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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.

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Agricultural extension, technology adoption and household food security : evidence from DRC
Santos Rocha, Jozimo - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte, co-promotor(en): Marrit van den Berg. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463434485 - 231
agricultural extension - technology - adoption - food security - households - development economics - agricultural production - knowledge transfer - congo democratic republic - landbouwvoorlichting - technologie - adoptie - voedselzekerheid - huishoudens - ontwikkelingseconomie - landbouwproductie - kennisoverdracht - democratische republiek kongo

In this thesis, I use experimental and quasi-experimental data from 25 villages and a total of 1,105 farmers from eastern DRC to investigate the relationship among agricultural training, the adoption of agricultural technologies, crop productivity, and household food insecurity and dietary diversity. I present evidence that contributes to narrow the gap in the literature on the role of input subsidies fostering small-scale farmers' uptake of productivity-enhancing technologies, how farmer field school and farmer-to-farmer trainings affect the adoption of agricultural technologies, how F2F training may reduce the costs of FFS implementation, how adoption materializes on yields of food crops, and how training through the adoption of improved agricultural technologies impacts household food insecurity and the diet diversification of target households.

As a complement to econometric evidence and in order to understand the main findings, I also discuss behavioral features and farmer driven initiatives which somehow condition these impacts. Throughout the four main chapters, I identify practical implications that are highly important for the design and implementation of new programs and policies aimed to address agricultural productivity issues and reduce household food insecurity. In Chapter 1 I develop a general introduction to the research which discusses the evolution of agricultural extension in the last few decades, and describe FFS and F2F training methodologies. Chapter 2 provides a detailed description of the project intervention, technologies promoted, research settings and the data collection process. In Chapter 3, I report the results of an experimental study that analyses the impact of one-shot input starter packs on the adoption of productivity-enhancing complementary practices, which have the potential to maximize the impact of starter pack inputs. Additionally, I assess the levels of persistence on farmers’ use of improved crop seeds which are included in the starter packs. Overall, I find no evidence of starter packs’ impact on small-scale farmers’ adoption of productivity-enhancing technologies. Similarly, the levels of persistence regarding the use of seeds following the delivery of starter packs were not significant. These results are consistent with studies that have found minimal or no persistence on the use of inputs following the provision of subsidies, including Duflo, Kremer et al. (2011). The limited impact that starter packs had on yields in the first year may logically explain that farmers refrained from using improved seeds subsequently because the inputs are not economically attractive.

Chapter 4 studies the effectiveness of knowledge transmission from farmers trained in FFS through farmer-to-farmer training (F2F), which could potentially result in lower extension costs and higher impacts. I find that FFS training has a higher impact than F2F training in the first period, but the magnitude of the treatment effect in the second period is not statistically different between the two training methods. I argue that the dissemination of technologies promoted in FFS groups can well be formalized through farmer-to-farmer deliberate training attached to the FFS approach. Given the low costs of F2F training compared to FFS, the introduction of F2F training may substantially alleviate a major constraint to the large-scale introduction of FFS as a training method, its high costs.

In Chapter 5, I study the impact of farmer’s participation in FFS and F2F training on small-scale agricultural productivity. A multi-crop yield-index and the yields of cassava were used as impact indicators. The results indicate that both FFS and F2F trainings contribute to a significant increase in farmers’ yields, especially in the second period when the magnitude of the effect substantially increased. We also learned that the effect size does not differ between the two training approaches in neither period, suggesting that F2F communications are a suitable alternative or complement to FFS training. While the chapter was unable to confirm if training materializes in higher yields through technology adoption, I argue that in the context of the sample the adoption of productivity-enhancing practices and inputs are likely the most important impact mechanism.

I also study the relationship between agricultural training, the adoption of improved technologies and household food insecurity. I find that farmers’ participation in agricultural trainings has a positive effect, through the adoption of improved technologies, on improvements in household dietary diversity (HDDS). Nonetheless, the impact on household access to food (HFIAS) is less evident. These results suggest that FFS/F2F training can well reduce household food insecurity, which is mostly achieved through the adoption of improved agricultural technologies. Yet, there are farm and household specific factors which constrain how training impacts technology adoption and how adoption affect household food insecurity and diet diversification. In Chapter 7, I synthesize the results of the four main chapters and articulate the sequence of results from training to adoption to productivity to food security.

Is sustainable development of semi-subsistence mixed crop-livestock systems possible? : an integrated assessment of Machakos, Kenya
Valdivia, R.O. - \ 2016
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Tammo Bult, co-promotor(en): J. Antle; Jetse Stoorvogel. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462578272 - 233 p.
sustainable development - development economics - livestock - cash crops - agriculture - mixed farming - development policy - policy - rural areas - poverty - farming - kenya - east africa - duurzame ontwikkeling - ontwikkelingseconomie - vee - marktgewassen - landbouw - gemengde landbouw - ontwikkelingsbeleid - beleid - platteland - armoede - landbouw bedrijven - oost-afrika

Sub-Saharan Africa countries face the challenge of reducing rural poverty and reversing the declining trends of agricultural productivity and the high levels of soil nutrient depletion. Despite of numerous efforts and investments, high levels of poverty and resource degradation persist in African agriculture. The Millennium Development Goals Report (MDGR) states that the majority of people living below the poverty line of $1.25 a day belong to Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and South Asia. About two thirds of the global rural population lives in mixed crop-livestock systems (CLS), typical of SSA, where interactions between crops and livestock activities are important for the subsistence of smallholders. CLS are characterized by high degree of biophysical and economic heterogeneity, complex and diversified production system that frequently involves a combination of several subsistence and cash crops and livestock. Increasing crop productivity is clearly a key element to improve living standards and to take these people out of poverty. However, agricultural productivity in most of SSA has been stagnant or increased slowly. In addition, the likely negative impacts of climate change on agriculture have accentuated the vulnerability of smallholders.

The international research community has once more the eyes on SSA with the recently proposed post-2015 MDGs, the Sustainable Development Goals that emphasize the need to achieve sustainable development globally by 2030 by promoting economic development, environmental sustainability, good governance and social inclusion. Governments and scientists are making considerable efforts to develop strategies that include structural transformations of the different sectors of the economy in search of the recipe to achieve the SDGs. Most of these strategies are based on policy and technology interventions that seek to achieve the “win-win” outcomes and move from the usual “tradeoffs” between poverty-productivity-sustainability to synergies. A key message of this thesis is that achieving the goal of sustainable development in semi-subsistence African agriculture will require better understanding of the poverty-productivity-sustainability puzzle: why high poverty and resource degradation levels persist in African agriculture. I hypothesize that the answer to this puzzle lies, at least in part, in understanding and appropriately analyzing key features of semi-subsistence crop-livestock systems (CLS) typical of Sub-Saharan Africa. The complexity and diversity of CLS often constrain the ability of policy or technology interventions to achieve a “win-win” outcome of simultaneously reducing poverty while increasing productivity sustainably (i.e., avoiding soil nutrient losses).

This thesis focuses on the Machakos Region in Kenya. Machakos has been the center of many studies looking at soil fertility issues and its implications for poverty and food security, including the well-known study by Tiffen et al. (1994). Recently, the Government of Kenya developed the Kenya Vision 2030, a long-term development strategy designed to guide the country to meet the 2015 MDGs and beyond. The agricultural sector is recognized as one of the economic actors that can lead to reduce poverty if appropriate policies are in place. For the Vision 2030, the key is to improve smallholder productivity and promote non-farm opportunities. The Vision 2030 was used to assess if the implementation of some of the proposed plans and policies can lead to a sustainable agriculture for smallholders in the Machakos region.

This thesis describes and uses the Tradeoff Analysis Model (TOA), an integrated modeling approach designed to deal with the complexities associated to production systems such as the CLS and at the same time, quantify economic and sustainability indicators for policy tradeoff analysis (e.g., poverty indexes and measures of sustainability). The TOA was linked to Representative Agricultural Pathways and Scenarios to represent different future socio-economic scenarios (based on the Vision 2030) to assess the impacts of policy interventions aimed to move agricultural systems towards meeting sustainable development goals.

One important finding is that the complex behavior of CLS has important implications for the effectiveness of policy interventions. The Machakos analysis provides important findings regarding the implementation and effectiveness of policy interventions addressing poverty and sustainability in Africa and other parts of the developing world. The analysis shows that policy interventions tend to result in much larger benefits for better-endowed farms, implying that farm heterogeneity results in differential policy impacts and that resilience of agricultural systems is likely to be highly variable and strongly associated with heterogeneity in bio-physical and economic conditions. The results shows that a combination of these interventions and strategies, based on the GoK Vision 2030 and the Machakos County plans, could solve the poverty-productivity-sustainability puzzle in this region. The pathway from tradeoffs to synergies (win-win) seems to be feasible if these interventions and strategies are well implemented, however the analysis also shows that some villages may respond better to these strategies than others. The analysis suggests that these interventions may actually benefit most the areas with better initial endowments of soils and climate.

