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Planned development interventions and contested development in the Casamance Region, Senegal: an enquiry into the ongoing struggles for autonomy and progres by the Casamance peasantry
Ndiame, Fadel - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): J.D. van der Ploeg, co-promotor(en): P.G.M. Hebinck. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436779 - 180
peasant farming - peasantry - farming - farmers - agricultural development - development projects - development studies - history - social change - senegal - west africa - landbouw bedrijven in het klein - boerenstand - landbouw bedrijven - boeren - landbouwontwikkeling - ontwikkelingsprojecten - ontwikkelingsstudies - geschiedenis - sociale verandering - senegal - west-afrika
This thesis analyses the relationships between i) planned development interventions which took place in the Casamance over the last 100 years; ii) the advent and co-existence of different forms of endogenous responses to state interventions, and iii) the conflictive outcomes which emanated from the interplay of i) and ii). The ultimate goal is to provide a critical and situated understanding of the ‘Casamance crises’.
The thesis is anchored on and actor oriented conceptual framework. This approach positions the agency of different categories of actors and their ability to engage, accommodate, resist and co-determine the outcome of the development processes. The processes observed in the Casamance are interpreted as ‘a structural feature of agrarian development’, as “arenas where different actors interact, compete and cooperate, based on their own objectives’ (Long, 2001). In light of this framework, the peasantry is seen to be able to strive for autonomy by relying on own resources to survive in an increasingly globalising economy. However, their potentials can be blocked by unfavourable socio- economic conditions, such as those that deprive them the fruits of their labour, thus leading to an agrarian crisis as defined by Van der Ploeg (2008). From this angle, the thesis explores the extent to which the long-term configurations of relationships between external interventions and local responses have accelerated the disarticulation of the traditional production systems, and contributed to compromising the livelihood position and the emancipation trajectories of youth and women within the traditional domestic units in the Casamance.
The methodology adopted described in chapter 2, thus focussed on unpacking interplay and mutual determination between ‘internal’ and ‘external’ factors and relationships. This entailed a historical contextualization of processes of planned state interventions and distancing from development activities in the Casamance over a long period of time. This is followed by a detailed analysis of the various consequent responses shown by different segments of the Casamance society at different historical junctures, in pursuit of a differentiated set of emancipatory trajectories. Data collection involved multiple times and locations, combining field observations, data collected through interviews and surveys and consulting research reports.
Chapter 3 reviews the key physical, socioeconomic and political features of the Casamance region, from the colonial era until the present day’s developments which culminated in the protracted conflict opposing the Government of Senegal and the Mouvement des Forces Democratiques de la Casamance (MFDC). The land reform programmes initiated during the colonial era brought a number of provisions which made it easier for the Colonial government to control local people’s holdings. When Senegal became independent in 1960, the colonial concept of land tenure also played an important role in the “Loi sur le Domaine National”, considered as a means of achieving both economic and social objectives. In addition, the country maintained a policy of specialisation on groundnut and the development of an import- substitution industry funded by foreign donors. During the 1980-2000s, changes in government policy and the drought contributed to significant changes in the production systems. These changes triggered multifaceted responses: collaboration, resistance, rejection as well as conflict- the most dramatic of which was the launch of an armed campaign for the independence of the Casamance region during the 1980s.
Chapter 4 analyses the state-administered agricultural programmes and the consequent local people’s responses which took place in the Casamance between the 1960s and the 1980s. These typically revolved around land and agrarian reform programmes supplying agricultural equipment and technology, rural development projects and farming systems research. They enabled significant sections of rural people to access animal traction equipment and complementary inputs through agricultural credit. Later during the 1980s, the state withdrew form direct involvement in production and marketing activities as part of the structural adjustment programme. This chapter also showed that State hegemony and locally driven development dynamics are related both historically and conceptually: During the first phase of State hegemony, a number of rural institutions were controlled and managed by the State. During the 1970s and 1980s when the state withdrew, an autonomous farmer movement (FONGS) emerged outside the official state extension and structuring system- defining a new farmer-centered political and economic agenda.
Chapter 5 provides an in-depth analysis of the two types of responses that the Casamance peasantry brought to planned development interventions. First, the incentives provided through State policies for groundnuts production analysed in chapter 4 led to a widespread adoption of labour-saving and scale-enlarging technologies, which facilitated a significant increase in the male-dominated production of cash crops- groundnuts especially- as a source for rural livelihoods in the region. This however happened at the expense of food crops whose production was dominated by women and youth. It also accelerated the gradual disconnections between crop production, livestock management at the household and village levels. Moreover, subsequent changes in State policies, which was no longer providing favourable conditions for entrepreneurial farming, combined with the negative consequences of a long drought, led to devastating impacts on local production systems. This situation triggered a significant out-migration of the Casamance youth to the country’s capital city and other metropolitan areas, in search of alternative employment and livelihood opportunities.
With the evolution of time, the Casamance farmers developed a second set of responses. As discussed in chapters 5 and 6, the rural youth and women explored new livelihood and emancipation opportunities- such as producing rice for family consumption and diversifying production activities to include seasonal cultivation of fruits and vegetables for sale. Many young people also embarked on seasonal out-migration to enable them to accumulate the resources necessary to start their own households.
Chapters 6 further analyzes the development and growth of FOs, and how they managed to use funding from donors to develop new technical and organisational capabilities to support the activities of the Casamance family farms. They succeeded in fulfilling the technical and advisory roles previously provided by state institutions, and facilitated rural people’s access to agricultural finance. They were also able to integrate and play a bigger role in the activities of their local government-with a more emboldened voice and power to influence change. The Chapter also shows the development of other forms of private rural business development actors from the Casamance and other regions of Senegal- mainly premised on the participation of smallholder farmers in the agricultural value chain.
Chapter 7 analyses the Casamance crisis as a major conflict of articulation between a region and the rest of country; epitomising a violent contestation of a dominant state- driven modernisation scenario which does not conform to the emancipation trajectories of the educated youth, aspiring to the benefits of sovereignty. In this respect the conflict conforms to the definitions of a governance and agrarian crisis as articulated in this thesis. However while significant, the actions of the MFDC do not represent the sole and unique responses of the Casamance rural youth to the prevailing crisis. The agrarian interpretation of the conflict adopted in this thesis enable us to illustrate other types of development dynamics associated with the interplay between planned interventions and local people responses. Building on the lessons learned in conducting this study, it appears that finding practical answers to the question of local people’s access to decent resources and living conditions could be a prerequisite to overcoming the current political and agrarian crisis prevailing in the Casamance.
The concluding chapter 8 explores the links between ‘peace’, ‘autonomy’ and ‘development’ in the Casamance. I examine the extent to which more autonomy, associated with peasant-centred development, can lead to ‘peace’ and development in the southern region of Senegal. It links the successful resolution of the Casamance crisis to the advent of a governance revolution, which permits a re-alignment of the resources, activities and personal agendas of the different family members around a shared goal for transformation and progress. Building on the lessons learned as part of this study, the approaches considered here are based on new principles of the valorisation of local resources, as well as the redefinition of the format and content of relationships with other development actors. This approach requires the revision of the relationships between local actors and the wider set of actors; it also implies a reconciliation of diverse strategies deployed by the different protagonists over different geographic boundaries.
These principles inform the final recommendations of this study which aim at creating the necessary conditions for the advent of lasting peace linked to the capacity of the local people to rebuild a more viable livelihood for the inhabitants of the Casamance region.
