Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 The urgency of accelerating production...
 The Puebla project: A regional...
 Rapid increases in corn yields...
 The program of the foundation for...
 Value of agronomic research in...
 Methodology and results of evaluation...
 Benefit-cost analysis of the Puebla...
 Philosophy and operating principles...
 A summary of what we have learned...
 Possible roles of CIMMYT in national...
 Open discussion of possible roles...
 Visit to the Puebla project
 Back Cover

Title: Strategies for increasing agricultural production on small holdings
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00075706/00001
 Material Information
Title: Strategies for increasing agricultural production on small holdings
Physical Description: 86p. : illus. ; 28cm.
Language: English
Creator: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Conference: International Conference on Strategies for Increasing Agricultural Production on Small Holdings, (1970
Publisher: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Place of Publication: Mexico
Publication Date: 1970?
Subject: Agriculture -- Economic aspects -- Congresses   ( lcsh )
Farm management -- Congresses   ( lcsh )
Farms, Size of -- Congresses   ( lcsh )
Genre: conference publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: El Salvador
Statement of Responsibility: Edited by Delbert T. Myren
General Note: Cover title.
General Note: Proceedings of the second conference, held in English, Aug. 6-7, 1970.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00075706
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 00565451

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
    The urgency of accelerating production on small farms
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
    The Puebla project: A regional program for rapidly increasing corn yields among 50,000 small holders
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
    Rapid increases in corn yields on small irrigated holdings in the region near Chapingo, Mexico
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
    The program of the foundation for promotion of cooperatives (FPC) in El Salvador
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    Value of agronomic research in a project to rapidly increase crop production
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
    Methodology and results of evaluation in the puebla project
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
    Benefit-cost analysis of the Puebla project
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
    Philosophy and operating principles for programs to increase agricultural production in areas of small holdings
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    A summary of what we have learned about increasing productivity among small land holders
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
    Possible roles of CIMMYT in national programs to obtain rapid yield increases
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
    Open discussion of possible roles of development agencies in raising yields among small farmers
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
    Visit to the Puebla project
        Page 86
    Back Cover
        Back Cover
Full Text

srat gi I cas

*) I II
Sa u a

tio on smal hlns

Intrntina C nfrece PebaM~xc

E S* SAugu-s t 1970

Lo n d r s 40 Aparlado Poi al 6-641 MIxico 6, D. F M6xico



3 Preface
5 The urgency of accelerating production on small farms.
E. J. Wellhausen.
11 The Puebla Project: A regional program for rapidly increasing corn
yields among 50,000 small holders. Leobardo Jim6nez.
19 Rapid increases in corn yields on small irrigated holdings in the region
near Chapingo, M6xico. Abdo Magdub, Alberto Zuloaga.
27 The program of the Foundation for Promotion of Cooperatives (FPC) in
El Salvador. Jos6 Romeo Maeda, Jesus Merino Argueta, Sebald
35 Value of agronomic research in a project to rapidly increase corn
production. Antonio Turrent.
43 Methodology and Results of Evaluation in the Puebla Project.
Heliodoro Diaz, Juan Manuel Rangel.
51 Cost-benefit analysis of the Puebla Project. Delbert T. Myren, Jairo Cano.
63 Philosophy and operating principles for a program aimed at increasing
crop yields among small holders, based on experience in the Puebla
Project. Leobardo Jim6nez.
69 A summary of what we have learned about increasing productivity among
small land holders. Eduardo Alvarez Luna.
73 Possible roles of CIMMYT in national programs to obtain rapid yield
increases. Reggie J. Laird.
79 Open discussion of possible roles of development agencies in raising
yields among small farmers. Keith W. Finlay (presiding).
85 Visit to the Puebla Project.
86 Participants.

edited by:


The proceedings recorded here are the result of two international
conferences held in early August, 1970, in the City of Puebla, Mexico.
The theme of both meetings was the same: "Strategies for increasing
agricultural production on small holdings". The first conference, held in
Spanish from August 3-5, was attended by more than 120 agricultural
technicians from Mexico and 14 other Latin American countries. The
second held in English on August 6 and 7 drew participants from 15
international development organizations.
The urgent question confronting the participants in both meetings
was how to incorporate the small holders into modern agriculture. It was
recognized that these farmers have a key role to play in terms of national
food production and that by adopting modern agricultural methods they
might also improve their own levels of living.
For the first conference an effort was made to invite a balanced
group of professional workers mainly from the countries where the joint
problem of small holdings and low yields is most accute. Following this
criteria, in general three outstanding individuals were invited from each
country: one from a key position in a government planning post or
central bank, an agronomist actively engaged in agricultural research,
and a man actively involved in extension or in agricultural infrastructure,
such as credit, fertilizer distribution, or marketing. In a few cases where
a strong interest had developed in this problem, the countries financed
the travel and per diem of additional participants.
Clear-cut norms were established as to the kind of participants
desired. Before extending invitations the potential participants were in-
formed of the goals of the conference. This would not be just one
more discussion of the problems of the small holders. This would be
a meeting of professional workers with a sincere interest in doing some-
thing about the problem and in a position where potentially they might
contribute to its solution. Also there should be a next stage -the
formulation of a specific development project to be proposed for financ-
ing to their respective governments or private or international organi-
zations. There would be some opportunity during the conference for
discussing preliminary proposals. In addition, an outline was sent ahead
to serve as a guide for organizing ideas and collecting preliminary data.
It was made clear that each participant should have a defined interest
because only in this way would it be possible to focus the discussion on
concrete methods and objectives. The result of these pre-conditions was
a surprisingly frank discussion of the short-comings of past programs
and a rather well focused discussion of ways to make future strategies
more effective. There appeared to be a complete awareness of the
problem, and the participants came with the clear purpose in mind of
discussing possible alternative strategies for attacking the problem.
The second conference, reported in this proceedings issue, brought
together high level representatives from 15 international organizations
involved in agricultural development. Here again it was found that the
international dialogue that has been going on about the urgency of
raising yields on small holdings has reached the point where most

professionals are in agreement on the need. The participants were ready
to get down to a specific discussion of strategies. Much of the discus-
sion focused around questions of what was unique about the strategies
employed in the three case studies presented and which, or how much,
of them might be fruitfully employed in other areas with similar problems.
A separate proceedings issue is being published for each meeting.
The content of the papers presented at the Spanish meeting is identical,
but the discussions, of course, are different. The English discussions
recorded in this issue are based largely on notes taken by Dr. Gregorio
Martinez and have been edited to present as concise a summary as
possible of the points covered.
This English edition includes only the English papers and discussions
presented on August 6 and 7. In the discussion, only the last name
of the speaker is recorded. Full names and positions appear in the list
of participants at the conclusion of this report.
The conferences were sponsored jointly by the Mexican Ministry of
Agriculture, the Government of the State of Puebla, the Graduate College
of the National School of Agriculture at Chapingo, the National Institute
for Agricultural Research and the International Maize and Wheat Im-
provement Center (CIMMYT). The costs of travel and per diem for many
of the participants and the publication of these proceedings, were cov-
ered in large part by a grant of US$24,600 from the Rockefeller Foun-
The first conference was inaugurated by the Secretary of Agriculture,
Prof. Juan Gil Preciado and an official welcome was given by the Gov-
ernor of the State of Puebla, Dr. Rafael Moreno Valle. The conferences
were officially closed on August 7 by the Sub-Secretary for Agriculture,
Ing. Ricardo Acosta Velasco. All three of these official statements are
included in the Spanish Proceedings.
In order to facilitate international comparisons, unless otherwise
indicated monetary values in this report are expressed in US dollars
and weights are expressed in the metric system.

the urgency of accelerating production on small farms


DURING THE LAST two decades tremendous
progress has been made in agricultural pro-
duction in the developing areas of the world.
Never before has so much progress been made
so quickly.
Since 1950, wheat production in Mexico
has increased from around 300,000 tons to
approximately 2.5 million, about 8 fold. Yields
per unit area increased from 800 kg/ha to
about 2,800 -more than 3.5 times. The aver-
age yield for the important wheat producing
states of northwest Mexico is now over 3,600
kg/ha. During the last few years, Mexico has
limited the acreage planted to wheat to pre-
vent unmanageable surpluses.
Similarly, but somewhat less spectacularly,
maize production increased by more than 250
percent in the last two decades -from 3.5
million tons in a good rainfall year in the late
1940's to about 9 million tons in a good year
like 1968. During this same period, average
yields per- hectare doubled, from 700 kg/ha
to about 1,400.
Sorghum production is perhaps ever more
striking, having grown from about 30,000 tons
to 2 million tons, with most of the increase
during the last decade. During the last two
decades, Mexico has become self-sufficient in
its basic food and feed grains, with a popu-
'Director General, CIMMYT, Mexico.

lation that almost doubled during the same
These are extraordinary achievements and
have been referred to in international circles
as the "Green Revolution". These advances
can be attributed in large part to a combina-
tion of three factors:
1. High yielding, widely adapted, fertilizer
responsive, disease resistant varieties;
2. An improved package of cultural prac-
tices, including better land management, ad-
equate fertilization and better weed and insect
control which permitted these varieties to more
fully express their high yield capabilities, and
3. A favorable relationship between the
cost of fertilizer and other inputs and the price
the farmer received for his product -perhaps
the most important factor of all.
In the case of corn, the high yielding vari-
eties in combination with improved cultural
practices and good moisture conditions pro-
duced yields 50 to 100 percent greater than
those obtained with traditional techniques.
The increases were even higher in the
case of wheat, where a favorable relationship
between the cost of new inputs and price of
product afforded profit increases of nearly
100 percent. As a result, this new science-
based technology spread very rapidly, without
special promotion programs, among the com-

mercial farmers in areas where risks were at
a minimum.
The power of this combination of factors
in sparking an almost miraculous acceleration
of wheat production is amply illustrated in
India and Pakistan. With the seed and pro-
duction technology imported from Mexico, Pak-
istan raised its total wheat production from
4.6 million tons to 8.4 -an increase of 83
percent in five years. Similarly, India, with the
same varieties and production technology im-
ported from Mexico, raised production from
a high of 12 million tons in 1965 to over 20
mililon in 1970- and increase of 64 precent.
Rice production is a similar story. With
the development and distribution of the new
high yielding varieties, along with new pro-
duction techniques perfected by the Interna-
tional Rice Research Institute at Los Bahos,
yields of rice have soared in many parts of
South and Southeast Asia.
The Philippines attained self-sufficiency in
five years with extensive plantings of the semi-
dwarf variety IR8. Over a similar period, Ceylon
increased production by 50 percent, and rice
production has risen spectacularly in West
Pakistan with extensive use of these new vari-
eties and production techniques. In India, with
the new varieties and improved technology
rapidly coming into use, striking increases are
expected during the next few years.
The forerunners of this green revolution in
South and Southeast Asia are wheat and rice,
but maize and sorghum -the other important
food grains of the world- are running quietly
Thailand set another high record in maize
production in 1969. During the past decade,
production has increased at the rate of about
52,000 hectares and 100,000 tons per year,
using new high yielding varieties and cultural
practices. West Pakistan reported a 30 per-
cent increase in yield over the past year.
India has boosted the area planted to maize
from 40-50 percent since 1960 with yields per
unit area steadily climbing. The new dwarf
varieties of sorghum are moving almost as
rapidly, especially in India and Pakistan. Al-
together, the area planted to the new high
yielding varieties of wheat, rice, maize and
sorghum in South and Southeast Asia climbed
from practically zero in 1964-65 to 15 million
hectares in 1969-70.
These are almost miraculous accomplish-
ments, never before attained in the history of
the world, and along with them have come new
hopes for the most heavily populated area of
the universe. This experience has clearly dem-

onstrated that the first problem in increasing
production is not the changing of farmers' at-
titudes and ancient customs, but rather the
developing of the appropriate technical pro-
duction which will substantially increase yields
and with favorable pricing policies allow the
farmer to make a profit.
These results have surprised many influ-
ential people and have brought about a drastic
shift in attitudes toward the possibility of the
world feeding itself. Many countries in the
Near East and North Africa such as Afghan-
istan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Tunisia, Algeria and
Morocco have undertaken programs of self-
sufficiency in wheat, based initially on the high
yielding varieties developed in Mexico.
In South America, Brazil has launched a
new science-based program with hopes of
supplying its own requirements of wheat by
tripling production from one million to three
million tons. Since the Mexican varieties are
not directly adaptable, Brazil has undertaken
an extensive breeding program of its own as
an essential first step. On the other hand,
Bolivia and Ecuador hope to reach self-suf-
ficiency soon with varieties developed in Mex-
ico and Colombia.
The Green Revolution is spreading and
many countries are aiming at self-sufficiency.
There is no doubt that most food deficient
countries can, with the proper technological
package and government policies, become self-
sufficient in their basic food grains. The ques-
tion becomes not so much whether it can be
done, but how it should be done, or whether
from a purely economic standpoint, it should
be attempted at all. In regard to this, each
country will need to make its own decisions.
This is the bright side of the coin. But as
we turn the coin over and look at the darker
side, we find there is no time for compla-
cency even in those countries of the develop-
ing world that have reached apparent self-
sufficiency. Upon careful analysis, it is evident
that the green revolution up to now, has
moved ahead on its own momentum. It has
become self-propelled primarily among the
larger, more commercially-minded, well-estab-
lished farmers. Furthermore, as one might
expect, the new varieties and technologies
have flourished and moved fastest in those
areas where production risks were lowest and
profit prospects the highest. All farmers have
not benefited equally from this advance in
In Mexico, wheat production is concen-
trated in the irrigated areas of the Pacific

Northwest and the central Bajio. New tech-
nologies in corn production, as could be ex-
pected, have been adopted first in the areas
with best rainfall, among the larger, more com-
mercial farmers. Sorghum, supposedly a crop
for dry areas with highly variable rainfall, is
being grown by the highly commercialized
farmers in the better rainfall areas and often
under irrigation.
In Guatemala, modern technologies in corn
production tend to be used more in the Pacific
lowland coastal areas. These areas can fully
supply the needs of the cities -yet most of
Guatemala's rural, corn-eating people live in
the highlands where they attempt to produce
their own food and eke out a meager exis-
Colombia has its rich valleys like the Cauca
and the lowland plains of the northwest with
a tremendous potential for food production
using the new science-based technologies.
However, most of the rural people live in the
Ecuador is trying to reach self-sufficiency
in wheat by concentrating production in the
two or three more favorable valleys and is
markedly increasing its corn production in the
Pacific coastal areas -yet most of the rural
people are located in the highlands.
Peru has made a great impact with hybrid
corn in the irrigated coastal area which has
contributed to a tremendous increase in meat
and egg production. However, the bulk of the
rural people attempt to produce their food in
the highlands with outmoded traditional meth-
Bolivia is attempting to supply its own re-
quirements in wheat by applying the new sci-
ence-based package in selected areas, and is
increasing its corn production in the lowlands
with composite varieties, introduced from Mex-
ico. Here also, the supply of food will be
increased in the cities but the large rural
subsistence sector in the highlands will be
Brazil has made substantial advances in
corn production through the use of hybrid-corn
in the States of Sao Paulo, Parana and Minas
Gerais, but little has been done in the poverty-
stricken rural areas of the northeast. Although
Brazil has almost unlimited land that can be
brought into production, it is not likely that
her rural problems can be solved by expand-
ing into new regions without an attempt to
increase production in some of the presently
overcrowded rural areas.
Even Argentina is beginning to have its
rural poverty problems. The ever increasing

"chacareros" with relative small holdings
are finding it difficult to make a living with
their present production techniques. They will
be forced to adopt the new science-based
technology, along with help from a more favor-
able pricing policy if they are to make a fair
In most of the Latin American countries,
the tendency is to concentrate the new sci-
entific production package and investments
in the more favorable areas with the better
farmers. From a purely economic standpoint,
it is probably wise to direct the usually scarce
credit resources to where they can be most
efficiently used and return the largest divi-
dends. But there is another aspect not always
readily apparent. Most countries have a three-
fold agricultural policy: (1) to provide suffi-
cient food and fiber to meet national require-
ments at .a reasonable price, (2) to produce
crops that can be exported to bolster foreign
exchange, and (3) to increase the standard of
living and income levels of the rural masses
-especially the low-income farmers and ag-
ricultural laborers.
This latter policy has become a major
problem in most developing countries and it is
being attacked in various ways, often without
much success. One high level Mexican offi-
cial recently pointed out that large sums have
been invested in agricultural research, exten-
sion and educational institutions, that addi-
tional sources of credit have been found for
the farmers, that large sums have been in-
vested in irrigation projects, but still the prob-
lem of the small, non-commercial or semi-com-
mercial farmer remains unchanged.
Although the fruits of all these efforts
eventually may reach the small subsistence
farmers, it is urgent that ways be found where-
by the new science-based technology can be
more rapidly extended to the large number of
non- or semi-commercial farmers whose pri-
mary concern is producing enough for them-
selves and their families to eat. How to do
this is the number one problem confronting
the developing world today. In our turbulent
revolution-ridden world, the time lag between
improvements at one level of society and those
at another must not be prolonged if explosive
consequences are to be avoided.
For these reasons it is urgent to put a
wider base under the green revolution and
extend its benefits to a larger number of
people in the rural sector. I would like to take
the next few minutes to review for you some
of the factors which contribute to this urgency.

First. As we have noted, most of the
farmers in the developing world today are still
in the subsistence or semi-subsistence class,
despite tremendous advances in total food
production. In pointing out the magnitude of
this problem, I shall draw heavily upon ex-
amples in Mexico because I have resided in
this country for the last 27 years and am more
fully acquainted with its agricultural and social
problems. By this, I do not wish to imply that
the problems here are more acute than in
other areas of the developing world. As a
matter of fact, Mexico's gross national product
has been growing at the rate of 6 percent per
year. Few countries in the tropical and sub-
tropical areas around the globe have been able
to equal this advance. Also, I doubt that you
will find any countries more desirous of ex-
tending the benefits of this progress to all its
In .Mexico, as in other parts of the world,
it is difficult to determine exactly who falls
into the subsistence or semi-subsistence class
of farming; however, it has been estimated
that 30 percent of the farmers in this dynamic
country produce 70 percent of the food. If
these estimates are correct, about 70 percent
of the farmers are still engaged primarily in
producing at a subsistence level, enough to
sustain a single family. Furthermore, it is
estimated that this massive group of small
subsistence farmers, together With their fam-
ilies and a large associated group of rural ag-
ricultural workers and their families, comprises
approximately 20 million people or two per-
sons out of every 5 in the entire Mexican
The situation in Latin America as a whole,
exclusive of Argentina, seems to be even more
serious. In studying the available statistics, it
appears that about 50 percent of the people of
Latin America depend largely upon a subsis-
tence type of agriculture.
And in the world as a whole, the problem
is even more ominous. If we define the sub-
sistence farmer as one who uses most of what
he grows to meet the needs of his own family,
he is found wherever land is arable, on all
three continents from latitudes of Alaska on
the north to the southern tip of Argentina on
the south. He may grow cassava in Africa,
wheat and rice in South and Southeast Asia,
and corn in the Americas. He almost always
lives at a low standard and close to the edge
of poverty.
It is even more difficult to determine the
number of subsistence farmers in the world
than it is to determine the number within any

one country. Various estimates have been
attempted, the most recent ones were made
independently by Whittlesey and Woytinsky.
Whittlesey, in a paper published in 1936, esti-
mated that subsistence farming, hunting and
fishing involved about 60 percent of mankind.
Similarly, Woytinsky (1953) estimated that in
1948 about 55 percent of the world's popula-
tion or about 1.4 billion people were involved
in some form of subsistence economy. Al-
though these estimates were made 20 to 30
years ago, it is doubtful if the numbers have
been reduced. On the contrary, with a rapid
growth in population since then, the numbers
have probably increased. From this informa-
tion I believe it is safe to conclude that more
than one half of the people of the world de-
pend upon a subsistence type of agriculture.
When we take into account that this figure
includes highly developed areas of the world
in which less than 8 percent of the people are
engaged in agriculture, it seems certain that
some countries contain a very high percent-
age of people involved in subsistence agricul-
ture. The plight of these masses of people is
relevant to my second point.
Second. It is urgent to extend the new
science-based technology to the subsistence
farmer for purely humanitarian reasons. As I
indicated before, most of the subsistence farm-
ers live in poverty or on the edge of poverty.
Their labors gain them little more than mere
survival. Many of them will die prematurely
because of malnutrition. Their children often
are stunted mentally and physically because
of the lack of a well-balanced protein diet.
They have little or no access to modern med-
ical treatment and their energies are often
sapped by intestinal and blood parasites. Yet
their motivations and responses do not differ
greatly from those of more fortunate members
of society. They are entitled to a chance to
achieve more than mere survival. They de-
serve an opportunity to produce more, to par-
ticipate more directly in the overall develop-
ment of their country, and to live a more
satisfactory and useful life.
Third. It is urgent to increase the pro-
duction of the subsistence farmer because it
is doubtful that the present commercial farm-
ing sector alone will be able to produce the
food to keep pace with the current rate of
population increase.
Woytinsky (1953) estimates that 40 percent
of the land of the world under cultivation is
in the hands of the subsistence farmer. This
means that in certain areas it is much higher.
For example, the Sub-Secretary of Agriculture

for East and West Pakistan recently informed
me that over-all figure for his country is closer
to 70 percent.
The Third World Food Survey of FAO
predicts that world food supplies must be
increased by one third by 1980 to merely sus-
tain the present unsatisfactory level of diet.
It is questionable whether this increase can
be obtained, even with modern technological
methods, on only 60 percent of the good culti-
vated land.
In Mexico, it is estimated that only 45
percent of the good cultivated land is farmed
commercially. At its present rate of popula-
tion growth the present 50 million will have
grown to more than 100 million by 1990. With
growing demands for corn for processing and
for livestock feed this means that corn pro-
duction must be more than doubled in the next
20 years, and this is not likely without raising
the production of the subsistence farmers.
Fourth. Production increases are urgent to
prevent a possible social upheaval. In these
times, a wide disequilibrium in the level of
living between one social sector and that of
another is apt to cause serious consequences.
It is becoming more evident each day that
the rural poor do not stay out. The young
men and women are migrating to the cities,
or elsewhere, looking for a better way of life.
Jobs are insufficient to provide work for all
and the rings of poverty continue to 'grow
around the major cities and industrial centers.
This movement cannot continue without some
kind of explosion. The first step in slowing
down this migration is to help the subsistence
farmer make more efficient use of the land at
his disposal.
Fifth. It is urgent to increase the produc-
tion of the subsistence farmer to facilitate rap-
id, orderly, and overall growth of the devel-
oping nations. An increase in output of sub-
sistence farmers would not only provide a
better life for the vast majority of people now
involved in this type of activity but it also

would provide a vast new market for con-
sumer goods, thus greatly stimulating indus-
trial development which in turn would create
more jobs for more people.
Subsistence agriculture represents an enor-
mous growth potential in most developing na-
tions. A rapid development of this potential
would stimulate a greater demand for indus-
trial goods and a more rapid development of
the overall economy. Consequently the re-
turns could be very high. Not only can we
help the individual farmer and his family to
a better and more fruitful existence, we also
can bring him in as a participant in the over-
all development of his community and his
country with potential for adding to the eco-
nomic stability of the whole world.
It seems apparent that no country can af-
ford to by-pass the subsistence farmers. The
question is: How can subsistence farmers with
small holdings be encouraged and helped to
adopt the new science-based technology?
A rapid, economic solution to this question
must be found. In most countries the small
farms are not going to become larger; neither
is the number of small farmers going to become
smaller. They are here to stay. As a matter
of fact man-land ratios can be expected to
worsen and small farmers are apt to become
numerous as the population continues to grow.
I believe that everyone here today is aware
of the seriousness of this agricultural prob-
lem. This conference is an attempt to bring
together, for your information and discussion,
reviews of three projects which have attempted
to develop an answer appropriate to a given
set of social and ecological conditions. You
also will have an opportunity to see some of
the activities of one of these projects. We
hope everyone will enter freely into the dis-
cussions. There is much to learn and the
problem is urgent. We hope that each of you
will leave here with some new ideas of how
you may attack this agricultural-social prob-

the puebla project: a regional program for rapidly in-
creasing corn yields among 50,000 small holders


TODAY I WANT to give you a general review
of what the Puebla Project is about. And I
want to explain how it has developed, rather
than describe what the program is today. I
will try to show how the people in the program
have been able to overcome specific prob-
lems and what some of the accomplishments
have been after three years. And I want to
stimulate your thinking, because that is the
first step in this approach -finding logical
solutions or alternatives to the relevant prob-
You already know some of the natural
characteristics of our country. Most of our
rural population lives at a subsistence level,
each family producing just enough for its own
use. How can we make this kind of agri-
culture more efficient? How can the resources
involved become more productive?
At the start, we must say that we don't
know the answers. This is the key to our ap-
proach. We're looking for answers. We are
searching, learning, looking for new alterna-
tives. We have some strong basic beliefs -
we believe in the potential of our farm sector,
the maturity and scientific capabilities of our
institutions and our government. We feel that
new alternatives can be found by combining
our resources.

'Professor-Researcher, Graduate College, National
School of Agriculture, Chapingo, Mexico and General
Coordinator of the Puebla Project.

So today I want to communicate to you the
reasons that we believe in our approach, what
we now know, and what we intend to do. And
while I am detailing this progress, I hope to
involve you in a discussion about the program
and also learn from you some of the answers
and alternatives for the future.

The continuing development of Mexican
agriculture is a good index of Mexico's partic-
ipation in the technological revolution 'in recent
years. In particular, this revolution has begun
to focus on major needs of the rural people,
a major part of the country's population.
Resources, especially arable land, are lim-
ited. The agricultural census of 1960 indicated
that Mexico has about 23,817,000 hectares of
tillable land. These lands constituted approx-
imately 14.1% of the total 169,000,000 hectares
registered in the census. That is to say, in
1970 the arable land would provide less than
one'half hectare for each inhabitant. This re-
lationship will become more critical as pop-
ulation pressures increase. There is an urgent
need to learn how the land resource can be
made more productive.
The land limitation is accentuated by
the fact that the arable land in Mexican
agriculture includes 3.1% of soils with good
subsoil moisture, 14.8% of irrigated land, and

82.1% of land with natural rainfall. These
facts indicate that major attention must be
given to improving the cultivation of natural
rainfall areas.
From the point of view of the technician,
the economist, the social scientist and the
politician, these facts have fundamental impli-
cations, because about 20 million Mexican
people live in these rural areas. The majority
of these Mexican farmers depend mainly on
cultivation of rainfed land. This may help to
explain why it is of great importance to know
and understand this type of agriculture.
Recent research also points up the socio-
economic polarization of our agricultural de-
velopment. At one end of this spectrum are
situated about 50% of the producers who gen-
erate only 4% of the total national. agricultural
product. On the other extreme are about 5%
of the producers who generate 32% of the
total national product.
This polarity can be explained as a func-
tion of the resources which are available for
use by the producers. In effect, 16.3% of the
larger family and multifamily farms account
for about 91.0% of the total value of machinery
and about 97.3% of the irrigated lands. In
contrast the 83.7% of subsistence and sub-
family farms account for only 9% of the value
of the machinery and 2.7% of the irrigated
In other words, 83.7% of the farm land
of Mexico is operated by very small farmers
or ejidatarios who operate within a rainfed
type of agriculture, using traditional methods,
primitive equipment, and their own capital,
producing essentially for their own consump-
tion, obtaining very low yields and participating
in a very limited way in the market economy.
This situation explains why we need to
increase productivity, and why we should seek
ways to correct the low productivity, limited
opportunities and great needs of the rural fam-
ilies. In number they constitute a valuable
human resource for the development of the
country and ought to be incorporated quickly
into the economic life that is bringing so many
benefits to other sectors of the population.
With these problems in mind, and feeling
the great urgency of finding solutions, the
Puebla Project was begun in 1967.
We have confidence in its success because
of the following fundamental aspects: 1) the
real concern that exists for the "problem of
rural Mexico", 2) genuine interest within the
public sector in seeking solutions to the prob-
lem, 3) the accomplishment of agricultural re-
search in Mexico in finding ways to increase

production, 4) the maturity of our technicians
and scientists who are able to investigate the
problem without dogmatic restrictions or con-
ventions, and 5) the importance of corn culti-
vation Within the economic and psychological
aspects of the small farmer's culture.

The concept of development embodied in
the Puebla Project has continued to change
as the work has progressed. For this reason it
may be fruitful to synthesize what the program
is, both in retrospect and looking to the future.

Fundamental Criteria in Establishing the Project
The. Puebla Project was established with a
central interest in learning about two essential
problems which chronically affect farmers pro-
ducing at a subsistence level under conditions
of rainfed agriculture. The problems were: 1)
low levels of production, and 2) low incomes
and nutritional deficiencies. The question was:
"How can we transform this vast traditional
agricultural sector into a modern and viable
agriculture in a short time, and, in economical
terms, convert it to a practical and attractive

The Objectives
It was essential to specify the objectives
in terms relevant to the problem. These ob-
jectives were: 1) to bring about rapid increases
of corn yields on rainfed farms, 2) to system-
atize the methodology of the process of change
for its possible application to other crops and
in other social and economic situations, 3) to
set up a program of training and preparation
of technicians based on experiences gained in
the solution of the problems of the small farmer
within a subsistence economy.

Locating the Area
It was essential to specify the objectives
ought to be sufficiently large -50,000 to
200,000 hectares- to make an effective dem-
onstration of both the problem and the results.
It should be located in an area with consid-
erable population pressure, where corn is the
principal crop. With these criteria in mind,
it was decided that the project should be lo-
cated in some part of the Central Plateau, an
area in which about half of the population
in Mexico is concentrated.
For the location of the specific area, two
principal prerequisites were decided upon: 1)
An ecology favorable for substantial increases
in corn yields; 2) a favorable political environ-
ment for carrying out a program to stimulate

increased agricultural production. In this way,
the present area was selected.
With the prerequisites specified and the
area located, it was felt that the success of the
plan would rest upon: 1) the appropriateness
of the strategy, 2) the organization of the
human elements, and 3) the capabilities, skills,
and dedication of the technical personnel.

Detailed Exploration of the Area
With the area selected, a more detailed
exploration was needed to obtain information
about: 1) the topography and ground commu-
nications, 2) the production techriology em-
ployed by the farmer, 3) the importance of
corn from an economic, cultural, and psycho-
logical point of view for the farmers in the
area, 4) an estimate of the yields and deter-
mination of the limiting factors in maize pro-
duction, and 5) the varieties of maize used
and the quantity needed for home consumption
in the area. In addition, it was necessary to
obtain personal knowledge about the farmers,
authorities, local leaders and communities to
be involved.
It also was necessary to review the agri-
cultural development institutions, both official
and private -their functions, their interrelation-
ships, their activities in relation to the program,
and their attitudes in relation to the program
being initiated.
The purpose of this initial exploration con-
sisted basically of: 1) defining the agricultural,
social, economic and political problems with
the aim of formulating adequate plans, and 2)

Institutional Sector

determining how the program might be re-
ceived by the institutionalized social environ-
ment in order to develop a successful strategy.

