National Dairy Cattle and Poultry Research Programme

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Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
These notes reflect the contents of seminars held during a consultancy to the National Dairy Cattle and Poultry Research Project (NDCPRP) of the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARl). They are meant to provide backgrounds and methodologies for Farming Systems Research (FSR) for application in the changing research and extension setting of the KARl. In a few cases I could contribute conclusively, e.g., with regard to working definitions of Farming Systems Research (Ch. 3), screening of technologies (Ch. 5.1.1) and issues such as farmers perceptions (Ch. 7). In other cases I do not pretend to have definite answers, but my opinions are given as a challenge for further work, e.g., the parts on statistics. Some parts of these notes are even incomplete due to time pressure and limited time available during this consultancy. e.g., the list of references. A section on paradigms and "doubtful" use of terminology is available upon request but too incomplete to include in this preliminary version. The notes are circulated nevertheless as they are to contribute to an ongoing debate, hopefully to be completed during the course of NDCPRP. I invite comments, suggestions and amendments since I am certainly not the first one to struggle with these issues. If agricultural development in Kenya and elsewhere is now at crossroads, it is of paramount importance that we do not" lock" ourselves into approaches that will be regretted after some time. Intensive exchange of ideas and opinions is therefore a necessity, not a luxury!