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Digital platforms for smallholder credit access : The mediation of trust for cooperation in maize value chain financing
Agyekumhene, Christopher ; Vries, Jasper R. de; Paassen, Annemarie van; Macnaghten, Philip ; Schut, Marc ; Bregt, Arnold - \ 2018
NJAS Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences (2018). - ISSN 1573-5214
Agriculture finance - Digital agriculture - Ghana - ICT - Networks - Trust
Maize production is of critical importance to smallholder farmers in Ghana. Various factors limit the productivity of smallholder maize farming systems undergirded by the lack of capital for critical investments both at the farm and at national policy levels. Using a value chain approach, this diagnostic study explains how a complex configuration of actor interaction within an institutionally and agro-ecologically challenged value chain leads to the enduring absence of maize farming credit support. We find a cycle of credit rationing resulting from value chain challenges such as agro-ecological uncertainties, inadequate GAPs training, weak farmer groups and market insecurity. This condition is sustained by an interplay between mistrust, insufficient information across the value chain and inadequate control strategies in the maize credit system. We argue that Digital Platforms (DPs) show potential to help overcome some information and communication gaps and related uncertainties that impede traditional value chain credit arrangements. This is promising in terms of aiding awareness and coordinated responsiveness to agro-ecological farm conditions and the development of farming records databases. Thus, DPs could generate new networks and forms of cooperation in the maize value chain in this regard. As a tool for mediating trust in value chain credit cooperation, strategic use of these DP contributions could help initiate an entry point for recalibration of trust perceptions. Significant considerations and improvements are however needed to harness DPs effectively in mediating trust for maize credit provision, not least being farmer digital inclusion in DP implementation, effective intermediation and network governance arrangements and digital contributions towards cost-effective agro-ecological controls in the erratic maize farming context. This approach to trust building should therefore not be viewed as a quick fix but as a process of trial and error, and learning by doing.
The nexus between water, energy and food in cities : towards conceptualizing socio-material interconnections
Covarrubias, Moises - \ 2018
Sustainability Science (2018). - ISSN 1862-4065 - 11 p.
Environmental flows - Networks - Urban governance - Urban nexus - Water–Energy–Food
Sustainable use and supply of natural resources dedicated to feeding urban life are becoming increasingly complex in a time of rapid urbanization and climate change. Sustainable governance of Water–Energy–Food (WEF) requires innovative and cross-sectorial systems of provisioning. However, practitioners have often treated WEF as separate domains, while ignoring their interconnectedness. What is missing is an ‘Urban Nexus’ perspective, which assumes that environmental flows of WEF interact and relate to one another in achieving urban sustainable development. This paper contributes to theorizing the urban nexus and to understand its emergence and governance from a more socio-material perspective. It offers a conceptual framework that helps to shed light on the social and material flows shaping connections between the sectors of WEF, and the actors facilitating these connections. The paper suggests that switchers and programmers link and configure the socio-material flows of WEF facilitating the emergence of nexus governance networks and nexus programs. In doing so, the paper provides three examples of cities to test the conceptual framework by analyzing their main challenges and examples around the nexus. It demonstrates that material and social dimensions of WEF might not play an equal role in steering synergies or trade-offs—either material or social flows and their agents can be central in facilitating a nexus or in preventing it to take shape. The paper argues that material-focused methodologies need to be complemented with a social flows analysis that pays attention to the daily practice, policies, ideologies, networks or any kind of socio-cultural meaning shaping WEF provisioning.
Social Media for Enhancing Stakeholders' Innovation Networks in Ontario, Canada
Kaushik, Pawandeep ; Chowdhuy, Ataharul ; Hambly Odame, Helen ; Passen, Annemarie van - \ 2018
Journal of Agricultural and Food Information (2018). - ISSN 1049-6505 - p. 1 - 23.
Communication - Innovation - Local Food - Networks - Ontario - Social Media
This case study assessed local food stakeholders' use of Facebook and Twitter to support interaction and build their networks of innovation in Ontario. Data were collected using Netlytic − an online data mining tool from the social media platforms − and key informant interviews. Findings revealed that stakeholders could be more innovative in their use of social media, but they would be unlikely to do so, without tapping into beneficial interactions of weak ties, as well as fostering strong ties. They also need to utilize the high brokerage role of key facilitating organizations and develop a social media strategy by integrating both ‘online’ and ‘offline’ interactions.
Learning and innovation in hybrid organizations : Strategic and organizational insights
Boccardelli, Paolo ; Annosi, Maria Carmela ; Brunetta, Federica ; Magnusson, Mats - \ 2017
Springer International Publishing Switzerland - ISBN 9783319624662 - 303 p.
Bricolage - Collaboration - Emergence - Exchange - Experimentation - Networks - Organizational change - Organizational forms - Technological management
Reflecting the emergence of new organizational forms and hybrid organizations, this edited collection explores the processes of exchange, collaboration and technological management that have changed organizational structures. By investigating the impact that inter-organizational collaboration can have on the production and implementation of ideas within new firms, this study contributes to the growing field of innovation and responds to the need for a greater understanding of renewed processes. The authors argue that collaborations need to go beyond existing practices to create emerging paths such as bricolage, experimentation, effectuation and learning. Drawing together a diverse body of literature on the internal dynamics that drive organizational change, Learning and Innovation in Hybrid Organizations presents multiple perspectives on combining organizational flexibility with learning and innovation, and provides implications for future practice.
