Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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

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

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

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

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Citizen science and remote sensing for crop yield gap analysis
Beza, Eskender Andualem - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Martin Herold, co-promotor(en): Lammert Kooistra; Pytrik Reidsma. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436410 - 196
crop yield - maximum yield - yield forecasting - remote sensing - models - small farms - data collection - gewasopbrengst - maximum opbrengst - oogstvoorspelling - modellen - kleine landbouwbedrijven - gegevens verzamelen

The world population is anticipated to be around 9.1 billion in 2050 and the challenge is how to feed this huge number of people without affecting natural ecosystems. Different approaches have been proposed and closing the ‘yield gap’ on currently available agricultural lands is one of them. The concept of ‘yield gap’ is based on production ecological principles and can be estimated as the difference between a benchmark (e.g. climatic potential or water-limited yield) and the actual yield. Yield gap analysis can be performed at different scales: from field to global level. Of particular importance is estimating the yield gap and revealing the underlying explanatory factors contributing to it. As decisions are made by farmers, farm level yield gap analysis specifically contributes to better understanding, and provides entry points to increased production levels in specific farming systems. A major challenge for this type of analysis is the high data standards required which typically refer to (a) large sample size, (b) fine resolution and (c) great level of detail. Clearly, obtaining information about biophysical characteristics and crop and farm management for individual agricultural activities within a farm, as well as farm and farmer’s characteristics and socio-economic conditions for a large number of farms is costly and time-consuming. Nowadays, the proliferation of different types of mobile phones (e.g., smartphones) equipped with sensors (e.g., GPS, camera) makes it possible to implement effective and low-cost “bottom-up” data collection approaches such as citizen science. Using these innovative methodologies facilitate the collection of relatively large amounts of information directly from local communities. Moreover, other data collection methods such as remote sensing can provide data (e.g., on actual crop yield) for yield gap analysis.

The main objective of this thesis, therefore, was to investigate the applicability of innovative data collection approaches such as crowdsourcing and remote sensing to support the assessment and monitoring of crop yield gaps. To address the main objective, the following research questions were formulated: 1) What are the main factors causing the yield gaps at the global, regional and crop level? 2) How could data for yield gap explaining factors be collected with innovative “bottom-up” approaches? 3) What are motivations of farmers to participate in agricultural citizen science? 4) What determines smallholder farmers to use technologies (e.g., mobile SMS) for agricultural data collection? 5) How can synergy of crowdsourced data and remote sensing improve the estimation and explanation of yield variability?

Chapter 2 assesses data availability and data collection approaches for yield gap analysis and provides a summary of yield gap explaining factors at the global, regional and crop level, identified by previous studies. For this purpose, a review of yield gap studies (50 agronomic-based peer-reviewed articles) was performed to identify the most commonly considered and explaining factors of the yield gap. Using the review, we show that management and edaphic factors are more often considered to explain the yield gap compared to farm(er) characteristics and socio-economic factors. However, when considered, both farm(er) characteristics and socio-economic factors often explain the yield gap. Furthermore, within group comparison shows that fertilization and soil fertility factors are the most often considered management and edaphic groups. In the fertilization group, factors related to quantity (e.g., N fertilizer quantity) are more often considered compared to factors related to timing (e.g., N fertilizer timing). However, when considered, timing explained the yield gap more often. Finally, from the results at regional and crop level, it was evident that the relevance of factors depends on the location and crop, and that generalizations should not be made. Although the data included in yield gap analysis also depends on the objective, knowledge of explaining factors, and methods applied, data availability is a major limiting factor. Therefore, bottom-up data collection approaches (e.g., crowdsourcing) involving agricultural communities can provide alternatives to overcome this limitation and improve yield gap analysis.

Chapter 3 explores the motivations of farmers to participate in citizen science. Building on motivational factors identified from previous citizen science studies, a questionnaire based methodology was developed which allowed the analysis of motivational factors and their relation to farmers’ characteristics. Using the developed questionnaire, semi-structured interviews were conducted with smallholder farmers in three countries (Ethiopia, Honduras and India). The results show that for Indian farmers a collectivistic type of motivation (i.e., contribute to scientific research) was more important than egoistic and altruistic motivations. For Ethiopian and Honduran farmers an egoistic intrinsic type of motivation (i.e., interest in sharing information) was most important. Moreover, the majority of the farmers in the three countries indicated that they would like to receive agronomic advice, capacity building and seed innovation as the main returns from the citizen science process. Country and education level were the two most important farmers’ characteristics that explained around 20% of the variation in farmers’ motivations. The results also show that motivations to participate in citizen science are different for smallholders in agriculture compared to other sectors. For example fun has appeared to be an important egoistic intrinsic factor to participate in other citizen science projects, the smallholder farmers involved in this research valued ‘passing free time’ the lowest.

Chapter 4 investigates the factors that determine farmers to adopt mobile technology for agricultural data collection. To identify the factors, the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT2) model was employed and extended with additional constructs of trust, mastery-approach goals and personal innovativeness in information technology. As part of the research, we setup data collection platforms using open source applications (Frontline SMS and Ushahidi) and farmers provided their farm related information using SMS for two growing seasons. The sample for this research consisted of group of farmers involved in a mobile SMS experiment (n=110) and another group of farmers which was not involved in a mobile SMS experiment (n=110), in three regions of Ethiopia. The results from the structural equation modelling showed that performance expectancy, effort expectancy, price value and trust were the main factors that influence farmers to adopt mobile SMS technology for agricultural data collection. Among these factors, trust is the strongest predictor of farmer’s intention to adopt mobile SMS. This clearly indicates that in order to use the citizen science approach in the agricultural domain, establishing a trusted relationship with the smallholder farming community is crucial. Given that performance expectancy significantly predicted farmer’s behavioural intention to adopt mobile SMS, managers of agricultural citizen science projects need to ensure that using mobile SMS for agricultural data collection offers utilitarian benefits to the farmers. The importance of effort expectancy on farmer’s intention to adopt mobile SMS clearly indicates that mobile phone software developers need to develop easy to use mobile applications.

