Except in the concessionaire zones, few farmers use improved varieties, inputs, and cultivation and storage techniques and, as a consequence, yields and incomes remain low. Facing capital, labor, technological and marketing constraints, few farmers can expand their planted hectarage.
Moreover, using traditional storage techniques with high loss rates, they are compelled to sell most of their crop at low prices at harvest time, prices so low that the use of modern varieties, inputs and cultivation technologies would be less profitable and far riskier than traditional techniques. In this context, many of the extension workers’ best messages are perceived to be irrelevant. Thus, fear, risks and poverty comprise a vicious cycle of low prices and incomes, low-yield, low-risk techniques, and urgent, untimely sales depressing, again, prices and incomes.
Finally, even in communities with small irrigation projects, the lack of capital and organizational ability often lead to in-fighting and failure to cooperate in paying for the ongoing operational and maintenance expenditures, thus ruining the project once the financier withdraws support and stops paying for the inputs out of the receipts promised from the harvest in what was essentially a contract-farming relationship.