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					   Participatory Needs and
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       Opportunity Analysis
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          Your Name Goes Here
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                V. Balasubramanian & M. A. Bell

      IRRI, Los Baños, DAPO Box 7777, Manila, Philippines
Farmer Adoption Criteria

 Why are technologies adopted by farmers?
Farmer Adoption Criteria

    • Relative advantage: profitability, less labor need &
      drudgery, more social prestige, higher satisfaction
    • Compatibility: with present farming systems & activities,
      farmers’ needs & demands, and local culture
    • Complexity: easy to understand and use/apply
    • Triability: easy to experiment by farmers
    • Observability: farmers can easily see pros and cons
Why do Farmers not Adopt?

    • Mismatch between recommended technologies and
      farmers’ needs and circumstances
    • Poor relevance of research in relation to farmers’
      constraints & problems
    • Lack of farmers’ awareness of new technologies
    • Lack of farmers’ confidence on new technologies
    • Poor understanding of farmers’ technology adoption
    • Poor incentives for change in current practices
P-NOA: Advantages
   Why a Needs and opportunity analysis?

    • NOA is a powerful tool to effectively work with farmers on
        their problems & solutions,
    • NOA improves the relevance of research and technology
        delivery to farmers’ needs,
    It improves stakeholder buy-in of the research-delivery
    • It increases the probability of farmer adoption of
        technologies, and
    • It helps enhance the livelihood of the stakeholders.
P-NOA: Limitations

    • If it becomes a routine, it looses its meaning
    • Women’s participation is often limited
    • Difficult to get representative farmers from various
    • Sometimes, influential farmers dominate the discussion
P-NOA: Findings

    • Farmers’ needs not always in line with government
    • Research technologies do not meet farmers’ needs
    • Farmers are spoon-fed (want free support, subsidy, high
      prices, etc.)
    • Farmers have difficulty in envisioning their own context and
      solutions to their problems
P-NOA: Why

   • First step to understand farmers’ circumstances, needs,
     constraints, problems and opportunities
   • Helps to jointly identify appropriate solutions and/or
     technology options for farmers’ problems
   • Helps in FP - technology development, evaluation and
   • Helps reorient research on actual field problems
   • Enhances researcher/extension staff/farmer interaction and
   • Increases the confidence of research and extension staff in
     working with farmers
NOA: Major Components

    Secondary data collection: to enrich the planning process &
     to ensure the relevance of the project;
    Transect walk: to learn first-hand about the FS, farmers’
     resource use & flow patterns, field activities, etc.;
    Consultation I: to identify and prioritize problems, and to
     explore the causes of priority problems;
    Consultation II: to jointly develop farmer-acceptable
     interventions to identified problems & opportunities;
    Verification: Verification of information, problems, solutions,
     etc. with farmers; and
    Partnership: Joint development of an action plan and
     assignment of responsibility among stakeholders.
P-NOA: Steps Involved

    •   Site selection (well in advance of the field survey)
    •   Collection of secondary data by local team
    •   Planning for NOA
    •   NOA field activities: Transect walk
    •   Site/domain characterization and mapping
    •   Stakeholder analysis
    •   Problem identification and prioritization
    •   Problem-cause analysis: Problem tree
    •   Developing & matching solutions with farmers
    •   Next steps: Research/evaluation/delivery issues
    •   Report of findings`
Site Selection: Considerations

    •   Representative: Most representative area
    •   Access: Fairly good access & communication
    •   Avoiding clutter: Avoid areas with too many projects
    •   Willing collaborators: Interested/willing collaborators, local
        champions for promoting your project
    •   Impact potential: High potential for making impact
    •   Transfer potential: Potential to serve as ‘Lighthouse’ site or
        training ground for expansion
    •   Management potential: Good irrigation/drainage facilities
        (Head & middle, not tail end of canal irrig.)
    •   Political considerations: Prepared to adjust to political
 Rice Area and Production in the
           Study Site
                   Area,      Production,     Yield,    %         %
Ecosystem                        ‘000 t
                  ‘000 ha                     t ha-1   area   production
                            (unmilled rice)


Rainfed lowland


Flood prone

Total or Mean                                          100.0 100.0
     Farm Size in the Study
         Site (Village)
Farm size      Category   Numbers   % of total

< 0.5 ha        Small

0.5 – 1.0 ha   Medium

> 1.0 ha        Large

Total             --                  100.0
Other Site Characteristics

     •   Rural infrastructure: roads, markets, school, etc.
     •   Physical resources: RF, soil type, irrigation, etc.
     •   Institutional linkages in the village
     •   Socioeconomic factors: Family, labor, market, inputs,
         income, credit, farmer knowledge, etc.
     •   Livestock: farm animals & feed sources
     •   Rice cropping systems/patterns
     •   Rice production practices
     •   Major constraints and problems
Planning for NOA