Chapter 5 demonstrates the results of synergetic use of remote sensing and crowdsourcing for estimating and explaining crop yields at the field level. Sesame production on medium and large farms in Ethiopia was used as a case study. To evaluate the added value of the crowdsourcing approach to improve the prediction of sesame yield using remote sensing, two independent models based on the relationship between vegetation indices (VIs) and farmers reported yield were developed and compared. The first model was based on VI values extracted from all available remote sensing imagery acquired during the optimum growing period (hereafter optimum growing period VI). The second model was based on VI values extracted from remote sensing imagery acquired after sowing and before harvest dates per field (hereafter phenologically adjusted VI). To select the images acquired between sowing and harvesting dates per field, farmers crowdsourced crop phenology information was used. Results showed that vegetation indices derived based on farmers crowdsourced crop phenology information had a stronger relationship with sesame yield compared to vegetation indices derived based on the optimum growing period. This implies that using crowdsourced information related to crop phenology per field used to adjust the VIs, improved the performance of the model to predict sesame yield. Crowdsourcing was further used to identify the factors causing the yield variability within a field. According to the perception of farmers, overall soil fertility was the most important factor explaining the yield variability within a field, followed by high presence of weeds.

Chapter 6 discusses the main findings of this thesis. It draws conclusions about the main research findings in each of the research questions addressed in the four main chapters. Finally, it discusses the necessary additional steps (e.g., data quality, sustainability) in a broader context that need to be considered to utilize the full potential of innovative data collection approaches for agricultural citizen science.

Exploring opportunities for rural livelihoods and food security in Central Mozambique
Leonardo, Wilson José - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Ken Giller, co-promotor(en): Gerrie van de Ven; Henk Udo. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431651 - 183
agricultural production systems - food security - crop production - livelihoods - small farms - biofuels - farming systems - models - intensification - mozambique - agrarische productiesystemen - voedselzekerheid - gewasproductie - middelen van bestaan - kleine landbouwbedrijven - biobrandstoffen - bedrijfssystemen - modellen - intensivering

Growing awareness of widespread hunger and poverty in many countries in the SSA is spurring a focus on productivity increase in smallholder farming systems. The rationale is that with current production systems many SSA countries are not keeping pace with population growth and changing of peoples’ lifestyles. To respond to this challenge the Government of Mozambique developed its Strategic Plan for Agricultural Development (PEDSA) aiming to improve agricultural productivity of the majority of smallholder farmers who depend on agriculture for their livelihoods. Smallholder farmers are diverse in terms of resources and aspirations. The main objectives of this study are first to understand the diversity among maize-based smallholder farms and their current constraints in improving agricultural productivity in the Manica Plateau, Central Mozambique, and second, building on that understanding to explore options for biomass production either for food, cash or biofuel at farm level and contributions to maize availability in the region. The study was conducted in the Dombe and Zembe Administrative Posts. Farmers in the two posts cultivate both food and cash crops using the same resources, however, distances to the urban market differ, with Zembe close and Dombe far away from the markets. In addition, the agroecological conditions for crop production are more favourable in Dombe compared with Zembe. Using farm surveys, direct observations and on-farm measurements, followed by Principal Components Analysis (PCA) I identified land and labour as the variables that can best explain the variability found among smallholder farms (Chapter 2). Based on these variables I categorised farms into four Farm Types (FT): FT1. Large farms (4.4 ha in Dombe and 2.2 ha in Zembe), hiring in labour; FT2. Intermediate sized farms (1.9-1.2 ha), hiring in and out labour; FT3a. Small farms (1.1-0.9 ha), sharing labour; and FT3b. Small farms (1.0-0.7 ha), hiring out labour. The maize yield and maize labour productivities were higher on large farms (2.3 t ha-1 in Dombe and 2.0 t ha-1 in Zembe; 2.5×10-3 t h-1 in Dombe and 2.6 ×10-3 t h-1 in Zembe) compared with small farms (1.5 t ha-1 in Dombe and 1.1 t ha-1 in Zembe; 1.4×10-3 t h-1 in Dombe and 0.9×10-3 t h-1 in Zembe). The hiring in labour from small farms allowed large farms to timely weed their fields. Small farms were resource constrained and hired out labour (mutrakita) for cash or food to the detriment of weeding their own fields, resulting in poor crop yields. Excessive alcohol consumption by small farms also raised concerns on labour quality. Chapter 3 explored options aiming at addressing farmers’ objectives of being maize self-sufficient and increased gross margin and the contribution to national objective of producing food. A bio-economic farm model was used to investigate two pathways to increase agricultural production: (i) extensification, expanding the current cultivated area; and (ii) intensification, increasing input use and output per unit of land.

