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The PIP Approach, based on translating a farmer’s vision into an Integrated Farm Plan brought change to this widow in Burundi.

An approach developed in 2013 by Alterra Wageningen UR (Aad Kessler and Niek van Duivenbooden), and since then continuously improved

The PIP approach is an innovative way of transforming small-scale subsistence farm households into more productive and sustainable farms. It is based on a visionary Integrated Farm Plan (PIP in French acronyms) which is developed and drawn on a map by all family members, as well as a concrete action plan how to realise that vision. Changing farmers’ mindsets by motivating them to transform their reality by conscious collective action is at the core of the PIP approach. As such, the PIP builds a foundation for entrepreneurial and sustainable farming, i.e. Market Oriented Resilient Agricultural Production Systems. This bottom-up development approach is currently being implemented in Burundi. Other countries and various organizations have expressed interest in the PIP approach.  


Land for agricultural purposes is in high demand, requiring sustainable practices.

Farmers discussing the possibilities for agriculture in their colline.

A Burundian farmer proud of his vision that provides him each day with new energy.

Inspiring families to align their work into teamwork

Agricultural development starts when transformation of ‘a farmer by default’ (because there is no or hardly any other option) into ‘a professional entrepreneurial farmer by choice’ takes place.

The PIP approach aims to achieve this transformation. The underlying belief of the PIP approach is that changing the farmers’ mindset by motivating them to plan and invest in their future is the foundation for sustainable development. Therefore, at the core of the PIP approach is the PIP itself: the integrated farm plan designed by the entire family.

We facilitate this integrated approach within our strategy to increase impact.



Vision creation by family

Roles and responsibility

Integrated thinking and acting

Food & economic security

Download PIP brochure From vision to realization PIP Approach

In many African countries, increasing agricultural production is the primary pathway towards sustainable development. However, a huge number of small-scale farms continues to face low productivity levels, often due to soil degradation and low efficiency of their production systems, the absence of affordable inputs and markets, and low economic returns of innovations at farm level.

An integrated grass-root development approach seems the required basis for change.


       Teaching someone how to fish is only worthwhile if he truly wants to become a fisherman. The PIP approach motivates and inspires farmers to invest in their land, it gives them vision and a plan for the future, and consequently enables us to advise them more successfully with regard to sustainable land use.



Download PIP scientific paper