I am Brian G Sims, an Agricultural Engineer, and this is my personal website. I am an independent consultant with more years than I care to remember working in tropical agriculture and agricultural engineering. My career has focused on (but not been confined to) the development of small holder farming-systems, using on-farm participatory research and development methodology and collaborative approaches to farm mechanisation. I have agriculture and engineering degrees from Reading University in the UK and a Diploma in Tropical Agriculture from the University of the West Indies, Trinidad. My developing country experience includes fourteen years living in the Latin America and Caribbean Region and three years in Africa. During this period I worked mainly on agricultural sector development projects and led multi-institutional and multi-disciplinary on-farm research programmes into natural resources management for the inter-Andean valleys of South America and in Mexico and Central America.

I was leader of the International Development Group at Silsoe Research Institute1 (SRI) in the UK for many years, where I advised on the identification, formulation, appraisal, management and evaluation of agricultural development programmes for the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and other governments and NGOs. Stanford University invited me as a visiting researcher in 1985 and in 2002 I was the recipient of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Kishida Award. Since leaving SRI in 2003, I have continued to work, principally for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in development and emergency programmes mainly in sub-Saharan Africa.

1 Formerly known as the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering (NIAE), and the AFRC Institute of Engineering Research

I would like this website to enrich the debate on what agriculture can do to confront the associated problems of world population increase, inadequate food supply, environmental degradation and the negative impacts of climate change. One of the most promising agricultural practices which is compatible with this aim is conservation agriculture (CA), which is based on not tilling the soil, keeping it covered for as long as possible and practising rotations of main and subsidiary cover crops. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations is an important proponent of CA (along with many others) and their CA website, which is available in English, Spanish and French, contains a wealth of information on the subject. I would like to explore the potential for CA in the UK in this website and there are also links to some of the papers and reports that I have written or contributed to over the years.

You are most welcome to the site. Please feel free to comment on any of the topics and themes which you find here and point out any errors or inconsistencies.