- CERES (18)
- WASS (14)
- MGS (11)
- Rural Development Sociology (9)
- Sociology of Consumption and Households (9)
- Rural Sociology (5)
- PE&RC (4)
- Development Economics (3)
- Development Economics Group (3)
- Plant Production Systems (3)
- Animal Production Systems (2)
- Aquaculture and Fisheries (2)
- Aquatic Ecology and Water Quality Management (2)
- Chair Disaster Studies (2)
- Communication Science (2)
- Gender Studies (2)
- Gender Studies in Agriculture (2)
- Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction (2)
- Law (2)
- Law and Governance (2)
- Special Chair Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction (2)
- Technology and Agrarian Development (2)
- WIAS (2)
- Agrosystems (1)
- Centre for Crop Systems Analysis (1)
- Chair Soil Biology and Biological Soil Quality (1)
- Department of Social Sciences (1)
- Economics of Consumers and Households (1)
- Economics of Consumers and Households Group (1)
- Education and Competence Studies (1)
- Education and Learning Sciences (1)
- Forest and Nature Conservation Policy (1)
- ICSU World Data Centre for Soils (1)
- ISRIC - World Soil Information (1)
- International Soil Reference and Information Centre (1)
- Irrigation and Water Engineering (1)
- Knowledge Technology and Innovation (1)
- LEI NAT HULPB - Milieu, Natuur en Landschap (1)
- LEI Natuurlijke Hulpbronnen (1)
- Marketing and Consumer Behaviour (1)
- Plant Research International (1)
- Quantitative Veterinary Epidemiology (1)
- Rural and Environmental History (1)
- Soil Biology (1)
- Soil Biology and Biological Soil Quality (1)
- Soil Geography and Landscape (1)
- Urban Economics (1)
- WU Social Sciences (1)
- E.D. Berkhout (2)
- P.S. Bindraban (1)
- F.M. Brouwer (1)
- C.A.A. Butijn (1)
- G.J. Casimir (1)
- S. Dhillion (1)
- H.K. Dijkhorst van (1)
- A.M. Elgersma (1)
- R.C. Fagbemissi (1)
- K.E. Giller (1)
- M.V. Gottret (1)
- P.G.M. Hebinck (1)
- Gayathri Hiroshani Hallinne Lokuge (1)
- F. Homero Diniz (1)
- P. Howard (1)
- K.M. Hurtado Paz y Paz (1)
- Liu Jinlong (1)
- R.S. Kaggwa (1)
- J.H. Kauffman (1)
- J. Kipkemboi (1)
- L. Knoop (1)
- M. Koster (1)
- T.W. Kuyper (1)
- C. Leeuwis (1)
- P.C. Lent (1)
- G. Maboudou Alidou (1)
- M.M. Maiga (1)
- L. Ndirangu (1)
- A. Niehof (1)
- N. Nizamedinkhodjayeva (1)
- M. Nori (1)
- E. Ontita (1)
- J.A.C. Ophem van (1)
- D. Oseguera Montiel (1)
- R. Owusu-Amankwah (1)
- G.G. Paradza (2)
- T. Rheenen van (1)
- J.R. Roa (1)
- Marie Rose Bashwira Nyenyezi (1)
- O. Sakyi-Dawson (1)
- E. Smith (1)
- F. Steenbergen van (1)
- Yenenesh Tadesse (1)
- H. Tran Thi Phung (1)
- A. Tuinhof (1)
- E.E. Udong (1)
- Rajendra Uprety (1)
- G. Volpato (1)
- D. Wartena (1)
- J.D. Wijnhoud (1)
- J. Yuan (1)
Making interventions work on the farm : Unravelling the gap between technology-oriented potato interventions and livelihood building in Southern Ethiopia
Tadesse, Yenenesh - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): P.C.. Struik, co-promotor(en): C.J.M. Almekinders; R.P.O. Schulte. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436847 - 120
potatoes - crop production - crop physiology - technology - intervention - livelihood strategies - livelihoods - ethiopia - east africa - aardappelen - gewasproductie - gewasfysiologie - technologie - interventie - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - middelen van bestaan - ethiopië - oost-afrika
Poor adoption of modern technologies in sub-Saharan Africa is one of the major factors that limit food production and thereby threaten food security of smallholder farmers. This is despite the potential and emerging success stories of new technologies in increasing productivity of smallholder agriculture. Explanations for low uptake of technologies are diverse. Some studies associated it with characteristics of the farmers and their farm; others attributed it to poor access to information about a particular technology, while some others recognize the importance of technology attributes. Farmers’ adoption decision is shaped socially and the farming practices are changing, not only because of the technical changes introduced, but also because of changes in social circumstances among smallholders. All these possible reasons did, however, miss largely important insights on how local complexities influence adoption. The research presented in this thesis analyses the social dynamics of technology-oriented interventions. More specifically, the study assessed the influence of technology introduction strategies, social networks and social differentiation on the adoption, dissemination and effects of potato technologies. As a case, it used interventions introducing improved potato technologies in Chencha, Southern Ethiopia. The field work combined individual and group in-depth interviews, household surveys and field observation for data collection.
