Title: Reports from Art Hansen, at the Chitedze Research Station in Lilongwe, Malawi
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Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00087426/00002
 Material Information
Title: Reports from Art Hansen, at the Chitedze Research Station in Lilongwe, Malawi
Physical Description: Serial
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Bibliographic ID: UF00087426
Volume ID: VID00002
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
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TEL. 721855
QUARTERLY REPORT April 1 to June 30, 1981



Farming systems rapid reconnaissance surveys were conducted
in the three high priority areas identified in the work plan:
Lilongwe Land Development Project (LLDP) area of Lilongwe Agricultural
Development Division (ADD)in Central Region in late April, Phalombe
Project of Blantyre ADD in Southern Region in mid May, and Chitipa
district of Karonga ADD in Northern Region in early June. Each
survey involved planning meetings in the ADD, then a group of
approximately ten Ministry of Agriculture staff from various departments
(principally research, extension and evaluation) spent three days
interviewing smallhol ders and observing their fields, followed by
one or two days in which the group analyzed the data and suggested
recommendations for action by various departments. In each site the
survey resulted in recommendations for immediate action, for on-farm
farmer-managed trials, and for other needed research (see the trip
reports for further information). These recommendations have been
presented informally at various levels of DAR and the Ministry and
will serve as the basis for continued farming systems research and
extension programs in those three areas. No more general surveys
will be initiated in other areas until early in 1982 when the crops
are in the ground again so fields may be observed.

The originally proposed methodology called for a verification
survey to be run after the rapid reconnaissance. This has been
changed due to the presence in these sites of existent evaluation
data and extension staff. Verification and amplification of the
rapid survey data and recommendations will now be sought from
resident staff (research, extension and evaluation), from re-analysis
of evaluation data for the area, and from interaction with local
farmers in the longitudinal study samples. As research trials are
planned and conducted (both on-farm and on-station), special surveys
may be run to clarify specific points, but the rapid reconnaissance
surveys here have proven themselves to be powerful diagnostic tools.
The insights and the directions for research and extension that
the rapid surveys have provided are solid enough that verification
at that level appears to be a Waste of resources.

The longitudinal studies of smallholder innovativeness and
decision-making were initiated in Chitipa in early June with the
identification and baseline interviewing of a sample of approximately
50 geographically contiguous households. This sample contains a
few who use fertilizer and the improved UCA maize variety which
is acquired on credit, but the majority of smallholders in the sample
do not use any of these inputs. It is anticipated that the study
of these contiguous households over time will reveal some of the
social, economic and political dynamics behind the acceptance and
refusal of credit and production inputs. Other samples will be
identified and interviewed in the Lilongwe and Phalombe areas during
the next quarter.

- *



A group of research, extension and evaluation staff in each
of the three areas received in-serVice training in farming systems
research by participating in a survey (see research above). In
addition, two research staff (one agronomist and one member of the
social research staff) attended a ten day workshop in April in
Nairobi, Kenya on adaptive research. The workshop was sponsored
by the CIMMYT Eastern Africa Economics Program. Introductory
seminars on farming systems research will be scheduled in the three
regions during the next quarter to acquaint the rest of the DAR
with the concepts and purpose.


There is only one Technical Officer (T.O) assigned to farming
systems research and no Professional Officers (P.O.) as yet. Although
the T.O. was sent to the CIMMYT course and received some in-service
training in March during the Lilongwe orientation toAY,she was in
Kenya during the April Lilongwe area survey, and she was unable
to travel to Phalombe or Chitipa because of her young children. This
limitation to the Lilongwe area prevents her from receiving in-service
training during the surveys or during follow-up interviewing away
from Lilongwe. Since there are as yet no P.O.s assigned to the
farming systems program, no intensive in-service tutoring is possible.

The UF/USAID project team is not simply a set of specialists in
Malawi to accomplish specialist tasks. The team has the more encompassing
goal of generally upgrading the quality and increasing the quantity
of agricultural research. As part of that more general goal, Dr.
Hansen had compiled a history of agricultural research and recommendations
within the LLDP area (as part of, the background for the survey). This
task revealed the paucity of data storage and retrieval mechanisms
in research and the ease with which data is lost. An important and
inmmnediate goal of the project must be to encourage the compilation
and publication (after serious intra-DAR review) of what is already
known or believed to be true by crop by area. This series of
publications will be a significant achievement.

lef+ Malaw; Aprl 11h to fly
Dr. HansenAto Edinburgh, Scotland for the annual meetings of
the international Society for Applied Anthropology where he presented
a paper "Farming Systems Research and Anthropologists" in a panel
on "Title XII and Development of Anthropology." On his return he
stop d in Nairobi, Kenya 20 April to talk with Dr. Mike Collinson
of CfYT about farming systems research and to discuss the training
course to w which the Malawi staff were coming.

The Lilongwe survey took place April 27-29 with planning meetings
at Lilongwe ADD headquarters the 23rd and 24th and follow-up meetings
April 30th and May 7th. On May 1st Dr. Hansen attended a meeting
of all the evaluation officers from all the ADDs in the Ministry.
From May 10-16 were held the planning meetings, survey and fo] low-up


meeting for Phalombe, and from May 31-June 16 were the meetings,
survey and sample interviewing in Chitipa. In all during these
three months Dr. Hansen spent approximately 41 days out of the
Chitedze/Lilongwe city area.

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