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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    Kusheh, na minem Fatu, en mi na koko farmer Hello, I am Fatu and I am a cocoa farmer : a Digital Farmer Field School for training in cocoa production and certification in Sierra Leone
    Witteveen, L.M. ; Goris, Margriet ; Lie, R. ; Ingram, V.J. - \ 2016
    Wageningen : Wageningen UR Science Shop (Report /Wageningen UR, Science Shop 330) - ISBN 9789462577657 - 44
    agricultural extension - cocoa - farmers - information technology - sierra leone - landbouwvoorlichting - cacao - boeren - informatietechnologie - sierra leone
    This document reports on the development of a prototype Digital Farmer Field School (DFFS) called Kusheh, na minem Fatu, en mi na koko farmer (“Hello, I am Fatu and I am a cocoa farmer”). The DFFS provides an ICT-based alternative to traditional agricultural extension. More specifically, it offers a tablet-based substitute for the face-to-face certification training for cocoa farmers in Sierra Leone. The fact that gatherings of more than five people at a time were not allowed as a consequence of the Ebola outbreak triggered the development of the digital alternative to group training for cocoa farmers.
    Management of rice seed during insurgency : a case study in Sierra Leone
    Mokuwa, G.A. - \ 2015
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Paul Struik, co-promotor(en): Edwin Nuijten. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574328 - 267
    oryza glaberrima - oryza sativa - hybride rassen - genetische bronnen van plantensoorten - zaden - voedselzekerheid - familiebedrijven, landbouw - agrarische bedrijfsvoering - west-afrika - sierra leone - oryza glaberrima - oryza sativa - hybrid varieties - plant genetic resources - seeds - food security - family farms - farm management - west africa - sierra leone

    Keywords: Technography, Oryza glaberrima, Oryza sativa, farmer hybrids, sub-optimal agriculture, farmer adaptive management, plant genetic resources, peace and extreme (wartime) conditions, local seed channels, selection for robustness, Sierra Leone, West Africa.


    Mokuwa, G. A. (2015) Management of rice seed during insurgency: a case study in Sierra Leone. PhD Thesis, Wageningen University, 267 pp.

    In large parts of West Africa small scale farmers rely upon the cultivation of upland rice under low input conditions in a great diversity of micro-environments. It has been suggested that formal research should consider the context within which farmers address their food security issues. But these contexts need further clarification for poor and marginalized farm households facing many challenges, including dislocations associated with political and social unrest, and civil war. The research presented in this thesis builds on earlier findings concerning farmer management of rice genetic resources under farmer low-resource conditions. It starts with a regional focus, drawing on methods from the social and biological sciences, concerning the human, environmental and technical factors shaping the character and composition of rice varieties grown by small-scale farmers in coastal West Africa (seven countries from Senegal to Togo) and then focuses on specific in-depth field studies undertaken in Sierra Leone.

    Findings show that farmer rice genetic resources were persistently and enduringly adapted to local agro-ecologies via strong selection processes and local adaptation strategies, and that these adaptive processes were largely unaffected by the temporary contingencies of civil war. It is also shown that even under extreme (war-time) conditions success indicators in farmers’ local seed channels remain robust. Farmers continue to select and adapt their seed types to local contingencies, and war served as yet one more stimulus to further adaptation. This persistent human selective activity continues to make a significant contribution to the food security of poor and marginalized farm households in the region.

    The major finding of this thesis is that selection for robustness among varieties of the local staple, rice, helped to protect Sierra Leonean farmers against some of the worst effects of war-induced food insecurity. In this sense, therefore, war may have served to strengthen and prolong farmer preferences for robustness, but it was not the cause of this preference. The marked diversity farmers maintain in their rice varieties is understood to be part of a longer-term risk-spreading strategy that also facilitates successful and often serendipitous variety innovations. In a world facing major climatic changes this local capacity for seed selection and innovation ought to be a valued resource for technological change. The present study provides a starting point for thinking about the improved effectiveness of institutional innovation strategies for farmer participatory innovation activities.

