Agricultural innovation for enhanced natural resources in the Ecuador Highlands
Barrera, Victor H.
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Collaborative relationships between various stakeholders - government officials, community leaders, farmers, and international researchers - were formed to improve natural resources and environmental conditions in Ecuador's highlands. Maps of current ecological conditions were created using local information and perceptions. Farmers and researchers then used these maps during the creation of on-farm research projects that aimed to test various production systems. These agricultural production systems were evaluated for ecological impact, labor demand, and change in farmer income. Conservation agriculture, integrated pest management, and utilization of improved crop varieties were also evaluated for impact on local ecological conditions. Encouraging participation by all stakeholders, participatory research, consensus building within communities were found to be necessary factors in the successful management of local environmental degradation.