GCP/RAF/314/SW

Terminal Report

FAO/GOVERNMENT COOPERATIVE PROGRAMME

AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS TECHNOLOGY FOR SMALL FARMERS IN EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

PROJECT FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

AFRICA REGION:

KENYA, LESOTHO, THE UNITED REPUBLIC OF TANZANIA,
UGANDA, ZAMBIA, ZIMBABWE

Report prepared for

the participating governments

by

the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION OF THE UNITED NATIONS

Rome, 1997

 

 

Table of Contents

AGRICULTURAL OPERATIONS TECHNOLOGY FOR SMALL FARMERS IN EASTERN AND SOUTHERN AFRICA

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

1. INTRODUCTION

2. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS

3. RECOMMENDATIONS

Appendix 1

Appendix 2

Appendix 3

Appendix 4


LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS

AGROTEC - Agricultural Operations Technology for Small Farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa

ATNESA - Animal Traction Network for East and Southern Africa

ARC - Agricultural Research Council

OPS - Office of Project Services

PGC - Postgraduate Diploma Course in Agricultural Engineering Systems Analysis

PRA - Participatory Rural Appraisal

SEASAE - Southern and Eastern Africa Society of Agricultural Engineers

SIDA - Swedish International Development Authority

SUAS - Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

UNDP - United Nations Development Programme

1. INTRODUCTION

1.1 PROJECT BACKGROUND

Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Lesotho share many problems in agricultural production, with 85% of food being produced by small-scale, often subsistence, farmers. Many possess less than two hectares of arable land and very few farms are larger than five hectares. Human labour is the main source of power, with the hand hoe being the main implement. Some 10-20% of farm households use draught animals and ploughs, and mechanization using other forms of power is rudimentary. The major means of transporting the harvest from the field is on women's heads.

The modest increase in total agricultural production in many African countries has not kept pace with increases in population. Adoption of new technology has been slow and only a small proportion of the increase in production has been the result of intensified crop and animal husbandry. From a purely biological viewpoint, there is great potential to increase the productivity of small-scale farmers. However, a low take-up of improved farming input, including engineering input, has prevented the realization of potential production levels.

Although some success has been achieved in small and isolated areas with the introduction of agricultural tools, water pumps and, more recently, equipment for energy generation and conservation, these efforts have generally not been sustainable. This is due, among other things, to a grave shortage of trained personnel, a lack of means of production and distribution, low motivation and weak linkage between research and development findings, manufacturers, artisans, retailers, suppliers of credit, government administration and farmers.

The aim of the Agricultural Operations Technology for Small Farmers in Eastern and Southern Africa (AGROTEC) programme was to develop and promote simple technologies and techno-biological systems for small-scale farmers in the areas of crop processing and storage, small-scale mechanization and transport, rural structures and farm energy.

The AGROTEC programme was prepared by the advisory group of the Swedish International Development Authority (SIDA) at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SUAS) after a preparatory mission to east and southern African countries in 1987. As a result of this preparatory work, project proposals within the field of Agricultural Engineering were received from the region. Proposals were recommended and a plan of operation was presented to SIDA for funding.

1.2 OUTLINE OF OFFICIAL ARRANGEMENTS

The first phase of the AGROTEC programme ran from 1 July 1989 to 30 September 1992, and the second from 1 October 1992 to 30 June 1995. During the first two phases of the project (1989-1995), AGROTEC was financed by the Swedish International Development Authority and executed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Office of Project Services (OPS). OPS subcontracted the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences for recruitment of professional staff to the Regional Office and for the provision of backstopping expertise.

From July 1995 to June 1996, AGROTEC operated under FAO management as the Trust Fund project GCP/RAF/314/SWE.

1.3 PROJECT OBJECTIVES

The overall goal of the project was to contribute to sustainable production in the region through increased production in the small-scale farming sector. This can only be achieved through improved farming systems and better farm operations technology.

The immediate objectives were to increase government capability to assist small-scale farmers with the introduction of suitable agricultural technology for farm operations, in order to increase crop and livestock production, and to promote cooperation between technical institutions and universities in the individual countries in the region.

In order to strengthen linkage with participating countries, AGROTEC established close contacts with the Ministries of Agriculture, Departments of Agricultural Engineering, research and extension branches and universities and colleges with Faculties of Agriculture and Agricultural Engineering.

2. RESULTS AND CONCLUSIONS

The main activities of the AGROTEC programme were as follows: applied research and development projects (pilot projects); studies and surveys; training and education with training courses, seminars and workshops; the production and dissemination of manuals and publications; and networking and regional cooperation.

