Front Cover
 Concept - What was the basic technical...
 Design - How was this basic technical...
 Implementation - How was the project...
 Evaluation - How was the project's...
 Farming system research unit and...
 Strategies for reaching farmers...
 Research and information data...
 End of project status (EOPS)
 Institutionalization - How did...
 Annex A - Project description...
 Back Matter

Group Title: Case Study - A.I.D. Farming Systems Research and Extension Projects ; No. 3
Title: Lesotho farming systems research project (632-0065)
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00073356/00001
 Material Information
Title: Lesotho farming systems research project (632-0065)
Series Title: CDIE working paper
Alternate Title: Case studies of A.I.D. Farming Systems Research & Extension (FSRE) Projects, Case Study no. 3
Physical Description: 20 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Byrnes, Kerry J., 1945-
Publisher: Center for Development Information and Evaluation, Agency for International Development
Place of Publication: Washington DC
Publication Date: 1986?
Subject: Agricultural extension work -- Lesotho   ( lcsh )
Agriculture -- Technology transfer -- Lesotho   ( lcsh )
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: Lesotho
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (leaf 17).
Statement of Responsibility: Kerry J. Byrnes.
General Note: Caption title.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00073356
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 80570232

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Concept - What was the basic technical idea underlying the project?
        Page 1
    Design - How was this basic technical idea translated into a project?
        Page 2
    Implementation - How was the project managed by the host-country implementing agency, the TA team, and USAID?
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
    Evaluation - How was the project's performance measured or assessed?
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
    Farming system research unit and farming system program
        Page 9
    Strategies for reaching farmers and trained basotho personnel
        Page 10
    Research and information data base
        Page 11
    End of project status (EOPS)
        Page 12
    Institutionalization - How did the project provide for the implementing agency to develop a sustainable capability to continue to perform the types of activities supported by the project?
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
    Annex A - Project description sheet
        Page 18
        Page 19
    Back Matter
        Page 20
Full Text
o/. f/



Case Studies of
A.I.D. Farming Systems Research & Extension (FSR/E) Projects

Case Study *To. 3

Lesotho Farming Systems Research Project (632-0065)'


Kerry J. Byrnes2

Center for Development Information and Evaluation
Agency for International Development
Washington, DC 20523

This CDIE Working Paper is one of the case studies prepared
'or a cross-cutting analysis of A.I.D. FSR/E projects, A Review of
AI.D. Experience with Farming Systems Research and Extension
Projects (A.I.D. Evaluation Special Study, forthcoming). The 12
FSR/E projects reviewed in this series are:

Botswana Agricultural Technology Improvement (633-0221)
Gambia Mixed Farming and Resource Management (535-0203)
Lesotho Farming Systems Research (632-0065)
Malawi Agricultural Research (611-0202)
Senegal Agricultural Research and Planning (685-0223)
Tanzania Farming Systems Research (621-0156)
Zambia Agricultural Development Research & Extension (611-0201)
Nepal Agricultural Research and Productior (367-0149)
Philippines Farming Systems Development-Eastern Visayas (492-0356)
Guatemala Food Productivity and Nutritional Improvement (520-0232)
Honduras AgriculturuJ Research (522-0139)
ROCAP Small Farm Production Systems (596-0083)

Information on how to order any of the CDIE Working Papers this
series is provided on the last page of this report.

2Senior Social Science Analyst, Program and Policy Evaluation
Division, CDIE. This case study, prepared under a CDIE contract
with Labat-Anderson Incorporated, is based on a review of project
evaluation documentation. Interpretation of the data reported is
that of the author and should not be attributed to A.I.D. or Labat-
Anderson Incorporated.

Lesotho Farming Systems Research Project (632-0065)

The Lesotho Farming Systems Research Project (LFSRP) was
authorized, as a five-year project, in 1978, for $8,308,000. The
Project Grant Agreement with the Government of Lesotho (GOL) was
signed in April, 1978. Technical assistance (TA) to LFSRP was
provided by the Consortium for International Development (CID),
with Washington State University (WSU) as lead university. The
project's TA contract began in March, 1979, providing nine TA
positions (chief research officer, agronomist, animal management
specialist, range management specialist, farm management econo-
mist, sociologist, marketing specialist, information officer, and
administrative officer). TA team members began arriving in
country in July 1979, and were fully on board by August 1980.
The LOP was subsequently extended for two years to March 31,
1986, and later to July 31, 1986.

The LFSRP was evaluated four times: a preliminary evalu-
ation in 1980 (Dunn and Bahl, 1980); an interim evaluation in
1981 (Martin, et al., 1981); a special evaluation in 1983 (Dunn,
1983); and a final evaluation in 1986 (Frolik and Thompson,

Concept What was the basic technical idea underlying the

Lesotho is exceptional in Africa in that it relies on off-
farm income opportunities, principally outside the country, for
its people's livelihood. It is estimated that only 17% of house-
hold income comes from on-farm, agricultural activity.

