A manual for prototyping Integrated and Ecological Arable Farming Systems (I/EAFS) in interaction with pilot farms is presented. It concerns a comprehensive and consistent approach of 5 steps. Step 1 is establishing a hierarchy of objectives considering the shortcomings of current farming systems in the region. Step 2 is transforming the objectives in a set of multi-objective parameters, to quantify them and establishing a set of multi-objective farming methods to achieve them. Step 3 is designing a theoretical prototype by linking parameters to farming methods and designing the methods in this context until they are ready for initial testing. Step 4 is laying out the prototype on at least 10 pilot farms in appropriate variants and testing and improving the prototype (variants) until the objectives, as quantified in the set of parameters, have been achieved (after repeated layout). Step 5 is disseminating the prototype (variants) to other farms with gradual shift in supervision from researchers to extensionists. This 5 steps method of prototyping has been elaborated and tested by a European network of more than 20 research teams, sponsored by the European Union (AIR-concerted action). The teams express their achievements in a consistent set of 6 parts of an identity card of their prototype. The 6 parts of the EAFS-prototype of the author's team are presented to illustrate the method of prototyping. Part 6 presents the state of the art. It shows that the results desired have progressively been achieved, which may be considered as the best proof of the effectiveness of prototyping.
|Place of Publication||Wageningen|
|Number of pages||53|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
- alternative farming
- organic farming
- integrated farming systems
- scientific research