Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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

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

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

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Europe: the paradox of landscape change : A case-study based contribution to the understanding of landscape transitions
Sluis, Theo van der - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Bas Arts, co-promotor(en): Bas Pedroli. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463438094 - 227
europe - case studies - landscape - change - landscape conservation - land use dynamics - cultural landscape - regions - urbanization - rural areas - policy - ecosystem services - agri-environment schemes - europa - gevalsanalyse - landschap - verandering - landschapsbescherming - dynamiek van het ruimtegebruik - cultuurlandschap - regio's - urbanisatie - platteland - beleid - ecosysteemdiensten - agrarisch natuurbeheer

This thesis explores the processes of change in European rural landscapes. Landscapes have evolved over millennia as a result of human influence on the physical environment. Europe has a wide variety of landscapes that can alter within a relatively short distance, and which often form part of the national cultural identity of a European country. Central to this thesis, however, are insights into the processes of landscape change.

In this context, the overall objective of this thesis is: To assess the dynamics of landscape change and increase the scientific understanding of the underlying processes and policies that have shaped the rural landscapes of Europe after establishment of the EU.

The focus is on the period following the establishment of the European Economic Community in 1965, which is hypothesised as the main driver of landscape change. European policies have an important direct impact on national and regional policies. The way that European policy transposition took place, existing governance structures and policy cultures also defined how ‘European policy’ influenced countries and regions. The object of this study is in particular the changing rural landscape, including the role of European agricultural policies, such as the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and conservation policies (for example Natura2000) in these changes.

The thesis uses an integrated approach to assess the various processes of landscape change: land use transitions, urbanisation of the countryside, land use intensification, extensification or abandonment. These processes are linked to drivers of landscape changes, the role of policies, and how these affect the landscape processes.

Research questions

The research objective requires unravelling the correlations between land-related policies and landscape change in the EU, the drivers of landscape change and in particular how policies affect the European landscape. To operationalise this objective, the following research questions are addressed:

What are the major landscape change processes occurring in different regions of Europe?

What are the drivers of landscape change in different regions of Europe, and what is the role of EU-policies in particular?

How do landscape changes affect the provision of landscape services?

How does the implementation of conservation policies affect processes of landscape change?

Which effective strategies and future pathways can be followed to conserve valuable cultural landscapes?

The thesis consists of an introductory chapter, five chapters each addressing one of the research questions, and a concluding synthesis: putting the findings together and indicating their potential significance for research and policy. The first chapter introduces the theoretical framework, which focusses on the benefits (goods and services) that landscapes provide, satisfying human demands directly or indirectly. The framework recognises the institutions, the policies (indirect drivers), as well as natural and anthropogenic drivers of landscape change. The five central chapters have each been submitted to international peer reviewed scientific journals, three of which have been accepted, and one has been revised and resubmitted.

Research question Q1, ‘What are major landscape changes occurring in different regions of Europe?’ is addressed by interviewing 437 farmers in six selected study areas in Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Greece and Romania (Chapter 2). The aim of this survey was to acquire a better understanding of farmer’s decision making, the environmental conditions and the landscape change processes taking place. The focus is on intensification and extensification processes in the case-study areas and regional similarities and differences. A statistical analysis of land use intensity was carried out on the basis of the interviews.

Research question Q2, ‘What are the drivers of landscape change in different regions of Europe, and what particularly are the role of EU-policies?’, discusses the factors and drivers of change in a meta-study of six countries (Chapter 3). This study is based on stakeholder’s interpretations of change processes, using Fuzzy Cognitive Mapping. Groups of landscape experts participated in five workshops to jointly construct a cognitive map of landscape change processes over the past 25 years. The study examines in particular the storylines of the processes of landscape change. Two cases of Mediterranean and Boreal landscapes, are detailed.

Question Q3, ‘How do landscape changes affect the provision of landscape services?’ is addressed in Chapter 4, and discusses five European case studies with regard to changes in landscape services. The analysis is based on observed landscape changes by comparing maps for periods of up to 25 years. The changes were interpreted in terms of the consequences for landscape services, and related to European policies of landscape change.

Question Q4: ‘How does the implementation of conservation policies affect processes of landscape change?’ is discussed in Chapter 5 through focus on landscape governance. The transposition of European policy is assessed using the case of the Habitats Directive in four countries: Denmark, Greece, The Netherlands and Romania. It is assessed how legislation is locally translated and how this ‘fits’ the national governance system.

The last Question, Q5: ‘Which effective strategies and future pathways can be followed to conserve valuable cultural landscapes?’ is addressed in Chapter 6 on Mediterranean landscape change. Two ‘iconic’ Greek and Italian cultural olive yard landscapes were compared. Both landscapes have a centuries-old farming system. Long-term data sets on landscape change (exceeding 100 years) were combined with map data, interviews and literature, to discuss the characteristics of cultural landscape management, opportunities and potential risks for the future of these cultural landscapes.

The final chapter, Chapter 7, reflects on the results and presents the conclusions of the previous chapters, and on the scientific and societal significance of the thesis as a whole. It is concluded that the landscape in Europe is permanently changing as a result of complex interacting drivers. Policy has been one of the important drivers, but the landscape changes that have taken place are the outcome of various economic drivers and policies. The paradox is that the intentions of different European and regional spatial policies have been ambitious with regard to rural development, environmental quality, conservation of natural habitats and cultural heritage. In the end however, the complex interactions among direct and indirect drivers led to unintentional changes negatively affecting landscape value, resulting in land degradation, loss of cultural values and biodiversity. In other words, dominant drivers of landscape change (global economy, European policies) resulted in an outcome of landscapes that are preferred by the majority of the agricultural and forest sector, but otherwise no specific stakeholders were targeted, an outcome which was not envisaged by the policies.

Without efficient allocation of land resources and failing to regulate sustainable use, the landscape services are declining One approach to meet the diverse demands for landscape services is to focus on the provision of multiple benefits, using a multifunctional land use approach. The assumption thereby is that a multifunctional landscape has all aspects of a sustainable, liveable and biodiverse landscape.

The case studies landscapes in this thesis are characterised by different approaches that differ in multifunctionality: the marginal areas in southern Europe are less embedded in the global economy, and demonstrate high multifunctionality. Denmark and The Netherlands show typical ‘lowland agriculture’, that are weakly multifunctional. The Eastern European landscape cases in Romania and Estonia have higher multifunctionality, but the opportunities for change towards multifunctionality are less than in Western Europe. The opportunities are mostly dictated by environmental conditions, in particular the marginality of land, and the economy. Farming in these regions may have been profitable in the past, but abandonment is looming if no measures are taken to counteract economic driving forces.

The cultural landscapes such as in Lesvos and Portofino are particularly highly multifunctional. These old social systems are in decline: landscapes have deteriorated and changed since they have not been well maintained. The discontinuance of traditional management has occurred due to ageing populations, a lack of labour, skills and high costs. If iconic cultural landscapes are to be preserved for the future, deterioration must be halted. Traditional knowledge, skills and techniques are key for maintaining valuable cultural landscapes, such as in Italy and Greece, but also cultural landscapes in Western Europe like England or France, or traditional landscapes in Hungary or Poland. Solutions must be found to preserve the knowledge and traditions of landscape management, but also funds and labour are required to maintain these landscapes.