The analysis also suggested that prices (e.g., maize price) play a key role in the assessment of policy interventions. There is an increasing recognition that analysis of economic and environmental outcomes of agricultural production systems requires a bottom-up linkage from the farm to market, as well as top-down linkage from market to farm. Hence, a two-way linkage between the TOA model and a partial equilibrium market model (ME) was developed. The TOA model links site-specific bio-physical process models and economic decision models, and aggregate economic and environmental outcomes to a regional scale, but treats prices as exogenous. The resulting TOA-ME allows the effects of site-specific interactions at the farm scale to be aggregated and used to determine market equilibrium. This in turn, can be linked back to the underlying spatial distribution of economic and environmental outcomes at market equilibrium quantities and prices. The results suggest that market equilibrium is likely to be important in the analysis of agricultural systems in developing countries where product and input markets are not well integrated, and therefore, local supply determines local prices (e.g., high transport costs may cause farm-gate prices be set locally) or where market supply schedules are driven not only by prices but also by changes in farm characteristics in response to policy changes, environmental conditions or socio-economic conditions. The results suggest that the market equilibrium price associated to a policy intervention could be substantially different than the prices observed without the market equilibrium analysis, and consequently could play an important role in evaluating the impacts of policy or technology interventions.

As mentioned above, climate change poses a long-term threat for rural households in vulnerable regions like Sub-Saharan Africa. Policy and technology interventions can have different impacts under climate change conditions. In this thesis the likely economic and environmental impacts of climate change and adaptations on the agricultural production systems of Machakos are analyzed.

Climate change impact assessment studies have moved towards the use of more integrated approaches and the use of scenarios to deal with the uncertainty of future condition. However, several studies fall short of adequately incorporating adaptation in the analysis, they also fall short of adequately assessing distributional economic and environmental impacts. Similarly, climate change is likely to change patterns of supply and demand of commodities with a consequent change in prices that could play an important role in designing policies at regional, national and international levels. Therefore, a market equilibrium model should also be incorporated in the analysis to assess how markets react to changing prices due to shifts in supply and demand of commodities. The TOA-ME was used to incorporate the elements mentioned above to assess the impacts of climate change. Using data from 5 Global Circulation Models (GCMs) with three emission scenarios (SRES, 2000) to estimate the climate change projections, these projections were used to perturb weather data used by a crop simulation model to estimate the productivity effects of climate change. Land use change and impacts on poverty and nutrient depletion at the market equilibrium were then assessed using the TOA-ME model.

The simulation was carried out for three scenarios, which are a combination of socio-economic and climate change scenarios: a baseline scenario that represents current socio-economic conditions and climate conditions, a climate change and current socio-economic scenarios (i.e., future climate change with no policy or technology intervention), and a climate change and future socio economic conditions which are a consequence of rural development policies.

Our findings show that in this particular case, the changes on precipitation, temperature and solar radiation do not show a significant difference among the selected emission scenarios. However, the variability is significant across GCMs. The effects of climate change on crop productivity are negative on average. These results show that policy and technology interventions are needed to reduce this region’s vulnerability. Furthermore, the socio-economic scenarios based on policy and technology interventions presented in the case study would be effective to offset the negative effect of climate change on the sustainability (economical and environmental) of the system across a range of possible climate outcomes represented by different GCMs. Finally, the results show that ignoring market equilibrium analysis can lead to biased results and incorrect information for policy making, in particular for the scenario based on policy and technology interventions.

One of the major conclusions of the thesis are that policy interventions aimed to deal with poverty and sustainability can have unintended consequences if they are not accompanied by a set of policy strategies and investments. For example, increasing the maize price can result in substitution from subsistence crops to maize, without much increase in nutrient inputs, thus increasing soil nutrient losses. The analysis shows that improving soil nutrient balances by increasing fertilizer and manure use is critically important, but is not enough to move the system to a sustainable path.

There is no one factor that can reverse the negative nutrient balances and move the system towards sustainability. Rather, a broad-based strategy is required that stimulates rural development, increases farm size to a sustainable level, and also reduces distortions and inefficiencies in input and output markets that tend to discourage the use of sustainable practices. The Machakos case shows that a combination of these interventions and strategies, based on the GoK Vision 2030 and the Machakos County plans, could solve the poverty-productivity-sustainability puzzle in this region.

Community based fish culture in the public and private floodplains of Bangladesh
Mahfuzul Haque, A.B. - \ 2015
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Leontine Visser, co-promotor(en): M.M. Dey. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574533 - 166
stroomvlakten - visteelt - ontwikkelingsstudies - ontwikkelingseconomie - samenleving - huishoudens - bangladesh - zuid-azië - floodplains - fish culture - development studies - development economics - society - households - south asia

Seasonal floodplains are water bodies that retain water for 5-6 months during which they are suitable to grow fish and other aquatic animals. Out of 2.8 million ha of medium and deep-flooded areas, about 1.5 million ha are estimated to be suitable for Community-Based Fish Culture (CBFC). WorldFish had undertaken a five-year interdisciplinary action research project from 2005-2010 with the overall aim of enhancing the productivity of seasonally occurring floodwaters for the improved and sustained benefit of the livelihoods of the poor. My involvement in this project was as PhD Scholar from 2007-2009 for understanding the different and complex institutional arrangements and its overall impact of governing Community-Based Fish Culture in seasonal floodplains for the sustainable use and maximization of benefits to the targeted people of Bangladesh.

Six seasonal floodplains in different areas of Bangladesh were selected under the action research project implemented by the Department of Fisheries in collaboration with the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council and the Bangladesh Fisheries Research Institute. For the action research which is the subject of this thesis, three seasonal floodplains were selected in the Brahamaputra, the Padma and the Teesta River Basins located at Mymensingh, Rajshahi and Rangpur districts, respectively. Another three floodplains were selected as control sites in the same river basins located near to the projects sites. The control sites were included in the economic study (Chapters 4 and 5) only. All the six floodplains belong to two types of ownership categories: public floodplains surrounded by private lands.

My thesis is broadly divided into a sociological and an economic part, mainly because of methodological differences. Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 discuss the institutional arrangements and the power and decision-making process of Community-Based Fish Culture management. Chapter 4 addresses the overall economic impact of technical and institutional arrangements of fish culture at both floodplain and household levels. We here employed a random effects model to estimate the impact of participation on fish income. Finally, in Chapter 5 the economic impact of community-based fish culture on expenditure inequality was measured at household level.

In the sociological part, three project floodplains covered the different institutional arrangements for managing the floodplains and maximizing their benefits to different classes of beneficiaries. Power relations between the various key actors or stakeholders were assessed who were directly or indirectly involved in the floodplain, and decision making processes in co-management practices were also studied at different institutional levels. Sociological research methods and techniques including semi-structured interviews, Focus Group Discussions, informal discussions with key informants, and
quantitative surveys were applied to gather data from Floodplain Management Committees, villagers and institutional stakeholders to investigate the use of the floodplain as a common property resource (CPR) and the processes of the formation of local institutions and organizations.

For the economic analysis of Chapter 4 and Chapter 5, three project floodplains and three control floodplains were selected for comparing the impact of the intervention at beneficiary level and also community level. Household survey data includes a baseline survey on socioeconomic information, three months monitoring on seasonal and monthly basis at community and household levels, as well as an assessment of the floodplains’ natural resource systems. The seasonal survey covered the changes in input use for crop production, changes in quality of output from the agricultural land and the effects of the intervention on crop production. A monthly survey on the 1st and 15th day of the month was conducted to capture the household consumption pattern, especially the frequency and quantity of fish and meat consumption.

Chapter 2 improves our understanding of the complex institutional relationships governing Community-Based Fish Culture in seasonal floodplains in Bangladesh. Formal institutional linkages between DoF, WorldFish Center and the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council (BARC) played a key role in ensuring success. DoF is a government institution with establishments at different administrative levels. Institutional embedding of DoF through the Fishers Cooperatives (FMC) as implementing institutions appeared highly instrumental. Large numbers of people, including landless poor seasonal fishers, professional landowning fishers, and non-fishing landowners benefited from the successful implementation of the CBFC activities in the floodplains. The outcomes demonstrate a significant increase in income to all classes of beneficiaries through income sharing derived from their involvement in the fisheries cooperatives and fish culture.

In case 2 and case 3 the floodplains under private ownership privately owned land is inundated during the monsoon season; these floodplains are similar in size, with comparable percentages of beneficiaries and similar numbers of communities surrounding the floodplains. However, the distribution of beneficiaries among the classes differs with more landowners than landless seasonal fishers benefitting. FMCs normally allow these non-members to access the floodplains, but only to harvest un-stocked fish using local gears, considering the importance of fishing to their livelihood. This means that the CPR character of the management by the FMCs shows a certain permissiveness or permeable boundary regarding landless non-members under strict spatial and temporal conditions. Regulation and conservation thus guarantee the availability of un-stocked small fish in the floodplains with a high catch by artisanal gears which results in higher incomes and related benefits to the poorer households. Households who own land or ditches in the floodplains do not depend on un-stocked fish as they can have ponds to trap and harvest fish obtained in the wild. Additionally, during the dry season, they may use land in lowland areas for crop production.

