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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2015, Vol. 14 Issue (8): 1490-1499    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(15)61041-3
Special Focus: Systems Research Helping toMeet the Needs and Managing the Trade-offs of a Changing W Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Transitioning from paternalism to empowerment of farmers in lowincome countries: Farming components to systems
 David  Norman
Agricultural Economics Department, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas 66506, USA
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摘要  Reasons for the initiation of farming systems/participatory approaches in non-Green Revolution (i.e., in more heterogeneous and less favourable production environments) areas in low-income countries is followed by a discussion of their evolution. Four phases are described along, with a brief description of some of the significant methods in which farmer participation has been sought, accessed and evaluated. They enabled/facilitated the evolutionary process. Although, over the last 40 years there has been a progress in making small-scale farmers much more visible in driving the agricultural research/development agenda through using the four basic stages embodied in the farming systems approach (i.e., descriptive, diagnosis, testing/ evaluation and finally dissemination), much still needs to be done. This leads on to a discussion as to some of the barriers still inhibiting true farmer empowerment and why further, such empowerment is imperative, if the agricultural challenges of this century are to be addressed successfully, namely substantially increasing agricultural productivity in an ecologically sustainable manner. Given the heterogeneity of the production environments and that many identified improvements are likely to be incremental rather than revolutionary in nature, this will require farmers’ intimate involvement in their identification, evaluation and dissemination. Discussion in the paper recognizes that there is increasing globalization/commercialization of agriculture and is predicated on the need to consider the whole farmer-research-development continuum involving multiple stakeholders (i.e., farmers, scientists, extension workers, input/output service providers and policymakers). Such a continuum has been explicitly recognized in the operational plans for the recently reformed international agricultural research (i.e., CGIAR) system. The paper concludes with a short discussion on the potential role of formal modelling.

Abstract  Reasons for the initiation of farming systems/participatory approaches in non-Green Revolution (i.e., in more heterogeneous and less favourable production environments) areas in low-income countries is followed by a discussion of their evolution. Four phases are described along, with a brief description of some of the significant methods in which farmer participation has been sought, accessed and evaluated. They enabled/facilitated the evolutionary process. Although, over the last 40 years there has been a progress in making small-scale farmers much more visible in driving the agricultural research/development agenda through using the four basic stages embodied in the farming systems approach (i.e., descriptive, diagnosis, testing/ evaluation and finally dissemination), much still needs to be done. This leads on to a discussion as to some of the barriers still inhibiting true farmer empowerment and why further, such empowerment is imperative, if the agricultural challenges of this century are to be addressed successfully, namely substantially increasing agricultural productivity in an ecologically sustainable manner. Given the heterogeneity of the production environments and that many identified improvements are likely to be incremental rather than revolutionary in nature, this will require farmers’ intimate involvement in their identification, evaluation and dissemination. Discussion in the paper recognizes that there is increasing globalization/commercialization of agriculture and is predicated on the need to consider the whole farmer-research-development continuum involving multiple stakeholders (i.e., farmers, scientists, extension workers, input/output service providers and policymakers). Such a continuum has been explicitly recognized in the operational plans for the recently reformed international agricultural research (i.e., CGIAR) system. The paper concludes with a short discussion on the potential role of formal modelling.
Keywords:  farming systems research       farmer empowerment       farmer participatory approaches/techniques       globalisation       commercialisation       conservation agriculture       system of rice intensification formal modelling  
Received: 16 March 2015   Accepted: 06 August 2015
Fund: 

Shortened version of an invited keynote address given at the 4th International Farming Systems Design Symposium, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou, China, August 19–22, 2013.

Corresponding Authors:  David Norman, Tel: +1-785-3171477,E-mail: Dnorman@ksu.edu     E-mail:  Dnorman@ksu.edu
About author:  David Norman, Tel: +1-785-3171477,E-mail: Dnorman@ksu.edu

Cite this article: 

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