The farming systems approach to development and appropriate technology generation

Table of Contents

D.W. Norman
F.D. Worman
J.D. Siebert
E. Modiakgotla

Rome, 1995

The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.

ISBN 92-5-103644-6

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(c) FAO 1995



1. Introduction

Part I - Conceptualising the farming systems development approach

2. Rationale and philosophy of the farming systems development approach

2.1 Objectives of the chapter
2.2 Evolution of the FSD approach
2.3 Comparing station-based research and FSD

3. General approaches to the farming systems approach to development

3.1 Objectives of the chapter
3.2 Introduction to FSD
3.3 Approaches within farming systems research
3.4 Some characteristics of FSD
3.5 A systems or reductionist approach?
3.6 FSD in the context of other agricultural institutions
3.7 Challenges facing FSD

4. Some key concepts important in the farming systems approach to development

4.1 Objectives of the chapter
4.2 Definition of a farming system
4.3 The limited-resource household: status, goals, and appropriate technology
4.4 Equitability considerations - intra- and inter- generational
4.5 Recommendation domains
4.6 Participatory research

Part II - Implementation of the farming systems development approach

5. Operational steps

5.1 Objectives of the chapter
5.2 Step involved in FSD
5.3 Selection of target areas
5.4 Selection of research areas
5.5 Selection of villages
5.6 Selection of cooperators
5.7 Descriptive/diagnostic
5.8 Design
5.9 Testing/implementation
5.10 Dissemination and impact

6. Operational issues

6.1 Objectives of the chapter
6.2 Interdisciplinary cooperation
6.3 Linkages
6.4 Leverage and handling constraints
6.5 Research resource considerations

Part III - Methodology for the farming systems development approach

7. Data collection methods

7.1 Objectives of chapter
7.2 Common data collection methods
7.3 Major data collection methods by FSD stage

8. Survey methods (indirect measurements)

8.1 Objectives
8.2 Obtaining farmer cooperation
8.3 Formal (structured) and informal (unstructured) surveys compared
8.4 Informal surveys: features, types and uses
8.5 Formal surveys: value, design, and implementation
8.6 Direct physical survey measurements

9. Trial methods (direct measurements)

9.1 Objectives
9.2 Types of trials
9.3 Functions of different trial types
9.4 Some issues in planning trial work
9.5 Trial designs appropriate to crop research
9.6 Approaches to livestock trials
9.7 Testing within crop-livestock systems
9.8 Implementation of trials with farmer involvement

10. Analysis and evaluation

10.1 Objectives
10.2 Trial analysis: integrated analysis
10.3 Suitable evaluation criteria -- farmer viewpoint
10.4 Technical feasibility
10.5 Economic viability
10.6 Social/societal acceptability
10.7 Formulating recommendations
10.8 A case study: Example of double ploughing technology in Botswana
10.9 Ways to assess adoptions

Part IV - Appendices

Appendix A1: References on FSD

A1.1 References cited
A1.2 Other useful references

Appendix A2: Definitions of acronyms
Appendix A3: Estimating crop densities and yields

A3.1 Introduction and use of density measurement
A3.2 Measuring plant densities
A3.3 Introduction to crop yield estimation
A3.4 Yield measurements of sorghum and millet plots
A3.5 Yield measurements of legume plots
A3.6 Yield estimation for mixed cropping
A3.7 Method for estimating whole-farm production and average grain yield