An FSR/E Application: Identification of Targets for Technology Generation and Transfer

Mahinda Wijeratne


Identification of targets for technology generation and transfer processes has become one of the prime activities in current agricultural development programmes. This is mainly because adverse results encountered with the dissemination of agricultural innovations with blanket recommendations in past agricultural development programmes. The Farming Systems Research and Extension (FSR/E) methodotogy emphasizes the importance of identifying target categories or recommendation domains for agricultural research and extension programmes. The essence of this concept is to offer location specific recommendations to well defined homogeneous farmer groups after a process of experimentation designed on farmers' needs. This paper attempts to identify target categories in an agro-ecological zone in one of the southern rice-growing districts, Malara. A series of exploratory studies and a sample survey have been conducted in the study area. Results demonstrate that three recommendation domains can be identified based on the production conditions experienced by the farmers. Such targets can be explained on the basis of three landscape levels and farmers belonging to one area were confronted with similar problems. The upper area has experienced surface soil acidification and water stress whereas lower areas are subjected to salinisation and excess water condition. Such problems were also observed in the intermediate area, but at a comparatively low intensity. Further, differences were observed in yield potential and cropping intensity among the identified targets. Therefore, it is worthwhile to orient technology generation and dissemination programmes according to the three pre-identified target categories.


Farming Systems, target categories, recommendation domains

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