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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    A participatory agroforestry approach for soil and water conservation in Ethiopia
    Bekele - Tesemma, A. - \ 1997
    Agricultural University. Promotor(en): L. Stroosnijder; A. van Maaren. - Wageningen : Landbouwuniversiteit - ISBN 9789054857631 - 229
    erosiebestrijding - waterbescherming - bodembescherming - bodem - erosie - bodemuitputting - verarming - participatie - bosbouw - agroforestry - ethiopië - erosion control - water conservation - soil conservation - soil - erosion - soil exhaustion - depletion - participation - forestry - agroforestry - ethiopia

    The rates of soil erosion and land degradation in Ethiopia are frighteningly high. Crop production, livestock keeping and energy supply situations are at risk. The highlands are the most affected. Past rehabilitation efforts have been immense. Much labour, capital and trained staff have been mobilized to correct the situation, but the outcome has not been encouraging. There are a number of reasons for the failure. Methodical and technological problems are evident. Exclusion of farmers and their indigenous knowledge at all levels of planning and implementation, the use of uniform and 'foreign' soil conservation and reforestation technologies, mistrust between farmers and facilitators, farmers' bias to production over conservation, miss-use of food-for-work programmes in conservation works, lack of conducive land tenure and tree usufruct have all contributed.
    Success in the effort calls for construction of an approach by which the traditional soil and water conservation and agroforestry knowledge of farmers can be studied, adapted and used. Therefore, farmers themselves were necessarily involved in the study, adaptation, implementation and evaluation of the rehabilitation work. The conceptual framework and the research questions were designed to reflect these issues and concerns.
    The research has been farmer-participatory. It is an action research, which is conducted both at community/catchment-level and at a household/farm-level. Farmerparticipatory trust building, socioeconomic diagnosis, enviromnental assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation methods are researched. The research is administered in a soft-system approach. The outcome of the research is a participatory agroforestry approach by which soil conservation is benefiting. It is composed of 'six sub-processes' that each are inter-linked in a logical order.
    · The first sub-process deals with methods of approaching the farmer(s) and finding appropriate extension methods that can secure genuine trust and acceptance of development facilitators. Indigenous means of approaching farmers and trust building are devised.
    · The second sub-process deals with a comprehensive social diagnostic approach. Appropriate methods of development extension, identification of production desires, social limitations and production potentials, indigenous land husbandry technologies are studied and identified.
    · The third sub-process deals with methods of environmental assessment. The application of GIS output maps for synthesizing the information and enhancing the participatory research work on site diagnosis and relative land potential assessments is presented.
    · The fourth sub-process focuses on methods of reconciling the findings in the human sector with the site factor. A methodology by which traditional soil and water conservation and reforestation skills, production desires and targets of farmers are understood and used in planning is devised. It involves preparing prescriptions for each of the planning units developed in the sub-process.
    · The fifth sub-process focuses on adapting catchment level plans and prescriptions to farm and farmer-level situations, technology appropriations and implementations. A methodology by which these activities of the sub-process are conducted is devised.
    · The six sub-process dwells on conducting tests on sustaining land quality, cost effectiveness and adoption ease of the implemented agroforestry development options at farm level. A methodology by which the participatory evaluation can be conducted is developed.

