MSc theses

Online MSc theses successfully defended at Wageningen University

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  • MSc theses is a collection of electronic, publicly available MSc theses successfully defended at Wageningen University (WU).

    The collection consists mainly of master theses and some bachelor theses. PhD-theses from Wageningen University can be found at PhD theses.

    Subjects covered include Agrotechnology, Food and Food Production, Plant and Animal Sciences, Soil Science, Geo-information, Landscape and Spatial Planning, Water and Climate, Ecosystem Studies, Economics and Society.


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Smallholder oil palm : space for diversification? : WaNuLCAS model-based exploration of the environmental and economic impact of intercropping scenarios for Indonesian smallholders [Student report]
Stomph, Dienke \ 2017

This research aimed at challenging the assumption that oil palm is best suited to monoculture cultivation for smallholders in Indonesia, through a model-based exploration of the short- and long-term feasibility of a range of plot-level diversifications. The global palm oil production has increased over fourfold in the last two decades, by converting forests and agroforests into monocultures, under the assumption that monoculture oil palm cultivation is most productive. This deforestation caused biodiversity losses and environmental degradation and raised social, political and economic concerns. This study hypothesized that intercropping could serve as an integrative answer to several of these concerns. As intercropping can deliver agronomic, economic and environmental system improvements. Intercropping was explored through simulation of five scenarios in the Water, Nutrient and Light Capture model for Agroforestry Systems (WaNuLCAS) model. The 5 crops included were: cacao, rubber, cassava, groundnut and mucuna as a cover crop. The scenarios were simulated for a 25-year period, for four typical Indonesian oil palm weather and soil conditions. The prices of the farm inputs (e.g. seedlings, labour, fertilizers) and produce were based on those recorded for the Indonesian context. The intercropping scenarios were compared to the monoculture oil palm simulation based on 4 productivity and 6 environmental performance indicators. The model output was generated at plot-level and therewith ignores interactions intercropping could have at farm- or landscape level. The results showed that considerable economic and environmental system improvements can be achieved through intercropping. With the exception of returns to labour, all indicators showed that performance improvement was obtained. Compared to the monoculture, larger productivity per unit of land, and environmental performance improvements were predicted for all intercropping scenarios. Intercropping with cacao showed to obtain the largest net return to land, a 25% increase compared to the monoculture, and can serve as a risk coping strategy. Including annuals in the first years of oil palm cultivation resulted in the quickest investment recovery. Intercropping rubber performed poorly for the economic indicators, but achieved the largest environmental system improvement. It is therefore argued that diversification has a large potential to improve overall system performance at both plot- and landscape-level. To utilize this potential more insight in smallholders’ interest in diversification and suitable incentives to support diversification adoption by smallholder is required.

What comes out, must come in: macronutrient balance assessment of transitioning home garden systems in southern Ethiopia [Student report]
Galle, Nadine \ 2016
Yield gap analysis of cereals in Romania : causes and mitigation options [Student report]
Knol, Richard \ 2016
Evaluation of biomass enhancing practices in the Yatenga region of Burkina Faso [Student report]
Bremer, Jori \ 2016
Mitigation of the climate change effect on yields of smallholder farmers in Nkayi, Zimbabwe [Student report]
Smelt, Gert-Jan \ 2016
Application of SWAP-WOFOST to evaluate the influence of water and oxygen stress on potato yield in a Dutch farm [Student report]
Yan, Yulin \ 2015
Optimizing crop land allocation for smallholder farmers in central Uganda [Student report]
Ruoff, Ernst \ 2015
Explaining yield gaps on a Dutch potato farm : case study at Van den Borne Aardappelen [Student report]
Rietema, Jarno \ 2015
Comparing bio-economic farm models: evaluating uncertainty of impacts of climate and socio-economic changes on arable farming in Flevoland (the Netherlands) [Student report]
Tsutsumi, Yutaka \ 2015
Effective organic matter input seems to have no strong influence on nitrate leaching and maize yield [Student report]
Overveld, Martijn van \ 2015
Obtaining winter wheat parameters for LINTUL from a field experiment : comparing old and young winter wheat varieties and evaluating the progress by breeding [Student report]
Wiertsema, Wiert \ 2015
From plants to animal protein: are farmed insects and aquaculture fish less competitive with human food production than traditional livestock? [Student report]
Hüskens, J. \ 2015
insects as food - aquaculture - fish farms - environmental impact - livestock farming - comparisons

