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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How small is beautiful? : food self-sufficiency and land gap analysis of smallholders in humid and semi-arid sub Saharan Africa
Hengsdijk, H. ; Franke, A.C. ; Wijk, M.T. van; Giller, K.E. - \ 2014
Wageningen : Plant Research International, Business Unit Agrosystems Research (Report / Plant Research 562) - 46
zelfvoorziening - kleine landbouwbedrijven - voedsel - landbouwhuishoudens - huishoudens - gewasproductie - humide klimaatzones - semi-aride klimaatzones - afrika ten zuiden van de sahara - self sufficiency - small farms - food - agricultural households - households - crop production - humid zones - semiarid zones - africa south of sahara
'Gezinsbedrijf blijft, maar anders'
Teuling, M. ; Poppe, K.J. - \ 2014
De Pluimveehouderij 44 (2014)17. - ISSN 0166-8250 - p. 49 - 49.
familiebedrijven, landbouw - agrarische bedrijfsvoering - boerengezinnen - landbouwhuishoudens - pluimveehouderij - ondernemerschap - family farms - farm management - farm families - agricultural households - poultry farming - entrepreneurship
Met hoger opgeleide ondernemers en een meer mkb-achtige aanpak heeft het gezinsbedrijf toekomst. "Het onderscheid tussen operationeel werk en managementtaken groeit."
Networking, social capital and gender roles in the cotton system in Benin
Maboudou Alidou, G. - \ 2014
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Jarl Kampen. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462570634 - 187
katoen - productie - boeren - landbouwhuishoudens - boerenorganisaties - sociaal kapitaal - netwerken - geslacht (gender) - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - benin - cotton - production - farmers - agricultural households - farmers' associations - social capital - networks - gender - livelihood strategies - benin

Cotton production in Benin, West Africa, is intertwined with colonialism, which contributed to the trans­formation of the crop’s production system from traditional to modern. Through­out the years, the importance of the crop for the stakeholders varied. The last decades have witnessed a growing interest in cotton of farmers, businessmen, and the State. From having a marginal status during the seventies and the first half of the eighties, cotton grew in importance during the nineties, both in terms of area covered and income generated, averaging 37 percent of the total cultivated area in the country. Thus, cotton has a critical cash function and plays a key role in Benin’s economic growth, accounting for an important share in the State’s revenues and farm house­holds incomes. Indeed, the share of cotton exports represented 75 percent of the country’s total agricultural exports during the 2000s, and the crop provided up to 80 percent of rural households incomes in the North. Though cotton is grown throughout the country, its production was always concentrated in the North, where it is embedded in a farming system formerly dominated by food crops. Hence, cotton transformed subsistence farming into semi-subsistence farming.

The central position of the crop in the country’s economy, which loomed large at the beginning of the 1990s, led to agricultural and economic policies being greatly influenced by the crop for decades. The Structural Adjustment Program of the early 1990s prescribed the liberalisation of the cotton sector, which had huge effects on the sector. This resulted in an increased importance of cotton farmer organisations that elapsed into the first ever hierarchical network in the country, and the crop being put at the forefront of agricultural development programs. Enduring benefits for farmers, farming communities, private actors, and the State were derived from that evolution. This gained cotton the status of ‘white gold’. The institutional dynamics that followed in the wake of liberalisation and their corollary of actors’ interactions generated never-ending conflicts of various kinds, particularly within the cotton farmers’ networks. These resulted in atomised networks. As a consequence, the benefits attached to cotton then started to wane and cotton production became a dilemma for farmers, as reflected in a steep decline of cotton production.

This thesis aims at understanding the dynamic interactions between the economic activity of cotton production and the structure of social relations from community to household and individual level. It addresses the question of how farmers’ agency affected their organisations, the cotton system, and the collective action that evolved around the crop. The research was aligned along three main axes: the emergence of breakaway networks, the decline of social cohesion and the squeeze of collective action, and the livelihoods reconstruction after the demise of cotton production. The main theoretical perspectives underlying the conceptual framework were an actor-oriented approach, actor-network theory, livelihood theory, and a gender perspective.

The research is based on fieldwork carried out in four provinces in the North of Benin from January 2009 to April 2011. Benin is a country whose employment capacity and economic growth heavily rely on the agricultural sector, in which cotton is a dominant factor. This is still the case for rural areas in the North, where rural households have been heavily dependent on cotton as a critical cash crop for poverty alleviation. Northern Benin supplies more than 75 percent of the cotton yearly produced in the country, thanks to the favourable agro-ecological conditions prevailing there, and because there is less population pressure than in the southern part. The exploratory phase of the research covered four provinces: Borgou, Alibori, Atacora and Donga. Since the provinces of Borgou and Alibori host the heart of the cotton belt, subsequent data collection progressively focussed on these two provinces.

The research adopted a mixed-methods design, applying quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. A survey was combined with focus-group discussions, in-depth interviews and the life history method, to unveil the dynamic interactions between social actors and their interactions with the material and technical elements of the cotton system. The life history method was used to document the experience of women leaders that had made them exceptions to the rule among women cotton farmers. Apart from cotton farmers and their leaders, other targets groups of the research, like inputs suppliers and executives of cotton bodies, often had to be found beyond the two provinces in other parts of the country. The research covered eight cotton networks in ten villages in the four provinces. Survey interviews and in-depth interviews were conducted with 148 heads of cotton farming households, men as well as women.

About 80 percent of the farmers in the sample were in their 40s or 50s, and more than half of them had no formal education. Educated women represented only 17 percent of their category, suggesting that male cotton farmers are significantly more educated than their female counterparts. The average household size was 16, with about 11 workers in male adult equivalents. While agriculture is the main occupation and often the only source of income in the area, women turned out to rely less on agricultural incomes than men.

With regard to networking, the process of atomisation resulted in about 20 percent of stayers in remnant networks, 51 percent of joiners of operating networks, and about 28 percent of creators of new networks. It was found that more than three quarters of cotton farmers broke away from their original network at least once during their cotton cropping career, and that creators of new networks were more likely to be leaders than stayers or joiners. The results further tell us that more than one in two cotton farmers (ever) had a leadership position. A significant association was found between these three categories of farmers and leadership status. Finally, a greater stock of social capital was correlated with the ability of leading cotton networks.

The research indicates that the liberalisation of an agricultural value-chain can be harmful rather than beneficial when the State fails to play a coherent role during the shift from State monopoly to private interest. Cotton proved to be the lifeline for farmer organisations, and drove collective action in rural areas from the important resources it generated. However, the decline of trust within the networks in conjunction with poor management of cotton resources led to a reversed dynamic that tore networks apart, which resulted in their atomisation. Social relations deteriorated when the financial stakes became higher. As attested by the way the process of network atomisation evolved, cooperation within large groups requires legal sanctions to be sustainable. The qualitative results showed that the process of atomisation was nurtured by ties of friendship, kinship, residence and ethnicity at the start, after which networks extended to include other areas and more general member­­ship. From the survey results it can be inferred that push and pull factors interacted to influence the process of cotton network atomisation. The most influential of these factors were, on the one hand, mismanagement of network resources and manipulation of farmers by outsiders, and, on the other hand, trust in board members, hope for board positions, the expectation of profit, and support from public officials and ethnic or religious connections.

The research further demonstrates that gender myths and stereotypes obstruct women's active involvement in managing organisations, in spite of their key position in the cotton production system at household level. Women were found 21 times less likely to be a leader than men in cotton organisations, and their presence on boards hardly empowered them because they spend their energy struggling to meet practical needs. Women’s admission to cotton boards appears to be instrumental for men and hides men's real motives, judging by the way male board members tend to restrict the power of their female colleagues. However, men are inclined to give more freedom to women when they find their activities benefitting themselves, as was revealed by the data on livelihood adaptation strategies.

The research clearly ascertains that farmers are more rational than often assumed and that they grow a crop as long as it is a source of livelihood and food security. Despite its current low to negative returns, cotton remains part of the livelihood diversification strategies of households because cotton production gives access to fertilisers which can then be used for food crops. However, relying on one source of income puts the livelihood system of rural households at risk. Faced with the cotton problems, households diversified their sources of income, first and primarily on-farm with food crops increasingly gaining a cash function. Additionally, they would deploy beyond-farm alter­native strategies, including migration of youth. It was also found that the decline of cotton production proved to result in more freedom for women. Because of their multiple extra-domestic activities, women are less vulnerable than men when it comes to coping with livelihood shortages. Their contribution to the provision for house­hold needs increased during the decline of cotton production and the ensuing income shortages compared to that of men. The livelihood adaptation strategies showed the decision making about income diversification to move from the centre of the household to its periphery.

