Citation
Journal of farming systems research-extension

Material Information

Title:
Journal of farming systems research-extension
Running title:
Journal for farming systems research-extension
Abbreviated Title:
J. farming syst. res.-ext.
Creator:
Association of Farming Systems Research-Extension
Place of Publication:
Tucson Ariz. USA
Publisher:
Association of Farming Systems Research-Extension
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
v. : ill. ; 23 cm.

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Agricultural systems -- Periodicals -- Developing countries ( lcsh )
Agricultural extension work -- Research -- Periodicals ( lcsh )
Sustainable agriculture -- Periodicals -- Developing countries ( lcsh )
Genre:
serial ( sobekcm )
periodical ( marcgt )

Notes

Dates or Sequential Designation:
Vol. 1, no. 1-
General Note:
Title varies slightly.
General Note:
Title from cover.
General Note:
Latest issue consulted: Vol. 1, no. 2, published in 1990.
Funding:
Electronic resources created as part of a prototype UF Institutional Repository and Faculty Papers project by the University of Florida.

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The University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries respect the intellectual property rights of others and do not claim any copyright interest in this item. This item may be protected by copyright but is made available here under a claim of fair use (17 U.S.C. §107) for non-profit research and educational purposes. Users of this work have responsibility for determining copyright status prior to reusing, publishing or reproducing this item for purposes other than what is allowed by fair use or other copyright exemptions. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder. The Smathers Libraries would like to learn more about this item and invite individuals or organizations to contact Digital Services (UFDC@uflib.ufl.edu) with any additional information they can provide.
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22044949 ( OCLC )
sn 90001812 ( LCCN )
1051-6786 ( ISSN )

Full Text


Volume)1, Number 2



1 1990






o urnal


for Farming Systems Research- Extension












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Journal
for Farming Systems Research -Extension


Volume 1, Number 2, 1990


Published by
the Association for Farming Systems Research-Extension

..






Journal for Farming Systems Research-Extension
Editorial Board
Timothy R. Frankenberger, Editor Timothy J. Finan
Office of Arid Lands Studies Bureau of Applied Research in
The University of Arizona, Tucson Anthropology
The University of Arizona, Tucson Peter E. Hildebrand Donald E. Voth
Food and Resource Economics Agricultural Experiment Station
Department University of Arkansas, Fayetteville
University of Florida, Gainesville
Harold J. McArthur C. David McNeal, Jr.
Office of International Programs Extension Service, USDA
University of Hawaii, Honolulu
The Journal is sponsored by:
The Farm Foundation
The Ford Foundation, New York
The Ford Foundation, New Delhi United States Agency for International Development United States Department of Agriculture University of Arkansas/International Agricultural Programs Office University of Florida
The University of Arizona

The Journalfor Farming Systems Restarch-Extension is published by the Association for Farming Systems Research-Extension (AFSRE), an international society organized to promote the development and dissemination of methods and results ofparticipatory onfarm systems research and extension. The objectives ofsuch research are the development and adoption through participation by farm household members of improved and appropriate technologies and management strategies to meet the socioeconomic and nutritional needs of farm families; to foster the efficient and sustainable use of natural resources; and to contribute toward meeting global requirements for food, feed, and fiber.
The purpose of the Journal is to present multidisciplinary reports of on-farm researchextension work completed in the field, and discussions on methodology and other issues of interest to farming systems practitioners, administrators, and trainers. The Journal serves as a proceedings for the annual international Farming Systems Symposium from which selected and refereed papers are included. It also welcomes contributed articles from members of the AFSRE who were unable to attend the symposium. Contributed articles will be judged by the same review process as invited articles. Technical Editors: James H. Maish, Emily E. Whitehead, and Daniel Goldstein, Office of Arid Lands Studies, The University of Arizona Design and Production: Paul M. Mirocha and Nancy Schmidt, Arid Lands Design, Office of Arid Lands Studies, The University of Arizona

ISSN: 1051-6786

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Journal for Farming Systems Research-Extension Volume 1, Number 2, 1990


CONTENTS


1 The Rice-Wheat Pattern in the Nepal Terai: Issues in the Identification and
Definition of Sustainability Problems
L. Harrington, P. Hobbs, T. Pokhrel, B. Sharma, S. Fujisaka, and C. Lightfoot

29 Relations between Agricultural Researchers and Extension Workers: The Survey Evidence
Stephan Seegers and David Kaimowitz

47 Agricultural Innovation and Technology Testing by Gambian Farmers: Hope for Institutionalizing On-Farm Research in Small-Country Research Systems?
Bradford Mills and Elon Gilbert

67 Development and Testing of Integrative Methods to Assess Relationships
between Garden Production and Nutrient Consumption by Low-Income
Families
IngolfGruen, Michel Beck, John S. Caldwell, and Marilyn S. Prehm

81 Farming Systems and Adoption of New Agricultural Technologies: An Economic Evaluation of New Sorghum Cultivars in Southern Honduras
Miguel A. L6pez-Pereira, Timothy G. Baker, John H. Sanders, and Dan H.
Meckenstock

105 Zoning Survey: Improving the Efficiency of Farming Systems ResearchExtension Diagnostic and Field Activities
Thomas E. Gillard-Byers and Malcolm J. Blackie

123 Agricultural Development in India: An Assessment of the FSRE Approach Aruna Bagchee

137 Modeling an Agrarian System on a Local Scale as a Tool for Farmer Participation in Rural Development: Examples from South America
S. Lardon and C. Albaladejo

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The Rice-Wheat Pattern in the Nepal Terai: Issues in the Identification and Definition of Sustainability Problems'

L. Harrington, P. Hobbs, T. Pokhrel, B. Sharma, S. Fujisaka, and C. Lightfoot2




INTRODUCTION

The concept of "sustainability" is taking an increasingly central place in the activities-and reporting-of Farming Systems Research-Extension (FSRE) practitioners. In the recent literature, examples ofsustainability problems have been reported with respect to farmers' practices, the agricultural resource base, policies, and institutional innovations.
Many of these examples are fairly dramatic. For example, Fujisaka and Garrity (1988) describe the use ofhedgerow technology to reduce soil erosion and improve cropping-pattern productivity (over the long term) in one site in northern Mindanao. In this example, damage from erosion was readily observable, and farmers were vocal in their concern about the problem. Similarly, Roche (1988) reports the following description of sustainability problems in Java. "Many of Java's steep upland areas have been classified as land which has become so degraded that it is, or soon will be, unable to sustain even subsistence agriculture."

'Paperpresented at the Ninth Annual Farming Systems Research-Extension Symposium, University ofArkansas, Fayetteville, October 9-11, 1989. It is based on an earlier paper, The Rice-Wheat Cropping Pattern in the Nepal Terai: Farmers' Practices and Problems and Needs for Future Research, Fujisaka and Harrington, eds. The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), the National Agricultural Research Services Center (NARSC), the National Wheat Development Program (NWDP), the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), or the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources (ICLARM). 2Harrington is an agricultural economist, CIMMYT Economics Program, Bangkok, Thailand; Hobbs, an agronomist, CIMMYT Wheat Program, Kathmandu, Nepal; Pokhrel, a plant breeder, NWDP, Bhairahawa, Nepal; Sharma, an agricultural economist, NARSC Socioeconomics Research Division, Khumultar, Nepal; Fujisaka, an anthropologist, IRRI, Los Barios, Philippines; and Lightfoot, a farming systems agronomist, ICLARM, Manila, Philippines.

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When problems related to sustainability are fairly obvious, with dramatic and readily observable effects, questions of"problem definition" are likely to seem trivial. For example, when researchers are faced with increasingly severe and widespread resource degradation, they are unlikely to' agonize over whether a sustainability problem really exists.
Not all problems ofsustainability need be so dramatic, however. This paper is particularly concerned with sustainability problems that may not be immediately obvious, but that nonetheless can have important effects over the long term. Less obvious problems ofsustainability can occur when changes in other factors mask or obscure a long-term decline in productivity. For example, when farmers use increasing levels of inputs but yields remain stagnant, the underlying long-term reduction in productivity may not be immediately apparent. Nonetheless, this long-term deterioration in productivity can seriously affect farmers' incomes.
The term "sustainability" has been defined in numerous ways. Without attempting to comment on the various alternatives, we will restrict our discussion to "sustainability problems" defined in terms of the longer-term productivity of farmers' resources, including the resource base.
In this paper, we argue that researchers have tended to overlook hidden problems of sustainability, and that these problems require relatively high investments in diagnostic activities. The objectives of this paper are to
(1) discuss problem definition in the context ofsustainability issues; (2) describe ongoing research in the Nepal Terai which includes an attempt to define sustainability problems; and (3) discuss further research that may be required to properly define sustainability problems for the Nepal study area.


DEFINING AND DIAGNOSING SUSTAINABILITY PROBLEMS

Problem Definition
There are numerous approaches to FSRE, each with a somewhat different vocabulary and suggested sequence of research steps. Many of the differences between these approaches can be explained in terms of the problem areas, the agroclimatic environment, and the mixofdisciplines present during a formative period in which the particular FSRE approach was first developed. Despite differences, there is broad common ground between approaches, especially when it comes to the importance of diagnosis, or problem definition (Harrington, et al., 1989).
In principle, the definition of sustainability problems (defined here as


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longer-term productivity problems) differs little from the definition of nearterm productivity problems. In both cases, researchers need to ascertain:
1. Whether the problem really exists. Many diagnostic activities produce hypotheses about possible problems that prove to be unfounded when further evidence is accumulated.
2. The likely benefits that could be earned by solving the problem. This requires some measurement of the productivity loss, broadly defined, associated with the problem, and the incidence and frequency of the problem (e.g., percent of farmers affected, percent of the farm affected, frequency of loss).
3. The causes of the problem which, in turn, tend to suggest alternative possible solutions, each with an associated level of research expenditure (Trip and Woolley, 1989).

Special Considerations in Defining Long-Term Productivity Problems
In practice, the definition of sustainability problems introduces several complications into the problem-definition process.
Confounding factors: In attempting to ascertain whether a sustainability problem exists, researchers may have to sort through several confounding factors. These are factors that tend to mask or obscure a long-term negative trend in the productivity of farmers' resources. Confounding factors can include the following:
1. Increased application levels of purchased inputs, for example, fertilizer. (Gradually increasing levels of fertilizer can maintain yields at a roughly stagnant level, obscuring the fact that yields would decline at constant input levels.)
2. Adoption of high-yielding varieties. (A change to a more productive variety can mask yield reductions that would otherwise be observed and, in addition, can actually hasten the longer-term decline in productivity if plant nutrients are extracted more rapidly, but not replaced.)
3. Changes at the margin in land quality. (Average regional yields of a crop or a cropping pattern will appear to increase if better-quality lands are gradually substituted for lower-quality lands. This will be true even if the productivity of any particular field-at constant levels of purchased inputsis gradually declining.)
4. Expansion in irrigated area. (This is a specific example of changes in land quality, noted above.)
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of solving a particular long-term productivity problem, several more complications arise:

1. Assessments of productivity loss are no longer single-cycle "snapshot" estimates. Rather, the past over time of reductions in productivity (at constant input levels) needs to be estimated and compared to alternative paths.
2. Estimates of the incidence (number of farmers affected, area per farm, etc.) and frequency of the problem also need to be expressed in terms ofa path over time.
3. Appropriate discounting measures need to be included, to estimate the present value of the productivity loss. Again, this present value can be compared to the present value of losses associated with alternative strategies.

Identifying causes and proposing solutions: Even when researchers are convinced that productivity, at constant input levels, is declining over time, considerable further work may be needed to pinpoint the reasons behind this decline. Hypotheses may include (but need not be restricted to) increasing scarcity of macronutrients or micronutrients; buildup of pests or diseases; buildup of problem weeds; deterioration in soil physical or chemical structure (including gradual salinization); reduced soil moisture-holding capacity; soil loss through erosion, etc.
It is not always easy to pinpoint which of these hypotheses is most relevant to field conditions in a given study area. The close technical identification of specific reasons for a long-term decline in productivity is likely to require a combination of systems, commodity and disciplinary expertise. "Diagnostic" activities for defining sustainability problems may be even more challenging, complex, time-consuming, and expensive than the ones commonly used to define near-term problems.


THE RICE-WHEAT PATTERN IN THE NEPAL TERAI:
RESULTS OF A DIAGNOSTIC SURVEY
Before continuing with the discussion of sustainability issues (i.e., the identification and definition of hidden sustainability problems), we will describe in some detail a joint MARSC-CIMMYT-IRRI project on the riceSThis and following sections draw heavily on the NARSC-CIMMYT-IRRI paper The RiceWheat Cropping Pattern in the Nepal Terai: Farmers' Practices and Problems and Needs for Future Research.


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wheat pattern in the Nepal Terai. Farm-survey activities, farmers' practices, system interactions, and near-term problems (along with their causes and some possible solutions) will be discussed. We realize that this interrupts to a certain extent the discussion on sustainability, but feel that many readers will welcome adequate background material on the study area. Readers preferring to maintain a relatively narrow focus on "sustainability" are invited to skim over the next few sections, up to the section titled The Rice-Wheat Pattern in the Nepal Terai: Problems and Causes-The Longer Term.


THE CIMMYT-IRRI-NARS RICE-WHEAT RESEARCH PROJECT

The rice-wheat cropping pattern is extremely important in South Asia. Wheat is grown after rice on approximately 8.7 million ha in the region, accounting for about 25 percent of the region's wheat production. Wheat yields are low (less than 2 t/ha) even where irrigation is available (Hobbs, Mann, and Butler, 1987).
The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) are developing, in partnership with interested National Agricultural Research Systems (NARS), a collaborative research program on the rice-wheat pattern in South Asia. The collaborative research program has four main objectives:

1. Conduct adaptive and applied research to define and solve major problems associated with the rice-wheat pattern in selected, defined study area. Problems may include near-term productivity issues and longer-term sustainability issues.
2. Conduct a comparative analysis (over countries) of problems affecting the rice-wheat pattern in South Asia and identify possible solutions for these problems, which are effective under a wide range of local circumstances.
3. Improve the understanding ofCIMMYT, IRRI, and participating NARS on how to address problems of sustainability.
4. Strengthen IARC-NARS linkages.
As an initial step in this collaborative research program, scientists from CIMMYT and IRRI joined with researchers from the National Agricultural Research Services Center, Nepal, to study the rice-wheat pattern in Nepal's Terai. To begin, a diagnostic, exploratory survey was conducted in February 1989. The survey focused on farming systems in Rupandehi District, where


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the rice-wheat pattern is central to farmers' livelihoods.

Survey Objectives and Procedures
The diagnostic survey had three major objectives:

1. Understand local farming systems: the rice-wheat pattern, interactions between rice and wheat, and interactions between the rice-wheat subsystem and other subsystems.
2. Define near-term and longer-term problems, and understand their causes.
3. Identify further research needs: to improve the definition of poorly defined problems, to improve researchers' understanding of causes, and to identify possible solutions to major problems.
Survey participants were senior researchers from the fields of agronomy, anthropology, economics, extension, pathology, and plant breeding. Morning and early afternoon field interviews (conducted independently by each of three subgroups) were followed by structured discussions, attended by all participants. Semistructured guidelines rather than formal questionnaires were used to guide discussions with respondents. Using a sequential approach, these guidelines were redefined daily, after discussion of new information obtained and data gaps still existing. Respondents were selected from all parts of Rupandehi District and included small and large farmers, extension workers, merchants, and government officials.

Rupandehi District
This district is part ofNepal's Terai and is located 100-200 m above sea level (Figure 1). The Terai, a part of the Gangetic Plain, represents about 14 percent of Nepal's total land area and 42 percent of the country's cultivated land.
Rupandehi District has a subtropical climate highly influenced by the southwest monsoon. On average, total annual rainfall reaches around 1,600 mm and increases from south to north. More than 85 percent of the rain comes in the period from mid-June to the end ofSeptember. November and December are the driest months, and light precipitation may be expected in January and February. Mean temperatures are lowest (15'C) in January and highest (300C) in May. There are occasional strong, hot, dry westerly windstorms in April and May (APROSC, 1986).
The population of the district was 380,000 in 1981, with a growth rate of 2.23 percent per year. There are about 83,000 ha of cultivable land, of which


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Figure 1. Wheat Planting Date: Problems and Causes


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some 28 percent receives some irrigation.

Land and Soil Types, and Land Use
Farmers were found to use land-type classes that corresponded closely to technical classifications (APROSC, 1986). Farmers' land-type classes, like the technical classifications, are based on interrelated variation in soil, topography, and hydrology.
Lower terraces (locally khala) are characterized by heavier soils and poor drainage, and are commonly used for the production oflong-duration (usually photoperiod-sensitive), traditional rice cultivars. These lands are normally left fallow after rice. Middle terraces (Osahaniva) are characterized by lighter soils and fewer drainage problems. Common cropping patterns on middle terraces include medium-duration rice varieties followed by wheat, wheat mixed with mustard, or other winter crops. Upper terraces (danda) are well-drained and drought-prone, and are planted to shorter-duration rice followed by wheat, various wheat-based crop mixtures, or winter vegetables.

Rice-Crop Management for Middle and Upper Terraces
On upper and middle terraces, rice is grown as a first crop, before the second crop of wheat. This section describes farmers' management practices for this first rice crop.
Seedbeds and direct seeding: Farmers prepare and sow seedbeds at the end of June. Transplanting in irrigated areas is usually finished within 30 to 45 days after seeding. Farmers in rainfed areas do not transplant until after the rains have started. As a rule, farmers avoid transplanting seedlings more than 60 days old. (Late transplanting, given the varieties commonly used by farmers, was reported to cause reductions in rice yields.) When rains are delayed, farmers may use direct seeding. This is more common in the upper terraces.
Pests and diseases: Farmers identified ricebug, armyworm, and stemborer as pests of increasing severity, and blight and blast as important diseases. Rats are a serious problem in the field and in storage (particularly in stacked rice, before threshing). Rats are also responsible for damage to bunds and irrigation infrastructure. Farmers reported using few control measures for insects, diseases, or rats.
Soil and root samples collected by the team's nematologist contained from 100 to 1,000 Hirschmanniella (cf. oryzae), the rice-root nematode, individuals per liter of soil in all samples. This parasitic nematode appears to be present


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throughout the district. Farmers take no control measures.
Soil-fertility management: Farmyard manure (FYM) is used in rice seedbeds and is occasionally applied in small quantities to rice fields prior to land preparation. Some farmers reported declining rice productivity, possibly due to low and declining FYM use. Declining yields were also said to be characteristic of fields with a longer history of intensified cropping.
Farmers using inorganic fertilizers reported applying 50-100 kg/ha of compound fertilizer (usually 20-20-0) at planting and 30-50 kg/ha urea as a topdress. This is equivalent to around 25-45 kg/ha of nitrogen and 1020 kg/ha of phosphate (below recommended levels). Direct-seeded rice was said to usually receive only a urea topdress. Several farmers identified zinc deficiency as a problem, with Saryu-49 said to be particularly sensitive. Good sources of zinc fertilizer are not available.
Harvest and postharvest: Rice is hand harvested and is usually stacked (i.e., threshing is postponed) in order to free farmers' labor for wheat land preparation. Despite this practice, land preparation for wheat can still be delayed by a late rice harvest (or a need to further field dry rice that is too wet to stack). Farmers report having few rice-seed storage problems, as seed storage occurs during the cool, dry season.

