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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Making interventions work on the farm : Unravelling the gap between technology-oriented potato interventions and livelihood building in Southern Ethiopia
Tadesse, Yenenesh - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Paul Struik, co-promotor(en): Conny Almekinders; Rogier Schulte. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436847 - 120
potatoes - crop production - crop physiology - technology - intervention - livelihood strategies - livelihoods - ethiopia - east africa - aardappelen - gewasproductie - gewasfysiologie - technologie - interventie - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - middelen van bestaan - ethiopië - oost-afrika

Poor adoption of modern technologies in sub-Saharan Africa is one of the major factors that limit food production and thereby threaten food security of smallholder farmers. This is despite the potential and emerging success stories of new technologies in increasing productivity of smallholder agriculture. Explanations for low uptake of technologies are diverse. Some studies associated it with characteristics of the farmers and their farm; others attributed it to poor access to information about a particular technology, while some others recognize the importance of technology attributes. Farmers’ adoption decision is shaped socially and the farming practices are changing, not only because of the technical changes introduced, but also because of changes in social circumstances among smallholders. All these possible reasons did, however, miss largely important insights on how local complexities influence adoption. The research presented in this thesis analyses the social dynamics of technology-oriented interventions. More specifically, the study assessed the influence of technology introduction strategies, social networks and social differentiation on the adoption, dissemination and effects of potato technologies. As a case, it used interventions introducing improved potato technologies in Chencha, Southern Ethiopia. The field work combined individual and group in-depth interviews, household surveys and field observation for data collection.

Results show that the efforts to introduce technologies for improved potato production to progressive farmers with the assumption that farmers will eventually adopt, once they become familiar with the technology is a distant prospect. Some of the production practices - agronomic field and storage practices - failed to spread to poor farmers as expected, while the majority of agronomic practices fitted well with wealthy farmers. This resulted in diverse outcomes and strategies for livelihood improvement at household level. Access to the technologies and the necessary resources and diverse needs for technology were important factors in explaining variation in adoption and effects of technology across wealth categories. Tracing the seed diffusion through farmers’ networks showed that not all households had equal access to improved seed potatoes, mainly because of social barriers formed by differences in wealth, gender and religion, and because the type of personal relationship (relatives, neighbours, friends and acquaintance) between seed providers and seed recipients affected farmer to farmer seed sharing. In addition, the set-up of farmer-group based seed production demands resources and faces contextual challenges, which could be addressed through a long-term approach that engages continually in diagnosis and responding to the emerging social as well as material challenges. Development practitioners, however, took organizing group initiatives as a one-time process of design and start-up activity. Thus, clean seed potato production and dissemination through farmers’ organizations could not be sustainable. In conclusion, the present study has indicated that through providing special attention to the social dynamics researchers can arrive at better understanding of constraints affecting technology adoption. This implies effective interventions for a range of farm contexts involve not only finding technical solutions but also integrated understanding of farmers’ production conditions and existing social dynamics.

The utility of sensor technology to support reproductive management on dairy farms
Rutten, C.J. - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Henk Hogeveen; Michel Nielen, co-promotor(en): Wilma Steeneveld. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431934 - 232
dairy cattle - dairy farms - sensors - reproduction - reproductive behaviour - animal health - calving - activity - management - dairy farming - technology - agricultural economics - melkvee - melkveebedrijven - voortplanting - voortplantingsgedrag - diergezondheid - kalven - activiteit - bedrijfsvoering - melkveehouderij - technologie - agrarische economie

Since the 1980s, efforts have been made to develop sensors that measure a parameter from an individual cow. The development started with individual cow recognition and was followed by sensors that measure the electrical conductivity of milk and pedometers that measure activity. Some sensors like activity meters, electrical conductivity, weight floors and somatic cell count sensors are commercially available. Adoption has in general been low and mainly driven by the AMS, with a clear exception for estrus detection. In practice, the economic benefits of using sensor systems has not been proven. So, to make sensors live up to their full potential there is a need for research to shift from technical development towards practical applications and integration with operational farm management. Estrus detection sensors can have a good detection performance and are currently applied by farmers in practice, therefore this thesis focusses on sensors that support reproductive management. The main objective of this thesis is to study the utility of sensor technology to support reproductive management on dairy farms. This main objective was split in five sub objectives that each study a part of the main objective and were discussed in the separate chapters of this thesis.

We demonstrated that utility of sensors for reproductive management can be found in economic benefits (estrus and calving detection), reduction of labor (calving and estrus detection) and more detailed management information (prognosis of insemination success). So, automated estrus detection aids reproductive management.

From this thesis the following conclusions can be drawn:

The developed theoretical framework describes four levels of sensor development, which should all be included in proper development of sensor systems. The literature review showed that no studies developed sensor systems with regard to management and decision support.

It was possible to improve the prediction of the start of calving compared to a model that only uses the expected calving date. However, predicting the start of calving within an hour was not possible with a high sensitivity and specificity.

There was financial merit in the use of calving detection, because the sensor system enables more timely intervention by the farmer. The uncertainty about the positive effects was large, which caused a wide range in the simulated financial benefits.

Investment in a sensor for estrus detection was on average profitable with a return on investment of 11%. Profitability was influenced most by the heuristic culling rules and the expected increase of the estrus detection rate between detection by visual observation and the sensor.

Routinely collected farm data can be used to estimate a prognosis on insemination success and be used to determine whether an individual cow has a higher or lower than average likelihood of insemination success. Integration of this prognostic model with an estrus detection sensor has potential.