According to the PP, the LFSRP had a national goal and a
sector goal; the national goal was "to improve the quality of
rural life" and the sector goal was "to increase rural income
from agriculture." The project's purpose was to create more
productive agricultural enterprise mixes which are acceptable to
farmers, sensitive to farmers' management ability, appropriate to
resource availability, and protective of the land base. More
specifically, the LFSRP was conceived to assist the newly estab-
lished Research Division (RD) of the Ministry of Agriculture
(MOA) in conducting agricultural research on farm enterprise
mixes. As identified in the PP (p. 13), "the thrust" rf the
project was "to develop effective means to reach farmers and gain
their understanding and acceptance of the practices recommended."

Design How was this basic technical idea translated into a

The project's design provided a standard series of inputs
(TA, training, commodities, and construction) to be used to
produce a number of outputs, including a farming systems research
(FSR) unit, a farming systems (FS) program, strategies for
reaching farmers, trained Basotho personnel, and a research and
informational base.

Several shortcomings in the project's design were identified
in the second and third evaluations. First, the evaluations
raised a question concerning how the initial and ultimate
beneficiaries had been defined. The third evaluation noted that
the PP had envisaged the initial beneficiaries to be farmers
indicating both a willingness and ability to try improved farming
techniques, with the implication that this group would be
composed primarily of the relatively better-off farmers. The
ultimate target group was identified as "those farmers or farmer
groups who indicate a reluctance to improve traditional agricul-
ture due to a lack of resources, financial or physical, or
knowledge that change is possible." This definition of initial
and ultimate beneficiaries "tended to overlook the importance of
classifying farmers on the basis of resources and/or farming
systems practiced and the need to develop agricultural recom-
mendations for each group" (Dunn, 1983:38).

A second design shortcoming was the idea of having extension
agents seconded to the Research Division. The third evaluation
team found that this idea had proven to be less than satisfactory
and that the extension service should have been integrated as a
full partner into the project rather than seconding a number of
agents to the project. At the time of the third evaluation, a
systematic means of liaison between research and extension was
being implemented by the project in the form of monthly meetings
involving the two groups. However, in the opinion of the evalua-
tion team, the extension service regarded activities in the
project's prototype areas (PAs representing the lowlands, foot-
hills, and mountains) as part of the research program rather than
an integral part of the extension service. In the team's view,
the extension service should have played a major role in
planning, designing, staffing, implementing, and monitoring any
trials or demonstrations being placed on farmers' fields (Dunn,
1983:43). As the team noted, the project

neglected the development of the district and national
extension service. As an example, project funds were
unavailable for inservice training costs to hold workshops
with district level subject matter specialists and other
district agents to participate in routinely held workshops.
Field extension [workers] outside of the prototype areas
were not provided with a means of transportation, i.e.,
motorbikes. While the Research Division provided funds for
printing and distributing extension circulars, the Agricul-
tural Information Office was constrained financially in the
amount of extension materials produced for its farmer
audience (Dunn, 1983:46).

A third design shortcoming was the limitation of the FSR
effort to the PAs. The implication of this design was that only
a small portion (1.0 to 1.5 percent) of the 240,000 households in
Lesotho would be potential project beneficiaries. The third
evaluation team recommended that a second phase of the LFSRP be
designed to cover a greater number of administrative districts so
that a greater portion of extension resources could participate
with the RD in on-farm research trials and planning extension
demonstrations on farmers' fields. The evaluation team also
noted that this strategy would reduce the chances of the project
favoring one farmer group over another.

Implementation How was the project managed by the host-country
implementing agency, the TA team, and USAID?

The second evaluation of the LFSRP noted a host of problems
that the project encountered during its early implementation:

S a slow start by the TA Team (caused by team members
being selected without the involvement of the TA team
leader, lack of orientation to the project before
leaving the States, delays in the arrival of team
members in country, team members not arriving in the
sequence planned, lack of orientation assistance of
USAID/Lesotho when team members arrived in country,
inadequate introduction of team members and the project
itself to GOL agencies and other entities with which
they were expected to work, and delays in housing and
office construction);

inability of project management (MOA, TA team, and
USAID/Lesotho) to provide a unified approach to direct
and guide planning and implementing activities at the
national and PA levels;

lack of short- and long-term agricultural research
policy and strategy in the RD;

S limited number of skilled MOA professionals assigned to
the RD;

S delays in assigning counterparts to be trained to
replace TA team members (some counterparts were not
assigned until almost six months to a year after the
arrival of team members);

delays in selecting and processing participants for
academic training (this increased the likelihood that
there would not be sufficient overlap with TA team
members to provide on-the-job training;

S selection of PAs that did not have access to inputs and

delays in assigning research extension assistants to
the project: and

minimal previous research on which the TA team could

Another constraint became apparent, namely, that the drop
off of GOL budget support to the project hampered the implementa-
tion of trials and the provision of required follow-up. Yet,
despite budgetary limitations, high expectations were held for
the project. At the GOL and donor levels, there were expecta-
tions that the project would rapidly develop enterprise mixes
which could be used in the country's small farmer development
programs. And farmers in the PAs held expectations that the
project would provide inputs and services typically provided by
other development projects. RD personnel sought to reduce these
expectations through repeated explanations that the project was
not an area development project but rather an action-oriented
research project that would be slow in yielding benefits.