Formalisation of charcoal value chains and livelihood outcomes in Central- and West Africa
Schure, J.M. ; Ingram, V.J. ; Sakho-Jimbira, M.S. ; Levang, P. ; Wiersum, K.F. - \ 2013
Energy for Sustainable Development 17 (2013)2. - ISSN 0973-0826 - p. 95 - 105.
senegal - forests - biomass - policy
This paper examines the link between formalisation of charcoal institutions and livelihoodoutcomes in Central- and WestAfrica. The woodfuel trade generally commenced informally, little controlled by legal or bureaucratic means. Developing formal institutions is often considered as a way of managing charcoal production more sustainably. However, formalisation can have adverse effects for charcoal producers and traders when this hinders their capacity to access the resource or markets. In order to assess the relations between the formalisation of charcoal institutions and socio-economic outcomes for those involved, this study combines a valuechain and livelihoods perspective. A review of case studies and empirical data show that (1) West African countries, with a longer history of dealing with woodfuel issues, have more formal mechanisms in place to deal with charcoal management and these are more embedded into cross-sectorial energy and environmental policies; (2) Despite regulatory mechanisms dealing with woodfuel in all countries, institutions are mainly embedded in informal institutions and based upon customary rules, which allows large numbers of actors to be involved, but also leads to substantial unsustainable and unofficial production, corrupt practises and loss of tax revenues; (3) Formal mechanisms can have negative consequences, such as: conflicts of interests over tax revenues, difficulties in avoiding ‘free riders’ from sustainable management initiatives, and disproportional benefits reaped by more powerful urban-based actors. Comparing the West African countries with Central African countries where attention is relatively new, indicates that conditions for successful charcoal institutions are: devolving power and responsibilities for woodfuel management to a local level, monitoring woodfuel trade, (tax) incentives for sustainably produced charcoal and reinvesting taxes in social and environmental aims
Variation in soil carbon stocks and their determinants across a precipitation gradient in West Africa
Saiz, G. ; Bird, M.I. ; Domingues, T.F. ; Schrodt, F. ; Schwartz, M. ; Veenendaal, E.M. - \ 2012
Global Change Biology 18 (2012)5. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 1670 - 1683.
land-use change - organic-matter - biotic controls - cycle feedback - savanna soils - forest soils - sequestration - texture - senegal - stabilization
We examine the influence of climate, soil properties and vegetation characteristics on soil organic carbon (SOC) along a transect of West African ecosystems sampled across a precipitation gradient on contrasting soil types stretching from Ghana (15°N) to Mali (7°N). Our findings derive from a total of 1108 soil cores sampled over 14 permanent plots. The observed pattern in SOC stocks reflects the very different climatic conditions and contrasting soil properties existing along the latitudinal transect. The combined effects of these factors strongly influence vegetation structure. SOC stocks in the first 2 m of soil ranged from 20 Mg C ha-1 for a Sahelian savanna in Mali to over 120 Mg C ha-1 for a transitional forest in Ghana. The degree of interdependence between soil bulk density (SBD) and soil properties is highlighted by the strong negative relationships observed between SBD and SOC (r2 > 0.84). A simple predictive function capable of encompassing the effect of climate, soil properties and vegetation type on SOC stocks showed that available water and sand content taken together could explain 0.84 and 0.86 of the total variability in SOC stocks observed to 0.3 and 1.0 m depth respectively. Used in combination with a suitable climatic parameter, sand content is a good predictor of SOC stored in highly weathered dry tropical ecosystems with arguably less confounding effects than provided by clay content. There was an increased contribution of resistant SOC to the total SOC pool for lower rainfall soils, this likely being the result of more frequent fire events in the grassier savannas of the more arid regions. This work provides new insights into the mechanisms determining the distribution of carbon storage in tropical soils and should contribute significantly to the development of robust predictive models of biogeochemical cycling and vegetation dynamics in tropical regions.
Economics of the gum arabic value chain in Senegal
Mujawamariya, G. - \ 2012
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte, co-promotor(en): Kees Burger; M.F.C. D'Haase. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461733689 - 246
ontwikkelingseconomie - waardeketenanalyse - arabische gom - ontwikkelingslanden - handel - economische analyse - goederenmarkten - senegal - west-afrika - development economics - value chain analysis - gum arabic - developing countries - trade - economic analysis - commodity markets - senegal - west africa
A Gum arabic has an important international market due to its use in various industries. Senegal is a small producing country whose exports are low probably due to problems of developing internal markets resulting from the lack of price incentives. The study’s main aim is to link the market side to the collection side in order to investigate factors influencing the performance of the supply chain of gum arabic. The study is conducted in the Sylvopastoral zone and Eastern Region of Senegal where Acacia senegal trees are found and gum arabic is commercially exploited.
The main findings of the study are that, productivity-enhancing methods have to be adopted; market incentives are fundamental for the continuation of collection; traders in the gum markets are not necessarily exploitative; quality as required by the user may not be directly linked to the visible quality attributes in the field; and that the transition from communal organisation of collection to efficient private collection systems depends mainly on the assessment of economic benefits and costs. However, the importance attached to environmental and social considerations has to be recognised especially in the drylands where gum arabic is collected.
Adaptive management of irrigated rice in the changing environments of the Sahel
Vries, M.E. de - \ 2011
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Ken Giller, co-promotor(en): Peter Leffelaar. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085859918
oryza sativa - rijst - landbouw met irrigatie - irrigatie - klimaatverandering - simulatiemodellen - genotype-milieu interactie - senegal - sahel - oryza sativa - rice - irrigated farming - irrigation - climatic change - simulation models - genotype environment interaction - senegal - sahel
Key words: Alternate wetting and drying, Climate change adaptation, Crop growth simulation models, Genotype × environment interaction, N use efficiency, Oryza sativa L., Phenology, Sahelian irrigation schemes, Sowing date, Spikelet sterility, Temperature increase, Water productivity, Weed control.
In the vulnerable environment of the Sahel with its erratic rainfall pattern, irrigated rice production is of major importance. To aid Sahelian rice farmers to sustain irrigated rice production, this study explores management options. It includes field experiments performed at two typical Sahelian sites and simulation studies using crop growth simulation models. This thesis provides evidence that it is possible to use less irrigation water while maintaining rice production, thus increasing water productivity. The effects of a temperature increase on the growing cycle and spikelet sterility of new rice varieties in interaction with different sowing dates is quantified. The simulation results show that the sowing window will be restricted and that the cultivar choice may alter; together they will remain the most important determinants of rice production in the coming decades.
In Chapter 2, field experiments involving three water saving regimes using combinations of alternate wetting and drying (AWD) and flooding and a fully flooded control show that between 480 and 1060 mm of irrigation water was used in the water saving treatments compared with 800 to 1490 mm in the flooded rice treatment. Water productivity of the water-saving treatments was higher than of the flooded control, and yields ranged between 141 and 56% of the control. When weeds were controlled, crop yields obtained with a combination of AWD and flooding were comparable with those obtained in fully flooded plots receiving the same weed management. In Ndiaye, agronomic N use efficiency was smaller in the AWD treatments compared with fully flooded conditions. An irrigation regime for rice that starts as conventional (flooded), and then changes to AWD can save water with little or no yield loss, while maintaining low weed pressure and efficient use of N. To assess genotype adaptability, in Chapter 3 the results of experiments involving five genotypes, sown on 15 consecutive dates are presented. Yield (0-12t ha–1) and crop cycle duration (117-190 days) varied with sowing date, genotype and site. Rice yield was very sensitive to sowing date and the associated temperature regimes. Spikelet sterility due to cold stress (T < 20oC) was observed when the crops were sown betweenAugust and October,and heat stress (T > 35oC) resulted in spikelet sterility for sowingin April and May. For the simulation studies of Chapter 4, experimental data were used to calibrate both the DSSAT and ORYZA2000 models. Original genetic coefficients of DSSAT did not simulate phenology well, while genetic coefficients that did, resulted in lower than observed yields. Simulations by ORYZA_S and ORYZA2000 resulted in an increase in simulation error at sowing dates in the last three months of the year. The results show that local calibration at the same sowing date is needed. In the African Sahel, a temperature increase of between 1.8 and 4.7oC is predicted by 2080. Simulations by an improved and validated version of ORYZA2000 presented in Chapter 5 show that rice crop cycle length will decrease by 10‒30 days. The results suggest that with projected temperature changes, timing of sowing and consequently of the risk for crop loss due to sterility will remain the major determinant of rice yield. There is an urgent need for heat tolerant rice varieties. Without adaptation, cropping calendars will change, in the worst case scenario only a single crop will be possible. I conclude by suggesting viable options for adaptive management of irrigated rice in the changing environments of the Sahel to sustain production in the 21stcentury.
