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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    Comparing groups of Brazilian cattle farmers with different levels of intention to use improved natural grassland
    Rossi Borges, J.A. ; Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M. - \ 2015
    Livestock Science 178 (2015). - ISSN 1871-1413 - p. 296 - 305.
    planned behavior - conservation practices - dairy farmers - water conservation - risk perception - adoption - management - decisions - attitudes - technologies
    This study used the Theory of Planned Behavior (TPB) to analyze the intention of Brazilian farmers to use improved natural grassland. The TPB hypothesizes that the adoption of an innovation is driven by the intention to use it, which in turn is determined by three socio-psychological constructs: attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control. These constructs are derived from beliefs. The theoretical framework and model were applied to a sample of 214 Brazilian cattle farmers. Based on the socio-psychological constructs that influence intention, two groups of farmers were identified; farmers that were willing and farmers that were unwilling to use improved natural grassland. Results showed that compared to unwilling farmers, willing farmers evaluated the use of improved natural grassland on their farms more favorably (attitude), they felt a greater social pressure upon them to adopt this innovation (social norm), and they reported a higher capability (perceived behavioral control) to use improved natural grassland. Willing and unwilling farmers also differed in their behavioral beliefs concerning the outcomes of using improved natural grassland, their normative beliefs concerning important others, and their control beliefs concerning factors that could facilitate or inhibit the use of improved natural grassland. The two groups did not differ in most of their socioeconomic characteristics, but did differ in their goals and relative risk attitudes.
    Information networks that generate economic value: A study on clusters of adopters of new or improved technologies and practices among oil palm growers in Mexico
    Aguilar-Gallegos, N. ; Muñoz-Rodríguez, M. ; Santoyo-Cortés, H. ; Aguilar-Ávila, J. ; Klerkx, L.W.A. - \ 2015
    Agricultural Systems 135 (2015). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 122 - 132.
    agricultural innovation systems - sustainable agriculture - conservation practices - knowledge systems - land management - adoption - farmers - exchange - africa - kenya
    The area under cultivation of oil palm has undergone considerable growth in Mexico, but yields are far below their potential. This is related to the low rate of adoption of new or improved technologies and practices in areas such as plantation management and farm administration. This study determines the factors that have an influence on adoption of new or improved technologies and practices and their relationship with the generation of economic value of oil palm. A cluster analysis of 33 key new or improved technologies and practices adopted by 104 growers was performed, and the main adoption categories and the variables influencing adoption are described. The results indicate that three clusters of growers can be discerned that differ in terms of their levels of adoption. The highest level of adoption of new or improved technologies and practices is related to higher yields and vice versa. The new or improved technologies and practices that differentiate the cluster of the advanced adopters from the cluster of the basic adopters are those related to plantation health, grower associations and production unit management. The cluster of the intermediate adopters is outstanding for their levels of adoption of new or improved technologies and practices in the aspects of plant nutrition, harvest, and genetics and reproduction. The advanced adopters set up better links for getting information, generally fromtheir extensionists. The three clusters each exhibit a great degree of homophily, indicating little information flow between the different clusters of growers, while these can learn from each other. These results make it evident that better articulation among different clusters of growers and other actors should be encouraged, and that diversified and tailor-made extension strategies should be designed to optimally support different clusters of growers.
    Farmers' Perceptions of Land Degradation and their Investments in Land Management: a Case Study in the Cental Rift Valley of Ethiopia
    Adimassu, Zenebe ; Kessler, A. ; Yirga, C. - \ 2013
    Environmental Management 51 (2013)5. - ISSN 0364-152X - p. 989 - 998.
    soil fertility management - conservation practices - nutrient balances - tenure security - south wello - highlands - adoption - smallholders - erosion - area
    To combat land degradation in the Central Rift Valley (CRV) of Ethiopia, farmers are of crucial importance. If farmers perceive land degradation as a problem, the chance that they invest in land management measures will be enhanced. This study presents farmers’ perceptions of land degradation and their investments in land management, and to what extent the latter are influenced by these perceptions. Water erosion and fertility depletion are taken as main indicators of land degradation, and the results show that farmers perceive an increase in both indicators over the last decade. They are aware of it and consider it as a problem. Nevertheless, farmers’ investments to control water erosion and soil fertility depletion are very limited in the CRV. Results also show that farmers’ awareness of both water erosion and soil fertility decline as a problem is not significantly associated with their investments in land management. Hence, even farmers who perceive land degradation on their fields and are concerned about its increase over the last decade do not significantly invest more in water erosion and soil fertility control measures than farmers who do not perceive these phenomena. Further research is needed to assess which other factors might influence farmers’ investments in land management, especially factors related to socioeconomic characteristics of farm households and plot characteristics which were not addressed by this study.
