Farming systems approaches to international technical cooperation in agriculture and rural life

TitleFarming systems approaches to international technical cooperation in agriculture and rural life
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsFlora, CB
JournalAgriculture and Human Values
Date PublishedDecember 1988
Keywordsfarming system approach; iterative process; limited resource; system approach; target population

A farming systems approach to development has meant many things over the past 15 years, depending on its institutional and ecological setting, its target populations, and the goals motivating its implementation. Despite the diversity of approaches, and the sometimes rancorous discussion over which was best and why, the approach is now recognized in many places as the only one that can identify and respond to the needs of limited resource farm families, especially those in marginal ecosystems. Involving an iterative process of diagnosis, design, testing and extension, the farming system approach to date has done more to change research objectives at national and international institutions than to change actual farmer practices. By legitimizing what limited resource farmers do and why they do it, a farming systems approach lends itself to policy analysis as well. Recent research in farming systems suggests greater attention should be payed to exogenous variables, including policy and infrastructure, as well as to development of technology that really responds to the felt needs of limited resource farmers in improving their level of living.


This article from Agriculture and Human Values, 5 (1-2) listed independently.

Journal Abbreviation

Agric Hum Values


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