Intrahousehold resource allocation and well-being : the case of rural households in Senegal
Dia, F. - \ 2010
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Gerrit Antonides; Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Johan van Ophem. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085856863 - 271
agricultural households - resource allocation - household income - time allocation - decision making - households - rural areas - farmers' income - non-farm income - women - men - household expenditure - senegal - gender - well-being - landbouwhuishoudens - middelentoewijzing - gezinsinkomen - tijdsbesteding - besluitvorming - huishoudens - platteland - inkomen van landbouwers - inkomsten van buiten het landbouwbedrijf - vrouwen - mannen - huishouduitgaven - senegal - geslacht (gender) - welzijn
In this last decade, poverty in developing countries remains the most important topic of debate at the international level. The main proposition was how to build policies and programs on a gender perspective approach taking into account gender differences in behavior between male and female at the level of the household. This study is undertaken in a context of two earner partners living in mixed farming systems in Senegal where earnings come primarily from crops and livestock. This book provides substantial research focused on household decision-making regarding resource allocation and consumption. Moreover, it attempts to show empirical findings on the analysis of welfare and well-being through an innovative combination of subjective and objective methods. The research shows how important socioeconomic and cultural factors are in determining earnings from agricultural activities. Important determinants of productivity are related to women’s land access, non-labor income (transfers from migrants), and the wife’s access to credit and health problems. The research illustrates also that women’s bargaining power may be strongly linked to their access to livestock resources, their mobility in purchasing food and medicine and their participation in the management of household finance. Analysis of decision-making regarding expenditures shows that women, more than men, value household goods (related to food, health and schooling expenditures) more than private goods. The results suggest that policies aimed at improving household livelihoods must understand gender differences, obligations and priorities.
Intrahousehold resource allocation and well-being : the case of rural households in Senegal
Dia, F. - \ 2010
Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers (AWLAE series no. 10) - ISBN 9789086861583 - 257
landbouwhuishoudens - middelentoewijzing - gezinsinkomen - tijdsbesteding - besluitvorming - huishoudens - platteland - inkomen van landbouwers - inkomsten van buiten het landbouwbedrijf - vrouwen - mannen - huishouduitgaven - senegal - geslacht (gender) - welzijn - agricultural households - resource allocation - household income - time allocation - decision making - households - rural areas - farmers' income - non-farm income - women - men - household expenditure - gender - well-being
Black-tailed Godwits in West African winter staging areas : habitat use and hunting-related mortality
Kleijn, D. ; Kamp, J. van der; Monteiro, H. ; Ndiaye, I. ; Wymenga, E. ; Zwarts, L. - \ 2010
Wageningen : Alterra (Alterra-report 2058) - 32
vogels - limosa limosa - overwintering - natte rijst - wildbescherming - habitats - bevolkingsafname - jagen - west-afrika - guinee-bissau - gambia - senegal - nederland - weidevogels - vogeltrek - birds - limosa limosa - overwintering - flooded rice - wildlife conservation - habitats - population decrease - hunting - west africa - guinea-bissau - gambia - senegal - netherlands - grassland birds - bird migration
The persistence of the Dutch Black-tailed Godwit population depends largely on high adult survival. Adult survival may be influenced by hunting pressure and land use change in the wintering area, the West African coastal zone. Here we examine hunting pressure on and habitat use of Black-tailed Godwits in West African rice-growing areas. The Black-tailed Godwit is exposed to hunting throughout the core wintering area in West Africa but hunting related mortality does not seem to be the main driver of the ongoing population decline. Habitat use of godwits seems to be governed by the availability of their preferred habitat: (man-made) bare wet soil which is consecutively available in different parts of West Africa throughout the entire wintering period.
Economics of gender, risk and labour in horticultural households in Senegal
Ndoye, A.F. - \ 2010
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Erwin Bulte, co-promotor(en): Kees Burger. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085856535 - 254
economie - risico - arbeid (werk) - landbouwhuishoudens - tuinbouw - senegal - ontwikkelingslanden - west-afrika - middelentoewijzing - prestatieniveau - ontwikkelingseconomie - geslacht (gender) - gedrag van huishoudens - economics - risk - labour - agricultural households - horticulture - senegal - developing countries - west africa - resource allocation - performance - development economics - gender - household behaviour
Women play an important role in agricultural production, particularly in Africa, by managing their own farm and by providing their labour to their husband’s fields. Regardless of the predominance of a gender bias with regard to their access to resource, women constitute a vital force in the development of agriculture. Throughout the world, gender issues in the development of agriculture and women’s role and contribution to agriculture continue to be a great subject of debate. Despite the wide range of literature available, the importance of agriculture to the economic development in Africa and the critical role that rural women play within this sector still constitute an attractive research agenda.
In Sub-Saharan African countries, where the majority of the population derives its food and livelihood from agriculture, a strong growth in agriculture is vital for the process of economic development. Agriculture must be the leading sector for overall growth, poverty alleviation, and the reduction of income disparities. In such a context, getting agriculture to move forward is crucial. Particularly with the drastic changes in the world food situation, which affect Africa more than any other region, much more attention should be paid to the supply side of agriculture, both for food crops and market-oriented crops. In fact, cash crops, with high added value products like horticultural products, offer opportunities to boost the agricultural growth in developing countries like Senegal, where horticulture is a key element of the agricultural sector.
Accordingly, with the recent world-wide food trouble, there is a need, more than ever, to examine the economic performance of the agricultural producers, and especially the efficiency of the use of scarce resources, to confront the challenges ahead. However, the key role of women in the agricultural sector in many parts of the world, and particularly in agriculture-based countries like African countries, calls for more gender-sensitive approaches and for policies that take people’s gender identity into account. Jointly, all these reasons widely justify the relevance of this research thesis, which aims to investigate the economic performance of horticultural households in Senegal, using efficiency and profitability as main indicators and adopting a gender perspective.
Efficiency is assessed in a specific social, cultural, economic, and institutional context, in which polygamy occurs and husband and wives usually manage their plots separately. In this context, next to household labour, the labour market offers possibilities to hire labour under two common forms of contract, based on sharecropping or wage. In addition, with the high volatility of the price of horticultural products, the market risk is challenging. Therefore, from this context emerge four main research questions addressed in this thesis, related to (i) the efficiency of the allocation of household resource over men and women, (ii) the efficiency of contracts with hired workers, either as wage labourers or as sharecroppers for household profit optimization, (iii) risk behaviour across gender, and (iv) its effects on the economic performance and the choice of labour contracts. Three chapters (Chapters 3, 4 and 5) provide theoretical and empirical evidence on these research questions, preceded by two chapters (Chapters 1 and 2) setting out the purpose and background of this research.
Chapter 2 describes horticultural households from a gender standpoint, using data collected from a survey of 203 horticultural households in the Niayes Zone in Senegal. We surveyed a total of 422 horticultural plots, managed by 279 producers, of which 190 are men and 89 are women. The households grow a diversity of horticultural crops during the three main seasons. We surveyed five of the most cultivated crops, such as onion, cabbage, tomato, green bean, and potato. All these crops are destined for the national and subregional market. Only green bean is exported to European countries, mainly to France.