The TA team provided the mix of technical skills in agricul-
tural production and supporting services outlined in the PP.
However, TA team effectiveness was hampered by "uneven arrival"
of team members in country and "the absence of an ongoing
agricultural research program and organizational base" (Martin,
et al., 1981:8). While the TA team assisted in strengthening the
foundation of the RD as a newly formed research institution, the
evaluation team recommended that the TA team needed to play "a
stronger role in the management and planning areas...to provide a
sharper focus on reaching the specific objectives of conducting
relevant research and...transferring technology to small holders"
(Martin, et al., 1981:8).

In the view of the second evaluation team, the project's
designers had been unrealistic in thinking that a FSR Unit could
be established in the RD as a newly created research institution.
Indeed, the team found "a divergence [of] thought on the...extent
to which a Farming Systems Research Unit is being or should be
established within the Research Division" (Martin, et al.,
1981:8). Many RD professionals felt that the TA team should
support the building of the entire RD. Indeed, at the time, the
organizational chart assigned TA team personnel to several
sections within the RD (Martin, et al., 1981:8).

Two problems, not anticipated in the PP, were encountered in
implementing the project: (1) the absence of a standard,
published set of crop production recommendations; and (2) the
extremely limited availability, particularly in the PAs, of
inputs (fertilizer, seed, chemicals and even simple oxen equip-
ment). Further, the evaluation team found that the project and
the RD were not implementing "a program of action specifically
designed to follow through on selected alternatives" (Martin, et
al., 1981:12). An absence of collaboration between farm
management and agronomy to identify constraints specific to each
alternative also was noted.

The second evaluation team felt the project's "greatest
chance...for...short run impact (probably its only chance)" was
to focus on the production of food crops (Martin, et al.,
1981:12). The team recommended that the project concentrate on
food crop production, that the research program not be restricted
to the three PAs, and that an agronomist be assigned to each
ecological zone of the country, with the responsibility of
attending the PA within the zone but also working as needed
outside the PA.

The team also pointed out that the project could address the
input problem by reporting and analyzing data on the severity of
the problem and the potential profitability of inputs under good
farming technology. The project also could assist in developing
"a self-sustaining solution of the problem--not a short-run
subsidized easing of the problem that cannot be sustained"
(Martin, et al., 1981:15). Further, the team suggested, farm
management efforts should focus on helping to develop improved
technology, by identifying the farmer constraints specific to
practices or systems being considered. This, a3 the team pointed
out, involves careful monitoring of the economics of the
technologies being tested.

The team noted the importance of the project assisting the
RD in developing communication links with the MOA Information
Section. Examples of such links could include assisting in the
preparation of technical publications and extension training
materials, providing research reports to other MOA subject matter
divisions, and conducting seminars for technical division chiefs
and district agricultural officers to explain the nature of the
agricultural research program, the production problems receiving
attention, and the results of station and farm-level adaptive
research trials which have provided information to disseminate to
farmers. These measures to strengthen communication links
between the project and other MOA divisions and offices would,
the team noted, aid the government's efforts to unify an approach
to agricultural development and expand the project's impact to a
wider audience than the farmers in the PAs.

Evaluation How was the project's performance measured or

At the time of the project's second evaluation, the TA team
had been assisting in project implementation for nearly two
years. At that point, the evaluation found that

there was no evidence that farmers are adopting...improved
farming practices developed under project-initiated
activities. The agronomic, range management and livestock
research activities already underway are at the beginning
stage of an applied research program. These research
activities will need to be carried on for a number of years
before a proven technology exists which can be disseminated
on a broad basis to the farming community. Accordingly, it
is uncertain whether or not the Project will reach the
stated objective of reaching five percent of the households
in the project area with enterprise mixes (Martin, et al.,

Consequently, in the team's view, "the normal start up period of
settling in and getting organized to do agricultural research
work" had impeded achievement of project outputs. In the team's
view, it was too early in the research process to determine how
farmers would accept and utilize new practices of relevant
technolc-y (:arti.n, et al.. 1981:21).

The evaluation team found that the project design team had
made a basic assumption that there was a considerable amount of
relevant data available that the TA team and the RD could
collect, analyze, and use to develop a research program without
having to "start from scratch." However, the TA team discovered
that the actual data base related to FSR/E was weak and spotty.
While TA team members collected and analyzed existing data, their
efforts produced mixed results, and there was no attempt to
coordinate and synthesize the data collected by individual team
members. For example, none of the materials collected had been
used to develop a profile cf existing farming systems in Lesotho.

Such a profile, the team noted, would be useful ir assisting
the RD and TA team "to reach a consensus on what type of farmers,
what extension strategies and what production technologies should
receive priority attention" (Martin, at al., 1981:19). "Lack of
consensus 20 months after initiation of the project as to who...
the target population is and what types of innovations are most
likely to improve his/her farm enterprise is a significant
liability" (Martin, et al., 1981:28).