The propose structure was one that should
stimulate participation of all those human el-
ements which play a role in the process of
production and distribution.
This .structure would recognize that estab-
lishing human relationships among the various
strata and social levels is a difficult problem
in itself. The structure of social relations should
permit the establishment of communication
among all human elements involved in the
program. Later, the concept of the Puebla
Project, would move from its initial somewhat
abstract stage into a more concrete image. It
was accepted that the Project, although ori-
ented toward technical aspects of production,
might encounter obstacles in the area of human
relations, an aspect that would have to be
watched throughout the entire process.
The elements for organization of the pro-
gram were divided essentially into three sectors:
1) existing agricultural service institutions, 2)
the farmers of the area, and 3) the newly
created technical team.
To reach the objectives of the program, it
would be necessary to develop an integral
focus that would allow a simultaneous attack
on the multiple existing problems. This focus
would permit all sectors to participate in an
organized fashion, adapting their systems and

Nature and Function

Agenda General de Agricultura
Direcci6n de Agricultura del Estado
Guanos y Fertilizantes de M6xico, S. A.
Banco Nacional de Cr6dito Agricola
Banco Nacional de Crdlito Ejidal
Banco Agropecuario del Sur
Fondo de Garantia, Banco de M6xico
Asoclaci6n de pequeiios propietarios
Liga de comunidades agrarias
Pr6ductora Nacional de Semillas
Aseguradora Nacional Agricola y Ganadera
Compafia Nacional de Subsistenciag Populares
Private commercial enterprises
Agricultural Sector
50,000 farmers in the area, potentially participants in the
Technical Sector
10-12 technicians responsible for the following programs:
Agronomic research
Agricultural extension

Agricultural policy, federal level
Agricultural policy, state level
Fertilizer distribution
Political organization
Political organization
Improved seeds
Crop insurance
Marketing and price support
Credit and investment


Obtaining of new technology
Intense diffusion of the technology through organizing
groups of farmers
Evaluation of social and economic changes
Direction and application of the strategy



methods of work to the needs of the program.
In this way, it would be possible to initiate the
changes sought and the necessary adjustments
could be made as the program progressed.
To maintain the dynamism of the process,
it was considered essential to attack the prob-
lem with all existing resources, using a strategy
that would permit, not only joint action, but
also the participation of well-motivated person-
nel with the ability and interest to achieve the
goals of the project. Similarly, it was neces-
sary to have a flexible administrative system -
not a bureaucratic one- an adequate budget,
vehicles, and freedom of movement oriented
towards maximum efficiency for the program.

The strategy of the Puebla Project com-
bines resources and methods to provide a
simultaneous attack on the obstacles to achiev-
ing the defined goals. It must respond quickly
to new problems as they appear. This strategy
must be the means by which limiting factors
are overcome, according to priorities deter-
mined by their intensity and persistence.

Knowledge of Existing Conditions
The following conditions were considered
as possible limiting factors in carrying out the
1. Cultural values in the system had per-
sisted over many centuries. New innovations
or changes introduced would need to take
these cultural values into account.
2. A well defined system of farming, partic-
ularly for the production of corn, that has re-
sisted changes from the outside. This type of
cultivation is of great relevance in the eco-
nomy and psychology of the farm family.
3. Chronic low yields of just over 1 ton
per hectare, in spite of generally favorable
ecological conditions that have permitted the
producer to perceive, among other deficiencies,
the low fertility of the soils. His efforts to in-
crease yields, using inadequate quantities and
types of fertilizers, have demonstrated the
need to produce more; however he has been
incapable of doing so with his own methods.
Alternatives presented to these farmers must
carry very limited economic risk if they are
to be considered relevant.
4. The existence of small farmholdings on
which the farmers have on the average about
2.5 hectares per family, primitive equipment,
little or no capital to invest in agriculture, only
2.5 years of elementary schooling, families of

five to six members, and levels of living re-
stricted by a family income of about US$480
per year.
5. The traditional patterns of growing corn
for human and animal consumption, with only
a limited surplus for sale. Because of this
dependency on corn for food, changes in seeds
or other innovations will be considered risky.
6. The existence of service institutions for
agriculture that have been established in the
area for many years is at once both an excel-
lent resource and a possible source of resis-
tance as methods and systems of work have
been defined and may be difficult to change
because of the implicit risks involved. Also
there is a stereotyped view that the small
farmers are not good credit risks.

Restrictions and Components of the Operational
There are two restrictions that will test
the efficiency of the strategy in attaining the
defined goals: 1) a time factor specifying
that corn yields be doubled within 5 or 6
years, and 2) a limited number of technicians
(12), who must service a group of 50,000
farmers who cultivate 116,000 has in 32 muni-
cipios, and live in a very complex social, econ-
omic and cultural system.
Under these conditions, it was decided that
the strategy of the Puebla Project would in-
clude the following factors:
1. Development of new technology, with
the participation of the farmers in research
conducted on their own lands.
2. Effective communication of agricultural
information among the three participating sec-
tors -the farmers, the directors of the agricul-
tural institutions, and the members of the
technical team.
3. Ready availability of production credit,
with reasonable interest rates and a conve-
nient time payment period, available from both
official and private sources.
4. Ready availability of adequate agricul-
tural supplies, in places which are accessible
to the farmers.
5. Acceptable relationships between the
costs of inputs and the prices paid for the
6. Convenient markets, with a guarantee
price that is stable and attractive for the pro-
7. Crop insurance, with the fundamental
aim of protecting the investment of the pro-
ducer against climatological factors that might
endanger the harvest.

Operation of the Project
The operation of the Project from its ini-
tiation up through the fourth year (1970) can
be summarized as follows:

Stage I. New technology and preparation of
the social system (1967-1968)
1. Formation of an adequate technical
2. Development of new technology ob-
tained by research on various aspects of pro-
ductivity and by development of improved
seed on farmer's fields in the area.
3. Establishment of links with agricultural
service institutions -federal, state and local-
with a continuing flow of information about the
Project which might be relevant to the functions
of these institutions.
4. Contact with local leaders and farmers
to inform them about the plan and to acquaint
them with the ways in which yields might be
5. Selection of the first 103 farmers, who
applied the results of the research obtained
in 1967 to 76 hectares of high yield plots in
1968. This group obtained credit, agricultural
inputs, crop insurance and objective informa-
tion throughout the entire season. On the av-
erage, the participants doubled their yields.
6. Detailed an extensive dissemination of
the results of these field demonstrations with
the participation of farmers who had sown the
plots, in order to stimulate other farmers and
to obtain greater interest on the part of the
service institutions.
7. Greater cohesion among the technical
personnel for truly coordinated work with the
other two sectors involved in the process.

Stage II. High Production Program and
Greater Participation (1969-1970)
At the beginning of the second phase a
favorable image of the Project had already
begun to form, and the permanent support bf
the Secretariat of Agriculture and the Gov-
ernment of the State of Puebla was assured.
The increasing confidence in the results of the
research and the day-by-day increase in the
number of interested farmers, were clear indi-
cations of progress.
Although the available technology was ad-
equate, in this phase other factors within
the strategy might have become serious ob-
stacles, especially factors such as the amount
of available credit, the ease of access to fertil-
izers, crop insurance, etc. With the increase
in the number of producers, the organization

had to be modified because it was impractical
to work with each producer individually. For
this reason, farmers were encouraged to or-
ganize into groups in accord with their own
It seemed that all possible obstacles had
been anticipated, but a severe drought in
1969 limited the expansion of the Project. The
1970 cycle also began with a prolonged drought
of about two months that threatened to put
brakes on the project's expansion, especially
due to restrictions of credit.
Luckily the rains began in earnest in June
and it now appears that 1970 should be one
of the best crop years since the beginning of
the Project. These conditions should contri-
bute substantially to increase yields for partic-
ipating farmers who follow the recommenda-
tions for high production, and will generate
interest among a greater number of farmers
who way want to take part in the future.


The success of the strategy has been very
encouraging for the participants. Evidence of
this success is shown in Tables 1, 2 and 3.

TABLE 1. Operational Progress
Project, 1967-1970.

of the Puebla

1967 1968 1969 1970
Participating farmers 30 103 2,561 4,833
Groups organized 128 218
Area (hectares) 76 5,838 12,496

TABLE 2. Social Impact of the Project, 1967-
1967 1968 1969 1970
Families benefited 103 2,561 4,833
Inhabitants benefited 566 16,500 26,585
Reaction of the farmers host. skep. interest enthus.
Reaction of the institutions skep. interest interest

TABLE 3. Economic Impact of the Project, 1968-
1968 1969 1970
Credit provided (US$) 226,617 447,713 787,665
Harvest of participants (tons) 304 17,514 -
Value of harvest (US$) 22,861 1,317,453 -
Recuperation of credit (%) 100 96 -

Progress at the Operational Level
The number of participating farmers has
grown rapidly. Agricultural research was ini-
tiated in 1967 with 30 farmers. The results
were extended to 103 farmers with small but

commercial scale plantings in 1968. This num-
ber increased to 2,561 in 1969 and 4,833 in
The land area devoted to high yield plant-
ings grew from 76 hectares in 1968, to 5,838
hectares in 1969, and to 12,496 in 1970. The
response of the farmers has exceeded all
expectations, considering the relatively short
period of years and the damage from the severe
drought in 1969 and again in early 1970.
It is clear that the farmer will always be
fearful of the risks caused by variable rainfall
and that this will influence his decisions, as
well as the decisions of the credit institutions.
The quality of the research findings, -and their
skillful application, have generated increased
confidence in contending with risks caused by
controllable causes.

Social Impact
The true significance of progress should be
measured in terms of the farmer's family. In
1968, only 103 families obtained a direct ben-
efit in the form of yield increases. In 1968 this
benefit had been extended to 2,561 families,
while in 1970 the number of families reached
was 4,833. In terms of total number of family
members, the number is 5.5 times greater. Al-
though these results are significant, a consid-
erable task remains. Nevertheless, a more
rapid expansion may be expected because of
the favorable change of attitude of the farm-
ers. The hostility and skepticism of 1968, have
been transformed into interest and enthusiasm
on the part of those participating. The help
provided in 1970 by the public institutions and
the private development agencies represents a
major encouragement.

Economic Impact
The farmer using his traditional agricultur-
al system had obtained, on the average, a net
gain of less than US$27.35 per hectare.
The farmers who entered the Project were
able to increase their net gain to $125.96/ha.
in other words, those who continue to grow
their crops with traditional methods are passing
up approximately $98.61/ha.
Other indicators of the economic impact
would include the volume of credit granted
In 1968 only the equivalent of US$226,617 dol-
lars was loaned. This was increased to 447,713
dollars in 1969 and to 787,665 dollars in 1970.
These amounts have been granted by the offi-
cial banks -Ejidal, Agricola and Agropecuario
del Sur- and a substantial amount was loaned
by the private institution "Impulsora de Puebla,
S. A.". These institutions have been able to

provide the recommended quantities and types
of fertilizers with the assistance of the nation-
al fertilizer company "Guanos y Fertilizantes
de M6xico, S. A."
The response of the farmers in repaying
their loans has been very favorable. Of the
credit granted by private enterprises in 1968,
100% was recuperated and of that granted in
1969, more than 96% has been repaid. These
results, under the difficult conditions of rainfed
agriculture, provide strong evidence of the
moral strength and feeling of responsibility on
the part of the majority of the participating
farmers. There seems to be little doubt that
the excellent credit recovery will continue in
the present season. There now is an educa-
tional program to make the farmers aware of
credit opportunities and at the same time to
encourage timely repayment of the loans.

The results show that it is feasible to obtain
substantial increases in corn yields. For the
farmers these increases have begun to create a
new confidence in their capacity to produce.
Once involved in these technological changes,
the farmers now feel that they will be able
to produce more corn per hectare, and they
have begun to try other things. Many would
like to produce the maximum possible amount
of grain in order to sell it and use the income
for investment in simple equipment for plant-
ing and fertilizing, in work animals, and in
animals for milk and meat production. Others
have decided to improve their homes, and to
buy a television and other modern appliances.
Still others have decided to reduce the area
devoted to corn and use this land for other
crops such as beans and fruit. Still others
have started small family-run swine operations,
using the excess corn for feed after satisfying
their own food needs.
With the experience gained up to now, it
can be assumed that expansion of the program
will increase the benefits to the area. For ex-
ample, considering that it is possible to cul-
tivate 90,000 hectares of corn in the region,
if average yields are eventually raised from
1300 kg/ha in 1967 to 4 metric tons per hectare
(62 bushels per acre), the increased produc-
tion would provide the farmers of the region
with an increased crop value estimated at
17.5 million dollars each year. This quantity
is important not only for its size, but because
a large part of this money will be reinvested
in agriculture and devoted to bettering the

family living conditions. Thus, the small farmer
may be incorporated more effectively in the
economy of Mexico, boosting his power to
buy both production inputs and consumer
Looking at this in even broader perspective,
the results obtained in Puebla suggest pos-
sibilities for increasing the productivity of an-
other 6 million hectares now under subsistence
production in other ecological favorable areas
of Mexico. Direct benefits could be carried
to a great number of families and perhaps,
most important, over the long term, a firm step

could be taken to extend the technological
revolution to the small farmer and the ejida-
tario. The application of these experiences in
other areas will be possible through the pro-
gram of professional training within the Proj-
ect. This year a new technical team will be
formed for Mexico and another for Colombia.
The experiences of the Puebla Project show
that the capacity, interest and imagination of
politicians, administrators, technicians and sci-
entists can be successfully applied to the chal-
lenges and opportunities of this important so-
cial and economic problem.


PAN. What are the rates of interest for the
Puebla Project farmer? What for private and
what for public sources?

JIMENEZ. Public is 9% a year. Private is
18%, one and a half per month. This has been
authorized by Government. It is an acceptable
rate of interest.

WILLIAMS. Who buys the corn in the area?

JIMENEZ. There is a governmental institution,
CONASUPO, but we do not force the farmer
to sell to CONASUPO. Last year there was a
severe drought in the area and the farmers
who had corn to sell were able to market it
3 or 4 months after harvest at prices well
above that paid by CONASUPO at harvest
time. CONASUPO paid about $940 pesos per
ton, and the price in the market rose to about
$1,400 per ton.

MOSHER. What was the total production of
these farmers? Do you have the figures?

JIMENEZ. We will provide these figures in
presenting the evaluation program. Ing. Helio-
doro Diaz will provide these data this after-

MACKENZIE. What is the marketing system?
How do they sell corn? Are there any kinds
of cooperatives?

JIMENEZ. We have initiated a kind of orga-
nization that so far has no name. We expect
that this organization will play a definite func-
tion in marketing. This organization is a result

of people dealing with common problems. At
present, the general rule is that each farmer
and his family decides when, where, to whom
and how much they sell.

PAN. What is the ratio of technical staff to

JIMENEZ. We started the program with one
man in soils and one in corn in 1967. There
were about 30 farmers cooperating to develop
a new technology. In late 1967, we included
the coordinator of the program. In 1968 we
added a man in evaluation and one in exten-
sion. In 1969 we added additional personnel
and now have about 13 technical staff working
with about 5,000 farmers. Eventually, we ex-
pect to reach up to 40-50,000 farmers with
little further expansion in staff.

MACKENZIE. Do they work along with local
technicians? Is there a State Department of
Agriculture here in Puebla?

JIMENEZ. Yes, there were two part-time ex-
tension agents in the area. However, for the
Puebla Project technical team, new young
people were selected, in most cases techni-
cians just coming out of the schools of agri-
culture. There is a department of agriculture
called Direcci6n de Agricultura in the State of

STEPPLER. Who had to identify the key peo-
ple having interest in your program when the
program was initiated, say the first and the
second years? Who were the key people in
the districts to get the program working?

JIMENEZ. Well, first of all, the key people to
identify were those in the communities included
in the working area of the project. The tech-
nicians in the team with social sciences back-
ground were the ones in charge of identifying
the social structure of the communities. After-
wards, they identified the key people in these
areas through a selection process. By the
way, in these areas, key people were not,
in most cases, the formal leaders, but others
who seemed to be enthusiastic with the pro-
gram and outstanding in the community. The
initial task in this process, was informing
farmers about the program and giving them
some ideas as to how the farmers could par-
ticipate, and what the requisites would be for
participating. The requisites were that they
should be farmers with an honest desire to
increase production and with a high sense of
social responsibility. Throughout this process,
people were deciding, voluntarily, when to join
the project.

BYRNES. My question relates to the first ob-
jective -to increase the production of maize.
Is this the objective -increase production of
maize- or is the increase in maize yields a
means to attain other objectives?

JIMENEZ. Objectives are stated in a simple
form so people understand them. In this case,
to increase production is just a means. A
means for what? There are several alterna-
tives. I would say this: if you see what farm-
ers are doing at present, you'll see that they
are making many decisions in order to increase
production as much as possible. There is an
immediate need. At the state level, there is a
deficit of about 100,000 tons of corn a year
and the project area represents a potential to
satisfy present needs, both for participants in
the project and people in other areas of the
state. Then the proposed objective of increas-
ing corn production seems to be relevant to
farmers and feasible for the project. However,
reaching this objective will lead to other re-
lated goals. In this context increased produc-
tion of corn may make necessary other deci-
sions, for example: should corn acreage be
reduced and other crops substituted? Others
may decide to continue planting the same
number of acres but use the corn to produce
milk, eggs, pork or something else. Others

may produce as much corn as possible to
sell it on the market. There is much to be
learned from this type of process.

HUBERMAN. You talked, Dr. Jim6nez, about
the families and the heads of the families. My
question deals with the process of making
decisions. What is the role of the woman in
each of these families? You are convincing
them, and working on that?

JIMENEZ. Well, I think the justification for not
including all the information in the presentation
is to stimulate some questions. This is a very
good question. I have mentioned that there
was some hostility at the beginning of the
project. This hostility came mainly from women.
To try to understand the woman's role in the
decision making process, let us examine some
examples. Farmers had decided to participate
in the program and take fertilizers and other
inputs, on credit, but because of the wife's
opinion, they decided later on to reject the
initial idea of accepting credit. The wife said
"you better do not get into the program be-
cause you will be indebted", and so on. And
this is right, for these people are not exper-
ienced nor commercially oriented; they have
just started to reach a level beyond that of
subsistence, and women see the risk not for
the farm enterprise but for the family itself.
Another role of the woman is the administra-
tion of the product and the house as a whole.
Based on these and other facts, it would be
convenient to present all agricultural infor-
mation not just to the men, but also the women
and children in the rural areas. All of them
are part of the farm working system that has op-
erated for years. When new procedures come
from outside, they tend to break up the exist-
ing system and people tend to look for stab-
ility or new forces of equilibrium. Defensive
attitudes arise and women take a large part
in this. I suspect that this can be reduced
through effective communication and demon-
stration of new advantages to the women as
well as the men.

ALVAREZ. I am sure that many new questions
have been stimulated, and that Dr. Jim6nez
will be happy to discuss his ideas and exper-
iences with you personally in more detail. I am
afraid that we do not have time for more
questions now.

rapid increases in corn yields on small irrigated holdings
in the region near chapingo, mexico


THE CENTRAL THEME of our meeting deals
with the methods of achieving rapid increases
in corn yields on small farms under favorable
environmental conditions.
Let us first clarify what we mean by "small
farms" and "favorable environmental condi-
tions" for the production of corn.
The term "small farm" is difficult to define.
In Mexico, for census purposes, a very rough
classification has been adopted: smaller farms
of less than five hectares (12.5 acres) and
larger farms of more than five hectares. To
be consistent with this criteria, we are consid-
ering as "small farms" those having 5 hectares
or less. In Mexico, as a whole, this category
included 1,596,879 units at the time of the
1960 Agricultural Census, with 241,766 of these
farms located in the irrigation districts and
covering a total area of about 560,000 hectares.
With respect to the "favorable environment-
al conditions" for corn cultivation, we refer
basically to temperatures and rainfall that
favor good development of the plants, and a
high grain yield.
The latest statistics from the Bureau of Ir-
rigation Districts show that in Mexico as a
whole about 400,000 hectares of irrigated land
were planted to corn in the 1968-1969 season.

1 Head of the Small Farmer Program of the National
Productivity Center, Mexico.
In charge of the Agricultural Promotion and Extension
Department, National School of Agriculture, Chapingo,

The average yield on this irrigated acreage
was in the neighborhood of 2,500 kg/ha (about
38.5 bushels per acre). Considering the favor-
able production conditions available under ir-
rigation, this yield is very low. It is far from
what might be achieved with the application
of the available technological information. For
example, the latest statistics show that only
one-half of the acreage devoted to irrigated
corn is fertilized.
In the present paper we will present our
experiences during four years of work in an
area where rainfall is frequently not adequate
for good crop production, but where supple-
mental irrigation is available. The area is lo-
cated inside a so-called "critical agrarian zone",
characterized by heavy population pressure on
the land and low levels of income. Because
of this, we feel sure that our experience will
find rapid acceptance by other farmers. Sim-
ilarly, we are hopeful of support by the insti-
tutional services which form the agricultural
infrastructure in those regions where farm ac-
tivity represents the main source of income
for the producer, and where physical and
ecological conditions are favorable for crop

Antecedents of the High Yield Program
The National School of Agriculture began
functioning at Chapingo in 1923. In addition
to its main purpose of preparing agronomists,
it has been able to give technical assistance to

its rural neighbors. Such assistance has been
provided ever since -the establishment of the
school at its Chapingo location, but only in
the last decade has there been a well designed
With the creation of the Agricultural Pro-
motion and Extension Department of the
National School of Agriculture in 1960, the first
firm steps were taken to extend the benefits
of new farm production techniques to farmers
of the area. This action program also provided
a demonstration area for student training,
where they could learn at first hand the meth-
ods that farmers were using and then propose
The first systematic technical assistance for
farmers in the area around the School of Ag-
riculture (ENA) was initiated in 1966 and it is
this program that is described here. The first
step in the new program was to define a work
area. Twelve muhicipios were chosen with
about 30,000 hectares under cultivation. Of
this area, about 6,000 hectares have water for
irrigation purposes and the rest depend ex-
clusively on rainfall.
It was decided that at the beginning major
attention should be focused on the 2,500 hec-
tares of irrigated corn which are planted each
year. Corn was selected because it is the
most important crop in the area and good
technical information is available in the region
as a result of the research work done by INIA
at the El Horno experimental station.

Description of the Area
The program area consists of 12 municipios
in the State of Mexico -Acolman, Atenco.
Chiautla, Chiconcuac, Chicoloapan, Chimal-
huacan, Ecatepec, Los Reyes La Paz, Papa-
lotla, Tepetlaoxtoc, Texcoco and Tezoyuca.

1. Geographical Factors
Location. The working area is located at
980 53' west longitude and 190 34' north lati-
tude. It is situated in the eastern portion of
the State of Mexico and is bounded on the
north by the municipio of San Juan Teotihua-
can of the same State of Mexico, to the east
by the States of Puebla and Tlaxcala, to the
south by the municipios of Ixtapaluca and
Chalco of the State of Mexico, and to the west
by the Federal District.
Altitude; The area is located at an average
altitude of 2,321 meters above sea level, with
a minimum of 2,240 meters and a maximum
3,000 meters.
Acreage. It includes an agricultural area
of 63,125 hectares, of which only 30,607 are

adequate for productive purposes -179 hec-
tares for fruit trees and agaves; 18,815 ha for
pastures and grassland; 9,016 ha for forests;
and 4,508 ha of non-productive lands, heavily
Topography. The region can be divided
into three well defined zones: 1) a level part
with slopes of less than 5%, varying from
2,240 meters at the shores of Lake Texcoco
to a level of about 2,275 meters; 2) a hilly
portion, with slopes from 5 to 15%, broken
by a number of gullies and ravines; and 3) a
part of the Sierra, from the level curve of
2,400 meters to the upper limits of the water-
shed. In this last portion we find high altitudes
including the mountains of Telapon and TIaloc,
Teconal, Texcutzingo, Santa Catarina, Cue-
pango, Tezahitl, Huepango and Topepa.
Climate. The climate of the area is consid-
ered semi-dry with dry winter, temperate, with
a well defined winter season and its symbols
are: DiB. 'a'*. The climate is also considered
temperate, moderately rainy, with mean tem-
peratures of 30 to 180C in the coldest month,
with dry winter, not too severe, and sporadic
The extreme temperatures are 60C in
February and 34C in April. The frosts usual-
ly begin in October and end by January, though
some frosts have been recorded in April. From
April to September, it is common to have hail
storms; but without serious consequences***.
The average yearly rainfall amounts to 640
mm, most of it in a period of 96 days. The
highest yearly rainfall occurred. in 1941 with
1,040 mm, and the lowest was registered in
1936 with only 416 mm. The maximum aver-
age monthly precipitation occurs in July, and
the minimum during January. The rainy sea-
son begins in June and ends in September.
Water resources. The area under consid-
eration comprises an extensive hydrographic
system which flows from east to west. Among
the main streams are the rivers: Papalotla,
Chiautla, Magdalena, Texcoco, Huexotla, San
Bernardino, Santa M6nica, Chicoloapan and
Coatepec. All of them are of a torrential nat-
ure, have their resources in the Rio Frio Sierra
and flow into Lake Texcoco.
The annual runoff of these streams is 47
million cubic meters, not taking into consid-

Alfonso Contreras Arias. Regimen de Heladas en la
Region de Chapingo.
David Llerena, Professional Thesis. Escuela Nacional
de Agriculture, Chapingo, Mexico.,
Weather Station. Escuela Nacional de Agricultura.
Chapingo, Mexico.

eration the water held at the upper part of
the Sierras nor that stored in ponds and small
dams and then used for irrigation*.
There are also more than 100 deep wells
in the area, of which approximately 50% are
not functioning now, but might be put back
into service as an important source of irriga-
tion water.

2. Socio-Economic Factors
Demography. In this region live 212,773
inhabitants, belonging to 36,330 families with
an average of 5.7 members each. The popu-
lation density is 150 persons per square kilo-
meter. The economically active population is
estimated at 29.6% of the total figure, or
63,000 persons, of which 56% are occupied
in farm activities (1960 census).
Income. The main sources of income of the
rural population in' this area are self-employ-
ment in agriculture and animal husbandry, day
labor, small commerce, and some trades. Ag-
riculture, in spite of the large number of people
engaged in it, produces very little cash income.
Cash income comes principally from other
activities, especially salaried labor. During
1965, the average cash income per family and
per year, was about US$1,440. However this
average does not fully indicate the distribution
of real income as there are families with cash
incomes of less than $250 per month, result-
ing in daily incomes of less than $US.64 for
six persons.
Land Tenure. There are two main types of
land tenure in the area: private and ejidal.
About 46% of the land is held in private prop-
erty, 51% in the ejidal system, and only 1
percent in other types of tenency, mainly com-
munal lands.
Although various authors have indicated
that the ejidal system may be an obstacle
to economic development, because it hinders
capital investment and therefore limits the im-
provement of productivity levels, in our case
ejidal ownership does not have this charac-
teristic. In this case the farmers in the region
consider the land they work as theirs whether
it is held under ejido or private tenure.
Agrarian Structure. Land distribution among
families is uneven. Among the ejidos, the size
of family holding goes from 0.5 hectares in
the case of the ejidos of Santa Maria Chimal-
huacan and Santa Catarina, to as much as 7.0
hectares in the case of San Pedro Cuautzingo.
Under private ownership, the size of holding
goes from 0.5 hectares up to 400 hectares per

* Roberto Rodriguez L.. Professional Thesis. Escuela
Nacional de Agricultura. Chapingo, Mexico.

owner, including a wide range of sizes be-
tween the extremes.
The small size of plot, both ejidal and
private, which is the typical situation in the
area, is a serious obstacle to improving pro-
duction and levels of living among the farm-
ers. The small parcels in some cases reduce
the chances of a significant increase in family
income from farming and force the farmers
to keep agriculture as a secondary activity, or
to abandon it completely in order to work full
time at other activities. Those who have very
small parcels or no land at all to cultivate,
become seasonal farm laborers at US$1.20 to
1.60 per day except for those cases where
they acquire a higher level of education and
better paid employment in some other activity.
The under-employed and those without em-
ployment are now a limiting factor to the eco-
nomic development of the area. The majority
of the families with one or two hectares will
have serious difficulties in improving their
levels of living, if they must depend exclu-
sively on agricultural activities.

3. Service Infra-structure
Many public and private institutions already
exist in the area, and their coordinated par-
ticipation could help greatly in the economic
development of the rural population.
Research and Technical Assistance. Among
the institutions that perform some activities
related to this field in the area covered by
the High Yields Program, are the following:
The National School of Agriculture and its
Graduate College, the National Institute for
Agricultural Research (INIA), the National
Extension Service, the Bureau of Plant Sani-
tation, the Basic Research Center of INIA, the
International Maize and Wheat Improvement
Center, the Secretariat of Water Resources,
the Forestry Unit at San Rafael, the Directorate
of Agriculture of the State of Mexico, the Co-
ordinated Services of the Ministry of Health,
the Directorate of Community Development
and the Secretariat of Public Education, and
the Small Holders Program of the National
Productivity Center.
The following institutions provide credit to
farmers in the area: The Ejido Bank, the Ag-
ricultural Bank, the Agricultural and Livestock
Credit Bank, the National Bank of Mexico, the
International Bank, and the Guarantee Fund
for Agriculture, Livestock and Poultry.
Commercial Sector. For the distribution of
inputs and the marketing of the agricultural
products, the following operate in the area:
fertilizer dealers of Guanos y Fertilizantes de

Mexico, the National Seed Producer, distribu-
tors of agricultural tools and machinery, distrib
utors of insecticides, weed killers, fungicides,
veterinary products and livestock feeds, and
representatives of the price control agency,
CONASUPO (Compafia Nacional de Subsis-
tencias Populares).

Formal Organizations. There are several
formal organizations of farmers, including: the
Milk Producer's Association, the Regional As-
sociation of Hog Growers and Milk Producers,
the Regional Association of Poultrymen, the
Ejido Livestock Producers Association, and
local boards for the management of potable
water and irrigation.

Formal Education. As a rule, in each town
there is an adequate building devoted to
primary education, but there is a serious lack
of teachers and the education given is far
from complete. Only 6 percent of the rural
schools in the area give a full 6 year program
while in the rest the education stops at the
3rd or 4th grade. The illiteracy rate among
the population of 7 years or more is 26 per-

Communications and Transportation. There
are three paved roads in the area: 1) Mexico
City-Texcoco-Veracruz; 2) Mexico City-Ecate-
pec-Texcoco, and 3) Venta de Carpio-Archaeo-
logical Zone of Teotihuacan. These roads are
used mainly for transit from Veracruz and
Tlaxcala to Mexico City, from Pachuca to Mex-
ico City, and for the tourists who visit the
archaeological zone of San Juan Teotihuacan.
The rural roads, except the one that con-
nects Tepetlaoxtoc, and Resurecci6n and San
Vicente Chicoloapan with the highway Mexico
City-Veracruz; and the one that connects San
Miguel Chiconcuac with the highway Mexico
City-Ecatepec-Texcoco, are of dirt and in bad
condition, but generally passable the year
The difficulties of travel and of moving
merchandise from the urban centers to the
rural areas, tend to limit the availability of
agricultural inputs in the area, and this is an
important obstacle to increasing agricultural
Price Policy. The lack of price support for
most farm products, with resulting low and
variable prices, combined with high and in-
creasing prices for the agricultural inputs, re-
sults in easy exploitation of rural labor by
commercial interests, The lack of capital
among these farmers also tends to limit the

acquisition of the agricultural inputs that are
recommendable from a technical point of view,
thereby, acting as a restraint on the economic
development of the area.

4. Personal Factors
Among the personal characteristics of the
farmers that may influence the realization of
a High Yield Program, we can mention: atti-
tude towards the change, traditionalism, level
of aspirations, orientation towards risk, and
level of preparation. Here we will deal with
only one of these -level of preparation.
Preparation. This factor has occupied the
attention of most institutions and persons that
have wanted for any reason, to stimulate in-
creased agricultural production. In the area
around Chapingo, technical assistance was
started in an organized form during 1960 and
has been carried out, until recently, through
an agricultural extension service that has rec-
ommended improved materials -not yet used
or improperly applied- such as fertilizers,
seeds, weed killers and insecticides. The ex-
tension service also has recommended new
techniques and procedures for animal produc-
tion, organized short courses for producers,
made field demonstrations, and, in several
ways attempted to prepare the farmer to apply
better systems of organization and thereby de-
velop a commercial agriculture. However, it
has been found that this kind of extension
program is not enough. What it is needed, in
addition, is to change at least in part the
physical and social factors of production so
that producers may use their full capabilities
in utilization of the available resources and
fulfillment of their needs.

