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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    Agricultural intensification in Nepal, with particular reference to systems of rice intensification
    Uprety, Rajendra - \ 2016
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Thomas Kuijper, co-promotor(en): Harro Maat. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462579651 - 190
    rice - oryza sativa - nepal - asia - south asia - intensification - livelihoods - livelihood strategies - farming systems - farming - crop management - fertilizers - nutrients - irrigation - varieties - rijst - oryza sativa - nepal - azië - zuid-azië - intensivering - middelen van bestaan - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - bedrijfssystemen - landbouw bedrijven - gewasteelt - kunstmeststoffen - voedingsstoffen - irrigatie - rassen (planten)

    This thesis deals with agricultural intensification in Nepal. The initial focus of the study was the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), as introduced in Nepal from 2001. The multiple factors affecting SRI adoption, modification and dissemination together with the option to apply SRI in different combinations of its components result in a variety of SRI applications. For the same reason the effect of SRI on overall agricultural and livelihood development of Nepalese farmers has to be evaluated within the variety of farming systems in which it is applied.

    Despite government policies to promote rice cultivation, national rice production is declining. Farmer livelihood strategies, as reflected in rice farming systems, and field management strategies were influenced by several agro-ecological and socio-economic factors. Livelihood and field management strategies of rice farmers are interconnected. In the study presented here four livelihood strategies and three kinds of field management strategies are distinguished. Two livelihood strategies can be characterized as more intensive and more productive; the other two are less intensive and less productive. Livelihood strategies are more family resource-based strategies, while farmers’ field management strategies are more context-dependent. Field management strategies were characterized by forms of nutrient management. Intensive management strategies had most similarities with SRI. But rice intensification is not achievable as a general strategy.

    Government policies (fertiliser subsidies) encourage increased fertiliser use. Study results didn't show any significant effect of volume of fertilisers on rice yield but the combined use of organic manure and mineral fertilisers resulted in the highest average rice yields. Irrigation management is another important factor for rice production. Field management is influenced by the reliability of water which was better in farmers' managed irrigation system. Choice of rice varieties influenced the overall rice farming system and cropping intensity and preference of varieties for rice cultivation by scientists and by farmers were different in eastern Nepal. Most popular varieties were those not recommended by science and policy and were disseminated farmer to farmer.

    The introduction of SRI in Morang district resulted in several changes in rice farming, but only part of the farmers have adopted such technologies, and adoption has been only in part of their fields. Other farmers have incorporated some SRI practices in their conventional practices. After the introduction of SRI, farmers further tested, re-packaged or hybridized SRI methods to make SRI ideas suitable for their agro-ecological and socio-economic environments. In order to reform Nepalese rice farming, we need to recognize that different farmers, with different livelihood strategies, and with access to different kinds of fields, need different forms for agricultural intensification. High-intensive farmers prefer to use modified SRI methods where there is good irrigation and drainage facilities. There are many possibilities for improvement of the existing nutrient management practices of rice farmers in Nepal. Nutrient management will be useful to increase rice production because the majority of farmers currently use fertilisers non-judiciously. The SRI-recommended practices (younger seedlings, early weeding, use of organic manure, and alternate wetting and drying (AWD) irrigation) will be useful to improve the nutrient use efficiency of rice farmers. Cost-reduction strategies and less labour-intensive cultivation practices will be appropriate options to improve existing rice farming system of Nepal. Participatory cultivar selection and dissemination will be better strategies to introduce new, promising rice cultivars among rice farmers.

    Adaptive collaborative governance of Nepal's community forests: shifting power, strenghtening livelihoods
    McDougall, C.L. - \ 2015
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Cees Leeuwis, co-promotor(en): J.L.S. Jiggins. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462572881 - 322
    bewonersparticipatie - governance - sociale samenwerking - sociaal leren - natuurlijke hulpbronnen - bosbouw - gemeenschappen - middelen van bestaan - adaptatie - sociaal kapitaal - vrouwen - armoede - nepal - community participation - governance - social cooperation - social learning - natural resources - forestry - communities - livelihoods - adaptation - social capital - women - poverty - nepal

    Short Summary

    Cynthia McDougall--PhD Dissertation

    Knowledge, Technology, &Innovation Chairgroup (WASS)

    Adaptive collaborative governance of Nepal’s community forests: Shifting power, strengthening livelihoods

    Community-based natural resource governance has taken root around the globe. And, yet, as demonstrated by community forestry in Nepal, such programmes have generally not yet lived up to their goals and expectations. After decades of implementation, community forestry in Nepal faces several key challenges. Central to these challenges are: the need to increase equity in community forest user group decision making and benefit sharing; and, to increase the livelihood benefits from community forestry overall. The research project on which this study is based sought to address these challenges at the community forest user group scale. The research objective was to contribute empirically-based insights regarding if and how adaptive collaborative governance of community forests in Nepal can constructively influence engagement, livelihoods, social capital and conflict—especially in regard to women and the poor. Further, the research aimed to elucidate the underlying issue of power in community-based natural resource governance. In particular, it sought to contribute deeper, theoretically-based understanding of the persistence of power imbalances in community forestry, and of the potential of adaptive collaborative governance to shift such imbalances.

    Gendered participation in water management in Nepal : discourses, policies and practices in the irrigation and drinking water sectors
    Bhushan Udas, P. - \ 2014
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Linden Vincent, co-promotor(en): Margreet Zwarteveen. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462571655 - 281
    waterbeheer - geslacht (gender) - participatie - irrigatie - drinkwater - nepal - water management - gender - participation - irrigation - drinking water - nepal

    Abstract

    This thesis is about gendered policy processes in the irrigation and drinking water sectors in Nepal. Globally, increased women’s participation in formal decision making bodies such as water users’ associations is extensively advocated as a means to reduce existing gender gaps in water access, control and management and ultimately achieve gender equality. In Nepal, this has resulted in water policies since the 1990s that aim to increase female users’ participation in water users’ committees, yet its effectiveness was not known in-depth. This study examined the gendered policy process at the levels of policy discourses, implementation and outcomes in the irrigation and drinking water sectors in Nepal. It found a gap in policy discourses to link efforts to increase women’s participation within the wider goals of the water sector. At implementer level, lack of formal incentives, and contradictions in policy goals with professional culture and the identities of implementers, have had negative effects on implementation. What has been achieved in term of women’s visibility in the committee is an outcome of an implementer’s individual conviction and attitude on working with gender issues. At farm level, leaders of water users associations were more interested to access external resources for system rehabilitation than in internal issues of equity and water distribution. Ability to pay and to negotiate with others determined women’s access to water rather than formal participation means. The outcomes of efforts by water users’ associations to impose rules on water distribution differed between surface irrigation systems and closed pipe water supply systems, which influenced access to water and users’ involvement in the association. The study concludes that efforts to improve participation of women in users’ committees in terms of numbers alone has only indirect impacts on equitable access to water, and uncertain outcomes in improved water delivery to women and other vulnerable users.

    Masculinities among irrigation engineers and water professionals in Nepal
    Liebrand, J. - \ 2014
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Linden Vincent, co-promotor(en): Margreet Zwarteveen; Margreet van der Burg. - Wageningen : s.n. - ISBN 9789462571419 - 505
    irrigatie - ingenieurs - geslacht (gender) - beroepsopleiding (hoger) - nepal - irrigation - engineers - gender - professional education - nepal

    Summary

    This thesis documents my attempt to study masculinities among irrigation engineers and water professionals in Nepal. It is based on the recognition that more than two decades of mainstreaming gender in development research and policy have failed to come to grips with the masculine subject. In this thesis, it is hypothesized that there is something intrinsically masculine about the irrigation and water management profession, both in the West and in Nepal. This hypothesis is based on personal experience, being a male researcher myself and being trained as an irrigation professional in the Netherlands, and having travelled to India and Nepal to meet irrigation engineers and water professionals in an intercultural context. The hypothesis is also based on academic questioning of masculinities in irrigation. The aim of the thesis is to scrutinize a taken-for-granted association of men with organisational power, authority and expertise in irrigation. To facilitate investigations, two domains in the world of irrigation are conceptualized: the domain of the irrigation professional and the domain of irrigation expert knowledge. For each of these domains, a set of research questions has been formulated. First, how does one become an irrigation engineer in Nepal, employed in the Department of Irrigation, and what masculinities might be involved in becoming one; and second, how might masculinities be implicated in irrigation knowledge and water expert thinking. To answer the first question, this thesis analyses the institutions of engineering education, professional associations and regulatory bodies, and the Department of Irrigation. To answer the second question, this thesis analyses the use and presentation of irrigation data in policy making and it examines histories of irrigation expert thinking in Nepal.

    The conceptual backbone of the thesis is to see professional performance in irrigation as cultural performance, drawing inspiration from the work of Victor Turner in particular. In Chapter 1, I explain that he metaphor of performance can be read as technical performance and cultural performance, and is conceived in this thesis as two sides of the same coin, mutually constituting professional performance. In the process of research, I have come to see the concept of cultural performance as particularly apt for this thesis. It has enabled me to conceptualize linkages between the gender of engineers, professional cultures in irrigation and technical representations in irrigation knowledge, without having to exclude myself from the writing process. The latter is important in research on masculinities because identifications of masculinities and femininities are unavoidably interpretative, situated and partial.

