Low external input technology (or LEIT) is an increasingly prominent subject in discussions of sustainable agriculture. There is a growing need for self-sufficient agriculture in an era experiencing dramatically diminishing returns from the high-input form of agriculture that resulted from the so-called green revolution, with its strong reliance upon expensive, synthetic pesticides and fertilisers. There are many reasons to support strategies for low external input farming, including a concern for environmental sustainability, increased attention to resource-poor farmers and marginal environments, and the conviction that a better use of local resources in small-scale agriculture can improve farm productivity and innovation.
This book examines the contributions and limitations of low external input technology (LEIT) for addressing the needs of resource-poor farmers. For the first time a balanced analysis of LEIT is provided, making sense of the debates, giving an extensive review of the literature and offering practical suggestions about the management and integration of low external input agriculture in rural development programmes.