Results show that the efforts to introduce technologies for improved potato production to progressive farmers with the assumption that farmers will eventually adopt, once they become familiar with the technology is a distant prospect. Some of the production practices - agronomic field and storage practices - failed to spread to poor farmers as expected, while the majority of agronomic practices fitted well with wealthy farmers. This resulted in diverse outcomes and strategies for livelihood improvement at household level. Access to the technologies and the necessary resources and diverse needs for technology were important factors in explaining variation in adoption and effects of technology across wealth categories. Tracing the seed diffusion through farmers’ networks showed that not all households had equal access to improved seed potatoes, mainly because of social barriers formed by differences in wealth, gender and religion, and because the type of personal relationship (relatives, neighbours, friends and acquaintance) between seed providers and seed recipients affected farmer to farmer seed sharing. In addition, the set-up of farmer-group based seed production demands resources and faces contextual challenges, which could be addressed through a long-term approach that engages continually in diagnosis and responding to the emerging social as well as material challenges. Development practitioners, however, took organizing group initiatives as a one-time process of design and start-up activity. Thus, clean seed potato production and dissemination through farmers’ organizations could not be sustainable. In conclusion, the present study has indicated that through providing special attention to the social dynamics researchers can arrive at better understanding of constraints affecting technology adoption. This implies effective interventions for a range of farm contexts involve not only finding technical solutions but also integrated understanding of farmers’ production conditions and existing social dynamics.
Rural livelihoods and agricultural commercialization in colonial Uganda: conjunctures of external influences and local realities
Haas, Michiel A. de - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): E.H.P. Frankema, co-promotor(en): N.B.J. Koning. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436281 - 250
cum laude - livelihoods - livelihood strategies - communities - rural areas - farmers - history - colonies - colonialism - income - gender - social inequalities - food crops - cash crops - uganda - east africa - middelen van bestaan - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - gemeenschappen - platteland - boeren - geschiedenis - kolonies - kolonialisme - inkomen - geslacht (gender) - sociale ongelijkheden - voedselgewassen - marktgewassen - uganda - oost-afrika
The economic history of Sub-Saharan Africa is characterized by geographically and temporally dispersed booms and busts. The export-led ‘cash-crop revolution’ in parts of Sub-Saharan Africa during the colonial era is a key example of an economic boom. This thesis examines how external influences and local realities shaped the nature, extent and impact of the ‘cash-crop revolution’ in colonial Uganda, a landlocked country in central east Africa, where cotton and coffee production for global markets took off following completion of a railway to the coast. The thesis consists of five targeted ‘interventions’ into contemporary debates of comparative African development. Each of these five interventions is grounded in the understanding that the ability of rural Africans to respond to and benefit from trade integration during the colonial era was mediated by colonial policies, resource endowments and local institutions.
