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Agricultural Systems: Agroecology and Rural Innovation for Development, 2nd Edition

Book Description

Agricultural Systems, Second Edition, is a comprehensive text for developing sustainable farming systems. It presents a synthetic overview of the emerging area of agroecology applications to transforming farming systems and supporting rural innovation, with particular emphasis on how research can be harnessed for sustainable agriculture. The inclusion of research theory and examples using the principles of cropping system design allows students to gain a unique understanding of the technical, biological, ecological, economic and sociological aspects of farming systems science for rural livelihoods.

This book explores topics such as: re-inventing farming systems; principles and practice of agroecology; agricultural change and low-input technology; ecologically-based nutrient management; participatory breeding for developing improved and relevant crops; participatory livestock research for development; gender and agrarian inequality at the local scale; the nature of agricultural innovation; and outreach to support rural innovation. The extensive coverage of subjects is complemented with integrated references and a companion website, making this book essential reading for courses in international agricultural systems and management, sustainable agricultural management, and cropping systems.

This book will be a valuable resource for students of agricultural science, environmental engineering, and rural planning; researchers and scientists in agricultural development agencies; and practitioners of agricultural development in government extension programs, development agencies, and NGOs.

  • Provides students with an enhanced understanding of how research can be harnessed for sustainable agriculture
  • Incorporates social, biological, chemical, and geographical aspects important to agroecology
  • Addresses social and development issues related to farming systems