This descriptive chapter shows that a household homes 3 to 26 members, with an average of 10. Horticultural households derive their income essentially from horticulture, with a share of 77% of men’s total annual income and 60% of women’s income. Women provide 15% of the household’s total annual income, estimated on average at fcfa 2.1 million. With a daily income per capita of fcfa 575, or 1.3 US dollars, horticultural household members are living slightly above the national poverty line of fcfa 497 and the new extreme poverty threshold of 1.25 US dollars in developing economies.
Household land ownership varies from 0 to 20 hectares, with a median of 3. A great gender gap occurs in particular with regard to the allocation of resource and assets, access to land, and irrigation equipment. Men are the main owners of land and irrigation equipment within the household. In 60% of the households, women are deeply involved in horticulture, managing their own piece of land that has usually been allocated to them by their husband. However, even when they manage their own plots, women and men often work on each other’s plots to carry out hard or time-consuming farming operations. With an average of 460 m2, women’s plots are 4.7 times smaller than men’s plots are. However, regarding the physical conditions of the plot, no major gender discrimination is noticed. With this small plot size, the intensity of the inputs used is higher on women’s plots than it is on men’s plots. As a result, women’s plots yield 17% more in terms of output in value per hectare and 40% more in terms of profit per hectare than men’s plots do.
Horticultural production is so labour-intensive that household labour is not always sufficient and some households take recourse to hired labour. However, while some households hire labour based on a sharecropping contract (31%), others hire labour based on a wage contract (7%). The return per season to sharecropping for a sharecropper is higher on average than the seasonal wage paid by the household to a wage worker. Moreover, the most time-consuming cropping operation is irrigation, which takes 75% and 85% of the total working time of household members on men’s plots and women’s plots, respectively. The time-share of irrigation is on average higher on women’s plots than it is on men’s plots, because women do not have access to improved irrigation equipment like a motor pump. The horticultural marketing context is characterized by a high variability of the output price, which is a major risk. For the same plot and crop, the selling price of the production varies greatly from one harvesting sequence to the next one, which takes just a few days. Altogether, the descriptive chapter brings to light the research issues addressed in the following chapters.
Chapter 3 replies to the first research question by examining the efficiency of household resource allocation. It furthermore deals with the appropriateness of using gender-specific models rather than a unitary model while investigating the economic performance of male and female managers of separate plots within horticultural households. Therefore, chapter 3 contributes to the gender and economics literature, providing empirical evidence regarding intra-household resource allocation in a polygamous context in which husband and wives manage their plots separately.
Both the unitary and gender-specific stochastic frontier production functions show that women plot managers are as technically efficient as men plot managers are, but neither the men nor the women are fully technically or allocatively efficient. The determinants of technical inefficiency effects present some similarities as well as some differences between men and women plot managers. Furthermore, based on gender-specific models, the value of the marginal product of land and irrigation equipment is higher on the women’s plots than it is on the men’s plots, while the value of the marginal product of inputs and labour is higher on the men’s plots than it is on the women’s plots within the same household.
We can conclude from the findings that optimality or allocative efficiency from a household perspective is far from being achieved for all the inputs. Some improvements can be made by shifting land and irrigation equipment from men to women and by shifting inputs and labour from women to men. However, given that both men and women are allocatively inefficient in the use of inputs, rather than to shift, it is better to scale up the inputs used in order to reduce the inefficiency. Since households are cropping on average 59% of their available land, there are some possibilities or potentialities to scale up the cropped area, but this is conditional on a better access to labour-saving irrigation equipment. This suggests some policy implications, which must be more gender-sensitive, to improve both men’s and women’s ability to manage their productive resource more efficiently. A better access of women to land and to improved irrigation equipment will be a lever to improve women’s economic performance and, consequently, both their own well-being and the whole household’s welfare.
The second research question is addressed in Chapter 4. In agriculture, the coexistence of different forms of land tenancy or labour contract have so far been explained by theories related to Marshallian inefficiency, incentives, risk sharing, and transaction costs, including the costs of supervision. These theories and the empirical evidence have greatly contributed to explain the reasons behind land tenancy or labour contract choice. This study goes a step further by focusing particularly on production technologies at plot level. This study provides theoretical and empirical evidence by designing and testing a model based on household profit optimization (i) to compare the optimum profit derived from plots under household labour, a sharecropping labour contract, or a wage labour contract, and (ii) to test the efficiency of the labour choice made, controlling for the irrigation equipment used on the plot. The model does not account for risk behaviour, but focuses mainly on the supervision costs of labour under a wage contract, and on opportunity wages ratios of the sharecropper and the wage worker, of the sharecropper and the landlord, and of the wage worker and the landlord. In order to test the efficiency of the labour contract choice, for each plot, simulations were made to see if another labour contract than presently applied would yield a higher profit to the household.
As expected, the results show that the production elasticity of labour decreases when improved irrigation equipment like a motor pump is used. The technology displays an increasing return to scale on plots without a motor pump and a constant return to scale on plots irrigated with a motor pump. While on plots without a motor pump a sharecropping contract is the efficient labour contract choice, leading to a higher optimum profit for household, on plots irrigated with a motor pump, a wage contract is the best labour contract choice. Consequently, we can conclude from this finding that the use of a motor pump drives out the sharecropping contract in favour of household labour and the wage labour contract. Unless the commonly applied sharing rules, 50-50 of the profit, change with a greater share for the landowner, with the increasing use of labour-saving technologies, households will be less and less willing to hire labour under a sharecropping contract.
Chapter 5 theoretically and empirically investigates the risk issues. Agricultural production is typically a risky business. Farm households have to tackle several risks. For this reason, farm households’ risk attitude is an important issue connected with decision making and greatly affects their economic performance. In Senegal, for horticultural households, the output market price is one of the foremost risks. Moreover, within the household, husband and wives may behave differently towards risk. This research provides theoretical and empirical evidence regarding the measures and effects of risk attitude on economic performance and on the choice of inputs across gender. More precisely, based on an experimental game implemented in the Senegalese Niayes Zone, this chapter investigates the gender dimension of risk attitude and the causal relationship between risk attitude, allocative inefficiency of the choice of inputs, and decisions regarding the choice of labour contract.
The results show that, on average, men and women producers display an absolute risk aversion towards the output market price, and that women are as risk averse as men. As expected, and in line with the theoretical model, the empirical evidence shows that allocative inefficiency in the use of inputs increases with risk aversion. Moreover, the empirical evidence confirms the theoretical model propounding that if producers are more risk averse, they prefer to hire labour based on a sharecropping contract rather than on a wage contract. We identify recommendations for policy decision makers in terms of strategies that may help to make men and women producers more risk-neutral towards the output market price and to dampen the repercussions of risk for efficiency.
All in all, this thesis innovatively provides theoretical and empirical evidence to add to the body of the literature of the economics of household resource allocation, with a special focus on gender, labour and risk. In addition to its scientific contribution, the thesis puts forward to decision makers a number of recommendations for a better economic performance of horticultural households with women playing a leading role, as this is in favour of household welfare. Although agricultural growth driven by horticulture is a challenge for economic growth and poverty alleviation, it is potentially achievable.
