem to need
change, then involvement of policy
makers in bodies like TAC would
assist this.
3. OSR should be coordinated with
research at other research institutions
(universities, ministries of agriculture
or extension services). This should be
done to avoid duplication, and be-
cause of limited manpower and other
4. OSR is multidisciplinary. The
design of the study should incorpor-
ate the views of the whole team. A
statistician should assist design to
ensure that the resulting data may be
analyzed usefully.
5. A tie to extension is necessary.

1. Nutrition: This is the major con-
straint to improving production and
should be given first priority.

a) A characterization of avail-
able feedstuffs should be made,
and research should use them to
formulate new diets or to adjust
existing ones. New enterprises
should be tested first in OSR.
These include feed processing
(grinding, mixing and additions),
mineral supplementation, and feed-
ing products to assure intake.
b) Forage crop screening is cru-
cial: livestock OSR should stress
the development and utilization
of forage just as agronomists
stress cereal production for human
consumption. Given the human
food deficit, it is important to
maximize animal production while
minimizing use of cereals in live-
stock rations.
c) Physiology: Because many
animals are required for this re-
search, it is sometimes necessary
to obtain these numbers through


research off-station. Basic research
should be conducted with OSR.
Many of the recent highly sophis-
ticated advances in physiology
(e.g., oestrus synchronisation, em-
bryo transplant and genetic engi-
neering) should be left to more
advanced research stations. In
situations where nutrient intake
is low and management skills lim-
ited, highly bred livestock will not
perform well. Basic research should
be done at University or national
2. Health. The choice of site (sta-
tion or farm) for health trials depends
on the presence of interactions be-
tween the health treatment and
other factors, such as nutrition. In
general, it is desirable to identify
health problems in the field and to
test solutions on site, partly because
health problems should not be
imported to stations.
3. Animal draft power. OSR should
test new techniques, develop new
equipment, and study interactions
between the power and other com-
ponents (such as cultivars and fertil-
ity) of farming systems. Suitable
topics include nutritional and health
problems of draft animals, work out-
put determination, and agricultural

4. Genetic improvement. This is
necessary but a low priority in view
of yield gaps between station and
farm results with existing breeds.
For meat, selection within existing
breeds is more important than cross-
breeding, since meat will usually be
produced from ranges with limited
feed supplementation. For milk pro-
duction, the necessity of increased
supplementation, even if selected
local breeds are used, makes cross-
breeding a more attractive alterna-
tive. Improvement will be faster with
crossbreeding and is recommended.
The adaptability of crossbreeds
should be tested on station before
OFR is done with them.

1. If livestock trials require repli-
cates over several years, they should
be designed to produce annual
reports which can serve as inputs
to the trial in subsequent years.
2. While station trials should be
simplified to avoid confusing results
and interpretation of data, they can
be more complicated than OFR
designs. Any experiments requiring
complicated designs or very precise

measurements should be done on
3. Avoid duplication of experi-
ments. This is especially important
were several entities (national and
international programs, universities)
are conducting research in the same
4. Conduct relevant analysis rather
than all inclusive, expensive analyses
which may be nice to know but have
little relevance to the immediate re-
search objectives.
5. Use appropriate sampling tech-
niques-eg, more samples off-station
than on-station are needed because
of variability in off-station feeds.
The use of blocking is necessary-eg,
grouping supplemented dams by age
and calving history.
6. Estimates of response functions
should be done on-station because of
the need to control non-treatment
variables. This is especially true of
feeding trials. While OFR is useful
to characterize feed resources, esti-
mating responses to those resources
should be done on-station.
7. Express results in economic
terms, if possible, and use those
results as inputs into the design of
further OSR and into on-farm re-

The Role of On -Farm Research (OFR)

1. The first role is to give an ex-
ante description of the production
system and to identify relevant
problems for on-station research
(OSR). What are the research prob-
lems? Is the system amenable to
interventions? What information
about the system can be provided to
OSR before it is done?
2. The second role is to verify
OSR results. Is a result useful on
farms? What is its real effect on
farms? Is it economically and tech-
nically applicable?
3. The third role is to provide a
continuing flow of information to
OSR programs. That is, the flow of
information from OFR to OSR does
not stop after OSR has started, but
continues in an iterative process.

4. The fourth is to test new tech-
nologies under farmers' conditions.
5. The fifth is to demonstrate im-
proved technologies to farmers and
to extension personnel.

1. OFR scientists must have a close
association with OSR scientists.
2. The objectives of OFR must be
clearly defined in terms of producing
information which will result in new
3. Technical, economic, and social
effects are inseparable. Attempts to
study one effect in isolation from
the others will lead to misleading
4. Extension contacts are vital

from the start. They are used to
facilitate relations with farmers and
to encourage input from extension
workers when OF R is being designed.