In the extensification pathway I considered the use of animal traction, herbicides and cultivators to save labour, whereas in the intensification pathway I explored the use improved varieties of maize, sesame, sunflower, pigeonpea and fertilizers. I focused on the large farms and the small farms hiring out labour as they represent both sides of the spectrum. The simulated results showed that combining labour and labour saving technologies substantially increased both gross margin and maize yields of large and small farms in both posts. Minor trade-offs is observed on large farms between the two goals whereas for small farms we see synergies between the goals. We concluded that prospects for increasing gross margin and food production are much better for large farms in Dombe compared with other farms. In Dombe, the maximum gross margin of large farms was 7530 $ y-1 per farm and maximum maize sales of 30.4 t y-1 per farm. In Zembe, the maximum gross margin of large farms (2410 $ y-1 per farm) and maximum maize sales (9.5 t y-1 per farm) were comparable to small farms in Dombe. I further assessed the impact of two biofuel investments (jatropha plantation and sunflower outgrower schemes) on farm level food security (food availability, access to food, stability of food, utilization of food). The results showed positive impact on small farms from employment on a jatropha plantation by increasing access to food and no impacts on intermediate and large farms. Impacts on food security from the sunflower outgrower scheme were minor which may be explained by the poor yields.

The need to link smallholder farmers to markets has been increasingly recognized as important strategy to promote rural development and poverty reduction. I developed an analytical framework, the Windmill Approach that looked at decision making at farm level to grow certain crops and at transaction strategies (Chapter 5). Through this framework I showed that a farmer decision to participate in a particular (new) value chain is determined by (a) the suitability of the new crop in the farm system (including the adaptability of the current farm system), and (b) the farmer’s experience with selling in various value chains. This has major policy implications as it highlights that to support smallholder farmers access to markets a holistic approach is needed that combines farming systems analysis and transaction cost theory.

In order to explore the opportunities for smallholder development there is need to understand the diversity of farms and farmers’ social and economic context. For large farms, in Central Mozambique farms with on average 2-4 ha of land, opportunities to improve their livelihoods through crop production can follow two pathways: intensification and extensification. Smallholders continue to produce staple food crops even when working on a plantation or participating in outgrower schemes. For small farms, off-farm opportunities such as those in a biofuel plantation are the best options to improve their livelihoods.

Optimization of breeding schemes for Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) in smallholder production systems in Kenya
Omasaki, Simion Kipkemboi - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Hans Komen, co-promotor(en): Johan van Arendonk; A.K. Kahi. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431064 - 167
oreochromis niloticus - tilapia - breeding programmes - selective breeding - genetic improvement - small farms - sustainability - fish culture - aquaculture - kenya - veredelingsprogramma's - selectief fokken - genetische verbetering - kleine landbouwbedrijven - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - visteelt - aquacultuur

The aim of this thesis was to develop a sustainable low cost breeding program for Nile tilapia that addresses both genetic and economic aspects of smallholder fish farmers in Kenya. First, Analytical Hierarchy Process Technique was used to define a breeding goal based on farmer’s preferences for traits. Farmers’ preferences for traits differed significantly depending on income and market orientation. Low and medium income farmers preferred harvest weight (HW) while high income farmers preferred growth (GR) and survival (S) traits. Grouping farmers according to market objective (fingerling production or fattening) showed that fingerling producers preferred GR and S while fattening farmers preferred HW and S. Consensus preference values were obtained using weighted goal programming and these values were used to derive desired gains for a breeding goal that takes into account farmers’ diverse backgrounds and preferences for traits. Secondly, the existence of genetic variation for traits of interest was investigated. Substantial additive genetic effects for HW, GR and shape traits were present that can be exploited through selection under low input production system. Heritability estimates for HW, GR and shape were 0.21 ± 0.03, 0.26 ± 0.04 and 0.12 ± 0.03 for mixed sex (nucleus) respectively. The calculation of economic values for breeding goal traits revealed that economic values for GR differed depending on the definition of the breeding goal and that selection for feed efficiency is the key factor to economic profitability of Nile tilapia breeding programs. A significant genotype by environment re-ranking was found for GR between the mixed sex nucleus and monosex production environments. Genotype by environment interaction (G x E) led to lower genetic gain for GR in production environment. Incorporating sib information from monosex production environment into the selection index resulted in a more accurate estimation of breeding values which increased genetic gain in growth. Using desired gain approach, weights for desired gains in harvest weight, growth rate and survival were derived that maximized genetic gains for these breeding goal traits. It is concluded that these results can be used to develop a sustainable centralized breeding program. However, a reliable well planned and organized decentralized strategy for dissemination of genetically improved fry of Nile tilapia to farmers is paramount.