Case 1 of the public floodplain surrounded by private lands differs most from the private floodplain cases. Here, the public area is leased out to fishers during the monsoon, including the private land owned by the affluent and politically influential stakeholders. The floodplain is larger than in the other two cases, but both the percentages of landless fishers and of landowners are lower, making the class of the landowning professional fishers the majority among the beneficiaries.

Generally, the rules and regulations that apply to public and privately owned floodplains are written down in a Memorandum of Understanding between DoF and the individual FMC’s in a non-judicial construction. In their regular meetings the FMCs also document the everyday practices of the rules related to fish culture and management in the minutes that are distributed among its members. It appears that in the three cases, comparable rules and regulations for fish culture are applied to the public and to the private floodplains in operational rules, collective choice rule and constitutional rule.

Benefit sharing of the fish production from the floodplains was agreed at the start of project activities by all stakeholders, but their commitment varied between the classes of beneficiaries and across the cases. A significant increase of income for different stakeholders was derived from their involvement in fish culture. In the public floodplain fishers received around 40% of net income increase and the landowners received almost 38% of net income increase, as they had to pay the lease money for the floodplain. But in private floodplain all classes of stakeholders deposited around 25% of their net income in a revolving fund. The fishers group got their income from the final harvesting of fish as they received 50% of the price of the harvest of un-stocked fish and 10-15% of the stocked fish. The landowners received 45-50% of income according to their land. The landless seasonal fishers had open access to the non-stocked fish during the monsoon. Finally, the users of the public as well as the private floodplains contributed a small portion of their income to social work, like the building of a mosque or a Hindu temple.

Chapter 3 firstly assessed the power relations between the various key actors or stakeholders who were directly or indirectly involved in floodplain fisheries in the three sites. Secondly, their shifting power relations and decision making process in co-management practices were studied in the different institutional contexts of the three research sites during WorldFish project intervention. Instead of merely listing the institutions involved, we studied the actual power practices and decisions making processes between the stakeholders in the three cases to gain insight in the different governance models used in CBFC in Bangladesh. Existing co-management arrangements are characterized by unequal power distribution among the different actors, often resulting in the marginalization of the professional fishers and the landless poor fishers. I differentiated between two types of power in the management of floodplain aquaculture and stakeholder involvement, namely a) the power to create rules and decision making procedures, and b) the power to resolve disputes and ensure compliance. The Floodplain Management Committee (FMC) reviews the rules and regulations formulated by the government to complement the vision and roles of the institution, and if there is a need, modify them. Rules and regulations governing access to the public and privately owned floodplains were developed by the Department of Fisheries (DoF) and the FMC. A similar set of rules and regulations was applied to the public and the privately owned floodplains for fish culture. Most of the rules were derived from the national fisheries law. The rules and regulations that were applied to the floodplain were written down in a Memorandum of Understanding between DoF and FMC. Examples are rules and regulations about membership, leadership, boundary and access, allocation, penalties, input, and conflict resolution that were enforced for the management of community based-fish culture.

Magistrate courts at local level in Bangladesh have the power to decide on penalties for offenders in case of violation of the Government Fisheries Act of 2010 (DoF 2013) in the management of fisheries and aquaculture including the floodplain; a range of penalties is stipulated in the Offences and Penalties paragraph of the Act. In addition, in the case of both public and private floodplains, leaders of customary organizations have the authority and power to confiscate illegal nets and penalize offenders by charging monetary fines.

Governance in the context of Community-Based Fish Culture (CBFC) management addresses the dominancy of the land-owning group, informal sets of norms and traditions, and the social network and power relationships between stakeholders. In the public floodplain governance processes resulting in the formation of a responsive, accountable leadership and representative membership appeared vital for the success of CBFC. But, the establishment of successful CBFCs in public floodplains demands continuous institutional support from agencies such as the Department of Fisheries, because an increase in production and income also increases the risk of elite capture, and the possibility of an exploitative. In the private floodplain, there was no specific governance system in place to manage access and use of the floodplains during the wet season, as opposed to the dry months when the lands of the floodplain could be used by individual households for crop production. Thanks to greater accountability of the leaders, and more equal representation of the different stakeholders including active leadership and a supporting role of DOF, leadership problems were few and easily solved. Downward accountability was well established in addition to many efforts by the project.

Chapter 4 examined the overall impact on households involved through the WorldFish project in community-based fish culture in seasonal floodplains, particularly with respect to fish production, consumption, and income generation. Qualitative as well as quantitative methods were deployed to examine the impact of Community-Based Fish Culture starting with a conceptual framework as to how positive impacts take effect. The overall fish production in the floodplains of the project appeared to have increased 274%. Due to project intervention introducing fish culture, 43% of the farmers used floodplain water to meet up irrigation needs instead of ground water and rice production increased by 18.9% for dry-season (Boro) rice and 28.9% for wet-season (Aman) rice in the project floodplain areas.

Increased income is an important economic incentive for the expansion of community-based fish culture in Bangladesh. Over that period, average income from fish production increased to USD 240 for all beneficiaries involved in the project, which is 237% higher than the income of beneficiaries in the control group. Results of the random effects model show that project-involved households significantly increased their fish income compared to the households of the control sites. Furthermore, total household income increased to about USD 175 per household for those who participated in the WorldFish project.

Fish availability increased in the project area from July to December. During these months approximately 68%-75% of the total fish consumption needs of the project beneficiaries could be fulfilled by the newly introduced fish culture in the floodplains. The consumption of nutritional food shows that per capita fish consumption of households in the project sites increased from 1.26 kg per capita per month in the baseline year to 2.31 kg per capita per month in 2009.

Apart from the direct effect on household income and food consumption, CBFC intervention also created the opportunity for employment, backward linkage, and access to market to sell harvested fish. Indirect benefits of the community based fish culture include reduced conflict; improved social capital and greater cooperation in the community.

Expenditure is a better measurement of welfare than income where most of the people are poor and struggle for food. In this study I therefore used data on expenditure instead of income. The results in Chapter 5 show that the CBFC project had a positive and significant impact on food expenditure, as well as on non-food (other basic needs) and overall total expenditure. The impact of CBFC on household expenditure and expenditure inequality was measured by using Propensity Score Matching (PSM) method and Gini decomposition. Results revealed that the overall average food expenditure per year per household (for panel estimation) increased due to participation in the CBFC project from USD 93 to USD 141. Project participants were able to spend significantly more on food compared to non-participants. In addition, expenditure on food was increasing year by year. Moreover, participant households were capable to spend more compared to non-participants on non-food items like cloth, health, education, housing, transport etc. (from USD 45 to USD 74 per year). This non-food expenditure also gradually increased per year. Finally, total household expenditure of CBFC project participants was between USD 134 and USD 215 per year higher than the total expenditure of control households, which implies a better livelihood of the households involved in the project.

Gini index of total expenditure was found to be 0.34 and 0.40 for the CBFC project and control households respectively, which indicate that expenditure was equally distributed among households, but that it is more equally distributed among the CBFC households as compared to the control households. The expenditure inequality difference between the CBFC project and the control sites was 0.06, which implies that the CBFC management system helped to distribute total expenditure more equally among the surrounding communities.

Policy advice

For better management of the floodplain beels, the government may apply a similar policy for better utilization of the resources and for the economic benefits of the beneficiaries. Accountability, sustainable management of the floodplains, proper marketing of fish and equity in the distribution of benefits of the floodplains have proven to increase the productivity and ensure the accessibility of the poor and landless farmers, as long as elite capture is controlled.

Taking all CBFC project lessons into consideration, the Bangladesh government could indeed make some changes to their floodplain /wetland policy in order to accommodate the poor fishers and the landless poor. Policy (re)formulation may be needed for the dissemination of the CBO-based fish culture approach to scale-up its impact. In order to establish the rights of the CBOs (under the leadership of fishers) there is a need for modification of the policy of leasing of public floodplains. The major issues to be included are to bring private and public floodplains under CBO management; to secure government support for the registration of the CBOs and the strengthening of the institution; to guarantee that CBOs obtain long term (10-15 years or more) lease of the public areas of the floodplains as priority; to support small infrastructure constructions in the outlet and inlets of the floodplains; and to develop a functional model for the scaling-up (influencing policy) and scaling-out of the CBO fish culture approach in Bangladesh.

Future research

To assess the effectiveness of the scaling-up of the innovation in Community-Based Fish Culture in public and private floodplains, using a CBO to CBO approach will have to be developed with the support and facilitation from formal institutions. This will be considered as the subject of future research.