    A typology of farm households for the Umutara Province in Rwanda
    Bidogeza, J.C. ; Berentsen, P.B.M. ; Graaff, J. de; Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M. - \ 2009
    Food Security 1 (2009)3. - ISSN 1876-4517 - p. 321 - 335.
    agricultural innovations - conservation practices - sustainable agriculture - technology adoption - cluster-analysis - systems - soil - management - model - classification
    For nearly 30 years, technologies for more sustainable land use have been developed and promoted in Rwanda. However, these technologies have not been fully adopted. Keeping in mind that the farming population is not homogeneous with respect to socio-economic variables, this paper typifies farm households in Umutara province based on socio-economic factors influencing the adoption of new technology. A multivariate analysis approach that combines Principal Component Analysis and Cluster Analysis allowed us to identify clearly five types of farm households and their socio-economic characteristics. The main differences between the five farm types relate to gender, age, education, risk perception, risk attitude, labour availability, land tenure and income. The five farm types are characterized by respectively having a female head (26% of the farms), being a tenant (7%), having a male and literate head (32%), having an illiterate head with no off-farm activities (18%), and being a large farm with livestock (17%). The respective farm types appeared to have adopted different types of sustainable technologies to a limited extent. Female-headed households adopted the use of compost and green manure. Young male literate farmers were the only ones using chemical fertilizers. Illiterate and full-time farmers applied fallow, manure and erosion control measures to maintain soil fertility. The use of improved livestock is adopted by large farms.
    The impact of marketing systems on soil sustainability of agriculture in developing countries : a method and an application
    Castaño, J. ; Meulenberg, M.T.G. ; Tilburg, A. van - \ 2005
    Agricultural Economics 33 (2005)1. - ISSN 0169-5150 - p. 51 - 66.
    business profitability - conservation practices - orientation - adoption - technology - management - innovation - farmers - quality - policy
    This article is concerned with soil-sustainability problems of agriculture in developing countries, in particular with soil erosion. The aim of our study is to develop a comprehensive model that explains the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices with respect to soil conservation. Our approach includes the following special features: (a) the model is comprehensive in that it includes a large number of institutional, personal–social, economic, and physical explanatory variables; (b) particular attention is paid to the influence of marketing systems on the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices, which to our knowledge has been neglected in past research; (c) the concept of adopting sustainable agricultural practices (ASAP) is differentiated into a limited number of basic components of soil conservation; and (d) the model is estimated by Principal Component Regression, which enhances efficient estimation of the impact of many explanatory variables on ASAP. Our model is applied to Cabuyal hillside farming in Colombia. The application demonstrates the usefulness of the proposed model. ASAP is differentiated into three basic components: soil-disturbance control, soil-protection practices, and run-off control. It appears that soil-disturbance control is particularly influenced by farmers' characteristics, such as education and managerial variables. The second component, soil-protection practices, appears to be strongly influenced not only by farmers' managerial variables but also by their relationship with their environment, in particular marketing institutions. The third soil-conservation component, run-off control, is influenced by the physical characteristics of the plot and by the available farm labor. Our empirical results demonstrate the usefulness of the proposed model in designing agricultural policies, because it can determine which variables are more likely to influence the adoption of a specific type of soil conservation.
    Identification of farmer characteristics and farm strategies explaining changes in environmental management and environmental and economic performance of dairy farms
    Ondersteijn, C.J.M. ; Giesen, G.W.J. ; Huirne, R.B.M. - \ 2003
    Agricultural Systems 78 (2003). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 31 - 55.
    conservation practices - efficiency - diversification - behavior - decision - models - goals
    In 1998, the Mineral Accounting System (MINAS) was introduced in The Netherlands. MINAS penalises farms with a levy if the farm nutrient surpluses exceed a certain threshold. The threshold is strict, meaning that most farmers need to change their environmental management and performance to avoid high levies. Since MINAS is designed to leave ample room for farmers to follow the course of change of their choice, it is crucial to know whether or not different farmers and different farm strategies lead to different environmental results. A strategic management framework is used to model changes in implementation and performance on specialised dairy farms. Financial and nutrient bookkeeping data of 114 farms, collected over the period 1997-1999 are combined with survey data on farmer characteristics and farm strategies. Results of Linear Structural Equation Analysis (LISREL) showed that the main farmer characteristic explaining change in environmental management was education. Better-educated farmers chose to increase the intensity of the farming system, and cope with the corresponding increase in environmental pressure by improving the production capacity of the herd and improving operational management. Farm strategies explain the differences in the changes in nutrient management. A strategy of process control focuses on optimising tactical management, whereas a growth strategy and a diversification strategy are strongly related to changes in farm structure. Changes in technical and environmental performance in addition to changes resulting from implementation changes are positively affected by education, but show no strong relationship with any strategy, indicating that environmental improvements can be achieved regardless of the way a farmer chooses to develop his farm. Finally, an improvement of financial performance was shown to be significantly related to an improvement of environmental performance. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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