IPCM model proviid by m.sharifi .m for Sustainable Agriculture Development in iran and developing countyry
One of the important models in sustainable development process is communication cycle, especially in technology and new findings transfer process at local and farmer level. After green revolution and industrial development in agricultural sector when chemical products, new seed varieties, new irrigation technologies and modern machineries were introduced, till now that making use of genetically modified crops, chemical hormones and synthesized chemicals publicized, the role of this model became more obvious.In agricultural development process the principals and main resources of communication are called agricultural information system. This system consists of 4 elements including research, extension, education and farmer.A survey on development approaches and models since 1950's showed that till 1980's the communication process has been mostlytop-down and based on a one-way technology transfer mechanism . This kind of insight towards communication,particularly in developing countries like Iran that most of the farming systems were formed in rural areas and more than 80% of the production system were based on this system, made the most of the technology and findings transfer efforts unsuccessful. Another survey on some development models based on this framework showed that developing programs and plans base on this insight was a mere waste of time and money and these programs were not led to a sustainable development . Moreover they caused some new crisis in environment, natural resources and ecology of the target area. Making use of these outdated communication mechanism in some developing countries resulted in distrust among farmers, refusing findings and technologies as well as simple advises from experts. Today making use of communication models based on top-down mechanism for transferring technologies and research findings could not be successful, since current agriculture is affected from agro-ecological factors as well as market indicators and global trades.
The prevalent communication systems in agricultural development process
Extension system content
Farmer doesn't know
Top-down unilateral communication system
Farmer doesn't have the required tools
Transfer of technology
End of 1980
Incompatibility of technology with local conditions
Assessment of local conditions by researchers
Incompatibility of technology with small holder farmers
Participatory communications and programs
Beginning of third millennium
Inability of researcher and extension experts in recognition of ecosystem and local dynamic conditions
IPCM based on ecosystem and dynamic conditions analysis
Research findings are not need-driven in top-down communication models and do not encompass ecological aspects, as well as geographical, natural and social conditions of the target group . The research findings are single crop/subject oriented and delivered as a general guideline. Research projects are done lacking a comprehensive insight towards production process. There is no coordination between operational tools and research projects which are mostly crop/subject oriented ; where as at field level farmers are cultivating various crops and facing various problems . Their knowledge and experiences are in conflict with most of the research findings . Farmers engage in the whole process of production, rather than a single problem or issue .In traditional method , there are some conceptual problems in research findings transfer to farmers . For example extension methods are developed without any attention to ecology of the target area and just try to transfer the research finding gained through experimental work at research stations on a top-down transfer mechanism . Most of the research finding could not be transferred to the target group though traditional methods . Still these incomplete extension activities do not encompass all of the farmers and just cover a small portion of the farmer called fore farmers without any possibilities for expansion of the program through them . More over farmer got confused among the diversity of the expert divisions and their different insights . Therefore the sustainable agriculture goals could not be reached and a practical comprehensive participatory approach for proper relationship between research, extension and farmer is needed at field level.
Research-extension-farmer linkage in traditional system
This model which has been used till 1980's in agricultural development route, was based on technology transfer through top-down communication methods and has been developed for primer goals of green revolution, which was more production to meet needed food of the country. Putting emphasis and following this model resulted in degradation of environment and natural resources, as well as creation of poverty , food crisis , water crisis , soil silent death , unsafe foods , water chemical pollution , new pests , outbreak of pests and ...
While production process in agriculture affected with climatic conditions and unpredictable hazards and moreover affected with management elements as a system including management of the primary production resources such as water, soil , bio and non bio ecosystemic factors , market and geographical situations agriculture management , local experiences , social conditions , various farming systems and ... So it is essential to have a comprehensive and systemic insight toward production.
Therefore " Integrated participatory communication management cycle " is the concept we can use to explain communication in agriculture sector .
This concept provides 4 structural evolutions :
- Developing communication methods based on ecology-driven learning
- Choosing adults bilateral communicational methods instead of unilateral methods
- Having a comprehensive management insight for communication in agriculture sector
- Putting emphasize on full participation of local community in communication cycle
The following diagram provides a general view of the model .
