Front Cover
 Table of Contents
 Executive Summary
 1. Background
 2. Objectives and 3. Activitie...
 4. Anticipated Outputs
 5. Preconditions & risks
 6. Project Organisation and...
 7. Poject monitoring and 8....

Title: Proposal
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00080835/00001
 Material Information
Title: Proposal
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Publisher: International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT),
Publication Date: 1998
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00080835
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 190603129

Table of Contents
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
    Front Cover
        Front Cover
    Table of Contents
        Page i
        Page ii
    Executive Summary
        Page 1
    1. Background
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
    2. Objectives and 3. Activities
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
    4. Anticipated Outputs
        Page 16
    5. Preconditions & risks
        Page 17
    6. Project Organisation and Implementation
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
    7. Poject monitoring and 8. Budget
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
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        Page 36
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        Page 42
Full Text


Sustainable Maize and Wheat Systems for the Poor

August 10, 1998.

Dr. Peter Hildebrand
University of Florida
2126 McCarty Hall
Florida 32606

Dear Dr. Hildebrand,

As you may recall, we contacted you last year to request your input on an
important new venture at CIMMYT a global training course on the Principles
and Practice of Research on Sustainable Systems. Your input was sought to help
us assess the needs and opportunities for human resource development on this
important theme. We also wished to identify potential linkages with national
agricultural research and extension systems (NARESs), advanced research
institutions and others active in this field.

Over a six-month period, we received feedback from over 100 of more than 200
individuals and institutions contacted. We also had the opportunity to visit
some of you personally, to gain a deeper understanding of your perceptions on
what is needed relative to training on sustainable systems.

This process of extensive consultation provided us with the information
necessary to develop a full proposal for a major, flagship collaborative project.
We are pleased to enclose the full proposal and an executive summary for your
information and consideration.

Through the needs assessment, we learned that there is indeed a strong
demand for training in sustainable systems research. Estimates of the number of
candidates for the senior professionals training course ranged from 350 to more
than 700 potential participants. We identified a number of potential
collaborators (advanced research institutes in both developing and developed
countries), as well as a variety of successful experiences which we hope to write
up as case studies.

Mailing Address: Fax: (5) 726-7558/9 Telephone: M4xico, D.F. (525) 726 9091
Lisboa 27, Colonia Juarez Email: cimmyt@cimmyt.mx Texcoco (595) 544 00/54410
Apdo. postal 6-641, 06600 Mexico, D.E, Mexico http://www.cimmyt.mx


However, we were surprised to find that no institution in the world currently offers a
course of the kind that emerged from this consultation process. According to the needs
assessment, a suitable training course on sustainable systems should:

* combine cutting-edge theory with practical opportunities to work on real-world
productivity/ sustainability problems,

cover farmer participatory research and gender analysis as well as biophysical
feature cross-disciplinary team-building as well as research on technology

rely on discussion of case studies more than extensive formal lectures,

include activities to encourage use of the new tools learned by course participants
after their return to their permanent positions.

Thus, to meet the overall demand for training and institution building around
sustainable agriculture, we are proposing a three-part approach:
1) Training and follow up for senior professionals in agricultural research and
extension. A two-month course for these NARESs professionals will combine
theory with case studies and hands-on practice in the development of sustainable
technologies for maize and wheat cropping systems. Participatory research, gender
analysis and team building will be important components. Following the training
course, CIMMYT will provide technical support to course graduates, and access to
small grants to foster the implementation of lessons learned. This should quickly get
experiences from the course translated into field research focused on priority issues.
2) Policy/strategy development and orientation for senior NARESs managers and
policy-makers on issues related to sustainable agriculture. CIMMYT also proposes
to offer a two-week workshop for NARESs managers and policy-makers to
strengthen high-level appreciation of the importance of sustainability research and
awareness of the special conditions required for it to succeed. In some instances,
CIMMYT's outreach staff may work with NARESs leaders at their request to design
country strategies for sustainability research and development. Professional training
in the two-month course will thus represent part of a broader plan of action.
3) Strengthen documentation and linkages to other training programs. The project
empha sizes training-of-trainers and the development of self-contained training
modules and case studies, so that components of this program can be incorporated into
related efforts at national and regional levels. This set of activities is especially
important as it significantly multiplies the impact of the project and builds critical
linkages to other training initiatives. The development of case studies will also
synthesize the lessons from CIMMYT's own global research on sustainable systems and
facilitate communication and dissemination of those lessons.

Apdo. Postal 6-641, Lisboa 27, Col. Juarez, 06600 M6xico, D.F. MEXICO
Tel: (via USA) (650) 833-6655 (via Mexico) (52-5) 726-9091 Email: cimmyt@cimmyt.mx
Fax: (via USA) (650) 833-6656 (via Mexico) (52-5) 726-7558 Internet: http://www.cimmyt.mx

We believe that the proposed training program will make an important contribution
to strengthening the human and institutional capacity of developing countries to
increase the sustainability of their agricultural systems. We are currently circulating
this proposal among the donors of the CGIAR, and have received some preliminary
indications of support. We welcome your comments on the proposal as well, including
any suggestions you may have about possible sources of financial support.

Thank you for your interest in this initiative, which we hope will help us all advance
to the cause of sustainable agriculture for the world's poor.

Yours sincerely,

Larry Hj~6 ton
Direc Nt
CIMMYT Natural Resources Group

Jonathan Woolley
Sustainable Cropping Systems
Training Study

end: Proposal and Executive Summary, "Training Program on the Principles and Practice
of Sustainable Cropping Systems"

Apdo. Postal 6-641, Lisboa 27, Col. Juarez, 06600 Mdxico, D.F. MEXICO
Tel: (via USA) (650) 833-6655 (via Mexico) (52-5) 726-9091 Email: cimmyt@cimmyt.mx
Fax: (via USA) (650) 833-6656 (via Mexico) (52-5) 726-7558 Internet: http://www.cimmyt.nx


Training Program on the

Principles and Practice of

Sustainable Cropping

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
Lisboa 27 (Col. Juarez), Apdo. Postal 6-641,06600 M6xico, D.F. Mexico
Tel: (via Mexico) (52-5)726 9091 (via USA) (650) 833 6655
Fax: (via Mexico) (52-5)726 7558 (via USA) (650) 833 6656
Internet: http://www.cimmyt.mx Email: cimmyt@cimmyt.mx

Sustainable maize
and wheat systems
for the poor



Training Program on the Principles and Practice
of Sustainable Cropping Systems


Countries covered:

Development objective:

Project objective:


Developing countries where cropping systems that include maize or wheat
are important.

To improve the productivity and sustainability of agricultural production in
developing countries.
To strengthen, in the area of sustainable cropping systems and natural
resource management, the practical knowledge base of (a) professionals in
developing country agricultural research and extension services who work in
maize and wheat systems, and (b) research and extension managers and
policy-makers whose decisions and support affect those professionals.
CIMMYT, national agricultural research and extension systems (NARESs),
and advanced research institutions (ARIs), including other CGIAR centres.

Duration: Five years
Total budget: US$4.4 million

International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)
Lisboa 27 (Col. JuArez), Apdo. Postal 6-641, 06600 M6xico, D.F. Mexico
Tel: (via Mexico) (52-5) 726-9091 (via U.S.A.) (650) 833-6655
Fax: (via Mexico) (52-5) 726-9091 (via U.S.A.) (650) 833-6656
Internet: http://www.cimmyt.mx Email: cimmyt@cimmyt.mx

SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems page i


EXECUTIVE SUM M ARY ................................................................................................. ..1

1. BACKGROUND .............................................................................................................. 2
1.1. Project participants ............................................................................................ ......................2
1.1.1. Research scientists and extension specialists....................................................... 2
1.1.2. NARES managers.........................................................................................................2
1.1.3. Project target groups.....................................................................................................3
1.2. Problem analysis ................................................................................................................3
1.2.1. Study of training needs and alternative suppliers.............................................3
1.2.2. Exploring the problem ............................................................................................ 4
1.3. CIMMYT's role ...................................................................................................... ...........5
1.4. Multiplier effect of resources............................................................................................7

2. OBJECTIVES .........................................................................................................................7

3. ACTIVITIES ..................................................................................................................... 7
3.1. Senior professionals' training...................................................................................................8
3.2. Strengthening support among research/extension managers........................................ 11
3.3. Development of case studies, training materials and modules ...................................... 13
3.4. Small research grants to support former participants .......................................... ..... 16
3.5. Guidance to the project ...................................................................................................... 16

4. ANTICIPATED OUTPUTS........................................................................................ 16

5. PRECONDITIONS AND RISKS ...................................... ............... .........................17

6. PROJECT ORGANISATION AND IMPLEMENTATION .......................................18
6.1. Time schedule...........................................................................................................................18
6.2. Human resources .....................................................................................................................18
6.3. Material resources....................................................................................................................20

7. PROJECT M ONITORING ...........................................................................................21

8. BUDGET ..........................................................................................................................21

9. LOGICAL FRAM EW ORK ANALYSIS ........................................................................24

S CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems page ii


Box 1. Research and extension as a continuum.................................................................2
Box 2. Themes suggested for inclusion in course for senior professionals ........................5
Box 3. CIMMYT's history of in-service crop management research training .....................6

Box 4. Course for senior agricultural professionals: Outline of content............................9

Box 5. Potential advanced research institution (ARI) collaborators.......................................12
Box 6. Workshop for research managers: Outline of content............................ ..............13
Box 7. Case studies to be developed .................................................................................... 15

Figure 1. Input from senior professionals' course to other agricultural training programs.... 10

Figure 2. Project workplan (outline) ......................................................................................... 19


Annex 1. Institutions that provided information during the study of training needs
and alternative suppliers

Annex 2. Summary of findings of study on sustainable cropping systems training
Annex 3. Detailed content of course for experienced researchers
Annex 4. Detailed Budget


ARI Advanced research institution
CIMMYT International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center
IARC International agricultural research center
NARES National agricultural research and extension system (used in this proposal
to include both government agencies conducting research and extension, as
well as universities, NGOs, etc.)
NGO Non-governmental organisation
R&D Research and development

O CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems page 1


Donors, policy-makers, researchers and farmers all agree on the urgent need for sustainable improve-
ments in the productivity of agriculture especially given projections for a doubling of food demand in
the next 50 years. But sustainability issues are complex, and responses must be locally adapted to address
both biophysical and human needs. In countries of the South, the tension is especially marked between
the need to obtain increased output from agricultural lands, and the declining quality of natural resources
such as soil and water. The design and implementation of sustainable practices is a huge challenge, even
for researchers and extension workers with advanced training and extensive field experience. Without
such skilled human resources especially in developing countries it is unlikely that the required
innovations will be forthcoming.
With its global mandate for two of the world's three most important food crops, and with its links to
more than 100 national agricultural research and extension systems (NARESs) in developing countries,
CIMMYT has for some time perceived a strong need for training in the principles and practice of sustain-
able systems. A grant from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) enabled
CIMMYT to conduct in 1997 a global training needs diagnosis related to this theme. The findings were
startling. No institution in the world currently offers a practical, focused training in sustainable systems
research and development (R&D) for agricultural professionals, while the demand is significant NARES
respondents indicated that such training would be of immediate relevance for at least some 700
practitioners among their ranks.
With this confirmed strong interest in sustainability training, CIMMYT now seeks support for a five-
year project to meet this need. The proposed project features three major sets of activities. First, CIMMYT
proposes to launch a two-month course for senior NARES professionals that combines cutting-edge
theory with case studies and hands-on practice in the development of sustainable technologies for maize
and wheat cropping systems. Technical support and modest follow-up funds should help graduates
translate lessons into practice at home. Second, to ensure that graduates return to supportive environ-
ments, CIMMYT proposes to work with NARESs managers and policy-makers to develop country
strategies for sustainability R&D; the Center will also offer a two-week workshop for NARESs managers
and policymakers to increase awareness of the conditions required for successful work on sustainable
agriculture. Third, the project emphasizes training-of-trainers and the development of self-contained
training modules and case studies, so that components of this program can be incorporated into related
efforts at national and regional levels. The latter component is especially important, as it significantly
multiplies the impact of the project and builds critical linkages to other training initiatives. It also
facilitates the synthesis of lessons learned in CIMMYT's own global research on sustainable systems.
The project will upgrade the technical, team-building and methodological skills of 100-120 developing
country agricultural professionals, enabling them to conduct relevant, high quality research and
technology development for the benefit of farmers. It will also increase the awareness of 80-100 NARESs
managers of the principles of sustainable cropping systems research and development, and the conditions
required to promote effective work in this field. It will produce at least eight tested case studies, other
training materials and stand-alone training modules that can be immediately incorporated into the
activities of other training providers. These products in turn will act as a launching pad for several
further advances for strengthened work on sustainable cropping systems by CIMMYT, its collaborators
and agricultural professionals in general in developing countries; for NARES scientists to train others; for
improved links between ARIs and NARESs on sustainable cropping systems; and for a synthesis of
research results on sustainable cropping systems from CIMMYT, other ARIs and NARES partners in a
form accessible to the scientific community as a whole.
CIMMYT is well suited to coordinate this effort, given its extensive relationships with NARESs and its
reputation as a partner and facilitator in bringing together NARESs (including public and private
institutions, universities and NGOs) and ARIs from around the world. The Center is widely respected for
its expertise on the effects of natural resource degradation on maize and wheat cropping systems world-
wide, and on technology development to halt or reverse system deterioration. CIMMYT also has more
than 25 years' experience offering training to NARESs that combines cutting edge theory with hands-on
practical work, and has over 6000 alumni who put that training to use in developing countries today.
The total budget for the project is US$4.4 million.

SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems


The major challenge facing agriculture in
the developing world is to increase the
productivity of cropping systems, especially
those that include major food crops, while
protecting or enhancing the natural resource
base. Overcoming the potential trade-off
between productivity and sustainability so
that both can be increased requires the best of
agricultural and natural resources science.
Scientists from many nations and disciplines
are beginning to identify and piece together
the elements both technical and human of
agricultural practices that will permit farmers,
especially poor farmers in developing coun-
tries, to produce food without destroying the
livelihood of future generations.
Wheat and maize are the second and third
most important grain crops in the developing
world in terms of production. Cropping sys-
tems that include maize or wheat are the
mainstay of grain production and small farm-
ers' income in many developing countries,
including all those of eastern and southern
Africa, West Asia, North Africa, and Latin
America, and are widespread in all other
parts of the developing world including the
rest of Africa and Asia.

1.1. Project participants

1.1.1. Research scientists and
extension specialists
Advanced research institutions (ARIs) in the
developed and developing world, the interna-

tional agricultural research centres (IARCs), and
national agricultural research and extension
systems (NARESs) are increasingly called upon
to address long-term sustainability concerns in
developing countries. The complexity of these
issues is challenge enough for those with exten-
sive training and field experience. For those
who are unfamiliar with the principles and
practice of sustainable systems approaches, the
ability to respond to the issues is generally lim-
ited by lack of knowledge of the latest research
methodologies and technologies, exacerbated in
many cases by a lack of international contacts.

Under these circumstances, even experi-
enced scientists can understandably lose
motivation or become entrenched in repeti-
tive research within a narrow disciplinary
specialisation. Research and extension are a
continuum (see box below), so both research-
ers and extensionists in NARESs need train-
ing on research and development of sustain-
able cropping systems.

1.1.2. NARESs managers1
In order for appropriate research on sus-
tainability to succeed, researchers and extension
specialists also need encouragement from

1 Throughout this document, we shall refer to "NARES
managers". Those to be included in the present project
are those who have responsibilities for supervising the
first target group, that is researchers and extension
specialists. Sometimes both will fall under the same
management in one institution; in other cases, they
may respond to different managers, or even be located
in separate research and extension institutions.

Research and extension as a continuum
One of the lessons of research with a systems perspective is that there is no clear division between the work
of researchers (in formal government institutions and in universities) and extensionists (in government as
well as in NGOs, farmers' groups, etc.). Instead of being viewed as links in a top-down chain, they are
better seen as having complementary roles in defining problems and opportunities, developing and testing
solutions, understanding and accelerating adoption, scaling-up of successful technologies and understand-
ing the consequences of change. The present training program is intended to induce better methodologies
for all these stages. Extension subject matter specialists and directors of extension therefore have a role in
the program alongside researchers and research directors.

page 2

SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

management. Managers of NARESs are some-
times unaware of the need for special support
for scientists tackling issues of sustainability.
Depending on the research theme, the support
needed by researchers and extension special-
ists from managers may include some or all of
the following: long-term commitment of
funding; decentralisation of research design to
local teams; facilitation of field work in farm-
ing communities; access to specialised inputs
(e.g. conservation tillage equipment);
commitment to maintaining long-term trials
and studies; recognition of the time and effort
invested in team-building; professional recog-
nition and advance-
ment based on There is widespread s
achievements that the sustainable syst
help farmers; and Estimates rangefri
access to electronic candidates for the sen
compared to a 5-year
information systems. compared to a 5-yea

1.1.3. Project target groups

There are therefore two principal target
groups for this project. First, agricultural
professionals from Africa, Asia and Latin
America, many of whom will have an advanced
degree in agriculture, the biological sciences,
agricultural economics or the social sciences.
They will be employees of NARESs in
developing countries, including public and
private institutions, universities and NGOs.
Priority will be given to researchers/extensionists
working in maize or wheat cropping systems.

The second target group of the project are
managers of NARESs. It includes directors
general, directors of research, directors of
extension, and national leaders of R&D on
sustainable cropping systems and natural
resources management research in large
countries. From outside NARESs, it also
includes policy makers from Ministries of
Agriculture and from other ministries that
control the technical and budgetary
conditions of scientists.

ems t
om 35
ior p

1.2. Problem analysis

The project proposed here will initiate a
training program to address the deficits of
skills and knowledge of both researchers and
extension specialists, and research and
extension managers, on how to carry out and
support research and development on
sustainable cropping systems.
1.2.1. Study of training needs and
alternative suppliers

Because of the program's importance and
innovative nature, CIMMYT conducted a
Thorough training
t among NARESs for needs diagnosis -
raining initiative... financed by the
0 to more than 700 Swedish Interna-
rofessionals' course tional Development
city for 125 trainees. Cooperation Agency
(SIDA)- leading to
the design of the curriculum, the clear specifi-
cation of target groups, the identification of
training methods and venues and the prepa-
ration of the present proposal.

Through questionnaires sent to NARESs,
ARIs and CIMMYT staff (especially those in
outreach programs around the world) and
follow-up visits to a few NARESs and ARIs,
the needs of NARESs for training in
sustainable cropping systems have been more
precisely defined, and the training materials
on offer from other ARIs have been identified.
The institutions that have contributed
information and opinions are listed in Annex
1 and the findings are presented in Annex 2.
Members of both target groups were among
those who responded to the survey, and also
among those who were contacted personally.
There is widespread support for
CIMMYT's initiative and a clear need for both
types of training that CIMMYT proposes to
offer (for researchers/extensionists and for
research/extension managers). For example,
NARESs replying to the questionnaire indi-
cated that more than 700 of their staff would

page 3

to CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems page 4

be candidates for the senior professionals'
training course, while CIMMYT outreach
offered a more conservative estimate of about
350 candidates (see Annex 2, Tables 8 and 9).
By either tally, the training program (with
space for only 125 participants over five
years) will fall well short of satisfying interest
in the field. The longer term strategy of this
project to diversify into regional and in-
country training courses after Year 5 will
help to respond to the remaining unmet
demands for training.
Interestingly, the NARESs themselves
identify a broad diversity of backgrounds
among their candidates for training quite in
keeping with the diversity of fields the course
proposes to cover. Overall, 34% of candidates
are general or cropping systems agronomists,
19% are specialists in soil or water manage-
ment, 15 % in weed or pest management, 4%
in agroforestry, 2% in GIS, 8% in economics
and 18% in plant breeding.

Respondents were consulted about the
appropriate design of each training
experience. For experienced scientists, the
preference was for a course of about 2 months
duration that mixed principles with plenty of
field practice; 80% of respondents supported
the idea of on-the-job follow-up by CIMMYT
staff after the course. The proposal to teach
much of the course through specially-
developed case studies was supported. For
research and extension managers, the
preference was for a workshop of two weeks'
duration, including hands-on field work.

It was found that no institution is pres-
ently offering a comprehensive practical
course on sustainable cropping systems.
However, some of the ARIs consulted have
expertise in providing training in each of the
32 potential themes included in the question-
naire (see box p. 5), as part of other post-
graduate or in-service courses. Several further
themes were suggested by respondents;
almost all were considered relevant and have
been included in the curriculum of the course

for experienced researchers. In the case of
ARIs that ably fill gaps in CIMMYT's skills,
arrangements for possible collaboration have
already been explored.

1.2.2. Exploring the problem
Scientists' lack of ability to conduct and
manage research on sustainable cropping
systems is a result of:
the shallow and theoretical treatment
given to these subjects in most first degree
the generally narrow and disciplinary
treatment given to these issues at higher
degree levels
the present lack of senior scientists and
managers in developing countries with
practical expertise on issues of sustain-
ability, who can train their colleagues
a general lack of appreciation of the
importance of teamwork and supportive
in some countries, lack of practical expe-
rience with participatory methods of
agricultural research and of systems
approaches, even when they are
mentioned as part of the strategies
in most countries, a shortage of women
scientists who, in addition to possessing
special skills and intuitions, are often
better at interacting with and under-
standing the needs of women farmers.

Both farmers and professionals suffer the
effects of these deficiencies. Farmers do not
get from researchers and extensionists high
quality technologies and information adapted
to their needs, that allow them to maintain
their livelihoods and their productive base for
agriculture. Researchers and extensionists, for
their part, often feel frustrated and hence
unmotivated because farmers are often
uninterested in their technical proposals.

No developing country has a critical mass
of skilled scientists available in all the

CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

important professional areas of sustainable
cropping systems R&D, and many have none
at all. The best international expertise the
most innovative, clear-sighted researchers
from many developed and developing
countries therefore needs to be brought to
bear on the problem. International efforts
among countries will also be much more effi-
cient in use of resources than attempting to
bring together the same resources at the
service of only one country.

1.3. CIMMYT's role

CIMMYT is particularly well-suited to
offer this training program to developing
countries, since it has widespread relations

with NARESs and a reputation as a partner
and facilitator in bringing people together. It
has also built up over the years considerable
expertise on the effects of natural resource
degradation on system productivity in maize
and wheat cropping systems, and on methods
to restrain or reverse resource declines.

Several universities in developed coun-
tries offer instruction (including advanced
degrees) in the agricultural sciences with a
focus on sustainability, but none has the
Center's global expertise in cropping systems
that include maize or wheat, nor its experience
combining hands-on training for NARESs
along with an elaboration of the principles on

Themes suggested in the questionnaire for inclusion in the course for senior professionals
Sustainability issues in agriculture
SPrinciples of sustainability Factors affecting sustainability
Systems perspectives/ systems approach to agricultural R&D
Overview of sustainability issues in wheat- and maize-based cropping systems
Elements of sustainable cropping systems
Soil management (physical/chemical conditions; soil organic matter management)
Water management (factors affecting water infiltration)
Tillage and soil compaction Erosion control
SIntegrated weed and pest management Crop nutrition
Rotations and intercrops, green manuring, agro-forestry
Crop residue management Handling crop-animal interactions
Plant breeding for efficient input use Economics and policy interventions
Systems research tools
Extrapolating in time: crop and soil models, chronosequencing
Extrapolating in space: geographic information systems
Linear programming Nutrient, water and energy balances
Long-term field experiments (on-station, on-farm)
Diagnostic tools: whole-farm surveys, focused surveys, farmer interviews, etc.
Diagnostic field techniques for crops
Economic analysis: time-flows of benefits, discounting, etc.
Implementation of solutions to sustainability and systems problems
SBuilding "systems teams" (interdisciplinary collaboration and integration)
Diagnosis, planning and priority setting
Iterative steps for R&D: Planning -- Research -- Validation -- Demonstration-> Extension -- Adoption
* Factors affecting adoption (incl. gender analysis) Identifying appropriate technologies for farmers
Targeting environments and clients (including gender analysis)
The role of farmer participatory research
Evaluation of effects: on-site and off-site consequences; general environmental impact

page 5

page 6

NI CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

which action is based (see box below).

CIMMYT's scientists, particularly those
who have served in the Center's outreach
offices in Africa, Asia and Latin America, are
knowledgeable about the effects of natural
resource degradation on system productivity
in the principal maize- and wheat-growing
regions of the world. They are experienced in
designing both technical and policy solutions
to improve simultaneously both productivity
and sustainability. CIMMYT staff especially
those associated with the centre's Natural
Resource Group, a cross-program, multidis-
ciplinary team participate in several of the
CGIAR's most important ecoregional and
systemwide initiatives.2 The feasibility study

2 CIMMYT is a formal partner in the Rice-Wheat
Ecoregional Program, the Latin American Ecore-
gional Program, the African Highlands Initiative, and
is a "launch partner" in the Ecoregional Initiative for
the Tropics and Subtropics of Asia. It is a member of
the CGIAR Systemwide Initiatives on Integrated Pest
Management and on Genetic Resources. It is a launch
partner in the Systemwide Initiatives on Participatory
Research and Gender Analysis, on Property Rights

of training (Annex 2) has illustrated the depth
and breadth of CIMMYT's relevant experi-
ence by identifying 15 potential case studies
covering 17 different key countries (see box
on page 15), on 12 of which current CIMMYT
staff will be the key informants.

With CIMMYT in the lead role, the pro-
posed training program will thus be able to:
* build on CIMMYT's global expertise in
maize and wheat farming systems,
including previous training programs;
* crystallise CIMMYT's, NARESs' and other
institutions' field learning into case
studies and training materials on methods
and sustainable cropping practices;

and Collective Action, and in the Systemwide Live-
stock Initiative (crop residue project). In addition, it
takes part in several regional networks that while
lacking the CGIAR's official designation- operate as
if they were ecoregional (e.g., in eastern and southern
Africa and in Central America). CIMMYT is also
active in the Latin American networks PROCISUR
and PROCIANDINO, sponsored by the Interamerican
Institute for Cooperation in Agriculture (IICA).