2.1 RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES

During the first and second phases of the programme, 19 pilot projects were carried out. These are listed in Appendix 3.

Participatory Rural Appraisals (PRAs) were conducted during the first phase of each project. Project teams solicited technical and socio-economic information from small-scale farmers. The objective of the field investigations or PRAs was to deepen understanding of the real problems of small-scale farmers in the region and of the specific field of research. The PRA reports contain extensive data about the region and the different farming systems and form the basis for future project planning.

Four reference groups were formed, dealing with: post-harvest methods and storage of cereals and legumes; post-harvest storage and processing of crops; building structures and functional planning; and small-scale field mechanization and transport. The semi-annual meetings of these reference groups played an important role in monitoring the progress of these projects.

During the meetings both technical and administrative matters in relation to pilot projects were discussed. The meetings enhanced regional cooperation and the exchange of experiences and knowledge between leaders of the pilot projects.

The research projects, in particular the PRA studies, provided an opportunity for agricultural engineers to appreciate the complex situation that smallholder farmers face. The reference group meetings provided a platform for subject matter specialists to increase their interaction and exchange of information.

One of the main impacts of these projects is the change of attitude of agricultural engineering researchers as a result of having worked with farmers and in interdisciplinary teams. The projects also strengthened their professional knowledge as engineers.

Several other organizations approached AGROTEC for pilot project information, indicating the need for the dissemination of project results and agricultural technologies in the region. Through these pilot projects, new areas of research have been identified regarding farmers' constraints. These form the basis for future intervention.

2.2 STUDIES AND SURVEYS

During the third phase of the project, between 1995 and 1996, two baseline research studies were carried out in Tanzania and Zimbabwe to identify farmers' constraints regarding the use of agricultural engineering technologies. In Zimbabwe the studies were conducted in Zhombe, while in Tanzania they were carried out in Shinyanga and Amani.

The surveys revealed a great demand for the dissemination of agricultural engineering technologies to smallholder farmers.

2.3 TRAINING AND EDUCATION ACTIVITIES

Training was intended to produce national trainers in the four AGROTEC subject matter areas. It was envisaged that these trainers would then conduct national training courses for front-line extension workers. It was decided to organize short one-week courses in subjects in which manuals had been published. This made it possible to adapt their content to national and local conditions and to train the extension staff to use the manuals.

In order to upgrade trainers in techno-biological systems, socio-economics and systems analysis concepts, a nine-month postgraduate course in Agricultural Engineering Systems Analysis was planned and carried out at the University of Zimbabwe in 1993 and 1994, with 14 students on each course. Beneficiaries are listed in Appendix 2.

The main objective of the course was to upgrade current Agricultural Engineering training with further study of biology and socio-economics and to offer an extension that would provide the knowledge required to understand the prerequisites for the selection, development and application of technology in small-scale farming operations. The course also gave training in problem identification, analysis and solving, and in developing the capacity and confidence needed to deal with genuine agricultural engineering problems in small-scale farming systems.

The training workshops were extremely useful in the dissemination and exchange of information in the region. However, the envisaged national training courses (within countries) did not take place as expected owing to lack of resources at national level.

The postgraduate diploma on agricultural systems analysis generated considerable interest in the region, especially at the University of Zimbabwe, where the Department of Agricultural Engineering integrated the systems analysis concept/approach into its undergraduate courses. The course also increased staff knowledge and capacity to handle future regional training programmes. The survey carried out on students who completed the first postgraduate course showed that the majority of graduates are making good use of the knowledge acquired.

2.4 NETWORKING AND REGIONAL COOPERATION

During the first and second phases, AGROTEC was able to build up a network of regional and international contacts, allowing it to receive continuous information of developments in agricultural engineering and appropriate technology. AGROTEC assisted in the development of two permanent networking organizations: the Southern and Eastern Africa Society of Agricultural Engineers (SEASAE), and Animal Traction Network for East and Southern Africa (ATNESA).

ATNESA was formed in 1990 during an AGROTEC workshop in Harare. Its objective is to improve information exchange and regional cooperation relating to animal draught power. The network aims to unite researchers, manufacturers, development workers, institutions and the users of animal traction in the region. ATNESA is coordinated by the regional steering committee and has links with several national and international networks.

SEASAE, which was formed in 1993, unites all agricultural engineers' societies in AGROTEC countries. AGROTEC supported all council meetings of SEASAE and the organization of national societies.