    • Prepare the NOA team (multidisciplinary)
    • Explain and complete the rice crop mgt. sheets with local
      res/ext staff (Res/Ext. staff perception of local farming
    • Prepare the host community for field survey
    • Organize the logistics including supplies
Preparing the NOA Team

    • Identify the local partners who will act as project
      drivers/local champions (local res., ext., NGO, PO staff or
      farmer leaders)
    • Form a multidisciplinary team & use the interdisciplinary
    • Identify a PRA-trained local person as facilitator
    • Explain the purpose, objectives, & methodology of NOA to
    • Make sure that participants forget their official status and
      interact with farmers on equal footing
Completing Crop Mgt. Survey
    • Discuss and complete the crop mgt. survey sheets
      (RCMSS) with local res/ext staff
    • This will provide local res/ext staff’s perception of local
      farming scenario before NOA
    • Later during transect walk, use the CMSS as a guide to
      identify farmers’ knowledge, practices, field problems &
    • This will provide res/ext staff’s perceptions of farmers’
      circumstances after NOA
Preparing the Host Community

    • Let the local community know the purpose and objectives of
      your visit to their village
    • Specify well in advance the time and duration of your field
      activities involving local farmers
    • Check whether the field-visit dates are convenient for them
    • Make sure that there are no cultural, political, economic or
      fieldwork events that will conflict with your field visit and
      NOA activities
Logistics for NOA - 1

    • Transportation: vehicles & fuel
    • Accommodation at or near the site for NOA team
    • Food and clean water for all participants
    • Supplies: charts, papers, pens, tapes, pins, etc for
      visualization activities
    • Small note books to note down field observations
    • Copies of field survey sheets
    • Visuals: Electronic visuals for sites with electricity and non-
      electronic visuals (pictures, posters, etc.) for sites with no
Logistics for NOA - 2

    • Meeting with village & farmer leaders one day before the
      field activity to explain the purpose
    • Get a base map of the site, if available
    • Let the village leaders select a meeting place (school,
      village hall, extension meeting room, etc)
    • Let the local staff & village leaders organize the farmers for
      NOA activities
    • Make sure that selected farmers represent various groups
      including women farmers
First NOA Meeting

    • NOA schedule: Discuss the plan of field activities, and roles
      & responsibilities of team members
    • Institutional groups: Identify institutional groups
      represented in the NOA team
    • Filling CMSS: Request each group to fill up the CMSS for
      their respective study sites
    • CMSS info for NOA site: Discuss and consolidate the CMSS
      information for local NOA site
    • Before NOA: This will form the res./ext. staff perception of
      local farming scenario before NOA
Preparation for Field Activities

     • Meet and introduce the NOA team to local farmers and
       other stakeholders
     • Explain the purpose/methodology of NOA to farmers and
       request their participation
     • Form 3-4 groups of 6-8 members each for transect walk and
       field survey
     • Identify one local facilitator for each group
     • Give a copy of CMSS for each group
Building Trust with Farmers

    • Be friendly and treat farmers on equal footing to establish
      rapport and build trust with them
    • Keep an open mind to learn from farmers & others
    • Talk less, listen more to what farmers have to say
    • Do not pass judgement on farmers’ opinions
    • Probe and pursue, but do not argue on issues that you wish
      to learn more about
    • Be conversational & share your ideas, but do not push your
      own agenda at any time
NOA: Transect Walk

    • Let each group take different sections of the site for field
    • Walk slowly & observe and note down crop status, field
      problems, practices, etc.
    • Look for and note down relevant LK systems and/or
      innovative farmer practices
    • Discuss with farmers in fields and others in their work
      places to collect the required information
    • Use the CMSS as a guide to get farmers’ practices,
      perceptions, problems, knowledge, etc.
Site/Domain Characterization

    • Let the local staff & farmers divide into small groups of 5-6
      each to discuss and analyze the field observations
    • Use the base map to delineate major sub-areas or domains
      based on soil types, CS, water use, or labor availability, etc.
    • Draw rainfall distribution & cropping patterns
    • Note down time trends of crop yields, climate changes,
      population growth, labor migration, etc.
         Delineation of Domains
           Key factor        Estimated    Socio-
           determining the                         Farmer
Domain                       area for the economic characteristics
           domain (soil      domain (ha) factors
           type or CS, etc



