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close this bookBiotechnology and the Future of World Agriculture (GRAIN, 1991)
close this folderThe original biotechnologist
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentDiversity for production
View the documentMultiple cropping, multiple benefits
View the documentBiotechnology for the people
View the documentPromoting people's participation


'In Africa there are lots of unsophisticated farmers You can't even expect them to drive a tractor straight.'
(Norman Goldfarb, Chairman of Calgene, USA) (1)

While visiting a friend a few years ago, I found myself roaming around on the island of Zanzibar, just off the coast of Tanzania. One farmer insisted on showing me around. After quite a walk through what seemed to me to be a forest, he stopped and asked my opinion. I wasn't quite sure about what, until I realized that I was standing in the middle of one of his fields or shambas as he calls them. What my Northern mind had conceived as just a bit more of the same bush that covers the island, was actually a carefully designed and cultivated farmer's field. Palm trees, bananas and fruit trees were growing tall above numerous annual crops, most of which I did not even know the name of. Patiently, he explained in extreme detail why which plant was growing where and what use it had. Since then I am a bit more careful when looking at bushes along the roadside in Third World countries.

Much of this book has focused on what is known as the new biotechnologies and their implications for agriculture. Genetic engineering, cell fusion, tissue-culture, enzyme technologies and the like, will bring tremendous changes to the agriculture we now know. Very often during discussion on this issue, the question is raised as to what type of biotechnology would be beneficial for small farmers in developing countries. Before even trying to start formulating an answer, it is important to recognize the profound complexity and high level of adaptation to local circumstances of many indigenous farming practices. It is crucial to evaluate such farming systems on their own merits: to what extent they meet the need of local communities, now and in the future, and to what degree they provide a sustainable basis for national agricultural development. Only if analysed in that context does a possible answer to the question whether and how the new biotechnologies can contribute to sustainable farming make sense.

Most local farming practices are based on an enormous degree of diversity, be it cultural, biological or economic. This diversity is often regarded by 'modem' scientists as a consequence of inefficient traditional farming, rather than the prerequisite for survival and development. Some experts would agree that such systems might work at the community level, but argue that they cannot produce the food for an ever-increasing urban population as well. The International Centre for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia, for example, has tried to redirect some of its work to the needs of small farmers; but some researchers at the Centre remain sceptical. CIAT rice breeder Peter Jennings says that the focus at CIAT 'Is much more on the consumer than on the farmer, and I'm not convinced we should focus on the marginal producer'. (2) What Jennings does not seem to realize, is that in many developing countries these 'marginal producers' form the vast majority of the population. It is this line of thinking that reinforces the tendency of small farmers to move off(or simply be thrown off) their land and turn up in the poverty stricken slums of large cities, only to increase the number of urban consumers who need food from elsewhere.
Rarely is it recognized that local farming systems provide the very basis of a sustainable form of agriculture, optimizing the long-term use of the locally available natural resources, minimizing the need for external chemical inputs, while at the same time providing for a reasonably stable output of food, medicines and shelter. The generations of farmers who have developed, maintained and improved these practices are the 'original biotechnologists'. The new biotechnologists, and agents for agricultural development policies in general, should take these systems as a point of departure for possible further improvement. The interdependency and complexity of the various elements of people's biotechnology is so deep that modern science has often overlooked it. Worse is that by introducing 'improvements' teased on a reality cut up into manageable pieces, the very basis of farming systems that have proved their value for centuries is being undermined and sometimes completely destroyed. The new biotechnologists, however learned they might be in their specialism at the molecular and genetic level, can have something positive to offer to the rural and urban poor only if their solutions enhance the sustainable basis of farming practices. But grasping the complexity and importance of diversity, rather than merely regarding it as raw material for research, is very difficult. It has never been the strongest point of scientists, who tend to work more with microscopes than with local farmers.

