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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Understanding entrepreneurship at the base of the pyramid in developing countries : insights from small-scale vegetable farmers in Benin
Yessoufou, Ahoudou Waliou - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Onno Omta, co-promotor(en): Vincent Blok. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463438216 - 196
entrepreneurship - farmers - vegetables - small businesses - farm management - management science - benin - west africa - ondernemerschap - boeren - groenten - kleine bedrijven - agrarische bedrijfsvoering - bedrijfswetenschap - west-afrika

Local small-scale entrepreneurship has recently become an important field of study and a tool for policymakers. However, there are some practical and theoretical issues regarding the promotion of local entrepreneurship. First, the dynamics of entrepreneurship are considered to be universal, whereas the Base of the Pyramid (BoP) context from Developing and Emerging (D&E) countries is different in terms of resource availability and institutional environment supporting production and transaction activities. Next, the prevailing conceptualization focuses on an individualistic and goal-oriented process which is determined by competencies related to alertness, recognition, and resource mobilization for the exploitation of opportunities, followed by business growth, whereas a multi-layered conceptualisation which transcends individual agent and structural-level analyses of entrepreneurship is required. This thesis brought the model of the entrepreneurial action of small businesses to light and revealed that three subprocesses are driving the development of entrepreneurship in BoP. It inductively examined the behavioural patterns of agropreneurs. The thesis also provided new insights to the entrepreneurial orientation (EO) of small firms operating within the BoP, by showing that three traditional dimensions – innovativeness, proactiveness, and risk taking - are necessary but not sufficient to capture the manifestation of EO. Two new context-specific dimensions - resource-acquisition capability and collaborative orientation - emerged as part of the entrepreneurial orientation strategy. The thesis developped clear measurement of the EO, and a proper measurement model of the construct. Finally, the thesis demonstrated an inverted U-shaped relationship between EO and business performance. The findings suggested that increasing levels of EO appear beneficial up to a point, after which positive returns cease, and business performance begins to decline. Furthermore, increasing EO in tandem with networking promotes the success of BoP entrepreneurial process. These results have important theroretical and practical implications for the growth of small businesses in Benin and other developing countries with similar contextual characteristics.

Key factors for loan repayment of micro entrepreneurs in Ghana
Agbeko, Daniel - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Onno Omta, co-promotor(en): Vincent Blok; Gerben van der Velde. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463437943 - 97
corporate social responsibility - bank loans - loans - debt - repayment - entrepreneurship - small businesses - ghana - west africa - developing countries - maatschappelijk verantwoord ondernemen - bankleningen - leningen - schuld - aflossing - ondernemerschap - kleine bedrijven - west-afrika - ontwikkelingslanden

This thesis examines the extent to what corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies, entrepreneurial and business skills and programmes for training and monitoring improve microbusiness performance and loan repayment rates:

‘To what extent do corporate social responsibility strategies, entrepreneurial and business skills and programmes for training and monitoring improve loan repayment rates of microfinance debtors in developing countries?’

MFIs that adopt CSR strategies provide for both financial and social empowerment services. Social empowerment services may include primary health care services, occupational skills training for microfinance debtors and debtor monitoring programmes. The 2008 credit crunch led many MFIs to abandon their CSR strategies. We analyse the case of uniCredit Ghana MFI and argue that CSR strategies contribute to public support for the MFI. This helps raise deposits and improves funding opportunities. Social empowerment investment improve microbusiness performance and loan repayment rates. We expect those MFIs that adopt CSR strategies to improve their sustainability, more than do MFIs that specialize in providing financial services only.

We establish that those microfinance debtors who consider themselves endowed with entrepreneurial and business skills do not repay loans better than those microfinance debtors lacking these skills. Highly educated entrepreneurs do not repay their loans any better relative to those with primary or secondary education only. We establish that business experience is the only constituent of human capital that matters for business performance and loan repayment rates. Experienced microfinance debtors systematically repay their loans better than do those entrepreneurs lacking business experience.

We observe that microfinance debtors do not agree on what skills they think are important for loan repayment probabilities. This result implies that every single microfinance debtor needs to acquire specific skills. Training programmes cannot be standardized and should be tailored towards the needs of the individual microfinance debtor. We establish that MFI loan officers neither agree on the ranking of specific skills they think are important for microfinance debtors to repay their loans promptly. This result suggests that MFI loan officers should be trained to better understand the relevance of specific entrepreneurial and business skills for microfinance entrepreneurs.

We empirically establish that training programmes fail to improve loan repayment rates. Programmes for intensive microfinance debtor monitoring significantly improve loan repayment rates. Intensive monitoring is equally effective for highly and poorly educated, experienced and unexperienced, female and male microfinance debtors: MFIs may significantly improve repayment rates should they consistently monitor their microfinance debtors intensively.

Planned development interventions and contested development in the Casamance Region, Senegal: an enquiry into the ongoing struggles for autonomy and progres by the Casamance peasantry
Ndiame, Fadel - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Jandouwe van der Ploeg, co-promotor(en): Paul Hebinck. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436779 - 180
peasant farming - peasantry - farming - farmers - agricultural development - development projects - development studies - history - social change - senegal - west africa - landbouw bedrijven in het klein - boerenstand - landbouw bedrijven - boeren - landbouwontwikkeling - ontwikkelingsprojecten - ontwikkelingsstudies - geschiedenis - sociale verandering - west-afrika

This thesis analyses the relationships between i) planned development interventions which took place in the Casamance over the last 100 years; ii) the advent and co-existence of different forms of endogenous responses to state interventions, and iii) the conflictive outcomes which emanated from the interplay of i) and ii). The ultimate goal is to provide a critical and situated understanding of the ‘Casamance crises’.

