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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    Delaying investments in sensor technology : The rationality of dairy farmers' investment decisions illustrated within the framework of real options theory
    Rutten, C.J. ; Steeneveld, W. ; Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M. ; Hogeveen, H. - \ 2018
    Journal of Dairy Science 101 (2018)8. - ISSN 0022-0302 - p. 7650 - 7660.
    adoption - dairy - economics - investment - sensor

    The adoption rate of sensors on dairy farms varies widely. Whereas some sensors are hardly adopted, others are adopted by many farmers. A potential rational explanation for the difference in adoption may be the expected future technological progress in the sensor technology and expected future improved decision support possibilities. For some sensors not much progress can be expected because the technology has already made enormous progress in recent years, whereas for sensors that have only recently been introduced on the market, much progress can be expected. The adoption of sensors may thus be partly explained by uncertainty about the investment decision, in which uncertainty lays in the future performance of the sensors and uncertainty about whether improved informed decision support will become available. The overall aim was to offer a plausible example of why a sensor may not be adopted now. To explain this, the role of uncertainty about technological progress in the investment decision was illustrated for highly adopted sensors (automated estrus detection) and hardly adopted sensors (automated body condition score). This theoretical illustration uses the real options theory, which accounts for the role of uncertainty in the timing of investment decisions. A discrete event model, simulating a farm of 100 dairy cows, was developed to estimate the net present value (NPV) of investing now and investing in 5 yr in both sensor systems. The results show that investing now in automated estrus detection resulted in a higher NPV than investing 5 yr from now, whereas for the automated body condition score postponing the investment resulted in a higher NPV compared with investing now. These results are in line with the observation that farmers postpone investments in sensors. Also, the current high adoption of automated estrus detection sensors can be explained because the NPV of investing now is higher than the NPV of investing in 5 yr. The results confirm that uncertainty about future sensor performance and uncertainty about whether improved decision support will become available play a role in investment decisions.

    Economics of Sustainable Development and the Bioeconomy
    Zilberman, David ; Gordon, Ben ; Hochman, Gal ; Wesseler, J.H.H. - \ 2018
    Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy 40 (2018)1. - ISSN 2040-5790 - p. 22 - 37.
    Sustainable development - bioeconomy - dynamics - heterogeneity - adoption - renewable resources
    Sustainable development can be attained by policies that are derived by analyses that integrate biophysical considerations into economic models. We show that policies and incentives that correct market failure can attain sustainable resources, and development of the bioeconomy, which relies on biological processes and feed-stock to produce renewable products. The design of sustainable development policies and analysis of the bioeconomy pose new challenges to applied economists, who are uniquely qualified to integrate economic analysis with biophysical considerations.
    Agricultural extension, technology adoption and household food security : evidence from DRC
    Santos Rocha, Jozimo - \ 2017
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): E.H. Bulte, co-promotor(en): M.M. van den Berg. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463434485 - 231
    agricultural extension - technology - adoption - food security - households - development economics - agricultural production - knowledge transfer - congo democratic republic - landbouwvoorlichting - technologie - adoptie - voedselzekerheid - huishoudens - ontwikkelingseconomie - landbouwproductie - kennisoverdracht - democratische republiek kongo

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

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

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

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

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

    The moderating effect of motivation on health-related decision-making
    Berezowska, Aleksandra ; Fischer, Arnout R.H. ; Trijp, Hans van - \ 2017
    Psychology and Health 32 (2017)6. - ISSN 0887-0446 - p. 665 - 685.
    adoption - autonomous motivation - controlled motivation - decision-making - personalised nutrition - risk-benefit trade-off
    Objective: This study identifies how autonomous and controlled motivation moderates the cognitive process that drives the adoption of personalised nutrition services. The cognitive process comprises perceptions of privacy risk, personalisation benefit, and their determinants. Design: Depending on their level of autonomous and controlled motivation, participants (N = 3453) were assigned to one of four motivational orientations, which resulted in a 2 (low/high autonomous motivation) × 2 (low/high controlled motivation) quasi-experimental design. Results: High levels of autonomous motivation strengthened the extent to which: (1) the benefits of engaging with a service determined the outcome of a risk-benefit trade-off; (2) the effectiveness of a service determined benefit perceptions. High levels of controlled motivation influenced the extent to which: (1) the risk of privacy loss determined the outcome of a risk-benefit trade-off; (2) controlling personal information after disclosure and perceiving the disclosed personal information as sensitive determined the risk of potential privacy loss. Conclusion: To encourage the adoption of personalised dietary recommendations, for individuals with high levels of autonomous motivation emphasis should be on benefits and its determinants. For those with high levels of controlled motivation, it is important to focus on risk-related issues such as information sensitivity.