European landscapes have been permanently changing as a result of complex interacting drivers. Policy is one of the important drivers, but the landscape changes that take place are not the outcome of ‘a’ policy which steers the landscape development, but as the outcome of globalisation, economic drivers and policies; mostly the CAP, Rural Development Plan (RDP) and national forest policies which affect to a large measure the landscapes. There is no European policy for landscapes: landscape is not a prerogative of the EU.

Therefore, a tailor-made approach is essential for European policies implemented in each member state, taking into account the structure and functioning of existing national institutions, without losing sight of the overall aims of the policy. This requires input from the recipient countries in designing regulations, adapting them to existent institutions and modifying historical and current practices.

Holmes’ framework for changing modes of occupancy (use of rural space) has been used, whereby landscape transitions are considered the result of a changing balance between societal consumption, conservation and production. Landscapes where (agricultural or forestry) production is less dominant, may allow for more multifunctional policies that counterbalance the dominant position of production. Most countries do not have policies that fill the ‘gap’ of multifunctional landscape management. Gaps exist for landscapes not subject to Natura 2000, high nature value farming areas, outside urban zones, locations not affected by the Water Framework Directive or national forest policies, or those insufficiently covered at present by effective planning for multifunctional land use.

Existing (sectoral) schemes need to be re-examined with respect to multifunctionality. Potential multifunctional impacts should be considered in policymaking, e.g. payment schemes in the CAP or in Natura 2000, and about appropriate target areas for measures. Making more funds from CAP and RDP available for multifunctional land use could lead to more land sharing.

Landscapes, particularly iconic cultural landscapes, can benefit from mechanisms that allow the costs incurred by lower agricultural production to be covered. Payments for regulating and cultural services could be integrated in funding programs, e.g. through better targeting of Agri-Environment Schemes (AES) at smaller farmers in these valuable landscapes. Funding schemes should ensure that small, multifunctional farmers particularly in need support benefit. Better use must also be made of the added value potential of multifunctional effects. Increased multifunctionality would benefit the attractiveness of the countryside for residence, recreation and tourism.

Countries implement policies differently, but key success factors for multifunctional landscapes are the existence of locally- appropriate institutions that implement multifunctional policies. Building of new institutions can be time consuming and requires staff development.

Policy instruments on their own may be insufficient to harmonise the different aims of multifunctionality. Despite the AES, biodiversity and landscape quality is declining. The domination of some functions requires interventions and choices about trade-offs to be made (Arts et al. 2017). Given the dominant power of globalisation and European markets, payment for landscape services alone is ineffective, requiring additional incentives for the valorisation of these services, and to stimulate multifunctionality. Regional integrative approaches could be supported, with positive examples provided in the cases of alternative funding schemes, and how obstructions for such experiments can be tackled.

Finally, stakeholder involvement in landscape governance appears promising as a way to better meet the socio-ecological context within a landscape, provided that stakeholders address different scale levels. This requires a dynamic process to mobilise stakeholders, and flexibility of the government towards negotiations and conflict management at the landscape level. In particular, these last issues can be decisive for successful landscape governance. Different landscape governance arrangements are currently being tested in Europe which demonstrate new avenues. Notwithstanding some successful stakeholder involvement in landscape management, there are also challenges: in all such processes, there is a risk that collaboration results in power inequalities that affect the outcome, or may give certain groups more benefits than others, which may make the process unsustainable. It remains, therefore, important that the concept of multifunctional landscapes is integrated in existing legislation and regulations, and further integrated into land-related policies.

Place branding, embeddedness and endogenous rural development : Four European cases
Donner, Mechthild ; Horlings, Lummina ; Fort, Fatiha ; Vellema, Sietze - \ 2017
Place Branding and Public Diplomacy 13 (2017)4. - ISSN 1751-8040 - p. 273 - 292.
embeddedness - endogenous development - food networks - place branding - regional development - rural areas

This article deals with place branding on the regional scale, in the rural context of food and tourism networks in Europe. Place branding is linked to the concepts of endogenous rural development, territory and embeddedness, by analysing how the valorisation of specific rural assets takes shape. The overall objective is to provide more understanding of how the branding of rural regions can contribute to endogenous rural development. Four European regional rural cases on place branding are explored, two from France, one from Ireland and one from Germany. Described are pre-conditions for branding, brand management, cooperation forms and development outcomes. The analysis is based on interviews as primary data and various secondary data. The cases all involve multiple stakeholders, and integrate the capacities and needs of local people. The findings show different levels of societal, structural and territorial embeddedness, and that higher degrees of embeddedness contribute to a successful branding process. The results indicate that place branding can support endogenous rural development and benefits from the adoption of common values and joint reflections on brand extensions, although there remains a need for more consistent impact measurement methods.

Rural livelihoods and agricultural commercialization in colonial Uganda: conjunctures of external influences and local realities
Haas, Michiel A. de - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Ewout Frankema, co-promotor(en): Niek Koning. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436281 - 250
cum laude - livelihoods - livelihood strategies - communities - rural areas - farmers - history - colonies - colonialism - income - gender - social inequalities - food crops - cash crops - uganda - east africa - middelen van bestaan - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - gemeenschappen - platteland - boeren - geschiedenis - kolonies - kolonialisme - inkomen - geslacht (gender) - sociale ongelijkheden - voedselgewassen - marktgewassen - oost-afrika

The economic history of Sub-Saharan Africa is characterized by geographically and temporally dispersed booms and busts. The export-led ‘cash-crop revolution’ in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa during the colonial era is a key example of an economic boom. This thesis examines how external influences and local realities shaped the nature, extent and impact of the ‘cash-crop revolution’ in colonial Uganda, a landlocked country in central east Africa, where cotton and coffee production for global markets took off following completion of a railway to the coast. The thesis consists of five targeted ‘interventions’ into contemporary debates of comparative African development. Each of these five interventions is grounded in the understanding that the ability of rural Africans to respond to and benefit from trade integration during the colonial era was mediated by colonial policies, resource endowments and local institutions.

The first chapter reconstructs welfare development of Ugandan cash-crop farmers. Recent scholarship on historical welfare development in Sub-Saharan Africa has uncovered long-term trends in standards of living. How the majority of rural dwellers fared, however, remains largely elusive. This chapter presents a new approach to reconstructing rural living standards in a historical context, building upon the well-established real wage literature, but moving beyond it to capture rural realities, employing sub-national rural survey, census, and price data. The approach is applied to colonial and early post-colonial Uganda (1915–70), and yields a number of findings. While an expanding smallholder-based cash-crop sector established itself as the backbone of Uganda’s colonial economy, farm characteristics remained largely stagnant after the initial adoption of cash crops. Smallholders maintained living standards well above subsistence level, and while the profitability of cash crops was low, their cultivation provided a reliable source of cash income. At the same time, there were pronounced limits to rural welfare expansion. Around the time of decolonization, unskilled wages rose rapidly while farm incomes lagged behind. As a result, an urban–rural income reversal took place. The study also reveals considerable differences within Uganda, which were mediated to an important extent by differential resource endowments. Smallholders in Uganda’s banana regions required fewer labour inputs to maintain a farm income than their grain-farming counterparts, creating opportunities for additional income generation and livelihood diversification.

