Economic Efficiency, Allen / Uzama and Morishima Elasticities of Smallholder Agriculture In Dedza District, Malawi

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Journal of Central European Agriculture, 2013, 14(2), p.604-617 p.126-139 DOI: 10.5513/JCEA01/14.2.1241 Economic Efficiency, Allen / Uzama and Morishima Elasticities of Smallholder Agriculture In Dedza District, Malawi 1* 1 2 Assa M. MAGANGA Abdi-Khalil EDRISS and Greenwell C. MATCHAYA 1. Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Bunda College of Agriculture, University of Malawi, P.O. Box 219, Lilongwe, Tel. +265999101046, Email: arthurmaganga@yahoo.com “Correspondence” 2. School and Agriculture and Policy Development, University of Reading, UK ABSTRACT This paper is an attempt to measure the economic efficiency of Dedza smallholder Irish potato (Solanum tuberosum) farmers in Malawi using a translog cost frontier, inefficiency effect model and input Elasticities from Seeming Unrelated Regression Model for asystem of cost share equations for labour, fertilizer, seed and land. A sample of 200 farmers has been considered from Dedza district in Malawi. Results indicate that the mean economic efficiency of Irish potato production in Dedza District is 0.61 with scores ranging between 0.12 and 0.94. The economic efficiency differences are significantly explained by non-farm employment, education, credit access, farm experience, degree of specialization, household size and frequency of weeding. The highest input substitution existed between labour and fertilizer, followed by seedfertilizer. Keywords: Allen, Morishima, Economic efficiency, elasticity, Irish potato, Malawi JEL CLASSIFICATION: D12, D24, O33, Q16 INTRODUCTION The agricultural sector has always been an important component of the Republic of Malawi’s economy. During the 2000s, agriculture accounted for as much as 35-40 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), 92 percent of overall employment, over 90 percent of the country’s foreign exchange earnings, provided 64% of total income for rural people and contributed 33.6 percent to the economic growth. Agriculture supports the manufacturing industry by supplying 65% of the raw materials needed. A significant feature of the Malawi’s agriculture is its duality in structure. This dual structure consists of large scale farming, which includes estates sector, and small scale production (GoM, 2007 and Damaliphetsaet.al, 2007). 1 126 604 Maganga et al.: Economic Efficiency, Allen / Uzama And Morishima Elasticities Of Smallholder. Research has shown that cultivation of horticultural crops is a potential alternative source of income to tobacco which is a major income source for most farmers and an important export earner for the country. In addition to national contribution, horticultural commodities such as Irish potato (Solanum tuberosum) the potential to contribute to household nutrition, food security and income (Kachule et al., 2009). Statistics from the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development (MEPD) indicate that on average, the horticulture sector contributes about 22% to the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and about 58% within the agricultural sector. The Malawi government recognizes that expansion of horticultural production for agroprocessing is one of the strategies for increasing agricultural productivity. In an effort to enhance performance of the horticulture sector, the government emphasizes developing marketing and agribusiness management skills for the horticulture sector. It is envisaged that such efforts have the potential to contribute to development of horticultural marketing and food processing in Malawi (Kachule et al., 2009). However, such efforts would be undermined by inefficiency in resource use. Efficiency studies have become more relevant in today’s world especially in Malawi’s agriculture sector which is characterised by resource constraints. The subject of efficiency in Malawi has received considerable attention in the literature (Edriss and Simtowe 2002; Tchale and Sauer 2007; Maganga 2012; Chirwa 2003). However, none of such studies from the study area had estimated economic efficiency and input demand elasticities in Irish potato production. Thus, this study aimed at identifying the socio-economic characteristics of the smallholder farmers, estimating the economic efficiency in Irish potato production among smallholder farmers and calculating