One of the difficulties in reaching consensus was the
existing split in policy orientation on agriculture. While donor
projects were aimed at the Lesotho small holder, the second eval-
uation team found that the GOL was "engaged in a substantial pro-
gram of large-scale mechanized farming to make the country self
sufficient in food grains by using modern technology and inputs
in a...commercial operation" (Martin, et al., 1981:31). Even
within the project, the evaluation team found a split between
those who felt the project should aim at improving the level of
subsistence versus those who felt the project should develop a
viable small-scale commercial agriculture. "The project itself
is divided on this issue" (Martin, et al., 1981:31).

Despite splits in policy orientation, a baseline survey of
households in the PAs had been initiated and was nearing the
analysis stage at the time of the second evaluation. However,
the evaluation team felt that the formal baseline survey approach
was not an efficient or relevant use of project staff.

A focus on more rapid methods of conducting farming systems
research (e.g., following the "Sondeo" method developed in
Guatemala or that developed by...CIM ~YT for use in East and
Southern Africa) would have been a more appropriate approach
assuming the availability of local staff to carry out such
Rapid assessment surveys (Martin, et al., 1981:39).

third evaation of the project (Dunn, 1983:6), the
evaluation tea- found that the contribution of data that were to
e provide: c by the baseline study to the RD had been less thain
desirable, and that this information should have been provided in
'e-ir t 0- of '-the creot at the latest.

Farmer records were also being developed by the project at
the time of the second evaluation. While the evaluation team
felt that this information would be useful in problem
identification, the team cautioned that the data largely
described what farmers do and needed to be supplemented with
information on why farmers do what they do. A subsequent
evaluation (Dunn, 1983) found that the project had made progress
in identifying and classifying farm households according to
availability of resources and agricultural production. However,
the team recommended that greater attention be given to matching
trials with potential adopter groups.

In terms of strategies for reaching farmers, the project
gathered information from farmers through meetings, a baseline
survey, farm records, and informal, individual contacts. The
project established Village Agricultural Committees to communi-
cate to and receive feedback from farmers. Work was continuing
on producing and distributing "Cropping Guidelines" and other
technical publications. While crop demonstration plots and/or
communal gardens had been established in each of the PAs, the
project had taken no steps to monitor and evaluate the effective-
ness of alternative strategies for reaching farmers.

A final conclusion of the second evaluation team with
respect to project evaluation was that the GOL, TA team, and
USAID/Lesotho should be more systematic in their monitoring and
evaluation of the project.

The three should plan a truly collaborative evaluation at
least once a year and should fccruiate specific benchmarks
directly related to agreed plans of action which can be
monitored by all parties on a more frequent basis (Martin,
et al., 1981:32).

By the time of the third evaluation, the team found that the
FS approach had been integrated into the RD and that farmers were
being directly involved in field testing and demonstration (Dunn,
1983:4). Further, training sessions were being held for
extension field workers as well as for Village Agricultural
Committees. The ream also noted that the total work time spent
by the TA team in the field had increased measurably over the
years, with some professionals now devoting up to 75 percent of
their time in the field. More broadly, the project was
continuing efforts to establish an Agricultural Research and
Planning Coordinating Council and to assist the RD in drafting an
agricultural research policy paper.

The increased amount of information on the project available
by the time of the third as compared with the second evaluation
made it possible for the second team to focus on what the PP
referred to as objectively verifiable indicators (OVIs). Evalua-
tion of the project in this respect is now reviewed in terms of
each indicator and the project's progress on the indicator at the
time of the third evaluation.

Farming Systems Research Unit

OVIl. Research priorities are determined through the use of
social and economic benefit/cost techniques by 12/79.

The evaluation team found no evidence that either technique
was ever applied to selection of research priorities.

OVI2. FSR Unit results are being published and disseminated
to all relevant GOL divisions and other donor project
activities by 12/79.

A system for reporting research and trial results had been
established and a number of publications were prepared and

07I3. The FSR Unit is benefitting from improved professional
relationships with worldwide research institutions by

Ties had been initiated, maintained, and strengthened with
international agricultural research centers (CIMMYT), research
stations in the Republic of South Africa, and universities in the
U-S. (WSU and Utah State University).

OVI4. The FSR Unit is pursuing or considering a program for
replicating FSR/E after the project ends.

Inclusion of the TA team within the RD as a support group
for Division activities provided a foundation for institution-
alizing FER/E in the RD; however, the second evaluation team
recommended that the concept of a separate FSR Unit within the RD
be abandoned.

Far nin S'staes Prcram

OV15. Three systems using alternative technologies developed
and tested in three physical environments by 8/80.

The second evaluation noted the lack of a reliable set of
crop production recommendations for Lesotho. The third evalua-
tion found the number of on-farm trials in place to be a vast
improvement over thn findings of the second evaluation. However,
the team also fcund

a lack of agreement among RD staff and units as to...what is
the FSR methodology being employed by the RD.... The
evaluation team feels some concern over the many concepts of
FSR held by either WSU or Basotho staff in the RD. While we
are very pleased with the effort to develop the Lesotho
model of FSR, the fact remains that all station-generated
and imported technology must be verified on a representative
sample of Lesothoan farms selected from homogeneous agro-
climatic regions before such technology is ready to
demonstrate (Dunn, 1983:27-28).

