How to achieve higher yields with lower quantities of inputs is becoming the crucial question. Here we argue that natural resource management (NRM) technologies offer interesting perspectives. This is demonstrated by one concrete example, namely SRI that smallholder farmers in Timor Leste have recently started to adopt.

NRM technologies

Recently, NRM technologies have been proposed to improve the efficiency of cropping systems in a sustainable way. These technologies build on integrated agronomic principles, responding to a wide range of challenges in different environments. Prominent examples include conservation agriculture, agroforestry and organic farming, all of which have attracted considerable attention over the last few decades. NRM approaches reduce the use of external inputs by enhancing the potential of locally available resources through improved management practices. This is in contrast to many conventional technologies, such as high-yielding crop varieties, where the innovation is related to a particular input.