The thesis is anchored on and actor oriented conceptual framework. This approach positions the agency of different categories of actors and their ability to engage, accommodate, resist and co-determine the outcome of the development processes. The processes observed in the Casamance are interpreted as ‘a structural feature of agrarian development’, as “arenas where different actors interact, compete and cooperate, based on their own objectives’ (Long, 2001). In light of this framework, the peasantry is seen to be able to strive for autonomy by relying on own resources to survive in an increasingly globalising economy. However, their potentials can be blocked by unfavourable socio- economic conditions, such as those that deprive them the fruits of their labour, thus leading to an agrarian crisis as defined by Van der Ploeg (2008). From this angle, the thesis explores the extent to which the long-term configurations of relationships between external interventions and local responses have accelerated the disarticulation of the traditional production systems, and contributed to compromising the livelihood position and the emancipation trajectories of youth and women within the traditional domestic units in the Casamance.

The methodology adopted described in chapter 2, thus focussed on unpacking interplay and mutual determination between ‘internal’ and ‘external’ factors and relationships. This entailed a historical contextualization of processes of planned state interventions and distancing from development activities in the Casamance over a long period of time. This is followed by a detailed analysis of the various consequent responses shown by different segments of the Casamance society at different historical junctures, in pursuit of a differentiated set of emancipatory trajectories. Data collection involved multiple times and locations, combining field observations, data collected through interviews and surveys and consulting research reports.

Chapter 3 reviews the key physical, socioeconomic and political features of the Casamance region, from the colonial era until the present day’s developments which culminated in the protracted conflict opposing the Government of Senegal and the Mouvement des Forces Democratiques de la Casamance (MFDC). The land reform programmes initiated during the colonial era brought a number of provisions which made it easier for the Colonial government to control local people’s holdings. When Senegal became independent in 1960, the colonial concept of land tenure also played an important role in the “Loi sur le Domaine National”, considered as a means of achieving both economic and social objectives. In addition, the country maintained a policy of specialisation on groundnut and the development of an import- substitution industry funded by foreign donors. During the 1980-2000s, changes in government policy and the drought contributed to significant changes in the production systems. These changes triggered multifaceted responses: collaboration, resistance, rejection as well as conflict- the most dramatic of which was the launch of an armed campaign for the independence of the Casamance region during the 1980s.

Chapter 4 analyses the state-administered agricultural programmes and the consequent local people’s responses which took place in the Casamance between the 1960s and the 1980s. These typically revolved around land and agrarian reform programmes supplying agricultural equipment and technology, rural development projects and farming systems research. They enabled significant sections of rural people to access animal traction equipment and complementary inputs through agricultural credit. Later during the 1980s, the state withdrew form direct involvement in production and marketing activities as part of the structural adjustment programme. This chapter also showed that State hegemony and locally driven development dynamics are related both historically and conceptually: During the first phase of State hegemony, a number of rural institutions were controlled and managed by the State. During the 1970s and 1980s when the state withdrew, an autonomous farmer movement (FONGS) emerged outside the official state extension and structuring system- defining a new farmer-centered political and economic agenda.

Chapter 5 provides an in-depth analysis of the two types of responses that the Casamance peasantry brought to planned development interventions. First, the incentives provided through State policies for groundnuts production analysed in chapter 4 led to a widespread adoption of labour-saving and scale-enlarging technologies, which facilitated a significant increase in the male-dominated production of cash crops- groundnuts especially- as a source for rural livelihoods in the region. This however happened at the expense of food crops whose production was dominated by women and youth. It also accelerated the gradual disconnections between crop production, livestock management at the household and village levels. Moreover, subsequent changes in State policies, which was no longer providing favourable conditions for entrepreneurial farming, combined with the negative consequences of a long drought, led to devastating impacts on local production systems. This situation triggered a significant out-migration of the Casamance youth to the country’s capital city and other metropolitan areas, in search of alternative employment and livelihood opportunities.

With the evolution of time, the Casamance farmers developed a second set of responses. As discussed in chapters 5 and 6, the rural youth and women explored new livelihood and emancipation opportunities- such as producing rice for family consumption and diversifying production activities to include seasonal cultivation of fruits and vegetables for sale. Many young people also embarked on seasonal out-migration to enable them to accumulate the resources necessary to start their own households.

Chapters 6 further analyzes the development and growth of FOs, and how they managed to use funding from donors to develop new technical and organisational capabilities to support the activities of the Casamance family farms. They succeeded in fulfilling the technical and advisory roles previously provided by state institutions, and facilitated rural people’s access to agricultural finance. They were also able to integrate and play a bigger role in the activities of their local government-with a more emboldened voice and power to influence change. The Chapter also shows the development of other forms of private rural business development actors from the Casamance and other regions of Senegal- mainly premised on the participation of smallholder farmers in the agricultural value chain.

Chapter 7 analyses the Casamance crisis as a major conflict of articulation between a region and the rest of country; epitomising a violent contestation of a dominant state- driven modernisation scenario which does not conform to the emancipation trajectories of the educated youth, aspiring to the benefits of sovereignty. In this respect the conflict conforms to the definitions of a governance and agrarian crisis as articulated in this thesis. However while significant, the actions of the MFDC do not represent the sole and unique responses of the Casamance rural youth to the prevailing crisis. The agrarian interpretation of the conflict adopted in this thesis enable us to illustrate other types of development dynamics associated with the interplay between planned interventions and local people responses. Building on the lessons learned in conducting this study, it appears that finding practical answers to the question of local people’s access to decent resources and living conditions could be a prerequisite to overcoming the current political and agrarian crisis prevailing in the Casamance.