The previous paragraphs have provided a
general picture of the working area, outlining
some of the problems which must be solved
in the economic development of regional ag-
To accomplish this development, the
Promotion and Extension Department of the
National School of Agriculture started a "High
Yield Program for Irrigated Corn", with the
objective of establishing a strategy and a meth-
odology that could be applied later to other
types of programs and in other regions of the
There are two points that were considered
fundamental in the strategy followed in the
Chapingo area.

The first was the elimination of the dem-
onstration plot in its traditional sense as a
method to transmit technical assistance to
farmers. Traditionally, extension programs
have established small demonstration plots
for which all of the material has been provided
by the technicians. In this case, it was decided
at the outset that the demonstration area on
each farm would be all of the acreage devoted
by a producer to raising a commercial crop.
It was assumed that the farmers of the region
had already seen the advantages of using im-
proved seed and fertilizers, because of their
proximity to the experimental fields and to
highly productive dairy farms as well as to
the National School of Agriculture located at
the geographical center of the area. It seemed
that a new approach and a change of strategy
was needed for these programs of technical
The second i;nportant decision in the op-
eration of the high yield program, was to
charge the farmers, on a credit basis, for all
materials provided. This included seeds, fer-
tilizers, weed killers, insecticides -all of the
inputs which required an out-of-pocket expen-
diture that the farmers were not able to cover.

The High Yield Program in 1967
In 1967 the program was initiated at an
experimental level, in eleven communities with
a total of 23 farmers and 29 hectares. To this
end the producers received a credit of about
US$1,600 from the Banco Nacional Agrope-
When this program began, the technical
staff of the Agricultural Promotion and Exten-
sion Department included a department head
and three agronomists with different levels of
professional experience, but with a common
denominator: youth and a great enthusiasm for
their work.
The results of the first year suggested great
possibilities for the program. The plantings
were called "high yield plots" and they-were
used for demonstrations. In those communities
where more than one field was established,
the impact was stronger, due to the fact that
the members of the community were exposed
at several points to plantings that stood out
from neighboring ones as examples of im-
proved production.
During the first year of activities, the
agronomists gave individual attention to the
participating farmers. The final results were
highly promising and provided experience to
be used later in planning future strategy.

The statistics for the

Participating communities
Participating farmers
Area planted under program
Average yield per hectare
Total production of grain
Total costs of production
Total value of the crop
Net profit
Net profit per hectare
Credit granted
Repayment of credit

first year were as

27.25 ha
9,025 kg/ha
245.9 tons
US$ 6,768.96

A key aspect of the strategy was that
related to the distribution of inputs and loans.
During 1967, because of the small number of
participants and the small acreage included
in the program, the distribution of inputs was
made directly to the farmers at the proper time.
The needed materials were delivered in
two stages. First each farmer received the
seed, part of the fertilizer and the weed killer.
Later he received the rest of the fertilizer. The
farmer signed an informal receipt for the ma-
terials used and the credit documents were
legalized later.
It is important to note that this method of
lending does not follow the rigid tradition
observed by the credit institutions. In initiat-
ing a new procedure, the high yield program
was experimenting with simplified ways of
providing credit directly to producers. To sign
the final loan papers, a meeting was held at
Chapingo, where a detailed explanation was
given to the farmers in relation to the amount
of the credit. By that time the corn crop had
already had its last cultivation and from then
on the only care necessary was to watch the
soil moisture in order to apply irrigation in
case rainfall was inadequate. The agronomists
visited the plots frequently and found the farm-
ers enthusiastic with the development of their
In order to attain full repayment of the
loans, a letter was sent to each farmer as
soon as field estimates were made of the prob-
able harvest, informing him about the amount
due to the bank, the date of maturity of the
note, that it could be paid at the program
office at Chapingo and that prompt repayment
would avoid additional interest charges. The
total loan was repaid in each case well in
advance of the due date.
With the experience gained in 1967, a new
strategy was prepared for 1968 in order to
reach more farmers and expand the acreage
under the high yield program

Activities During 1968
The 1968 activities were started in February
with a review of the technical information
needed for making recommendations to farm-
ers. This information was needed in order to
anticipate the need for inputs, especially seed
and fertilizers and to estimate credit needs. A
meeting was held with the specialists from the
National Agricultural Research Institute (INIA),
the Graduate College of Chapingo, and the
National School of Agriculture (ENA).
From this meeting, the following recom-
mendations were adopted: for early April
plantings the hybrid H-129 should be used and
for late April and early May plantings, the
hybrid H-28.
The fertilization plan include 50 kg of N
rigated, well-fertilized plantings at this altitude
was 60,000 plants per hectare, requiring 20 to
22 kilograms of seed.
The fertilization plan include 50 kg of N
and 50 kg of P2Os to be applied at planting
time and 70 kg of N for the second applica-
tion 30 to 45 days later. It was recommended
that this second application be made just
prior to a cultivation and that an irrigation
be given immediately afterwards. A pre-emer-
gence herbicide was recommended to eliminate
weed competition during the early stages of
the growth -preferably one kilogram of Atra-
zine per hectare banded over the row.
The application of a soil insecticide was
also recommended -10 kg/ha of granulated
Aldrin at 20%- based on experience with
insect problems in several of the communities
where the program operated in 1967.
Once the recommendations were defined,
an estimate was made of the credit needed
to cover 250 hectares during 1968, and an
application was presented to the Banco Na-
cional Agropecuario in order to buy all of the
materials well in advance.
Simultaneously, the recommendations were
printed in bulletin form and other extension
materials were prepared for promoting the
program in the selected communities, in order
to interest additional farmers in participating.
Discussions were continued with four or-
ganizations to obtain the necessary materials
for 1968: 1) with the Banco Nacional Agrope-
cuario, to be sure of credit to buy the inputs
for the program; 2) with Guanos y Fertilizantes
de M6xico, in order to obtain on time the
needed fertilizers; 3) with the Productora Na-
cional de Semillas, to assure the proper amount
of the required seeds; and 4) with a private
concern to obtain the herbicides and the in-

The estimated quantities of materials for
1968 were:

50 tons of the formula 25-25-0
90 tons of ammonium sulphate
6.5 tons of hybrid seed
100 kg of Atrazine, and
500 kg of granulated Aldrin at 20%

Warehouse space was prepared at the
National School of Agriculture at Chapingo to
store these.
After the plan had been approved by the
collaborating institutions, the next step was
to interest the farmers of the communities
selected to participate in the 1968 program.
The criterion applied in choosing the com-
munities was that they have water available
for supplemental irrigation during critical pe-
riods when the rainfall would be inadequate.
On this basis, 29 communities were selected.
Then a calendar of activities was formu-
lated for the month of March, promotion was
started, and the list of participant farmers
drawn up.
As a first step in the promotion, letters
were sent to the municipal and ejido author-
ities in each community, requesting their col-
laboration. The participation of these officials
was vital as they would know what times and
places were most indicated for meetings with
the farmers.
In 1968 only one visit was necessary to
each community and an audio-visual mobile
unit was very helpful for the purpose. As a
key part of the promotion, farmers were told
that by participating in the program they
would have available the credit that had been
arranged with the Banco Nacional Agrope-
cuario. The only requisites to be satisfied for
participation were: that their land be of good
quality, that they have facilities for supple-
mental irrigation, and that they follow the
technical recommendations for corn produc-
tion. It is worth noting that in this case the
bank was willing to disregard the credit history
of the new clients in approving loans. It was
well known that the majority of the farmers
in the Texcoco area, especially the ejidatarios,
had old debts.
In 1968 it still was possible to give personal
technical assistance to the participants; how-
ever, the problems of handling and distribut-
ing a major volume of materials became obvi-
ous. In most cases, the technicians took the
supplies to the farm, but it became eviderft
that a change in method of distribution would
be needed if there was to be an increase in

area covered and in number of participants.
As a result, farmers were later asked to pick
up their materials at the office of the program,
thus achieving a closer contact between farm-
ers and the institution. The procedure, estab-
lished in 1967, of having the farmers come to
the offices of the program to sign their credit
documents, was continued.
A summing up of the 1968 program, shows
the following results:

Participating communities
Participating farmers
Acreage in the program
Total production of grain
Production of grain per ha
Value of production
Cost of production
Total net profit
Profit per hectare
Credit granted

241 ha
1,493 tons
6.2 tons

The last amount represents about ten
times more than the credit used the previous
year, and 99 percent of the loans were repaid.
In 1968, a new technology for grain stor-
age was introduced to help farmers take care
of the production increase. This consisted of
the construction of "family granaries" capable
of storing corn on the cob with 25 to 30 per-
cent moisture. This practice allowed the farm-
er to start the harvest one month earlier than
usual and thereby vacate the plot for a winter
As a result of this promotion, five family
granaries were constructed in five different
communities as demonstrations of the ad"an-
tages offered by this type of storage.

The 1969 Program
For 1969, the third year of the High Yield
Program, it was possible to move ahead more
confidently based on the experience of two
previous years. In planning the technical pro-
gram, recommendations of the research insti-
tutions were again taken into account.
The promotion work was improved, above
all in the preparation of audio-visual aids,
using specific examples of previous exper-
iences with the farmers. A schedule was pre-
pared for the promotion work in the commu-
nities 'chosen to participate. Three projectors;
an audio-visual mobile unit, and a station
wagon equipped with loudspeakers were ob-
tained for use in the area.
The most important changes introduced in
1969 were:. 1) an attempt to organize groups
to make it possible to reach a greater num-
ber of participants without increasing the
number of agronomists, and 2) a system for
distributing fertilizer, seed and other inputs

so as to quickly distribute the increased vol-
To handle this distribution, the following
procedure was initiated. Based on a schedule
of deliveries, the commercial distributor ac-
cepted responsibility for placing the fertilizer
in the participating communities, in accordance
with the recommendations of the program.
The Banco Agropecuario paid for the material
delivered. The same procedure was used for
distributing improved seeds with the program
office at Chapingo serving as the distribution
Using this procedure, enough fertilizer was
delivered in 1969 to cover requirements for
450 hectares. The problems and experiences
of 1969 will serve to improve the distribution
system in the future, when it is hoped to have
farmers' groups participating in every com-
The final results of the operations during
1969 were:

Participating communities
Participating farmers
Acreage covered
Grain production per ha
Total production of grain
Total costs of production
Total value of production
Total net profit
Net profit per ha
Total credit granted
Repayment of credit (through
July, 1970)

455 ha
6 tons
2,700 tons
USs 95,580.00

From the previous figures we can see that
the value of production is ten times the amount
of the credit and the net profit is high although
the number of participants remained small.

The 1970 Program
In 1970 the Small Holders Program of the
National Productivity Center became one of
the participating institutions in the High Yield
Program. The main interest of the Small
Holders Program is extending the techniques of
farm management and promoting better sys-
tems of organization in rural communities. Its
goal is greater efficiency in the use of the
services and resources devoted to increasing
rural productivity.
The promotion activities improved again
and were handled more efficiently in 1970. To
encourage the formation of groups two meet-
ings were held in each community. For the
first meeting a letter-invitation was sent to each
of the farmers who had participated during
the previous years, suggesting that they invite
other persons who might be interested in join-
ing the program. In this first meeting, the re-

suits obtained in 1969 were presented and the
farmers were urged to strengthen their group
organization and expand the impact of the
During the second meeting, the responsi-
bilities of the representatives, and those of
the members of the group were explained. At
the same time members were informed of the
conditions of the loans, the help and materials
they would receive, and the responsibilities
they accepted by participating in the program.
The same system of distributing materials
has been maintained, but the complications
continue to increase as more acreage and
more participants become involved. Some rep-
resentatives of groups now function as local
distributors, making the operations easier.
Based on this experience, we have con-
cluded that the most efficient form for distri-
buting fertilizers is (1) to have the farmers,
through their groups, pick up the fertilizers at
the distribution point, or (2) establish several
local centers for delivery of the merchandise.
It is evident that the system for distribut-
ing inputs, especially those that are difficult
to transport, is one of the crucial problems
that needs to be solved if small farmers, al-
ready established in communities far from
the commercial centers, are to benefit from the
new technology.
The results for 1970, up to July, are the

Participating communities
Participating farmers
Acreage covered
Credit granted

593.25 ha

Taking into account the results from the
three previous years of activity, for 1970 an

average yield of 6 tons/ha is expected. With
this estimate, the following results are ex-

Total production
Total value of production
Total costs of production
Total net profit
Net profit per ha

3,559.5 tons

A detailed analysis of results obtained during the past three years
of activities, allows us to make the following summary:
1968 1970
Number of communities
participating 29 36
Participating farmers 155 418
Acreage covered 241 ha 593 ha
Average yield of grain 6.2 tons 6 tons*
Total production of grain 1,493 tons 2,700 tons*
Total value of production $124,987 $226,800*
Total cost of production $ 51,630 $ 95,580*
Total net profit $ 73,357 $131,220*
Net profit per hectare $ 304 $ 291
Amount of credit granted $ 15,231 $ 31,917
Cost of the technical
assistance $ 5,880 $ 8,280
Cost of the technical assis.
tance per hectare $ 24 $ 14
Cost per participating
farmer $ 38 $ 20
*Figures for 1969.

With the results obtained up to now, we
can conclude that the establishment of a
strategy which includes: (1) systematic tech-
nical assistance, and (2) an organizational
system for the farmers to encourage greater
use of the already established service infra-
structure, can lead to (3) substantial increases
in production on those land having adequate
water resources, and thereby (4) generate
much higher income for the farmers.

the program of the foundation for promotion of coope-
ratives (fpc) in el salvador


EL SALVADOR IS the smallest country in the
Americas, and the most densely populated,
with nearly 300 people per square mile. The
population totals close to three and one-half
million in a territory of 21,000 square kilo-
meters. The country is largely agricultural,
with 62% of its population engaged in agri-
culture and livestock production. The agricul-
tural sector contributes 30% of the national
product and 60% of the country's exports.
Corn occupies about 200,000 hectares each
year, most of it planted in the "first" planting
in May (Table 1).

TABLE 1.. Corn plantings
son and by zone, 1967-68.

in El Salvador, by sea-

Area (Production Yield
Area ) (ton) (kg/ha)
First 175,736 231,851 1,319
Second 17,973 18,033 1,003
Third 5,991 7,729 1,290
Totals 199,700 257,613 1,290
Western 31,952 43,794 1,371
Central 93,859 131,382 1,399-
Eastern 73,889 82,436 1,116
Totals 199,700 257,613 1,290


on data from the Ministry of

'The authors are respectively, Director of the Founda-
tion for Promotion of Cooperatives, Agronomist of the
Foundation in El Salvador, and Agricultural Economist of
the FAO, Guatemala.

Eighty percent of the arable land is in
agricultural use, but 90% of the farms are of
subsistence types -too small to adequately
support a family. The farmers must supple-
ment their income from other sources (Table 2).

TABLE 2. Distribution of average incomes among
tenancy groups in El Salvador.
Income per family
Laborers (land less) US$ 230
Microfarms S 300
Subfamily farms $ 420
Family farms $ 1,410
Multifamily farms (middle size) $ 7,100
Large multifamily farms $25,750
Average $ 580
SOURCE: GAFICA, based on information supplied by the Min-
istry of Agriculture.

Large farms are rare, and small units
predominate in the areas of Cuscatlan and
Chalatenango where the FPC work is concen-
trated (Table 3). The area has a dry season
of 6 months (Table 4). An inspection of month-
ly temperatures over a 12 year period for San
Salvador (700 meters above sea level) shows
the lowest minimum to be 60.40F in February
and the highest maximum at 89.80F in April.
The highest average monthly temperature is
75.90F in April and the lowest average is 71.20F
in December and January. The farms involved
in the FPC program are located for the most
part in rocky, eroded areas that are low in
fertility and badly in need of conservation

TABLE 3. Distribution of farms according to size in El Salvador.
Type of farm Salvador as a whole Cuscatlin Chalatenango
No. Area No. Area No. Area
Subfamily 207,299 (91%) 346,769 (22%) 14,705 (95%) 22,532 (38%) 17,864 (88%) 34,467 (23%)
Family 15,235(7%) 326,054 (21%) 593(4%) 11,775 (20%) 1,854(10%) 39,752 (26%)
Multifamily 4,048 (2%) 532,406 (33%) 116(1%) 14,319 (24%) 459(2%) 56,873 (37%)
Multifamily-large 314 (-) 376,798 (24%) 8 (-) 9,927 (18%) 20 (-) 21,409 (14%)
Total 226,896 1,581,428 15,422 58,553 20,197 152,271
SSize of farms, in general, is related to amount of labor hired. Therefore, groups have been classified according to labor force, and
thus, to number of families supported by these farms. Here are listed those ranging from the subfamily types, too small to support a
family (less than two man/year), to multifamily types, employing more than four workers during the year. As the Census does not
present data directly relating farm size to labor force, the classification is as follows: subfamily farm with less than 10 hectares, fam-
ily size with 10 to 50 hectares, multifamily with 50 to 500 hectares, and large multifamily farms having more than 500 hectares
SOURCE: Censo Agropecuario, 1961.

TABLE 4. Monthly rainfall distribution in mm (30 year average).
Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov. Dec. Total
Central Zone Max. 35 34 82 357 445 619 559 471 570 424 143 78 2,471
Mean. 5 4 8 54 200 328 337 313 352 217 38 9 1,866
Min.. 74 141 126 120 202 43 1,166
National Ave. 3 1 7 36 194 338 292 290 367 248 39 7 1,822
% 0 0 2 11 19 16 16 20 14 2 0 100
SOURCE: National Meteorological Observatory, El Salvador.

The average per capital income of El Sal-
vador is about US$300* per year, but for the
small farmers in the region discussed here,
the total income per family hardly totals that

Initiation of the Program
The present FPC program had its origin
in 1955, when Father Maeda founded a coop-
erative in Tamanique, in the province of La
Libertad. Basic economic and social charac-
teristics of the region included the following:
1) most of the farms were operating at a sub-
sistence level, 2) about 80% of the farmers
had less than five acres to cultivate and were
obtaining average yields varying between 700
and 900 kg of corn per hectare. A few mer-
chants customarily bought up the corn and
sorghum before harvest at a price of $1.50
per 100 pounds, which is less than half of the
normal market price. Thus the average income
per farm family was below $200 per year.
A savings and credit co-op seemed to be
the solution and was begun with a capital of
$300 and 42 members. The first objective was
to help the farmers to avoid selling their crops
at reduced prices at harvest time. Soon it
was obvious, however, that this approach alone
would not solve the economic problems. Ad-
ditional funds were needed, and even more
serious, the required technology was not avail-

Unless otherwise indicated, all prices have been con-
verted to US dollars to facilitate international comparisons.

Yields of the principal crops, corn and
sorghum, were about 850 kg/ha. These low
levels suggested that new farming techniques
could greatly increase yields. Technical as-
sistance from the Ministry of Agriculture was
asked, and an agricultural technician was fur-
nished. Thanks to his visit and recommenda-
tions, the group was able to obtain a favorable
yield. Unfortunately, this technician was un-
able to continue because the zone was not
included in the plans of the Ministry of Agri-
In 1962, Ing. Jests Merino Argueta joined
the program, and with his collaboration it was
possible to successfully demonstrate the use-
fulness of the new technology. He initiated
the agricultural program in 1963, providing
technical assistance to 98 members of two
cooperatives located in the poorest area of
the Department of Cuscatlan. At first, Merino
Argueta worked only on Saturdays and then on
Sunday also. During the week he worked
as a technician with the Ministry of Agriculture.
In this way, the program was begun and the
original goals and strategy developed.

Goals of the Program
The originally proposed savings and loan
cooperatives offered a partial solution for
credit needs. However, visits in the rural areas
indicated that sume of the farmers in the north-
ern zone of the country were so poor that they
did not eat tortillas made of corn for more

than three months of the year. The rest of the
year they subsisted mainly on sorghum tortillas
and toasted sorghum kernels. Frequently in
the last months before harvest they had to
search for fruit in order to survive.
The second stage of the program, initiated
in 1963, was specifically directed to attack
this problem of hunger. The aim since then
has been to raise agricultural production and
at the same time increase profits for the
Having proven the feasibility of the original
objectives, the program now has begun to
include secondary goals beyond the produc-
tion of crops. Specifically, the program in-
cludes the following activities:
a) Building of a factory for concentrated
feeds in Chalatenango with a capacity of 230
tons monthly.
b) Production of hogs in the poorest areas
of Chalatenango, with distribution of feeder
pigs to the farmers.
c) Establishment of 16 marketing centers
for the purchase of grain in areas where the
FPC operates in order to reduce the price
fluctuations for the small farmer.
d) Establishment of a farm school to train
leaders in cooperative and agricultural tech-
e) Production of improved seed for the
exclusive use of the members of foundation
Once the problem of raising the farmers'
income is solved, the Foundation will launch
work to improve rural housing, one of the
country's serious problems. It can be said
that the main work of FPC has been to better
the life of the campesino, using the agricul-
tural program as a base for a more compre-
hensive approach.


The FPC program is based on the formation
of agricultural cooperatives. A great effort is
made to organize them well. To start a coop-
erative, the participation of 25 to 30 members
is required. Before talking about agriculture,
an effort is made to show how they can join
together through a cooperative and work to-
ward common goals. During this period they
should come to fully understand the methods
and philosophy of cooperative endeavour. This
phase usually takes from four months to a year
-and consists of a series of meetings with the
interested people in their own community.
This preparation is basic for the later success
of the agronomists' efforts. A well organized
group works efficiently and rapidly. Experi-
ence has shown that if a cooperative is badly
organized, the agricultural program also will

In order that the instruction provided by
the agronomist may be effective, the founda-
tion provides each cooperative with fertilizers,
improved seeds, insecticides and small agri-
cultural implements. The administration of this
program is centered in the office of the Foun-
dation in San Salvador.
The Cooperative makes direct loans to
the members for purchase of land, for land
preparation, for cultivation and other produc-
tion costs. In these cases, the Cooperative
provides the member with the necessary credit
based on the agronomists' calculations.
As can be seen in Table 5, the Founda-
tion has been able to increase its line of
credit over the last six years from US$2,400 in
1963 to US$240,000 in 1969. Only 10 percent

TABLE 5. Activities of the Foundation for Promotion of Cooperatives (FPC), 1963-69.
No. of Maize area Sorghum area Credit F ertil I z er
Year members (ha) (ha) provided
helped (ha) (ha) (US) Tons Value US$
1963 98 45 2,400 21 1,645
1964 541 331 28,000 158 12,155
1965 1,500 692 207 57,000 330 25,392
1966 5,125 1,829 549 121,000 871 67,153
1967 7,493 2,413 965 138,000 1,150 88,589
1968 8,420 2,947 1,176 168,000 1,404 108,200
1969 10,500 3,850 1,925 240,000 1,834 141,346
1970 11,500
NOTE: It is common practice to plart a native sorghum variety associated with maize. It resists drought and its white grain is of
high quality. Just with the residual fertilizer effect, when corn was planted previously and varying the planting date from May-June
to July-August, it is possible to obtain a 50% increase over the yield average of 850 kg/ha.

of this amount represents the FPC's own funds,
the rest being loans and grants. Several com-
mercial firms have shown a true interest and
great confidence in the Foundation by provid-
ing products on credit. At the end of 1970, the
Foundation will be able to pay its creditors at
least 80% of the amount owed.
In terms of the percentage of loans recu-
perated, a major increase has been observed
during the present period. During the first
years, 1964-67, unrecuperated loans amounted
to 6% to 7% of the total, due mainly to the
organizers lack of experience. This percent-
age decreased to 4 percent in 1968-69. The
largest problem now is in the recovery of old
loans. The greater understanding of each
farmers' problems by the five Foundation tech-
nicians has helped greatly in lowering the
percentage of defaults. With seven -technicians
working with the farmers in 1970, it should be
possible to lower the number of unpaid loans
even further.

Programing the Work
If a program is to succeed, it requires con-
tinuing supervision by an agronomist. Ing.
Argueta worked alone until 1966 as the pro-
gram's first technician, assisting more than
1500 members on Saturdays and Sundays of
each week. This was possible only because
of well organized groups. The groups which
he organized met at his call at any hour or
day. These efforts became well known and
MISERIOR (German Bishops organization for
underdeveloped countries) recently has pro-
vided substantial financing, permitting the
hiring of an ingeniero agronomo and four
full-time intermediate level technicians.

Training of Personnel
In 1964, three young men working as vol-
untary leaders in the program were sent to
Panama to attend courses on cooperatives.
On their return they became extension workers
within the cooperative movement, forming and
advising new groups. Now they select leaders
of the different cooperatives and provide
special courses for them in cooperatives arid
agriculture. They taught two courses in 1968
and five in 1969. The courses are of one or
two weeks duration, with a cost of $1.80 per
day paid for the students by the Foundation.
These trained leaders then serve as assistants
to the agronomists and cooperative extension
workers. While these courses have provided
excellent results, lack of funds has limited the
number of courses.

Marketing Produce
Some cooperatives have now overcome the
problems of production and have a small
surplus of grain for sale. A field study has
indicated a relatively high percentage of mem-
bers who sell their products to intermediaries
at a price of $1.50 to $2.00 per 100 pounds
(US$33 to $44 per ton). These intermediaries
then sell the products on the consumer market
at double the price paid.
If the Foundation is able to obtain the nec-
essary funding, it will develop 16 small pur-
chasing centers with a capacity of 120 to 230
tons each, and these centers will begin op-
erating in 1971. The Foundation proposes to
pay the member an advance of $62.00 per
ton for the products brought in, remaining
obligated to pay the remainder after selling the
products in previously selected markets. Ad-
ministrative costs will be deducted at the rate
of US$5.50 per ton and a small fee per ton
will be retained for capitalization.
Participation of State Organizations
The Foundation has asked repeatedly for
the collaboration of other national institutions;
however, in the majority of cases these requests
have proven unsuccessful.

In this section, two cooperatives that re-
ceived the same interest and support from
the Foundation are compared. One organiza-
tion, in Miraflores, has been a success; the
other, in Ciudad Arce, has been a failure. The
question is, why?
In Ciudad Arce many members have not
repaid their loans and community interest has
not been aroused. There is little group feeling
after four years of help and many farmers
believe that they can now dispense with the
agricultural techniques that have been taught
them. On the other hand, in Miraflores through
the production of tomatoes the 120 members
have succeeded in raising their yearly income
by 500%, to a level of $1,200 per family. In
this cooperative, there had been problems
with credit when the leaders allowed members
to enter without adequate previous preparation.
However, they were required to pay their debts
as a condition for the continuation of advisory
services and credit by the Foundation. The
cooperative has responded by liquidating its
past debts over a two-year period and is pay-
ing recent loans on time.
The failure in the first community seems
due to the lack of confidence of the people.

They had previously formed a cooperative
which was badly managed, and the people now
seem to have little interest in a new organi-
zation. Also, the community is close to an
experiment station, through which the farmers
believe they may learn sufficiently on their
own, without the strict discipline and exper-
ience of the Foundation technicians.
The community of Miraflores had not pre-
vious experience with the technicians or the
cooperative movement. Due to this, they felt
honored from the start with the attention paid
by the Foundation. The results have been
more than satisfactory and the members now
are dedicated completely to the organization
and the practices which they have been taught.


Economic Aspects
Global estimates, comparing 1969 with
1963, provide a general idea of the increased
earnings due to the use of modern agricultural
In the Chalatenango zone, where many co-
operatives are located, there are few natural
resources and soil fertility is low. Without
technology, corn yields were only slightly more
than 850 kg/ha. At a price of $79.50 per ton,
gross earnings were $67.50 per hectare. Sub-
tracting costs of approximately $56.50, left a
net earning of only about $11.00 per hectare
(see Table 6). In the case of lower prices of
$69.50 per ton the calculated net earnings
were about US$3 per hectare. Clearly, under
these conditions, the risk of a net loss is
great when a charge is included for the farm-
er's labor.
On the other hand, with the recommended
techniques, a yield of 2,500 kg/ha is feasible.
The gross income per hectare at $79.50 per
ton of corn amounts to almost $198, while the
costs are about $152.00. The increase in
costs stems principally from the use of fertil-
izer, better seed, and better preparation of the
land, which are paid in part through credit
facilities. The value of the family labor is large-
ly theoretical, also in this case, because of
limited alternatives. However, if we deduct in-
creases of $45.45 for labor, $45.10 for inputs
and $5 for land rent there is still an increase
in net earning of about $35 per hectare assum-
ing the same minimum price of $79.50 per ton
in both cases. An additional increase is ob-
tained from the production of sorghum. The
extra costs are small as no fertilizer is applied
to sorghum; it yields satisfactorily with only

TABLE 6. Estimate of costs and returns per hec-
tare in corn production in the area of the FPC
program in El Salvador, with and without improved

Total cost per hectare
Land preparation
Planting, furrowing, fertilization
Land preparation and cultivation
Insecticide application
Plant doubling
Shelling and sacking
Total labor

Non technified Technified

usS 4.50


Seed, 16 kg

Total inputs
Land rent
Total cost per hectare
Total value produced/ha*
Net income per hectare


US$ 9.50


*Average yield in 1963 (non-technified) was 850 kg/ha; for
1969 (technified) it was 2,500 kg/ha. For purposes of com-
parison the same price of US$79.50 per metric ton of corn is
calculated for both years. This gives a slightly constructive bias
as some progress has been made during this interval in improving
the marketing of corn. The average area per farm is 0.7 hectares.
Corn is planted in May and harvested in October.

the residual effects of the fertilizer applied to
In terms of the total program, 3,850 hec-
tares were planted to corn in 1969. The in-
crease in net income on this area amounted
to nearly $135,000. If the additional labor in-
come that stayed within the area is added,
the total is over $300,000. If we add to this
the profits of some 700 producers in the tomato
program, who netted between $90 and $200
each for an average of $150 per family, we
have an additional $100,000. All of this $400,000
represented additional income for the areas
where the FPC is operating. For the national
economy, this increased income signified more
purchases of both agricultural inputs (see
Table 7) and consumer goods, giving employ-
ment to even more people. This factor is of
special importance in a country such as El
Salvador, with its dense population and prob-
lems of under-employment.
The total cost of the program in 1969 was
under $50,000. More than half -about $25,000
- was accounted for by the salaries of 17
full-time employees -1 engineer, 2 agron-
omists, 4 technicians in cooperatives, 3 ac-
countants, 2 secretaries, 1 person in charge
of agricultural products, 1 driver, 2 warehouse
men, 1 part time agronomist and 1 director
general. The remainder included vehicles, gas,

TABLE 7. Value of inputs used in the FPC corn program in El Salvador.* US$.
1963 1964 1965 1966 1967 1968 1969
(45 ha) (331 ha) (692 ha) (1,829 ha) (2,413 ha) (2,947 ha) (3,850 ha)
Ammonium Sulphate $1,229 $ 9,082 $18,970 $50,170 $ 66,182 $ 80,832 $105,600
Superphosphate 416 3,073 6,422 16,983 22,407 27,368 35,746
Aldrin 307 2,270 4,742 12,542 16,546 20,208 26,400
Sevin 154 1,135 2,371 6,272 8,273 10,104 13,200
Seed 320 2,365 4,940 13,065 17,235 21,050 27,500
Total $2,426 $17,926 $37,446 $99,032 $130,643 $159,562 $208,446
The amounts of physical product increased from 1963 to 1969 in the following manner: Ammonium sulphate, 17.7 to 1,518 metric
tons; superphosphate, 3.7 to 316.3 metric tons; insecticides, 1,235 kgs to 196,260 kgs; and improved seed, 736 kgs to 63,250 kgs.

repairs, production of improved seed and ex-
pendable items. Obviously, the direct eco-
nomic benefits, estimated roughly at $400,000,
greatly exceeded the costs.
The program depends on donations and
outside loans to cover most of its costs with
about 68 percent received from outside sources
(principally from Germany, Belgium, Holland,
and the Rockefeller Foundation). Approximate-
ly 20 percent of the costs are obtained from
profits on sales of agricultural products, and
the remainder is contributed by the coopera-
tives and churches in San Salvador.