1. Feeding trials.
a) Are responses similar to those
found with OSR? When a norm of
farm responses is found in a region,
then OSR results and recommenda-
tions can be adjusted for this norm.
b) How do the management
implications of feeding recom-
mendations fit into farmers'
systems? This is relevant not
only to the level of response to
a given feed, but to other fac-
tors associated with the use of


that feed, such as its current
allocation to other purposes (eg.
crop residues used for fuel).
c) Are the technically optimal
feeds available in the target
region? Does their diversion to
feeding incur significant costs?
d) Large scale screening of for-
age cultivars should not be done
on farms, because such screening
requires environmental and man-
agement uniformity. Multiloca-
tional trials of selected cutivars
can be done if there is previous
experimental evidence that they
are superior under a wide range
of conditions.
2. Adaptive health trials. This
should only be studied on farm in
conjunction with nutrition or man-
agement trials. For some diseases (eg.
rinderpest) it is an all-or-nothing
situation, and can be done on station.
For other diseases (eg. parasites),
where there is a strong interaction
with nutrition or with management,
an OFR problem exists. Trials which
pose risks to farmers, such as drug
tests, or which are likely to be ex-
ecuted poorly, such as those requir-
ing farmers to separate their own
animals into control and treated
groups, should be carefully selected
and only used when station trials
have been previously done.
3. New enterprises. There were
many examples of these noted, such
as dual purpose goats in western
Kenya, cow traction, single ox trac-
tion, and scoops in Ethiopia. OFR
with new enterprises will often ex-
pose farmers to opportunities beyond
their immediate experience, and thus,
provide valuable information for both
researchers and farmers. However, it
was agreed that basic testing of new
enterprises must be done on station
and that rapid introduction of new
enterprises by OFR can only be done
where there is a good experimental
base. As with health trials to be done
on-farm, experiments involving risks
should be done as much as possible
on station.
4. Animal power. While this is a
special case of new enterprises, it is
important enough to merit separate
mention. Measurement problems (eg.

cultivation depth, work output) make
some types of animal draft OFR dif-
ficult. Studies of energy use and of
agricultural engineering are best done
on station. Grosser measures of out-
put, such as area cultivated, can be
done on farms, but only after the
basic animal draft technology has
been demonstrated on station. Spe-
cial aspects of animal power work
(such as feeding or health problems)
should be treated in the same manner
as the general approach to feeding or
health noted in 1 and 2 above.
5. Resource surveys and allocation.
These are important for extrapolating
OSR results over wide areas, and for
aiding the design of further OSR. The
use of models for such extrapolation
depends very much on results of
resource surveys.
6. Research/extension. There is
need to incorporate research methods
into the extension system to support
the adoption of interventions; it is
recognized that this procedure must
not lead to situations which render
the recommendations artificial.

1. Types of trials. Types of trials in
OFR are usually classified by the
degree of farmer control. These
range from demonstrations in which
there is no farmer control to farmers'
tests in which the farmer does every-
thing. There are general principles
that there is greater inherent vari-
ability in OF R as the degree of farmer
control increases, and that farmer
control becomes more necessary as
the technology gets closer to the
extension stage. This variability will
increase the need for replicates at
each site; therefore, one expects
samples in size and total trial cost
to be positively associated with the
degree of farmer control. All other
things remaining constant, the neces-
sity for replicates across farms or
sites will be increased if replicates
within farms are not possible.
Livestock on-farm trials may re-
quire more care in experimental
design, therefore, trials with a high
degree of farmer control need to be

planned carefully, in order to avoid
execution or interpretation errors
which would invalidate the results.
2. Level of quantification. This is
a function of the purpose of the
OFR. Resource allocation surveys-
cropped areas, stocking rates, labor
availability-can be done very accur-
ately in some cases, but there are
variables (such as milk or crop yield)
which are more difficult to survey
accurately. It is clear that a) the level
of quantification must be decided
upon, at the start, with due regard
for statistical consideration; b) every
variable measured must be justifiable
by the research objectives; c) cost
considerations are important in de-
ciding which variables to measure
and how to measure them; d) farm-
ers' estimates of treatment effects
are useful, but they must always be
complemented by objective measures.
3. Types of analysis. This is a func-
tion of the level of quantification.
Since one of the precepts of OFR is
the necessity of technical, economic,
and social analyses, it follows that
the data collected must permit these
analyses. As a minimum, three analy-
ses should be possible with OFR;
a) technical-what is the physical
effect (eg. change in milk yield) of
the treatment tested?; b) economic-
what is the economic effect of the
treatment? It should always be pos-
sible to make enterprise budgets
from the technical data and from
knowledge of prices of inputs and
products; c) social-what is the social
effect of the intervention? What
interactions would the successful
adoption of the intervention have
with the social systems? Are those
interactions impediments to adop-
tion? For example, with increased
milk production, would producers
be able to find outlets for the milk?
4. Adoption. Some index of adop-
tion must be devised, but this is only
necessary when true adoption takes
place. This will generally be after a
long sequence of OSR and OFR.
Biased indices-those which report
adoption under very high levels of
research or extension input-must
be reported with care. u