Does tenure security matter? : rural household responses to land tenure reforms in northwest China
Ma Xian lei, Xianlei - \ 2013
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Ekko van Ierland; X. Shi; Nico Heerink; Justus Wesseler. - Wageningen : Wageningen UR - ISBN 9789461737632 - 195
agrarische economie - pachtstelsel - platteland - landbouwhuishoudens - landhervorming - grondeigendom - particuliere investering - eigendomsrechten - ruraal-urbane migratie - grondproductiviteit - conservering - china - noordwestelijk china - agricultural economics - tenure systems - rural areas - agricultural households - land reform - land ownership - private investment - property rights - rural urban migration - land productivity - conservation - china - north western china
Het hoofddoel van China’s landbouw- en plattelandsbeleid is behoud van voedselzekerheid in eigen land en bijdragen aan de voedselzekerheid in de wereld door duurzaam gebruik van natuurlijke hulpbronnen en verbetering van de landbouwproductiecapaciteit voor de lange termijn. In veel gebieden in China gaat de landbouwproductiecapaciteit op lange termijn echter achteruit door intensieve landbouw en de daarmee gepaard gaande degradatie van de hulpbronnen land en water. Het systeem van grondeigendom speelt, als fundamentele institutie die het gedrag van grondbezitters aanstuurt, een zeer belangrijke rol bij de landbouwproductie alsook bij het gebruik van natuurlijke hulpbronnen, en heeft veel belangstelling genoten van onderzoekers in China en andere regio’s in de wereld. Sinds 1998 heeft de Chinese regering een reeks marktgeoriënteerde hervormingen in het grondeigendom ingevoerd die als doel hebben de eigendomszekerheid te verbeteren en de overdraagbaarheid van rurale grond te bevorderen. Relevante wetten behelzen de Wet Grondbeheer (Land Administration Law) uit 1998, de Wet Contracten Rurale Grond (Rural Land Contract Law) uit 2002, de Eigendomswet (Property Law) uit 2007, en de Wet Mediation en Arbitrage bij Geschillen inzake Contracten Rurale Grond (Mediation and Arbitration of Rural Land Contract Disputes Law) uit 2009. Ofschoon deze hervormingen bijgedragen hebben aan een verbeterde formele eigendomszekerheid, is het niet duidelijk in welke mate ze bijdragen aan landbouwproductie en duurzaam gebruik van de grond. In deze studie worden systematisch de relaties onderzocht tussen grondeigendomszekerheid, zoals die wordt beïnvloed door de recente marktgeoriënteerde eigendomshervormingen, en de landbouwproductie in China. Op basis van de bestaande literatuur worden er vier relaties onderzocht, namelijk de relaties tussen eigendomszekerheid en, respectievelijk, grondinvesteringen, marktontwikkelingen betreffende grondpacht, ruraal-urbane migratie, en landbouwproductiviteit en technische efficiëntie. De resultaten van de studie beogen een volledig beeld te verschaffen van de belangrijkste relaties tussen grondeigendomszekerheid, beslissingen op het niveau van huishoudingen, en de landbouwproductiviteit in China. Naar verwachting zullen de verkregen inzichten relevant zijn voor de voortgaande hervormingen van het rurale grondeigendomsysteem en voor gerelateerd landbouw- en plattelandsbeleid in China. Ze zouden tevens van nut kunnen blijken voor andere ontwikkelingslanden met vergelijkbare eigendomsystemen die als doel hebben om huishoudens op het platteland te voorzien van gewaarborgde formele landgebruiksrechten voor de lange termijn.
Water, food and markets : household-level impact of irrigation water policies and institutions in northern China
Zhang, L. - \ 2013
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte; X. Shi, co-promotor(en): Nico Heerink. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461735751 - 143
ontwikkelingseconomie - huishoudens - irrigatiewater - waterbeleid - watergebruik - watergebruiksrendement - instellingen - noord-china - china - azië - landbouwhuishoudens - platteland - development economics - households - irrigation water - water policy - water use - water use efficiency - institutions - northern china - china - asia - agricultural households - rural areas

Water is increasingly becoming a limiting factor for sustainable economic growth and development, particularly in developing countries. Besides technical innovations, water institution reforms may contribute to improving water allocation decisions. Appropriately designed water institutions can motivate water users to conserve and use water efficiently for irrigation and other uses.

In northern China, growing demands on agricultural water due to relatively low water availability and increasing grain production are putting more and more pressure on improving water resource management. The Ministry of Water Resources of the P.R. China has initiated a number of pilot projects to gain experience with the development of water-saving irrigation systems. These pilot projects focus on the construction of engineering systems as well as institutional innovations in water resource management. Analysing the household-level effects of the implemented measures is hence of great importance for further policy development.

The project ‘Building a Water-saving Society in Zhangye City’, initiated early 2002 in Zhangye City in northwest China, is the first pilot project of this kind in China. It provides a unique opportunity to examine the economic effects of changes in water policies and institutions. Minle County, the research area for this study, is located within Zhangye City. A large potato processing company was established in Minle County in 2008. After the factory started its activities, the local government intervened in the allocation of irrigation water within the region by assigning more water to a specific variety of potatoes (i.e. Atlantic potatoes) that the factory needs for processing. This further makes Minle County an interesting case for analysing the link between output market development and institutional change in irrigation water management.

The general objective of this study is to empirically investigate the household-level impacts of policies and institutional changes in irrigation water use. From this general objective, the following four specific objectives are defined and analysed in separate chapters. 1) To examine the impact of the institutional setup of Water Users Associations (WUAs) on productivity of irrigation water use by the WUA member households, based on a user-based resource governance framework. 2) To analyse the effects of a policy affecting the availability of water for different crops on farmers’ acreage allocation among crops. 3) To evaluate the internal valuation (i.e. marginal value) of irrigation water, before and after the introduction of the water policy as explained above. 4) To investigate the effects of output market development on irrigation water trading.

The information used for the empirical analyses mainly comes from two surveys that were carried out in Minle County in May 2008 and May 2010. These surveys cover information for the years 2007 and 2009, that is before and after the potato processing factory became operational. A stratified sampling approach was used for selecting the households and WUAs to be interviewed in the surveys. Additional interviews were held by the author in August 2010 with the Water Management Bureaus (WMBs) that are responsible for water allocation within the seven irrigation areas in Minle County.

Chapter 2 investigates the underlying causes of differences in WUA performance by analysing the impact of WUA characteristics on the productivity of irrigation water use. Total crop production value and household income obtained from crop production, both expressed per m3 of water, are used as dependent variables in the empirical analysis. The explanatory variables in the analysis are derived from an established user-based resource governance framework, that specifies the conditions under which user groups are expected to sustainably govern common-pool resources. These conditions are grouped into resource characteristics, group characteristics, relationships between resources and user groups, and the external environment (markets, technology). Applying a random intercept model, the estimation results show that group characteristics, particularly group size and number of water users groups, and the existing pressure on available water resources are important WUA characteristics explaining water productivity.

Chapter 3 analyses the impact of the local government intervention in irrigation water allocation on farmers’ crop planting decisions. A system of unconditional crop acreage demand functions depending on prices of variable inputs, levels of quasi-fixed inputs and prices of outputs is estimated. Two hypotheses are tested: Firstly, the government intervention results in an increase in land allocated to Atlantic potatoes and a decrease in land allocated to other crops; Secondly, among the alternative crops (i.e. other crops than Atlantic potatoes), the water policy is expected to cause a relatively small response for grain crops, because grains are mainly used for domestic consumption. The empirical results do not support the first hypothesis. The increased water allocation to Atlantic potatoes does not significantly affect the land allocated to this crop, because its planting decisions are mainly taken by village leaders instead of households. Instead, the intervention results in a shift from planting potatoes towards grains with relatively low water requirements.The second hypothesis is partly supported by the empirical results. The estimated impact of the government intervention is found to be stronger for local potato varieties than for grains, but the impact on the area planted with cash crops does not differ significantly from zero. Output prices seem to play a more important role in cash crop planting decisions than the water allocation intervention.

Chapter 4 examines the economic valuation (i.e. marginal value) of irrigation water, before and after the local government intervention in water allocation. To accomplish this, a system of translog production functions is estimated. Two hypotheses are tested: Firstly, the valuation of irrigation water is expected to be equal across different crops before the start of the new water policy. And secondly, valuation of irrigation water is expected to be lower for Atlantic potatoes as compared to the alternative crops after the water policy change. The empirical results do not support the first hypothesis. The valuation of irrigation water used on grain crops is very low, and is even below the actual water prices charged to farm households. This is probably due to self-consumption of grain by households, and to government subsidies for grain farmers that are based on the planted area with grains. The second hypothesis is supported by the empirical results, except for grains. The valuation of irrigation water used on Atlantic potatoes is lower than the value of water used on other (non-grain) crops. Moreover, the returns for irrigation water used on other crops are higher in the year after the water allocation intervention than in the year before the intervention.

Chapter 5 aims to provide insights into the impact of output market development on the trading of water use rights by farm households. Theresults of the two farm household surveys indicate that water markets have emerged at a small scale in response to the development of the potato market in Minle County. Observed water trade in the second survey, that was held after the establishment of the potato processing factory, consists mainly of the exchange of water without payment between relatives or neighbours, and seems to be meant to improve the timing of water applications to crops with different seasonal water requirements. Those who have started trading water rights tend to have more land with water use rights than other potato farmers. High transaction costs and information asymmetry between the government and water users, however, severely constrain the trading of water use rights in the region.

Chapter 6 summarizes and integrates the main findings, discusses the policy implications and the limitations of the research, and presents some suggestions for further research.

Exploring a low carbon development in rural China : the role of households
Liu Wenling, Wenling - \ 2013
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Arthur Mol; Gert Spaargaren, co-promotor(en): Nico Heerink. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461735539 - 172
klimaatverandering - china - milieubeleid - kooldioxide - plattelandsomgeving - emissiereductie - plattelandsgemeenschappen - landbouwhuishoudens - huishoudens - climatic change - china - environmental policy - carbon dioxide - rural environment - emission reduction - rural communities - agricultural households - households

As the largest emitter of greenhouse gasses in the world, China is facing great pressure to reduce these emissions in order to mitigate global climate change. Developing a low carbon economy has been initiated in many countries, including China, as a means to tackle this issue. China’s actions in tackling climate changehave mainly focused so far on setting targets in its national energy strategy, and on implementing measures in the industrial sector and in urban transportation and buildings. The contribution of rural energy use to climate change has largely been neglected. In recent decades, China’s rural economy has undergone rapid development, accompanied by a substantial and profound change of rural lifestyles and a gradual transition of residential energy use patterns. This resulted in a trend towards the use of a greater variety of energy sources among rural residents.Thisrural energy transition is in particular characterized by a steady rise ofcommercial energyconsumptionand of energy intensity per capita, resulting in an increase in carbon emissions. As a result, mitigating rural CO2 emissions and promoting a rural low carbon transition arecrucial forChina’sclimate change agenda. Households are considered key actors in the rural energy transition, since reduction of CO2 emissions is bound up with changing domestic routines of energy consumption. The central objective of this research is to define the existing contribution of rural energy consumption to climate change and to explore the possibilities for low carbon transitions of rural households in China by examining the composition, formation and (potential) transformation of household energy consumption practices.

Western ecological modernization theory is used as the theoretical basis of this study. The social practice model, developed within this theory, offers an integrative model to analyze transitions towards sustainable consumption at the level of everyday life. As such, social practices of household energy use are taken as focal points. Both individual attitudes towards energy use and the structural energy-related provision systems are taken into consideration in analyzing the transformation of household energy use practices.

Official data on rural energy use faces some major shortcomings that hinder a comprehensive evaluation of rural CO2 emissions. Thus, to understand the contribution of rural domestic energy use to national greenhouse gas emissions in China, a general evaluation on its climate impacts is conducted in chapter two, based on multiple data sources and calculating methods. It is found that the contribution of rural (residential) carbon emissions to national total emissions might be easily neglected, since only emissions from commercial energy use are taken into account in official statistics, not those from traditional biomass use. This results in an underestimation on rural carbon emissions and mitigation potentials. The estimated CO2 emissions of rural commercial energy consumption accounts for around 4% of national total emissions, but the commercial energy use is only 1/5-1/4 of rural residential energy consumption. Large emissions and mitigation potentials from traditional biomass use are usually neglected. An energy transition is taking place in rural areas, with the dominant use of conventional biomass gradually being (partly) substituted by commercial energy utilization. Despite this transition, the increase of total rural domestic energy consumption and their carbon emissions may continue for a long time when the rural economy continues its rapid development. Promoting a transformation in the energy structure and of the behaviour of rural energy users is therefore crucial to slow down and reverse this process.

