Learning from farmers' innovations
The history of agriculture is a history of innovation. And for thousands of years that innovation has been achieved entirely by farmers. In the last 50-100 years, however, agricultural research and science have taken on the role of developing solutions to farming challenges. Sometimes these 'experts' have taken a very top-down approach, imposing a new technology or method on farmers, without considering the farmers' actual felt needs or priorities. Farmer innovations have been ignored. However, that picture is now changing, with researchers and scientists increasingly realising that farmers' innovations and practices must be taken seriously. Agriculture officers from Uganda and Nigeria comment on this 'new era' of agricultural development.
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