A Holistic Approach to Farming Research
A Holistic Approach to Farming Research In Egypt, land productivity was improved by an IFAD project that created strong links between farmers, research and extension, and raised resource-use efficiency by integrating crops and livestock. The governorates of Fayoum, Beni Sueif and Minia in Upper Egypt extend for about 200 km along the Nile. In this area, land productivity is low and the potential for bringing additional land into production is limited. The only options available to raise the incomes of rural people living in the area are to improve land productivity and intensify land use. This is what an IFAD project has done through a project consisting of three main elements: 1) agricultural research; 2) the dissemination of research findings through extension activity; and 3) the provision of credit necessary to adopt new technologies. The project established an innovative Farming System Research Unit (FSRU), which operated with a holistic approach. That is to say, the FSRU carried out research activities that were adapted to farmers’ real needs and closely linked to extension delivery, and broadened its focus to include livestock – a relatively neglected area in Egypt.