    Strengthening rice seed systems and agro-biodiversity conservation in West Africa: a socio-technical focus on farmers’ practices of rice seed development and diversity conservation in Susu cross border lands of Guinea and Sierra Leone
    Okry, F. - \ 2011
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Paul Richards; Paul Struik, co-promotor(en): Edwin Nuijten; P. van Mele. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789461731111 - 208
    gewassen - oryza - agrobiodiversiteit - zaden - rassen (planten) - zelfvoorzieningslandbouw - west-afrika - guinee - sierra leone - rijst - crops - oryza - agro-biodiversity - seeds - varieties - subsistence farming - west africa - guinea - sierra leone - rice

    Some decades ago it became clear that formal agricultural research institutions - and hence formal interventions in agriculture - were somehow missing their targets for African farmers, mainly because their proposed solutions, and the ways these solutions were developed and introduced to African farming communities, did not match the realities of peasant life. It was recommended that the formal research should consider the wider contexts within which farmers operated to formulate better solutions. These solutions are essential for low-resource farmers facing many (socio-economic and cultural) constraints and having to cope with uncertainties (climate change, market variations, soil degradation, political and social unrest). The research presented in this thesis analyses the functioning of West African rice seed systems with regards to this recommendation. It starts with a regional focus (seven West African coastal countries) and then focuses on specific in-depth field studies undertaken in Guinea (with some comparison from neighbouring Sierra Leone). The study is based on an interdisciplinary approach combining methods from social and natural sciences.

    Findings show that despite efforts from governments, policy makers and formal agricultural research, the informal seed system still predominates, largely because it is the seed system closest to low-resource farmers. The objective of replacing the informal seed system by a formal seed system exclusively promoting improved varieties is a distant prospect. The research shows that local varieties are, to a large extent, superior to improved varieties in the sub-optimal conditions facing most farmers. It is also shown that even when improved varieties suit farmers’ conditions they are often channeled through inappropriate institutional arrangements that block access by low-resource farmers. Formal seed projects often lack follow-up to sustain actions. Innovations are lost between research planning, donor requirements to demonstrate adoption and the realities of peasant coping strategies. It is argued that success indicators in the formal seed system need to be redefined based on a clear conceptual divide between variety dissemination and bulk seed supply. The formal seed system merges these two activities whereas the informal seed system pursues a different path and addresses different procedural constraints. We suggest seed projects should concentrate on variety dissemination and leave bulk seed supply to local seed dealers. The thesis demonstrates that local dealers are effective and more closely in tune with farmer needs.

    The major finding of this thesis is that the informal seed system is closer to farmers, and works well, because it reflects (and is integrated with) local ideas about food security and social solidarity. This social dimension is missing in the formal system, designed and funded by experts who neither live by planting rice nor share in the local sets of assumptions about social reciprocity and obligation. Guinea may be undermining its long-term food security if it continues to seek to replace a social seed system with one driven solely by abstract ideas of economic rationality. The better option, supported by the weight of evidence in this thesis, is to seek complementarity and synergy between the two systems.

    Keywords: Oryza sativa, Oryza glaberrima, food security, formal seed system, informal seed system, varietal diversity, sub-optimal agriculture, small-scale farmers, farmers’ practices, Guinea, Sierra Leone, West Africa.

    War and the Crisis of Youth in Sierra Leone
    Peters, K. - \ 2011
    Cambridge : Cambridge University Press (International African library 41) - ISBN 9781107004191 - 292
    kinderen - oorlog - jeugd - plattelandsontwikkeling - geschiedenis - sociologie - levensomstandigheden - platteland - conflict - sierra leone - west-afrika - minst ontwikkelde landen - grondeigendom - children - war - youth - rural development - history - sociology - living conditions - rural areas - conflict - sierra leone - west africa - least developed countries - land ownership
    War and the Crisis of Youth in Sierra Leone addresses the currently incomplete understanding of the conflict in Sierra Leone by focusing on the direct experiences and interpretations of protagonists. The data presented challenges the widely canvassed notion of this conflict as a war motivated by "greed, not grievance," pointing instead to a rural crisis expressed in terms of unresolved tensions between landowners and marginalized rural youth, further reinforced and triggered by a collapsing patrimonial state.
    Rice genetic resources in postwar Sierra Leone
    Chakanda, R.T.M. - \ 2009
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Marc Sosef, co-promotor(en): Ronald van den Berg; Bert Visser. - - 161
    oryza - rice - plant genetic resources - genetic diversity - war - landraces - varieties - phenotypic variation - farming systems - sierra leone - farmers' knowledge - oryza - rijst - genetische bronnen van plantensoorten - genetische diversiteit - oorlog - landrassen - rassen (planten) - fenotypische variatie - bedrijfssystemen - sierra leone - kennis van boeren
    This research presents the effect of the 10-year long civil war in Sierra Leone on rice genetic resources, using farmers and their seed systems in three selected districts as reference points. The war disrupted all forms of production and development in the country and like other sectors of the economy, agricultural production and the conservation of plant genetic resources at the farm level was severely affected. It emerged that farmers’ effectiveness to cultivate and manage their seed systems and the options to grow rice under insecure conditions were disrupted at different levels in the three districts studied. However, the general consequence of the war in all of the districts was that farmers lost considerable amounts of their seed stocks. Total losses for some rice varieties was averted because of the occurrence of a number of varieties in more than one village in the same region, which was a result of farmers seed exchange systems, and also due to farmer movement during the war. The majority of the varieties that were reported lost were actually “dispersed” in the regions, indicating good options for post-war recovery.