    Marketing Novel Fruit Products : Evidence for Diverging Marketing Effects Across Different Products and Different Countries
    ’T Riet, Jonathan Van; Onwezen, M.C. ; Bartels, Jos ; Lans, I.A. Van Der; Kraszewska, Magdalena - \ 2016
    Journal of Food Products Marketing 22 (2016)3. - ISSN 1045-4446 - p. 332 - 349.
    adoption - fruit consumption - marketing - novel food products

    The purpose of this study was to compare the influence of four different marketing claims and price information on consumers’ product choices for novel fruits and novel fruit products, using a choice experiment. In total, 1,652 people in Greece (n = 400), the Netherlands (n = 419), Poland (n = 423), and Spain (n = 410) participated in the study. The marketing claims entailed (1) information about scientific findings concerning health benefits, (2) social norm information, (3) information about the products’ naturalness, and (4) information about the products’ time-until-expiration. The results showed that all four marketing claims and price information influenced consumer choice, but the effect of naturalness depended on the specific novel fruit product being advertised, and the effect of time-until-expiration depended on both country and fruit product. These results suggest that marketing communications should be tailored to different national markets and to specific fruit products.

    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.
    Strategies for improving water use efficiency in livestock feed production in rain-fed systems
    Kebebe, E.G. ; Oosting, S.J. ; Haileslassie, A. ; Duncan, A.J. ; Boer, I.J.M. de - \ 2015
    Animal 9 (2015)05. - ISSN 1751-7311 - p. 908 - 916.
    sub-saharan africa - life-cycle assessment - agriculture - management - ethiopia - adoption - intensification - farmers - trials - straw
    Livestock production is a major consumer of fresh water, and the influence of livestock production on global fresh water resources is increasing because of the growing demand for livestock products. Increasing water use efficiency of livestock production, therefore, can contribute to the overall water use efficiency of agriculture. Previous studies have reported significant variation in livestock water productivity (LWP) within and among farming systems. Underlying causes of this variation in LWP require further investigation. The objective of this paper was to identify the factors that explain the variation in LWP within and among farming systems in Ethiopia. We quantified LWP for various farms in mixed-crop livestock systems and explored the effect of household demographic characteristics and farm assets on LWP using ANOVA and multilevel mixed-effect linear regression. We focused on water used to cultivate feeds on privately owned agricultural lands. There was a difference in LWP among farming systems and wealth categories. Better-off households followed by medium households had the highest LWP, whereas poor households had the lowest LWP. The variation in LWP among wealth categories could be explained by the differences in the ownership of livestock and availability of family labor. Regression results showed that the age of the household head, the size of the livestock holding and availability of family labor affected LWP positively. The results suggest that water use efficiency could be improved by alleviating resource constraints such as access to farm labor and livestock assets, oxen in particular.
    ERP in agriculture: Lessons learned from the Dutch horticulture
    Verdouw, C.N. ; Robbemond, R.M. ; Wolfert, J. - \ 2015
    Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 114 (2015). - ISSN 0168-1699 - p. 125 - 133.
    critical success factors - enterprise systems - future internet - supply chains - management - impact - model - perspective - innovation - adoption
    Farming nowadays is a complex managerial task that imposes stringent requirements on farm management information systems. In other sectors, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are widely implemented to meet such requirements. This paper assesses the applicability of ERP systems in the agri-food domain by investigating the experiences of agri-food companies that already have implemented an ERP system. More specifically, the research has analyzed the drivers and barriers for adoption of ERP in the Dutch horticultural sector. The results show that the alignment of ERP with the specific characteristics and requirements of a company is a crucial challenge in order to capitalize the benefits of ERP. The study also shows that it is possible to deal with this challenge. The majority of the respondents (62%) is positive about of the match of the specific ERP solution with the company’s business processes during implementation. Most of these respondents have implemented a system that includes a sector-specific layer around a standard ERP solution. Moreover, it is concluded that a proper management of the orientation, selection and implementation processes is of crucial importance for a successful adoption.
