Sustainable Agriculture Program has evolved from the farming systems research where the emphasis had been on the productivity and stability of the crop-based production systems with subsequent considerations of the environmental impacts. When the sustainable agriculture concept has been extented to include rural livelihoods, the emphasis has shifted beyond the resource-conserving technologies to incorporate issues and their interactions such as social, institutional, cultural and spiritual aspects.
Using the diversed agroecosystems of Northern Thailand as the working boundary, the Program has selected key problem areas to develop diversified and sustainable production systems that make full use of local knowledge, increase self-reliance and have strong links to the local rural economy. It is also anticipated that through better understanding the relationship between the policy measures and sustainable agriculture in different ecosystems of northern Thailand, alternative policies and policy processes that would promote the practice and spread of sustainable agriculture could be identified.
The MCC staff involved in this research theme has developed approaches, methods, and tools for problem-solving at field, farm, and community levels, and has working experience in a participatory manner with various groups of stakeholders. The MCC can offer the training in the following areas :
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