in a farming systems perspective

Editor's Note: The FSSP regional networkshop held in Togo in March, 1985 was one in a series of meetings recog-
nizing the importance and potential of livestock in mixed farming systems in various African settings. The focus of
this meeting of scientists and practitioners was on discussion of the suitability of animal traction technology for
West Africa, and mechanisms that might promote its greater and more successful use. During the course of the net-
workshop a number of working groups were formed to address various specific topics related to the networkshop
theme. One of these dealt with Preconditions for Successful Animal Traction Adoption, which was summarized
by Paul Starkey and is reported here as it appears in the proceedings of the networkshop ("Animal Traction in a
Farming Systems Perspective." Networkshop Report No. 1, Farming Systems Support Project, University of
Florida, 1985).

Preconditions for Successful Animal Traction Adoption

Group discussions aimed to identify conditions that
could be considered prerequisites for success in animal
traction. Such preconditions were broadly defined as
exogenous, resulting from the environment in the
broadest sense (agro-climatic, social, economic and
infrastructural environments) or endogenous, being
characteristics of the farm or farming family. Questions
were posed as to whether certain endogenous resources,
technical skills or management abilities were essential

to the successful adoption of animal traction. By de-
fining such preconditions, it was envisaged that some
practical guidelines relating to successful adoption
criteria could be presented, through a farming systems
The success of any animal traction program will
depend on a unique combination of exogenous and en-
dogenous factors specific to the area of introduction.
The principle factors affecting the adoption of draft


~--=cjs~c _~

--I------ a


animal power differ not only between the different
West African countries represented, but even within
countries, and within relatively small areas, such as
those of the various Togolese projects visited. While
the broad categorization into exogenous and endog-
enous factors can be useful, the complex interaction of
the two categories makes precise definitions difficult.
Recognizing the great diversity of conditions and the
dangers of generalization, some very broad observa-
tions can be made. These may be considered under the
broad headings of the profitability of draft animal use,
socio-cultural factors, knowledge, financial resources
and the availability of appropriate services. It is em-
phasized that these headings are neither comprehensive
nor discrete categories, and in any situation there is a
complex interaction of the various factors.

For animal traction to be viable, the use of the draft
animals must be either economically profitable or have
distinct social benefits. In cases where work animals
are used solely for transportation, forestry operations
or for powering pumps or machinery, profitability will
depend largely on the availability of animals, labor and
feed resources and the relationship between operating
costs and the income or benefits obtained. Farm profit-
ability depends on numerous complex and interacting
criteria, but when animals are used for crop cultivation
the following prerequisites may be defined.
1. Land
Farmers must have reliable access to land of appro-
priate quality and quantity. The minimum area of land
will vary with cropping intensity and the value of the
crops produced, and so will be highly area-specific.
Farmers with land areas below the critical minimum
may still use animal traction through systems of hiring
or communal ownership.
2. Agro-climatic factors, soil and conditions and
availability of natural pasture.
Enivronmental conditions will determine if cultiva-
tion with draft animals is feasible, and also whether or
not it is profitable. Certain exogenous characteristics
such as steep slopes, insufficient rain or soil and low
fertility militate against animal traction. Availability of
natural pasture will depend on the climate and farming
system. While animals can be fed from specially grown
forages or purchased feeds, the introduction of draft
animal technology is likely to be more successful in
areas of adequate natural pasture.
3. Labor
Availability of labor is a critical endogenous factor
affecting draft animal use. Use of draft animals requires
labor for cultivation operations or transport, besides
the care and maintenance of animals throughout the
year. The labor required may involve several members
of a farming household, or labor may be hired. The use
of draft animals for plowing large areas can create labor
bottlenecks at other times, for example, at weeding or
harvesting. If there is gender partition of farming