The second chapter zooms in on labour migration which connected Belgian-controlled Ruanda-Urundi to British-controlled Buganda, the central province of Uganda on the shores of Lake Victoria. The emergence of new labour mobility patterns was a key aspect of economic change in colonial Africa. Under conditions of land abundance and labour scarcity, the supply of wage labour required either the ‘pull’ forces of attractive working conditions and high wages, or the ‘push’ forces of taxation and other deliberate colonial interventions. Building upon primary sources, I show that this case diverges from the ‘conventional’ narrative of labour scarcity in colonial Africa. I argue that Ruanda-Urundi should be regarded as labour abundant and that migrants were not primarily ‘pushed’ by colonial labour policies, but rather by poverty and limited access to agricultural resources. This explains why they were willing to work for low wages in Buganda. I show that African rural employers were the primary beneficiaries of migrant labour, while colonial governments on both sides of the border were unable to control the course of the flow. As in the first chapter, this chapter highlights that the effects of trade integration on African rural development were uneven, and mediated by differences in resource endowments, local institutions and colonial policies.

The third chapter zooms out of the rural economy, evaluating the broader opportunity structures faced by African men and women in Uganda, and discussing the interaction of local institutions and colonial policies as drivers of uneven educational and occupational opportunities. The chapter engages with a recent article by Meier zu Selhausen and Weisdorf (2016) to show how selection biases in, and Eurocentric interpretations of, parish registers have provoked an overly optimistic account of European influences on the educational and occupational opportunities of African men and women. We confront their dataset, drawn from the marriage registers of the Anglican Cathedral in Kampala, with Uganda’s 1991 census, and show that trends in literacy and numeracy of men and women born in Kampala lagged half a century behind those who wedded in Namirembe Cathedral. We run a regression analysis showing that access to schooling during the colonial era was unequal along lines of gender and ethnicity. We foreground the role of Africans in the spread of education, argue that European influences were not just diffusive but also divisive, and that gender inequality was reconfigured rather than eliminated under colonial rule. This chapter also makes a methodological contribution. The renaissance of African economic history in the past decade has opened up new research avenues to study the long-term social and economic development of Africa. We show that a sensitive treatment of African realities in the evaluation of European colonial legacies, and a critical stance towards the use of new sources and approaches, is crucial.

The fourth chapter singles out the role of resource endowments in explaining Uganda’s ‘cotton revolution’ in a comparative African perspective. Why did some African smallholders adopt cash crops on a considerable scale, while most others were hesitant to do so? The chapter sets out to explore the importance of factor endowments in shaping the degrees to which cash crops were adopted in colonial tropical Africa. We conduct an in-depth case study of the ‘cotton revolution’ in colonial Uganda to put the factor endowments perspective to the test. Our empirical findings, based on an annual panel data analysis at the district-level from 1925 until 1960, underscore the importance of Uganda’s equatorial bimodal rainfall distribution as an enabling factor for its ‘cotton revolution’. Evidence is provided at a unique spatial micro-level, capitalizing on detailed household surveys from the same period. We demonstrate that previous explanations associating the variegated responses of African farmers to cash crops with, either the role of colonial coercion, or the distinction between ‘forest/banana’ and ‘savannah/grain’ zones, cannot explain the widespread adoption of cotton in Uganda. We argue, instead, that the key to the cotton revolution were Uganda’s two rainy seasons, which enabled farmers to grow cotton while simultaneously pursuing food security. Our study highlights the importance of food security and labour seasonality as important determinants of uneven agricultural commercialization in colonial tropical Africa.

The fifth and final chapter further investigates the experience of African smallholders with cotton cultivation, providing a comparative explanatory analysis of variegated cotton outcomes, focusing in particular on the role of colonial and post-colonial policies. The chapter challenges the widely accepted view that (i) African colonial cotton projects consistently failed, that (ii) this failure should be attributed to conditions particular to Africa, which made export cotton inherently unviable and unprofitable to farmers, and that (iii) the repression and resistance often associated with cotton, all resulted from the stubborn and overbearing insistence of colonial governments on the crop per se. I argue along three lines. Firstly, to show that cotton outcomes were diverse, I compare cases of cotton production in Sub-Saharan Africa across time and space. Secondly, to refute the idea that cotton was a priori unattractive, I argue that the crop had substantial potential to connect farmers to markets and contribute to poverty alleviation, particularly in vulnerable, marginal and landlocked areas. Thirdly, to illustrate how an interaction between local conditions and government policies created conducive conditions for cotton adoption, I zoom in on the few yet significant ‘cotton success stories’ in twentieth century Africa. Smallholders in colonial Uganda adopted cotton because of favourable ecological and marketing conditions, and policies had an auxiliary positive effect. Smallholders in post-colonial Francophone West Africa faced much more challenging local conditions, but benefitted from effective external intervention and coordinated policy. On a more general level, this chapter demonstrates that, from a perspective of rural development, colonial policies should not only be seen as overbearing and interventionist, but also as inadequate, failing to aid rural Africans to benefit from new opportunities created by trade integration.

Dis-locating innovation : amphibious geographies of creative reuse and alternative value production
Barba Latta, Iulian I.V. - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Claudio Minca, co-promotor(en): Martijn Duineveld. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463430135 - 131
landscape - cultural landscape - innovations - creativity - imagination - urban sites - urban development - waste land - rural areas - topology - landschap - cultuurlandschap - innovaties - creativiteit - verbeelding - stedelijke terreinen - stadsontwikkeling - woeste grond - platteland - topologie

This dissertation dwells on an experimental approach to the emergence of alternative innovations, interrogated through their spatiotemporal and material conditions. Proceeding from the more recent spate of contributions that grant recognition to innovation processes as a common feature of any practice, this research seeks to expand the understanding of innovation beyond canonical interpretations of the subject matter. This opens up a bewildering matrix of potentialities to tackle the emergence of alternatives, often to be recovered from the very dynamics of mainstream innovations that branch out beyond their original purpose. Moreover, the contingent character of mainstream and alternative innovations connotes processes of varying dynamics and rhythmic qualities, which appear to escape the sole grip of linear or cyclical interpretations. Instructed by this preliminary set of assumptions, this investigation belongs to an amphibious domain of enquiry, one that takes shape at the interface between presumably grounded and more fluid readings of innovation processes. Aligned to the amphibious conceptual imaginary, there is also the thematic repertoire and empirical ambit of case studies explored within the dissertation. As such, the evoked conceptual liminality dictated the particular focus on amphibious practices, as the referents of material and affective dispositions, as well as of narratives of belonging scored across land-water interfaces.