Stakeholder Analysis

    • Stakeholders: List all the stakeholders (institutions, service
      providers, etc.) in relation to farming in the study area
    • Importance: Assess their relative influence and
      contributions to farming & related activities
    • Stakeholder linkage: Map the linkages of various
      stakeholders with farmers of the study area
    • Partners: This will help in the identification of suitable
      partners for project implementation
                                    Direct/Close Linkage                                   Indirect Linkage

                                                   Village Library                             Rice Miller

         Local Artisans
                                                                Commercial Bank
                                         Money lenders                                       Rural Banks                           Water Seller
                                       center                                                        Extension
            Public works                                                                                                                      Village Head
               Dept.                                                                                                   Laborer
          Services                                                                                                            Rice
     Self-help                                                                                                         procurement centers
                                                          OF VANDAYARIRUPPU
    TANWA and                                                                                                           Mass Media

     Repair Service                                                                                                     Input Producers

                           Association                              University/ Research            Inputs Agencies/
                                                                     Institute TNAU,                    Dealers
Health                                    Mobile Soil
                                                                      SWMRI, IRRI,
Center                                     Test Lab
                                                                                                                            District Administrative
                                                                                                                                  and Village
                                                                                                                            Administrative Officer
                                         Educational Institutions                           Rural Industry

                Figure 1.         Institutional and stakeholder linkages in relation to farming in Vandayariruppu village,
                                  Tamil Nadu, India (2001)
Problem Identification &
    • Let the local facilitator facilitate the discussion with farmers
      & other stakeholders as a single, large group (plenary)
    • Let the farmers enumerate their problems one by one and
      arrive at a consensus on all problems (technical,
      infrastructure, economic, policy)
    • Let the farmers choose 5 priority problems and keep this
      list as farmer-perceived priorities
Problem Identification &

    • Make a ranking matrix of all problems and assign scores
      using certain criteria (Table) and farmers’ consensus
    • Sum up the scores for all problems and rank them based on
      total scores (or range of total scores if they are close to
      each other)
    • Compare the farmer-perceived and systematically ranked
      priorities and reconcile them with farmers to arrive at 5 sets
      of priority problems
          Criteria for Prioritizing
                                              Scoring: 1 to 5*
                Area      Frequency      Extent of    Estimated     Feasibility    Total score
              affected    of problem     damage       yield loss    of solution     & rank

*Scores: 1. Very low; 2. Low; 3. Medium; 4. Fairly high; 5. Very high
If the criterion ‘Feasibility of solution’ is problematic to deal with, it may be omitted
 in ranking exercise.
Synthesis of First Day Activities

     • Let each member express their experiences in relation to
       their expectations
     • Synthesize the additional information on farming of the
       study area to get the local group perception after NOA field
     • Plan for the next day activities, taking care to enhance
       farmers’ interest and participation
     • Identify knowledge gaps and consider what would be the
       incentives for farmers to change
Problem-Cause Analysis
(Problem Tree)
    • Helps to examine the causes and effects of problems and to
      identify the root causes
    • A problem may have several causes including links with
      other problems
    • Discuss & identify all causes for priority problems and use
      cue cards to record them in a sequence.
    • Classify them as intermediate and root causes based on
      consensus of all stakeholders
    • Address the root causes to tackle the problems
              List of Intermediate &
                   Root Causes
Problem                Intermediate causes         Root causes

e.g. High     Poor     Poor      High        High import   Monopoly
cost of       supply   roads     transport   duty          of dealers
fertilizers                      cost
                                                   VILLAGE: INDROBOTI, THANA: BURICHONG, DISTRICT: COMILLA
                                                   GROUP: POOR (motamuti) FARMERS, DATE: 20 JULY 2000

                                                                                                           Do not get proper
                                                                                                          suggestion of block
                                                                                                           supervisor while
                   Insufficient supply of                                                                     needed 3                                       Can not buy
                  seeds by government                                                                                                                     necessary inputs on
                             12                                                                                                                                 time 6
                                                                             Lack of irrigation
                                                                              during season                    Can not apply necessary
                                                                                    10                             inputs (fertilizer,
                                                Lack of quality                                                                                                                                6
                                                   seed18                                                       insecticides etc.) and
     Corruption by                                                                                                plough on time 15
  concerned authority
                                                                                                                                                     Can not plough the
                                                  Water logging 2                                                                                      land on time 6

                                                                                                        Less yield 60                                                                   Fund shortage
                                                                       Pests attack                                                                                                        6+2=8
                                           Apply             2           5+2=7               5
                                       insecticides 2                                                                                                        Shortage of draft
                                                                                              3                                                                 animals 4
                                                                                                      Low income from
          Environment                                               Natural disaster                     rice 100
           pollution 2                                                 3+7=10