    Chapter 2 presents historical contexts of irrigation development in Nepal, highlighting the main state interventions in the sector and some of the changes in professional practice in irrigation. It also presents a background on the education system and the civil service in Nepal from the 1950s onwards, highlighting gendered aspects of these institutions and revealing that they have functioned as closed institutions of the high-class, upper-caste elite in Nepal. It also documents a history of women professionals in rural development in Nepal from the 1950s onwards, in an attempt to understand why there are so few female irrigation engineers in the Department of Irrigation. In this account, I briefly re-visit the introduction of ‘social organisers’ in irrigation in the early 1990s in an attempt to figure out why social organiser positions were not taken up by women professionals as community specialists. The analysis reveals that the position of women professionals, from the 1950s onwards, has been defined in terms of their ‘feminine capacity’ to deal with ‘women’s issues’, marked by their non-involvement in broader issues of development.

    Chapter 3 presents feminist histories of the main institutions that constitute the roadway for becoming an irrigation engineer in Nepal. The first institution is engineering education, focussing on Nepal but also mentioning the places abroad (mainly in India) where Nepalese men (and some women) have gone for engineering education. The focus is mainly on diploma (overseer) and bachelor (engineer) level education in the disciplines of civil – and agricultural engineering. For these disciplines, I have collected gender and caste segregated enrolment data of students at engineering colleges in Nepal (going back to the 1980s). A second set of institutions are the regulatory organisations for the engineering profession in Nepal and the professional associations that exist in relation to the field of engineering, water, agriculture and irrigation. It presents an analysis of about 40 professional associations and also discusses some of the incipient networks of women professionals in natural resources management. The third institution is the Department of Irrigation, describing its history from 1952 onwards (year of establishment) and presenting an analysis on who is employed in the organisation. The analysis of the institutions reveals that they mainly have been the world of men.

    Chapter 4 focusses on the informal milieu in the Department of Irrigation to understand how one becomes a ‘real’ irrigation engineer. The analysis is based on the assumption that getting an engineering degree, and becoming a member of an engineering association and securing employment in the civil service of the Department of Irrigation, does not automatically make a person a ‘real’ irrigation engineer. It is hypothesized that junior engineers need to participate in the informal milieu of the institutions, develop agency and acquire the desire, skills and perceptions that ‘fit’ a normative and gender authentic performance of a ‘real’ irrigation engineer. The development of agency and desire is conceptualized to occur through two distinct yet interrelated processes, which I call ‘self-normalization’ and ‘transitional performance’. The analysis reveals that the informal milieu of the Department of Irrigation is infiltrated with social stereotypes and cultural norms that prevail in (elite) society in Nepal, causing barriers, particularly for women, to perform as ‘real’ irrigation engineers. The analysis also identifies two periods in the lives of engineers that can be conceived as rites of passage for becoming an irrigation engineer: ‘the college’ and ‘the field’. It is suggested that participation in these rites of passage is a pre-requisite to become a ‘real’ irrigation engineer.

    Chapter 5 discusses the performance of women engineers and ‘other men’ in the Department of Irrigation. Other men are conceptualized as a broad category of men, from professionals with a disciplinary background other than engineering to men of ‘low caste’ and men with a particular ethnic background. The analysis focusses, however, mainly on the performance of ‘lady engineers’ as women engineers in the Department are known. Their marginalized position in the organisation is highly visible whereas subordinated positions of men in the Department are more difficult to detect. Apart from the presence of (male) Madhesi officers, class, caste and ethnic issues among men are difficult to understand ‘within’ the Department, because staff with a Dalit background, for instance, constitute only 2% of staff in lower management positions in the organisation. The taboo for women to perform in the field is discussed in relation to the performance of the lady engineer. Also an overview is presented of the disadvantages that lady engineers tend to accumulate in the pursuit of a career in the Department. The analysis reveals that most women engineers come to face a career plateau in their life, causing them to accept office work that is considered of secondary importance, switch jobs or quit service altogether.

    Chapter 6 analyses the performativity of irrigation data and their use in policy making in Nepal. In the recognition that technical representations of reality help to enact professional credibility and claims of truths of irrigation engineers and water professionals, the focus is on understanding how irrigation data might support (and help to enact) professional performance in irrigation. It is analysed how irrigation data breathe life into particular representations of reality, reflecting and structuring a particular experience in irrigation expert thinking. It is suggested that the ‘show’ of irrigation data can also be considered a ‘cultural expression’ of authority, professional identities and masculinities in irrigation. This is not to say that women professionals in irrigation would use and construct irrigation data in a different way, but to point out that authority ‘sticks’ more easily to male engineers when they use irrigation data, than to female engineers when they use irrigation data.

    Chapter 7 presents a self-portrait of ‘our knowledges’ in irrigation. Speaking about ‘our knowledges’ in irrigation – something that is deeply contentious from a feminist perspective – is done as a way to acknowledge my subjectivation as an irrigation professional and to invite fellow members of knowledge and policy elites in development to participate in an exercise of self-discovery. I reconstruct a history of irrigation expert thinking in Nepal based on 60 years of state irrigation interventions in Chitwan District (1950-2010). It is an explorative study, rich in empirical material, also presenting a fresh look at irrigation practices in Chitwan before the 1950s and re-constructing an account of how images of the Tennessee Valley Authority in America served to conceptualize multipurpose watershed management and new irrigation projects in Nepal. Through the use of photos, I also show how engineers have acted as negotiators of knowledge and masculinities in the act of building irrigation systems in Chitwan District. The investigation is based on the assumption that it is worthwhile to scrutinize our expert knowledges in irrigation because our performances and identities of ‘ourselves’ – as male and female engineers and professionals – are somehow implicated in it. Treating the historical account as a self-referential experience or self-portrait of professional performances in irrigation, I explore how masculinities have been associated with our expert knowledges. The analysis is also an account of professional performance and practices of masculinities that I have negotiated (and performed) myself, in the act of doing research in irrigation on masculinities.

    In the last chapter (general discussion and conclusions), I conclude that masculinities are deeply embedded in professional cultures in irrigation – not just in interactions between irrigation engineers and water professionals but also in our knowledges in irrigation. Professional performances and expert knowledges in irrigation are an enactment of ‘projectness’ – a particular experience of reality (in projects) which reflects and structures ‘our’ understandings of the world in a gendered way, and in which ‘we’ hardly have been able to date to accommodate feminist perspectives on irrigation and water management. I also point out that qualifying behaviour or practices of people as (partially) masculine or as an effect of masculinities is controversial among irrigation engineers and water professionals. Irrigation and water management historically is a field of applied engineering, and the argument that masculinities are implicated in professional identities and in irrigation expert knowledge, is disputed. Irrigation engineers and water professionals generally have internalized a conviction that science and engineering is rational and universal, and they propagate the view that engineering itself is disconnected from meanings of masculinity and femininity.

