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3. Conclusions and Recommendations Relative to MR/H-Environment

3.2.1 Technology and Mitigating Activity

See Section IV-3.1.

3.2.2 Education/Extension

Despite some academic debate, it seems clear that economics is an art and not a science. The same holds true with the pursuit of economic development - and similarly with attempts to set forth range-based livestock industry development strategies. Animal scientists have their viewpoint, project planners with international lending agencies have their interests, range scientists their viewpoints, and international research organizations have their own ideas. Each individual and institution has its own hidden agenda and approach to livestock industry development. Consequently, and because white papers, mission statements, and other reports are frequently aimed at a geographic or political regions, and since there is no major report which covers the entirety of education and extension activities related to range resources in the world, this report takes a long-term view and attempts to cover as many aspects as possible. The challenge in this section is formidable, and readers may desire more depth on a particular area of interest. However, because problem definition and strategy identification is an art and not a science, not everyone will agree on the strategies or approaches to range related livestock industry development set forth in this paper. In particular, this section is devoted to the developing areas of the world since they have the most pressing and difficult problems. This section begins by focusing on clientele.

3.2.2.1 The Culture of Poverty

There is a saying that countries are poor because they are poor. The objective is to break the vicious cycle of the "culture of poverty," a term first used by noted anthropologist Oscar Lewis to describe the situation in which whole countries were trapped. In his research he focused on individuals, forcefully arguing that poor people are caught in a culture which continually pulls them down despite efforts and opportunities to escape. Occasionally persons may break out by disassociating themselves with conditions which worsen their situation, such as an extended family system in which there are continual requests for loans, and from a society in which people do not help each other attain a higher standard of living.

Just as families are made up of individuals, countries, too, include families, communities, and various sociopolitical units. Therefore, nation-states are much like individuals or families in terms of economics. If a farm family or person borrows excessively, he may go bankrupt just as governments and nations do. Thus, improper decisions lead to worse conditions, and efforts to improve are more difficult to set into motion.

Unfortunately, most societies are made up of individuals who want to improve themselves economically but have little interest in the other person's welfare. In general, the lower the level of economic development, the more pervasive the culture of poverty. This situation explains why poorer countries have so many problems with a free-market price system and, related to range-based livestock systems in particular, with institutions like commercial grazing. Some people are going to break out of the culture of poverty either by migrating or adopting modern technologies. As an example, continual complaints about so-called middle men in the marketing chain are characteristic of widespread desires to prevent real use of business acumen in development of range-based systems, as services are seldom thought of as being productive.

The culture of the poverty concept is important as too often agriculture and the livestock industry are not thought of as a business in which the goal is to make a profit. This statement means that policymakers, civil servants, researchers, international donors, and development agencies must realize that the culture of poverty is only broken when people make money from their efforts - and that as part of the economic development process income distribution will be uneven. A country will not develop economically if it is based on subsistence-oriented livestock production systems. It cannot develop because poor people do not have extra cash to invest in infrastructures and technological development.

3.2.2.2 The Need for a Vision

A major constraining factor to development of range-based livestock systems is lack of a vision about what is desirable, as viewed by government, religious authorities, and others in a leadership role. The lack of a vision is exemplified by poorly designed range development programs in some countries, radical price policy changes, and, most important, failure to establish a clear-cut realistic land tenure policy (Simpson 1983). Appropriate production technology exists for developing countries to easily double, and perhaps triple, output per animal unit of livestock if a decision were made to reach that goal and appropriate measures taken to provide legislation which would pull development rather than push it in ways which are counter to economic and social realities (Simpson and Ou 1995).

Vision is based on philosophy - what is desired in terms of societal makeup or organization at some long-term point in the future. If the destination is known, then a series of short-term development goals can be set forth. In some cases circuitous routes to reach the goal must be chosen to avoid obstacles. If the impediments are sufficiently large, they will form absolute constraints which may prevent the destination from ever being reached. It is clear that lack of a vision, and failure to make a decision are preventing many developing countries' range-based livestock industries from being improved in terms of output per animal unit. Perhaps most important for developing countries is the need to determine the extent to which equity considerations for rural people, such as continuation of subsistence production, fit in with urbanization and reducing cost to those consumers.