One particular point that is difficult to understand for many of us who rely on local diets of cornflakes, wheat bread and potatoes, is the immense variety of plants that are used for food in many parts of the world. Villagers living at the foot of Mount Elgon in Western Kenya use at least 100 different species of vegetables and fruits in their diet. Some of them are actively cultivated, others collected from the wild. (3) Mexico's Huastec Indians cultivate, in a mixture of home gardens, agricultural fields and forest plots, some 300 different plant species. In a typical village garden in West Java it is not difficult to find 100 or more different plant species, all used for specific needs: food, medicine, building materials, fuel-wood, and so on. (4) Also, the vast local knowledge of plants and their uses is truly astonishing. The Tzeltals in Mexico recognize over 1,200 different plant species, while Hanunoo farmers in the Philippines know more than 1,600. When scientists came out of a forest in Botswana with a collection of 211 different rare plants, they were amazed to discover that village women knew all but five. (5)

Diversity for production

Indigenous farmers in developing countries translate this deep understanding of different plants and animals and their uses to farming systems which are very much adapted to their own circumstances. In Sierra Leone, in a village called Mogbuama, farmers produce their main staple food, rice, on a range of different plots. Some of them are higher up on the hills, consisting of free draining gravelly soils. Others, on the lower slopes, have more sandy soils, while yet others consist of seasonally water-logged swamp soils in the bottom of the valley. Mogbuama farmers have developed a whole series of different rice varieties for their soils and use them in such a way that the combination fits their needs best. Every family is keen to have some early ripening rice in order to have food before the main harvest starts. This is planted where the swamp and the valley meet, and harvested before the river overspills its bank. The rice varieties that take longer but generally yield better are planted higher up the slopes, while flood tolerant varieties planted down in the wetlands take longest to ripen but require minimal labour input. A researcher who did fieldwork in the village counted 49 different rice varieties in use, each of them with specific qualities. Risk-spreading and labour diversification are some of the main factors behind the choice of the varieties, which is also the reason why Mogbuama farmers are not using any of the modern varieties that are being pushed by the development agencies. (6)

Farmers know about local soils, pests, diseases, weather patterns and other agronomic conditions they have to cope with. They are also the ones who realize best in which time labour requirements are high and how to adapt their agricultural practices in such a way that all the work can be realistically completed. Most of all, they know how to spread risks. Sometimes Northern farmers wonder why many farms in developing countries have so many widely scattered, postage-stamp size fields. As with the Mogbuama farms, in many cases there is a logical reason for it. Scattered fields reduce the risk of total crop failure. Especially in mountainous areas, they allow for diversification: different crops have different problems and potentials at different altitudes. They also result in an extension of the harvest time: a few metres of elevation can make a few days' difference in maturation of the crop. It is this, which one observer called 'the art of vertical thinking', that is lacking in many modernization schemes. (7)

Farmers are good at horizontal thinking too. In the same plot, indigenous farmers often plant many different varieties of the same crop, each of them with specific characteristics. In the Andes, for example, farmers cultivate as many as 50 different potato varieties. (8) Anibal Correo, a potato farmer in Ecuador, explains:

In a dry year maybe some of the varieties don't yield so much, but then we still have the other potatoes which can put up with some dryness. In a wet year, it can be just the opposite, and we're glad of the potatoes that aren't so liable to rot. (9)

There are other varieties resistant to frost and yet again others that resist cutworms. Also, nutritional and storage qualities come in as important selection criteria. Correo briefly tried new potato varieties offered by agronomists coming to his village, but dropped them when cutworms started eating away at the harvest. On the other side of the globe, in Nepal, Bishnu Tapa and his wife tend to agree. They tried a modern potato variety and were quite impressed with its initial growth; but it did not last long. Potato blight devastated their enthusiasm for the high-yielding variety; the mosaic of varieties they had been using for a long time largely resisted the disease.'ΓΈ