Developing renewable energy is taken as a key strategy to optimize the energy structure and stimulate a low carbon transition. Public acceptance of such sustainable energy technologies is crucial for their successful introduction and penetration. The third chapter applies a socio-psychological framework to analyze rural householders’ understandings of a low carbon future by examining their attitudes towards the development of renewable energy in rural China. A case study was conducted in Shandong province. The results show that most rural householders have vague understandings of the ‘low carbon’ concept, but they are generally supportive torenewable energy development. In particular, a positive behavioural intention to pay for ‘higher cost’ of renewable energy production is observed among a large part of the respondents. This willingness to pay increases with household income and individual knowledge. It may be expected that continued development of the rural economy and society will result in improvements in rural education and income levels, which will come along with a growing environmental awareness among rural residents and further a change of their behavioural practices towards a low carbon transition.

Energy use practices of rural households show a wide variety in China. These diverse energy use practices contribute differently to greenhouse gas emissions. A case study in north China (Shandong) was carried out to probe into their different contribution and examine the factors that influence or determine energy use behavioural practices of rural households (chapter four). The results show that space heating in north China is the largest emissions source among domestic energy use practices, which accounts for around 60% of household carbon emissions. The variety of rural energy use practices also leads to many possibilities of transition. The most obvious change may be brought along by a modernization of household lifestyles. Economic factors are one of the major drivers of such a transition. High-income groups are found to consume more energy for transportation and water heating, while low-income groups consume more energy for basic living practices such as space heating and cooking. It should be noted that a transition to modern-lifestyles tends to result in higher carbon emissions due to a larger energy consumption demand. However, a low carbon transition is also taking place to some extent within each energy use practice. For instance, natural gas is increasingly used for cooking instead of coal and traditional biomass; and renewable energy such as solar energy and biogas are replacing the use of fossil fuels for water heating and cooking. A low carbon development emphasizes both modernization and de-carbonization of domestic energy use practices, and cannot be separated from changes in the system of energy provision.

Rural housing provision is crucial for future domestic energy use in rural China. The provision of rural housing is increasingly diversifying over the past decade, with variations in type of houses as well as actor arrangements that determine the lay-out of houses, the kind of energy sources used and thus future household energy use. Several case studies of concentrated rural housing provision are conducted in Shandong and Inner Mongolia, China to understand the factors influencing possible low carbon housing (chapter five). The major objective is to look into how decisions are being made regarding low carbon (behavioural and technological) alternatives for future rural domestic energy consumption practices. The empirical results show that providers of houses are the major decision makers with regard to the kind of materials, technologies and energy networks applied in rural housing development. Concentrated rural housing can improve both the energy efficiency of houses and the living conditions of households compared to traditional stand-alone modes of housing, which implies a relatively low carbon housing provision. Local governments, private property developers and local (energy) authorities in principle have the power to select and apply low carbon alternatives. Other energy (related) provision systems are also engaged in a transition of modernizing and de-carbonizing, including improved commercial energy supply, increased renewable electricity generation and decentralized energy provision. However, the transition can to a great extent be attributed to technological improvements within these systems. The transition to a low carbon economy would greatly benefit from strengthening other important aspects, such as improved energy-related markets, decentralized management of energy provision projects, diversified strategies aiming at different agents or actors involved, and increased participation of rural householders to alter the situation of ‘captive consumers’ of energy.

In sum, this thesis finds that with rural development and modernizing rural lifestyles in China rural residential energy use is leading to increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Energy use practices of rural households in China have to be both modernized and decarbonized in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A low carbon development demands, on the one hand, improvement of environmental awareness and attitudes, which is starting to play a more important role in the energy use decision making of rural householders; on the other hand, it demands that energy-related provision systems in rural China continue to be diversified, modernized and de-carbonized, and thereby make low carbon alternatives available for rural householders.

Livelihood strategies : gender and generational specificities of rural levilihoods in transition
Nizamedinkhodjayeva, N. - \ 2013
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han Wiskerke, co-promotor(en): P.P. Mollinga; Bettina Bock. - [S.l.] : s.n. - ISBN 9789461734501 - 166
strategieën voor levensonderhoud - platteland - overgangseconomieën - cultuur - sociologie - geslacht (gender) - vrouwen - besluitvorming - landbouwhuishoudens - oezbekistan - centraal-azië - livelihood strategies - rural areas - transition economies - culture - sociology - gender - women - decision making - agricultural households - uzbekistan - central asia
The contribution of town functions to the development of rural areas: empirical analyses for Ethiopia
Tadesse Woeldesenbet, T. - \ 2012
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Arie Oskam. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461731883 - 211
relaties tussen stad en platteland - steden - nutfunctie - invloeden - gezinsinkomen - inkomen - werkgelegenheid - huishoudens - landbouwhuishoudens - gewassen - bemesting - agrarische handel - overheidsdiensten - wegtransport - telefoons - elektriciteit - drinkwater - ontwikkeling - economische ontwikkeling - plattelandsontwikkeling - platteland - ethiopië - rural urban relations - towns - utility functions - influences - household income - income - employment - households - agricultural households - crops - fertilizer application - agricultural trade - public services - road transport - telephones - electricity - drinking water - development - economic development - rural development - rural areas - ethiopia
Rural areas in many developing countries often lack infrastructure and institutions. However, rural towns and towns possess some of the major services that rural and town households can use to advance their economic activities. The study of the contribution that towns and their functions make to different economic activities is still in development. The thesis sought to add to the literature by conceptually discussing the role of town functions and empirically examining the influence on income, employment opportunities, rural household crop marketing and fertilizer application. For these purposes, data from households in four major regional states of Ethiopia are used. Results show that shorter distances to roads, transport services and telephone centers, and connection to electricity and tap water are likely to increase income and non-farm wage employment. We find also that proximity to roads and markets and strong network connections are associated with improved input-output exchange among rural households
Social limitations to livelihood adaptation : responses of maize-farming smallholder households to neoliberal policy reforms in Morelos, Southern Veracruz, Mexico
Groenewald, S.F. - \ 2012
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Marrit van den Berg. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461732217 - 222
huishoudens - landbouwhuishoudens - kleine landbouwbedrijven - markten - boerenmarkten - agrarische economie - ontwikkelingseconomie - levensstandaarden - adaptatie - middelen van bestaan - sociaal kapitaal - maïs - ontwikkelingslanden - mexico - households - agricultural households - small farms - markets - farmers' markets - agricultural economics - development economics - living standards - adaptation - livelihoods - social capital - maize - developing countries - mexico

This thesis describes the adaptation of smallholders to market changes shaped by neoliberal policy reforms in the Mexican maize sector. Contrary to expectations about smallholder responses to a liberalised maize market, in the study area maize still is the main source of income. Farmers did not leave the maize sector to produce more profitable crops neither did they exit agriculture. Special attention is given to the role of social capital in shaping households’ adaptation behaviour. By analysing the role of trust in adaptation processes, this study enhances our understanding of the importance of the social and historical context in contemporary livelihood decisions. It demonstrates that new forms of social capital are difficult to sustain if they do not link up with existing, local forms of social capital. Data collection in the field took place between March 2007 and May 2010. The research was conducted in Morelos, Veracruz, Mexico.

The other side of migration in rural Nepal: sociocultural transformation and the women left behind
Gartaula, H.N. - \ 2011
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Leontine Visser. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789461730329 - 177
sociale kwesties - arbeidsmobiliteit - beroepsmobiliteit - plattelandsgemeenschappen - nepal - migratie - vrouwenemancipatie - landgebruik - voedselzekerheid - landbouwhuishoudens - huishoudens - middelen van bestaan - plattelandsvrouwen - vrouwen - azië - social issues - labour mobility - occupational mobility - rural communities - nepal - migration - emancipation of women - land use - food security - agricultural households - households - livelihoods - rural women - women - asia

This study examines the relationship between male labour out-migration and the process of sociocultural transformation in the places of origin. Taking an example from Nepal, it shows that male labour out-migration has increased women’s partici­pation in agriculture, more significantly so in those cases where the left-behind women are de-facto household heads than in cases where they live with in-laws. Similarly, in the case of ­­de-facto female heads of households, women’s role in agricultural decision-making has increased. Women, who in the absence of their husbands live with their in-laws, continue to remain under patriarchal control, not by their husbands but by their father-in-law and elder brothers-in-law. Women who are de-facto heads of the households can exercise more autonomy in decision-making and have more control over their own mobility. Hence, the effects of male out-migration on women’s participation in agricultural work and decision-making are also conti­ngent upon the domestic arrangement in which they find themselves.

Poor people and poor fields? : integrating legumes for smallholder soil fertility management in Chisepo, central Malawi
Kamanga, B. - \ 2011
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Ken Giller, co-promotor(en): Conny Almekinders; S.R. Waddington. - [s.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789461730046 - 168
gewassen - bodemvruchtbaarheidsbeheer - maïs - peulgewassen - kunstmeststoffen - zelfvoorzieningslandbouw - kleine landbouwbedrijven - voedselzekerheid - landbouwhuishoudens - malawi - armoede - crops - soil fertility management - maize - legumes - fertilizers - subsistence farming - small farms - food security - agricultural households - malawi - poverty

Soil infertility undermines the agriculture-based livelihoods in Malawi, where it is blamed for poor crop yields and the creation of cycles of poverty. Although technologies and management strategies have been developed to reverse the decline in soil fertility, they are under-used by smallholder farmers. This study was conducted to assess with farmers the performance of a range of maize-legume technologies and their benefits on soil fertility management in central Malawi. Farmer participatory experimentation was a focus of the study. The aim was to facilitate learning and the interpretation of experiences, improve the communication of information about the concepts and technologies to farmers, and provide insights for researchers.

Using a combination of survey and participatory methods, 136 smallholder farmers from Chisepo were grouped into four resource groups, comprising of better-resourced (RG 1 with 6 farmers), medium resourced (RG 2, 14 farmers), less well-resourced (RG 3, 64 farmers) and least-resourced groups (RG 4, 52 farmers). Analysing their livelihoods for their effects on soil fertility revealed that soil fertility management is a complex activity which is influenced by ownership of assets. Farmers from RG 1 and RG 2 owned more resources including cattle, had larger fields, hired-in labour for timely farm operations, earned more income and invested far more in soil fertility improvement. Farmers from RG 3 and 4 (who are in the large majority) were resource constrained and did not invest adequately in improving soil fertility. They had large food deficits due to poor crop yields. Ganyu labour (casual work done for other farmers for food or cash) was their main strategy to reduce food deficits. Farmers from all the four RGs were interested in working with research to explore strategies to improve soil fertility. They tested various grain- and green-manure-legumes, and mineral N and P fertiliser on maize and the legumes for effects on crop productivity and soil fertility. Associated production risk and interest in technology adoption were assessed.