Dairy matters: Inspiring stories on dairy development in Kenya : Eighteen case studies from SNV's Kenya Market-led Dairy Programme
Rademaker, Ida ; Lee, J. van der - \ 2017
SNV/Wageningen University & Research - ISBN 9789087403164 - 160 p.
dairy farming - dairy industry - dairy cooperatives - small farms - stakeholders - case studies - kenya - melkveehouderij - zuivelindustrie - zuivelcoöperaties - kleine landbouwbedrijven - gevalsanalyse
Landbouwecoloog Pablo Tittonell ziet geen noodzaak voedselproductie te vedubbelen "kleinschalige landbouw voedt halve wereld"
Tittonell, Pablo - \ 2016
food supply - agricultural production - sustainability - small farms - world
Kansen voor regionale innovatieprojecten, verkenning voor de vollegrondsgroentesector in Zuidoost Nederland
Haan, J.J. de; Verhoeven, J.T.W. ; Wolf, P.L. de - \ 2016
Wageningen : Stichting DLO (PPO/PRI-rapport 3750302800 ) - 26 p.
akkerbouw - groenteteelt - groenten - kleine landbouwbedrijven - limburg - ondernemerschap - innovaties - kennisoverdracht - kennissystemen - kennis van boeren - kennis - subsidies - arable farming - vegetable growing - vegetables - small farms - entrepreneurship - innovations - knowledge transfer - knowledge systems - farmers' knowledge - knowledge
The Dutch province of Limburg has asked Wageningen UR to develop an initial knowledge- and innovation agenda for the outdoor vegetable production sector, including three concrete project ideas for the POP3 framework. Besides this, Wageningen UR was asked to evaluate three innovation projects with farmers and SMEs to make recommendations to optimise the POP3 framework. Recommendations for POP3 Based on experiences in three different subsidy projects, recommendations are formulated for POP3. The main conclusion is that subsidy schemes do not match with the situation of agricultural businesses and small SMEs, although the schemes aim to support such companies with innovation. It is recommended to leave the ownership of the innovation with the companies, but without the full project management responsibility. Moreover, it is important to make the conditions more suitable for small enterprises, e.g. the minimum subsidy sum and the required contribution in cash. Second problem is the inflexibility of subsidy schemes, limiting the dynamics of innovation projects or forcing them to start procedures for acceptance of changes in the plan and budgeting. It is recommended to make schemes more flexible, e.g. asking less detailed plans and creating more room for changes in partners, activities and budgets. Third problem is the limitation for consortium partners to get their full costs paid, affecting research and advisory partners. This is often solved through very complicated constructions (outsourcing, secondary partnership), causing inequalities in the project (some partners are fully paid, others are not). Recommendation: allow projects to involve the right partners for the project, with the possibility to pay real costs and without complicated constructions. Last common problem is the artificial distinction between knowledge development and knowledge use/uptake, causing problems within projects when necessary research activities are not accepted by the subsidy scheme. Recommendation: allow projects to do all activities they believe are necessary for the innovation process.
Exploring opportunities for on-farm innovations in smallholder dairy systems of Michoacán, Mexico
Cortez Arriola, J. - \ 2016
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Pablo Tittonell, co-promotor(en): Walter Rossing; R.D. Améndola Massiotti; Jeroen Groot. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462577473 - 162 p.
dairy farming systems - dairy farming - innovations - small farms - family farms - mexico - melkveehouderijsystemen - melkveehouderij - innovaties - kleine landbouwbedrijven - familiebedrijven, landbouw

Taking into consideration the population growth, farmers are challenged to produce enough to feed the population. To increase productivity, normally small dairy farmers intensify their production systems by increasing livestock density and inputs, but inadequate management results in economic, technical, and environmental inefficiencies. This work aims to support decision making by farmers and technicians, and to provide information that can aid local governments to establish policies that are effective at improving farmers’ livelihoods. To achieve this, and intensive field work was implemented in Marcos Castellanos, Michoacán, Mexico, to gather the information needed to analyze the dairy farming systems of the region. The exploration analysis showed that simple re-arrangement of existing farm resources may considerably improve current dairy farm performance across family-based on semi-specialized farm types. To actually implement these changes requires breaking away from current mainstream thinking about farming methods and considerable farming skills.

Impact of UTZ certification on cocoa producers in Ghana, 2011 to 2014
Waarts, Y.R. ; Ingram, V.J. ; Linderhof, V.G.M. ; Puister-Jansen, L.F. ; Rijn, F.C. van; Aryeetey, Richmond - \ 2015
Wageningen : LEI Wageningen UR (Report / LEI Wageningen UR 2015-066) - ISBN 9789086157150 - 47 p.
cocoa - certification - farmers - small farms - peasant farming - ghana - cacao - certificering - boeren - kleine landbouwbedrijven - landbouw bedrijven in het klein
This study evaluates the impact of the UTZ-Solidaridad cocoa programme in Ghana , by comparing the situation of a sample of farmers from six projects in 2014 with their situation in 2011, and by comparing the development over time for certified and uncertified farmers. We also analysed the programme’s inclusiveness and shed light on the effect of UTZ certification on hired labourers’ working conditions.
Coffee certification in East Africa: Impact on farms, families and cooperatives
Ruben, R. ; Hoebink, Paul - \ 2015
Wageningen Academic Publishers - ISBN 9789086862559 - 264 p.
certification - coffee - small farms - labelling - sustainability - farming systems - east africa - certificering - koffie - kleine landbouwbedrijven - etiketteren - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - bedrijfssystemen - oost-afrika
Certification of coffee producers is frequently suggested as a promising strategy for improving the position of smallholder farmers in the market. After the launch of the first Fairtrade label in 1988, several other standards have been promoted either by voluntary agencies (Utz-certified) or by private coffee companies. Each coffee label relies on different strategies for enhancing sustainable production and responsible trade. Coffee certification in East Africa is of a rather recent nature but has been rapidly expanding, representing currently 26 percent of the world's sustainable certified coffee supply. Marketing channels, cooperative organisation and household structures show notable differences between Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia. Empirical studies on the effects of standards for smallholders are scarce. This book intends to deepen our understanding on the role and functions of coffee certification regimes, based on three innovative approaches: (1) longitudinal field survey data capturing changes in coffee farming systems and effects on household welfare; (2) in-depth interviews and behavioural experiments regarding risk attitudes, trust and investments at cooperative level; and (3) detailed discourse analyses regarding gender roles and female bargaining power within coffee households. The chapters included in this book provide new and original evidence about the impact of coffee certification based on large-scale field surveys and in-depth interviews.
MonQi: Toolbox for monitoring and evaluating the management and performance of smallholder farms
Duivenbooden, N. van; Beek, C.L. van - \ 2015
Alterra - 6 p.
small farms - management - farm management - crop production - fertilizer application - nutrient accounting system - pesticides - teaching materials - kleine landbouwbedrijven - bedrijfsvoering - agrarische bedrijfsvoering - gewasproductie - bemesting - mineralenboekhouding - pesticiden - lesmaterialen
Although Integrated Soil Fertility is on the map for decades, the real implementation at farm level does not take off, with associated consequences of soil nutrient mining and insecure agricultural production. A different approach is therefore needed to monitor and evaluate current land use at farm level. We present here the M&E-tool MonQI that can provide insights in the various determining processes.
Stikstofbinding voor kleine boeren in Afrika
Giller, K.E. - \ 2015
Vork 2 (2015)3. - ISSN 2352-2925 - p. 16 - 21.
tuinbouw - kleine landbouwbedrijven - afrika - stikstofbindende bacteriën - rhizobium - bodemvruchtbaarheid - inkomen van landbouwers - agrarische bedrijfsvoering - peulgewassen - sojabonen - voedselproductie - projecten - teeltsystemen - horticulture - small farms - africa - nitrogen fixing bacteria - soil fertility - farmers' income - farm management - legumes - soyabeans - food production - projects - cropping systems
Het project N2Africa is onlangs de tweede fase ingegaan met als doel dat in 2020 een half miljoen kleine boeren in Afrika, ten zuiden van de Sahara, stikstofbinding hebben geïntegreerd in hun bedrijfsvoering. Op een manier die hen past, zegt Ken Giller. Stikstofbinding verbetert de bodemvruchtbaarheid, terwijl de teelt van bonen, die samen met bacteriën de stikstof vastleggen, een belangrijke aanvulling vormt op het menu en op het inkomen van de boer.
Mapping the impact of crossbreeding in smallholder cattle systems in Indonesia
Tri Satya Mastuti Widi, Tri - \ 2015
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Akke van der Zijpp, co-promotor(en): Henk Udo; Kor Oldenbroek. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462573246 - 136
rundvee - rundveeteelt - kleine landbouwbedrijven - kruisingsfokkerij - genetische effecten - milieueffect - gemengde landbouw - bedrijfssystemen - dierlijke productie - indonesië - cattle - cattle farming - small farms - crossbreeding - genetic effects - environmental impact - mixed farming - farming systems - animal production - indonesia

