The digital International Farming Systems Collection represents nearly forty years of teaching, research and extension resources pertaining to the Farming Systems approach to international agricultural development. The focus has mostly been on the still increasing number of smallholder farmers and their heterogeneous livelihood systems on a global scale.

Spanning geographic regions as well as disciplinary fields, these documents will provide students, practitioners and researchers with various aspects of the evolution of an approach whose basic tenets persist. Taken from the personal library of Peter E. Hildebrand, a founding father of Farming Systems, this collection contains insights and lessons learned by those who discovered the value of putting farmers first.

Two main themes run through the collection. One is the development over time of methods that help development professionals—be they researchers, extension agents or students—to understand the livelihoods of these limited resource households. This understanding is necessary if policies, infrastructure or technology are to be made useful to this target audience. The second theme is literature describing in increasing detail, the diverse livelihood strategies of the households living in various parts of the world. These limited resource households represent nearly a billion people struggling to survive on a daily basis.


The digital International Farming Systems Collection is part of the Food and Agricultural Sciences General Collection. For additional farming or related resources resources query the general collection.