ATNESA and SEASAE have greatly improved cooperation amongst researchers, scientists and development workers. A considerable amount of information has been generated by means of ATNESA. The organization has also initiated and encouraged the formation of national networks in various countries in east and southern Africa. ATNESA is now internationally recognized as the leading organization in promoting animal traction issues in the region.

2.5 MANUALS AND PUBLICATIONS

2.5.1 Manuals

Manuals in different subjects were compiled and published, mainly for extension service and trainers. They tested and developed work from the available literature, together with practical knowledge based on traditional techniques and methods used by farmers. The manuals, listed in Appendix 5, have proved to be very popular within and outside the region. Commercialization of the manuals has shown that there is a great demand for information on various technologies in the region. One manual has been translated into Portuguese for use in Mozambique. The Agricultural Research Council (ARC) in South Africa has also sought permission from AGROTEC to reprint another manual for distribution in the country.

The manuals have also received a positive response from farmers. The inclusion of photographs, drawings and simple illustrations in the manuals has made it easy for farmers and extension staff to read and use them.

Regional experts wrote all manuals on the basis of the information they had gathered. This increased the confidence and capability of subject matter specialists in the region.

2.5.2 Newsletters

The AGROTEC newsletter has been a valuable tool for reporting ongoing activities and future plans. It has also provided institutions and individuals with updated information on the progress of AGROTEC development work. Two issues of newsletters have been published every year since 1991.

The newsletter has been invaluable for disseminating information and updating events within the programme. The mailing list reached 600 people, with readers within and outside the region.

2.5.3 Textbooks and reference literature

AGROTEC has supported Departments of Agricultural Engineering in the acquiring of textbooks and relevant literature. Eight universities have benefited from this: the University of Zambia, Sokoine University, Nairobi University, Jomo Kenyatta University, Moi University, Makerere University, Zimbabwe University and the National University of Lesotho.

3. RECOMMENDATIONS

3.1 RESEARCH PROJECTS

Useful information and technology alternatives for smallholder farmers have been generated through research projects. The information and technologies developed now need to be properly documented, promoted and disseminated in the region.

3.2 TRAINING

Training workshops have shown that there is a great demand for training both farmers and rural artisans in the use and management of agricultural engineering technologies. Future programmes should address these needs.

3.3 HIGHER EDUCATION

The success of the postgraduate diploma in agricultural engineering systems analysis has shown that it is important to promote higher education for regional scientists in order to catch up with new innovations and methods. Provision should be made for training researchers and development workers in future programmes.

3.4 NETWORKING

The regional network organizations ATNESA and SEASAE have provided a valuable forum for the exchange of information and experiences. Their good work should be supported and sustained at both national and regional levels.

3.5 MANUALS

The published manuals have provided vital information to farmers, extension staff and scientists in the region. Proper distribution channels and other forms of information dissemination, such as the use of video, calendars, etc., should be explored in the future.

3.6 REGIONAL EXPERTISE

The use of local and regional experts as project consultants during training workshops and in the writing of manuals has developed capacity and provided subject matter specialists with an institutional role. The resource base of these regional experts needs to be strengthened and supported in future programmes.

Appendix 1

PROJECT STAFF

Dates of Service

Name Function Starting Date Concluding Date

International Staff

R. Henrikson Technical Manager 1989 Feb. 1993

L. Bondesson CTA 1989 Dec. 1992

A. Hagg JPO, Agric. Engineer 1991 Feb. 1992

I. Bondesson Technical Assistant 1989 Dec. 1992

L. Sylwander JPO, Socio-economist 1991 June 1994

Sven-Uno Skarp Technical Manager March 1993 June 1995

J. Kalisky Training Officer 1990 Dec. 1993

B. Henrikson JPO 1992 June 1994

O. Moeller JPO/APO,

Agric. Engineer March 1993 June 1996

T.E Simalenga Training Officer Jan. 1994 June 1996

K. Jassey JPO/APO,

Socio-economist May 1994 June 1996

National Staff

K. Mudimbu Administrative Assistant April 1990 Dec. 1993

L Chigariro Administrative Assistant Jan. 1993 Aug. 1995

E. Mabwe Technical Assistant Nov. 1992 June 1996

S. Mushayi Administrative Assistant April 1994 June 1996

C. Nyakuriona Office Orderly Jan. 1992 June 1996

P. Musungate Driver May 1990 June 1996

Appendix 2

WORKSHOPS AND FELLOWSHIPS

A2.1 TRAINING COURSES AND WORKSHOPS

1990

Regional workshop on Research, Training and Education in Rural Technology, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Planning of an integrated animal draught programme, Harare, Zimbabwe.

1991

Systems analysis and educational methods, Kenya.

