Intensified systems of farming in the tropics and by J. A. N. Wallis

By J. A. N. Wallis

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We will all die one day, but the poor will almost surely die younger. The time horizon of governments and elected representatives of the people should be much longer than the individual's, although in practice this is often not the case. Norgaard and Dixon (1986) present an argument for combining economic and "co-evolutionary" methodologies when designing development projects. Their approach draws attention to concurrent changes in physical and social systems. This view is also helpful in accommodating the imponderables and uncertainties we face today when deciding which farming systems are likely to be sustainable and which are not.

My operational expenses were financed jointly by AGR, ENV, EDI and some operations divisions where I was able to assist in a country operation during my field work for this study. A. NICHOLAS WALLIS FORMER SENIOR ADVISOR AGRICULTURE AND NATURAL RESOURCES DEPARTMENT THE WORLD BANK Page xiii Acknowledgments This review is based on interviews with many farmers, scientists, and senior managers of public and private institutions. Many of these people have written on subjects related to the intensification of farming and sustainable agriculture in their countries, and some of their important contributions listed in the bibliography at the end of this publication provided valuable material for this review.

Sometimes this relationship has been condensed to a balance between "sources" of inputs and "sinks" for the disposal of unwanted outputs. Between these two extremes complex physical and biological processes are at work. This review uses the term farming system to encompass the whole cycle, from the sources of resources all the way through to the final consumer and sinks for wastes. Sustainability here refers in the first place to a farming system's physical, chemical, and biological elements and how these interact over space and time.

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