    Decreased ciprofloxacin susceptibility in Salmonella Typhi and Paratyphi infections in ill-returned travellers: the impact on clinical outcome and future treatment options
    Hassing, R.J. ; Goessens, W.H. ; Mevius, D.J. ; Pelt, W. van; Mouton, J.W. ; Verbon, A. ; Genderen, P.J. - \ 2013
    European Journal of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases 32 (2013)10. - ISSN 0934-9723 - p. 1295 - 1301.
    enterica serotype typhi - beta-lactamase - fever - pharmacokinetics - pharmacodynamics - reevaluation - multicenter - breakpoints - resistant - nepal
    The emergence of decreased ciprofloxacin susceptibility (DCS) in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi and serovar Paratyphi A, B or C limits treatment options. We studied the impact of DCS isolates on the fate of travellers returning with enteric fever and possible alternative treatment options. We evaluated the clinical features, susceptibility data and efficacy of empirical treatment in patients with positive blood cultures of a DCS isolate compared to patients infected with a ciprofloxacin-susceptible (CS) isolate in the period from January 2002 to August 2008. In addition, the pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic parameters of ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin and gatifloxacin were determined to assess if increasing the dose would result in adequate unbound fraction of the drug 24-h area under the concentration-time curve/minimum inhibitory concentration (ƒAUC(0-24)/MIC) ratio. Patients with DCS more often returned from the Indian subcontinent and had a longer fever clearance time and length of hospital stay compared to patients in whom the initial empirical therapy was adequate. The mean ƒAUC(0-24)/MIC was 41.3¿±¿18.8 in the patients with DCS and 585.4¿±¿219 in patients with a CS isolate. For DCS isolates, the mean ƒAUC0-24/MIC for levofloxacin was 60.5¿±¿28.7 and for gatifloxacin, it was 97.9¿±¿28.0. Increasing the dose to an adequate ƒAUC(0-24)/MIC ratio will lead to conceivably toxic drug levels in 50% of the patients treated with ciprofloxacin. Emerging DCS isolates has led to the failure of empirical treatment in ill-returned travellers. We demonstrated that, in some cases, an adequate ƒAUC(0-24)/MIC ratio could be achieved by increasing the dose of ciprofloxacin or by the use of alternative fluoroquinolones.
    Controlling the Water. Matching Technology and Institutions in Irrigation Management in India and Nepal.
    Roth, D. ; Vincent, L.F. - \ 2013
    New Delhi, India : Oxford University Press - ISBN 9780198082927 - 406
    irrigatie - irrigatiesystemen - waterbeheer - technologie - nepal - india - irrigation - irrigation systems - water management - technology - nepal - india
    Irrigation has a long history and important developmental role in India and Nepal. Even then it is faced with critical challenges as new scarcities and environmental stresses emerge, for which understanding technology and institutional choices is vital. Through case studies conducted in these two countries, this book explores the means of controlling water used in irrigation management, looking at the sources and technologies in practice, and the institutions evolving around them. This book shows the range of irrigation technologies developed in different agro-ecological zones-large-scale public canal systems; small-scale farmer-managed canal systems; ponds and tank irrigation systems; and groundwater-based and conjunctive use settings, including micro-hydel systems developed alongside irrigation.
    Household Determinants of Tree Planting on Farms in Rural Rwanda
    Ndayambaje, J.D. ; Heijman, W.J.M. ; Mohren, G.M.J. - \ 2012
    Small-scale Forestry 11 (2012)4. - ISSN 1873-7617 - p. 477 - 508.
    discriminant-analysis - agroforestry practices - logistic-regression - adoption - management - systems - gender - nepal - technology - prediction
    In Rwanda, trees on farms are widely recognized for increasing and diversifying farm productivity while releasing pressure on existing forests. However, the motivation of rural households to plant trees on farms is often unclear. This study evaluates rural households demographic and socio-economic characteristics, as well as their attitudes, that influence the presence of trees on farms. Data used in this study were collected from a survey of 480 households across three altitude regions of Rwanda. Binary logistic regression analysis using PASW Statistics was applied to determine relevant predictor variables for the presence of trees on farms. The results show regional variation in explaining the presence of trees on farms. When data from the three regions were analysed together, significant predictor variables comprise the gender of head of the household, the number of salaried members of the households, the amount of farm fuelwood, the number of meals per day, the geographical location of the households and the selling of tree products. The presence of different tree species on farms was driven by economic factors, of which availability of food, firewood, and poles, and total income were most common. The results of the study imply that policy measures that target food security and income diversification in rural areas may, at the same time, enhance tree planting. Moreover, it is concluded that rural development and extension in agriculture should be site specific, to account for biophysical conditions and specific rural household motivations to plant trees on farms.
    The contribution of farmer field schools to rural development in Nepal
    Westendorp, A.M.B. - \ 2012
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Leontine Visser. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789461733948 - 279
    agrarisch onderwijs - plattelandsontwikkeling - ontwikkeling - nepal - minst ontwikkelde landen - zuid-azië - agricultural education - rural development - development - nepal - least developed countries - south asia

     This thesis argues that Farmer Field Schools in Nepal contributed to agriculture and rural development and to gendered empowerment. The Nepalese government, but also NGOs involved in FFS applied a rather technocratic approach towards development (Li, 1999) and assumed that will well-defined plans, agricultural development and other objectives are products that can be rationally transmitted to farmers to produce desired outcomes. They considered development as a product that could be delivered to the farmers. This technocratic approach did not address political (Ferguson, 1998) and economic inequities or gender differences of farmers. Neither did it incorporate the multi-rationality of actors involved in the intervention (Grillo and Stirrat, 1997; Büscher, 2010). Drawing on the experience of active involvement in FFS at the start of the project in 1997, and consequently by collecting data during a mid-term project evaluation in 2002 and as a part of a PhD research project in 2009 this has become a longitudinal study of the institutional, social-cultural and political changes that have taken place during more than a decade. I have collected measurable data such as yield increase and I used survey data from 2002 and 2009. I have also collected qualitative information through Focus Group Discussions and in-depth individual semi-structured interviews with male and female farmers, project staff and government officials and NGO staff. Additionally I have gathered information from relevant project documentation and participatory observation among a wide range of actors in and around FFS. By looking at the different stages of FFS in Nepal, I reflect on its contribution to rural transformation and gendered empowerment. The Farmer Field School was first developed in 1989 Indonesia as a response to problems associated with the failure of the Green Revolution and particularly with the misuse of pesticides. FFS follows a participatory approach to agricultural extension and research, and aims to bring about change in rural areas. FFS has been implemented all over the world by various organisations. FFS was introduced in Nepal as an integrated pest management project in 1997 with concrete output oriented goals: the increase of agricultural production and the reduction of pesticide use. Despite the on-going debate on the impact of FFS, this thesis shows a rather consistently positive picture of short- and medium–term impact, with farmers able to improve their yield, reduced pesticide use and a better balanced fertilizer application system. Changing donor paradigms as well as a growing insight that farmers’ realities and needs were different and more complex than initially assumed during the planning of the project, made FFS more outcome and process oriented, focusing on empowerment and capacity-building of farmers. After more than a decade FFS indeed did contribute to rural development in Nepal not so much because of careful project planning, but rather in a complex way with largely unintended consequences, embedded in a socio-cultural context. When FFS started it was designed as a project, with a clear start, written documents in which the project duration was indicated, starting in 1997 and ending in 2002. I found that ten years after FFS was conducted, farmers still continued with some of the practices they learned in their FFS training. FFS has developed from a project into a continuous process of change. Although it might not be exactly the way project planners had envisaged in their documents, a fact is that farmers still apply agronomic practices as introduced in FFS. Farming practices have changed, yields increased. Fewer pesticides are used, less rice seedlings are planted per hill, and so on. Also more farmers started with vegetable production. For many women FFS was the first training in agriculture they received. It contributed to an increase in their knowledge and skills, boosted their confidence in participation in community events and speaking in public. Women appeared to be interested to participate in FFS to learn about farming and to contribute to the food security of their family. Men, on the other hand, were interested to use FFS to increase their livelihood options, to widen job opportunities or to earn a better income. At the turn of the century one of the objectives of FFS shifted from integrated pest management and agricultural production to farmer’s empowerment. Farmer field schools are vehicles for empowerment of farmers (Ooi, 1998; Pontius et al, 2002). Empowerment is an often debated concept in the academic world but in development practice it seems to be used without much debate, assuming that it is always a ‘good’ thing having a positive impact on farmers. In the FFS programme it was assumed that everybody had the same understanding of the concept of empowerment. My data showed that male and female farmers differ in their view on empowerment and that there is a big gap between policy makers, FFS facilitators and female and male farmers regarding the perception of empowerment. This research showed that empowerment is a social process that challenges our assumptions about empowerment as a deliverable, a product. Men and women FFS participants said that they experienced empowerment, but not in the way FFS technicians and policymakers had planned it, going through a rationally designed set of steps: identifying a problem in the field, experimenting with a solution and drawing conclusions. Our survey showed that women without FFS experience saw empowerment as increased individual strength, personal growth, stretching their comfort zone. Women who took part in FFS mainly considered empowerment as self-confidence and involvement in work and group activities. Men’s idea of empowerment was much more focused on their capacity to contribute to the improvement of society, on action outside the household, which would contribute to their prestige. FFS trainers spoke about empowerment in terms of a result of technology transfer or a change in behaviour that they had facilitated among farmers. Apparently, FFS staff had a very technical and non-political approach towards empowerment, not based on male and female farmers’ realities in rural Nepal. Most FFS facilitators claimed that they could empower farmers and they did not consider farmers’ interest and agency. FFS facilitators did not see empowerment as a process that farmers themselves are actively part of. Interviews confirmed that empowerment is a complex, multi-faceted process, which is not easily quantified or measured, let alone regulated in a technical way. Through participation in FFS men and particularly women expanded their framework of information, knowledge and analysis. It enlarged their room for manoeuvre, their negotiation space. They got involved in a process that enabled them to discover new options, new possibilities and eventually make better informed decisions in farming. Several female farmers replied that they could now make choices which were previously denied to them for historical and cultural reasons. They said that this was not the result of the discovery learning in FFS like it was assumed by policy makers, but of the group participation, singing and presenting, their learning to speak in a group. Women gained confidence, gained a voice in the weekly group sessions, as a result of the social space, the FFS team spirit and solidarity that was provided in the meetings. This ‘social capital route’ of empowerment (Bartlett, 2005), is rather different from the ‘human capital’ route that men follow in empowerment in Nepal. In this thesis I contend that FFS is ‘rendering technical’ (Li, 2007) a complex social, cultural, economic and political process of rural development by defining empowerment as a non-political tool, an asset that FFS participants can be taught, that they can learn to ‘own’. Consequently, gender differentiation, experiences of women being different from men and institutional structures that surround the poor and disempowered Dalit farmers, keeping them in poverty and powerless, were not addressed. I consider empowerment as a process in which people strengthen their own power and capacities, and improve their position in society. Empowerment is a process in which several factors but also actors play a role. The actors within the FFS project but also external actors like the state, the Maoist movement, NGOs, and individual forces are involved. They all work together in changing constellations, in time and place. An actor-oriented and contextual analysis of FFS, of how the actors implement FFS in the cultural, historical and political environment of Nepal at the turn of the century creates an understanding of state-society relations and governance issues. It provides an insight in decision-making processes and the power dynamics influenced by socio-cultural factors. A closer look at FFS reveals how the state seeks to govern the farmers, and the extent to which government agencies offer the means of empowerment to farmers. It also reveals how certain social categories in society remained excluded from participation until recently, especially women and Dalit. In project documents and interviews farmers are usually depicted as passive citizens, who are poor and in need of knowledge and new technologies. Farmers, on the other hand, consider the state as responsible to look after their well-being to a large extent, as care takers. But it is a rather simplified view to consider the government or NGOs as the actors or care-takers who can decide on behalf of farmers as passive beneficiaries or oppressed citizens. In this thesis I have described how relations between state and civil actors are subject to complex power dynamics. Power is woven into social relations at different levels (Wolf, 1999) starting from individual potency, to group interaction and structural or institutional levels. The implementation of FFS took place in the context of a dynamic environment where major political and socio-economic changes took place. The contribution of FFS to the development of Nepal cannot be studied without reference to history and the wider social, political-economic conditions during the last decade. The year 1997 when the Farmer Field Schools were introduced in Nepal was also the time that the Maoists officially declared their revolution. When data were collected in 2002 as part of a mid-term evaluation for FAO and the donor AUSAID there was a revolution going on and there were heavy fights between Maoists, the army and civilians. Many men had fled their homes to escape the violence and to resist being taken by either the government or the Maoists army. In 2001 King Birendra and a large part of his Royal family were murdered and the political scene was in turmoil. Migration for jobs abroad was at a rise and female-headed households in rural villages had increased (Gartaula, 2011). In 2009 during the last series of interviews, Nepal was in a flux again; a federal government had been elected, the Maoists had become part of the government, but disputes remained. The interim constitution was developed with much attention on social exclusion of marginalized groups. These changing political-economic conditions of rural transformation have resulted in an increased awareness of ethnic diversity, rights claims by historically marginalised groups, and interventions to divert caste discrimination in the rural areas where FFS has been conducted. Despite these changes FFS project staff keep focused on a technical, non-political approach and continue to speak about yield increase, opening market linkages, cash crop opportunities, as if these local dynamics do not matter.