Social Aspects
Another important benefit of the program,
though difficult to measure, is the ability of
the people to work together. They learn to
value their common efforts and find dignity
in their work. A feeling of responsibility is
created, which is reflected in the use of credit.
In spite of adverse conditions, the majority of
the groups have repaid their loans in full, and
the percentage of unpaid loans has been
reduced to about 6 percent in the others.

In analyzing the operation of the program,
it is of interest to identify factors that have
been keys to its success. The following points
have been crucial in this sense.
1. The organization of groups is a pre-re-
quisite for work by the FPC -groups that
understand the nature of cooperative work.
Under no circumstance will the FPC work with
2. Confidence of the people is crucial.
This is achieved through regular contact with
the FPC technicians and through dedicated
local leaders.
3. Confidence is also achieved through the
farmer's successful experiences with the new
technology; for example, the demonstration that
a second harvest of grain sorghum is feasible

if planted in August, has helped gain the
farmer's confidence.
4. Supply of good quality production in-
puts on time seeds, fertilizers and pesticides.
Some competitors have offered these inputs
at lower prices but as these inputs often were
also of low quality, confidence was strength-
ened in the FPC.
5. Regular and punctual visits of the tech-
nicians are indispensable so that the farmers
will not feel deceived. Interchange of ideas in
the field is important for all participants. A
regular schedule of visits is required for good
6. The small demonstration plots on mem-
bers' fields have encouraged them to follow
the same practices on their own.
7. The help of the local leaders, for ex-
ample the priest, is a tremendous help in
strengthening the cooperative spirit.
8. With a growing number of groups, the
responsibility for local organization has been
turned over to local leaders.
9. The participation of local technical
assistants has been the solution for expanding
the program with small available resources.
10. The decision to emphasize agricultural
production, and thereby concentrate efforts on
activities that directly affect the daily lives of
the small farmer.
11. The support of the national institutions
-at least, moral support- and recognition of
the fact that the social work carried out by the
Foundation, is indispensable for developing a
program of this kind.

In summary, it can be said that the Foun-
dation's program has brought about favorable
changes in the participating groups even though
cooperatives in El Salvador, as in other Central
American countries, lack prestige because of
bad management of funds in the past. This

first stage now has been surpassed and such
enthusiasm has been created that it is impos-
sible to meet all of the demands for organiza-
tion of new groups. The problem now is to
avoid making commitments that it may not
be possible to adequately care for. For this
reason, each technician in the Foundation has
been provided with a previously trained assis-

tant to help teach fellow cooperative members
the most modern agricultural production prac-
In this way at least part of the problem
has been solved. However, the lack of funds
continues to restrict the expansion of the
Foundation's work to other communities in
equal need.


Q. In extending credit, what is the type of
A. Well, the farmer has some stock in the
cooperative, although the credit given to him
is four or five times more than his own
stock. A sense of responsibility is created
through cooperative work.
Q. How many small holders are there in your
program who are using fertilizers?
A. From our records, we know that at pre-
sent we have approximately 11,500 organized
in cooperatives. However, not all of the fertil-
izer is used by the cooperators; there is an
influence in the surrounding communities, so
the number surpasses the 11,500 members.
Q. How many more do you think there are?
A. It is not possible to make an accurate
estimate as there is an influence on many
who are not associated, but who do benefit
form the co-ops in the community since they
have easier access to fertilizers, seeds, etc.
Q. Is credit given to anyone who requests it?
A. No, credit is given exclusively to mem-
bers. However, others may buy their inputs
at the co-ops.
Q. What is the interest rate on this credit?
A. It is 12% per year. The Foundation gets
credit from other agencies and this is passed
on to the co-ops.
Q. How does your 12% rate to farmers com-
pare to the rates in government institutions?
A. It is acceptable. The government credit
sources generally charge between 8-9% per
year in the case of fertilizers.
Q. And the other credit sources, what is their
rate of interest?

A. The banks charge 11%.

Q. Then, your co-ops charge a little more.

A. Yes. They have to do this because the
co-ops, in turn, receive these inputs on credit.
The rates on commercial loans are between
8 and 11%, so the co-ops, due to adminis-
tration costs, have to go higher than that. I
would- also like to add that when the fiscal
years ends, the co-ops distribute the profits
among their associates, according to their
participation during the year. This way the
member recovers part of the interest that he
has paid for his credit.

Q. As a point of interest in line with this
same problem, a device in the credit organi-
zation here in Mexico has been the creation
of solidarity groups (grupos solidarios). Mem-
bers are requested to take joint responsibility
for the debts of every member of the group,
in order to get the credit. This is a legal
contract, and the procedure has been applied
with supervision rather successfully. In Mex-
ico this arrangement has accelerated the flow
of credit to small farmers. Are there any ob-
jections to such an approach and what can
be done to overcome them.

A. Yes, it is unfortunate that in El Salvador
and perhaps other countries in Latin America,
when we try to solve problems of small farm-
ers, not in a religious or political sense, but
with good intentions and awareness of our
national needs we are looked at with skepti-
cism by the government. We are convinced
we are working for the benefit of the people.
However, the response of the private sector,
and even the government, would make it ap-
pear that they are interested in keeping the
farmers in poverty, at their present low levels
of subsistence. I want to point out that hav-

ing a priest directing the program does not
mean that our goals is to proselitize.

Q. Have you informed the government about
your needs? Have you requested its help?

A. Yes, indeed. However, we have not ob-
tained a positive response. I should mention
that there is a situation which damages us.
Since there is a Christian Democratic Party
among the political parties in the country, some
tend to identify us with the party, as if we
were playing politics for that party.

Q. Is it that you are receiving no support,
or is there open opposition in the form of
government policy or action.

A. No, there is not an open opposition. There
is.just a lack of interest, indifference; we do
not receive the support of government.

Q. Is there a support price for maize in El
Salvador? How does it compare to Mexico?

A. There is one, but quite frustrating since it
is not always maintained.

value of agronomic research in a project to rapidly in-
crease crop production


-land, labor, and capital- in a program to in-
crease crop yields, requires a detailed under-
standing of the important crop production
There are certain crop production factors
that the farmer can afford to modify in the
short run. These factors include the rate, time
and method of applying fertilizer, plant geno-
type, population density, date of planting, in-
sect control, land preparation and cultivations.
Other production factors cannot be modified
economically by the farmer. These include the
amount and distribution of rainfall, frost, hail,
strong winds and important soil morphology
The farmer needs detailed and reasonably
reliable information on these uncontrollable
factors for his own farm in order to efficiently
allocate his land, labor and capital resources.
Also, the farmer should be able to predict
with reasonable certainty how the controllable
production factors will affect the yield of crops
on his land. As there is an interdependence
among the production factors in their effect on
yield, the farmer must be able to predict re-
sponses for specific levels of the different
controllable factors. We know, for example,
that the response to nitrogen for a given soil

1 Soil scientist and advisor to the soils program of the
Puebla Project, International Maize and Wheat Improve-
ment Center, (CIMMYT), Mexico.

and climatic condition depends upon the geno-
type, plant density, date of planting, etc. Due
to this interaction among the production fac-
tors in their effect on response, it is necessary
to understand in detail the following function:
Y=f (fertilization, date of planting, plant
genotype, population density, etc.) for
a given ecological system.
If a farmer had a quantitative expression
for the above function available for his land
he would be able to achieve maximum returns
from his limited resources by applying certain
principles of agricultural economics. Within
the range of decreasing returns, the farmer
could maximize his returns to capital by dis-
tributing it in such a way that the last dollar
allocated to each of the controllable factors
-fertilization, plant genotypes, population den-
sity, pest control, etc.- would produce the
same increase in yield.

Uncertainty and Factors That Cannot Be Modified
However, the farmer can expect to have
only a partial understanding of the uncontrol-
lable factors for his land. He may have reliable
information on soil morphology and native
fertility, but cannot know meteorological pheno-
mena with any reasonable certainty. Therefore,
any allocation of resources will be only par-
tially successful and will differ from the opti-

mum in the degree that the farmer's prediction
of meteorological phenomena deviates from
actual events. He is faced with a situation of
uncertainty as to what the returns on his in-
vestment will be.
For example, in unirrigated agriculture, the
farmer's return on his investment is reduced
by his inability to predict the quantity and
distribution of rainfall. The degree of this
reduction is affected by soil physical properties
and native soil fertility. A rainfall schedule
that limits crop yields will reduce the farmer's
return less when his soil is highly fertile, deep,
relatively level, permeable and with a high
moisture retention capacity. With such a soil,
the farmer has to apply very little fertilizer
and therefore risks only a small out-of-pocket
expenditure. The soil characteristics favorable
to the absorption and retention of moisture
also assure a more efficient use of the rainfall.
Well-conducted experiments are needed as
a basis for deciding how much of a given
resource should be used in unirrigated agri-
culture. It is necessary to determine how crop
response to the controllable factors may be
influenced by the range of uncontrollable
factor values observed in the region of study.
Specifically, it is necessary to measure how
the response to fertilization, genotype, plant
population, date of planting, etc., may change
as a function of the fluctuations in rainfall,
soil morphology, etc., that are characteristic
of a region.

interdependence Between Knowledge and
An understanding of these production rela-
tionships can be obtained only through intense
and lengthy research. However, it is not nec-
essary to wait until all of this information is
accumulated before such knowledge can con-
tribute to agricultural development in a region.
It may be a continuing process and contri-
bute in a series of steps, each leading toward
a more rational development program for the
Where, then, is the best location for con-
ducting the search for knowledge on produc-
tion practices? An experiment station provides
ideal conditions for detailed, precise studies
of production relationships. However, such
studies also may be conducted at sites dis-
tributed geographically throughout the region
of interest. Although this latter approach may
mean greater cost and some sacrifice in detail
and precision, we believe that it is necessary
to carry out much of the production research

at sites distributed throughout the region.
Such a course is dictated by the great vari-
ability in the uncontrollable factors of pro-
duction. If it were possible to find all relevant
variation in soils and climate within a region
at a single station site, then it would be
reasonable to conduct the production research
at the experiment station. However, such a
situation is seldom, if ever, encountered.
Also, with respect to non-agronomic con-
siderations, production research conducted at
the experiment station greatly restricts the
movement of knowledge to farmers and the
feedback of his concerns to the researcher.

The Case of the Puebla Project
Let us now examine the Puebla Project
where the use of knowledge to increase corn
production on a commercial scale was begun
in 1968. Production research conducted in
the area during 1967 defined, to a first ap-
proximation, the practices to use in producing
unirrigated corn.
The agronomic research that has been
carried out in the Puebla Project since 1967
is divided into two programs: (1) genetic im-
provement and (2) the study of production
The genetic improvement program seeks
to develop highly productive varieties for both
short and long growing seasons that have a
wide ecological adaptation. Materials that
contain the opaque-2 gene also are being
Several approaches are being employed in
the breeding program. The conventional meth-
od and a procedure involving "cryptic double
crosses" are being used to produce high-
yielding hybrids in a very short period of time.
Also, existing commercial varieties as well as
varieties recently produced by the Instituto
Nacional de Investigaciones Agricolas are be-
ing evaluated. In this way it is hoped to have
improved genetic materials in commercial pro-
duction in five years.
Another part of the breeding program in-
volves the use of mass selection for prolificacy
in a convergent-divergent process. This meth-
od will require more time to develop superior
varieties than the hybrid program. However,
it is expected that the open pollinated varieties
developed through mass selection will be more
satisfactory than hybrids for the region.
In order to advance two generations each
year, crosses are made in the project area
during the summer and at an experiment sta-
tion at a lower elevation during the winter.

The evaluation of the commercial and exper-
imental varieties, as well as the work on mass
selection, is done at carefully selected sites in
the project area.
Objectives of the program for the study of
production relationships include (1) the iden-
tification of controllable and uncontrollable
factors of production that significantly affect
yields and (2) the generation of quantitative
information on important production relation-
At present, the following controllable
factors are of interest: (1) time of initiating
land preparation because of its importance in
conserving residual soil moisture, (2) rate and
time of applying nitrogen and phosphorus, (3)
plant density, (4) date of planting, (5) geno-
type, and (6) weed control. With respect to
uncontrollable factors, a broad understanding
has been developed of the characteristics of
the soils in the area. The combined action
of soil morphology and rainfall distribution as
an influence on annual fluctuations in crop
response is better understood, also.
Let us now examine the chronological
development of the research to produce new

Research in 1967
The genetic improvement program began
in 1967 with an evaluation of the yielding
ability of 59 introduced materials and eight
local varieties. They were evaluated at several
locations distributed over the project area.
The average yields obtained at six sites with
six of the higher yielding introduced materials
and three of the better local varieties are
presented in Table 1.

TABLE 1. Grain yields at 12% moisture of 9
varieties tested at 6 sites in 1967. Puebla Project.
Days to silking kg/ha

H-28 93 5322
H.127 92 5220
H-125 100 5127
H-129 103 4912
Xolache S. M. C. 100 4492
Batan S. M.C. 101 4220
Colorado Salvatori 91 5436
Pinto Salvatori 96 5150
Blanco Salvatori 105 4600

The results obtained in these experiments
suggested to the plant breeders that the com-
mercial hybrid H-28 was potentially useful for
favorable producing conditions in the area.

However, because of the great ecological
variability in the region, they felt it was im-
portant to investigate the usefulness of local
germ plasm in the breeding program. Also,
in these studies it was possible to identify
the outstanding local and introduced materials
for use in developing improved varieties for
the area.
Five hundred cryptic double crosses within
a population of the local variety Pinto Salva-
tori also were made in 1967. Ninety-four of
these crosses, together with the parent lines,
were saved for testing in the following cycle.
It was expected that some of these crosses
might prove outstanding and could rapidly be
increased and distributed for use in early
During the winter of 1967-68, families of
sister crosses were prepared using S1 lines
of Pinto Salvatori and H-28 as females with
selected plants from five of the outstanding
varieties in the 1967 experiments used as
males. A total of 68 crosses were made. These
crosses were evaluated in 1968 and the best
materials were used to produce short season
hybrids for immediate multiplication and use
in the area.
The soil fertility work in 1967 included
experiments at 27 locations to measure corn
response to nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium
and zinc. One-tenth of the nitrogen and all
of the phosphorus, potassium and zinc were
applied at planting; the remainder of the ni-
trogen was applied at a side-dressing at the
time of the second cultivation. Local varieties
were planted in all experiments at a rate pro-
viding 50,000 plants/ha. The estimated eco-
nomic optimum rates of nitrogen and P20O
(phosphorus) in 18 experiments, as well as the
estimated yields corresponding to the optimum
rates, are shown in Table 2. No response to
potassium or zinc was observed. Daily rain-
fall was recorded, the soil profile was de-
scribed and periodic observations on plant
wilting were made at each location.
Based on results obtained in 1967, it was
decided that, as a first approximation, the
following practices could be recommended:
A. For farmers whose investment was
covered by crop insurance: 130 kg/ha of ni-
trogen, plus 40 kg/ha of P20O applied in the
same manner as in the experiments; local
varieties with a plant density of 50,000 plants
per hectare.
B. For farmers without crop insurance:
the fertilizer treatment, 100-30-0, was recom-

TABLE 2. Economic optimum rates of fertiliza-
tion in 1967. Puebla Project.

Optimum economic rates
Experiment Grain yield *
number N P205 kg/ha
kg/ha kg/ha
PS-6701 0 0 6607
PS-6704 171 0 5018
05 173 0 4716
06 T57 0 4031
07 147 0 3761
08 221 128 6907
09 79 22 2568
10 87 0 1952
11 185 109 5098
12 116 0 2610
13 0 0 2890
14 0 0 630
15 0 22 3336
16 171 25 5882
19 118 0 3047
20 147 0 4121
21 87 0 3799
25 153 0 3930
Average 112 17 3939
Grain with 12% moisture.

Average increases in yield for the first
recommendation were estimated at 3.3 ton/ha
and for the second, 2.6 ton/ha.

Research in 1968
The genetic improvement program in 1968
included the following activities:
a) Formation of a long-season composite
by mechanically mixing seed of nine varieties
which had performed well in 1967. This com-
posite was planted at 4 locations distributed
throughout the area so as to sample ecol-
ogical variability. A mass selection for prolif-
icacy was made in each planting.
b) Formation of a short-season composite
by mechanically mixing seed of nine varieties
which had performed well in 1967. This com-
posite was planted at 4 locations in the area
and mass selection for prolificacy was made
at harvest.
c) Comparison of the cryptic double
crosses and families of sister crosses with
local varieties.

d) Formation of a composite containing
lines with the opaque-2 gene. This composite
was planted at one location. At harvest a
mass selection for prolificacy was made and
opaque-2 grains were separated.
Research on production practices in 1968
included several kinds of experiments:
a) Rates of nitrogen, phosphorus and pop-
ulation density, using local varieties.
b) Dates of planting using 6 varieties at
one level of fertilization.
c) Rates and times of applying nitrogen
and phosphorus.
d) Depths of cultivation.
e) Rates of nitrogen fertilization of corn
planted in strips between rows of fruit trees.
Experience obtained in 1968 provided in-
formation for the second approximation to the
package of recommended practices for pro-
ducing corn in the region.
Two categories of soils with major differ-
ences in morphology were recognized. The
recommended fertilizer practice for corn grown
on deep, well-drained soils was 130 kg/ha of
nitrogen plus 50 kg/ha of P205 with one-fifth
of the nitrogen and all phosphorus applied at
planting time and the rest of the nitrogen
applied at the second cultivation.
The recommended practice for soils with
a compacted subsoil was 110 kg/ha of nitrogen
plus 50 kg/ha of P205 applied as indicated
above. For both edaphic categories it was
recommended that local varieties be used, with
plant densities of 50,000 plants per hectare.

Third Approximation for Recommendations
In general, the research program in 1969
was a continuation of that in 1968. The results
obtained in 1969 allowed a third approximation
to the recommendation for fertilization and
plant density. Specific recommendations were
made for four categories of soils in terms of
morphology. These recommendations are pre-
sented in Table 3. Also, at this time, a long-
season hybrid seed produced from the cryptic

TABLE 3. Fertilizer rates, time of application and population densities as recommended in 1970.

Time of applying fertilizers
Distinguishing Planting First Second Total Population
soil characteristics N-P205 cultivation cultivation amount density
soil characteristics N-P0,
kg/ha N-P205 N-P205 kg/ha plants/ha
kg/ha kg/ha
Deep, with a loamy B horizon- 30-50 0-0 100-50 130-50 50,000
Compacted non-sodic subsoil 20-50 0-0 90-50 110-50 50,000
Compacted sodic subsoil 0-30 60-0 0-0 60-30 40,000
Deep, with a sandy B horizon 0-0 80-0 0-0 80-0 40,000

double crosses became available. This seed
was planted on a small commercial scale in
1970, mainly for the purpose of further testing
against local varieties.
The maize improvement program is being
continued in 1970 along the lines described
for 1968. Research on production practices
includes an experiment comprising all com-
binations of two levels of rate and time of
applying nitrogen and phosphorus, date of
planting, variety, and plant density in addition
to the program carried out in 1969.

Experimental Results for 1968 and 1969
Let us now combine the 1968 and 1969
experimental results for further analysis. The
rainfall patterns during the corn growing sea-
son in 1968-1969, and the 1943-1968 average
are shown in Figure 1. These data are aver-
ages for several locations. In 1968, rainfall







o---o 1968
ao--+ 1969
- Avrag. 1943-68


was above average in April and June, and
below average in the other months. In 1969,
rainfall was below average in April, May, June
and September, and considerably above av-
erage in August.

Genetic Improvement
The data obtained with the long-season
genetic materials in 1968 and 1969 are sum-
marized in Table 4. In 1968, six of the cryptic
double crosses clearly outyielded the checks.
The parent lines of these six crosses were
selfed and the seed mixed mechanically to
form two composites. These composites were
crossed in the winter of 1968-1969 to form a
new material designated composite A x B.
This material was used in small, commercial
plantings in 1970.
Mass selection for prolificacy, begun in
1968, was continued in 1969. In addition, the

TABLE 4. Yields of improved, long season genetic

Grain yields *
Days 1968 1969
to silking kg/ha kg/ha

113 93 8825
358 100 8825
246 94 8524
275 98 8563
205 99 8418
88 95 7649
FIRST CYCLE 102 4769
INIA H-128R3 114 5276
INIA H-129R3 117 5247
INIA H-110E 106 4993

INIA H.129 110 7491 4675
PINTO SALVATORI 101 6886 4439
LSD 5% 379 704
S12% moisture.

product of the first cycle of selection was
planted in the 1969 yield trials. The results
given in Table 4 indicate that this selection
yielded slightly more than the checks. Also,
it is seen that two of the introduced INIA
hybrids clearly outyielded the checks and
might be considered for immediate distribution
in the project area.
A summary of the work carried out with
short-season materials is presented in Table
5. The five outstanding crosses clearly out-

TABLE 5. Yields of improved,short season genetic

Grain yields *
Days 1968 1969
to silking kg/ha kg/ha
309 86 7964 3795
276 95 6793 3841
292 6936
257 85 6875 3758
333 6790
CHALQUERO -02 C-I 93 3082
INIA H-31E 84 4040
INIA H-26E 88 3605
INIA H-32E 85 3542
INIA H-28 87 5887 3675
ROJO SALVATORI 81 5789 3555
LSD 5% 277 455
S12% moisture.

yielded the checks in 1968, but differences
were less notable in 1969. One of the intro-
duced INIA hybrids also outyielded the checks.
Within one or two years it should be possible
to test the crosses, and possibly the INIA
materials, on a commercial scale. The short-
season variety produced through mass selec-
tion did not outyield the checks in 1969.

Agronomic Studies
Economically optimum rates of nitrogen,
phosphorus and plant density, estimated from
results obtained in the experiments carried
out in 1968, are given in Table 6. These
experiments are grouped according to the
morphological soil condition where they were
located. It is seen that higher yields were
obtained on the deep soils. The average
economic optimum rates of nitrogen and P205
were 188 and 88 kg/ha, respectively, for the
deep soils.
The average optimum plant density was
68,000 plants/ha. The average yield was in-
creased from 1028 to 7482 kg/ha by applying
the optimum amount of fertilizer and adjust-
ing plant density to the optimum. On soils
with a compacted subsoil, the average eco-
nomic optimum levels of nitrogen, P205 and
plant population were 129 kg/ha, 70 kg/ha,
and 56,533 plants/ha, respectively. This com-
bination of values for nitrogen, phosphorus
and plant density increased average yields
from 1403 to 5577 kg/ha.
Rainfall in 1968 was quite favorable for
corn production. This is reflected in the high
yields reported in Table 6. Nevertheless, corn
in the experiments suffered from drought an
average of 17 days during July and August,

which undoubtedly was sufficient to reduce
yields. It is interesting to compare the rainfall
pattern in 1968 with the average for the 1943-
1968 period (Fig. 1). It is seen that rainfall in
1968 exceeded the average in April and June
and was less than the average in the other
In general the information produced on
production practices in 1968 contributed to a
better understanding of differences in produc-
tivity of the two morphologically distinct kinds
of soils. Also, the results were very useful in
studying how corn yields on these soils varied
as a function of plant density. However, be-
cause 1968 was quite favorable for corn pro-
duction and since frequencies of different
rainfall patterns were unknown, the levels of
nitrogen and plant density recommended in
1968 were not increased. Rather for the soils
with a compacted subsoil, the recommended
nitrogen rate was reduced.
The results obtained in 1968 are examined
next. The economically optimum rates of ni-
trogen, phosphorus and plant density are
presented in Table 7. Included in the exper-
imental program in 1969 was a geographical
region that had been studied in 1967, but not
in 1968. This region includes two kinds of
soils that differ morphologically from the two
previously recognized categories: (1) Soils
with a poorly developed sandy B horizon, over
coarse parent material, and (2) Soils having a
dense B horizon, with columnar structure char-
acteristic of sodic soils.
Only two experiments were carried out in
1969 in the region of deep, permeable soils.
The average optimum levels of nitrogen, P2Os,
and plant density in these trials were 158

TABLE 6. Economic optimum rates and estimated yields in 1968.

Soil characteristics N P2O Population Grain yield *
density Check Optimum
and experiment k/ha/h density Check Optimum
number kg/hakg/a plants/ha kg/ha kg/ha
Deep soils
1P5-6806 200 100 70,000 210 7591
07 205 100 70,000 810 9112
08 215 77 88,000 2200 7897
09 189 86 70,000 1280 8300
13 133 76 42,000 640 4510
Averages 188 .88 68,000 1028 7482
With a compacted subsoil
P5S6810 117 73 46,000 850 3610
11 168 137 70,000 850 8220
12 102 0 53,000 2510 4900
Averages 129 70 56,333 1403 5577
12% moisture.

TABLE 7. Economic optimum rates in 1969.

Distinguishing N P205 Population Grain yield *
soil morphology kg/ha kg/ha density Check Optimum
and expt. No. plants/ha kg/ha kg/ha
Deep, with a loamy B horizon
PS-6912 137 150 47,000 375 5840
13 180 0 67,600 194 5769
Averages 158 75 57,300 284 5805
Compacted non-sodic subsoil
PS-6916 94 62 30,000 65 2880
Deep, with a sandy B horizon
PS-6903 0 0 30,000 1595 1595
04 40 0 30,000 976 2592
05 0 0 30,000 1274 1274
06 137 0 51,000 603 3877
07 114 0 30,000 570 4546
08 70 0 54,000 912 3844
Averages 60 0 37,500 988 2955
Compacted sodic subsoil
PS-6909 0 37 38,000 68 858
10 15 23 30,000 172 584
Averages 7 30 34,000 120 721
S12% moisture.

kg/ha, 75 kg/ha and 57,300 plants/ha, re-
spectively. Average yields were increased
from 284 to 5805 kg/ha with the use of these
optimum levels. Only one experiment was
conducted in the area of soils with a com-
pacted subsoil. Optimum levels of nitrogen,
phosphorus and plant density at this location
were 94 kg/ha, 62 kg/ha and 30,000 plants/ha,
respectively. The optimum treatment increased
yields from 65 to 2880 kg/ha. These results
indicate that 1969 was less favorable for corn
production than 1968. In the experiments car-
ried out in 1969, corn was affected by drought
an average of 52 days during the period from
May to July. This drought corresponded to
the period of very low rainfall as seen in Fig-
ure 1.
Very interesting results were obtained in
the region with soils having sandy B horizons.
Corn did not respond to the application of
phosphorus, thus indicating that these soils
are adequately supplied with this nutrient, at
least in years with severe moisture deficien-
cies when maximum yields do not exceed 4
ton/ha. Results obtained in this region also
showed that the required amount of nitrogen
was less than that needed in the two cate-
gories of soil defined in 1968. The average
optimum levels of nitrogen, P20r,, and plant
density for the trials conducted in this region
were 60 kg/ha, zero and 37,500 plants/ha.
The optimum practices increased the average
yield from 988 to 2955 kg/ha.

Results obtained at- two locations on soils
with sodic-like characteristics indicate that the
productivity of these soils is the lowest found
in the project area. Based on the results
obtained in 1969, it does not appear econom-
ically sound to grow corn on these soils.
However, to understand better the significance
of the 1969 experiences, it is helpful to ex-
amine the rainfall pattern. In August, the
rainfall was about double the average and
this month corresponds to the period when
the grain is forming. As the B horizons of
these soils are very impermeable, it is likely

TABLE 8. Grain yield response to rates and time
of application of nitrogen fertilizer.

Grain yield Time of fertilizer application
1969 1968 First Second Planting
kg/ha kg/ha cultivation cultivation la
kg/ha kg/ha kg/ha
0 0 0 370 516
75 0 0 2474 3189
0 75 0 3733 3181
0 0 75 3860 2862
150 0 0 4500 4427
0 150 0 5450 3610
0 0 150 5093 3129
15 0 135 3755
LSD 5% 753 482
The figures for 1968 and 1969 represent averages of one and
three experiments, respectively. Grain at 12% moisture.

that the
suited in

heavy rainfall created a saturated
in the upper soil horizon that re-
an oxygen deficiency for the plant

roots. It may be that in years with less rain-
fall during August, it is possible to produce
significantly higher yields.
Let us look now at what these experiments
teach us about rate and time of applying ni-
trogen. As seen in Table 8, in 1968 it was
better to apply 75 kg/ha of nitrogen in the
first or second cultivation than at planting
time. In 1969, on the other hand, it was better
to apply 75 kg/ha of nitrogen at planting time
or in the first cultivation. With the 150 kg/ha
rate of nitrogen, it was best to make the ap-
plication at planting time. From these results
it is clear that it is necessary to take into
account not only the rate but also the time
of applying nitrogen in defining a package of
practices for unirrigated agriculture. Based
on two years of experience it appears that

nitrogen application, at the time of the first
cultivation has a higher probability of being
correct than either of the other alternatives.

The Value of Research
On balance, we can say the following about
the contribution that research has made to
agricultural development in the Puebla area
(1) the agronomic knowledge produced by
research now permits- a more efficient use of
available labor, land and capital, (2) through
the genetic research it has been possible to
identify and produce genetic materials with
greater yield potential than the local varieties
now in use and (3) finally this experience has
shown that it is possible to generate valuable
new agronomic knowledge in a relatively short


Q. In your Table 1 there is a seemingly neg-
ative correlation between days to silking and
yield. How would you explain that?

A. I think that there is a general positive
correlation between yields and length of the
growing season. However, there are many oth-
er factors that affect production. I would not
worry too much at the seemingly negative
correlation between yield and days to silk for
several reasons. First: very few observations.
Second: the extent of the variation of days to
silk is rather narrow. Third: several degrees
of genotype adaptation are involved.

Q. Do you change recommendation of variety
if the planting date gets late in the season?

A. The change of variety as a function of
planting date is a common practice among the
farmers of Puebla.
Q. In the work done in Jalisco, it has been
found that the maize seed from the Produc-
tora is variable in quality. How carefully are
the materials checked in terms of quality and
other characteristics which may affect corn?

A. Up to now we are recommending that
farmers use their local varieties.

Q. What is the population density for checks?

A. In the experiments involving rates of ni-
trogen, phosphorus and population densities,
the checks for N and P had 30,000 and 70,000

Q. How many experimental locations in the

A. In 1970 we have 22 locations in the pro-
ducton relationships program and 13 in the
breeding program. There is at least one ex-
periment per location. That applies to both

Q. Do you carry out soils tests?

A. We are not using laboratory tests as a
basis for fertilizer recommendations. However,
our present field studies will provide the meth-
odological basis for calibrating such tests in
the future.

methodology and results of evaluation
in the puebla project


IN PAST YEARS Mexico and other countries
have carried out various types of rural devel-
opment programs. However, the lack of ad-
equate evaluation based on previously estab-
lished bench marks in respect to natural and
human resources has seriously limited the
knowledge that could be gained from these
experiences. In fact, in very few cases have
objective evaluations been carried out at the
completion of projects. As a result the degree
of success in attaining stated objectives is
seldom known.
In the Puebla Project, evaluation was in-
cluded as an integral part of the over-all plan
from the very beginning. Because of the nat-
ure of the project, designed to test a model
for development, it was felt that the evaluation
must include an adequate bench mark as well
as intermediate and final studies.
The nature of the evaluation program was
decided through extensive discussion among
staff and advisers of the project. One point of
view maintained that an independent outside
institution ought to make the evaluation. Two
arguments were presented in favor of this
1. It would be possible to maintain com-
plete objectivity, as the persons in charge of
the evaluation would not have a personal in-

'Respectively, Head of Evaluation in the Puebla Proj-
ect, and Assistant in Evaluation, in charge of objective
yield measurements in 1969.

terest in the success or the failure of the plan
and consequently,
2. The results would be given greater
weight by the individuals and institutions that
make decisions about agricultural policy in
other regions and other countries.
Notwithstanding these two advantages, the
ultimate decision was to integrate evaluation
into the over-all program and obtain not only
before-and-after measurements but alto a con-
tinuous feedback of information for the coor-
dinator and technicians in the action program.
With respect to the question of objectivity,
it was believed that the essential conditions
in this case, as in any type of scientific re-
search, would be: 1) objective criteria, and
2) adequate scientific methodology.