    Empty pockets, empty ponds? Disadoption of water harvesting technologies in Ethiopia
    Wakeyo, M.B. ; Gardebroek, C. - \ 2015
    Journal of Arid Environments 120 (2015). - ISSN 0140-1963 - p. 75 - 86.
    supplemental irrigation - agricultural extension - semiarid region - adoption - systems - productivity - africa - impact - china - soil
    This study analyses disadoption of water harvesting technologies in Ethiopia where the average disadiption rate in the sample areas is as high as 42%. Given that Ethiopia is a drought-prone country with 95% of its crop production being rain-fed, such a high disadoption rate for irrigation technologies is surprising and urges investigation. Using panel data on 332 Ethiopian farm households collected in 2005 and 2010 we estimate a logit model to identify factors underlying disadoption. We find farm-household, economic, technology-specific, and natural condition variables that relate to disadoption. Mainly, shortage of plastic-sheets, altitude, and distance to market increase disadoption whereas education, experience with water harvesting (learning-by-doing), farm profit, availability of family labour, access to credit, ease of selling output, growing perennial crops, and distance from natural water sources decrease the probability of disadiption. There is no evidence that malaria has a significant effect on disadoption. Based on these findings, improved supply of plastic sheets and motor pumps, and advise to afmers on appropriate crops, credit and improved market accesses could ontribute to decreasing disadoption of water harvesting technologies.
    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’ views on the future prospects of aerobic rice culture in Pakistan
    Awan, M.I. ; Oort, P.A.J. van; Ahmad, R. ; Bastiaans, L. ; Meinke, H.B. - \ 2015
    Land Use Policy 42 (2015). - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 517 - 526.
    agricultural technology - seeded rice - water-use - systems - irrigation - adoption - performance - growth - punjab - yield
    In parts of Pakistan, the sustainability of conventional flooded rice systems is threatened by diminishingresources, particularly – land, water, and labour. The adoption of aerobic rice system (ARS), an alterna-tive to the conventional systems, could considerably increase resource-use efficiencies. Information onfarmer perceptions is vital to identify socio-technological factors of adoption. Our aim was to under-stand and analyse farmer perceptions about ARS in regards to future adoption. We conducted our studyin the Pakistani Punjab with three groups of farmers: (I) informant farmers in rice–wheat system whotrialled ARS in a participatory research trial (n = 70), (II) rice farmers in rice–wheat, mixed-cropping andcotton–wheat system with no experience of ARS (n = 97), and (III) non-rice farmers in mixed-croppingand cotton–wheat system (n = 48). Data were collected using a pretested semi-structured questionnaireand analysed by using descriptive statistics and chi-square tests. More than half of respondents in groupsII and III had never heard of ARS, though, 76% were open to experimenting. Across three groups, farmersperceived ARS as a means of increasing resource-use efficiency particularly for labour, net profitabil-ity, and an option for crop diversification in the mixed-cropping system. Perceived threats were weeds,diseases, poor germination, spikelet sterility, low yields, and frequent irrigation requirement. Decidingfactors for repeat ARS plantings by group I were: ease of operation due to direct seeding, good income,and low input requirement. Deciding factors against repeat plantings were: unavailability of suitable finegrain basmati varieties, falling water table, weed problem, and unsuitable soil type. The results suggestthat aerobic rice is an interesting alternative to traditional rice production as evident from the willingnessto plant again by 73% group I demonstration households but the unavailability of well-adapted basmativarieties hampers its expansion. Farmers’ appreciation of risks and benefits can pave the way for large-scale adoption. Associated risks can be reduced by filling the identified knowledge or technological gapsthrough additional research and farmer awareness programmes.