The concluding chapter 8 explores the links between ‘peace’, ‘autonomy’ and ‘development’ in the Casamance. I examine the extent to which more autonomy, associated with peasant-centred development, can lead to ‘peace’ and development in the southern region of Senegal. It links the successful resolution of the Casamance crisis to the advent of a governance revolution, which permits a re-alignment of the resources, activities and personal agendas of the different family members around a shared goal for transformation and progress. Building on the lessons learned as part of this study, the approaches considered here are based on new principles of the valorisation of local resources, as well as the redefinition of the format and content of relationships with other development actors. This approach requires the revision of the relationships between local actors and the wider set of actors; it also implies a reconciliation of diverse strategies deployed by the different protagonists over different geographic boundaries.

These principles inform the final recommendations of this study which aim at creating the necessary conditions for the advent of lasting peace linked to the capacity of the local people to rebuild a more viable livelihood for the inhabitants of the Casamance region.

A comparative history of commercial transition in three West African slave trading economies, 1630 to 1860
Dalrymple-Smith, Angus - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Ewout Frankema; Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk, co-promotor(en): M. van Rossum. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436199 - 283
slavery - history - colonialism - trade - commodities - gold - law - social change - economic change - west africa - slavernij - geschiedenis - kolonialisme - handel - basisproducten - goud - recht - sociale verandering - economische verandering - west-afrika

The nineteenth century ‘commercial transition’ from export economies based on slaves to ones dominated by commodities like palm oil has been a central theme in West African history. However, most studies have tended to focus on the impact of the change and assumed that its causes were largely a result of the British decision to abolish their transatlantic slave trade in 1807 and subsequently persuading or forcing other nations to do the same. This thesis makes two principal contributions to this debate. Firstly, it reviews new evidence which shows that the commercial transition in West Africa’s most important slave exporting regions, the Gold Coast, the Bight of Biafra and the Bight of Benin, can be predicted by the patterns of trade established in previous centuries. It then presents a model of analysis which sets out which interrelated factors shaped their export economies and ultimately determined how they responded to the changing political and economic environment of the Atlantic world from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. This study offers an important comparative, long term quantitative perspective on the transition from slave exports to so-called ‘legitimate commerce’.

Chapter 1 shows that the speed and timing of the nineteenth century commercial transition differed considerably across the case study regions. Along the Gold Coast there was a sudden, and effectively total end to transatlantic slave trading after 1807. In the Bight of Biafra slave exports gradually declined until largely ceasing in the 1830s. Lastly in the Bight of Benin export slavery continued until the 1850s. The chapter argues that earlier studies have tended to ignore long term trends and also lack a comparative approach, as many are focused on individual regions. It then suggests a new model of analysis and dismisses two factors as irrelevant; the British slave trade patrol and changing demands for, or changing supply of, African slaves. The chapter argues that regional variations can be explained by five key factors: 1) the nature and duration of long-term trade relations; 2) the identity of the principal European trade partner; 3) certain aspects of the ecology of the different regions; 4) the regional political contexts; and 5) the development of institutions that either encouraged or discouraged elite participation in non-slave exports.

Chapter 2 provides a broad overview of each case study region’s patterns of trade from the fifteenth to the eighteenth Centuries based on secondary and primary qualitative sources. It then reviews quantitative evidence of commodity trading patterns from the earlier eighteenth century from British and Dutch commodity traders and slaving vessels that bought commodities. It argues that the expansion of slavery in the Bight of Biafra did not crowd out other forms of commerce. On the Gold Coast the early eighteenth century saw continued engagement in commodity exports while the slave trade expanded. However, by the 1780s, both slave and commodity exports seem to have begun to decline. In the Dahomean-controlled area of the Bight of Benin, there is no evidence of slavery crowding out other forms of commerce, as captives were always the only item of trade with the Atlantic world.

Chapter 3 investigates the extent to which the 18th century intensification of the trans-Atlantic slave trade boosted commercial agriculture in the coastal areas of West Africa and in particular in the case study regions. It explores the provisioning strategies of 187 British, French, Dutch and Danish slave voyages conducted between 1681 and 1807, and calls for a major downward adjustment of available estimates of the slave trade induced demand impulse. It shows that during the 18th century, an increasing share of the foodstuffs required to feed African slaves were taken on board in Europe instead of West Africa. However, there was considerable variation in provisioning strategies among slave trading nations and across main regions of slave embarkation. The Bight of Benin never significantly engaged in provisioning trade. Traders along the Gold Coast provided relatively large quantities of food to slaving vessels, but in the Bight of Biafra, British demand stimulated a considerable trade in foodstuffs. The chapter explains these trends and variation in terms of the relative (seasonal) security of European versus African food supplies, the falling relative costs of European provisions and the increasing risks in the late 18th century trade, putting a premium on faster embarkation times.

Chapter 4 uses a newly constructed dataset on the quantities and prices of African commodities on the coast and in British markets over the long eighteenth century and provides new insights into the changing nature of Britain’s non-slave trade. It improves on previous work by Johnson et al. (1990) and finds that earlier estimates of the volume and value of commodity trade have been underestimates and fail to account for regional changes in output. The data suggests that from the 1770s the focus of Britain’s commodity trade shifted from Senegambia to the Bight of Biafra and that in the later eighteenth century non-slave goods were primarily purchased by slave ships, not specialist bi-lateral traders. The chapter argues that these changes were motivated by a number of factors; conflicts between Atlantic powers, the prices of British trade goods and African imports, increasing levels of risk faced by British slave merchants and the fact that traders in the Bight of Biafra were both willing and able to supply desirable commodities.