operations, which is common, the use of draft animals
may decrease the labor of one sex while increasing that
of the other. The profitability of animal traction will
increase as more labor-saving operations are used. Effi-
cient management of operations and thorough training
of cattle can save labor, for example by having one
person control a pair of oxen; but such labor use is rare
in West Africa. An important criterion is that the labor
required for care and maintenance should not distract
from other important farm operations.
4. Adapted animals.
For animal traction to be successful, adapted animals
(those that are disease-resistant or disease-tolerant)
must be readily available. It is stressed that, in village
situations, adaptation is much more critical than size.
Thus the small trypanotolerant taurines of West Africa
are particularly appropriate as draft animals in areas
of trypanosomiasis risk. Not only must animals be
adapted, they must be readily available, and ease of
purchase and resale is particularly important. The
combination of adaptation and availability will generally
mean that indigenous animals are used, and the use of
exotic breeds of novel species is seldom likely to be
appropriate. Crossbreeding schemes are unlikely to
make a significant contribution to the success of draft
animal programs, as they are generally expensive and
complicated to manage. There is a complex inter-rela-
tionship between the importance of animal adaptation,
the availability of animal health services and systems of
animal husbandry and nutrition.
5. Existence of adapted cultivation systems.
Successful animal traction requires proven systems
of crop cultivation, adapted to local agro-climatic and
soil conditions. Before animal traction is promoted,
appropriate cropping systems should have been tested
and proven. In a few cases traditional cropping systems
may be suited to animal traction. More frequently,
changes in fallow length and stumping of land, which
are associated with draft animal use, necessitate new
crop rotations or associations to maintain soil fertility.
6. Market for produce.
For animal traction to be successful, farmers must
be able to sell produce to pay for implements and
other inputs. The use of the word "cash crop" in this
instance may be misleading, as farmers may be able to
sell the staple food crop to obtain sufficient income.
Nevertheless, an assured market for a high-income crop
is particularly advantageous to draft animal adoptors.
The success of draft animal programs associated with
cotton and groundnut marketing operations is of par-
ticular note.
The price of the inputs-notably for animals, imple-
ments and services required to maintain these-must
be proportionate to the benefits gained. In particular
the value of the crops produced must be commensurate
with the overall costs of animal traction. Several case
histories discussed in the workshop illustrated the prob-
lems farmers face when offered expensive equipment
packages while the value of their production is low.


The social environment must be supportive of farm-
ers adopting animal traction. Previous knowledge of
animal husbandry is not a prerequisite and animal hus-
bandry skills are not limited to certain ethnic groups.
Nevertheless, familiarity with animal husbandry is
clearly advantageous. The local population must be
prepared to accept the principles of animal traction so
that individuals can learn the necessary skills. The im-
portance of status should not be underestimated, for
animal traction may be adopted even when apparently
unprofitable if it confers enhanced social status. The
natural tendency of farmers to diminish their risks may
be significant, and the decision to adopt or not adopt
animal traction may be based on whether it is perceived
as basically spreading risks, or whether it makes the
farmer more vulnerable to exogenous variables over
which the farmer has little or no control. The division
of farming roles between men, women and children in
a farming society may influence the adoption of animal
traction. Investment in animal traction is more likely
if the investing heads of households have their own
labor diminished through the use of the draft animals.
It must be stressed that such socio-cultural factors are
not fixed, and can change with time. In addition to the
exogenous socio-cultural environment, the endogenous
motivation of individual farmers is a prerequisite for
successful adoption.
Before farmers can adopt draft animal power, they
must be aware of its possibilities. This is an endogenous
precondition. However, knowledge comes through
contact with external sources, by seeing other farmers
using animal traction, by hearing descriptions of draft
animal use or from specific publicity activities such as
agricultural shows or demonstrations.
Adoption of animal traction involves considerable
capital investment in animals and equipment. Farmers
must either have sufficient resources to allow this in-
vestment or they must have access to a form of credit,
which could be provided through traditional, modern,
commercial, governmental, or NGO credit arrange-
ments. Farmers already owning suitable animals require
much less capital or credit to enable them to employ
draft animals. While not a precondition, appropriate
animal ownership is a marked advantage in favor of
successful animal traction adoption.
Successful adoption of animal traction requires the
provision of certain external services to support the
farmer. These services may be provided by other farm-
ers and traditional expertise, by modern commerical
agencies or by governmental or NGO development
agencies. It should be stressed that governmental pro-
vision of these services is not a precondition. Histor-
ically, the development of draft animal use in Europe,
North and South America, Asia, and North Africa did
not involve significant government intervention or

formal development projects. In these cases, the dif-
fusion of knowledge and the provision of training
services, health services, equipment and research and
development activities have involved traditional
artisans, entrepreneurs and local initiatives. There is
ample evidence from the rest of the world, and even
West Africa, that draft animals can be introduced and
sustained through private services, whether traditional
or modern. Animal traction technology frequently
diffuses over international boundaries, where it may be
sustained without any direct government-sponsored
interventions. Farmers can provide their own research
and development, adapting their cultivation systems
and equipment to find ways of improving the technol-
ogy. Nevertheless, throughout Africa animal traction is
being promoted by agricultural development projects
and government services. Short-term projects may speed
the rate of adoption, but in the long-term such activities
are unlikely to maintain animal traction if other pre-
conditions, notably socio-economic profitability, are
not met.
1. Equipment, spare parts and repair services.
Farmers require access to appropriate equipment
and maintenance services. In many African countries
appropriate animal traction equipment is not readily
available, and its provision may be a precondition to
successful introduction. The mere sale of such equip-
ment is not sufficient, however, for farmers must be
able to readily obtain spare parts and repair services
when equipment fails. Village blacksmiths frequently
provide such services, and may be vital to the success
of animal traction programs, but they are frequently
constrained by difficulties in obtaining raw materials.
Such a secondary factor can indirectly constrain draft
animal adoption through the restriction of a vital service.
2. Health, husbandry and nutrition services.
The degree to which farmers require animal health
and nutrition services, including husbandry and man-
agement advice, depends largely on the ecological zone
and the previous animal husbandry experience of the
farmers. In places of long-term draft animal use, tradi-
tional skills and resources have been used to provide
management and health care. However, many projects
introducing animal traction have experienced high
mortality rates, often associated with the movement
of animals, the use of unadapted breeds or species
and insufficient attention to nutrition factors. Jn such
cases, the provision of appropriate animal health
services is a prerequisite. In particular, prohylaxis or
treatment for trypanosomiasis may be critical in much
of West Africa. For the long-term viability of animal
traction, husbandry practices must be well adapted to
the environment, and, in general, greater attention
should be given to traditional systems of maintaining
animal health.
3. Extension and training services.
In areas where animal traction is clearly beneficial,
farmers will obtain information and advice from other
farmers, and may obtain assistance in training through
hiring the services of others with appropriate skills.

