The relation of basic anthropological research to applied Farming Systems Research (FSR) is discussed. A case study involving two anthropologists engaged in basic research on Andean agriculture who collaborated with a FSR program of the International Potato Center is examined. This case shows that cooperation is feasible and beneficial, although serious constraints exist. Constraints arise from differences in objectives and methodologies and from structural differences between basic and applied science. Difficulties in integrating basic research into the applied FSR program are seen in the themes of community and traditional practice in agriculture. FSR can contribute to anthropology by helping to build effective multidisciplinary teams to study agricultural systems. Anthropological research on agriculture, particularly cultural ecology, benefits from adopting the commodity focus of FSR teams and from a redefinition of holism.

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