    Each of the six sub-processes of the approach are constructed and tested under Tikurso catchment conditions. In the process, the researching steps that were initially conceptualized in their abstract form are transformed into more illustrated sub-processes. As a result, an agroforestry approach whose nested sub-processes are connected to form a multi-loop approach is evolved. The constructed approach assumes that circumstances change in either the social sector or the enviromnental setting or both through time. For generation and usage of this expectedly new information, the approach has three alternate avenues. Choice among the alternative avenues is made depending on the knowledge-gap identified during the evaluation and feedback sub-process of the approach. The results from land sustaining quality, cost-benefit analysis and adaptability tests confirm that the approach has significant benefits to soil and water conservation.
    The evolved sub-processes indicate that the overall approach is nested in that the various discrete data and information generated in the sub-processes are hierarchical and built one in congruence with the other. The subsequent sub-processes make use of the conclusions and are guided by the information obtained in the preceding exercises. The approach is further characterized by an intimate bondage of the farmers' knowledge with the facilitator's knowledge.
    In addition to its methodical aspect, construction of agroforestry and soil and water conservation intervention technologies for adoption by farmers is contained within the approach itself It is further realized that locally understood land quality grading variables can be defined, adapted and used for determining agroforestry and soil and water conservation planning units in broad and detailed intervention categories. For the moist Weyna-dega agro-climatic zone situation, eleven agroforestry and soil and water conservation intervention categories are defined. Eight of them occur within the adapted cropping limit while the remaining three are devised for those lands that are out of the cropping limit. For each of the intervention categories, agroforestry and soil and water conservation components are defined and implementation issues are prescribed. Catchment level interventions and prescriptions serve as a guide to farm-level agroforestry and soil and water conservation planning and implementation undertakings. The development of the eleven interventions has resulted in realization of agroforestry as a land use option by which soil and water conservation measures are combined with woody perennials and non-woody components on the same piece of land simultaneously. In this regard, PAA is an approach that contributes to remedying the methodical and technological shortcomings of land rehabilitation in Ethiopia.
    The conditions for its application on large-scale are studied by considering 38 peasant associations from four administrative sub-districts. Site reconnaissance, individual and group interviews with the farmers and the government authorities concerned as well as literature search were the methods of the study. The study shows that the conditions are partly non-conducive. The recommendations indicate the actions that need to be taken for improving applicability of the approach itself and the conditions for its application on largescale.

    Modelling the effect of grazing on infiltration, runoff and primary production in the Sahel.
    Stroosnijder, L. - \ 1996
    Ecological Modelling 92 (1996)1. - ISSN 0304-3800 - p. 79 - 88.
    verarming - begrazing - hydraulisch geleidingsvermogen - infiltratie - modellen - onderzoek - sahel - kwel - bodemuitputting - depletion - grazing - hydraulic conductivity - infiltration - models - research - sahel - seepage - soil exhaustion
    Rural people's response to soil fertility decline : the Adja case (Benin)
    Brouwers, J.H.A.M. - \ 1993
    Agricultural University. Promotor(en): N.G. Röling, co-promotor(en): D.P. Gibbon. - S.l. : Brouwers - ISBN 9789067543224 - 157
    bodemuitputting - verarming - erosiebestrijding - waterbescherming - bodembescherming - sociologie - plattelandsgemeenschappen - benin - bemesting - soil exhaustion - depletion - erosion control - water conservation - soil conservation - sociology - rural communities - benin - fertilizer application

    This study examines rural people's knowledge in changing conditions such as decreasing soil fertility and increasing population. It explores how farmers, who depend on rainfed agriculture and are confronted with an ever increasing population, react. The study presents the case of an ethnic group, the Adja, who live in South-West Benin (West Africa).

    Chapter I looks at agriculture in tropical rainfed areas experiencing a decline in soil fertility. Research and extension have so far generated few feasible technical solutions to the problem. This chapter explores how rural people themselves cope with the situation. Rural people's knowledge processes still seem to be poorly understood. This study investigates how the Adja farmers perceive demographic pressure and how they react to it, what knowledge influences them and what learning processes have resulted in their knowledge.

    The second chapter provides a theoretical perspective relevant to this study. An analysis of the relationship between researcher and rural people is given, as well as a systems perspective on rural people's knowledge, a conceptualisation of rural people's knowledge and related concepts. Rural people's knowledge will be viewed as the reconstruction of knowledge by both rural people and the researcher through a dialogical process. In addition, the reconstruction can only indicate this knowledge at a given moment in time. Three levels of studies on rural people's knowledge are distinguished: (1) knowledge 'products', (2) the social construction of rural people's knowledge, and (3) the activities which resulted in their knowledge.

    Chapter 3 presents the methodology used in this work. Special attention is given to methodological issues related to research on rural people's knowledge and the role of the researcher.

    In Chapter 4, a general introduction to the Adja plateau and its inhabitants is presented. Besides an agronomic point of view, also the Adja classification point of view is given for basic elements of the environment. The agro-ecological conditions on the plateau, the socio-cultural organisation of the Adja, as well as the history of the plateau and the interventions to change it, are described. The complexity of Adja farming is one response to the risks involved in farming. The Adja use several elements from their environment to plan agricultural activities. The history of Adja farming shows constant changes in agricultural practices, giving a dynamic picture. Agronomic interventions designed to tackle the declining soil fertility problem have been limited in their results.