Currently farmers only adopt sensors for estrus detection or because they were standard with an AMS. A reason for this is that sensor systems do not produce clear information for farmers. Sensor technology should be focused on management support of applications. Labor benefits of sensors are important for adoption of sensors by farmers, farmers value flexibility, increased family time and less physical workload as benefits. However, economic evaluations of technical solutions are unable to quantify these benefits. Sensor research should consider the preference of farmers regarding labor. For the appraisal of sensor technology new methods to value labor benefits of sensor are needed. Furthermore, in sensor development societal acceptance should be an important consideration. Animal rights activists may frame the use of sensors as a form of industrialized farming. Only using technical arguments and considerations to explain the benefits of sensors will hamper the societal acceptance of modern dairy farming. Application of sensors on dairy farms should be communicated smartly to society in terms that relate the values of citizens.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Philosophical explorations on energy transition
Geerts, Robert-Jan - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Bart Gremmen; Guido Ruivenkamp, co-promotor(en): Josette Jacobs. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463430487 - 172
philosophy - technology - sustainable energy - renewable energy - social change - energy consumption - quality - society - energy - filosofie - technologie - duurzame energie - hernieuwbare energie - sociale verandering - energiegebruik - kwaliteit - samenleving - energie

This dissertation explores energy transition from a philosophical perspective. It puts forward the thesis that energy production and consumption are so intimately intertwined with society that the transition towards a sustainable alternative will involve more than simply implementing novel technologies. Fossil energy sources and a growth-based economy have resulted in very specific energy practices, which will change in the future. Broader reflection is needed to understand how and in which direction such change is acceptable and desirable.

This reflection is initiated by articulating two pertinent problems with current energy practices that have thus far failed to receive appropriate attention in debates on energy transition: 1) the difficulty of dealing with intermittent sources in relation to the idea of cumulative accounting of energy consumption, and 2) the mismatch between expectations of ethical consumer behaviour in energy systems that discourage engagement.

To move forward, instead of assuming that all consumption is equivalent and that more is better, we must develop a better informed and more nuanced idea of 'good' energy practices that actually contribute to our quality of life. One often overlooked aspect of this may be 'embodied engagement', which would suggest that automation of tasks through energy-consuming technologies may be convenient, but also tends to lead to a loss of appreciation for both the task and its result. Some things, like creating a cozy environment around a fireplace, or climbing a mountain, are better partly because they take effort. In such cases, the 'efficiency' of the technology (e.g. the heat-pump, or the automobile) is besides the point - the question is whether it gives us anything of value at all.

Mild disintegration of green microalgae and macroalgae
Postma, Richard - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Michel Eppink; Rene Wijffels, co-promotor(en): Giuseppe Olivieri. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462579477 - 181
algae - chlorella vulgaris - bioprocess engineering - biorefinery - proteins - milling - carbohydrates - biobased economy - disintegrators - technology - extraction - algen - bioproceskunde - bioraffinage - eiwitten - maling - koolhydraten - desintegrators - technologie - extractie

An increased worldwide protein demand for food and feed and the necessity to release the water soluble proteins in the first stage of the cascade biorefinery require the development of mild protein extraction technologies. Cell disintegration is the first hurdle and is considered as one of the most energy consuming steps. Therefore, this thesis focused on the development of a mild, scalable and energy efficient disintegration technology for green microalgae and macroalgae (seaweed) aimed on extraction of water soluble components (like proteins and carbohydrates).

For microalgae disintegration, two main technologies were investigated. First of all the conventional technology bead milling and second a novel approach using Pulsed Electric Field (PEF). In Chapter 2 a benchmark was set by means of bead milling for the release of water soluble protein from the green microalgae Chlorella vulgaris. Overall, protein yields between 32 and 42% were achieved, while the energy consumption was reduced with 85% by selective protein extraction to values as low as 0.81 kWh kgDW-1. Remarkably, the benchmark was much better than expected.

In Chapter 3 the bead mill was further optimized by decreasing the applied bead size, furthermore the applicability of bead milling on two additional microalgae species (Neochloris oleoabundans, Tetraselmis suecica) was shown. In addition, to be able to better understand the disintegration mechanism, the so-called stress model was applied. This model describes the comminution process in a bead mill as function of the amount of bead contacts and the force of each impact. The release kinetics could be improved and thereby the specific energy consumption could be reduced to 0.45‒0.47 kWh kgDW-1 by using 0.3 mm beads for all algae.

Chapter 4 describes a screening on the applicability of PEF, over a broad range of operating conditions, for the extraction of water soluble proteins from the microalgae C. vulgaris and N. oleoabundans. No substantial protein yields were observed under the investigated conditions. This led to the conclusion that PEF is not suitable to release water soluble proteins, not even at specific energy consumptions much higher than those for the benchmark, bead milling.

In Chapter 5 it was attempted to improve the performance of PEF by investigating the synergistic effect with the processing temperature. The PEF experiments were performed using a pilot scale continuous flow electroporation unit in which the processing temperature was controlled between 25 – 65 °C. The results showed that under the tested conditions, the combined PEF-Temperature treatment did not cause substantial disintegration of the algal cells to effectively release water soluble proteins.

In addition to the microalgae, macroalgae were subject of investigation in the search for new protein sources in Chapter 6. Four batch technologies were used to disintegrate the green macroalgae Ulva lactuca, being; osmotic shock, enzyme incubation, PEF and High Shear Homogenization (HSH). In descending order the highest protein yields per treatment; HSH (~40%) > enzyme degradation (~25%) > osmotic shock (~20%) > PEF (~15%).