Part 1 establishes that the Gold Coast had a far long history of commodity trading and seemed to have been moving away from the slave trade at the end of the eighteenth century. The region of the Bight of Benin controlled by Dahomey always focused exclusively on slaves. The Bight of Biafra had a considerable non-slave export economy that was growing at the end of the eighteenth century. Part 2 of the thesis applies the model of analysis to the case study regions.

Chapter 5 argues that that for the Gold Coast and more particularly the Asante empire British abolition policies and the slave forts can explain the timing of the end of transatlantic slavery but not why it ended. Following the model of analysis, the chapter shows that the presence of gold determined both long term political development and the nature of the region’s trade relationship with the Atlantic. In addition, gold became essential as a means of marking status and wealth at all levels of society and for domestic exchange. This meant that slaves were always essential for the production of gold, meaning that there was an important competing domestic market for coerced labour. Over the eighteenth-century gold became scarcer leading to slaves being pulled out of the Atlantic market to focus on production. In addition, well-developed trade relations with the interior and a rise in demand from the Islamic states in the Sokoto caliphate led to an expansion of kola exports which demanded yet more labour. Most importantly, the chapter argues that both households and elite groups could profit more from commodity than slave exports which explains the rapid move away from the transatlantic slavery and towards the production of commodities.

In Chapter 6 it is argued that in the Bight of Biafra, the slave and commodity trades were not only compatible but complementary. The region’s riverine transport networks, long established coastal-interior trade relations and suitability for the growing of yams, palm oil and tropical hardwoods meant that the provisioning and commodity trades could function alongside slave exports. The relatively late opening of central Igboland to the Atlantic slave markets meant that the region did not see the influx of wealth in the seventeenth century that spurred the development of states in the other case study areas. Instead the region followed a different institutional path which saw the development small political entities linked together through the Aro trade network. Elites in the interior and at the coast were reliant on trade for both power and status, but not specifically the slave trade. As a result, abolition was not a serious economic shock as commodities and slaves had always been traded side by side. As in Gold Coast both commoners and elites benefited from commodity trading. Atlantic goods allowed many more people to purchase goods to improve their standards of living, while elites benefitted from the less volatile commodity trade. Furthermore, the British state also perhaps unintentionally supported the development of the palm oil trade through its customs policies. Eventually, this led to palm oil crowding out slave exports through greater demands for domestic labour.

Chapter 7 investigates why the region of the Bight of Benin controlled by Dahomey only ever exported slaves. It shows that this region possessed no gold and had less favourable geography for commodity exports than the Bight of Biafra. The early expansion of export slavery in the seventeenth century spurred the development of states and elites who were entirely dependent on slave exports to maintain their wealth and power. It led to the development of a militaristic culture and institutions based on large scale slave raiding that were highly effective as a means of controlling and harnessing elite violence, generating wealth and defending the state from powerful external threats and economic competition. The demands of the army and elites took much of the kingdom’s potential labour away from households. In addition, constant warfare led to a serious demographic decline across the region further reducing the amount of available labour. The chapter argues that it was never in the interests of elites to switch to an alternative economic system and there was, until the 1850s, always sufficient external demand. In the end abolition efforts were a necessary condition to ending the slave trade.

Chapter 8 concludes with a summary of the main contributions of thesis; the importance of long term patterns of trade in determining nineteenth century commercial transition and a modified model of analysis to explain the diverging trajectories of the different case study regions. It also argues that the impact of Britain’s abolition campaign should be reassessed. In the Gold Coast and the Bight of Biafra it was not an important factor in ending transatlantic slavery, while in the Bight of Benin it was. The chapter ends with suggestions for future research.

Understanding the productivity of cassava in West Africa
Ezui, Kodjovi Senam - \ 2017
University. Promotor(en): Ken Giller, co-promotor(en): Linus Franke; A. Mando. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463430470 - 183
manihot esculenta - cassava - crop production - rainfed agriculture - drought - crop yield - water use efficiency - radiation use efficiency - fertilizers - togo - ghana - west africa - cassave - gewasproductie - regenafhankelijke landbouw - droogte - gewasopbrengst - watergebruiksrendement - stralingsbenuttigingsefficiëntie - kunstmeststoffen - west-afrika