The first phase was to collect the existing
information about the region. The 1960 agri-
cultural census provided initial data by muni-
cipios in regard to: 1) number of resident
families, 2) area sown to corn and its produc-
tion, and 3) size of the agricultural units, in-
cluding ejido parcels and private holdings.
Annual data were obtained from the crop
reporting service (Direcci6n General de Eco-
nomia Agricola) on area planted to corn and
yields obtained. Through discussions with in-

dividuals involved in collecting this data, it was
concluded that procedures used would not
assure an adequate measure of the year-by-
year success of the project. Therefore it would
be essential for the project to establish its
own bench marks and make its own periodic
measurements of progress in increasing yields.
After the harvest of the fertilizer experi-
ments in 1967, it was evident that the Project
would be ready to begin the extension aspects
of the program by planting field demonstra-
tions in 1968. In order to have adequate
reference points for future comparisons a
bench mark study was carried out in the winter
of 1967-68 to obtain the following information:
1. Corn yields for 1967.
2. Descriptive data on the farmer, his fam-
ily, size of farm, prevalence of different types
of land holdings, diet and levels of farm and
off-farm income.
3. The present level of knowledge and use
of agricultural technology.
4. Information channels existing in the
5. The attitudes of the farmers previous
to initiating a development program in which
they would play a major role.
6. The infrastructure of the area and the
farmers' use of it -the existing programs and
functioning of fertilizer distribution, agricultur-
al credit, crop insurance, guarantee prices, and
markets for agricultural produce.
These measures were made in large part
through a sample survey among farmers of
the area.

The Sample Survey
The population of interest in this case was
the total number of heads of family operating
land in the area. In previous studies done in
other parts of Mexico, the census lists by
municipio had been employed as the sampling
frame. In view of the problems encountered
in those studies -and because 8 years had
passed since the lists were done for the 1960
census, it seemed prudent to use another
basis for the sampling design.
An area sampling technique appeared to
be the most desirable and when it was found
that aerial photographs had been taken of the
region only six months earlier and could be
purchased at a reasonable price, a definite
decision was made in favor of area sampling.
To make the best use of funds available
for the field work, it was decided to take a
sample in two stages. The sample was se-
lected as follows:
Using a good map of the region, provided

by the Mexican Defense Ministry, the outlines
of the project area were drawn in. Then 25
points were selected by drawing in coordi-
nates and making the selection of coordinates
with a list of random numbers (Fig. 1). These
points were transferred to the aerial photos
and then 5 x 5 cm squares were drawn around
these mid-points in order to obtain blocks
measuring one kilometer on each side, or 100
hectare segments. These 25 segments are the
first stage of the sample -the primary units.
Each segment was photographically enlarged
to a size that would permit easy identification
of the individual plots, and at the same time
make it easy to convert measurements made
by ruler on the photo to hectares of area in
each plot.
The first step in the field work was to
locate the segments. This was accomplished
by seeking out reference points in the photos
-roads, trees, gulleys, rows of maguey, etc-
to establish the limits of the segments and of
the individual plots. The next step was to
obtain the names of those who worked each
plot during 1967. Anyone who operated any
land in the segment -even though the major-
ity of his land was outside of the segment-
was included in the sampling frame. As the
plots were identified, they were numbered
chronologically and the names were listed on
a separate sheet. These lists constituted the
sampling frame for the second stage. The
names of the farmers in each segment were
the basic sampling units for second stage.
The size of the sample, for the first stage
as well as the second, was calculated from
information on corn yields from two sources:

1. Yields on fertilizer experiments carried
out in the whole region in 1967. This infor-
mation gave a measure of the variation exist-
ing between experiments. The number of
segments to be included in the sample de-
pended largely on the magnitude of this vari-
2) Objective yield measures taken in the
fall of 1967 among a sample of traditional
plantings in one part of the area. This per-
mitted an estimate of the variation between
farmers, from which the size of sample for
the second stage could be determined. Based
on these calculations, 12% of the total num-
ber of farmers on the lists were drawn in
order to allow for refusals and yet assure a
final sample of 10% of the farm operators in
each segment. This gave a sample size with
the necessary level of precision (251 farmers).
A random selection of the elements of the
sample was carried out in the presence and
with the participation of local officials, either
of the ejido or of the municipio. The data were
collected with an interview schedule drawn up
after some experience in the area and pre-
tested in December 1967. The majority of the
interviews were done by students -principally
from the National School of Agriculture-
during the 6 week period from January 2 to
February 15, 1968. The period covered in the
questions relating to crop and livestock pro-
duction was the calendar year 1967.
As the interviewing progressed, information
that would be of immediate use to the coor-
dinator in defining the strategy of the action
program was passed on to him. When the
field research was completed, the data were
coded, tabulated and then processed at the
Statistical Center of the Graduate College at

The summary of results which was presented
at the conference, is not included here as it is
already available in The Puebla Project 1967-69:
Progress Report of a Program to Rapidly In-
crease Corn Yields on Small Holdings, CIMMYT,
Mexico, 1969. See pages 14-25 and 81-92, and
the appendix tables in that report.

In order to have available a continuous
measure of progress in raising corn yields,
annual estimates are made in the field each
year just before harvest time.

Two parallel approaches are being used
to obtain a double check on progress: 1) a
sample of high yield plots, compared to a
general sample of the region, and 2) a yearly
general sample of the area corrected each
year for climatic variation to measure average
progress on the entire area. During the early
years the first approach will give the most
accurate estimate, but when a high proportion
of the farms are involved, heavier reliance will
have to be placed on the second procedure.
For obvious reasons it was necessary to
use sampling techniques; consequently, we
will be dealing with yield estimates.
To make the general yield estimate for the
area the first stage segments selected for the
interview, were used again. Within these
segments, a new sample of parcels was drawn.
Then within these parcels a sample of sites
was drawn. The sampling procedure within
the parcels is shown in Figure 2.
These sampling procedures have been car-
ried one step further through regression anal-
ysis and present estimates are based on mea-
surements of ear length and diameter taken
without husking or removing the ear from the
In order to test this method, in 1968 it was
necessary to take measurements of weight
and moisture content as well as diameter and
length of 20,000 individual corn ears. Based
on analysis of this data on the computers of
the Statistical Center of the Graduate College,
a model was obtained for indirect estimation
of yields. The use of this model, based on

100 m

length and diameter measurements, greatly
facilitated the estimation of the 1969 crop*.
In 1968 the general sample of farmers was
made up of 24 segments with 184 parcels and
a total of 920 sites. The sample of high yield
plots consisted of 16 localities with 123 lots
and 615 sites.

Procedures and Results for 1969
For the 1969 harvest, both samples were
enlarged so that the general sample included
34 segments with 216 parcels and 1085 sites.
The sample of high yield plots included 55
localities with 370 lots and 1850 sites.
As was expected, the general sample in-
cluded segments which were not completely
traditional plantings, as the influence of the
action program became evident over a broader
area. The general sample was made up of 8
parcels in each segment and 5 sites in each
parcel. Nevertheless, not all of the parcels
were planted to corn and for this reason the
total number of parcels is not a multiple of
8. Of the 272 segments, 216 or 79.4% were
planted to corn.
For the high yield plots, a sample was
taken at each locality in which there were
farmers operating under supervision of the
Puebla Project. Based on analysis of variance
carried out on the data from the 1968 high
yield plots a sampling rate of 20% was de-
cided upon. In practice, 19% of the plantings
were measured in three of the four zones and
in the other zone, where the total number of
plantings was small, 85% were sampled.
In carrying out the sampling, it was evident
that not all of the farmers used the complete
package of practices recommended by the
project. This was most obvious in the case
of the lower plant densities. Apparently, the
uncertainty in regard to rainfall early in the
season also influenced farmers to use some-
what less fertilizer which, again, influenced
crop yields. Of course, it is probable that even
though conditions had been optimum, not all
of the participants would have followed com-
pletely the recommendations.
Actually, because of more favorable rainfall
in the area reserved for expansion in 1970,
referred to in the table as zone 5, the average
yield of segments located in it was higher
than those for the other zones, making an

For more information, see Heliodoro Diaz, Delbert T.
Myren and Richard E. Lund, "Estimating Corn Yields in the
Puebla Area with a Regression Model Based on Ear
Lenght and Diameter". This methodology will be studied
further in the future to improve the level of precision.

TABLE 1. Average yields of grain at 12% mois-
ture in the general area included in the Puebla
Project, 1969.

No. No. of Average
Seg. Location parcels yield
with corn kg/ha
1 San Francisco Tlaloc 7 326
2 San Matias Tlalancaleca 7 1241
3 JuArez Coronaco 5 1007
4 San Rafael Tlanalapan 5 1759
6 San Baltasar Temaxcalac 7 5097
7 San Miguel Tianguistenco 8 2055
8 San Sim6n Atzizintla 8 760
9 Santa Maria Moyotzingo 4 1553
16 Santa Maria Moyotzingo 5
Average yield for zone 1 1533

10 Santa Ana Xalmimilulco 6 3264
11 San Pedro Tlaltenango 6 1675
12 San Agustin Atzompa 6 1485
13 San Lorenzo Chiautzingo 7 3415
14 San Juan Pancoac 5 1450
24 Juan C. Bonilla 7 1413
39 Huejotzingo 5 520
Average yield for zone 2 1889

15 San Andris Calpan 8 1354
25 San Martin Tlamapa 8 2340
26 San Pedro Yancuitlalpan 7 1634
27 San Juan Tianguismanalco 8 719
38 San Buenaventura Nealtlcan 4 2067
Average yield for zone 3 1623

17 Santa Maria Coronango 6 1117
18 San Lorenzo Almecatla 4 2169
19 San Matias Cocoyotla 4 1798
20 Santiago Momoxpan 5 2173
28 San Francisco Totimehuacan 5 1082
36 Guadalupe Hidalgo 8 712
37 San Juan Cuautlancingo 5 2331
Average yield for zone 4 1626

29 Chachapa 7 2657
30 Tepatlaxco de Hidalgo 8 1811
31 Amozoc de Mota 8 2235
32 Sta. Maria Xonacatepec 8 2848
33 San Antonio Tlacamilco 7 1743
34 Acajete-Tepulco-Tepetzala 8 1365

Average yield for zone 5 2110

Overall average of sites 1744
Overall average of sites for the first 4 zones
where the Project had operated 1644

overall average of 1744 kilograms per hectare.
The average yield for the sites located within
the western two-thirds of the region, where the
Project had concentrated its work up through
1969, was 1644 kilograms per hectare. This is
the figure that will be used for comparing with
the sample of high yield plantings in the same

This can be contrasted to the 2,809* kg/ha
average yield obtained on the 19% random
sample of fields planted by farmers involved
directly in the Project. In spite of the fact that
many of these participants did not follow the
recommendations in their entirety, there was
an improvement of more than 1,100 kg/ha.
Table 1 shows the yield estimates for 1969
by locality.
The variation in average yields by segments
indicates that there were extreme situations in
some localities where yields were minimum.
In 6 of the 34 segments, average yields were
less than one metric ton per hectare, including
one case where the average of the 5 fields in
corn was zero.
Table 2 gives the result for the high yield
A second method for checking the progress
in increasing yields was to compare the av-
erage yield obtained in 1969 (1644 kg/ha) with
1967 (1310 kg/ha) for the farmers in the gen-
eral sample. This gives an average increase
of 334 kg (28%). Taking into consideration that
there was an increase of approximately 18%
(236 kg/ha) attributable to climatic factors, the
increase due to modifications in technology
would be approximately 8% or 98 kg per hec-
tare on the 60,000 hectares represented by
the sample.
The 18% increase attributable to climate is
estimated from the results obtained in exper-
iments carried out by the agronomic research
program in the Puebla Project area.


The sample survey carried out in January
and February of 1968 will serve as a bench-
mark for future comparisons in order to mea-
sure progress at intermediate stages and at the
completion of the project. Plans are now being
formulated for an intermediate survey to be
done after the 1971 harvest. These data will
also serve as a new benchmark for future com-
The evaluation program will continue to
provide feed-back information to the coordi-
nator of the program in respect to farmers'
attitudes and level of participation of various
institutions in the program.

Calculated after adjusted the sampling rates of all
zones to a common 19%; the overall average by sites
without adjusting for over-sampling in zone 3 was 2,726
kg/ha and the unweighted average by zones was 2,765

TABLE 2. Average yields of grain at 12% mois-
ture on high yield plantings in the Puebla Project,

No. Location yield
1 San Baltasar Temaxcalac 6365
2 San Martin Texmelucan 3095
3 San Jerdnimo Tianguismanalco 6216
4 Ignacio M. Altamirano 1730
5 San Martinito 3415
6 San Rafael Ixtapalucan 3574
7 San Rafael Tlanalapa 3715
8 San Matlas Tlalancaleca 2014
9 Juirez Coronaco 2124
10 San Juan Cuauht6moc 3290
11 San Buenaventura Tecaltzingo 3350
12 Santiago Coltzingo 2042
13 Tlacotepec de Jos6 Manzo 3574
14 San Miguel Tianguistenco 3081
15 San Crist6bal Tepatlaxco 1768
16 Guadalupito "Las Dallas" 3375
17 San Andrds Hueyacatitla 4091
18 Guadalupe Zaragoza 2095
19 San Pedro Matamoros 2405
20 San Francisco Tepeyac 2256
21 San Felipe Teotlalcingo 2451
22 San Salvador El Verde 3920
23 San Lucas Atoyatenco 4956
Average of 23 localities in zone 1 3256
1 Huejotzingo 2557
2 San Juan Pancoac 3096
3 San Miguel Tianguizolco 2703
4 Santa Maria Tianguistenco 2281
5 Colonia Chahuac 3039
6 San Luis Coyotzingo 4130
7 San Mateo Caputitlin 3620
8 Santa Ana Xalmlmilulco 4713
9 San Sim6n Tlanicontla (D. Arenas) 3110
10 San Pedro Tlaltenango 3265
11 Juan C. Bonilla 2043
12 San Gabriel Ometoxtla 2646
13 San Lorenzo Chiautzingo 2920
14 San Juan Tetla 3055
15 San Nicolas Zecualacuayan 2303
16 San Antonio Tiatenco 2224
17 San Diego Buenavista 3260
18 Santa Maria Texcac 3102
Average of 18 localities in zone 2 3004

1 San Andrds Calpan 2299
2 San Lucas Atzala 3167
3 San Pedro Yancuitlalpan 2729
6 Santa Isabel Cholula 1928
7 San Jer6nimo Tecuanipan 3143
8 San Martin Tlamapa 3696
9 San Juan Tianguismanalco 1901
Average of 7 localities in zone 3 2695
1 San SebastiAn Tepalcatepec 1179
2 San Martin Zoquiapan 2573
3 Santa Maria Coronango 2660
4 San Juan Cuautlancingo 4440
5 San Lorenzo Almecatla 1855
6 Emiliano Zapata 1234
7 San Bernardino Chalchihuapan 795
Average of 7 localities in zone 4 2105
Overall average of sites: 2726 kg/ha
Overall average by zones: 2765 kg/ha
Weighted average by sites: 2809 kg/ha
Average of 55 localities: 2955 kg/ha

A new aspect for the future will be the
evaluation of high-lysine corn varieties as soon
as these materials are available for distribution
in the project area. The evaluation will include
studies of farmer acceptance and effects on
human and animal nutrition.
The intermediate survey to be conducted
after the 1971 harvest will also measure a
wide range of changes that have occurred
both in agricultural practices and in the at-
titudes of people. Briefly, here are some of the
concepts to be measured in the intermediate
and final evaluations.
1. Production Increases. The new crop
and livestock production data will be compared
with the 1967 benchmark to determine the
extent and geographical distribution of produc-
tion increases. How much of the additional
production is being used directly for food, how
much for animal feed and how much for sales?
To what extent does the additional production
serve to increase family income, either through
direct sales or sales of animals fed with the
increased corn production?
2. Changes in Amount and Sources of
Family Income. As on-farm income from all
sources increases, does off-farm income drop,
stay the same, or also increase?
3. Use of Increased Income. How much
of the increased income is invested in land?
How much is used for additional crop and
livestock production? How much in different
types of savings? How much for education of
children? How much for different aspects
of consumption? How much change is there
in the family diet?

4. Changes in Labor Use. Is additional
off-farm labor used to achieve the higher
yields? Are labor needs of any part of the
production process, reduced by mechanization?
Does off-farm income in the area as a whole
go down as a result of additional employment
opportunities in agriculture? And many other
questions related to labor use.
5. Changes in Knowledge and Use of Rec-
ommended Technology. The first question
here is, to what extent has the farmer learned
the reasons for and how to use a new pack-
age of improved practices -type of fertilizer,
amount, when to apply, higher plant popula-
tion, etc. In addition, we need to find out to
what extent the farmer has broadened his de-
cision-making abilities- to what extent he has
become more of an entrepreneur in his thinking.
6. Attitude Changes in General. To what
extent is there a change in the farmers' atti-
tudes toward farming? Will increased produc-
tion stimulate or slow down migration from
the land? Is there any change in the farmers'
attitudes to future education of their children
and in their occupational aspirations for their
children both inside and outside of agriculture.
Is there any change in the alternatives they
themselves are considering inside and outside
of agriculture? Any change in attitude toward
innovations in agriculture and in their general
attitude of optimism or pessimism?
Another part of the evaluation will be re-
lated to the functioning of the agricultural
infrastructure of the region, especially agricul-
tural credit, crop insurance, the distribution of.
fertilizer and other inputs, and the marketing
of crop and livestock products.


Q. Are you thinking to take another sample
survey among the same farmers?

DIAZ. We plan to measure the same things
in an intermediate survey to be carried out
at the end of next year. We will try to mea-
sure the increase in production and how they
are using this increased production -how
much they are selling and how much for home
consumption. We plan to find out what are
they planning to do, and what they did, with
the extra income as a result of the increased
production. We are going to measure some of
their attitudes toward the future, not only about
the future education of their children, but also

about their own plans. We will see to what
extent the farmer is diversifying or plans to
diversify his agriculture, or if he is planning to
specialize in corn. We will ask about the
other topics which I mentioned early.

GRANT. I wonder how important women are
in this project, and what role they will play
in the future. Are you going to do something
about them? In his visit to El Salvador, Dr.
Byrnes found some interesting things.

DIAZ. As I mentioned this morning, women
are very important. For example, in credit,
we had a situation where the men planned to

use it, but finally the women said "no". And
the farmers didn't take the credit. The women
participate actively in many farming activities,
helping their husbands. In some cases, they
go to plant with their husbands and I think
this is an important thing to take into account.
The extension team has found that women
attend each event, demonstrations, etc. How-
ever, I think that we should have a program
for women.

Q. In regard to credit, what percentage of
the credit came from private sources? What
percentage from private banks?

DIAZ. You mean now or before? As I told
you, 12% of the farmers had credit in 1967,
but only 6.8% came from the official banks.
Some of them used to get the money from
private lenders.

WILLIAMS. Who are these private lenders?

DIAZ. In some cases the owner of a little
store in the community and they lent some
money to buy fertilizer, but charged a very
high interest. There is a private lender in
each community.

WILLIAMS. I would be very interesting to
know, to estimate the interest charged to farm-
ers in the area. As you know, only 12-15% of
farmers in the country get credit from public
sources. The rest get credit from private
lenders, who charge as much as 1% per day.

Q. I would like to ask whether in the initial
evaluation, the other income, besides that from
corn, was also included.

DIAZ. Yes, this information is included in
our papers.

HUBERMAN. This project has gone far enough
so that you have some experience with dem-
ographic problems. As I understand, within
the ejido system the land can not be sold nor
further divided. The private plots, of course,
can be divided if two or more sons decide to
stay. This would mean that these already
small plots will be divided. And what happens
with the migration from the farm? Are they
going out?

DIAZ. We asked the farmers about the future
of their children -what they would like their
children to do. We also asked them a hypo-
thetical question- what they would do if they
received as much money as they usually earn
in 10 years. The most common response was,
"well I would like to continue working my land,
but I would be concerned about the future and
the education of my children". About two
weeks ago, when a group of foreign visitors
came to this community, the farmers asked
these visitors: "What are you doing in your
countries for the children? We are very wor-
ried here because this land cannot be divided
any more. We need a better education for the
children, and we are going to try to do that,
but we do not know what the Mexican Gov-
ernment is doing for the children".
So, I think this is a very important question.
They are concerned with trying to give their
children a better education, because in the
future these children will work, maybe in other
activities. They wanted it when they were
young, and now they are more and more aware
of the advantages of education.
BYRNES. Do you have the feeling that by
increasing production you are helping the
farmer to stay on his land, and for his sons to
stay on the land? Is the correct?
DIAZ. Well, we have had the opportunity to
talk about that with some groups during this
year. We asked them "how important is it for
you to double your production?" And they
told us: "The most 'important thing is that we
are organized now and that we know how to
get everything by working. Besides that, with
the increase of production we can feed some
animals and with this money we can send our
children to school".
WILLIAMS. In relation to the women, her in-
fluence tends to be covert. We are working
in an area with 6,000 people, 550 farmers.
This community has no potable water, some-
thing the women in the area want more than
anything else. In consequence, we designed
a project in which shares were sold to women
-a water company. Women decided that.
We also organized a taxi company, through
shares sold to people. Women took the ini-
tiative, since the community had no transpor-
tation for emergency cases, like going to see
the doctor.

benefit-cost analysis of the puebla project


THE ROLE OF ECONOMIC analysis in the eval-
uation of an investment project is to determine
whether the project is justified in view of
possible alternative uses of resources.
This paper presents an economic analysis
of the first two years of operation of the Puebla
Project in terms of its costs and benefits for
the region, and then a projection of costs and
benefits through 1975.
Analyses of costs and benefits are gen-
erally made in the planning phase, as part of
the initial project, to determine or demonstrate
its economic feasibility. Studies carried out
in this manner are based on numerous assump-
tions in respect to behavior of the important
variables. In cost-benefit analysis of agricul-
tural projects it is essential to make supposi-
tions about the behavior of farmers, produc-
tion functions, prices and also the ecological
environment. These suppositions are subject
to levels of uncertainty which may cast serious
doubt on the usefulness of this kind of study.
In spite of these shortcomings, there is a
need for careful cost-benefit studies of invest-
ments in projects of technological change. This
is especially true of projects focused on small
holdings with little capital and low levels of
education. There is a widespread belief that

Graduate Student in Communications, National School
of Agriculture, Chapingo, Mexico.
2 Head of the Communications Department, CIMMYT
and Advisor in Evaluation for the Puebla Project.

efforts such as the Puebla Project can be
justified only in terms of humanitarian or polit-
ical goals and not in terms of economic rates
of return for the economy.
The present study examines what has oc-
curred in the Puebla Project in terms of econ-
omic costs and returns for the region. It is
based on reliable data collected as part of
the evaluation work in the project. Supposi-
tions have been avoided but when necessary
care has been taken to adjust them as closely
as possible to reality, insisting that they be
conservative rather than optimistic. In calcu-
lating the benefits derived from the increase
in corn yields, corrections have been made for
the effect of climate.

The methodology consisted of the follow-
ing: separation of the various costs and ben-
efits into categories, obtaining data, correcting
for climate, and the calculation of coefficients
to express the relation between benefits and
Classification of Costs and Benefits
COSTS. In the analysis, two types of costs
are identified: "direct" and "associated". The
direct costs consist of the value of goods and
services used for the establishment and func-
tioning of the project during its operating life.

Associated costs are those necessary to put
into conditions for use or sale the goods and
services produced by the Project. In the Puebla
Project the direct costs are those which were
necessary to produce valid information about
corn production under rainfed conditions and
to gain the use of this information by the farm-
er -that is, the costs of coordination, research,
extension and evaluation. The associated costs
are those entailed by the farmer in order to
apply the new information in corn production.
BENEFITS. Two types of benefits are con-
sidered: primary and secondary.
The primary benefits are those goods and
services, to which a monetary value can be
assigned, that are produced as an immediate
result of the activities of the Puebla Project
or induced by it. These primary benefits have
been separated into two groups: those that
have been measured and those that have not.
In this paper the benefits are calculated strictly
in terms of the value of increased corn pro-
duction on 60,000 hectares. This serves as a
basis for calculating the net benefits attribut-
able to the Project.
There is also a group of primary benefits
not measured as yet, that should be pointed
out. Among these are the possible cost re-
ductions, in extending the new technology, that
will become possible as the new knowledge
and skills in corn production are absorbed by
the farmers. Of equal importance will be the
benefits derived from the organization of
producers into groups, permitting greater effi-
ciency in communication of knowledge and
distribution of inputs, and better possibilities
for certain kinds of joint action.
Although the primary reason for organizing
groups is to facilitate teaching the farmer new
methods and to help him adopt a "package of
practices", the groups in fact also have a
multiplier effect in diffusing information and
enthusiasm about the Project, thereby greatly
accelerating the process of change.
The secondary benefits are those in addition
to the immediate goals and services of the
Project. Once that farmers are organized, their
group strength can be employed for more
purposes. They may become aware of other
problems that can not be solved individually
but can be handled through common action. It
is here that there may be benefits even greater
that those derived from increased production.
The work of Project personnel also is aimed
at developing decision-making capacity among
individuals and groups; this is to assure that
when the technical team withdraws from the
area the farmers will be able to move ahead

on their own. It is difficult to place a monetary
value on these types of educational, social and
political benefits; .for this reason they are not
included in an analysis of costs 'and benefits.
However, the evaluation team is measuring and
recording them in other terms.
Obtaining the Data
Direct Costs. The costs of coordination, re-
search, extension and evaluation were obtained
from the accounts of the International Maize
and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT).
Associated Costs. The increased produc-
tion costs were calculated from case study
data collected by the evaluation team. In ad-
dition, data were obtained on the fertilizer
sales for high yield plots made by the fertil-
izer distributor "Agr6nomos Unidos".
Direct Primary Benefits. Two sets of data,
collected by the Evaluation team, were avail-
able for estimating yearly changes in corn
production: 1) a general sample of the entire
area, and 2) a sample of the high yield plots.
Using these data two types of calculations are
made: 1) a comparison of production on high
yield plantings with that obtained on a gen-
eral sample of the entire area, and 2) a mea-
surement of year-by-year changes by compar-
ing yield estimates from the yearly sampling
of the entire area. In both cases the bench-
mark is the average yield in 1967 as measured
by the evaluation team.
The first method is applicable when the
number of high yield plantings is small and
very little adoption of the new practices has
occurred through imitation. As the number of
high yield plantings grows and there is diffu-
sion of information from farmer to farmer, it
is no longer possible to identify all participants.
Then it is necessary to turn to the second
In this study both methods are used: the
first for 1968 and both for 1969. In 1968
the yields of most of the 143 plantings were
measured by the evaluation team. For 1968, an
average for high yield plantings was obtained
by sampling approximately 19% of these plant-
ings. A second estimate was obtained from
a general sample of all corn plantings in the
western two-thirds of the region -the area in
which the project had been active up through
1969. This accounts for about 60,000 hectares
of corn. Yields were estimated with a statis-
tical model based on number of ears and
measurements of length and diameter.
Correction for Climate
The following procedure was used to ar-
rive at a correction for yearly differences in

climate. Yield data from identical experiments
at different points in the region were compared
for 1967, 1968 and 1969. These experiments
included the same varieties, the same plant
populations and the same fertilizer treatments.
At the same time, a strong effort was made
to give the same care in terms of timely con-
trol of weeds, land preparation, and so forth.
In view of this, the assumption is made that
the differences in yield from year to year are
due basically to differences in climate, princi-
pally amount and distribution of rainfall. The
main limitation of this procedure lies in the
fact that the results of a small number of ex-
periments, although well located, are general-
ized to a very wide area (60,000 has). The
correction does not guarantee a high level of
precision but is clearly preferable to making
no correction.

Calculation of the Benefit-Cost Relationship
In this first economic analysis of the Proj-
ect, the concern was with the joint productivity
of factors and not the productivity of each
factor by itself. For this reason, benefit-cost
analysis was chosen.
The benefits and costs were first adjusted
to 1967 as the base year, using a discount
rate of 12%. This was done to make the
quantities comparable. One hundred pesos of
today cannot be compared directly to $100 pe-
sos of 10 years ago. This adjustment was not
made because of variations in the purchasing
power of money but because each peso in-
vested or earned is not idle but continues
to generate interest which again generates
more interest. Once the adjustment had been
made in the cost streams as well as in the
benefit streams, they were distributed in a
uniform equivalent series for the number of
years of operation considered, which in this
case was of 8 years --from 1968 to 1975. The
uniform equivalent benefits are thus made com-
parable to the uniform equivalent costs, and
these two quantities are used to establish the
benefit-cost relationship. If desired compari-
sons could also be made between present costs
and benefits.

Direct Costs
The total direct costs are the total invest-
ment costs plus the annual operating costs.
The data obtained from the accounting office
of CIMMYT are summarized in Table 2 under
the following categories.

a) Salaries and perquisites. This includes
amounts paid to all technical personnel of the
Project, payments to advisors and personnel
contracted to carry out special projects, the
costs of field and laboratory workers, the costs
of others employees, the education tax, social
security for all the personnel, life insurance
and medical insurance for the technical per-
sonnel, and finally certain transportation costs,
highway tolls that were not included in main-
tenance and operation costs.
b) Field Operation and Laboratory. This
include laboratory materials, fertilizers, insec-
ticides, fungicides, etc., used in the research
c) Statistics. This includes the develop-
ment of the models for estimating yields and
the value of data processing services provided
free by the statistical laboratory at Chapingo.
d) Vehicles. This includes purchase costs,
maintenance, repairs, gasoline, insurance, taxes
and licenses for the vehicles of the project.
e) Rental Costs. This is an estimate of
what it would cost to rent the offices of the
project at the general agency for agriculture
in the city of Puebla and the store rooms at
Huejotzingo beginning in July, 1967 at a rate
of US$480 per year for the offices and US$968
for the storerooms.
f) General Costs. These include payments
for the mimeographed report in Spanish used
at the annual meetings, a film for use in orga-
nizing groups of farmers, a projector, half the
cost of the Spanish edition of the report. "The
Puebla Project 1967-69" and other miscella-
neous small costs. The cost of the Puebla
report is not directly related to the field work
of the project but may have some relation to
the life of the project in the sense that it may
have helped to obtain support from interna-
tional funding agencies. In addition the inter-
national character of the report helped psycho-
logically in gaining support for the project from
national institutions.
g) Overhead for services provided by
CIMMYT. The time dedicated to the Project
by CIMMYT staff members, as advisors and
participants in the fields of communications,
soils, plant breeding and accounting, represents
an additional cost that must be included. There
is not an exact measurement for this cost, but
following an accounting procedure used in
CIMMYT it was assumed that a figure repre-
senting 30% of the total direct costs could be
added to cover this in 1967 and that this
would be reduced as the total budget of the
Project expanded and as the direct role of
CIMMYT staff was reduced so that in 1968

TABLE 1. Total investment in vehicles.

Cost of
Year No used Vehicles Remaining life Purchase Deductible ist
Year No. used investment
new No. vehicles No. years cost (US$) value* in vehicles

1967 0 5 9671 0 9671
1968 5 1 2237 0 2237
1969 6 4 9660 0 9660
1970 10 7 17704 0 17704
1971 17, 1 2237* 0 2237
1972 13 5 5 1 11530* 2306 9224
1973 17 1 1 2 2306* 922 1384
1974 14 4 4 3 9224* 5534 3690
1975 11 7 7 4 16142* 12908 3134

STo calculate the price of vehicles that will be purchased in future years, the average cost of those purchased up to now, was used.
This average is US$2,306.
SOn average a vehicle life of 5 years was used in the calculations and the amount of US$461.20 was deducted for each year of a
vehicle use. This amount was also used in estimating the residual value of the vehicles which would have less than five years
of use at the end of the eight year period.