In the final chapter the main results and remaining bottlenecks are discussed and a future outlook on microalgae disintegration is presented. To date, bead milling is the only technology able to disintegrate fresh microalgae at specific energy consumptions below 10% of the total energy available from the algae and release substantial amounts of water soluble protein. The future outlook was based on a techno-economic evaluation, which showed that the cultivation costs are limiting the economic feasibility of microalgae biorefinery. Future focus should be on the cultivation.

Een verkenning naar toepassing van drones in landbouw en natuur : drijfveren, kansen en consequenties
Wal, Tamme van der; Meijer, Marcel ; Rip, Frans I. - \ 2016
Wageningen : Wageningen Environmental Research (Wageningen Environmental Research rapport 2742) - 49
drones - landbouw - natuur - innovaties - technologie - wetgeving - agriculture - nature - innovations - technology - legislation
Dit rapport is een nadere uitwerking van het rapport van WODC (Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatie Centrum van het ministerie van Veiligheid en Justitie) uit begin 2015 naar het gebruik van drones. Deze uitwerking, gemaakt in opdracht van het ministerie van Economische Zaken, is gericht op de domeinen landbouw en natuur. Het rapport begint met een overzicht van de diverse aanduidingen voor drones. Daarnaast wordt de VITAAL-typologie voor drones gepresenteerd. Deze fungeert als raamwerk voor de beschouwing van zes in dit rapport onderscheiden aspecten van drones: Vlucht, Inzetbaarheid, Toepassing, Aansturing, Apparaat en Lading. In het tweede hoofdstuk zijn de VITAAL-aspecten in verband gebracht met al bestaande en mogelijke toekomstige inzet van civiele drones in landbouw en natuur. De maatschappelijke vraagstukken die drijfveren (kunnen) zijn voor de inzet van drones komen aan de orde in het derde hoofdstuk, waarbij ook de innovatieopgaven worden besproken die zijn afgeleid uit de maatschappelijke opgaven op het gebied van landbouw en natuur. Het rapport sluit af met de discussie, gevolgd door conclusies en aanbevelingen voor beleid en nader onderzoek. Deze liggen op het vlak van regeldruk, vergroeningsmaatregelen en verkenning van gevolgen van de inzet van drones in een Living Lab.
The metis of responsible innovation : helping society to get better at the conversation between today and tomorrow
Macnaghten, Philip - \ 2016
Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462573758 - 16 p.
technology - innovations - innovation adoption - future - technologie - innovaties - innovatie adoptie - toekomst
Fruit 4.0: de vruchten van meer technologie : technologie-roadmap
Ossevoort, R.S. ; Verdouw, C.N. ; Jong, P.F. de; Hennen, W.H.G.J. ; Robbemond, R.M. - \ 2016
Den Haag : LEI Wageningen UR (LEI report 2016-004) - ISBN 9789462578456 - 63 p.
horticulture - fruits - innovations - technology - internet - tuinbouw - vruchten - innovaties - technologie
Modern fruit production is not possible without reliable and up-to-date information. In addition, developments of technologies in the field of the internet, sensors, drones and robotics are gaining momentum. Consequently, production is changing radically towards flexible, autonomous and demand-driven business processes, which integrate smoothly in the supply chain. We also refer to this transition as the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0. This report introduces a roadmap for automation and digitalisation in the fruit industry, which will allow this sector to profit from its own Fruit 4.0.
Composting trial with BioFoam® products in a full scale commercial composting facility : final report, April 2015
Zee, M. van der - \ 2015
Wageningen : Wageningen UR - Food & Biobased Research (Wageningen UR Food & Biobased Research report 1561) - ISBN 9789462575141 - 31
biobased economy - biobased materials - biomass - organic wastes - degradation - composts - composting - biotechnology - technology - plastic foam - materialen uit biologische grondstoffen - biomassa - organisch afval - degradatie - compost - compostering - biotechnologie - technologie - schuimplastic
The main objective of the trial was to be able to judge whether BioFoam® material degrades at sufficient rate to be composted together with regular source separated municipal solid biowaste in a full scale industrial composting facility.
Heldere herleidbaarheid in de visketen
Asselt, E.D. van; Roest, J.G. van der; Staats, M. ; Kok, E.J. ; Cuijpers, H.J.J. ; Ruth, S.M. van - \ 2015
RIKILT Wageningen UR (RIKILT-rapport 2015.013) - 39 p.
technologie - visproducten - analytische methoden - naspeurbaarheid - vis - visverwerking - diepvriesvis - schaaldieren - garnalen - kabeljauw - verse producten - technology - fish products - analytical methods - traceability - fish - fish processing - frozen fish - shellfish - shrimps - cod - fresh products
Heldere herleidbaarheid betekent dat kenmerken die bij verkoop worden toegekend aan visproducten terug te herleiden zijn in de keten. Het gaat daarbij om aspecten als de vissoort, maar ook de geografische oorsprong en de processing van de vis. Om de consument volledig inzicht te bieden in productinformatie is de etiketteringswetgeving ((EU) 1169/2011) recent aangescherpt en dienen dergelijke aspecten op het etiket vermeld te worden. In dit project is onderzocht welke administratieve en analytische methoden gebruikt kunnen worden om de voorgeschiedenis van visproducten aan te tonen. Er is gewerkt aan vier deelprojecten die door de projectpartners als prioriteit werden aangemerkt: administratieve traceerbaarheid in de kabeljauwketen, aantonen van watergehaltes in garnalen, vaststellen van geografische oorsprong van witpootgarnalen en onderscheid tussen verse en ontdooide vis. De resultaten van deze vier onderzoeken zijn in dit rapport beschreven.
Getting partnerships to work : a technography of the selection, making and distribution of improved planting material in the Kenyan Central Highlands
Ndubi, J.M. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Paul Richards, co-promotor(en): Sietze Vellema. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462571150 - 153
plantenveredeling - voedselzekerheid - bananen - aardappelen - technologie - innovaties - landbouwontwikkeling - vennootschappen - samenwerking - kenya - oost-afrika - afrika - plant breeding - food security - bananas - potatoes - technology - innovations - agricultural development - partnerships - cooperation - east africa - africa