The need for a vision is underscored by recognition that livestock development is primarily a people - not a resource problem. As an example, rural pastoral populations in the widespread semiarid areas of China are growing quite rapidly despite continued migration to urban areas. As a result, herd size per family is inexorably declining and will continue to decline. Families will become poorer if there is not migration, since smaller economic units will lead to tighter and tighter restrictions on technological advance. Families in pastoral situations, and communal grazing systems in particular, will generally not adopt herd-control strategies which, from a social viewpoint are optimal due to the local institutional and cultural framework surrounding them. In effect, if substantial increases in output per animal unit are the desired goal, then a host of barriers must be removed. The basic question in the vision is how much modernization, or, alternatively, how fast a move from traditionalism? The problem is that rapid population growth precludes perpetuation of traditional ways of life.

Range-related livestock systems clearly reflect the need for a development vision, and there is no question about the need for accelerated research and extension efforts on these systems. But, in addition, if the objective is to provide lower cost meat and animal products to an increasingly urbanized society, then attention will also have to be placed on stimulation of operations sufficiently large and tied to a market system to effectively adopt known technologies. One implication is that in many countries, focusing on commercial operations can mean substantial effects on land tenure, even greater human migration from livestock producing areas to urban centers, and attendant ethical considerations about loss of traditional cultures.

Ministry officers and specialists from donor agencies frequently consider projects only from their point of view or from that of the nation. But to be successful a project or policy must be evaluated from the potential client's viewpoint. In effect, change agents (to borrow a term from community development) should think of constraints from the producer's perspective. Following are some of the more obvious objectives of each participant in the system, set forth in an effort to highlight the contrast which itself is a constraint to improving the range-oriented livestock sector and thus meeting the needs of individuals and society as a whole.

Government, as a trustholder for society, inherently embodies numerous objectives, but, perhaps most important, it is primarily interested in preservation of itself and the nation as a whole. As a consequence, some of the more striking national goals with respect to the range based livestock sector are to:

· improve the balance of trade through increased livestock product exports or, alternatively, reduce imports of livestock products;

· improve urban diets by increasing per capita meat consumption.

· reduce the cost of meat and other livestock products at retail, thus allowing for more ruminant livestock product consumption and also liberates some personal income for purchase of other items;

· integrate range based livestock sector planning with the rest of the economy, recognizing that sustained economic growth implies "improvement" in each and every sector of the economy;

· improve per capita incomes in society including those of livestock raisers;

· reduce health problems and, as a corollary, improve sanitation at both the production and marketing levels;

· modernize society subject to some nationalistic view;

· promote a stable political situation while improving equity;

· predominantly, reduce cost per kilo of meat and associated products, and increase total production.

Livestock owners and herders, in contrast to government, are much more diverse in their points of view. Whereas some individuals are quite traditional in the sense of desiring that little or no change take place in their life-tyles, others have an explicit (or perhaps subliminal) desire to become modernized. This desire leads to postulation of the following objectives for livestock producers:
· to improve quality of life, which may reflect very little change in lifestyle, or may involve deep institutional change;

· to improve security, which can vary from owning more livestock to having money in the bank and assurance that current productive efforts will have a later reward;

· to expand esteem or prestige in livestock producer's peer group;

· to decrease daily discomforts, such as personal health problems or societal difficulties.

Many more objectives could be postulated, but these are sufficient to demonstrate that while government has a vested interest in increasing productivity and reducing cost of meat and associated products at the retail level, individual producers are not necessarily concerned with national-level objectives, or, if they do, only marginally, as their major interests lie in the welfare of themselves, their families, and, to a lesser degree, their community.

