This paper considers the work of the Adaptive Research Planning Team (ARPT) in Zambia in the light from the conventional "transfer of technology" paradigm to a "farmer first" approach. It deals with the central issues facing ARPT in its move towards increasing levels of farmer participation in the adaptive research work of provincial teams. It aims to establish what participation means to APRT, why APRT should pursue participation and how this can be achieved. The central problem facing APRT is reconciling its push for increased participation in agricultural research with the "top down" approach characterising much of the rest of APRT. The paper indicates that the "farmer first" approach should be more widely adopted throughout development work, not just in agriculture - in other words "farmer first" marks a new paradigm for all development work.
This paper may be of interest to government policy makers in the South, NGO fieldworkers, development researchers, agriculturalists and economists.
Adaptive Research Planning team, Kabwe Regional Research Station