input elasticities, Allen and also Morishima technical substitution elasticity of the inputs for cost items such as labor, seedling, fertilizers and land, which play a key role in the production of Irish potato. METHODOLOGY Data The data used in this study were collected from Dedza district in Malawi, which is one of high Irish potato producing districts. Dedza is a district in the Central Region of Malawi. It covers an area of 3,624 km² to the south of the Malawi capital city, Lilongwe, between Mozambique and Lake Malawi with 145,878 households (NSO, 2008). The landscape is a mixture of grassland with granite outcrops, natural woodland and commercial pine plantations on the mountains and some bamboo forest nearer the Lake (DDA, 2001). The wet season is November to April with almost no rainfall at other times. The higher altitudes have moderate temperatures and can be cold in June and July (DDA, 2001). A Multi-stage sampling technique was undertaken where 200 smallholder Irish potato farmers were selected. The district was clustered into Extension Planning Areas (EPAs) 2 127 605 Maganga et al.: Economic Efficiency, Allen / Uzama And Morishima Elasticities Of Smallholder. from which one EPA was randomly selected from the District. Secondly, a simple random sampling technique was used to sample two sections from the sampled EPA as secondary sampling units. Thirdly, sections were clustered into villages whereby villages were randomly sampled from each sampled section. Fourthly, from each sampled village, simple random sampling technique was used to select Irish potato farmers proportionately to size (Edriss, 2003). Data were collected using a structured questionnaire and focus group discussions. The questionnaire was designed and pretested in the field for its validity and content and to make overall improvement of the same and in line with the objectives of the study. Data were collected on output, input use, prices, socio-economic and institutional variables. Theoretical and Econometric Construct The stochastic frontier cost functions model for estimating plot level overall economic efficiency is specified as: Ci = g (Yi, Wi; α) + εii = 1, 2, n. [1] Where Ci represents minimum cost associated with Irish potato production, Yi represents output produced, W i represent vector of input prices, α, represents the parameters of the cost function and εi represents the composite error term. Using Sheppard’s Lemma we obtain ∂C [2] = X i (W , Y , α ) ∂Pi This corresponds to minimum cost input demand equations (Bravo – Ureta and Evenson, 1994 and Bravo- Ureta and Pinheiro, 1997). Substituting a farm’s input prices and quantity of output in equation (2) yields the economically efficient input vector. With observed levels of output given, the corresponding technically and economically efficient costs of production will be equal to XiiP and XieP, respectively. While the actual operating input combination of the farm is XiP. These cost measures can then be used to compute economic efficiency (EE) indices as follows; EE = (Xie.P) / (Xi.P) [3] Economic efficiency was measured using stochastic translog cost frontier function for Irish potato production. The function is specified as follows: 4 ln ci = α + ∑ β k ln wki + θ1 ln y i + k =1 4 1 1 4 4 2 ln ln β w x + θ y + β ky ln wk ln y + vi + ui ∑∑ kl ki li 2 2 ∑ 2 k =1 l =1 k =1 [4] Where lnci represents total input cost of the ith farm, w1 is the average price of kg of fertilizer, w2 is the average wage rate per man days of labour per day per hectare, w3 is the price per kg of tuber, w4 is the average rental price and yiIrish potato output. The βs, 3 128 606 Maganga et al.: Economic Efficiency, Allen / Uzama And Morishima Elasticities Of Smallholder. θs and α are parameters to be estimated. The cost frontier function is estimated through maximum likelihood methods. Discovering whether farms are economically efficient might not be important exercises unless an additional effort is made to identify the sources of the inefficiencies. Taking cognisance of this, the study investigated the sources of plot-level economic inefficiencies for the surveyed farmers. Empirically, the inefficiency model ui is specified as; 9 u i = φ 0 + ∑ φ r z ri [5] r =1 Where, zi is a vector of farm specific determinants of economic inefficiency, φ are the inefficiency parameter vectors to be estimated. The cost share equation for factor i is derived by differentiating the cost function with respect