The second evaluation proposed steps to strengthen and
expand on-farm trials. One step was to give the Deputy Director
full responsibility for coordinating farm trials, to facilitate
an orderly transition of farm research responsibility from the TA
team to Basotho staff. Although the third evaluation voiced
"concern over the many concepts of FSR held by either WSU or
Basotho staff," it is of interest to note that the evaluation
team proposed its own "FSR Methodology" (Dunn, 1983:52-61). The
need for clarification on the FSR/E approach to be followed was
again echoed by the fourth evaluation's recommendation that "the
FSR interpretation (there are many) for Lesotho" be spelled out
in writing, with copies...made available to all concerned (Frolik
and Thompson, 1986:iv).

Strategies for Reaching Farmers

OVI6. Alternative strategies for MOA farmer communication and
education developed and tested by 8/80.

The project initiated Village Agricultural Committees as an
experimental approach to reaching farmers in the PAs. Also, a
group approach was being u;ed on communal vegetable fields and
grazing schemes. The tean recommended follow-up on these two
approaches to assess adoption rates of recommended technologies.
The team also recommended that the project consider testing a
facilitator approach tc communicating with farmers.

Trained Basotho Personnel

OVI7. Basotho personnel trained and assigned to 26 positions
in FSR Unit of RD by 3/84.

While the short-term training had progressed well, tardiness
in obtaining qualified participants for long-term training during
the early years of the project had resulted in delays in parti-
cipants completing training and returning to the RD.

Research and Information Data Base

OVI8. Not stated in Dunn (1983:32-35).

The second evaluation had recommended that the TA team,
working jointly with RD staff and USAID/Lesotho, should:

a) analyze and synthesize the available data related to
Farming Systems...; b) identify and classify Farming
Systems types; c) identify the immediate beneficiaries
of the Project (based on GOL policy and USAID growth-
with-equity considerations); and d) establish which
farming systems and which potential beneficiaries will
receive priority in research activities.

Identify and disseminate a few proven technologies as
soon as possible to give the farming systems approach
-cre credibility (Martin, et al., 1981:58-59).

By the time of the third evaluation, the project had
prepared some annotated bibliographies and demonstrated some
technologies. However, the evaluation team found "confusion"
about wt. technologies needed to be tried and validated on
farmers' fields and those "proven" ready for demonstration and
dissemination. Since the second evaluation progress had been
made on identifying and classifying households in a PA in terms
of the physical resources which influence farming practices and
on conducting trials and demonstrations representing a range of
ccmplexities and resource requirements. However, the team found
that some RD researchers needed to better understand how each
research station trial and each farm-level trial or demonstration
is related to a potential adopter group.

Various RD units (Range Management, Farm Management, Rural
Sociology, Marketing, Extension/Communication) had collaborated
in collecting data. However, the third evaluation cautioned that
"it is crucial that the data collected be analyzed and taken into
consideration when determining priorities for crop, livestock,
and range trials and demonstrations" (Dunn, 1983:33). Further,
similar to the second evaluation's observation of the need for
the project to understand why farmers do what they do, the third
evaluation noted that little attention had been given to:

the reasons for the practices followed by the farmers: a
sufficient amount of information exists on what farmers do
but not why. Collection of information on the whys
requires a very well designed research effort...(Dunn,
I 3 :3 .) .

Accordingly, the third evaluation recommended that the

Give top priority to research aimed at understanding
the farmers' rationale for specific crop and livestock
practices and intra-household decision-making related
to key variables.

Continue work on classifying farmers and adapting
recommendations to the physical resources of each

Conduct an economic analysis based on data from
farmers' fields prior to classifying a technology as
ready for demonstration and dissemination.

SGive greater attention to monitoring, to assess
adoption rates.

End of Proiect Status (EOPS)

The EOPS was that at least five percent of the farmers
(about 146 farm households) in the project's PAs would be using
technologies developed by the project. Despite progress made
with on-farm trials, the third evaluation team cautioned that:

There is...a difference between on-farm trials and adoption
of improved farm technology. ... In the case of all
agronomic trials observed..., significant adoption probably
cannot be expected to occur before the 1984-85 or the 1985-
85 cropping seasons. Again, verification and demonstration
must occur before adoption can be expected (Dunn, 1983:36).

However, by the time of the fourth evaluation (Fro3ik and
Thompson, 1968), sufficient data had become available to enable
the evaluation team to conclude that the project design target of
reaching at least five percent of the farmers in the PAs had been
achieved. A factor identified as a major contributor to
achievement of tne design target was the role of the Village
Agricultural Committees (VACs). The VACs had proven to be "an
excellent way of getting farmer and community involvement in
technology testing, transfer, and adoption" (Frolik and Thompson,
1986:ii). For example, VAC members assisted in the choice of
research problems and farmers for on-farm trials.