The first chapter reconstructs welfare development of Ugandan cash-crop farmers. Recent scholarship on historical welfare development in Sub-Saharan Africa has uncovered long-term trends in standards of living. How the majority of rural dwellers fared, however, remains largely elusive. This chapter presents a new approach to reconstructing rural living standards in a historical context, building upon the well-established real wage literature, but moving beyond it to capture rural realities, employing sub-national rural survey, census, and price data. The approach is applied to colonial and early post-colonial Uganda (1915–70), and yields a number of findings. While an expanding smallholder-based cash-crop sector established itself as the backbone of Uganda’s colonial economy, farm characteristics remained largely stagnant after the initial adoption of cash crops. Smallholders maintained living standards well above subsistence level, and while the profitability of cash crops was low, their cultivation provided a reliable source of cash income. At the same time, there were pronounced limits to rural welfare expansion. Around the time of decolonization, unskilled wages rose rapidly while farm incomes lagged behind. As a result, an urban–rural income reversal took place. The study also reveals considerable differences within Uganda, which were mediated to an important extent by differential resource endowments. Smallholders in Uganda’s banana regions required fewer labour inputs to maintain a farm income than their grain-farming counterparts, creating opportunities for additional income generation and livelihood diversification.
The second chapter zooms in on labour migration which connected Belgian-controlled Ruanda-Urundi to British-controlled Buganda, the central province of Uganda on the shores of Lake Victoria. The emergence of new labour mobility patterns was a key aspect of economic change in colonial Africa. Under conditions of land abundance and labour scarcity, the supply of wage labour required either the ‘pull’ forces of attractive working conditions and high wages, or the ‘push’ forces of taxation and other deliberate colonial interventions. Building upon primary sources, I show that this case diverges from the ‘conventional’ narrative of labour scarcity in colonial Africa. I argue that Ruanda-Urundi should be regarded as labour abundant and that migrants were not primarily ‘pushed’ by colonial labour policies, but rather by poverty and limited access to agricultural resources. This explains why they were willing to work for low wages in Buganda. I show that African rural employers were the primary beneficiaries of migrant labour, while colonial governments on both sides of the border were unable to control the course of the flow. As in the first chapter, this chapter highlights that the effects of trade integration on African rural development were uneven, and mediated by differences in resource endowments, local institutions and colonial policies.
The third chapter zooms out of the rural economy, evaluating the broader opportunity structures faced by African men and women in Uganda, and discussing the interaction of local institutions and colonial policies as drivers of uneven educational and occupational opportunities. The chapter engages with a recent article by Meier zu Selhausen and Weisdorf (2016) to show how selection biases in, and Eurocentric interpretations of, parish registers have provoked an overly optimistic account of European influences on the educational and occupational opportunities of African men and women. We confront their dataset, drawn from the marriage registers of the Anglican Cathedral in Kampala, with Uganda’s 1991 census, and show that trends in literacy and numeracy of men and women born in Kampala lagged half a century behind those who wedded in Namirembe Cathedral. We run a regression analysis showing that access to schooling during the colonial era was unequal along lines of gender and ethnicity. We foreground the role of Africans in the spread of education, argue that European influences were not just diffusive but also divisive, and that gender inequality was reconfigured rather than eliminated under colonial rule. This chapter also makes a methodological contribution. The renaissance of African economic history in the past decade has opened up new research avenues to study the long-term social and economic development of Africa. We show that a sensitive treatment of African realities in the evaluation of European colonial legacies, and a critical stance towards the use of new sources and approaches, is crucial.
The fourth chapter singles out the role of resource endowments in explaining Uganda’s ‘cotton revolution’ in a comparative African perspective. Why did some African smallholders adopt cash crops on a considerable scale, while most others were hesitant to do so? The chapter sets out to explore the importance of factor endowments in shaping the degrees to which cash crops were adopted in colonial tropical Africa. We conduct an in-depth case study of the ‘cotton revolution’ in colonial Uganda to put the factor endowments perspective to the test. Our empirical findings, based on an annual panel data analysis at the district-level from 1925 until 1960, underscore the importance of Uganda’s equatorial bimodal rainfall distribution as an enabling factor for its ‘cotton revolution’. Evidence is provided at a unique spatial micro-level, capitalizing on detailed household surveys from the same period. We demonstrate that previous explanations associating the variegated responses of African farmers to cash crops with, either the role of colonial coercion, or the distinction between ‘forest/banana’ and ‘savannah/grain’ zones, cannot explain the widespread adoption of cotton in Uganda. We argue, instead, that the key to the cotton revolution were Uganda’s two rainy seasons, which enabled farmers to grow cotton while simultaneously pursuing food security. Our study highlights the importance of food security and labour seasonality as important determinants of uneven agricultural commercialization in colonial tropical Africa.