TABLE 2. Direct costs of the Puebla Project



a. Data processing
b. Development of the model for estimating

a. Purchase
b. Maintenance and operation

a. Offices in Puebla
b. Store rooms in Huejotzingo

a. Mimeographed report for annual meeting
b. Visual aids
c. Projector
d. Report "The Puebla Project 1967-69"
e. Miscellaneous



1967-70 (US$).

Item 3a for 1970 was estimated at the same value as 3a + 3b for
** Following a CIMMYT accounting practice for assigning overhead t
Project was added each year for CIMMYT overhead: 30% for 19

this would amount to 25% and in 1969 to 20%.
Data for these groups of costs were ob-
tained for 1967, 1968, 1969 and up through
June, 1970. The costs for the rest of 1970 are
estimated taking as a basis the amount bud-
geted for the year.
The costs for the years 1971 through 1975
are calculated using 1970 as a base, under
the supposition that the costs of the Project
had neared their maximum level in 1970. The
estimated costs for 1971 include an additional

o various projects, a percentage of the total costs of the Puebla
67, 25% for 1968, 20% for 1969 and 18% for 1970.

communicator and the purchase of one more
vehicle. From 1971 to 1975 an increase in costs
of 6% per year was assumed based largely on
salary increases. The vehicles to be purchased
in these years are to replace those that will
have completed 5 years of service. A gradual
reduction in CIMMYT overhead is assumed with
the following percentages of total costs added
for this concept: 16% in 1971, 14% in 1972,
12% in 1973, 10% in 1974 and 8% in 1975.
Table 3 gives the resulting cost projections for

1967 1968






























TABLE 3. Direct costs of the Puebla Project, calculated for 1971-75.

1971 1972 1973 1974 1975
1. Basic costs 182,310 201,189 223,038 237,887 256,072
2. Salary of one person in communications 5,252
3. Vehicles 2,237 9,224 1,384 3,690 3,134

189,799 210,413 224,422 241,577 259,206
4. Overhead for services provided by CIMMYT** 30,368 29,458 26,931 24,158 20,736

220,167 239,871 251,353 265,735 279,942
The basic costs for 1971-75 were calculated using a base these of 1970, as it is supposed that the yearly costs of the Project
are now near the maximum level. In 1971 the staff will be increased by one person in communications and one more vehicle will
be added. From 1971-1975 a cost increase of 6% per year is estimated, largely for salary adjustments. The vehicles to be pur-
chased are to replace those that have completed 5 years of service.
T* he following percentages were used: 16% in 1971, 14% in 1972, 12% in 1973, 10% in 1974 and 8% in 1975.

the costs being projected are only those of
1971 to 1975. It should pointed out here that
the corn program and only for the area defined
in 1967. It is possible that in the future the
project may be expanded to work with other
crops or livestock and that the area may be
enlarged. This would modify the relationship
between benefits and costs.

The components of direct costs, for pur-
poses of analysis, are the total investments
costs and the current operating costs, which
are presented in Table 4.

The total investment costs include the 1967
costs for development of a general method-
ology, the selection of the work area, the def-
inition of strategies, the evaluation study to
establish a benchmark and the initial agron-
omic research. It also includes the total in-
vestment in vehicle purchase from 1967 to
1975, the purchase of a projector and the pro-
duction of an agricultural film to be used in
organizing groups in the area, 50% of the
costs of the Spanish edition of "The Puebla
Project 1967-69" and finally the development
of the model for estimating yields.
The current operating costs include all of
the other costs that have been incurred year
by year as a result of the activities carried out
by the Project in the program to increase corn
The current operating costs and the total
investment costs represent expenditures made
in different periods and for this reason are not
comparable. One way to convert them to com-
parable units is to adjust all costs to the same
base period. For this purpose 1967 was chosen
because much of the investment was incurred
at that time. The procedure consists in apply-
ing a rate of 12% to the different periods and

TABLE 4. Direct costs of
1967-1975 (US$).

the Puebla Project,

COST to 1967

A. Development of the general
methodology, selection of the
area, defining the strategy and
establishing the bench mark
(from Table 2: 1 + 2 + 4b
+ 5 6 + 7, in 1967)

B. Purchase of vehicles

C. Visual aids and projector

D. Report "The Puebla Project
1967-69" (1969)

E. Development of the model for
estimating yields

30,928 30,928
















*To adjust the costs a discount rate of 12% was used.


different quantities involved through the finan-
cial equivalence

P= S
(1 + i)"

in which P is the present value of the quantity
S, discounted at the interest rate i during n
periods. The result of the adjustment are pre-
sented in the second column of Table 4.
If we had data on the benefits for the 8
years of operation of the project, we would
be able to compare the total of net benefits
discounted to the year 1967 with the total
direct costs based on the same year. However,
we have real data for only two years of oper-
ation -1968 and 1969. This makes it neces-
sary to calculate uniform equivalent costs for
any year of operation. To do this a discount
rate of 12% is applied through the financial

R=, p(1 i)
L + i)"-1

This equivalence is a mathematical instru-
ment useful for distributing uniformly a sum in
various periods. It would not be correct to
distribute this arithmetically because the gen-
eral economic system of a country assumes
that the capital goods are never idle that the
surplus from one period is invested in the next,
and consequently ears an interest. What hap-
pens is shown graphically below where P is
the initial sum which, when distributed,

197 t
S1968 199 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975

in a series of periods continues to generate
interest. This is a phenomenon of geometric
growth that can be distributed uniformly among
periods through the equation noted and then
gives the graphic shown below.

19 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975

In this way the uniform equivalent cost was
obtained for the total investment costs and the
operating costs for the 8 years of activity cal-
culated for the Puebla Project.

The results were:

Uniform equivalent of the
total investment costs
Uniform equivalent for
current operating costs
Total uniform equivalent

US$ 15,927



Associated Costs
The associated costs, as defined in the
chapter on methodology, are costs incurred
by the farmer in applying new information in
corn production. In the case of the Puebla
Project these costs include basically the cost
of fertilizer, plus transportation and interest
payments, and the cost of using greater quan-
tities of labor, animal power and tools. For
purposes of the benefit-cost-analysis presented
here, only the costs of fertilizer, transport and
interest payments are included. The greater
use of labor, animal power and tools was
considered without cost in economic terms
and at regional level. That is, this does not
represent an economic cost at the regional
level. It is an effort of the farmers themselves
and the neighbors with their own animals and
equipment and using time in which they other-
wise would be unoccupied. As the analysis is
for the region it is considered correct to in-
clude as associated costs only those for fertil-
izer, transport and interest because these are
the only out-of-pocket payments that really
leave the region. The results of more intensive
use of present labor and capital represent a
direct benefit attributable to the Puebla Project.
The calculation of associated costs for
1968 was made from data obtained by the
evaluation and extension teams among tradi-

tional farmers who also had high yield plots.
This study, published on page 92 of "The
Puebla Project 1967-69" shows an increase in
cost as a result of greater use of fertilizer of
US$39.78 per hectare. This calculation is based
on an average cost of fertilizer for the high
yield plots of US$62.88 and an average expen-
diture for fertilizer of US$23.10 by traditional
farmers. The extension team provided a list
of the 143 high yield plots with a total of 76
hectares, planted by farmers who applied the
new technology during 1968. As the extension
activities of the project were first initiated in
1968 it is not reasonable to expect an impact
of the recommendations outside of the 76
hectares. Calculated in this way, the total
associated costs for 1968 amounted to US
$3,024 (Table 5).
For 1969 the calculations are based on data
obtained from the fertilizer distributor "Agr6-
nomos Unidos" which distributed fertilizer for
2,625 hectares of high yield plantings. The
total cost was US$152,114. In addition, it is
known that in 1969 a total of 2,975 hectares
were operated following in general the recom-
mendations of the project, under credit pro-
vided the official agricultural banks. However,
it was not possible to obtain the data on the
value of fertilizer applied nor the lists of those
who participated in order to go into the field
and make objective yield measurements of the
harvest. For this reason it was assumed that
the part of the increase of the 60,000 hectares
that was not explained by the measured in-
crease on the 2625 hectares, took place on
the 2975 hectares.
This supposition tends to over estimate the
costs because it is probable that the rates of
fertilization were somewhat less than those
recommended. However, the results were as
follows. There was a remaining increase of
2,783.5 tons not explained by the 2,625 hectares
of high yield plots. This increase could have
been obtained on 2,359 ha (2,783.5 ton -
1,180 ton/ha 2,359 ha). The average cost
per hectare fertilized was US$59.72 on the
high yield plantings. Therefore with these
2,359 hectares the cost for fertilizer would
be US$136,633 (2359 ha x US$59.72/ha = US
$136,633). On the other hand, the fertilizer that
would have been applied on 4,984 hectares
(2625--2359) following traditional methods
would have been US$115,130 (4984 ha x US
$23.10=115,130). With these calculations a
figure was arrived at of US$173,617 for the
associated costs for 1969 (152,114+136,633
- 115,130 = 173,617).

TABLE 5. Costs associated with the benefits in
1968 and 1969.


Cost of fertilizer applied according to the recom-
mendations of the Puebla Project on 76 ha*
Cost of fertilizer that would have been applied
if traditional methods in the zone had been
Cost associated with the benefits in 1968
Cost of fertilizer applied on 2,625 hectares of
high yield plantings***
Cost of fertilizer applied by farmers who oper-
ated with credit of the official banks and by
farmers who adopted the new technology, but
for which specific data Is not available***





Total 288,747

Cost of fertilizer that would have been applied
on 4,984 ha (2625 + 2359) if traditional
methods had been followed

Costs associated with the benefits in 1969



The average cost per hectare is 786 pesos (US$62.88) in-
cluding interest payments and transport. Data taken from
a study of production costs done by the Evaluation Program
in 1968.
S320 kg/ha of 10-8-4 at 742 pesos including transportation;
that is 261 pesos plus 27.80 in interest charges or a total
of 288.80 pesos (US$23.10).
** Data obtained from the sales records of the private fertil-
izer distributor Agr6nomos Unidos.
It was assumed that increases not explained by the pro-
duction of the high yield plots supervised directly by Project
personnel an addition 2359 hectares fertilized according to
recommendations of the Project (2783.5 ton 1,180 ton/
ha = 2359 ha). The average per hectare cost of fertilizer
for the high yield plots (US$57.92) was also used in mak-
ing the calculations for this area.

Primary Benefits
Primary Benefits for 1968. As mentioned
before, in the first year the impact of the pro-
gram reached only those who were directly
involved in carrying out high yield plantings.
In this way 76 hectares produced a total of
272,817 kg of corn. This information was
obtained by taking measurements directly in
the fields of participating farmers and was
verified by weighing the production of most of
the individual plots. The expected production
on these 76 hectares based on the average
yields for 1967 (1310 kg/ha) was 76 ha x 1310
kg/ha =99,560 kg. Accordingly the increased
increased production achieved in 1968 on the
76 hectares was 173,257 kg. However, this
increase cannot be attributable completely to
the project because it includes a climate effect

-notably more favorable in 1968 than in 1967
- for which a correction will be made later.
Primary Benefits in 1969. In the second
year the Puebla Project directly affected 5,000
hectares of which 2,625 were cultivated as high
yield plantings by 1521 farmers and the other
2975 were operated with credit of the official
The 2625 hectares of high yield plantings
were distributed in 56 communities belonging
to 21 municipios in the following form: 24 com-
munities in Zone 1, 16 in Zone 2, 9 in Zone 3,
and 7 in Zone 4. These were distributed in all
of the western portion of the Puebla Project
area and in this way the Project had some
influence on the 60,000 hectares of this part
of the area.
At the harvest time a general area sample
was taken to represent both traditional and
high yield plantings on these 60,000 hectares of
corn. The sample consisted of 173 corn fields.
In these parcels 75,000 ear measurements of
length and diameter were made as well as
measurements of the number of ears per unit
area. All of these data were processed by the
statistical center at the Graduate College in
Chapingo using the model developed for esti-
mating yields. The information obtained in this
way gave an estimated average yield on the
60,000 hectares of 1644 kg of corn per hectare
for 1969.
In comparing this yield with that for 1967
(1310 kg per hectare) the net increase is 334
kg/ha before correcting for the climate effect.
Correction for Climate. The reasons for
making a climate correction have already been
explained and the results for 1968 are pub-
lished in "The Puebla Project 1967-69", page
88. The results for four levels of nitrogen and
phosphorus and different plant populations
gave percentage yield increases in respect to
1967 attributable to climate of 48.2%, 55%,
57.9% and 55.1%. As a correction factor for
climate effect for 1968 the average of the four
was taken -54%. The treatments covered a
range including both the traditional level and
the recommendations of the Puebla Project so
that the soils specialist could draw a response
curve to cover expected yields for the treat-
ment recommended by the project as well as
for the average treatment being used in the
region at the time of initiating the project.
For 1969 the number of experimental sites
was reduced because the additional experi-
ence gained in the meantime by the soils
department. In this way it was possible to
carry out more complex trials on fewer sites.
Based on this work two production functions

were used for making the climate corrections
for 1969 -the parcels located at San Pedro
Tlaltenango (Zone 2) and at San Andr6s Calpan
(Zone 3). The equations with the correspond-
ing calculations are presented here:

I. LLANO GRANDE (San Andres Calpan)
Y = 1967.78 16.722 (N-50) 27.6841 (PO2,)
8.7821 (D-30) 0.0866 (N-50)2 0.0791 (P20.)2
0.3612 (D-30)2 0.0457 (N-50) (PO.s)
0.1553 (N-50) (D-30) 0.0484 (P205) (D-30)
Y 2212.51 36.0704 (N-50) 1.9625 (Pa20))
21.7118 (D-30) 0.1183 (N-50)2 0.0021 (PO.5)
0.4391 (D-30)2 0.0227 (N-50) (P205)
0.1203 (N-50) (D-30) 0.0716 (P205) (D-30)

Average 1967 (8 locations)
Average 1969 (2 locations)
Average attributable to climate
% of increase attributable to climate

Average 1967 (8 locations)
Average 1969 (2 locations)
% of increase attributable to climate

Average 1967 (8 locations)
Average 1969 (2 locations)
Increase attributable to climate
% of increase attributable to climate
Average 1967 (8 locations)
Average 1969 (2 locations)
Increase attributable to climate
% of increase attributable to climate





% average attributable to climate

16.4 26.3 20.6 10.1 = 73.4 4 = 18.3
Correction for climate: 18%.

It should be noted that the increases are
expressed as percentages of the estimated
yield for the region in 1967 (1310 kg/ha).

Primary Benefits Attributed to the Project.
These results are presented in Table 6. For
1968 the expected production on 76 hectares
if the new technology had not been used, is
153,322 kg of corn. In comparing this figure
with the 272,817 kg that were in reality ob-
tained it is possible to isolate production
increase attributable to the Puebla Project of
119,495 kg.
For 1969 there is a yield increase of 334
kg/ha for the 60,000 hectares sampled. In ap-
plying the correction for climate (18%) 'it was
found that an increase of 236 kg/ha (1310 x
.18=236) would be due just to the climate
effect. The final result of these calculations
is to isolate an increase in average yield attrib-

utable to the Puebla Project of 98 kg/ha (334
- 236 = 98). For the 60,000 hectares influ-
enced by the Puebla Project in 1969 these 98
kilos represent an increase in production of
5,580 tons of corn (60,000 ha x 98 kg/ha=
5,880,000 kg).

Value of the Increased Production. To place
a value on the increased production, the guar-
antee price for corn of US$75.20 established
by the official Mexican institution CONASUPO
was used. According to observations made by
the extension team, prices in the region were
somewhat higher in 1969-70 but this figure
was chosen to avoid any possible overeval-
uation of the benefits. Table 6 shows the value
of the increase on production for 1968 at US
$89.86 and the value for 1969 at US$442,176.

TABLE 6. Primary benefits attributable to the
Puebla Project in 1968 and 1969.

I. Corn produced on 76 ha
II. Expected production based on average
yields in 1967 (1310 kg/ha x 76 ha)
III. Expected increase due to climate (1310
kg/ha .54 x 76 ha)
IV. Expected production with traditional
methods (II + III)
V. Increased production attributable to the
Puebla Project (1-1V)
VI. Value of the additional production attrib-
utable to the Puebla Project*


72,817 kg






Average yield for 60,000 as estimated
by the statistical sample
Expected yield, based on 1967
Expected increase due to climate (1310
kg/ha x .18)
Expected yield with traditional methods

Average yield increase for 60,000 ha,
attributable to the Puebla Project (I -
Production increase attributable to the
Puebla Project (60,000 ha x 98 kg/ha)
Value of the increased production attrib-
utable to the Puebla Project* US$4

TABLE 7. Net primary benefits attributable to
the Puebla Project in 1968 and 1969.
Primary benefits attributable to the Puebla Project
in 1968 8,966
Cost associated with the primary benefits in 1968 3,024
Net primary benefits 5,962

Primary benefits attributable to the Puebla Project
in 1969 442,176
Costs associated with the primary benefits in 1969 173,617
Net primary benefits for 1969 268,559

the costs. The resulting net primary benefits
were US$268,559.

Benefit Cost-relation
In order to adjust the benefits to a certain
year and then distributed them in uniform
equivalent quantities among the number of
periods in which they were produced, a dis-
count rate of 12% was used; the same finan-
cial equivalences were used as in the case of
the costs.

99,560kg The second column of Table 8 gives the

3,762 kg net primary benefits adjusted to 1967. The
sum of the two years adjusted to 1967 is
i3,322 kg 5,323 + 214,094 = 219,417.

9,495 kg The costs adjusted to 1967 of the 1968 and
1969 costs are also presented in Table 8, the
8,986 total being US$235,085. The coefficient result-
ing from dividing the net primary benefits ad-
justed to 1967 by the adjusted direct costs
1,644 kg/ha expresses the benefit-cost relationship for the
1,310kg/ha first two years of operation. The coefficient










* Based on the CONASUPO guarantee price of 940 pesos per
ton (US$75.20).

Net Primary Benefits
The net primary benefits are the result of
substracting the costs of production from
the primary benefits. These operations and
the results are shown in Table 7. In 1968 the
primary benefits attributable to the Puebla
Project were US$8,986 and the associated
costs US$3,024. As a result, the net primary
benefits were US$5,972.
In 1969 the respective figures were US
$442,176 for the benefits and US$173,617 for

TABLE 8. Benefit-cost relationship for the Puebla
Project, calculated for two years of operation.

US$ to 1967
(1= 12%)
1. Net primary benefits
a. In 1968 5,962 5,323
b. In 1969 268,559 214,094


2. Uniform equivalent costs of the fixed invest-
ment for the two years (15,927 x 2= ..
31,854) 31,854

3. Costs adjusted to 1967 of current 1968 and
1969 costs (86,853 + 116,378 = 203,231)
(see Table 4) 203,231

4. Adjusted costs, in 1967, of total 1968 and
and 1969 costs 235,085
Cost-benefit relationship for the first two
years of operation:
B 219,417
-- = .93
C 235,085

in this case is .93, which means that the ben-
efits are almost equal to the costs.
Table 9 presents individual benefit-cost
relationships for 1968 and 1969 in order to
show the rapidity with which this relation has
improved. In this case the benefits and costs
are for individual years and it is not neces-
sary to adjust them to a constant base. What
was done in this case was to add to the costs
of each year, a uniform equivalent for the in-
vestment costs. The total costs obtained in
this way for 1968 and 1969 are respectively,
US$113,202 and US$161,911.

TABLE 9. Benefit-cost relationship, year by year.

1968 1969

1. Net Benefit 5,962 268,559
2. Current costs (from
Table 4) 97,275 145,984
3. Uniform equivalent
investment cost 15,927 15,927
5,962 268,559
4. Benefit-Cost Relation --- = .05 = 1.66
113,202 161,911

The resulting cost-benefit coefficients are
.05 for 1968 and 1.66 for 1969.

Benefits for the Farmer
Up to here we have been concerned with
benefits and costs at the regional level, an
important issue in deciding on the economic
desirability of a public investment. However,
in studying the results of the Project it is also
necessary to look at the benefits derived by
the individual farmer. These benefits are an
important incentive for the farmer who decides
to participate actively in a project of tech-
nological change. The financial benefits for
the farmer are obtained by comparing the
increase in production costs as a result of
adopting a new technology with the increase
in the value of the production from his parcel.
The question of benefits at the farm level de-
serves a separate paper. However, it is worth
noting briefly some figures relative to benefits
for the farmer. The value of the increased
production, corrected for climate effects is the
most concrete benefit that can be quantified.
The increase in costs is determined by the
price and additional quantities of inputs, and
is expressed here as associated costs.
The relation between benefits, corrected
for climate, and associated costs is a general
indicator of what a farmer receives on the

average for each peso invested in the appli-
cation of new technology. Taking data for
1968 from Tables 5 and 6, we find a relation-
ship of 2.97 (8,986 3,024) =2.97 and for
1969 a relationship of 2.55 (442,176- 173,617
=2.55). One possible explanation for the
higher coefficient in 1968 may be that because
of the small number of the plots, the extension
personnel were able to give more intensive
supervision to each of them.


To visualize what may be expected to occur
over a period of 8 years of operation, a pro-
jection has been made of benefits and asso-
ciated costs. This procedure is commonly
used in feasibility studies and in this case the
data and experience provide a reasonable
basis for projecting ahead to 1975. Although
the data presented here, with the exception
of those for 1968 and 1969, are assumptions,
every effort has been made to project not only
from past data but also to take into account
the experience of the technicians involved. The
suppositions on which these projections are
based are as follows:
1. The cost of fertilizer and the price of
corn remain constant during the next five
2. In 1970 and 1971 the high yield plant-
ings will give the same yield increase as in
1969, namely 1180 kg/ha more than that ob-
tained on traditional plantings in 1967.
3. In 1972 and 1973 a new hybrid or open
pollinated variety will be used extensively in
the region and will give an average yield in-
crease of 10% over the high yield plantings
in 1969 (2,726 x 0.1 = 2,999 kg/ha). The yield
increase will then be 1453 kg/ha (2,999 1,546
4. The price of improved seed will be the
same as that presently charged for a hybrid
by the National Seed Producer (3 pesos per
kilo or US$.24).
5. In 1974 and 1975 the second improved
variety will come into general use in the Proj-
ect and it will permit an additional yield in-
crease of 5% over the 2999 kg/ha from the
variety used in 1973, or 150 kg more, for a
total yield increase of 1603 kg/ha on the high
yield plantings (1453 + 150).
6. A total of 80% of the area will be
planted with high yield technology in 1975
based on a total estimated corn area in the

region of 80,000 ha. This will mean 64,000
hectares under high yield plantings.
7. The organization of groups of farmers
and other work of the extension team will
permit increasing the area in high yield plant-
ings at the rate shown in Table 10.

TABLE 10. Cost-benefit analysis
operation of the Puebla Project.

for 8 years of

Highyield Yield Increase in
Year High yield Increase production
planting (ha) (kg/ha) (ton)
1970 12,496* 1,180 14,745
1971 20,000 1,180 23,600
1972 35,000 1,453 50,855
1973 50,000 1,453 72,650
1974 60,000 1,603 96,180
1975 64,000 1,603 102,592

High yield Increased Increased
Year planting costs for costs for
ar laig fertilizer seed
(kg/ah) (US$39.78/ha) (US$3.20/ha)
1970 12,496 122,211
1971 20,000 795,600
1972 35,000 1,392,000 112,000
1973 50,000 1,989,000 160,000
1974 60,000 2,386,800 192,000
1975 64,000 2,545,920 204,800


1970 1,108,824 497,091 611,733
1971 1,774,720 795,600 979,120
1972 3,824,296 1,504,000 2,320,296
1973 5,463,380 2,149,000 3,314,380
1974 7,232,736 2,578,000 4,654,736
1975 7,714,918 2,750,720 4,964,198

TO 1967 (US$)
(i 12%) BENEFIT- 8,174,208
1970 435,432 COST =-- = 7.8
1971 621,231 RATIO 1,050,846
1972 1,316,536
1973 1,678,065 BENEFIT- 1,645,491
1974 2,106,904 COST -- = 7.8
1975 2,015,040 RATIO 211,538
TOTAL 8,174,208

8. To calculate associated costs it was
supposed that the increased cost for fertiliza-
tion was US$39.78 per hectare as shown ear-
lier in the production study carried out by the
evaluation team. In addition, the increased
costs include US$3.20 per hectare for planting
with the new corn variety produced in the
project area. This figure is based on the farm-
er employing 20 kg/ha of seed and selling an
equivalent amount of his own seed at the
market price of one peso or US$.08 per kilo
[20 (.24 .08) =- US$3.20].

Table 10 shows the manner of arriving at
the benefit-cost relation for 8 years of oper-
ation of the Project. To calculate the benefits,
corn was valued at the present support price
of US$75.20 per ton. From these benefits the
associated costs were subtracted to obtain the
net benefits expected for the next six years of
operation of the Project. These benefits were
adjusted to a 1967 base, giving a value for that
year of US$8,174,208. The total direct costs,
composed of the total investment costs plus
the current operating costs, both adjusted to
1967. These data were presented in Table 4,
and amount in total to 79,121 + 971,725 = US
The benefit-cost relation can be obtained
by comparing the adjusted values of the net
benefits and direct costs, or through a com-
parison of the uniform equivalent benefits with
the uniform equivalent costs. In Table 10 both
calculations are made and give the same coef-
ficient of 7.8.


Benefit-cost relationships are not criteria
as such, but rather may contribute to form
criteria for investment. There is no simple
mechanical test for determining whether the
benefits are sufficient to merit carrying out a
project. Risk and uncertainty abound and pro-
fessional criteria and common sense can not
be replaced by an equation. To arrive at rea-
sonable conclusions in evaluating a project, it
is necessary to look at every thing that is
known about all aspects of it and all impor-
tant interrelationships. What may appear to
be a decisive factor in one case may be of little
importance in another. For these reasons,
instead of an interpretation of results, we have
decided to make a few final comments about
relevant aspects of the paper presented.
In the first place we wish to insist that ex-
pected increases in yield are probably the most
important factors of uncertainty in looking at
agricultural projects. The uncertainty comes
not only from the presence in the ecological
environment of uncontrollable factors such as
climate but also from factors related to the
decisions of the farmers themselves. In this
particular project the knowledge exists or is
being produced with which it will be possible
for farmers to increase yields in spectacular
manner, but it is not possible to exclude the
possibility of an unfavorable reaction for psy-
chological, political or social reasons or be-
cause of deficiencies in rural infrastructure.

There is also still much to be learned about
the ways in which risk can be incorporated
into a systematic scheme for calculating yields
over a period of years.
In respect to financial aspects, these do
not exist for the Puebla Project as the goods
and services produced do not yield a return to
the Project as such. What the Project produces
is information and technical assistance; no at-
tempt is made to sell either. In fact, it is doubt-
ful, at least at this early stage, that the farmers
would be willing to pay for the technical assis-
tance provided.
For this reason the question of whether the
Puebla Project is profitable has no answer if
we look only at the internal financial aspects
-that is whether the project pays for itself.
There is no procedure for the Project itself
to capture the returns. Nor does the product
that the Puebla Project has to offer to the
consumers, have a physical body.
To be sure the information is useful but
the fact that it can be applied in unlimited

quantities once that it is disseminated makes
it difficult or impossible to fix a price. Perhaps
this is a reason that information and technical
assistance have been undervalued and at times
completely omitted.
Herman Van der Taak, of the Economics
Department of the International Bank for Re-
construction and Development has referred to
the almost complete omission in the evaluation
of agricultural projects of the costs and ben-
efits attributable to the generation and disse-
mination of agricultural knowledge. Van der
Taak summarizes the situation in these words
"the returns to investments in irrigation proj-
ects and colonization programs appear to be
greater than they are in reality while the re-
turns may be much higher from improvements
in agricultural methods without great capital
The economic rate of return to the Puebla
Project would appear to place it in the cate-
gory of desirable public investments.

philosophy and operating principles for programs to
increase agricultural production in areas of
small holdings


THE PURPOSE OF this presentation is to an-
alize some of the experiences of the Puebla
Project in order to: 1) define certain philo-
sophical positions for programs of this type,
and 2) establish basic principles for the oper-
ation of programs faced with similar problems.
First, let's explain what we mean by "areas
of small holdings". We have in mind geo-
graphic zones in which the population, through
its involvement in agriculture as a fundamental
activity of subsistence, has exerted strong pres-
sure on the land leading to an extreme sub-
division of this resource. At present this con-
dition signifies low levels of living for those
who farm the land.
The philosophy of the Puebla Project rests
on the premise that man is the motive and the
end of all creative activity. This implies that
man is the focal reservoir of the values, the
moral vitality and the intellectual and physical
capabilities to solve the problems imposed by
the physical and social environment in which
he lives. It also implies that certain members
of society are faced with fundamental prob-
lems which can only be solved by an organized
effort over and beyond that of the individual.
In this manner, the definition of the problems
on one hand, and their solution on the other,

'Researcher-Professor, Graduate College, National
School of Agriculture, Chapingo, Mexico.

gradually strengthens the capacity of the less-
favored members of society to solve their own
Within this framework of ideas, some of
the experiences of the Puebla Project will be
analyzed. The experiences presented will be
related to: 1) social processes in agricultural
programs, 2) criteria for organizing and coor-
dinating programs, and 3) considerations in
the establishment of programs for attaining
rapid increases in production.

A process should be understood as the
summation of successive phases and their in-
terrelationships, which determine a phenom-
enon. Following this concept, the Puebla
Project should be understood as a sequence
of phases. These phases, in turn, constitute
interdependent processes which must be un-
derstood in terms of the operation of a pro-
gram which seeks to change a typically sub-
sistence agriculture to a commercial one. Let
us look at this phenomenon schematically,
based on observations made in the Puebla
To begin with we must accept that to un-
derstand the process the present situation is
only partially helpful since the present Puebla

Project is but a stage in the process of change,
and a result of previous phases. For this
reason it will be more productive to examine
the phases of the process. This analysis will
be made on the assumption that there are
three fundamental human components which
are responsible for the agricultural transfor-
mation being sought: the producers, the pub-
lic and private institutions rendering agricul-
tural services, and the technical staff. The
phases are outlined as follows:

First Phase
In this phase we concentrate our attention
on the agricultural population of the area. The
farmer has within his culture the necessity of
producing maize since this is the basic food
for him and his family and for whatever live-
stock he has. The important aspects of this
phase may be summarized in the following
1. The agricultural activity is wholly a
family affair. The members of the family partic-
ipate directly in the process of production and
in many decisions. The father must produce
what is needed for the maintenance of the
family. The mother has to help in the produc-
tion of the crop and administers its use accord-
ing to the needs of the family. However, the
father has the responsibility for organizing his
work along with that of his family.
2. In the case of corn, the farmer, through
a cultural process of socialization, learns from
his father how and when to plant. That is, he
receives from his parents "a technological
package" which applied to the production of
the crop enables him to obtain certain levels
of production for his needs. In this way, the
farmer gradually learns the ecological condi-
tions of his environment and its relationship to
what he produces.
3. On the other hand, his family grows and
his offspring have children, while at the same
time continuous cropping through the centu-
ries, decreases the fertility of the soils. This
lower fertility is reflected in a reduction in
crop yields. To respond to this situation the
farmer develops various mechanisms. If he
has other fields available, he may leave part
of his land in fallow each year. In other cases
he begins to use the manure of his own ani-
mals or acquired from neighbors. In certain
cases within the Puebla area the farmer, besides
adding organic matter, decreased the number
of plants per hectare in an attempt to reach
certain levels of production. The optimum
stand per unit area tends to be lower at low
levels of soil fertility.