A network theory approach for a better understanding of overland flow connectivity
Masselink, Rens J.H. ; Heckmann, Tobias ; Temme, Arnaud J.A.M. ; Anders, Niels S. ; Gooren, Harm P.A. ; Keesstra, Saskia D. - \ 2017
Hydrological Processes 31 (2017)1. - ISSN 0885-6087 - p. 207 - 220.
Connectivity - Graph theory - Networks - Overland flow - Spain
Hydrological connectivity describes the physical coupling (linkages) of different elements within a landscape regarding (sub-) surface flows. A firm understanding of hydrological connectivity is important for catchment management applications, for example, habitat and species protection, and for flood resistance and resilience improvement. Thinking about (geomorphological) systems as networks can lead to new insights, which has also been recognized within the scientific community, seeing the recent increase in the use of network (graph) theory within the geosciences. Network theory supports the analysis and understanding of complex systems by providing data structures for modelling objects and their linkages, and a versatile toolbox to quantitatively appraise network structure and properties. The objective of this study was to characterize and quantify overland flow connectivity dynamics on hillslopes in a humid sub-Mediterranean environment by using a combination of high-resolution digital-terrain models, overland flow sensors and a network approach. Results showed that there are significant differences between overland flow connectivity on agricultural areas and semi-natural shrubs areas. Significant positive correlations between connectivity and precipitation characteristics were found. Significant negative correlations between connectivity and soil moisture were found, most likely because of soil water repellency and/or soil surface crusting. The combination of structural networks and dynamic networks for determining potential connectivity and actual connectivity proved a powerful tool for analysing overland flow connectivity.
Integration of multi-omics data for prediction of phenotypic traits using random forest
Acharjee, Animesh ; Kloosterman, Bjorn ; Visser, Richard G.F. ; Maliepaard, Chris - \ 2016
BMC Bioinformatics 17 (2016)5. - ISSN 1471-2105
Data integration - Genetical genomics - Networks - Random forest
Background: In order to find genetic and metabolic pathways related to phenotypic traits of interest, we analyzed gene expression data, metabolite data obtained with GC-MS and LC-MS, proteomics data and a selected set of tuber quality phenotypic data from a diploid segregating mapping population of potato. In this study we present an approach to integrate these ~ omics data sets for the purpose of predicting phenotypic traits. This gives us networks of relatively small sets of interrelated ~ omics variables that can predict, with higher accuracy, a quality trait of interest. Results: We used Random Forest regression for integrating multiple ~ omics data for prediction of four quality traits of potato: tuber flesh colour, DSC onset, tuber shape and enzymatic discoloration. For tuber flesh colour beta-carotene hydroxylase and zeaxanthin epoxidase were ranked first and forty-fourth respectively both of which have previously been associated with flesh colour in potato tubers. Combining all the significant genes, LC-peaks, GC-peaks and proteins, the variation explained was 75%, only slightly more than what gene expression or LC-MS data explain by themselves which indicates that there are correlations among the variables across data sets. For tuber shape regressed on the gene expression, LC-MS, GC-MS and proteomics data sets separately, only gene expression data was found to explain significant variation. For DSC onset, we found 12 significant gene expression, 5 metabolite levels (GC) and 2 proteins that are associated with the trait. Using those 19 significant variables, the variation explained was 45%. Expression QTL (eQTL) analyses showed many associations with genomic regions in chromosome 2 with also the highest explained variation compared to other chromosomes. Transcriptomics and metabolomics analysis on enzymatic discoloration after 5min resulted in 420 significant genes and 8 significant LC metabolites, among which two were putatively identified as caffeoylquinic acid methyl ester and tyrosine. Conclusions: In this study, we made a strategy for selecting and integrating multiple ~ omics data using random forest method and selected representative individual peaks for networks based on eQTL, mQTL or pQTL information. Network analysis was done to interpret how a particular trait is associated with gene expression, metabolite and protein data.
Family ties, preconceived images and trust : How local community defines market collaboration in the Dutch fish chain
Valk, Olga M.C. van der; Vos, Birgit I. De - \ 2016
Marine Policy 71 (2016). - ISSN 0308-597X - p. 175 - 183.
Collaboration - Networks - Social factors - Trust - Value chain
Vertical chain collaboration is a strategy for customers' value creation. However, Dutch fishermen are hardly participating in integrated value chains. While supply chain literature describes factors that contribute to successful chain partnerships, scarce research has been done on the dynamics of the sociocultural context for chain collaboration. In 10 semi-structured interviews, representatives of supply chain parties were asked for their perceptions on chain collaboration, trust, and the role of the local community. The interviews were directed at obtaining so-called 'tacit' knowledge, the non-spoken codified truths of social networks. Without generalizing, this research provides benchmarks to monitor how the different domains, laid out in this study, impact chain collaboration: community values, network participation and company competences. An overview is given of socio-economic factors blocking and enhancing chain collaboration at company and community level. Factors such as the strong bonding of family with business in tightly knit networks, a high level of social control, entrepreneurial autonomy, and loyalty as community norm hamper collaboration within the supply chain.Respondents' discourse demonstrates that cultural codes and identity form the very core of the entrepreneur, driving rather than 'embedding' economic behavior. Kinship, religion and peer pressure determine 'windows on the world' when engaging in chain collaboration. Consequently, any analysis of economics that does not integrate sociological and psychological methodology is flawed from the outset.