Contested agronomy: low-level evidence, high-level claims

Demonstrating ‘impact’ has become a strong imperative for those involved in agricultural research. But this pressure has led to some large-scale claims for techniques that have only been tested at farm level.

Techniques like Conservation Agriculture (CA) and the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), for example, have shown much promise in experimental trails. But is the ‘success’ of some techniques being over-stretched when it is applied at the scale of countries or continents?

In a post on the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) blog, STEPS member Jim Sumberg examines the risks of this trend, and how such claims come to be accepted among researchers and farmers.

Image: success rice, from nauright’s photostream on Flickr