    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.

    Role of sediment in the design and management of irrigation canals : Sunsari Morang Irrigation Scheme, Nepal
    Paudel, K. - \ 2010
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): E. Schultz, co-promotor(en): N.M. Shakya. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085858515 - 271
    irrigatie - irrigatiesystemen - irrigatiekanalen - waterbouwkunde - ontwerp - bedrijfsvoering - sediment - waterstroming - nepal - irrigation - irrigation systems - irrigation channels - hydraulic engineering - design - management - sediment - water flow - nepal
    Sediment transport in irrigation canals
    The sediment transport aspect is a major factor in irrigation development as it determines to a large extent the sustainability of an irrigation scheme, particularly in case of unlined canals in alluvial soils. Investigations in this respect started since Kennedy published his channel-forming discharge theory in 1895. Subsequently different theories have been developed and are used around the world. All of them assume uniform and steady flow conditions and try to find the canal dimensions that are stable for a given discharge and sediment load. In the past irrigation schemes were designed for protective purposes with very little flow control, hence steady and uniform flow conditions could be realised to some extent.
    Modern irrigation schemes are increasingly demand based, which means that the water flow in a canal is determined by the crop water requirements. Accordingly the flow in the canal network is not constant as the crop water requirement changes with the climate and the growing stages of the crops. Also the inflow of the sediment is not constant throughout the irrigation season in most schemes. The situation is even worse for run-of-the-river schemes where fluctuations in the river discharge have a direct effect on the inflow of water and sediment.
    The conventional design methods are not able to predict accurately the sediment transport behaviour in a canal, firstly due to the unsteady and non-uniform water flow conditions and secondly due to the changing nature of the sediment inflow. Hence, the actual behaviour of a canal widely diverges from the design assumptions and in many cases immense maintenance costs have to be met with to tackle the sediment problems.
    An irrigation scheme should not only be able to deliver water in the required amount, time and level to the crops on the field, but also should recover at least its operation and maintenance cost. Cost recovery is, to some extent, related to the level of service provided by the irrigation organization and the expenditure for operation and maintenance of the scheme. Past experiences in Nepal have shown that modernization of existing irrigation schemes to improve the level of service has also increased the operation and maintenance costs. These costs are, in some cases, high compared to the generally low level of ability of the water users and farmers to pay these costs. The search of making schemes more equitable, reliable and flexible has resulted in the introduction of new flow control systems and water delivery schedules that may, if not carefully designed, adversely affect the sediment transport behaviour of a canal. In quite some schemes unpredicted deposition and/or erosion in canals have not only increased the operation and maintenance costs but also reduced the reliability of the services delivered.
    Irrigation development in Nepal and the study area
    Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia lying between China and India. It is situated between 26º22' N to 30º27' N latitude and 80º4' E to 88º12' E longitude of the prime meridian. Roughly rectangular in shape, the country has an area of 147,181 km2. It is 885 km in length but its width is uneven and increases towards the West. The mean North-South width is 193 km. Nepal is a predominantly mountainous country, with elevations ranging from 64 m+MSL (Mean Sea Level) at Kechana, Jhapa to 8,848 m+MSL at the peak of the world highest mountain, Everest, within a span of 200 km. Nepal has a cultivated area of 2.64 million ha, of which two third (1.77 million ha) is potentially irrigable. At present 42% of the cultivated area has some sort of irrigation, out of which only 41% is receiving year round irrigation water. The existing irrigation schemes contribute approximately 65% of the country’s current agriculture production.
    Nepal has a long history of irrigated agriculture. Most of the existing large-scale irrigation schemes are located in the southern alluvial plain (Terai). The canals are unlined and the sediment load forms an integral part of the supplied irrigation water. The schemes are predominantly supply based and have a very low duty for intensive cropping. In view of the increased competition among the different water using sectors and low performance of these schemes, many of them are undergoing modernization. For example, the Sunsari Morang Irrigation Scheme (SMIS) is one of the schemes under modernization, and it has been taken as a study case for this research. A better understanding of the sediment transport process under changing flow and sediment load conditions, a shifting management environment and different maintenance scenarios will be very useful in pulling out the schemes from the present vicious cycle of construction-deterioration-rehabilitation.
    The Sunsari Morang Irrigation Scheme (SMIS) is located in the eastern Terai. The Koshi River is the source of water. A side intake for the water diversion, an around 50 km long main canal of capacity 45.3 m3/s for water conveyance and 10 secondary canals and other minor canals of various capacities for water distribution were constructed to irrigate a command area of 68,000 ha. The system was put into the operation in 1975, but faced a serious problem of water diversion and sediment deposition in the canal network. Hence from 1978, after 3 years of operation, rehabilitation and modernization work of the scheme has been started. During modernization the intake has been relocated to increase the water diversion and reduce the sediment entry. Besides, a settling basin with dredgers for continuous removal of sediment has been provided near the head of the main canal. Apart from that the command area development and modernization of existing canal network is in progress and till third phase (1997-2002), around 41,000 ha area has been developed.
    Sediment transport research
    The aim of this research is to understand the relevant aspects of sediment transport in irrigation canals and to formulate a design and management approach for irrigation schemes in Nepal in view of sediment transport. In the process, the design methods used in the design of irrigation schemes in Nepal and their effectiveness on sediment transport have been studied. The impact of operation and maintenance on sediment movement has been analysed taking the case study of SMIS. An improved design approach for sediment transport in irrigation canals has been proposed. A mathematical model SETRIC has been used to study the interrelationship of sediment movement with the design and management and to evaluate the proposed design approach for irrigation canal based on the data of the SMIS.
    The mathematical formulation of sediment transport process in an irrigation canal is based on the previous works in this field, most notably the work of Mendez on the formulation of the mathematical model SETRIC. Subsequent analysis, improvement and verification works by Paudel, Ghimire, Orellana V., Via Giglio and Sherpa have been used. The model SETRIC has been verified and improved where found necessary and has been used to analyse the irrigation scheme and to propose an improvement in the design and management from sediment transport point of view.
    Assessment of design parameters
    The methods of selecting the design discharge and sizing of canals for modern irrigation schemes based upon the present concept of crop based irrigation demand, water delivery schedules and water allocation to the tertiary units have been analysed. The selection of a crop depends upon the soil type, water availability, socio-economic setting and climatic conditions. The type of crop together with the soil type determines the irrigation method and irrigation schedules, while the type of crop and climatic condition determines the irrigation water requirement. The required flow in a canal is then derived based on the water delivery schedule from that canal to the lower order canals or to the field to meet the water requirement.
    The factors that influence the roughness of an irrigation canal have been analysed and a proposal for a more rational roughness determination process has been formulated based on the available knowledge. The roughness in the sides depends upon the shape and size of material, vegetation and surface irregularities, while the roughness in the bed is a function of shape and size of material and the surface irregularities (bed form in case of alluvial canals). For the prediction of roughness in the bed mostly two approaches are in use – methods based on hydraulic parameters (water depth, flow velocity and bed material size) and the methods based on bed forms and the grain related parameters. In this research, the method based on the bed form and grain related parameters, as suggested by van Rijn, has been used. Similarly, for the determination of roughness in the sides, the influence of surface irregularities have been included by dividing the maintenance condition as ideal, good, fair and poor and accordingly applying the correction to the standard roughness value for the type of material. The influence of vegetation has been accounted based on the concept of V.T. Chow. The various methods of computing the equivalent roughness have been compared and the method proposed by Mendez has been found to be better when tested with the Kruger data.
    Most of the sediment transport predictors consider the canal with an infinite width without taking into account the effects of the side walls on the water flow and the sediment transport. The effect of the side wall on the velocity distribution in lateral direction is neglected and therefore the velocity distribution and the sediment transport are considered to be constant in any point of the cross section. Under that assumption a uniformly distributed shear stress on the bottom and an identical velocity distribution and sediment transport is considered. Majority of the irrigation canals are non-wide and trapezoidal in shape with the exception of small and lined canals that may be rectangular. In a trapezoidal section the water depth changes from point to point in the section and hence the shear stress. The effect would be more pronounced if the bed width to water depth ratio (B-h ratio) is small. The change in velocity distribution in a canal in view of the change in boundary shear and water depth along the cross section has been analysed and evaluated with the field measurements. The change in velocity and shear stress in a canal section has been used to evaluate the influence of B-h ratio and side slope in the prediction of sediment transport capacity by selected predictors (Brownlie, Engelund-Hansen and Ackers-White). The evaluation with the available data set showed that the proposed correction improved the predictability for non-wide irrigation canals.
    Canal design approaches for sediment transport in Nepal
    For the design of canals having erodible boundary and carrying sediment loads two approaches are in practice, namely the regime method and the rational method. The regime design methods are sets of empirical equations based on observations of canals and rivers that have achieved dynamic stability. The rational methods are more analytical in which three equations, an alluvial resistance relation, a sediment transport equation and a width-depth relationship, are used to determine the slope, depth and width of an alluvial canal when the water and sediment discharges as well as the bed material size are specified.
    In Nepal, the design manuals of the Department of Irrigation recommend Lacey’s regime equations and White-Bettess-Paris tables with the tractive force equations for the design of earthen canals carrying sediment. But in practice, there is no consistency in the design approaches that has been found to vary from canal to canal even within the same irrigation scheme. The use of Lacey’s equation for computing the B-h ratio has generally resulted in wider canals. This is so, because flatter side slopes than predicted by the Lacey’s equations are used from soil stability considerations.
    The White-Bettess-Paris tables are derived from alluvial friction equations of White, Bettess and Paris (1980) and sediment transport equations of Ackers and White (1973). No records regarding the use of this method for the design of canals was found and hence its performance in terms of sediment transport could not be verified. However, the Ackers and White sediment transport equations over-predicted the sediment transport capacity of a canal when tested with the SMIS data. The sediment load entering into the canals of SMIS is mostly fine (d50 < 0.2 mm) and most of the large scale irrigation schemes in Nepal have similar geo-morphological settings. That means that the White-Bettess-Paris tables will result in a canal with a flatter slope than actually required to carry the type of sediment prevailing in SMIS and other similar irrigation schemes of Nepal. Analysis showed that the Brownlie and Engelund and Hansen equations are more suitable for the type of sediment that has been found in SMIS.
    During the modernization, the secondary canals (S9 and S14) of SMIS have been designed by two different approaches. Secondary Canal S9 has been designed using Lacey’s regime concept while Secondary Canal S14 has been designed using an energy approach. In the energy approach the erosion is controlled by limiting the tractive force and the deposition is controlled by ensuring equal or non-decreasing energy of the flow in the downstream direction. Both the canals have been evaluated for their sediment transport capacity for the prevailing sediment characteristics. The carrying capacities of both canals (~ 230 ppm) have been found to be less than the expected sediment load (~ 300 – 500 ppm) in the canal. The energy concept assumes that the sediment transport is proportional to the product of velocity and bed slope. The carrying capacity of the canal designed by this principle has been found to be variable along its length. It means that the sediment transport capacity is not only a function of bed slope and water depth as assumed in the energy concept.