    On-farm impact of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI): Evidence and knowledge gaps
    Berkhout, E.D. ; Glover, D.B.A. ; Kuyvenhoven, A. - \ 2015
    Agricultural Systems 132 (2015). - ISSN 0308-521X - p. 157 - 166.
    identifying changes - timor leste - technology - madagascar - productivity - cultivation - adoption - india - yield - dynamics
    The System of Rice Intensification (SRI) is being promoted worldwide, but relatively little is yet known about its impacts at farm level. This article reviews available evidence on the impact of SRI practices in terms of yield and productivity. Adoption of SRI practices necessarily changes the mix and allocation of inputs, in particular of water, seeds, fertiliser and labour. However, SRI impact studies have generally failed to distinguish between technological change – a more productive use of inputs, evidenced by a change in total factor productivity – increases in input use, or selection effects and their respective effects on yields. The studies reviewed point not only to modest increases in rice yields associated with SRI adoption, but also to concurrent increases in labour and fertiliser use. Often SRI is selectively practised on more fertile plots. As a result, no firm evidence on changes in total factor productivity can be discerned, while partial productivities of land and labour show mixed results. Though yields tend to be higher under SRI management, risk also seems to increase, which initially favours adoption by better-endowed farmers and on better soils. Evidence on SRI impact is further complicated by the large diversity of SRI practices associated with different biophysical, socio-economic and institutional circumstances. We conclude by identifying knowledge gaps surrounding the SRI phenomenon, encompassing agro-technical aspects, socio-economic issues and (dis)adoption behaviour.
    Comparison of methods to identify crop productivity constraints in developing countries. A review
    Kraaijvanger, R.G.M. ; Sonneveld, M.P.W. ; Almekinders, C.J.M. ; Veldkamp, T. - \ 2015
    Agronomy for Sustainable Development 35 (2015)2. - ISSN 1774-0746 - p. 625 - 637.
    northern ethiopian highlands - soil fertility - agricultural-research - farmers - conservation - knowledge - adoption - systems - yield - scale
    Selecting a method for identifying actual crop productivity constraints is an important step for triggering innovation processes. Applied methods can be diverse and although such methods have consequences for the design of intervention strategies, documented comparisons between various methods are scarce. Different variables can be used to characterize these methods. To typify them, we used two of these variables in a heuristic model: control over the research process and represented opinion. Here, we review 16 published papers that present outcomes of different methods to identify productivity constraints. The major findings are the following: (1) Variation in methods is wide. (2) Applying the heuristic model results in three main clusters of methods: farmer-control/farmer-opinion, scientist-control/scientist-opinion, and scientist-control/farmer-opinion. (3) These clusters are scale level dependent. As a follow up, we compared in a case study the three different methods, representative for the three main clusters of the heuristic model, in order to assess their congruency. These methods (focus group discussion, individual surveys, and contextual data collection) were applied in four localities in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. We found that congruency between the methods, as indicated by Spearman-¿ correlations, was not significant. In addition, we found that outcomes of individual surveys and contextual data collection among the different locations were correlated (R¿>¿0.70). No such correlation was found using focus group discussion. Both findings indicate that for a specific location different methods yielded different constraints and that variability between the locations is not reflected by using individual surveys and contextual data collection. Combined the review and case study demonstrate that process control and represented opinion have a manifest impact on generated outcomes. Because outcomes of productivity constraints assessments are methodology dependent, researchers are recommended to justify a priori their choice of method using the presented heuristic model.
    Challenging conservation agriculture on marginal slopes in Sehoul, Morocco
    Schwilch, G. ; Laouina, A. ; Chaker, M. ; Machouri, N. ; Sfa, M. ; Stroosnijder, L. - \ 2015
    Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 30 (2015)3. - ISSN 1742-1705 - p. 233 - 251.
    land degradation - rainwater use - management - soil - efficiency - adoption - africa
    In Sehoul, Morocco, the use of marginal land for agriculture became a necessity for the local population due to increased poverty and the occupation of the best land by new owners. Desertification poses an additional threat to agricultural production on marginal slopes, which are often stony and degraded. In a participatory process embedded in the EU DESIRE research project, potential sustainable land management measures were selected to address land degradation and desertification. Promising experiences with no-tillage practices elsewhere in Morocco had motivated the Moroccan government to promote conservation agriculture throughout the country. This combination of crop rotation, minimal soil disturbance and soil cover maintenance, however, had not yet been tested on sloping degraded land. Field trials of grazing enclosure combined with no or minimum tillage were conducted on the plots of two farmers, and trial results were analyzed based on stakeholders’ criteria. Results suggest that increased soil cover with barley residues improved rainwater use efficiency and yields only slightly, although soil water was generally enhanced. Soil moisture measurements revealed that no-tillage was favorable mainly at soil depths of 5cm and in connection with low-rainfall events (<20mm); under these circumstances, moisture content was generally higher under no-tillage than under conventional tillage. Moreover, stakeholder discussion confirmed that farmers in Sehoul remain primarily interested in animal husbandry and are reluctant to change the current grazing system. Implementation of conservation agriculture is thus challenged both by the degraded, sloping and stony nature of the land, and by the socio-economic circumstances in Sehoul.