to lnwi following Chiang (1984): d ln c = α + ∑ β kj ln w j + β ky ln y d ln wi [6] But, using Shephard’s Lemma for the penultimate equality: w ∂c w x ∂ ln c = i = i i = si ∂ ln wi c∂wi c Therefore: si = α + ∑ β kj ln w j + β ky y [7] [8] To derive the elasticity of factor demand, which is the change in the quantity of factor i in response to a change in the price of factor j, observe that: xi = c si wi [9] λ kj = wj ∂ c ∂ log x i ( si ) = xi ∂w j wi ∂ log w j [10] w j  cβ kj x j si    (using Shephard’s Lemma) + xi  wk w j wk  β kj  w j x j  c    + si = si  c  wi xi  = Therefore: 4 129 607 Maganga et al.: Economic Efficiency, Allen / Uzama And Morishima Elasticities Of Smallholder. λ kj = β kj ∂ log xi = + sj ∂ log w j si [11] Allen Elasticity of Substitution (AES) is given as: σ ij = β ii si s j +1 [12] βij = 0, yields an AES of unity. The expression for the own elasticity of factor demand is (Binswanger, 1974): λ kk = β ii si si + si − 1 [12] While the corresponding AES is: σ ii = β ii si si + 1 − si [13] Humphrey and Wolkowitz (1976) suggest the own AES can be interpreted as a change in a factor’s demand responsiveness to a change in its own price. While, the Morishima elasticities of substitution (MES) were estimated from the factor demand elasticities as λ kj − λ kk . AES do not indicate the curvature or ease of substitution. They are single input - price elasticities and do not relate optimal input ratios to those of input prices. Thus, they cannot provide information on the relative input responsiveness to changesin input prices. In contrast, the MES preserve the salient features of the Hicksian concept in the multifactor context and measure theease of substitution. The MES are, therefore, sufficient statistics for assessing the effects of changes in the price on relative factor shares (Blackorby and Rusell, 1989). RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Descriptive Statistics The average statistics of the sampled Irish potato farmers are presented in Table 1. On the average, a typical Irish potato farmer in the district is 45 years old, with 4 years of education, 19 years of farming experience and an average household size of 4.9 persons. The average Irish potato farmer cultivated 0.6 ha, made an average of 1.4 extension contacts in the year, used about 254kg of fertilizer and 1852kg of Irish potato, employed 176 man-days of labour and produced an output of 12371kg of Irish potato per annum. Irish potato production in the district is a male dominated occupation as about 62% of the farmers were males. 5 130 608 Maganga et al.: Economic Efficiency, Allen / Uzama And Morishima Elasticities Of Smallholder. Estimation of Farm Level Economic Efficiency The stochastic frontier model is specified for the analysis of economic efficiency of farmers in the production of Irish potato in Dedza district. The stochastic cost frontier in Equation 4 is used to estimate the model. A single stage estimation procedure was applied. The Maximum-Likelihood estimates of the parameters of the Translog frontier cost function are presented in Table 2. Table 1: Definition of variables and descriptive statistics Variable Units Average Age Years 44.5 Education Years 3.5 Farming Experience Years 19.7 Potato plot Hectares 0.60 Land size Hectares 1.25 Land rent Imputed cost of land 3329 Extension visit No. of visits 1.4 Fertilizer Kg/ha 254 Price of fertilizer Malawi kwacha/kg 23 Labour Person-days/ha/year 176 Wage rate Price of labour/month 2700 Irish potato Yield Kg/ha 12371 Irish potato price Malawi kwacha/kg 60 Household size No of persons 4.25 Seed price Malawi Kwacha/kg 215 Seed quantity Kg 1852 Gender of household 1=Male; =otherwise head Hoes Number of hoes 3 Cost of hoes Total cost of hoes 684 Experience Years in farming 19 1=access 0 = Credit status 0.34 otherwise Degree of specialization Weeding frequency Non-farm employment Farmer organization membership Potato plot/Total crop 0.31 acreage Number of times/year 1 1=yes; 0 = Otherwise 1=yes; 0 = Otherwise - Minimum 28 0 3 0.09 0.45 2952 0 7.6 16 97 1145 8084 45 2 67 1134 Maximum 60 7 36 1.38 2.13 3538 3 561 31 300 4284 19468 75 9 325 2652 0 1 1 100 3 6 2860 36 0 1 0.12 0.78 0 0 2 1 0 1 1USD = 167 Malawi Kwacha (MK) 6 131 609 Maganga et al.: Economic Efficiency, Allen / Uzama And Morishima Elasticities Of Smallholder. The cost function estimates showed that all the linear terms were significant at different conventional levels. Though some interactive