    An improved approach for the design and management of irrigation canals
    In general the reliability of sediment transport predictors is low and at best they can provide only estimates. As per Vito A Vanoni (1975) a probable error in the range of 50-100% can be expected even under the most favourable circumstances. There is no universally accepted formula for the prediction of sediment transport. Most of them are based upon laboratory data of limited sediment and water flow ranges. Hence they should be adjusted to make them compatible to specific purposes, otherwise the predicted results will be unrealistic. An improved rational approach has been proposed for the design of alluvial canals carrying sediment loads. To find the bed width, bed slope and water depth of a canal for a given discharge and sediment characteristics three equations, namely a sediment transport predictor (total load), resistance equation (Chézy) and a B-h ratio predictor are used.
    A canal design program DOCSET (Design Of Canal for SEdiment Transport) has been prepared for the improved approach including the above mentioned improvements. The program can also be used to evaluate the existing design for a given water flow and sediment characteristics. Basic features of the new approach are:
     concept of dominant concentration. Instead of using the maximum concentration, the approach suggests to look for a concentration that results in net minimum erosion/deposition in one crop calendar year;
     determination of roughness. The proposed method makes use of the elaborated and more realistically determined roughness value in the design process. The roughness of the cross section is adjusted as per the hydraulic condition and sediment characteristics. Moreover the influences of the side slopes and the B-h ratio are included while computing the equivalent roughness of the section. This should result in a more accurate prediction of hydraulic and sediment transport characteristics of the canal and hence, a better design;
     explicit use of sediment parameters. The sediment concentration and representative size (dm) is explicitly used in the design. That will make the design process more flexible as different canals might have to divert and convey sediment loads of different sizes (dm) and amounts;
     Use of an adjustment parameter. An adjustment parameter has been used that includes the influence of non-wide canals, sloping side walls and exponent of velocity in the sediment transport predictor. This adjustment should increase the accuracy of the predictors when they are used in irrigation canals, an environment for which they were not derived;
     holistic design concept. This approach uses one canal system as a single unit. The canal system may have different canals of different levels, but the water and sediment management plans are prepared for the whole system. Then the hydraulic design of the individual canal can be made to meet the design management plan for that canal;
     Selection of B-h ratio. A B-h ratio selection criterion has been proposed considering the side slope selection practices in Nepal as well as the sediment transport aspects.