The fifth and final chapter further investigates the experience of African smallholders with cotton cultivation, providing a comparative explanatory analysis of variegated cotton outcomes, focusing in particular on the role of colonial and post-colonial policies. The chapter challenges the widely accepted view that (i) African colonial cotton projects consistently failed, that (ii) this failure should be attributed to conditions particular to Africa, which made export cotton inherently unviable and unprofitable to farmers, and that (iii) the repression and resistance often associated with cotton, all resulted from the stubborn and overbearing insistence of colonial governments on the crop per se. I argue along three lines. Firstly, to show that cotton outcomes were diverse, I compare cases of cotton production in Sub-Saharan Africa across time and space. Secondly, to refute the idea that cotton was a priori unattractive, I argue that the crop had substantial potential to connect farmers to markets and contribute to poverty alleviation, particularly in vulnerable, marginal and landlocked areas. Thirdly, to illustrate how an interaction between local conditions and government policies created conducive conditions for cotton adoption, I zoom in on the few yet significant ‘cotton success stories’ in twentieth century Africa. Smallholders in colonial Uganda adopted cotton because of favourable ecological and marketing conditions, and policies had an auxiliary positive effect. Smallholders in post-colonial Francophone West Africa faced much more challenging local conditions, but benefitted from effective external intervention and coordinated policy. On a more general level, this chapter demonstrates that, from a perspective of rural development, colonial policies should not only be seen as overbearing and interventionist, but also as inadequate, failing to aid rural Africans to benefit from new opportunities created by trade integration.
‘Even fish have an ethnicity’: livelihoods and identities of men and women in war-affected coastal Trincomalee, Sri Lanka
Lokuge, Gayathri Hiroshani Hallinne - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): D.J.M. Hilhorst, co-promotor(en): M. de Alwis; G. Frerks. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463436182 - 237
livelihoods - livelihood strategies - fishing communities - fishing - women - gender - conflict - war - sri lanka - south asia - middelen van bestaan - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - vissersgemeenschappen - vis vangen - vrouwen - geslacht (gender) - conflict - oorlog - sri lanka - zuid-azië
Located within the nexus between identity and livelihoods, this thesis explores how the economic activities of fisher livelihoods are shaped by socio-cultural, political and identity dynamics, and how fisher livelihoods, in turn, shape and reproduce these dynamics in post-war Sri Lanka’s coastal district of Trincomalee. The analysis focuses on the economic sociology of fisheries, the inequalities and marginalities in livelihood spaces that are created through intersecting identities such as gender and ethnicity, and the way fisheries are governed—both formally and informally—in politically volatile contexts. This thesis argues that ethnic identity is mediated by other social identity categories, such as gender, location and type of livelihood activity, in the creation of unequal access to livelihood spaces. However, men and women often attempt to subvert structural discriminatory patterns, with differing degrees of success.
Since the country became independent in 1948, Sri Lanka’s history has been dominated by conflict centred on competing ethno-political interests, particularly in terms of access to state power. The perceived privileging of the ethnic minority Tamils by the British colonial powers led to a series of political moves by successive governments in post-independence Sri Lanka. This included making Sinhalese the official language of the country and awarding special status to Buddhism in the constitution. Subsequently, unfavourable perceptions about the privileging of the majority ethnic group and their cultural, social and political symbols led to the formation of Tamil militant groups including the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Most discourses on conflict in Sri Lanka have strong ethnic dimensions. However, arguably, ethnic lines are used mainly for mobilising the masses for conflict. The killing of 13 Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) Army soldiers in 1983 in an ambush by the LTTE resulted in widespread anti-Tamil riots in the capital city of Colombo. This event is commonly identified as the trigger point for the protracted war between the Tamil militants and the GoSL. The war continued for three decades, with fluctuating degrees of intensity, until the LTTE faced a military defeat at the hands of the GoSL in 2009. However, the ending of the war does not translate linearly into a post-war condition in Sri Lanka, given the continued presence of the military in the directly war-affected North and East and the social and economic inequalities and tensions that create divisions within the country, undermining meaningful and sustained rebuilding efforts in Sri Lanka.