Measuring tensions and intentions : mixing methods in the impact evaluation of development support to farmer organisations
Ton, G. - \ 2015
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462575738 - 295
boerenorganisaties - coöperaties - ontwikkelingseconomie - ontwikkelingshulp - fondsgelden - landbouwproducten - ontwikkelingsprojecten - programma-evaluatie - farmers' associations - cooperatives - development economics - development aid - funding - agricultural products - development projects - program evaluation

Development support must be able to prove its effectiveness. Impact evaluation is a way to generate this information. The thesis is about the design of these impact evaluations and how research methods can be combined to obtain credible evidence on effectiveness. It contrasts two approaches to impact evaluation design, ‘randomistas’ (Does it work?) and ‘realistas’ (For whom does it work, and under what conditions?), and distils seven principles for research design that create synergy between these two approaches. The thesis covers various development interventions. The main research concerns a Bolivian grant fund that supports investments in processing by farmer groups. To assess the effectiveness of this fund it was necessary to develop and test a new tool to measure organisational strength of these groups, called Tension Containment Capacity and apply a new method of data analysis, Qualitative Comparative Analysis. Interestingly, grants to the older, larger and stronger organisations proved particularly unsuccessful.

Institutional change and economic development : evidence from natural and artefactual field experiments in Ethiopia
Melesse, M.B. - \ 2015
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574137 - 193
ontwikkelingseconomie - plattelandsontwikkeling - landbouwontwikkeling - experimenteel veldonderzoek - landbouwproductie - man-vrouwrelaties - landgebruik - land - ethiopië - oost-afrika - afrika - instellingen - development economics - rural development - agricultural development - field experimentation - agricultural production - gender relations - land use - ethiopia - east africa - africa - institutions

Thesis title: Institutional Change and Economic Development: Evidence from Natural and Artefactual Field Experiments in Ethiopia

Mequanint Biset Melesse


Institutions are the essential underpinning of economic development. A large volume of empirical literature has documented conclusive evidence supporting this hypothesis. Yet, our knowledge on how to bring about institutional change and improvement is still quite imperfect. Moreover, putting in place good institutions that have undergirded the growth of the developed world has not always produced desired results in developing countries. This thesis studies the complex relationship between institutional change and economic development. Its primary focus is on the endogenous formation of institutions and outcomes of institutional changes on the quality and sustainability of other institutions and the dynamics of economic development. It employs randomized field experiments, propensity score matching and instrumental variables approaches to tackle the problem of causal inference. The results indicate that an effective institutional development requires a good knowledge of the interaction between formal and informal institutions and the complex dynamics that such interaction entails. Customary institutions are malleable. Local institutions condition the success and effects of formal institutional changes in important ways. Institutional change is a nonlinear, complex and non-ergodic process, where multiple intended and unintended outcomes are possible. Overall, the results indicate that formal and informal institutions interact out of entrenched corners with both constructive and deleterious repercussions for economic development.

Shocks, preferences, and institutions: experimental evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa
Cecchi, F. - \ 2015
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462572621 - 198
ontwikkelingseconomie - afrika ten zuiden van de sahara - institutionele economie - experimenten - veldwerk - keuzegedrag - verandering - shock - conflict - economische analyse - development economics - africa south of sahara - institutional economics - experiments - field work - choice behaviour - change - economic analysis

Both preferences and institutions are central to economic theory. Insofar as they cannot be taken as given, it is important to understand how they are formed, and how they “respond” to shocks. This thesis investigates the endogenous formation of preferences and institutions. It presents field-experimental evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa – specifically Uganda, Sierra Leone, and Ethiopia – gradually zooming out through different levels of responses to shocks. It starts by looking at the formation of individual preferences in utero and during childhood. Next, it explores the endogeneity of rational choice among adults. Finally, it looks at the cumulative outcome of these responses in terms of changes in local norms and informal institutions. Shocks are thought of in their broadest possible definition. Conflict is a shock, but so is the introduction of exogenously planned and implemented institutions, or the penetration of statutory law into predominantly customary settings.

Chapter 2 investigates the fetal origins of preferences for cooperation. I study the effect of prenatal trauma on the cooperation of those born during the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency in northern Uganda. I find that a rise in the relative length of the index finger with respect to the ring finger – a marker for prenatal hormonal shock – reduces the child’s probability of contribution to the public good. I interpret this as evidence that prenatal trauma may affect later-life individual preferences, and that the nine months in utero may be more important than previously thought.

Chapter 3 looks at the preferences for competition towards in- and out-groups, in relation to conflict exposure. I study aggressiveness and willingness to compete among youth in Sierra Leone, using the group dynamics generated by a local football tournament to separate in- and out-group behavior. I find that football players that experienced more intense exposure to violence are more likely to get a foul card during a game. Also, I isolate competitiveness from aggressiveness in the lab, and find that conflict exposure increases the willingness to compete towards the out-group—not the in-group. I conjecture that violent conflict is not only a destructive process, but that it may also trigger autonomous transformations in believes and preferences.

Chapter 4 explores the endogeneity of rational choice among adults. I study the relationship between market exposure and rationality in rural Ethiopia, through a laboratory experiment involving sesame brokers and farmers. Following a randomly assigned trading session in a competitive auction, I find that farmers and brokers selected for the treatment behave more rationally than their peers in the control group. Markets are thus not only neutral institutions; they change the way people make decisions. I speculate that, in the presence of endogenous rationality, a rapid market expansion may offer dynamic efficiency gains, but that it may also affect the distribution of rents and wealth at the local and regional levels.

Chapter 5 investigates the relationship between formal and informal institutions. I study the dynamics of social capital – proxied by contributions to a public goods game – in response to the introduction of a formal insurance scheme in southwestern Uganda. I find that formal insurance crowds-out social capital, but that it is not those adopting the formal insurance who reduce their contributions (as predicted by theory). Instead, social capital erodes because of the uninsured. I argue that this is consistent with “weapons of the weak” theories, emphasizing social embeddedness. Those who fear to lose from this inequality-increasing innovation respond with the only “weapons” at hand—by reducing cooperation in other domains.

Chapter 6 looks at how the penetration of formal law affects customary legal institutions. I study the effects of introducing a formal legal alternative on the arbitration decisions of real customary judges in Ethiopia. I find that introducing a legal fallback reduces arbitration biases and draws the decisions of customary judges significantly closer to the formal law. At the same time, agents disfavored by the custom do not take advantage of their increased bargaining power. I argue that most effects of increased competition between formal law and customary legal institutions may rise from changes in the latter, rather than from plaintiffs seeking justice under the rule of law.

While each chapter is envisioned as a self-standing contribution to economic literature, the crosscutting thread is equally crucial. Not always do endogenous responses to shocks fit existing economic theory. Rather, the evidence presented sometimes highlights unforeseen dynamics. It moreover strongly rejects the notion of passive acceptance of shocks; individuals and institutions “respond” to shifting circumstances through “rational” – although not necessarily conscious – behavioral changes. These findings contribute to the understanding of the micro-foundations of preferences and institutions, and emphasize the need to continuously underpin theoretical predictions with empirical evidence.

The roles of exploration and exploitation in the export market integration of Beninese producers at the base of the pyramid
Adékambi, S.A. - \ 2015
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Hans van Trijp, co-promotor(en): Paul Ingenbleek. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462572461 - 205
marketing - landbouwproducten - export - instellingen - armoede - sheaboter - ontwikkelingseconomie - economische groei - afrika - benin - west-afrika - agricultural products - exports - institutions - poverty - shea butter - development economics - economic growth - africa - west africa

Keywords: Base of the pyramid, Bottom of the pyramid, Supply chains, Export market integration, Market learning, Developing and Emerging countries, Exploitation and Exploration, Institutional arrangements, Transaction cost economics, Livelihood performance, BoP producers


Organizing supply chains that are based in producer groups that live in conditions of widespread poverty and weak institutional support (sometimes referred to as the Base of the Pyramid [BoP] producers) is challenging. These challenges have predominantly been studied in the development literature, while the marketing perspective has received less attention. Drawing on both transaction cost and market learning theories, the thesis integrates producers’ opportunity exploitation and exploration processes with the institutional framework adopted in the development literature to understand producers’ integration with export markets. Overall, the findings show that exploitation mediates between drivers investigated by development economists (quality of infrastructure, microcredit, and community culture) and integration with export markets. The results show that BoP producers’ export market integration also depends on the institutional arrangements that exporting companies offer. The results indicate that contrary to more-developed settings like those in Western Europe and Northern America, there is no need to develop both opportunity exploration and exploitation in environments characterized by scarce opportunities with relatively high purchasing powers. The findings imply that developing competencies that enable to produce the demanded quality are crucial in seizing export market integration opportunities.