PAGE 10.

Thus the provision of government extension workers
need not be a precondition for successful animal trac-
tion adoption. However, in areas where there is little
experience of draft animal use, extension and training
services can speed rates of adoption, or can improve
management techniques, provided an adapted culiva-
tion system has evolved or has been developed. Inap-
propriate extension can actually retard farmer adoption,
as other farmers see the problems encountered by early
adopters taking unsuitable advice.
4. Research and development services.
Preconditions for the success of animal traction in-
clude the existence of appropriate cultivation systems,
adapted equipment and suitable systems for maintain-
ing the health and nutritional status of animals. Such
systems come from adaptive research. Throughout the
world, innovative farmers have carried out their own
research, and consequently, over time, have developed
highly adapted systems of draft animal utilization.
Historically, in most parts of the world, innovations
in animal traction have been developed and spread by
progressive farmers, and not by government research
bodies. However, in many parts of Africa, proven
systems of animal traction use have yet to be developed,
and in such cases the provisions of appropriate research
and development services would be a precondition to
any animal traction program. Such research should
start with the farmer, and should be carried out on a
multi-disciplinary systems basis. Studies focusing only
on one factor, such as equipment, nutrition, health,
crop-rotations or socio-economic factors are unlikely
to meet the necessary preconditions for an appropriate,
adapted system of draft animal utilization.

In any region, country or area there will be a unique
combination of endogenous and exogenous factors that
will determine whether or not animal traction is appro-
priate. Prior to any animal traction research or develop-
ment activity, a farming systems-based socio-economic
study should be performed to ascertain the various
economic and social costs and benefits of using draft
animal power. Such a study need not be a comprehen-
sive baseline survey with statistical analyses; more sub-
jective, broad-based assessments can usually identify
the major limiting factors.
Following such a study, it should be possible to de-
cide whether or not animal traction is socially and/or
economically profitable. A note of caution is required
here, for experience from numerous West African
animal traction programs suggests that in many project
appraisal documents, animal traction has been said to
be profitable, while subsequent evaluation documents
have highlighted the problems of unprofitability.
If the initial study indicates that animal traction is
socially and economically beneficial, then factors that
are limiting the rate of adoption or the efficiency of
utilization can be defined. These factors include land,

agroclimate, labor, adapted animals, adapted cropping
systems, marketing opportunities, price equilibria,
socio-cultural factors, knowledge and financial re-
sources or the provision of appropriate services (see
Fig. 1). One choice that can be made by the national
government, agricultural project or development
agency is to allow the technology to develop without
intervention (which should be possible given its social
and economic profitability). The alternative decision
is to intervene to speed up the rate of adoption, or
increase the efficiency of utilization. Such intervention
will inevitably involve costs, so emphasis should be
placed on the most cost-effective methods of interven-
tion. This will almost certainly mean concentrating re-
sources on those factors which are seen to be limiting.
For example, if capital is limiting, then credit may be
required; if knowledge is limiting, then extension
services may be desirable; if animal health is limiting,
prophylaxis may be indicated. It may also be prudent
to initiate farming systems research to identify methods
of further improving profitability and efficiency of
utilization. The result of such interventions should be
increased rates of adoption and/or improve efficiency
of draft animal utilization. This is illustrated schemat-
ically on the left-hand side of Figure 2.
If an initial study indicates that animal traction is
not economically or socially profitable given prevail-

Figure 1.

a) agroclimate, soil types,
b) availability of natural
pasture land availability
c) availability of natural
d) availability of adapted
animals labor availability
e) existence of adapted
cultivation system
f) market for produce
g) price of inputs relative
to sale price of produce
(equilibrium of costs
and benefits)
social acceptance farmer motivation
information or examples knowledge
credit capital
5. SERVICES (traditional,
governmental or commercial)
a) equipment/spare parts/repairs
b) extension and training
c) animal health and nutrition
d) research and development

PAGE 11.