Wheat-Crop Management for Middle and Upper Terraces
Tillage: Farmers usually plow four times and plank twice, with the first plowing requiring relatively more time. More plowings are usually used for heavier soils. In rain-fed areas where moisture is limited, farmers may reduce tillage operations or wait for the rains. Turnaround time from rice harvest to wheat planting requires around 15 to 35 days (mostly for plowing and planking), given the usual conditions of unfavorable soil moisture and soil physical condition. Farmers' practices, as described above, may result in overtillage with detrimental effects on soil structure.
Timing and method of planting, seed management, plant stand: Most farmers broadcast seed into plowed soil, then cover the seed by plowing once again, and planking. Few farmers use line sowing and no farmers were found using seed drills. Seed rates vary from 120 to 180 kg/ha, with an average of around 150 kg/ha (compared to the recommended seed rate of 120 kg/ha).
Farmers' stored seed often suffers from the effects of pests and excess moisture. Farmers are reluctant to buy seed from the government because of the high cost (around Rp. 8 [US$.46] per kg) and relatively poor seed quality. If farmers' own stored seed is badly damaged, replacement seed (usually of


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Indian origin, and composed of a mixture of varieties) is purchased from the market.
Visual observation of numerous fields suggested that only 15 to 20 percent of fields were planted during the optimum period of mid-to-late November. Around two-thirds of the fields were planted somewhat late (during the first two weeks of December) and the remaining 20 percent after mid-December. Plant stands were observed to be poor (fewer than 200 plants per m2) in about 20 to 25 percent of the fields; fair in 60 to 65 percent of the fields; and good (more than 300 plants per m2) in the remaining 10 percent of the field.
Variety: Major wheat varieties used by farmers are RR21 and UP262. Several newly released varieties are gaining popularity (e.g., Siddartha, Vinayak).
Pests, diseases, and weeds: Insect pests are a major problem for stored wheat seed, but not for the crop in the field. Rats are a field and storage problem, and farmers have few rat control measures. Helminthosporium blight often causes significant yield losses. In addition, experimental evidence suggests that soil fungi and/or nematodes may be causing yield losses. Although the rice root nematode Hirschmanniella (cf. oryzae) was present in all soil samples taken, its effect on wheat yields is not known.
Some weeds (especially broadleaf leguminous types) were observed in farmers' wheat fields, but the effect of these weeds on wheat yields is unknown. Farmers cut and carry weeds for fodder, as needed. Weeds remaining in the field at harvest are cut and mixed with the straw for fodder. Some weeds (e.g., Phalaris minor and Circium arvense) seem to be increasing and may become problems as land use is intensified.
Water management: Wheat is grown as an irrigated, partially irrigated, and rain-fed crop, with the proportion of irrigated wheat increasing over time. Partially irrigated wheat usually receives only one irrigation. Fully irrigated wheat is irrigated two to three times, with the first irrigation within a month of emergence, and the second at flowering.
In the middle terraces, especially in fields with heavier soils, water may stand in the field (after an irrigation) for more than a day. Waterlogged patches also occur in poorly leveled fields. The farmers' practice of transferring water from one field to the next (a practice borrowed from rice cultivation) can also contribute to waterlogging.
Soil-fertility management: Some (but not all) farmers reported using inorganic fertilizers on wheat, usually a compound fertilizer (50-100 kg/ha of 20-20-0) at planting, and urea (30-75 kg/ha) as a topdress at first


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irrigation. Total application of nutrients, then, is on the order of 25 to 50 kg/ ha of nitrogen and 10 to 20 kg/ha ofphosphate (below recommended levels). Higher doses are used in irrigated areas. Few farmers apply potash.
Farmers reported using most of their FYM as fuel. FYM remaining after fuel needs are met is normally reserved for rice nurseries and vegetable fields. Usually, wheat fields are not regularly fertilized with FYM.
Harvest and postharvest: Wheat is hand harvested. Many farmers reported that the onset of hot, dry winds from the west tended to curtail the crop season, often affecting grain filling. Other farmers reported advancing the harvest (i.e., harvesting before the crop is well-dried in the field) to avoid premonsoon storm damage. These two weather-related problems seem inconsistent and are not yet well understood. Threshing is largely by bullock trampling, although the use of small power-threshers is increasing. Storage losses due to monsoon weather and insect pests were not measured, but are probably significant.
Mixed cropping: It was observed that farmers commonly mix mustard (Brassicaspp.) with wheat. Crop mixtures are more widespread in rain-fed and partially irrigated areas. Some farmers reported that they would shift to pure wheat cropping if irrigation were assured. Farmers normally do not plant mustard alone, apparently because of problems with aphids.

System Interactions: Interactions between Rice and Wheat
Rice-harvest date and wheat-planting date: A major source of interactions between rice and wheat lies in the competition between these two crops for the farmers' land and labor resources during the rice-harvest/wheatsowing period.
Experimental evidence suggests that mid-to-late November is optimum for wheat planting, with later dates resulting in reduced yields. Farmers report aiming to prepare and sow wheat fields as soon as possible after the rice harvest in October or November. Delays in rice harvesting can delay wheat planting. At first, survey participants hypothesized that delays in rice harvesting might be due to late rice transplanting, in turn due to late nursery establishment and/ or late arrival of the rains. Farmers, however, reported sowing rice seedbeds in June (with irrigation if necessary). They also reported avoiding the transplanting of older seedlings (over 60 days old). When the rains are late, farmers direct seed a considerable proportion of upper and middle terrace rice areas. Changes in farmers' rice planting practices, then, are unlikely to contribute to more timely rice harvest and wheat planting.


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Earlier maturing rice varieties can also lead to an earlier rice harvest, thus facilitating early wheat sowing. However, farmers on middle and upper terraces are already using shorter maturity varieties (compared to farmers on lower terraces). High yield is associated with longer maturity, so these farmers are already sacrificing a certain amount of rice yield.
Farmers are busiest (labor is most scarce) in November and December when rice is harvested and wheat fields are prepared and sown. Farmers save some time during this period by delaying rice threshing until after the wheat is sown: they stack the rice for later threshing. Rice storage losses to rats are a consequence (farmers estimated an 8 to 15 percent loss).
The farmers' practices described above (timely rice transplanting; direct seeding office; use of shorter-duration varieties; delayed rice threshing) all aim to reduce the competition for land and labor between rice and wheat.
Effect of paddy soils on wheat: The subsurface pan formed by the puddling of soils for rice cultivation, combined with farmers' wheat landpreparation methods (intensive, but shallow tillage), seem to reduce wheat productivity.
The subsurface pan apparently contributes to two separate problems related to moisture: it restricts water percolation (and therefore contributes to waterlogging after irrigation); and it reduces soil moisture-holding capacity (and therefore contributes to late-season moisture stress). The subsurface pan also restricts root growth to a narrow soil layer, contributing to the depletion ofplant nutrients in that layer. The practice ofpuddling destroys soil structure, which is difficult to reestablish. Effects on wheat of soil chemical and physical changes due to alternating flooded and dry conditions are not yet well understood.
The problems noted above are specific to soils found after the production of puddled rice. Dry, direct-seeded rice does not require puddling and seems to cause fewer problems for subsequent upland crops such as wheat.
Food security for resource-poor farmers: Wheat production appears to play an important food security role for low-income farm households. Rice from middle and upper terraces becomes available in October, and traditional rice from lower terraces in December. Wheat becomes available in March, when rice begins to get scarce. Although rice is the main staple, wheat is widely consumed during the months immediately after its harvest.

Other System Interactions
There are a number of complex interactions between rice and wheat, on the


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one hand, and fuel, fodder, and farmyard manure on the other. Large ruminants-bullocks, cattle, and carabao-rely on rice and wheat straw as major sources of fodder. These livestock provide FYM for fertilizer and fuel. Herd size appears to be limited by fodder availability. Fuel demand is increasing and, given depletion of fuel wood resources, more FYM is being used for fuel and less for fertilizer.
Fodder: Rice straw is the major fodder source, and taller, long-duration rice cultivars (grown on the lower khala terraces) provide the greatest proportion of straw. Secondary fodder sources include wheat straw, grazing, and cut grasses and weeds. Seasonally, lower terraces left fallow provide pasturage for grazing after the rice harvest in November but are depleted by about March. Wheat straw (usually mixed with rice straw) is available between March and July. Some farmers report having enough rice straw to last all year, though many do not. Supplies of rice straw become available in October and begin to run out by February or March. Farmers agree that fodder is particularly scarce from July through September. Many farmers feel that fodder is increasingly scarce all year and, as a consequence, herd sizes are declining.
Fuel: Given the lack of accessible forest areas in this district, firewood has lost much of its importance as a source of fuel. Dried dung cakes now provide most local fuel needs. These dung cakes may account for up to 75 percent of the FYM produced by a farm household's animal herd.
FYM as fertilizer: Increasingly, FYM is used primarily as fuel, but some is still available for use as fertilizer. Farmers report the following priorities for FYM as fertilizer: rice seedbeds; cash crops on lighter danda soils (especially on fields close to the farm house); fields where declining productivity has been noted; and other rice or wheat fields.


THE RICE-WHEAT PATTERN IN THE NEPAL TERAI:
PROBLEMS AND CAUSES-THE NEAR TERM

A major objective of the diagnostic survey was to develop hypotheses for problems affecting the rice-wheat pattern. A "problem" in this context is defined to include the following: (1) factors that directly reduce yields;
(2) inefficient use of inputs, regardless of the effect on yields; (3) inefficient cropping patterns or enterprise selection; (4) factors affecting the sustainability of rice and wheat productivity.
The first three classes of "problems" are near-term in nature, and can be


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assessed within the time frame of a crop cycle (a few months) or a cropping pattern (one year). These near-term problems and their corresponding causes are briefly discussed in this section and are listed in Table 1. (For a more thorough discussion of these near-term problems, including causes and suggested possible solutions, see Fujisaka and Harrington, eds., 1989).
The last class of problem (factors affecting sustainability) is long-term in nature and will be discussed separately.

Problem 1: Late Planting Reduces Wheat Yields
Late wheat planting appears to be a problem in all land-soil types in which wheat is grown, and especially in the middle terraces. As noted earlier, visual observation of numerous fields suggested that only 15 to 20 percent of fields were planted during the optimum period of mid-to-late November.

Problem 2: Early Season Waterlogging Reduces Wheat Yields
This problem, which is most important in irrigated middle terraces with heavier soils, appears to have two interrelated causes: the subsurface pan left in the soil by puddled rice culture (and related problems with soil structure),


Table 1. Preliminary List of Problems: Rice-Wheat Pattern, Rupandehi District


Near-Term Problems:

WHEAT
1. Late planting
2. Early season waterlogging
3. Inadequate plant stand
4. Late season moisture stress
5. Nutrient deficiencies (especially N and P)
6. Farmers' wheat varieties are less productive than alternatives RICE
7. Pests (stemborer, planthoppers) and diseases (blast)
8. Mid-season moisture stress
9. Nutrient deficiencies (especially N, P, and Zn) 10. Weed competition (direct-seeded rice) Longer-Term Problems:

WHEAT AND RICE
1. Nutrient deficiencies will increasingly limit the yields of both wheat and rice
2. Pests and diseases will increasingly limit the yields of both rice and wheat


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and farmers' irrigation practices (and related problems with irrigation and drainage infrastructure and water control) (Figure 2).
In most irrigation systems, farmers are compelled (by poor water-control structures) to water their wheat crop as if it were rice-by moving water from field to field. When soils are heavy and when a plow pan is left over from the previous rice crop, the normal result is water standing in the field, often for more than 24 hours. This can directly reduce wheat yields, as well as affecting plant stands.


Figure 2. Waterlogging of Wheat: Problems and Causes


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Problem 3: Inadequate Plant Stands Reduce Wheat Yields
As noted earlier, researchers inspected numerous wheat fields during the diagnostic survey and found that plant stands were usually poor to fair. Around a fourth of the fields were observed to have poor stands (less than 200 plants/m2), with over half having only fair stands (200 to 300 plants/m2). The stand problem was especially acute on rain-fed middle terraces with heavier soils. There appear to be a number of causes for poor stands, including poor tilth (combined with broadcast seeding), poor seed quality, and waterlogging (Figure 3).


Figure 3. Wheat Plant Stand: Problems and Causes


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Problem 4: Late-Season Moisture Stress Reduces Wheat Yields
This problem occurs on all land-soil types in which wheat is produced. The average productivity loss and the probability of occurrence, however, are not well known at this time.
Four major causes of late-season moisture stress were tentatively identified: (1) late planting, (2) hot, dry winds in February or March that curtail grain filling, (3) avoidance of late-season irrigation (this tends to exacerbate lodging problems associated with the strong March winds), and (4) reduced soil moisture-holding capacity due to the subsurface pan.

Problem 5: Nutrient Deficiencies Restrict Wheat Yields
Nutrient deficiencies (especially of nitrogen and phosphorous) are suspected to reduce the yields of both rice and wheat. To avoid repetition, the discussion on the near-term problem of nutrient deficiency is combined with the section on the longer-term problem of gradually declining soil fertility.

Problem 6: Farmers' Wheat Varieties Are Less Productive than Alternative Varieties
Most farmers currently grow one of two varieties: RR21 or UP262. Several newly released varieties (Siddartha, Vinayak) are only slowly beginning to be used by farmers. There seem to be two interrelated causes for the slow adoption of newly released varieties: (1) it is difficult for farmers to obtain seed of new varieties, and (2) many farmers report not being well acquainted with the new varieties (understandably, given the difficulty they have in getting seed).

Problems 7 through 10: Problems Associated with Rice (pests and diseases, mid-season moisture stress, nutrient deficiencies, weed competition in direct-seeded rice)
Less diagnosis was conducted (and fewer problems identified) for the rice crop within the rice-wheat pattern. This was because the diagnostic survey being reported was conducted during the wheat season. (Another survey was conducted during the rice crop season in September 1989, but the results of this survey are not yet available).
In addition, two problems associated with rice (pests and diseases, nutrient deficiencies) have both a near-term and a longer-term dimension. To avoid repetition, the discussions of near- and longer-term issues are combined in the section on long-term problems.


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Near-Term Problems: A Summary
It should be clear from the preceding sections that there are a number of serious and complex near-term productivity problems affecting wheat in the study area that, moreover, interact with each other. The diagnostic survey made considerable progress in defining these problems. Still, the problemdefinition process is not yet finished.
Productivity loss: Survey results, combined with other sources of data (experimental results, the body of agronomic knowledge available from other studyareas) enabled researchers to make some judgments about the productivity loss associated with each problem (Table 2). These estimates are still exceedingly imprecise, however. Further work (involving both surveys and on-farm experiments) will be needed to improve estimates of productivity loss (as well as to assess solutions).
Incidence and frequency: Survey participants gained some feeling for the geographical incidence of many of the problems (Table 2). For example, waterlogging was found to be concentrated on irrigated middle terraces, with heavier soils. Nonetheless, researchers still have only a very imprecise understanding of the geographical distribution of each problem, and the proportion of farmers in the study area (and the area per farm) affected. Closely focused, formal surveys using random sampling will be needed to quantify these variables.



Table 2. Near-Term Problems: A Summary (Wheat Only)

Problem Yield loss Location Percentage
of farmers

Late planting Moderate Most land types, especially 80 (?)
middle terraces
Waterlogging Serious Irrigated middle terraces, 35 (?)
with heavier soils
Inadequate Serious Middle terraces, with 50 (Q)
plant stand heavier soils
Late-season Serious Upper terraces, with 50 (?)
moisture lighter soils
stress
Nutrient Moderate Most land types, especially 80 (?)
deficiencies upper terraces
Variety Moderate Most land types 80 (?)


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THE RICE-WHEAT PATTERN IN THE NEPAL TERAI:
PROBLEMS AND CAUSES-THE LONGER TERM
The diagnostic survey aimed to help identify and define problems relating to the longer-term sustainability of rice and wheat productivity. Compared to the near-term issues described in the previous section, less progress was made in defining these longer-term issues. Considerably more diagnostic work is needed to estimate productivity trends, the relative importance of the different long-term problems, and the frequency, incidence, and causes of each one.

Is There a Sustainability Problem?
Some doubt remains as to whether a sustainability problem even exists with regard to the rice-wheat pattern in the Nepal Terai. What evidence is there to suggest that rice-wheat farmers face a prospect of slowly declining productivity?
Farmer opinion: Farmer opinion on the subject of productivity trends is somewhat divided. These differences of opinion, however, tend to fall out as follows:
1. Type A farmers: These farmers claim that yields of both rice and wheat are increasing over time, because of expanded irrigation area, increased use of high-yielding rice and wheat varieties, and increased use of chemical fertilizer (on irrigated land). However, Type A farmers tend to have only recently benefited from the installation of irrigation and tend to have had only brief experience with the rice-wheat pattern (often less than five years).
2. Type B farmers: These are farmers growing the rice-wheat pattern in rain-fed upland (ex-forest) areas, usually on light-textured danda soils. They tend to use few if any inputs, including FYM. Farmers here engage in classical "soil mining" and recognize that productivity is declining.
3. Type C farmers: These are farmers with longer experience (more than five years) with the rice-wheat pattern in irrigated areas. These farmers claim that, with the introduction of the intensified (rice-wheat) pattern, yields of both rice and wheat initially increased, but then began to decline. Some farmers have observed a gradual decline in productivity despite the application of (what they consider) reasonable levels of inputs.
Further evidence from the diagnostic survey on questions of sustainability is provided in the section titled Long-term Problem 1.
Time series data: Time series data on average regional yields for rice and wheat are considered to be unreliable. In any event, these data are more likely


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to reflect the confounding effect of land-quality changes (e.g., the substitution of irrigated for nonirrigated land), or increased levels of fertilizer use, than long-term declines in productivity at constant input levels. Time series data on the adoption by farmers of the rice-wheat pattern are available, but are not reported here. Briefly, these data indicate that rice-wheat is a relatively new pattern, introduced over the last 10 to 20 years, and has tended to replace ricefallow and rice-oilseed.
Experimental data: There are some experimental data that suggest that the productivity of the rice-wheat pattern is likely to decline over time, given farmers' current management practices. Here are a few examples.
A long-term fertilizer trial was conducted for seven years under the auspices of the National Wheat Development Program, on their experiment station in the Rupandehi District study area. This trial was composed of nine treatments (involving different combinations of N, P, K, FYM, and stubble management) (Table 3). Each treatment was superimposed on the same plots for three crops per year. (Researchers used a rice-rice-wheat pattern for this experiment, more intensive than the farmers' practice, which may tend to exaggerate the observed decline in productivity. Similarly, the trial was conducted on the khala land type usually reserved for lowland rice, thus raising questions about the representativeness of the trial.)
The data from this trial indicate that wheat yields have been fairly stable for all treatments over the seven-year period, but that rice yields-and therefore,



Table 3. Long-Term Fertilizer Trial-Treatments (Bhairahawa, Rupandehi District, Nepal)

Each Rice Crop (kg/ha) Wheat Crop (kg/ha)
Treatment N P K N P K

1 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 100 0 0 100 0 0
3 100 30 0 100 30 0
4 100 0 30 100 0 30
5 100 30 30 100 30 30
6 100 0 0 100 40 30
7 50 0 0 50 0 0
+ incorporate stubble + incorporate stubble
8 50 20 0 50 20 0
+ incorporate stubble + incorporate stubble
9 10 t/ha FYM 10 t/ha FYM


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total annual grain yields-have declined drastically for most treatments (Regmi, 1986). The proper presentation of this data set would require a separate paper. However, for present purposes, a simple comparison between yields for the early years (the average of years 1 and 2), versus the later years (the average of years 6 and 7) is sufficient to illustrate the point. This comparison is made for the first rice crop and the wheat crop (Table 4). While these results are presented for illustration only, they support the hypothesis that long-term declines in productivity are not unlikely.
There are other sources of evidence. Hobbs (1987) reports that data from the All-India Long-term Soil Fertility Trial series show depletion of P and Zn in rice-wheat areas. In other areas, deficiencies ofK and B, and problems with pH were observed.
Comment: In summary, there is no single data set that convincingly and unambiguously confirms that farmers are facing a long-term decline in productivity in the rice-wheat pattern. Rather, there are indications from various sources that the pattern, as currently managed, may not be sustainable. The indications seem strong enough, however, and the sources sufficiently consistent, to be cause for alarm.
The discussion of long-term issues has so far focused on soil fertility. Additional evidence on nutrient depletion, and pest and disease buildup will be presented in the next sections.


Table 4. Long-Term Fertilizer Trial-Partial Results Grain Yield: First Rice Crop, Wheat Crop (t/ha)

Treatment Average Yields Average Yields
Years 1 and 2 Years 6 and 7
Rice Wheat Rice Wheat

1 2.5 0.8 0.6 1.1
2 3.8 1.0 1.1 1.2
3 3.8 1.8 2.3 2.1
4 3.9 1.2 1.0 1.3
5 4.0 2.1 2.8 2.5
6 3.7 1.9 1.9 2.4
7 3.2 1.0 0.7 1.0
8 3.3 1.3 2.2 2.3
9 2.9 1.9 2.3 2.2

Source: Based on Regmi (1986), referred to in a personal communication by D. Saunders.