                                                                                                                                 Low fertility 7
                         Fish die 2                         Less stamina to                       Do not get fair                                                                 Theft of draft animals
                                                           work in the field 2                      price 38                                                                                4

                                                                                                                                          Lack of knowledge in
                                      Malnutrition 2                                                                                     fertilizer management 7
                                                                        No storage                        Bound to sell rice
                                                                        facilities 15                      to dealers 23
                                                                                                                                                                    Lack of soil test
                                                                                                                                                                      facilities 5

Participants:            Gopal Daas, Hemlata Daas, Sheuli Rani Daas, Shah-el-mran Bablu, Abdul Jalil, Abdul Kader and Sri Ram Daas

Facilitator:             Tawheed Reza Noor
Developing Solutions with

    • Discuss in a large group to develop and record solutions,
      using cue cards
    • First invite farmer-suggested solutions to identified
    • Then, let researchers provide technology options to the
      same set of problems
    • Discuss with all stakeholders and select a set of farmer-
      acceptable solutions for further analysis
          Selection of Options
                          Farmers’            Scientists’
Problem    Cause(s)                                            Selected option
                      solutions /options   solutions/options
Matching Solutions with Farmers’
Needs and Circumstances

    • Types of solutions: 1. Ready for dissemination, 2. Need on-
      farm validation, 3. Research gaps, & 4. Policy-related issues
    • Carefully match proposed solutions with farmers’
      circumstances and needs. Very critical.
    • Use farmer adoption criteria to choose solutions for further
Farmer Adoption Criteria
 for Selecting Solutions
                                     Farmers’ scores: 1-5*
                                                                        Fit with    scores &
options                             Costs of    Additional Learn
               Benefits    Risks                                        farming       rank
                                     inputs     labor need to use

* Scores
Benefits:       1. Very low; 2. Low; 3. Medium; 4. Fairly high; 5. Very high
Risks:          1. Very high; 2. Fairly high; 3. Medium; 4. Low; 5. Very low
Cost of inputs: 1. Very high; 2. Fairly high; 3. Medium; 4. Low; 5. Very low
Labor need: 1. Very high; 2. High; 3. Moderate; 4. Low; 5. Very Low
Learn to use: 1. Very difficult; 2. Difficult; 3. Less difficult; 4. Easy; 5. Very easy
Fit with FS: 1. Very poor; 2. Poor; 3. Moderate; 4. Good; 5. Very good
Report of Findings: Outline

    •   Introduction
    •   Site selection and characterization
    •   Probable domains & their characteristics
    •   Stakeholder analysis
    •   Priority problems as validated by farmers
    •   Problem-cause analysis (problem tree)
    •   Developing & matching solutions with farmers
    •   Selected solutions: four types of options
    •   Next steps: Action plan for project implementation
Four Types of Options:
Next Steps?
    •   Options ready for expansion or dissemination
    •   Options requiring on-farm validation
    •   Research gaps (problems requiring further research)
    •   Options/solutions requiring institutional and/or policy
For Options Ready for Delivery

    • Identify domains where the technology fits in well
    • Develop the criteria and a simple protocol for farmer-testing
      of delivery options
    • Design testing procedure, e.g. demos by key farmers
    • Identify and train local partners to work with farmers on
      technology testing & data collection
    • Organize Farmers’ Day and Farm Walk to exchange
      opinions & to collect feedback
    • Distil information in simple language & package it to attract
      farmers’ attention
    • Identify partners and develop mass media strategies for
For On-Farm Validation of
Technology Options

    • Develop simple OFT designs to validate options
    • Joint mgt: Research/extension staff and farmers jointly
      manage the on-farm trials
    • Decide on data & develop data collection sheets
    • Identify and train local partners to work with farmers on
      validation and data collection
    • Organize Farmers’ Day & Farm Walk to exchange opinions
      and to collect feedback
    • Develop delivery strategies for successful options
Establishment of Baseline for
Monitoring Progress

    • Identify key variables to establish baseline data in relation
      to chosen technology(ies)
    • Develop simple guidelines to collect data
    • Conduct individual farmer-survey to collect data
    • Establish a simple and common database for data entry,
      processing, and management
    • Train local partners in data collection and database
    • Analyze the data and establish the baseline info.
Research Gaps

    • Convey research gaps or researchable issues to
Policy Related Issues/

     • Convey policy-related issues and constraints to decision-
       makers in the govt. for favorable action.
     • Work with decision makers on how to address farm policy
       issues and problems to improve farmers’ livelihood.
     • If possible, organize farmers to interact and/or
       communicate with decision makers to discuss and resolve
       their policy-related issues.
     • Work with decision makers to create a favorable
       environment for enhanced technology adoption.
       Example: Action Plan developed for Vandayariruppu village, Tamil Nadu, India (2001)