Animal draught power, Zimbabwe.

Storage and handling of grain and pulses, Kenya

1992

Primary Processing of Cereals and Pulses, Lusaka, Zambia.

Systems analysis for small-scale technology course II, Uganda.

Working group meeting on higher education, Zimbabwe.

Gender issues in Animal Traction, Tanzania (co-organized with ATNESA).

Popular Participation in Development Programmes, Morogoro, Tanzania (co-organized with SIDA and the Development Study Unit at the University of Stockholm).

Building and Management Systems for Broilers and Layers, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Primary Processing of Cereals and Pulses, Lusaka, Zambia.

Design, Manufacturing and Testing of Animal Drawn Implements, Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania.

Participatory Rural Appraisal for Water Harvesting and Building Code in Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia.

1993

Human and Animal Draught Power in Agriculture, Harare, Zimbabwe (co-organized by Silsoe Overseas Research Institute and ATNESA).

Animal Drawn Cart, Harare, Zimbabwe (co-organized by ATNESA and I.T. Transport).

Agricultural Mechanization Strategy Formulation, Nairobi.

Post-harvest Management and Storage of Maize and Legumes, Kampala, Uganda.

Field Implements for Field Crop Production and Transportation Systems on Smallholder Farms, Dar-Es-Salaam, Tanzania.

Postgraduate Course (PGC1) on Systems Analysis at University of Zimbabwe.

1994

Planning Workshop for the 1994 Postgraduate Diploma Course in Agricultural Engineering Systems Analysis, Kadoma, Zimbabwe.

On-farm Trials, Embu, Kenya.

Planning Workshop for AGROTEC Future Activities, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Primary Processing of Cereals at Farm and Village Level, Lusaka, Zambia.

Small-Scale Oil Processing, Arusha, Tanzania.

Animal Traction Network for Zimbabwe, Harare.

Indigenous Poultry Development, Murewa, Zimbabwe.

Agricultural Mechanization Strategy Formulation, Jinja, Uganda.

Postgraduate course (PGC2) on Systems Analysis at University of Zimbabwe.

1995

Systems Analysis and Dynamic Simulation, Kadoma, Zimbabwe.

Agricultural Mechanization Strategy Formulation, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Design, Manufacturing, Testing and Standardization of Agricultural Machinery and Tools, Naivasha, Kenya (co-organized with SEASAE).

Testing and Evaluation of Agricultural Machinery, Uganda (co-funded and organized by FAO).

Meeting the Challenges of Animal Traction, Kenya (co-organized with ATNESA).

1996

Gender Issues in Agricultural Engineering, Zimbabwe.

Engaging participation - the Use of Video as a Tool in Rural Development, Tanzania.

A2.2 FELLOWSHIPS AWARDED

Name Study Place Date

(PGC - Postgraduate Diploma Course in Agricultural Engineering Systems Analysis.)

M. Magoko MSc SUAS 1991

S.M. Chisakuta PGC1 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1993

P.K. Kwaramba PGC1 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1993

F.E. Mahuha PGC1 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1993

K.S. Maswaga PGC1 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1993

J.K. Mbugua PGC1 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1993

I. Mukuka PGC1 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1993

A.K. Mungai PGC1 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1993

E. Munganama PGC1 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1993

D. Mutiga PGC1 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1993

C.J. Mutyba PGC1 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1993

S. Muzezewa PGC1 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1993

C.P. Sewanyana PGC1 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1993

R. Simuyi PGC1 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1993

J. Wange PGC1 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1993

D.O. Guda PGC2 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1994

K.M. Sagwa PGC2 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1994

Name Study Place Date

J.K. Kabera PGC2 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1994

M.M. Masai PGC2 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1994

S.M. Cheyo PGC2 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1994

A.M. Njovu PGC2 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1994

A.M. Nnko PGC2 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1994

M.E. Lwere PGC2 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1994

S. Kairania PGC2 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1994

C. Kapalasha PGC2 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1994

J. Kaenga PGC2 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1994

M. Mumera PGC2 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1994

N. Madzime PGC2 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1994

O. Maminimini PGC2 Univ. of Zimbabwe 1994

Appendix 3

PILOT PROJECTS

Security Storage of Grain for Small-Scale Farmers, Zimbabwe.

Small-Scale Rural Vegetable Oil Expression, Zimbabwe.

Small-Scale Dairy Units for Zero Grazing, Kenya.

Storage Structures for Grain Adapted to Local Materials and Building Traditions Suitable for the Region, Kenya.

Dehydration and Packaging of Fruits and Vegetables, Lesotho.