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Long-Term Problem 1: Nutrient Deficiencies Will Increasingly Limit the Yields of Both Rice and Wheat
Hypotheses: Field observations made during the diagnostic survey suggested that nutrient deficiencies were already restricting wheat yields, especially on lighter soils in the upper terraces (Type B farmers). This is not surprising, given these farmers' soil-fertility management practices. Researchers hypothesized (independently of the long-term trial data presented in the last section) that the preceding rice crop is probably subject to similar nutrient stresses. Further diagnostic work is needed, however, to clarify the relative importance of different nutrients and identify interactions among nutrients. (Note that nutrient deficiency problems may differ between farmer Types A, B, and C.)
This problem of nutrient deficiencies seems likely to get worse over time. Those farmers with longer experience with intensified cropping patterns (Type C farmers) indicated that yields of both rice and wheat are lower now than when intensified cropping began. Hypothesized causes of nutrient deficiencies are listed below. Note that many of these causes are likely to have cumulative effects over time.
1. The rice-wheat cropping pattern tends to exhaust soil nutrients, compared to the earlier cropping pattern of rice-fallow; as more fields are shifted to this pattern, nutrient deficiencies are likely to become more common.
2. The subsurface pan (left by puddled rice culture) restricts the rooting zone of wheat as well as rice, thus upper soil layers are being mined of plant nutrients.
3. Farmers apply only low levels of inorganic fertilizer to both crops.
4. As FYM supplies decline, and as FYM is increasingly used for fuel, farmers are reducing to negligible levels the application of FYM to rice and wheat; many rice and wheat fields receive no FYM at all.
5. Crop residues and weeds are fed to livestock rather than incorporated into the soil.
Improving problem definition regarding nutrient deficiencies: Future diagnostic research on the long-term problems posed by nutrient deficiencies is likely to focus on three interrelated questions: (1) Which nutrients are limiting? (2) How does productivity decline over time as a consequence of nutrient deficiencies? (3) What is the distribution of nutrient deficiencies in the study area? (This question of geographical incidence is likely to be strongly affected by the farmer types noted earlier.)


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Nitrogen and
phosphate deficiencies reduce wheat yields (near-term problem)


Deficiencies of minor nutrients are likely to become more sever over time
(longer-term
problem)


Figure 4. Soil Fertility: Problems and Causes


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Current thinking is that, in the Rupandehi study area, P is usually the limiting factor for wheat, and both P and Zn for rice--especially in the upper terraces. These thoughts are suggested by background knowledge of rice and wheat agronomy, in combination with data from one on-station experiment in the study area, and a series of experiments in similar areas of India. Clearly, further research is needed in Rupandehi District itself to clearly identify the order in which nutrients become deficient, the effects of these deficiencies over time, and their distribution within the district.
Several sources of data can be used to address these questions. The use of long-term trials(on-station and/or on-farm) is one obvious approach. Another approach would involve the use of nurseries of indicator species capable of flagging well-defined micronutrient deficiencies under farmers' conditions (D. Saunders, personal communication). Yet another approach would involve monitoring a panel offarmers over time, to track rice and wheat yields and relate these to farmers' soil-fertility management practices, including FYM supplies and management. In addition, single-visit surveys using random sampling may be needed (in conjunction with soils information) to test some of the hypotheses on the causes of the soil fertility problem.
It should be clear however, that this three-dimensional uncertainty (which nutrient? what time path? what geographical distribution?) tremendously complicates problem definition.
Alternative solutions for the nutrient-deficiency problem: Although there appears to be no simple solution to nutrient deficiency problems, researchers might consider the following themes (suggested by the hypothesized causes of the problem):
1. Realistic and profitable doses (and forms of application) of inorganic fertilizer, possibly including micronutrients (e.g., zinc for rice).
2. Improved FYM management and techniques to combine FYM and inorganic fertilizer, to increase fertilizer efficiency.
3. Development of alternative sources of fodder, to allow an increase in animal herd size, increased production ofFYM, and the incorporation of more FYM and crop residues back into the soil (e.g., fitting multipurpose [grainfodder-green manure] legumes into the system).
4. Development of alternative fuel sources, to enable farmers to use FYM as fertilizer instead of fuel (e.g., agroforestry research to test alternative tree species as sources of fuel and fodder, etc.).
A suitable research agenda will likely make use of various sources of


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information, including conventional researcher-managed, on-farm research trials; farmer-participatory research (especially with respect to agroforestry and green legume research); researcher and/or farmer-managed, long-term trials, and monitoring of a farmer panel (required to measure the time path of benefits associated with different interventions); exhaustive analysis of past and present data sets (given the expense of setting up new sets of trials).

Long-Term Problem 2: Pests and Diseases Will Increasingly Reduce Rice and Wheat Yields
There is evidence that a number of pests and diseases reduce wheat yields in the study area. These include Helminthosporium blight, nematodes, soil fungus, rats, etc. With respect to rice, farmers report problems with blast, rice bug, stemborer, and rats. The incidence, frequency, and yield loss associated with each of these is not yet well understood. Similarly, there is little evidence on the time path of productivity changes (are these problems getting worse over time?).
Evidence on pests and diseases includes the following:

* Solarization trials conducted at the NWDP experiment station at Bhairahawa indicate that unidentified biotic factors have a strong negative effect on wheat yields.

* The rice root nematode (Hirschmaniella sp.) was found in all soil samples obtained from farmers' fields in the study area during the diagnostic survey. However, it is as yet unknown whether these cause any yield loss for wheat.

* Evidence from similar rice-wheat areas of Bangladesh suggest that biotic factors are reducing wheat emergence and plant stand (D. Saunders, personal communication, reported by P. Hobbs).
Though there is little evidence at this time to support it, there is widespread concern that these problems may become more severe as time passes. This is simply because the rice-wheat pattern (which is relatively new to the study area, and still expanding in size) seems more likely to allow a buildup of pests and diseases than the earlier rice-fallow pattern.
For biotic factors, problem definition remains at an early stage. As noted, research is needed to determine which pests and diseases (ifany) are increasing in severity or frequency. Long-term trials and monitoring may be needed to trace out time paths, as well as specialized surveys to measure the incidence of problems in the study area. In addition, on-station research and laboratory


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testing, conducted by trained disciplinary specialists, are likely to be needed.

Discussion and Conclusions
The rice-wheat pattern as cultivated in Rupandehi District of the Nepal Terai suffers from a number of problems, many of them near-term in nature. For example, problems associated with wheat stand establishment, waterlogging, planting date, etc., appear to have major effects on wheat productivity.
The rice-wheat pattern also appears to suffer from problems of sustainability-problems, moreover, that are not immediately obvious. Available secondary data do not clearly indicate declining productivity of rice and wheat over time. Similarly, farmer opinion is mixed, with some farmers reporting that yields are declining, while other farmers report that yields are stable or increasing.
Other sources of information, however, do suggest that rice and wheat productivity are declining. These sources include:

Stratification of farmers into farmer types: the only farmers reporting increasing yields are those with a brief experience with intensified cropping. Farmers with more experience tend to report declining yields.
Results from a long-term, on-station fertilizer trial, along with reports of similar results from similar rice-wheat areas of India, that indicate rapid declines in rice yields over a seven-year period under a wide array of soilfertility management strategies.
A marked trend among farmers toward the reduction of FYM applications to rice and wheat, in response to declining herd size (hence, declining FYM availability) and increased use of FYM for fuel.
On-station research results suggesting that unknown biotic factors (nematodes? root rots?) have a strong effect on yields, together with the hypothesis that these biotic factors may tend to become more important in the intensified rice-wheat pattern, as compared to the earlier rice-fallow pattern.
Much work on problem definition remains, however. The time path of productivity loss needs to be traced out; the changing incidence of each problem needs to be identified; and hypothesized problem-cause relationships need to be tested. All of these are challenging, complex, expensive, and timeconsuming tasks. Moreover, these tasks will require the services of commodity


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and disciplinary scientists, as well as dedicated "systems researchers."
In the end, researchers will probably have to assemble the best estimates of yield response and productivity loss from the different available data sources, then construct a synthetic time path of productivity change for each of the different soil-fertility management strategies (including the farmers' practice), and calculate the net present values associated with each of these strategies. Discounting need not be deferred until the end of the long-term trials; as data accumulates, it can be fed into successive approximations of the complete time path associated with each management strategy.
The sustainability problems discussed in this paper may not be as dramatic as those discussed by some other researchers, e.g., dealing with extensive deforestation orhighlyvisible soil erosion. However, the very "nonobviousness" of these problems may tend to delay their definition and obscure their importance, with ultimately disastrous effects on productivity and farmers' livelihoods.


REFERENCES

APROSC. 1986. Semi-detailed soil survey: Report for the Bhairahawa Lumbini Groundwater Project. Kathmandu: Agricultural Projects Services Centre.
Byerlee, D.B., P. Heisey, and P.R. Hobbs. Diagnosing research priorities for small
farmers: Experiences from on-farm research in Pakistan. Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture 28(3/4):254-265.
Fujisaka, S., and D. Garrity. 1988. Developing sustainable food crop farming systems for
the sloping acid uplands: A farmer-participatory approach. Presented at the 4th SUAN
Research Symposium, Khon Kaen, Thailand, July 4-8, 1988.
Fujisaka, S., and L. Harrington, (eds.). 1989. The rice-wheat cropping pattern in the
Nepal Terai: Farmers' practices and problems and needs for future research. Bangkok:
NARSC, CIMMYT and IRRI.
Harrington, L., et al. 1989. Approaches to on-farm client-oriented research: Similarities,
differences and future directions. Presented at the International Workshop on Developments in Procedures for FSR/OFR, Bogor, Indonesia, March 13-17, 1989. Hobbs, P.R., C.E. Mann, and L. Butler. 1987. A perspective on research needs for the
rice-wheat rotation. In A. Klatt, technical ed., Wheat production constraints in tropical
environments. El Batan: UNDP/CIMMYT.
Regmi, K 1986. Agronomic investigations-plant nutrition aspects of wheat. Presented
at the Wheat Working Group Meeting, NWDP, Bhairahawa, Nepal, September 1-3,
1986.
Roche, F. 1988. Java's critical uplands: Is sustainable development possible? Food Research Institute Studies 21(1):1-43.
Tripp, R., and J. Wooley. 1989. Theplanningstage ofon-farm research: Identifyingfactors
for experimentation. Mexico D.F., and Call, Colombia: CIMMYT and CIAT.


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Relations between Agricultural Researchers and Extension Workers: The Survey Evidence

Stephan Seegers and David Kaimowitz'




INTRODUCTION

The objective of this paper is to describe the communication between agricultural researchers and extension workers and their attitudes toward each other.
To be effective, agricultural research must be relevant to producers' needs, and its results, including the necessary inputs and infrastructure, must be made available to producers. This usually requires specific efforts to extend the new technology, even though that may not necessarily be accomplished by a traditional general-public extension service. Much technology is transferred to farmers by private sector companies, nongovernmental organizations, and other types of public institutions.
Public agricultural-research institutions often have poor relations with extension agencies. In 16 out of 20 research projects evaluated by the U.S. Agency for International Development and in all 12 projects evaluated by the Food and Agricultural Organization (1984), communication between research and extension was weak. The World Bank (1985) says that "bridging the gap between research and extension is the most serious institutional problem in developing an effective research and extension system."
Previous authors have noted that extension workers see researchers as working in "ivory towers" and producing technologies that are not applicable to the farmers with whom they work (FAO, 1984; Samy, 1986). Researchers

Researcher, Department of Extension Science, Wageningen Agricultural University, The Netherlands, and coordinator of an international comparative study on the links between agricultural research and technology transfer in developing countries, International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR), The Hague. The authors would like to thank Ruben Echeverria, Howard Elliott, and Deborah Merrill-Sands for their useful comments and Anna Wuyts for her assistance in working with the survey materials.

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look down on extension workers and question extension agents' capacity to perform their jobs (Quisumbing, 1984). Both researchers and extension agents avoid the tasks that bridge the two activities such as adaptive field trials and producing written material for extension agents (McDermott, 1987). Communication between the two groups is limited. These problems are caused by differences in background, training, experience, responsibilities, status, institutional setting, and physical location, which promote competition between the two groups and hinder their ability to understand each other (Bennell, 1989).
Most writing on the topic has been prescriptive or based on anecdotal evidence or individual cases. This paper is the first attempt to bring together the international survey evidence on the subject.
The paper only covers aspects that can be effectively studied using surveys. It forms part of a larger comparative study of research/technology transfer linkages currently underway at the International Service for National Agricultural Research (ISNAR). The study is also using qualitative methods such as case studies and is looking at the broader institutional and structural aspects of the problem (see Kaimowitz, 1990). Still, surveys can provide unique lessons for future agricultural research and extension policies in developing countries.
The first section presents our methodology. We then discuss the evidence on (1) extension input into research, (2) different channels researchers and extension agents use to communicate with each other, (3) the subjects they communicate about, (4) the two groups' attitudes toward each other, and (5) how various personal attributes influence the research-extension relationship. We then summarize the key conclusions.


METHODOLOGY
The summary tables from 21 surveys of individual agricultural researchers and/or extension workers with information about relations between the two groups were collected through an extensive literature review over a three-year period. These surveys came from 18 countries, including countries in Asia and Oceania, Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East and the United States (see Table 1).
Three of the surveys focus exclusively on research and extension for a single commodity (wool in Australia, coffee in Colombia, and rice in the Dominican Republic). The rest cover multiple commodities. Although the text consistently


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Table 1. Summary of Samples in Surveys Useda


Country Author Year Research Extension Regions and
workers workers commodities


Argentina Australia


Colombia Colombia Colombia


Rio et al. Hargreaves


Bernal ICA Oliviera


Dominican Rep. Doorman


Dominican Rep. Malkun Egypt Samy
India Rao


Indonesia Israel


Jamaica Nigeria Nigeria

Pakistan


Hussein Elkana


Alleyne Akinbode Idowu

Malik


Pap New Guinea Kern Sierra Leone Lakoh
Taiwan Lionberger


1960 35 47 Buenos Aires
1976 24 25 New South
Wales/sheep &
wool
1987 145 national
1984 145 843 national
1982 175 5 departments/
coffee
1985 14 34 Bonao, Mao,
Nagua/rice
1980 n.d. national
1988 98 64 5 regions
1972 n.d. 429 Punjab, Tamil
Nadu, Adra
Pradesh
1986 52 105 West Java
1970 30 56 national/field
crops, cattle,
citrus
1975 21 54 national
1974 27 48 Ife
1988 18 45 Zaria, Ibaden,
Umudike
1988 50 76 Punjab/wheat
and sugar
research
1985 105 four provinces
1986 48 northern area
1970 122 484 western part


Tanzania


Lupanga 1986


Thailand Dhandhanin 1984
Trin & Tobago Alleyne 1975 U.S. Jain 1970


coastal and southern highlands northeast
national Michigan


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a More complete information about the samples can be obtained from the authors. We are grateful to Anna Wyuts for compiling this information.

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refers to the surveys by country names, many of the surveys only cover specific regions within these countries.
The samples varied in size from 48 in Sierra Leone and the Dominican Republic (rice) to 988 in Colombia, with a median sample size of 108. Twothirds of the surveys were conducted after 1982, 10 in the 1970s, and two (Argentina and Taiwan) in the 1960s. The specific conditions in the countries where surveys were conducted some time ago have undoubtedly changed, but there is no reason to believe the general pattern of relations presented in this paper has varied significantly. Half the surveys come from unpublished Ph.D. dissertations, the rest from consultants' reports, journal articles, and books.
Statistically speaking, the surveys are not fully comparable. The surveys each had different samples, questions, and objectives. Thus no attempt was made to rigorously test statistical hypotheses. Instead we sought to present the general pattern of research-extension relations. The lack of strict comparability also made it difficult to present much of the material in summary tables.
We first divided the material into research and extension responses and organized the survey table by topic. Then we compared the information on that topic between countries and integrated the research and extension responses. For any one specific topic, only a subset of the surveys had relevant information.
We were particularly interested in the differences between research-extension relations in countries or systems often mentioned as having effective extension systems (Australia, coffee in Colombia, Israel, Taiwan, and Argentina in the early 1960s) and relations in countries with less effective systems.2 The first group comes mostly from more developed countries or, as in the case of coffee, commodity-specific systems supporting politicallysensitive products. Researchers and extension workers have more similar profiles in this first group.


THE SURVEY EVIDENCE

Extension's Input into Research
Current conventional wisdom says extension agents can and should help define research problems, provide technical information to researchers, and give feedback on how research-generated technologies perform in the field. Since extension input is relatively common, particularly in more advanced

2 Rice extension in the Dominican Republic has also been said to have been effective. This is reflected in our 1980 Dominican Republic data. However, by 1986 the system was in a state of decline. Moreover, the 1986 data was drawn from regions where rice extension has traditionally been weak.


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extension systems, the survey data support these ideas. It also shows that although extension input is important, extension workers are not the main source of research ideas, nor are a majority of them directly involved in providing input, in any of the countries studied.
In countries such as Argentina and Colombia (coffee), a significant minority of extension workers provided input into research. In contrast, extension agents in Pakistan, Sierra Leone, and the Dominican Republic (rice) had practically no input. Nowhere did a majority of extension workers report input to research.
Researchers from 10 countries reported input or feedback from extension. In Egypt 52.3 percent of the researchers surveyed said extension was an important source ofnew ideas. In Indonesia 61.5 percent thought extension should help determine research priorities. Feedback from extension workers and farmers was the source of 23 percent of research projects in the institutes sampled in India.
Yet in all seven countries with data, researchers said most ideas for research problems came from the research community itself. In Argentina, Colombia, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Tanzania, researchers considered farmers a more important source of input than extension. Moreover, in some countries the same researchers who said extension input was important admitted devoting little effort to obtaining it (Taiwan) or found the information extension provided not to be useful (Tanzania).
Extension workers believe they are competent to help determine research priorities and want to do more in this regard. This point comes through strongly in Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Papua New Guinea, and Sierra Leone. While some extension workers, particularly in Colombia (coffee), said they had not suggested topics for research because they did not feel the need to, in three countries extension workers complained that they did not know how research problems were selected and lacked channels for giving their ideas.

Personal Contacts between Researchers and Extension Workers
Countries with stronger extension systems and with commodity-specific extension specialists have substantially more direct personal contacts between researchers and extension workers (see Tables 2, 3, and 4). In Argentina, Australia, Israel, Taiwan, and the Dominican Republic (rice in 1980), there were frequent direct contacts. In Colombia (non-Colombian Agricultural Institute), Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jamaica, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea,


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Table 2a: Average Number of Times Each Researcher Participated in Selected Communications Activities during the Year

Activities
Personal Meetings Training Trials and
Country contact demonstrations

Australia 27.4 7.5 9.1
Israel 6.2 1.2 2.0
Indonesia 1.8 0.9 0.2 0.5
Egypt 4.4 0.6 1.5
Pakistan 0.7a 0.1
Others 0.7-


a Not including agricultural extension directors. b Tanzania.

Table 2b: Average Number of Times Each Extension Worker Participated in Selected Communications Activities during the Year

Activities
Personal Meetings Training Trials and
Country contact demonstrations

Argentina 1.5 0.6
Australia 4.2 0.4
Israel 9.5 5.2 3.3
Indonesia 1.5 1.8
Pakistan
AOa 0.3 0.4 0.2
FEWb 0.2 0.4 0.1
Others
Dominican Republic 2.4
Papua New Guinea 3.7


a Agricultural officer.
b Field extension worker.


Sierra Leone, and Trinidad and Tobago, such contacts were much less common. In these cases extension workers depend heavily on relations with their superiors within the extension services. The Dominican Republic (rice in 1986), ICA in Colombia, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Thailand are intermediate cases.
On average, wool researchers in Australia had 27.4 direct contacts with extension workers during the year. It was not uncommon for an extension agent to telephone a research colleague. Almost three-quarters of extension


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Table 3a: Percentage of Researchers Involved in Different Communications Activities

Activities
Personal Meetings Training Trials and
Country contact demonstrations

Argentina 60 40
Taiwan
Experiment Station 39 5 18 14
Research Institute 81 34 43 66
Colombia
ICAa 27 77 87 64
Indonesiab 12-21 0-25 0-29 0-29
Egypt b- 44 26 25/18c
Pakistan 12-16 10 10-46 10
Nigeria 15 7 31/40d
Other
Tanzania 62
Thailand 3

a Institute Colombiano Agropecuario.
b Range of percentages involved in activities with subject-matter specialists, agricultural officers, and field extension workers.
c The first number refers to trials, the second to demonstrations. d The first number refers to training events, the second to seminars.



agents in Argentina used personal contacts to find out about research results. In Israel researchers reported having direct contact with an average of 12 extension workers during the previous two years; extension agents reported contacts with an average of4 researchers. Over 90 percent of extension agents and adaptive researchers in Taiwan reported personal contacts with each other. Such contacts were the most common means of communication between research and extension. Contact with applied researchers at Taiwanese research institutes was less frequent but still important.
In contrast, in Indonesia and Pakistan less than one quarter of researchers had personal contacts with extension workers and on average these contacts occurred less than once per year. Even lower percentages of researchers visited farmers' fields with extension workers or helped them identify or solve farmers' problems. In Sierra Leone there had been no personal contacts between the researchers and extension workers surveyed in the previous two years. In Egypt, India, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago, less than one quarter of extension workers had significant direct contact. Extension workers from the Colombian Agricultural Institute (ICA) reported substan-


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Table 3b: Percentage of Extension Workers Involved in Different Activities


Communications


Activities
Personal Meetings Training Trials and
Country contact demonstrations

Argentina 66 42 86 25
Taiwan
Improvement Station 60 28 95 96
Research Institute 43 74 95 96
Colombia
ICAa workers with input 0-72 57-68 64
from ICA researchersb
ICA workers with input 0-30 30-36 27
from non-ICA researchers
Indonesia 59 53
Egypt 34 70 39/16c
Pakistan
Agricultural officers 11 76 2
Field extension workers 10 79 37
Nigeria 4 58 65
Tanzania 36 34 16
Other d

a Institute Colombiano Agropecuario. b Range of percentages reflects different types of meetings and contacts. c The first number refers to trials, the second to demonstrations. d Dominican Republic-20 percent; India-41 percent general extension officers, 31 percent specialist extension officers.

tial contact with researchers, but only 27 percent of researchers said they had regular contact with extension agents.