    Since, the sediment transport process is influenced by the management of the irrigation scheme, the design should focus to have a canal that is flexible enough to meet the demand and still have a minimum deposition/erosion. The provision of sufficient carrying capacity up to the desired location (conveyance), providing controlled deposition options if the water delivery plans limit the transport capacity (provisions of settling pockets) and preparation of maintenance plans (desilting works) are some of the aspects that would have to be analysed and included in the design to reduce the sediment transport problems.
    The canal design methods can give the best possible canal geometry for a given water flow and sediment concentration only. For water flows and sediment concentrations other than the design values, there may be either erosion or deposition. The aim of the design would have to be to balance the total erosion and deposition in one crop calendar year. So, a design may not be based on the maximum sediment concentration expected during the irrigation season, but on a value that results in the minimum net erosion/deposition. The best way to evaluate a canal under such scenario is to use a suitable sediment transport model. Besides, the roughness of the canal depends upon the hydraulic conditions, sediment characteristics and the maintenance plans that are constantly changing throughout the irrigation season. The canals are designed assuming a uniform flow and sediment transport under equilibrium condition. However, such conditions are seldom found in irrigation canals due to the control in flow to meet the variation in water demand. Hence, the design of a canal would have to be evaluated using a sediment transport model for the selection of proper design parameters and to evaluate the design for the proposed water operation plans.
    The mathematical model SETRIC
    The mathematical model SETRIC is a one-dimensional model, where the water flow in the canal has been schematised as a quasi-steady and gradually varied flow. This one dimensional flow equation is solved by the predictor-corrector method. Gallappatti’s depth integrated model for sediment transport has been used to predict the actual sediment concentration at any point under non-equilibrium conditions. Galappatti’s model is based on the 2-D convection-diffusion equation. The mass balance equation for the total sediment transport is solved using the modified Lax’s method, assuming a steady condition of the sediment concentration. For the prediction of the equilibrium concentration one of the three total load predictors: Brownlie, Engelund and Hansen or Ackers and White methods can be used.
    The model SETRIC was evaluated using other hydrodynamic and sediment transport models (DUFLOW and SOBEK-RIVER) and was validated by the field data of SMIS. Predictability of different predictors has been compared. The Brownlie and Engulund and Hansen methods predicted reasonably for the sediment size of 0.1 mm (d50), while predictability of Ackers and White for the sediment size was found to be poor. The sensitivity of Brownlie’s method was more uniform than the other two methods for a sediment size range of 0.05 to 0.5 mm.
    Field data collection
    For the field measurements of the sediment transport process, one of the secondary canals of SMIS (S9) was selected. Since, the objective of field data was to test the design approach for sediment transport; preference was given for a canal that was recently designed and constructed. The field measurement of water and sediment flow was carried out in 2004 and 2005. During field measurements the water inflow rate into Secondary Canal S9 system was measured. A broad crested weir immediately downstream of the intake for Secondary Canal S9 was calibrated and used for discharge measurement. For sediment concentration measurements, dip samples just downstream of the hydraulic jump were taken on a daily basis. The samples were then analysed in the laboratory and the sediment concentration was determined. Point sampling across the section using pump samplers were also taken and the calculation results showed that the dip samples underestimated pump samples by around 8% in case of the total load and by around 35% for the sediment of size > 63 μm. At the end of the irrigation season, the deposited sediment samples along the canal were taken to determine the representative sediment size and other properties.
    The irrigating water delivered to the sub-secondary canals, delivery schedules and the set-points upstream of water level regulators were also measured. For morphological change, the pre-season and post-season canal geometry was measured. The velocity distribution in the trapezoidal earthen canal section was measured. Besides, field measurement roughness (indirect measurement) was also made in the beginning, mid and end of the seasons to determine the change in roughness in time.
    Modelling results
    The model SETRIC was used to study the effect on the sediment transport process due to system management activities namely, change in water demand and supply, water delivery modes based on the available water and the change in sediment load due to the variation in sediment inflow from the river or problems in proper operation of the settling basin. For the design water inflow into Secondary Canal S9, a water delivery schedule has been designed and has been evaluated for sediment transport efficiency under changing sediment inflow conditions. The improved canal design approach was evaluated comparing the results with the existing design of Secondary Canal S9. Some of the findings of the modelling results are:
     water delivery schedules can be designed and implemented to reduce the erosion/deposition problems of a certain reach even after the system is constructed and put into operation;
     the design operation plans and assumptions have not been followed in Secondary Canal S9 of SMIS. From sediment transport perspective, the existing water management practice results more sedimentation in the sub-secondary and tertiary canals than Secondary Canal S9;
     the periodic change in the demand and the corresponding change in sediment transport capacity of the canal can be manipulated to arrive at the seasonal balance in the sediment deposition. In one period, there may be deposition but that can be eroded in the next period;
     the proposed water delivery plan is based on the existing canal and its control structures and covers discharge fluctuation from around 46% to 114%. Hence, it can be implemented with the present infrastructure and can handle all possible flow situations in the canal;
     the proposed delivery schedule ensures either full supply or no supply to the sub-secondary canals which have been designed for the same principle. This could reduce the existing deposition problem faced by these canals;
     proper operation of the settling basin is crucial for the sustainability of the SMIS;
     the secondary canals need to be operated in rotation when there is less demand or less available water in the main canal. This will ensure design flow in the secondary canals and reduce the sedimentation problem. The main canal would have to be analysed for the best mode of rotation from sediment transport and water delivery perspective.
    Major contributions of this research
    Apart from the recommendations made in the design, management and operation of Secondary Canal S9 from sediment transport perspective, the following contributions are made by this research:
     an elaborate analysis of the velocity and shear stress distribution across the trapezoidal canal is made to derive the correction factor for the sediment transport predictor. This will help to increase the predictability when the predictors are used for the analysis of sediment transport in irrigation canals;
     an explicit method of including roughness parameters in the calculation of the equivalent roughness for the mathematical model has been proposed;
     the sediment transport model SETRIC has been updated and its functionality has been improved. The model can now be used as a design as well as research tool for analyzing the sediment transport process for different water delivery schedules and control systems;
     an improved approach for the design and management of irrigation canals has been proposed. A computer program DOCSET has also been prepared based on the approach. The program is interactive, easy to use and can be used by designers with limited modelling know-how;
     a water delivery plan has been designed and tested for the changing water and sediment inflow condition that can be implemented with the existing canal infrastructure;
     the causes of sedimentation in the sub-secondary canals of Secondary Canal S9 have been identified.
    Conclusions and outlook for the future
    Canal design is an iterative process where the starting point is the preparation of management plans. Then the design parameters need to be selected and the preliminary hydraulic design of the canal can be made. The design results can then be used in the model to simulate and evaluate the proposed management plans and the sediment transport process in the system. Necessary adjustment can be made either in the design parameters or in the management plans, if needed. Then the canal need to be redesigned and the process would have to be continued till a satisfactory condition is reached.
    The coarser fraction of the sediment is mostly controlled at the headwork and settling basin of an irrigation scheme. The sediment that is encountered in main and secondary canals is generally fine sand. Most of the silt fraction (sediment < 63 μm) is transported to the lower order canals and fields where it gets deposited. In the sub-secondary and tertiary canals, it has been observed that the fine sediment does not roll down to the bed as normally assumed in the case of sand and gets deposited on the slope also. Thus the canal section becomes narrower and the side slope becomes steeper. This phenomenon can not be analysed with the present sediment transport assumptions and an investigation in this aspect to address the transport process of fine sediment would be beneficial for improving the design and management of irrigation canals.
    Flexibility of operation and sediment transport aspects restrict each other. A canal without any control can be designed and operated with higher degree of reliability in terms of sediment transport. Once the flow is controlled the sediment transport pattern of the canal is changed and the designed canal will behave differently. Hence, both flexibility and efficient sediment management are difficult to achieve at the same time. A compromise has to be made and this needs to be reflected in the design.
    All the methods to transport, exclude or extract the sediment are temporary measures and just transfer the problem from one place to the other. They are not the complete solutions of the sediment problem. A better understanding on sediment movement helps to identify the problems beforehand and look for the best possible solutions.

