Contents - Previous - Next

4.2.2 Evaluation of SEC results

Some of the important evaluation findings of the campaign are presented in the following pages in a graphical manner. These evaluation results showed the changes in terms of the knowledge, attitude and practice levels of rice farmers in Penang vis-a-vis rat control campaign recommendations and messages. Almost all of the targets of the campaign objectives had been accomplished. As a result of the campaign, the number of farmers who reported experiencing damages caused by rats had also declined. For instance, there was a significant decrease in the proportion of farmers who reported that all the rice plant damages were due to rats from 47 percent before the campaign to 28 percent after the campaign. The Malaysian Department of Agriculture (DOA) data indicated that in Penang the rice field damages due to rats in 1984 (before the campaign) was about 700 ha. compared to only 223 ha. in 1988 (Mohamed, 1989).


Rice Farmers' KNOWLEDGE of Rat Control Measures

Methods recommended by campaign

Methods NOT recommended by campaign

Correct recommended rate and time of application

Sources of the Figures:

For data/info. on "Before Campaign" (Pre-campaign KAP Survey findings): A. Hamzah & J. Hassan, "Rice farmers' knowledge attitude and practice of rat control: a study conducted in Penang, Malaysia", Serdang: Agricultural University of Malaysia
(August 1985).

For data/info. on "After Campaign" (Post-campaign KAP Survey findings): A. Hamzah & E. Tamam "Rat control strategic multi media campaign for the state of Penang, Malaysia. A report of the information recall and impact survey", Serdang: Agricultural University of Malaysia (August, 1987).


Rice Farmers' ATTITUDE Towards Rats

"Rats will take revenge on behalf of their dead friends by causing worse damages"

"Controlling rats through group action is more effective than individual action"

"Rats are intelligent thus rat control will not succeed"

"Doing other jobs is more beneficial than controlling rats"

"Rat control is a waste of time"

"Simultaneous planting is not an important factor in rat control"

Sources: A. Hamzah and J. Hassan (1985) for "Before Campaign" data information; A. Hamzah and E. Tamam (1987) for "After Campaign" data/information.


Rice Farmers' PRACTICE of Rat Control Methods

Methods recommended by campaign

Discouraged method by campaign


A. Hamzah and J. Hassan (1985) for "Before Campaign" data/information
A. Hamzah and E Tamam (1987) for "After Campaign" data/information.


Rice Farmers' PRACTICE of Specific Rat Control Application

Correct recommended rate and time of application


A. Hamzah and J. Hassan (1985) for "Before Campaign" data/information;
A. Hamzah and E. Tamam (1987) for After Campaign" data/information.


Rice Field Damages Due to Rats

Percentage of farmers who reported damage


A. Hamzah and J. Hassan (1985) for "Before Campaign" data/information;
A. Hamzah and E. Tamam (1987) for "After Campaign" data/information.

4.2.3 Costs and benefits of SEC

The data provided by the DOA showed that about 477 ha. or 1,178 acres of rice fields in Penang were saved from rat damage due to the-campaign (Mohamed, 1989). As shown in Fig. 4-17, it was estimated that on the basis of 1,600 kg. rice yield per 1 acre, about 1,885 tons of rice were saved in one season alone after the campaign. Therefore, a saving of about US$ 365,180.- was made (based on a market value of US$ 193.75 per ton of rice). As the campaign was aimed at about 14,000 farm families, the economic benefit to the community can be estimated at an average of US$ 26.- per farm family, during one season.

The Information Recall & Impact Survey (IRIS) data indicated that about 34 percent of all farmers surveyed were practicing rat control at a high degree of effectiveness/appropriateness (Hamzah and Tamam, 1987). Although other farmers reported to have conducted rat control, they might not have applied all the correct or recommended methods or procedures. Since obviously not all the 14,000 farm families were reached, adopted, or properly applied the recommended rat control methods, the economic benefit to those who did effectively control rats in their rice fields was much higher than the average estimate of US$ 26.- per farm family.

