Eleven distinct farming systems were distinguished, based on selected indicators and locations. The indicators involve the resource basis, cropping pattern and intensity, and the major activities including off-farm work. Statistical tests were used to verify the differences. Accounting for the given constraints and for the interdependencies of the system's com·ponents, strategies are developed to improve their poor economic performance. A linear programming model is used to evaluate the effects on farm performance of (a) reallocating the existing farm resources, and (b) introduction of improved technologies. The type of relationship among the elements of the farming system determines the overall outcome of any improvement effort. Groundnut and livestock production are highly competitive. A package of technological innovations is needed to achieve a major improvement on the smallest farms.