Publications
Publications are an important channel for researchers to communicate their results to extension workers. In Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Taiwan, between 33 percent and 55 percent of researchers reported writing articles for extension agents.
Public agricultural researchers in more developed countries dedicate greater efforts to writing materials for extension. The average number of extension publications written annually by each researcher varied from .42 in Pakistan and .63 in Indonesia to .93 for adaptive researchers in Taiwan and 2.3 in Australia.
Research materials take a long time to be published and the field-level


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Table 4a: Performance of Researchers and Extension Workers from Countries with Effective Extension Systems in Various Communications Channels

Activities
Personal Meetings Training Trials and
Country contact demonstrations

Argentina high medium low low
Australia high medium high high
Israel high high high
Taiwan medium low medium medium
applied res.
Taiwan high medium medium high
adaptive res.



Table 4b: Performance of Researchers and Extension Workers from Countries with Ineffective Extension Systems in Various Communication Channels

Activities
Personal Meetings Training Trials and
Country contact demonstrations

Colombia
ICA medium medium medium low
non-ICA low low low low
Egypt low high low medium
Indonesia low low low low
Nigeria low low low low
Pakistan low low low low
Tanzania low low low low
Others a lowb lowc


a Low: Sierra Leone, India, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago; medium: Dominican Republic (Rice,1986) and Papua New Guinea. bThailand.
c Trinidad and Tobago.


extension agents have trouble getting access to them. In Colombia 93 percent of researchers said bureaucratic delays in publishing kept them from disseminating their results. Most extension workers in Sierra Leone had trouble obtaining relevant research findings when needed because of long publication delays. Eighty-one percent of Egyptian researchers sent their publication only to extension headquarters, where field agents rarely had access to them. Extension workers in Colombia (coffee), Egypt, Papua New Guinea, and


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Pakistan complained that publications were difficult to obtain or arrived late.
Extension workers prefer more popular materials such as bulletins, brochures, leaflets, and manuals over scientific research journals. This tendency is greater when extension workers are less educated.
Extension workers from ICA in Colombia were more interested in receiving brochures and handouts than journals. Similarly, coffee extension workers, particularly those with only vocational training, enjoyed technical bulletins more than scientific journals and found them more interesting.
Only 10 percent of Papua New Guinea extension agents received their ministry's research journal and even these did not find it useful. Half the agents received a more popularized ministry publication and 90 percent a simple publication for farmers, both of which they enjoyed and found useful. The extension workers clearly preferred simple publications, available in the local language.'
Taiwanese extension workers regularly used extension materials, adaptive research publications, and farm magazines. They made less use of research institute publications. They considered extension publications more handy and practical than research materials, although less up-to-date and scientific. Similarly, in Pakistan, Tanzania, and Nigeria, extensionists preferred simple, more practical publications. Only in Australia, where extension workers are highly educated, did they use journals more than research reports and other department of agriculture publications.

Training Events and Research-Extension Meetings
Formal training events and research-extension meetings are common in the more advanced systems (see Tables 2, 3, and 4). Training events were ranked very highly by Australian extension workers as channels for gathering information. Joint research-extension meetings were common in Argentina, Israel, and Taiwan.
These activities are also important in certain countries with weaker extension systems. In Egypt, for example, formal joint meetings were the principal channel for informing extension about available technology. Forty-four percent of researchers and 70 percent of extension agents participated in at least one joint meeting during the previous year, and most found the meetings useful.
A majority of extension workers in the Colombian Agricultural Institute and subject-matter specialists in Nigeria and Indonesia had attended courses

SPreference for publications in local languages was also important for extension workers in Pakistan.


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or seminars conducted by researchers. In Indonesia, Colombia, and Thailand more than half of the researchers were involved in extension training. Over 70 percent of the researchers and extension workers surveyed in Tanzania participated in joint meetings, seminars, conferences, or workshops. More than threequarters of Pakistani extension workers had received training from researchers.
Demonstrations and field days are other common training events. These exist in most countries, although their importance varies. ICA researchers in Colombia, adaptive researchers in Taiwan, and subject-matter specialists in Nigeria reported high participation in these activities (two-thirds or more participated). Low participation was found among researchers in Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Taiwan (applied researchers) and extension workers in Egypt, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago."
There is little indication that meetings or training events are frequent of take up much of either researchers' or extension workers' time in most countries. A large percentage of those surveyed in Indonesia, Pakistan, Tanzania, Egypt, and Thailand had only participated once or twice in these events or said they did not participate frequently.

Research-Extension Field Trials
Joint field trials play a major role in research-extension relations in the more advanced systems (see Tables 2, 3, and 4). One-third of researchers' contacts with extension and farmers in Australia focused on cooperative trials. Similarly in Israel a third of research-extension contacts occurred during joint trials. Depending on what commodity was involved, joint trials were the first or second most important setting for extension workers to communicate with researchers.' In Argentina 25 percent of researchers used joint on-farm trials during the previous year, most of which were initiated by research administrators, not individual researchers or extension workers. In Pakistan 37 percent of agricultural officers and 21 percent of field assistants were involved, although only 10 percent of researchers participated, and researchers ex4Pakistani extension workers reported high participation in demonstrations. 70 percent of agricultural officers and 55 percent of field assistants said they used them often. Yet it is not clear if they were referring to joint demonstrations with research or simply extension demonstrations for farmers. The extension workers made some use of field days but not often, and many of those who participated questioned their usefulness and the completeness of the information presented. 'Field trials were the most important setting for meetings on citrus and the second most important for field crops and cattle.


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pressed strong disapproval of extension having adaptive research responsibilities. The average number ofjoint trials per research or extension-person year in Egypt and Pakistan was far below that in Israel. The lack of information on this topic in the other surveys may imply joint trials rarely occur in many of the remaining countries.

Research Information Received or Required by Extension
The most important crop information extension receives from research relates to field crop varieties and plant protection. Seed varieties and, to a lesser degree, new pesticides and fertilizers, were the dominant type of technology received by Egyptian extension workers. Varieties and crop protection were the most important themes in the publications sent to coffee extension workers in Colombia. In Sierra Leone extension workers depended on researchers as their primary source on only one topic--varieties technology. For all other technologies they relied principally on their own knowledge. Crop protection was very high among extension workers' priorities in Egypt, Israel, Pakistan, and Colombia (including coffee extension). Fertilization and soils problems were often mentioned but fell far behind crop protection among extension agents' principal concerns.
Researchers transfer mostly technical information. Extension workers receive little social science information from researchers, and they give these issues low priority.
Information flows more easily when both researchers and extension workers specialize in the same commodity. This comes out clearly in the data from the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Israel.

Researchers' Attitudes toward Extension
Data from Argentina, the Dominican Republic (rice), Tanzania, Pakistan, Indonesia, and Nigeria support the hypothesis that researchers in developing countries have a poor view of extension. Researchers in these countries felt extension was ineffective and blamed the problem on insufficient education and training, poor incentives, and frequent staff turnover (Dominican Republic, Nigeria, Tanzania). They were also unclear about extension's mandate (Argentina, Tanzania).
Most ofArgentina's researchers thought the extension agents were incapable or only partially capable of fulfilling their functions. This feeling was shared by rice researchers in the Dominican Republic, particularly with respect to the general-public extension service (as opposed to rice development


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department). Three-quarters believed experienced farmers had more knowledge about rice than recent graduates working in extension.
Tanzanian researchers said that extension workers didn't appreciate the complexity of research (65 percent), were not well trained (54 percent), and did not know much about farming (49 percent). A majority of researchers in Indonesia, Pakistan, and Tanzania considered extension ineffectiveness a major cause of non-adoption.6
In none of the six countries just mentioned did researchers see the limited applicability of their own results as a major cause of low adoption. Those who did not blame extension mostly said poor adoption was due to farmers' traditionalism or poor agricultural policies.

Extension Workers' Attitude toward Research
Extension workers do not question the researchers' technical competence, but many complain that not enough research is being conducted, the research carried out does not meet their needs, and not enough is being done to communicate results to extension (Argentina, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan).
Large majorities of the extension agents in the Dominican Republic, Sierra Leone, and Tanzania had strong doubts about whether the research being conducted was relevant to farmers' needs. A minority from Argentina expressed similar concerns.
The agents gave various explanations for the lack of relevance. Researchers make technical recommendations without considering their profitability (Argentina). Funding sources with research agendas not relevant to extension have excessive influence (Sierra Leone). Researchers don't interact enough with extension agents (Sierra Leone) and know little about farmers' problems (Tanzania).
The view from Jamaica was mixed. Researchers were thought to perform well on (1) choosing appropriate problems for research, (2) making practical recommendations for farmers, and (3) being committed to solving problems for small- and medium-scale farmers. They received lower marks on providing resource materials to extension and following up on research recommendations.


'The Tanzanian data is contradictory. Researchers also agreed with the statements: (1) "For helping small farmers, the extension worker is more important than the researcher" (74 percent), (2) "Extension workers have a lot to extend to farmers" (85 percent),
(3) "It is not a waste of time for researchers to consult extension workers" (94 percent), and (4) "Abolishment of extension in Tanzania would not go unnoticed" (80 percent).


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The Effect of Personal Attributes
Various surveys examined the correlation between the researchers' and extension workers' personal attributes and their communications patterns and attitudes. The results, however, are inconclusive.
Age seems to have a positive effect on research-extension relations. Age was positively correlated with the number of physical and material objects researchers transferred to extension in Egypt. Older researchers in Australia and Tanzania were more receptive to extension communication. Older extension workers in Tanzania were more inclined to feel that joint field days, conferences, seminars, and workshops were useful. No correlation was found between age and other variables studied in Australia, Nigeria, Tanzania, and the United States.7
Professionals' length of service may partially counterbalance the age effect. The longer that researchers were in one location, the less receptive they were to communication with extension (Australia) or participating in joint meetings (Tanzania). Their attitudes toward extension also became more negative (Tanzania). The number and frequency of contacts declined with length of service for both research and extension staff in Nigeria and for extension workers in Israel. Length of service had no effect on the reception of new technologies by Egyptian extension workers or the propensity of Tanzanian researchers and extension workers to contact and respond to each other.
For several other variables the results were mixed. More formal education increased the popularity and intensity ofcommunications between researchers and extension workers in Israel, but had no impact on researchers' attitudes toward extension workers in Australia. Coming from a farm background had a positive effect on the frequency, intensity, or popularity of researchextension communication in Israel or the number of technologies Egyptian extension workers receive. There is also contradictory evidence on the effect of organizational rank and status.


CONCLUSIONS

Researchers and extension workers communicate with each other through meetings, training events, publications, joint participation in trials and dem7The evidence from Tanzania on how researchers' age affected their attitudes about extension is contradictory. Older researchers were more inclined not to blame extension workers for poor adoption. They were also more likely to believe extension workers were poorly trained and had little to extend.


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onstrations, and direct personal contact. Those who work in more developed systems and commodity-specific systems communicate with each other more. In particular, they communicate more informally and place greater importance on joint research-extension trials.
New varieties and crop protection are the major focuses of researchextension interaction with respect to crops. Crop protection is a key connection because extension workers and producers concentrate their demands for research on problems they perceive as urgent. They rarely emphasize long-term or less obvious problems.
The more effective extension services have input into determining research problems. Researchers in most countries have some doubts about such input, but are willing to give the idea qualified support. Extension workers actively want input and feel competent to provide it.
Still, the potential for extension input should not be exaggerated. Evidence from the more developed systems suggests that extension will probably never replace the research community as the primary source of research ideas, and only a minority of extension agents are likely to be involved.
One major reason researchers and extension workers communicate less in developing countries is the negative attitude they have about each other. Researchers doubt whether extension agents are competent and motivated to work, and extension agents question whether the research being done is relevant.
Extension workers want researchers to put more effort into communicating their findings. They also want simpler, more timely, and applicable materials, written in their local language, and greater efforts to give field-level workers access to such publications. Research journals are not an effective means to communicate with extension.
To improve relations between the two groups in developing countries, researchers will have to perceive extension agents as competent. In many countries this can only happen if extension staff receive more training and greater incentives. For its part, research will have to become more applicable, through a greater emphasis on farmers' constraints, more on-farm research, and greater input from farmers and extension.
Clear channels and procedures are needed if extension input is to increase. To produce research materials appropriate for extension will require more resources for researcher-communications departments and incentives for researchers to dedicate more time to their extension audience.
Informal, direct, person-to-person communication is probably essential for


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an effective flow of information. This is not surprising given evidence from communications research elsewhere. It does, however, represent a major challenge to most developing countries, where extension services are organized along hierarchical lines, extension workers have limited education, and there are greater differences between researchers and extension workers.



REFERENCES


Akinbode, I.A. 1974. An analysis of interorganizational relationships of agricultural
research, teaching and extension in Western Nigeria. Ph.D. dissertation, University
of Wisconsin.
Alleyne, E. 1975. Training and management policy for agricultural research scientists
in the governmental system: A study in two Caribbean states-Trinidad and Tobago
and Jamaica. Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University.
Anyanwu, A.C. 1982. Communication behavior of professional disseminators of
scientific agricultural knowledge: A study of the Iowa Cooperative Extension Service.
Ph.D. dissertation, Iowa State University.
Bernell, P. 1989. Intergroup relationship in institutionalagricultural technologysystems.
Linkages Theme Paper No. 2. The Hague: International Service for National
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Bernal, F.C. 1987. Analisis de la estructura de generaci6n y transferencia de tecnologia:
La subgerencia de investigaci6n y transferencia del ICA. Bogoti. Mimeograph. Dhandhanin, M. 1984. An analysis of organizational structure, role perceptions, and
inter-role relationships affecting the functioningand effectiveness of the agricultural
extension education system in Thailand. Ph.D. dissertation, Cornell University. Doorman, F. 1986. iQue Pasa? Evaluaci6n del sistema de generaci6n y transferencia de
tecnologia en la producci6n arrocera en la Republica Dominicana. Institute Superior
de Agricultura, Santiago, Dominican Republic. Mimeograph.
Elkana, Y. 1970. Research-extension links in agriculture: A study of communications
behavior of professionals. In S. Molho and M. Gitlin, eds., Agricultural extension: A
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Food and Agricultural Organization. 1984. Agricultural extension: A reference manual,
2d edition. Rome: FAO.
Hargreaves, L.E. 1976. Communication between agricultural scientists and extension
workers: A study in the sheep and wool branch of the New South Wales Department of Agriculture Agricultural Extension. Bulletin No. 1. Department of Agricultural
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Hussein, S. 1986. An analysis of the agricultural knowledge system in Indonesia. Ph.D.
dissertation, Cornell University.
Idowu, I.A. 1988. Institutionalization of knowledge flows: An analysis of the links
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Institute Colombiano Agropecuario. 1984. Plan nacional de transferencia de tecnologia.
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Jain, N.C. 1970. Communication patterns and effectiveness ofprofessionals performing
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Lionberger, H.F., and H.C. Chang. 1970. Farm information for modernizing agriculture: The Taiwan system. Washington, D.C.: Praeger Publishers.
Malik, W.H. 1988. An analysis of the agricultural knowledge system in Pakistan. Ph.D.
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Quimsumbing, E. 1984. New direction in research-extension linkages. In D. Elz, ed.,
Planning and management of agricultural research, A World Bank and ISNAR
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Agricultural Innovation and Technology Testing by Gambian Farmers: Hope for Institutionalizing On-Farm Research in Small-Country Research Systems?'

Bradford Mills and Elon Gilbert2



INTRODUCTION

Farmer participation in the identification and adaptation of improved agricultural technologies is generally recognized as a major factor in agricultural change in sub-Saharan Africa (Johnson, 1972; Vermeer, 1979; Richards, 1985, 1986). In recent years a variety of approaches, including farmer-backto-farmer and farmer first-and-last, have been discussed in the literature. Several approaches have been field tested in an attempt to incorporate farmer innovation and indigenous knowledge in the design and testing of technologies (Chambers, Pacey, and Thrupp, 1989). Increasing attention is being given to cost-efficient, on-farm research (OFR) models that can effectively serve resource-poor farmers (Chambers and Jiggins, 1986). The Gambia is an example of a West African country where farmer innovations, in response to opportunities and adversities, have produced profound changes in the farming systems of the country over the past 20 years. Major changes include widespread adoption and adaptation of externally introduced technologies such as animal traction and fertilizer use, as well as a number of internally introduced changes in plant varieties and cultural practices.
Yet despite the acknowledged importance of informal farmer experimentation in agricultural change and increasing literature that favors greater farmer participation in research, there are surprisingly few successful examples of collaboration between farmers and researchers (Farrington and Martin, 1988). A generation of farming systems research-extension (FSRE) projects


1Paper prepared for presentation at the Ninth Annual Farming Systems ResearchExtension Symposium, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, October 9-11, 1989.
Mills is a graduate student in agricultural economics at the University of California, Berkeley; Gilbert is an Associate Research Scientist with the Center for Research on Economic Development (CRED) at the University of Michigan. Both authors were

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throughout the developing world have illustrated the difficulties of institutionalizing FSRE in general and farmer participation in particular (MerrillSands, et al., 1989). To sustain substantive farmer involvement requires resources and motivation that are not consistent with the endowments of most national research systems outside the episodic help in the form of special projects. This is especially true of small, low-resource countries such as The Gambia where efforts to institutionalize on-farm research within the research services have met with limited success.
Gilbert and Sompo-Ceesay (1988) argue that research systems in small and/or low-resource countries should focus their efforts on technology adaptation and testing while relying primarily on International Agricultural Research Centers (IARCs) and larger research services in adjacent countries to supply a range of technologies. Further, the formal research activities for these small systems must be focused on relatively few priorities. Collaboration between researchers and farmers in the identification and testing oftechnologies becomes doubly important in small research systems since informal farmer experimentation can include commodities and subjects that it would not be possible to deal with otherwise.
This paper examines farmer experimentation, innovation, and adaptation at the farm level and proposes approaches to improve the linkages between formal and informal research activities in The Gambia. The second section reports on a 1988 survey of farmer innovations, adaptations, and adoptions carried out in two extension districts in the eastern part of the country. The results provide additional evidence of farmer participation in informal adaptive research. Further, the farmer-to-farmer spread of innovations, especially from neighboring Senegal, rivals the importance of formal research and extension efforts in promoting technologies that increase agricultural productivity. The third section reviews the factors influencing farmer innovations and agricultural change in The Gambia and makes suggestions on how research and development agencies might encourage these processes. The fourth section proposes the expanded use of existing farmer groups for the technology testing on farm. Testing of innovations by these farmer groups may be a resource-efficient approach to expanding the topic and commodity coverage

agricultural economists with the Gambian Agricultural Research and Diversification (GARD) Project, in the Department of Agricultural Research (DAR), The Gambia, at the time the research associated with this paper was conducted. The authors wish to express their appreciation to Joan Robertson, Josh Posner, and Jim Sumberg for their helpful comments.


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AGRICULTURAL INNOVATION BY GAMBIAN FARMERS 49

of the research services. Testing may provide a basis for sustainable farmerbased, agricultural-technology development in small research systems such as The Gambia's.


TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE IN GAMBIAN FARMING SYSTEMS

Gambian farming systems have changed significantly in the past two to three decades in response to opportunities and changes in the availability of resources such as land, labor, and rainfall. The findings presented in this section are based on background data and a 1988 survey of innovations and adoptions by Gambian farmers for two extension districts in eastern Gambia: Kuntaur District Extension Circle (DEC) in MacCarthy Island DivisionNorth (MID-N) and Giroba Kunda DEC on the south bank of Upper River Division (URD). Innovations, adaptations, and adoptions recorded in the survey are discussed in relation to the changes in resource availabilities.
Both Kuntaur and Giroba Kunda DECs adjoin divisional-administrative and commercial centers (the towns of Kuntaur and Basse). This, in varying degrees, contributes to a scarcity of land in both areas. Further, population pressures are generally high in both areas, although growth rates are higher (2.7 percent as compared to 2.0 percent between 1973 and 1983) in Fulladu East (the district encompassing the Giroba Kunda DEC) than in Niani district where Kuntaur is located. The difference is partly a function of migration, with MID-N being an area of particularly high net out-migration to urban centers and areas on the south bank where land availability and rainfall are generally more favorable (Colvin, 1981). Labor availability during the peak planting- and weeding-periods is cited as a major constraint to the expansion of agricultural production in both areas (Boughton, et al., 1987).
In some areas, suitable land is becoming increasingly scarce, although in MID-N it is still relatively abundant near the River Gambia (Boughton, et al., 1988). In areas of land scarcity, notably in the uplands away from the river, farmers continue to reduce fallow periods and to increase fertilizer use to sustain yields. Fertilizer consumption in The Gambia is currently among the highest in tropical Africa.


