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Agriculture is as old as mankind. This may seem to be an overs implication of the field but if we reckon that changes in agricultural practices have taken place all the time and that these changes are as results of “trying” by farmers and others, then the general statement is true. However, “trying” is unsystematic and this justifies the new approaches to agriculture. Systematic research is relatively young and dates back to 18th century during the agricultural revolution. In accordance to today’s scientific research, the work carried out in Europe in the 18th century was essentially unscientific and characterized by lack of standard procedures, scientific theories were weak, at times unproven and superstition was mixed with scientific concepts.
One of the typical misconceptions was the idea of transmutation of earth and water into plant tissues. The first agricultural experimental station had carefully planned field experiments and a support laboratory.
Agricultural stations in developing countries are still growing and the number of experts is still small and consequently coverage of the various disciplines is intermittent. The few experts in developing countries are faced with the
Problems of choosing a field of focus using efficiently the limited facilities and scarce resources.
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Justification for Research in Developing Countries In general, developing countries (particularly small countries) has limited resources. Consequently personnel, research facilities, support services and financial resources for recurrent expenses are all serious bottlenecks, therefore, some argue that developing countries should utilize the technology available from developed countries directly, thus saving the countries the various resources.
It is however encouraging to see that this argument is largely not being heeded. The justification for agricultural exploration to be carried out in the developing countries is based on the fact that environments (agro ecological zones) vary a lot and the direct application of technology from temperate countries is bound to fail and cause disastrous results.
It is also important to recognize the obvious constraints mentioned above which limit how much can be done and it is critical that the resources available should be utilized to the maximum and efficiently. In order to achieve this optimum use of resources agricultural experts for developing countries should be trained to deal with wider fields, as there is a great demand for them to cover inevitable gaps in personnel. Further, agricultural
Experts should learn to work with relatively inexpensive equipment and embrace technology.