This report describes experiences with an approach to participatory research and development in Latin America appropriate for poor farmers, called Local Agricultural Research Committees (CIAL spanish abreviation). The CIAL is a farmer-run research service that is answerable to the local community. The community elects a committee of farmers, the CIAL. The CIAL conducts research on priority topics and reports its results back to the community. Both the CIAL members and the community benefit from this approach. The report describes the history and results of a number of CIAL?s in Equador and Colombia. It is an impressive example of how poor farmers can help themselves and their community to increase their food security. The report ends with a long list of research topics investigated by CIALs throughout Latin America. The main topics are development of local crop varieties, resistant to pests or adapted to local soil conditions (potato, maize, cassava etc.) and evaluation of livestock diets for poultry, pigs etc. There is also a bibliography with training materials and manuals. This report is a source of useful information for anyone involved in agricultural research and development.