Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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“Here we give advice for free” : the functioning of plant clinics in Rwanda
Majuga, Jean Claude N. ; Uzayisenga, Bellancile ; Kalisa, Jean Pierre ; Almekinders, Conny ; Danielsen, Solveig - \ 2018
Development in Practice 28 (2018)7. - ISSN 0961-4524 - p. 858 - 871.
Environment (built and natural)–Agriculture - Gender and diversity - Sub-Saharan Africa

Although plant clinics are considered an important mechanism in the service delivery to farmers, not much is known about their functioning in the daily reality of plant doctors and farmer-clients. This article reports on an exploratory study describing the functioning of eight plant clinics in Rwanda. Personal and organisational commitment, publicity, and proactive communication with farmers and local leaders are key factors explaining higher attendance of some clinics. Farmer attendance is under-reported by 40–50%. Data management needs improvement to make clinic records reliable tools for decision-makers. This type of assessment can help improve operations and realise the plant clinics’ potential.

Prevention Efforts for Malaria
Tizifa, Tinashe A. ; Kabaghe, Alinune N. ; McCann, Robert S. ; Berg, Henk van den; Vugt, Michele van; Phiri, Kamija S. - \ 2018
Current Tropical Medicine Reports 5 (2018)1. - p. 41 - 50.
Community mobilization - Malaria - Methods under development - Prevention in high-risk populations - Sub-Saharan Africa - Vector control

Purpose of Review: Malaria remains a global burden contributing to morbidity and mortality especially in children under 5 years of age. Despite the progress achieved towards malaria burden reduction, achieving elimination in more countries remains a challenge. This article aims to review the prevention and control strategies for malaria, to assess their impact towards reducing the disease burden and to highlight the best practices observed. Recent Findings: Use of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets and indoor residual spraying has resulted a decline in the incidence and prevalence of malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa. Other strategies such as larval source management have been shown to reduce mosquito density but require further evaluation. New methods under development such as house improvement have demonstrated to minimize disease burden but require further evidence on efficacy. Development of the RTS,S/AS01 malaria vaccine that provides protection in under-five children has provided further progress in efforts of malaria control. Summary: There has been a tremendous reduction in malaria burden in the past decade; however, more work is required to fill the necessary gaps to eliminate malaria.

Opportunities and pitfalls for researchers to contribute to the design of evidence-based agricultural policies : lessons from Uganda
Pali, P.N. ; Schut, M. ; Kibwika, P. ; Wairegi, L. ; Yami, M. ; Asten, P.J.A. van; Manyong, V.M. - \ 2018
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 16 (2018)3. - ISSN 1473-5903 - p. 272 - 285.
agricultural service provision - policy development process - stakeholder engagement - Sub-Saharan Africa

Agricultural policies in sub-Saharan Africa have paid insufficient attention to sustainable intensification. In Uganda, agricultural productivity has stagnated with aggregate increases in crop production being attributed to expansion of cultivated land area. To enhance sustainable crop intensification, the Ugandan Government collaborated with stakeholders to develop agricultural policies using an evidence-based approach. Previously, evidence-based decision-making tended to focus on the evidence base rather than evidence and its interactions within the broader policy context. We identify opportunities and pitfalls to strengthen science engagement in agricultural policy design by analysing the types of evidence required, and how it was shared and used during policy development. Qualitative tools captured stakeholders' perspectives of agricultural policies and their status in the policy cycle. Subsequent multi-level studies identified crop growth constraints and quantified yield gaps which were used to compute the economic analyses of policy options that subsequently contributed to sub-national program planning. The study identified a need to generate relevant evidence within a short time 'window' to influence policy design, power influence by different stakeholders and quality of stakeholder interaction. Opportunities for evidence integration surfaced at random phases of policy development due to researchers’ ’embededness’ within co-management and coordination structures.