elements were not significant, most of them were significant hence validating suitability of translog model. Table 2: Estimated Translog Stochastic Frontier Cost Function for Irish Potato in Dedza District, Malawi Variable Constant Ln (Price of fertilizer) Ln(Wage rate) Ln(Price of Seed) Coefficient Std. Err. t-value p > |t| α β1 β2 β3 β4 975.34*** 0.184*** 0.381*** 0.238*** 0.55** 4 0.073 0.13 0.062 0.27 243.54 2.52 2.92 3.84 2.00 0.000 0.002 0.003 0.000 0.046 Ln(output) 2 0.5Ln(Price of fertilizer) 2 0.5Ln(Wage rate) 2 0.5Ln(Price of Seed) 2 0.5Ln(Land rent) 2 0.5Ln(output) Ln(Price of fertilizer)⨉Ln(Wage rate) Ln(Price of fertilizer)⨉Ln(Price of Seed) Ln(Price of fertilizer)⨉Ln(Land rent) Ln(Price of fertilizer)⨉Ln(Output) Ln(Wage rate)⨉Ln(Price of seed) Ln(Wage rate)⨉Ln(Land rent) θ1 β11 β22 β33 β44 θ2 β12 β13 0.25* -0.31** 1.45 2.30** 0.16* -0.078 0.23 0.12* 0.16 0.17 1.23 0.8 0.1 0.143 0.86 0.08 1.56 -1.82 1.18 2.87 1.60 -0.545 0.30 1.5 0.098 0.070 0.239 0.014 0.111 0.586 0.764 0.092 β14 β23 β24 β34 0.25 0.19*** 0.04** 0.88*** 0.01 0.05 0.02 0.32 25.00 3.80 2.00 2.75 0.000 0.000 0.047 0.006 Ln(Wage rate)⨉Ln(Output) θ3 0.64*** 0.11 5.81 0.000 Ln(Land rent)⨉Ln(Output) θ4 0.034 0.05 0.665 0.506 Ln(Land rent) Parameter Log-likelihood function 72.35 2 Total Variance σ 0.62*** 0.06 10.65 0.000 Variance ratio γ 0.95*** 0.013 74.12 0.000 Wald chi2(18) 1152 Mean VIF 3.32 Breusch Pagan 0.035 0.000 0.872 ***, **, *, mean, 1, 5, and 10% significance level, respectively The Maximum Likelihood (ML) estimates of the stochastic frontier Translog cost parameters for Irish potato are presented in Table 2. For the cost function, the sigma (σ2 = 0.62) and the gamma (γ=0.95) are quite high and highly significant at 1.0% level. The 7 132 610 Maganga et al.: Economic Efficiency, Allen / Uzama And Morishima Elasticities Of Smallholder. high and significant value of the sigma square (σ2) indicates the goodness of fit and correctness of the specified assumption of the composite error terms distribution (Idiong, 2005). In addition, the Wald chi-square statistic for joint test of the model indicates that the model is significant (p <0.01), overly. There was tolerable level of multicollinearity justified by a mean VIF of 3.32 <10 (Edriss, 2003). The homoskedasticity hypothesis was also satisfied as indicated by Breusch Pagan chi-square estimate of 0.035 (p>0.1). The gamma (γ = 0.95) shows that 95% of the variability in the output of Irish potato farmers that are unexplained by the function is due to economic inefficiency. The predicted economic efficiencies (EE) estimated as inverse of cost efficiencies differs substantially among the farmers, ranging between 0.12 and 0.94 with a mean EE of 0.61. This means that if the average farmer in the sample area were to reach the EE level of its most efficient counterpart, then the average farmer could experience a cost saving of 35 percent [i.e. 1-(0.61/0.94)x100].The same computation for the most economically inefficient farmer suggests a gain in economic efficiency of 87 percent [i.e. 1- (0.12/0.94x100]. Table 3: Distribution of Economic Efficiency for Dedza Irish Potato Production Economic Efficiency range Frequency Percent < 0.20 7 3.50 0.21 –0.25 5 2.50 0.26 –0.30 10 5.00 0.31 –0.35 7 3.50 0.36 –0.40 14 7.00 0.41 –0.45 11 5.50 0.46 –0.50 10 5.00 0.51 –0.55 11 5.50 0.56 - 0.60 10 5.00 0.61 –0.65 18 9.00 0.66 –0.70 21 10.50 0.71 –0.75 15 7.50 0.76 –0.80 20 10.00 0.81 –0.85 28 14.00 0.86 –0.90 8 4.00 0.91 –0.95 5 2.50 Total 200 100.00 And to give a better indication of the distribution of the economic efficiencies, a frequency distribution table of the predicted economic efficiency scores is presented in 8 133 611 Maganga et al.: Economic Efficiency, Allen / Uzama And Morishima Elasticities Of Smallholder. Table 3. The frequencies of occurrence of the predicted economic efficiency scores indicate that the highest number of farmers have economic efficiencies between 0.81 – 0.85, representing about 14 percent of the respondents while about 57 percent of the respondents have EE of 0.61 and above which is an indication that farmers are fairly efficient. That is, the farmers are fairly efficient in producing a pre – determined quantity of Irish potato at a minimum cost for a given level of technology. Factor Demand Elasticities The parameters of the system of cost share equations for labour, fertilizer, seed and land were estimated using Seemingly Unrelated Regression (SUR) technique of (Zellner, 1962). The parameters could be estimated using the ordinary least squares (OLS). However, equilibrium value of MeCpG steps (,+14 deg.) [31,44]. In comparison, methylation has a significantly lower stability cost when happening at major groove positions, such as 211 and 21 base pair from dyad (mutations 9 and 12), where the roll of the nucleosome bound conformation (+10 deg.) is more compatible with the equilibrium geometry of MeCpG steps. The nucleosome destabilizing effect of cytosine methylation increases with the number of methylated cytosines, following the same position dependence as the single methylations. The multiple-methylation case reveals that each major groove meth- PLOS Computational Biology | www.ploscompbiol.org 3 November 2013 | Volume 9 | Issue 11 | e1003354 DNA Methylation and Nucleosome Positioning ylation destabilizes the nucleosome by around 1 kJ/mol (close to the average estimate of 2 kJ/mol obtained for from individual methylation studies), while each minor groove methylation destabilizes it by up to 5 kJ/mol (average free energy as single mutation is around 6 kJ/mol). This energetic position-dependence is the reverse of what was observed in a recent FRET/SAXS study [30]. The differences can be attributed to the use of different ionic conditions and different sequences: a modified Widom-601 sequence of 157 bp, which already contains multiple CpG steps in mixed orientations, and which could assume different positioning due to the introduction of new CpG steps and by effect of the methylation. The analysis of our trajectories reveals a larger root mean square deviation (RMSD) and fluctuation (RMSF; see Figures S2– S3 in Text S1) for the methylated nucleosomes, but failed to detect any systematic change in DNA geometry or in intermolecular DNA-histone energy related to methylation (Fig. S1B, S1C, S4–S6 in Text S1). The hydrophobic effect should favor orientation of the methyl group out from the solvent but this effect alone is not likely to justify the positional dependent stability changes in Figure 2, as the differential solvation of the methyl groups in the bound and unbound states is only in the order of a fraction of a water molecule (Figure S5 in Text S1). We find however, a reasonable correlation between methylation-induced changes in hydrogen bond and stacking interactions of the bases and the change in nucleosome stability (see Figure S6 in Text S1). This finding suggests that methylation-induced nucleosome destabilization is related to the poorer ability of methylated DNA to fit into the required conformation for DNA in a nucleosome. Changes in the elastic deformation energy between methylated and un-methylated DNA correlate with nucleosomal differential binding free energies To further analyze the idea that methylation-induced nucleosome destabilization is connected to a worse fit of methylated DNA into the required nucleosome-bound conformation, we computed the elastic energy of the nucleosomal DNA using a harmonic deformation method [36,37,44]. This method provides a rough estimate of the energy required to deform a DNA fiber to adopt the super helical conformation in the nucleosome (full details in Suppl. Information Text S1). As shown in Figure 2, there is an evident correlation between the increase that methylation produces in the elastic deformation energy (DDE def.) and the free energy variation (DDG bind.) computed from MD/TI calculations. Clearly, methylation increases the stiffness of the CpG step [31], raising the energy cost required to wrap DNA around the histone octamers. This extra energy cost will be smaller in regions of high positive roll (naked DNA MeCpG steps have a higher roll than CpG steps [31]) than in regions of high negative roll. Thus, simple elastic considerations explain why methylation is better tolerated when the DNA faces the histones through the major groove (where positive roll is required) that when it faces histones through the minor groove (where negative roll is required). Nucleosome methylation can give rise to nucleosome repositioning We have established that methylation affects the wrapping of DNA in nucleosomes, but how does this translate into chromatin structure? As noted above, accumulation of minor groove methylations strongly destabilizes the nucleosome, and could trigger nucleosome unfolding, or notable changes in positioning or phasing of DNA around the histone core. While accumulation of methylations might be