The local impacts of climate change in the Ferlo, Western Sahel
Hein, L.G. ; Metzger, M.J. ; Leemans, R. - \ 2009
Climatic Change 93 (2009)3-4. - ISSN 0165-0009 - p. 465 - 483.
range condition - dynamics - senegal - ecology - desertification - precipitation - variability - thresholds - ecosystems - viewpoint
Recent increases in the accuracy of climate models have enhanced the possibilities for analyzing the impacts of climate change on society. This paper explores how the local, economic impacts of climate change can be modeled for a specific eco-region, the Western Sahel. The people in the Sahel are highly dependent on their natural resource base, and these resources are highly vulnerable to climate change, in particular to changes in rainfall. Climate models project substantial changes in rainfall in the Sahel in the coming 50 years, with most models predicting a reduction in rainfall. To connect climate change to changes in ecosystem productivity and local income, we construct an ecological¿economic model that incorporates rangeland dynamics, grazing and livestock prices. The model shows that decreased rainfall in the Sahel will considerably reduce local incomes, in particular if combined with increases in rainfall variability. Adaptation to these climate change projections is possible if reductions in rainfall are followed by destocking to reach efficient grazing levels. However, while such a strategy is optimal from the perspective of society, the stocking rate is determined by individual pastoralists that face few incentives to destock
Assessing the economic impacts of agricultural carbon sequestration: Terraces and agroforestry in the Peruvian Andes
Antle, J.M. ; Stoorvogel, J.J. ; Valdivia, R.O. - \ 2007
Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 122 (2007)4. - ISSN 0167-8809 - p. 435 - 445.
production systems - senegal - region - design - models - costs
There is an increasing demand for information about the economic impact of agricultural carbon (C) sequestration in the developing world, but as yet no studies have assessed the potential for farmers in the highland tropics to participate in C contracts. In this paper we show how an econometric-process simulation model, designed to simulate the value of terrace and agroforestry investments, can be used to assess the economic feasibility of C sequestration. We use this model to simulate the impact of C contracts on the adoption of terraces and agroforestry practices in the highlands of northern Peru. The analysis shows that participation in C contracts could increase adoption of terraces and agroforestry practices, with the rate of adoption depending on the C accumulation rate and key factors affecting terrace productivity such as field slope. The simulation results show there is a relatively low economic potential for C sequestration in this agricultural system at C prices below $50 per MgC, but that potential increases substantially for C prices above $50 per MgC. Under favorable conditions for C sequestration and a C price of $100 per MgC, terrace and agroforesty adoption and C sequestration have the potential to raise per capita incomes by up to 15% on farms with steeply sloped fields, and reduce poverty by as much as 9%.
The impacts of grazing and rainfall variability on the dynamics of a Sahelian rangeland
Hein, L.G. - \ 2006
Journal of Arid Environments 64 (2006)3. - ISSN 0140-1963 - p. 488 - 504.
use efficiency - vegetation dynamics - species composition - ecology - systems - africa - desertification - nonequilibrium - senegal - precipitation
The impacts of grazing pressure and rainfall variability on rangeland dynamics have been the topic of much debate. Understanding the combined impact of these two factors is crucial for the development of efficient management strategies for rangelands. In this paper, the impacts of grazing and rainfall variability on the dynamics of a Sahelian rangeland in Northern Senegal are examined. Specifically, the paper assesses their combined impact on species composition, above-ground phytomass production and rain-use efficiency (RUE), on the basis of a 10-year (1981¿1990) grazing experiment conducted in the Widou-Thiengoly catchment in the Ferlo, Northern Senegal. The experiment included both a high (0.15¿0.20 TLU ha¿1, corresponding to current grazing) and a medium (0.10 TLU ha¿1) grazing pressure. It is shown that species composition, above-ground phytomass production and RUE markedly differ for these two grazing regimes¿and that the differences are most pronounced in years with low rainfall. In dry years, both above-ground phytomass production and RUE are significantly reduced in the plots subject to a high grazing pressure. Consequently, the impacts of high grazing pressures on the productivity of the Ferlo are hardly noticed during years with normal or above normal rainfall, but the rangeland's productivity is strongly affected during a drought. The findings have important implications for the management of rangelands; they indicate that high grazing pressures may increase the vulnerability of rangeland ecosystems and local people to droughts
A multiplex panel of microsatellite markers for widespread subsaharan rodents of the genus Mastomys
Galan, M. ; Hooft, W.F. van; Legrand, D. ; Berthier, K. ; Loiseau, A. ; Granjon, L. ; Cosson, J.F. - \ 2004
Molecular Ecology Notes 4 (2004)3. - ISSN 1471-8278 - p. 321 - 323.
We isolated and characterized 12 polymorphic microsatellite loci in the sub-Saharan rodent Mastomys huberti. We tested cross-species amplification of all these loci in three closely related Mastomys species: M. coucha, M. erythroleucus and M. natalensis. Multiplex panels comprising 11 loci were developed and their application to a set of individuals in each species allowed clear and easy characterization of allele sizes. Statistics from 31 M. huberti coming from one locality in Mali showed no deviation from Hardy¿Weinberg equilibrium except for one locus, and no significant linkage disequilibria between loci.
Diagnosis of Schistosomiasis by reagent strip test for detection of circulating cathodic antigen
Dam, G.J. van; Wichers, J.H. ; Falcao Ferreira, T.M. ; Ghati, D. ; Amerongen, A. van; Deelder, A.M. - \ 2004
Journal of Clinical Microbiology 42 (2004)12.. - ISSN 0095-1137 - p. 5458 - 5461.
monoclonal-antibodies - mansoni - caa - individuals - immunoassay - senegal - assay - cca
A newly developed reagent strip assay for the diagnosis of schistosomiasis based on parasite antigen detection in urine of infected individuals was evaluated. The test uses the principle of lateral flow through a nitrocellulose strip of the sample mixed with a colloidal carbon conjugate of a monoclonal antibody specific for Schistosoma circulating cathodic antigen (CCA). The strip assay to diagnose a group of highly infected schoolchildren in Mwanza, Tanzania, demonstrated a high sensitivity and association with the intensity of infection as measured both by egg counts, and by circulating anodic antigen and CCA levels determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. A specificity of ca. 90% was shown in a group of schistosome-negative schoolchildren from Tarime, Tanzania, an area where schistosomiasis is not endemic. The test is easy to perform and requires no technical equipment or special training. The stability of the strips and the conjugate in the dry format lasts for at least 3 months at ambient temperature in sealed packages, making it suitable for transport and use in areas where schistosomiasis is endemic. This assay can easily be developed to an end-user format.
The phenology of malaria mosquitos in irrigated rice fields in Mali
Klinkenberg, E. ; Takken, W. ; Huibers, F.P. ; Touré, Y.T. - \ 2003
Acta Tropica 85 (2003). - ISSN 0001-706X - p. 71 - 82.
anopheles-gambiae complex - west-africa - plasmodium-falciparum - savanna area - burkina-faso - transmission - culicidae - kenya - identification - senegal
A field study was carried out in the large-scale rice irrigation scheme of the Office du Niger in Mali to investigate the relation between anopheline mosquito larval development and small-scale differences in irrigation practices, such as water level, irrigation application and irrigation frequency. The objective of the study was to find out if water management can be used as a tool for vector control to reduce the malaria transmission risk. Larvae of Anopheles gambiae s.s. the main malaria vector in the study area, developed mostly in the first 6 weeks after transplanting the rice. During rice development, a succession of anopheline species was observed. This was associated with a marked decrease in light intensity reaching the water surface as plant height increased. Minor differences in water management resulted in noticeable variations in larval densities and species composition. A. gambiae s.s. larvae were most abundant during the early growing stages and almost absent in a closed rice crop. Due to improper drainage after harvest, A. gambiae s.s. breeding was soon re-established in fields where small pools of water were retained. The results suggest that larval mosquito habitats in the Office du Niger can be significantly reduced by water management, simultaneous planting and harvesting and proper drainage of fallow fields.