CIMMYT's history of in-service crop management research training
CIMMYT has over 25 years experience in training scientists from developing countries both researchers
and extension specialists through in-service courses in crop management research that contain a mix of
conceptual and practical tasks. In particular, it has over ten years of experience on training in problem-solv-
ing approaches, based on a mix of strategic, applied and adaptive research, much of it in farmers' fields
with farmers. CIMMYT is widely recognized for its "training manuals" (better described as "training
modules") that deal with various steps of problem-solving approaches, including diagnosis, planning on-
farm experimentation, statistical and economic analysis of trial results and analysis of adoption by farmers.
Since the early 1990s, crop management research courses for entry-level scientists have been handled
through four regional courses funded through special project financing: in Thailand (with financial support
from the Asian Development Bank, the Government of Thailand and Kasetsaert University), Brazil (funded
by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD), Kenya (funded by the United States
Agency for International Development, the Canadian International Development Agency and others) and
Argentina (supported by the Inter-American Development Bank and IFAD). Between 1989 and 1991, until
cuts in CIMMYT's core funding led to their discontinuation, CIMMYT successfully prepared and pre-
sented new designs of advanced short courses (of 5-7 weeks duration) in maize and wheat crop manage-
ment research, which were well received by the experienced scientists who participated. The presently
proposed training program will build on these early foundations, but take much further the technical,
methodological and human aspects of R&D on sustainable cropping systems.

II CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

* provide opportunities for networking on
sustainability within CIMMYT and with
other ARIs and regional and national
institutions; and
give input to regional crop management
research training (CMRT) courses, to
improve their focus on sustainable
cropping systems.

1.4. Multiplier effect of resources

Conscious that development funds must
be stretched to achieve maximum impact, we
have incorporated two measures into the
project design which should multiply the
benefits of the program.
Training efforts that seek to change
behaviours often fail because the participant
returns to an environment that is
unsupportive of, if not outright hostile to
innovation. To counter this tendency, the
course promotes the participation of teams of
professionals within and across organizations
and/or professionals and their managers to
ensure that course teachings will be put into
practice, rather than falling victim to
organizational inertia. The availability of
modest funds to "jump-start" activities (see
Section 3.4) works to the same effect. This
component of the project aims to build
sufficient critical mass and momentum to
create a demonstration effect in the broader
research-extension community and attract
greater interest, credibility and resources to
the field of practice.
The course also contemplates an explicit
training-of-trainers component and the
participation of those whose responsibilities
include teaching or mentoring others. In
addition, linkages will be fostered with other
training courses at regional and national
levels (see Figure 1, p. 12). The development
of well-articulated training modules and
materials will facilitate the task of graduates
and other training programs to communicate
concepts to colleagues and other profession-

als, thus generating a ripple effect in terms of
knowledge on sustainable systems.

The development objective of the project
is to improve the productivity and sustain-
ability of agriculture in developing countries.
The objective of the project is to
strengthen, in the area of natural resource and
sustainable cropping systems management,
the practical knowledge base of (a) NARES
professionals who in maize and wheat crop-
ping systems and (b) research and extension
managers and policy-makers -whose decisions
and support affect those professionals.
The project will achieve its objective
through in-service training in the broadest sense
(i.e., a mix of short courses, workshops, in-
country consultation and provision of training
materials). By becoming knowledgeable about
available technical options, the professionals
trained in sustainable cropping systems R&D
will be able to act as integrators among
disciplines and as proponents of research with
farmers. Moreover, as noted in Section 1.4,
graduates will also multiply the impact of the
training they receive by passing on their new
knowledge to colleagues through formal or
informal training.


Based on the endorsements from NARESs,
ARIs and CIMMYT staff obtained during the
study consultations, this proposal seeks
funding for the following project components:
* training of senior agricultural
professionals, including an annual course
and follow-up of those trained
* strengthening support among national
research and extension managers,
beginning with the annual workshop
targeted to this group and including the

page 7

CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems page 8

joint design of strategies for training in
sustainable cropping systems R&D
development of case studies and training
materials, followed by their consolidation
into training modules
provision of small grants to remove
bottlenecks in attempts of former training
participants to put into practice what they
have learned.
project monitoring, through an external
advisory panel, CIMMYT's internal
mechanisms and a final project review
3.1. Senior professionals' training

The "course for senior agricultural
professionals" is designed for researchers,
trainers and extension subject-matter
specialists. Candidates will be those who
have a sound theoretical background and
some practical experience, and who have or
may assume in the future responsibilities
for research or extension on natural resource
management/sustainable cropping systems
management, preferably related to maize-
and wheat-based systems. Priority will be
given to those who can build up teams
and/or train others on their return home.
Within the limits of space, the course could
accept small teams (up to four members from
the same country) who already work
together. Preference might initially be given
to those already working in collaborative
research projects with CIMMYT staff. Within
agriculture, the course will seek to include
each year a range of participants with
complementary disciplinary skills, from
economics and the social sciences to the
biological and physical sciences.

Initially the course will be based at
CIMMYT headquarters near Mexico City, with
field work on maize and wheat cropping
systems in Mexico (and possibly in Central
America). It will be held once a year for nine
weeks and will be designed for 20-25 partici-
pants from Africa, Latin America and Asia.

Because of the research and extension chal-
lenges in designing and managing sustainable
agricultural technologies in eastern and south-
ern Africa, the course is expected to be espe-
cially useful for participants from that region.
The course will be held in English, with possi-
ble translation into Spanish depending on the
language skills of Latin American participants.
To achieve an appropriate gender balance in
the course, NARESs will be strongly encour-
aged to identify qualified women candidates;
scholarships will be used in a discretionary
manner by project management to ensure fair
representation of women participants.

CIMMYT considers that the advantages of
cross-fertilisation of ideas arising from a mix
at headquarters of experienced scientists from
several continents, outweigh the disadvanta-
ges in cost and possible loss of regional focus.
CIMMYT headquarters has a concentration of
scientists working on issues of sustainability,
which will be further strengthened by bring-
ing key scientists from outreach programs to
provide input to the course. Additionally, all
courses at CIMMYT headquarters benefit
from the existing accommodation services,
training administration and infrastructure
and library facilities.

The course will emphasise four fundamen-
tal principles for effective research and devel-
opment on sustainable cropping systems, i.e.:
(1) a problem-solving, systems-based approach;
(2) teamwork;
(3) the importance of technology both from
scientists and from farmers; and
(4) opportunities for increased efficiency of
research and development through
involving farmers when appropriate.
A detailed course curriculum has been
developed (Annex 3), an outline of which is
shown on the next page.

Participants will gain a better understand-
ing of what sustainability is and how research
contributes. They will learn how to mount

CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

page 8

I CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems page 9

research on productivity and sustainability
problems in maize and wheat cropping
systems, within a problem-focused, systems
approach that incorporates sensitivity to the
longer-term and off-site consequences of tech-
nical change. They will also have improved
knowledge of the issues surrounding specific
technologies (e.g., conservation tillage, residue
management, green manure cover crops, long-
term crop rotations) that foster improved
productivity and sustainability in maize and
wheat cropping systems. Each participant will
work in depth in his or her own specialist field
and in less depth in related fields, so as to
contribute to teamwork and a broad-based
systems understanding.

Participants will prepare and bring to the
course the analysis of a sustainability problem
or challenge they face in their current work. By

the end of the course, based on what they learn
and on interaction with CIMMYT staff, guest
experts and each other, they will prepare and
present plans on how to respond to that chal-
lenge. The course will encourage participants to
analyse their research and development
activities on sustainability in terms of: a
framework of stages of action; the technical
challenges included; the tools they might use;
and the technological options available. Three
class-based and two field-based case studies
will permit them to work in depth on how these
fit together in real situations.

The participants will also be induced to
think carefully about teamwork, through
specifically-designed exercises during the
course; by having to organise themselves into
teams to conduct a participatory diagnosis and
priority setting task with farmers; and through

Course for senior agricultural professionals: outline of content
* Opening, introductions, logistics, exercise to draw attention to importance of teamwork (0.5 day)
* Participants' (individual or team) presentations of a sustainability problem from their own (present or
future) work, and group discussion (2.5 days)
* First case study to highlight a range of concepts and challenges (1.5 days)
* Present state of concepts, debate and definitions in sustainable agriculture. Possible indicators of
sustainability. Sustainability of maize and wheat cropping systems around the world (1.5 days)
* A framework for research on sustainable systems (1 day)
* Team-building exercises (3 days)
* Second case study to draw attention to the need for a problem-solving approach based on diagnosis
with farmers (2 days)
* Problem-solving research and interdisciplinarity, including field work in teams on diagnosis and priority
setting with farmers (8 days)
* Productivity-enhancing, resource-conserving technologies; examples of sustainability issues in each
discipline; interactions among disciplines (10 days)
* In-depth work on further case studies one in the class and two in the field that illustrate the use of a
wide range of technical solutions, different stages of the research framework, different sustainability
issues, the use of systems research methods and tools and the interactions among disciplines (12 days)
* Development of plans (individual or team) for home areas based on the problem presented at the start of
the course (3 days)
Total course duration: 45 days (9 weeks)
The outline refers to the "mature" course; in the first year, only four case studies
(not five) will be available, so the course structure will be modified slightly.

CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems page 10

their experiences as an interdisciplinary group
of course participants in technical tasks. They
will be exposed to a wide range of potential
technological solutions and encouraged to
consider the socio-economic and technical
implications of adapting them to different
conditions, including those of their home area.
Follow-up with course graduates will be
provided through several routes. Many
potential participants are already CIMMYT
collaborators and will continue to receive
regular visits from CIMMYT outreach staff.
Others will join these networks. Others could
report back to CIMMYT course tutors or receive
visits from them. Follow-up will cover:
* practical use of the concepts emphasised
in the course (teamwork, a systems

approach, a problem-solving focus that
includes farmer participation);
* the search for and use of suitable
technology; and
* the use of tools illustrated in the course
(such as nutrient balances, water balances,
and use of indicators of sustainability).
Three regional follow-up workshops are
planned in project Year 4 one each for Africa,
Asia, and Latin America to which all former
participants from the region will be invited.

There are various options for expanding
the influence of the training program and for
ensuring that training continues after the
initial investment of five years (see Figure 1,
below). Assuming funds remain available,

Figure 1. Input from the senior professionals' course
to other agricultural training programs







1a e
-- IN O C --








SCSR&D = Sustainable cropping systems research & development
CMRT = Crop management research training







11 CIMMYTproposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

page 10

I1 CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems page 11

the international course may continue to be
offered as in phase 1, and/or may be
decentralized for execution on a regional
basis. Trainers taking the course will be helped
to design and run in-country courses, for
which they could initially request CIMMYT
technical support as part of the follow-up
strategy. Such courses will require separate
funding from national or bilateral sources.

From the end of Year 1 onwards, draft
training materials and case studies will be
available for testing in CIMMYT-associated
CMRT courses in Argentina, Brazil, Kenya
and Thailand. Feedback from those users will
aid improvement of the materials.
An external review at the end of Year 4 will
address, inter alia, the following questions:
* Whether to continue with the course for
experienced researchers at CIMMYT HQ.
* Whether courses in sustainable cropping
systems R&D should be established in
each region, more concentrated on the
sustainability issues of each.
* If so, whether these should be based on a
modification of regional CMRT courses in
their state of evolution at that time, or
whether they should be an independent
entity with separate management and/or
course curriculum in parallel with CMRT.
* The appropriate degree of involvement of
CIMMYT and of other ARIs in plans for
regional courses.
* The appropriate links between plans for
CIMMYT HQ and regional training, and
plans in individual countries.
The decisions will draw on input from the
regional workshops held in Year 4; in fact, the
review might be phased to coincide with at
least one of these workshops. Based on the
recommendations of the workshops and the
review and in consultation with CIMMYT
staff, partner ARIs and NARESs, the Project
coordinator will develop a proposal for
funding of a new project. In Year 5,

CIMMYT's management and external
relations team will seek funding for the next
phase, aiming to preserve the continuity of
training activities upon completion of the
present Project.
A number of ARIs have tentatively been
identified (see box, p. 12) as reliable contri-
butors that would fill gaps in CIMMYT's own
expertise or that would collaborate with
CIMMYT to increase the quality of the train-
ing and training materials offered.

3.2. Strengthening support among
research/extension managers

Support from NARES managers is essen-
tial to realise the full potential contribution of
the professionals trained during the main
course, and to enable them to get the most
benefit from follow-up. CIMMYT outreach
staff, supported by the Project Coordinator,
will identify with NARES managers in each
country strategies for developing teams of
professionals who can conduct sustainable
cropping systems R&D (e.g., through training
at CIMMYT or through in-country training
conducted by course graduates). Such a strat-
egy will also include agreements to support
those trained at CIMMYT or in-country when
they return to their work, and to ensure
continuity in their posts of those trained.
Wherever possible, these steps will be carried
out with NARES managers as a prerequisite
to accepting participants for courses at
CIMMYT. However, because of time pres-
sures on CIMMYT outreach staff and NARES
managers, this will not always be feasible.
As part of the agreed strategy, the "work-
shop for research and extension managers"
will be offered for managers (directors gen-
eral, directors of research and/or extension)
of NARESs, including those in public and
private institutions and universities. Other
important potential participants will be
policy-makers from Ministries of Agriculture
and other ministries that affect the working
conditions of researchers and extensionists.