ABSTRACT

In response to increasing demand for meat, Indonesia’s government has been implementing crossbreeding with European beef breeds to improve the meat production of local cattle. The main objective of the present study was to evaluate the benefits and consequences of crossbreeding in smallholder cattle farming systems in Madura and Central Java. The study used participatory approaches, observations during cultural events in Madura, and measurements of cattle performances, feeding practices and farm inputs and outputs. In Madura, crossbreeding is not a threat to the two cultural events involving cattle, sonok (cow conformation contest) and karapan (bull racing), nor to the sub-populations of Madura cattle in the specific areas where these events are organised. Farmers outside the sonok and karapan areas, prefer Limousin crossbreds (madrasin) to conventional Madura cattle. The current breeding and conservation approaches do not distinguish between different Madura cattle types and do not consider the specific needs of the farmers in the sonok and karapan areas. In Java, farmers perceive that crossbreeding of Simmental with local Ongole cattle is beneficial for them. Crossbreeding was not accompanied with changes in the cattle farming systems. Crossbred cattle reached a higher body weight and therefore had a higher market price, but they also required more feed. This resulted in comparable Gross Margins for farms with crossbred and Ongole stock. Farmers preferred the crossbreds because of their nice appearance, high growth rate and the higher market price for progeny compared to Ongole. Crossbreeding as a tool of intensification did not reduce the carbon footprint and land use per kilogram liveweight produced. The advantage from the faster growth of crossbreds was counteracted by the higher emissions and land use from feed production for crossbreds. The dualism in crossbreeding is that policy makers promote crossbreeding to meet the increasing demand for beef, whereas farmers are concerned with their livelihoods and the multi-functionality of cattle. Crossbreeding contributes to increased meat production at the national level, however, it has limited possibilities to improve cattle production at farm level. Crossbreeding is also not reducing rural poverty. Participatory approaches should ensure that farmers’ views are considered in national crossbreeding policies and practices. In Madura and Central Java, farmers identified economic benefits, feed availability, cattle management, animal performances, additional functions of cattle, and health and fertility as issues to be considered beforehand in a genetic impact assessment of crossbreeding. Other stakeholders mentioned meat production, environmental quality and diversity in farm animal genetic resources as important issues. Crossbreeding will inevitably continue in Java and Madura. Breeding strategies, have to be adjusted, however, as farmers do not want to upgrade their local cattle to Simmental or Limousin. Viable populations of local cattle are needed to ensure sustainable crossbreeding strategies.