    Situation Analysis of Women Water Professionals in Nepal
    Udas, P.B. - \ 2008
    Andra Pradesh : SaciWaters - 55
    waterbeheer - water - watervoorziening - vrouwen - ingenieurs - niet-gouvernementele organisaties - nepal - geslacht (gender) - water management - water supply - women - engineers - non-governmental organizations - gender
    Women's agency in relation to population and environment in rural Nepal
    Tiwari Pandey, N. - \ 2007
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Lisa Price. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085046967 - 214
    plattelandsvrouwen - vrouwen - positie van de vrouw - bevolking - vrouwelijke vruchtbaarheid - milieu - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - vrouwelijke werknemers - landbouw - voedselzekerheid - platteland - nepal - vrouw en samenleving - geslacht (gender) - rural women - women - woman's status - human population - female fertility - environment - sustainability - women workers - agriculture - food security - rural areas - nepal - woman and society - gender
    This research investigated the complex relationship between population and environ­ment with a focus on women’s role in fertility and the food resource environment. The research was carried out in a Gurung community in Lamjung district, in mid-hill Nepal. The household was taken as the unit of analysis. The study is embedded in demographic theory about population growth and in gender theory. The concept of women’s agency was used to link marriage and fertility patterns with household food provision and management of natural resources. Women’s role in population and the environment is placed in a changing socio-cultural and environmental context. An extensive review of the literature relating to population, environment, gender, household, livelihood and food security was done, after which a field study was carried out. Both qualitative and quantitative methods were applied in empirical data collection. The research problem addressed concerned the impact on the relationship between population and environment of women’s reproductive and productive roles at the household level. The methods used for generating empirical data were: participatory rural appraisal, household food and fertility survey, participant observation, key informants interviews, focus group discussions, and life histories. The household survey was conducted among 350 households, the fertility survey among 343 women aged 15-49. Among forty households food surveys were conducted. A 24-hours food intake recall was done in 31 households. In addition, two PRAs (Participatory Rural Appraisal), ten key informants’ interviews (six males and four females), six case studies and six focus groups discussions, including male and female mixed groups and separate female groups, were conducted. Chi-square tests and regression analysis were applied to elicit significant relationships among the variables. The analysis of the qualitative data was done manually. Agricultural production is the basis for the livelihoods in the area under study. Rice, maize and millet are the main crops produced. Most people are able to survive on their own agricultural production and the resources in their natural surroundings. Jobs in the services sector provide an important source of income, but mainly for men. Most households, however, do not produce enough food to feed them for the whole year. For the majority of the households the agricultural land available for food production is little and fragmented. There is food deficiency in most households prior to harvesting time. People try to safeguard their food security in various ways. They acquire food by growing food crops in the fields, cultivating vegetables in kitchen gardens, buying food, gleaning, collecting food from the forest, and food exchange, in which rice plays the role of ‘currency’. In these activities women play a crucial role. The majority of the people in the area are hard-pressed to meet their food and livelihood needs. Most of the children do not have an adequate calorie intake. Women are the main food producers in the Gurung villages. Gurung women play an important role in agricultural production and other farm activities, forestry, and livestock production and management. When they need additional income to buy food, they may engage in liquor making, running teahouses or other income-generating activities. The heavy workload of Gurung women involves food procurement, production, storage, processing and preparation. Women in the village often lack the social and economic power they need for improving their household’s economic condition. Property rights of women are still a major issue, also at the national level. Women who receive parental property (pewa) are relatively more comfortable compared to those who do not. It can make a difference in their daily life, especially when they have to support their children by themselves because the husband does not fulfil his household duties or has left the first wife with children to marry another wife. The case studies show that women are facing many challenges, especially because of their limited access to land. If the husband is working in the army and receives good pay his wife may feel more secure, because if he dies she is entitled to a pension. If the household income is not enough women engage in income-generating activities to supplement it. When the husband has left her to marry another wife a woman focuses her activities on the future of her children. Divorced and widowed women were found reluctant to remarry for fear of losing their children or jeopardizing their children’s future. The Mid-Marsyangdi Hydro-electric Power Project has had mixed impacts on the local people, causing increasing population pressure and environmental degradation but also enlarging economic opportunities and bringing development in the area. The changes in the area opened up new opportunities for women. In social life women are more respected and through women’s organizations their voice has increased. They can also make use of economic opportunities to improve their livelihood and control their fertility by family planning. The farming environment has changed and improved. Currently, both environmentally and economically sustainable farming systems are being adopted that may not only increase household income but also enrich the diet of the people. At the same time, the development project is creating social, cultural and ecological problems. A lot of new settlements at the road side and other constructions are built on former agricultural land. The level of environmental pollution is rising, as is the incidence of prostitution and public health problems. Migrants from other areas, who were attracted by the project, add to the population pressure. Because of increased population pressure, the limited natural forest resources have declined and degraded. These days, people are more concerned about how to make money than about farming. The cash economy is growing. Rising age at marriage, long spells of separation from the husband in the repro­ductive period, and increasing use of family planning methods result in fertility levels among the Gurung women in the sample that are lower than the national averages. Child marriage no longer occurs these days and age at marriage among the Gurung women is on the rise. The use of contraception is increasing. Induced abortion has always taken place but is a decreasing trend now. Education proved to be strongly significantly negatively related to fertility. Household income also proved to be significantly related to fertility, though less strongly and positively. Age at first marriage and use of family planning proved to be both significantly negatively related to number of children ever born. A remarkable feature of Gurung culture is the equal value attached to having sons and daughters, particularly given the prevailing preference for sons in Nepal. The mothers groups (Amasamuha) in the villages have started to raise a collective voice against the exploitation of women. They point out that women should not be used only for men’s benefit but be treated as responsible citizens and be respected by the husband’s family for giving birth to children who can inherit the property. Programs and projects that are meant to empower women should be implemented effectively and efficiently. So far, many policies and plans formulated for women’s empowerment by the government exist only on paper. Women’s ownership of land remains a problematic issue, as is the case with women’s access to legal and safe abortion. In this study, women’s agency has been identified as an important factor in controlling population growth, safeguarding household livelihood and food security, and managing natural resources. Women’s agency is the significant link between fertility choices, the food resource environment, and household livelihood and food security. Gurung women’s agency plays a direct role in the timing of marriage, fertility choices, raising children, household formation and management, as well as in alleviating family food shortages. Apart from carrying out their productive and reproductive roles, women also participate in community activities and in efforts to protect the ecological environment. Women’s agency helps to balance population growth and food resources. However, in exercising their agency Gurung women face many practical problems and constraints. They are dependent on the availability of resources and economic conditions and often lack the necessary entitlements and empowerment. Though Gurung women can be shown to be “the pillar” of their household and family, and are active in economic production and social repro­duction, their skills and contributions to family and community welfare are still poorly recognized.
    Fine-resolution remote-sensing and modelling of Himalayan catchment sustainability
    Quincey, D.J. ; Luckman, A. ; Hessel, R. ; Davies, R. ; Sankhayan, P.L. ; Balla, M.K. - \ 2007
    Remote Sensing of Environment 107 (2007)3. - ISSN 0034-4257 - p. 430 - 439.
    landscape change pattern - mid elevation zone - land-use dynamics - soil-erosion - nepal - india - management - district - impact - cover
    A number of studies have reported on environmental degradation in the Nepal Himalaya as a result of large-scale deforestation and the associated agricultural extension. In contrast to many previous regional scale studies, we consider land cover and its environmental impact on an individual catchment-scale, using fine-resolution Quickbird data and a soil erosion model. First, using a detailed land cover map generated from Quickbird imagery, we establish basic relationships between land cover, dwelling density and topographic variability, which exist in a typical mid-elevation Nepalese catchment, the Pokhare Khola. These data suggest a strongly subsistence type of household economy based predominantly on terraced arable farming. We demonstrate using multitemporal vegetation indices that this farmland has existed in the region since the late 1980s, and that widespread deforestation has not taken place since then, possibly as a result of specific forest conservation policies of the government coupled with efforts by local communities. Further, through the use of soil erosion modelling we demonstrate the role that the terraced farming practices can play in reducing runoff and hence soil nutrient loss, thereby enabling restoration of vegetation in the previously deforested land terrains. Finally, by combining this information with regional land cover data, we show that the findings of this research can be scaled up to draw conclusions about environmental degradation across the Nepal Himalayan region.
    Living with large carnivores: predation on livestock by the snow leopard (Uncia uncia)
    Bagchi, S. ; Mishra, C. - \ 2006
    Journal of Zoology 268 (2006)3. - ISSN 0952-8369 - p. 217 - 224.
    annapurna conservation area - tigers panthera-tigris - indian trans-himalaya - prey selection - national-park - western india - conflict - nepal - perceptions - depredation
    Livestock predation by large carnivores and their retaliatory persecution by pastoralists are worldwide conservation concerns. Poor understanding of the ecological and social underpinnings of this human¿wildlife conflict hampers effective conflict management programs. The endangered snow leopard Uncia uncia is involved in conflict with people across its mountainous range in South and Central Asia, where pastoralism is the predominant land use, and is widely persecuted in retaliation. We examined human-snow leopard conflict at two sites in the Spiti region of the Indian Trans-Himalaya, where livestock outnumber wild ungulates, and the conflict is acute. We quantified the snow leopard's dependence on livestock by assessing its diet in two sites that differed in the relative abundance of livestock and wild ungulates. We also surveyed the indigenous Buddhist community's attitudes towards the snow leopard in these two sites. Our results show a relatively high dependence of snow leopards on livestock. A higher proportion of the snow leopard's diet (58%) was livestock in the area with higher livestock (29.7 animals km¿2) and lower wild ungulate abundance (2.1¿3.1 bharal Pseudois nayaur km¿2), compared with 40% of diet in the area with relatively lower livestock (13.9 km¿2) and higher wild ungulate abundance (4.5¿7.8 ibex Capra ibex km¿2). We found that the community experiencing greater levels of livestock losses was comparatively more tolerant towards the snow leopard. This discrepancy is explained by the presence of a conservation-incentive program at the site, and by differences in economic roles of livestock between these two communities. The former is more dependent on cash crops as a source of income while the latter is more dependent on livestock, and thereby less tolerant of the snow leopard. These data have implications for conflict management strategies. They indicate that the relative densities of livestock and wild prey may be reasonable predictors of the extent of predation by the snow leopard. However, this by itself is not an adequate measure of the intensity of conflict even in apparently similar cultural settings.
    Mapping cryptic invaders and invisability of tropical forest ecosystems: Chromolaena odorata in Nepal
    Joshi, C. - \ 2006
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Andrew Skidmore; J. van Andel, co-promotor(en): J. de Leeuw; I.C. van Duren. - [S.l. ] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085044703 - 197
    tropische bossen - invasies - chromolaena odorata - ecosystemen - bosecologie - cartografie - microklimaat - remote sensing - geografische informatiesystemen - modellen - nepal - tropical forests - invasions - chromolaena odorata - ecosystems - forest ecology - mapping - microclimate - remote sensing - geographical information systems - models - nepal
    For centuries, people continuously increased the rate of biological invasions and there is no sign of slowing down. From the depth of the Ocean to the crest of Himalayas, they are occupying pristine and semi-natural ecosystems at an alarming rate, threatening human, animal, plant as well as ecosystem health. Efforts to avoid or eradicate them are not achievable except for very few cases. Currently, therefore, their management aims at controlling invaders and mitigating their impact rather than eradication. Limitation of resources forces land managers to carefully plan and prioritize interventions only in areas most severely affected by invaders. Hence, information on the actual and potential distribution of invaders is considered crucial for their management.

    It has long been recognized that remote sensing (RS) and geographical information systems (GIS) could contribute to help solving this problem. Remote sensing has so far been applied predominantly to invasive species that dominate the canopy of the ecosystem. The large majority of invasive species do however not show up in the canopy and thus remain difficult to detect by remote sensing in a direct and straightforward manner. Techniques for mapping such cryptic invaders have not been developed so far. In this thesis we explored methods to map the distribution of Chromolaena odorata (L.) RM King & H Robinson, one of the world's worst invasive species. This cryptic heliophyte originating from central America invaded the understorey of many tropical forest ecosystems throughout the world. C. odorata is a cryptic invader hidden under the forest canopy in the Terai of Nepal. It occurs predominately in opened up forest, with increased light intensity. The approach to map its distribution was to develop first remote sensing techniques to map forest canopy density and light intensity reaching the understorey and next relate these radiation maps to various aspects of the life history of C. odorata .