Les oiseaux piscivores comme indicateurs de la qualité de l'environnement marin: suivi des effets de la plche littorale en Afrique du Nord-Ouest
Veen, J. ; Peeters, J. ; Leopold, M.F. ; Damme, C.J.G. van; Veen, T. - \ 2003
Wageningen : Alterra (Alterra-rapport 666) - 190
zeevogels - vogels - vissen - visserij - milieueffect - noord-afrika - senegal - biologische indicatoren - populatiedynamica - voedering - sea birds - birds - fishes - fisheries - environmental impact - north africa - senegal - biological indicators - population dynamics - feeding
Les recherches rapportées ici avaient pour objectif d'établir un systOme de suivi permettant de mesurer les effets futurs de la plche devant la côte ouest-africaine. Les recherches concernaient le comportement dans les sites de reproduction et la nourriture des oiseaux de mer pour avoir une idée de la composition des espOces et de la taille des populations piscicoles. On a étudié quatre espOces parmi celles qui se reproduisent en colonies (Mouette u tlte grise, Goéland railleur, Sterne caspienne et Sterne royale) dans deux régions situées au Sénégal. Il s'est avéré que les changements annuels dans la taille des populations reproductrices des Sternes royales étaient en rapport avec la présence de certaines espOces de poissons. La condition physique des jeunes (de toutes les espOces) était relativement bonne dans toutes les années. La nourriture du Goéland railleur, de la Sterne caspienne et de la Sterne royale) différait par espOce d'oiseau, par colonie et par année d'observation. Toutes les espOcesmentionnées avaient un régime varié et, en conséquence, elles donnent des informations différentes sur la présence de populations piscicoles. On conseille de réaliser le systOme de suivi développé ici, dans toutes les grandes colonies d'oiseaux de mer situées de la Mauritanie jusqu'en Guinée. De préférence, on devrait agrandir le nombre d'espOces d'oiseaux u étudier en ajoutant des représentants de différents groupes écologiques, caractérisés par des différences dans leur biotope alimentaire et leur technique de gagnage.
Demystifying facilitation of multi-actor learning processes
Groot, A.E. - \ 2002
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): N.G. Röling, co-promotor(en): J.L.S. Jiggins. - S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789058086976 - 216
leren - voorlichting - landbouw - irrigatie - senegal - kenya - wereld - decentralisatie - acteurs - innovaties - bedrijfsvoering - participatie - privatisering - landbouwvoorlichting - personen - learning - extension - participation - management - actors - innovations - agriculture - decentralization - irrigation - senegal - kenya - world - privatization - agricultural extension - persons
This thesis aims to demystify the facilitation of participatory processes in order to improve the performance of the facilitation professional. As our society is increasingly recognised as pluralistic, characterised by multiple actors with different interests, values and perceptions, participation has become a popular means of bringing about social and technical change. Across the globe, whether in agricultural development, poverty alleviation, natural resource management, health promotion or policy formulation, participation is often presented as the golden key to unlock the door to a more sustainable and democratic world. The task of ensuring that the golden key is used and the door is unlocked is, in general, placed in the hands of facilitators i.e. men or women responsible for the management of participatory processes. The work of facilitators is considered crucial for bringing about desirable change. However, their role and influence is difficult to grasp and judge. In fact, the notion of facilitation is often 'depersonalised'. People refer to it in terms of incentives to bring about a desired change. This study, however, acknowledges that facilitators are critical success variables and are people who bring along their own interests, perceptions, values, assumptions, and competencies that influence the participatory process and its outcomes. Through a critical analysis of facilitation experiences, this study aims to increase transparency on facilitators' actions, perceptions, values, theoretical and methodological perspectives, and how these can shape the participatory processes and outcomes in a particular context. Such transparency helps to make explicit the responsibilities and competencies of facilitators and to improve their accountability to the actors with whom they work.
Chapter 1presents two personal stories to clarify the concerns and challenges as underlying motives for this research. The first story shows facilitators who are pawns in a power play. It gives insight into the facilitators' choice of whose interests, perspectives, and values count most. The second describes the challenges that facilitators in this study face when working in complex and messy environments in which everything/body is connected to everything/body. The two experiences inform the following research questions that underpin this study:
To address these questions, this thesis explores three experiences in facilitation of participatory processes gained by teams of facilitators of which I had been a member. The first experience explores the facilitation of a privatisation process of the SAED/IAM irrigation project in Senegal. The second case study addresses the facilitation of a linked local learning process in Kenya to support decentralisation and privatisation of agricultural services. The last case study deals with the meta-facilitation of DLV's learning process. It explores the performance of meta-facilitators to support other facilitators i.e. DLV advisors. The participatory processes managed by the facilitators and meta-facilitators in the case studies address complex issues. These issues are referred to as 'complex' because they involved multiple factors and actors at multiple interrelated administrative, discipline and social levels. These multitudinous interacting and continuously changing people and things lead to the emergence of unpredictable outcomes and as such create a high level of uncertainty.
Chapter 2discusses the emergence of the participatory paradigm and the critique on professionals operating within this paradigm. The beliefs and assumptions of the participatory paradigm largely influence the facilitators in the case studies. Moreover, in the case studies the facilitators try to overcome the main critique on participatory practice. For each of the fields in which the facilitators under study work i.e. 'rural poverty reduction', 'agricultural development', and 'environmental management, the emergence of the paradigm is discussed, including the dominant beliefs, assumptions, and competencies that characterise the operating professionals.
Chapter 3clarifies the chosen research paradigm and methodologies. It highlights that this thesis is a reflective thesis for which the empirical basis is the experience in facilitation gained by teams of consultants of which I have been a member. The research process is conducted as though it were a learning process; insights are gained along the way. The research is undertaken from a constructivist perspective assuming that reality is socially constructed. In addition, chapter 3 discusses the chosen 'grounded theory approach' and 'action research'. These methodologies support the aims to: 1) conduct the research as a learning process for which the empirical basis was the experiences gained in consultancy missions; 2) develop a theory and methodological insights on facilitation; and 3) improve facilitation practice. Both methodologies fit the researcher's constructivist epistemology. The grounded theory approach to data analysis means that the conclusions of each chapter feed into the next one, with the exception of chapter 3.
Chapter 3 also introduces Bawden's model of praxis as a framework for analysing the performance of the facilitators in the case studies. Praxis is considered the property of individuals that emerges from the interaction of theories they hold, the actions that they practice, the values they assume and the contexts that they interpret of the world surrounding them. The use of the coherence and correspondence criteria are explained to explore the (in)consistencies and effectiveness of the facilitation praxis in the case studies.
Chapters 4, 5and intermezzo I explore the experiencesin Senegal where a team of facilitators supported the privatisation of the SAED/IAM irrigation project. Chapter 4 discusses the theoretical and methodological foundations of this case study. It describes how and why the facilitators used 'soft systems thinking', Agricultural Knowledge and Information systems perspective (AKIS), its operational tool the 'Rapid Appraisal of Agricultural Knowledge systems' (RAAKS), Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation (PM&E) and Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) to support the privatisation process of the irrigation project. Chapter 5 further studies the Senegal case study. Bawden' s model of praxis is used to systemically explore the facilitation actions in relation to the facilitators' values, the theories and methodologies applied, and the way the facilitators perceived the context. In addition, each action is discussed in terms of (in)consistencies in praxis and its effectiveness. Intermezzo 1 synthesises the following insights derived from the Senegal case:
These insights are translated into a preliminary set of criteria that can be used to assess the praxis of the facilitators.