NV CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

Potential advanced research institution (ARI) collaborators
Institution Areas of potential collaboration
Centro Internacional de Agricultura Contribution of CIAT/CIMMYT staff member based in Honduras to
Tropical (CIAT), Hillsides Program, case study preparation and discussion. Possible visit of Latin American
Cali, Colombia participants to CIAT after the course.
Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP), Input on biodiversity and on Andean cropping systems relevant to maize
Lima, Peru and wheat.
Cornell University, USA Input on soils management, watershed management, agroforestry, crop-
livestock interactions, farmers' involvement in IPM.
Colorado State University, USA Input on soil management in raised bed systems for wheat
International Board for Soil Research Collaboration on training materials development in soil management
and Management (IBSRAM), Thailand
International Centre for Development- Complement each other's efforts.* Share training materials on
related Research in Agriculture (ICRA), principles of sustainability, and the training modules on participation etc.
The Netherlands being developed by ICRA
International Crops Research Institute Input on technology for semi-arid environments
for the Semi-arid Tropics (ICRISAT),
Hyderabad, India
International Rice Research Institute Sharing of training materials and strategies for adult education.
(IRRI), Manila, Philippines
Kasetsaert University, Thailand and Exchange training materials with the modules on "Management of
CIRAD, France Agroecosystems" being developed by the "DORAS Centre".**
National Wheat Research Centre Case study on no-till farming in the south American lowlands; input on
(CNPT) and U. of Passo Fundo, Brazil disease-tillage interactions
Natural Resources Institute, UK Case study on eastern Africa; contact with IPM networks
Overseas Development Institute, UK Case study on eastern Africa
Silsoe Research Centre, UK Case study on hillside farming systems; input on small scale
Swedish University of Agricultural Sharing of training materials with the new interdepartmental course in
Sciences, Uppsala Ecological Agriculture that is under development.
Training Resources Group, USA Input on fostering teamwork
Tropical Soil Biology Foundation Input on management of organic matter
(TSBF), Kenya
Wageningen Agricultural University, Input on practical use of models (with Grad. School of Production
The Netherlands Ecology) and on case studies highlighting institutional interaction .
Wye College, University of London, Input from Dept. of Biological Sciences on management of nitrogen
UK fixing organisms and modelling as a way to reduce numbers of long-term
trials; sharing of training materials with new distance learning course on
Sustainable Agriculture for Rural Development sardD); direct pre-
course use of distance learning modules on statistical analysis for those
candidates who need to upgrade their skills.
* ICRA and this Project do not compete for participants, although they offer similar concepts (systems approach,
interdisciplinarity, stakeholder participation). ICRA (in its 6.5 month course with half in the field) appeals to the
"shorter end" of the long-term overseas training market (Diploma, MS, PhD), whereas the courses in this Project
(around 2 months) are in-service training aimed at the short-term training market.
** How to study an agroecosystem; Cropping systems analysis and management; Gathering GIS information and
building databases; Setting extension and research priorities

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SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

In the workshop, these senior decision-
makers will increase their ability to design
and manage research and extension programs
responsive to concerns about sustainability of
agricultural production. By participating in
exercises on team building, problem-solving
with farmers in a systems context and the use
of technology, they will emerge equipped to
support and encourage research and exten-
sion on sustainability, including its explana-
tion and defence with higher authorities.

Within the limited time that managers
have available, the workshop is designed to
work from participants' own experience to
give appropriate overviews and field
experience so that they understand better the
need for interaction with farmers and the
particular challenges faced by their scientists.
At the end of the course, participants will
translate their workshop experience into
clearer plans for supporting sustainability
research and extension in the future. The
workshop outline appears in the box below.
The workshop will be based at CIMMYT
headquarters, to give maximum opportunity

for interaction with CIMMYT staff and distin-
guished visitors, with field work in nearby
areas of Mexico. Starting early in Year 2, it will
be held once a year for two weeks involving
20-25 participants from Africa, Asia and Latin
America. Because very few women have
reached senior positions in research and exten-
sion management, wherever compatible with
the agreed strategy, preference will be given to
women candidates qualified for the workshop.

3.3. Development of case studies,
training materials and modules

In order to mount the course and the
workshop, it will be necessary to develop
specially-prepared training materials, espe-
cially case studies. Developing effective
materials for adult education on complex
topics takes a great deal of investment of
specialist time and many revisions, so that the
products are not "lecture notes" but a care-
fully designed learning route that develops
the critical faculties of each participant and
the ability to take his/her own decisions. The
preparation of the first case studies will need
to start at least six months before the first

Workshop for NARES managers and policy-makers: Outline of content
* Opening, introductions, logistics (0.2 day)
* Participants' analysis of the challenges of managing research on sustainable cropping systems group
work using guidelines offered by the course coordinators (0.8 day)
* Present state of concepts, debate and definitions in sustainable agriculture. A framework for research on
sustainable systems (1 day)
* Overview of research & development of sustainable cropping systems, & of technologies that enhance
productivity while conserving natural resources. Examples of interdisciplinary interactions (1 day)
* Team-building exercises (2 days)
* Practical field work in teams on diagnosis and priority setting with farmers, leading to a discussion of the
research necessary to fit production-enhancing resource-conserving technology to specific physical and
socio-economic conditions (3 days)
* Discussion of the necessary conditions for effective R&D on sustainable cropping systems (1 day)
* Individual work on plans to improve research and development on sustainable cropping systems in each
country including consultation with resource people on CIMMYT staff (1 day)
Total workshop duration: 10 days (2 weeks)
In a pre-workshop questionnaire sent to their home base, participants will be asked to identify those
technical and management areas that they most wish to see emphasised in the workshop.

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I1 CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

course is given. In subsequent years, they will
be improved, and new case studies will be
added. After three years, emphasis will shift
to consolidating the case studies and other
training materials into training modules that
can be used for the continuation of CIMMYT-
based training, as well as for regional and in-
country courses designed under the future
strategy (see the end of Section 3.1).
The case studies will be the main vehicle
by which course participants and, in a much
shorter time, those in the managers' workshop
will learn to address the following issues:
How does one plan and implement research
and extension on sustainable systems?
How does one define and solve
productivity and sustainability problems?
How does one forge scientists with
different disciplinary backgrounds into
true research and development teams?
How does one select from a large number of
technical options, and assess the suitability of
different options under defined conditions?
How does one assess and draw wisely on
the vast array of research and develop-
ment tools (including participatory
research tools) available to such teams?
* How can one assess whether sustainable
cropping systems R&D has made a differ-
ence? How can one measure impact?
A list of potential case studies has been
developed, using information from CIMMYT
staff and from the survey of other institutions.
A preliminary assessment has been made of
the potential for elaboration and complemen-
tarity of themes among studies. Criteria for
selection included effectiveness in illustrating:
different production-enhancing, resource-
conserving technologies; a number of
research and development stages and the
links among them; interdisciplinary interac-
tions and teamwork; the use of different tools,
depending on the stage and type of research
and extension; as well as the availability of

documentation and staff- especially from
CIMMYT with time to dedicate to acting as
advisors for case study development.
Four case studies will be drafted in Year 1
for use in the first course, selected from the
five with most advanced data and lessons (as
listed on the following page). Other potential
case studies for development in later years
have also been identified.

The case studies chosen for development
in Year 1 include a mix from maize and wheat
cropping systems (one each in the field in
Mexico), examples from different continents,
and a mix of different technical and socio-
economic themes. Two further case studies per
year will be developed in Years 2 and 3 and
one in Year 4 to cover complementary issues,
including off-site consequences, the
measurement of longer-term consequences
using different approaches, and public health
issues in external input use, for example,
herbicide management in zero till systems. Use
of participatory techniques, gender analysis
and institutional arrangements will be
reviewed in most or all of the case studies. In
Years 2 to 5, the draft case studies from
previous years will be revised and refined.

New case studies will be developed each
year approximately in parallel, with a lag of
1-2 months between the first and the last, so
as to benefit from methodological experiences
gained with the earlier studies. The strategy
of development will be similar for each (the
following stages are iterative rather than
completely sequential):
* initial collection and study of all published
and grey literature available, in consulta-
tion with a key CIMMYT informant for
each case study;
* definition of the lessons to be drawn from
each study, aiming to obtain complemen-
tarity of content and mutual reinforcement
of messages among studies;
* design (with the adult education/training

page 14

SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems page 15

materials expert) the information, drafting of the training materials
exercises, etc. necessary for each lesson; necessary to complement the case study,
* collection of further data, so as to have or identification of existing materials;
additional material available; preliminary evaluation among the
* draft preparation of the written part of the preparation team.
study, in consultation with the adult In Years 4 and 5, the major effort in
education/ training materials expert; training materials production will shift to the

Case studies expected to be developed in the first year of the Project
Sustaining maize system productivity and sustainability in drought-prone rainfed maize systems in southern
Africa: household labor and soil & water management.
Conservation tillage, direct sowing, and crop residue management in rainfed maize systems in Jalisco.
Mexico: technical performance, system interactions, factors governing adoption and related experiences in
other areas of Mexico and Central America.
Farmer and researcher interaction in the development of raised-bed land management strategies for irrigated
wheat systems in the Yaqui Valley of Mexico.
Threats to sustained productivity and soil & water quality in rice-wheat cropping systems in the Indo-
Gangetic Plains of South Asia: issues in problem definition and the identification of options for farmers
(three contrasting situations are available hillsides, mechanised plains and plains with animal traction and
the lessons and themes are different in each; one will be developed in Year 1)
Benefits of no-till agriculture and crop rotation in eastern Bolivia: technical/institutional aspects and links
with experiences elsewhere in the Southern Cone (including no-till, crop rotations, residue cover, rooting
patterns, disease-tillage interactions, and maintaining productivity instead of clearing forest)
Potential case studies for subsequent development
Velvet bean as erosion control, soil fertility enhancement and weed control in the humid lowland tropics of
Mexico and Honduras: farmer experimentation, institutional support, the use of GIS and links to research in
Africa; the use ofjackbean as a soil ameliorant, rotation crop and cattle feed in Panama.
More people, less erosion: sustainable farming systems in the Eastern Province of Kenya (based on work by
the Overseas Development Institute, UK).
Integration of social and biological scientists in participatory research in the Embu district of Kenya:
integrating agroforestry and legume crops in small farm maize systems for dryland areas (based on work by
the Natural Resources Institute, UK and KARI, Kenya).
15 years of experience with conservation tillage on maize in Ghana: technical and institutional lessons.
Sustainable wheat systems for small farmers in highland Ethiopia: effects on diseases, weeds and soil
chemical & physical properties of cropping sequences, stubble management & tillage.
Sustainable small farm wheat systems on the Central Anatolian Plateau of Turkey: fallowing, use of legumes.
rotations, and the use of long-term trials.
Rainfall-use efficiency in wheat cropping systems in the Bolivian highlands; the links between water use. soil
degradation, cropping strategies and poverty.
Hillside farming in El Salvador-Honduras: fitting solutions to different environments with GIS and
participatory research; limits to extrapolation; community decisions and research-extension linkages (in
collaboration with CIAT, Colombia, and Silsoe Research Centre, UK).
Threats to sustained productivity and soil & water quality in rice-wheat cropping systems in the Indo-
Gangetic Plains of South Asia: complementary case studies in different land types (two studies available).

SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

design of attractive, accessible training
modules that condense the main lessons from
the case studies (such as indicators of
stability; guidelines on procedures for each
stage of research on sustainability; guidelines
for teamwork and stakeholder participation;
and guidelines for use of practical tools and
analytical methods) into a few source
publications, cross-referencing the full case
studies as well as training materials available
from the project and elsewhere.

The training modules will indicate appro-
priate strategies for use of the case studies and
training materials by in-country and other
trainers and by research managers. They will
also be suitable for individual study and for
occasional reference on specific topics. To
ensure maximum accessibility, the training
modules, together with the appropriate case
studies and training materials, will be pub-
lished in paper form, and depending on
estimates of demand and opinions of NARESs,
on CD-ROM and/or the Internet.
The training modules will be an important
source for future regional and in-country
courses (including those given by universities)
and for introducing elements of research on
sustainability into existing regional courses in
maize or wheat crop management research
(e.g., those presently run by Egerton
University, Kenya; Kasetsaert University,
Thailand; INTA, Argentina; and CNPMS,
Brazil).3 As early as Year 2, the Project will be
able to act for such courses as a source of draft
case studies and training materials, and of
training materials collected from other ARIs.

