Priorities for socio-economic research in farming systems in South-East Asia

by Paris T.1 and Sevilla C. 2

1International Rice Research Institute (IRRI); 2University of the Philippines at Los Banos (UPLB)
in Global Agenda for livestock research. Proceedings of the Consultation for the South-East Asia Region held at IRRI Los Banos, Philippines on 10-13 May 1995. Edited by C. Davendra and P. Gardener. 107-116.

Experiments conducted on-station and on-farm for the alleviation of various constraints to animal production – such as acute shortage of animal fodder – indicated that most of these technologies were technically feasible, but that farmer adoption was relatively low due to socio-economic reasons.  Some of the major socio-economic reasons were (a) declining trends in draft animal usage particularly because of mechanisation; (b) higher off-farm wage rates and opportunity costs of family labour; (c) unfavorable government agricultural policies for smallholder livestock development; (d) unavailability of required inputs and support services; (e) risk aversion; (f) inadequate training and extension for knowledge-intensive technology and lack of credit to the poor without collateral.  Socio-economic research priorities in crop-animal research are (a) to review the past research conducted by NARS and identify priorities for further research; (b) farmer participatory research on dissemination of proven technologies in similar agro-climactic and socio-economic environments to increase research utilisation; (c) examination of the effects of macro-economic policies in relatin to adoption of improved livestock as well as the changing trends from subsistence to commercialisation; (d) study of farmers’ practices, knowledge, attitudes, perception and decision-making processes and the incorporation of women’s concerns in technology design, testing, and evaluation of technologies; (e) more emphasis on ex-ante analysis of technologies; (f) systems simulation and modelling of crop-animal systems and, (g) evaluation of the impact of crop-animal integrated technologies.

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