    Risk perception and management in smallholder dairy farming in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia
    Gebreegziabher, K. ; Tadesse Woeldesenbet, T. - \ 2014
    Journal of Risk Research 17 (2014)3. - ISSN 1366-9877 - p. 367 - 381.
    tick-borne diseases - kenya highlands - cattle - tanzania - systems - prevalence - economics - adoption - farmers - region
    Empirical studies on smallholder dairy farmers' risk perceptions and management strategies have still received little attention in agricultural research of developing countries. This study focuses on farmers' risk perception and management strategies of smallholder dairy farms in urban and peri-urban areas of Tigray in northern Ethiopia. Based on data collected from a sample of 304 smallholder dairy farm households, we used descriptive statistics for analyzing farmers' risk attitude and factor analysis for analyzing and classifying risk sources and management strategies. The majority of dairy farmers considered themselves risk takers towards farm decision that may have a positive impact on technology adoption. Factor analysis identified technological, price/market, production, financial, human, and institutional factor as major sources of risks. In addition, factor analysis indicates that disease reduction, diversification, financial management, and market network are perceived as the most effective risk management strategies. Our findings indicate that perceptions of risk and management strategies are farmer-specific; therefore, policy-makers need to consider tailor-made strategies that would address farmers' individual motives to manage risks and shocks.
    Developing the role of perennial forages for crop-livestock farms: a strategic multi-disciplinary approach
    Llewellyn, R. ; Robertson, M.J. ; Hayes, R.C. ; Ferris, D. ; Descheemaeker, K.K.E. ; Revell, C. - \ 2014
    Crop and Pasture Science 65 (2014)10. - ISSN 1836-0947 - p. 945 - 955.
    subtropical grasses - potential scale - stocking rate - systems - pasture - australia - persistence - grain - adoption - lucerne
    Developing new and improved grazing systems for crop–livestock farms where crop production is the major driver of farm management decisions presents a unique research and development challenge. In southern Australia, a substantial proportion of animal production from grazing comes from regions and farms where cropping is the major enterprise. In this paper, we describe a multi-disciplinary farming-systems research approach (EverCrop) aimed at improving farm profitability, risk management and environmental impacts through the development and integration of new grazing options with an emphasis on perennial species. It has been used to analyse and target new opportunities for farmers to benefit from perennial species across dry Mediterranean-type and temperate regions of southern Australia. It integrates field experimentation, on-farm trialling, farmer participatory research, soil–plant–climate biophysical modelling, whole-farm bioeconomic analysis and evaluations of adoptability. Multi-functional roles for summer-active grasses with winter cropping, integration of forage shrubs and establishment of new mixes of perennial grasses in crop rotations to improve farming system performance are identified, along with an analysis of factors likely to affect rate of uptake by farmers.
    The Role of Standards in eco-innovation: Lessons for Policymakers
    Vollebergh, H.R.J. ; Werf, E. van der - \ 2014
    Review of Environmental Economics and Policy 8 (2014)2. - ISSN 1750-6816 - p. 230 - 248.
    international technology diffusion - clean-air act - environmental-policy - pollution-control - abatement technology - incentives - instruments - industries - adoption - us
    This article aims to help policymakers identify how standards can contribute to the effective and cost-efficient development and deployment of eco-innovations (innovations that reduce environmental impacts). To this end, we argue that the general perception among environmental economists that standards are a very simple form of command and control regulation is too limited. Environmental policy standards often allow for flexibility. Moreover, other types of standards are often relevant for induced innovation and diffusion. Our broad perspective enables us to identify some interesting and important economic aspects of standards, such as their contribution to the diffusion of technologies with network externalities and the extent to which they are substitutes or complements to (other) environmental policy instruments. Finally, we discuss conditions for the successful use of standards by governments to stimulate eco-innovation. (JEL: Q38, Q55, Q58)
    Beyond the Promises of Technology: A Review of the Discourses and Actors Who Make Drip Irrigation
    Venot, J.P.J.N. ; Zwarteveen, M.Z. ; Kuper, M. ; Boesveld, H. ; Bossenbroek, L. ; Kooij, S. van der; Wanvoeke, M.J.V. ; Benouniche, M. ; Errahj, M. ; Fraiture, C.M.S. de; Verma, S. - \ 2014
    Irrigation and Drainage 63 (2014)2. - ISSN 1531-0353 - p. 186 - 194.