There are several reasons which made the campaign expenditure which totalled about US$ 140,184 extraordinarily high. First, it should be noted that the cost included training the Core-Group of 34 persons in five workshops for a total of 32 working days. As can be seen in Fig. 4-18, this training expenditure accounted for about 12 percent of the total campaign cost. Such a training was necessary as they had never been trained on the SEC process and methods before. Thus, this is a non-recurrent human resources development investment cost. Second, although the campaign only covered a relatively small area and was targeted to a limited number of farm families, the cost for evaluation studies could not have been proportionately reduced vis-a-vis the cost of conducting a large-scale survey for a larger or nation-wide campaign. The cost for these four evaluation studies was about US$ 22,547 or 16 percent of the total campaign expenses. Third, the input/supply expenditures, i.e. the rat baits, which accounted for about 9 percent, were also included in the campaign cost.


Cost and Benefit Analysis of Malaysia's Rat Control Campaign (in US $)

Acreage loss1):

1984 =

700 ha


1,729 acres

1988 =

223 ha


551 acres

Production estimates:

1 acre =

1,600 kg 2) =


Financial loss:

1984 =

2,766,400 kg =

$ 535,990

1988 =

881,600 kg =

$ 170,810

Difference =

1,884,800 kg 2) =

$ 365,180

Total savings =

$ 365,180

Total expenditure for campaign =

$ 140,184

Cost/benefit ratio


For each $ 1 invested, a return of $ 2.60 was gained.

Campaign Target:

14,000 farm families

Average Economic Benefit per Farm Family:

$ 365,180: 14,000 = $ 26


1) Reported by Mohamed (1989) based on data from Malaysia's Dept. of Agriculture.
2) Based on a market value of US $ 193.75 per ton of rice in 1988


Expenditure for Malaysia's Rat Control Campaign (in US $)


Cost in US $


1 Training/Workshops



2 Multi-media materials development & production (including radio programmes)



3 Essay competition prizes



4 Rat baits



5 Campaign opening ceremony



6 Field implementation (field workers briefing/training)



7 Evaluation studies:



a. KAP

$ 4,612

b. MMS

$ 5,936


$ 5,904

d. FGI

$ 6,095




The cost for the multi-media materials development and production was quite high, about 52 percent of the total campaign expenditure. In terms of proportion, however, it was at about the same level as that of the Bangladesh's Rodent Control Campaigns (59 percent for 1983 and 49 percent for 1984). It is usually quite normal to expect a high proportion of a campaign cost for materials production (especially if technology inputs/supplies are not included in the cost analysis). However, in the case of Malaysia's Rat Control Campaign, it was unnecessary to produce printed campaign materials such as posters, flipcharts, pamphlets, pictorial booklets, etc. with high-quality, imported and glossy paper. Due to some "non-technical" considerations, DOA with its own resources (thus not using FAO project funds) opted to go "high-profile" in demonstrating the concrete products of its staff who, in less than 3 months, were able to design, develop, package, pretest, revise and produce these multi-media support materials for use in their field extension and training activities. Never before had they produced such well-researched and appropriately designed multi-media materials in a wide-ranging variety for various target groups and users, and in such a short time period. Hence, the opportunity to "show-case" such an excellent staff performance and the concrete SEC training outputs.

Even with a relatively high campaign cost, the cost-benefit ratio showed a favourable rate of return. As shown in Fig. 4-17, it was estimated that for each US$ 1.- spent on the campaign, a return of about US$ 2.60 was gained, and the economic benefit per family averaged about $ 26.- for the one season when the campaign was launched. It should be pointed out that Government of Malaysia's contribution to these SEC activities was much larger than that of the FAO project which provided the training costs, evaluation expenses, and technical assistance, amounting to probably less than 35 percent of the total SEC cost. This suggests the high-level policy and budgetary commitment and support of the Government to the SEC approach.