How small is beautiful? : food self-sufficiency and land gap analysis of smallholders in humid and semi-arid sub Saharan Africa
Hengsdijk, H. ; Franke, A.C. ; Wijk, M.T. van; Giller, K.E. - \ 2014
Wageningen : Plant Research International, Business Unit Agrosystems Research (Report / Plant Research 562) - 46
zelfvoorziening - kleine landbouwbedrijven - voedsel - landbouwhuishoudens - huishoudens - gewasproductie - humide klimaatzones - semi-aride klimaatzones - afrika ten zuiden van de sahara - self sufficiency - small farms - food - agricultural households - households - crop production - humid zones - semiarid zones - africa south of sahara
Small-scale farmers, certification schemes and private standards: is there a business case? : costs and benefits of certification and verification systems for small-scale producers in cocoa, coffee, cotton, fruit and vegetable sectors
Kuit, M. ; Waarts, Y.R. - \ 2014
Wageningen : Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation ACP-EU (CTA) (Value Chains & Trade ) - ISBN 9789290815686 - 148
certificering - boeren - marketing van voedingsmiddelen - voedselindustrie - voedselproducten - voedselkwaliteit - kleine landbouwbedrijven - landbouw bedrijven in het klein - kosten-batenanalyse - certification - farmers - food marketing - food industry - food products - food quality - small farms - peasant farming - cost benefit analysis
Certification of agricultural products is an increasingly common tool that is expected to contribute to agricultural improvement, farmer well-being, poverty alleviation, reduced environmental impact and food safety. In an increasingly competitive market, processors, manufacturers and retailers use certification to demonstrate their green and sustainable credentials and differentiate their products. In some commodity sectors, such as coffee and cocoa, products certified as sustainable are on track to reach majority market share in important producing and consuming nations. This development poses a major challenge for farmers in general, and small-scale farmers in ACP and other developing countries, in particular. This publication, commissioned by CTA, presents the findings of a study of the impact of certification on farmers in coffee, cocoa, cotton, fruit and vegetables.
Seed governance. From seed aid to seed system security in fragile areas
Rietberg, P.I. ; Gevers, H. ; Hospes, O. - \ 2014
The Hague : Cordaid - 45
zaaizaadindustrie - zaadproductie - ontwikkelingssamenwerking - streekgebonden producten - voedselveiligheid - kleine landbouwbedrijven - regelingen - richtlijnen (guidelines) - seed industry - seed production - development cooperation - regional specialty products - food safety - small farms - regulations - guidelines
Intergovernmental agencies and development organizations, including Cordaid, consider interventions directed at seed security of utmost importance to support smallholders recovering from conflict situations and disasters, and to contribute to revitalisation of local agricultural production and food security. There is, however, considerable debate about the most appropriate type and strategic level of intervention to enhance smallholders’ seed security in conflict and post-conflict areas. Given the co-existence of different types of interventions and agencies directed at providing seed security, the governance of seed security has become very relevant, questioning what collaborative arrangements between government, business and civil society can help to effectively address seed insecurity. Donors and development practitioners often prefer certified or improved seed to seed from the informal sector. However, farmers’ evaluation criteria can differ from criteria developed by breeders or those setting seed certification standards, and the agro-ecological conditions under which varieties are selected may differ from those on-farm, thus affecting crop performance.
Keeping goats or going north? Enhancing livelihoods of smallholder goat farmers through brucellosis control in Mexico
Oseguera Montiel, D. - \ 2014
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Akke van der Zijpp, co-promotor(en): Henk Udo; Klaas Frankena. - Wageningen : Wageningen UR - ISBN 9789462570344 - 150
geiten - brucellose - kleine landbouwbedrijven - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - brucella - dierziekten - goats - brucellosis - small farms - livelihood strategies - animal diseases

Smallholder Mexican farmers are embedded in an adverse context, due to neoliberal globalization policies, which threatens their livelihoods, and has caused an unprecedented surge of migration to the US. Keeping goats is one strategy to diversify livelihoods. Goat husbandry is dairy oriented and has a range of functions for farmers, like income, food, insurance, credit, and a reason for not having to migrate to the US. However, caprine brucellosis, a zoonosis endemic in Mexico caused by Brucella melitensis, has a negative impact on flock productivity. Although brucellosis is rarely a fatal disease in humans, it can be very debilitating and disabling due to complications such as arthritis and spondylitis. The main objectives of this thesis were to assess the impact of brucellosis on smallholder goat husbandry and to evaluate brucellosis control strategies in enhancing farmers' livelihoods. The research approach was that of a case study, incorporating methods from natural and social sciences, such as archival and secondary data review, surveys, ethnography and veterinary epidemiological modelling. The case study was conducted in two states within the Bajío region with high rates of migration: Michoacán and Jalisco. In Michoacán free cost vaccination and testing was applied whereas in Jalisco farmers had to bear part of those costs and there was a lack of veterinarians offering the service. Goat farmers considered that they were better off than farmers who did not keep goats: 'it is better to herd than to be herded'. Farmers' knowledge, labour and good social capital allowed them to maintain relatively large flocks given the amount of crop land owned. The prevalence of testing positive to brucellosis in goats was 38% in Jalisco and 11% in Michoacán. Access to communal land and crop residues were key for the pastoral management system prevalent in the study area, but grazing goats had higher risk of testing positive to brucellosis. Farmers avoided drinking goat milk, as it was seen as a cause of 'fever'. The milk price was low and controlled by the caramel industry. Vaccination and test-and-cull strategies are options to control brucellosis. Simulations showed that vaccination is economically feasible but will not bring the prevalence below to 10% within 5-years. Test-and-slaughter is not economically rewarding at the current milk price. At present, culling of seropositive goats to brucellosis does not happen because an adequate infrastructure for culling does not exist. Farmers perceived that brucellosis control measures cause losses such as abortion due to untimely vaccination and infections due to ear tagging. Moreover, farmers did not always know that brucellosis and Malta fever (human brucellosis) are synonyms, neither were they aware of all consequences of brucellosis infection. Brucellosis control is stagnant because of a two way lack of communication: farmers are not well informed about brucellosis and policies are formulated without knowledge of goat farming practices and of farmers' perceptions. Successful brucellosis control would enhance smallholder goat farmers' livelihoods but the control policy needs to be redesigned. Important factors to consider in the design of a new policy are: (1) a comprehensive compensation for losses when applying test-and-cull; (2) the integration of farmers' expertise and experience; (3) diffusion of knowledge about brucellosis control, its prevention and its impact on human health and livestock production; (4) a regional planning is a must to succeed.