There are a number of commonly held axioms or beliefs among development planners, researchers, and government officials about land tenure in the range-based livestock sector which vividly exemplify the type constraints faced in planning and development projects. A valuable exercise is delineation of these attitudes, as they provide guidelines in setting forth philosophies and strategies about sectoral, regional and national programs. The following list, particularly aimed at developing countries, is neither prioritized nor is it an attempt made to quantify or evaluate the extent to which the philosophies are held. Some typical beliefs are that:

· land has a certain mystique, i.e., it is more than just a factor of production;

· grazing is a free good, i.e., an inviolable right;

· government or groups rather than private individuals should control grazing land;

· livestock raising is a way of life which should be continued;

· cattle or other ruminant livestock are a better store of wealth than cash or savings in modern financial institutions;

· rural life is good and that it is better to be poor in a rural area than in an urban area.

Examples abound of simple known technologies which yield great economic returns provided they are used in a commercial manner. Some of the relatively simple ones include implanting cattle with growth stimulants, worming for internal parasites, control of external parasites, controlled crossbreeding, appropriate culling, testing herd sires, upgrading by improved bloodlines, proper nutrition, confinement or intensive forage finishing to slaughter weights, use of records in decision making, price strategy development, introduction of improved forages, and proper forage management, to mention a few. The main drawback is that most of these technologies, while carrying very high benefit-cost ratios, are not appropriate for smallholders (both range-based and in mixed-crop/livestock systems) because in developing countries small-holder producers frequently do not maintain animals primarily as an income-generating mechanism.

A secondary reason for the low adoption rates of known technology, and one reason for highlighting it in a vision, is lack of an effective extension service mechanism. Third, and even more constraining, is that introduction of more intensive practices require management skills that the typical smallholder has not learned. Therefore, substantial increases in terms of output per head of inventory can only be expected to take place under a commercial system. But fermenting such an orientation carries with it very important implication in terms of a larger vision about societal organization as well as policy on research, teaching, extension, and project development efforts.

3.2.2.3 Livestock Related Extension Efforts in Development Planning

As outlined earlier, development visions tend to be complex, such as incorporation of equity criteria to those of economic development. First and foremost, there is no possibility to expand per capita consumption of livestock products unless population growth in countries with high population growth rates is brought down to a reasonable level. One reason is that with high levels of population increase, per capita incomes cannot improve. In addition, a major portion of the national budget must be spent on infrastructure development, such as roads, communication systems, schools, etc. In this climate, there is no latitude in national budgets to expand livestock research and support services.

Belief in the free-market system, which includes private property, free market-oriented prices, and a desire by government to help entrepreneurs make money, is perhaps the second most important criterion for livestock development. The harsh reality is that in the economic development process some people will inevitably be worse off, at least temporarily. That is part of the change process. A reduction in cost of livestock products to consumers implies a change in production systems, and that process often entails a redistribution of assets.

The most difficult decision is the one related to equity considerations, given that development resources are limited. Donor agencies require projects that will provide an acceptable internal rate of return and ones that have an acceptable ranking related to alternative projects. Governments in developing countries (LDCs) need to know where they should spend scarce resources. If their target is to improve the human nutritional base of the country, reduce the cost of food, and improve the quality of food, then their fundamental strategy should be one which promotes livestock systems that make the greatest contribution to these targets.

A fourth key factor in livestock strategy development is to move away from the tendency to build on current livestock systems. For example, if a country has a history of obtaining the major portion of their livestock product protein and calories from an extractive, range-based cattle system, the natural reaction is to develop range-related livestock projects. This is the sad history of many livestock project failures, especially in much of Africa. Developed country experience also clearly demonstrates that expanded livestock production is not possible under a communal grazing system, even in very rich countries. A more rational approach is to develop alternative projections of demand for livestock products and to then evaluate the potential to meet the demands through a variety of production/marketing systems. In effect, strategists should be guided by history but not bound by it. If milk production has traditionally been derived from pasture- or range-based, dual-purpose cattle, there is no reason why larger scale, improved breed, dairy cattle-type systems cannot be considered, even though they may have failed at some point when they were introduced. In effect, the strategy is to determine constraints to development of each commodity and requirements to overcome them, then allocate resources to the ones which will contribute the most benefit to the goal of increased productivity and reduced cost to the greatest number of consumers.

