Example of CAT Participation in On-Farm Research
A description is given here of the organization of on-farm R&D by Clubes Amigos da Terra (CATs)
- Locally adjusted technologies.
- Large scale validation of small plot results.
- Integration of all actors in R&D with farmers.
- Technical, physical, and material support to research, extension and producers.
- Installation of 10 field trials per year.
Period of execution: indeterminate
CAT, ZTAT, regional research foundation and federal/state research services.
Sponsors: 12 farm input suppliers
- Contract between CAT and research foundation.
Free result dissemination:
- Monthly CAT meetings
- Technical reps and farmers
- ZTAT quarterly bulletin
- Press and TV
- 60 CAT members on 43,000 ha
- 12 companies
- Total US$ 24,000/yr
- Right to 1 field day/yr
- Free publicity
- Memberships fee: US$ 5.0 x 60 = US$ 3,000
Modus operandi - Stage 1:
- Meeting to identify limiting factors:
- Independent agronomists
- Synthesis + prioritization
- Preliminary R&D designs (involving agronomists, researchers, extensionists)
- Discussion of preliminary designs
- Final adjustments (farmers with technicians)
Modus Operandi - Stage 2:
- Final R&D design
- Farm site selection: 10 trial designs and 20 farm sites (average of 2 trials per farm)
- Presentation to agribusiness companies for sponsorship - limit 12 companies.
- Execution of trials:
- Farmer's own machinery
- Supervised by researchers
- Execution/supervision by independent agronomists or extensionists
Modus Operandi - Stage 3:
- Data collection:
- Agronomists and researchers
- Weighing by big bags hauled to truck scale or instrumented combine borrowed from seed firm research unit
- Evaluation of results with all stakeholders
- Locally adjusted technology recommendations
- Research publications
- Private sector agribusiness support because the programme attends to farmers' demands
- Researchers have fund for on-farm R&D
- Better technology
- Improved technical management capacity of farmers
- Rationalization of technical sales for agribusiness
The farmer is the best research assistant ever:
- Good observer
- Always present in the field
- Immediate profit evaluation
- Free communication