For all the tea in Kenya : impact assessment and baseline situation of farmer field schools
Waarts, Y.R. ; Ge, L. ; Puister-Jansen, L.F. - \ 2014
Den Haag : LEI Wageningen UR (LEI 2014-007) - 36
thee - thee-industrie - kleine landbouwbedrijven - farmer field schools - kennismanagement - good practices - duurzame landbouw - kenya - afrika - tea - tea industry - small farms - knowledge management - sustainable agriculture - africa
Climate change, climate variability and adaptation options in smallholder cropping systems of the Sudano - Sahel region in West Africa
Traore, B. - \ 2014
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Ken Giller, co-promotor(en): Mark van Wijk; M. Corbeels. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789461739612 - 163
klimaatverandering - klimaat - klimaatadaptatie - kleine landbouwbedrijven - teeltsystemen - sahel - gewasproductie - west-afrika - climatic change - climate - climate adaptation - small farms - cropping systems - crop production - west africa

Key words: crop production, maize, millet, sorghum, cotton, fertilizer, rainfall, temperature, APSIM, Mali,

In the Sudano-Sahelian zone of West Africa (SSWA) agricultural production remains the main source of livelihood for rural communities, providing employment to more than 60 percent of the population and contributing to about 30% of gross domestic product. Smallholder agricultural production is dominated by rain-fed production of millet, sorghum and maize for food consumption and of cotton for the market. Farmers experience low and variable yields resulting in increasing uncertainty about the ability to produce the food needed for their families. Major factors contributing to such uncertainty and low productivity are climate variability, climate change and poor agricultural management. The objective of this thesis was to evaluate through experimentation, modelling and participatory approaches the real and perceived characteristics of climate variability and change and their effects on crop production in order to identify opportunities for enhancing the adaptive capacity of farmers in the Sudano - Sahelian zone.

The general approach was based on, first, understanding the past trend of climate and its effect on the yield of main crops cultivated in southern Mali; second, evaluating together with farmers different adaptation options in the field; third, evaluating climate adaptation options through experimentation on station; and fourth, evaluating the consequences of different adaptation options under different long term scenarios of climate change.

Minimum daily air temperature increased on average by 0.05oC per year during the period from 1965 to 2005 while maximum daily air temperature remained constant. Seasonal rainfall showed large inter-annual variability with no significant change over the 1965 – 2005 period. However, the total number of dry days within the growing season increased significantly indicating a change in rainfall distribution. There was a negative effect of maximum temperature, number of dry days and total seasonal rainfall on cotton yield.

Farmers perceived an increase in annual rainfall variability, an increase in the occurrence of dry spells during the rainy season, and an increase in temperature. Drought tolerant, short maturing crop varieties and appropriate planting dates were the commonly preferred adaptation strategies to deal with climate variability. Use of chemical fertilizer enhances the yield and profitability of maize while the cost of fertilizer prohibits making profit with fertilizer use on millet. Training of farmers on important aspects of weather and its variability, and especially on the onset of the rains, is critical to enhancing adaptive capacity to climate change.

A field experiment (from 2009 to 2011) indicated that for fertilized cereal crops, maize out yielded millet and sorghum by respectively 57% and 45% across the three seasons. Analysis of 40 years of weather data indicated that this finding holds for longer time periods than the length of this trial. Late planting resulted in significant yield decreases for maize, sorghum and cotton, but not for millet. However, a short duration variety of millet was better adapted for late planting. When the rainy season starts late, sorghum planting can be delayed from the beginning of June to early July without substantial reductions in grain yield. Cotton yield at early planting was 28% larger than yield at medium planting and late planting gave the lowest yield with all three varieties. For all four crops the largest stover yields were obtained with early planting and the longer planting was delayed, the less stover was produced.

Analysis of predicted future climate change on cereal production indicated that the temperature will increase over time. Generally stronger increases occur in the rcp8.5 scenario compared to the rcp4.5 scenario. The total annual rainfall is unlikely to change. By mid-century predicted maize grain yield losses were 45% and 47% with farmer’s practice in the rcp4.5 and rcp8.5 scenarios respectively. The recommended fertilizer application did not offset the climate change impact but reduced the yield losses to 38% of the baseline yield with farmer’s practice. For millet median yield loss was 16% and 14% with farmer’s practice in the rcp4.5 and rcp8.5 scenario. If the recommended fertilizer rates are applied to millet, the predicted yield losses with farmer’s practice due to climate change are reversed in both climate scenarios.

Under future climate change, food availability will be reduced for the all farm types, but that large farm will still achieve food self – sufficiency in terms of energy requirement. The medium and small farm types see a further decrease in food self-sufficiency. Addressing smallholder food self-sufficiency depends upon the capacity of each farm type to appropriately choose the planting date while taking into account the acceptable planting date window for each individual crop.