Rural development and the construction of new markets
Hebinck, P.G.M. ; Ploeg, J.D. van der; Schneider, S. - \ 2014
London : Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group (Routledge ISS studies in rural livelihoods 12) - ISBN 9780415746342 - 212
plattelandsontwikkeling - markten - dynamica - ontwikkelingseconomie - landbouw - economie - middelen van bestaan - plattelandssamenleving - familiebedrijven, landbouw - neveninkomsten - nevenactiviteiten - rural development - markets - dynamics - development economics - agriculture - economics - livelihoods - rural society - family farms - supplementary income - ancillary enterprises
This book focuses on empirical experiences related to market development, and specifically new markets with structurally different characteristics than mainstream markets. Europe, Brazil, China and the rather robust and complex African experiences are covered to provide a rich multidisciplinary and multi-level analysis of the dynamics of newly emerging markets. This book analyses newly constructed markets as nested markets. Although they are specific market segments that are nested in the wider commodity markets for food, they have a different nature, different dynamics, a different redistribution of value added, different prices and different relations between producers and consumers. Nested markets embody distinction viz-a-viz the general markets in which they are embedded. A key aspect of nested markets is that these are constructed in and through social struggles, which in turn positions this book in relation to classic and new institutional economic analyses of markets. These markets emerge as steadily growing parts of the farmer populations are dedicating their time, energy and resources to the design and production of new goods and services that differ from conventional agricultural outputs. The speed and intensity with which this is taking place, and the products and services involved, vary considerably across the world. In large parts of the South, notably Africa, farmers are ‘structurally’ combining farming with other activities. By contrast, in Europe and large parts of Latin America farmers have taken steps to generate new products and services which exist alongside ongoing agricultural production. This book not only discusses the economic rationales and dynamics for these markets, but also their likely futures and the threats and opportunities they face.
Social capital, agricultural innovation and the evaluation of agricultural development initiatives
Rijn, F.C. van - \ 2014
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte, co-promotor(en): Marrit van den Berg. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789461739094 - 185
ontwikkelingseconomie - sociaal kapitaal - landbouwontwikkeling - plattelandsontwikkeling - innovaties - afrika ten zuiden van de sahara - institutionele economie - rwanda - uganda - democratische republiek kongo - landbouw - sociale netwerken - economische ontwikkeling - development economics - social capital - agricultural development - rural development - innovations - africa south of sahara - institutional economics - congo democratic republic - agriculture - social networks - economic development

In this thesis, I show that social capital has an important role in the evaluation of development initiatives targeting agricultural innovation. Social capital and agricultural innovation are naturally linked from an innovation system perspective in which innovations result from the integration of knowledge from various actors and stakeholders. In chapter 1, I identify the three research questions upon which this thesis is based. First, how are social capital and agricultural innovation related? Second, can development initiatives increase agricultural innovation by building social capital? Third, does the initial level of social capital increase the success of these development initiatives in enhancing agricultural innovation? These question mainly relate to the increasing number of policies, programs and project that include beneficiaries in the design, management and decision making process.

In chapter 2, I elaborate on the main concepts underlying this thesis including social capital, how it relates to development initiatives in the agricultural sector, and how it can be measured. I broadly define social capital as the participation of individuals in formal and informal networks, the norms that define these networks and the trust these individuals have within and outside these networks. Participation in networks is structural social capital, whereas norms and trust within and between these networks is cognitive social capital. I distinguish four dimensions of social capital: structural bonding, structural bridging, cognitive bonding and cognitive bridging. In this thesis bonding and bridging social capital is akin to social capital inside and outside the village. Agricultural innovation is defined in terms of improved land and crop management practices, an important area of agricultural innovation for small scale producers.

In chapter 3 till 7, I empirically investigate the relationships between social capital, agricultural innovation and two types of development initiatives. The first initiative is the implementation of agricultural research through the Integrated Agricultural Research for Development (IAR4D) approach. IAR4D was adopted by the Sub Saharan African Challenge Program (SSA CP) and implemented in eight different countries. The core of this approach is the development of Innovation Platforms (IPs), which can be described as an informal coalition and alliance of conventional agricultural research and development actors. Using the semi experimental data collected in this context, I could investigate the important role of social capital in different contexts. The second type of initiative is implementation of sustainable certification schemes through group-based experimental learning approaches. I investigate four sustainable coffee projects in Vietnam, of which two adopted the interactive Farmer Field School training approach. The data of these four projects allow me to verify some of the conclusions in a different context and for a different development initiative.

In chapter 3, I use baseline data from the IAR4D initiative to explore the association between different forms of social capital and uptake of various agricultural innovations, for a sample of 2500 households in seven countries in SSA. I find that structural bridging social capital is associated with more extensive adoption of agricultural innovations. This result is true for the pooled model as well as for four of the seven country models. This form of social capital captures agriculture-related links creating access to knowledge and resources and is considered an important dimension of economic development. I find a negative association between cognitive bonding social capital and the innovation index. This finding could represent a potentially harmful side of social capital in terms of agricultural innovation.

In chapter 4, I investigate the impact of IAR4D on social capital. I narrow my focus on the border region between Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC. Because the SSA CP data set consist of randomized data of participating and non-participating villages, before and two years after implementation, I can investigate the impact of the program. Many participatory projects in rural Africa are efforts to enhance development indirectly by promoting cooperation in formal or informal networks, and by encouraging trust and norms of behaviour towards mutually beneficial action. But it remains unclear whether external interventions can actually influence social capital, especially in the short term. I show that IAR4D has had a positive impact on structural bridging social capital in DRC and Uganda. There was no impact on structural bridging social capital in Rwanda, or on the other dimensions of social capital. Finally, I showed that traditional agricultural extension has been less successful in increasing structural social capital than IAR4D.

In chapter 5, I use data from a survey I conducted among IP coordinators to measure the extent to which IPs were implemented according to the principles of IAR4D across the three sub regions. Linking these data to the main survey data, I find that the extent to which IPs were implemented according to IAR4D principles is associated with the success of IAR4D in increasing the level of household food security, although not through increased adoption of agricultural innovation or increased levels of social capital at household level. Looking at the sub-components of these principles, especially involvement of IP stakeholder is crucial. Tentative results suggest that this involvement is higher in communities with a higher level of education, a higher percentage of female headed households, and a higher level of village social capital.

In chapter 6, I analyse how different indicators used to represent social capital are related in the border region between Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC. I focus on the relationship between various indicators of trust, an important component of cognitive social capital, and group membership, an important component of structural social capital. The indicators used are based on questions I added to the follow up survey of the SSA CP in 2010. I find that different indicators of trust and group membership cannot be empirically captured by an overarching social capital factor, and are not even necessarily associated to each other.

In chapter 7, I present evidence that the relationship between social capital and agricultural innovation is not only evident for the IAR4D approach, but also for a different development initiative in a different context: sustainable coffee certification in Vietnam. I use data collected among 240 randomly selected project participants and 150 comparable farmers that did not participate in the projects. I focus on the role of bonding and bridging cognitive social capital, defined as trust. I find a significant positive relation between trust and the uptake of sustainable agricultural training practices. This relationship mostly results from high levels of bridging trust, and is even higher in combination with high levels of bonding trust. I also find tentative evidence that participation in the sustainable coffee projects positively influenced bonding trust in one project whereas it negatively influenced bridging trust in another project.

In chapter 8, I give an overview of the three main findings. First, social capital is associated with agricultural innovation. Second, development initiatives can influence social capital. Third, the existing level of social capital is associated with the success of development interventions. However, the effect was not necessarily positive and depends greatly on the dimension of social capital.

I also present several implications for policy. First, stimulating social capital, especially bridging social capital, may be a natural leverage point for policy makers to promote agricultural development. Second, increased levels of social capital can indeed be an outcome of development initiatives, either intentionally or not. At the same time, I show that this impact requires specific efforts and is not necessarily positive. The third implication is that social capital matters for the success of certain development initiatives, either as a source of heterogeneous implementation or impact. Fourth, it is vital to take into account the multi-dimensional nature of social capital and the fact that these dimensions might have different relations to agricultural innovation and development initiatives. Combined these implications mean that indicators of social capital should be included in the design and evaluation of agriculture-related development initiatives.

Finally, I give suggestion for future research. First, to further unravel the chains of causation between different dimensions of social capital, agricultural innovation, and development initiatives. Second, to validate the indicators and indices of social capital using experimental games, more advanced survey questions, or better embedding them in existing theories. A third area of future is to advance in the measurement of innovation as a truly interactive and participatory process. Fourth, to address whether the importance of social capital, as a catalyst for success or as an outcome variable, depends on the nature of the development initiatives or the context in which it is implemented. Finally, research yet has to address the long-run effect of development initiatives on social capital.