Multiple cropping, multiple benefits

The high level of sophistication of indigenous farming systems becomes really apparent when farmers start planting different crops together on the same plot. In what looks to many agronomists like a total mess, many farmers get the maximum out of their tiny fields by combining different crops that complement each other efficiently. To a large extent ignored by 'modem science', farmers, for centuries, have been practicing what became known as mixed cropping, intercropping, or multiple cropping. Systems can be as simple as a typical maize-bean association and as complex as a tropical forest where up to 20 crops are grown in the same plot. In Africa, for example, 98% of all cowpeas - the continent's most important legume - are grown in combination with other crops. In Nigeria alone, over 80% of all cropland is given over to mixed cropping. Farmers in India use more than 80 crops in multiple cropping combinations." When Nairobi-based ICIPE, an international centre that studies insect pests, did a survey amongst farmers in Western Kenya, it found over 200 crop combinations in that region alone. (12) The advantages are tremendous, especially for small farmers. ICIPE drew its conclusions: 'If people are doing this despite official instructions to the opposite, there must be something very important to it. (13)

One important element in such systems can be the use of green manure. Without using any chemical fertilizer, farmers on the north coast of Honduras obtain double the average national yield by sowing velvet bean in their maize crop. The bean is sown a month or two after planting the maize. When the maize is harvested, the beans take over and form a massive green canopy of up to 20 centimetres thick that covers the soil. The next maize crop is planted directly through the mulch which is formed from the bean crop layer. Apart from obtaining the benefits of the nitrogen fixed by the bean, soil erosion is prevented and the soil structure is improved. Also the bean mulch suppresses weed growth, thus eliminating the need for herbicides or manual weeding. (14)

Intercropping can also provide for a highly effective means of pest control at virtually no cost. A study on plant-feeding insects showed that 60% of all species tested were less abundant in mixtures than in monocultures. (15) In Colombia, it was found that beans grown with maize had 25% fewer leaf-hoppers and 45% fewer leaf-beetles than monocultured beans; the maize had 23% fewer army worms as well. (16) Problems with fungal and virus diseases also diminished considerably. Cassava interplanted with bean reduced fungal infections on both crops, while virus infections of cowpea diminish when this crop is grown with cassava or plantain. (17) Before pesticides even existed, farmers took notice and developed their strategies. But then, intercropping is only one of the elements in farmers' strategies to minimize crop losses due to pests and diseases. Use of local resistant crop varieties, proper seed and land preparation, rotation techniques and plant extracts, are just some of the others. Farmers attending training courses on crop protection in Cameroon, for example, told their instructors that they were having excellent results in combating several insect pests by using extracts of Jimson Weed, castor oil, 'God's tobacco' and papaya, to mention just a few. (18)

But perhaps the most challenging feature of many of the mixed cropping systems is that they optimize the use of natural resources without destroying them. Interplanted crops tend to cover the soil better, thus avoiding erosion, while at the same time repressing undesirable weeds. Different crops need different nutrients and have different ways of finding them. Some send their roots deep down, while others stay in the top layer of the soil. Together they form excellent partners while obtaining up to twice the level of nutrients from the soil compared to their monocultured counterparts. At the same time, multiple cropping systems often bring far more fertility and structure back to the soil via plant residues. This is especially the case when legumes are part of the system as they increase the nitrogen fixing capacity of the crop system. The closer a farming system comes to a natural ecosystem, the more likely it is to be sustainable. While scientists still try to grasp the meaning and function of typical two-crop interplantings, farmers in, for example, Nigeria, have developed systems of tree and crop production that reflect the natural multi-storeyed structure of a rain forest. SPORE, the newsletter from the Technical Centre for Agriculture and Rural Dissemination (CTA), explains what they consist of:

Breadfruit, Raffia and pear trees are planted below taller coconut and oil palms. A mixture of shorter trees such as mango, lime and kolanut come next, followed by a lower layer of bananas, plantains and papaya. Cassava, cocoyam and pepper bushes grow to about two metres. Maize, groundouts and other vegetables are grown in small clearings . . . This farming system is virtually self-sustaining. A relatively large population is being supported on fairly poor soil, by combining livestock, use of organic fertilizers, high crop diversity and control of soil erosion. (19)