3.2.2.4 University-Extension Interface

Universities in developing countries are often viewed only as teaching institutions for formal academic training. Many universities, however, also engage in considerable research work, but, in general, the emphasis is on teaching. Little attention is given to extension at most universities, especially in LDCs, and apart from personal contacts via consulting, agricultural faculty generally have relatively little contact with producers. Furthermore, any research work is almost exclusively carried out on research stations or at the university campus.

Extension services in LDCs are generally separated from research, and extension professionals almost never have research responsibilities. In many cases, extension is housed separately from other ministry of agriculture activities and sometimes will even be institutionalized as a separate political entity. The result is a missing link between research and extension. Little hope of adaptive research exists because researchers are isolated from producers. The stark reality is that extension agents are looked down upon as having a low level of education and little to extend.

In the case of livestock, there is a general belief that extension services have failed because agents are not sufficiently trained to assist producers effectively. As with all beliefs, a wide range exists in the knowledge base of extension agents and professionals. Nevertheless, this problem is a major constraint to improvement of developing country's livestock industries. The need is to develop a means to carry out adaptive research work effectively and efficiently and then to extend it to producers effectively and efficiently. A first step to solution of the problem is adopt concepts of the Farming System Research and Extension (FSR/E) methodology, and the second is to link universities and extension services.

3.2.2.4.1 Farming System Research and Extension Methodology

Considerable empirical evidence has indicated that the needs of small farmers (essentially those near the subsistence level and whose operations are only marginally connected with the market economy) are not adequately met (Poleman and Freebairn 1973). As a consequence, the U.S. Congress in the late 1960s mandated that the U.S. Agency for International Development specifically address the needs of small farmers rather than just waiting for economic benefits to trickle down to them (Shaner et al. 1981). Many other donor countries followed a similar development philosophy (Harwood 1979). This redirected emphasis brought researchers and development specialists to the realization that very little was known about the decision-making processes of small farmers and the way in which they manage their inputs and resources (Norman et al. 1979). The new emphases led to development of farming-systems research and extension (FSR/E) methodology.

The subdiscipline of farm economics was quite well developed by the mid- to late 1960s. With the advent of computers, linear programming seemed to be the ultimate tool to analyze farming problems and to optimize resource combinations. However, as development specialists delved into problems of small producers, especially at the subsistence level, it became apparent that farm management techniques, as they were being taught, lacked consideration for most types of agriculture in less developed countries because of the failure to account for the intimate linkage between the unit of production - the farming system (FS) - and the consumption unit (farming household) (Byerlee and Hesse de Polanco 1982). In effect, insufficient attention was being given to the way members allocate managerial know-how and resources to crops, livestock raising, the home, and off-farm enterprises in order to attain goals.

The term "farming systems" was used during the 1970s to identify activities with a common thread or purpose. Then, by the 1980s, the generic term "farming systems research" (FSR) came into common use. It then became evident that the two basic components, when used together, constitute an approach. This concept is similar to the one used by Shaner et al. (1981), who termed it FSR&D (farming systems research and development). The two complementary components of FSR&D, recognized by Norman (1982) using slightly different terminology, are the farming-systems approach to infrastructural support and policy (FSIP) and the farming-systems research and extension approach to technology generation, evaluation, and delivery.

FSR is different from traditional farm management research in that a) it is oriented toward the needs of small producers, b) it specifically sets research priorities that reflect the holistic perspective of the whole farm/rural household and natural and human environment, and c) it is aimed at defining general farming systems in a region under study as a means to identify and describe a population's activities. In addition to farm management, FSR has antecedents in the community development and subsistence-level agricultural programs of the post-World War II period. FSR is also more of a social institution-oriented approach than farm management because greater recognition is given to changes in nontechnical factors, such as markets, pricing policy, and infrastructure (Norman 1982). Another characteristic is an interdisciplinary orientation with farming systems teams often being composed of anthropologists, agronomists, animal scientists, as well as agricultural economists.