General view of the participator communication management model in agriculture
Main indicators of IPCM model
In this model a multilateral cooperation is made for making a sound communication , putting emphasize on ecosystem , social and economic structure , indigenous knowledge , tools , type of technology and climatic conditions of the target area . Meeting these goals requires a review on traditional methods, getting a new insight (according to the third millennium goals) towards reduction of crisis, poverty, environmental hazards, increasing social health, sexual equality and providing enough foods in agriculture sector.
The main principals of IPCM model are as fallows:
- The communication mechanism in sustainable agricultural development is based on indigenous people and local community participation so that a larger number of user can benefit the programs
- Environmental policies are embedded directly or indirectly in "Integrated participatory communication management cycle " with the aim of reduction of crisis caused by unsound utilization of technology .
- In IPCM, the technology transfer process and choosing communicational tools are defined according to sustainable production management indicators , ecosystem conservation and social and economic conditions of the target group
- It is essential to gain participation and collaboration of governmental and nongovernmental organizations, budget institutes and policy makers in order to create a sound communication and unity in implementation of the IPCM.
- In IPCM, all technology development-based projects are integrated and merged with other local projects.
- In rural structure and small holders based IPCM , increasing practical knowledge and technology development are accomplished through capacities of the individual farmers .
- In IPCM, government policies and programs are based on education and capacity building as well as technology and capital support.
- In IPCM, particular programs are developed for capacity building among rural women of developing countries.
- In IPCM, assessment are based according to indicators of outcome economic analysis framework
- In IPCM, it is important to develop technology according to indigenous knowledge, local experiences and social conditions of the target area.
General framework and concepts of IPCM
IPCM includes a series of methods and applied communication projects and tools in agricultural farming system, according to indigenous knowledge and local experiences for participatory technology and knowledge development in local communities through local networking , capacity building , education , local planning local communicational tools and ... with farmers participation .
Implemental structure of IPCM in sustainable agricultural development process
Main sustainable indicators in IPCM model
The sustainability concept in IPCM includes a series of main indicators for defining sustainable development and improving farmer family status. In addition to economic indicators growth, a new assessment of policies, sustainable development and environmental indicators are done to defining sustainability of the model.
These indicators are as follows:
- local communication tools in sustainable environmental management
- local communication tools sustainability in occupational health management
- local communication tools in sustainability in industrial input and technology values which should be compatible with local communities, environmental conditions and local livelihood
- local communication tools in sustainability management in food security and food safety
- local communication tools in community and rural health management
- local communication tools in local participation and networking for ecosystem-based local management
- local communication tools in participation in regional cooperation for solving common environmental issues and decreasing national and international environmental issues
IPCM Applied program system
This strategy implemented through specific sites called " Development Schools " or " Development Learning Sites " which are built according to ecosystem indicators and social , economic conditions of each area . In a general term, the integrated systematic process of research-development (R&D) is implemented. Local volunteer groups, capable of learning and teaching, gathered in these sites on a regular schedule and have continuous visits according to the predefined program. New technologies and techniques are introduced beside farmer experiences and indigenous knowledge according to local agro-ecosystem analysis on a field participatory research scheme. The sustainability indicators including integrated field management with the aim of increasing efficiency in utilization of soil and water and integrated participatory protection management (CWPM-IPM) are designed and implemented. At the same time, the process of capacity building among farmer groups are followed by facilitatory and practical methods. After assessing the result gained from development schools, the decision making on choosing proper communication tools are done by local communities and groups to expand the results at a larger are with government facilitating and supports. The communicational tools could be development through farmer to farmer, group to group, TOT network, field visits , specialized gatherings , farm day , group shows, crops festivals, crop ceremonies, findings transfer week, audio visual programs, local magazines, booklets, brochures, IT, SMS, ... The target groups are organized as local communities and at the same time the systematic process of supervision , implementation and development are designed and implemented by the same groups .
م.شریفی مقدم : مولف و طراح مدل