In Kenya, bananas and Irish potatoes are important staple crops. In the early 1990s, the crops were devastated by plant diseases resulting in immensely declined productivity and vulnerability of smallholder farmers. To address this problem, disease resistant varieties and tissue culture technology were introduced through partnerships. This thesis examines the working of these partnerships in the process of selecting, multiplying and disseminating improved planting materials under changeable and sometimes unanticipated social and material conditions, and whether this enabled technical change. The study describes how partnerships shape and manage technical change and how distributed task groups coordinate their actions. Partnerships organise and set in motion an evolving chain of sequential socio-technical practices, which incrementally generate technical change. Hence, partnerships are more than just an organisational tool for resource augmentation. Making partnerships work requires constant handling of the politics of selection procedures, the unanticipated consequences of material and technical problems, and the governance and control dimensions of team and group work. The study highlights the often hidden processes coordinating distributed skills and competences and the micro-politics of selection and performance as core elements for making partnerships work. The technographic approach made this visible in the performance of research teams, laboratories and collectively managed nurseries of multiplication sites. The study concludes that partnerships, as an organisational fix, are not a panacea for complicated problems, and a more thorough debate about the conditions under which partnerships may work – and for whom – is needed.

Interactive community-based tropical forest monitoring using emerging technologies
Pratihast, A.K. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Martin Herold, co-promotor(en): L. Ribbe; Sytze de Bruin; Valerio Avitabile. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574786 - 164
tropische bossen - bosmonitoring - remote sensing - satellietbeelden - monitoring - technologie - sociale netwerken - geografische informatiesystemen - participatie - tropical forests - forest monitoring - satellite imagery - technology - social networks - geographical information systems - participation

Forests cover approximately 30% of the Earth’s land surface and have played an indispensable role in the human development and preserving natural resources. At the moment, more than 300 million people are directly dependent on these forests and their resources. Forests also provide habitats for a wide variety of species and offer several ecological necessities to natural and anthropological systems. In spite of this importance, unprecedented destruction of tropical forest cover has been witnessed over the past four decades. Annually, approximately 2.1x105 hectares of forests are lost, with serious negative consequences on the regulation of the world’s climate cycle, biodiversity and other environmental variables. To mitigate these consequences, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has requested the developing countries to adapt new policy in reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+). Under this policy, countries have been mandated to engage local communities and indigenous groups as critical stakeholders in the design and implementation of a national forest monitoring system (NFMS) that supports measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) of actions and achievements of REDD+ activities.

Current schemes for tropical monitoring are based on remote sensing and field measurements which typically originate from national forest inventories. Remotely sensed imagery has been considered as the principal data source used to calculate forest area change across large areas, assess rates of deforestation and establish baselines for national forest area change databases. Advancements in medium and high resolution satellites, open data policies, time-series analysis methods and big data processing environments are considered valuable for deforestation monitoring at local to global scales. However, cloud cover, seasonality and the restricted spatial and temporal resolution of remote sensing observations limits their applicability in the tropics. Enhancing the interpretation of remote sensing analysis require substantial ground verification and validation. Accomplishing these tasks through national forest inventory data is expensive, time-consuming and difficult to implement across large spatial scales.

Next to remote sensing, community-based monitoring (CBM) has also demonstrated potential in the collection and interpretation of forest monitoring data. However effective implementation of community-based forest monitoring systems is currently lacking due to two reasons: 1) the role of communities in NFMS is unclear and 2) tools that can support local communities to explore opportunities and facilitate forest monitoring are still scarce. This thesis addresses these two issues by proposing technical solutions (computer and geo-information science) and assessing the capacities and needs of communities in developing countries with a REDD+ implementation and forest monitoring context.

The main goal of this thesis, therefore, is to develop an approach that combines emerging technologies and community-based observations for tropical forest monitoring. To accomplish the main goal, four specific research questions were formulated: 1) What are the potentials to link community-based efforts to national forest monitoring systems? 2) How can information and communication technologies (ICTs) support the automation of community data collection process for monitoring forest carbon stocks and change activities using modern handheld devices? 3) What is the accuracy and compatibility of community collected data compared to other data (e.g., optical remote sensing and expert field measurements) for quantifying forest carbon stocks and changes? and 4) What is a suitable design for an interactive remote sensing and community-based near real-time forest change monitoring system and how can such system be operationalized?

In Chapter 2, scientific literature and 28 readiness preparation proposals from the World Bank Forest Carbon Partnership Facility are reviewed to better define the role and technical conditions for CBM. Based on this review, a conceptual framework was developed under which CBM can contribute as a dedicated and independent stream of measuring and monitoring data to national level forest monitoring efforts. The following chapters are built upon this framework.