On-farm evaluation was done on maize (cv. MH18) in rotation with pigeonpea cv. ICP 9145,intercropped with groundnut (cv. CG 7), (Mz/Pp+Gn); intercropped with tephrosia (Mz+Tv); intercropped with pigeonpea (Mz+Pp) and in rotation with mucuna (Mz/Mp). These technologies were compared with sole crop maize without fertiliser (Mz−Ft) or with 35 kg N ha-1(Mz+Ft) in experiments with 32 farmers from the four RGs over four years. Economic and risk assessments were made. Maize grain yields (accumulated over the four years) were greater for farmers from RG 1 and 2 than RGs 3 and 4. Mz+Pp and Mz+Tv gave greater cumulative yields than Mz/Pp+Gn and Mz/Mp. The legumes improved maize grain yields by between 0.2 and 4 t ha-1(P < 0.001) over Mz-Ft and additionally they gave legume grain to the household.Mz+Pp was less risky to all RGs, and applying 35 kg N ha-1to the legumes resulted in Mz+Tv, Mz/Pp+Gn and Mz/Mp being least risky to RG 1, RG2 and RG 3. Farmers in RG 1 had the highest returns to labour (USconv2.info.8 day-1with Mz-Ft and US.1 day-1with Mz+Pp) and these increased to 1.9 and 1.7 respectively with 35 kg N ha-1. Mz+Pp intercrop gave consistent positive returns across the RGs and was the only technology to provide positive returns to labour in RG 4. Use of pigeonpea was overall the least risky option, and was especially suited to least-resourced farmers.

Application of phosphorus fertiliser (0, 20 kg P ha-1) to legumes significantly (P = 0.05) increased grain and biomass yields for mucuna, groundnut, soyabean, Bambara groundnut and cowpea by 1.0, 0.8, 0.5, 1.0 and 0.3 t ha-1compared with unfertilised plots. Cowpea and fertilised groundnut had larger yields in the home fields than middle fields, but other legumes performed better (P = 0.05) in the middle fields.

Maize responses to small amounts of fertiliser (0, 15, and 30 kg N ha-1and 0, 20 kg P ha-1) in two weeding regimes showed that weeding twice significantly (P < 0.001) raised maize yields by 0.4 t ha-1over weeding once (0.9 t ha-1). Stover yields (significant at P < 0.001) were 2.3 and 1.6 t ha-1respectively. Mean grain N kg ha-1was 17.1 and 9.8 for plots weeded twice and once respectively while that of stover were 10.1 and 5.6 kg N ha-1. Applying N at 15 kg N ha-1increased maize yields, but the 30 kg N ha-1increased yield only on more clay soils due to the effects of mid-season dry spells on sandy soils. Except for the physiological efficiency of N (PEN), all agronomic indices of N use showed significant differences due to weeding (agronomic efficiency of applied fertiliser N (AEN) at P < 0.001, recovery efficiency of applied N (REN) and partial factor productivity for N (PFPN) at P < 0.01). The average PENof 40.7and PFPNof 78.8 in plots weeded twice were within the ranges of 40–60 kg grain kg-1N and 40–80 kg grain kg-1N applied respectively. AENand REN values of 38.7 and 0.9 respectively were above the common range of 10-30 kg grain kg-1 N applied and 0.3-0.5 or 0.5–0.8 kg N kg-1. Mean indices from plots weeded just once were all within the ranges stated above but lower than indices from plots weeded twice; suggesting the unsustainability of the use of fertiliser without means to raise its efficiency through better management or combination with organic resources. Weeding twice gave higher returns to labour (USconv2.info.30 day-1) than weeding once (USconv2.info.05 day-1) and gross margins of US5.00 and US.00 with labour taken into account respectively.Farmers need to ensure timely weeding to get decent efficiencies and returns from the fertiliser, especially in drier cropping seasons.

Using surveys, focus group discussions and the analytical hierarchy process (AHP), adoption of the ten legumes introduced to farmers in Chisepo was assessed among 136 farmers in 2004 and 84 farmers in 2007. Thirty-five percent of the farmers in 2004 and 22% in 2007 had adopted at least one of the legumes, with food grain legumes predominantly soyabean, groundnut, pigeonpea and to a lesser extent Bambara groundnut and cowpea being most adopted. Mucuna and tephrosia were adopted by few farmers while sunnhemp and grahamiana were not adopted at all. Farmers from RGs 1 and 2 adopted more of the legumes than those from RG 3 and 4. Lack of consistent markets, a lack of seed for planting, as well as land and labour shortages were cited for weak adoption.

Soil fertility management by smallholder farmers is influenced by ownership of assets and the majority poorer farmers fail to invest adequately in improving soil fertility. In the absence of such resources, grain legumes will play an important role as a source of both food and organic matter to improve soil fertility. The participatory methods used in the study helped farmers better understand some of the soil fertility concepts and options, including the legumes. There is need to focus on how to assist farmers with practical knowledge to help them best combine organic and mineral fertiliser resources for improving soil fertility, and to develop and promote new dual-purpose legume options that feed humans and the soil.

Key words: Adoption, analytical hierarchy process, crop yield, financial returns, food security, household assets, legume integration, livelihoods, NP fertiliser, nitrogen use efficiency, production risk, resource groups, smallholder, soil fertility, weeding.

Bio-economic farm modelling to analyse agricultural land productivity in Rwanda
Bidogeza, J.C. - \ 2011
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Alfons Oude Lansink, co-promotor(en): Jan de Graaff; Paul Berentsen. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085859567 - 184
landbouwbedrijven - landbouwhuishoudens - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - technologie - multivariate analyse - landdegradatie - voedselzekerheid - simulatiemodellen - gewassen - organische meststoffen - kunstmeststoffen - overheidsbeleid - bouwland - grondproductiviteit - rwanda - farms - agricultural households - sustainability - technology - multivariate analysis - land degradation - food security - simulation models - crops - organic fertilizers - fertilizers - government policy - arable land - land productivity - rwanda

Keywords: Rwanda; farm household typology; sustainable technology adoption; multivariate analysis;
land degradation; food security; bioeconomic model; crop simulation models; organic fertiliser; inorganic fertiliser; policy incentives

In Rwanda, land degradation contributes to the low and declining agricultural productivity and consequently to food insecurity. As a result of land degradation and increasing population pressure, there is urgent need to simultaneously enhance food security and agro-ecological sustainability. The main objective of this PhD thesis was to make an assessment of technology options and policy incentives that can enhance sustainable farming in Rwanda.
A multivariate analysis approach was used to clearly identify 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. A bio-economic model capable of analysing the impacts of soil erosion, family planning and land consolidation policies on food security in Rwanda was developed, and applied for one typical farm household. Calculations with the bio-economic model showed that a higher availability of good farm land would increase the farm income. Additionally, preserving soils against erosion and reducing risk would allow for using more marginal land which would increase food production for home consumption and for the market. Increasing the opportunities for off-farm employment can also increase farm household income. The simulation of crop yields under sustainable land management showed that predicted crop yields were distinctly higher than the actual yields for the current small-scale farming practices that are common in the region. Using the developed bio-economic model, model results showed that these sustainable agricultural technologies will clearly enhance food production (after a learning period) and income for all farm household types except the household with the largest farm for which cash at the beginning of the season is too restricted to switch to the new technologies. Provision of credit and availability off-farm activities have emerged as the most serious policies likely to affect the adoption of alternative technologies in all the farm households.
The bio-economic farm model and its applications developed in this study give more insights into the possibilities of transforming the current farming system towards more sustainable farming.

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Poverty dynamics, income inequality and vulnerability to shocks in rural Kenya
Radeny, M.A.O. - \ 2011
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte, co-promotor(en): Rob Schipper; Marrit van den Berg. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085859369 - 213
ontwikkelingseconomie - armoede - inkomen - platteland - middelen van bestaan - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - participatie - landbouwhuishoudens - rurale welzijnszorg - economische verandering - ontwikkelingslanden - kenya - oost-afrika - development economics - poverty - income - rural areas - livelihoods - sustainability - participation - agricultural households - rural welfare - economic change - developing countries - kenya - east africa

Persistent poverty remains a huge challenge in Sub-Saharan Africa. In Kenya, official statistics indicate that the incidence of rural poverty was 49% in 2005/2006. This study uses different approaches and data sources to explore temporal and spatial dimensions of rural welfare in Kenya. The objective is to identify and understand the linkages between welfare, livelihood assets, livelihood strategies, local-level institutions, and exposure to shocks. First, we compared participatory and income approaches to studying poverty and poverty dynamics. We found a significant positive correlation between the results obtained using the two approaches, with both approaches showing evidence of geographical clusters of poverty. Nevertheless, discrepancies in poverty rates and dynamics were found as well. Second, we used asset-based approaches to explore the nature of rural poverty dynamics over multiple periods. We found that majority of households that were poor in two consecutive survey years were structurally poor. Of the households escaping poverty, a large proportion was characterized by stochastic transitions. Few households successfully escaped poverty through asset accumulation, while a large proportion of households declining into poverty experienced structural movements. A combination of livelihood strategies, shocks, and other factors interact to influence household structural transition. Third, we characterized shocks facing rural households. Health expenses, ill-health, funeral expenses, livestock losses, land sub-division, and death of major income earner were the most frequently reported shocks. We also found limited evidence that welfare level affects exposure to specific shocks, but a significant geographical effect. Finally, we revisited the geography versus institutions debate at the micro-level suing local data to explain within-country income differences. We found that certain geographical variables appear more important drivers of per capita income levels than local institutions. Our community-level measures of institutions did not explain within-Kenya income differences. Altogether, the findings underscore the importance of geographical targeting of poverty reduction interventions. Moreover, the coexistence of high rural poverty rates and limited asset accumulation, and strong macroeconomic growth highlight the fact that causes of poverty are complex. Macroeconomic growth policies need to be complimented with policies that enhance escapes from poverty (“cargo net” policies) and those that prevent descents into poverty (“cargo net” policies).