4.2.4. Sustainability of SEC in Malaysia

In a separate survey to assess the impact of the SEC training among the workshops' participants, it was found that many members of the Core-Group had applied the SEC knowledge and skills they acquired in their routine work programme (Mohamed, 1989). The following are some examples of the results of such SEC applications by the Core-Group members and/or others whom they had trained:

(r) In the Selangor State, four KAP Surveys had been conducted among rice and cocoa farmers. In Penang State, three KAP Surveys were carried out among durian (Durio zibethinus) growers. Participants from the Kedah State also reported to have conducted KAP Surveys.

(r) Pretesting of extension, training and communication materials has now become a standard practice for DOA's Extension Branch, especially for multi-media materials development activities of its Development Support Communication section.

(r) A multi-media support approach to extension and training activities has been widely accepted among extension personnel of DOA who now avoid developing messages with general information or campaign slogans.

(r) Special training of the "intermediaries" such as contact farmers, field extension workers, as well as other community-based volunteers such as local/religious leaders, school teachers, agricultural inputs/supplies retailers, etc., has been made an integral part of the extension strategies.

(r) If the Core-Group members can be considered the "First Generation" SEC resource persons, as of 1989, as reported by Mohamed (1989), there were already three generations of such persons. The Second Generation of SEC specialists were "brought up" during the replication of a SEC process on Durian Fruit Borer (Plagideicta magniplaga) in 1988. Third Generation SEC specialists emerged when the "alumni" of the SEC on Durian Fruit Borer activities subsequently conducted a SEC replication on Synchronized Rice Planting Methods for farmers in Seberang Pantai in 1989. Another SEC on Pomelo (Limau Bali) Cultivation was implemented by the SEC Core-Group members, as shown in Fig. 4-19.

(r) A major SEC replication in Malaysia was requested by Muda Agricultural Development Authority (MADA) to assist in its extension efforts to promote Integrated Weed Management in irrigated rice fields in north Malaysia. MADA requested FAO and DOA to assist in this SEC programme. Six members of the SEC Core-Group served as the principal trainers and planners of this SEC programme, and thus produced another Second Generation SEC specialists who are staff members of MADA. The SEC on Integrated Weed Management was as comprehensive and complete as that of the Rat Control, which included SEC training for 24 persons. The total cost of the activities was estimated at about US$ 46,400. More information on this activity will be provided later in Section 4.4. MADA extension and training staff have since carried out numerous SEC activities, and a recent (1992) campaign on Dry Seeding Method in Rice Cultivation.

(r) There are indications that SEC has been formalized and institutionalized at some agriculture training centres and institutions of higher learning in Malaysia. Two training institutes and two universities whose staff participated in the SEC on Rat Control (thus members of the First Generation SEC Core-Group) have incorporated SEC into their curriculum structures:

• The DOA's Centre for Extension Development and Training in Telok Chengai, in Kedah State, since 1986 has included SEC as part of a two-week course on extension and training methodology.

• The Agricultural Training Institute in Bumbung Lima, in Penang State, started in 1989 to offer SEC as a course for extension officers.

• The Science University of Malaysia offers two courses dealing with important SEC aspects, such as campaign planning and implementation (course YBP 302), and formative evaluation or pretesting of multi-media materials (course YBP 303).

• The Centre for Extension and Continuing Education (CECE), Agricultural University of Malaysia, also offers SEC-related two courses, covering campaign strategy development (course PP 431) and multi-media extension methods (course PP 307).


Sustainability and Multiplier Effects of SEC Activities in Malaysia: Selected Examples

Note: this figure shows examples of some SEC replications in Malaysia assisted by Malaysian SEC-trained resource persons who have also served in other countries (as of Dec. 1992)

(r) While the Core-Group members are actively sharing and disseminating their SEC skills/experiences at the national level, they have also served effectively as resource persons to train and help plan SEC replications internationally. As shown in Fig. 4-19, and also below, the following countries have benefited from Malaysian SEC specialists as of July 1993:


No. of Malaysian

SEC resource persons who had served there

















The SEC results in Malaysia to date provide ample evidence that SEC is being institutionalized. Therefore, SEC benefits to Malaysia are not limited to the economic gain resulted from the Rat Control Campaign, but also a useful contribution for further strengthening and improving the agricultural extension service and its system.

Contents - Previous - Next