We continue to work as independent consultants seeking to improve the livelihoods of poor people through sustainable use of renewable natural resources. We achieve this by developing a better understanding of natural resources systems and management and delivering this as a package of knowledge in a form that can be used and be of benefit to the poorest (usually rural) communities. Our principal thrust is to identify and promote, usually through participatory on-farm research, methods of improving smallholder crop production, increasing labour and land productivity, through collaboration with development organisations. Our work experience (over the last 30 years) covers sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and south-east Asia.

Specialist skills

Farm power and mechanisation:

    Farm power and mechanisation
  • Improving the health, productivity and working environments of subsistence and small-scale farmers;
  • Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of production at the small enterprise and household levels;
  • Reducing the human effort and drudgery associated with crop and livestock production, particularly through the (participatory) development of tools, mechanisation and working practices;
  • Improving the work performance of draught animals;
  • Giving technical support to the commercial manufacture of smallholder mechanisation technologies;

Soil and water management:

    Soil and water conservation
  • Developing soil and water management systems that increase soil fertility, optimise soil moisture and reduce soil loss;
  • Developing tillage systems and conservation agriculture practices that improve crop performance and assist in weed management, particularly based on draught animal power;

Rural livelihoods:

    Rural livelihoods
  • Ensuring that research and development involve stakeholders and that farmers' decision making strategies are clearly understood;
  • Assessing the social and economic implications of technical interventions on livelihoods, productivity and poverty;
  • Providing a framework for defining strategies, policy options and objectives for research and development;

For further information, contact Jim Ellis-Jones, Brian Sims, or Dave O'Neill.

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