Lang views agriculture as a chain of events linking the farmer's field with the scientist's laboratory, and he argues that rice cultivation is shaped by different social systems, cultures, and environments. Describing research conducted by the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines and by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Colombia, he shows how national programs tailor research to their own production problems. According to Lang, the interaction of research programs, practical problem solving, and local extension efforts suggests a new model for international development.
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