ing conditions, then a policy decision is required by
the national government, agricultural project or
development agency that will determine whether or
not to intervene to change the cost/benefit equilibrium
of animal traction. If the decision is for non-interven-
tion, then animal traction is unlikely to be adopted, as
farmers will reject the technology due to its social or
economic unprofitability.
If a policy of intervention is chosen, it will involve
costs to the government, project or development
agency, and so resources should be directed at the key
limiting factors. For example, direct or indirect sub-
sidies can decrease farmer costs, farmer income can be
increased by changing pricing or marketing policies, or
subsidized services may be provided. Such interven-
tions may then make animal traction profitable for
individual farmers, which can be confirmed by a
reassessment of the socio-economic study. If this is
the case one re-enters the schematic diagram (Fig. 2)
at the point of profitability. Many examples of such
interventions exist in West Africa, where decisions
taken at national or project levels provide resources
that alter existing cost/benefit equilibria to make
animal traction adoption possible. Such decisions may
be taken for social reasons, or more often in the belief
that animal traction will become profitable and self-
sustaining once a certain level of adoption is reached.
An alternative strategy, which may not be mutually
exclusive, is to initiate farming systems research with
the aim of identifying improved systems of utilization
that can make animal traction socially and economical-
ly profitable. Such research would be multidisciplinary,
but would concentrate on identifying limiting precon-
ditions. For example, if natural pasture was found to
be limiting, research could concentrate on systems of

improving animal nutrition; if equipment costs were
seen to be critical, emphasis could be placed on devel-
oping less expensive equipment or developing systems
to improve the efficiency of equipment. Such inter-
disciplinary research may result in more intrinsically
profitable systems of animal traction being identified,
in which case, following re-assessment, one re-enters
the schematic model at the point of profitability, as
illustrated in Figure 2.

The diversity and complexity of farming systems
makes it possible to provide a definitive list of pre-
conditions for successful animal traction. Neverthe-
less, some generalizations have been presented, and
these fall into five broad interacting categories: socio-
economic profitability, socio-cultural factors, know-
ledge, financial resources and the availability of ser-
vices. It is of particular note that several commonly
held perceptions of prerequisites are not considered
as essential preconditions. For example, previous
animal husbandry experience, animal size, and the
provision of project or governmental services are not
essential to the long-term success of animal traction,
although they may be important factors in determ-
ining the speed of adoption. Using the principle of
limiting factors, a schematic model has been pre-
sented. The model is necessarily simplified, for it
represents extremely complex combinations of in-
teracting social, economic and environmental criteria,
which are not constant, but which evolve with time.
However, it is intended that such an approach may
allow a farming systems research perspective to assist
in decision-making at the national, project or develop-
ment agency level. *

PAGE 12.






David Youmans*
International development literature is rife with
accounts about extension programs which have not
reached their full potential because they do not ad-
dress the rightful role of women in agriculture. The
farming systems research and extension experience
of Washington State University in Lesotho is a case
quite to the contrary. Faculty members along with
national colleagues early realized the important place
of women in all phases of agriculture and rural devel-
opment, accentuated by the migration of males to the
mines of South Africa, and designed and conducted
programs over seven years with that phenomenon fully
in mind.
Three target audiences were identified for extension
education programs. First were farmer contact groups
organized in three agroclimatic prototype areas as
participants in FSR/E programs. Second were the chiefs
and headpersons of villages in those same areas. And,
third were the nation's district-based extension workers
and subject matter specialists. Extension and demon-
stration programs were then conducted among the
three audiences over a period of five years in such fields
as community organization, agronomy, horticulture,
plant protection, farm machinery, animal and range
management, and extension dynamics. An evaluation
of those programs in 1986 elucidated dramatically the
vital place of women in all of those activities.
Women as Farmers
Among the farmer contact group membership, all
age categories were dominated by women with a virtual
absence of men under forty years of age (see Figure 1).

A research extension assistant at an FSR/E demonstration site

Fully 75.9 percent of farmer group membership were
women. The mean age for women in farming was 44.2
while the men was 54.2 year of age. In a sample of thir-
teen persons describing significant adoption of agricul-
tural innovations, eight (62 percent) were women.
Examples of such practice change included the use of
organic manures, seedbed preparation, designated
pastures for milk cows, storage of maize for family


21-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61-70 71 >

*David Youmans is Extension Specialist with Washington State Univer-
sity's Farming Systems Research Project in Lesotho.
PAGE 13.

consumption, use of certified seed, utilization of
fertilizers, winter plowing, application of pesticides,
and acquisition of ox-drawn machinery. When the end
benefits of FSR extension programs were assessed**,
the indicators which attracted the highest scores were
better meals for families and the conservation of food,
a strongly feminine response (see Table 1).

Women as Chiefs and Headpersons
In most traditional African societies the village chie
or headperson plays an important role in all aspects of
rural life, including agriculture. For that reason, that
echelon was considered a vital target audience for ex-
tension education in Lesotho. Two years of instruction
in matters of agricultural development were directed
toward the concerns of those key people. Research
into the impacts of the extension programs found that
a surprising 45 percent of the chiefs and headpersons
are women. Women responded positively in reported
knowledge and skills learned through extension and
contributed remarkably to practice change in the field.
Among the changes reported were fertilizer use, plant-
ing of improved seed, initiation of rotational grazing,
and gully erosion control. Women were likewise
prominent among village leaders who articulated con-
straints to practice change, recommendations for
improvement of extension programs, and support for
the FSR/E strategy.