These brief observations point up the fol-
lowing relationships:
1. The farmer, as head of a family, is re-
sponsible for the production of food for the
maintenance of those who depend on him.
The intensity of field work during certain pe-
riods requires the participation of all members
of the family, thereby establishing certain pro-
duction relationships at this level. If one
considers the family as simply the economic
abstraction "labor", one misses the essential
nature of the farmer. This farmer is a man
who has demonstrated his capacity to survive
and to generate a whole technology of pro-
duction. He is a man with enormous needs
and with inherent aspirations consistently un-
satisfied. To respect his dignity, his indepen-
dence, his integrity and his moral values, is
not only a requisite in these programs, but the
very essence of his human rights. Once this
principle is accepted, one should remove all
types of paternalistic approaches which in the
long run will make him dependent, indecisive
and -this may be even more serious- pervert
him and make him distrustful. From a philo-
sophical point of view it is basic that the
search for opportunities be on an equal basis
for all. Through this process a clearer con-
cept of responsibilities and rights is generated,
and the conditions are established for initiat-
ing a democratic process in the lower strata
of the society -where the social and econ-
omic problems normally are more serious and
where the traditional farmer and his family
are located- that may gradually extend up-
ward to the strata where the structure of
power and the major decisions generally orig-
Second Phase
As the population grows and crop yields
decrease with the impoverishment of the soils,
the needs of the farm families becomes in-
creasingly more critical. Considering the Pue-
bla area, an unsatisfied need at the family
level, multiplied by the number of families,
thus becomes a social necessity that can be
solved only through the organized efforts and
resources of producers, technicians, politicians
and the state. The relevant points in this sec-
ond phase are related to initiation of contacts
between the farmers, the agricultural services
and a well-trained technical team.
1. As the technical and social aspects of
an agricultural problem become more difficult,
in a country which is striving for development
as is the case in Mexico, little by little the
technical and scientific groups necessary to
handle these problems, are formed. That is,

it generally requires a critical situation to pro-
vide the drive or stimulus for taking steps to
solve it. Consequently a basic requirement
must be policy directed toward the solution
of these problems and the foresight to antic-
ipate the consequences which may, in turn,
present new problems.
2. Shortly after Mexico initiated its agrar-
ian reform, fifty years ago, certain agricultural
services were initiated. One of the first to
be established was agricultural credit, even
though agricultural research and extension
were lacking. Agricultural credit was given but
the farmer used his own technology, altered
perhaps only by the use of better equipment
and the use of fertilizers. This continues to
be the case in much of the Central Plateau
where a large population has lived for centu-
ries. In the tropics the natural fertility permits
slightly higher yields without the use of fertil-
izers. Unfortunately, the use of credit, with
existing agricultural technology, yields very
little increase in production. The result is that
farmers frequently fall into debt.
From the point of view of the social process,
the important fact is that those who operated
the credit gave first attention to the interests
of he bank. In general, they paid little atten-
tion to the farmer, who should be the one
to decide how the credit would be used. Per-
haps it was assumed that since the farmer
owned the land and supplied the labor, he
would learn automatically what was credit, what
responsibilities he contracted through its use,
what were the mechanisms of operation, what
was the organization of the institution which
offered the credit, how he should reimburse
the credit, etc. Even now one may find within
the area farmers who do not know the mean-
ing of credit, nor how and when it should be
From this we may derive the principle that
the initiation of agricultural services requires
a simultaneous and coordinated effort. The
introduction of new factors to the system of
family production, disturbs an existing equilib-
rium. To avoid confusion the members of the
family should be involved in every new action.
Otherwise this disequilibrium will lead to a
sequence of negative experiences, frustrating
to the farmer and his family, and to those who
foster and render the services. Modern tech-
niques of communication may be valuable
allies in bringing together all members of the
families, motivating them and informing them
about the new aspects which could affect
family stability in the future. In other words,
they can be incorporated into the change pro-

cess but with a full understanding as to the
objectives and probable consequences.
3. In addition to attaining good relations
between the farmer and the agricultural ser-
vices, the objective should be to prepare the
farmer to assume his responsibilities as a
producer and eventually as an agricultural
entrepreneur. Although the service agencies
-credit, crop insurance, distribution of inputs
and others- attempt to take into account the
technology obtained through agricultural re-
search, these efforts may be futile if the farm-
er himself is not stimulated to change through
an educational process. This education should
be practical since the farmer will learn those
things that he finds meaningful for fulfilling
his needs and those of his family.
The farmer must begin to understand the
process by which he moves from being a sub-
sistence producer to one who produces in
accordance with the demands of the larger
society within which he lives.
At this point it is necessary to take into
account the cultural context within which
the farmer functions in order to establish a
firm base for the changes that will occur.
If one assumes that the farmer has been and
is the product of his culture, he can also
modify this culture. However, the changing
situation should strengthen, and by no means
weaken, the essential values of the society.
Third Phase
Since the farmer learned how to farm in
his own physical, social and cultural environ-
ment, he must learn how to change it in the
same context. In the Puebla Project, the tech-
nological transformation starts on the farmer's
fields where the new experiences and results
of the agronomic research have a clear mean-
ing for him. Here he can evaluate the results
on the basis of what he knows and understands.
For the same reason the agronomic research
in this environment also has meaning to the
agricultural service institutions.
This experience has two main aspects:
1) it tends to improve the level of technol-
ogy available, and 2) it strengthens the re-
lationships between the producers and the
agricultural services.
The work to improve the level of technol-
ogy in itself brings the producer and the inves-
tigator in personal contact, helping to initiate
a social process which in the Puebla Project
has consisted of: a) The gathering of the in-
formation as to how and why the farmer culti-
vates maize the way he does, and b) the
production of knowledge on optimum produc-
tion practices -information that is then placed

in the context of the knowledge, interests and
preferences of the farmer.
These two steps assume that it is impor-
tant to fully understand the physical environ-
ment, but even more important to know the
social environment in all of its facets. We
must understand the farmer, his institutions,
his organization and his behavior. Then we
may propose and execute a plan of action
that will lead to innovations relevant to the
farmer in social and economic terms.
This means that if there are restrictions,
for example, of capital, it would be incompat-
ible for the research staff to produce in an
initial phase, innovations requiring large capital
investments. For this reason, the innovations
generated by the research staff should be of
a nature that demand a more intensive use
of the land and family labor. Later on, as a
consequence of a process of capitalization,
other innovations requiring greater capital in-
vestments would have better possibilities of
Analyzed in this manner, the investigator
becomes a research strategist. At the same
time, the farmer becomes cognizant of the val-
ue of research and develops a high degree
of confidence in the successive results. He
shows this confidence by using the new tech-
nology. When the producer is the one who
seeks out the researcher to obtain information,
the sought-for change has been initiated and
the cultural process of change becomes irre-
Then it becomes necessary to disseminate
this knowledge to a large number of farmers
-50,000 in the case of the Puebla Project.
This activity is undertaken by other members
of the technical team, persons who understand
fully the process of production and the main
factors involved. These men are the specialists
in communications and extension, and they
focus their work not on the farmer individual-
ly, but on the numerous communities in the
area, in order to formulate a successful strat-
egy for developing the human resources.
The second point mentioned above deals
with strengthening the mechanisms of contact
between the producers and those in charge of
the agricultural services.
It is important to lead the farmer along the
paths of change which the society in general
demands. However, it is even more crucial to
have the full involvement of those who make
the key decisions in regard to the quantities
and timeliness of credit, the availability of ag-
ricultural inputs, the specifications for crop
insurance, the training in the use of these in-

puts, and other aspects. Once the results of
research have been generated, those service
institutions can immediately apply the results
-results which are in themselves inputs of
production and also constitute a form of insur-
ance for the producer. The elements of this
process also should be diffused in the urban
sector and to other policy levels where im-
portant decisions affecting the rural sector,
are frequently taken.
Seen in this light, it becomes clear why at
the beginning of a program directed towards
the transformation of a subsistence agriculture,
it is basic to have the participation of the three
human components indicated -producers, ag-
ricultural services and the technical research
and extension staff. In its incipient stage, the
problem seems to be of a technical agronomic
nature, but in its total conception it is essen-
tially a human process. Strictly speaking, the
increase in yields -although important as part
of the entire process- is only one part; the
objective is the development of the human
resources involved in such a way as to stim-
ulate continued changes. These changes, in
turn, will require new adjustments compatible
with the combined changes that will occur in
systems of work, objectives, organization and
operation of the three human components.
That is, the organization should be flexible
enough to take into consideration the read-
justments and adaptations which will arise in
the human process just described.

The first consideration is who will be orga-
nized and for what purposes. We have indi-
cated the three basic human components in
the Puebla Project. Let us examine briefly
the function of each of these sectors in order
to examine later their organization and coor-

Institutional Sector
This sector carries out functions related
to: 1) national and state agricultural policy,
delineating the general framework and means
of implementation; 2) agricultural credit from
official as well as private sources, with the
understanding that technical innovations re-
quire capital investment which the producers
are not able to supply -private capital was
essential in Puebla since the official institu-
tions had limited funds available for this type
of agriculture; 3) the availability of the right
agronomic inputs at the farm level on time so

that knowledge can be converted into practice;
4) crop insurance which will reduce risks for
the producer, and 5) markets for the products
at stable and attractive prices.
The efficient functioning of these institu-
tional factors depends on a small number of
persons. These persons, besides complying
with the norms of their institutions and the
protection of their personal interests, should
be alert to contribute efficiently in the process
of production. This requires coordination with
other institutions, all with the same objective:
the transformation of agriculture to higher lev-
els of productivity.

The Producers
In the case of the Puebla Project, the pro-
ducers must make personal decisions about
taking part, but they participate as a group.
In general, the organized participation of
producers is obtained through methods that
may be classified as: a) coersive, b) voluntary,
or c) a subtle combination of both.
In Puebla it was considered essential that
the farmers' decision to participate be volun-
tary. Although possibly more difficult, this al-
lows the farmer a free expression of a personal
decision to participate and to organize a group,
not as an end in itself, but as a means of
obtaining greater benefits from his efforts.
The choice of this procedure was based
on the idea that the producer, by participating
in the process, should not only enjoy the
benefits of the Project, but also assume full
responsibility for his own decisions and grad-
ually contribute more and more to the success
of the program.
The principles of organization should be
conceived in terms of the following aspects:
1. The organization of the producers
should be undertaken by members of the tech-
nical staff who are capable of understanding
the social phenomena being induced.
2. The decision to organize, on the part
of the producers, should be the result of a
genuine interest in improving production as a
means of raising their levels of living and
responding to the demand for their products
by other sectors of society.
3. The action to organize should be a
decision to combine efforts on the basis of
common interests; this implies that the indi-
vidual is willing to learn to carry out group
4. The process of organization is initiated
when the producers decide to associate in
a common enterprise in which the individ-
ual exercises his rights in accord with the

interests of the other members. The exper-
iences derived from this process permit the
group to function with its own norms, aspira-
tions and goals. If, at first, they associate to
obtain increases in production, their develop-
ment will soon permit other functions such as
group investments, livestock enterprises, in-
dustrialization and sale of their products, and
the purchase and consumption of produce from
other sectors of the economy.
This process also will permit the creation
of a mechanism for improving their own phys-
ical, social and cultural environment, that is,
their homes and communities. Although a
community may receive benefits from govern-
ment agencies, any substantial improvement
should be generated by the community itself.

The Technical Staff
This small group has a vital responsibility
in the strategy. It must generate an efficient
technology that may be adopted by the farm-
ers and supported by the service institutions.
This sector includes a small number of
technicians and scientists. Reality dictates a
small staff since the available technical and
scientific personnel is limited and the cost of
the program must be maintained at economic
The esprit de corps of the technical staff
should be based on the following aspects:
1. Team work in performing their roles -
agronomic research, extension, intensive pro-
motion at all levels, evaluation of the achieve-
ments of the program and efficient coordination
of all factors involved in the strategy.
2. Interest and genuine dedication to the
solution of problems arising during the process,
without reservations in time or effort, until the
postulated goals are reached.
3. Creative participation in group deci-
sions and close inter-communication during
the process of planning and carrying out the
4. A firm decision to be objective in their
decisions and to sustain active relations with
the members of the other sectors.
After we, have examined the specific orga-
nization of each sector, there still remains the
crucial step in the process: the efficient coor-
dination of the three sectors.
Through coordination all of the participants
eventually reach common decisions for solving
problems and planning ways to more efficiently
attain the goals of the Project.
Herein lies the reason for the key role of
the farmer. The institutional sector is made
up of some 15 persons. The technical staff

accounts for another 12. But the producer
sector consists of 50,000 farmers, heads of
families, who apply the labor and management
skills involved in agricultural production. Clear-
ly, the multiplication of the effects of the pro-
gram will depend fundamentally on the farmers
The members of the institutional and the
technical sectors must be better prepared,
more audacious and have a greater vision of
the social processes than their counterparts
in more developed countries. This places a
great responsibility on the academic institu-
tions in charge of training this personnel.


The key aspects to take into account in
initiating this type of agricultural program are
the following:
1. Feasibility -based on the ecological,
economic and administrative resources avail-
2. Social processes and effects -above
and beyond the technological changes. A
multidisciplinary vision is needed to operate
this kind of program, using principally infor-
mation from the biological and social sciences
with special reference to human behavior and
3. Development of the human resources,
oriented towards the betterment of conditions
that do not satisfy present human aspirations
and are susceptible to change through the ef-
forts of those involved.
4. Keep in mind that in the long run the
goal is to establish a new mental structure,
with norms directed towards the search for
continued change, not a static situation with
fixed norms and images whose change implies
rupture and frustration.

5. Consider the organizational apparatus
as an intermediate objective, a means for
achieving more important goals. This appa-
ratus should permit a harmonic expression of
desires and interests both of the individual and
the group.
As a consequence, one should also con-
6. Changes occurring in one region should
not be seen as isolated events with regard to
what occurs in other niches of society. A
substantial change in a given nucleus of sub-
sistence agriculture will have repercussions in
other sectors and will generate feedback caus-
ing still other changes.
7. These programs constitute a laboratory
of human phenomena. For this reason, inter-
est should be stimulated in other sectors of
society responsible for teaching, research,
extension, agricultural services, agricultural
credit, agricultural policy, political orientation
and government, so that these institutions may
better fulfill their functions in social and econ-
omic development.
8. Although initiated with pragmatic ob-
jectives, this type of program provides an
efficient medium for those involved to attain
a complete vocational and professional fulfill-
Finally, as a corollary to what has been
said, we come to a point which, because of
its importance, I have left to the end.
9. Because of the nature, aims and impli-
cations of these programs, they should be
initiated, planned and carried out by the na-
tionals of each country. These technicians
and scientists will draw upon the experiences
and knowledge of the entire world and will,
if necessary, seek external aid. However, these
national should be in a position to develop the
programs which respond to the needs and
aspirations of their countrymen to whom they
must answer for their decisions and results.

a summary of what we have learned about increasing
productivity among small land holders*


We have heard three interesting case stu-
dies and reviewed in some detail the present
status of efforts to reach the goals set forth
in the Puebla Project.
To kick off the present discussion I will
make a brief summary of what I feel we have
learned about the essential factors of an ef-
fective strategy to increase yields and produc-
tivity among subsistence farmers.
Although this is a rather large task, given
the complexity of the projects,the magnitude
of the work, and the precision that has been
attained in the coordination of activities, I be-
lieve that we all have a clearer idea now of
what these projects are all about. Hope-
fully we can agree on several essential points
resulting from these presentations. The fol-
lowing remarks are a summary of what I have
I believe that an important point in these
presentations has been one of urgency, and
that there are several aspects to consider
within this sense of urgency. First, it is urgent
to diffuse quickly and efficiently the technol-
ogy that scientific knowledge is providing in
order to help subsistence farmers raise them-
selves out of their present conditions. For me
it is urgent for humanitarian reasons, and pos-
* Translated from the Spanish version by Miss Patricia
Chain, Training and Communication Unit, CIAT.
** Agricultural Sciences of the Centro Internacional de
Agriculture Tropical (CIAT) and Moderator of the Con-

sibly you will agree with me that everyone
has the right to classify these priorities as he
sees fit. For me, humanitarian considerations
are of primary importance because all scien-
tific efforts must focus on benefiting mankind.
The welfare of fellow human beings is the
end we must keep in mind. The rural pop-
ulation, evolving at a subsistence level, has a
high level of malnutrition as seen in the high
incidence of infant mortality, premature death
among adults, and irreversible damages in the
development, physical as well as intellectual,
of the people.
A nation requires the contribution of all its
people, so that common efforts will be more
efficient and it will be possible to obtain
greater wellbeing in a shorter period of time.
This is difficult to bring about if the burden
is great and falls on only a limited sector of
the population.
It is also urgent to diffuse technology and
increase productivity for a reason which might
be considered selfish. We cannot hope that
any country, using only the limited resources
of good land and the small force of highly ef-
ficient farmers will in the future be able to
produce all of the food that an ever-increasing
population will demand.
The Mexican Secretary.of Agriculture stated
that for this year, 1970, the probable corn
harvest is 9 million tons, which is just barely
enough, with a small margin of safety, to sup-

ply the needs of this country. Demographic
growth projections for Mexico indicate that 50
million people are living here now, and that
there will possibly be a population of 110 mil-
lion in 30 years. Since these future inhabitants
are going to need twice as much corn, we will
have to produce a minimum of 18 million tons,
as well as providing for increases in demand
as animal feed and for industrial production
of food products. For this reason, it is esti-
mated that at least 25 million tons of corn
will be needed for the year 2000. These in-
creased production needs, along with greater
demand for other lines of agricultural pro-
duction, clearly lead us to the conclusion that
farmers in the commercial sector, high effi-
ciency farmers, those who have quick, easy
and opportune access to technological sources,
to credit sources, to all the infrastructure which
exists and which aids in the development of
a country -these very important people from
now on, no matter how much they increase
their efficiency -are not going to be able to
produce the food necessary for the future. For
this selfish reason, to insure our own suste-
nance, we must do everything possible and
even impossible to bring about rapid increases
in the productivity of subsistence farmers.
Another urgent reason for finding a solu-
tion to this problem is to stabilize the economy
in order to prevent social conflict. The sub-
sistence farmer can become a burden on the
state and on the nation. But, a subsistence
farmer who can overcome his limitations, who
can feed himself better, who has a surplus,
however small at the beginning, but of great
importance later on, with which to begin his
participation in the economic growth of the
country, is perhaps one of the most impor-
tant guarantees we can have of the invest-
ments made in projects of this nature. By
increasing his productivity, we bring him into
the economic growth of the country. He may
create a level of demand for available articles
and for new products, that we cannot even
imagine at present. This in turn may cause a
chain reaction in creating new jobs, in creat-
ing the wealth to give the country a greater
economic stability, and in the end more social
stability. By increasing productivity in the sub-
sistence sector, these farmers can supply the
necessities that a growing population demands,
and give the country the opportunity for more
active participation and greater profits within
the international food market.
Recently, Senor Julian Rodriguez Adame,
former Secretary of Agriculture for Mexico, on
visiting Cali for the annual CIAT Board of
Trustees meeting, told us of great future pos-

sibilities for Latin American participation in
the international food market. However this
will occur only if we can increase our efficiency,
and if we can include farmers in the subsis-
tence sector through raising their productivity.
He told us that Japan, a highly developed in-
dustrial nation, depends heavily on foods pro-
duced in other regions of the world for its
sustenance. The only line in which Japan is
self-sufficient and enjoy surpluses is in rice
production. Japan's imports currently total 14
billion dollars annually but, according to Mr.
Rodriguez's figures, only 1.5 billion dollars are
spent ni Latin America, the reason being that
there is not sufficient production in our coun-
tries to export more. This is another favorable
point in deciding to focus efforts and invest-
ments on programs to increase productivity in
areas of favorable ecology with subsistence
Another general aspect of what we have
learned these past few days is the feasibility
of obtaining an increase in productivity within
the subsistence sector. In fact, the philosophy
and principles of this plan lead us to believe
that it is feasible to apply them under differ-
ent sets of conditions. This possibility is sup-
ported by the fact that, to a greater or lesser
degree, we already have available an agricul-
tural technology, or this technology can be
produced rather rapidly in the place where it
is to be used.
An increase in productivity is also feasible
if we have a common effort to reach this goal.
This may be a little subjective, but in all of the
developing areas, the fact that there is an
awareness of the problem means that the first
step has been taken toward significant action.
We have at our disposal resources, in quantity
and quality, which can facilitate the initiation
of these programs in all of our countries, in-
dependent of the greater or lesser degree of
present development. If we analyze this thought
in depth, we can conclude without prevention
that there exist resources that can be chan-
neled and coordinated into action and thereby
lead to increased productivity.
Another aspect which makes the organiza-
tion of this kind of project interesting and
feasible is that experience now exists. We are
building on a firm foundation. We have been
witnesses to the progress made. We have
learned of advances, results and experiences
that can be useful in diffusing to other regions
with similar problems the principles and basic
philosophy which must guide a development
project or plan such as the one we have ob-
served this week.

From the presentations that we have heard.
we can synthesize a series of minimum require-
ments which have been proven necessary to
increase agricultural productivity in areas of
small land holdings with favorable ecology. It
would appear that they can be of universal
application in organizing and programming ac-
tivities. From a personal point of view, and
here I hope I'm not "carrying coals to New-
castle", I would simply like to try to impose
a measure of order on the quantities of inter-
esting information which have been presented
to us. I believe that among the minimum re-
quirements to have a basis for success we can
point to the following:
We need to be able to count on a staff that
is well-trained, skillful and motivated, to adopt
and develop the technology necessary to bring
about a change. Another minimal condition is
awakening and attracting interest in the pub-
lic sector to support development projects that
benefit the subsistence farmer. This function
might be considered only relatively important
but, if we want to accelerate progress, then I
believe that awakening the public interest to
participation in these activities will be a deter-
minig factor in the rate of progress and suc-
Another minimal condition is a physical
infrastructure which facilitates initiation and
development of these programs. In this aspect,
we must think about roads, the actual physical
communications which permit and facilitate
access by change agents, that is to say tech-
nicians, and which allow for movement of in-
puts and products.
We must also consider favorable ecological
conditions for agricultural activity. Agricultural
sciences are advancing, and each day we dis-
cover procedures, materials and equipment
which permit us to work in harmony with nat-
ure under conditions that five years ago were
considered completely adverse for agricultural
activity and for man. Yet it would be inappro-
priate and even dangerous for the success of
a program not to take this question of favor-
able ecological conditions into consideration.
Also, there is a basic requirement, which is
the existence of an agricultural services infra-
structure, such as credit, input distribution,
marketing, agricultural insurance, price guar-
antee, etc., in agreement with the established
preferences of farmers. It is not indispensable
that the infrastructure be of a sophisticated
nature. The mere availability of these elements,
even at low levels, is a point in their favor. It
will be up to the change agent, or up to the co-
ordination that can be achieved with these

elements, to make the development scheme
functional, and in turn generate more support
as progress is attained.
I am reminded of a commentary heard by
Mr. Rodriguez Adame, and made by an
American economist when asked to say a few
words on the economy of Mexico. The econ-
omist said, briefly and precisely, "In the Mex-
ican economy, the distributive system does
not operate from the middle class downwards".
This is quite true, although not completely,
since you will remember yesterday during the
first part of our field trip we found two ex-
amples that show with interest and economic
incentive, the distributive system can function.
These examples were a soft drink distrib-
uting truck and a bread truck, both traveling
on those extremely poor roads. I believe that
it is a business for these people to sell refresh-
ments, bread or food staples, then it could
also become economically attractive to the
fertilizer businessman, to the seed salesman,
or to a promoter of other products and equip-
ment. I believe that the day is not far away
when besides seeing trucks with refreshments
and bread, we will also see trucks carrying
fertilizers -small moving stores that will bring
to the producer the products, materials and
agricultural inputs that his activities demand.
It is also important that there exist a favor-
able relation bewteen the cost of production
and the price the farmer eventually receives
for his product in order to stimulate the in-
centive which is a prime ingredient of success.
Last but not least in this review of minimum
conditions is the sense of urgency that must
be felt by those who will focus their efforts
on finding a solution to this type of problem.
This factor is fundamental.
After my presentation we will enter into a
discussion of strategies. What is strategy?
It deals with the means of overcoming or
providing solutions to restrictions. For me, a
guest at this meeting, like all of you, it has
been truly satisfactory and educational to ob-
serve at first hand the experiences and pro-
gress being achieved in Puebla. The key to
all this, within the strategy, has been the
coordination of available resources: credit, re-
search, infrastructure, marketing, etc. coor-
dination that allows for a simultaneous attack
on limitations, in order to reach the goal in
mind. I believe that if I were asked to define
the key to the success of this program, I would
define it in just one word "coordination". There
must always be motivation and a series of
preliminary conditions, but coordination signi-
fies efficiency in the manipulation of physical

resources, and just as important, an awareness
of the human element. I believe that this is
one of the great lessons that the Puebla Proj-
ect offers to us.
For a successful strategy, it is important
to select a region or ecological area which
has problems of low productivity and high
demographic pressure. This is important be-
cause the activities must be focused directly
on helping the people who need it, and if
these people are concentrated in a determined
ecological or geographic area, the movement
of change agents, inputs and products becomes
much easier. This then becomes a part of
the strategy because it allows for conditions
which can reasonably lead to success.
The strategy must have flexibility in pro-
cedural operation to adopt to new conditions
as they arise from the dynamics of the change
situation. I have the impression that Puebla
Project as it now exists is not the Puebla Proj-
ect of three years ago. The original concepts,
planning and criteria have been modified as a
consequence of the flexibility that has been of
necessity applied to the strategy, in order to
be able to adapt and take advantage of the
changes generated by the dynamics of the
general situation. The Puebla Project can be
a long-term enterprise and whoever evaluates
it in the future will find, I believe, that this
flexibility, this ability to change, this capacity
to adapt, will be what allowed it to improve.
I would like to think that in the year 1990
we would find that this self-same flexibility will
have allowed the Puebla Project to attain its
goals with greater efficiency, expressed in less
time and cost, and in higher levels of pro-
This strategy also demands a strict selection
of the technical team. Those chosen must
have great technical skill and just as important;
motivation for what they are doing. Program
evaluation procedures must also change, to

allow study of the different stages of develop-
ment. This evaluation, like stop-action photos,
should let us see the progressive advances,
retreats and detours which occur.
Another important point of strategy, in my
opinion, is the orientation of the agronomic
research, from obtaining knowledge of farmers'
production problems to the use of the results
by the farmers. That is to say, it is no longer
research for the sake of research. It is research
that keeps in mind the man who will use the
results. Man, who is the basis of all these
projects, has been in a sense forgotten in the
process of agricultural research. We have al-
ways said that we are carrying out research
and developing new varieties with better adap-
tation, with higher quality, with resistance to
this and that, that we are finding agricultural
procedures which allow us to efficiently use
inputs, water, fertilizer, herbicides, insecticides,
etc. But we have forgotten to make sure that
the farmer, with his multiple and complex limita-
tions, can efficiently use this technology. Mr.
Magdub stated the problem succinctly when
he said that bringing knowledge to the farmer,
and forgetting about the problems he has when
trying to use the information to increase pro-
duction, is not fulfilling our mission as agron-
omists. A successful strategy, in a program
that attempts to increase production, does not
limit itself to informing -it must be oriented
toward obtaining results that can be put to
practical use. If this does not happen, all re-
search efforts and everything invested will go
down in history as just one more attempt with-
out relevant results.
What I have done here has been to simply
express my own ideas and concerns, derived
from the interesting presentations that we have
heard. Since this morning is devoted to dis-
cussion, I am sure that the presentations that
follow will be able to complement this brief
summary of what I think we have learned in
these past few days.

possible roles of cimmyt in national programs to obtain
rapid yield increases


CIMMYT'S PRIMARY TASK is the promotion
of basic food crop production, mainly corn
and wheat, in ecologically favorable regions
in developing countries throughout the world.
Experience gained in the Puebla Project
during the past three years has demonstrated
clearly that the Puebla strategy can stimulate
rapid increases in corn yields. Simultaneously
this strategy has created new attitudes among
farmers and agricultural leaders, assuring that
the transformation of agriculture in that area
will continue.
We believe that this approach also can be
employed to promote increased crop produc-
tion in other areas with similar characteristics.
Thus, CIMMYT has organized a program with
the specific objective of assisting in the devel-
opment of accelerated maize production pro-
grams in ecologically favorable regions in other
countries which now have low yields.
With this objective in mind, our first re-
sponsibility is to provide information about
the Puebla Project to leaders of agricultural
development in Mexico and other countries.
Hopefully, we can do this in such a manner
that agricultural leaders can readily relate the
Puebla experience to problems in their coun-
tries and evaluate its usefulness for them.
This conference, for example, was organized
precisely to inform and advise agricultural
SSoil Scientist, Director of Production Program, Interna-
tional Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT),

leaders of strategies for accelerating crop
production and to stimulate interest in initiat-
ing activities similar to the Puebla Project.
Since the Project began in 1967, several
thousand people have spent one or more days
in the area, observing its operation. This ef-
fective way to learn about the Project will be
used more extensively in the future. Reports,
personal correspondence and the film you
have seen, also are being used to interest
agricultural leaders and others in the impor-
tance of the Puebla approach.
I wish to state clearly that CIMMYT is
patterning its activities to accelerate maize
production after the Puebla Project for two
reasons: (1) this project is proving successful
in rapidly increasing yields among small sub-
sistence farmers, and (2) our staff has obtained
a great deal of useful experience in this proj-
ect. By no means are we suggesting that the
Puebla approach is the only, or even the best,
way to step-up agricultural production.
Should agricultural leaders in another part
of Mexico or anotherIcountry decide to initiate
a Puebla-type program, CIMMYT is prepared
to assist to the extent permitted by its staff
resources and budget. At present we feel our
resources can be used most effectively in
providing assistance in: (1) identification of
the project area, (2) selection of a team of
agronomists to organize and operate the proj-
ect, (3) training of the team of agronomists,
(4) collaborating with the national program in

the initial stages of operation, and (5) resolv-
ing budgetary problems.
I will discuss each of these areas briefly.

Identification of Project Areas
In selecting a project area, a basic consid-
eration is that the ecological characteristics
are favorable for high levels of maize produc-
tion in most years. No rigid specifications in
terms of climatic characteristics and soil pro-
perties can be given. However, the initial
project in a country should be located in a
region with sufficiently favorable ecological
conditions to assure an ample increase in
production. This is especially important be-
cause an extension of this approach to other
parts of the country will depend greatly on
the success of the initial project.
As a first step in selection, relevant infor-
mation must be assembled to make a choice
among alternative regions. This can be done
by scientists in the country, preferably those
who might continue to collaborate with the
accelerated maize production program as it
The following is a partial listing of the
information that will be needed in evaluating
the different regions:
1. Rainfall data. All recorded data from
all meteorological stations in alternative re-
gions. Monthly averages will be useful, but
daily rainfall data for each month of the corn
growing season and for all years will be more
2. Temperature readings. Maximum, min-
imum, and average temperatures. Monthly av-
erages will be useful, but here again daily
readings for the period of the growing season
and for all years will be more valuable.
3. Evaporation pan losses. Monthly aver-
ages for all years at all stations.
4. Number of hailstorms and frosts for
each month during the growing season.
5. Elevations above sea level at sufficient
locations in the regions to permit a reasonable
estimate of the cultivated area as a function
of altitude.
6. Soil characteristics. The most useful
information will be soil maps showing the
distribution of soil types. However, if this is
not available, any information on soils will be
7. Geological, topographical and road
maps of the regions.
8. Total cultivated area, number of farm-
ers, area planted in maize, area of irrigated
maize, average yields per hectare.

9. Information as in point 8 for several
categories of farmers according to farm size.
This information should be compiled by coun-
ties or other appropriate units.
10. Current level of corn production tech-
11. Marketing facilities for corn.
Once this information is available for alter-
native regions, CIMMYT can send one or more
staff members with experience in the Puebla
Project to join the country scientists in review-
ing the information, studying the regions, and
in recommending the most adequate area.
In CIMMYT's view, the study of alternative
regions should be carried out by making a
fairly detailed visit to the areas. At that time,
the farmers' impressions can be obtained
directly in the field, regarding the frequency
of crop damage due to meteorological pheno-
mena, importance of weeds and insects, soil
characteristics such as color, texture, slope
and depth, availability of agricultural inputs,
interest on the part of local leaders, ease of
communications, etc.