Chapters 6,7and intermezzo II address the second case study i.e. the facilitation of a linked local learning process in Kenya to support ecologically sound agriculture and the decentralisation of agricultural services. Chapter 6 provides the theoretical and methodological foundations of the case. It describes the 'linked local learning' perspective and its theoretical and methodological underpinnings i.e. 'experiential learning', '(critical) learning systems', 'collaborative learning', 'negotiation', and 'mediation'. Chapter 7 further explores the Kenya case study by studying the facilitation actions in relation to the facilitators' values, the theories and methodologies applied, and the way the facilitators perceived the context. Each facilitation action is analysed in terms of (in)consistencies and effectiveness. Intermezzo II synthesises the following lessons:
Again, these lessons are translated into criteria that can be used to assess facilitation praxis.
Chapters 8,9and intermezzo III deal with the meta-facilitation of DLV's learning. They examine the role of the meta-facilitators in assisting other facilitators i.e. DLV advisers in applying a participatory perspective to projects. Chapter 8 describes 'different approaches to project planning', 'stakeholder analysis', 'Kolb's learning styles', and 'organisation learning theory' as the theories and methodologies used by the facilitators. Chapter 9 further explores the DLV case study by analysing the praxis of the meta-facilitators. Intermezzo III synthesises the following insights:
These insights are translated into criteria that can be used to assess meta-facilitation praxis
The conclusions resulting from the three cases are merged and further developed in chapter 10 . In line with the research questions, general conclusions are drawn with respect to the facilitation actions , the theories and methodologies to be used, facilitators' values and meta-facilitation .
The general conclusion with respect to the role of facilitators is that there are two important clusters of actions for effective facilitation.First, there is a set of actions that aims to bring one or multiple nested (critical) subsystems into being. An important insight for the first set of actions is the notion of facilitation of system-wide change. Often facilitators can increase the effectiveness of their intervention if they involve multiple relevant actors who operate at different inter-related administrative, sectoral, and social levels (e.g., policy makers, private and government sector actors, farmers). Chapter 10 concludes that for facilitation to be effective in supporting actors to cope with complex issues there is need to ascertain whether it is necessary to intervene beyond the level at which the issue at stake emerged. Consequently, in a participatory intervention, one of the first facilitation actions to be undertaken is the design of an interactive process to purposefully bring a system, or more often, multiple nested subsystems, into existence. For this action to realise, facilitators can make use of an adapted version of soft systems theories and methodologies combined with learning, negotiation, and mediation theories as well as with Habermas' strategic and communicative rationalities.
There is a second set of actions that aims to design and implement a systemic learning path in order to enable actors to 'learn about systems' (e.g., human activity, biophysical, political systems) and 'to become critical learning systems'. Critical learning systems are comprised of reflective actors who regularly question their own and each other's perceptions, interests, and values and the way they shape their (joint) learning. To support the emergence of critical learning systems facilitators can use a combination of: 1) adapted systems theories; 2) organisational, experiential and situated learning theories; and 3) negotiation and mediation theories and strategies.
From a methodological perspective, it is concluded that in order to design a trajectory that favours critical learning it is important that facilitators: 1) enable face-to-face interaction at the boundaries of multiple subsystems; 2) overcome the limitations of Kolb's experiential learning cycle for process design; and 3) foster learning beyond single loop learning.
The role of facilitator values in the way they perceive the issue at stake, their choice of theories and methodologies, and their actions and as such the participatory processes and outcomes are clearly demonstrated in this thesis. It concludes that facilitators need to be more aware and transparent about their values. Especially in the case of differences in values between the facilitators and other actors, the articulation of this difference is an important challenge for a facilitator to deal with.
Chapter 10 also discusses two emerging insights on issues that were not explicitly addressed in the research questions. The first deals with ' power' and the second, with 'assessing facilitation praxis' . In the three case studies, the facilitators implicitly address power relationships. This study concludes that if facilitators do not pay particular attention to power relations by increasing the decision-making power of disadvantaged actors, they risk that the latter continue to be disadvantaged or, worse still, are manipulated or controlled more skilfully by the more powerful actors. Chapter 10 discusses various facilitation ingredients that contribute to bring about structural change to the system of social relationships through which inequalities are reproduced.
Meta-facilitationis addressed in chapter 10 as well. The concluding chapter describes the competencies that meta-facilitators require for being effective in their support of facilitators to develop the necessary expertise. This thesis shows that meta-facilitation should not only address the learning of facilitators but also that of those actors who form their institutional working context. In this respect, chapter 10 pays particular attention to the role of educational institutes in the development of facilitators of systemic change who are in the Wageningen University context referred to as 'beta-gamma' professionals. Any institution that aims to deliver facilitators of systemic change must address in their education the issue of value-driven professional practice. More specifically, the building of capacity for praxis and critical thinking is needed if facilitators are to focus on systemic (agricultural/rural) development in ethical and ecologically sound ways. Moreover, educational institutes and other organisations that support agro-ecosystem and rural development face the challenge of 'becoming critical learning systems' themselves in order to evolve towards an institutional and cultural environment that enables the development of 'facilitators of systemic change'.
This thesis ends with a critical reflection on the research process, and challenges facilitators not to reach for the latest handbook on participatory techniques, but to clean up their own act by critically reflecting on their own assumptions, values, interests and practices in order to avoid reinforcing the very practices that in theory they were meant to change.
Communication between irrigation engineers and farmers : the case of project design in North Senegal
Scheer, S.H. - \ 1996
Agricultural University. Promotor(en): L. Horst; N.G. Röling; F.P. Huibers. - S.l. : Scheer - ISBN 9789054855460 - 258
irrigatie - producten - informatie - sociologie - communicatie - niet-verbale communicatie - participatie - senegal - technische informatie - irrigation - products - information - sociology - communication - nonverbal communication - participation - senegal - technical information
Irrigation schemes all over the world are often marked by a large number of related problems that have an important human dimension and are too complex to be straightforwardly solved. A starting point of this thesis is that these problems have to be dealt with in a learning process that involves all groups and organizations that are relevant to the irrigation scheme. This thesis explores communication processes between irrigation design engineers and farmers in North Senegal and aims at finding out how they can learn from each other.
A closer look at the literature about the subject shows that there are two blind spots in the knowledge of design engineers. Both stand in the way of learning. The first concerns a lack of consciousness about the crucial importance of farmers' knowledge of physical phenomena in irrigation schemes such as water flow, soils, topography, etc. (i.e. technical knowledge of farmers). The second concerns a lack of knowledge about the procedures and methods that design engineers could use to improve farmers' participation in the design process.
Consequently, the following questions for research arise:
The research was exploratory and qualitative in nature. The research material was based on detailed observations, informal interviews, semi-structured interviews and group interviews and discussions. Reflection on the collected material led to new perspectives that were useful for experiments at a later stage. Some experiments were part of the development and implementation of a canal maintenance programme for the Ile à Morphil small-scale irrigation project. This required intensive interaction between farmers and myself as an irrigation engineer. The experiments were closely monitored and became, in due course, new research material, which provided in turn a base for new perspectives. In this way several learning cycles were completed during the field research. In the final stage I broadened my perspective and visited several project areas in northern Senegal, where I conducted semi-structured interviews with irrigation engineers as well as groups of farmers.
In this thesis, I approach the research material from different angles. I use Bourdieu's concept of habitus, 'a set of dispositions which incline people to act and react in certain ways', in order to explain why design engineers and farmers do not learn from each other. 'Re habitus can be approached indirectly by studying the environments where it developed, as well as by studying peoples' practices, their visible actions. The social interface concept of Long provides clues for what may happen when people who belong to a certain group or category have to deal with 'strangers'. The SoftSystems Methodology (SSM) of Checkland indicates how a learning process can evolve when one faces problems in complex human situations.