Problemshed or watershed? Participatory modeling towards IWRM in North Ghana
Daré, Williams ; Venot, Jean Philippe ; Page, Christophe Le ; Aduna, Aaron - \ 2018
Water 10 (2018)6. - ISSN 2073-4441
Agent-based model - Companion modeling - Role-playing game - Sub-Saharan Africa - Water resources

This paper is a reflexive analysis of a three-year participatory water research project conducted in the Upper East Region (UER) of Ghana, whose explicit objective was to initiate a multi-level dialogue to support the national Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) policy framework. The transdisciplinary team adopted the Companion Modeling approach (ComMod), using role-playing games and a computerized agent-based model to support the identification of a problemshed centered on issues of river bank cultivation, erosion, and flooding, and initiate a multi-level dialogue on ways that this problemshed could be tackled. On the basis of this experience, we identify three key criteria for transdisciplinary research to support innovative water governance: (1) the iterative adaptation of tools and facilitation techniques based on feedback from participants; (2) a common understanding of the objectives pursued and the approach used among researchers, who need to explicit their posture, and crucially; (3) the co-identification of a problemshed that diverse stakeholders are interested in tackling. Finally, we argue that the context in which research is funded and conducted in the development sector constitutes a challenge for researchers to be "participants like any other" in the projects they coordinate, which constitutes a barrier to true transdisciplinarity.