Rank     Solutions identified      Category of solutions                    Action plan
 I     a) IPM training (cultural   Dissemination           SWMRI will give hands on training to the
       practices, INM)                                     farmers on all aspects of IPM including INM.
       b) Crop rotation            Research issue          SWMRI will evaluate the proposed cropping
                                                           pattern of pulse – rice – pulse in the village.
 II    a) Direct seeding           Validation              SWMRI will organize on farm trials on the
                                                           use of drum seeder for direct wet seeding.
       b) Dealers training         Dissemination           Training local pesticide retailers on selection
                                                           and use of pesticides & herbicides.
 III   a) Balanced nutrition       Validation              On-farm SSNM trials in farmers’ fields and
                                                           training of farmers on balanced NPK use.
       b) Training on seed         Dissemination           Training on seed production will be given to
       production                                          farmer seed producers in the village.
Nil    Credit                      Policy                  Consistent government policy on farm credit;
                                                           Linking of govt. procurement agency
                                                           (TNCSC) and banks as well as forming
                                                           Farmer clubs to facilitate credit.
       Community threshing         Infrastructure          Work with District Rural Development
       floor                                               Agency to construct threshing floors in the
       Deep tube-well for          Policy/                 Organize bank loans for tube-well
       irrigation                  infrastructure          construction by groups of farmers.
Action Plan

    •   Fixing clear goals and objectives
    •   Developing a list of do-able, time-bound activities
    •   Identifying who does what and fixing responsibility
    •   Developing milestones for monitoring progress and impact
    •   Budgeting (who will pay for what) and provision of funds
        for implementation
NOA Facilitator: Characteristics

    •   A people-oriented person
    •   Ingenious, patient, and convincing communicator
    •   Has capacity to elicit best out of people and situations
    •   Conversant with local language, culture and customs
    •   Has capacity to solve conflicts and develop consensus
Participants’ Impression about
NOA: 1

    • Exposes the res. & ext. staff to the holistic view of the
      farming and the real-world situation, in which farmers live
      and work.
    • Traces all stakeholders and institutions that influence
      farmers and farming in the study area.
    • Facilitates direct interaction with farmers and other
    • Is an interactive learning for all participants including
Participants’ Impression about
NOA: 2

    • Facilitates good feedback and suggestions from farmers on
      various issues.
    • Is an user-based approach to tackle farmers’ problems and
      provides better clue to develop an action plan.
    • Enhances the awareness of all concerned on problem –
      solution relationship and shows linkages of various issues
      and problems.
Participants’ Impression about
NOA: 3

   • Helps farmers develop a common understanding of
     problems, causes, potentials in the study area.
   • Gives scientists more ideas for planning research on
     actual field problems (higher relevance of research).
   • Helps researchers develop a common understanding of
     complex, multidisciplinary problems that confront farmers.
   • Helps research managers to identify multi-disciplinary
     projects based on field problems.
Participants’ Impression about
NOA: 4

    • Creates awareness among farmers about new and/or
      existing technologies that could solve their problems.
    • Facilitates the transfer of technologies.
    • Provides a better understanding of farmer adoption
      constraints of new technologies.
    • Helps in the clarification and/or removal of certain myths or
      mis-beliefs in farming.
Participants’ Impression about
NOA: 5

    • Helps develop a joint action plan for follow-up
    • Helps fix responsibility for each stakeholder in the
      implementation of the jointly agreed action plan.
    • Develops a better linkage between providers and users as
      well as with other stakeholders.
    • Increases the confidence of research and extension staff in
      effectively interacting and/or working with farmers.
Participants’ Impression about
NOA: 6
    • Increases farmers’ confidence on and respect to scientists
      & extension staff who they view as genuine helpers.
    • Enhances administrators’ and policy makers’ recognition
      of field-oriented staff.
    • Facilitates a joint action on policy-related issues by the
      institutions concerned.
    • Develops a lighthouse site for training on successful
      strategies and technologies.
NOA Training Folder: Contents

    • A copy of NOA paper
    • Flip charts/Transparencies/Slides of NOA presentation
    • A copy of model NOA report
    • A set of field survey sheets
    • A set of Tables for use in problem & solution analysis
    • Examples of resource maps, cropping patterns, etc.
    • Examples of stakeholder and problem tree diagrams
    • An information sheet on how to facilitate interactive
      discussion with farmers, using cue cards
    • List of logistics and supplies
    • A model program & budget for a 2-day NOA

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