The thesis begins with an introductory first chapter that presents the aims of the study, locates the research within the context of post-war Sri Lanka, describes the study areas and presents an overview of the methodological approach and theoretical frameworks used. Located in fish landing sites, markets and religious places, Chapter 2 focuses mostly on the livelihoods aspect of the thesis. It analyses how economic activities, such as fishing livelihoods, are deeply and intricately embedded in the cultural and social fabric of the daily lives of individuals, families, communities and institutions. This chapter provides a detailed analysis of how fishing livelihoods are more than an income-generating activity for men and women, considering the different inter- and intra-group value systems that apply to fisher-folk in their day-to-day practices. At the individual level, given the high risk involved in braving the seas every day, religion takes a central place in a fisher’s life, irrespective of their specific faith. This phenomenon is heightened by war-related insecurities and threats. However, individual and communal struggles over contradictory economic and religious values are an ever-present aspect of the fishermen’s religiosity. We found this process to be marked by rationalising and meaning making, embodied through the daily experiences of these fishermen and women.
The findings show that people take advantage of the malleable nature of religious doctrine to mix, match and choose from different religions to suit the current need and the occasion. Religious beliefs and ideologies also create and sustain socio-political differences, which are further constructed by macro-level political discourses. At the community level, although there are complex, historical tensions between all of the religious groups in Trincomalee, with heightened tension and violence during the war years, Hindus and Buddhists share considerable religious complementarity. Muslims are increasingly marked as separate—in spaces of religious ritual, such as the Hindu temples, and also in terms of types of fishing livelihoods. Most Muslims also see themselves as separate. Through an analysis of how discourses on religious identity play out in everyday life, Chapter 2 argues that economic rivalries over fishing resources may spill over into—or be reinforced by—religious and ethnic tensions in the post-war context.
Chapter 3 focuses more on the identity aspect of the thesis, with research based in the lagoons and shallow seas of Trincomalee. Using intersectionality theory, this chapter examines how the intersection of the social categories of gender, race, ethnicity and location creates structural inequality. Drawing upon narratives of Muslim, Tamil, Sinhalese and indigenous/Veder women catching and marketing fish in coastal Trincomalee, this chapter analyses how historical factors, such as population movements and war, have shaped the current realities and positions of women. Further, the chapter illustrates that, although a clear case can be made that certain groups of women are particularly disadvantaged at the intersection of ethnicity, caste and livelihood location, similarities in cultural gender norms across ethnic lines mean that the inequalities facing women may overshadow other identities.
Although multiple inequalities affect these women’s daily lives and participation in activities, they are not passive victims; they use their own agency to negotiate for access to livelihoods. Nevertheless, the women engaged in various fishing-related activities who participated in this study appear to be completely invisible to the government fisheries management bodies. The resulting lack of institutional representation disadvantages these women in negotiations for space to engage in their livelihood activities. Registration of these women in coastal livelihoods would provide them with a first measure of recognition and empowerment, strengthening their chances of negotiating access to livelihood resources.
With the ending of the three-decade-long civil war, changes have taken place in the main wholesale fish market in the conflict-affected coastal district of Trincomalee. These changes are reflected in the market structure and governance, as well as in the number and kinds of people inside the market. A marketplace that was formerly multi-ethnic and mixed gender has become dominated by male traders from the Sinhalese Buddhist ethnic majority group, excluding women and ethnic minority men. By focusing on the multiple masculinities of male wholesale dealers and their interactions with fishermen suppliers, Chapter 4 a) provides a nuanced analysis of the historical and contextual factors that shaped the political and economic hegemonising processes of the wholesale fish market; b) attempts to understand how, within this hegemonising process, the dealers embody and negotiate between overlapping ethno-nationalist, enterprising and patron–provider masculinities; and c) analyses how these diverse masculinities ultimately may contribute to the collapse of the gendered ethnic dominance at the market. This chapter adds nuance to the ethnicised discourse on war and livelihoods in Sri Lanka and globally. Further, the chapter also brings a masculinities approach to the study of contemporary maritime anthropology.