Selection of a Team of Agronomists
During the time that the project area is
being identified, a search should be made for
agronomists to form the project team. We
believe that a team of five men should be
selected initially for specific roles as: (1) co-
ordinator, (2) maize breeder, (3) production
research agronomist, and (4) two farm advisors.
The selection of the team of agronomists,
and especially the coordinator, is perhaps the
most crucial step. Candidates for training
should be:
1. Highly motivated to assist farmers in
improving their crop yields and social and
economic conditions.
2. Willing to participate in field activities
and to devote the time necessary for getting
the job done.
3. Cooperative, with the understanding
that team work among the agronomists is es-
4. Equipped with good agronomic training,
at least to the B. S. degree level.
5. Experienced in that aspect of maize
production or the communication of informa-
tion in which they are to be trained.
6. Physically fit.

In addition, the candidates should be nat-
ural leaders with an ability to communicate

easily with farmers, team members, leaders of
agricultural institutions, and even the Minister
of Agriculture.
Once a list of possible candidates has been
prepared, CIMMYT can send a senior member
of the Puebla Project staff to interview each
of the candidates. Because of the importance
of making an astute selection of candidates,
we feel the effort and expense involved in
getting an independent evaluation by a highly
qualified person is justified. Hopefully, a per-
son with several years experience in the Puebla
Project will make an accurate appraisal of
the possible candidates because he can better
understand the kind of problems these men
will encounter.
CIMMYT has fellowships available for the
selected candidates, covering their travel and
expenses during the training period in Mexico.
A careful screening of candidates as described
above provides a good measure of assurance
that they will perform satisfactorily. However,
after a few months in training if it should be-
come clear that a candidate is not qualified
for this type of production program, it will be
in the best interest of all concerned to termi-
nate his fellowship and name a replacement
as soon as possible.

Training of the Team of Agronomists
Training of the team of agronomists is
designed to: (1) provide the theoretical back-
ground and practical experience needed to
operate an effective accelerated maize pro-
duction program, and (2) encourage and train
the candidates to advance professionally and
assume an ever increasing role of leadership
in the agricultural development of their country.
The training will be coordinated by the
Graduate College at Chapingo in accordance
with its academic regulations, and by the staff
of the Puebla Project.
The College will be primarily responsible
for study leading to the master of science
degree and any additional theoretical training
specifically required.
The Puebla Project staff will orient the
trainees to the general philosophy, objectives,
organization and operational strategy of the
Project. Also, they will supervise the trainees
within field activities of the Project for ap-
proximately one year. Trainees may enter the
full program, which will require about two
years, or they may receive only the one year's
practical experience within the Puebla Project.
The decision as to the exact training program
for each trainee will be made as a function

of their level of training and experience at
time of selection.
If the trainees enter the full two year course
in Mexico, some phases of the national pro-
grams, especially field research on production
practices, should be initiated while the teams
are being trained. There are several ways to
do this. One possibility is to reorient the maize
improvement and production research programs
currently underway in the respective countries
to accumulate the specific research informa-
tion needed in the project areas. CIMMYT
can assist the country research directors in
planning the field studies that should be car-
ried out in the Project areas during the inter-
im period.
Trainees who come to Mexico for the two-
year program will spend the first year in the
Graduate College taking the course work re-
quired in the program. At the beginning of the
second year the trainees will join the program
of the appropriate staff member of the Puebla
Project, and will be assigned the responsibility
for a specific part of the overall field program.
This will include the field research required
for their thesis study. The Project staff mem-
bers will assist the trainees in planning their
field programs and in securing the necessary
supplies, equipment transportation, and will
supervise their activities during the year. After
harvest, the trainees will analyze and interpret
their data and prepare their theses. By the
end of the two years the trainees should com-
plete the requirements for an M. S. degree in
their respective disciplines and receive the
practical experience deemed essential for ini-
tiating an accelerated maize production pro-
gram in their country.
The course of study for the trainees at the
Graduate College will be specifically tailored
to the needs of the four categories of agrono-
mists. It is expected that Coordinators will
take an M. S. degree in Communications,
Maize Breeders an M. S. in Genetics and
Plant Breeding, Production Research Agrono-
mists an M. S. in Soil Science, and Farm Ad-
visors an M. S. in Communications.
The practical training in the Puebla Project
also will differ for the four categories of
trainees, and is designed to provide sound
preparation in their discipline; along with ca-
pacity to carry out a coordinated program as
a team.
Coordinators will spend most of their time
working directly with the Coordinator of the
Puebla Project. They will be assigned specific
responsibilities for participating in field trials,

conducting interviews with farmers, supervising
high yield plots, and holding meetings with
farmers. They will work directly with the
leaders of the various agricultural organiza-
tions and agencies in the Puebla area. Also,
during the course of the year, they will be
assigned for work with other staff members
of the Puebla Project to become familiar with
their techniques, ideas, etc.
The practical training of the maize breeders
should prepare them to go into a new area,
define the most promising genetic materials,
and make use of the best maize breeding
techniques to produce high yielding varieties
with high quality protein. In addition, they
will: (1) obtain a working knowledge of the
available sources of germ plasm for producing
improved varieties for different ecological con-
ditions, (2) conduct field trials employing the
most useful procedures available, and (3) learn
the importance of maintaining all controllable
productivity factors at optimal levels in these
field trials.
The field program of the Production Re-
search Agronomists should enable them to go
into a new area, evaluate the ecological po-
tential of the region for maize production,
define the factors limiting maize yields, and
carry out the field trials necessary for rapidly
defining optimal levels of the agronomic in-
puts. Within this program, trainees: (1) eval-
uate the factors in the region which influence
maize yields (nutrient levels, drought, excess
moisture, weeds, insects, diseases, etc.), (2)
assume direct responsibility for conducting
field trials to measure crop response to nu-
trient levels, plant density, date of planting,
etc., and (3) become proficient in methodolo-
gical details such as treatment design, selec-
tion of field sites, experimental techniques,
field observations, analysis of data, and esti-
mation of recommendations.
Practical training of the Farm Advisers pre-
pares them to: (1) assist farmers in achieving
high yields in demonstration blocks on their
own land, (2) collect information from farmers
and related agencies for evaluation of the ac-
celerated maize production program, (3) pre-
pare information obtained in the program as
a package of recommended practices, and (4)
deliver this package of practices to farmers
by the most efficient means of communication
available under prevailing conditions.
To achieve this goal, trainees are given:
(1) experience in the techniques of sampling
and collecting information by means of inter-
views, (2) direct responsibility for conducting
high yield plots with farmers, (3) information

generated by the Maize Breeders and Produc-
tion Research Agronomists to prepare a farm-
ers' circular with the package of recommended
practices, and (4) experience in conducting
meetings with farmers and use of other media
to communicate the package of recommen-

Collaboration of CIMMYT in the Operation
of National Programs
Our experience in the Puebla Project indi-
cates that the teams of agronomists can benefit
greatly from continuing technical assistance
by highly trained specialists in the several
disciplines. To insure this support each coun-
try should name a technical committee of at
least three scientists -maize breeder, pro-
duction research agronomist, communications
specialist- to serve as technical advisers to
the team of agronomists.
In addition, CIMMYT can assist by arrang-
ing for members of its staff to spend short
periods of time participating directly in the
national programs. The Puebla Project has
proven to be an excellent model for organiz-
ing and operating an accelerated maize pro-
duction program within its particular region.
However, the situation in other countries will
certainly vary and the national programs will
have to be flexible enough to develop their
strategies in terms of existing problems and
opportunities. We believe that assistance by
members of our experienced staff can be help-
ful to the national programs in making the
necessary adjustments.

Budgetary Considerations
As mentioned earlier, CIMMYT, to the ex-
tent its resources permit, is prepared to assist
in: (1) organizing national accelerated maize
production programs, (2) training teams of
agronomists for their operation, and (3) provid-
ing technical assistance to the programs dur-
ing the initial years of operation. For a limited
number of national programs, CIMMYT can
arrange to purchase and insure a maximum
of five pick-up trucks or similar vehicles to be
used exclusively in the operation of the pro-
It is expected that the collaborating coun-
tries will assume the operating expenses of
the national programs. These will include the
salaries for the team of agronomists, salaries
for approximately 20 field assistants (possibly
local farmers trained by the agronomists);
operation and maintenance of five vehicles,
and equipment and supplies for conducting

field trials. Part-time secretarial help also
should be provided. Equipment needs will in-
clude a large capacity scale (50 kg capacity),
two smaller scales (2 kg capacity), drying
oven, moisture cans, soil sampling tubes (4),
work tables (3), hand sprayers (4), hand dusters
(4), rain gauges (30), shovels, and a few other
small items. Yearly supplies will include about
20 tons of fertilizers, herbicides and insecti-
cides for treating 20 ha, fifty thousand paper
bags, two thousand plastic bags, 500 wooden
stakes, and several other inexpensive items.
Estimated number of kilometers covered by

each vehicle per year would be 45,000.
In closing, I would like to mention that
the principal source of funds available to
CIMMYT at this time for promoting accelerated
maize production programs comes from Global
Project 1 of the United Nations Development
Program. The specific objective of this project
is to promote the development and use of
high lysine maize varieties. Consequently,
CIMMYT's primary concern at this time is to
promote accelerated maize production pro-
grams in those countries where the basic use
of corn will be as a food for people.

open discussion of possible roles of development
agencies in raising yields among small farmers

Presiding: KEITH W. FINLAY1

DR. STERLING WORTMAN who was to have ap-
peared at this point on the program has asked
me to convey to you his sincere regrets for not
being able to be present. Unfortunately he was
called back to New York urgently, and was
therefore unable to fulfill this commitment
which he had looked forward to for some
considerable time.
Personally, I think it is unfortunate that
Dr. Wortman was unable to be here today. He
is an excellent speaker and has taken a great
deal of interest in the Puebla Project. He also
represents the Rockefeller Foundation, an agen-
cy which has done a great deal towards
making the Puebla Project possible.
It is very difficult for a person such as
myself; who represents a recipient agency, to
say some of the things that I believe should
be said at this point. The objective is to en-
courage representatives of funding agencies
to discuss ways in which they can assist to
stimulate the increase of production on small
I will attempt to stimulate some discussion
by presenting some ideas and drawing atten-
tion to certain points that have already been
made during the conference or the visit to the
Puebla Project.
Several speakers have stressed the urgency
of the problem and I think that there is little

1Deputy Director General for Special Programs,
CIMMYT, Mexico.

need to stress this point further. There is a
lot to be done with so many farmers at a low
income level. It is evident that we have a real
need to bring these people into the social
and economic structure of the various coun-
tries in which they live. It is because of the
concern for the social, scientific, educational,
financial and other aspects of the problem,
that various agencies have become interested.
The aim of programs such as those that you
have heard about during the past two days
is to raise the level of production, and thus
provide the small farmers with sufficient eco-
nomic benefit to enable them to enter the
social structure of their country, and also to
provide them with the personal self-respect
which accompanies such a change in social
I think it has become clear from our dis-
cussion, that the really important item is
"people". We are not trying to raise produc-
tion only, we are trying to change the way of
life, to integrate people into a social structure
within a country, and, of course, at a technical
level we are concerned with the people that
are going to help to do this.
The task of integrating large numbers of
small land holders into the economic structure
of a country is expensive work, both in terms
of material inputs and human endeavour. For
this reason, I think it is important to keep in
perspective this type of aid program with
regard to the total development of a country.

For example, if there are few educated agri-
cultural scientists in the scientific services of
the country, it is extremely important that these
are not taken away and placed in a small
concentrated program. This could well set
back the technical progress of agriculture as
a whole within a country, apart from removing
the necessary scientific base from which the
small project will need to operate. In instances
of this type it is obvious that education itself
becomes a major input and one which is
becoming more critical as time goes by if
countries are going to initiate and sustain ag-
ricultural progress.
The excellence of the people available to
initiate and operate production improvement
programs within small farmer communities is
a basic factor which will contribute towards
the possibility of success. If we look at any
activity throughout the world which is making
an impact, we will always find one or two
individuals as the basic reason for the pro-
gress. It is an inescapable fact that the devel-
opment of human resources, having the dedi-
cation, enthusiasm, training and imagination
necessary to make an impact, is one of the
critical factors in improving any form of agri-
cultural production. For this reason, I suggest
that training at all levels should receive an
increasing share of attention from funding
During the last two days we have heard a
lot about credit. We have had examples
quoted within Mexico itself of small farmers
receiving credit to a limited extent. I must
admit I had not appreciated that the farmer
may have to pay interest ranging from 8 to
over 50%, depending on where he obtains the
credit. There seems little doubt that credit for
the farmer to enable him to purchase the nec-
essary inputs to increase the efficiency of his
farming operation is another of the fundamen-
tal factors which needs further development.
It is also of some interest I think, to hear
that an extremely high proportion of small
farmers repay the credit provided. The new
farming systems developed with the improved
technological developments, enables them to
repay their loans and still be much better off
than they were on their old farming system.
All the projects that we have heard about
contain a component of mutual assistance
between farmers within the regions being
studied. Techniques designed to form coop-
eratives, or mutual assistance groups within
the farmer communities are an important com-
ponent to encourage the rapid spread and

efficient self-education necessary for contin-
ued progress. The development of leaders
among the farmers, which is stimulated by
this technique, must surely be an important
I think that Dr. Jim6nez made a very im-
portant point with regard to the dynamics of
a program such as the Puebla Project, and
one which leads us to consider what it is we
are trying to do in a project of this type. We
are trying to change the system; to improve
it. The word 'change' itself is a dynamic one
and it implies that the organizations and
farmer groups involved in this system of
change must be prepared to adapt to the
changes that they are producing. I think that
this is a point which is too often overlooked.
As soon as we achieve a satisfactory level of
progress we tend to try and perpetuate that
state, and in so doing, remove one of the
most essential features of the system -dynam-
ic change.
This point raises, for serious consideration
by funding agencies, the question of flexibility
of funds provided to action agencies for this
type of program. There has been a growing
appreciation of the fact that a certain degree
of flexibility in the use of funds is essential if
action agencies are to operate efficiently. I
would like to suggest however, that funding
agencies should look still further at this point.
They should consider ways in which the in-
built protection for proper use of funds can
be continued, but at the same time, sufficient
flexibility can be provided for the action orga-
nization to adapt and move with the changes
it helps to create.
It is pleasing to see such a large number
of funding agencies represented at this con-
ference. It has also been extremely gratify-
ing to find the number of organizations who
are anxious to find ways to further improve
the overall production and social status of
small farmers.
There are many of you here today who
represent organizations which have had a
great deal of experience in small farmer pro-
grams in other parts of the world, and I would
like to now ask you a question. How can fund-
ing agencies, and others that are concerned
in this area of aid, stimulate the type of activ-
ities that we have been discussing for the
last couple of days? Can any of you provide
information from your own experience, or that
of your agency, which will stimulate further

discussion and ideas while we are here to-
gether? There is no attempt to commit any-
body in any way. However, this is an ideal
opportunity to exchange experiences and

ideas, and to open up discussions, so that
we may all move ahead much more confidently
and quickly with our attempts to solve this
critical area of human need.


HUBERMAN. I want to point out what we
have to learn -what is the nature of the el-
ephant has four legs, and here in the Puebla
Area we might consider one leg to be the
group; another leg is the technical team headed
by Dr. Jimenez and his colleagues. The third
leg would be the institutions of credit, and
other government and private agencies. And
the fourth leg is the technical backstopping
provided by CIMMYT- those doing the exper-
imental work and the research, not just for
immediate answers but also for new informa-
tion on all phases of production practices,
insect and weed control, new breeding meth-
ods, and the technical team which brings
these research answers to the farmers and
puts all of these things together. My question
is, Dr. Jim6nez, is this a correct understanding
of the message presented during yesterday
and today?

JIMENEZ. Yes, that is the elephant that we
have to construct.

PIERCE. The BID is concerned with promot-
ing financing for this kind of project. There
is also an interest in education, and we have
already started financing technical education.
I think that we could help develop the capa-
bilities of people to carry out projects, for
example, credit. In developing the credit sys-
tem, it would be necessary to prepare people.
We would be willing to participate in the pro-
cess. However, we would probably want to
think of thi son a national basis. Our ques-
tiors would be along the following lines. How
can the work of CIMMYT benefit? How can
the national institutions benefit? What does it
take?? Could there be a Puebla Project on
a national basis? What would be the linkages?
Those are my questions.

FINLAY. Just a comment on this. On a meet-
ing with the IDB, about 12 months ago, I was
slightly embarrassed by the directness of their
questions. They said "We've heard a lot about
wheat and rice in the Middle East and Asia
and other various places. What are you doing
in Latin America? What are you doing with
this crop and that crop, and so on? We are
very pleased that these questions are being
asked. They have stimulated a tremendous
amount of thinking. Are there other questions
or comments?

WILLIAMS. My general question relates to re-
sponsibilities. Who is going to participate in
which way so as to take a primary role in
developing programs like this. The Puebla
Project generates something more than a sys-
tem for distributing fertilizer. As one goes
beyond this, it opens up an opportunity for
introducing different types of inputs and ser-
vices. For example, I remember a discussion
related to the ability to meet the demand for
fertilizer. At some point it becomes possible
to capitalize and expand the organization. It
then becomes of greater interest to those who
are concerned with funding projects. I would
suggest for your consideration, that the Puebla
Project gives to its planners an opportunity that
simply is not normal. That is, they must be
aware of when their participation exists and
what are the different types of opportunities.
The investment sector could be a marketing
organization, an expanded network for distri-
bution of agricultural inputs. When private
investment capital is drawn in and it is prof-
itable, it begins to expand under its own mo-
mentum to do exactly what you are trying to
do with funds which are not reproducible.
Capital can be created within this project.

EVANS. I would like to suggest some things
that international funding agencies can do, and
seem to be key points in the Puebla Project.
In his introductory statements yesterday, Dr.
Laird gave a very interesting review of what
would be the ways for helping. The green
revolution has made a substantial contribution
to the development of agriculture. Some years
ago many people saw the situation as rather
hopeless; now they have hopes that the prob-
lems can be solved.
This is one of the things that has been
achieved by the work of CIMMYT and IRRI,
and which we hope will result from the work
of IITA and CIAT. If we are going to proceed
with improved technology, we in the World
Bank will have to make available additional
funds to carry out on the work of these inter-
national institutes in order to develop and test
the new technology as CIMMYT and IRRI have
If we look at the world picture, we find
many parts of the world and thousands of
millions of farmers who cannot reap benefits
from the new technology because they do not
have any prospect of obtaining the full pack-
age of inputs. Also there are crops produced
by many millions of farmers in the world on
which very little research has been done.
Legumes need more attention.
There has been discussion between inter-
national agencies such as UNDP, FAO, the
World Bank, and the regional banks that sug-
gest to us in the World Bank that it is pos-
sible to help support research. I think we
should help to develop improved technology
and that our priorities should be:
First of all the production of improved
technology, by helping to improve and expand
The second is what we used to call exten-
sion. It seems to me that 15 or 20 years ago
we were all talking about extension as a kind
of panacea. Everybody wanted to raise the
small farmer's productivity through extension
services. The results were disappointing in
some cases because it was difficult to obtain
the desired reaction from the farmer and to
make him feel the needed incentive. The
farmer needs to see the possibilities for sig-
nificant increases in production, such as are
now possible in some cereal crops.
When we have the improved technology,
then we need the services to extend it to the
farmer, and here, of course, is where personnel
becomes an important issue. We have to pro-
vide for training people. This is one thing for

which the international funding agencies can
provide much of the financing which is needed.
Another important aspect is credit. There
have been some interesting references to cre-
dit in the meetings of yesterday and today.
Most banks are interested in providing funds
for farm credit. However, there need to be
worthwhile farm enterprises in which farmers
can engage. The kind of channels for credit
vary from country to country, and sometimes
one has to suggest improvements and make
rather unpopular propositions about interest
rates. We heard yesterday figures of 1% and
11/2% and more per month that farmers have
to pay. Very seldom, I think, can rates as high
as 2 or 3% a month be justified. On the other
hand, I do not think it pays for a country to
suggest that it is able to provide credit at
rates of 2% or 4% a year. As far as I can
see one has to be able to propose rates which
are not too far from those charged by com-
mercial banks before you can get support
from lending agencies.
I think that the Puebla Project is an inter-
esting example of what can be done where
you have the possibility of combining improved
technology, arising from the work of CIMMYT,
and the excellent extension arrangements that
we have seen at Puebla this morning, and
where credit and assistance are available.
I would like, before concluding, to say
something about the involvement or private
sources of finance to which Dr. Williams re-
ferred. This is of high importance because
the public sector and public agencies by them-
selves are not going to be able to provide
what is wanted, nor should they be expected
to do so. I think we have to find ways to show
the private commercial banks it may pay to
invest their money in agriculture, even when
the farm holdings are small. It may be pos-
sible to do this by arranging discountings by
private banks or through some mechanism that
may be operated through a central bank. This
kind of arrangement is known in Mexico and is
proving possible in other countries.
The final point I would like to take up is
your point about flexibility. I think that most
agencies appreciate it and are working in one
way or another to achieve it. We are trying
to be flexible in terms of the kinds of projects
for which we may provide funding and credit.

FINLAY. Dr. Jim6nez made a point during
his presentation about the impact of credit
into the Puebla Project and the growing con-

fidence of the banks. Personally I have been
surprised at the high repayment rate that has
been coming from the Puebla Project.
This question of capital and credit, as some
one mentioned also is important for extending
the Puebla Project. In Mexico there are four
states that have indicated interest in planning
work similar to the Puebla Project set up -
in fact, one is in the planning stage. The
money for this will come almost exclusively
from local sources.
CIMMYT has been asked wether it would
initiate and run such a project in another state.
We said no, we would not. If the Puebla Proj-
ect is going to be a success as an experiment,
the next move must be the taking up, initiation
and running of this kind of program in other
areas by local governments and people.
We are also concerned with what I call the
multiplier effect. This is just one valley in
Mexico. There are many other valleys in Mex-
ico, with lots of people, and there has to be a
multiplier effect. We feel that the one part of
the multiplier effect that we, as an interna-
tional institution, should support, is the edu-
cational aspect. We can help to educate
teams that can, in turn, go out and initiate
others. For this phase we have as yet little
or no experience; any information, knowledge,
experiences, or comments should be thrown
into the discussion here.

DE TUDDO. The FAO is not a funding agency
-we are a technical agency- but we are
involved in rural development around the world,
and I would like to refer to some problems
related to the possibility of improving the con-
ditions of small holders in environments more
critical than the Puebla Project area.
What can we do to help others enter into
the commercial stream under even more cri-
tical conditions, such as Oaxaca? Oaxaca is
one of the poorest states in Mexico, in which
the small holders are living in very poor areas,
isolated, with no extension, no credit, no re-
search, soil fertility destroyed. Ancestral sys-
tem of behavior. Illiteracy runs very high,
forestry is destroyed year by year.
We must find the way to bring about some
sort of change. We must take the responsibil-
ity, as technical agencies or scientific institu-
tions. We are sure something can be done.
It is very easy to say that nothing can be
done. But we must together try to find for
these people something of the beautiful
achievements we have seen in other areas.

FINLAY. I would like to find throughout Mr.
Mackenzie, who represents one of the oldest

agencies in international development, to raise
any point that might be relevant, and then I
am going to throw a question of the Canadians,
who are one of the youngest group in this
area, for any kind of comments they might
wish to make, just to try to obtain a range of
comments from various regions.

MACKENZIE. I find the Puebla Project inter-
esting and in fact a great break-through in
doing something for the small farmer. I have
experience in quite a number of countries now,
and meeting the farmers this morning and
after hearing the details of the scheme, it
has been most cheering to me that it has made
an impact that is not often seen in other parts
of the world. It is something that CIMMYT
and the Mexican Government can be very
proud of.
But it brought horrible spectres in my
mind. One of them is the dominance of just
one crop -maize. Now, some of the remarks
indicate that certain farmers were well aware
that they should now diversify their crops. I
think this is the greatest risk for a loss be-
cause if the Puebla Project reaches 80 or 85
percent of farmers, where are the farmers
going to sell all of the corn? If they can't sell,
what will be the price? Here I think one most
look to the future when you see after two or
three years of work that you are going to be
successful. Then CIMMYT must say to itself
"Yes, we are pushing on with the scheme, but
we must help farmers to diversify their farm-
ing, so that they can avoid the dependence on
just one crop".
In making this comments I have in mind
several examples of market price dropping
with sharp increases in production.
This is not a criticism of CIMMYT because
this is one of the few cases in which I have
seen a research organization actively engaged
in development work in the field. I would ap-
peal to more research officers to leave their
offices, and carry their research to the field.

PETERS. Canada is fairly new in this business
of institutional support. In Canada we have
the Canadian International Development Agen-
cy (CIDA), which, of course, is the new name
for the Canadian aid program. We also have
the new international research center which
is just coming into being. At present we are
going through a survey to assess what type
of support Canada should give to the various
types of institutions. It appears at the present
time that CIDA will be giving core support to
the International Institute of Tropical Agricul-
ture. We have committed close to 4 million

dollars over the next four years -it is a five-
year plan, and it has already been underway
for one year. We are very proud of that as-
sociation and hopefully we will move into other
institutional support.
As to the new research center, because it
is a research center, it is logical to expect it
to support programs and projects, but that
will be entirely up to David Hopper, the new
president, and the international board of
trustees that controls the operations of this
autonomous center. I want to point out that
it is not a research arm of CIDA.
This is my second visit to the Puebla Proj-
ect, and I have learned as much this time as
I did last fall during my first visit. Thank you
very much.

STEPPLER. First of all I would like to amplify
what Stuart has said about us being new.
We only raised our flag three years ago. Sec-
ond, I wonder what kind of an elephants be-
cause I thought we were going to be treated
to the full analogy. And I wonder what the
trunk is, whether this is the catalyst. Maybe
this is where the funding agencies may come
in -as a catalyst.
I do wonder if the people who were here
at the beginning of the week, should not be
sitting here with us at the end of the week.
It seems to me that we have at least two things.
One is the question of whether or not we
should have more Puebla experiments, which
might well be conducted by CIMMYT and oth-
er international institutes such as IRRI, IITA
or CIAT, and might include as my friend sug-
gested at least one kind of experiment where
you are dealing with a multi crop system, as
opposed to a monocrop. The other question is
support for nations to carry out regional pro-
grams of the Puebla type, designed to raise
the standard of living or the purchasing capac-
ity, or whatever your objective is within the
region. In extending the Puebla approach I

think we are talking about a proposition in
which the government and the people of a
particular national area are concerned and the
international institute is merely a back up; it
is merely providing some of the research infor-
mation. The national institutes within that
country must become very deeply involved.
And here again the funding agency, such as
our own or some of the others, might then
wind up as the trunk, as the catalyst.

MOSHER. What is there in the Puebla Project
that might be useful to other Projects in Asia?
It seems to me that the really unique thing
here is the research input.
Another real contribution is the methodol-
ogy for rainfed areas. In the research aspects
you have here the production strategy, the
weather corrections, the type of experiments
you have been carrying out. This may be use-
ful for many people in the world, trying now
to establish and adapt research programs for
rainfed areas like Puebla.

DELGADO CASTILLO. I imagine that what the
Puebla Project has done so far is just a part
of the whole. Certainly, it has been success-
ful in production, in the technical aspect. But
something should be added here: improvement
of the community. I would suggest to add com-
munity development. I know that there are
people with good experience to support this
kind of project, where the goal is to help
people move ahead not only for a few days,
but for a larger period of time.

FINLAY. The session will be over soon, and
I am going to return the chair to Dr. Alvarez.
There may not be an opportunity at the end of
the session, so I would like to take this op-
portunity on behalf of all the people here and
particularly in behalf of CIMMYT, the Puebla
Project team and the people associated with
it, to thank Dr. Alvarez for his excellent chair-
manship during this conference.


Herbert R. Albrecht, Director, International In-
stitute for Tropical Agriculture, P. M. B.
5320, Jbadan, Nigeria.
Per-Pinstrup Andersen, Agricultural Economist,
International Center for Tropical Agriculture,
Cali, Colombia.
Randolph Barker, Agricultural Economist, In-
ternational Rice Research Institute, P. O.
Box 583, Manila, Philippines.
Francis Byrnes, Deputy Director for Training
and Communication, International Center for
Tropical Agriculture, Cali, Colombia.
Guy Camus, Director General, Office de la
Recherche Scientifique et Technique Outre-
Mer, Paris, France.
Enrique Delgado Castillo, Agricultural Econ-
omist, FAO, Inst. Tecnol6gico de Monte-
rrey, Nuevo Le6n, M6xico.
Paul C. Duffield, New Mexico State University,
Box 3567, Las Cruces, New Mexico, U.S.A.
L. J. C. Evans, Director, Agricultural Project,
World Bank, Washington, D. C.
Vernon Ferwerda, R. P. I., New York, U.S.A.
Darrell Fienup, Program Advisor, Ford Foun-
dation, Ayacucho 2151, Buenos Aires, Ar-
William Gamble, Representative, The Ford Foun-
dation, Reforma 243, M6xico, D. F.
U. J. Grant, Director, International Center for
Tropical Agriculture, Cali, Colombia.
Clifford Haslam, Vice-President, ADELA Invest-
ment Company, Reforma 364, M6xico, D. F.
H. Stuart Hawkins, School of Agriculture, Uni-
versity of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria,
Reed Hertford, Program Advisor, Ford Foun-
dation, Apdo. A6reo 52986, Bogota, Co-

M. A. Huberman, United Nations Development
Program, New York, N. Y.
Carlos Krug, Member, CIMMYT Board of Di-
rectors, Brazil.
Malcolm MacDonald, Planning Office, IICA,
P. O. 4359, San Jos6, Costa Rica.
A. F. Mackenzie, Deputy Agricultural Advisor,
Ministry of Overseas Development, London,
Arthur T. Mosher, President, Agricultural De-
velopment Council, 630 Fifth Ave., New
York, N. Y.
C. L. Pan, Representative to the UNDP/CIMMYT
High Lysine Project, FAO, Rio de Janeiro,
Stuart S. Peters, Canadian International Devel-
opment Agency, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Clarence M. Pierce, Inter-American Develop-
ment Bank, 808 17th Street, Washington,
D. C.
B. L. Renfro, Inter-Asian Corn Program, The
Rockefeller Foundation, New Delhi, India.
Vernon E. Ross, Rice Production Specialist,
The International Rice Research Institute,
Box 583, Manila, Philippines.
Sidney Schmuckler, Inter-American Develop-
ment Bank, 808 17th Street, Washington,
D. C.
Howard A. Steppler, Agricultural Advisor, Can-
adian International Development Agency,
Ottawa, Canada,
Angelo A. de Tuddo, Representative in Mexico,
FAO, Hamburgo 63-4, Mexico 6, D. F.
Simon Williams, Gerente General, Coordina-
ci6n Agricola, A. C., Guadalajara, Jalisco,
NOTE: This list does not include those participants
who presented formal papers, nor members of CIMMYT


Both conference programs included visits with farmers and a review
of experiments in the Puebla area. The participants saw the production
research program and the corn breeding work at Palmillas and San
Mateo. They also took part in meetings with farmers at San Luis Coyot-
zingo. These visits were organized by the Coordinator of the Project,
Ing. Mauro G6mez. The experiments on agronomic production factors
were explained by Ings. Alvaro Ruiz Barbosa, Nestor Estrella Chulin and
Raul Castillo Losoya of the soils program. The corn breeding work
was explained by Ing. Tarcicio Cervantes and Ing. Hugo Mejia. The
visits with farmers were organized by Ings. Felipe Rodriguez Cano,
Gildardo Espinoza S., Jose de Jesis Guerra M., Francisco Escobedo
and Aristeo Alvarez of the farm advisory team of the Puebla Project.

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