A study by the LFSRP concluded that VAC members had been
"effective disseminators of agricultural information and dif-
fusers of innovations" (cited in Frolik and Thompson, 1986:37),
with each VAC member influencing an average of 8.8 persons
through a combination of telling, showing, and facilitating the
observation of agricultural innovations. Based on an extrapola-
tion from a sample of 54 of the 234 VAC members, the team
concluded that "it is likely that farmer contact group members
have diffused innovations deriving from farming systems research
to nearly 2000 persons" from 1979 to 1984 (cited in Frolik and
Thompson, 1986:37). The effectiveness of the VACs in the three
PAs resulted in the Extension Division of the Department of Field
Services adopting this model for all 10 extension districts of
the country.

Institutionalization How did the project provide for the
implementing agency to develop a sustainable capability to
continue to perfcrn the types of activities supported by the

The second evaluation found that the project design had not
adequately addressed the Research Division's manpower and organi-
zational needs. As the team noted, there were not enough trained
Basotho agriculturalists to work with the TA team as co-workers
and to leave the country for training. Also, existing training
plans did not allow sufficient time to recruit and train national
staff in functions that would continue after project termination.
Further, as earlier noted, the project experienced delays in
selecting and processing participants for training. Only three
participants had been sent for long-term training in the U.S. as
of the date of the second evaluation report. The first of these,
sent in 1978, returned wit a M.Sc. degree and became Director of
the RD. Overall, delays were also encountered in programming
short-tern external and short-term internal training programs.

To accelerate training and staff development, the second
evaluation team recommended that the project assist the RD in
preparing a manpower development plan to increase the total
number of Basotho receiving specialized training in agriculture.
Training could be accelerated by intensive courses and on-the-joo
training in the RD as well as short-term training at the IARCs.
By the end of the project, the fourth evaluation team found that

good progress has been madein degree-level training of RD
personnel. However, the process is a slow and costly one
with many participants entering U.S. universities at the
beginning...level. There has been some, but not extensive,
use cf non-degree level training at international agricul-
tural research centers and the U.S. There has been an
active program of short courses anr in-service training with
-2r.:rr.lrts. nevertheless ;ith the departure of the WSU

team, the RD is not a viable research institution in terms
of the adaptive research goals set forth in its policy
statement (Frolik and Thompson, 1986:28).

Accordingly, the team recommended that USAID/Lesotho continue
support for training RD personnel.

The team also recommended that the project reduce "its
visibility as a Farming Systems Project" (Martin, et al.,
1981:23) and that the TA team identify more closely with the RD,
by orienting the project "to the development of the Research
Division as a National Institution." The team noted that the RD

needs...to incorporate two fundamental criteria of...Farming
Systems Research. One of these is a firm knowledge of the
farmer and his system of farming and a sound understanding
of why that system. The second fundamental criteria is the
inclusion of adaptive or on-farm research, i.e., the testing
under farm conditions of technology before it is promoted on
a large scale for farmer adoption (Martin, et al., 1981:23).

A second constraint to institutionalizing FSR/E, noted by
the team, was the project's "confinement" to the PAs. These
areas, the team felt, had been made too small and restrictive,
and that work in each had been so intense that the project
appeared to be taking on an area development rather than a
technology innovation focus. At the same time, while working in
the PAs, the TA team had not facilitated the development of an
effective working relationship between the RD and the District
Agricultural Office structure.

Adaptive on-farm research is only a very small step away
from result demonstrations--one of the most effective
extension tools and district personnel, in their own
interests, not as a favor to research, may participate in
trials and be able to move new technology to farmers. ...we
see a need for the Research Division and the contractor to
initiate more collaborative research/extension activities
with the District Agriculture Offices. The district level
subject matter specialists could be tapped to assist in the
conducting and monitoring of adaptive research trials. This
joint collaboration at the district level will aid in
strengthening the professional skills of subject matter
specialists and provide a background for training the
extension officers (Martin, et al., 1981:23-24).

Accordingly, the second evaluation team recommended that the
project not establish a FSR Unit and instead focus resources on
institutionalizing an effective research and extension capacity
in the MOA. While the LFSRP could make progress toward
developing this capacity, the evaluation team felt that:

The development of a research/extension project must be
considered long term with a planning horizon of ten to
twenty years. Given the current state of research in
Lesotho it is not realistic to expect that enough can be
achieved in five years in developing institutional capacity
(Martin, et al., 1981:31).

The second evaluation team also noted that the PP had made "no
mention...of a longer horizon (15-20 years) which is always
needed to develop a purposeful agricultural research institution"
(Martin, et al., 1981:1).