The main case studies presented in chapters IV and V were the result of an exploratory phase, with its point of departure in a pilot study conducted on the emergence of floating urbanization solutions in the Netherlands. The surveyed modalities of inhabiting land-water interfaces led me to wonder on the existence of alternative conditions of possibility to what otherwise appeared and were also tagged as very innovative attempts to reimagine urban dwelling. This struck me as a thorny task: where do you start in qualifying something as innovative or not? It took another survey of historical practices and some lengthy reflection sessions to realize that beyond the shifts and turns it has supposedly informed, innovation is much more performative than I initially thought. Thus, I started conducting ethnographic fieldwork by focusing on a pretty unusual case – floating churches, in Volgograd, Russia, more rural than urban, and definitely not the kind of instance you would run across in the mainstream innovation literature. The second case selection followed more or less the same oddly-informed pattern, this time – an on-land harbour, the brainchild of an experimental self-sufficient community recently established in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Speaking from the field of Cultural Geography such an endeavour appears to be an opportune exercise, particularly for better understanding the underlying conditions of the current innovation ethos and the ways it (potentially) shapes future trajectories. The investigation draws on three main research questions, which address the meanings (1), workings (2) and expectations (3) connected to various innovation imaginaries, as follows:

In what ways do different amphibious practices acknowledge the spatiotemporal and material conditions of innovation?

How do those conditions enable the emergence of alternative innovations?

To what extent are emergent alternatives influencing incumbent political repertoires as part of the current innovation ethos?

To answer these research questions, the dissertation brings into dialogue multiple disciplinary filiations and, as a secondary and more subtle objective, it reflects upon a new set of spatial (and temporal) imaginaries that would add up to the emergent spatial grammars currently animating geographical thought. Within the broader ambit of unpacking the workings of innovation processes, the theoretical and empirical exploration weaves contributions to the burgeoning strands of work on topological thinking, geographies of religion and secularism, archival practices and knowledge mobilities, urban progressive movements, and particularly, to the ongoing debates on new materialism. Consequently, the methodological sway of this study covers a spectrum ranging from grand theory to ethnographic accounts of micro-societal shifts.

The dissertation is structured into seven chapters and its red thread could be envisioned as describing a loop between chapters II and VI, accordingly entitled The Magic Mirror I and The Magic Mirror II. The second chapter provides a critical overview of grand innovation narratives and their diverse filiations across Western thought, to outline the conceptual imaginary that drives this investigation. The thematic focus of The Magic Mirror I concerns the normative distinction between innovation and imitation, which arguably deters an ampler understanding of innovation processes. Chapter III, The surface and the abyss, expands on this preliminary vision by resorting to an extensive genealogical exercise. Through a critical deployment of the surface/depth metaphor, it explores the catalytic potential of topological thinking to establish points of articulation between apparently opposed notions and canons of thought. Starting from a genealogy of mathematical developments and philosophical mediations toward the end point of geography, it addresses the interplay between the formal (axiomatic) and conceptual (problematic) dimensions of topology in suggesting some potentially alternative ways of re-imagining the role of topological thinking for spatial theory and human geography, and connecting these to the empirical exploration presented in chapter IV.

Chapter IV explores the concept of creative reuse as an alternative modality to interrogate the materiality of things and their documentary sway beyond the immediate affordances dictated by circumstances of disposal or dissolution. Drawing on an ethnographic study of the Volga and Don riverscapes, it evokes the case of the floating churches built to support the revival of faith practices in the Volgograd oblast after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In attending to their impact in warping various temporal and geographical proximities, it suggests that their workings rely on topologies of fixed points and shifting spatialities, animated by forms of religious ritual and related creative manifestations. Through recourse to questions of materiality, mobility and affect it argues that creative reuse interventions provide productive ways of exposing and altering the residual surplus on which both things and processes of place-making rest upon.

Chapter V examines the role of creative reuse as an alternative imaginary specifically concerned with the residual surplus that results along dominant processes of accumulation and value production. In moving beyond circumstances of disposal or dissolution, it argues that creative reuse interventions provide inventive ways to exploit the productive latencies scored across incumbent sociotechnical arrangements. Building upon an ethnographic study of De Ceuvel’s on-land harbour, an experimental self-sufficient community recently established in Amsterdam, it shows how things that were otherwise redundant/disposed/forgotten can stimulate new material and affective dispositions that call into question established practices around sustainable, creative and inclusive city-making. Based on the findings, it goes on to suggest that creative reuse interventions enable new conditions of possibility for the enactment of alternative urban futures.

Chapter VI, The Magic Mirror II, closes the loop by connecting the findings to the introductory discussion from The Magic Mirror I, and elaborating further upon a more generous imaginary to tackle the workings of innovations, as well as the emergence of related alternatives. Thus, from the genealogical interrogation of topology to the unconventional interventions discussed in the empirical sections, creative reuse emerges as the vehicle of surprising returns. These enable a more generous reading that transcends the immediate affordances of mere imitation or circumstances of disposal – one that pivots on the key role of variation through mimesis or the potent afterlives of things and affects in animating alternative forms of innovation. The reference to alternatives should be understood both in relation to the dominant narrative of creative destruction, as well as to how various imaginaries – whether digested as secular, religious or otherwise – become entangled and mirror each other in intriguing ways. Consequently, even when proceeding from the fairly basic distinction that things envisioned as fixed end up afloat and travelling around, as much as things expected to float and travel around become stranded, the idea of surprising returns opens a broad spectrum of meanings and potentialities. As such, the resulting instances expose realities that are much more turbulent than commonly asserted.

Chapter VII answers the main research questions and also grants recognition to creative reuse imaginaries as the inescapable complement to dominant processes of accumulation and value production. As such, the material and affective dispositions cultivated through the emergence of alternatives, within and between various practices, signal the dislocation work occasioned by processes of variation through mimesis. These emergent imaginaries rely on a logic of aspiration and differentiation, which allows them to interfere with, and shape each other, or even morph into new narratives of belonging and creative action. And this is usually achieved through a rather twisted symbiosis, one of peculiar association. The latter pertains to the loose/labile character of creative reuse imaginaries explored in the empirical chapters, which enables them to contract and expand under various readings. Somewhat paradoxically, their dynamics seems to mirror that of mainstream innovations through the performative re-enactment of conditions for success. However, they excel through the disposition for multiple entanglements that often defy the normative distinctions between formal and informal domains. This gives rise to broad fields of resonance in recasting all sorts of anamorphic reflections across the resulting amphibious domains of contingency. In other words, the more imaginaries they interfere with or even subsume, the higher chances become for innovative spin-offs. For a more synthetic overview of the findings, the last section of the chapter packs a final reflection in the form of some tentative corollaries inspired by this exploratory journey.