Water, food and markets : household-level impact of irrigation water policies and institutions in northern China
Zhang, L. - \ 2013
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte; X. Shi, co-promotor(en): Nico Heerink. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461735751 - 143
ontwikkelingseconomie - huishoudens - irrigatiewater - waterbeleid - watergebruik - watergebruiksrendement - instellingen - noord-china - china - azië - landbouwhuishoudens - platteland - development economics - households - irrigation water - water policy - water use - water use efficiency - institutions - northern china - asia - agricultural households - rural areas

Water is increasingly becoming a limiting factor for sustainable economic growth and development, particularly in developing countries. Besides technical innovations, water institution reforms may contribute to improving water allocation decisions. Appropriately designed water institutions can motivate water users to conserve and use water efficiently for irrigation and other uses.

In northern China, growing demands on agricultural water due to relatively low water availability and increasing grain production are putting more and more pressure on improving water resource management. The Ministry of Water Resources of the P.R. China has initiated a number of pilot projects to gain experience with the development of water-saving irrigation systems. These pilot projects focus on the construction of engineering systems as well as institutional innovations in water resource management. Analysing the household-level effects of the implemented measures is hence of great importance for further policy development.

The project ‘Building a Water-saving Society in Zhangye City’, initiated early 2002 in Zhangye City in northwest China, is the first pilot project of this kind in China. It provides a unique opportunity to examine the economic effects of changes in water policies and institutions. Minle County, the research area for this study, is located within Zhangye City. A large potato processing company was established in Minle County in 2008. After the factory started its activities, the local government intervened in the allocation of irrigation water within the region by assigning more water to a specific variety of potatoes (i.e. Atlantic potatoes) that the factory needs for processing. This further makes Minle County an interesting case for analysing the link between output market development and institutional change in irrigation water management.

The general objective of this study is to empirically investigate the household-level impacts of policies and institutional changes in irrigation water use. From this general objective, the following four specific objectives are defined and analysed in separate chapters. 1) To examine the impact of the institutional setup of Water Users Associations (WUAs) on productivity of irrigation water use by the WUA member households, based on a user-based resource governance framework. 2) To analyse the effects of a policy affecting the availability of water for different crops on farmers’ acreage allocation among crops. 3) To evaluate the internal valuation (i.e. marginal value) of irrigation water, before and after the introduction of the water policy as explained above. 4) To investigate the effects of output market development on irrigation water trading.

The information used for the empirical analyses mainly comes from two surveys that were carried out in Minle County in May 2008 and May 2010. These surveys cover information for the years 2007 and 2009, that is before and after the potato processing factory became operational. A stratified sampling approach was used for selecting the households and WUAs to be interviewed in the surveys. Additional interviews were held by the author in August 2010 with the Water Management Bureaus (WMBs) that are responsible for water allocation within the seven irrigation areas in Minle County.

Chapter 2 investigates the underlying causes of differences in WUA performance by analysing the impact of WUA characteristics on the productivity of irrigation water use. Total crop production value and household income obtained from crop production, both expressed per m3 of water, are used as dependent variables in the empirical analysis. The explanatory variables in the analysis are derived from an established user-based resource governance framework, that specifies the conditions under which user groups are expected to sustainably govern common-pool resources. These conditions are grouped into resource characteristics, group characteristics, relationships between resources and user groups, and the external environment (markets, technology). Applying a random intercept model, the estimation results show that group characteristics, particularly group size and number of water users groups, and the existing pressure on available water resources are important WUA characteristics explaining water productivity.

Chapter 3 analyses the impact of the local government intervention in irrigation water allocation on farmers’ crop planting decisions. A system of unconditional crop acreage demand functions depending on prices of variable inputs, levels of quasi-fixed inputs and prices of outputs is estimated. Two hypotheses are tested: Firstly, the government intervention results in an increase in land allocated to Atlantic potatoes and a decrease in land allocated to other crops; Secondly, among the alternative crops (i.e. other crops than Atlantic potatoes), the water policy is expected to cause a relatively small response for grain crops, because grains are mainly used for domestic consumption. The empirical results do not support the first hypothesis. The increased water allocation to Atlantic potatoes does not significantly affect the land allocated to this crop, because its planting decisions are mainly taken by village leaders instead of households. Instead, the intervention results in a shift from planting potatoes towards grains with relatively low water requirements.The second hypothesis is partly supported by the empirical results. The estimated impact of the government intervention is found to be stronger for local potato varieties than for grains, but the impact on the area planted with cash crops does not differ significantly from zero. Output prices seem to play a more important role in cash crop planting decisions than the water allocation intervention.

Chapter 4 examines the economic valuation (i.e. marginal value) of irrigation water, before and after the local government intervention in water allocation. To accomplish this, a system of translog production functions is estimated. Two hypotheses are tested: Firstly, the valuation of irrigation water is expected to be equal across different crops before the start of the new water policy. And secondly, valuation of irrigation water is expected to be lower for Atlantic potatoes as compared to the alternative crops after the water policy change. The empirical results do not support the first hypothesis. The valuation of irrigation water used on grain crops is very low, and is even below the actual water prices charged to farm households. This is probably due to self-consumption of grain by households, and to government subsidies for grain farmers that are based on the planted area with grains. The second hypothesis is supported by the empirical results, except for grains. The valuation of irrigation water used on Atlantic potatoes is lower than the value of water used on other (non-grain) crops. Moreover, the returns for irrigation water used on other crops are higher in the year after the water allocation intervention than in the year before the intervention.

Chapter 5 aims to provide insights into the impact of output market development on the trading of water use rights by farm households. Theresults of the two farm household surveys indicate that water markets have emerged at a small scale in response to the development of the potato market in Minle County. Observed water trade in the second survey, that was held after the establishment of the potato processing factory, consists mainly of the exchange of water without payment between relatives or neighbours, and seems to be meant to improve the timing of water applications to crops with different seasonal water requirements. Those who have started trading water rights tend to have more land with water use rights than other potato farmers. High transaction costs and information asymmetry between the government and water users, however, severely constrain the trading of water use rights in the region.

Chapter 6 summarizes and integrates the main findings, discusses the policy implications and the limitations of the research, and presents some suggestions for further research.

Understanding learning in natural resource management : experiences with a contextualised responsive evaluation approach
Kouévi, T.A. - \ 2013
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Cees Leeuwis, co-promotor(en): Barbara van Mierlo; S.D. Vodouhê. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461735164 - 209
evaluatie - methodologie - reacties - sociaal onderzoek - leerervaringen - natuurlijke hulpbronnen - hulpbronnenbeheer - ontwikkelingseconomie - economie van natuurlijke hulpbronnen - evaluation - methodology - responses - social research - learning experiences - natural resources - resource management - development economics - natural resource economics