Chapter 3 describes a process of designing and implementing an integrated data collection system based on mobile devices that streamlines the community-based forest monitoring data collection, transmission and visualization process. The usability of the system is evaluated in the Tra Bui commune, Quang Nam province, Central Vietnam, where forest carbon and change activities were measured by different means such as local, regional and national experts and high resolution satellite imagery. The results indicate that the local communities were able to provide forest carbon measurements with accuracy comparable to that of expert measurements at lower costs. Furthermore, the results show that communities are more effective in detecting small scale forest degradation caused by subsistence fuelwood collection and selective logging than image analysis using SPOT imagery.

To support the findings of chapter 3, the data acquisition form (mostly activity data related to forest change) for mobile device was further improved in chapter 4. The system was tested by thirty local experts in the UNESCO Kafa Biosphere Reserve, Ethiopia. High resolution satellite imagery and professional measurements were combined to assess the accuracy and complementary use of local datasets in terms of spatial, temporal and thematic accuracy. Results indicate that the local communities were capable of describing processes of change associated with deforestation, forest degradation and reforestation, in terms of their spatial location, extent, timing and causes within ten administrative units. Furthermore, the results demonstrate that communities offer complementary information to remotely sensed data, particularly to signal forest degradation and mapping deforestation over small areas. Based on this complementarity, a framework is proposed for integrating local expert monitoring data with satellite-based monitoring data into a NFMS in support of REDD+ MRV and near real-time forest change monitoring.

Having identified the framework for integrated monitoring systems in chapter 4, chapter 5 describes an interactive web-based forest monitoring system using four levels of geographic information services: 1) the acquisition of continuous data streams from satellite and community-based monitoring using mobile devices, 2) near real-time forest disturbance detection based on satellite time-series, 3) presentation of forest disturbance data through a web-based application and social media and 4) interaction of the satellite-based disturbance alerts with the end-user communities to enhance the collection of ground data. The system was developed using open source technologies and has been implemented together with local experts in UNESCO Kafa Biosphere Reserve, Ethiopia. The results show that the system was able to provide easy access to information on forest change and considerably improve the collection and storage of ground observation by local experts. Social media lead to higher levels of user interaction and noticeably improved communication among stakeholders. Finally, an evaluation of the system confirmed its usability in Ethiopia.

Chapter 6 presents the final conclusions and provides recommendations for further research. The overall conclusion is that the emerging technologies, such as smartphones, Web-GIS and social media, incorporated with user friendly interface improve the interactive participation of local communities in forest monitoring and decrease errors in data collection. The results show that CBM can provide data on forest carbon stocks, forest area changes as well as data that help to understand local drivers of emissions. The thesis also shows, in theory and in practice, how local data can be used to link with medium and high resolution remote sensing satellite images for an operational near real-time forest monitoring system at a local scale. The methods presented in this thesis are applicable to a broader geographic scope. Hence, this thesis emphasizes that policies and incentives should be implemented to empower communities and to create institutional frameworks for community-based forest monitoring in the tropics.

Biomimicry. De natuur als inspiratiebron voor innovaties
Segeren, A. ; Vogelzang, T.A. - \ 2015
Den Haag : LEI Wageningen UR (LEI publicatie 14-129) - 35
innovaties - systeeminnovatie - duurzame ontwikkeling - aanpassing van de productie - ontwerp - biologie - technologie - bedrijven - biomimicry - innovations - system innovation - sustainable development - adjustment of production - design - biology - technology - businesses
LEI Wageningen UR heeft van het ministerie van Economische Zaken de opdracht gekregen om onderzoek te doen naar de stand van zaken en de mogelijkheden voor de verdere toepassing van biomimicry in Nederland. Deze brochure biedt een analyse van drie actuele praktijkvoorbeelden, inzicht in de impact op economie en duurzaamheid en een vertaling hiervan naar indicatoren. Daarnaast geeft het LEI perspectieven voor de toekomst, waarbij vooral is gekeken naar de rol van wetenschap, onderwijs en beleid.
Affect and cognition in attitude formation towards familiar and unfamiliar attitude objects: the case of nanotechnology
Giesen, R.I. van - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Hans van Trijp, co-promotor(en): Arnout Fischer. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462573390 - 187
nanotechnologie - houding van consumenten - attitudes - besluitvorming - technologie - voedseltechnologie - kennisniveau - kenvermogen - nanotechnology - consumer attitudes - decision making - technology - food technology - knowledge level - cognition
Together, the chapters in this thesis show that although the default is to rely on affect, in attitude formation toward unfamiliar attitude objects, people are able to draw on cognitive inferences provided that there are enough cues available (e.g. product context, high Need for Cognition, or being more often exposed). In addition, whether people rely on affect or cognition depends on which process is the easiest. The attitude component which is decisive in the attitude formation process requires the least elaborate process. This thesis contributes to a better process understanding as both affective-cognitive and deliberative-intuitive dimensions were simultaneously studied. Finally, it is concluded that attitudes toward unfamiliar attitude objects, in this case nanotechnology applications, are still subject to change. This has implications for communication about new technologies, as it is important to address both affective and cognitive aspects.
Understanding factors affecting technology adoption in smallholder livestock production systems in Ethiopia : the role of farm resources and the enabling environment
Kebebe, E.G. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Imke de Boer, co-promotor(en): Simon Oosting; A.J. Duncan. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462573260 - 151
veterinaire praktijk voor kleine dieren - veehouderij - ethiopië - technologie - innovaties - dierlijke productie - watergebruiksrendement - small animal practice - livestock farming - ethiopia - technology - innovations - animal production - water use efficiency