McIntyre (1985) estimated fertilizer use in The Gambia at 16.43 kg/ha during the period 1978-82, the third-highest rate in sub-Saharan Africa. In 1988 this had risen to 20 kg/ha.


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Farmers have responded to labor constraints by acquiring and using draft implements, which have diffused rapidly throughout the area in the last twenty years. Currently, approximately 80 percent of the dabadas (households) in URD and MID-N own at least one draft animal and one or more pieces of equipment (Sumberg and Gilbert, 1988). An even higher percentage has access to animal traction for a range of operations including land preparation, seeding, weeding, and lifting of groundnuts. Although efforts of the extension services to promote ox-plowing in The Gambia undoubtedly served to sensitize farmers to the merits of animal traction, the phenomenal spread ofequine traction has occurred largely through farmer initiative. Donkeys and horses outnumber draft oxen in URD and MID-N by more than two to one (Sumberg and Gilbert, 1988).
In addition to adopting animal traction, several farmers have adapted externally introduced implements and tillage systems to the local environment. In Giroba Kunda the two most commonly reported modifications were reduction of the blade area on single moldboard plows for compatibility with donkey draft, and removal of the back two shoes on weeders along with construction of one large front shoe for more rapid weeding. A few area blacksmiths also construct implements of prices significantly below those of implements sold by government-supported cooperatives.
A number of farmers in both areas have adopted a care, or square, pattern of spacing for coarse grains, which makes it possible to fully mechanize weeding operations through cross-row cultivation. This innovation is reported to have first appeared in the area about three to five years ago and has diffused widely in Giroba Kunda DEC. The practice is present, but less common, in Kuntaur, where farmers not adopting the practice reported that the labor saved in weeding barely compensated for the additional labor and draft requirements for planting. This difference might reflect a greater importance attached to planting labor time in Kuntaur, which has lower rainfall and a shorter growing season than Giroba Kunda.
Another recently adopted method of weed control in each of the villages surveyed in Giroba Kunda DEC was the use of herbicides. Herbicides have not been promoted in The Gambia since they were felt to be beyond the means of most farmers. However, a few relatively well-to-do farmers have acquired the sprayers and chemicals from Senegal.
In the Kuntaur DEC, the most common implement package is a weeder/ seeder combination, and the most common draft source is the donkey. In terms of tillage, a number of farmers direct-seed a substantial portion of their


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fields and then mechanically weed with a weeder (sine hoe/occidental hoe). Farmers have made a number of modifications to the weeder to increase its effectiveness under this system, including increasing the area of the weeder's front shoe to allow wider between-row weeding, and increasing the height of the hoes on certain types of weeders to prevent weeds from jamming in the carriage. A number of modifications have also been made to enable the weeder to create ridges earthingng up")'after seeding. In addition, farmers in the area have access to an active implement market in central Senegal.
Perhaps the most significant change in The Gambia has been the decline in rainfall. In Basse, adjoining Giroba Kunda, the length of the rainy season has decreased by an average of 14 days in the past 25 years, and the total precipitation during the "humid period" has decreased from an average of 1,039 mm (1950-65) to 765 mm (1974-87) (Wright, 1988). The newrainfall pattern has a bimodal distribution, with an increased probability of midseason drought.
The rainfall in Kuntaur is significantly lower despite the fact that it is less than 150 km to the west and slightly to the north of Giroba Kunda. Although comparable data for 1950-65 is not available, between 1974-87, rainfall during the "humid period" averaged only 455 mm with a growing season of 85 days, and farmers indicate this is substantially below rainfall levels twenty years ago (Wright, 1988). Mid-season droughts are even more pronounced and can have profound effects on crop development.
With changes in the rainfall pattern, farmers now plant all crops as soon as possible after the rains begin. The closer planting dates, and thus weedings, accentuated labor bottlenecks. This is especially true in Kuntaur where farmers have had to forego land preparation for direct seeding. In addition, many farmers have adopted tillage techniques such as "earthing up" to conserve soil moisture.
With the decreased growing season, several crop varieties are no longer well adapted to the environment and farmers have been forced to actively experiment with new, early maturing varieties. Farmers in Giroba Kunda are experimenting with three varieties of groundnuts, two of which have come from Senegal and have been diffused from village to village among farmers. The third variety was given to farmers by an extension agent from Action Aid, a nongovernmental organization (NGO) operating in the area. Two of the varieties were described as attractive because they were early maturing while the third was described as higher yielding than the standard 120-day variety used by farmers.


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Giroba Kunda farmers also mentioned experimenting with cereal varieties including sorghum, findo (Digitaria exilis), maize, and rice. The sorghum, obtained by farmers from southern Senegal, was described as early maturing and high yielding, but susceptible to pest attack. The findo variety, brought from Mali by a farmer, was described as early maturing. Farmers obtained maize varieties from Senegal, the Department of Agriculture, and an area NGO. All the varieties mentioned, however, were no longer available due to poor germination or pest attack during the first several years of testing. Rice varieties, like maize, had been obtained from several different sources and tested by farmers in specific ecologies. A number of rice varieties have been adopted from these tests. Finally, Catholic Relief Services, an NGO, recently has successfully promoted sesame, and many farmers are incorporating it into their farming system.
In Kuntaur, farmers consider early maturity by far the most important criterion in variety testing. Two early maturing varieties of groundnuts have been tested. Both were obtained from farmers in Senegal and one has been widely adopted by farmers in the area. For cereals, one farmer reported testing an improved variety of early millet obtained in Senegal, which failed because of late planting. Two varieties of maize were tested in Kuntaur: a mediumduration variety from the Senegalese Department of Agriculture and a longduration variety from the Gambian research and extension services. Farmers reported growing the medium-duration variety because it gave high yields, along with a short-duration variety to assure some yields in low-rainfall years. Because of inadequate rainfall, few farmers were willing to grow the longduration variety despite its recognized potential for higher yields. For rice, women in two villages reported testing new varieties. One was obtained from an area NGO (Action Aid) and adopted by all the women in the village. The other variety (early maturing and yielding well in either flooded or nonflooded conditions) was obtained from the area district agricultural coordinator, and was adopted by a number of women in that village. Finally, sesame is being promoted by Catholic Relief Services in Kuntaur, but adoption of the crop is lower than in the Giroba Kunda area.
Beyond experimenting with different varieties, farmers in both areas continue to adjust cropping patterns in light of changing circumstances. The decline in rainfall has led to a shift from sorghum to shorter-duration millets in MID where Kuntaur is located. This may also represent a response to the declining soil fertility associated with the reduction in fallowing because early millet performs relatively well under low-fertility conditions compared to


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other cereals. By contrast, in URD where Giroba Kunda is located, early millet is almost absent, partly because higher rainfall favors the longer-cycle cereals, and pests, particularly birds, pose serious problems for unprotected early maturing crops.
In conclusion, the study results illustrate the ongoing process of informal experimentation by farmers in response to environmental challenges and opportunities. The examples highlight several points:

1. Agricultural technologies exist in a very dynamic environment,
2. Farmers are responding to changes in their environment by rapidly experimenting with and adopting new agricultural technologies,
3. Farmers obtain new agricultural technologies from a number ofsources, including other farmers in The Gambia and Senegal, NGOs, and government agricultural services in both The Gambia and Senegal.

Finally, and perhaps of most importance for the research services, the informal testing of technologies provides valuable insights into farmers' concerns and the specific criteria they use in assessing possible improvement measures.


FACTORS INFLUENCING THE PROCESS OF TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE
Several factors influence the pace and nature of technological change among Gambian farmers, including sociocultural factors, availability of inputs, government policies, and linkages with sources of innovations. This section discusses the importance of each of these factors and suggests ways in which Gambian research services and development agencies can foster experimentation by Gambian farmers.

Sociocultural Factors
A broad range of sociocultural factors affect the pace of technological change among different groups ofGambian farmers. Prominent among these are gender, ethnicity, and income levels.
Gender: In The Gambia, gender determines the division of agricultural labor and crops grown. In addition, it affects access to new technologies. However, gender divisions are not static and new technologies sometimes serve to accelerate the breakdown of such divisions. For example, von Braun and Webb (1989) found the introduction of a centralized rice-irrigation


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scheme in MID-South had the unforeseen consequence of turning rice production from a private women's crop into a communal crop. As a consequence, women expanded cultivation of private, upland cash crops.
Several development agencies are workingwith groups ofwomen, especially in the areas ofanimal traction, horticulture, and rice production. These efforts have been largely geared toward promotion of existing technologies, but recently extended to include evaluations by women through on-farm, farmermanaged trials. Women's groups, traditionally used in rice production, are proving to be effective forums for organizing on-farm testing programs. Farmer participation can substantially increased by holding regular meetings with such groups to evaluate current tests and discuss future tests that might meet women's demands for new technologies.
Ethnicity: Discussions of agricultural systems in The Gambia often refer to different levels of agricultural technologies among ethnic groups. However, ethnicity per se is often less important than the range of factors associated with a particular ethnic group, including language, linkages with sources of innovations, and resource availability, particularly land. Long-term residents of The Gambia (primarily Mandinkas and Jolas) are likely to have access to more and better-quality land than the more recent migrants, which include a preponderance ofWolofs and Fulas. On the other hand, family and linguistic ties with Senegal may increase access to external innovations and partially explain the relatively high levels of mechanization found in many Wolof communities on the North Bank.
In contrast to other African countries, ethnic barriers in The Gambia do not substantially inhibit the diffusion of technologies. This improves the potential for farmer-to-farmer linkages and will be discussed further under "Linkages with Sources of Innovations."
Income levels: Perhaps the single most important sociocultural factor influencing the pace of technological change is income. Many innovations are simply out of reach of poorer farm families. As with ethnicity, differences in income levels reflect complex factors that collectively explain why some farmers are more successful than others. These factors include status in the community, resource availability (land, animal traction, labor), management skills, and involvement in non-farm activities.
Technical change is often biased with regard to income distribution. Technologies developed by the research services (domestic and external) tend to favor the resource endowments of the more well-to-do members of the community. Promotion efforts also gravitate toward the higher-income


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groups, which are most capable of adopting technical change.
Credit programs and subsidies can improve the access of low-resource farmers to improved inputs, but experiences in The Gambia suggest that such interventions do not lead to increases in earnings. By contrast, farmer experimentation and farmer networks can be effective in identifying and adapting innovations suitable for low-resource farmers. There are a number of examples of innovations spreading without the support of credit programs (for example, equine traction).

Availability of Inputs
The supply of agricultural inputs within The Gambia is constrained in part by the lack of a fully developed private market (Langan, 1987). Many new technologies require a reliable input supply to be feasible on a sustained basis. Within The Gambia, however, the most commonly used agricultural inputs are currently marketed through the Gambian Cooperative Union where lack of timeliness of supply and responsiveness to market demands are sometimes substantial factors in inhibiting use (von Braun & Puetz, 1987).
The current study found that Senegalese markets were a major source of new technologies. Development agencies can facilitate farmers' procurement of inputs by providing technical as well as market information on specific inputs available in Senegal and by facilitating the establishment of private input markets within the Gambia. Increased farmer-to-farmer contact can also enhance knowledge of input availability and contribute to a more effectively operating input market.

Policies
Government policies governing trade, price levels, exchange rates, and subsidies can affect the attractiveness of different commodities and innovations. For example, government policies on trade can restrict the availability of imported inputs and effectively put certain technologies out of reach of most farmers. Subsidies can increase the attractiveness of certain inputs, but deter the development of free markets. In the past, availability has been more important than price levels in influencing the use of agricultural inputs (Langan, 1987). The policies associated with the Economic Recovery Program (ERP), however, have let private market prices prevail. It is hoped that improved availability, through privatization of input markets, will more than offset the removal of subsidies and lead to a net increase in the use of agricultural inputs.


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In terms of external markets, Gambian farmers currently benefit from relatively unrestricted access to Senegalese farmers and their input markets. Government policies should support, not restrict, cross-border trade in agricultural technologies.

Linkages with Sources of Innovation
The Gambia is well situated to benefit from technologies developed in neighboring countries, particularly Senegal. In addition, The Gambia has rainfall patterns similar to substantial tracts of other countries, which are served by a network of regional, national, and international agricultural research institutions. These institutions are valuable sources of information on a range of potential improvements. Although research linkages with development agencies and extension are important, enhancing the effectiveness of these linkages at the national level should also be a priority for a small research systems such as The Gambia's.
As the results indicate, farmers' linkages to other area farmers provide sources of innovations. Most farmers have relatives in Senegal and other countries of the region, which aids in the importation of innovations and adaptations to The Gambia. Starkey (1986) and Sumberg and Gilbert (1988) suggest such linkages with Senegal played an important role in the diffusion of animal-traction technologies. The results of this study have documented a number of other technical innovations and adaptations which have followed this route from Senegal.
Development agencies might assist farmer-to-farmer linkages in a number of ways, including exchanges between farmer groups in different parts of the country. Further, several of the NGOs operating in The Gambia also have activities in Senegal and other neighboring countries with whom exchanges might be arranged, especially where farmers share a common language. Such exchanges might include representatives of one village group spending an extended period of time in another village to demonstrate a specific technique that had been developed/adopted in the first village.
This section has discussed some of the critical factors in the process of technical change. It has also made a number of suggestions as to how this process can be enhanced. The final section incorporates these suggestions into an approach for linking farmer groups, development agencies, and research services to promote technical change in a manner that addresses the strengths and constraints of each group.


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IMPLICATIONS FOR ON-FARM RESEARCH IN THE GAMBIA


Evolution of On-Farm Research (OFR) in The Gambia
During the past decade, there have been a number of attempts to involve farmers and extensionists in OFR in The Gambia. These include the Demonstration Trials Program supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization's Fertilizer Use Project, and two U.S. Agency for International Development-supported projects: the Mixed Farming Project which focused on maize, forage, and range management, and the Gambian Agricultural Research and Diversification (GARD) Project which sought to improve onstation and on-farm research within the agricultural research services. The GARD Project supported the establishment of four Farming Systems Research Pilot Areas in 1986 with two regional steering committees composed of representatives of research and extension.
A review of these efforts through 1987 suggests that they made only limited progress in developing a sustainable approach to OFR (Gilbert, Posner, and Sumberg, 1989). The Pilot Areas program in 1986 made demands on the researchers' time that were not compatible with their other research responsibilities, which included a range of on-station trials. Collaboration between the research and extension services of the Department of Agriculture within the context of the Demonstration Trials program was de-emphasized beginning in the 1987 season when the research service opted to focus its offstation activities in four locations or cluster sites.
The cluster-sites program marked an increase in the quality and quantity of researcher involvement in OFR because the research programs assumed direct responsibility for the execution as well as the planning of specific activities. Most OFR at the clusters consisted of researcher-managed trials and surveys focused on specific commodities and issues. There were some very productive interactions with farmers and development agencies, notably in the cases of the rice and groundnut research activities in the West and the fertility management studies in the East (Mills and Senghore, 1989). This work collectively contributed to a better understanding of farmer constraints and objectives as well as laying the foundations for promotional programs now in progress and further research on specific technologies that address farmers' needs.
In spite of some accomplishments, there were a number of difficulties with


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the cluster approach. The geographic and subject-matter coverage of OFR at the clusters was limited by the resource and manpower constraints of the research system as a whole. Problems included (1) overcommitment of available manpower; (2) logical constraints, particularly transport; and (3) lack of an incentive structure for off-station research. A disproportionate amount of research was conducted by technical assistance staff supported by GARD and the Overseas Development Administration (ODA). Interactions with extension were limited and linkages were further weakened with the creation of a separate Department of Agricultural Research (DAR) in mid1988. In the face of continuing difficulties in fulfilling their respective primary tasks, efforts at collaboration between research and extension in the clusters often aggravated tensions associated with resource constraints and differences in objectives. By the end of 1988, the sustainability of the cluster concept, as originally envisaged, was being increasingly questioned (Bojang, 1989).

The Farmer Innovation and Technology Testing (FITT) Program
In 1988-89, there was a major effort to improve collaboration between research and development agencies. The collaboration stemmed from the following factors. First, as mentioned above, some technologies were ready for promotion or at least on-farm, pre-promotional testing. Second, development agencies, including NGOs and extension, were interested in trying innovations and, in a few instances, had initiated their own testing programs. Third, the newly-formed National Agricultural Research Board (NARB) and donor agencies supporting the research services called for an increased flow of innovations to farmers and greater collaboration with development agencies (NARB, 1989).
NGOs in particular were receptive to expanded collaboration with research in OFR. NGO operational philosophies generally favored farmer participatory approaches to many activities. In addition, most NGOs operate with farmer groups which, in varying degrees, are the key decision-making and implementing bodies at the village level.
In an attempt to involve farmers, development agencies, and the research devices in a program of technology testing, the Cropping Systems/Resource Management (CSRM) program of DAR, in collaboration with the Research Extension Liaison Unit (RELU), launched the Farmer Innovation and Technology Testing (FITT) program in April and May of 1989. A key feature was the involvement of existing farmer groups, which had been formed by extension and NGOs for promotion and development purposes, in the testing


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of innovations. The concept was stimulated in part by the experiences of the Agricultural Technology Improvement Project (ATIP) in Botswana, which has been using farmer groups for technology testing for several years (Norman, et al., 1988), and in part by the 1988-89 CSRM study of farmer innovations, adaptations, and adoptions of agricultural technologies. FITT is designed to enhance the effectiveness of farmer efforts by making available, through the research services, a wider range of improved practices to a network of farmer groups for on-farm testing.
FITT addresses past conflicts between the objectives of research and development agencies in three ways. First, farmer groups and development agencies decide what technologies they wish to test. The research services offer suggestions in the form of a list of technologies for which information and inputs are available. Second, farmer modifications and innovations in relation to the technologies will be encouraged. Finally, the role of the research services will be to provide information, associated inputs, and assistance in the design, monitoring, and evaluation of results. Research per se is not the primary objective of the proposed activity; rather, it is to assist farmers and development agencies in evaluating potential technologies.
Development agencies were contacted by representatives of the research programs and the Research/Extension Liaison Unit to determine their interest in participating in the FITT program. Discussions with individual development agencies focused on the following issues:

1. Appropriate objectives for both research and development agencies in an on-farm testing program,
2. Existence and nature of farmer groups that might participate in the innovation testing,
3. Innovations that seem most appropriate for these groups and agencies, 4. Availability of development agency staff who can assume responsibility for working with the farmer groups in technology testing,
5. Training and orientation programs for development agency staff and farmer groups,
6. Resource requirements and possible sources of support for the farmer testing program.

Following the initial set of discussions, a workshop was held and detailed plans were developed with participating agencies. Based on the recommendations of the research services, individual development agencies met with the different technical scientists of the research services and developed lists of


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technologies to present to their farmer groups for possible on-farm testing. From those lists, the development agencies and farmer groups met and made the final choice of technologies. Table 1 gives the technologies chosen by each development agency.
The designs of all tests were kept very simple so they could be easily implemented and managed by farmers. Intercropping tests were implemented on an operational portion of farmers' fields, while variety trials were superimposed on plots within fields. Tests of fruit trees provided for their gardens by the research services.
Finally, monthly meetings were scheduled between farmer groups, development agencies, and research, to discuss:

1. Progress in implementing on-farm tests,
2. Evaluation of performance of technologies in tests,
3. The types of technologies to be tested in coming years.

In addition, visits between farmer groups in different parts of the country, and possibly in Senegal, were planned to exchange ideas on new innovations.
During the cropping season, it is important that the research services take an active role in the monthly meetings and assist in the implementation and monitoring of the tests. Program leaders will be responsible for research participation in tests emanating from their programs. The development agencies and their farmer groups, however, will take primary responsibilities for the field activities. At the end of the season, the research services will assist development agencies in evaluation and interpretation of results, and an evaluation workshop will take place to review these results and plan for the coming season.