This dissertation may be located in the wide debate on the effectiveness of policy interventions in developing countries, in the field of natural resource management (NRM). It is especially concerned with contributing to the understanding of the limited effectiveness of fishery management interventions in the municipality of Grand-Popo in Benin, where fishing people face fishery resource depletion and livelihood degradation. It looks at this topic from a learning perspective, and explores a way of stimulating learning and effectiveness with an action research approach. Building on Argyris and Schön (1976), the study contributes to discussions on learning in NRM by regarding learning as changes in action theories operationalized as the integration of specific micro-theories or micro-assumptions underlying stakeholders’ actions. Also novel is the experimentation with and evaluation of a responsive evaluation (RE) as an action research approach in the fishery context of Grand-Popo.
To account for the research process and findings, this dissertation is structured around six chapters. Chapter 1 is the general introduction which discusses the background information justifying the research choices, the research objectives and questions, and the methodology that was used to answer the research questions. It explores possible reasons for the limited effectiveness of interventions in natural resource management (NRM). The conclusion is that NRM interventions are affected negatively by various limitations in the sphere of perspectives and understanding. Limited understandings of NRM complexity, limitations in interactions for exchange among stakeholders, differences in management action theories and practices, multiplicity and lack of coordination of interventions explain among others the ineffectiveness of NRM interventions. Therefore the study proposed to explore whether the limited effectiveness of generations of interventions in Grand-Popo is indeed related to limited learning. As there appeared to be scope to enhance learning, the study continued with the design, experimentation with and evaluation of a RE process.
To deepen the understanding of the learning related to the problems faced by the fishing people and interventionists in the case study, the process of learning in generations of interventions was investigated and discussed in chapter 2. To redress fishery resources’ depletion and improve the fragile livelihoods of fishing people, successive interventions since the 1950s continued to propose solutions such as income generating activities’ diversification and the establishment of fishing rules. This chapter reveals that fishery interventions were repeatedly ineffective, because of limited learning which was interpreted as repetitive discrepancy between espoused and in-use action theories of the interventionists. Therefore, we suggested to facilitate learning interaction among the stakeholders towards more effectiveness of the fishery management interventions.
To develop a good action research approach to stimulate learning, in chapter 3, the study was extended to the unfolding of the action theories of the interventions’ beneficiaries, for the sake of comparing them with those of the interventionists. It shows ambiguity in the fishery problems solving action theories of the interventionists and the fishing people; power differences among the stakeholders; and, the absence of learning interactions among the stakeholders. RE was chosen, since this is an evaluation approach that addresses such conditions. However, this approach needed to be adapted to the study context. The main adaptations compared to ‘regular’ RE related to the operationalization of learning in terms of changes in action theories, the investigation of action theories in-use in addition to those espoused, and the inclusion of an analysis of the history and the intervention system to deal with routine and complexity of NRM, and to stimulate high level learning. These adaptations led to what is called the contextualised RE approach in this chapter.
In order to assess the relevance and performance of the proposed RE approach, we experimented with it in the fishery case study of Grand-Popo. Chapter 4 reports on how and the extent to which it contributed to learning by and among the interventionists and fishing people involved. This chapter reveals the occurrence of single-loop, double-loop, and social learning, but also a remaining gap between changes in espoused theories and theories in use. The single-loop learning concerned changes in action strategies like the extent of the fishing people’s demands, and the intervention resource raising strategy of the interventionists. The double-loop learning addressed the underlying reasons for action such as the redefinition of the roles played in intervention processes. The fishing people redefined their own roles as more active to show concern for solving their problems, to diversify their intervention partners, and to lobby for solutions. The interventionists suggested that they needed to empower the fishing people to lobby with politicians and financial partners in collaboration with interventionists about their problems. The social learning concerned emergent congruence in the action theories of the two stakeholder categories with regard to the need for mutual commitment to the effective solving of the fishery problems. The gaps between espoused and in-use action theories related to the complexity of NRM in this case and survival threats. We concluded that it may be difficult for RE to stimulate learning in NRM and provided some suggestions to improve its use.
Chapter 5 goes into depth about exploring the reasons for the limitations in the learning notwithstanding the RE process. It discusses which issues were sensitive for the interventionists and the fishing people, and how they presented them in different interaction settings of the adapted RE approach (interviews, meetings). It discusses which discursive strategies the stakeholders employed to put their issues on the agenda in the meetings with the other stakeholder groups. It shows that some sensitive issues that were mentioned during the interviews, were not discussed at all, while others were discussed with indirect discursive strategies. The sensitive issues were: expectations of the fishing people unfulfilled by the interventionists; prevalence of material interests of the interventionists and the fishing people over concerns of effective interventions; compliance of the interventionists with the electoral concerns of politicians; corruption practices of the interventionists; and physical and occult aggressiveness of the fishing people. The discursive strategies used by the interventionists and the fishing people were silence and indirect discursive strategies. This chapter suggests the necessity of paying attention to discursive strategies and sensitive issues that may hinder learning in natural resource management (NRM) facilitation settings.
Chapter 6 recalls the research questions, summarizes and discusses the major findings, and concludes the dissertation with lessons and implications for policy and practice in NRM and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). The reasons for the limitations in learning by the interventionists and the fishing people were explored on the basis of relevant literature. They related to the opportunities to learn offered by the environment, the motivation and the capacity to learn of the interventionists and the fishing people, and to the level of complexity of the NRM context. Based on the analyses of the reasons for the limitations in learning by the interventionists and the fishing people, this chapter suggests a two track approach. The first track relates to working towards a more conducive learning environment, and the second to further improving the design of RE. It suggests to create and institutionalize incentives and mechanisms to train and raise awareness about the importance of, and to support feedback generating, exchanging, capturing and learning by stakeholders. This chapter suggests also to create incentive structure for implementers of policies and projects that rewards effectiveness and sanctions a lack of performance. In the second track, flexible learning strategies are seen to help improving the performance of the design of further RE in NRM context. To these ends, inclusive monitoring and evaluation, audio-visual learning stimulation strategies, action oriented learning strategy, and the training of evaluators on strategies to get sensitive issues on discussion and learning agendas are suggested.
In all, the thesis demonstrates that limitations in learning are prevalent in Grand-Popo, and likely undermine the effectiveness of (series of) NRM interventions. It makes clear that we should not have naïve expectations about the potential of systematic approaches and methodologies to foster learning, and that creating more conducive conditions for learning should be a first priority.

Economic analysis of water harvesting technologies in Ethiopia
Wakeyo, M.B. - \ 2012
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Arie Oskam, co-promotor(en): Koos Gardebroek; Tassew Woldehanna. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461738707 - 150
agrarische economie - ontwikkelingseconomie - ethiopië - regenwateropvang - econometrie - economische analyse - panelgegevens - bedrijfsgrootte in de landbouw - kunstmeststoffen - agricultural economics - development economics - ethiopia - water harvesting - econometrics - economic analysis - panel data - farm size - fertilizers

Rainfall shortage and variability constrain crop production of smallholder farmers in Ethiopia and climate change may even aggravate this problem. An attractive method to mitigate this is water harvesting. This thesis examines the economic aspects of water harvesting by exploring optimal water use and the impact of water harvesting using micro-econometric analyses of cross-section and panel data collected from Ethiopian farmers in 2005 and 2010.

In the first empirical chapter, the study estimates marginal values and elasticitiesof harvested water in the production of three vegetables to determine whether water allocation is economically optimal. The results are mixed, although the estimated marginal product values between onions and tomatoes show that farmers on average allocate water economically across these two crops.

The descriptive data show that the share of irrigated land is lower at larger farms. Because farm size may increase in the future, it is interesting to investigate what determines the share of irrigated land in relation to farm size. A random-effects tobit model is appropriate to estimate this relationship. The result shows that access to both credit and markets, farm-size, region, aridity, and plot distance to water source all affect the share. Encouraging water harvesting requires flexible and effective variables that will work also for larger farms.

Despite its weather-risk reducing advantage, the average disadoption rate of water harvesting technology between 2005 and 2010 was as high as 42%. To find out why farmers disadopt, binary choice models are estimated to investigate the factors that cause disadoption. Based on the estimation results, it is concluded that increasing availability of plastic sheets and labour-saving equipment (water pumps), easier market and credit access, and the cultivation of perennials can reduce disadoption.

The last empirical chapter focuses on the relation between water harvesting and fertilizer use. Due to weather risk, farmers may limit the use of purchased fertilizer, thereby continuing to grow a high share of low-risk and low-yield crops. To establish whether harvested water encourages fertilizer use, two variants of random-effect models are estimated. The results strongly support the idea that water harvesting technology induces fertilizer use, indicating that water harvesting can increase fertilizer use- and hence crop yields- in Ethiopia.

The concluding chapter discusses the results against the background of the research objective: what are the economics of water harvesting at micro level?

Essays on microfinance in Latin America
Servin Juarez, R. - \ 2012
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Robert Lensink, co-promotor(en): Marrit van den Berg. - [S.l.] : s.n. - ISBN 9789461734082 - 196
microfinanciering - ontwikkelingseconomie - instellingen - banken - rurale welzijnszorg - armoede - huishoudens - latijns-amerika - microfinance - development economics - institutions - banks - rural welfare - poverty - households - latin america

In the early 1970s, microfinance came to public attention as a promising tool to reduce poverty. However, some people began to claim that microcredit is unsuitable for sustainable development. Nevertheless, the lack of scientific support for both viewpoints has created a need for empirical studies to disentangle whether microfinance interventions should be implemented, and if so, how. The objective of this thesis is to provide evidence on the role of microfinance in Latin America, with a particular emphasis on Mexico. The main innovation of this study is the focus on four topics that have thus far received relatively little attention. Firstly, the relationship between efficiency and the ownership structure of microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Latin America is investigated. Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Cooperative/Credit Unions are found to be less technically efficient and have an inferior technology relative to Banks and Non-Banks Financial Intermediaries (NBFIs). Secondly, this study assesses five different microfinance programs on household welfare in Mexico. The findings reveal that savings-oriented microfinance programs outperform programs that primarily offer microcredit, in reducing poverty. Thirdly, the impact of microfinance on vulnerability to poverty is analyzed. The results of this analysis show that membership in a savings and credit society in Mexico improves the well-being of households and reduces their vulnerability. Finally, the impact of the loan officer’s characteristics on determining repayment rates in microfinance is examined. The main outcome suggests that the gender of the loan officer and his/her professional experience are important determinants of repayment rates. Further conclusions are that loan officers who work longer in Pro Mujer have higher default probabilities and that peer monitoring of group members is not a significant determinant of loan default.

Economics of the gum arabic value chain in Senegal
Mujawamariya, G. - \ 2012
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte, co-promotor(en): Kees Burger; M.F.C. D'Haase. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461733689 - 246
ontwikkelingseconomie - waardeketenanalyse - arabische gom - ontwikkelingslanden - handel - economische analyse - goederenmarkten - senegal - west-afrika - development economics - value chain analysis - gum arabic - developing countries - trade - economic analysis - commodity markets - west africa

A Gum arabic has an important international market due to its use in various industries. Senegal is a small producing country whose exports are low probably due to problems of developing internal markets resulting from the lack of price incentives. The study’s main aim is to link the market side to the collection side in order to investigate factors influencing the performance of the supply chain of gum arabic. The study is conducted in the Sylvopastoral zone and Eastern Region of Senegal where Acacia senegal trees are found and gum arabic is commercially exploited.

