Conventional research approaches have lost considerable momentum after their astonishing achievements during the green revolution. The negative side of focusing rigorously on production improvement was eminent around 1980 and led to considerations of environmental, gender and equity aspects - making agricultural development much more complex than previously. In the search for new ways of addressing the persisting problems of food insecurity and malnutrition, new ways should be explored. Based on the experiences from three international, African research projects, the article argues the case of participatory action research and cross-disciplinarity as some of the key elements in future animal science research in developing countries. The benefits are outlined as well as the challenges for the researchers and the donor agencies.
Key words: Action research, agriculture, agro-forestry, animal science, cross-disciplinarity, developing countries, livestock systems, paradigms, participation, poverty.
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