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Farming Systems Research: Clarification of Terms and Concepts

  • Deborah Merrill Sands (a1)

Farming Systems Research (FSR) has emerged as a major theme in international agricultural research in the past decade. However, despite widespread use of the term, its meaning and the types of research objectives, approaches, activities and methods to which it applies remain ambiguous. The lack of precision in concepts and terms will discredit FSR and jeopardize donor support. This paper seeks to clarify and define the major types of research approaches and activities encompassed by the general term FSR. Six types of research are distinguished and a new, more precise terminology is proposed.

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D. Byerlee , L. Harrington & D. Winkelmann (1982). Farming Systems Research: issues in research strategy and technology design. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 64:897904.

D. W. Norman (1974). Rationalizing mixed cropping under indige'us conditions; the example of Northern Nigeria. Journal of Development Studies 11:321.

R. Perrin & D. Winkelmann (1976). Impediments to technical progress on small versus large farms. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 58:888894.

N. W. Simmonds (1986). A Short Review of Farming Systems Research in the Tropics. Experimental Agriculture 22:113.

H. G. Zandstra (1979). Cropping systems research for Asian rice fanners. Agricultural Systems 4:135155.

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Experimental Agriculture
  • ISSN: 0014-4797
  • EISSN: 1469-4441
  • URL: /core/journals/experimental-agriculture
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