3.4. Small research grants to
support former participants
In general, it is expected that the
involvement of research and extension

3 The sustainable cropping systems R&D approach is
complementary to crop management research, but
goes much further into technical, methodological and
human aspects.

managers in workshops parallel to the
courses for experienced scientists will ensure
that the conditions are in place to facilitate the
work of the scientists. However, to help
overcome situations where there are
bottlenecks to practising what has been
learned for want of small amounts of funds,
the Project Coordinator will have at his/her
disposal a fund of US$40,000 per year (1998
US dollars) in Years 2 to 5, from which small
grants may be made of up to US$4,000 per
team of former participants.

3.5. Guidance to the project

The above design of the training programs
responds closely to specific demands and
advice from NARESs and advice from ARIs.
To ensure that project implementation and
evolution of training strategies remains closely
attuned to the rapidly evolving field of
sustainable cropping systems R&D, the project
will appoint an advisory panel of six members,
representing NARES managers, NARES
research and extension specialist staff and
ARIs from developing countries. The Panel
will meet once per year, but will also be
available for further consultation by Project
staff as needs arise through fax, electronic mail
or teleconferencing.


1. 100-120 scientists working in maize and
wheat cropping systems who have the
conceptual and practical ability to mount
research and development on productiv-
ity and sustainability problems, featuring
a problem-focus and a systems approach,
incorporating a sensitivity to longer-term
and off-site consequences of technical
change. They will have knowledge of a
range of suitable technologies and
research tools, and will be sufficiently
motivated to use these skills effectively.
2. 80-100 research and extension managers
and other decision makers in agriculture
better equipped to lead, manage,

page 16

CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

encourage and support work on
sustainability, including its explanation
and defence with higher authorities.
3. A complementary portfolio of at least
eight case studies (supported as appropri-
ate by other training materials on specific
topics) suitable for practical training of
scientists on different aspects of problem-
solving, technology-based research and
development on sustainable cropping sys-
tems, conducted with appropriate use of
interdisciplinary teams and participation
of farmers and other stakeholders.
4. A set of training modules, indicating
appropriate strategies for the use of case
studies and supporting materials by in-
country and regional trainers and by
research and extension managers.
Training modules, together with the
appropriate case studies and training
materials will be published in paper form
and depending on estimates of demand,
on CD-ROM and/or the Internet.
5. An enhanced understanding of, and focus
on, sustainable cropping systems research
and development by CIMMYT staff,
aided by the crystallisation of experiences
in case studies and the interaction with
training participants.
6. Improved network collaboration on
sustainability issues among maize and
wheat scientists from developing
countries and between them and
CIMMYT scientists.
7. As a result of all the above, scientists and
managers better able to respond to the
needs of farmers, especially the resource-
poor, while maintaining the productivity
of the natural resource base for future use.

The outputs described are sufficient to
create a critical mass of scientists with
strengthened abilities, as described by the
project objective. The Project outputs will at
the same time contribute to a multiplier effect
if there are other sources of funding for

regional and in-country training that can
build on the foundations laid by this Project.


The preconditions are already in place for
the Project to contribute to its development
goal, and to provide for future sustainability
of the effort. That is:

* Many of the NARESs who will be the
clients of the Project have maintenance of
the natural resource base for agricultural
production as part of their mandate, and
each year more institutions are adding
such statements to their mandate. The
Project will reinforce that tendency.

* CIMMYT and other ARIs have sufficient
management and institutional capacity to
execute the training program for as long as
necessary. Furthermore, the program itself
is designed to reach a moderate level of
sustainability through alternative financing
of participants and the building of training
capacity in NARESs.

* The material being taught is complex, but
is adapted in style of training and concepts
to the felt needs of NARESs, as determined
in the training needs diagnosis.
During the execution of the Project, the
following elements are needed from NARESs.

* Commitment of managers (whether
trained in Project workshops or not) to
support scientists trained in sustainable
cropping systems R&D.
* Commitment by course graduates to test
and incorporate into practice the new
approaches, methods and tools to which
they have been exposed.
* Commitment at institutional levels and at
an individual level by those trained, to a
focus on teamwork, participatory
methods and a systems approach.

page 17

CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

Stability in staffing so that graduates may
practice what they learned and convey it
to others.
Willingness and ability on the part of
those trained to teach and mentor others
in their home country on sustainable
systems management.
Financial and policy support available to
run regional and in-country courses to
multiply project efforts.
The absence of any of these will signifi-
cantly reduce the Project's impact. The Project
design therefore includes measures to
increase the commitment of NARESs, by
developing strategies with and training
NARES managers (Section 3.2), by careful
selection of the professionals to be trained
(Section 3.1), and through the provision of
small research grants to teams in need of
bridging financial support (Section 3.4).


6.1. Time schedule

The workplan, including who is responsi-
ble for each activity, is shown in Figure 2.

6.2. Human resources

The Project will require the following
human resources:
The Project Coordinator will be a full-time
CIMMYT staff member. The coordinator will
lead or participate in all project activities (see
workplan, Figure 2). In particular he/she will
take the lead in the preparation of case
studies, training materials and the training
modules; act as the technical coordinator for
the courses and workshops; design and help
execute the follow-up strategy; maintain
contact with the advisory panel; and
administer the small grant fund. He/she will
be assisted by a graduate training assistant
and a bilingual secretary paid by the Project.

For the preparation of case studies and
other training materials, the Project will
engage a specialist in adult education and
training materials development for 30 weeks
of consultancy. Ideally this consultancy will
attract a single highly qualified person able to
prepare and use case studies as a training
tool. Time of CIMMYT editors and designers
is also included for improving the content
and presentation of the case studies and
training materials, especially in Years 4 and 5
when more polished case study publications
and draft training manuals will be prepared
and the products will be transferred to
electronic media.

For the preparation of case studies and for
expert contributions to the course and work-
shop, the Project will cover the cost of time of
staff from CIMMYT and other ARIs, includ-
ing sufficient time for them to prepare their
contributions. Through the training needs
and capabilities survey, a number of ARIs
have been identified as potentially suitable
collaborators (see p. 12). Preliminary
arrangements have been made with many of
these. Once funding is confirmed, memo-
randa of understanding will be drawn up
with those institutions whose input is sought
for the first year's course. In later years,
further memoranda will be prepared and
signed as needed.

It is estimated that the initial drafting of
each field case study based on Mexican expe-
rience will require about 6 weeks from the
coordinator, 2 weeks from the education
specialist, and 2 weeks of total staff time from
the key CIMMYT informant and other
CIMMYT scientists. Each classroom case
study based on Asian or African experience
will require about 8 weeks from the coordina-
tor (including a field visit to the country
concerned), 2 weeks from the education
specialist, and 3 weeks from CIMMYT staff.
The input of the existing CIMMYT
Training Services Office (a graduate and two

page 18

CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems page 19


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CIMMYF proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems page 20

secretarial assistants) will be covered by the
project based on the estimated time spent on
training administration (obtaining visas,
travel arrangements, logistic support during
courses and workshops, and administration
of the computerised records system on former
participants to aid follow-up).
The project will cover a nominal fee of
$1000/person/year for the work of the
advisory panel members, as well as the costs
of the annual one-week meeting of the panel,
held in Mexico or at another mutually-agreed
location. The costs of their communications
with each other and with CIMMYT
headquarters will also be covered.

6.3. Material resources

CIMMYT already has at its Mexico head-
quarters the infrastructure and personnel to
conduct training of a high standard, viz.:
physical facilities (including classrooms,
computer stations, laboratories, accommoda-
tions and catering services); experienced staff
active in research and training, and capable
administrative support; and experimental
stations and on-farm trial locations in
different agroecologies within easy reach.
Modest capital acquisitions will be
needed for the Project, and are therefore
included in the Project budget. In particular,
to permit participants experience with
information retrieval systems (including the
Internet) and GIS data management, the
course and workshop will require access to
more powerful desktop computers than are
presently available in CIMMYT's computer
training facility. For data measurements on
the long-term trial at CIMMYT headquarters
and at the case study sites in Mexico, the
course will require additional specialized
equipment (e.g., hand-held computers,
chlorophyll meters, and laptop computers),
the provision of more laboratory bench space,
and lab analyses of soil and plant tissue.
Because the training program will only use

these facilities for short periods each year, it
will only bear a proportion of the costs.

During the five years of the project, each
institution with which a strategy agreement
has been reached and that sends participants
at Project expense will be eligible to receive a
copy, together with site licenses, of software
for simple GIS work (e.g. "ARC-Explorer")
and CD-ROMs for information management
(probably the inexpensive AGRIS system from
FAO). The budget for training materials also
includes a lump sum for the negotiation of
licensing arrangements with institutions that
are expected to produce suitable materials that
will save CIMMYT and the Project the cost of
producing them themselves.4
A travel budget for staff and consultants
within Mexico and internationally has been
calculated separately for each component.
During case study preparation, these funds
will be used for the training coordinator's
travel to case study sites to obtain input from
CIMMYT staff. For the course and the
workshop, the category of "trainers' travel"
covers travel to Mexico of contributors from
other institutions and travel to training sites
within Mexico. For follow-up of former
course participants, including preparation of
the regional workshops in Year 4, travel is
budgeted for the Project Coordinator and the
additional travel expenses of CIMMYT
outreach staff (over and above their normal
duty travel). No additional travel is budgeted
for the preparation of training strategies with
NARES managers, since this can be handled
during travel for case study preparation or
follow-up to participants.
SThe Project will provide a gradually
decreasing number of scholarships to cover
the cost of course expenses for participants,
including travel (from/to home base and

4 An example are some of the printed materials being
prepared by Wye College, University of London, UK
for their distance education Masters' degree program
on "Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development".

1 ICIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

page 20

11 CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

while on training), board, lodging, insurance
and course materials. Other scholarships will
be provided by NARESs or by the bilateral or
regional institution that finances them.
Section 8 gives more details.


The Project will monitor its contribution
to the project objective and the development
objective through several means, as follows:
Accurate training records will be essential
for effective follow-up and for evaluation of
results. These will be managed by the CIMMYT
Training Services Office (TSO), using an
expanded and adapted version of the system it
already uses. Participants in courses and
workshops will be asked to evaluate their own
level of skills on arrival at the event and on
departure, and after one to two years working
back in their home institution. One year after
the return of each participant, CIMMYT
outreach staff and the supervisors of those
trained will be asked to comment on any
changes in the way he/she works and on the
overall effectiveness of the training strategy.
These evaluations will be entered into the TSO
database alongside standard personal
information about each participant.
CIMMYT will present annual project
technical and financial reports to the donorss.
The Center will also conduct an annual
internal assessment of the appropriateness of
the strategies being followed and the quality
of the results obtained including the effect
on CIMMYT's work in sustainability, the
multiplier effects being obtained in different
countries, and the formation of networks on
sustainable cropping systems research and
As detailed in Section 3.1, the three
regional workshops and the internally-

managed external review to be held in Year 4
will evaluate project achievements and any
problems detected, and decide the form that
the project activities should take after Year 5.


The total budget requested for the five-
year project is US$4.4 million. A detailed
budget appears in Annex 4. The budget
summaries shown in Tables 8.1 and 8.2
present expenditures in two ways: first
divided by the main activities discussed in
Section 3, and then by type of expense.
Inflation has been included at 3% per year
after Year 1.
The course and workshop are designed to
gradually become self-financing. At present,
it is proposed that in their first year of opera-
tion (Year 1 for the course and Year 2 for the
workshop), the project will fund 20 out of the
25 participants. The number of scholarships
provided by the project will decline steadily
at 5 places per year until reaching 10 per year
(i.e., in Year 3 for the course and Year 4 for
the workshop). The non-scholarship places
are intended to be filled by externally-funded
participants. From Year 2 of the course and
Year 3 of the workshop, fees for externally-
funded participants will gradually increase
until by Year 4, they cover part of the tuition
cost, not just travel, subsistence and supplies.
The fee charged to externally-funded par-
ticipants from Year 4 onwards ($10,000 for the
course and $ 3,500 for the workshop, exclud-
ing travel from/to Mexico) is similar to that
of short courses offered in developed coun-
tries for events that provide access to a much
smaller range of experienced practitioners.
CIMMYT believes that external sponsors of
participants will therefore consider the course
and workshop to be good value for money.

page 21

TI CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

Table 8.1. Budget by project component (US$000)*

Principal activity Y 1 Y2 Y 3 Y 4 Y 5 TOTAL
A-1. Course for senior agricultural professionals 441 339 229 201 211 1,421
A-2. Follow-up to course for senior professionals 50 70 105 367 147 739
B. Workshop for research managers 0 203 161 120 125 609
C. Development of case studies/training materials 286 246 247 224 196 1,199
D. Small grants to former participants 0 41 42 44 45 172
E. Project guidance and monitoring 49 51 52 54 55 261
TOTAL 826 950 836 1,010 779 4,401