Zal er in de toekomst voldoende voedsel zijn om de wereldbevolking van een gezond dieet te voorzien? In deze thesis onderzoekt de auteur de aan dierlijke eiwitten gerelateerde milieu druk en beslag op natuurlijke hulpbronnen. Daarvoor wordt gekweekte vis en insecten vergeleken met de meer traditionele vleesproducten om te onderzoeken of deze relatief nieuwe eiwitbronnen een mogelijkheid bieden om de druk op milieu en natuurlijke hulpbronnen te verlagen. Indicatoren voor milieu en hulpbronnen worden verder uitgebreid om ook de competitie voor eten tussen mensen en dieren aan te geven. Een literatuuronderzoek is uitgevoerd om studies naar levenscyclusanalyses te selecteren die zowel de voedercompositie als de voederconversieratio beschrijven.

Nutrient deficiencies and soil fertility constraints for common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) production in the Usambara Mountains, northern Tanzania [Student report]
Bressers, E. \ 2014
Exploring the potential for using seaweed (Ulva lactuca) as organic fertiliser [Student report]
Breure, M.S. \ 2014
seaweeds - organic fertilizers - green seaweeds - chlorophyta - fertilizer application - lactuca sativa - field crops - phosphorus fertilizers - lettuces - brassica nigra

The focus of this project is on P recovery by using seaweed (Ulva lactuca) as organic fertiliser. The possibilities for using seaweeds as fertiliser, depend on two components. First, to determine whether seaweed is suitable as organic fertiliser, it is necessary to analyse the nutrients taken up by the seaweed, to gain insight in the amounts of nutrients that could be applied to the soil. Second, it was analysed how Ulva lactuca material decomposed over time in an agricultural sandy soil when incorporated in June (2013). The mesh bag method was used to monitor the dry matter decomposition. In addition, the effects of seaweed fertiliser on two crops, lettuce and mustard, was studied.

The impact of climate and CO2 change on potential winter wheat yields in the Netherlands from 1981 to 2010 [Student report]
Lam, A. het \ 2014
Identification of coffee yield gap in Uganda : understand yield limiting factors for coffee production and explore the adequate plant density in coffee–banana intercropping system [Student report]
Wang, N. \ 2014
coffea arabica - coffea canephora - coffee industry - yield increases - livelihood strategies - uganda
Nutritional and soil fertility benefits: influence of fertilizers on groundnuts (Arachis hypogaea L.) yield and soil nitrogen contribution for smallholder farmers in Uganda [Student report]
Taruvinga, B. \ 2014
Investigating soybean market situation in Western Kenya: constraints and opportunities for smallholder producers [Student report]
Collombet, R.N. \ 2013
glycine max - soyabeans - market surveys - small farms - farmers - kenya
Impacts of climate and socio‐economic change on economic viability and land use of dairy farms in 'de Baakse Beek', the Netherlands [Student report]
Paas, W. \ 2013
dairy farming - climatic change - land use - social change - economic change - scenario analysis - achterhoek

Climate change happens in the broader context of society. Together, climate and socio-economic change will affect the economic viability and land use of Dutch dairy farms. Effective agricultural and environmental policies are required to enable adaptation of farms to these changes. These adaptations need to be coherent with developments in the domains of nature and water management. Explorations for the future that include climate and socio-economic change are necessary to perform ex-ante policy assessment.

Technology evaluation, development and transfer: a case study in the Ethiopian Rift Valley [Student report]
Vliet, J. van \ 2013
appropriate technology - innovation adoption - participation - intercropping - ethiopia
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