Living and care arrangements of non-urban households in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, in the context of HIV and AIDS
Preez, C.J. du - \ 2011
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Gerda Casimir. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789085859321 - 199
landbouwhuishoudens - platteland - hiv-infecties - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - ziekte - sociologie - zorg - geslacht (gender) - middelen van bestaan - zuid-afrika - zuidelijk afrika - agricultural households - rural areas - hiv infections - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - illness - sociology - care - gender - livelihoods - south africa - southern africa

In non-urban KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, very few households escape the impacts of HIV and AIDS, either the direct impacts as a result of illness and death, or the indirect impacts through providing care and support to family, friends and neighbours. HIV and AIDS becomes part of the context or situation within which households arrange their lives, generate livelihoods and arrange and provide care. The differential impacts of HIV and AIDS on male and female members of different ages within house­holds is poorly documented and understood. How people arrange care, especially for household members who are chronically ill, while generating liveli­hoods at the same time, is even less clear in the context of HIV and AIDS. This research assessed household living and care arrangements and livelihood generation in non-urban Mbonambi in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa, in the context of HIV and AIDS. The study used a combined approach of quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Demographic, socio-economic and health data were collected at the level of the household by means of a survey and results were verified and clarified by means of focus group discussions. For the survey, two research locations were selected, one close to town, with a high population density and fairly good infrastructure and the other further from town and with poorer infrastructure. In the latter location, lack of access to electricity and clean water close to the home adds to the burden of domestic work. In addition, this location also has fewer individuals who are working, with many of those who are working, employed in low paying elementary occupations or working as unskilled labourers. Households at this location also have lower household incomes, are more dependent on state grants and own fewer assets that can be converted to cash if need be.

Female-headed households proved to be bigger than male-headed ones, having significantly more demographic and effective dependents residing at their home­steads. Female heads are significantly older than their male counterparts, the majority of them widows relying on state old-age pensions as the main source of household income. Female-headed households have significantly lower average incomes and fewer assets than male-headed households. All the households in the survey sample were categorised based on whether and how they were afflicted and/or affected by HIV/AIDS and/or TB, where TB was used as a proxy indicator for HIV infection. Households were allocated to four clusters. Households in Cluster 1 did not experience any impacts attributed to AIDS and included just more that half of al the households. Afflicted households in Cluster 2 had at least one ill member diagnosed with HIV or TB and requiring some care, but did not experience any deaths and were not taking care of orphans. Affected households in Cluster 3 had no ill members, but took care of orphans and/or experienced deaths, while households in Cluster 4 were both afflicted and affected by HIV and AIDS.

Progression from Cluster 1 to Cluster 4 showed a significant difference in household size, with households in Cluster 4 having on average two more members than households in Cluster 1. Households in Clusters 3 and 4 had significantly more demographic dependents than those in Clusters 1 and 2, while the households hosting orphans in Clusters 2 and 4 had significantly more effective dependents than the households in the other clusters. Although not significant, households in Clusters 2, 3 and 4 had lower household incomes and fewer assets. Of all the households it is clearly visible that households in Cluster 4 that host ill persons and orphans, and experienced deaths, are in all regards worse off than the households in the other clusters, and are extremely vulnerable to livelihood insecurity. Considering that these households have more dependents they will be more severely affected by the lower household income that has to be shared by more persons. Having fewer assets also mean that they do not have anything they can sell when they need money to cover household expenses or to pay for transport or a funeral.

Case study households were selected from each cluster for further study of their living arrangements and livelihoods. This was done by means of interviews and observations, and each household was visited at least two times over a period of six months. This revealed that the majority of households experienced changes in their living arrangements, regardless of whether and how they were affected by HIV and AIDS. It was especially young people and children who were mobile and individuals were leaving or joining households for a variety of reasons. Young women with or without their children were leaving to look for work, get married or provide care. Mobile children moved between the homesteads of unmarried mothers and biological fathers. The case study households included several households where unmarried mothers were living with their children at the homesteads of their frequently unmarried or widowed mothers.

Although changes in living arrangements can be caused by many factors other than morbidity and mortality, the majority of cases described experienced changes as a direct result of TB and/or AIDS-related illness and death. The time frame of inter-household movements varies from a few months to several years. The variation in cases presented illustrates that when movements between homesteads take place, the impact of HIV/AIDS-related morbidity and mortality on the livelihood and resources extends beyond the single household.

It is clearly visible that the majority of households depend on social transfers, either grants from government or private grants, as their only or main source of income, emphasizing the strategic importance of grants in coping with poverty. The financial situation of households may even improve when children receiving grants join a household and are ‘accompanied’ by their grants. But when such children move, the gain of income in one household will translate into a loss for another. Furthermore, some cases show that accessing grants for children is difficult when the status of the child changes and/or the foster parent does not have the required papers. The role of maternal parents or grandparents becomes clear when looking at intra-household cooperation to arrange health care or take care of vulnerable or orphaned children.

All the households are visited regularly by paid Community Health Workers and/or volunteer Home Based Caregivers, all of them female. These people are well-trained and work closely with the local public health clinic to assist households with care activities, caregivers with emotional support and patients with nutritional advice and traditional treat­ments to maintain health and relief symptoms. This is very important, as none of the HIV-positive persons in this small sample were on antiretroviral (ARV) treatment at the time of the research. Although treatment is free, to access it means regular blood tests and frequent hospital visits, which translates into indirect costs.

The cases clearly reveal that women are still the main providers of health- and childcare. When the demand on their time to provide care increases, they have less time to devote to income generating and community activities, which means less time to invest in social networks. This will cause already poor households with weak safety nets ‘to fall through’ the vulnerability threshold. All case households reveal the significance of social capital, the net­work of kin in particular, as a source of material and immaterial support. Relatives may take in a child to relieve the household’s burden, may send money, or may provide emotional and practical support. When no relatives are living nearby, the neighbours provide the latter kind of support. At the same time, the cases also show ‘missing’ partners and parents who have opted out and whose where­abouts are sometimes not even known.

Although the majority of children in the case study households manage to stay in school, they are absent from school more often due to HIV/AIDS-related morbidity and mortality. As a result they fall behind and are at risk of eventually dropping out. Some children choose to stay at the homestead of their late parents, with or without adult supervision rather than moving in with grandparents or other relatives, in an attempt to retain their parents’ homestead and land. This may make children vulnerable to exploitation. Child migration as a strategy to cope with HIV/AIDS-related morbidity was employed by some of the house­holds. Although migration in search of employment has long been common in Southern Africa, migration of ill persons and children seeking care is a much more recent phenomenon.

Inter-household movements are likely to occur when a household affected by AIDS-related morbidity and mortality does not have the capacity to meet the additional demand for care. Moving of ill persons or vulnerable or orphaned children across house­hold boundaries may make for more efficient use of human, material and financial resources. The cases show a continuous adaptation of living arrangements in response to illness and death. While the homestead and the kinship network still function as important anchors for people’s lives, at the same time HIV and AIDS induce flux and instability, changes dependency relations between homesteads, makes ‘holes’ in safety nets, and undermines relations between partners, in particular those that are not sanctioned by traditional marriage, turning their children into de facto orphans. The homestead also seems to be losing its unified and patriarchal character, though more analysis is needed to prove this, and the supportive role and authority of grandmothers and maternal relatives is increasing. Care is not only morally grounded, it can also add to moral authority.

The government should look into ways to facilitate better access to ARV treatment, because this would not only improve and prolong the life of people living with HIV, but also contribute to a better quality of life for household members. Streamlining access to foster care grants will prevent households taking care of orphans or orphans living on their own from living in extreme poverty. Increasing the number of well-trained paid community health workers, liaising with formal health care and social workers, will enhance the much need support required by households living with the burden of HIV/AIDS-related morbidity and mortality.

Although consisting of a very small sample of households studied over a relatively short period of time, this study shows significant HIV/AIDS-induced changes in living arrangements, the variation in the timeframe of these changes, and the impact of these changes on the livelihoods of households and their potential to arrange health- and childcare, thus revealing the mechanisms of micro-level social change induced by the AIDS epidemic. It demonstrates the importance of qualitative research to complement cross-sectional survey research. More qualitative and longitudinal research is needed to know whether in the wake of the epidemic the cultural and social landscape of rural KwaZulu-Natal is fundamentally changing.

Ecological anthropology of households in East Madura, Indonesia
Smith, W.G. - \ 2011
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof; Y Goudineau. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085859338 - 366
sociale antropologie - landbouwhuishoudens - platteland - ecologie - plattelandssamenleving - milieu - menselijk gedrag - bedrijfssystemen - dorpen - indonesië - madura - vruchtbaarheid - social anthropology - agricultural households - rural areas - ecology - rural society - environment - human behaviour - farming systems - villages - indonesia - madura - fertility

This dissertation is the result of diachronic and comparative anthropological study of rural households in Northeast Madura, Indonesia, carried out on eight separate visits between August 1985 and March 2009. The aim is to bring time-structured data to bear on key questions regarding the evolution of this rural community. My initial research from 1985 to 1987 focused on animal husbandry, household budgets, and time allocation, subjects central to Madurese society that had not been studied since well before Independence. I was interested in understanding more about Madura’s high levels of poverty and notably how sedentary villagers could raise cows using a cut and carry mode of fodder collection in a savannah ecosystem prone to drought and without the benefit of communal grazing lands. The early focus on animal husbandry immediately expanded to cover all productive activities, which in turn raised questions about the value of children.

A fertility study was undertaken to confirm what seemed to be unusually low fertility rates in comparison with other parts of Madura and Indonesia. The incoming data from the time allocation study provided a wealth of new questions on household consumption and expenditures, inter-household and inter-generational exchange, and social organization. Patron-client ties, high levels of violence, political, religious and secular networks and growing cash-cropping provided additional focus for intermediate trips to the field and a long-stay in 1995-1996. The study follows the comparative and diachronic research strategy advocated by many ecological anthropologists since Julian Steward.

The ecological setting was a harsh one; the interrelationships people entertained with nature appeared to be complex and evolving. It appeared that Madurese agricultural ecology, household economy, fertility, religious practice, interpersonal violence, and other aspects of life would be better viewed as parts of a mutually-interacting system than as discreet elements detached from each other. The thesis adopts a problem-oriented perspective to build an explanatory framework for some of the critical questions regarding Madurese society. For example, I wanted to know what was keeping the Madurese poor, whether the well-known practice of racing bulls in pairs, and competing pairs of cows in beauty and agility contests had other functions in the society, and why Madura was considered a violent society.