Who are those people we call farmers? Rural Kenyan aspirations and realities
Verkaart, Simone ; Mausch, Kai ; Harris, Dave - \ 2018
Development in Practice 28 (2018)4. - ISSN 0961-4524 - p. 468 - 479.
Environment (built and natural)–Agriculture, Food security - Labour and livelihoods–Poverty reduction - Sub-Saharan Africa - Technology
Rural Kenyan households have different aspirations and income portfolio strategies, including agricultural intensification and income diversification. This article reports on a study that interviewed 624 households to explore rural aspirations and derive lessons for agricultural technology development and transfer. Though few households specialised in farming, many households self-identified as farmers and aspired to increase their agricultural income. Despite the prevalence of agricultural aspirations, few aspired for their children to have a future in farming. Combining aspirations with potential to invest, the article provides suggestions for targeting agricultural interventions. We need to start listening better to those people we call “farmers” to develop and offer innovations that meet their realities.
Sub-Saharan African maize-based foods : Technological perspectives to increase the food and nutrition security impacts of maize breeding programmes
Ekpa, Onu ; Palacios-Rojas, Natalia ; Kruseman, Gideon ; Fogliano, Vincenzo ; Linnemann, Anita R. - \ 2018
Global Food Security 17 (2018). - ISSN 2211-9124 - p. 48 - 56.
Consumer preferences - Maize - Maize breeding - Maize value chain - Maize-based food - Sub-Saharan Africa
The demand for maize in Sub-Saharan Africa will triple by 2050 due to rapid population growth, while challenges from climate change will threaten agricultural productivity. Most maize breeding programmes have focused on improving agronomic properties and have paid relatively little attention to postharvest qualities, thus missing important opportunities to increase the contribution to food and nutrition security. This paper considers current and potential food uses of maize in Africa and proposes six objectives to enhance the contribution of maize breeding programmes to food and nutrition security: (1) enhance nutrient density; (2) enhance suitability for use in bread and snacks; (3) improve characteristics for consumption as green maize; (4) improve characteristics that enhance the efficiency of local processing; (5) reduce waste by maximising useful product yield and minimising nutrient losses; (6) reduce the anti-nutrient content of grain.
Mapping rootable depth and root zone plant-available water holding capacity of the soil of sub-Saharan Africa
Leenaars, Johan G.B. ; Claessens, Lieven ; Heuvelink, Gerard B.M. ; Hengl, Tom ; Ruiperez González, Maria ; Bussel, Lenny G.J. van; Guilpart, Nicolas ; Yang, Haishun ; Cassman, Kenneth G. - \ 2018
Geoderma 324 (2018). - ISSN 0016-7061 - p. 18 - 36.
Digital soil map - Maize - Root zone depth - Rootability - Soil data - Soil water - Sub-Saharan Africa
In rainfed crop production, root zone plant-available water holding capacity (RZ-PAWHC) of the soil has a large influence on crop growth and the yield response to management inputs such as improved seeds and fertilisers. However, data are lacking for this parameter in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). This study produced the first spatially explicit, coherent and complete maps of the rootable depth and RZ-PAWHC of soil in SSA. We compiled geo-referenced data from 28,000 soil profiles from SSA, which were used as input for digital soil mapping (DSM) techniques to produce soil property maps of SSA. Based on these soil properties, we developed and parameterised (pedotransfer) functions, rules and criteria to evaluate soil water retention at field capacity and wilting point, the soil fine earth fraction from coarse fragments content and, for maize, the soil rootability (relative to threshold values) and rootable depth. Maps of these secondary soil properties were derived using the primary soil property maps as input for the evaluation rules and the results were aggregated over the rootable depth to obtain a map of RZ-PAWHC, with a spatial resolution of 1 km2. The mean RZ-PAWHC for SSA is 74 mm and the associated average root zone depth is 96 cm. Pearson correlation between the two is 0.95. RZ-PAWHC proves most limited by the rootable depth but is also highly sensitive to the definition of field capacity. The total soil volume of SSA potentially rootable by maize is reduced by one third (over 10,500 km3) due to soil conditions restricting root zone depth. Of these, 4800 km3 are due to limited depth of aeration, which is the factor most severely limiting in terms of extent (km2), and 2500 km3 due to sodicity which is most severely limiting in terms of degree (depth in cm). Depth of soil to bedrock reduces the rootable soil volume by 2500 km3, aluminium toxicity by 600 km3, porosity by 120 km3 and alkalinity by 20 km3. The accuracy of the map of rootable depth and thus of RZ-PAWHC could not be validated quantitatively due to absent data on rootability and rootable depth but is limited by the accuracy of the primary soil property maps. The methodological framework is robust and has been operationalised such that the maps can easily be updated as additional data become available.
Agricultural intensification scenarios, household food availability and greenhouse gas emissions in Rwanda : Ex-ante impacts and trade-offs
Paul, B.K. ; Frelat, R. ; Birnholz, C. ; Ebong, C. ; Gahigi, A. ; Groot, J.C.J. ; Herrero, M. ; Kagabo, D.M. ; Notenbaert, A. ; Vanlauwe, B. ; Wijk, M.T. van - \ 2018
Agricultural Systems 163 (2018). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 16 - 26.
Climate smart agriculture - Ex-ante impact assessment - Household modeling - Low carbon development - Sub-Saharan Africa - Sustainable intensification
Rwanda's agricultural sector is facing severe challenges of increasing environmental degradation, resulting in declining productivity. The problem is likely to be further aggravated by the growing population pressure. A viable pathway is climate smart agriculture, aiming at the triple win of improving food security and climate change adaptation, while contributing to mitigation if possible. The Government of Rwanda has initiated ambitious policies and programs aiming at low emission agricultural development. Crop focused policies include the Crop Intensification Program (CIP) which facilitates access to inorganic fertilizer and improved seeds. In the livestock subsector, zero-grazing and improved livestock feeding are encouraged, and the Girinka program provides poor farm households with a crossbred dairy cow. In this study, we aimed at assessing the potential impact of these policy programs on food availability and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 884 households across different agro-ecologies and farming systems in Rwanda. Household level calculations were used to assess the contribution of current crops, livestock and off-farm activities to food availability and GHG emissions. Across all sites, 46% of households were below the 2500kcalMAE-1 yr-1 line, with lower food availability in the Southern and Eastern Rwanda. Consumed and sold food crops were the mainstay of food availability, contributing between 81.2% (low FA class) to 53.1% (high FA class). Livestock and off-farm income were the most important pathways to higher FA. Baseline GHG emissions were low, ranging between 395 and 1506kg CO2e hh-1 yr-1 per site, and livestock related emissions from enteric fermentation (47.6-48.9%) and manure (26.7-31.8%) were the largest contributors to total GHG emissions across sites and FA classes. GHG emissions increased with FA, with 50% of the total GHG being emitted by 22% of the households with the highest FA scores. Scenario assessment of the three policy options showed strong differences in potential impacts: Girinka only reached one third of the household population, but acted highly pro-poor by decreasing the households below the 2500kcalMAE-1 yr-1 line from 46% to 35%. However, Girinka also increased GHG by 1174kg CO2e hh-1 yr-1, and can therefore not be considered climate-smart. Improved livestock feeding was the least equitable strategy, decreasing food insufficient households by only 3%. However, it increased median FA by 755kcalMAE-1 yr-1 at a small GHG increase (50kg CO2e hh-1 yr-1). Therefore, it is a promising option to reach the CSA triple win. Crop and soil improvement resulted in the smallest increase in median FA (FA by 755kcalMAE-1 yr-1), and decreasing the proportion of households below 2500kcalMAE-1 yr-1 by 6%. This came only at minimal increase in GHG emissions (23kg CO2e hh-1 yr-1). All policy programs had different potential impacts and trade-offs on different sections of the farm household population. Quick calculations like the ones presented in this study can assist in policy dialogue and stakeholder engagement to better select and prioritize policies and development programs, despite the complexity of its impacts and trade-offs.
Designing and evaluating sustainable development pathways for semi-subsistence crop–livestock systems : lessons from Kenya
Valdivia, Roberto O. ; Antle, John M. ; Stoorvogel, Jetse J. - \ 2017
Agricultural Economics 48 (2017). - ISSN 0169-5150 - p. 11 - 26.
Agricultural pathways - C5 - Kenya - O3 - Q1 - Q5 - Semi-subsistence crop–livestock systems - Sub-Saharan Africa - Sustainable development - Trade-off analysis
Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in African agriculture requires a better understanding why high levels of poverty and resource degradation persist in African agriculture despite decades of policy interventions and development projects. In this article, we hypothesize that policies need to account for the key features of the semi-subsistence crop–livestock systems (CLS) in the region to become effective. The semi-subsistence CLS are characterized by a high degree of biophysical and economic heterogeneity and a complex, diversified production system involving a combination of subsistence and cash crops with livestock. We investigated the potential for interventions proposed by the Government of Kenya to meet the SDGs by 2030. The analysis uses an integrated modeling approach designed to deal with the key features of these systems. A strategy that stimulates rural development, increases farm size to a sustainable level, and reduces distortions and inefficiencies in input and output markets could lead to a sustainable development pathway and achieve the SDGs for rural households dependent on CLS.
A novel millet-based probiotic fermented food for the developing world
Stefano, Elisa Di; White, Jessica ; Seney, Shannon ; Hekmat, Sharareh ; McDowell, Tim ; Sumarah, Mark ; Reid, Gregor - \ 2017
Nutrients 9 (2017)5. - ISSN 2072-6643
Cereal - Fermentation - Millet - Probiotic - Sub-Saharan Africa - Yogurt