Table 8.2. Budget by type of expense (US$000)*

Type of expense Y 1 Y2 Y3 Y4 Y 5 TOTAL
CIMMYT training coordinator 173 178 183 189 194 917
Other CIMMYT international staff 128 143 171 176 169 787
CIMMYT support staff 36 37 38 42 44 197
CIMMYT Training Services Office 12 22 23 24 24 105
Staff of other ARIs and consultants 73 84 80 66 60 363
Travel and subsistence for trainers (including for 85 97 107 89 89 467
training materials preparation)
Regional follow-up workshops 0 0 0 236 0 236
Office expenses 8 11 11 12 12 54
Materials production and distribution 6 6 6 20 20 58
Licensing arrangements and software 40 36 32 22 23 153
Discretionary small grants 0 41 42 44 45 172
Advisory panel 49 51 52 54 55 261
Capital 80 41 8 9 9 147
Scholarships for participants 77 91 65 59 60 352
International travel for participants 64 142 106 84 87 484
Less income from externally-funded participants (6) (32) (88) (115) (112) (353)
TOTAL 825 948 836 1,011 779 4,400
Scholarships paid by external sources (including travel 4 1 2 3 3 ,
to40 132 257 326 345 ,100
to Mexico)

* Note: figures may not sum exactly due to rounding.

page 22

SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

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page 23

I CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems Annex 1, page 1

Annex 1: Institutions that provided information during the
study of training needs and alternative suppliers

Number of questionnaire responses received shown in parenthesis
# indicates institution contacted during personal visits from or to the CIMMYT study coordinator

Institute of Agricultural Research (IAR), Ethiopia (1)
# Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Kenya (1)
Department of Agricultural Research and Technical Services, Malawi (1)
Institute des Sciences Agronomiques du Rwanda (ISAR), Rwanda (1)
National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO), Uganda (1)
Department of Research and Specialist Services, Zambia (1)
Department of Research and Specialist Services (DR&SS), Zimbabwe (2)

Bangladesh Rice Research Institute (BRRI), Bangladesh (4)
Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), Bangladesh (3)
Institute of Crop Breeding and Cultivation (ICBC), China (1)
Agricultural Research Station, Banswara, India (1)
G.B. Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, India (1)
Haryana Agricultural University, India (1)
Himachal Pradesh Agricultural University, India (1)
# Indian Council for Agricultural Research (ICAR), India
# Indian Institute of Agricultural Research (IARI), India
# Project Directorate for Cropping Systems Research, ICAR, India (1)
# Project Directorate for Wheat Research, ICAR, India
Punjab Agricultural University, India (1)
Research Institute for Maize and other Cereals (MARIF), Indonesia (1)
Seed and Plant Improvement Institute (SPII), Iran (1)
# Ministry of Agriculture, Thailand (1)

NARS-Latin America
Institute Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria (INTA), Argentina (1)
Centro de Investigaci6n Agricola Tropical (CIAT), Bolivia (1)
Institute Boliviano de Tecnologia Agropecuaria (IBTA), Bolivia (1)
Institute Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIA), Chile (2)
Corporaci6n Colombiana de Investigaci6n Agropecuaria (CORPOICA), Colombia (1)
Secretarfa de Agricultura de Antioquia, Colombia (1)
Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia (8)
Institute Nacional de Investigaciones Agropecuarias (INIAP), Ecuador (1)
Centro Nacional de Tecnologia Agropecuaria (CENTA), El Salvador (1)
Institute de Ciencia y Tecnologia Agricolas (ICTA), Guatemala (1)
Institute Nacional de Investigaciones Forestales y Agropecuarias (CENAPROS-INIFAP) Mexico
Universidad Aut6noma Agraria Antonio Narro, Mexico (1)
Institute de Investigaci6n Agropecuaria de Panama (INIAP), Panama (1)

SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems Annex 1, page 2

Centro Regional de Investigaci6n Agricola (CRIA), Paraguay (1)
Direcci6n de Investigaci6n Agricola, Paraguay (1)
Institute Nacional de Investigaci6n Agraria (INIA), Peru (1)

IARCs and other regional and international organizations
Association for Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA)
Centre for International Forestry Research, (CIFOR), Indonesia
Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT), Colombia (1)
Centro Internacional de la Papa (CIP), Peru (1)
Farm Management Service, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) (1)
# International Board for Soil Research and Management (IBSRAM), Thailand (1)
# International Centre for Development-oriented Research in Agriculture (ICRA), The Netherlands
# International Centre for Research on Agroforestry (ICRAF), Kenya
International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT), Malawi (1), Zimbabwe
(1) and India (3)
International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Nigeria
# International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), Ethiopia and Kenya
International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Philippines
# Rockefeller Foundation, Kenya
# United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Latin American Office, Mexico

# Regional Crop Management Research Training Course (Egerton University-KARI-CIMMYT),
# Regional Soil Conservation Unit (RSCU-SIDA), Kenya
# Tropical Soil Biology Foundation (TSBF), Kenya (1)
Southern African Centre for Co-operation in Agricultural & Natural Resources Research & Training
(SACCAR), Botswana (1)

# Kasetsaert University, Thailand
# Chiang Mia University, Thailand
# Khon Kaen University, Thailand
# Regional Crop Management Research Training Course (Kasetsaert University-Thai Ministry of
Agriculture-CIMMYT), Thailand
# Thailand Development Research Institute (TDRI), Thailand

ARIs-Latin America
# International Course for Latin America (ICRA-SAGAR-CP-RIMISP) on Development-oriented
Research in Agriculture, Mexico
International Wheat Crop Management Research Course, INTA, Argentina (1)
National Wheat Research Centre (CNPT-EMBRAPA), Brazil (1)
Institute Agronomico de Parand (IAPAR), Brazil (1)
Universidade Federal de Pelotas, Brazil (1)
Universidade de Passo Fundo, Brazil (1)
Red Internacional de Metodologia de Investigaci6n de Sistemas de Producci6n (RIMISP), Chile (1)

We CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems Annex 1, page 3

Australian Production Systems Research Unit (APSRU)
# University of Central Queensland
University of Queensland (1)

Centre de Cooperacion Internationale et Recherche Agronomique pour le Developpement (CIRAD),
France (1)
# Hannover University, Germany
# (AB-DLO), The Netherlands (1)
# International Agricultural Centre (IAC), The Netherlands
Institute Agron6mico Mediterrdneo de Zaragoza (IAMZ), Spain
# Natural Resources Institute (NRI), United Kingdom (1)
Organisation de Recherches Outre-Mer (ORSTOM), France (1)
# Overseas Development Institute (ODI), United Kingdom (1)
# Silsoe Research Institute, United Kingdom (1)
# Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden (2)
Universitat de Lleida (UdL), Spain
University of Hohenheim, Germany (ROTAPHOS Project-Niger) (1)
# University of Wageningen, The Netherlands
# Wye College, University of London, United Kingdom

ARIs-North America
Colorado State University, USA (2)
# Cornell University, USA (1)
# Kansas State University, USA
# Mid-American Universities Agricultural Consortium, USA
Michigan State University, USA
SANREM-CRSP, University of Georgia, USA (1)
Texas A&M University, USA
University of Florida, USA (1)
World Resources Institute, USA (1)

Donor agencies
# Department for International Development (DFID), United Kingdom
# Rockefeller Foundation (Africa Regional Office), Kenya
# Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Sweden

SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

Annex 2: Summary of findings of study on sustainable cropping systems training

Questionnaires sent and replies received (Table 1)
The response rate from ARIs and from NARESs was above that normally expected in a mailed
questionnaire, apparently indicating the strong interest in this theme. The response from CIMMYT
outreach staff was very high and amply covered CIMMYT's different locations and programs.
Table 1. Questionnaire responses and consultation during the study

Asia Africa WANA America Outreach HQ ARIs TOTAL
No. of questionnaires sent 32* 16 15* 31 30 6" 80 210
No. of countries covered 9 14 8 18 15 1 27 65
People responding or acknow- 5 9 1 17 22 14 51 119
lodging in some form
Questionnaire responses
No.of countries 6 7 1 11 12 1 19 34
S .N o s i o n e.. ........ ... ...... .... ...... ... ......... I ........ ....... ....... ........ ..... ....... ........... ....... ....... .. ...... .......... 0....
No. of institutions 12 7 1 15 1 1 27 64
eso ses16 8 1 23 19 10 33 110
No. of responses in time for 13 8 1 22 18 10 32 104
r analysis
Total providing information
No .of countries .................... ....................................................................................... .................
No. of countries 6 7 1 11 12 1 26 40
No. of institutions 15 7 1 16 1 1 59 100
Questionnaires for India were distributed through the ICAR Wheat Directorate,
and for Bangladesh and Turkey, through CIMMYT outreach staff.
** Distributed through CIMMYT program directors.

Priority themes to be included in the course for experienced researchers (Table 2)
Respondents were asked to rank each of 32 themes as "top priority", "second priority" or "not
important for inclusion in the course". ARIs were also asked to say in which themes they had
expertise and in which they offered training (as part of their courses).
In broad terms, almost all themes were considered of high priority. Only three themes were rated as
"not important for inclusion" by more than 10% of respondents.* There was some variation overall
and among groups of respondents in the priority given to the groups of themes "sustainability
issues in agriculture", "implementation of solutions to sustainability and systems problems",
"elements of sustainable cropping systems and "systems research tools", but all were considered
important. Within each group, some themes received very variable evaluations among groups of
respondents for example "long term field experiments" was among the top priorities for all
groups except ARIs (who also said they had little expertise and offer little training on this theme)
and "nutrient, water and energy balances" were considered as very important by ARIs, but of lower
priority by the other groups.

*Plant breeding for efficient input use (16%); Handling crop-animal interactions (12%); Linear programming (11%).

Anznex 2, page I

SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

Table 2. Priority given to themes and availability of ARI support

Priority Score (100 = All said "top priority"; 50 = On average, Number of ARIs
all said second priority; 0 = All said "of no imported ) (n=32)
Asia& Latin CIMMYT CIMMYT exper- offering
Theme Africa America Outreach HQ ARls Mean tise training
Sustainability issues in agriculture
Principles of sustainability 95 93 85 85 87 90 20 10
Factors affecting sustainability 91 90 82 85 95 90 21 10
Systems perspectives/approaches to agric. R&D 93 68 74 75 94 83 19 11
Overview of sustainability issues in wheat- & maize- 77 73 91 90 64 76 5 3
based cropping systems
Mean score (Sustainability Issues) 89 81 83 84 85 85 16 9
Elements of sustainable cropping systems
Soil management (physical/chemical conditions; soil 89 98 91 95 93 93 16 10
organic matter management)
Water mngmt (factors affecting water infiltration) 80 93 88 95 79 85 14 8
Rotations & intercrops, green manures, agroforestry 81 81 82 95 86 84 16 9
Integrated weed & pest management 80 83 76 75 88 82 18 7
Erosion control 64 84 79 100 87 81 13 8
Crop residue management 74 71 85 90 84 80 15 8
Tillage & soil compaction 80 79 71 90 69 76 13 6
Crop nutrition 79 81 56 70 79 74 16 7
Economics & policy interventions 77 57 68 65 88 73 15 6
Handling crop-animal interactions 52 69 50 67 82 66 11 4
Plant breeding for efficient input use 73 50 59 55 63 61 10 3
Mean score (Elements of sustainable systems) 75 77 73 82 82 78 14 7
Systems research tools
Long-term field experiments (on-station, on-farm) 86 86 91 85 70 82 9 2
Diagnostic tools: whole-farm surveys, focused surveys, 76 73 81 85 85 80 17 7
farmer interviews, etc.
Diagnostic field techniques for crops 83 83 not asked not asked 70 78 11 3
Nutrient, water & energy balances 76 69 75 65 86 76 12 5
Econ. analysis: time-flows of benefits, discounting, etc. 71 71 78 60 79 74 12 7
Extrapolating in space: geographic info. systems 64 73 78 72 67 70 14 10
Extrapolating in time: crop & soil models, chronosequencing 60 75 66 78 70 69 14 8
Linear programming 55 60 90 61 48 61 11 5
Mean score (Systems research tools) 72 74 80 72 72 74 13 6
Implementation of solutions to sustainability & systems
Diagnosis, planning & priority setting 95 93 79 90 92 90 13 4
Identifying appropriate technologies for farmers 88 82 79 86 95 87 12 5
Building 'systems teams' (interdisciplinary collaboration 76 83 76 80 93 83 14 7
& integration)
The role of farmer participatory research 81 86 74 67 90 82 14 6
Factors affecting adoption 79 71 76 83 84 79 10 3
Evaluation of effects: on-site & off-site consequences; 82 59 79 72 91 79 10 3
general environmental impact
Iterative steps for R&D: Planning -+ Research -4 Vali- 86 81 59 75 81 78 9 3
dation -+ Demonstration Extension -- Adoption
Targeting environments & clients (incl. gender analysis) 73 67 82 67 81 75 9 4
Mean score (Implementaion of solutions) 83 78 76 78 88 82 11 4

Annex 2, page 2

1 CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

There was a slight tendency for more ARIs to have expertise and offer training in the themes that
emerged as of higher priority important exceptions were almost all the themes to do with
implementation there was surprisingly little experience in diagnosis, planning and priority
setting; in identifying appropriate technologies for farmers; and in the role of farmer participatory
research diagnostic field techniques for crops and long-term field experiments.
Many other themes were suggested for inclusion some reflecting personal interests of
respondents, or rephrasing and expansion of those already in the list. A number of useful
suggestions were incorporated into the revised list of themes, especially under "elements of
sustainable cropping systems". Many other suggestions were received in discussion with other
informants who had not necessarily responded to the questionnaire.
A view that was almost universally voiced was that the course should frame technology, technical
analysis and the use of appropriate tools within the broader context of how and why to implement
research and development on sustainable cropping systems.

