Farming Systems Research (FSR) may be defined as a diagnostic
process, providing a collection of methods for researchers to
understand farm households and their decision-making. Its
applications use this understanding to increase efficiency in the
use of human and budgetary resources for agricultural development,
including research, extension and policy formulation. This book
provides a detailed history of FSR. While it includes the
application of FSR to developed country agriculture, its main focus
is on FSR in its original role, with small-scale, resource-poor
farmers in less developed countries. There are some 40 contributors
from nearly 50 contributors from 20 countries, illustrating both
the diversity and coherence of FSR. The book was initiated by the
then International Association for Farming Systems Research and
Extension (now International Farming Systems Association) and
developed with support from FAO. It provides a wealth of
information and insights for all concerned with agricultural
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