In response to population growth, rising income and urbanisation, the demand for livestock products, such as milk, meat and eggs is growing in Ethiopia. The growing demand for milk products offers opportunities for smallholders to realize better livelihoods. Whereas the growing demand for milk products in Ethiopia is widely recognised, the dairy sector has not been able to produce adequate milk to satisfy this demand, mainly due to low productivity of dairy animals. The use of technological inputs, such as improved breeds of dairy cows and cultivation of improved forages, is often seen as a prerequisite to increasing livestock productivity and resource use efficiency in the smallholder dairy sector. However, adoption of such technologies has been low, despite numerous efforts to disseminate the technologies in the past. This poses a question as to why the majority of smallholders have not adopted livestock technologies in the Ethiopian highlands. The overall objective of this study was understanding the factors affecting adoption of technologies that enhance the productivity of livestock production and water use efficiency in the Ethiopian highlands, with particular emphasis on dairy production. The study was intended to deepen the understanding on the role of factors at the levels of farm households, value chains and macroeconomic institutions and policies on farmers’ decision to adopt technologies. The study employed interdisciplinary approach to analyse micro and macro level constraints that affect adoption of technologies in livestock production. The findings in the empirical chapters show that low adoption of the technologies that enhance the productivity of livestock production and water use efficiency stem from farmers’ limited access to farm resources, differentials in potential welfare impacts of the technologies, lack of effective and reliable supply chains for inputs and outputs, inadequate physical infrastructure and weak institutions and policies. The findings show that smallholders have been subjected to multiple constraints. Given the multiple constraints at different scales and the associated transaction costs facing smallholders in rural Ethiopia, the returns to investment for the technologies may be too low to justify widespread adoption of the technologies. Therefore, adoption of technologies in the dairy sector requires interventions at production, storage, transportation, processing and marketing chains and at macroeconomic institutions and policies. In the short and medium term, dairy development programs in Ethiopia will have a better chance of success if they target farmers who have better resource endowments and

who are connected to better-functioning value chains rather than blanket technology scaling-up strategies targeting the majority of smallholders. Future agricultural research needs to shift the focus from predominantly developing new biophysical technologies towards social science research that assesses issues at value chain, macroeconomic institutions and policies that influence adoption of technology.

Conservation and sustainable use of Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture : country report of the Netherlands for the 2nd State of the World’s Animal Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture : executive summary
Hiemstra, S.J. ; Hoving, A.H. ; Oldenbroek, J.K. - \ 2014
Wageningen/The Hague : CGN&Ministry of Economic Affairs (CGN report 31) - 25
genetische bronnen van diersoorten - genetische diversiteit - landbouwbeleid - conservering - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - voedselveiligheid - landbouw - nederland - specialisatie - technologie - bedrijfsgrootte in de landbouw - animal genetic resources - genetic diversity - agricultural policy - conservation - sustainability - food safety - agriculture - netherlands - specialization - technology - farm size
The updated Dutch national report on conservation and sustainable use of Animal Genetic Resources summarizes the state of national implementation of the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources. Seven strategic priority areas have been identified, dealing with remaining or future challenges. At national level conservation strategies will be strengthened to halt the loss of farm animal genetic diversity and to protect our bio-cultural heritage. New technologies will be adopted and further developed for characterization, conservation and breeding purposes. The Netherlands will contribute to the global agenda by generating knowledge and development of improved breeding material for sustainable development of the livestock sector and future food security.
Animal deliberation : the co-evolution of technology and ethics on the farm
Driessen, C.P.G. - \ 2014
University. Promotor(en): Michiel Korthals, co-promotor(en): Volkert Beekman. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - 356
dierethiek - ethiek - veehouderij - varkenshouderij - technologie - boeren - varkens - dierlijke productie - animal ethics - ethics - livestock farming - pig farming - technology - farmers - pigs - animal production - cum laude
cum laude graduation
Beyond technology transfer: an integrative analysis of plans, practice, and know-how in Ethiopian floriculture
Debele, D.A. - \ 2014
University. Promotor(en): Paul Richards, co-promotor(en): Sietze Vellema. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462571402 - 170
bloementeelt - technologieoverdracht - technologie - gedragscode - ethiopië - floriculture - technology transfer - technology - code of practice - ethiopia

Ethiopia has become the second largest flower producer and exporter in Africa, next to Kenya. EU markets are the country’s major export destinations, which are demanding in terms of product quality, sustainability of production, and corporate social responsibility. The Ethiopian Horticulture Producers Exporters Association (EHPEA) introduced a code of practice to facilitate compliance with international standards such as Global GAP. Exporters and flower farms, and public policy in Ethiopia supporting the code of practice try to find ways to involve (foreign) experts and university graduates, and to import hardware, such as equipment and crop varieties, in order to be able to perform in the global market. In a newly emerging sector, requirements in international markets and new forms of governance impact on the way problems are solved and production is managed in the greenhouses.

The research is motivated by the observation that floriculture in Ethiopia resembles a knowledge-intensive industry and is confronted with increasing demands in the international market to comply with standards for environmentally benign production and corporate social responsibility. Yet, the thesis is critical about the default mechanism to revert to training of individuals. It aims to develop a grounded understanding of how capabilities are formed or emerge in the daily practices and interactions of people and teams within firms operating in the context of less developed regions.