Historical research provided depth to the analysis to complement a set of one hundred case studies of violence collected in 1995-1996. Detailed analyses of the Madura cases, and the experience of violence in Kalimantan, presented elsewhere, are complemented by the findings from this study of household dynamics and the challenges its members face. For the roots of Madurese violence are found in the critical violent responses people on the edge of poverty can sometimes make when other avenues of redress are blocked.

My overall objective is to tie together the specific ecology of the study village, the productive system, the economic challenges and the often dramatic social insecurity to the development, maintenance and transmission of household units over time. In trying to resolve each of the questions, the mechanism and the processes involved are equally, if not more important than solving the different conundrums that motivate the search in the first place. I found that the understanding and explanation of these Madurese cultural phenomena and processes were most parsimoniously advanced by systematic reference to material factors, processes and contingencies, and moreover that Madurese sentiments, values, ideologies and conceptual schemes were largely determined by these material constraints.

The ecological approach (including such variants as cultural materialism and human ecology) having often been the subject of considerable controversy in Anthropology over the years, particularly in my home country of France, I devoted a great deal of the Introduction (Chapter One) to explicating the research strategy’s theoretical underpinnings, and notably to addressing the contentious issues of functionalism, teleology, system and holism.

In Chapter Two, “Historical Ecology of Madura and Gedang-Gedang,” I discuss the ecological and historical context in which Madurese communities on the island and in the local area of the field site village developed, particularly in light of the demands placed on rural communities by colonial and elite governments through taxes and forced deliveries. One of the effects of this structural violence, colonial wars and security force recruitment was the creation of the image of the violent Madurese, one that they are still trying to shake off. This and the agro-ecological system of maize cultivation and animal husbandry in a savannah ecosystem contribute to the organization of village communities characterized by dispersed settlement of households and household clusters and the development of self-help social institutions.

Chapter Three, “Organization and Exploitation of Domesticated Nature” explores the various ways that villagers in Gedang-Gedang and the subdistrict Batuputih perceive and exploit their natural environment. Modalities of access to land are first discussed before examining ways in which locals conceptualize the plant and animal resources at their disposal, and the various uses to which they are put (in appendices). Plant and animal taxonomies are found to be pragmatic and utilitarian, a departure from early ethnoscience theorizing but congruent with more recent formulations. The rest of the chapter deals with the basic income-generating occupations available to villagers, calculating for each the returns to labour with the help of time allocation data and extensive interviews. An effort is made to chart diachronic trends, and show how access to certain high-earning activities is unequal.

“Social, Political and Religious Dynamics” (Chapter Four) presents the household concept used in this study and the composition of Gedang-Gedang’s conjugal units and the households they form based on a shared hearth. Religious and ritual structures and practices provide a glimpse of the institutions of social interaction that rhythm daily life in the village. Transitions occurring in the political arena are charted including changes since Reformasi. The chapter ends with an extended discussion of social control, first within the family, then within the wider community. Control is found to be exercised most strikingly, both in the village and in the town of Sumenep, in the practice of demanding and offering work through asymmetrical exchange, though most exchange is symmetrical between equals.

Chapter Five on “Households and Process,” deals with households, the location where adaptation takes place in concrete and observable ways. The goal in this chapter is to make the most of the longitudinal and comparative perspectives provided by the research to see through the analysis of actual cases how households develop over time, how they reproduce themselves, and how resilience and vulnerability can come to characterize them at different stages in time. Simple dependency ratios and consumer-producer values for 44 households are plotted over the 24 years of the study to demonstrate the low overall rates found for most households in Gedang-Gedang, with occasional high rates a sign of poverty or crisis. Household consolidation or fission appears usually to be caused by economic and reproductive (child-raising) factors, though in not a few instances conflicts, exacerbated by economic and other inequalities, play a role. Households are plotted on time scales showing progression (or regression) of landholding and livestock over time, and divided into groups of wealthy, poor, or “have enoughs.” The analysis then shifts to examining individual household histories to obtain a more palpable idea of how they develop in specific directions over time. Among the generalities that can be drawn is the importance of labour, particularly the retaining of one’s child in the tanèan and the obtaining of a son- or daughter-in-law that will augment the household’s productive capacity. This ability to retain children and attract their spouses is one that is not equally shared; wealthy households are usually favoured in this regard.

Food and other consumption and exchange data augmented with interview data pointed to important variations in nutrition over the yearly agricultural cycle. Exchange of food and other resources in Gedang-Gedang appears to serve principally to cement social relations among kin and neighbours, or to compensate for work done. The data from Gedang-Gedang points to highly symmetric exchange practices, except in the case of “work for food,” religious and ritual exchange. Lifecycle exchanges have the effect of smoothing over the otherwise significant perturbations in the day to day lives of families when members enter and leave the household, be it the result of marriage, birth or death. As it constitutes a form of exchange, the institution of raising prime cows and bulls for competitive purposes is treated in this chapter, highlighting the positive feedback from these sports to village animal husbandry. In concluding the analysis of individual household economic trajectories, Marten Scheffer’s model of the poverty trap (Scheffer 2009) was readily applicable.

My presentation of Gedang-Gedang households concluded with Chapter Six on “Fertility.” The data showed very low average fertility for Gedang-Gedang in comparison with other villages studied with similar methods in Madura and Java. The conclusions and indicators from the fertility study in Gedang-Gedang strongly validate the findings of Benjamin White’s well-known study of high fertility in the village of Kali Loro, Central Java, though the contexts differ in key respects. I conclude that the particular ecological and economic context of Gedang-Gedang encourages women to self-regulate fertility rather stringently. The salient elements of this context are the relative paucity of income-producing employment for children, the small size of landholdings, and the particular constraints of cut and carry cow husbandry.

In evaluating the hypotheses initially enunciated at the beginning of the study in light of the data collection and analysis it is found that:

- Differential adaptation of village households can be accounted for in large part by theories and principles from general ecology. This provides validation for the use of ecological models in anthropology;

- Different limiting factors in each part of the village are responsible for different economic adaptations, which evolve as opportunities change;

- Time allocation and the use of time-structured data provide information about the behaviour of households and individuals that is not obtainable from classical ethnographic methods, and that has important implications for comparative studies of the value of children;

- The poorest households are usually unable to obtain the credit necessary to engage in high risk but potentially high return occupations such as tobacco planting but some poor and almost all other villagers in appropriate agricultural zones do accept high risk under certain circumstances as the only way to obtain high income. Risk avoidance explains the refusal of villagers to plant high yielding varieties of maize;

- The propensity of Madurese on the island of Madura to engage in violent interpersonal attacks is best understood in relation to struggles over material resources;

- “The rich get richer, the poor get poorer” as a general trend is validated for the village, and the reasons are linked to initial conditions of wealth to a much greater extent than to other personal traits.

Providing diachronic and comparative data from a rural Indonesian community, the study contributes to supporting general ecological theories. The study concludes that ecology and anthropology may well work better conjoined than either of them does alone.

AIDS and Rural Livelihoods. Dynamics and Diversity in Sub-Saharan Africa
Niehof, Anke ; Rugalema, G. ; Gillespie, S. - \ 2010
London : Earthscan - ISBN 9781849711265 - 234
ontwikkelingsstudies - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - humane ziekten - hiv-infecties - volksgezondheid - platteland - plattelandsbevolking - sociale economie - rurale sociologie - economische aspecten - afrika ten zuiden van de sahara - landbouwhuishoudens - development studies - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - human diseases - hiv infections - public health - rural areas - rural population - socioeconomics - rural sociology - economic aspects - africa south of sahara - agricultural households
HIV and AIDS continue to devastate the livelihoods of millions of Africans and represent the major public health challenge in many countries. More people die of AIDS each day than from wars, famine and floods combined, while an orphaned generation of children must be provided for. Yet despite millions of dollars of aid and research, there has previously been little detailed on-the-ground analysis of the long-term impact on rural people. This book brings together recent evidence on HIV/AIDS impacts on rural households, livelihoods, and agricultural practice in sub-Saharan Africa. There is particular emphasis on the role of women in affected households. The book presents micro-level information collected by original empirical research in a range of African countries, and shows how well-grounded conclusions on trends and major problems can then be addressed by policies. It is shown that HIV/AIDS impacts are more diverse than we know (and not always negative) on the basis of cumulative evidence so far.
Developing an environmentally appropriate, socially acceptable and gender-sensitive technology for safe-water supply to households in arsenic affected areas in rural Bangladesh
Amin, N. - \ 2010
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof; Wim Rulkens, co-promotor(en): Harry Bruning. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085858164 - 243
plattelandsontwikkeling - platteland - ontwikkeling - ontwikkelingsstudies - watervoorziening - milieubescherming - grondwater - grondwaterverontreiniging - watervoerende lagen - pijpleidingen - arsenicum - maatschappelijke betrokkenheid - landbouwhuishoudens - waterfilters - drinkwater - sociologie - bangladesh - zuid-azië - rural development - rural areas - development - development studies - water supply - environmental protection - groundwater - groundwater pollution - aquifers - pipelines - arsenic - community involvement - agricultural households - water filters - drinking water - sociology - bangladesh - south asia
To confront the arsenic crisis in Bangladesh, several options for a safe water supply in the rural As-affected areas are available. Most of these options have shown a minimum scope to mitigate arsenic-related risks because of their poor performance and non-acceptability by the rural households. In this research, therefore, the development of an appropriate technology for an As-free, safe drinking water supply is considered from a local perspective and a societal context. To achieve the goal and objectives of this research, four research questions were formulated (Chapter 1). The first research question is about the technological and socio-economic performance of community-based pipeline water supply systems that use deep aquifers. The second question deals with available and currently implemented household-level arsenic removal technologies in rural Bangladesh. The third addresses the weaknesses, limitations, strengths and advantages of the technologies in terms of a number of technological, social, economic and gender indicators. Fourth, the question is posed of the most promising arsenic removal option for rural house¬holds in terms of its techno¬logical performance and social acceptability and suitability from a gender perspective. The occurrence of As in the Delta region is of geochemical origin and its distribution in the groundwater has distinct regional patterns and depth trends. An overview of the arsenic problem in Bangladesh is given in Chapter 2.

The overall objective of the research was to develop a socially appropriate and gender-sensitive household-level As removal filter. Technical, socio-economic and cultural aspects were incorporated in this research to assess the development of a sustainable innovation through multi- and interdisciplinary approaches. The technical validation of the systems was carried out through laboratory-based research, to address the efficiency, robustness, operational and maintenance convenience, safety and viability of the technology. For the social research, the model by Spaargaren and Van Vliet (2000) was adjusted to address the filter’s suitability in terms of lifestyle, domestic time-space structures, affordability, standards of comfort, cleanliness, convenience and modes of provision. In addition, I also considered the household resource-based affordability during the operation and maintenance phase, in terms of a socio-technological and gender perspective. A conceptual model was developed to guide the research and to answer the research questions (Chapter 1). The socio-economic data on the main concepts of this research work were collected through a survey (Appendix 2).