    There was little evidence that the genetic composition of rice varieties were significantly altered as a consequence of the war, except for the total loss of upland varieties in one of the districts. The varieties that had the highest survival were those that had wider pre-war distribution, showed plasticity in growing habits wherein they demonstrated the potential to grow in both agro-ecosystems and in the different districts, and the fact that they existed in many different forms.

    Statistical analysis showed a clear distinction between upland and lowland varieties, which demonstrated the effectiveness of farmer selection with regard to the two production ecosystems. This was different for the periods defined as pre-war and post-war. Pre-war varieties were less well defined in this respect. Further to this, there was evidence of a change in rice genetic resources between the pre-war and post-war situations, which was demonstrated in the number of varieties for each of the two ecosystems. Despite these changes, and the losses in seed stocks as a consequence of the war, genetic diversity increased in post-war rice varieties.

    AFLP results indicated that rice varieties in Sierra Leone possess different levels of intra-variety variation, which makes it difficult to identify homogenous genotypes at the seed unit level. This was attributed to genetic exchanges caused by farmers’ practices of growing different varieties in mixtures. The variation however does not alter the profile of inter-variety genetic differences, which remains large enough to distinguish one variety from the other. It demonstrates that the genetic composition of rice varieties remains distinct from one another, and that variety names in Sierra Leone are good indicators for genetic diversity of rice at the farm level.
    Footpaths to reintegration : armed conflict, youth and the rural crisis in Sierra Leone
    Peters, K. - \ 2006
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Paul Richards; Kees Jansen. - [S.l. ] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085044017 - 188
    conflict - oorlog - landbouwontwikkeling - plattelandsontwikkeling - platteland - plattelandsgemeenschappen - sierra leone - plattelandsjongeren - jeugd - conflict - war - rural youth - youth - agricultural development - rural development - rural areas - rural communities - sierra leone
    Livelihood diversification of farming households in Northwest Sierra Leone
    Tilburg, A. van - \ 2001
    Wageningen : Unknown Publisher - ISBN 9789067546454 - 34
    landbouwhuishoudens - levensstandaarden - boerengezinnen - menselijke hulpbronnen - hulpbronnen - voedselgewassen - diversificatie - platteland - sierra leone - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - documentatie - agricultural households - living standards - farm families - human resources - resources - food crops - diversification - documentation - sustainability - rural areas
    Fighting for the Rain Forest: war, youth and resources in Sierra Leone.
    Richards, P. - \ 1996
    London [etc.] : James Currey [etc.] - ISBN 9780852553985 - 198
    jeugd - oorlog - bosbedrijfsvoering - regenbossen - milieueffect - geschiedenis - sociale structuur - sierra leone - west-afrika - vrede - youth - war - forest management - rain forests - environmental impact - history - social structure - west africa - peace
    A study of the methods of warfare, the youths involved and the aspirations for schools and jobs that motivates them to fight. The author argues that the war can only be understood in the context of old traditions of social and technical management of the forest.
    Detailed soil survey and qualitative land evaluation in the Rogbom-Mankane and Matam-Romangoro benchmark sites, Sierra Leone
    Smaling, E.M.A. ; Dyfan, T. ; Andriesse, W. - \ 1985
    Wageningen : ILRI [etc.] (Wetland utilization research project )
    bodemkarteringen - kaarten - landevaluatie - grondvermogen - bodemgeschiktheid - sierra leone - soil surveys - maps - land evaluation - land capability - soil suitability
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