Agroecosystem analysis

Conway, G.R. (1985) Agroecosystem analysis. Agricultural Administration, 20 (1). pp. 31-55.

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In recent years there has been growing demand for a more multidisciplinary and holistic content to agricultural research and development. Farming systems research and integrated rural development are two responses to this demand but, in common with other multidisciplinary approaches, they face the problem of trying to encompass a breadth of expertise while at the same time generating a common agreement on worthwhile practical action. The procedure of agroecosystem analysis, which is described and illustrated here, combines a rigorous framework with sufficient flexibility to encourage genuine interdisciplinary interaction. It has been designed and tested in Thailand over the past 5 years. The procedure uses a systems analysis approach in a workshop environment. The participants begin by defining the objectives of the analysis and the relevant systems, their boundaries and hierarchic arrangement. This is followed by pattern analysis, the system being analyzed by all the participating disciplines in terms of space, time, flows and decisions. Those patterns are important in determining the important system properties of agroecosystems, namely productivity, stability, sustainability and equitability. The outcome of the analyses is a set of agreed key questions for future research or alternatively a set of tentative guidelines for development

Item Type: Article
Author Affiliation: Centre for Environmental Technology and Department of Pure and Applied Biology, Imperial College of Science and Technology, London SW7 1LU, UK
Subjects: Soil Science and Microbiology
Soil Science and Microbiology > Soil Sciences
Divisions: General
Depositing User: Mr B Krishnamurthy
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2011 10:41
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2011 10:41

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