Chapter 4 thus continues the focus on identities and attempts to understand ethnicity as socially constructed and as mediated by other forms of identity, such as gender, or, more specifically, through masculinities. Focusing on masculinities and the different subject positionalities of men at the wholesale market—a dimension that has been largely missing in Sri Lankan discourses on post-war livelihoods and identity—this chapter provides a nuanced analysis of how a unidimensional focus on ethnicity or gender is insufficient to explain the post-war power dynamics. It analyses how the embodiment and practice of masculinities, such as risk-taking entrepreneurs and dare-devil border guards, show both complicity with and resistance to political and economic domination or hegemony at a given point, and how this changes over time.
The findings indicate that hierarchies of social and political power are dynamic. More specifically, the understanding of masculinity as plural, dynamic and negotiated, combined with the display of agentive power by subordinated or marginalised groups, results in hegemonies or structures of dominance that are continually shaped and reshaped at the everyday level. There are masculinities, rather than one way of doing masculinity. These different ways of doing masculinity challenge the dominant power structures and hierarchies.
Chapter 5 focuses on a particular illegal fishing practice (disco net fishing) and examines how governance processes mitigate or exacerbate social tensions. The chapter centres on the interaction between formal and informal fisheries stakeholders and fishers, arguing that perceptions about the legitimacy of formal state actors in regulating fisheries strongly influence compliance behaviour. This chapter demonstrates that the perceived lack of legitimacy of the state in fisheries regulation was profoundly influenced by context and timing. The active interest taken by the state, aided by the military, in tightening fisheries regulation and enforcement measures after the end of the war violence was seen by the disco net fishermen as a strongly negative factor in their daily lives and livelihoods. When shared war-related violence forms the backdrop for state, non-state and citizen interactions and normative frameworks, negotiations regarding access to resources and regulatory efforts become not just a livelihood and resource management effort, but a broader and more sensitive political issue.
Faced with the perceived failure of the state as a legitimate actor to regulate fisheries, Chapter 5 found that the disco net fishermen turn towards other forms of everyday politics, power dynamics and local legitimacies. However, these local legitimacies vary in how they manifest and draw power. Therefore, the contestations reported in this chapter are not simply about forum shopping between the formal state and informal community institutions and norms; rather, they are also about navigating within the formal and the informal rules of the game. The case of illegal fishing in this chapter clearly illustrates the need to understand fisheries governance issues as a manifestation of a larger problem at the level of state–society interaction, specifically regarding the legitimacy of the actors involved in governing fisheries in Trincomalee. Therefore, this chapter concludes that there is a need to understand and address fisheries governance issues as ‘wicked problems’ and as processes that need to go beyond conventional planning approaches.
The concluding chapter of the thesis highlights five specific conclusions based on the findings presented in the previous chapters. First, the embedded nature of economic activities, such as those in fisheries, means that they are dynamic, time- and space-bound, and mediated by how men and women chose to embody and disembody morality, religiosity and competing or complementary value systems. These dynamisms in morality contribute to the social re/construction of fisheries as work. Second, in contexts such as Sri Lanka, where society is violently divided along different identity lines, especially that of ethnicity, inclusive and sustainable post-war rebuilding and meaningful community cohesion will require understanding that a) ethnic identity is socially constructed and mediated by the enactment of other identity categories; b) men and women use agentive power in accessing livelihoods, shaping and reshaping identity discourses through their livelihood activities; and c) hierarchies of power are dynamic in nature. Third, local-level legitimacies are as important as the electorally won, constitutionally accorded legitimacy of the state in resource governance. Consequently, discourses on state-building in post-war contexts need to pay careful attention to these legitimising processes, to how local-level legitimacies are shaped and reshaped, and to the influence of local-level legitimacies in strengthening or weakening state legitimacy. Fourth, continued legacies of war shape the lives of men and women. Fifth, the findings of this thesis add a granularity to the ongoing debate within post-war Sri Lanka on the different ways that social identities of men and women are (re)shaped through their access to livelihood opportunities and resources. Expanding the argument that economic institutions reshape gender at the individual, interactional and institutional levels, this thesis shows that economic institutions and activities shape the intersecting identities of men and women in complex ways, both in terms of how they see themselves and in the way they organise their social and political lives in the wider society.
