Farming for the future
The central concepts of this book are low external input and sustainable agriculture (LEISA) and participatory technology development (PTD) in the tropics.
The first part of the book provides background information about the need for sustainable agriculture, and draws attention to the central role played by farmers in achieving it.
Chapter 1 introduces the concept of sustainable agriculture and compares it with the past record of agricultural development. The focus in chapter 2 is on decision making by farm households. In chapter 3 a closer look is taken at the dynamics of 'traditional' farming systems and the potential and limitations of farmers' experimentation and innovation in the process of developing sustainable forms of agriculture.Part II draws from scientific agroecological findings to give the theoretical background of LEISA. In chapter 4, some basic concepts of agroecology are introduced. Chapter 5 is devoted to important principles upon which productive and site-appropriate forms of LEISA farming can be based. In chapter 6, possibilities for developing LEISA systems in smallholding farming in the tropics are explored, with particular attention being given to the relationship between farm characteristics, technology choice and sustainability. Part III draws from field experience in developing smallholder agriculture to show how the process of technology development by farmers can be linked with the insights of agroecological science in a participatory approach to development. Chapter 7 introduces the various actors involved and indicates the potential of PTD for developing sustainable forms of agriculture in rainfed areas. Chapter 8 is practice-oriented. The major types of activities in the PTD process are outlined and examples of methods which have been developed and tried in the field are presented.
The appendices are intended to provide some technical information as well as further sources of information, in order to support fieldworkers and farmers in their combined efforts.
Authors: Coen Reijntjes, Bertus Haverkort and Ann Waters-Bayer
Pages: xxi + 250