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Low External Input Sustainable Agriculture

clip_image002_0001DEVELOPING SMALLHOLDER AGRICULTURE: A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE. Tinsley, Richard. Brussels: AgBé, 2004. 431 pp. (ISBN: 981-05-0873-50)

This book is a synthesis of the writer’s work with smallholders that took almost three decades. It presents lessons learned from farming systems research, paying particular attention to those factors and issues that constrain smallholder agricultural development. It questions hypotheses that smallholders’ failure to fully exploit their physical environment is the result of limited motivation and a desire to limit risks. It replaces this notion with an appreciation of the limited resources smallholders have at their disposal. Or, in the words of adoption theory: the individual blame hypothesis is replaced by the system blame hypothesis. Thus, the book looks beyond technology development and concentrates on service delivery systems. It emphasizes the importance of village-level, private micro-enterprises as a means of assisting smallholders, and questions the effectiveness of the public sector. The book may be used as a textbook for students, a handbook for consultants, researchers and (high level) extension workers.

Last Revised: 1 October 2005

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