ABSTRACT

Recent attempts to answer this question have concentrated in particular on perceptual and institutional barriers to communication and understanding between researchers and resource-poor farmers. Chambers argues that agricultural development policies are unduly affected by urban, road-side, dry-season, male-biased perceptions of rural life and its problems. Biggs and Clay suggest that professional and institutional factors, e.g. peer-group rivalries and concern for career advancement, are deeply implicated when agricultural research programmes move off in directions inappropriate to farmers’ needs and concerns. Formal-sector research agencies look at land and land resources from an analytical perspective. The landscape is broken up into component parts. Each component is assessed in terms of its optimum usage. Recommendations are then based on the theoretical ‘best use’ of each box in an ecological mosaic.