Behind the veil of agricultural modernization : gendered dynamics of rural change in the Saïss, Morocco
Bossenbroek, L. - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Jandouwe van der Ploeg; Margreet Zwarteveen. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462578982 - 171 p.
agricultural development - modernization - gender relations - women - social change - rural areas - family farms - morocco - north africa - landbouwontwikkeling - modernisering - man-vrouwrelaties - vrouwen - sociale verandering - platteland - familiebedrijven, landbouw - marokko - noord-afrika

The Moroccan countryside is marked by rapidly changing rural realities. The Moroccan government frames and promotes these changes as linear development towards modernity and progress for all thereby only focusing on the experiences of some audacious men – ‘entrepreneurs’ and ‘modernizing farmers’. The aim of the study is to unveil Morocco’s agricultural modernization plan by illustrating how agrarian processes in the agricultural plain of the Saïss are not a logical, self-evident or smooth transition to a higher stage of development or modernity. They are a form of globalizing capitalist development which is messy and contradictory, and which is marked by, and re-produces existing gender social hierarchies. By putting the experiences that often “fall away” from agrarian analysis at the heart of my study I am to explore how gender and social differences come to matter in process of agrarian change and are intimately linked.

Toekomstperspectief agrosector Flevoland
Vogelzang, T.A. ; Smit, A.B. ; Jager, J.H. ; Prins, H. ; Verhoog, A.D. ; Poppe, K.J. - \ 2016
Wageningen : LEI Wageningen UR (Rapport / LEI Wageningen UR 2016-008) - 79 p.
landbouwsector - economische situatie - primaire sector - platteland - flevoland - nederland - biologische landbouw - agricultural sector - economic situation - primary sector - rural areas - netherlands - organic farming
The socio-economic future of the Dutch province of Flevoland is partly linked to the perspectives of the agrocluster, the combination of agri- and horticultural firms, fishery, food and luxury industry and the firms that supply these sectors. In this report, the importance of this cluster for Flevoland is described, with a focus on the primary sectors, the agri- and horticultural firms. The current situation of these firms is presented, including the developments in the recent decade and the perspectives for the next decade. Attention is also paid to the quality of life in the countryside and the influence of the agro sector on this aspect.
Is sustainable development of semi-subsistence mixed crop-livestock systems possible? : an integrated assessment of Machakos, Kenya
Valdivia, R.O. - \ 2016
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.

Under the lens of embeddedness : socio-cultural perspective on home-grown school feeding in Ghana
Sulemana, N. - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Han Wiskerke, co-promotor(en): Paul Hebinck; D. Millar. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462577800 - 201 p.
rural areas - schools - school food service - rural development - agricultural development - ghana - west africa - platteland - scholen - maaltijdverzorging op scholen - plattelandsontwikkeling - landbouwontwikkeling - west-afrika
'Actief Burgerschap' : een verkenning naar burgerinitiatieven in de Limburgse samenleving
Kruit, J. ; Breman, B.C. - \ 2016
Wageningen UR, Wetenschapswinkel (Rapport / Wetenschapswinkel Wageningen UR 328) - 23 p.
bewonersparticipatie - buurtactie - maatschappelijke betrokkenheid - gemeenschappen - platteland - limburg - nederland - community participation - community action - community involvement - communities - rural areas - netherlands
De Vereniging Kleine Kernen Limburg (VKKL) is als actieve speler in Limburg betrokken bij het borgen van de leefbaarheid in kleine kernen. Ze brengt als kennismakelaar partijen bij elkaar, ze behartigt belangen richting provincie, ze zorgt voor expertiseontwikkeling bij haar leden en ze voedt haar leden met nieuwe kennis en inzichten, onder andere via de organisatie van het plattelandsparlement in Limburg en de Limburglabs. De Limburgse samenleving verandert. De VKKL ziet een ontwikkeling dat Limburgers meer en meer zelf een actieve rol (moeten) spelen in het borgen van de leefbaarheid. Steeds meer nieuwe initiatieven, netwerken en samenwerkingsverbanden zonder vastomlijnde organisatievorm komen op. De VKKL probeert grip te krijgen op de aard- en de dynamiek van deze (verschillende typen) ‘burgerkracht’ in Limburg én aan te sluiten op de ondersteuningsbehoefte die bestaat vanuit deze initiatieven. Het onderzoek, uitgevoerd door twee masterstudenten en een ACT1 groep vanuit Wageningen UR heeft duidelijk gemaakt dat: er enorm veel verschillende soorten burgerinitiatieven in Limburg zijn te vinden, dat deze initiatieven veelal in grotere netwerken functioneren, dat het daarbij ook gaat over de verbinding tussen overheid én burgerinitiatief en dat initiatieven op verschillende manieren kunnen ontstaan, waarbij ook andere netwerkpartijen een prominente rol kunnen hebben. Ook werd duidelijk dat de VKKL nog niet altijd vanzelfsprekend in beeld is bij de verschillende bottom-up initiatieven en de samenwerkende overheden. In een creatieve sessie met de VKKL zijn ideeën opgehaald en uitgewerkt die worden meegenomen in het beleidsplan 2017-2021. Deze ideeën gaan over het werken aan een organisatie die onderscheidend en herkenbaar is. Van belang daarbij is dat de organisatie lokaal zichtbaar is en tegelijkertijd grensoverschrijdend leren en samenwerken stimuleert. Ook essentieel is dat de groep ondersteuners wordt verbreed en dat die ook nog meer gebruikt maakt van (sociale) media om kennis en informatie beter te ontsluiten.
Naar een groene planologie: planologie in Wageningen
Valk, A.J.J. van der - \ 2015
Rooilijn 48 (2015)1. - ISSN 1380-2860 - p. 62 - 69.
landschap - landgebruiksplanning - besluitvorming - regionale planning - klimaatverandering - hydrologie - platteland - landscape - land use planning - decision making - regional planning - climatic change - hydrology - rural areas
In Wageningen heeft de planologie van meet af aan haar plaats tussen de technische wetenschappen moeten vinden en hervinden. Naast aansprekende resultaten, zoals de lagenbenadering die in Wageningen is ontwikkeld, heeft dat geleid tot permanent theoretiseren van de complexe wederzijdse inwerking tussen menselijk handelen en bodem, water en klimaat. Groene planologie en het landschap als centraal onderzoeksobject bepalen de huidige positie en theorievorming van de planologie.
Aspirations and everyday life of single migrant women in Ghana
Tufuor, T. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Hilje van der Horst; Chizu Sato. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462575578 - 187
migratie - rurale migratie - ruraal-urbane migratie - platteland - stedelijke gebieden - vrouwen - man-vrouwrelaties - samenleving - gezinsstructuur - ghana - west-afrika - migration - rural rural migration - rural urban migration - rural areas - urban areas - women - gender relations - society - family structure - west africa

Female labour migrants in West Africa including Ghana have been widely perceived as followers of male relatives. Since the late 1990s, the increasing movement of young women to cities in the region has drawn attention to this phenomenon and this study discovered females as actors in the migration process. Women have been moving from the rural North to the urban South, especially to Accra, to live in the city’s slums. Their migrations are not associational; these journeys are now independently pursued by women with aspirations to realise their ideals of a better life. Female migrations make up a growing share of migrant labour streams within Ghana. Among the migrants who arrive in Accra every day there is an increasing number of single young women as well as divorced women and neglected as wives from the North of Ghana. Economic explanations do not fully account for such moves, because men and women perform different productive and reproductive roles within the northern households. The varying degrees of gender and intra-household inequality and the women’s anticipation of life changes after migration spur the motivations and aspirations behind the journeys.