Women as Extension Workers
Lesotho's technical assistance to agricu ture is carried
out by a field-based corps of extension workers and
subject matter specialists. Five years of extension
education programs in methodology and agricultural
subject matter were conducted as a continuing educa-
tion experience for this important group of profes-



18 -

23-27 28-32 33-37 38-42 43-+7 48-52 53-57


N 1
10 -

260- i H -

2- //
0// /

2-5 6-9 10-13 14-17 18-21

22-25 26-29

sionals. Evaluation studies showed that 30 percent of
this cadre of agricultural officers are women. The mean
age of these women was 31 years. The highest number



0 39 43 15 39 67 80 43 65 50 50 0 17 37 0 0
1 57 52 81 56 31 19 39 31 37 44 93 44 9 0 0
2 0 0 2 4 0 0 11 2 7 2 0 33 15 0 0
3 4 6 2 2 2 2 7 2 6 4 7 6 39 100 100
100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100


AA= More income from farming FF = Better meals for family KK = Able to secure credit/loans
BB = More trading with neighbors GG = Better education for children LL = Improved farm records
CC = Acquisition of more property HH = Higher crop yields MM = Beter markets
DD = Acquisition of better animals II = Better condition of animals NN = Other
EE = Stored and/or preserved food JJ = Able to purchase improved inputs 00 = No significant benefits

"Embodied in Research Bulletins RD-B-40A through RD-B-40H,
Lesotho Ministry of Agriculture, Maseru. PAGE 14.

of women were in the age 43-47
interval while their mean length of
service was 7.2 years (see Figures 2
and 3). Again, positive responses
were reported in terms of knowledge
and skills by these women, and
examples of practice change initiated
by them included need assessment,
group formation, extension teaching
methods, visual aids, and communi-
cations skills. At this writing the
Director of Field Services of the
Lesotho Ministry of Agriculture is a
woman, testimony of the vitality of
women in the field and focus of
Washington State University's con-
tinuing FSR/E thrust in that African
Kingdom. m





C.D.S. Bartlett*

Many OFR practitioners might
agree that OFR should:
a) identify problems that the far-
mer has.
b) work to identify types of
solutions which he can use.
c) develop, adapt and test these
But it is not clear that a logical
sequence of actions has been devel-
oped to achieve the first two of these
steps. A number of guidelines or
check-lists which indicate the types
or information which should be
collected in OFR surveys have been
developed. The danger with these
guidelines or check-lists is that they
may result in routine, general descrip-
tions of the farming system which
may exclude consideration of
problems specific to certain farming
It may be more relevant to focus
on guiding the process, rather than


Survey Report

A limited number of copies of the
reconnaissance survey conducted in
Liberia in 1984 are still available
from FSSP. The survey was done at
the request of USAID as a support
activity to the Central Agricultural
Research Institute (CARl) in Suako-
ko, Liberia and covered Grand Gedeh,
Nimba and Bong counties. Tim
Frankenberger and John Lichte,
FSSP consultants, collaborated with
Arthur Gedeo, John Kpakolo Jalla

the content, of these surveys. The
following is proposed as a simple,
step-wise approach by means of
which attention may be focused on
key issues in the process of identify-
ing changes appropriate to the farm-
ing system:
a) Identify farmers' basic problems
i. Developing hypotheses on these
problems-there are a limited
number of basic problems to be
identified viz. shortages of in-
puts or household requirements
and specific technical problems
e.g. weeds, pests and diseases,
soil and weather problems.
ii. Examine these hypotheses-a
fairly standard set of informa-
tion, which does not vary much
between farming systems, is
required for this purpose.
b) Suggest changes in agricultural
production (crops or techniques)
which may solve the main problems
c) Identify problems which farm-
ers may have with these solutions by:
i. Developing hypotheses on these
problems-requires examination
of specific aspects of each solu-
tion in relationship to specific
farming systems. This process
cannot be standardized across
farming systems.
ii. Examine these hypotheses-re-
quires some standard informa-

and Maran Sherman from CARl in
running the survey. The survey report
provides an excellent example of the
use of informal survey or sondeo
methods and demonstrates the utility
of interdisciplinary diagnostic efforts.
Particularly interesting is the atten-
tion paid to women's productive
activities in the farming systems
described and the observation of
pest problems and traditional pest
management strategies. U.S. based
persons desiring single copies may
send a letter of request with a large
self-addressed stamped envelope
($1.00 postage) to FSSP. Non-U.S.
based persons may simply write to
FSSP for single copies. m