Issues and Prospects for Institutionalizing FIIT
The FITT program is in its first year of operation, and it is clearly too soon to pass judgment on its utility and sustainability. FITT was designed to reflect the objectives and resource constraints of both the research services and the development agencies and, thus, hopefully incorporate past lessons. Following are some of the most important considerations: (1) for a small research system, active collaboration with development agencies in OFR is possibly the best hope of finding a sustainable model; (2) linkages with farmer efforts in experimentation can substantially increase the scope and effectiveness of OFR activities. The experience with the clusters in 1987 and 1988 demonstrated that research can operate alone, but only with levels of resources and


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Table 1: Technologies to be Tested


Development Number and location Technologies
agency of farmer groups tested


Action Aid


CARITAS


Catholic Relief Services



CUSO


Department of Agricultural Services

Freedom From Hunger Campaign


Good Seed Mission


Methodist Mission


Three groups in MID





One group in Western Division



One group each in: URD, MID, and Western Division



Five groups in URD Demonstrations blocks in MID


One group in L.R. Division



One group in L.R. Division




One group in N.B. Division


Groundnut-cereal
intercropping Cereal-cowpea
intercropping
Rice hand-drawn weeders

Onion varieties and storage Fertilizer on bitter tomatos Live fencing with lime trees Staggered vegetable planting

Seed dressing on maize Sesame varieties Cassava varieties Fruit tree varieties


Maize varieties Sorghum varieties

Cowpea varieties Sorghum varieties


Findo seed Papaya varieties Live fencing with lime trees


Findo varieties Papaya varieties Cowpea varieties Cassava varieties


Grafted mangoes Citrus rootstock


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manpower that are not sustainable in the Gambian context. Collaboration with farmer groups and development agencies in OFR can enhance capacity, but this requires a mutual understanding of the objectives of all parties.
While there is general support for OFR and collaboration, FITT has generated considerable debate among researchers and extensionists. Some of the issues are specific to The Gambia and FITF, but many are familiar themes in discussions of OFR. The issues include the following:
1. Is FITT new?: Extension personnel in particular feel with some justification that FITT is not new. The Demonstration Trials program contained many of the same features, yet the research service reduced its involvement in that program in 1987. The extension service remains interested in collaboration with research in OFR, specifically as a possible component in the Block Demonstrations Program, which was launched in 1988 with support from the FAO Fertilizer Use Project. At the same time extensionists are understandably wary of researchers who come bearing OFR in new acronyms.
FITT is a new dimension to existing farmer-group activities for a number of NGOs. Further, the emphasis on farmer participation, which is given specific recognition in the title, distinguishes current activities from most other OFR efforts where researchers have tended to play the leading role. Making substantive farmer participation a reality will require a conscientious effort by all concerned during the initial years. Some possibilities in this regard are discussed in the section "Fostering Farmer Participation."
2. Direction ofFITT: An explicit objective ofFITT is to give farmers more control of OFR. As farmer groups become familiar with FITT, it is hoped they will increasingly take the initiative in seeking assistance from development agencies and research programs to address their major constraints. Simultaneously, researchers and extensionists must accept farmers as valuable collaborators in technology development.
Researchers must expect and be able to accommodate deviations from the standard protocols. This is not easy and there is a danger that researchers interest in the program will wane where they perceive the research content to be minimal. On the other hand, it is clearly not desirable for researchers to assume a dominant role in the management of the on-farm trials. Achieving a balance that will satisfy the objectives/needs of all concerned-development agencies, researchers, and farmers-will not be easy.
3. Allocation of resources within the research services: There is continuing concern among some researchers that FITT will excessively divert resources,


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specifically researcher time, away from on-station research and other forms of OFR such as researcher-managed trials. A number of the technologies that development agencies and farmer groups are requesting have not been the focus of DAR research to date, and a special effort will have to be made simply to locate information on these subjects. In short, FITT makes the hard choices on the allocation of research resources even more difficult. The NARB research-policy statement has emphasized linkages with development agencies and farmers, and the FITT program is well suited to this task (NARB, 1989). At the same time, FITT requires a functioning research service to supply it with a continuing flow of innovations for testing. In the process of screening these innovations, individual research programs will continue to exercise their discretion in determining the approaches utilized for a specific commodity or issue.
4. Higher risk of failure: As FITT tries to accelerate the transfer to technology, the risks associated with the on-farm tests increase. Researchers are understandably concerned since their reputations rest on their ability to make valid assessments of new technologies. Ideally, there would be enough capacity to adequately screen a broad range of innovations before making them available to extension and farmers. However, a small research system such as The Gambia's is unlikely to have such a capacity in the foreseeable future and must look for ways to shorten this process while preserving the integrity of the research system. Many of the innovations that go out will not be accepted by farmers, and it is important that all parties understand the nature of the risks from the outset.
5. Fostering farmer participation: The early stages of FITT make it clear that a determined effort will have to be made to substantially increase farmer participation in the identification and testing of technologies. Although virtually all development agencies favor participatory approaches in theory, most of the initial innovations to be tested were selected by the development agencies from proposals put forward by the research programs.
Among the specific mechanisms proposed or in use are (1) periodic meetings of farmer groups with researchers and development agency staff; (2) exchange of visits between farmer groups, including groups in neighboring countries; (3) providing farmers with choices of technologies and being responsive to their requests for information, even where such information may not be readily available; (4) requiring researchers and development agency staff to include farmers' assessments of technologies in their research/ development activities; and (5) giving special recognition to individuals and


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organizations with outstanding performance in this area. The meetings with the farmer groups are especially critical (Biggs, 1989; Chambers and Jiggins, 1986).
As FITT evolves, farmer groups should take larger roles in determining which technologies are to be tested. The increased contact between the groups, research, and the development agencies should enable farmers to more clearly articulate their major constraints and what types of technologies might mitigate these constraints. As noted earlier, success will depend in part on the willingness of researchers in particular to allow farmer groups to determine the direction of their testing.
6. Sustainability: The generally positive response to FITT by the development agencies, particularly the NGOs, is encouraging. The NGOs collectively have very limited research capacity at present. If FITT is successful, however, they are likely to progressively expand and internalize OFR activities. In the process, they will draw primarily upon the research and extension services for additional manpower. The further erosion of the capacities of these services will likely mitigate against sustaining OFR in any form in government departments.
The Department of Agricultural Research might examine ways in which researchers can assist development agencies and receive benefits in the form ofconsultancy fees and expenses while still remaining part of the government service. There are precedents for such arrangements both in The Gambia and elsewhere. The dangers are obvious-the core responsibilities of researchers can be neglected in the face of strong incentives to work for outside agencies.
The feasibility of this approach depends on the extent to which the research services can regulate themselves in limiting the amount of time individual researchers devote to outside work and making it conditional upon satisfactory completion of their work programs. Simultaneously, the research services must continue to improve working conditions and the rewards associated with the performance of those core responsibilities. Progress has been made in this direction during the past few years with improvements in compensation and the agricultural-research management system, but there is still a long way to go before the research service can arrest the continuing attrition of its most qualified staff.


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CONCLUSIONS

Dramatic changes have taken place in the farming systems of The Gambia in the past few decades in which farmer identification, testing, and dissemination of technologies have played major roles. A review of the factors affecting technological change suggests several ways that farmer participation in technology development can be enhanced. The research services, in collaboration with development agencies, have initiated a program of testing innovations with existing farmer groups, which will hopefully prove to be a workable model for OFR. Difficult decisions are needed on the allocation of resources within the research system to simultaneously allow researchers time for participation in this program while increasing the flow of innovations and improving the credibility of the service. Improvements in the conditions of service and incentives are required to attract and retain research staff in the face of increasing demand for research manpower by NGOs. Thus, sustaining OFR in any form in a small research system such as The Gambia's is inextricably interwoven with the viability of the entire system.


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Johnson, A.W. 1972. Individuality and experimentation in traditional agriculture.
Human Ecology 1: 149-159.
Langan, G.E. 1987. An assessment of agricultural input marketing in The Gambia.
Consultancy report. Banjul: USAID.
Mann, D.R. 1975. The Gambia: Land and vegetation degradation survey: The need for
land reclamation by comprehensive ecological methods. Cape St. Mary, The Gambia:
Department of Agriculture.
McIntire, J. 1985. Constraints to fertilizer use in sub-Saharan Africa. In A. Uzzo
Mokwunye, and P. Vlek, eds., Management of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers in
sub-Saharan Africa. Boston: Martinus NijhoffPublishers.
Merrill-Sands, D., P. Ewell, S. Biggs, and J. McAllister. 1989. Issues in institutionalizing
on-farm client-oriented research: A review of experiences from nine national agricultural research systems. QuarterlyJournal ofInternational Agriculture 28(3/4): 279300.
Mills, B., and T. Senghore. 1989. The cost effectiveness of fertilizer on manured and
non-manured fields. Gambia agricultural research paper. The Gambia: Department
of Agricultural Research. In press.
National Agricultural Research Board (NARB). 1989. Agricultural research policy for
The Gambia. Government of The Gambia: NARB.
Norman, D.W., D. Baker, G. Heinrich, and F. Worman. 1988. Technology development and farmer groups: Experiences from Botswana. Experimental Agriculture
24(3): 321-331.
Richards, P. 1985. Indigenous agricultural revolution: Ecology and food production in
West Africa. London: Hutchinson.
Richards, P. 1986. Coping with hunger: Hazard and experiment in and African rice
farming system. London: Allen & Unwin.
Starkey, P. 1986. Strengthening animal traction research and development in The
Gambia through networking. Consultancy report 12. Banjul: Gambian Agricultural
Research and Diversification Project.
Sumberg, J., and E. Gilbert. 1988. Draft animals and crop production in The Gambia.
Department of Livestock Services, Abulo, The Gambia.
Vermeer, D.E. 1979. The tradition of experimentation in Swidden Agriculture among
the Tiv of Nigeria. In J.M. Frazier and B.J. Epstein, eds., Appliedgeography conferences, Vol. 2. New York: SUNY-Binghamton.
von Braun, J., and D. Puetz. 1987. An African fertilizer crisis: Origin and economic
effects. Food Policy 12(4): 337-348.
von Braun, J., and P. Webb. 1989. The impact of new crop technology on the
agricultural division of labor in a West African setting. Economic Development and
Cultural Change 37(3): 513-534.
Wright, J. 1988. Evaluation of daily rainfall at the DARresearch sites. Paperpresented
to the Agricultural Research Advisory Board, April 1987, Cape St. Mary, The Gambia.


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Development and Testing of Integrative Methods to Assess Relationships between Garden Production and Nutrient Consumption by Low-Income Families'


Ingolf Gruen, Michel Beck, John S. Caldwell, and Marilyn S. Prehm2




INTRODUCTION
An implicit goal of Farming Systems Research-Extension (FSRE) projects is improving the well-being ofsmall-farm households, with anticipated benefits in food consumption and nutrition for the household members (Shaner, Philipp, and Schmehl, 1982). Examples of projects that explicitly include improved nutrition in their goals, however, are rather limited (Frankenberger, Perguin, and H'Malla, 1986; Prehm, 1987), although improved nutrition may be considered a worthwhile goal (Frankenberger, 1985; Whelan, 1982; Streeten, 1979). There may be several explanations for the paucity of integrated production-nutrition studies employing FSRE methods: (1) FSRE makes extensive use of informal data-collection techniques, derived in part from anthropological methods, in setting priorities for on-farm experiments; comparable informal techniques for assessing human nutrition are less welldeveloped; (2) onlya few techniques that link fqod production and consumption are time- and resource-efficient (Whelan, 1982).
The purpose of this project was to develop and test data collection and

1 The authors would like to acknowledge the helpful expertise of David J. Parrish and Thomas Kalb III. The help of the interview pairs and Catherine Sherwood-Nelson and James Nelson, in particular, is very much appreciated.
2 Department of Human Nutrition, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University; Department of Soil Science, North Carolina State University; Department of Horticulture and Department of Human Nutrition and Foods, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, respectively.

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analysis techniques for integrating food production and consumption in a fall garden production project with low-income households. A method for evaluating the nutritional value of garden crops was also developed and tested.


MATERIALS AND METHODS

Data collection methods were tested by developing appropriate nutrition measures to be used along with production measures in FSRE type of diagnostic procedures (Caldwell and Walecka, 1987).

Identification of Problems and Intervention Selection
Eleven low-income families with young children were contacted through a community action group assisting low-income families. Ten of these lowincome families were interviewed using the sondeo method of Hildebrand (1982) with modifications (Patton, 1980; Caldwell, Rojas, and Neilan, 1984; Gaye, Jack, and Caldwell, 1988). The research team prepared a guidesheet for each pair of interviewers on topic areas including garden production; food consumption; dietary problems; and household resources, constraints, and goals. Each sondeo interview pair, consisting of one production science and one nutrition science student, was accompanied by a local community action worker with whom the families were familiar.
After conducting the interviews, the research team compiled the data into a summary chart listing the resources, goals, problems, and constraints of all families. Results indicated that the major family goals were to increase real income by decreasing food expenditures and to add variety to the diet. The results of the sondeosled the team to propose a fall garden intervention to seven of the ten families. All families had previous summer garden experience, although none had planted fall gardens. Four families agreed to participate in the actual planting and growing of a fall garden.
For this farm-household-led trial design (Caldwell and Lightfoot, 1986), 18 cool-season vegetable crops were laid out, following standard designs for horticultural experiments, in an incomplete, random block-design across five locations (four household-managed gardens, one researcher-managed garden) with two to eight replications (Steele and Torrie, 1980). Each family selected 6 to 12 vegetables out of the 18 vegetables provided by the research team. All 18 vegetables were planted in the researcher-managed garden. Plot size per crop varied from 0.6m X 1.2m to 0.6m X 3.0m, depending on the land available. The research team supplied the seeds or transplants, fertilizer, pest-


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control material, and technical support in the implementation of the trials. Research team members helped families plan garden layouts and plant their fall gardens between the last week of August and the first week of September 1987.

Data Collection
Both consumption and production data were gathered. Consumption data were obtained by modified food-recall interviews during two periods: (1) a no-garden period after summer gardens had stopped producing and before the fall gardens started production, and (2) a fall garden production period. The mother in each household listed the amounts of each type of food consumed for the dinner meal for herself and one child. The pamphlet The Four Food Groups, Food for Fitness (Hertzler, 1986) and plastic food models were used to help respondents estimate portion sizes. The dinner meal was assessed, because the products of the garden were expected to be consumed during this meal, since adults often ate lunch away from home, and children had the benefit of school lunch programs. The number of interviews per family ranged from four to eight due to differences in levels of cooperation.
Production data were obtained by measuring yields of the 18 vegetables grown under family management by estimating the weight of the crops by volume over a 60-day harvest period (October 19 until December 17). Yields of the researcher-managed garden were determined by weighing the harvests. The yields for each vegetable were then converted to the amount of nutrients (vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron) supplied by the boiled, edible portions of the vegetable using a nutrient-composition table (Splitstoesser, 1984).

Data Analysis
Consumption data. The food-consumption information collected during recall interviews was converted to the percentages of the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) (Food and Nutrition Board, 1980; Barton, 1987) for vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron. A previous study in the same area had identified these nutrients as potentially limiting (Hertzler, Caldwell, and Teo, 1987). The percent RDA of these nutrients was averaged for each meal and each family. The dietary intake of the four nutrients (expressed as percent RDA for each family) was then compared for the two different periods using the General Linear Models program of the Statistical Analysis System (SAS) (SAS Institute, 1985).


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Production data. Garden total nutrient yield (GTNY) was calculated as a sum of the nutrient yields of the individual vegetables for each of the four nutrients. Since the families varied in number of members, a family RDA was determined for each nutrient by first converting RDA requirements of individual members of different ages and genders into male-adult-RDA equivalents. For example: the RDA for iron for a female child, age 11 to 14 equals 1.8 male adult equivalents, because the RDA for iron for an adult male is 10 mg, but the RDA for iron for a female, age 11 to 14, is 18 mg. Then the equivalents for each individual member of the family were added together. The GTNY's were divided by this family measure and the number of harvest days (60), and multiplied by 100, to obtain family adjusted garden nutrient yields (FAGNY). FAGNY values express the percent RDA of selected nutrients each family's garden supplied each day during the 60-day harvest period:
Garden total nutrient yield [mg nutrient] x 100
FAGNY =
60 [days] x Adult Male RDA [mg nutrient/day] x Family Measure

These values are given in Table 1. Correlations between FAGNY and dietary intake were calculated. Garden size and garden total nutrient yield (GTNY) were also correlated with the dietary intake data.
The garden production data were also expressed as Crop Total Nutrient Yield (CTNY) for each crop, location, and the four nutrients. The CTNYs of each crop in each garden were divided by the plot sizes and by the RDAs of the four nutrients for a male adult to obtain Crop Nutrient Yield Equivalents (CNYE).

Table 1. Garden Yields for Four Selected Nutrients Adjusted to the Family
Composition (FAGNY) over 60-Day Fall Harvest Period

Family Vitamin A Vitamin C Calcium Iron
(% RDA) (% RDA) (% RDA) (% RDA)

A 30.2 12.8 1.7 0.9
B 66.2 9.8 5.3 2.7
C 92.6 44.3 7.1 2.8
D 8.7 5.8 0.6 0.4


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Crop Total Nutrient Yield [mg nutrient]
CNYE =
Plot Size [m2] x Adult Male RDA [mg nutrient/day]

Each CNYE value represented the number of days that 1 m2 of a given experimental unit (plot with a given type of vegetable under a given household level ofmanagement) could supply 100 percent of the RDA for an adult male.
The CNYEs for the four nutrients were then summed to obtain an Overall Nutritional Completeness (ONC) value for each crop and location. Since nutrient deficiencies were not a serious problem in the study area, the CNYEs for vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron were summed without different weighting to calculate the mean (Beck, 1988). ONC then is the average number of days that a vegetable supplied 100 percent RDA. Nutrient concentration for individual crops was calculated by multiplying the crop ONC by 4, dividing it by the crop yield and multiplying by 1,000 to put the nutrient concentration on the basis of days (male equivalent RDAs) per kilogram per crop. CTNYs, CNYEs, and ONCs were analyzed using general linear models and tested for differences using Duncan's multiple range test (SAS, Institute 1985). The vegetables were ranked according to their ONC values.


RESULTS


Overall Nutritional Completeness (ONC)
Twelve of the 18 vegetables reached maturity and provided acceptable yields. Differences among crops in ONC and edible portion yields were highly significant (P .01) in the researcher-managed garden. Significant differences among crops for Crop Nutrient Yield Equivalents (CNYEs) for vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium (p .01) were found as well as significant differences among CNYE for iron (p < .05). The results of the family-managed gardens are not shown here but were similar to those of the researcher-managed garden. Mean separation by Duncan's multiple range test for the crops grown in the researcher-managed garden are presented in Table 2. This table, in which the vegetables were ranked by their ONC values, shows the mean edible-portion yield per m2, the CNYE, and ONC values of the twelve vegetables. Chinese cabbage was significantly higher in edible-portion yields than all other vegetables grown. Pac choi and turnips had intermediate edibleportion yields and the edible-portion yields of all other vegetables were


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significantly lower. The test for differences between crops for ONC showed results different from that of the edible-portion yield analyses. For example, mustard has a significantly lower edible-portion yield than pac choi but was not lower in its ONC value.



Table 2. Ranking of 18 Vegetables for Selected Nutrients according to Crop
Nutrient Yield (CNYE) and Overall Nutritional Completeness (ONC) Number of days supplying 100% male MERDA CNYE
Vegetable (g/m2) ONC Vitamin A Vitamin C Calcium Iron

Chinese cabbage 1,731 a 24.71 a 16.09 a 4.41 ab 3.20 a 1.01 ab

Mustard 638 c 18.52 ab 11.11 ab 5.17 a 1.10 cd 1.14 a

Pac choi 1,126 b 16.08 abc 10.47 ab 2.87 abcd 2.08 b 0.66 abc

Turnip 1,179 b 15.72 abcd 7.56 bc 6.14 a 1.28 c 0.75 abc

Kale 385 c 13.58 bcd 8.53 bc 3.96 abc 0.64 de 0.45 bc

Chard 475 c 10.40 bcde 8.15 bc 1.34 bcd 0.45 e 0.46 bc

Broccoli 337 c 8.37 bcde 2.53 cd 5.21 a 0.37 e 0.26 c

Beet greens 257 c 5.42 cde 3.95 cd 0.65 bcd 0.32 e 0.50 bc

Collards 199 c 5.25 de 3.22 cd 1.52 bcd 0.38 e 0.13 c

Spinach 156 c 5.04 de 3.79 cd 0.75 cd 0.18 e 0.35 c

Radish 423 c 2.34 e T d 1.76 bcd 0.16 e 0.42 bc

Leaf lettuce 163 c 1.77 e 9.92 d 0.48 d 0.14 e 0.23 c


Note: Means separated by Duncan's Multiple Range Test, values accompanied by the
same letters are not significantly different at the 5% level.
No yield was obtained from: cauliflower, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, and
beets.
T = Trace.


