decisions in the family, but it turned out to be the opposite.
The study concluded that:
Training for Transformation (TFT) was a method to be recommended as it empowers local people to control their lives through active participation in their own development and sharing of ideas and knowledge. TFT stresses the importance of participation and co-operation of both, male and female members in organisational development in order to build institutions which enable people to become self-reliant.
Conclusion and the way forward
In conclusion it is noted that many efforts towards conservation tillage practice in ESA has been put in place although impact is yet to be felt. A wide variety of factors have worked against research and extension efforts for technology transfer, and traditional practice has continued to persist and dominate. In many cases poor technology transfer techniques have been tried and farmers are yet to adopt conservation tillage practices en masse.
For progress to be attained, the definition of the path to be followed can only be based around the wide range of literature items cited, the experiences therein and that of these authors. The appropriate approach for Contil promotion in the region can therefore be defined and subscribed as one to include the following components:
Farmer-centered, aggressive, on-farm, participatory methodologies in demonstration and practice as well as publicity for sensitization, with all parties (researchers, extensionists, farmers, support service providers, government and non- government operators) applying their appropriate and adequate roles.
. Marrying traditional knowledge, ideas and
practice, while accommodating fears and experiences about technologies, with socio- economic and other concerns of end-users. Farmer exchange visits will be most important in this endeavour.
iii. Identifying suitable equipment and promoting the same nationally and regionally while merging resources and eliminating duplication of efforts within and between nations.
Applied field testing with farmers as more research findings are made, especially to quantify the real gains of the use of various equipment while accommodating the natural and other development trends and narrowing the gap between research & end-users
A systems approach, to multi-disciplinary and multi-sector research and technology transfer efforts which capture environmental protection and soil management techniques, agro-forestry practices and economic well- being of all parties involved, and especially smallholder farmers.
Formal Contil networking, collaboration and co-ordination backed by training, support for equipment supply, including simplification for local manufacture and other support.
Shortcomings in technology and equipment development is not unique to conservation tillage but subject to the many general as well as specific shortcomings and gaps in agricultural mechanization endeavour.
viii. Efforts towards capacity building in terms of institutional back-up, training, personnel, equipment and other support are faced with shortcomings in disciplinary commitment & time allocation, which calls for adequate remuneration of professionals.
Improved agricultural technologies should be directed to alleviating soil-related constraints of accelerated soil erosion, rapid fertility depletion, nutrient imbalance, and drought stress. Furthermore, essential inputs must be made available at affordable prices and on time. Beyond these, farmers must be adequately rewarded for their produce and be assured of returns.
Work with farmers – especially to build on their traditional ways to give real meaning and confirm indicators brought about by research is recommended. For example, mulch ripping has shown great promise for soil structural stability while the hand hoeing has shown soil strengths that could inhibit root penetration but probably hand-hoeing and no mulch ripping will continue to be the practice in reality.
Africa is endowed with a wide diversity of climate, vegetation, geography, terrain and soils. Yet the range of species grown is rather narrow. Introduction of new species could spread risks and increase options. There is no justification for ignoring cash crops.
This paper is published in: Kaumbutho P G and Simalenga T E (eds), 1999. Conservation tillage with animal traction. A resource book of the
Animal Traction Network for Eastern and Southern Africa (ATNESA). Harare. Zimbabwe. 173p. A publication supported by French Cooperation, Namibia. For details of ATNESA and its resource publications, see http://www.atnesa.org