The main findings of the study are that, productivity-enhancing methods have to be adopted; market incentives are fundamental for the continuation of collection; traders in the gum markets are not necessarily exploitative; quality as required by the user may not be directly linked to the visible quality attributes in the field; and that the transition from communal organisation of collection to efficient private collection systems depends mainly on the assessment of economic benefits and costs. However, the importance attached to environmental and social considerations has to be recognised especially in the drylands where gum arabic is collected.

Land Use Policies For Sustainable Development : exploring Integrated Assessment Approaches
McNeill, D. ; Nesheim, I. ; Brouwer, F.M. - \ 2012
Cheltenham, UK : Edward Elgar - ISBN 9781849802925 - 320
landgebruik - landbouwbeleid - ontwikkelingseconomie - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - ontwikkelingslanden - land use - agricultural policy - development economics - sustainability - developing countries
The urgent need to enhance sustainable development in developing countries has never been greater: poverty levels are growing, land conversions are uncontrolled, and there is rapid loss of biodiversity through land use change. This timely book highlights the need for integrated assessment tools for developing countries, considering the long-term impacts of decisions taken today. The success of land use policies has in the past often been hampered by the fact that we simply do not know enough about their impact on sustainable development across developing countries. This book contributes to bridging this knowledge gap while facilitating the successful design and implementation of land use policies. The challenge of land use changes in response to changes in the policy environment – macro policy, agricultural and forest policy, environmental policy – is explored with a focus on the South. Detailed case studies encompassing seven countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America are presented via a common framework of analysis. In each case, sustainable development concerns are identified from environmental, economic and social perspectives. The interrelated causes of these problems are analysed by identifying key drivers and relevant land use policies, and the potential impact of prioritized land use policies are then discussed.
Social limitations to livelihood adaptation : responses of maize-farming smallholder households to neoliberal policy reforms in Morelos, Southern Veracruz, Mexico
Groenewald, S.F. - \ 2012
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Marrit van den Berg. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461732217 - 222
huishoudens - landbouwhuishoudens - kleine landbouwbedrijven - markten - boerenmarkten - agrarische economie - ontwikkelingseconomie - levensstandaarden - adaptatie - middelen van bestaan - sociaal kapitaal - maïs - ontwikkelingslanden - mexico - households - agricultural households - small farms - markets - farmers' markets - agricultural economics - development economics - living standards - adaptation - livelihoods - social capital - maize - developing countries

This thesis describes the adaptation of smallholders to market changes shaped by neoliberal policy reforms in the Mexican maize sector. Contrary to expectations about smallholder responses to a liberalised maize market, in the study area maize still is the main source of income. Farmers did not leave the maize sector to produce more profitable crops neither did they exit agriculture. Special attention is given to the role of social capital in shaping households’ adaptation behaviour. By analysing the role of trust in adaptation processes, this study enhances our understanding of the importance of the social and historical context in contemporary livelihood decisions. It demonstrates that new forms of social capital are difficult to sustain if they do not link up with existing, local forms of social capital. Data collection in the field took place between March 2007 and May 2010. The research was conducted in Morelos, Veracruz, Mexico.

Institutions, violent conflict, windfall gains and economic development in Africa
Voors, M.J. - \ 2011
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte. - [S.l.] : s.n. - ISBN 9789461731029 - 166
ontwikkelingseconomie - economische ontwikkeling - instellingen - institutionele economie - conflict - afgewaaid fruit - oorlog - corruptie - development economics - economic development - institutions - institutional economics - windfalls - war - corruption - cum laude
cum laude graduation (with distinction)
Credit constraints in rural financial markets in Chile: determinants and consequences
Reyes, A. - \ 2011
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Arie Kuyvenhoven; Robert Lensink, co-promotor(en): Henk Moll. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789461730398 - 185
ontwikkelingseconomie - plattelandsontwikkeling - boeren - krediet - landbouwkrediet - toegang - financiële instellingen - financieel landbouwbeleid - informele sector - markteconomieën - groenteteelt - fruitteelt - chili - zuid-amerika - development economics - rural development - farmers - credit - agricultural credit - access - financial institutions - agricultural financial policy - informal sector - market economies - vegetable growing - fruit growing - chile - south america

Using data from two surveys carried out in 2006 and 2008 on 177 farmers in Chile, this study measures access to credit and empirically determine the effects of credit constraints on investment and production for market-oriented farmers in central Chile. More specifically, four issues are dealt with: (1) to identify the main factors that influence access to credit for market-oriented farmers, (2) to determine whether informal financial institutions act as complements to or substitutes for farmers’ strategies for funding, (3) to determine the effect of credit constraint by formal financial institutions on farm productivity, and (4) to identify the factors limiting investment in farms.

In approaching these objectives two innovative methods are used throughout. First, qualitative information collected in interviews is used to identify three categories of credit constraints from both the demand and supply side of the credit market, namely, quantity, risk, and transaction-cost constraints. Second, a panel-data structure is used in all econometric analysis in this study, which allows us to obtain estimators that are more efficient than those based on cross-sectional analysis only.

Results show that 16.4% and 13.6% of the sample felt credit constrained in 2006 and 2008, respectively, with most farmers being quantity rationed (10.7% and 9.6%, respectively). A much lower share of farmers is constrained by risk (2.8% and 3.4%, respectively) and transaction cost (2.8% and 0.6%, respectively). Despite of its low level, credit constraint status has a significant effect on investment decision. In contrast, credit constraints do not have an impact on farm productivity. These outcomes reveals long term market imperfections, most probably because the only providers of long-term credit are commercial banks for whom long-term lending is considerable risky.

Poverty dynamics, income inequality and vulnerability to shocks in rural Kenya
Radeny, M.A.O. - \ 2011
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte, co-promotor(en): Rob Schipper; Marrit van den Berg. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085859369 - 213
ontwikkelingseconomie - armoede - inkomen - platteland - middelen van bestaan - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - participatie - landbouwhuishoudens - rurale welzijnszorg - economische verandering - ontwikkelingslanden - kenya - oost-afrika - development economics - poverty - income - rural areas - livelihoods - sustainability - participation - agricultural households - rural welfare - economic change - developing countries - east africa

Persistent poverty remains a huge challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Kenya, official statistics indicate that the incidence of rural poverty was 49% in 2005/2006. This study uses different approaches and data sources to explore temporal and spatial dimensions of rural welfare in Kenya. The objective is to identify and understand the linkages between welfare, livelihood assets, livelihood strategies, local-level institutions, and exposure to shocks. First, we compared participatory and income approaches to studying poverty and poverty dynamics. We found a significant positive correlation between the results obtained using the two approaches, with both approaches showing evidence of geographical clusters of poverty. Nevertheless, discrepancies in poverty rates and dynamics were found as well. Second, we used asset-based approaches to explore the nature of rural poverty dynamics over multiple periods. We found that majority of households that were poor in two consecutive survey years were structurally poor. Of the households escaping poverty, a large proportion was characterized by stochastic transitions. Few households successfully escaped poverty through asset accumulation, while a large proportion of households declining into poverty experienced structural movements. A combination of livelihood strategies, shocks, and other factors interact to influence household structural transition. Third, we characterized shocks facing rural households. Health expenses, ill-health, funeral expenses, livestock losses, land sub-division, and death of major income earner were the most frequently reported shocks. We also found limited evidence that welfare level affects exposure to specific shocks, but a significant geographical effect. Finally, we revisited the geography versus institutions debate at the micro-level suing local data to explain within-country income differences. We found that certain geographical variables appear more important drivers of per capita income levels than local institutions. Our community-level measures of institutions did not explain within-Kenya income differences. Altogether, the findings underscore the importance of geographical targeting of poverty reduction interventions. Moreover, the coexistence of high rural poverty rates and limited asset accumulation, and strong macroeconomic growth highlight the fact that causes of poverty are complex. Macroeconomic growth policies need to be complimented with policies that enhance escapes from poverty (“cargo net” policies) and those that prevent descents into poverty (“cargo net” policies).

Farmers, institutions and land conservation : institutional economic analysis of bench terraces in the highlands of Rwanda
Bizoza Runezerwa, A. - \ 2011
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte, co-promotor(en): Paul Hebinck. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789085859307 - 123
ontwikkelingseconomie - boeren - institutionele economie - instellingen - landbouwgrond - bodembescherming - waterbescherming - erosie - terrassen - rwanda - oost-afrika - minst ontwikkelde landen - development economics - farmers - institutional economics - institutions - agricultural land - soil conservation - water conservation - erosion - terraces - east africa - least developed countries
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