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Consumption
The comparison of the dietary intake between the garden and no garden periods shows higher intakes of vitamin A (p .04) and vitamin C (p .07) in the fall garden period. Calcium and iron intakes were not significantly different in the two garden periods (p .13, p .15, respectively). The leastsquares means and standard errors of the means are shown in Table 3.
Dietary intake increased linearly with garden size during the fall garden period, whereas there was no linear relationship in the no-garden period (Figure 1). There was a significant linear relationship of garden size with vitamin C (p .02) and calcium (p .01) intake, but not for vitamin A (p .19) or iron (p 0.81) during the fall garden period (Figure 1). There was no significant linear relationship between Garden Total Nutrient Yield (GTNY) and nutrient intake.
When the garden nutrient yield adjusted for family size and composition (FAGNY) was correlated to the nutrient intake of the family, vitamin C intake showed a significant (p .02) positive linear relationship with FAGNY (Figure 2). Vitamin A, iron, and calcium showed similar but nonsignificant trends of linear increase (p .17, p .19, p .23, respectively) (Figure 2) with increasing FAGNY.


Table 3. Least Squares Mean of the Percentage (+ Standard Error)
of Recommended Dietary Allowance Consumed for Selected Nutrients during Two Time Periods

% RDA consumed
No-garden Fall-garden Probability of
Nutrient period period differences

Calcium 27.6 9.9 45.2 10.0 0.13


Iron 20.7 6.8 39.9 + 6.9 0.15


Vitamin A 42.9 28.0 124.5 28.4 0.04


Vitamin C 48.5 63.8 170.7 64.7 0.07


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DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION


The results of this particular study provide a preliminary test of selected data collection and analysis methods. The methods are discussed in relation to this particular case, and areas for further methodological work are suggested.

ONC can be used as a measure of nutrient yields to indicate the relative nutritional efficiency of garden crops. The ranking of the vegetables by ONC values is a combined indicator of yield per square meter and the nutrient concentration of each crop for selected nutrients. Therefore, a high-yielding crop with relatively poor nutritional value such as Chinese cabbage can provide higher nutrient yield than a nutritionally better balanced crop such as broccoli (see Table 2). Hence, under the specific growing conditions of the study area, growing Chinese cabbage would be preferable to growing broccoli. However, the amount of a vegetable that has to be eaten to provide


VITAMIN A


I'2<0.19
* -= 0.66
y 124.7 + ,.2x


P2< 0.53 S r 0.23
y = 67.1 1.5x


[] .--


5 10 15 20 25 30
GARDEN SIZE (W)


VITAMIN C


2< 0.29
r =.50 y = 26.3 + 1.5x z



-j


0 5


GARDEN SIZE (M2)


IRON



70 p2<0.82
r 0.04
60 y 29.9 + 0.6x 50
40 30
20 ~ 2<0.25
10 r 0.56
y = 10.1 + 0.7x 0 5 10 15 20 25 30
GARDEN SIZE (M2)



CALCIUM
70 [% RDA]

60 P2 < 0.01 60 =0.98
y = 20.6 + 1.5x 50

40 p2< 0.76
r = 0.06
30 y = 30.5 0.2x
g0 20

10

0


10 15 20 25 30 GARDEN SIZE (M2)


Figure 1. Relationship of Garden Size (m2) and the Average Family Intake
of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Iron (%RDA)


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PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION RELATIONSHIPS 75



sufficient nutrients could limit the applicability of the ONC concept. Maximum family consumption could be used as an upper limit in calculating ONC to prevent a crop with low nutrient concentration being ranked high in ONC because of yield being greater than expected consumption. Particularly in regions where the intake of specific nutrients is marginal it is important to consider nutrient concentration of a crop and not simply gross yield. In this study, none of the families reported problems using the Chinese cabbage for their meals. When particular nutrients tend to be deficient in the diet, it is also possible to give limiting nutrients a higher weight when calculating ONC.

The ONC concept may be useful for designing nutritionally efficient gardens, particularly in marginal growing areas where some knowledge about the performance of crops has been gathered previously. In addition, the nutritional potential of gardens prior to harvest can be estimated by using the ONC. Future research might test the method further by using ONC as the


VITAMIN A


p2 0.17 r 0.69 y = 58.2 + 1.3x

z

(j


80 70 12, 60 y 50

40

30

20

10


0


0 40 60 80 100

YIELD (%RDA)


VITAMIN C
f% RDA] 480 440
400
360 .02
320 r = 0.96
280 V -30.3 + It.lx
240 200
160
120 80
40

0 10 20 30 40 50

YIELD (%RDA)


Al


17.7x


0 .5 1 1.5 2 2.5 3

YIELD (%RDA)


CALCIUM
7 RDA]








p2 y = 33.8 + 3.1x




0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

YIELD (XRDA)


Figure 2. Relationship of Family-Adjusted Garden Nutrient Yield (FAGNY) (% RDA)
and the Family Intake of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Calcium, and Iron (%RDA)


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iDZ RAI 180


140 120
100 80
60
40 20
0
0 2


I',

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variable to be maximized under given garden-size constraints and minimum and maximum consumption of crops based on dietary preferences. ONC could be used to answer the question of what crop varieties should be planted and in what combinations to maximize nutritional benefits.
Similar concepts have been developed and reported in the literature. The Essential Factor of Nutritive Value of Rinno (1965), which was renamed Average Nutritive Value by Grubben (1978), describes the overall nutritive value of the crop by including protein, fiber, calcium, iron, carotene, and vitamin C in an empirical formula. Even though this empirical formula includes average requirements for these nutrients, it is inflexible when nutrient requirements vary, and it does not take into account differences in yield. The empirical formula also assumes that the nutrient contributions of vegetables constitute a fixed proportion of total nutrient in the diet. For example, it is assumed that 50 percent of the iron requirements are provided by vegetables. However, the proportion of specific nutrients supplied by vegetables may vary greatly by region.
Implicit nutritional benefits to participants may be one of the anticipated outcomes of FSRE projects (Shaner, Philipp, and Schmehl, 1982). Since the assessment of nutritional benefits, such as measurement of nutritional status, is laborious, an improvement in nutrient intake may be considered an indication that the intervention was beneficial for the participants' nutritional well-being. However, it can only be hypothesized that an improved dietary intake is a result of the intervention. In this project, the results of the dietary intake comparison indicate a significantly higher intake for two nutrients (vitamin A, vitamin C) during the fall garden period. These results are comparable to the results found by Immink, Sanjur, and Colon, (1981) who reported higher nutrient intakes for vitamin A and vitamin C but not for iron or calcium ofhomemakers growing a garden. Solon et al. (1979) also reported higher vitamin A intakes with garden production but did not find higher vitamin A plasma levels. Such results are at least partial support for the positive nutritional benefits of gardens to participants. However, in this particular study, it is difficult with the lack ofa control group and the small sample size to establish a causal relationship.
While all measures of garden production correlated positively with dietary intake, the correlation between family-adjusted production (FAGNY) and dietary intake was the strongest. While garden size is a crude indicator for production, garden size was more strongly correlated with nutrient intake than with total nutrient yields of the gardens. Using the family-adjusted


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production measure (FAGNY), the analyses showed a statistically.significant relationship between production and dietary intake for vitamin C. The significant increase of vitamin C consumption during fall garden harvest is likely to be the result of the increased availability of fresh vegetables from the garden.
For calcium and iron, neither a significant increase in dietary intake nor a strong relationship between production and dietary intake was found. These findings are not surprising since the majority of the crops grown were relatively poor sources of both nutrients (see Table 1).
No statistically significant relationship was found between vitamin A consumption and garden production, even though vitamin A consumption was significantly higher during the fall garden harvest period. There are several possible explanations for the poor correlation:
1. It is possible that the vitamin A production of the garden did not influence the dietary intake of vitamin A by the families. Considering that the garden supplied substantial amounts of vitamin A and contributed to the families' diets (see Table 1), this simple explanation seems the least plausible.
2. One family had a very high vitamin A intake but low vitamin A garden yields (see Figure 2 and Table 1). With a small sample size, a single divergent data point could easily mask likely correlations. The divergence can likely be due to additional sources of vitamin A not derived from the garden. Since no economic analyses were undertaken, it is not possible to make reference to differences in purchasing power among families, which might have influenced the results.
3. The differences among the crops in yields for vitamin C (range = 3.93) were much smaller than for vitamin A (range = 16.09) (Table 2). This suggests the vitamin C yield of a garden was less dependent on the crops planted than the vitamin A yield was. A small garden with high-yielding plants such as Chinese cabbage and mustard might not yield much less vitamin A than a much larger garden in which more but lower-yielding plants such as broccoli or spinach are planted.
This study illustrates the use ofregression analyses to describe the relationship between production and consumption. However, the relationships of garden production and dietary consumption are not fully consistent with the results of the dietary intake comparison. Vitamin A and vitamin C consumption is significantly higher in the harvest period. However, the relationship between production and consumption is significant only for vitamin C but not for vitamin A. In this study, dietary intake increased significantly for only two of


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the four nutrients studied, whereas other projects with garden interventions show significant increases in the intake of all the nutrients considered in this study (Gershon, 1985). It is important to note that the families involved in the present study had adequate dietary intakes during the no-garden period. Therefore, the gardens may have been budget gardens, only supplementing purchased food supplies or replacing them with garden staples rather than making major contributions to the total household food supply (Nifiez, 1985). Other studies have shown that growing a home vegetable garden can decrease food expenditures rather than improve dietary intake (Utzinger and Connolly, 1978).
The principal technique used for analyses in this study, linear regression, can be useful in evaluating the impact of a garden on consumption: the stronger the relationship (higher r2) the greater the expected impact. A weak relationship implies either limited impact or that the garden produce replaces purchased food rather than being used for additional intake. Using this technique, one can describe the relationship of a garden intervention and dietary intake. Taking family composition into account is important, because the use of the crops and the distribution of the nutrients within the household depend on the family structure, and nutrient requirements vary by gender and age.
No reference values exist for correlations of garden yields and dietary intakes. The observations for this study can be used as a baseline for future studies with these or similar households in the area. With reference values from well-controlled studies, which can establish relationships under more controlled conditions, it would be possible to more clearly evaluate the impact of garden interventions. Instead of assessing the dietary intake during both periods, the pre-intervention and the intervention period, only the intake during the intervention period would need to be assessed. The strength of the relationship between production and consumption would then be used to evaluate nutritional benefits of the garden. This would decrease project costs and require less time and cooperation of the families in collecting dietary data.
However, it is not possible to distinguish between seasonal and garden effects on dietary intake due to lack of a control group. Additional research is needed to establish the appropriateness of regression analyses in assessing the relationship between production and consumption and to further test the usefulness of the technique for partially substituting dietary intake assessments. Future studies should use larger sample sizes and control for variables, such as seasonality. An economic analysis might also be useful to better describe


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the household uses of the garden. This is of particular importance in cases where no nutrient deficiencies are expected. The technique may be more useful in developing countries where a garden is often the primary source of food and nutrients (Nifiez, 1985), and not a strategy for economizing (Utzinger and Connolly, 1978).


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Splittstoesser, W.E. 1984. Vegetable growing handbook, 2d ed. New York: The AVI
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Steele, R.G., and J.H. Torrie. 1980. Principles and procedures ofstatistics, 2d ed. New
York: McGraw-Hill Book Company.
Streeten, P. 1979. From growth to basic needs. Finance and Development 16(3):28-31. Utzinger, J.D., and H.E. Connolly. 1978. Economic value ofa home vegetable garden.
Plant Science 13(2):148-149.


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Farming Systems and Adoption of New Agricultural Technologies: An Economic Evaluation of New Sorghum Cultivars in Southern Honduras'

Miguel A. IApez-Pereira, Timothy G. Baker, John H. Sanders, and Dan H. Meckenstock'




INTRODUCTION

The Honduran government, with the cooperation of several international aid organizations, has tried to improve the income and nutritional condition of small farmers in the southern region of the country for many years. Attempts are being made to bring several new agricultural technologies to small farmers in the region. The most important of these technologies are new droughtresistant, high-yielding crop cultivars; moderate levels of chemical and organic fertilizer; and the use of improved hillside soil conservation techniques. The Ministry of Natural Resources of Honduras (MNR), in collaboration with the International Sorghum and Millet CRSP (INTSORMIL), has released three new sorghum cultivars since 1983. These cultivars have shown good potential for adoption since they have produced high grain and forage yields, resistance to diseases, and good tortilla quality in experimental station trials and on-farm demonstration plots during the last three years. (Meckenstock, G6mez, and Palma, 1987; G6mez, et al., 1989).
The U.S. Agency for International Development in Honduras (AID/H) has been working closely with the MNR to introduce new agricultural

1 Paper presented at the Ninth Annual Farming Systems Research-Extension Symposium, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, October 9-11, 1989. This research was conducted as part of the dissertation requirements for the Ph.D. degree in agricultural economics, Purdue University, and was partially funded by International Sorghum and Millet (INTSORMIL) CRSP, USAID/HONDURAS, and the Ministry of Natural Resources of Honduras.
2 Research Assistant, Associate Professor, and Professor, respectively, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, and Principal Scientist INTSORMIL/ Honduras, Escuela Agricola Panamericana, Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

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techniques to improve basic cereal yields and, at the same time, prevent further erosion on the hillside soils of the south (MNR, 1986). To that effect, the Natural Resource Management Project (NRMP) was created in 1982, funded jointly by AID/H and the Honduran government through MNR. The main objective of the project is to develop and release technologies aimed at achieving a more efficient use of the land by small farmers. It promotes the use of techniques to control the process of soil erosion and destruction of forests and watersheds caused by traditional, usually inefficient methods of cultivation.
Other Honduran government agencies, through policies and regulations, are also trying to improve the income level of small farmers in Honduras. Minimum commodity prices set by the Honduran Institute of Agricultural Marketing (IHMA); limited credit for cereal production by the National Bank of Agricultural Development (BANADESA); input price subsidies; and technical assistance through extension agencies are some of the programs that have been implemented.
Although the efforts to make these technologies and policies available to small farmers during the last decade have required substantial amounts of capital and human resources, their actual or potential impact on the income of the farmers has not been measured. Therefore, there exists a need to evaluate the impact of these technologies, as well as the relevant government policies, on the income of poor, small farmers of the south. This study will evaluate the potential impact on the income of small farmers in southern Honduras, of the new technologies being introduced by MNR in collaboration with AID/H and INTSORMIL, and the possible impact of several government policies on the potential for adoption of these technologies.
An economic study of this kind is important in several ways. It can provide valuable information to agricultural researchers, administrators, extension agents, and policymakers. The availabilityofthis information can also contribute to the improvement of small farmer income through the development of research and extension programs and government policies that take into account the conditions faced by the farmers and the factors that affect their decision-making process. It could also suggest aspects of these programs that should be emphasized or de-emphasized, and alternative ways to make them more efficient in improving the livelihood of small farmers. The remainder of the paper is organized as follows: first, the objectives of the study are stated. Then, the southern region of Honduras and the general characteristics of the environment that small farmers face there are described. The next section


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discusses the new agricultural technologies being promoted in the southern region. The paper then presents the procedure followed to develop the economic model and the data used. The results of the model under both scenarios (with and without the new sorghums) are discussed next. Emphasis is placed on the income and total cereal-production impact of the two scenarios and the main constraints that influence the level of the new technologies in the optimal crop combinations for the farmer. The last section presents the conclusions derived from the analysis done so far. Policy implications from these preliminary results are then drawn.


OBJECTIVES
The general objective of this research is to determine the potential impact of the new technologies introduced by MNR/INTSORMIL, and NRMP/AID, and the effects ofseveral government agricultural policies, on the productivity and income of small farmers in southern Honduras. The basic economic and consumption situation of the small farmer under his/her traditional system of cultivation will be compared to the scenario where the farmer has the new technologies as alternatives in the set of crop combinations that can be chosen.
The specific objectives of the study are:
1. To gain a better understanding of the way small farmers in southern Honduras make decisions regarding their choice of crops and other agricultural activities, as well as, their risk attitude and its effect on crop choice; that is, to understand their basic traditional farming systems.
2. To determine the potential effect of the new technologies being introduced by MNR/INTSORMIL and NRMP/AID, on the level of grain production and income of small farmers in southern Honduras.
3. To determine the effect of government agricultural policies, such as credit and input/output subsidies, on the potential for adoption of the new technologies and on small farmers' incomes.

For the first objective, the research approach will be to use a farm-level, mathematical-programming model to characterize the decision-making process of a representative small farmer in the region. The approach will determine the optimal sequence and mix of activities that maximize the farmer's expected utility of ending cash balances, or some other suitable objective, given financial, market, labor, land, and minimum cereal-consumption constraints.
Then, to meet the second objective, the model will be expanded to include


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the new sorghum cultivars developed by MNR/INTSORMIL as part of the alternatives the farmer has available. The results of this second model should indicate if the optimal portfolio of activities for the farmers includes the new sorghum technologies. The second model will then be expanded further to include the same activities but with the use of soil conservation structures on the hillside lands. The potential income effect of these new technologies will be determined by comparing the expected value of grain production for the different models under each scenario. Sensitivity analysis will be used to estimate how changes in some of the relevant agricultural policies, especially input/output prices, affect the attractiveness of the new technologies, as well as their impact on the income of the small farmers. This procedure will lead to the third objective.
Adoption of the new technologies is hypothesized to increase farm income. Factors affecting the adoption of the new technologies are expected to include their level of profitability and risk as perceived by the farmers; the availability of complementary inputs such as fertilizer, labor, and land; capital and credit availability; and complementary government policies. Government policies that facilitate farmers' access to inputs at low prices, and to markets to sell their grain at better prices, are expected to provide incentives for adoption. The proportion of new technologies in the optimal crop mix is expected to be larger when these policies are in effect. The farmers' objectives are expected to be characterized by the maximization of some utility function of cash income and the avoidance of risk levels above some minimum, after a minimum cereal-consumption level for the family has been met.


SOUTHERN HONDURAS
The area classified as southern Honduras by MNR comprises the departments of Choluteca and Valle. The main city in the region is Choluteca with a population of80,000 and located 75 miles south ofthe capital city, Tegucigalpa. The region covers an area of 2,800 m2 and has a population of 520,000. It presents a variety of climatic conditions, with altitudes from 0 to 1,600 m above sea level and average annual rainfall from 1,000 to 2,900 mm. Most of the rainfall, at least 90 percent in all weather stations considered, occurs during the six-month rainy season that extends from May through October (MNR, 1985).
As in the rest of the country, the main activity in the southern region is agriculture. There are two distinct agricultural sectors. One is the large


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commercial farms that occupy the rich land of the valleys where sugarcane, rice, cotton, and watermelons are produced. This agriculture is highly intensive and mechanized. The other sector is composed of the small subsistence farmers on the hillsides whose main activity is the production of maize and sorghum, mostly for home consumption. More than 56 percent of the land in southern Honduras is composed of mountains with moderate to steep slopes, usually greater than 15 percent. These soils are usually thin and susceptible to erosion from runoff and poor farming practices (Chemonics International, 1985). Small farmers occupy the more accessible of these slopes and the rest are covered with pine forests. In order to identify the most important demographic and farming characteristics of the farmers in the south, an extensive survey was carried out in late 1988 on a sample of farmers living in the region. The most important results of the survey are discussed below.

Demographic Characteristics of Small Farmers
The farmers in the sample were classified into large and small based on a farm size of 5 ha. Small farmers are somewhat younger and less educated than larger ones, although both groups present very low average-education levels. The difference between the two groups is more significant in the family size and farm size categories. Family size, and especially the number of male adults, is greater in the large farmer group. All members of the household who are 12 years of age or older are considered adults. If the member is 12 years old or older and still lives at home, the most common situation is that he/she has either finished elementary school or is no longer attending school and helps full-time with household chores (females), or with the farm activities (males). Therefore, larger farmers have more family labor available for farm activities than smaller ones. This result is consistent with studies that have shown a direct relationship of farm and family size (The World Bank, 1984).
According to the size classification used here, large farms are on average over six times larger than small ones (17.0 versus 2.6 ha). Most of the small farm area is used to grow cereal crops (65 percent). In contrast, large farms use only 30 percent of their area for cereal crops, reflecting the fact that these are mostly cattle operations with most of the area used for forage crops and cattle installations. The main animals owned by farmers in the south are chickens, pigs, horses, and cattle. Chickens are raised mainly for home consumption of eggs and meat. Pigs and cattle are the "emergency fund" of the farmer. They serve as a source of wealth and cash for emergencies. Horses and donkeys are


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used mainly for transportation. Oxen are not common among small farmers on the hillsides.

