Applied Agricultural Research: Foundations and Methodology

Applied Agricultural Research: Foundations and Methodology

Applied Agricultural Research: Foundations and Methodology

Applied Agricultural Research: Foundations and Methodology

Synopsis

"The desire to resolve problems through pragmatic observation, systematic evaluation, and coordinated action persists with each new generation of researchers. A timeless task that bears individual, social, and often cultural characteristics, problem resolution is essentially an experimental process. Routine and methodology can enhance both its process and outcome. Reflecting the authors' combined total of more than fifty years of experience helping students and colleagues, both in developed and less advantaged countries, Applied Agricultural Research is focused on helping researchers improve their methodology skills. The authors consider the practical difficulties inherent in designing real-world research projects that can be completed within the available time and whose results are applicable to the problem at hand. They urge researchers to approach the task as a client-oriented service." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Lingering on and ever more demanding is the desire to resolve problems through pragmatic observation, systematic evaluation and concerted action. The process repeats itself. Each new generation of research scientists emerges to confront the challenge of food production and distribution, to face extensive world hunger and malnutrition. Additionally the natural and human resource bases for agricultural production, as well as the research resource base for technology development to enhance productivity, are becoming more difficult to sustain. But the demand for effective and efficient research methodology directed to resolving real-world problems continues and increasingly is more important.

As an age-old task that bears individual, social and sometimes cultural characteristics, problem resolution is essentially an experiential process. Routine and methodology can enhance both the process and the experience. In tackling the development of a course on research methodology more than twenty-five years ago and in preparation of the text Planning and Conducting Applied Agricultural Research, we aspired to teach young agricultural economists to become researchers. We wanted to improve the process of problem identification, of selecting alternatives and priorities to help explain and resolve the problem, and the specification of research objectives to effectively and efficiently guide the needed tasks of observation and analysis. Applying methodology to problem solving, much as with reading or speaking, has natural tendencies. Proficiency and efficiency, however, in research require accumulation and transfer of individual and communal experience. But if we accept that the approach to research is a relatively deliberate yet . . .

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