well tolerated if placed in favorable positions, accumulation in unfavorable positions would destabilize the nucleosome, which might trigger changes in chromatin structure. Chromatin could in fact react in two different ways in response to significant levels of methylation in unfavorable positions: i) the DNA could either detach from the histone core, leading to nucleosome eviction or nucleosome repositioning, or ii) the DNA could rotate around the histone core, changing its phase to place MeCpG steps in favorable positions. Both effects are anticipated to alter DNA accessibility and impact gene expression regulation. The sub-microsecond time scale of our MD trajectories of methylated DNAs bound to nucleosomes is not large enough to capture these effects, but clear trends are visible in cases of multiple mutations occurring in unfavorable positions, where unmethylated and methylated DNA sequences are out of phase by around 28 degrees (Figure S7 in Text S1). Due to this repositioning, large or small, DNA could move and the nucleosome structure could assume a more compact and distorted conformation, as detected by Lee and Lee [29], or a slightly open conformation as found in Jimenez-Useche et al. [30]. Using the harmonic deformation method, we additionally predicted the change in stability induced by cytosine methylation for millions of different nucleosomal DNA sequences. Consistently with our calculations, we used two extreme scenarios to prepare our DNA sequences (see Fig. 3): i) all positions where the minor grooves contact the histone core are occupied by CpG steps, and ii) all positions where the major grooves contact the histone core are occupied by CpG steps. We then computed the elastic energy required to wrap the DNA around the histone proteins in unmethylated and methylated states, and, as expected, observed that methylation disfavors DNA wrapping (Figure 3A). We have rescaled the elastic energy differences with a factor of 0.23 to match the DDG prediction in figure 2B. In agreement with the rest of our results, our analysis confirms that the effect of methylation is position-dependent. In fact, the overall difference between the two extreme methylation scenarios (all-in-minor vs all-in-major) is larger than 60 kJ/mol, the average difference being around 15 kJ/ mol. We have also computed the elastic energy differences for a million sequences with CpG/MeCpG steps positioned at all possible intermediate locations with respect to the position (figure 3B). The large differences between the extreme cases can induce rotations of DNA around the histone core, shifting its phase to allow the placement of the methylated CpG steps facing the histones through the major groove. It is illustrative to compare the magnitude of CpG methylation penalty with sequence dependent differences. Since there are roughly 1.5e88 possible 147 base pairs long sequence combinations (i.e., (4n+4(n/2))/2, n = 147), it is unfeasible to calculate all the possible sequence effects. However, using our elastic model we can provide a range of values based on a reasonably large number of samples. If we consider all possible nucleosomal sequences in the yeast genome (around 12 Mbp), the energy difference between the best and the worst sequence that could form a nucleosome is 0.7 kj/mol per base (a minimum of 1 kJ/mol and maximum of around 1.7 kJ/mol per base, the first best and the last worst sequences are displayed in Table S3 in Text S1). We repeated the same calculation for one million random sequences and we obtained equivalent results. Placing one CpG step every helical turn gives an average energetic difference between minor groove and major groove methylation of 15 kJ/ mol, which translates into ,0.5 kJ/mol per methyl group, 2 kJ/ mol per base for the largest effects. Considering that not all nucleosome base pair steps are likely to be CpG steps, we can conclude that the balance between the destabilization due to CpG methylation and sequence repositioning will depend on the PLOS Computational Biology | www.ploscompbiol.org 4 November 2013 | Volume 9 | Issue 11 | e1003354 DNA Methylation and Nucleosome Positioning Figure 3. Methylated and non-methylated DNA elastic deformation energies. (A) Distribution of deformation energies for 147 bplong random DNA sequences with CpG steps positioned every 10 base steps (one helical turn) in minor (red and dark red) and major (light and dark blue) grooves respectively. The energy values were