In this research, a synthesis of knowledge resulting from disciplinary, open-ended collaboration and local perspectives is achieved. Such a transdisciplinary research approach ensures an integration of knowledge through the participation of a variety of stakeholders, including end users, and mutual learning between the different stakeholders, such as users of the Modified Garnet Homemade Filter (MGH Filter), caretakers, village committees, implementing organizations and donors, users of water, households, and women.

The community–based piped water supply in Bangladesh
There are several alternative sources to get safe and As-free drinking water in Bangladesh. A community-based piped water supply system using deep aquifers is one of them. In this research, three community-based piped water supply systems were compared to evaluate their technological and economic sustainability, the sustainability of using deep aquifers for the long term, and the social and gender appropriateness of the systems, based on the users’ perspective (Chapter 4). The technical performance of the three systems in different geological conditions was found satisfactory in terms of their efficacy, water quality, adequacy of the water supply, and operations and maintenance. The water is As- and Fe-free and is of good taste. The concentration of As is below the limiting range of drinking water in Bangladesh (50µgL-1As), as well as within the WHO and new EPA standards (10µgL-1As). The sustainable use of deep aquifers for a longer period is a serious issue. To address the sustainability, hydro-geological factors need to be well understood. Overextraction of water from deep aquifers could induce a downward migration of dissolved As and permanently destroy the deep resource. Only one system is practicing chlorination to disinfect the water in the overhead tank, while the other two systems do not have such a provision. However, the field data reveal that the three systems are technologically acceptable and do not require disposal of contaminated sludge.

The women who are using one of the three water supply systems are satisfied about the water supply systems. They think the systems reliable in their delivery of adequate water and convenient and comfortable for the women users. Women can get water close to their house, which saves collection time and a physical burden. The appointed caretakers are operating the systems efficiently, including maintenance and the collection of the monthly bill from the beneficiaries. The economical sustainability seems to be satisfactory, provided the initial costs are subsidized by external financial assistance with only a little contribution from the communities, which varies from five to seven percent of the total capital cost. The community participation in sharing the installation cost for the system and the monthly bill are fixed, based on the economical condition of the households. However, a drawback of the community-based piped water system is disruption of the system due to its sensitivity to power failure, which is a big problem in Bangladesh. Other shortcomings are the limitations to extend the system to meet the increasing demand of the village people. On the long term, economical sustainability factors need to be considered, such as the availability of funds and the participation of the users in the system’s management, which were absent in all three systems.

Currently available and implemented household-level arsenic removal technologies

The application of arsenic removal technologies to provide safe drinking water in rural areas plays a vital role where other, alternative options and safe aquifers are not easily available and where community-based pipeline water supply systems are not feasible. In this research, physico-chemical and biological as well as conventional techniques for the removal of arsenic were reviewed (Chapter 5). Based on literature, an inventory was carried out of 40 available and currently implemented technologies at the household level in terms of their arsenic removal efficiency, cost and users’ acceptance. All the technologies remove As from the water to a limited extent. Therefore, there is scope for further development of these technologies. A multiple-criteria analysis (MCA) approach was applied to select a technology for the further development of an appropriate arsenic removal filter for household-level use. In the research, based on the integrated assessments, the MCA-GARNET technology was selected for further development.

An assessment of the performances of the three governmentally certified arsenic removal technologies for rural household use was carried out (Chapter 5). This research concludes that the government’s investments in an improved water supply so far have failed to meet the needs of the poor villagers, because they are not able to buy the costly Alcan and Read-F filters. Even the relatively cheap Sono filter proved to be unaffordable for the poorest. Furthermore, assessing the As removal efficiency and life span of these filters is difficult at this preliminary stage, and so is predicting how the disposal of the spent filter materials will be carried out by the users. The As leaching from the sludge/waste generated by the three treatment processes is dependent on the type of removal mechanism and the ultimate sludge disposal methods.

Development of a chemical-free arsenic removal technology for household use

In this research, by the active participation of potential end users and other stakeholders, I have included local knowledge and social and gender perspectives in the process of the development of an innovative As removal filter (MGH filter) (Chapter 6). The MGH filter efficiency and breakthrough point were studied at different operational variables, such as filter bed thickness, types of filter media and flow rate. The toxicity of the spent material was addressed by a TCLP test. The developed filter meets the Bangladesh standard for arsenic in drinking water (50µgL-1). It can reduce the arsenic concentrations of the shallow tube well water samples from 160-959µgL-1 to 0-50µgL-1. It can also remove bacteriological contamination in terms of total coliform and fecal coliform counts from >500 to 0 cfu/100 mL-1 . The filter consists of two-bucket filters in series, each with three filter material layers of 14 cm thickness each, containing sand, brick chip and sand (Figure 7.1). The first-class brick chips of 1.3 cm size and Sylhet coarse sands were found to be the most efficient. The major advantage of this unit is that it does not require any daily addition of chemicals and can be operated at a high flow rate. It needs to be cleaned regularly to prevent bacterial contamination, while its maintenance requires treatment with bleaching powder at 15-day intervals. The filter is cost–effective and viable; the investments and operational cost are about € 10.8-13.4 and € 0.11-0.14 per 100 liters of treated water, respectively.

In this research, a multi-perspective and participatory socio-technological assessment of the filter’s performance during the field level application was carried out in two phases: the trial phase during March 2008 and the evaluation phase during July 2008 (Chapter 7). Eight MGH filters were distributed among eight households in the research area in Kumarbhog. In this research, the multi-perspective assessment comprised interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to evaluate the performance of the filters for household use. Both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis were used. The suitability and acceptability of the filters were evaluated through systematic observation, interviewing, FGDs and eight case studies of the filter users. The compatibility and appropriate¬ness of the filter were viewed from a gender pers¬pective, since access to safe water is an important practical gender need of women, directly related to their domestic and reproductive role.

Women of the selected eight rural households adopted the technology and ran the filters successfully during the trial phase. As elsewhere in developing countries, in Bangladesh too, rural women are the managers of water for household use. They hardly participate in income generation. The male household head controls the allocation of household income and expenditures, which caused problems when women wanted to re-install their filter. The household survey revealed that sometimes, women cannot be bothered to fetch safe water from far away and, instead, drink the con¬taminated water from their own shallow tube wells. Having the appliance inside the house complied well with the social norms and religious restrictions (purdah) that women have to abide by. In these circumstances, the MGH filter was eagerly accepted by the eight households, because it reduced women’s social and physical burden to fetch As-free, safe water far from their home. In the evaluation phase, some filters were unused because the women could not persuade their husbands to purchase the necessary filter bed materials. During the evaluation phase, the performance of the filters declined compared to the trial phase, because not all users followed the instructions on its operation and maintenance, such as proper chlorination and clean¬liness of the appliance. Disposal of spent filter material was carried out in different ways by the MGH filter users, but more investigation is needed to enable an environmentally friendly disposal of the As-rich sludge.

A new filter system has been developed that can be used by women at the household level. In terms of the simplicity of construction, operation and maintenance, As removal efficiency, and bacterial removal efficiency, its technical performance is good. It is also very cost-effective. However, because such a system always needs to be completely safe for producing drinking water, on the long term as well as under local and household conditions other than those investigated in this research project, further evaluation and additional research will be necessary. In this research, the filter was field-tested under controlled conditions for a month and evaluated after three months. Considering the need for arsenic treatment options in Bangladesh and other developing countries, further research on the performance of the MGH technology could have important positive implications for a safe water supply. Therefore, to allow for seasonality, the MGH filter should be pilot-tested and properly developed over a period of at least a year, in different geographical conditions. A social, economic and technical validation of the MGH filter should be included in the pilot-testing in different parts of the country by applying interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches. Because women are the collectors and managers of drinking water, doing the validation in different parts of the country allows for variation in women’s roles and position and the local socio-cultural context. The MGH filter should be submitted for certification by the government of Bangladesh after further testing and development. The technological principle of the MGH filter may be used to research and develop a community-based low-cost arsenic removal water supply system in rural areas. The results of this research testify to the feasibility of a gender-sensitive, socially acceptable and technologically sound, sustainable solution to the problem of the As contamination of water for household use in rural areas in Bangladesh.


