CIMMYT Report on maize improvement 1976-77
In 1976 and 1977, our maize scientists worked alongside national program scientists in 45 countries. We had firsthand looks at international trials and at production problems in farmers' fields. We also contacted former trainees and some national program leaders to discuss policy issues that influence maize production. The crucial questions continue to be these: Have we systematically identified the factors that limit production? Do we have effective research plans to investigate and overcome these constraints? How can we best overcome such restraints-by changes in technology, changes in policy, or both? In approaching these problems, we find that maize research workers often isolate themselves-within disciplines, within programs, within countries. They have not been sufficiently aware of factors other than technological research that might be effective in developing their agricultural production systems. However, there seems to be a consensus that planning production programs is not a desk task; rather it requires that the scientists move into the field to seek out the limiting factors and determine which constraints can be remedied by research and/or policy changes. Once these aspects have been identified, it is relatively simple to design appropriate trials for on-farm testing and to establish farm demonstrations on the basis of data from on-farm testing. The on·farm testing results will quickly indicate the strengths and weaknesses of the technology available, which in turn should dictate the specific kind of research that should be undertaken immediately. In the same way, the involvement with the farmers and extension service will quickly identify the strengths and weaknesses of extension service or other delivery mechanisms, allowing prompt correction. The constraints that are slowing production, and which might require policy changes, will be highlighted, and thus more easily corrected. This kind of problem solving depends on a team approach-several different disciplines working together in a totally integrated effort. Integration is the key concept here; yet we find few cases where assessments of agricultural research needs are made in this pragmatic way. Such assessment must be done at several different levels.
|Annual Report biblioteca
|AGRICULTURAL SCIENCES AND BIOTECHNOLOGY, ZEA MAYS, GERMPLASM, GENE POOLS, PLANT NURSERIES, DISEASE RESISTANCE, PEST RESISTANCE, TRAINING COURSES, HIGH YIELDING VARIETIES, ALTITUDE, SPODOPTERA, DIATRAEA, FUSARIUM, HELMINTHOSPORIUM, PUCCINIA, GIBBERELLA, EXPERIMENTATION, PROTEIN CONTENT, EARLY MATURATION, PLANT BREEDING,
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