rescaled by the slope of a best-fit straight line of figure 2, which is 0.23, to por la lectura a través de la lectura de la prensa. La educación en los medios las fuerzas dispersas en función de los soportes mediáticos y orientarse más hacia la educación en medios que al dominio adquiere pleno derecho y entidad en la sección sexta titulada «competencias sociales y cívi- técnico de los aparatos. cas» que indica que «los alum- nos deberán ser capaces de juz- gar y tendrán espíritu crítico, lo que supone ser educados en los las programaciones oficiales, ya que, a lo largo de un medios y tener conciencia de su lugar y de su influencia estudio de los textos, los documentalistas del CLEMI en la sociedad». han podido señalar más de una centena de referencias a la educación de los medios en el seno de disciplinas 4. Un entorno positivo como el francés, la historia, la geografía, las lenguas, Si nos atenemos a las cifras, el panorama de la las artes plásticas : trabajos sobre las portadas de educación en medios es muy positivo. Una gran ope- prensa, reflexiones sobre temas mediáticos, análisis de ración de visibilidad como la «Semana de la prensa y publicidad, análisis de imágenes desde todos los ángu- de los medios en la escuela», coordinada por el CLE- los, reflexión sobre las noticias en los países europeos, MI, confirma año tras año, después de 17 convocato- información y opinión rias, el atractivo que ejerce sobre los profesores y los Esta presencia se constata desde la escuela mater- alumnos. Concebida como una gran operación de nal (2 a 6 años) donde, por ejemplo, se le pregunta a complementariedad entre la escuela y los profesiona- los niños más pequeños si saben diferenciar entre un les de los medios, alrededor del aprendizaje ciudada- periódico, un libro, un catálogo, a través de activida- no de la comunicación mediática, este evento moviliza des sensoriales, si saben para qué sirve un cartel, un durante toda una semana un porcentaje elevado de periódico, un cuaderno, un ordenador si son capa- centros escolares que representan un potencial de 4,3 ces de reconocer y distinguir imágenes de origen y de millones de alumnos (cifras de 2006). Basada en el naturaleza distintas. Podríamos continuar con más voluntariado, la semana permite desarrollar activida- ejemplos en todos los niveles de enseñanza y práctica- des más o menos ambiciosas centradas en la introduc- Páginas 43-48 ción de los medios en la vida de la escuela a través de la instalación de kioscos, organización de debates con profesionales y la confección por parte de los alumnos de documentos difundidos en los medios profesionales. Es la ocasión de dar un empujón a la educación en medios y de disfrutarlos. Los medios –un millar en 2006– se asocian de maneras diversas ofreciendo ejemplares de periódicos, acceso a noticias o a imágenes, proponiendo encuentros, permitiendo intervenir a los jóvenes en sus ondas o en sus columnas Esta operación da luz al trabajo de la educación en medios y moviliza a los diferentes participantes en el proyecto. 5. La formación de los docentes La formación es uno de los pilares principales de la educación en los medios. Su función es indispensable ya que no se trata de una disciplina, sino de una enseñanza que se hace sobre la base del voluntariado y del compromiso personal. Se trata de convencer, de mostrar, de interactuar. En primer lugar es necesario incluirla en la formación continua de los docentes, cuyo volumen se ha incrementado desde 1981 con la aparición de una verdadera política de formación continua de personal. Es difícil dar una imagen completa del volumen y del público, pero si nos atenemos a las cifras del CLEMI, hay más de 24.000 profesores que han asistido y se han involucrado durante 2004-05. 5.1. La formación continua En la mayoría de los casos, los profesores reciben su formación en contextos cercanos a su centro de trabajo, o incluso en este mismo. Después de una política centrada en la oferta que hacían los formadores, se valora más positivamente la demanda por parte del profesorado, ya que sólo así será verdaderamente fructífera. Los cursos de formación se repartieron en varias categorías: desde los formatos más tradicionales (cursos, debates, animaciones), hasta actividades de asesoramiento y de acompañamiento, y por supuesto los coloquios que permiten un trabajo en profundidad ya que van acompañados de expertos investigadores y profesionales. Citemos, por ejemplo en 2005, los coloquios del