A Field Guide to Farm Experimentation
H. J. W. Mutsaers
The objective of applied agricultural research is to identify new farming practices and materials that will improve the farmers' production system and increase their productivity and well-being. in a way that can be sustained. Traditionally, this research has been conducted in research stations, while extension and development organizations were expected to transfer the results to the farmers. The failure of this model in many developing countries has caused agricultural scientists to adopt on-farm research (OFR) as a necessary tool in the development and transfer of appropriate technology. OFR is expected to enhance the relevance of research by taking direct cognizance of farmers' conditions and needs and by choosing new technology in co-operation with farmers and testing it under their local conditions.
In essence, the OFR approach is simple-conducting an important part of applied research together with farmers in their own environment, with the aim of finding adoptable and sustainable solutions for their production constraints. OFR presents peculiar methodological and practical challenges, but a single minded, motivated group of scientists and extension/development officers will have no difficulty in meeting these. This book provides some tools to facilitate the work of on-farm researchers, but it is no substitute for the attitudes necessary for conducting successful OFR. If researchers have the right attitudes, then it will be easier for them to help farmers find appropriate technologies within their reach which they will also be ready to apply.
- Published: 1997
- Publisher: International Institute of Tropical Agriculture
- ISBN-10: 9781311258
- ISBN-13: 9789781311253
- ECHO Library: DD 60