Although the project output of a FSR Unit had not been
officially changed by the time of the third evaluation, all
parties (GOL, TA team, and USAID/Lesotho) agreed that the project
should strengthen the overall RD program rather than establish a
FSR Unit. However, while the expansion of u.he project to work
with the entire RD was good for research, the allocation of a
greater amount of project staff and counterpart time on non-FSR
activities was partially responsible for a delay in implementing
farm-level trials. Such a dilution of effort was not necessarily
bad. However, the reorientation of the project should be taken
into account in evaluating expectations regarding what the
reoriented project could reasonably be expected to accomplish as
a FSR/E initiative, especially in view of the project having
abandoned the output of establishing a FSR Unit and having
adopted the output of strengthening the research/extension
capacity of the RD.

In terms of institutionalizing a methodology for FSR, the
third evaluation report noted that:

the "complete how to" of FSR, from the initial stages of
problem diagnosis and farm-level testing to the final stages
of demonstration and subsequent adoption, has yet to be
developed for Lesotho. Since the 1982-83 crop year
represents the first attempt at systematic on-farm trials,
much of the planning necessary for subsequent phases of FSR
will fall on the RD between the upcoming harvest and the
1983-84 planting season. This evolving methodology, when
finished, will allow extension of FSR to other areas of
Lesotho. Also, by relying on the many Basotho researchers,
extension agents and farm record managers, the Lesotho
method of FSR will be developed jointly between the
contractor and the local staff. Such a joint development
means that the skills to extend FSR to other areas of the
country will be left with Basotho researchers in the RD and
the extension division (Dunn, 1983:21).

The third evaluation team recommended that the project make
a greater effort to involve CIMMYT FSR outreach staff and ICRISAT
staff in planning on-farm trials in future cropping seasons.
This recommendation implies that the FSR/E expertise required for
planning on-farm trials may have gone beyond that of the TA team.

Progress toward institutionalizing FSR/E in Lesotho by the
end of the LFSRP was summarized in the project's final evaluation
report (Frolik and Thompson, 1986). While the RD has a strong
orientation to farmers' problems, excellent links to farmer and
community groups, and adaptive research in farm management,
marketing, rural sociology, and extension, "with the departure of
the WSU team, the RD is not a viable research institution in
terms of the adaptive research goals set forth in its policy
statement" (Frolik and Thompson, 1986:28). Further,

the RD does not yet have the institutional capacity to carry
out an effective adaptive research program without
continuing technical assistance. The critical mass of
personnel is lacking in all sections and collectively. Some
disciplines received little, if any, support from the FSR
project. Capacity to plan, lead, and implement an
effective, well-balanced, adaptive research program is a
critical need (Frolik and Thompson, 1986:iii).

The team felt that the chief problem was the lack of adequately
trained and experienced staff members to provide leadership.

But some significant progress had been made. The TA team
and the RD had successfully oriented the RD to conducting FSR
closely tied to farmers and farm problems. However, while the
project had made progress in working with farmers, similar
progress had not been made in "building the production research
capability of the RD including the...substations" (Frolik and
Thompson, 1986:33). Accordingly, the key area identified in the
fourth evaluation as needing strengthening was the "research
station base of adaptive research in the production disciplines
and a clear understanding of the need for a balanced program of
research stations and substations and/or PA headquarters
experimentation, and on-farm trials, tests, and demonstrations"
(Frolik and Thorpson, 1986:ii).

The evaluation team called for assistance to the RD to
continue as a component of the follow-on Lesotho Agricultural
Production and Institutional Support (LAPIS) project. Also, the
team recommended that the RD greatly reduce the number of "on-
farn" replicated field trials and increase the quality and
precision of on-station replicated experiments to maximize
production of reliable data, allowing on-farm demonstrations to
provide farmers with first-hand information.


Dunn, James F.
1983 Project Evaluation Summary of Special Evaluation of
Farming Systems Research Project (No. 632-0065),
conducted by Cal Martin, Dan Gait, and Carolyn Barnes.

Dunn, James F. and Byron Bahl
1980 Project Evaluation Summary of a Preliminary Evaluation
of Farming Systems Research Project (No. 632-0065).

Frolik, Elvin F. and William N. Thompson
1986 Final Evaluation of Farming Systems Research Project
(No. 632-0065). (XD--AAV-915-A)

Martin, Cal, Ken McDermott, Ned Greeley, and Tom Bebout
1981 Interim Evaluation cf Farming Systems Research Project
(No. 632-0065). (PD-AAI-396)

Additional References

Washington State University
1986 Lesotho Farming Systems Research Project. Program
Report, 1979-1986. Washington State University and
Lesotho Ministry of Agriculture and Marketing.
Pullran, Washington: WSU (Washington State

Annex A. Project Description Sheet.