Drought stress and sub-optimal soil fertility management are major constraints to crop production in general and to cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) in particular in the rain-fed cropping systems in West Africa. Cassava is an important source of calories for millions of smallholder households in sub-Sahara Africa. The prime aim of this research was to understand cassava productivity in order to contribute to improving yields, food security and farm incomes in rain-fed cassava production systems in West Africa. A long-term goal was to contribute to a decision support tool for site-specific crop and nutrient management recommendations. Firstly, we studied farmers’ perception of cassava production constraints, assessed drivers of diversity among households and analysed the suitability of farmers’ resource endowment groups to the intensification of cassava production. The results indicate that farmers perceived erratic rainfall and poor soil fertility to be prime constraints to cassava production. The agricultural potential of the area and the proximity to regional markets were major drivers for the adoption of crop intensification options including the use of mineral and organic fertilizers. While the use of mineral and organic fertilizers was common in the Maritime zone that had a low agricultural potential, storage roots yields were below the national average of 2.2 Mg dry matter per hectare, and average incomes of 0.62, 0.46 and 0.46 US$ per capita per day for the high, medium and low farmer resource groups (REGs – HRE, MRE and LRE, respectively) were below the poverty line requirement of 1.25 US$. In the high agricultural potential Plateaux zone, HRE and MRE households passed this poverty line by earning 2.58 and 2.59 US$ per capita per day, respectively, unlike the LRE households with 0.89 US$ per capita per day. Secondly, we investigated the effects of mineral fertilizer on nutrient uptake, nutrient physiological use efficiency and storage roots yields of cassava since soil fertility was a major issue across the zones. We used an approach based on the model for the Quantitative Evaluation of the Fertility of Tropical Soils (QUEFTS). This model was successfully adapted for cassava and it appropriately assessed the response of cassava to N, P and K applications, especially in years with good rainfall. Under high drought stress, the model overestimated cassava yields. Thirdly, we investigated the impact of balanced nutrition on nutrient use efficiency, yield and return on investment compared to blanket fertilizer use as commonly practiced in cassava production systems in Southern Togo, and in Southern and Northern Ghana. The balanced nutrition approach of the QUEFTS model aimed to maximize simultaneously nutrient use efficiency of N, P and K in accordance with the plant’s needs. Larger nutrient use efficiencies of 20.5 to 23.9 kg storage root dry matter (DM) per kilo crop nutrient equivalent (1kCNE of a nutrient is the quantity of that nutrient that has the same effect on yield as 1 kg of N under balanced nutrition conditions) were achieved at balanced nutrition at harvest index (HI) of 0.50 compared to 20.0 to 20.5 kg storage root DM per kilo CNE for the blanket rates recommended by national research services for cassava production. Lower benefit:cost ratios of 2.4±0.9 were obtained for the blanket fertilizer rates versus 3.8±1.1 for the balanced fertilizer rates. Our study revealed that potassium (K) was a major yield limiting factor for cassava production, especially on the Ferralsols in Southern Togo. Hence, we fourthly studied the effect of K and its interaction with nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and the timing of harvest on the productivity of cassava in relation to the effects of K on radiation use efficiency (RUE), light interception, water use efficiency (WUE) and water transpiration. The results suggest that K plays a leading role in RUE and WUE, while N is the leading nutrient for light interception and water transpiration. Potassium effects on RUE and WUE depended on the availability of N and harvest time. Values of RUE and WUE declined with harvest at 4, 8 and 11 months after planting. Thus, enhanced K management with sufficient supply of N during the early stage of development of cassava is needed to maximize RUE and WUE, and consequently attain larger storage root yields. Given that erratic rainfall was another major constraint to cassava production according to the results of the farm survey, and due to the inability of QUEFTS modelling to assess drought effects on cassava yield successfully, another modelling approach based on light interception and utilization (LINTUL) was used. We quantified drought impacts on yields and explored strategies to improve yields through evaluation of planting dates in Southern Togo. The evaluation of the model indicated good agreement between simulated and observed leaf area index (Normalised Root Mean Square Error - NRMSE - 17% of the average observed LAI), storage roots yields (NRMSE 5.8% of the average observed yield) and total biomass yield (NRMSE 5.8% of the average observed). Simulated yield losses due to drought ranged from 9-60% of the water-limited yields. The evaluation of planting dates from mid-January to mid-July indicated that the best planting window is around mid-February. Higher amount of cropping season rainfall was also achieved with early planting. These results contradict current practices of starting planting around mid-March to mid-April. However, the results indicate the possibility to increase cassava yields with early planting, which led to less yield losses due to drought. By contrast, late planting around June-July gave larger potential yields, and suggested these periods to be the best planting window for cassava under irrigated conditions in Southern Togo. This shows that appropriate water control and planting periods can contribute to attaining larger yields in Southern Togo. Further improvement of the LINTUL model is required towards using it to assess water-limited yield, which can be used as boundary constraint in QUEFTS to derive site-specific fertilizer requirements for enhanced cassava yield and returns on investments in West Africa.

Under the lens of embeddedness : socio-cultural perspective on home-grown school feeding in Ghana
Sulemana, N. - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Han Wiskerke, co-promotor(en): Paul Hebinck; D. Millar. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462577800 - 201 p.
rural areas - schools - school food service - rural development - agricultural development - ghana - west africa - platteland - scholen - maaltijdverzorging op scholen - plattelandsontwikkeling - landbouwontwikkeling - west-afrika
The tree under which you sit : district-level management and leadership in maternal and newborn health policy implementation in the Greater Accra Region, Ghana
Kwamie, A. - \ 2016
University. Promotor(en): Han van Dijk; I.A. Agyepong. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462576742 - 158 p.
health policy - birth - pregnancy - policy - management - administration - ghana - west africa - gezondheidsbeleid - geboorte - zwangerschap - beleid - bedrijfsvoering - bestuur - west-afrika

Health system governance has to do with decision-making – who makes decisions, when, where, how and why. At the district level – the level of care which operationalises health policies – governance is critical, yet remains little understood. Governance has the ability to influence health system performance, and this is essential in maternal and newborn health, where timely decisions are required to support policy implementation. In this regard, district managers are particularly important. They are the link in the middle of the health system, connecting top-end policy formulation to bottom-end implementation. Their abilities to interpret, translate, support and challenge policy will have an effect on what gets operationalised. However, capacity weaknesses in district management and leadership are often cited as a factor in poor health system performance.

This thesis seeks to deepen understandings of district-level management, leadership and decision-making for policy and programme management and implementation for maternal and newborn health. Within this, the thesis also seeks to understand the scope for change that an intervention to strengthen management and leadership capacities can bring.

This thesis contributes to the applied field of health policy and systems research by drawing on policy implementation theory, organisational management theory and complexity theory as its theoretical basis. A realist approach methodology was undertaken to understand the contexts in which district managers are embedded, how this influences their decision-making, and what the effects of a managerial intervention are, given these contexts. The thesis followed an embedded case study flexible design. The first case study was an exploratory qualitative case study to understand how and why district managers make decisions in maternal and newborn health policy implementation. The second case study was an historical case study of district manager decision-space over time. The third case study was an explanatory qualitative case study of the management and leadership intervention. The final validation of our theorising throughout the cases was achieved through the administration of a questionnaire across all district health management teams of the Great Accra Region.