Navigating obstacles, opportunities and reforms: women’s lives and livelihoods in artisanal mining communities in eastern DRC
Bashwira Nyenyezi, Marie Rose - \ 2017
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): D.J.M. Hilhorst, co-promotor(en): G. van der Haar; J.G.R. Cuvelier. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431996 - 228
livelihoods - livelihood strategies - mining - women - women workers - gender - gender relations - empowerment - congo democratic republic - central africa - middelen van bestaan - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - mijnbouw - vrouwen - vrouwelijke werknemers - geslacht (gender) - man-vrouwrelaties - empowerment - democratische republiek kongo - centraal-afrika
For more than two decades, the exploitation and trade of minerals has fuelled armed conflict and fostered a climate of insecurity that has led to the deaths of thousands of people in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) (Katanga, Ituri, Maniema, North and South Kivu). This has been seen as a consequence of prolonged socioeconomic and political instability since the late 1980s and 1990s, when a civil war led to the collapse of the Zairian state and there were civil wars in neighbouring countries.
As a result of this situation, many armed groups prospered in this region. Mineral exploitation, especially of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold, formed an incentive for these groups to stay in the strategic areas of the territory (e.g. mining areas and those on the main transport routes) and to continue the fighting. The diggers and the local populations were the first victims of conflict over the control of the natural resources that directly or indirectly support the war. These people have been subjected to permanent violence and illegal taxation. Massacres, kidnappings, looting, forced labour and insecurity have been part of their everyday lives. Violence was primarily directed at those involved in the supply chain—from extraction to trading minerals outside the mining sites. In the eastern provinces of DRC, transporters, traders and diggers, as well as women and children attached to auxiliary work, such as crushing or washing the minerals, were taxed and ransomed under threats and subjected to the use of violence.
Faced with this critical situation in DRC, the international community did not remain silent. A growing movement for greater accountability of multinational companies regarding human rights and greater transparency of supply chains of minerals exploited in DRC has emerged and become a reality in the global market. From simple voluntary initiatives to international norms, these approaches are based on the same principle: due diligence applied to ‘conflict minerals’.
When conflict in DRC is discussed, two things seem to stand out systematically. First, there is the ‘resource curse’, referring to the impoverishment of local populations living in mining zones, corruption and poor governance. Second is the discussion of ‘sexual violence as a weapon of war’ against women. Little is said about the women who work at artisanal mining sites, except to draw a simplistic portrait of passive victims. The truth is that the mining community is far more complex than what has been pictured, and the high-risk mining sector is sometimes considered a source of opportunity for certain women.
Indeed, in DRC, it is estimated that the artisanal mining sector accounts for 90% of the national production and directly or indirectly furnishes the livelihoods of almost 20% of the population, including many women. Traditionally, in several local cultures in DRC, women are not allowed to enter the mines. Instead, they are assigned to secondary tasks in the processing phase of mineral exploitation: transporting, crushing, washing and reprocessing. Some women sell alcoholic beverages or other goods, and others are engaged in prostitution.
This thesis focuses on women and mining. Instead of viewing women at the mining sites as victims, the study took an actor-oriented perspective. This starts from the idea that all women at the mining sites have agency and are creating room for manoeuvre to overcome the difficult situations they face in the world of mining. However, there are large disparities in the room for manoeuvre available to different women; some women have very few options, whereas others can diversify and expand their opportunities.
Taking this approach, the study sought to answer the main research question: How do differentially positioned women navigate and negotiate the transformations of artisanal mining in the context of mining reforms in eastern DRC?
The research took place from 2013 to 2014, partly in the province of South Kivu (Nyabibwe and Kamituga) and partly in North Katanga, in the current province of Tanganyika (Kisengo and Manono). Two mining sites were chosen in each area, either because they were pilot sites for implementation of the reform initiatives (Nyabibwe and Kisengo) or because of large numbers of women working as miners (Kamituga and Manono).
This research is part of the ‘Down to earth: Governance dynamics and social change in artisanal and small-scale mining in DRC’ research programme. This programme aims to understand the negotiated outcomes of the implementation of conflict mineral policy in the eastern Congolese artisanal mining sector on three important topics: gender, livelihoods and governance. This thesis project addressed the first aspect in particular and aimed to contribute to the debate on mining reforms from a gender perspective.
