One of Africa's major untapped resources is the creativity of its farmers. This book presents a series of clear and detailed studies that demonstrate how small-scale farmers, both men and women, experiment and innovate in order to improve their livelihoods, despite the adverse conditions and lack of appropriate external support with which they have to contend. The studies are based on fieldwork in a wide variety of farming systems throughout Africa, and have been written primarily by African researchers and extension specialists. Numerous lively examples show how a participatory approach to agricultural research and development that builds on local knowledge and innovation can stimulate the creativity of all involved - not only the farmers. This approach, which recognizes the farmers' capacity to innovate as the crucial component of success, provides a much-needed alternative to the conventional 'transfer of technology' paradigm. This book is a rich source of case studies and analyses of how agricultural research and development policy can be changed. It presents evidence of the resilience and resolution of rural communities in Africa and will be an inspiration for development workers, researchers and policy-makers, as well as for students and teachers of agriculture, environment and sustainable development.
'A fascinating book.' Bioligical Agriculture and Horticulture '[A] rich source of case studies.' Leisa Magazine This book can be an inspiration for development workers, researchers and policymakers, as well as students and teachers of agriculture, environment and sustainable development.' D+C A must read for development workers, researchers and policy-makers who work in Africa as it offers them examples of the participatory approach to development work.' African Agenda 'This is a specialist book for people who want to look below the surface of mainstream development theory to find a better way forward.' The Food Magazine