This thesis demonstrates that district managers find themselves in contexts of strong hierarchical authority and resource uncertainty – in particular, lacking financial transparency. This promotes a management and leadership typology which attunes managers towards serving the health system bureaucracy, resulting in reduced district-level responsiveness to maternal and newborn health challenges. The outcome is that district manager decision-space is narrow surrounding resource allocation decisions, and this in turn affects local planning programming and management.

The thesis further demonstrates that broader patterns of centralised governmental decision-making have affected the development of the district health system over time. Particularly, the sequencing of decentralisation processes has ensured that national-level decision-making has remained empowered in contrast to district-level decision-making. System fragmentation – through reduced Government of Ghana funds and increasingly verticalised donor funds – has also been a contributor. This accounts for the observed hierarchical authority and resource uncertainty which affects district managers. As a result of these contexts, this thesis also showed that an intervention to strengthen management and leadership capacities was limited in its sustainability.

This thesis raises the issues of health system organisation as critical to the potential of district management and leadership effectiveness. It provides evidence that weaknesses in district management and leadership arise out of the organisational governance mismatches in autonomy and responsibility. It suggests that in strengthening management and leadership, approaches which seek to address organisational capacities, not only individual capacities, are needed to convey sustainable change. Advancements in this regard have the scope to improve district manager decision-making for maternal and newborn health policy and programme implementation in the future.

Could nutrition sensitive cocoa value chains be introduced in Ghana? Report of a brief study that identifies opportunities and bottlenecks
Vries, K. de - \ 2015
Wageningen : Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR (Report CDI / Wageningen UR, Centre for Development Innovation 15-105) - 22
food consumption - households - gender relations - women - cocoa - undernutrition - nutrition - ghana - africa - west africa - voedselconsumptie - huishoudens - man-vrouwrelaties - vrouwen - cacao - ondervoeding - voeding - afrika - west-afrika
This study looks at whether introducing nutrition sensitive cocoa value chains in Ghana is feasible and recommends how this could be done. After establishing the cocoa farming and nutrition context in Ghana, the study zooms in on one cocoa producing sub-district to collect detailed data in order to provide recommendations.
Aspirations and everyday life of single migrant women in Ghana
Tufuor, T. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Hilje van der Horst; Chizu Sato. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462575578 - 187
migratie - rurale migratie - ruraal-urbane migratie - platteland - stedelijke gebieden - vrouwen - man-vrouwrelaties - samenleving - gezinsstructuur - ghana - west-afrika - migration - rural rural migration - rural urban migration - rural areas - urban areas - women - gender relations - society - family structure - west africa

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Endline report – Liberia, BSC MFS II country evaluations
Gotomo, S. ; Peters, B. ; Kusters, C.S.L. ; Peabody, S. ; Washington Gopeya, M. - \ 2015
Wageningen : Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR (Report / Wageningen UR, Centre for Development Innovation CDI-15-011) - 118
capacity - capacity building - organizational development - organizations - liberia - west africa - africa - capaciteit - capaciteitsopbouw - organisatieontwikkeling - organisaties - west-afrika - afrika
This report presents the findings of the endline of the evaluation of the organisational capacity component of the MFS II country evaluations. The focus of this report is Liberia, BSC. The format is based on the requirements by the synthesis team and NWO/WOTRO. The endline was carried out in 2014. The baseline was carried out in 2012.
Endline report – Liberia, DEN-L MFS II country evaluations
Gotomo, S. ; Peters, B. ; Kusters, C.S.L. ; Peabody, S. ; Washington Gopeya, M. - \ 2015
Wageningen : Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR (Report / Wageningen UR, Centre for Development Innovation CDI-15-006) - 92
capacity - capacity building - organizational development - organizations - development projects - liberia - west africa - africa - capaciteit - capaciteitsopbouw - organisatieontwikkeling - organisaties - ontwikkelingsprojecten - west-afrika - afrika
This report presents the findings of the endline of the evaluation of the organisational capacity component of the MFS II country evaluations. The focus of this report is Liberia, DEN-L. The format is based on the requirements by the synthesis team and NWO/WOTRO. The endline was carried out in 2014. The baseline was carried out in 2012.
Endline report – Liberia, NAWOCOL MFS II country evaluations
Gotomo, S. ; Peters, B. ; Kusters, C.S.L. ; Peabody, S. ; Washington Gopeya, M. - \ 2015
Wageningen : Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR (Report / Wageningen UR, Centre for Development Innovation CDI-15-007) - 88
capacity - capacity building - organizational development - organizations - development projects - liberia - west africa - africa - capaciteit - capaciteitsopbouw - organisatieontwikkeling - organisaties - ontwikkelingsprojecten - west-afrika - afrika
This report presents the findings of the endline of the evaluation of the organisational capacity component of the MFS II country evaluations. The focus of this report is Liberia, NAWOCOL. The format is based on the requirements by the synthesis team and NWO/WOTRO. The endline was carried out in 2014. The baseline was carried out in 2012.
Endline report – Liberia, RHRAP MFS II country evaluations
Gotomo, S. ; Peters, B. ; Kusters, C.S.L. ; Peabody, S. ; Washington Gopeya, M. - \ 2015
Wageningen : Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR (Report / Wageningen UR, Centre for Development Innovation CDI-15-010) - 110
capacity - capacity building - organizational development - organizations - development projects - liberia - west africa - africa - capaciteit - capaciteitsopbouw - organisatieontwikkeling - organisaties - ontwikkelingsprojecten - west-afrika - afrika
This report presents the findings of the endline of the evaluation of the organisational capacity component of the MFS II country evaluations. The focus of this report is Liberia, RHRAP. The format is based on the requirements by the synthesis team and NWO/WOTRO. The endline was carried out in 2014. The baseline was carried out in 2012.
Local institutions and rural development : evidence from Liberia
Beekman, G. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte, co-promotor(en): Lonneke Nillesen. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462575080 - 200
plattelandsontwikkeling - gezinnen - netwerken - lokale netwerken - sociale netwerken - instellingen - micro-economische analyse - micro-economie - economische ontwikkeling - landbouwontwikkeling - liberia - west-afrika - rural development - families - networks - local area networks - social networks - institutions - microeconomic analysis - microeconomics - economic development - agricultural development - west africa