This study on single migrant women (SMW) was conducted in two sites. The first site was in four districts in the Northern Region with its capital Tamale. The Dagomba are the pre­dominant ethnic group here. They practise subsistence farming and most of them are Muslims. The second study site was the Old Fadama (OF) market in Accra. By tracking the migrant women from the North to OF, the study connected the spaces of area of origin and area of destination in the migration process. A mixed-methods approach was applied in data collection, combining qualitative methods such as focus group discussion, case study and life history with a survey in the OF market.

While in the past the restrictions on women’s sexuality and autonomy prevented women from migrating alone, now northern households provide an incentive for young women to migrate. The women cited a gain in autonomy and freedom as the most important motivation for their move. In the household of their fathers or future husbands in the North, their autonomy is constrained. However, through their earnings in Accra, the women prepare themselves for an expensive religious marriage ceremony, invest in housing or education and also buy modern goods. Young migrant women from the rural Dagomba communities primarily engage in accumulating goods for their dowry, whereas older women accumulate capital for investment in their children’s education. The older women who have no plans anymore of returning to the North to marry, especially those who are successful in Accra and have achieved the status of ‘market mummies’, seek enjoyment in the present but also use their wealth to secure construction of rooms of their own in the North. The women save money, assemble housewares and send remittances with their own independent income.

In Accra, most young women engage in petty trading. In the OF market in Accra these single migrant women from the North generate livelihoods through the adoption of both market and non-market based strategies by extending and prioritising moral obligations to community members beyond their immediate households, instead of just focusing on maximisation of profits. Communities of old and young market women have built a ‘moral community economy’ through, among others, engaging in reciprocal labour, gift giving, and childcare and food sharing. This contributes positively to household food security and social well-being among the market women and migrant settlers in the OF community. SMW’s livelihood generation is sustained through social relations among women, in which also age, ethnicity and regional background play crucial roles. SMW give support to and receive benefits from the community through moral obligations and ethnic commitment. The analysis of these strategies contributes to the understanding of the intersections of household, livelihood strategies, gender and markets in urban settings.

In Accra, these women not only need to find income earning activities, they also have to reinvent themselves as consumers because of the abundant and varied consumption options in Accra as compared to the North. Through consumption of food, hairdos and leisure activities, they shape their new urban identities. However, through consumption they also try to secure the desired next phase in their life course. Despite earning very modest amounts of money with activities such as hawking or food vending, SMW save for their future and adapt their consumption to enable such savings. They save in money and in kind, buying items to set up their own hearths in the North for the preparation of meals, an iconic married woman’s activity, and to be able to enter a preferred, i.e. religious, marriage. They also spend money on dressing, styling their hairdos and looking good in order to attract suitable marriage candidates. Alternatively, the successful older women in the market place invest in conspicuous consumption to enact their informal position of ‘market mummies’, women who are well established and suitable mentors to more recent arrivals. The women shape their own life courses through consumption. The consumption practices SMW engage in are crucial for understanding the dynamics of single migrant women’s agency.

After migration, SMW are more likely to exert influence on the timing of their marriage and the choice of the partner. In the place of origin there are transformations of the gendered subjectivities women experience after having produced livelihoods away from home. The investigation of the reintegration experience of SMW who return to their place of origin revealed the everyday experience of returned migrant women within their households in rural northern Ghana. The study found the household to be an ‘arena of everyday life’; the word arena indicates dynamics and even struggle. These are visible in the provision for daily needs, and also in the income generating activities the women try to initiate to exercise their agency in generating livelihood. In this household arena, we recognized the gender dynamics around decision-making on livelihood generation as key to under­standing the reintegration experience of returned migrant women. The analysis drew on feminist geographers’ insights of gender as process situated in a specific place. Critical attention was paid to how gender and household are co-constituted, to shed light on the multiple and contradictory ways in which gender, livelihood, and household are constructed.

Applying the lens of gender as situated process enabled capturing the significance of everyday micro transformations, resulting in a framework that wove together the domains of gender, household and livelihood. Contingent formations of intra-household dynamics revealed variations in the ways subjection and activation are enacted. The boundaries of women’s triple shifts (household work, farming, income generation) are not fixed but are constantly negotiated. On an everyday basis women have to juggle multiple subjectivities, such as being wives, daughters-in-law, mothers and petty commodity producers and traders. They do the work their husbands and senior women require them to do in order to secure their marriage, which is considered a lifelong security in this specific context, but they try to set limits to this work.

The general conclusion this study highlights is that the young women in the North successfully negotiate to realize their aspirations to migrate and, upon return, both subject themselves to the domestic and patriarchal order and contest it by using the means and skills they acquired to improve their bargaining position. This causes cracks in the prevailing order, which suggest the malleability of the patriarchal system. The observed processes underpin the relevance of conceptualising migration as an intrinsic factor in broader processes of development and social transformation.

Organising trade : a practice-oriented analysis of cooperatives and networks trading cereals in South Mali
Mangnus, E.P.M. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Cees Leeuwis, co-promotor(en): Sietze Vellema. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574311 - 178
coöperaties - voedselcoöperaties - graansoorten - handel - katoen - geschiedenis - platteland - landbouw - agrarische handel - mali - west-afrika - cooperatives - food cooperatives - cereals - trade - cotton - history - rural areas - agriculture - agricultural trade - west africa


Farmer organisations have become the centrepiece of pro-poor market development strategies in Africa. Assumed to facilitate scale, quality of produce and professionalism they are regarded as a solution for farmers that are hampered from economic opportunities. In Mali public as well as private actors encourage farmers to trade through one specific organisational form, namely cooperatives. Nevertheless, in reality the landscape is much more diverse. A wide array of organisations can be observed and the models stimulated by external actors do not always succeed in improving the position of farmers. Considering the gap in knowledge, this dissertation poses the following question:

How and in what ways do people organise trading of cereals in South Mali?

The central aim of this thesis is to contribute to a better understanding of organisation of food trade in rural markets, by examining how and in what ways people in South Mali organise trade in cereals and sesame. Trading includes the procurement of cereals or sesame, organisation of finance, information gathering, bargaining, the organisation of transport and selling.

Organisation of trade has been studied from different angles. Studies taking a structural approach explain organisation as emerging from context. Studies that approach organisations from an instrumental perspective regard organisation as a means for efficiently solving a shared problem. Both strands provide insights for understanding organisational functioning and performance but leave open questions regarding how people organise to realise trading and why this results in organisational diversity. This thesis examines organising trade by adopting a practice-oriented approach, which has as entry point that organisation takes shape in the realization of everyday practice. Focus is on what people actually do to realise trading.

Two case study organisations are central to the study. Both are typical for how trade in rural Mali is organised. The first is a cooperative engaged in the trading of sesame in Miena, South-East Mali. The second is a cereal trading network in N’golobougou, in the centre of South Mali. Both provide an example of people collaborating and coordinating to perform trading and as such are excellent cases for tracing the formation of organisational traits that explain performance and diversity in trading cereals in South Mali.