Experts from necessity : agricultural knowledge of children orphaned by AIDS in the Couffo region, Benin
Fagbemissi, R.C. - \ 2010
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Cees Leeuwis, co-promotor(en): L.L.M. Price; Rico Lie. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085856092 - 241
kennis - landbouw - kinderen - wezen - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - landbouwhuishoudens - etnobotanie - inheemse kennis - plagen - benin - west-afrika - minst ontwikkelde landen - generaties - kennis van boeren - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - knowledge - agriculture - children - orphans - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - agricultural households - ethnobotany - indigenous knowledge - pests - benin - west africa - least developed countries - generations - farmers' knowledge - livelihood strategies
Chapter 1 sketches the general background of the study. The study tests
the hypothesis that HIV and AIDS not only impairs or modifies farmers’
agroecological knowledge base, but also impairs or modifies their strategies to
mobilize knowledge and resources. The research mainly aims to understand
agricultural knowledge and practices among children orphaned by AIDS,
consecutive to widespread interest in and concern about erosion of agricultural
knowledge in AIDS-affected communities. Such a possible loss of knowledge
could be detrimental for the children of farm households. Therefore, the focus
is on studying possible intergenerational differences in knowledge between
categories of child farmers and those of adult farmers, and analyze various
causes that could explain these differences. The study is situated in the Couffo
region, in south-west Benin. This region has a relatively high HIV prevalence
rate. Chapter 2 presents the conceptual framework for the study, and introduces
the main concepts, namely agricultural knowledge, problem-solving processes
and the linkages between social networks, resources and agricultural practices.
The design of the study is articulated around the concepts of ‘knowledge in
stock’ and ‘knowledge in action.’ Knowledge as a stock represents the contents
of people’s minds while knowledge as action makes refers to the way knowledge
is applied in solving agricultural problems. This is reflected in how people
understand a problem and develop practices to solve it. The chapter highlights
that the way people solve a problem depends on their stocks of knowledge
and on their capacity to develop different kind of strategies to effectively solve
that problem. Chapter 3 provides an overview of the study design and the
methodology used in the research process. The overall methodology, which
was used is a mixed model approach. This approach combines qualitative and
quantitative methods for data collection and analyses. It draws upon methods
and techniques in ethnobiology and ethnoecology.
Chapter 4 examines the magnitude of AIDS-related orphanhood in the Couffo
by focusing on the demographic and livelihood characteristics of households
containing children orphaned by AIDS. The aim is to understand orphans’
everyday life situations and to provide insights into the diversity of orphans
and the way this diversity affects various responses to mitigating the impact of
AIDS. Basic typologies, which are used by the care organizations, formed the
entry point for conducting a household census. The result of the census shows
the diversity among the children orphaned by AIDS. Particularly, it is shown
that the majority of the orphans live in small households, which comprise
of four or fewer members, and that most of these households are headed by female adults who are often the main care providers to the orphans. The main
livelihood activities of the orphaned households consist of farming (mainly
maize, cowpea and cassava) or small business, and in very few cases, livestock
raising and off-farm labor. The census found a total of 322 AIDS-related
orphans, aged from 0 to 14 years, and living within 88 households. Seventyone
percent of them are under the care of their mothers and grandmothers,
68% are paternal orphans, 58% are between the ages of 7 and 12, and 68% are
in primary school. These households are, to a large extent registered within
local platforms for that offer direct or indirect access to formal care services
implemented by national and international institutions. Support from the
extended family includes more affective components such as frequent visits,
or providing help during an intensive farm activity period or offering moral
caution to borrow money. During the study of orphans’ typologies, it was noted
that an important part of the children that had been counted were no longer
living in their initial households. The investigation of these movements of
the children shows that orphan mobility is rooted in various factors among
which are the main livelihood activity of the household, the gender of the
orphan’s main care giver, the amount of the household’s farm land, the age of
the orphan and his/her contribution to farming activities. These parameters
play an important role within the phenomena of orphans’ mobility and must
be taken into consideration when designing appropriate care for rural orphans
and their households. It is also found that some specific services are needed
for the community members, with respect to managing conflict and tensions
that could arise with the management of orphanhood, and that female caregivers
deserve special attention and protection with respect to their access to
land and other productive resources.
Chapter 5 and 6 report on the differences in stocks of pests knowledge among
maize and cowpea child and adult farmers. The ethnoecological perspective
is used to uncover and explain child and adult farmers’ ability to name
maize pests, through the analysis of their cognitive salience index (Sutrop’s
CSI). Farmers’ perceptions and experiences of maize and cowpea pests are
also investigated through the analysis of their life words. The intention is to
systematically check the assumption of intergenerational loss of traditional
agricultural knowledge linked to the impact of AIDS on farming communities.
The results of the CSI analysis in Chapter 5 indicate that children orphaned
by AIDS are more knowledgeable than non-orphaned. One-parent orphans
residing with the surviving parent are more knowledgeable than double
orphans farming on their own. Non-affected adults and their children are the
ones with the lowest CSI scores compared to affected adults and orphans.
These are rather positive findings in opposition to what was assumed. Results
in Chapter 6 show that Adja farmers use various descriptors to reflect on
their perceptions and experiences about pests in maize and cowpea farms.
Precisely, eight types of descriptors are extracted from pile sort exercises and
the consecutive follow-up conversations with farmers according to the groups
they belong to (AIDS affection status and generations, that is, affected/nonaffected
and child/adult). These descriptors are constructed from a rich and
diverse body of semantics, that proves to be related to AIDS affection status,
especially among the children. Further analysis shows that these descriptors
are generally based on the form and/or function associated to the pests, and
reflect individual farmer’s expertise about their agroecology. In fact, not only
do these descriptors reveal farmers’ knowledge of pests, but they also enlighten
us on farmers’ day-to-day relations with those pests while struggling to protect
their harvest. One of the findings is the importance of the proximity of at
least one biological parent and the quality of the relationship adult-child in
the formation of child expertise. The disaggregated analysis of the domains of
child expertise given their use of descriptors shows that double orphans are
less expert compared to non-orphans with respect to pest damages on maize
(p < 0.05), and compared to one-parent orphans for aspects linked to pest
control (p < 0.05). In all, non-orphans seem to have similarities with affected
adults, and use more functional items in their perceptions of pests, while
orphans, especially one-parent orphans seem to have commonalities with
non-affected adults with an equal use of form and function. This last point
suggests that there could be an alternative route of expertise building among
the one-parent orphans. Meanwhile, double orphans, making more use of
form descriptors, seem to build their expertise from the observation of the
natural order.
Chapter 7 uncovers differential strategies used by farmers, especially the
orphans, to access and use agricultural knowledge and their pest control
practices. The aim is to examine the process through which farmers of various
AIDS-affection statuses solve pest problems. In this process, the emphasis is
put on how they identify the pest problem, diagnose its cause, choose among
available solutions, and on the actions they eventually take to solve the pest
problem. The study shows significant differences between affected and nonaffected
adults, between orphans and non-orphans, and between adults and
children in many aspects. The results show that individual farmers are more
competent in identifying a pest problem than understanding the causes of
that problem. With respect to causes identification, there are differences
between orphans and non-orphans, between affected and non-affected adults,
and between adults and children. Farmers’ choices of solutions are based
on their perceptions of the causes, and their expectations (motivations for
226 growing cowpea). They, therefore, use criteria accordingly to choose among
the available options. Although Adja cowpea farmers often rely on, and have
confidence in the use of existing homogenous technological packages to deal
with pest infestation, it is important to note that the solutions basket of the
affected adults has a more diverse content. The study also found differences
in the types of material resources and equipment of farmers given their AIDS
status and generation. While the orphans predominantly report the possession
of small sprayers, some of the non-orphans simply use domestic containers
such as basins together with branches of palm trees to spray insecticide on
their cowpea farms. Non-affected adults have bigger sprayers (sprayers with
a pump) at their disposal, compared to affected adults. Farmers use several
ways to get knowledge and information. The important role of cowpea for
farm households justifies farmers’ strategies to mobilize knowledge and non
knowledge resources for managing cowpea pests. However, it is important
to signal that non-affected households mostly cultivate cowpea for market
purposes, while affected households give this crop an important weight in
household’s food stocks, in addition to the possible sale of surplus on the market.
This apparent single versus dual purpose is to be linked to the combination
of poverty and AIDS. Hence, affected and non-affected farmers’ strategies to
solve cowpea pest problem is linked to the importance they confer to it as either
means of generating income or that of diversifying household food resources.
For instance, the fact that affected farmers give an important weight to cowpea
in household food security architecture obliges them to be cautious with the
use of harmful solutions such as spraying cotton insecticide on cowpea plants.
In this line, it is found that one fifth of the AIDS- affected adult farmers only
report the use of insecticides that are specifically recommended to be applied
on cowpea plants. Further results show that farmers of different AIDS statuses
use diverse connections to mobilize resources to address pest problems. This
eventually evolves into differential perceptions and abilities in understanding
the kind of pests in the farms, identifying the causes, and addressing pest
problems based on their differential social realities and agency.
Chapter 8 reflects on the most important findings and presents some
general implications of the study for scholars, rural development agents and
care providing institutions. The overall conclusion from the thesis is that
there is little evidence to confirm the hypothesis of knowledge decline and/or
a break in inter-generational knowledge transfer. In fact, the pattern suggested
by this study is that orphans in Couffo tend to be more knowledgeable in
the domain of pest management than both their non-orphan peers and
adults. This conclusion is more pronounced for single orphans, especially for
paternal orphans, than for double orphans, who seem to be in a relatively
more vulnerable position with respect to the acquisition of agroecological
knowledge. The need and necessity of being engaged in agricultural practices,
and the quality of interactions with an adult teacher, are important explanations
for this.
The chapter further elaborates on the need to redefine childhood and to
consider orphans in the 10 to 14 years age range as pre-adults given that they
have specific needs and are drawn into adult responsibilities. The existence of
AIDS is also analyzed as a possible door of opportunities for improving rural
livelihoods. Analyzing vulnerability can also consist of examining what works
and how to strengthen those existing local responses, with a special attention
to the orphans and their guardians. This leads to examining innovative
approaches that could help to effectively mainstream children orphaned by
AIDS within rural development policies and agendas.
Intrahousehold resource allocation and well-being : the case of rural households in Senegal
Dia, F. - \ 2010
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Gerrit Antonides; Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Johan van Ophem. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085856863 - 271
agricultural households - resource allocation - household income - time allocation - decision making - households - rural areas - farmers' income - non-farm income - women - men - household expenditure - senegal - gender - well-being - landbouwhuishoudens - middelentoewijzing - gezinsinkomen - tijdsbesteding - besluitvorming - huishoudens - platteland - inkomen van landbouwers - inkomsten van buiten het landbouwbedrijf - vrouwen - mannen - huishouduitgaven - senegal - geslacht (gender) - welzijn
In this last decade, poverty in developing countries remains the most important topic of debate at the international level. The main proposition was how to build policies and programs on a gender perspective approach taking into account gender differences in behavior between male and female at the level of the household. This study is undertaken in a context of two earner partners living in mixed farming systems in Senegal where earnings come primarily from crops and livestock. This book provides substantial research focused on household decision-making regarding resource allocation and consumption. Moreover, it attempts to show empirical findings on the analysis of welfare and well-being through an innovative combination of subjective and objective methods. The research shows how important socioeconomic and cultural factors are in determining earnings from agricultural activities. Important determinants of productivity are related to women’s land access, non-labor income (transfers from migrants), and the wife’s access to credit and health problems. The research illustrates also that women’s bargaining power may be strongly linked to their access to livestock resources, their mobility in purchasing food and medicine and their participation in the management of household finance. Analysis of decision-making regarding expenditures shows that women, more than men, value household goods (related to food, health and schooling expenditures) more than private goods. The results suggest that policies aimed at improving household livelihoods must understand gender differences, obligations and priorities.

Intrahousehold resource allocation and well-being : the case of rural households in Senegal
Dia, F. - \ 2010
Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers (AWLAE series no. 10) - ISBN 9789086861583 - 257
landbouwhuishoudens - middelentoewijzing - gezinsinkomen - tijdsbesteding - besluitvorming - huishoudens - platteland - inkomen van landbouwers - inkomsten van buiten het landbouwbedrijf - vrouwen - mannen - huishouduitgaven - senegal - geslacht (gender) - welzijn - agricultural households - resource allocation - household income - time allocation - decision making - households - rural areas - farmers' income - non-farm income - women - men - household expenditure - gender - well-being
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