|Abstracts on Sustainable Agriculture (GTZ, 1992, 423 p.)|
|Abstracts on farming systems research and development|
OFCOR Comparative Study No. 2, Int. Service for Nat. Agric. Research, The Hague, Netherlands, 1988, 42 pp. + annex
ISNAR initiated a major study on the organization and management of on-farm, client-oriented research (OFCOR) in national agricultural research systems (NARS).
The objective is to analyze the critical organizational and managerial factors which influence how national research institutes can develop and sustain OFCOR programs to realize their specific policies and goals.
This paper is one of a series comparing and analyzing the concrete experiences with OFCOR of national institutes in the nine countries studied. It is focused on how the field staffs have been organized, both in relation to other parts of the system and internally. It analyzes how the research process has been managed, and the procedures used for planning, programming and review. The organizational implications and management requirements of different methodologies are discussed, although it has not been a goal of the study to evaluate the effectiveness or efficiency of different research methods, or to assess their impact.
Closely related topics are analyzed in separate papers: the linkages between on-farm and on-station research, the experience of the participation of farmers, and the linkages between OFCOR and extension institutions.
This paper has concentrated on a limited set of issues directly related to the organization and management of the field research personnel and their activities. General lessons drawn from the experience of the case studies are summarized in this paper:
- Improving focus on the targeted clients
- Selecting collaborators
- Maintaining an interdisciplinary perspective
- Sustaining feedback
- Administering field operations
- Providing leadership
On the basis of the experience it is accepted that no package of technology, no matter how high its yields or economic returns on an experiment station, will necessarily out-perform current varieties and practices under farmers' conditions. A technology which is heavily dependent on inputs from outside of the immediate region, and which is very sensitive to hazards and variations in the environment will not be sustainable on small farms.
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Farming systems research and development
Africa, agricultural development, analysis, socio-political
model, land holding systems, demographic aspects, housing, food, land
exploitation, education, extension, research, administration, social