tion (e.g. on shortages) but also
much information which is
specific to the hypothesis being
examined and to the farming
d) Repeat steps b) and c) as neces-
sary i.e. solutions should be suggested
to problems identified in c) and these
solutions in turn examined for prob-
The data required for the initial
identification of farmers' basic prob-
lems are generally suited to collection
by means of local questionnaires. The
development and testing of hypoth-
eses on the acceptability of solutions
may best be done by means of infor-
mal, exploratory, flexible survey
methods. These surveys will be easier
to direct than are the initial unstruc-
tured surveys common in FSR since
they have a specific focus i.e. devel-
oping and examing hypotheses on
pre-specified topics. This sequence
of surveys is the reverse of that
generally used in FSR.
This step-wise approach permits
attention to be focused on the
collection of data which are required
for answering necessary questions. It
avoids the collection of a broad range
of information on the farm and its
environment which may or may not
be necessary or sufficient for the
analysis required. .

*C.D.S. Bartlett, B.P. 11635, Kinshasa 1, Zaire.

PAGE 15.

Livestock Networkshop...
(continued from p. 1)

USAID-financed FSSP of the Uni-
versity of Florida and hosted by
Project Culture AttelBe. At the Togo
networkshop, a committee was set
up to plan a follow-up networkshop
continuing the theme of draught
animal power in West African
farming systems.
The West Africa Integrated Live-
stock Systems Committee met in
Senegambia from 11-15 November
1985, and decided on the network-
shop theme. It was stressed that
emphasis should be placed on
problems and solutions at farm
level, for it is envisaged that this
will allow network collaborators and
subsequent workshops to build on
the farm level conclusions in order to
identify how research, development
and extension programs can best
serve the farmers.
Four major sub-themes were iden-
tified by the committee as topics for
paper presentations and small group
Animal power equipment at the
farm level.

Animal utilization and manage-
ment at farm level.
Economic implications of animal
power at the small farm level and
village level finance.
Social implications of animal
power at the farm level.
The committee recommended that
the networkshop be held in Sierra
Leone and that the Sierra Leone
Work Oxen Project act as the net-
workshop secretariat. The committee
recommended that 14 West African
countries, two countries from Eastern
and Southern Africa, two countries
from Asia, and up to ten international
organizations and aid agencies be
invited to send participants. All
participants will be asked to prepare
in advance a brief paper, based on
their own experience, outlining key
farm-level problems in one or more
of the sub-themes. Selected papers
will be presented during the net-
workshop, and other papers will be
circulated to stimulate exchanges
and discussion. Much work at the
networkshop will take place in small,
multi-disciplinary groups.
The Networkshop plenary sessions
will have simultaneous translation in

English and French. Small group
discussions will be arranged so that
francophone, anglophone and bilin-
gual participants will all be able to
contribute in their preferred choice
of English or French. Practical
details concerning participation in
the Networkshop will be provided
in an information sheet from the
Sierra Leone Work Oxen Project,
acting as the Networkshop Secre-
The FSSP will be financing, or
seeking collaborative support for,
the five members of the Steering
Committee and one representative
from each of the invited West
African countries. Representatives
from international organizations and
projects with major donor support
will be expected to finance their
own participants.
If you desire further information
concerning the networkshop, please
Susan V. Poats
Associate Director, FSSP
University of Florida
3028 McCarty Hall
Gainesville, Florida 32611

ISNAR, the International Service
for National Agricultural Research, is
conducting a study on the organiza-
tional and management implications
of on-farm and farming systems re-
search for national research systems.
The study includes: 1) a comprehen-
sive literature review on organiza-
tional and managerial issues involved
in institutionalizing on-farm research
and farming systems research in
national research systems; 2) six or
more case studies of selected country

experience with institutionalizing
and integrating on-farm and farming
systems research; and 3) preparation
of guidelines for national research
system managers on the organization
and management of these types of
Since so much of the literature in
FSR/E is informally published, FSSP
Newsletter readers are asked to con-
tribute to the ISNAR study by pro-
viding papers, reports and other docu-
ments related to management, organ-
ization, implementation and institu-
tionalization. Your assistance will
ensure a more comprehensive review
and will contribute to a final product
that promises to have utility for many
FSR/E managers and practitioners.

You will note that the address
given below is for Kansas State
University. This is simply so that
materials can be considered both
for the FSSP Bibliography of Read-
ings and for the ISNAR literature
review. Send publications to:
Martha Tomecek
Department of Sociology
Waters Hall
Kansas State University
Manhattan, Kansas 66506
For additional information about
the ISNAR study, write to:
Deborah Merrill-Sands
P.O. Box 93375
2509 AJ The Hague

PAGE 16.

The FSSP newsletter is published quarterly by the Farming Systems Support Project (FSSP), which is funded by AID Contract No. DAN-4099-A-00-
2083-00 and administered by the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla. 32611. IFAS is an Equal
Employment Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer. The FSSP newsletter encourages the contribution of stories, pictures and ideas, which should be
sent to FSSP Editor, 3028 McCarty Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

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