Land Tenure, Land Values, and Farm Size
The 1974 agricultural census and results from the 1988 economic survey indicate a majority of farms which are 5 ha or less in size. This small-farm group, however, has decreased and larger farms have gained in numbers, especially the very large ones. Small farms include most of the maize and sorghum producers who grow cereals for home consumption. Medium-sized farms also represent a significant number of the farms, and include most of the permanent cropland (coffee and cashews) and some cattle ranches. The largefarm category includes the cotton and sugarcane operations and the large cattle ranches. Most of the farm operations in southern Honduras are owned by the farmer. Only a few of the farmers interviewed declared that they rent or co-own their land.
Flat land is worth twice as much as hillside land to the farmers in the sample ($681 versus $322 per ha). With regard to rent values, the average was $30.00 per ha, per year for hillside land. The average total cropland available for grain crops to the small farmer is approximately 2.6 ha; 0.9 ha comes from rented land and 1.7 ha is owned land. The rest of the owned land, 0.9 ha, is devoted to some forage crops, a vegetable garden, the house compound, and some area around the house for the farm animals.

Crop Patterns by Small Farmers
The crop season in southern Honduras is divided into two periods called the primera (first) and the postrera (second) seasons. The crop schedule follows the rainy season, which starts in early May and finishes in late October. During the cropping years 1986-87 through 1988-89 farmers grew mainly a maize/sorghum combination and maize monocrop during the first season
(FS). Maize/bean doublecrop and beans and traditional sorghum monocrops are also common in the FS. Maize and beans are planted in early May and the sorghum planting is done in late May. The beans are harvested in late July and maize in earlyAugust during marked short dryperiod (canicula) in the middle of the rainy season. Sorghum then develops and is harvested in December or January. The maize harvest marks the end of the FS. The second crop season
(SS) starts after the canicula in late August when the maize and bean monocrops and the maize/bean doublecrop are planted. Some sole sorghum is also planted in September and harvested with the FS sorghum in December


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NEW AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGIES IN HONDURAS 87

and January. Postrera beans are harvested in late November and maize in midDecember.
Therefore, the basic model will include the following traditional technologies for each season: in the FS the combinations will be sole maize, sole beans, maize/sorghum, and maize/bean doublecrops. For the SS the available alternatives will be sole maize, sole beans, sole sorghum, and maize/bean doublecrop. Other crops grown by the small farmers do not show significant numbers to be included in the model. The sorghum monocrop grown in the FS represents mostly the improved sorghums used by a few small farmers. This alternative will be included in the second stage of the model when the new sorghum cultivars (Surefio and Catracho) will be added to the available crop alternatives in the FS and SS.
The discussion above also leads to a natural division of the planning period for the model. The planning period will be assumed to start with the planting decision for the FS at the onset of the rains on May 1. The first stage will end on August 15 when the canicula has ended and the maize has been harvested. The second stage will start immediately thereafter (August 16) with the planting for the SS crops. The second stage ends on January 15 when the last sorghum is harvested. The period from January 16 through April 30 is the third stage and will involve mostly grain marketing, off-farm labor decisions, and land preparation in April for the next cycle.

Distribution of Family Labor
Not surprisingly, the head of household (HH) provides most of the farm labor. The head also supplies more off-farm labor than the rest of the members. Other male adults also provide significant amounts of farm and offfarm labor. Female members work very little on the farm and most of their labor is HH related. There are 2.3 male adults per farm in the sample. Therefore, it will be assumed that the HH provides six days of farm work per week and the other 1.3 male members provide a total of three days. This makes a total of nine man-days of farm work per week per farm during the FS and SS. With regard to off-farm labor, the head of household works an average of 3.4 months and the other 1.3 members work 1.6 months of the year, for a total of five months of off-farm labor supplied by the HH.
According to the farmers' responses in the survey and data from MNR, land preparation and weeding activities account for most of the total time required to produce the crops shown. More than 50 percent of total labor requirements are for land preparation and weeding in all crops. Multiple crops require


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significantly more time than sole crops. It is interesting to note the little use of fertilizers by small farmers in southern Honduras. The percentage of farmers who use this input is very low. Another interesting result is the use of herbicides by a significant percentage of farmers, especially for the maize and sorghum combinations. The results will be used to derive technical coefficients for the model. Also the coefficients will be used to derive time requirements for the new sorghum technologies.

Cash Income and Expenses
Off-farm labor provides more than 50 percent of the total household cash income. Farm animal and cereal sales are the other two important sources of cash income, with shares of 23 and 9.5 percent, respectively. The total cash income is just over $1,061 per year which, if we consider the average family size of 7.4, results in a per capita cash income of $143 per year. The value of unsold production can be substantial, especially when we consider that most of the farm harvest is set aside for the consumption of the family and animals.
With regard to cash expenses, the most important items are family-related expenses, including food (other than cereal grains), clothing, medical, and school expenses. Interestingly, farm animals and cereal purchases are also important sources of cash expenses. This may be explained by the fact that farmers sell a small portion of the cereal production after the harvest to obtain some cash for other expenses. Household cereal stocks then get depleted before the next harvest is out and the farmers are forced to purchase grains, probably from cash obtained with off-farm labor. This situation usually results in the farmer's selling grains at low prices when supplies are high, and buying them back in the period before harvest when supplies are low and prices high.
An important implication for model formulation is the very small percentage of cash expenses from hired labor and purchased inputs. These expenses account for a combined 3.4 percent of the annual total cash expenses by the small farmer. Moreover, an important portion ofpurchased inputs is accounted for by seed, which in most cases is traditional seed. The other significant expense is for urea and 12-24-12 fertilizer, herbicide, and insecticide for the maize and sorghum crops. Hired labor is almost totally accounted for by some land preparation and weeding in the first season.

Credit and Other Financial Constraints
Small hillside farmers start the FS with average cash holdings of $64.00, which is used mostly for family related expenses. The only agricultural input


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needed to start the crop season, besides family labor, is seed. Most of the farmers declared that they save their own seed from the previous harvest. If this has not been possible, they purchase the seed as part of other grain purchases.
Most farmers declared that they do not have any debt, but almost half of them stated that they could obtain an average of $463 in credit, mostly from private lenders, who charged an interest of almost 5 percent per month. Only four farmers thought they could obtain credit from the national agricultural bank, although none of them had attempted to obtain that credit. Data also show the low percentage of farmers who save any cash, and the insignificant amount of those who did save. Farm assets, including land, were valued on average at $2,982.

Sequential Decision Making by Small Farmers
Total average rainfall in southern Honduras is high and appears adequate for the crops grown in the region. However, this high average rainfall is also characterized by extreme seasonal variation, with short periods of heavy rainfall and spells of low precipitation. This variation is more important if we consider that most of their cropland consists of hillsides with little waterretention capacity and, thus, highly susceptible to water erosion. In addition, solar radiation is very intense year-round, and moisture evaporates very quickly, making even short dry periods risky for crop survival. These characteristics of the weather and topography of the south make it a risky environment for traditional cropping on the hillsides. However, the farmers have adapted to this environment by rearranging their crop-management decisions as the rains occur during the season.
Decisions on how much of each crop and which crops to plant during the SS, for example, depend in part on how the rains have been in the FS. If the rains have been especially bad (drought or excess rain), the maize crop is usually entirely lost, and the farmers expect the rest of the year to be as bad. Thus they may decide to plant only sorghum in the SS since it is more resistant to bad weather. If the weather is favorable in the FS, the maize harvest is likely to be good and large enough to provide for family consumption. The farmer may then decide to plant relatively more beans than maize in the SS to obtain some cash income selling the beans in the market.
Decisions to store grain, to feed the farm animals with part of the sorghum harvest, and/or to sell grain in the market, also depend on how good the rain in the two growing periods has been. The farmer may be able to sell some of his sorghum harvest and obtain some cash income if the weather has been


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favorable; or he may have to purchase some maize to provide enough for minimum family consumption when the harvests have not been good. When questioned about their grain-marketing and home-consumption decisions, farmers stated that the FS harvest is used to replenish stocks for home and animal consumption, and a good part of the SS harvest is sold in the market to obtain some cash income. It all depends on the rains, however, since ".if the FS harvest is too low or zero, we need to work or sell the animals to purchase grain and start the SS in September. If the FS harvest is good, we can even sell some maize or beans in September or October to buy other food items and clothing."
The sequential character of the farmer's decisions within a given year, as well as the stochastic nature of these decisions, can be readily seen. The model to be used in representing the farmer's decision-making process and adaptations to the resulting weather conditions as they occur, has to capture all these characteristics. Specifically, the model should (a) capture the sequential nature of the decisions in a given planning period; (b) reflect the fact that several of the events affecting the farmer's decisions are stochastic and, as such, have more than one possible result; and (c) allow for adaptive changes of the farmer's earlier decisions as previously uncertain events unfold and become part of past information used to revise current decisions.


NEW AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGIES IN SOUTHERN HONDURAS

The poor soil fertility of the laderas in the south, combined with insufficient or zero use of chemical and organic fertilizer, forces the farmer to depend on slash-and-burn cultivation. This system causes significant soil erosion problems as portions of the forest land have to be cleared and incorporated into the system each year. The erosion problems on hillside soils can be greatly reduced with the use of simple soil-management techniques such as the construction of ditches and tree barriers. The use of new cereal-crop cultivars in appropriate rotations such as maize or sorghum followed by beans or another legume would also improve yields and soil characteristics. It is these two types of technologies, new sorghum cultivars and water retention on hillside soils, that are the subject of this study.

New Sorghum Cultivars
MNR/INTSORMIL have released several improved sorghum cultivars


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with high yield potential and good drought-resistance characteristics. These are the varieties Tortillero and Surefo and the hybrid Catracho. Tortillero was released in 1983, Catracho in 1984, and Sureio in 1985. Sureiio is a dualpurpose variety that can be harvested for grain or forage and has shown good tortilla quality. Tortilla is the main staple food of the rural poor in Honduras and is made of maize and/or sorghum. Catracho is a hybrid with high yield potential. The yield superiority of the improved cultivars over the traditional varieties is significant. The new sorghums, however, also require higher cash outlays than the traditional crops, mainly in the form of improved seed and the chemical fertilizer required to obtain high yields. Table 1 provides an example of the differences in cash outlays required by the traditional and new sorghums. In most cases the farmer considers this relatively high cash outlay as too risky and does not adopt the technology or adopts only part of the package (e.g., only the seed), which is not very efficient.


Table 1. Partial Budgets for Traditional and New
Sorghum Technologies in Southern Honduras


Description Ma/Be Maicilloa Sureio Catracho
Qty. Total Qty. Total Qty. Total Qty. Total ($/ha) ($/ha) ($/ha) ($/ha)

Cash costs:
Seed (kg/ha)b 10/25 25.30 10.00 2.80 12.00 12.00 12.00 15.36
Fertilizer (kg/ha);
Urea 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 45.00 14.85 45.00 14.85
12-24-12 formula 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 45.00 17.55 45.00 17.55 Insecticide (kg/ha) 3.00 4.95 2.00 3.30 5.00 6.60 5.00 6.60 Herbicide (gal/ha) 0.00 0.00 0.25 8.25 0.30 9.90 0.30 9.90 Total cash expenses 30.25 14.35 60.90 64.26
Improved sorghum costs as % of ma/be costs 201.32 212.43
Improved sorghum costs as % of maicillo costs 424.39 .447.80

Unit prices used are:
Seed ($/kg): Maize, 0.33; beans, 0.88; maicillo, 0.28; Surefio, 1.00; and Catracho,
1.28.
Fertilizer ($/kg): Urea, 0.33; formula, 0.39. Insecticide: 1.32 $/kg; Herbicide: 33.00 $/gal.
aMaicillo is the traditional sorghum grown by small farmers in Honduras. bFor traditional seed, this may not be a cash expense since it is selected and saved from previous harvests.
Sources: Prices from a 1989 survey of agricultural input/output stores in Choluteca. Doses from G6mez, et al., and MNR, Chol.


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From an economic standpoint, high-yielding sorghum cultivars can be a positive addition to the mix of crops grown in Honduras for both national consumption and for export. These new cultivars are often resistant to drought and produce higher yields than traditional cultivars. According to recent statistics (FAO, 1987), Honduras has become a net importer of sorghum and other cereals because the grains have become important for human and animal consumption. Total production has not increased to meet the higher demand for sorghum. An increase in sorghum production, probably through an increase in yields or acreage, would reduce agricultural imports with a direct positive effect on the balance of payments. If the farmers find it profitable to adopt them, higher yields and, thus, increased production, can be achieved with new cultivars and other more efficient agricultural practices.

Improved Hillside Soil-Management Techniques
A renewed stress on the rational use and conservation of natural resources in developing countries has been given high priority in recent years. Each year the international aid agencies place more restrictions on the type of projects that can be undertaken with development funds. Most of the projects require an efficient use of the natural resources in the target region. The conservation of the rain forests, animal species, and water sources is usually required to be part of these projects. The NRMP of MNR and AID/H have worked jointly for the last eight years on several projects to protect and control the use of the watersheds in the southern and east-central regions of Honduras. The work of NRMP has focused on the small farmers on the laderas, where the damage to the forest and water sources is potentially greater. Programs for the construction of rock and live (permanent tree) barriers, ditches, and terraces, introduction of new crops, use of organic and low doses of chemical fertilizer, and improved cultivars of traditional crops for hillside lands, have been in farm trials for several years.
These technologies have the added feature of being almost "free" to the farmer as the programs are usually accompanied by subsidies to compensate for the labor and inputs (usually seed) required to build the structures. Once in place, they require only periodic maintenance and upkeep. The effect of these structures is usually improved physical soil characteristics and, in some cases, they provide organic fertilizer and forage for the farm animals. The addition of these technologies in the model is the next major stage in the present research. Preliminary economic analysis indicates that a combination


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of tree and rock barriers and new sorghum technologies with low doses of chemical fertilizer and compost, has the potential for significant increases in cereal production by small farmers (L6pez-Pereira, et al., 1989).


DATA AND PROCEDURES

Results from the survey discussed above provided the profile of a representative small farmer of the south. These characteristics, along with historical data on crop yields and expected yields by the farmers, were used to construct a whole-farm economic model. In this model, a negative exponential-utility function of the cash value of ending grain stocks after the second season is maximized subject to the financial, labor, land, credit, and consumption constraints described in the survey results. This form of the utility function is commonly used for decision analysis under risk (Kaylen, Preckel, and Loehman, 1987; Preckel, Featherstone, and Baker, 1987; Gbur and Collins, 1989; Collins, 1985). The model required a substantial amount of detailed data for each crop combination and for each season. Data on labor, land, cash holdings, credit, and production costs, were obtained from the survey results. Yields for each state of nature were obtained from the average answers given by the small farmers in the survey, on-farm trials for the new sorghum technologies, and official government statistics (G6mez, et al., 1989; MNR, 1985).
The mathematical model used for the analysis was a discrete stochastic program (DSP) with two stages (two crop seasons), five states of nature for the first stage, and three states of nature for the second stage (Cocks, 1968; Rae, 1971a). This procedure is believed superior to other risk-programming models such as the mean-variance (Markowitz, 1959; Collins and Barry, 1986) and MOTAD (Hazell, 1971; Kaiser and Boehlje, 1980). The main advantages are that it allows for sequential decisions to be adaptive. For example, second-season crop decisions are based on first-season crop yields in the model developed here. DSP also allows for some of the resources or technical coefficients (e.g., crop yields) to be stochastic. A clear example of this is the different amounts of labor required for replanting or weeding activities in different weather scenarios.
Since the small farmers in southern Honduras face a risky environment and adapt their decisions sequentially as uncertain events unfold, DSP was considered adequate to model their environment. Although DSP has been used in several studies in the United States (Rae, 1971b; Tice, 1979; Kaiser


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and Apland, 1989; Featherstone, 1986), the authors know of only one application to evaluate new technologies in developing agriculture (Adesina, 1988). The main drawback of DSP is the substantial amount of data required even for relatively simple models. In general, there is a tradeoff between model detail and size. The size of the model grows exponentially as more stages and states are included. In order to keep it relatively small, emphasis was placed on detail for the first season of the DSP developed here. This strategy to keep the model from becoming too large has been suggested before (Anderson, Dillon, and Hardaker, 1977).
The first season was assumed to have five possible results of crop yields: very low; low; medium; high; and very high; with probabilities of 0.15, 0.30, 0.25, 0.20, and 0.10, respectively. For the second season, only three possible yield outcomes were considered: low, medium, and high, with probabilities depending on the states of nature of the first season. For example, the probabilities for the second season, given the "very low" state of nature of the first season, are 0.60, 0.25, and 0.15, respectively. In comparison, for a "very high" FS state ofnature, probabilities for the SS states of nature are 0.10, 0.20, and 0.70, respectively. This allows for positive relationships between the first and second seasons. If the first season has been "very bad," which means drought or too much rain, a "bad" second season has a higher probability of occurring than a "good" second season. Therefore there are 15 possible final outcomes (states of nature) in the model, three in the second season for each of the five in the first season.
With all the data at hand, the risk-neutral case model was developed. In this model the farmer is assumed to be indifferent to the level of risk he faces and his sole objective is to maximize the expected value of ending cash holdings. This model provides the linear programming results, and is useful to estimate the impact of including risk in the analysis. In the second model, the farmer is assumed to maximize a negative exponential utility function of ending cash stocks:

Max. E[U(ecash)] = E P .*(1 -exp(-*ccashji)) (1)
where pji is the probability that the i" state if nature is realized in the SS given that the j" state of nature was realized in the FS; ecashji is the cash resulting from the realization of these states ofnature; and is the coefficient ofabsolute risk aversion. This form of the utility function implies that the farmer is averse to risk and will prefer returns with low variance. The coefficient Xin equation
1 is the level of risk aversion assumed.


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NEW AGRICULTURAL TECHNOLOGIES IN HONDURAS 95

The objective function was maximized in each case subject to resource and consumption constraints; the more important of these constraints are presented (in non-algebraic form) in equations 2-10.

Initial cash holdings = $70.00 (2)
Total cropland used < 1.7 ha + land rented (3)
Total labor used in crops + off-farm labor < total family labor
available + hired labor (4)
Off-farm labor supplied in crop season < 50 man-days (5)
Credit < $450.00 (6)
Maize consumption + sorghum consumption > minimum
family requirements (7)
Bean consumption > minimum family requirements (8)
Sorghum consumption < 20 percent of total cereal consumption (9)
Grain consumed + grain sold < initial grain stocks + grain
produced + grain purchased (10)

The models were developed and run on a GAMS/MINOS software program (Brooke, Kendrick, and Meeraus, 1988; Murtagh and Saunders, 1983) at Purdue University. The model output consists of optimal crop combinations for each of the two seasons of the planning period. It also includes marginal values of the different resources included in the model. The effect of changes in the resource and variable coefficients included in the constraints are also presented in the model solution. Shadow values for such activities as hired labor for FS planting, amount of credit in SS for each yield result of FS crops, area of land rented in or out, expected cash value of production at end of SS, and variance of this expected cash value, are all part of the output of the models. The model results are presented and discussed in the next section.


RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Table 2 presents the optimal crop combinations for the two risk-neutral models. As mentioned above, in these models the objective is to maximize the expected cash value of ending grain stocks and other cash-generating activities. The traditional model is named model I, and the model with the new sorghum technologies is named model II. The crops selected in model I for the FS are maize, maize/beans, and maize/sorghum. In comparison, with model II the crops grown in the FS are maize/beans and Catracho. In the


Vol. 1, No. 2, 1990

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LOPEZ-PEREIRA, ET AL.


Table 2. Optimal Crop Combinations for Traditional and New Sorghum Models,
Risk-Neutral Case-Small Farmer in Southern Hondurasa


Combination Model Ib (ha)
FSC SS-VL SS-L SS-M SS-H SS-VH

Sole crops:
Maize 0.67
Beans
Traditional 0.74 0.74 0.74 0.74 0.74
sorghum
Sureiio
Catracho
Double crops:
Maize/beans 0.81 0.74 0.74 0.74 0.74 0.74
Maize/maicillo 0.14
Total area 1.62 1.48 1.48 1.48 1.48 1.48



Combination Model IIb (ha)
FS SS-VL SS-L SS-M SS-H SS-VH

Sole crops:
Maize
Beans
Traditional
sorghum
Suref~o
Catracho 0.71 0.70 0.70 0.71 0.71 0.71
Double crops:
Maize/beans 0.71 0.70 0.70 0.71 0.71 0.71
Maize/maicillo
Total area 1.42 1.40 1.40 1.42 1.42 1.42


Note: FS = first season, SS = second season. aIn these models the objective of the farmer is to maximize the expected value of cash income.
bModel I includes only traditional crops; Model II includes the traditional crops and the new sorghum technologies of Surefto and Catracho. cFS = first season of the year; SS = second season. Crops grown in SS depend on the yields of FS crops: VL = very low FS yields; L = low; M = medium; H = high; VH = very high.
Source: Model results.


Journal for Farming Systems Research-Extension

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