    The Adja oil palm-based agro-forestry system broadly relieves problems imposed by increasing population pressure and is outlined and analysed in Chapter 5. The system produces significant quantities of biomass and at the same time the oil palm is firmly entrenched in Adja agricultural activities. Also a view on soil fertility as seen by the Adja themselves is described, together with an analysis of the effect of the oil palm system on soil fertility. The Adja recognise and appreciate the importance of soil life and organic matter, a viewpoint which is corroborated by the soil analysis.

    In Chapter 6, a presentation is given of phenomena related to rural people's knowledge on the Adja plateau, connected with variable demographic pressure and soil fertility. Oil palm densities are higher in the more populated areas. When the oil palm system comes under pressure, farmers try to prolong the cultivation of annuals, increasing the pruning of oil palms and felling them sooner. Intensification and increasing diversification of agricultural production takes place in the more populated areas. In addition, such areas have developed more dynamic and diverse aspects of social life (e.g. religion, off-farm work, migration, trade, legislation) compared to areas with more land per caput. Leadership conventions have a broader base, than in earlier days. In addition to older people, enterprising or educated young people, women and men are included in decision-making. The emergence of women as agricultural entrepreneurs, with considerable trading freedom, and who buy small pieces of land hiring more labourers than male farmers, is partly explained by male out-migration and ongoing individualisation of the Adja society.

    In order to understand why farmers act the way they do, one must try to proceed from their knowledge, values and ideas. Elaborating on earlier chapters dealing with Adja knowledge, Chapter 7 seeks to understand the Adja perspective by examining Adja 'sense making' activities, like learning, transformation of technology, classifying and theory making. Various examples show that Adja learning has its roots in action. In the daily practice of this learning, constant attention to possible improvement is evident. Results of experiments are shared, interpreted and discussed only in a restricted group. Encounters between different experimenting groups take place in specific social and physical contexts. Externally generated technologies are transformed and combined with social, economic, political and other factors to become an integral part of agriculture. The variability amongst Adja farmers argues in favour of the capacity to assess at an individual or experimenting-group level the potential value of a new method or technique. In the more highly populated areas, this feature of new relationships and networks result in a dynamic cultural identity.

    In the final chapter, it is concluded that Adja farmers have a rich body of knowledge related to agriculture. However, their agricultural knowledge is strongly related to other phenomena (e.g. religion, social struggles and diversity, access to resources, migration). In addition, it is not static, but in a continuous process of change. It is also concluded that researchers may be able to sustain ongoing Adja experiments by elaborating on a broader set of methodologies for interactive and shared learning. The adaptive research performances of farmers might be enhanced by researchers who visit farmers in their fields and try to join in their discussion. The ability of researchers to enlarge their discursive analysis by incorporating a view of practical activities as applied by farmers seems an important prerequisite for fruitful collaboration. In addition, adaptive performances of farmers might be understood and discussed by researchers if they are willing to acknowledge dimensions other than agriculture.

    Bodemgesteldheid, vruchtwisseling en bodemziekten
    Smet, L.A.H. de - \ 1973
    Wageningen : STIBOKA (Interne mededeling / Stichting voor Bodemkartering 12) - 19
    verarming - rotaties - bodemuitputting - bodemvruchtbaarheid - bodemgeschiktheid - depletion - rotations - soil exhaustion - soil fertility - soil suitability
    Kalkverliezen op zandbouwland
    Loman, H. ; Willigen, P. de - \ 1972
    Haren (Gr.) : I.B. (Rapport / Instituut voor Bodemvruchtbaarheid 1972, no. 13) - 42
    calcium - verarming - uitspoelen - zandgronden - bodem - bodemuitputting - calcium - depletion - leaching - sandy soils - soil - soil exhaustion
    Het ter beschikking komen van kali in sterk uitputtenden grond
    Paauw, F. van der - \ 1942
    's-Gravenhage : [s.n.] (Verslagen van landbouwkundige onderzoekingen no. 48,5) - 44
    verarming - kalium - bodem - bodemuitputting - depletion - potassium - soil - soil exhaustion
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