Vulnerability and adaptation to climate variability and change in smallholder farming systems in Zimbabwe
Rurinda, J. - \ 2014
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Ken Giller, co-promotor(en): P. Mapfumo; Mark van Wijk. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789461739605 - 168
klimaatverandering - kleine landbouwbedrijven - bedrijfssystemen - klimaatadaptatie - adaptatie - klimaat - gewasopbrengst - zimbabwe - climatic change - small farms - farming systems - climate adaptation - adaptation - climate - crop yield

Keywords: Climate change; Increased climate variability; Vulnerability; Smallholder farmers; Adaptation

Climate change and increased climate variability are currently seen as the major constraints to the already stressed smallholder farming livelihood system in southern Africa. The main objectives of this study were first to understand the nature and sources of vulnerability of smallholder farmers to climate variability and change, and second to use this knowledge to evaluate possible farm-level management options that can enhance the adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers in the face of increased climate variability and long-term change in climate. The study was conducted in Makoni and Hwedza districts in eastern Zimbabwe. Local famers’ and expert empirical knowledge were combined using research tools that mainly included detailed field observations and surveys, systems analysis and field experimentation, and simulation modelling (the Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM)). To understand the nature and sources of vulnerability, long term climate data were analysed and farmers were interviewed individually and in groups. On-farm experimentation and simulation modelling were conducted to evaluate the impacts and interactions of adaptation options namely maize cultivar choice, staggered planting dates, and variable fertilizer rates, on maize yield under both short-term climate variability and long-term climate change. Another on-farm experiment was conducted to assess whether small grains (finger millet and sorghum) perform as well as maize under variable soil and rainfall conditions.

The long-term rainfall and temperature analyses closely supports farmers’ perceptions that the total annual rainfall has so far not changed, but variability in the rainfall distribution within seasons has increased. The number of rain days has decreased, and the frequency of dry spells within season increased. The mean daily minimum temperature increased by 0.2°C per decade in Makoni, and by 0.5°C per decade in Hwedza, over the period from 1962 to 2000. The surface air temperature is further projected to increase significantly in Makoni and Hwedza, by 2100. The impacts of rising temperatures and increased rainfall variability among smallholder households were highly differentiated because different households depend on varied farming livelihood sub-systems, which were exposed uniquely to aspects of climatic risk. For example, livestock production was sensitive to drought due to lack of feed, affecting resource-endowed farmers, who often own relatively large herds of cattle. Crop production was more sensitive to increased rainfall variability, affecting especially farmers with intermediate resource endowment. Availability of wild fruits and social safety nets were affected directly and indirectly by extreme temperatures and increased rainfall variability, impacting the livelihoods of poorer farmers. Farmers have also access to different biophysical and socioeconomic resources such as fertilizer and farm labour inputs, and as a result they respond variedly to impacts of a changing climate. Thus, alongside climate variability and change, farmers also faced biophysical and socioeconomic challenges, and these challenges had strong interactions with adaptation options to climate change.

Experimentation in this studydemonstrated that the maize cultivars currently on the market in Zimbabwe, and in many parts of southern Africa, exhibit narrow differences in maturity time such that they do not respond differently to prolonged dry spells. The yield performance for all three cultivars is projected to be similar in future change in climates, consistent with results from the experiments.In the current cropping system farmers can select any cultivar available on the market without a yield penalty. However, with climate change none of the available cultivars will be able to compensate for the decline in yield. Greater maize grain yields were obtained with both the early (25 October – 20 November) and normal (21 November – 15 December) plantings, with no significant differences between these planting windows(e.g. on average 5 t ha-1 in Makoni, and 3 t ha-1 in Hwedza for the high fertilization rate).Contrary to previous research findings, there is a reasonably wide planting window in which good yields can be obtained if the rains start on time, but if the start of the rains is delayed until after the beginning of December planting should be done as soon as possible. Regardless of the amount of fertilizer applied, yields were reduced strongly when planting was substantially delayed by four weeks after the start of the rainy season. Maize yielded more than finger millet and sorghum even when rainfall was poor in the 2010/2011 season. For example, maize yielded 2.4 t ha-1 compared with 1.6 t ha-1 for finger millet and 0.4 t ha-1 for sorghum in the 2010/2011 rainfall season in Makoni. Finger millet and sorghum failed to emerge unless fertilizer was applied. Application of manure alone failed to address this challenge of poor emergence until fertilizer was added. Sorghum suffered critical yield losses due to bird damage. The better performance of maize over finger millet and sorghum suggested that the recommendation to substitute small grains for maize as a viable adaptation option to a changing climate, will neither be the best option for robust adaptation nor attractive for farmers in southern Africa. Alternatively spreading crops across the farm and in time can be a viable strategy to spread climatic risk as well as improve human nutrition. Poor soil fertility constrained yield more strongly than rainfall and late planting, as demonstrated by the large yield gap (> 1.2 t ha-1) between the unfertilized and fertilized cultivars even in the poor rainfall season (2010/2011).

Fertilization increased yield significantly under both the baseline and future climates particularly when planting before mid-December.The maize response to mineral nitrogen is, however, projected to decline as climate changes, although effects only become substantial towards the end of the 21st Century. Soil fertility management is therefore likely to be a major entry point for increasing the adaptive capacity of smallholder farmers to climate change and increased climate variability. However, management of factors related to both nutrient resource access and farmers decisions to enhance resource use efficiencies are critical if agriculture is to be used as robust adaptation options to climate change by smallholder in Southern Africa.

Petits producteurs et marchés : la recherche au service des organisations paysannes
Ton, G. ; Proctor, F. - \ 2014
Wageningen : LEI - ISBN 9789461739681 - 139
boeren - boerenorganisaties - kleine landbouwbedrijven - plattelandscoöperaties - plattelandsontwikkeling - platteland - plattelandsvrouwen - armoede - innovaties - landbouw - farmers - farmers' associations - small farms - rural cooperatives - rural development - rural areas - rural women - poverty - innovations - agriculture
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