The thesis seeks to explore how the practices stipulated in the code of practice are enacted in the everyday realities of workers, technicians, and managers in the floriculture sector. The research investigates these practices by focusing on: (1) a complicated agronomic problem, namely pest and disease management (Chapter 2 and 3), (2) the functioning of university graduates employed by flower farms (Chapter 4), and (3) the relationship between flower farms and the surrounding community relations in the context of shared use of a common pool resource, namely water from the lake (Chapter 5).

To explore problem solving capabilities, the study builds on the scholarly work of practice based and socio-material approaches to agriculture, science and technology studies, organizational studies, and workplace learning. It primarily draws upon two methodological approaches: (1) technography and socio-materiality. These two approaches have an interesting synergy as both: (1) focus on situated action, (2) reject an exclusive focus on either social or material and take an integrative perspective on socio-material interactions, and (3) emphasize technology in use rather than design. Typically, both approaches take seriously the role of material environments by showing how problem solving is relational and distributed among people, activities, standard procedures and biophysical environments. Further, they regard capabilities as situated; hence, know-how emerges in a particular practice. Through in-depth analysis of problem solving, the study examined how technicians, farm managers, and workers in a case study export flower farm in Ethiopia use standards and expert knowledge with the general objective of producing quality flowers for international markets. More specifically, the study sought to understand the inextricable relationships between plans, practice, and know-how.

The investigation of pest and disease management practices within the case study farm (Chapters 2 and 3) explores how people use a code of practice for good agricultural activities. Specifically, these chapters study how people use an integrated pest management (IPM), as preferred by the code. Chapter 2 examines technical details of pest and disease management problems and looks at the way teams coordinated actions, responded to the technical and managerial challenges, and took corrective measures. Chapter 3 explores how members of a team using IPM translated practices into codified information and work protocols and used these codified practices in solving practical problems. It demonstrates in what ways the process of codification involved skills, techniques, and knowledge of people performing various tasks, and illustrates how people abstract actual practices to codes by referring to elements in the material environments such as tools, growing plants, pests, predators and the prevailing weather data. Chapter 4 examines the extent to which graduates make use of knowledge and practices transferred to them during their formal university training and discusses the emergence of know-how in workplaces as blending of pre-defined attributes of individual graduates and skills developed during pest and disease management.

The scope of the investigation was extended to another part of the code of practice, i.e. the articles referring to corporate social responsibility (CSR), which defines guidelines on how commercial farms are supposed to deal with surrounding communities (Chapter 5). The research studied how a cluster of farms, including the case study farm, interacted with a select group of farmer / community representatives and public officials in finding ways to arrange access to and use of water as a common pool resource. The findings suggests that companies tend to opt for hardware, such as building a hospital, and technical solutions, such as constructing new water points, and are less skilful in including multiple interests and values expressed by community leaders in solutions outside its direct span of influence .

The general discussion ( Chapter 6) analyses problem solving capabilities as know-how beyond the pre-defined features such as codes and attributes of individual graduates and translates the main findings into implications for policy, practice, and education.

Selective short chain carboxylates production by mixed culture fermentation
Arslan, D. - \ 2014
University. Promotor(en): Cees Buisman, co-promotor(en): H. De Wever; Kirsten Steinbusch. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462571228 - 211
fermentation - carboxylic acids - recovery - waste utilization - technology - fermentatie - carbonzuren - terugwinning - afvalhergebruik - technologie


Surfactants are produced and used in the formulation of many different commercial products. After use, these compounds end up in wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) or in the environment. Although many surfactants can be degraded in aerobic conditions, anaerobic conditions are also common in Nature and in WWTPs. For achieving nutrients removal from wastewater, biological removal of nitrogen and phosphorus can be performed in a WWTP using the anaerobic-anoxic-aerobic (A2/O) concept. Using the A2/O process sequence, surfactants can be degraded anaerobically before reaching the aerobic compartment. In the anoxic compartment, facultative anaerobic bacteria can degrade surfactants by using nitrate/nitrite as electron acceptor. However, not much is known about surfactant-degrading denitrifying bacteria. In this thesis, Pseudomonas stutzeri strain SN1 and Pseudomonas nitroreducens strain SN2 were isolated from activated sludge of a WWTP with the A2/O process, using the anionic surfactant sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) as sole carbon and energy source. Both strains were able to completely degrade SDS coupled to nitrate reduction to dinitrogen gas (Chapter II).

In the A2/O process, the diversity of bacterial communities involved in the degradation of surfactants may differ between anoxic and oxic compartments, where two different electron acceptors are involved. Surfactants can directly affect the biological activity of microorganisms present in WWTPs and disturb the treatment efficiency. In this way, increased concentrations of surfactants may give rise to a different bacterial diversity selection in anaerobic, anoxic and oxic conditions. The degradation of the anionic surfactant sodium lauryl ether sulfate (SLES) in aerobic conditions is known, but not in denitrifying conditions. In this thesis, the bacterial diversity of enrichments cultures able to degrade different concentrations of SLES in anoxic and aerobic conditions was determined. Aeromonas hydrophila strain S7, Pseudomonas stutzeri strain S8 and Pseudomonas nitroreducens strain S11 were isolated from anoxic enrichments. Comamonas testosteroni strain S13 and Acinetobacter sp. S15 were isolated from aerobic enrichments (Chapter III). SLES initial degradation steps by pure bacterial cultures were previously investigated, but much is still unknown about how the cleavage of ether bonds from chemical compounds is catalyzed by bacterial enzymes. Aeromonas hydrophila strain S7, Pseudomonas stutzeri strain S8 and Pseudomonas nitroreducens strain S11 are able to use SLES in anoxic conditions coupled to nitrate reduction (Chapter III). SLES degradation in anoxic conditions was compared between the three strains. P. nitroreducens strain S11 was found to be the best SLES degrader in anoxic conditions and also to be an excellent aerobic SLES degrader (Chapter IV). Sulfatases and ether cleaving enzymes were probably used by P. nitroreducens strain S11 in both conditions, although differences between SLES degradation in aerobic and anoxic conditions indicated that ether cleavage and following SLES complete degradation is faster under aerobic conditions.

