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Discussions of mixed farming often assume that these systems represent a natural progression towards an ideal state. This text argues that these evolutionary views can be questioned because it fails to recognise the range of technology and the change that occurs in agricultural systems.
Pathways of change: crop-livestock integration in Africa by Ian Scoones & William Wolmer - Crop-livestock integration in Mali: multiple pathways of change by Karen Brock, N'golo Coulibaly, Joshua Ramisch & William Wolmer - Complexity, change & continuity in southern Ethiopia: the case of crop-livestock integration by Grace Carswell - Crops, livestock & livelihoods in Zimbabwe by William Wolmer, Bevlyn Sithole & Billy Mukamuri - Crop-livestock policy in Africa: what is to be done? by Joshua Ramisch, James Keeley, Ian Scoones & William Wolmer
'Pathways of Change offers a conceptually interesting, empirically rich, and convincing argument for a more sophisticated understanding of the complexities of small-scale mixed farming in Africa than much of the existing literature provides. ...Their goal is to highlight how new perspectives on "ecology, historical dynamics, social differentiation, and institutional processes" can sharpen our insights into the range of interrelated socioeconomic, technological, and institutional considerations that facilitate and constrain small-scale farm families in Ethiopia, Mali, and Zimbabwe in their striving for access to resources to improve the quality of their lives. ...a valuable overview of the literature and key issues regarding crop-livestock integration in Africa.' - Jim Bingen in African Studies Review 'The Scoones and Wolmer volume...challenges the normative belief that African production systems should/will move to a mixed farming model that integrates agriculture and livestock raising. The authors attribute this belief to underlying evolutionary theories of the inevitability of agricultural intensification and they show how it suffuses standard approaches to technological innovation in extension programmes (and underlies the failure of such programmes to reach poor rural producers). They argue that there is a diversity of different pathways of change in rural production systems.' - Bridget O'Laughlin in Development and Change