Annual yield of a single plot 416 square meters, Philippines

Table 9.1 Ten reasons for multiple cropping

Perhaps the most important misconception about these complex farming systems is the claim that they tend to produce less than monocultures. They might produce quantitatively less of one and the same crop, but generally the combinations yield far more. Researchers in Mexico established that 1.73 hectares of land would be needed to obtain the same amount of food as one hectare of a mixture of maize, bean and squash. (20) Bolivian farmers intercrop beans, potatoes and lupine and in virtually all cases obtain higher yields compared to monocropping. Additionally, viral and fungal diseases are significantly lower in the mixed cultures and the intercropped potatoes store better. (21) Graph 9.1 shows the extent of one year's production on a small poly-cultured plot of about 400 square metres in the Philippines in which 12 different crops produce over two tonnes of fruits, vegetables, spices and cash crops - a yield of about 50,000 kilograms per hectare! No hybrid seeds, irrigation or mechanical farm implements, and only a small amount of chicken manure, were used. (22)

Often ignored in official production statistics are the multiple uses that crops can have. While a typical local vegetable can be grown mainly for its leaves, its roots might have medicinal properties. Shrubs and trees, apart from producing food, can provide foodstuff for animals and timber for building and fuel. Perhaps the prime example of a multiple use crop is the coconut, 'the tree of a hundred uses'. While production statistics mainly focus on the industrial products such as oil, local farmers use the crop for a whole range of purposes. Coconut flesh and milk are consumed fresh, the copra is used to produce oil for local use, the trunk is used as construction material, the palm as thatch or to make brooms and baskets, the shell as fuel and the sap of the tree is the basis for local wine production.

Diversity is the key element in all these different farming practices. There is a tremendous degree of biological diversity in the number of crops and the amount of different varieties of the same species used. There is also a broad diversity in the different strategies applied to maintain and improve soil structure and fertility, to minimize crop losses, or to combine plant and animal production. Up to now we have especially focused on crop production, but often the very core of many indigenous farming systems is the combination of animal and crop production. In most industrialized countries the tendency has been neatly to separate these. But combined plant and animal production provides numerous benefits, as animal dung is brought back to the field while additional output is obtained. Many rice farmers raise fish in their paddies, harvesting up to 500 kilograms per hectare of additional protein-rich food at virtually no cost. Apart from providing meat and milk, buffaloes provide traction power, natural fertilizer and a whole series of other benefits. (23) Invisible in most production statistics, this mixed food production at all levels forms the backbone of most indigenous farming practices.

Biotechnology for the people

If one looks at some of the literature on how indigenous Third World farmers have developed their agriculture, or if one simply walks around in one of their tiny and untidy-looking plots, the general feeling is of awe and amazement. The complexity, interdependence, and high level of sophistication of many farming systems deserves respect indeed. When scanning through journals and scientific papers reporting the latest breakthroughs in the new biotechnologies, the feeling is similar. Still, something does not match up in those two experiences. The original and the new biotechnologists seem to use a different type of genius. The first one is based on a broad and holistic approach to a specific agronomic and socio-economic situation. The latter tends to look for universal solutions deep down at the molecular level, sometimes coming up with breathtaking examples of engineering capabilities. One wonders whether those two approaches are compatible and to what extent one could supplement and strengthen the other.

That the technology from the original biotechnologist helps the new biotechnologist is beyond doubt. Many of the two million or so seed samples now stored in gene banks worldwide originate from the fields of Third World farmers. As pointed out earlier, this forms the precious raw material for the new biotechnologist. As well, scientific missions in search of landraces or wild material also collect the knowledge of indigenous people about them. Perfect South-North technology transfer, and for free!

The question to what extent the new biotechnologies can strengthen indigenous farming systems is far more complex. First there is the problem, stressed throughout this book, that this new set of powerful technologies is predominantly developed in and for industrialized countries and is rapidly becoming the exclusive property of private industry. This very feature is already triggering-off a whole series of implications that tend to undermine, rather than improve, indigenous farming structures. Then there are problems with the technology itself. Its focus is enormously deep, while at the same time extremely limited. New biotechnologists tend to describe their activities as multidisciplinary. Indeed, progress in the different fields in which this technology is applied is very much based on molecular biologists, geneticists, plant physiologists and scientists from other disciplines working together and integrating their research.