Preferred length of the course (Table 3)
There was a huge range from 1.5 weeks to one year! in the responses of individuals, but the
median and mean responses for each group were easier to interpret. Medians were lower than
means for each group because of a few very high responses, and are considered a better guide to
what is generally acceptable. CIMMYT HQ staff and anglophone NARESs tended to favour a rather
longer course (11-14 weeks) than
the other groups (8-9 weeks). The Table 3. Preferred length of course for experienced scientists
overall median was 10 weeks. NARESs NARESs Total
Discussion during travels, and Asia& Latin CIMMYT CIMMYT or
some of the questionnaire Africa America Outreach HQ ARIs mean
comments, revealed that many # replies 21 19 16 7 28 91
informants were concerned that Mean 14.7 12.2 10.8 14.7 10.2 12.1*
the course would lose the most Median 11.4 9.3 8 13.9 8.3 10.1
important, influential and capable Minimum 3 2 3.5 8.5 1.5 1.5
participants if it were more than 6- Maximum 52 26 26 26 26 52
8 weeks long. Mean = 12.8 without outlier

Would supervised practice at homebase be appropriate as a condition for receiving the
course diploma? (Table 4)
A very high proportion of NARES respondents (over 90%) and ARI respondents (87%) was in
favour of this idea. Support among
CIMMYT outreach staff was lower Table 4. Would you be in favour of supervised practice at home base
(69%), apren accord to as a requirement for receiving the final course qualification?
(69%), apparently, according to
some comments, because of the NARESs NARESs Total
potential difficulty of Asia & Latin CIMMYT CIMMYT or
implementation. Further Africa America Outreach HQ ARls Mean
discussion led to the idea that # replies 22 19 16 9 31 97
practice at homebase was vital, but % Yes 91 90 69 89 87 86
should not necessarily be a %No 9 10 31 11 13 14
condition of "passing" the course.

Annex 2, page 3

II CIMMYT proposal: Traniing in sustainable cropping systems

Preferred design of training activity for managers (Table 5 and 6)
For managers, respondents were asked whether they would recommend a short course (that is, with
a number of formal lectures) or a workshop (in which adult education would use as its starting
point the experiences of the managers, and concentrate more on discussion). They were also asked
whether, given the limited time, field work should be included or not. ARIs, CIMMYT outreach
staff and Latin American NARESs ranked a workshop with field work as clearly preferable to the
other options; while Asian/African NARESs and CIMMYT HQ staff gave equal ranking to the short
course and workshop format, while emphasising the importance of field work. One respondent
pointed out that there might need to be different designs of workshops for managers depending on
the main emphasis
Sa workshop con- Table 5. Preference for type of training activity for managers
- a workshop con- (4 points for first preference; 2 for second; 1 for third)
concerned mostly
with institutional NARESs NARESs
arrangements Asia& Latin CIMMYT CIMMYT
might not need Africa America Outreach HQ ARIs TOTAL
field work; one that Short course with field work 68 38 19 22 40 187
explored appropri- Short course without field work 17 12 7 5 26 67
ate solutions for Workshop with field work 64 61 55 22 70 272
farmers would Workshop without field work 18 27 28 5 36 114
need to include Number of replies 22 22 18 10 32 104
field work.

NARESs and CIMMYT outreach staff
were also asked whether staff of other
institutions should attend the training
activity for managers. The response
(Table 6) was strongly positive from
NARESs and positive from outreach
staff. The institutions suggested
included universities, NGOs and
other government departments
(including policy makers, land
planners, and planning officials).

Table 6. Are there other institutions that should participate
in the training for NARESs managers?
Asia & Latin CIMMYT CIMMYT HQ, weighted
Africa America Outreach ARIs mean
#replies 21 19 16 56
Yes (%) 76 95 50 NOT 75
No(%) 0 0 19 ASKED 5
Not sure (%) 24 5 31 _20

Preferred length of training activity for managers (Table 7)
The range of opinion was less extreme than in the question about the main course. Some respondents
in all groups thought that the Table 7. Preferred length of training event for managers
workshop for managers should be
no longer than 1 to 1 weeks. The NARESs NARESs Total
maximum lengths suggested by Asia & Latin CIMMYT CIMMYT or
CIMMYT staff and ARIs were five Africa America Outreach HQ ARIs Mean
weeks, but some NARESs respon- # replies 22 21 16 10 31 100
dents thought they could release Mean 3.5 3.3 2.4 3.0 2.3 2.9
their managers for longer, which Median 2.2 2.5 2.1 2.8 2.0 2.0
seems unlikely in our opinion. The Minimum 1.0 1.5 1.0 1.5 1.0 1.0
median length suggested by each Maximum 12.0 8.0 4.5 5.0 5.0 12.0

Annex 2, page 4

1 CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

group ranged from 2 weeks (ARIs) to 2.8 weeks (CIMMYT HQ), and the overall median for all the
responses was 2 weeks (because of the large number of answers at that level in all groups). Further
discussions during visits emphasised the importance of keeping the workshop/short course short
enough so that key managers would attend most saw 2 weeks absence as the maximum managers
would contemplate.

Estimates of demand for the course (Table 8 and 9)

Extremely detailed information was obtained from NARES directors about their present staffing by
disciplinary area, staff academic levels and the plans for training them in the future; these will be
vital for strategy discussions with NARESs once the training program has commenced. Data
presented in Table 8 (see next page) show demand by discipline and by present degree status from
27 institutions in 20 countries that estimated the total demand for non-degree training. Although
the question asked about the demand for all in-service short courses, the way most institutions
answered the question (for example, by noting a low proportion of their plant breeders for training)
implies that they were answering with the newly-proposed course in mind.

Some institutions (e.g. INIAP Ecuador, KARI Kenya, BRRI Bangladesh, ICTA Guatemala,
Universidad Nacional Colombia, DR&SS Zimbabwe, DR&SS Zambia, DAR&TS Malawi) showed a
particularly strong demand for training of this type. In total, over 700 candidates from the 27
institutions will be candidates for short term training in the next five years. With small exceptions
(more pest management in Africa & Asia; more cropping systems in Latin America), the patterns of
demand by discipline were extremely similar between the two language groupings. Overall, 34% of
candidates are general or cropping systems agronomists, 19% are specialists in soil or water
management, 15 % in weed or pest management, 4% in agroforestry, 2% in GIS, 8% in economics
and 18% in plant breeding.

The profile by present degree level of potential candidates varies greatly among countries and
continents. Bachelors' degree (ingeniero or licenciado) candidates are 69% of the total in Latin
America and are the majority except in Colombia and Chile some might argue that these degrees

are anyway equivalent preparation to
masters' degrees from many other
countries. In Africa and Asia, those
with a masters' degree (53%) tend to
predominate, although many poten-
tial candidates (22%) have a Ph.D.
CIMMYT outreach staff are usually
able to make broader estimates
covering several countries (see Table
9). Unlike NARESs respondents, they
were asked specifically to make
estimates for the proposed course
only. Even with their more
conservative present estimates of
demand (ca. 350 candidates
worldwide over 5 years), it is clear
that the proposed CIMMYT based
course (with 125 available places)

Table 9. Estimate of demand in the principal countries with which
CIMMYT outreach staff work

Number of Estimated demand (5 years)
developing Course for Workshop for
countries experienced research
Region included researchers managers
South, Southeast & East Asia 8 50 30
West Asia & North Africa 8 20 15
W & C Asia (former USSR) 8 40 15
Eastern Africa 8 50 15
Southern Africa 8 60 15
West Africa 8 16 15
South America 10 60 25
Central America 6 40 12
Mexico 1 10 6
TOTAL 65 346 148
Source: Study coordinator's consolidation of CIMMYT outreach estimates
for different countries and cropping systems with which they work.

Annex 2, page 5

CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

Annex 2, page 6

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SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

would be at least 3 times oversubscribed, and therefore that there is sufficient demand to justify a
strategy of building up regional and in-country training capacity.

Estimates of demand for managers' training (Table 8 and 9)
NARESs that responded to this question (29 institutions from 22 countries) estimated they would
need from 2 to 22 places on the workshop or short course over the next five years (Table 8, final
column), with a mean demand of ca. 8 places per institution. Total demand estimated by CIMMYT
outreach staff (148 places for 65 countries) was much more conservative than that from NARESs
(229 places for the 22 countries responding). In either case, the workshop proposed (100 places over
4 years) would be oversubscribed.

Other training available (Table 10)
Only eight NARESs responding to the questionnaire (IBTA Bolivia, ICBC China, Secretaria de
Agriculture de Antioquia & Universidad Nacional Colombia, INIAP Ecuador, MARIF Indonesia,
UAAAN Mexico and DoA Thailand) say that they presently offer any training in sustainable
cropping systems or sustainability, all of them to staff of their own institution and others in their
country. All cover a relatively limited number of themes (e.g. sustainable farm management,
agroecology, on-farm research, soil, disease or fertility management, agroforestry).
Table 10. Training courses offered by advanced research institutions (ARIs)

Year first Duration Participants
Country Institution Training course/program offered (weeks) per year
Australia University of Queensland Customised courses Not stated Variable Variable
Brazil CNPT Specialization in no-till 1995 40 30
cropping systems
Brazil Universidade Federal Farming systems 1989 16 5
de Pelotas postgraduate course
Brazil U. de Passo Fundo Integrated disease management 1986 12 10
Chile RIMISP Seven modules on FSR/E 1986 1 to 3 50 to 100
India ICRISAT Evaluation of sustainability of 1994 2 30
rice-wheat systems
Italy FAO Farm Various courses on farming 1985 Variable 50
Management Service systems development
Kenya TSBF Organic matter management Not stated 2 Variable
Netherlands University of Wageningen Parts of MSc courses Not stated Variable Variable
Niger ROTAPHOS Project Non-destructive cropping 1996 0.4 15
systems monitoring
Peru CIP Watershed management in 1996 "10% of 20
the Andean ecoregion course"
Thailand IBSRAM Transfer of land manage- 1994 9 40
ment technologies
UK Silsoe Research Institute Sustainable hillside agriculture 1996 2 30
USA World Resources Institute PRA training (by Latin Not stated Variable Variable
American collaborators)_

Annex 2, page 7

I CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems Annex 2, page 8

Twenty out of 32 ARIs (62%) answering the questionnaire say that they conduct some training in
the area of sustainable cropping systems, but all explain that the training they offer is in some
aspects only, as illustrated by Table 2. Table 10 gives more information. A thorough search for
other institutions, not contacted through the questionnaire, that might already be providing
training similar to that proposed by CIMMYT was conducted through asking outreach staff in each
region and through travel and further discussion after receiving the results of the questionnaire. A
number of other institutions were identified that offer training in specialised areas of sustainability,
complementary to CIMMYT's knowledge (Cornell University, USA; Colorado State University,
USA; and Wye College, UK), but no institution offers, or plans at this moment to offer, a course of
the type proposed by CIMMYT. CATIE, Costa Rica offered a three-month course "Research and
Development for Sustainable Agriculture" for Latin American scientists in 1994 and 1995, but it was
discontinued for lack of new funding.

Material suitable for case studies
There was a strong response to the request in the questionnaire for suggestions of material suitable
for development into case studies. 25 NARES respondents (57%), 23 ARI respondents (72%) and 18
CIMMYT respondents (64%) made specific suggestions. An analysis of the topics suggested
indicated that many of those directly available from CIMMYT staff covered as wide a range of
themes and environments as those from most other institutions. However, there were a few
outstanding possibilities from other institutions, and, as important, a very valuable resource from
which to complement and extend over several years the experiences presently available to
CIMMYT. It was beyond the time resources of the present study to explore in more depth most of
the case study proposals from other institutions, beyond the necessarily brief description given in
questionnaire answers.
A number of ARIs and NARESs indicated that additional information about potential case studies
was available in formal and informal publications. Thirty institutions (including 21 ARIs) suggested
materials that might be suitable as training materials and some were kind enough to send copies.
Most are not specifically designed for training, but would be suitable as background reading. The
study concluded that there is a great need (a) to consolidate and make accessible the best of the
material already available and (b) to prepare custom-designed materials and case studies for
training in sustainable cropping systems.

Suggestions and comments
The reactions from questionnaire respondents and from those interviewed in depth were very
positive. No respondent questioned the usefulness of the training proposal, nor claimed to be
offering something similar already. In particular, there was a strong degree of support from ARIs
for the idea of supporting NARESs on research in sustainability through CIMMYT as a facilitator.
29 out of 32 ARI questionnaire respondents stated that they would like to continue to be considered
as potential collaborators in this endeavour and none requested to be eliminated from the list of
those considered. Of course, some of those who didn't respond may not have been interested, but a
number of notes of support apologised for not making the questionnaire deadline, or promised
replies which for one reason or another didn't arrive at CIMMYT. The study consultations have
also served to gather CIMMYT opinion and reach consensus about suitable approaches. In
particular, CIMMYT outreach staff, a diverse team with different needs and concerns in each region,
have from the start expressed strong support.

SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems Annex 2, page 9

In the detail of their comments, several respondents emphasised the importance of the following:
use of participatory, farmer-oriented methods; interdisciplinarity; involving all stakeholders in
research and extension; visits to sites where research on sustainability has yielded results; taking
into account the influence of policy, social and cultural environments on the use of technology.
Some comments from eastern Africa favoured a regional training experience rather than an
international one, but others favoured an international course because of greater mixing of opinion
and experiences.
In their responses NARESs of course have been pleased to note a new source of training
opportunities, perhaps with external funding. However, many of the comments go far beyond self-
interest (see following box). Apart from their desire to continue participating, some ARIs also added
especially supportive comments.

Comments from NARES and ARI staff
"Congratulations on the initiative. We shall be delighted to participate in these training programs".
Ing. Agr. Vicente Novoa, Subdirector, INIAP, Ecuador.

"In this part of Bolivia we have also begun to orient research towards sustainable agriculture; we
believe that when we achieve that objective we will reach a balance in the exploitation of nature by
mankind". Dr Tito Claure, Head of Maize Program, IBTA, Bolivia.

"The program is necessary and complete. There is no doubt it will be a success, given present day
tendencies towards systems analysis for agricultural problems". Dr Rafael Aubad L6pez, Director
General, CORPOICA, Colombia.
"We are highly encouraged by this proposal for a sustainable cropping systems training program".
Dr Denis T. Kyetere, Namulonge Agricultural research Station, Uganda.

"The sooner these training programs are initiated, the better" Dr G.M. Panaullah, BRRI, Bangaldesh.

"I think this kind of course is very important to help national researchers in developing countries
plan local research in sustainable cropping systems. (....) I hope that this important project goes
ahead straight away and achieves all its purposes." Ing Agr Gustavo Merten, Soil Scientist, IAPAR,
"We shall be most pleased to contribute and participate, especially on highland cropping systems."
Dr Patricio Malagamba, Head of Training, International Potato Centre.

SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems Annex 3, page 1

Annex 3: Detailed content of course for experienced researchers*

1. Participants' presentations of a sustainability problem from their own work (2.5 days)
Participants will be asked to come to the course with their presentation pre-prepared. They will also
be asked to bring sufficient background data, etc. to permit them to develop future research plans
(and extension plans, if appropriate) during the last module in the course.
Those participants attending as members of small teams could make joint presentations in which
they emphasise the role of each participant and the interdisciplinary links among them.
The course will discuss the presentations and make suggestions for improving the work (in groups,
then in plenary).

2. Sustainability issues in agriculture the overall context (1.5 days + 1.5 day case study)
Principles of sustainability. Tension and trade-off between productivity and sustainability. Review
of present state-of-play (and confusion) in concepts.
Definitions that include some or all of biological, physical, economic, sociocultural measures. The
problems of measuring sustainability. The context and focus of the present course.
Systems perspectives/systems approach to agricultural R&D issues of scale and the factors that
make a difference at each level. Relationship with the types of model that can be used. Possible
indicators of sustainability.
Overview of sustainability issues in different agroecologies around the world. Overview of sustain-
ability issues in wheat and maize cropping systems. Sustainability, and otherwise, of examples of
present agricultural practices (those which are more and less damaging, and possibilities for
change). Factors affecting sustainability (inc. global change and climatic variability).

3. A framework for research on sustainable systems (1 day)
The relevance of research and its social role and context. Ethics of agricultural research and exten-
sion. Intergenerational equity. Appropriate objectives for research on sustainability.
Proposed framework for research on natural resources management: Understanding and defining
problems and opportunities; expanding and understanding the array of options; tailoring proto-
types to farming systems; understanding and accelerating adoption; scaling up; understanding the
consequences of change.
Role of different research approaches (especially use of participatory approaches with different
stakeholders) at different stages of the framework.
Role of different methods and tools in achieving objectives at different stages of the framework.

4. Team-building exercises (3 days)
Classroom exercises to draw attention to the importance of teamwork and ways of building teams.
Interdisciplinary collaboration and integration. Building interdisciplinarity in individual scientists
(and the knowledge of how and when to contact disciplinary specialists), especially when human
resources are scarce.

* The outline refers to the "mature" course; in the first year, only four case studies, not five will be available, so the
course structure will be modified slightly.

SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems Annex 3, page 2

5. Problem-solving research and interdisciplinarity, including field teamwork on diagnosis
and priority setting with farmers (2 day introductory case study plus 8 days)
Why problem-solving/participation/client orientation and interdisciplinarity are essential for
tackling challenges of sustainable systems (link back to modules 3 and 4). Different uses of
participatory research.
Roles of farmers in diagnosis, planning, suggesting technical prototypes, informing the discussion
of the performance of prototypes under different conditions, in technology adaptation and screen-
ing through participatory experimentation, in analysis of results, in describing factors governing
adoption, and in technology targeting/dissemination. Methodologies for achieving each of these.
Importance of gender analysis. Indigenous knowledge. Combining farmer and researcher/
extensionist knowledge. How communities organise themselves; how organisation can be
facilitated. Linking research to development through farmers, NGOs, extensionists.
Diagnostic tools: whole-farm surveys, focused surveys, farmer interviews, etc. Diagnostic field
techniques for crops and for the physical environment (soil OM, water use/runoff, pest counts, etc.).
Simple and affordable soil nutrient analyses. Interpretation of soil profiles. Use of non-destructive
monitoring and survey tools for plants/animals.
Targeting environments and clients (including gender analysis). Identifying appropriate technolo-
gies for farmers. Sampling, precision, repeatability, relevance to farmers in participatory research.
Iterative steps for participatory R&D, and the appropriate feedback loops: diagnosis, planning,
research and extension as a continuum (validation and demonstration as flexible processes used at
appropriate moments, as needed). Factors affecting adoption.
Scale and stakeholders in participatory planning methods. Mention of different, related tools
(OOPP, ZOPP, etc.). Planning based on farmer groups, communities, micro-watersheds, watersheds
advantages and disadvantages of different approaches. Stakeholders and how to include them.
Occasional conflict of farmer and societal interests and how to deal with it.
Diagnosis and priority setting with farmers practical exercise in a specially selected area of Mexico,
interspersed with self-evaluation by the groups of participants. Interpretation of secondary informa-
tion with special reference to issues of sustainability (soil maps, slope maps, historical series of produc-
tion data). Method of contact with local institutions and farmers to ensure participation and ownership.
Participatory diagnosis (field observations, discussions, use of participatory tools). Elucidation of
problems, causes, solutions, actions with farmers, and appropriate tools for achieving this.
Handling research results with farmers, other researchers, extensionists, policy makers and other
stakeholders. When are results sufficiently reliable to take action with different stakeholders?
Evaluation of effects: on-site and off-site consequences; general environmental impact. Linking
research results to policy options. Links between research applicable to smallholders and to large
farmers on sustainability issues.

6. Productivity-enhancing, resource-conserving technologies; examples of sustainability
issues in each discipline; interactions among disciplines (10 days)
Classroom and field sessions, using the long term trial at CIMMYT headquarters as a "platform".
Residue management/conservation tillage will be used as an organising theme since it impinges on all the
"types of technology" grouped below and puts each in a "systems perspective": crop nutrient management,
soil fertility management, soil physics, water use efficiency, soil health, integrated weed and pest management,

SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems Annex 3, page 3

efficient energy use, crop-livestock interactions, plant breeding for sustainable systems, and economics and
policy issues.
At the same time, the course coordinator will ensure that interactions with other disciplines are brought out by
each specialist teacher, and during discussion.
Crop nutrient management. Organic and inorganic sources of nutrients. Nutrient management in
sustainable systems. Crop residue management. Rotations and intercrops (including agroforestry),
green manuring. Effects of soil fauna and organic matter on soil nutrient management and soil
chemical content.(1 day)
Intensification of agricultural production systems. Undesirable effects of some types of intensifica-
tion (salinisation, sodification, acidification, contamination) and how to overcome them. (0.5 day)
Soil management (physical/chemical conditions; soil organic matter management, management of
soil flora and fauna). Biological ploughs. Effect of crop, tillage, green manure, type of draft power,
livestock grazing and soil fauna on soil compaction; small and large farm machinery and its effect
on soils and adoption by farmers. Sustainable sources of energy for agriculture. (1.5 day)
Water management (factors affecting water infiltration and water use efficiency). Efficient use of
water by crops. Methods to increase infiltration. Interaction with soil management. Erosion control:
alley cropping, erosion control strips planted on the contour, mechanically-formed terraces (and
their problems), cover crops. Water harvesting. (1 day)
Integrated weed and pest management. Relationship between crop rotation, soil management, crop
residues and diseases/pests of maize, wheat and rice. Interactions of tillage (especially no-till) with
pests and diseases. Small farmer identification of the proper timing of pesticide application (farmer
monitoring in Indonesia, Philippines successes and limitations). Weed control: herbicide rotation,
herbicide residues, tillage effects on seed banks, allelopathy and green manures. Post-harvest
technology (storage, processing, etc.), for sustainable production. (1.5 day)
Crop management and sustainability: variety selection, stand establishment, adapting plant density
to water availability and soil quality, appropriate use of agrochemicals, etc. (0.5 day)
Crop-animal interactions. Feeding/grazing of residues. Draft power. Problems of seasonal feed
shortage and cropping strategies to resolve it. Manure (on- and off-site) and composting. Variability
of quality of organic manures and their use in experiments. Economics of mixed systems.(1 day)
Plant breeding for: efficient input use, pest resistance, drought tolerance, adaptation to low
nitrogen, competition with weeds, adaptation to intercropping, residue production, use in
minimum till systems, etc. Practical importance of biodiversity. Access to plant genetic resources.
Transgenic plants in sustainable agricultural systems (ethics, testing, deployment) (1 day)
Policy interventions and their interaction with new production technologies. Property rights and
common property and their effect on the adoptability of solutions. The increased commercialization
of agricultural systems and linkages to other sectors of the economy (including role of migration
and off-farm labour, cultural change and shifts in cropping systems). Linkages of agriculture to
urban systems. Changes in the public sector and their impact on agricultural research and
extension, and how they may affect the quest for sustainable agricultural systems. Increasing
involvement of the private sector in agriculture and its impact on sustainability of agricultural
systems. (1.5 day).
Information management for sustainable cropping systems. Management of information sources,
including Internet and CD ROMs, use of scientist and farmer knowledge, access to experiences of

SCIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems Annex 3, page 4

development projects. (0.5 day)
Note: Optional practice in computer skills and new software will be available in the evenings to those who
need it. Participants who know little of experimental design or personal computing will be encouraged to take
special courses (e.g. the distance learning available from Wye College, University of London) before attending
a course.

7. In-depth work on further case studies one in the class and two in the field that
illustrate technical solutions, different stages of the research framework, different
sustainability issues, the use of systems research methods and tools and the interactions
among disciplines (12 days, plus weekend travel as appropriate)
Case studies will be used to illustrate (a) the use of a wide range of technical solutions; (b) the movement
through various stages of the framework for NRM see module 3 ; (c) interdisciplinary links see module 6;
and ( d) a selection of thefollowing systems research tools, chosen as appropriatefor different stages of the
framework. It will not be possible to study all tools in depth in each course.
Use of a range of tools for defining problems and opportunities/understanding change (participatory
diagnosis, formal surveys, informal surveys, biological sampling, experimentation, agroecosystem
mapping, community resource mapping, gender analysis, historical studies, causal analysis etc.)
Integration of a range of tools for generating/understanding the array of options: use of scientists'
experience; study of scientific literature; project experience; farmer innovation.
Nutrient, water and energy balances at plot, farm or watershed level
Use of natural weed and pest infestation and appropriate non-parametric statistics for analysis
Appropriate experimental designs and statistical analysis across years and locations. Design,
conduct and analysis of long-term field experiments. Interpolating or extrapolating in time: crop
and soil models. Interpolating or extrapolating in space: GIS, definition of extrapolation domains.
Modelling to extend the usefulness of experimental results; link between GIS and modelling.
Economic analysis, including time-flows of benefits, discounting, etc. Risk analysis
Impact assessment (acceptability studies, adoption studies). Policy analysis and policy workshops.
Decision support systems.
Strategic disciplinary research; strategic technical research; participatory research.

8. Development of plans (individual or teams) for home areas based on the problem
presented at the start of the course (3 days)
Participants will prepare and present plans for future research (and extension, if appropriate) based
on the presentations they made earlier, the comments of other participants, what they have learned
in the course, and consultations with individual staff members and other participants during their
time at CIMMYT.
As before, those participants attending as small teams could make joint presentations, provided
they emphasise the role of each participant and the interdisciplinary links among them.
The course will discuss the presentations and make suggestions for improving the proposals (in
groups, then in plenary). The collection of written proposals will be a product given to all course
members, and a commitment of each to CIMMYT, to their home institution and to the other
members of the course.

CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

Annex 4, page 1

11 CIMMYT proposal: Training in sustainable cropping systems

Annex 4, page 2

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