Local institutions and rural development: Evidence from Liberia

This thesis focusses on the role of local (informal) institutions for development, based on data from Liberia. I show that dense family networks can be an obstacle for economic decision making, due to strict income sharing obligations that often belong to them. I also demonstrate the importance of local governance quality: corrupt village leaders negatively affect daily investment decisions by villagers. Finally, I evaluate the impact of a rural development project that aims to strengthen food security and social cohesion between villagers. The results indicate that the impact is marginal at most, and local institutions again do play a role.

Institutions are difficult to change, as they are rooted in an historical context. However, policy makers could support the emergence of alternative institutions. Either way, a deeper understanding of the far-going impact of local institutions is important: this research contributes to that.

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


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

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

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

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

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

Empirical Chapters

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

Fonio (Digitaria exilis) in West Africa: towards improving nutrient quality
Koreissi, Y. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Michael Zimmermann, co-promotor(en): Inge Brouwer; Diego Moretti. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574557 - 177
digitaria exilis - digitaria - voedingsstoffenverbetering - voedselkwaliteit - voedingswaarde - ijzer - zink - west-afrika - nutrient improvement - food quality - nutritive value - iron - zinc - west africa

Fonio (Digitaria exilis) in West Africa: Towards improving nutrient quality


Hidden hunger affects a far greater percentage of the world’s population with iron and zinc deficiencies being the most common, particularly affecting women of reproductive age. The primary cause of the mineral and vitamin deficiencies in developing countries is inadequate intakes of multiple and bioavailable micronutrients in common cereal-based diets, emphasizing the need for increased quality of diets. Plant genetic diversity, and also indigenous foods and/ or traditional grains as fonio may play a critical role in reduction of the problem for resource poor populations. Fonio (Digitaria exilis) is the most ancient West African cereal representing a key crop in food supply during crop shortfall periods. However, less is known about its potential to contribute improving nutrition and health. In this context, the thesis investigated whether we could improve the nutrient quality of fonio, especially iron, to potentially contribute to the daily intake of population.

Investigations in this thesis comprised: i) the consumption pattern of fonio and its contribution to nutrient intakes (108 women aged 15‐49 year-old selected from 3‐stage cluster sampling procedure in Bamako, Mali for the purpose of the fonio project); ii) the validation of the Mali food composition database (TACAM) for assessing population level intakes of energy and nutrients (36 women out of 108 previously selected); iii) the genetic diversity, nutrient content especially bioavailable iron and zinc content and the effect of processing on fonio landraces (12 fonio landraces collected from farmers in Mali); iv) the sensory variability among fonio landraces (20 fonio landraces collected from farmers in Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso); v) improved food processing combining dephytinisation with native phytase and fortification of fonio diet with iron to increase iron absorption (16 women aged 18-30 year-old from simple random sampling in Cotonou, Benin).

The results indicated that i) fonio is consumed one to three times/ month by 68% of our study population. The average daily portion size is 152g when consumed. Only 5% of the study population consumed fonio dishes contributing to 16% of the daily energy intake for the consumed portion size, reflecting the low consumption of fonio related to significant barriers such as availability of cooked fonio in urban markets, lack of consistent supply throughout the year, difficult post- harvest processing, high-quality product demand, hard texture coupled with time consuming cooking process, and high cost of fonio products.

The use of the adjusted TACAM is acceptable for estimating average intake at population level for macronutrients, calcium and zinc in a low intake population, but not for carbohydrate and iron intakes which was underestimated and vitamin A which was overestimated, nor for probability of adequate intakes and nutrient densities. At individual level, significant differences were observed between estimated and analyzed intakes for all the nutrients increasing with higher intakes.

The nutrient content of fonio landraces in Mali and the effect of processing of the nutrient values revealed i) a limited genetic variation of studied landraces, polymorphism level (3.5%) compared to 63% reported for 118 fonio accessions collected in West Africa, three different clusters only for Malians landraces compared to two clusters for Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Benin together; ii) no statistically significant differences between fonio landraces for their iron and zinc content, iii) a high iron and phytate concentration in paddy fonio (35 and 514 mg/100 g dry weight) which reduces considerably with traditional processing, the most important losses occurring during processing from paddy to mid wet fonio (approximately 2 and 129 mg/100 g), 96% reduction for iron and 75% for phytate.

Fonio landraces in West Africa were different for their visual (colour and presence/absence of impurities) and their textural (consistency of cooked grain) charactersitics.

Exploring processing to increase iron biavailability from fonio meals confirm that whole wheat flour could be used as a source of natural phytase to produce low phytic acid containing fonio porridge. It showed also that dephytinisation using intrinsic wheat phytase reduced phytate-to-iron molar ratio from 23.7:1 to 2.7:1 after only 1 hour of incubation at 50ºC with pH of 5.0, and iron fortification decreased the molar ratio to 0.3:1. Dephytinisation with wheat phytase and fortification significantly increased iron absorption ratio from 2.6% to 8.2% in fonio porridges.