This Project Description Sheet lists the core, operational,
and generic constraints identified in this project, per the
following codes: core (C), operational (0), and generic (G). A
positive (+) sign after a constraint indicates that the project
was effectively coping with the identified constraint.3

Core Constraints (C)

C.I Farmer Orientation
C.2 Farmer Participation
C.3 Locational Specificity of Technical and Human Factors
C.4 Problem-Solving Approach
C.5 Systems Orientation
C.6 Interdisciplinary Approach
C.7 Complementarity with Commodity and Discipline Research
C.8 Technology Testing in On-Farm Trials
C.9 Feedback to Shape:
a. Agricultural xKsearch Priorities
b. Agricultural Policies

Operational Constraints (0)

0.1 Stakeholder Understanding of FSR/E
0.2 Agricultural Research Policy/Strategy Defining Role of FSR/E
0.3 Long-Term Commitment of Resources
0.4 Existing Research Capability and Shelf Technology
0.5 Consensus on FSR/E Methodology
0.6 Capability to Process Farming Systems Data
0.7 Consensus on Criteria for Evaluating FSR/E
0.8 Links with Extension
0.9 Links with Agri-Support Services
0.10 Links with Farmer Organizations

Generic Constraints (G)

G.1 Project Management Structure
G.2 Government Funding to Meet Recurrent Costs
G.3 Staffing with Trained Manpower
G.4 Management of Training
G.5 Management of Technical Assistance
G.6 Factors Beyond a Project's Control

An analysis of these constraints in 12 FSP./E projects appears
in A Review of A.I.D. Experience with Farming Systems Research and
Extension Projects, A.I.D. Evaluation Special Study (forthcoming),
available from A.I.D.'s Document and Information Handling Facility
(per instructions on last page of this report).

Lesotho/FSRP Farming Systems Research Project (632-0065)

Initial Authorization: 1978 (for 5 years)

Goal: "to improve the quality of rural life" and "to increase
rural income from agriculture"

Purpose: Assist the newly established Research Division of the
Ministry of Agriculture in conducting agricultural research "to
create more productive agricultural enterprise mixes which are
acceptable to farmers, sensitive to farmers' management ability,
appropriate to resource availability, and protective of the land
base." Also, "to develop effective means to reach farmers and
gain their understanding and acceptance of the practices

1. Farming Systems Research (FSR) Unit;
2. Farming Systems (FS) program;
3. Strategies for reaching farmers;
4. Trained Basctho personnel;
5. Research and information data base; and
6. Agricultural research library

I-Dlementing Agency: Research Division, Ministry of Agriculture

TA Contractor: Consortium for International Development, with
Washington State University as lead university.

Evaluations: Four -- a preliminary evaluation in 1980 (Dunn and
Bahl, 1980); an interim evaluation in 1981 (Martin, et al.,
1981); a special evaluation in 1983 (Dunn, 1983); and a final
evaluation in 1986 (Frolik and Thompson, 1986).

Constraints: C.1, C.3, C.4, C.7, 0.1, 0.2, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6,
0.7, 0.8, 0.9, C.10, G.2, G.3, G.4, G.5.


This CDIE Working Paper is a case study that was prepared for a
cross-cutting analysis of A.I.D. FSR/E projects, A Review of A.I.D.
Experience with Farming Systems Research and Extension Projects,
A.I.D. Evaluation Special Study (forthcoming). A total of 13 case
studies were prepared. These may be ordered from the A.I.D.
Document and Information Handling Facility, 7222 47th Street, Suite
100, Chevy Chase, MD 20815. Telephone: (301) 951-9647. Please
request CDIE Working Paper No. 112, followed by the required Case
Study No. and PN number.

Botswana Agricultural Technology Improvement Project (633-0221),
CDIE Working Paper No. 112--Case Study No. 1. (P1-ABC-073)

Gambia Mixed Farming and Resource Management Project (635-0203)',
CDIE Working Paper No. 112--Case Study No. 2. (PN-ABC-074)

Lesotho Farming Systems Research Project (632-0065), CDIE Working
Paper No. 112--Case Study No. 3. (PN-ABC-075)

Malawi Agricultural Research Project (612-0202), CDIE Working Paper
No. 112--Case Study No. 4. (PN-ABC-076)

Senegal Agricultural Research and Planning Project (685-0223), CDIE
Working Paper No. 112--Case Study No. 5. (PN-ABC-077)

Tanzania Farming Systems Research Project (621-0156), CDIE Working
Paper No. 112--Case Study No. 6. (PN-ABC-078)

Zambia Agricultural Development Research & Extension Project (611-
0201), CDIE Working Paper No. 112--Case Study No. 7. (PN-ABC-079)

Nepal Agricultural Research and Production Project (367-0149), CDIE
Working Paper No. 112--Case Study No. 8. (PN-ABC-080).

Philippines Farming Systems Development Project-Eastern Visayas
(492-0356), CDIE Working Paper No. 112--Case Study No. 9. (PN-ABC-

Guatemala Food Productivity and Nutritional Improvement Project
(520-0232), CDIE Working Paper No. 112--Case Study No. 10. (PN-ABC-

Honduras Agricultural Research Project (522-0139), CDIE Working
Paper No. 112--Case Study No. 11. (PN-ABC-083)

ROCAP Small Farn Production Systems Prcject (596-0083), CDIE Working
Paper No. 112--Case Study No. 12. (PN-ABC-084)

Vignettes of Core, Operational, and Generic Constraints in 12
A.I.D.-Funded Farming Systems Research and Extension Projects, CDIE
Working Paper No. 112--Case Study No. 13. (PN-ABC-127)

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