But it seems that this interdisciplinarity stops at the molecular and cellular level. The innovation is achieved with genes, cells and tissues, with the resulting plants or animals being the means to take the invention to the farmer's field. This reductionist approach is far narrower than that of the original biotechnologists who use hundreds of different strategies to obtain a whole range of different goals. One cannot help but wonder how an inserted gene or two would affect the complex integrated systems as developed by Third World farmers. This is not to say that traditional farming practices could not use a helping hand from modern science. They can, and in specific cases urgently need it. Peruvian farmers would very much welcome frost- and disease-tolerant potato varieties. The Sahelians could very well use better drought-tolerant millets, while Filipino upland rice farmers certainly would not mind having improved dry-land rice varieties at their disposal.

Often, though, the problem with some help is that it gets you out of a nasty situation only to cause a more profound one in the long run. The consequences of decades of massive food 'aid' is one example of such help. The problem with the help the new biotechnologies might offer is that it is based on an extremely narrow genetic focus. Just as the 'chemical-fix' resulted in the pesticide treadmill from which agriculture is still suffering the narrow 'genetic-fix' of the new biotechnologies might also create greater problems than it solves. A new variety with resistance to drought or disease can be a real solution at the local level, but only if it fits into the prevailing farming practices, which can differ considerably in different locations. In that context, the isolation and transfer of a specific gene to solve a particular problem, is only the beginning. Other questions are, how the new variety performs in multiple cropping, does it retain traditional 'side' uses, how does it treat the soil, does it fit in the local labour scheme, and many, many more.

The strategy of the new biotechnologist to obtain better pest control, for example, consists basically of three elements. First, there is the typical tissue-culture work to obtain disease free planting material. Secondly, genetic engineering is used to transfer pest and disease resistant genes to crops. Finally, there is the work on 'big-pesticides' that might produce microorganisms that combat pathogens. In Chapter 5 the dangers of uniform tissue-cultures, single gene resistance, and the narrow spectrum of current big-pesticide research have already been pointed out. By comparison, indigenous farmers not only develop indigenous varieties to resist problems with pathogens, but also use rotation techniques, multiple cropping, botanical extracts, green manure, composting, and above all genetic diversity successfully to obtain healthy crops. Table 9.2 gives, in simplified form, some comparison of the different approaches in various areas.

Perhaps more than the science itself, it is the way in which it is being developed and the context within which it is brought to the market, which determine whether the new biotechnologies will strengthen, rather than destroy, sustainable agricultural practices. The recent history of technological change in Third World agriculture does not give too much hope. The Green Revolution's monocultural mind might have been responsible for spectacular increases in productivity of specific crops, but at the same time it undermined the basis of the productive system itself. This is largely due to the 'top-down' approach to science and development. The donors set the agenda, the IARCs developed the technology, regional and national research institutes worked on it, after which armies of agriculture extension workers tried to persuade farmers to make use of it.

Table 9.2 Sustainable agriculture: farmers and biotech approacbes

Although some of the research institutions are now trying to work more with farmers and their local organizations, the overall approach is predominantly unchanged. With the privatization of biotechnology putting the IARCs in the uncomfortable position of having to negotiate access to the technology in deals with TNCs, which can influence what it is used for, reorientation of the top-down approach seems difficult. The same might be said of those national biotechnology programmes that tend to focus on cash crops, export commodities and large-scale plantations, while at the same time ignoring local food production systems.

In trying to answer the question of how the new biotechnologies could benefit the rural poor, perhaps a useful start is to point to all the work that is not being done. Simple mass selection to improve local varieties is one example of under-supported research. Work on enhancing multiple cropping and rotation techniques, rationalization of the use of wild plants in local diets and the upgrading of traditional crop protection practices, are just a few others. With highly promising technical solutions being heralded at every possible occasion, the focus is often blurred. Yes, the new biotechnologies have something to offer, but so have small farmers themselves. Research oriented towards reinforcing the solid foundations of agricultural systems which have been developed for millennia is highly sporadic and seriously under-funded. At the same time, research on the quicker shortterm and high-tech panaceas, which often result in the undermining of those foundations in the long-term, attract the imagination - and most of the money. Part of the reason is reductionist science itself. Incapable of grasping the immense complexity of entirety it turns its focus on minute parts of it, while still claiming solutions for the whole. Another reason, without doubt, is that money tends to go to places where it multiplies fast, which is often not in the fields of indigenous farmers. Be it a cause or a consequence, the farmer who is meant to benefit ends up being a target rather than a source.