Empirical Chapters

Chapter 2 presents a historical overview of how the organisation of trade of cereals and cotton at farmer level developed in Mali on extensive literature research. It focuses on the efforts of the Malian state to organise rural society, how producers responded, and how the interaction between the two shaped organisation. The analysis starts in the 18th century, in which cotton and cereal trade was intertwined and likewise organised. From the colonial period onwards, organisation dynamics in food and export crops evolved distinctly. For both sectors the most important events and changes are detailed. The chapter found that the political economy at stake influences the set of organisational options people can choose from and that imposed models rarely get adopted in practice.

Chapter 3 traces the emergence and development of the sesame cooperative in Miena. It builds on two strands of literature that emphasize the specific socio-historical context of an organisation. The first body highlights the resilience of existing relations and institutions by showing how these get reproduced in new organisations. The second body of literature claims that individuals involved in collective action have the capacity to influence which institutions get reproduced and which new ones get adopted, also called ‘blended’. To collect the data 35 in depth interviews with cooperative members, (ex) officials from the cotton company CMDT, local officers and NGO-workers active in the research location were collected over a period of three months. Time was spent at the weekly market, in village meetings and at peoples’ homes. Moreover 20 informal talks with villagers and traders on the market were afterwards noted down. Three distinct processes - the historical organisation of cotton farmers, the interaction between state and society and the local trade practices - are found to underlie the current functioning of the cooperative. This chapter shows how both the reproduction and blending happen purposively; in order to (continue) performance in trading.

Chapter 4 addresses the question: How do traders in Mali perform collectively? Following the methodological orientation, labelled as technography, the chapter zooms in on the use of skills and know-how by a group of people coordinating the collection and trade of cereals. Data were collected through 24 in-depth interviews with traders and 37 semi-structured interviews with pisteurs and interviews with key resource persons. Moreover, trade practices were observed during 10 market days in a row. The analysis shows that the success of the traders’ network can be explained by: (i) the use of skills and know-how for adapting to changing economic, social and environmental contexts; (ii) the network’s ability to select capable people and distribute the many trading tasks; and (iii) the network’s effective governance, based on a strict code of conduct specific to each role. The chapter shows how rules steering the distribution of tasks and collaboration in the traders’ network emerge out of the daily practice of trading.

Chapter 5 uses evidence from a network of cereal traders in the market of N’golobougou to examine how the characteristics of traders, their positions within different networks, and different kinds of relationships between traders influence performance in trading. 26 traders were extensively interviewed on the history, functioning and the size of their business. Semi-structured interviews focused on their relations in trading. A social network analysis (SNA) is applied to describe the positions of individual traders in the networks and the type of relations that link them. Qualitative analysis is used to understand the motivations underlying their position and collaboration. The findings demonstrate that trading is a complex and multifaceted activity. Within the network distinct networks have emerged to organise the collection of cereals, to arrange finance and to acquire information. Pre-existing social relations facilitate trading but do not guarantee individual success. Proven ability and reputation are equally important in cooperation and relate to the way powerful members of the network acquire a central position, which goes stepwise and takes time.


Collaboration is crucial for trading under the circumstances of rural Mali. Both case studies highlight the role of key individuals who spotted opportunities and mobilised others to collaborate. Different trading activities require specific skills, know-how and tools and people tend to specialise. Most skills are acquired in practice; few of them can be taught by instruction. Accordingly to what is present in terms of capacities, people’s availability and know-how, and tools, groups will distribute tasks among their members.

People also need to coordinate how skills, know-how and tools are distributed over time and space. Trading in South Mali requires bridging of long distances, adaptation to seasonality, securing finance and transport, and finding buyers. The temporal dimension of trading is visible in how traders adapt to seasonality and to how it is adjusted to people’s availability in time. Trading is also spatially situated. Poor infrastructure and long travel distances are characteristic of rural South Mali. Both the cooperative as well as the trading network therefore have a layered structure of actors close to the field, actors in the central village or market where the sesame or cereals are collected, and actors in the city to which the sesame or cereals are transported.

People do not organise in a random constellation. The range of options they can choose from are importantly influenced by the institutions active in decision-making at village level, the relationship between state and rural communities, the social networks people operate in, and the historically developed rules and regulations in market transactions. Also, previous ways of organising play a role in today’s way of organising. The empirical analyses demonstrate that organising trade is ‘path dependent’. Nevertheless, people only reproduce those procedures, habits and actions that are deemed necessary to perform. They blend old and new ways of coordination and collaboration to allow the practice of trade to continue.

The findings in this thesis show that collaboration does not rely on social relations only. Cooperating to achieve a practical end, i.e. to trade, is also skill and competence based. Organisational sustainability depends on how grouped or networked actors coordinate actions in response to changing circumstances and opportunities. Hence, organisational diversity can be understood from the fact that organisation emerges from a situated practice.


Organisation in trade emerges gradually and adaptively from what is present in terms of skills, capacities, know-how and experience in trading. As this is situation specific it is essential to recognize the uniqueness of each organisational form and suggests reconsidering the one-size-fit-all approaches often promoted in development interventions. Imposed organisational structures may be enabling to some extent but they leave little room for exploring the range of possible ways to achieve trading. For understanding how people organise trade it is important to understand the way they perform the actual practice in the specific social and material circumstances. The empirical chapters argue in favour of tutor–apprentice relations between experienced actors and new members, leaving decision-making power and rule setting in the hands of the most experienced traders. Current development projects supporting links between farmers and buyers often aim to be ‘inclusive’ and ‘pro-poor’, meaning that they should be accessible to anyone. The field research shows that organisations in trade in Mali are very selective in membership to assure the group achieves its objectives. Governments and other development actors should be aware of the trade-offs between inclusive, democratic organisational models, and effectiveness and performance in trading.