Probiotic yogurt, comprised of a Fiti sachet containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus GR-1 and Streptococcus thermophilus C106, has been used in the developing world, notably Africa, to alleviate malnutrition and disease. In sub-Saharan African countries, fermentation of cereals such as millet, is culturally significant. The aim of this study was to investigate the fermentation capability of millet when one gram of the Fiti sachet consortium was added. An increase of 1.8 and 1.4 log CFU/mL was observed for S. thermophilus C106 and L. rhamnosus GR-1 when grown in 8% millet in water. Single cultures of L. rhamnosus GR-1 showed the highest _max when grown in the presence of dextrose, galactose and fructose. Single cultures of S. thermophilus C106 showed the highest _max when grown in the presence of sucrose and lactose. All tested recipes reached viable counts of the probiotic bacteria, with counts greater than 106 colony-forming units (CFU)/mL. Notably, a number of organic acids were quantified, in particular phytic acid, which was shown to decrease when fermentation time increased, thereby improving the bioavailability of specific micronutrients. Millet fermented in milk proved to be the most favorable, according to a sensory evaluation. In conclusion, this study has shown that sachets being provided to African communities to produce fermented milk, can also be used to produce fermented millet. This provides an option for when milk supplies are short, or if communities wish to utilize the nutrient-rich qualities of locally-grown millet.