Promoting people's participation

More direct involvement of farmers, community organizations and related NGOs in research and development of new solutions for agriculture has become the central theme at virtually every meeting on environment and/ or development. But it might take a while before scientists and policy makers really manage to figure out how to implement this reverse strategy. Yet, turning the top-down approach rightside up seems the only viable way of ensuring sustainable development. Using biotechnology, and science in general, to improve and enhance the sustainable production systems of indigenous farmers, rather than replacing them with miracle solutions, should be the first priority. Part of the miracle is already there in the form of proven sustainable farming practices. It also exists in the form of the highly efficient working relationships of farmers" movements, community organizations and NGOs working at local, national or international levels. Examples are as numerous as they are diverse.

One of them might come from the Philippines. Home of IRRI, the institute that spearheaded the development of the Green Revolution's rice varieties, Filipino NGOs became acutely aware of the many negative consequences of the new rice technology. Working at the local level they started developing with farmers a unique system to collect, conserve, improve and reintroduce the indigenous rice varieties that have not yet been lost. Endowed with the name MASIPAG, the programme brings together NGOs, farmers' organizations and scientists. Between 1986 and 1988, 140 traditional rice varieties were collected, screened and improved, but work is also being carried out on big-fertilizers, farming systems and training. The first results of this integrated approach were indigenous varieties yielding between 4.5 and 6.5 tonnes per hectare, which is more than even the best IRRI varieties. An important reason for starting to work together in MASIPAG, was the recognition that in the IRRI approach, farmers have no hand in the choice of the varieties to be released. Testing there is normally done under optimum rather than farmers' conditions, and the IRRI emphasis is on yield per se without due consideration of farmers' requirements, such as low inputs and nutrient quality. In the MASIPAG programme, farmers are active participants in all phases of the undertaking, including collection, evaluation and cross-breeding of the material. (24)

With the mounting recognition of the importance of genetic diversity and the role of small farmers, especially women, the approach described above is taken by an increasing number of NGOs, often with encouraging results. In Zimbabwe, where communal farmers make up over 70% of the farming community, the Zimbabwe Seeds Action Network (ZSAN) was launched, involving several NGOs and farmers' organizations in the collection, testing, multiplication and distribution of indigenous varieties of several crops. KENGO (Kenya Energy and Environment Organizations) has extensive experience with local seed conservation and agro-forestry schemes using indigenous varieties to arrest soil erosion. In Peru, NGOs are setting up small centres for the multiplication and distribution of diseasefree local potato varieties. Sometimes with, but often without, funding from Northern agencies who, in turn, also become increasingly aware of the potential of working with local NGOs and small farmers, such initiatives deserve much broader attention.

But apart from fostering co-operation and direct involvement at the local level, NGOs have important functions at many other levels. One feature of many NGOs is their highly interactive way of working and communicating. Sometimes organized in national, regional or international networks, while in other cases relying on extensive bilateral contacts, the highly diverse NGO family can play an important role in influencing the way biotechnology is being used.

One important function is the monitoring of what research is being done and what impact it will have. NGOs participating in different networks often focus their attention on specific corporations, many of which are deeply involved in biotechnology. NGOs already contribute substantially to understanding the impact of biotechnology by monitoring ways in which the industry is being restructured, research priorities are set, which companies are dominating the market, trade and marketing practices of the companies involved, and so on. Another feature that all the issue networks have in common is an active participation of NGOs from both industrialized and developing countries. Also important is the differentiation in their expertise: some work at the local level, others are active in trying to change national policies, while yet others work more at lobbying international agencies. Co-operation in many of the existing issue-oriented networks ensures communication and the necessary flow of information. NGOs lobbying in the corridors of different UN bodies and other policy making institutions need the experience of those working at the local level, while grass-roots organizations might be helped with information more accessible to groups working at the international level.