Extension has become recognized as an integral part of the research process because a) FS research is carried out on farms in collaboration with experiment stations, and b) the research approach is to conduct on-farm trials and to measure both crop response and farmer's adoption of interventions. As a consequence, given that extension personnel also comprise an integral part of the interdisciplinary team (Hildebrand 1991), the approach has become known as FSR/E.

The farming-systems methodology was specifically designed for use in small-farmer situations. However, it is likely that the on-farm problem identification and testing method may become one of the methodology's major contributions. The household unit thus becomes one component to be reckoned with rather than the central focus it has sustained in so much of the FSR/E literature (Norman et al. 1979, Norman 1982). Nevertheless, a crucial factor is to take the client's goals into account, a key factor in developing research methodology for livestock on-farm trials (Nordblom et al. 1985). Methods for economic analyses of on-farm animal research/extension are beginning to be developed (Amir and Knipscheer 1987).

3.2.2.4.2 University-Extension Linkages

Many universities in the United States have moved to a system of split appointments in which teaching and research staff have an extension component, and vice versa. Most of the extension personnel are state specialists in a given area (Rasmussen 1989). This approach, along with the FSR/E concept, has a great deal of merit for developing countries.

One difficulty in LDCs is that university and faculty personnel are poorly paid, and since they teach, they also generally have a second job. The result is a type of hidden unemployment, a problem compounded by faculty often lacking real-world information that can be utilized in the classroom. A way to solve these interrelated difficulties is by forging a link between universities and extension and expanding the research component of both. Expanded funding could lead to faculty on full-time employment being more productively employed. Much flexibility is needed as some faculty will have essentially no interest in research or on-farm work while others will find it much to their liking. Flexibility is also needed in shifting teaching loads so that faculty can engage in extended periods of field work. Obviously, support systems must be expanded in the universities to facilitate an on-farm program.

International donor and development agencies have long wanted to improve extension services and much time, effort, and money has been spent toward this goal. But considerable frustration has resulted. Redirecting efforts to include extension as a component at agricultural universities is feasible and has a high possibility of success in many countries. In all likelihood, most extension agents would still be part of current ministries. The target would be a cadre of specialists who can link up with field agents to carry on applied research work using the FSR/E approach. Students would benefit and research would become more meaningful. One important aspect in the university/extension interface strategy is that field as well as regional extension specialists should be an integral part of the problem team, thus assuring that results are realistic, practical, and quickly developed.

The great informational bases at the CGIAR centers (FAO 1989) can be tapped with much more ease by university/faculty than by extension personnel, who only have extension as their focus and are not research oriented. In general, technologies are available for most animal-related problems; the major effort is to locate the publications. The CGIAR centers have a major role to play in this process (FAO 1988). The centers also have a major role to play in regionally focused research and information diffusion on overcoming the research-extension gap.

Agricultural extension and education requires that policymakers consider the entire agricultural complex when planning to allocate funds for the public sector. Furthermore, private sector sources should not be left out (Rivera and Gustafson 1991). These considerations also carry implications that there should be an investment shift in agricultural research away from a top-down mechanistic and task-oriented exercise towards a demand-driven, problem-solving approach which is directly related to the needs of livestock producers (Kesseba 1989). The U.S. Cooperative Extension Service provides an excellent guide about how a country has provided a mechanism for helping people to help themselves, identifying and meeting the needs of people served, developing new methods of education, understanding programs based upon research, and making needs known to research institutions (Rasmussen 1989).

In many cases there have been wholesale attempts to simply transfer the extension service model from one country to another. Examples abound of failures or only partial successes in attempting to transfer the U.S. model of land-grant university teaching, research and extension directly to third-world nations (Compton 1989).

3.3 Financial Simulation

See Section III-3.4.

3.4 Land Tenure/Institutional Adjustments

See Section II-3.4/

3.5 Development Projects/Programs

See Section II-3.5.

3.6 Other Policies/Regulations

See Section II-3.7.

3.7 Research

See Section III-3.7.


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