Table of Contents

  1. Cover image
  2. Title page
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Copyright
  5. List of Contributors
  6. Preface to the Second Edition
  7. Section I: Reinventing Farming Systems
    1. Chapter 1. Introduction
      1. Abstract
      2. Agricultural Systems in a Changing World
      3. Evolving Agricultural Systems Research
      4. Different Paths Taken
      5. Local Institutions for Agricultural Innovation
      6. Catalyzing Directions of Change
      7. Road Map
      8. References
      9. Internet Resources
    2. Chapter 2. Agroecology: Principles and Practice
      1. Abstract
      2. Introduction
      3. Ecosystem Drivers
      4. Agroecozones
      5. Community Structure
      6. Organism Niche
      7. Community Evolution
      8. Plant Growth Types
      9. Ecological Principles Applied to Agriculture
      10. Complementarity
      11. Redundancy
      12. Mosaics
      13. Farming Systems by Agroecology
      14. Application of Ecological Principles to a Changing World
      15. References
      16. Internet Resources
    3. Chapter 3. Farming-Related Livelihoods
      1. Abstract
      2. The Complexity of Farmer Decision-Making
      3. The Sustainable Livelihoods Framework
      4. Participatory Rural Appraisal as a Part of Sustainable Livelihoods Analysis
      5. Complementing Qualitative Information with Quantitative Data
      6. The Influence of Insecurity on Livelihoods
      7. Credit Initiatives to Kick-start Livelihood Changes
      8. Conclusions
      9. References
    4. Chapter 4. Farming Systems for Sustainable Intensification
      1. Abstract
      2. Introduction
      3. The What and Why of Sustainable Intensification
      4. Alternatives to Intensification
      5. Successful Sustainable Systems
      6. When is Sustainable Intensification Relevant?
      7. Sustainable Intensification Indicators
      8. Trade-offs and Synergies
      9. The Elements of Sustainable Intensification
      10. Integration of System Elements
      11. Pathways to Sustainable Intensification
      12. The Way Forward
      13. References
    5. Chapter 5. Designing for the Long-term: Sustainable Agriculture
      1. Abstract
      2. Introduction
      3. Putting Sustainable Agriculture Into Practice
      4. References
      5. Internet Resources
  8. Section II: Resources for Agricultural Development
    1. Chapter 6. Low-Input Technology: An Integrative View
      1. Abstract
      2. Introduction
      3. Low External Input Technology
      4. Labor
      5. Knowledge
      6. Implications for Rural Development Strategies
      7. Conclusions
      8. References
    2. Chapter 7. Ecologically Based Nutrient Management
      1. Abstract
      2. Nutrient Management as Applied Ecology
      3. The Basics of Nutrient Cycling
      4. Applying an Ecological Nutrient Management Strategy
      5. The Role of Plants and Microorganisms in Cycling Nutrients
      6. Concepts and Strategies to Optimize Ecological Nutrient Management
      7. Developing Site-Specific Ecological Nutrient Management Systems
      8. References
    3. Chapter 8. Participatory Breeding: Developing Improved and Relevant Crop Varieties With Farmers
      1. Abstract
      2. Introduction
      3. Theory of Participatory Plant Breeding
      4. Practical Elements of Participatory Plant Breeding in View of Agroecological Issues
      5. Examples of Successful Participatory Plant Breeding for Marginal Environments
      6. Types of Impact Achievable Through Participatory Plant Breeding for Sustainable Development of Farming Systems and Farmers’ Livelihoods
      7. References
    4. Chapter 9. Research on Livestock, Livelihoods, and Innovation
      1. Abstract
      2. Introduction
      3. Livestock Production Systems
      4. Livestock Trends and Predictions
      5. Contributions of Livestock to Development
      6. Livestock and Livelihood Outcomes
      7. Livestock Research
      8. New Paradigms for Research to Address Development Needs
      9. Ways Forward
      10. Acknowledgment
      11. References
  9. Section III: Context for Sustainable Agricultural Development
    1. Chapter 10. Gender and Agrarian Inequities
      1. Abstract
      2. Introduction
      3. Inequality and Agricultural Systems in Perspective
      4. Global Inequality: The Big Picture
      5. The Study of Gender Relations
      6. Gender and Unequal Access to Productive Resources in Agricultural Systems
      7. Understanding Gender Dynamics at the Household Scale in Agricultural Systems
      8. Photo Credit: Carl Hiebert (2004)
      9. Case Study: Gender, Inequality, and Agroecological Approaches in Northern Malawi
      10. Conclusion: Addressing Gender Inequalities in Agricultural Systems
      11. References
      12. Internet Resources
    2. Chapter 11. The Innovation Systems Approach to Agricultural Research and Development
      1. Abstract
      2. Introduction
      3. Defining Innovation
      4. Defining an Innovation System
      5. What Drives Innovation in Agriculture?
      6. The Case for Change
      7. The Innovation Systems Model
      8. The Innovation Platform: A Mechanism for Operationalizing the Innovation System at Local (and National) Levels
      9. Characteristics of Innovation Platforms
      10. Practical Experiences with Innovation Platforms
      11. Capacity Development Needs for Agricultural Innovation Systems
      12. The Enabling Environment for Innovation Systems
      13. Risks and Benefits of Adopting an Innovation Systems Approach
      14. Implications for Agricultural Development
      15. References
    3. Chapter 12. Outreach to Support Rural Innovation
      1. Abstract
      2. Introduction
      3. Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation Systems
      4. Relevance of Extension
      5. Enhancing Client-orientation at Different Scales
      6. Demand-Driven Models
      7. Facilitation of Local Capacity
      8. Active Learning
      9. Scaling-up and Out
      10. Conclusions
      11. References
    4. Chapter 13. Climate Change and Agricultural Systems
      1. Abstract
      2. Introduction
      3. Climate Change: Definitions, Causes, and Links With Agriculture
      4. Impacts of Climate Change
      5. Climate Change Mitigation and Agriculture
      6. Agricultural Adaptation to Climate Change
      7. Concepts and Broad Approaches to Addressing Climate Change in Agricultural Development
      8. Strengthening Agricultural Innovation Systems to Respond to Climate Change
      9. Climate Change and Agricultural Systems: Ways Forward
      10. References
  10. Section IV: Tying It All Together
    1. Chapter 14. Tying It All Together: Global, Regional, and Local Integrations
      1. Abstract
      2. The Poverty of Big Ideas
      3. A Green Evolution Strategy
      4. Implementing the Dream
      5. Looking Beyond the Farm Gate
      6. References
      7. Internet Resources
  11. Index