CLEMI-Toulouse sobre el cine documental o el del CLEMI-Dijon sobre «Políticos y medios: ¿connivencia?». Estos coloquios, que forman parte de un trabajo pedagógico regular, reagrupan a los diferentes participantes regionales y nacionales alrededor de grandes temas de la educación en medios y permiten generar nuevos conocimientos de aproximación y una profundización. Páginas 43-48 Hay otro tipo de formación original que se viene desarrollando desde hace menos tiempo, a través de cursos profesionales, como por ejemplo, en el Festival Internacional de Foto-periodismo «Visa para la imagen», en Perpignan. La formación se consolida en el curso, da acceso a las exposiciones, a las conferencias de profesionales y a los grandes debates, pero añade además propuestas pedagógicas y reflexiones didácticas destinadas a los docentes. Estas nuevas modalidades de formación son también consecuencia del agotamiento de la formación tradicional en las regiones. Los contenidos más frecuentes en formación continua conciernen tanto a los temas más clásicos como a los cambios que se están llevando a cabo en las prácticas mediáticas. Así encontramos distintas tendencias para 2004-05: La imagen desde el ángulo de la producción de imágenes animadas, el análisis de la imagen de la información o las imágenes del J.T. La prensa escrita y el periódico escolar. Internet y la información en línea. Medios y educación de los medios. 5.2 La formación inicial La formación inicial está aun en un grado muy ini- cial. El hecho de que la educación en medios no sea una disciplina impide su presencia en los IUFM (Institutos Universitarios de Formación de Maestros) que dan una prioridad absoluta a la didáctica de las disciplinas. En 2003, alrededor de 1.400 cursillistas sobre un total de 30.000 participaron en un momento u otro de un módulo de educación en medios. Estos módulos se ofrecen en función del interés que ese formador encuentra puntualmente y forman parte a menudo de varias disciplinas: documentación, letras, historia-geografía Estamos aún lejos de una política concertada en este dominio. La optativa «Cine-audiovisual» ha entrado desde hace muy poco tiempo en algunos IUFM destinada a obtener un certificado de enseñanza de la opción audiovisual y cine. Internet tiene cabida también en los cursos de formación inicial, recientemente con la aparición de un certificado informático y de Internet para los docentes, dirigido más a constatar competencias personales que a valorar una aptitud para enseñarlos. 6. ¿Y el futuro? El problema del futuro se plantea una vez más por la irrupción de nuevas técnicas y nuevos soportes. La difusión acelerada de lo digital replantea hoy muchas cuestiones relativas a prácticas mediáticas. Muchos Comunicar, 28, 2007 47 Comunicar, 28, 2007 Enrique Martínez-Salanova '2007 para Comunicar 48 trabajos que llevan el rótulo de la educación en medios solicitan una revisión ya que los conceptos cambian. La metodología elaborada en el marco de la educación en medios parece incluso permitir la inclinación de la sociedad de la información hacia una sociedad del conocimiento, como defiende la UNESCO. En Francia, se necesitaría unir las fuerzas dispersas en función de los soportes mediáticos y orientarse más hacia la educación en medios que al dominio técnico de los aparatos. Los avances recientes en el reconocimiento de estos contenidos y las competencias que supondrían podrían permitirlo. Referencias CLEMI/ACADEMIE DE BORDEAUX (Ed.) (2003): Parcours médias au collège: approches disciplinaires et transdisciplinaires. Aquitaine, Sceren-CRDP. GONNET, J. (2001): Education aux médias. Les controverses fécondes. Paris, Hachette Education/CNDP. SAVINO, J.; MARMIESSE, C. et BENSA, F. (2005): L’éducation aux médias de la maternelle au lycée. Direction de l’Enseignement Scolaire. Paris, Ministère de l’Education Nationale, Sceren/CNDP, Témoigner. BEVORT, E. et FREMONT, P. (2001): Médias, violence et education. Paris, CNDP, Actes et rapports pour l’éducation. – www.clemi.org: fiches pédagogiques, rapports et liens avec les pages régionales/académiques. – www.ac-nancy-metz.fr/cinemav/quai.html: Le site «Quai des images» est dédié à l’enseignement du cinéma et de l’audiovisuel. – www.france5.fr/education: la rubrique «Côté profs» a une entrée «education aux médias». – www.educaunet.org: Programme européen d’éducation aux risques liés à Internet. dResedfeleexliobnuetsacón Páginas 43-48
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