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This section summarizes the options and conditions for future application of the approach, as well as its scope and limitations. Because this study focused mainly on understanding communication linkages from the farmer upward, more time was spent at the barangay level than at the municipal, provincial and regional levels.

The exercise through which this approach was developed and tested was expensive. It was necessary to have a team of international specialists from different fields in order to develop, test and propose an approach with potential application in the current national policy context and in the context of a bottom-up sectoral review. The approach may easily be replicated without an international team, but the inter-disciplinary make up of the team is essential.

The approach requires a relatively short period of time. However, the case studies included in this report are indicative of the extent and limitations in terms of the information gathered. A more relaxed time frame for consultation with farmer groups is necessary. The replicability of the approach requires a significant input in terms of training field workers capable of using and adapting it.

Using these PRA tools at farmer level proved participatory, unthreatening and appropriable. An important aspect is leaving all analyses and diagrams with the farmers.

The two study teams had different experiences. The reasons for these contrasting results are important in terms of future use of the approach. The main implication is that the poorest farming populations will require a flexible approach with a tangible linkage that could offer support to the barangay.

The methodology was field tested in several sites, yet it requires further refinement. It should be seen as an addition to existing rapid appraisal and farming systems development tools, not as a substitute.

The approach did not address land tenure, which is a paramount factor in agricultural development as it determines the scale of a farming system. In addition, there were no attempts to identify and segregate the socio-economic strata within a barangay. Both issues would need to be dealt with when testing the approach further.


The approach developed has already demonstrated tremendous value for identifying the actors and linkages at the farmer level. It can also be of value at other levels such as agricultural technicians, municipal agricultural officers (MAO), researchers and policy makers and donors.

The value and the usefulness to the different categories may vary. However the underlying benefit of being able to reflect the needs translated as farmer demands and their inherent problems is the common denominator. The value to the different stakeholders inflow discussed.


The ultimate beneficiary of new technologies or programmes should be the farmers and likewise, farmers will receive benefits from the application of this approach.

Agricultural technicians

The ATs are potentially the most important link between the farmers and the outside world as far as new technologies are concerned. However, at present their effectiveness is limited and to a large extent absent. Interaction with the farmers using this tool could help the ATs.

A systemic undertaking of this approach by the ATs can be of immense value to the identification of farmer demand and priorities. It can be the cornerstone for the development of a strong research and development base that will serve the immediate requirements of the farmers.

Municipal agricultural officers (MAO)

The MAO has the most critical and important role in a municipality's agricultural programmes. With decentralisation and almost total independence granted to the mayors in matters pertaining to agriculture, the MAO will play a pivotal role from the point of view of the municipality as well as the central government. He Drill be the link between these two agencies. Therefore he should have at his disposal tools that can be used to help recommend priorities and make decisions regarding implementation. The tool used in this study can be used effectively.

It is clear that this tool can be used effectively at the barangay and municipal levels to identify problems, significant actors at the field level, and research areas and development activities that can be implemented at the municipal level.


Many researchers make a genuine effort to determine and understand the real life problems facing farmers in the cultivation of crops. They approach their activities in a problem-solving manner, and attempt to design research programmes that can solve those problems. However, the techniques researchers use to identify problems in the field are few and not well used. An effective use of RRA or PRA techniques by the researchers in collaboration with the AT's and MAO's will provide a good basic framework to identify the problems.

The advantage of this approach is the active participation of the farmer in mapping the different actors and their roles which can provide the researchers with information on alternative sources of interventions. Moreover this approach can help researchers translate farmers problems into researchable issues.