Geographers and other academics whose reputations and advancement depend on their work among developing country farmers have an obligation to assist the farmers in tangible ways. A project of the United Nations University which did this in 1993-2002 (PLEC)is described, with particular reference to Ghana, together with a follow-up project in the same country. Best methods of resource management were sought among the farmers themselves, and expert farmers were encouraged to instruct others in their methods. Moreover, in a project concerned with the conservation of biodiversity on farm, the farmers were also assisted in enterprises creating added value from biodiversity. Getting behind the farmers in their own enterprises can enrich academic research.