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FiBL project

Title Long-term farming systems comparisons in the tropics
Official Acronym SysCom
FiBL project number 65003

The project "Farming Systems Comparisons in the Tropics" aims at establishing a scientific basis for discussions on the performance and potential of conventional and organic agricultural production systems in the tropics. It has been running since 2007. Long-term farming systems comparison field trials have been established in three tropical countries – Kenya (Africa), India (Asia) and Bolivia (Latin America) – in concert with participatory on-farm research on technology development. The trials focus on a different cropping system in each country. The concept of organic agriculture builds on the efficient use of locally available resources and adapted technologies. It has proved itself as a valid alternative to conventional farming in industrialised countries and may therefore be a promising option for sustainable agricultural intensification in the South. However, solid data on the benefits and drawbacks of organic agriculture in the tropics are still missing. Specific on-station and on-farm experiments are required to provide solid agronomic and socio-economic data on organic and conventional agricultural production systems in the selected project regions. The field trials will provide the missing information and have a catalytic effect on the development of ecological agriculture through complementary on-farm research combined with training and policy events. The involvement of all major stakeholders from organic and conventional agriculture, farmers groups, scientists, technicians and policy makers in various technical and advisory committees ensures wider acceptability of the research findings. As the international project coordinator, FiBL has the lead in overall strategic guidance and holds the scientific responsibility of the project. FiBL supports the capacity building of the project staff and the partners in research concepts, research methodology, implementation of trials and surveys, and analysis of results. In addition, FiBL monitors the progress of activities as well as the expected outputs and outcomes of the project.

Project status ongoing
Start of project 01.05.2005
Financing/ Donor
  • Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (DEZA)
  • Liechtenstein Development Service (LED)
  • Coop Sustainability Fund
  • Biovision Foundation for ecological development
(Research) Programme
  • Partnership Coop and FiBL
Project partners
  • Kenya: Institute of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Kenyan Agricultural Research Institute (KARI), Kenyatta University, Kenya Organic Agricultural Network (KOAN), Kenyan Institute of Organic Farming (KIOF)
  • India: bioRe Association
  • Bolivia: Ecotop Consult, Institute of Ecology (University San Mayor de Andres), PIAF-El Ceibo Foundation
Project Advisory Board

Mäder Paul, Weibel Franco, Fliessbach Andreas, Fried Padruot, Cadisch Georg, Schulin Rainer

FiBL project leader/ contact
FiBL project staff
Role of FiBL

Coordination, data quality monitoring and long-term storage, data analysis, interpretation and publication

Further Information


Research area
Date modified 05.04.2017
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