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close this bookAmaranth to Zai Holes, Ideas for Growing Food under Difficult Conditions (ECHO; 1996; 397 pages)
View the documentOther ECHO publications
View the documentAbout this book
View the documentAcknowledgements
Open this folder and view contents1: Basics of agricultural development
Open this folder and view contents2: Vegetables and small fruits in the tropics
Open this folder and view contents3: Staple crops
Open this folder and view contents4: Multipurpose trees
close this folder5: Farming systems and gardening techniques
View the documentDryland techniques and mulches
View the documentHillside techniques
View the documentIntercropping
View the documentSustainable systems: resources and training opportunities
View the documentPoem by Larry Fisher
Open this folder and view contents6: Soil health and plant nutrition
Open this folder and view contents7: Water resources
Open this folder and view contents8: Plant protection and pest control
Open this folder and view contents9: Domestic animals
Open this folder and view contents10: Food science
Open this folder and view contents11: Human health care
Open this folder and view contents12: Seeds and germplasm
Open this folder and view contents13: Energy and technologies
Open this folder and view contents14: From farm to market
Open this folder and view contents15: Training and missionary resources
Open this folder and view contents16: Oils
Open this folder and view contents17: Above-ground (urban) gardens
View the document18: What is ECHO?
View the documentAdditional ECHO publications
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes - issue 52
Open this folder and view contentsECHO development notes: issue 53
Open this folder and view contents28 additional technical notes about tropical agriculture
Open this folder and view contentsPrinciples of agroforestry
Open this folder and view contentsGood nutrition on the small farm
 

Poem by Larry Fisher

After 15 years of EDN, I guess it is not too much to include a bit of levity.

Economists, agronomists and planners of late Have discovered a new way to pontificate. Beyond mere jargon, like "Success Enhancement," "Integrated Development," and "Rural Advancement." Working in all their infinite wisdom They're trying to define a "Farming System." To answer the question for all of you "Why do farmers do what they do?"

At universities and experiment stations 'round the globe, In offices, labs and on farms they probe; Through consultancy surveys in developing nations, Upstream and downstream experimentations, With yield rates, inputs and multiple regressions, Attempting to explain that profoundest of questions With the diverse hypotheses that each eschew On why farmers do what they do.

Variability and generalization, Indigenous knowledge and maximization, The issues discussed, the factors controlled, Computers click, theories unfold. Papers get published, conferences convened, Projects are funded; it becomes obscene When predictably they conclude in the Final Review That a more generous grant might give them a clue As to why farmers do what they do.

Somewhere farmers plow and plant, Milk their cows, work and chant. After the interviews, trials and calculations The experts retire to their research stations. And the farmers continue to grow their corn While old women die and children are born. The men swap stories and drink their brew, And they scratch their heads and wonder anew, "Why do scientists do what they do?"

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