Although surfactants can be toxic to microorganisms, surfactant-degrading bacteria are known to be resistant to high surfactants concentration, in aerobic conditions. This was not previously investigated using surfactant-degrading denitrifying bacteria. Surfactant-resistant bacteria, with the ability to couple surfactant degradation to nitrate reduction, can be very useful for degrading the surfactants arriving to the anoxic compartments of a WWTP at high concentration. In this thesis, high concentrations of SDS and SLES were used to investigate the effect of these on SDS/SLES-degrading bacteria (P. stutzeri strain SN1, P. nitroreducens strain SN2, P. stutzeri strain S8 and P. nitroreducens strain S11), under anoxic conditions (Chapter V). P. stutzeri strain SN1 was inhibited by increasing SDS and SLES concentrations, after degrading a certain amount of the surfactants. Overall, P. nitroreducens strains showed to be more resistant to high surfactant concentrations compared to P. stutzeri strains. Nevertheless, high concentrations of SDS and SLES did not inhibit growth and nitrate reduction ability of any of the tested Pseudomonas sp..

Protein domains represent the evolutionary conserved autonomously folding functional building blocks of the proteins. Prediction of protein domains from genomes can be used for species classification and validation of known physiological abilities. P. nitroreducens are facultative anaerobic bacteria from the P. aeruginosa group, which can degrade complex compounds. P. nitroreducens DSM 14399T shares with P. nitroreducens strain SN2 the ability for SDS degradation in anoxic conditions. For increasing the insight into P. nitroreducens DSM 14399T phylogenetic classification and physiological properties (e.g. SDS degradation) its genome was sequenced, annotated and compared to other Pseudomonas spp. genomes. This was performed by comparing functional profiles, based on protein domains presence or absence, with physiological data (Chapter VI). Functional profile comparison confirmed P. nitroreducens classification. Protein domain analysis and genes annotation validated SDS degradation by P. nitroreducens DSM 14399T. This study showed that protein domains prediction and functional profiles comparison can be used for studying and comparing different Pseudomonas species at the physiological level.

Strategies to reduce electricity consumption on dairy farms : an economic and environmental assessment
Upton, J.R. - \ 2014
University. Promotor(en): Imke de Boer; Peter Groot Koerkamp, co-promotor(en): L. Shalloo. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462570771 - 171
elektriciteit - energiegebruik - melkveehouderij - reductie - kosten - technologie - innovaties - economische analyse - milieutoets - electricity - energy consumption - dairy farming - reduction - costs - technology - innovations - economic analysis - environmental assessment

The aim of this thesis was to assess how, and to what extent, do managerial and technology changes affect electricity consumption, associated costs and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of dairy farms. Dairy farms in Ireland are expected to expand in the future, due to policy incentives and the abolishment of European Union milk quotas in 2015, which will result in an increased use of resources such as land, water, and energy, and increased emissions to the environment. In order to develop strategies to reduce electricity consumption associated costs and GHG emissions, it was necessary to understand the consumption trends and the hot-spots of electricity consumption within the farm. Therefore, we performed a life cycle assessment by quantifying the energy use on 22 commercial Irish dairy farms, from cradle-to-farm-gate. This analysis demonstrated that a total of 31.7 MJ of energy was required to produce one kg of milk solids, of which 20% was direct and 80% was indirect energy use. Electricity consumption was found to represent 12% of total cradle-to-farm-gate energy use or 60% of direct energy, and was centered on milk harvesting. Following this analysis we devised two main groups of strategies, i.e. ‘cost strategies’ and ‘energy strategies’. ‘Cost strategies’ consisted of measures that could save on-farm costs but no energy or related emissions, such as, moving to a new electricity tariff or decoupling large electricity users, such as water heating, from milking times and shifting them to off-peak periods when electricity price is lower. Examples of ‘energy strategies’ are; the use of variable speed vacuum pumps on the milking machine, pre-cooling of milk and solar thermal technologies to provide hot water for cleaning purposes. A mechanistic model of electricity consumption that simulates farm equipment on an hourly and monthly basis was developed to further evaluate the ‘cost’ and ‘energy’ strategies. We used this model to show that a Day & Night electricity tariff minimised annual electricity costs, while a Flat tariff would increase the electricity costs by between 16% and 34%, depending on farm size. We also discovered that milking earlier in the morning and later in the evening reduced the simulated annual electricity consumption and related GHG emissions by between 5% and 7%, depending on farm size. An analysis of ‘energy strategies’ was carried out which revealed that that the ideal blend of technologies to maximise farm profitability while also reducing electricity consumption and GHG emissions, consisted of a direct expansion milk tank with pre-cooling of milk with well water to 15°C, electrical water heating and standard vacuum pumps. An individual farmer can also choose to increase his or her use of renewable energy by adding solar thermal water heating with the trade-off of reduced profitability and negative return on investment figures. This analysis highlighted the need for an investment appraisal approach to technology investments on dairy farms.

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