Processing of Crop Products Using Simple Equipment at Small-Scale Farms and Village Level, Zambia.

Improved and Accessible Transport for Small-Scale Farmers, Tanzania.

Improvement of Post-harvest Processing, Handling and Storage of Cassava for Smallholder Farmers in Tanzania.

Agricultural Mechanization Strategy Formulation, Kenya.

Field Mechanization Systems for Production of Legumes, Groundnuts and Sunflower, Uganda.

Building Systems and Management for Small-Scale Pig Production, Tanzania.

Improvement of Post-Harvest Handling and Storage of Food Legumes at Farm Level, Uganda.

Assessment of Rural Cattle Slaughter Places, Zambia.

Indigenous Poultry Development, Zimbabwe.

Appendix 4

MAJOR ITEMS OF EQUIPMENT PROVIDED

Quantity Item

1 Vehicle, Nissan Microbus

1 Vehicle, Nissan Sentra Sedan

1 Vehicle, Nissan Skyline Sedan

1 Vehicle, Toyota Hilux Pickup

1 Vehicle, Vespa Scooter

2 Computer, Macintosh Classic Ii

3 Computer, Macintosh se

1 Computer, Macintosh ii si

1 Computer, Macintosh lc iii

1 Computer, Macintosh ii cx

1 Computer, Macintosh Power Book

1 Computer, Olivetti laptop

1 Scanner, Apple One

3 Printer, Image Writer II

1 Printer, Apple Laser Writer ii nt

2 Printer, Style Writer ii

1 Printer, bubble jet

1 Fax machine, Canon

1 Copier, Xerox 1065

1 Copier, Canon np270 070036

1 Refrigerator

1 Safe, Royal

1 Lounge suite, six-piece

5 Stationery cupboard

3 Filing cabinet, steel

8 Book shelf, large

15 Book shelf, small

2 Coffee table

2 Conference table

10 Conference chair

2 Computer table

10 Desk

10 Desk chair

9 Secretarial chair

Quantity Item

Lesotho

1 Vehicle, Toyota Landcruiser Pickup with canopy

1 Computer, IBM-compatible 286

1 Printer, Epson dot matrix

1 Fax machine, Xerox 7018

Tanzania

2 Vehicle, Toyota Hilux pickup

1 Fax machine, Xerox 7018

1 Computer, IBM

1 Printer, Epson

Uganda

1 Vehicle, Mitsubishi doublecab pickup

1 Computer, IBM-compatible 286

1 Printer, Panasonic dot matrix

1 Fax machine, Xerox 7018

Kenya

1 Fax machine, Xerox 7018

Zambia

1 Fax machine, Xerox 7018

1 Computer, IBM

1 Printer, Epson

aught programme (June 1990).

Bulletin No. 3: Proceedings of regional review committee and plan of work for 1991 (November 1990).

Bulletin No. 4: Animal husbandry for optimal draught power (October 1991).

Bulletin No. 5: Proceedings of a seminar on MSc regional programme in Agricultural Engineering (April 1990).

Bulletin No. 6: Proceedings of regional Review Committee and plan of work for 1992 (November 1991).

Bulletin No. 7: SUAS progress report on AGROTEC Phase I activities (May 1992)

Bulletin No. 8: Proceedings of a workshop on design, manufacture, testing and standardization of animal drawn implements (March 1994).

Bulletin No. 9: A literature search for Agricultural Systems Engineering education in developing countries (July 1993).

A5.3 OTHER DOCUMENTS

Utilization of existing institutions of higher education and training in rural technology. A study for AGROTEC. B. Nilsson, N. Kwendakwema and J. Kalisky (May 1990).

Energy issues on small scale farms. A study for AGROTEC. G. Gustavsson, J. Jansen and K. Muleya (October 1990).

Proposal on Postgraduate course in Agricultural Systems Engineering. L. Bengtsson and D.V. Chiuswa (March 1992).

Agricultural Systems Engineering. Proposal on Msc course. N. Kwendakwema and D.V. Chiuswa (June 1992).

Equipment for post-production operation of cereals and pulses. Course compendium. J. Kalisky (June 1992).

Proceedings of planning workshop for future AGROTEC activities (March 1994).

Proceedings of workshop on implements for field crop production and transportation systems (August 1994).

Guidelines for national mechanization strategy formulation. G. Muchiri, T.E. Simalenga and N. Moyo (November 1994).

Proceedings of workshop on small-scale oil processing in East and Southern Africa (December 1994).

Participatory research and development of agricultural engineering technologies. Proceedings of on-farm trial workshop (March 1995).