Agronomic biofortification of crops to fight hidden hunger in sub-Saharan Africa
Valença, A.W. de; Bake, A. ; Brouwer, I.D. ; Giller, K.E. - \ 2017
Global Food Security 12 (2017). - ISSN 2211-9124 - p. 8 - 14.
Foliar fertilization - Human nutrition - Micronutrient deficiency - Plant nutrition - Soil fertility - Sub-Saharan Africa
Micronutrient deficiencies or ‘hidden hunger’ resulting from unbalanced diets based on starchy staple crops are prevalent among the population of sub-Saharan Africa. This review discusses the effectiveness of agronomic biofortification - the application of mineral micronutrient fertilizers to soils or plant leaves to increase micronutrient contents in edible parts of crops – and it's potential to fight hidden hunger. There is evidence that agronomic biofortification can increase yields and the nutritional quality of staple crops, but there is a lack of direct evidence that this leads to improved human health. Micronutrient fertilization is most effective in combination with NPK, organic fertilizers and improved crop varieties, highlighting the importance of integrated soil fertility management. Agronomic biofortification provides an immediate and effective route to enhancing micronutrient concentrations in edible crop products, although genetic biofortification may be more cost effective in the long run.
Modelling cereal crops to assess future climate risk for family food self-sufficiency in southern Mali
Traore, Bouba ; Descheemaeker, Katrien ; Wijk, Mark T. van; Corbeels, Marc ; Supit, Iwan ; Giller, Ken E. - \ 2017
Field Crops Research 201 (2017). - ISSN 0378-4290 - p. 133 - 145.
APSIM - Climate change - Crop simulation modelling - Fertilizer use - Planting date - Sub-Saharan Africa

Future climate change will have far reaching consequences for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, the majority of whom depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Here we assessed the farm-level impact of climate change on family food self-sufficiency and evaluated potential adaptation options of crop management. Using three years of experimental data on maize and millet from an area in southern Mali representing the Sudano-Sahelian zone of West Africa we calibrated and tested the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) model. Changes in future rainfall, maximum and minimum temperature and their simulated effects on maize and millet yield were analysed for climate change predictions of five Global Circulation Models (GCMs) for the 4.5 Wm−2 and 8.5 Wm−2 radiative forcing scenario (rcp4.5 and rcp8.5). In southern Mali, annual maximum and minimum temperatures will increase by 2.9 °C and 3.3 °C by the mid-century (2040–2069) as compared with the baseline (1980–2009) under the rcp4.5 and rcp8.5 scenario respectively. Predicted changes in the total seasonal rainfall differed between the GCMs, but on average, seasonal rainfall was predicted not to change. By mid-century maize grain yields were predicted to decrease by 51% and 57% under current farmer's fertilizer practices in the rcp4.5 and rcp8.5 scenarios respectively. APSIM model predictions indicated that the use of mineral fertilizer at recommended rates cannot fully offset the impact of climate change but can buffer the losses in maize yield up to 46% and 51% of the baseline yield. Millet yield losses were predicted to be less severe under current farmer's fertilizer practices by mid-century i.e. 7% and 12% in the rcp4.5 and rcp8.5 scenario respectively. Use of mineral fertilizer on millet can offset the predicted yield losses resulting in yield increases under both emission scenarios. Under future climate and current cropping practices, food availability is expected to reduce for all farm types in southern Mali. However, large and medium-sized farms can still achieve food self–sufficiency if early planting and recommended rates of fertilizer are applied. Small farms, which are already food insecure, will experience a further decrease in food self-sufficiency, with adaptive measures of early planting and fertilizer use unable to help them achieve food self-sufficiency. By taking into account the diversity in farm households that is typical for the region, we illustrated that crop management strategies must be tailored to the capacity and resource endowment of local farmers. Our place-based findings can support decision making by extension and development agents and policy makers in the Sudano-Sahelian zone of West Africa.

Climate change impacts in Sub-Saharan Africa : from physical changes to their social repercussions
Serdeczny, Olivia ; Adams, Sophie ; Baarsch, Florent ; Coumou, Dim ; Robinson, Alexander ; Hare, William ; Schaeffer, Michiel ; Perrette, Mahé ; Reinhardt, Julia - \ 2017
Regional Environmental Change 17 (2017)6. - ISSN 1436-3798 - p. 1585 - 1600.
Climate change - Impacts - Sub-Saharan Africa - Vulnerability

The repercussions of climate change will be felt in various ways throughout both natural and human systems in Sub-Saharan Africa. Climate change projections for this region point to a warming trend, particularly in the inland subtropics; frequent occurrence of extreme heat events; increasing aridity; and changes in rainfall—with a particularly pronounced decline in southern Africa and an increase in East Africa. The region could also experience as much as one meter of sea-level rise by the end of this century under a 4 °C warming scenario. Sub-Saharan Africa’s already high rates of undernutrition and infectious disease can be expected to increase compared to a scenario without climate change. Particularly vulnerable to these climatic changes are the rainfed agricultural systems on which the livelihoods of a large proportion of the region’s population currently depend. As agricultural livelihoods become more precarious, the rate of rural–urban migration may be expected to grow, adding to the already significant urbanization trend in the region. The movement of people into informal settlements may expose them to a variety of risks different but no less serious than those faced in their place of origin, including outbreaks of infectious disease, flash flooding and food price increases. Impacts across sectors are likely to amplify the overall effect but remain little understood.