    To set the scene we reviewed in chapter 2 existing methods to map the distribution of invasive species. Next, we explored the quality of four alternative methods to predict forest canopy density (Chapter 3). This comparative study revealed that an artificial neural network best explained canopy density in terms of variance explained and bias. A Landsat ETM+ image processed through a neural network predicted 81% of light intensity reaching the understorey. The resulting radiation map was the environmental data layer that was subsequently used to map the distribution of C. odorata. This study revealed that in the Nepalese Terai C. odorata failed to produce seed below a light intensity of 6.5 mJ m-2day-1, and that light intensity determined 93% of the variation in log 10 seed production per plant (Chapter 4). This enabled us to map its distribution in Nepal based on under-canopy light intensities.

    C. odoratainvades new areas by generative reproduction (wind dispersal of pappus-bearing achenes). Once established, clonal propagation through underground corms enhances further expansion of populations. We have discovered (Chapter 5) that the age of corms can be determined using corm rings in cross sections. While individual corms survive for only five years, we obtained evidence that multi-corm genets, which must have been much older, had developed in forests with opened canopy. We furthermore demonstrated that light intensity positively related to the rate of clonal growth.The light dependence of the expansion rate of plants is apparently a key attribute explaining the invasion success of this species. Any disturbances in forest canopy density leading to increased light intensities would ultimately trigger its clonal growth. 

    The canopy in tropical forest ecosystems in Nepal is severely degraded offering light conditions suitable for C. odorata . The degradation of the forest canopy was attributed to a series of interrelated causes including human dimensions and government policies(Chapter 6). Herbarium records revealed that C. odorata invaded southern Nepal shortly after the initiation of malaria control. We furthermore demonstrated that this was followed in Chitwan district by an influx of migrants, land use changes and degradation of the forests. It was therefore argued that the species invaded because of canopy degradation, which was caused by change in land use and demography and triggered by malaria control. This process of malaria control followed by migration increased human population growth rates that we described for Chitwan district occurred in tropical regions all over Nepal. Hence, we suggest that it must have contributed to the rapid spread of C. odorata in the lowland Terai forest belt.

    Field observations revealed that C. odorata did not invade the tropical forests in the west of Nepal below 83°45' east longitude. We were unable to explain this distribution pattern with simple climatic indicators. However, a bioclimatic indicator, the length of the growing season predicted the absence from west Nepal remarkably well. This suggests that C. odorata requires a minimum length of the growing period to accumulate sufficient resources to establish and persist. We thus conclude that an agro-ecological modeling approach yielded a better prediction than the commonly used bioclimatic approach (Chapter 7).

    Since, deforestation and forest degradation are a point of concern for management of both biological invaders and native biota, there is a need to more closely monitor biological conservation areas because of the potentially irreversible impacts of deforestation and forest degradation. In chapter 8 we assess the rate of deforestation and the current degree of forest degradation in the Terai of Nepal. Forest canopy density class was predicted with 82% overall accuracy. Data analysis revealed that the forested area reduced from 21774 km 2 in 1958 to 12649 km 2 in 2000 corresponding to an annual rate of decline of 1.38%. Our analysis further revealed that 70% of the forested area outside conservation areas had canopies with density below 60%, thus confirming widespread degradation. More surprisingly, 50% percent of the forested area inside protected areas had such opened canopies. This indicates that canopy degradation is also very common inside protected areas. These areas play a special role in the conservation of internationally threatened forest communities, for instance Nepalese tropical rain forests. Our analysis revealed that canopy opening prevailed as well in these communities. We argue that from a biodiversity point of view conservation effort should focus on the preservation and restoration of these forest types. The forest degradation maps presented in this chapter could serve as a start to prioritize such interventions.

    In this thesis, we demonstrated how the impressive developments in computational performance, the rapid growth of remote sensing and GIS technologies for spatial data acquisition and analysis could be used beyond their traditional application in mapping canopy-dominant invasive species. We have shown how a few of these cost-effective mapping techniques can reliably be up scaled to the national level to map the distribution of even those invasive species that do not dominate the canopy of forest ecosystems.

    This thesis emphasizes the importance of site-specific microclimatic variation and empirical observations of the species' ecology, while applying remote sensing techniques in invasion studies. This could significantly reduce the uncertainties and the degree of "erroneous prediction". Maps displaying seed-producing sites could be used to significantly reduce the costs of controlling C. odorata infestation by providing information on the spatial segregation of source and sink populations. These will support efficient habitat ranking to restore invaded areas and protect non-invaded ecosystems. Such an approach may prove particularly valuable when implementing control measures under circumstances of limited capital and labour.This thesis also showed the necessity to understand the connection between the human historical, socio-economic, and cultural context with the environmental conditions and the ecology of the invader.It facilitates conceptualising the situation and hopefully it also helps in translating research results into appropriate policy measures.

    Incorporating Groundwater irrigation : Technology dynamics and conjunctive water management in the Nepal Terai
    Gautam, S.R. - \ 2006
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Linden Vincent, co-promotor(en): Dik Roth. - [S.L.] : s.n. - ISBN 9789085043362 - 245
    waterbeheer - irrigatie - grondwaterwinning - regenwateropvang - watervoorraden - putten - nepal - grondwateraanvulling - water management - irrigation - groundwater extraction - water harvesting - water resources - wells - nepal - groundwater recharge
    Incorporating Groundwater Irrigation : Technology Dynamics and Conjunctive Water Management in the Nepal Terai
    Gautam, S.R. - \ 2006
    Hyderabad, India : Orient Longman (Wageningen University water resources series 8) - ISBN 9788125029922 - 232
    irrigation - groundwater - freshwater structures - tube wells - management - nepal - irrigatie - grondwater - zoetwaterconstructies - welpijpen - bedrijfsvoering - nepal
    Long-term effects of manure and inorganic fertilizers on yield and soil fertility for a winter wheat-maize system in Jiangsu, China
    Dong, J. ; Hengsdijk, H. ; Dai, T. ; Boer, W. de; Qi, J. ; Cao, W. - \ 2006
    Pedosphere 16 (2006)1. - ISSN 1002-0160 - p. 25 - 32.
    cropping systems - organic-matter - management - nepal
    Winter wheat-maize rotations are dominant cropping systems on the North China Plain, where recently the use of organic manure with grain crops has almost disappeared. This could reduce soil fertility and crop productivity in the long run. A 20-year field experiment was conducted to 1) assess the effect of inorganic and organic nutrient sources on yield and yield trends of both winter wheat and maize, 2) monitor the changes in soil organic matter content under continuous wheat-maize cropping with different soil fertility management schemes, and 3) identify reasons for yield trends observed in Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, over a 20-year period. There were eight treatments applied to both wheat and maize seasons: a control treatment (C); three inorganic fertilizers, that is, nitrogen (N), nitrogen and phosphorus (NP), and nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (NPK); and addition of farmyard manure (FYM) to these four treatments, that is, M, MN, MNP, and MNPK. At the end of the experiment the MN, MNP, and MNPK treatments had the highest yields, about 7t wheat ha^(-1) and 7.5 t maize ha^(-1), with each about 1t ha^(-1) more than the NPK treatments. Over 20 years with FYM soil organic matter increased by 80% compared to only 10% with NPK, which explained yield increases. However, from an environmental and agronomic perspective, manure application was not a superior strategy to NPK fertilizers. If manure was to be applied, though, it would be best applied to the wheat crop, which showed a better response than maize
    Prescribing Gender Equity? The Case of the Tukucha Nala Irrigation System, Central Nepal
    Udas, P.B. ; Zwarteveen, M.Z. - \ 2005
    In: Liquid Relations. Contested Water Rights and Legal Complexity / Roth, D., Boelens, R.A., Zwarteveen, M.Z., New Brunswick, New Jersey and London : Rutgers University Press - ISBN 9780813536750 - p. 21 - 43.
    irrigatie - waterbeheer - participatie - boerenorganisaties - plattelandsvrouwen - nepal - irrigation - water management - participation - farmers' associations - rural women - nepal
    Indexing constitutional accountability in local governance: the search for the water-power interface
    Regmi, A. - \ 2004
    Resources, Energy, and Development 1 (2004)1 en 2. - ISSN 0973-0516 - p. 91 - 94.
    irrigatiewater - waterverdeling - kracht - internationale samenwerking - nepal - irrigation water - water distribution - power - international cooperation - nepal
    This paper cites an example from a case study of the first small 2.4 MW anauti hydropower system in Nepal. Designed and implemented by Russian technical assistence in 1965, this power plant has impacted on several local irrigation systems and has become a site of contestation for local people, both for water and power
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