    Drip irrigation has long been promoted as a promising way to meet today's world water, food and poverty challenges. In most scientific and policy documents, drip irrigation is framed as a technological innovation with definitive intrinsic characteristics—that of efficiency, productivity and modernity. Based on evidence from North and West Africa as well as South Asia, we show that there are multiple actors involved in shaping this imagery, the legitimacy of which largely stems from an engineering perspective that treats technology and potential as ‘truths’ that exist independently of the context of use. Rather than ascribing the advent of drip irrigation as a successful technology to intrinsic technical features, this paper proposes to see it as grounded in the ability drip irrigation has to lend itself to multiple contexts and discourses that articulate desirable futures. We thus adopt a view of technology whereby the ‘real’ (i.e. the drip irrigation hardware) acquires its characteristics only through, and within, the network of institutions, discourses and practices that enact it. Such a perspective sheds light on the iterative alignments that take place between hardware and context and treat these as inherent features, rather than externalities, of the innovation process.
    Behavioral Responses and the Impact of New Agricultural Technologies: Evidence from a Double-blind Field Experiment in Tanzania
    Bulte, E.H. ; Beekman, G. ; Falco, S. Di; Hella, J.P. ; Pan, L. - \ 2014
    American Journal of Agricultural Economics 96 (2014)3. - ISSN 0002-9092 - p. 813 - 830.
    adoption - kenya - farmers - revolution - fertilizer - decisions - economics - trials - model
    Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in the social sciences are typically not double-blind, so participants know they are “treated” and will adjust their behavior accordingly. Such effort responses complicate the assessment of impact. To gauge the potential magnitude of effort responses we implement a conventional RCT and double-blind trial in rural Tanzania, and randomly allocate modern and traditional cowpea seed varieties to a sample of farmers. Effort responses can be quantitatively important—for our case they explain the entire “treatment effect on the treated” as measured in a conventional economic RCT. Specifically, harvests are the same for people who know they received the modern seeds and for people who did not know what type of seeds they got; however, people who knew they had received the traditional seeds did much worse. Importantly, we also find that most of the behavioral response is unobserved by the analyst, or at least not readily captured using coarse, standard controls.
    Smallholder participation in large forestry programs: The camellia program in China
    Li, J. ; Bluemling, B. ; Dries, L.K.E. ; Feng, S. - \ 2014
    Outlook on Agriculture 43 (2014)1. - ISSN 0030-7270 - p. 45 - 51.
    influencing peoples participation - land-tenure arrangements - climate-change - investment incentives - burkina-faso - costa-rica - uncertainty - adoption - risk - management
    In recent years, many forestry projects have been implemented in developing countries. In China, a variety of large-scale afforestation and reforestation programmes have been carried out with multiple objectives, such as livelihood improvement and carbon sequestration. As in many developing countries, these projects have been implemented in a smallholder context. This paper investigates the determinants of smallholder participation in large forestry projects. Using the case of camellia, it explores the determinants of smallholder participation using a probit regression model. To distinguish between participation in international and government-run projects, a bivariate probit regression model is used. The findings show that only 37% of households in the sample had participated in the Camellia project; a major reason for the low participation rate is perceived tenure insecurity. The results of the bivariate probit model show that the education level of the household head and household size have a positive impact on the likelihood of household participation. The more 'off-farm' activities are taken up in a household, the less likely a household is to participate in an international project. For a government project, household size also has a positive impact on the likelihood of participation. Chinese forestry is diversifying since the devolution of forestland use rights, with a majority of households hesitating to invest, while some risk investment and others depend on government subsidies. The main policy implication is that, if the Chinese government wishes to achieve its goal of 1.68 million hectares of camellia, then improving tenure security is crucial.
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