International NGOs work in stimulating discussion on patents at WIPO, and encouraging Third World diplomats to take a stronger stand in that discussion. The same is true for debates about the changing trade relations arising from biotechnology in bodies like UNCTAD and GATT, and on labour aspects in the ILO. The impact of biotechnology on health and the environment is raised respectively within the World Health Organization and the UN Environment Programme (WHO and UNEP) and the impact on agricultural production at FAO. In many of these bodies the discussions are heavily dominated by the North because of lack of information, resources and expertise on the part of the developing countries. NGOs have often played a crucial role in bridging this gap by providing concrete and timely information to Third World delegates and by discussing strategies with them. The positions of Northern delegations can be influenced by mobilizing public opinion in industrialized countries and through direct contacts with national governments. In all cases, this work of what has become known as the Third System (25) is of utmost importance in shaping developments in biotechnology in such a way that those who need it most, benefit.

Notes and references

1. Quoted In Jack Doyle, 'The Agricultural Fix', In Multinational Monitor, February 1986, pp. 3-15.

2. Quoted in Jack Doyle, Altered Harvest, Viking, New York, 1985, p.280.

3. Calestous Juma, Biological Diversity and innovation, ACTS, Nairobi, 1989, p.35.

4. Miguel Altieri, 'The Significance of Diversity in the Maintenance of the Sustainability of Traditional Agroecosystems', in ILEIA Newsletter, Vol. 3, No.2, Leusden, July 1987, p.3.


6. Mogbuama example from Paul Richards, 'Spreading Risks Across Slopes: Diversified Rice Production in Central Sierra Leone', in ILEIA Newsletter, Vol. 3, No.2, Leusden, July 1987.

7. Robert Rhoades, 'Thinking like a Mountain', in ILEIA Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 1, Leusden, March 1988, p.4.

8. Miguel Altieri, 1987, op. cit., p.3.

9. Quoted in Albrecht Benzing, 'Andean Potato Peasants are Seed Bankers', in ILEIA Newsletter, Vol.5, No.4, Leusden, December 1989, p.13.

10. Purna Chhetri, 'Bishau's and Kheti's Sustainable Farm in Nepal', in ILEIA Newsletter, Vol.4, No. l,Leusden,March 1988.

11 . 'Intercropping: Farming for the Future?' in SPORE, bulletin of CTA, No.15, Wageningen, July 1988,p.4.

12. Interview with T. Odhiambo, Director of ICIPE, in ILEIA Newsletter, Vol.6, No. 1, Leusden, March 1990, p.4.

13. Ibid.

14. Flores Milton,'Velvetbeans: An Alternative to Improve Small Farmers' Agriculture', m ILEIA Newsletter, Vol. 5, No. 2, Leusden July 1989, pp. 8-9.

15.'Intercropping: Farming for the Future?, 1988, op. cit., p.5.

16. Miguel Altieri, 1987, op. cit., p.4.

17. 'Intercropping: Farming for the Future?', 1988, op. cit., p.5.

18. 'Tapping Farmers' Knowledge of Crop Protection', in SPORE, No.26, Wageningen, April 1990,p.12.

19. 'Sustainable Agricultural Production', in SPORE, No.16, Wageningen, September 1988, p.6.

20. 'Intercropping: Farming for the Future?', 1988, op. cit., p.5.

21. Jurgen Carls, 'Land-use Systems in Marginal Highland Areas', in ILEIA Newsletter, Vol.4, No. l, Leusden, March 1988, p.10.

22. M. Altieri, 1987, op. cit., p.6.

23. Puma Chhetri, 1988, op. cit., p.16.

24. For a description of the MASIPAG programme, see 'proceedings, Asian Regional Workshop on Plant Genetic Resources Conservation', Malang, 6-11 December 1987, SEARICE, Manila, 1988, pp.70-1.

25. The Third System comprises NGOs and their networks, the first system being the governments and the second system the industry.