Self-Sufficient Agriculture: Labour and Knowledge in Small-Scale Farming, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Self-Sufficient Agriculture

Labour and Knowledge in Small-Scale Farming, 1st Edition

By Robert Tripp


256 pages

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pub: 2005-12-01
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Low external-input technology (or LEIT) is an increasingly prominent subject in discussions of sustainable agriculture. There are growing calls for self-sufficient agriculture in an era experiencing diminishing returns from reliance upon expensive synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. There are many reasons to support strategies for low external input farming, including a concern for environmental sustainability, increased attention to resource-poor farmers and marginal environments, and the conviction that a better use of local resources in small-scale agriculture can improve farm productivity and innovation. But despite the increased attention to self-sufficient agriculture, there is little evidence available on the performance and impact of LEIT. This book examines the contributions and limitations of low external input technology for addressing the needs of resource-poor farmers. For the first time a balanced analysis of LEIT is provided, offering in-depth case studies, an analysis of the debates, an extensive review of the literature and practical suggestions about the management and integration of low external input agriculture in rural development programmes.


'…a very valuable addition to the literature and well worth reading…wonderfully written:clear, well-organized, and quite free of jargon' Christine Padoch, Institute of Economic Botany, The New York Botanical Garden. Development and Change, July 2007.

Table of Contents

Low External-Input Technology (LEIT) and Agricultural Development * Examples of LEIT and Farmer-Focused Development Strategies * Labour, Information and Agricultural Technology * The Impact of LEIT: Evidence from the Literature * Learning from Success: Revisiting Experiences of LEIT Adoption by Hillside Farmers in Central Honduras * Conservation by Committee: The Catchment Approach to Soil and Water Conservation in Nyanza Province, Western Kenya * After School: The Outcome of Farmer Field Schools in Southern Sri Lanka * The Trajectory of Low External-Input Agriculture *

About the Author

Robert Tripp is a research fellow in the Rural Policy and Governance Group at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), London.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Economics / General
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Agriculture / General