This is the story of tropical agricultural science and agricultural development in the 20th century, focusing on the African farmer and African farming methods. It describes successes as well as fads and failures, many based on the author's first-hand observations during more than 40 years in tropical agromy-related fields. Moving into the 21st century, the book explores the rise of computer modeling of crops and crop production.
The author, who graduated from Wageningen University in the Netherlands in June 1967 and obtained a PhD degree there in April 1982, has spent a lifetime working in a wide range of tropical agronomy-related fields. He started his career in a cotton development project in Indonesia, lectured and carried out research at the Universities of Wageningen, Yaounde (Cameroun) and Ibadan (Nigeria) and played a key role in the introduction of the 'Farming Systems Research' approach in West and Central Africa when working at the International Institute of Tropical agriculture in Ibadan. Since 1994 he has been attached to the Nedworc Foundation in the Netherlands and travelled to many African, Asian and Latin American countries to formulate, assist and evaluate agricultural research and development programmes. Dr. Mutsaers is the author and co-author of numerous scientific papers on crop physiology, crop modelling, farming systems and on-farm research, as well as several books, including two on on-farm research methodology.