Ruimte voor de toekomst in het landelijk gebied : trendverkenning 2020-2030 voor gemeenten met veel landelijk gebied /
Nieuwenhuizen, W. ; Gies, T.J.A. ; Och, R.A.F. van; Rooij, L.L. de - \ 2015
Wageningen : Alterra, Wageningen-UR (Alterra-rapport 2628) - 81
plattelandsomgeving - tendensen - gemeenten - platteland - plattelandsontwikkeling - landbouw - demografie - werkgelegenheid - recreatie op het platteland - rural environment - trends - municipalities - rural areas - rural development - agriculture - demography - employment - rural recreation
Hoe het landelijk gebied er in 2040 uit zal zien, weet niemand. Toch is een aantal trends aan te wijzen dat nu al zichtbaar is en voor een groot deel de richting zal bepalen waarin het zich gaat ontwikkelen. Het landelijk gebied wordt steeds meer een multifunctionele leef- en werkomgeving, waarbinnen initiatieven van burgers en bedrijven oplossingen aandragen voor lokale problemen. Schaalvergroting van (agrarische) bedrijven en voorzieningen gaat gelijk op met een toename van kleinschalige en lokale initiatieven van burgers en bedrijven. Technologische innovatie kan de bedrijvigheid en de leefbaarheid in het landelijk gebied vergroten. Tot slot is een toename van extreme gebeurtenissen mogelijk door klimaatverandering of de uitbraak van dierziekten. Dit rapport beschrijft een aantal van de belangrijkste trends voor gemeenten met veel landelijk gebied. De trends worden besproken aan de hand van verschillende thema's.
Gasten vinden, gasten binden. Hoe pak ik dat aan bij plattelandstoerisme?
Haaster-de Winter, M.A. van; Schoutsen, M.A. ; Jong, D. de; Vijn, M.P. - \ 2015
platteland - boerderijtoerisme - multifunctionele landbouw - internet - consumenteninformatie - consumentengedrag - marketing - rural areas - farm tourism - multifunctional agriculture - consumer information - consumer behaviour
Bedrijven met plattelandstoerisme hebben met een sterk concurrerende markt te maken. Het wordt steeds belangrijker om gasten te vinden maar ook te binden. Daar zijn veel manieren voor en deze brochure zet daarvan een aantal op een rijtje. Daarnaast delen enkele inspirerende ondernemers hun kennis en ervaring met het vinden en binden van gasten. Ook is er een actielijst opgenomen om als ondernemer mee aan de slag te gaan.
Klimaatverandering op de droge zandgronden: effecten en mogelijke adaptatiestrategieën : 24 april 2014, presentatie voor KLV Alumnikring Noord, Assen
Brink, Adri van den - \ 2014
climatic change - sandy soils - water management - rural areas - land use - integrated spatial planning policy - agriculture - nature management - drenthe
Dans met mij : een vierkante kilometer in Dreischor
Alterra - Centrum Landschap, ; Loo, S. van der; Zaken, D. van der - \ 2014
films - wijnbouw - cultuur - landbouwbedrijven - plattelandsbevolking - landgebruik - mensen - menselijk gedrag - platteland - boeren - zeeuwse eilanden - levensgeschiedenis - viticulture - culture - farms - rural population - land use - people - human behaviour - rural areas - farmers - life history
De film gaat over één willekeurige vierkante kilometer in Dreischor, waar de makers ruim een jaar hebben gefilmd en de verhalen van een aantal mensen hebben gevolgd. De documentaire is onderdeel van een groter project onder de titel 'Venster op de wereld' waarbij ook een boek verschijnt, waarin onder andere een aantal wetenschappers zich over de kilometer hebben gebogen. Het project is een initiatief van Joop Schaminée en Anton Stortelder, Alterra Wageningen UR
Venster op km² Dreischor
Schaminee, J.H.J. ; Stortelder, A.H.F. ; Parramore, J. - \ 2014
Hilversum : Fontaine Uitgevers - ISBN 9789059565753 - 179
platteland - geschiedenis - natuur - cultuur - landschap - zeeuwse eilanden - zeeland - rural areas - history - nature - culture - landscape
Het project Venster op deWereld, waarin wetenschappers een vierkante kilometer bij Dreischor van alle kanten belichten, is inmiddels een eind op streek. Het leidt tot boek, documentaire en kunst. Hydrologen, landbouweconomen, ornithologen, meteorologen, bramendeskundigen, historici, archeologen, cultureel antropologen en andere deskundigen buigen zich over de vierkante kilometer, maar daarnaast worden de verhalen opgetekend van mensen die in het gebied wonen of werken, zoals de spruitentelers Gilles Klompe en Frans van der Linde, molenaar Bart van der Spek, René Perkins van de houtzagerij, Ria Geluk van museum Goemanszorg, vlaskenner Rinus Quist en Johan van de Velde van de wijnhoeve.
Kleinschalige innovaties voor de groenblauwe ruimte
Bregt, A.K. ; Bouma, J. ; Wolfert, H.P. - \ 2014
Landschap : tijdschrift voor Landschapsecologie en Milieukunde 31 (2014)3. - ISSN 0169-6300 - p. 109 - 115.
wetenschappelijk onderzoek - innovaties - proefprojecten - platteland - natuurbeheer - bodembeheer - waterbeheer - scientific research - innovations - pilot projects - rural areas - nature management - soil management - water management
Diverse kennisinstellingen in Nederland doen onderzoek naar de groenblauwe ruimte. De trend van de afgelopen decennia was dat onderzoeksvragen steeds meer extern bepaald werden, door financiers en beleid, en dat de onderzoeker vooral de rol van uitvoerder kreeg. Binnen het DLO onderzoeksprogramma "Duurzame ontwikkeling van de groenblauwe ruimte" is een experiment uitgevoerd, waarbij de onderzoekers zelf met innovatieve ideeën voor onderzoek konden komen. Wat zijn de ervaringen met deze manier van onderzoeksprogrammering en wat levert het op?
Wealth and poverty in European rural societies from the Sixteenth to Nineteenth century
Schuurman, A.J. ; Broad, J. - \ 2014
Turnhout : Brepols - ISBN 9782503545165 - 253
geschiedenis - plattelandssamenleving - agrarische samenleving - landbouw - platteland - vermogensverdeling - armoede - levensstandaarden - consumptie - europa - history - rural society - agricultural society - agriculture - rural areas - wealth distribution - poverty - living standards - consumption - europe
This book sheds new light on old problems of wealth, poverty and material culture in rural societies. Much of the debate has concentrated on north-west Europe and the Atlantic world. This volume widens the geographic range to compare less well known areas, with case studies on the Mediterranean world (Catalonia and Greece), from central Europe (Bohemia and Hungary), and from the Nordic countries (Denmark). Methodologically, several papers link the possession of goods to the use of room space, while others highlight the importance of the channels for the circulation of goods, problems of stocks and flows of goods, and the complexities of urban/rural difference. Finally, this book seeks to stimulate new comparative studies in living standards and lifestyles by providing an overview of achievements up till now. John Broad is visiting academic at the Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure, University of Cambridge. He has published on rural society and poverty in England, and his current research interests include a book on English rural housing, and large-scale surveys of population, religion, and landholding in England in the eighteenth century. Anton Schuurman is associate professor of Rural History at Wageningen University. He has published on the history of material culture and rural transformations in the Netherlands. Currently he is writing a book on the processes of modernisation and democratisation in the Dutch countryside from 1840 till 1920.
Robust, multifunctional flood defenses in the Dutch rural riverine area
Loon-Steensma, J.M. van; Vellinga, P. - \ 2014
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences 14 (2014). - ISSN 1561-8633 - p. 1085 - 1098.
dijken - versterking - rivieren - platteland - hoogwaterbeheersing - gebiedsgericht beleid - nederland - dykes - reinforcement - rivers - rural areas - flood control - integrated spatial planning policy - netherlands - risk-management
This paper reviews the possible functions as well as strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats for robust flood defenses in the rural riverine areas of the Netherlands on the basis of the recent literature and case studies at five locations in the Netherlands where dike reinforcement is planned. For each of the case studies semi-structured interviews with experts and stakeholders were conducted. At each of the five locations, suitable robust flood defenses could be identified that would contribute to the envisaged functions and ambitions for the respective areas. Primary strengths of a robust, multifunctional dike in comparison to a traditional dike appeared to be the more efficient space use due to the combination of different functions, a longer-term focus and greater safety.
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