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Journal of Integrative Agriculture  2019, Vol. 18 Issue (8): 1657-1666    DOI: 10.1016/S2095-3119(19)62592-X
Special Focus: Science and Technology Backyard Advanced Online Publication | Current Issue | Archive | Adv Search |
Science and Technology Backyard: A novel approach to empower smallholder farmers for sustainable intensification of agriculture in China
JIAO Xiao-qiang1, ZHANG Hong-yan1, MA Wen-qi2, WANG Chong1, LI Xiao-lin1, ZHANG Fu-suo1  
1 Center for Resources, Environment and Food Security, Department of Plant Nutrition/Key Laboratory of Plant-Soil Interactions, Ministry of Education, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, P.R.China
2 College of Resources and Environment Science, Hebei Agricultural University, Baoding 071001, P.R.China
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Sustainable feeding of the growing population in China without ecological destabilization is a grand challenge.  In this populous country where agriculture is dominated by smallholder farming, developing innovative technology and translating scientific knowledge into action for smallholder farmers is a crucial step in addressing this challenge.  Here, we present a novel approach for technology innovation and dissemination to achieve sustainable intensification in the fields of smallholder farmers.  The Science and Technology Backyard (STB) is a hub in a rural area that links knowledge with practices to promote technology innovation and exchange.  In this study, the framework and functions of STB are introduced, and the key implications for sustainable intensification across millions of smallholder farmers are explicitly stated: (i) develop innovative technology based on stated demands of farmers; (ii) disseminate technology by innovative social service models though combined top-down approaches with bottom-up measures to enable smallholders in rural areas.  This paper provides a perspective on transformation of small-scale agriculture toward sustainable intensification in China and useful knowledge applicable to other developing countries.
Keywords:  smallholder farmers        sustainable intensification        technology innovation        technology transfer        Science and Technology Backyard  
Received: 02 July 2018   Accepted: 02 August 2019
Fund: This work was supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (2015CB150405).
Corresponding Authors:  Correspondence ZHANG Fu-suo, Tel/Fax: +86-10-62731016, E-mail:   
About author:  JIAO Xiao-qiang, E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

JIAO Xiao-qiang, ZHANG Hong-yan, MA Wen-qi, WANG Chong, LI Xiao-lin, ZHANG Fu-suo. 2019. Science and Technology Backyard: A novel approach to empower smallholder farmers for sustainable intensification of agriculture in China. Journal of Integrative Agriculture, 18(8): 1657-1666.

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