[report] Operational Feasibility of Smallholder Innovations
This report, compiled by Professor Emeritus of Colorado State University, examines the operational feasibility of smallholder farming innovations in extensive detail, ensuring also the conclusions can be drawn from several different angles in order to provide a definitive conclusion, such as agronomics (agricultural biology), economics and sociology.
Interestingly, though upon further reflection, rather unsurprisingly, the limits of innovation stem from the limits of labour. In this instance, it is in regards to the availability of calorie-efficient food and modern farming technology; one simply cannot work for the number of hours a day necessary to farm one’s land to an adequate extent without suitable nourishment, which in this case amounts to approximately 4000 kcal. Similarly, it is essential smallholding farmers in developing countries have access to modern, lower-intensity, farming techniques, such as irrigation and mechanisation, so as to circumvent the problem posed by the inability to consume the necessary intake of 4000kcal.
However, there are, of course, several rational compromises for the famers to make. There are several simple yet effective ways in which smallholding may be able to improve their crop yield and its quality. For instance, an emphasis on earlier crop planting goes a long way; the longer planting takes, the quality and quantity of the yield decreases daily. Additionally, another compromise would be to focus on the amount of land being cultivated rather than the density of the crops planted within it.