Type: Book

The sustainable intensification of smallholder farming systems


Dr Dominik Klauser is a Program Officer at the Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) which supports resource-poor small farmers in developing countries. Dr Klauser works on identifying and scaling technologies that benefit smallholders such as new crop varieties, seed treatments and fertilizer formulations. Dr Mike Robinson is Chief Science Advisor at SFSA. He was formerly a Senior Technology Analyst for the Syngenta Corporate Strategy and Technology Group and has extensive experience of managing global collaborative research projects in bioscience.



Publication date:

27 October 2020

Length of book:

460 pages

ISBN-13: 9781786764300

Hardback - £180.00
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This volume reviews recent research on effective support to improve smallholder livelihoods.

After discussing the economics of smallholder farming, Part 1 reviews ways of improving access to resources such as seeds, tools and expertise for soil health improvement and integrated pest management (IPM) as well as mechanisation. Part 2 discusses ways of improving support services such as farmer organisations, public sector and commercial extension services as well as the use of digital technologies to support particular groups such as female smallholders. Part 4 discusses ways of improving smallholder access to markets, including the role of both the private and public sectors.

Key features

  • Strong coverage of improving smallholder access to key inputs, from seeds to nutrition and pest management 
  • Reviews ways of improving public and private sector extension support as well as market access for smallholders 
  • Chapter authors mix research expertise and practical experience of successful project implementation on the ground

What others are saying...

"It is fabulous to see that these distinguished experts on the intensification of smallholder farming systems bring together their years of knowledge and experience into a volume that will be accessible to all. Many strands of agricultural development expertise that are often disconnected from each other are brought together in these pages, including some of the latest evidence and approaches that can yield direct benefits to smallholder farmers."
Mark Huisenga, Senior Program Manager, USAID – US Government Bureau of Food Security

Table of contents

Part 1 Understanding smallholder farming
1.The challenges of smallholder farming: Steve Wiggins, Overseas Development Institute (ODI), UK;
2.The economics of smallholder farming: David Eagle, MEDA, Canada;

Part 2 Agricultural inputs
3.Access to finance for smallholders: Nikesh Ghimere, MEDA, Canada
4.Access to seeds for smallholders: Dominik Klauser, Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture, Switzerland;
5.Tools for pest and disease management by smallholders: Ulrich Kuhlmann, CABI, Switzerland;
6.Tools for soil fertility management for smallholders: Bernard Vanlauwe, IITA, Kenya;
7.Access to mechanization for smallholders: Oluwole Fatunbi, FARA Africa, Ghana;
8.Improving water management for smallholders: Christopher Studer, Bern University of Applied Science, Switzerland;

Part 3 Agricultural production
9.Strengthening public sector extension systems for smallholders: Felister Makini, Deputy Director General (Crops) - Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Institute (KALRO), Kenya;
10.Strengthening commercial extension systems for smallholders: Matthew Freeman, The One Acre Fund, Kenya;
11.Supporting female smallholders: Margaret Adesugba, Newcastle University, UK;

Part 4 Agricultural outputs
12.Improving market access for smallholders: Yanyan Liu, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), USA;
13.Incentivizing sustainable production practices: Christine Negra, Versant Vision, USA;
14.The role and the challenges of the private sector in working with smallholders (focus on input): John Derera, SeedCo, Zambia;
15.The role and the challenges of the private sector in working with smallholders (focus on output): John Logan, Technoserve, Kenya;