Modelling the forest and woodland-irrigation nexus in tropical Africa : A case study in Benin
Duku, Confidence ; Zwart, Sander J. ; Hein, Lars - \ 2016
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 230 (2016). - ISSN 0167-8809 - p. 105 - 115.
Deforestation - Irrigation potential - Sub-Saharan Africa - SWAT - Water flow regulation

Major increases in food production are needed to feed the rapidly growing population of sub-Saharan Africa. Increased application of irrigation has often been identified as one of the main pathways to agricultural intensification. However, water flows, in particular during the dry season, often depend upon the water regulation services provided by forests and woodlands which are increasingly subject to land conversion as well as degradation from the overexploitation of wood resources. Insight in the trade-off between land conversion in sub-Saharan African uplands and sustaining water flows is, therefore, urgently needed. In this paper, we develop a general modelling approach for analysing the effects of deforestation on the availability of water for irrigation at the watershed level, and we apply the approach to the Upper Ouémé watershed in Benin. We use controlled modelling experiments based on the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) in addition to copula functions to quantify surface water availability and irrigation potential under prevailing forest and woodland cover as well as varying forest and woodland extents. We undertake these comparative analyses for two irrigation development scenarios that are defined based on different levels of sustained water flows in the Upper Ouémé river network. Our analyses show that conservation of prevailing forests and woodlands in the Upper Ouémé watershed is needed to allow the development of 80% (15,000 ha) or 71% (20,000 ha) of the irrigation potential in the dry season depending on the scenario. At the prevailing forest and woodland extent, the loss of around 40 ha of forest and woodland area reduces the irrigation potential by 1 ha depending on the scenario. Our irrigation potential calculations are based on the water requirements of rice which is the most water intensive crop grown in the study area. For other crops, the ratio will be lower (i.e. less forest and woodland area is required to sustain 1 ha of irrigated crop production). The relation between forest and woodland extent and irrigation potential is, however, not linear, and more hectares of forest and woodland are needed to support 1 ha of irrigated crop production with increasing deforestation. This is relevant for trade-off analysis, where it needs to be noted that the forests and woodlands not only generate water regulation services but also provide other ecosystem services including fuelwood, timber, opportunities for livestock grazing and carbon sequestration.

Sustainable intensification of agricultural systems in the Central African Highlands : The need for institutional innovation
Schut, Marc ; Asten, Piet van; Okafor, Chris ; Hicintuka, Cyrille ; Mapatano, Sylvain ; Nabahungu, Nsharwasi Léon ; Kagabo, Desire ; Muchunguzi, Perez ; Njukwe, Emmanuel ; Dontsop-Nguezet, Paul M. ; Sartas, Murat ; Vanlauwe, Bernard - \ 2016
Agricultural Systems 145 (2016). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 165 - 176.
CGIAR Research Program on Integrated Systems for the Humid Tropics (Humidtropics) - Farming systems research - Participatory action research - Rapid Appraisal of Agricultural Innovation Systems (RAAIS) - Sub-Saharan Africa