Practices and environments of farmers and design engineers
The climate in northern Senegal makes it difficult for the Haalpulaar farmers to make a living out of the natural environment. Agriculture often did not provide them with enough to live on and already for some generations, migration work has become an important source of extra income. During a particularly dry period at the beginning of the seventies, farmers were eager to benefit from the extra support of government and donors and managed to integrate irrigated agriculture into their farming system. The Haalpulaar farmers are keen to spread risk and most often divide their efforts between irrigated as well as traditional agriculture and migration work. Although farmers are dependent on the government for the construction of their irrigation schemes and the repair of their pumps, they manage their own schemes and have developed their own technical knowledge, based on some simple initial rules of design engineers. The learning process was facilitated by the existing traditional organization and was adapted to the specific characteristics of the first village schemes.
The water potential of the Senegal river, the dry climate and the policy of government and donors to stimulate the Senegalese rice production meant that there were many Senegalese and foreign irrigation engineers in the valley. Irrigation design engineers usually act as natural allies of the government and donors, not only because they depend on them, but also because it is conform their solution-orientated education. This does not alter the fact that they may try to find ways of thinking for the farmers. Several design concepts have evolved since the early seventies. When old concepts seemed to fail or did not satisfy the planners, new concepts were designed. This meant that increasingly more sophisticated and more expensive irrigation concepts evolved. In this process, the gap between the technical design of the engineers and the technical knowledge of farmers gets wider and wider.
Differences in technical knowledge
Examples in this thesis make it clear that farmers and design engineers have very different perspectives on irrigation. Irrigation phenomena or design elements are given other priorities, are described differently and are arranged in other ways. They are also embodied at different levels of abstraction and may be or may not be split up into smaller parts.
The technical knowledge of design engineers is based on a scientific logic. Generally applicable rules regarding phenomena such as water flow and topography are used in order to be able to design in different localities. To this end, engineers frequently work with abstract models (maps, plans) and are orientated towards generating ideas for future situations. Many technical design elements and physical characteristics are considered separately and may be combined in a design later on. Despite their ability to combine these elements into the design, engineers often attach too much value to discerning these elements. Consequently they may lose sight of the fruitful ideas resulting from an orientation towards interrelationships between the elements. This is illustrated with examples of: water distribution and maintenance, of irrigation, drainage and soil characteristics and of water flow and topography.
Compared to engineers the technical knowledge of farmers is closer to physical phenomena in irrigation schemes. It is highly adapted to the specific qualities of the environment (soils, topography) and the simple concept of the village irrigation schemes ( PIVs ). Farmers sometimes use trial and error methods in the field to improve their scheme. In this way they have direct feedback to their design actions. However, in the case of an entirely new design, farmers lack a general overview, not only because their knowledge is bound to a locality, but also because they are so clearly focused on their own plot that most of them do not bother to look at an entire irrigation scheme. Farmers regard physical phenomena and elements as closely connected which often permits them to respond accurately when problematic situations like canal breaching or water scarcity occur.
(Non) exchange of technical knowledge
In northern Senegal communication between design engineers and farmers is limited. With regard to the few situations where communication takes place beyond a superficial level, technical issues receive little attention and the design engineer remains in control of the technical information. At best, a design engineer thinks for the farmers and the irrigation scheme itself often turns out to be the only 'message' of design engineers. One explanation for this is that their employers rarely stimulate and most often discourage communication with farmers. But the lack of communication can also be traced back to design engineers, of whom the majority are not interested in communicating with the fanners. Likewise farmers are not inclined to communicate beyond a superficial level. They prefer not to ask questions because they reason that they may lose the entire project if they do. Besides, their attitude is often a dependent one, as they try to attract new irrigation projects. It is shown that this attitude of farmers strengthens the attitude of planners and design engineers. The reverse is also true. In other words, the habitus of the one triggers and reinforces the habitus of the other.
Misunderstandings between design engineers and farmers about technical subjects occur frequently. It has been shown that these most often concern topography, soil suitability, irrigation and drainage requirements, water flow, structures, water distribution and maintenance. The misunderstandings have many dimensions and are difficult to unravel. The explanation for these misunderstandings can be found in the mechanisms of habitus, causing the technical knowledge to change into a technical image that reconfirms itself without engineers or farmers being conscious of it. This implies that design engineers and farmers do not learn from each other, even worse, both draw the conclusion that the technical knowledge of the other should not be taken seriously. They feel justified to be reticent towards the idea of communication about technical issues. A vicious circle occurs: in further design processes communication between design engineers and farmers will only be superficial.
Result of the non-exchange
In many ways the technical knowledge of design engineers is complementary to that of the farmers. Therefore, both are losers with regard to the quality of the technical design. Although new practices could be useful for them, farmers continue with old practices and are not open to suggestions from the design engineer. The new technical designs of engineers are not adapted to the practices of farmers, although these could certainly be useful in a new locality. This thesis shows that the mutual lack of adaptation is costly and has a negative impact on sustainability. It provides examples of farmers who destroy structures or have to adapt the lay out considerably, examples of deterioration of new schemes due to old practices, as well as of designs that are not adapted to the soils and topography of a site. Of course farmers and design engineers blame each other for the resulting problems.
How can the exchange of knowledge be optimized?
The Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) of Checkland is useful to achieve the shift that is required to deal with the lack of exchange of technical knowledge. It can be used to bring about improvement by activating in design engineers and farmers a learning cycle which ideally is never ending. Learning takes place by means of the iterative process of reflection, discussion, action and again reflection. The reflection and discussion are structured by a number of system models, which may represent desirable future situations. Because of their explicit character the models invite to discuss.
This thesis treats a number of experiments with these models. Especially a threedimensional scale- model of a village irrigation scheme that allowed for the imitation of irrigation practices served beyond expectations. It facilitated the exchange of technical knowledge, covering a broad range of technical issues such as water distribution, maintenance, water flow, structures and topography. The scale model bypasses language problems because it is so tangible that it allows both farmers and design engineers to explain their points of view: they just demonstrate what they mean. Other useful explicit models like adapted maps and plans, combinations of drawings, a simple levelling instrument, as well as field visits to other irrigation schemes, may structure a discussion about change. In general, it appears that these models have unfreezing effects that facilitate the communication between design engineers and farmers.
Model of a learning system of engineers and farmers
The emerging perspective of my thesis is condensed in a model. The (diagrammatic) model represents a learning system that may eventually lead to the implementation of an irrigation system that is feasible and desirable. The system is meant to avoid the technical misunderstandings as much as possible.
The model makes explicit several stages of the learning process. Tile stage during which the irrigation system, or parts of it, is discussed by means of system models is crucial, because it connects the separate learning cycles of design engineers and farmers. During this stage, the learning experiences of both sides are shared, providing a basis for the joint technical knowledge that is required for quality design. Applied research is another stage of the learning system. For this stage, the research methods and the concepts that I presented in this thesis may be useful.
In the view of Checkland, models should be tentative, can never replace reality and should not be followed rigidly. The emerging model in this thesis should therefore be seen as a preliminary model that, in the first place, serves to continue a discussion about how to proceed in the context of complex situations in irrigation schemes.
|Intermediate irrigation schemes in the Senegal river valley.
Huibers, F.P. - \ 1992
In: Advances in planning, design and management of irrigation systems as related to sustainable land use : proceedings of an international conference, Leuven, Belgium, September 14 - 17, 1992. - - p. 99 - 106.
irrigatie - senegal - irrigation
L' amelioration de l'alimentation hydrique par des techniques culturales liees a l'interaction eau- fertilisation azotee : rapport final
Duivenbooden, N. van; Cisse, L. - \ 1989
Wageningen etc. : CABO [etc.] (CABO rapport no. 117) - 107
bodemwaterbalans - landbouwtechniek - bodem - stikstof - senegal - irrigatie - soil water balance - agricultural engineering - soil - nitrogen - irrigation