Crop research to benefit poor farmers in marginal areas of the developing world: A review of technical challenges and tools

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Despite great successes in crop research for the developing world, many poor farmers in marginal areas have not benefited. There is increasing recognition that crop research can and should benefit these farmers. This paper reviews some of the key technical issues related to the challenge of formulating and carrying out crop research that is targeted, relevant and appropriate to these farmers, with a particular emphasis on crop improvement. It examines the reasons that underpin the lack of research impacts, and some of the key challenges and tools available to make this happen. The challenges include breeding for marginal environments, incorporating risk and vulnerability as important dimensions of crop research, recognizing the demand for multiple traits and diverse varieties, as well as addressing neglected and underutilized species important to the poor. The tools are comprised of a combination of crop environmental classification systems with poverty mapping to target and prioritize research at the global and national levels, the use of participatory research approaches, particularly in plant breeding, as well as non-market valuation methodologies to make research products relevant and appropriate to the poor at the local level. The paper briefly examines the promise of modern biotechnology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number070
JournalCAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources
StatePublished - Dec 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Biotechnology
  • Marginal environments
  • Non-market valuation
  • Participatory breeding
  • Poor
  • Poverty mapping
  • Priorities
  • Targeting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Veterinary
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


Dive into the research topics of 'Crop research to benefit poor farmers in marginal areas of the developing world: A review of technical challenges and tools'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this