From these results, we can conclude that the current contribution of fonio to daily bioavailable iron intake is low due to small portion sizes being consumed in low frequency, to considerable losses during processing to mid-wet fonio, and to a high phytate-iron molar ratio. Fonio landraces from Mali, Guinea and Burkina Faso are variable in visual and textural characteristics (colour, presence of impurity and consistency of the cooked grain, respectively), determining the preference of consumers. Selecting landraces for preferred sensory properties may offer an entry point for processors who intend to promote the consumption of fonio and increase its role in diet. In absence of meaningful genetic diversity and variation in iron content in fonio landraces in Mali, there is little benefit in selecting landraces for natural high iron content. Dephytinisation using intrinsic wheat phytase could be a promising processing practice to improve iron bioavailability and fortification is required to increase the amount of absorbed iron from fonio meals.

Management of rice seed during insurgency : a case study in Sierra Leone
Mokuwa, G.A. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Paul Struik, co-promotor(en): Edwin Nuijten. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574328 - 267
oryza glaberrima - oryza sativa - hybride rassen - genetische bronnen van plantensoorten - zaden - voedselzekerheid - familiebedrijven, landbouw - agrarische bedrijfsvoering - west-afrika - sierra leone - hybrid varieties - plant genetic resources - seeds - food security - family farms - farm management - west africa

Keywords: Technography, Oryza glaberrima, Oryza sativa, farmer hybrids, sub-optimal agriculture, farmer adaptive management, plant genetic resources, peace and extreme (wartime) conditions, local seed channels, selection for robustness, Sierra Leone, West Africa.


Mokuwa, G. A. (2015) Management of rice seed during insurgency: a case study in Sierra Leone. PhD Thesis, Wageningen University, 267 pp.

In large parts of West Africa small scale farmers rely upon the cultivation of upland rice under low input conditions in a great diversity of micro-environments. It has been suggested that formal research should consider the context within which farmers address their food security issues. But these contexts need further clarification for poor and marginalized farm households facing many challenges, including dislocations associated with political and social unrest, and civil war. The research presented in this thesis builds on earlier findings concerning farmer management of rice genetic resources under farmer low-resource conditions. It starts with a regional focus, drawing on methods from the social and biological sciences, concerning the human, environmental and technical factors shaping the character and composition of rice varieties grown by small-scale farmers in coastal West Africa (seven countries from Senegal to Togo) and then focuses on specific in-depth field studies undertaken in Sierra Leone.

Findings show that farmer rice genetic resources were persistently and enduringly adapted to local agro-ecologies via strong selection processes and local adaptation strategies, and that these adaptive processes were largely unaffected by the temporary contingencies of civil war. It is also shown that even under extreme (war-time) conditions success indicators in farmers’ local seed channels remain robust. Farmers continue to select and adapt their seed types to local contingencies, and war served as yet one more stimulus to further adaptation. This persistent human selective activity continues to make a significant contribution to the food security of poor and marginalized farm households in the region.

The major finding of this thesis is that selection for robustness among varieties of the local staple, rice, helped to protect Sierra Leonean farmers against some of the worst effects of war-induced food insecurity. In this sense, therefore, war may have served to strengthen and prolong farmer preferences for robustness, but it was not the cause of this preference. The marked diversity farmers maintain in their rice varieties is understood to be part of a longer-term risk-spreading strategy that also facilitates successful and often serendipitous variety innovations. In a world facing major climatic changes this local capacity for seed selection and innovation ought to be a valued resource for technological change. The present study provides a starting point for thinking about the improved effectiveness of institutional innovation strategies for farmer participatory innovation activities.

Supporting Local Seed Businesses : A Training Manual for ISSD Uganda
Mastenbroek, A. ; Chebet, A. ; Muwanika, C.T. ; Adong, C.J. ; Okot, F. ; Otim, G. ; Birungi, J. ; Kansiime, M. ; Oyee, P. ; Ninsiima, P. - \ 2015
Wageningen : Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen UR - 273
seed production - seed development - seed quality - rural development - farming - markets - businesses - small businesses - regional development - training courses - training - agricultural development - uganda - west africa - africa - zaadproductie - zaadontwikkeling - zaadkwaliteit - plattelandsontwikkeling - landbouw bedrijven - markten - bedrijven - kleine bedrijven - regionale ontwikkeling - scholingscursussen - opleiding - landbouwontwikkeling - west-afrika - afrika
The training manual is developed in Uganda to train partner organisations in coaching farmer groups to become sustainable local seed businesses. It introduces the Integrated Seed Sector Development Programme in Uganda and the concept of local seed businesses (LSBs). The manual has 5 modules covering selection, monitoring and sustaining local seed businesses; technically equipping local seed businesses, professionally organising LSBs; orienting LSBs to the market and strategically linking them to service providers.
The roles of exploration and exploitation in the export market integration of Beninese producers at the base of the pyramid
Adékambi, S.A. - \ 2015
University. Promotor(en): Hans van Trijp, co-promotor(en): Paul Ingenbleek. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462572461 - 205
marketing - landbouwproducten - export - instellingen - armoede - sheaboter - ontwikkelingseconomie - economische groei - afrika - benin - west-afrika - agricultural products - exports - institutions - poverty - shea butter - development economics - economic growth - africa - west africa

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


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

Climate change, climate variability and adaptation options in smallholder cropping systems of the Sudano - Sahel region in West Africa
Traore, B. - \ 2014
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.

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