This study identifies entry points for innovation for sustainable intensification of agricultural systems. An agricultural innovation systems approach is used to provide a holistic image of (relations between) constraints faced by different stakeholder groups, the dimensions and causes of these constraints, and intervention levels, timeframes and types of innovations needed. Our data shows that constraints for sustainable intensification of agricultural systems are mainly of economic and institutional nature. Constraints are caused by the absence, or poor functioning of institutions such as policies and markets, limited capabilities and financial resources, and ineffective interaction and collaboration between stakeholders. Addressing these constraints would mainly require short- and middle-term productivity and institutional innovations, combined with middle- to long-term NRM innovations across farm and national levels. Institutional innovation (e.g. better access to credit, services, inputs and markets) is required to address 69% of the constraints for sustainable intensification in the Central Africa Highlands. This needs to go hand in hand with productivity innovation (e.g. improved knowhow of agricultural production techniques, and effective use of inputs) and NRM innovation (e.g. targeted nutrient applications, climate smart agriculture). Constraint network analysis shows that institutional innovation to address government constraints at national level related to poor interaction and collaboration will have a positive impact on constraints faced by other stakeholder groups. We conclude that much of the R4D investments and innovation in the Central Africa Highlands remain targeting household productivity at farm level. Reasons for that include (1) a narrow focus on sustainable intensification, (2) institutional mandates and pre-analytical choices based project objectives and disciplinary bias, (3) short project cycles that impede work on middle- and long-term NRM and institutional innovation, (4) the likelihood that institutional experimentation can become political, and (5) complexity in terms of expanded systems boundaries and measuring impact.

Farmers’ Logics in Engaging With Projects Promoting Drip Irrigation Kits in Burkina Faso
Wanvoeke, Jonas ; Venot, Jean Philippe ; Zwarteveen, Margreet ; Fraiture, Charlotte de - \ 2016
Society & Natural Resources 29 (2016)9. - ISSN 0894-1920 - p. 1095 - 1109.
Development - drip irrigation - innovation - Sub-Saharan Africa - technology

Development agencies enthusiastically promote micro-drip irrigation as an affordable water and labor-saving device, yet most farmers stop using it as soon as development projects end. This article analyzes why farmers engage in projects promoting drip irrigation kits, even though they appear not to be interested in their water and labor-saving attributes. We combine practice-based theories of innovation with insights from the anthropology of development to explain that in development project arenas, micro-drip kits have different meanings for farmers than for the actors promoting the technology. Accepting the technology is just one element of more encompassing strategic efforts by farmers to obtain benefits from development projects. Hence, in the arena of the development project and for farmers, micro-drip kits are defined by the side benefits that accompany their introduction, such as motorized pumps, free inputs, the promise of credit, or the prospect of acquiring social prestige and forging new alliances.

Endogenous processes of colonial settlement. the success and failure of european settler farming in sub-saharan africa
Frankema, Ewout ; Green, Erik ; Hillbom, Ellen - \ 2016
Revista de Historia Economica - Journal of Iberian and Latin American Economic History 34 (2016)2. - ISSN 0212-6109 - p. 237 - 265.
cash-crop production - colonial history - settler farming - Sub-Saharan Africa

This paper comments on studies that aim to quantify the long-term economic effects of historical European settlement across the globe. We argue for the need to properly conceptualise «colonial settlement» as an endogenous development process shaped by the interaction between prospective settlers and indigenous peoples. We conduct three comparative case studies in West, East and Southern Africa, showing that the «success» or «failure» of colonial settlement critically depended on colonial government policies arranging European farmer’s access to local land, but above all, local labour resources. These policies were shaped by the clashing interests of African farmers and European planters, in which colonial governments did not necessarily, and certainly not consistently, abide to settler demands, as is often assumed.

Producing biodiesel from soybeans in Zambia : An economic analysis
Drabik, Dusan ; Gorter, Harry de; Timilsina, Govinda R. - \ 2016
Food Policy 59 (2016). - ISSN 0306-9192 - p. 103 - 109.
Biodiesel - Biofuel policy - Biofuels - Soybean - Sub-Saharan Africa - Zambia

Facing a huge fiscal burden due to imports of its entire petroleum demand in the face of ample supply of agricultural land to produce biofuels, Zambia has recently introduced a biofuel mandate. However, a number of questions, particularly those related to the economics of biofuels, have not been fully investigated yet. Using an empirical model, this study analyzes the economics of meeting the biodiesel mandate using soybean oil. The study finds that meeting the biodiesel mandate would reduce social welfare, mainly because of the welfare loss to fuel consumers and net reduction in foreign exchange earnings due to soybean oil imports. However, if Zambia increases its domestic soybean supply, as well as oil yield, soybean-based biodiesel is likely to be welfare-beneficial. The country's welfare is found to be the highest under expanded soybean production and its domestic processing but with no biodiesel mandate.

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