| Agricultural development workers training manual: Volume II Extension Skills |
|Chapter III: Extension resources|
This is a three- year project which has been in operation two years. It has just been evaluated, and while the implementation is slightly behind schedule, the goals are being met.
Nevertheless, some disturbing information comes to light during the course of a visit to the project site by CARE staff. The Country Director and the Assistant Country Director discuss the matter and determine to find out what happened and how the project can be revised.
Details are contained in the following Project Description and the record of the discussion.
In an effort to make more productive use of its resources, the government is relocating people from overpopulated coastal regions to the interior, opening a new area which has been under populated, and which has great potential for agricultural production. CARE has been invited to participate in the Resettlement and Integrated Rural Development Program being planned and coordinated by the Rural Development Office. Also involved are the Ministries of Education, Health, Agriculture, and Public Works and Transportation. In addition, the Department of Cooperatives, the National Nutrition Planning Board, and the Provincial Government are involved.
The government has established a village, put in basic roads, and cleared the land. It has relocated landless peasants from the coastal areas and promises to deliver housing, potable water, land, and other agricultural inputs such as tools, equipment, seeds, fertilizer, training and extension services, and a school and health facilities. A production and marketing cooperative will be established, with credit facilities attached.
About 2,000 people/400 families are participating in the program in this phase. They are ethnically homogeneous, but are of a different group than the people which inhabit the region. However, there are no other settlements nearby the new village.
CARE will work with the Ministry of Public Works and Transportation to provide the village with water for household use. The project may be expanded to include irrigation systems after the initial phase of three years. CARE will provide the construction materials, technical assistance, and supervision, as well as food commodities for Food for Work. The community will provide the unskilled labor. The Ministry will supply the plans.
Another component of the project will be a sanitary education program to educate users on the relationship and importance of clean water to good health, the prevention of water- borne diseases, and the need for proper handling and disciplined water consumption. The Ministry of Health will supply two Community Health Aides to undertake the program.
Provide constant, readily- available supply of potable water to 400 families in the village.
Reduce incidence of water- borne diseases in the village.
The main economic activity of the settlers is agriculture. New crops such as soybeans will be introduced, as the land is especially well suited to such cultivation. A five- hectare plot of land will be given to each farmer, together with seeds, fertilizer, and tools. Short training courses will be held, and the Ministry of Agriculture will station extension agents in the area. It is expected that production will be very high, due to the fertility of the soil, the favorable climatic conditions, and the potential for multiple cropping, in addition to the improved technology which will be introduced. While the farmers will own their own plot of land, they will work cooperatively, in order to share equipment for land clearing and polishing.
The Agricultural Marketing Board of the Ministry of Agriculture will market the soybeans; the Farmers' Cooperative will provide storage for corn and beans for local consumption, and will sell the surplus through the Marketing Board.
CARE will provide seeds, tools, and technical assistance to the Ministry of Agriculture, and give training courses for the officers and staff of the Farmers' Cooperative in bookkeeping and office management.
Improve the standard of living of small scale farmers and their families by increasing agricultural production.
Integrated dearth Services
CAKE will provide take- home food supplements and medical services to the pre- school aged children of mothers enrolled in the program. At the health clinic (which has already been built by the Provincial Government) information regarding improved nutrition, child care, and health practices as well as health services and family planning advice will be made available to 400 mothers. Their children will be recipients of free health care including deworming, immunizations against BCG, malaria, and smallpox. CARE will provide the food commodities and will develop the materials required for education and maintenance of the program, as well as the training for the Ministry of Health Community Health Aides assigned to the program.
Improve the nutritional and health status of pre- school children by providing food supplements and health care for the children and by improving the health care practices of mothers.
Promote participation in family planning program.
On a visit to the site of the Resettlement and Integrated Rural Development Program, the Assistant Country Director discovered that, although the evaluation of the program at the end of two years showed progress toward attainment of the goals, the project seemed to be having some adverse effects.
One of the problems had to do with the agricultural component. In the course of watching people work in the field, the CARE staff person noticed that they were women, and began to speak with them, learning that the arrangement of 5 hectare family plots was not satisfactory. Since the government was encouraging the growing of cash crops- - soybeans- - most of the farmers grew barely enough corn and beans- - their traditional diet- - for consumption. The settlement scheme does not provide for kitchen gardens, which the women traditionally kept for the raising of vegetables for family consumption and for the local market. The women had formerly been in charge of growing the food for the family, with the exception of the corn. However, that arrangement had been changed by the delivery of the agricultural inputs and services to the men in the resettlement program. The proceeds from marketing the crops were retained by the men. No wages were paid to the women, although they spend the greater part of the day working in the fields, especially during planting and harvesting times. Because more land was put under cultivation, the work load of the women was increased. Mechanization was provided for the clearing and plugging portions but not the planting, weeding, and harvesting.
Because of the demand for increased labor in the types of work traditionally done by women, mothers were keeping their daughters from school so they could help them in the field.
Men were primarily engaged in construction projects, and spent even less time in the fields than they otherwise might have. They also participated in training courses and received the loans from the Farmers' Cooperative for purchase of improved seed and fertilizer.
Great dissatisfaction was expressed with the way in which the houses were being built. The women did not like the improved type of roof; they preferred the cooking arrangements to be outside the house; and they said the houses were facing the wrong way.
In spite of good attendance rates at the clinic, it was noticed that the mothers were sending the preschool children with older children in order to get the food supplement. The mothers were not, however, receiving the nutrition, sanitation, and child care education.
The Community Health Aides who were charged with educating people about the proper use of water discovered that the women preferred to have community supply rather than have water piped to each four- house cluster. They still used the river for washing clothes, in spite of having water near their houses.
Women refused to boil the water, complaining that it would require more fuel to be gathered, for which they had no time. Besides, they said, if the water came from a pipe, it must be good.
The food storage program run by the Farmers' Cooperative was operating successfully. It was one way of controlling the production of food, and gathering statistics. Food waste was also sharply reduced, because fumigants were used, and good silo construction prevented rodent depredation. The women, though, did not 'trust' the cooperative, and would keep supplies of food out of the harvest for home storage, as they had been accustomed to do.
The staff discussed these findings, and came to the conclusion that these situations had occurred because the planners failed to take into account the different roles which men and women played in the community. Although some of the goals of the projects were being met, the projects seemed to be having some adverse effects on development.
They attempt to list the erroneous assumptions made in the planning stages, discover what was actually happening, and redesign the projects so they would have better overall effect, and better impact. To do this, they worked with some of the government people involved in planning and implementation.