Chapter 1 starts with a general introduction to the research objectives, questions and methods. It describes the process through which the studied mining sites were selected based on either the presence of iTSCi initiatives or a great number of women working in the mineral supply chain. This research has essentially relied on qualitative methods, such as interviews, focus groups, life histories and observation. This chapter also describes some of the personal experiences during the fieldwork period.
Chapter 2, which was jointly written with J. Cuvelier, D. Hilhorst and G. Van der Haar, introduces the debate around the conflict-related discourse on women’s integration in the mining sector. We examined the rise in international-level attention from international NGOs regarding international norms and the ban of ‘conflict minerals’ exploited in DRC. The resulting reforms, which were intended to improve women’s lives, were observed to also ultimately have negative side effects. The prohibition of pregnant women from the mines was generalised to all women, and access to the mining economy become a matter of negotiation for women. In the same vein, taking the particular case of Nyabibwe, women working as intermediaries between traders and diggers, although their work was an illegal practice in the government’s view (especially because of traceability issues), managed to negotiate recognition for their activities by creating their own organisation and forming political alliances. The thesis sheds light on the consequence of protectionist measures on women in mining and lays the groundwork for the following chapters, which further explore the research problem.
Chapter 3, jointly written with G. Van der Haar, introduces the world of women in the mining areas by presenting reasons that lead women to move to and install themselves in mining centres. The analysis examines push and pull factors and also considers the concept of social navigation. The findings demonstrate that there are multiple, interrelated reasons to migrate to and to install oneself in the mining areas. Push and pull factors have merged over time and resulted in complex motives. This chapter adds to the understanding of how women create new sources of revenue and seek, with varying levels of success, to mitigate situations of vulnerability.
In Chapter 4, I analyse the activities that women perform in the mining areas in more depth and describe what differentiates these women. The chapter begins with a descriptive analysis of the activities directly and indirectly related to mineral exploitation, together with a description of prostitution in the mining areas. The study identified social capital, financial assets and credit, and livelihood diversification among the factors that may differentiate these women. The findings also show that the reform process itself is a factor of differentiation, because it creates unbalanced power relations between those who are able to afford an identification card (a requirement of the formalisation process) and those who are not. The chapter concludes that, although many scholars have argued that women are working in the dire situation of perilous, exploitative and marginalised conditions, some women gain power positions and manage to save money and invest in other activities. Through their social networks, some women are able to gain access to the mining economy and improve their situation.
In Chapter 5, jointly written with J. Cuvelier, we explore how, as is the case for men, there are also elites among women. These elites can be considered ‘big women’. Their power is based on either customary or official authority. With the implementation of the reform initiatives, the importance of official authority increases, to the detriment of customary authority. Based on the case of Kisengo and, in particular, on two female elites—one based on customary and the other on official power—we analyse how elite women negotiate and maintain power. Especially interesting for this study was how both ‘big women’ took advantage of their privileged access to the public authorities to negotiate informal arrangements for a group of women working in the coltan supply chain, allowing their clients (followers) to circumvent certain restrictive regulations concerning women’s access to mining activities. These elite women managed to control access to labour opportunities for women in the local mining economy.
Chapter 6, jointly written with D. Hilhorst, explains that, following the developments of the reform initiatives, there was no longer only one discourse (conflict-related) to be taken into account when analysing the problem of women’s access to the mining economy. At international level, there is also a more inclusive discourse (gender mainstreaming). This coexists with the local ideology based on culture, in which women are marginalised and discriminated against. The civil servants who must implement the law regarding the integration of women in mining activities must face the coexistence of these different ideologies, which are sometimes contradictory. This has direct consequences for women’s access to the mining economy, although some women do create room for manoeuvre by forming alliances with civil servants.
Concluding this thesis, Chapter 7 responds to the concerns raised in the introduction. Starting from the concept of agency, and taking an actor-oriented approach, the thesis concludes with three key points about how the reform initiatives affect the positions of woman: 1) The research has demonstrated that the socio political situation in the DRC has given rise to different types of gender discourses at international level which in addition to local culture and believe have impacted on the access of women to the mineral exploitation. 2) The research discovered that women in mining have different needs and different ways of dealing with their situations: they are agents who make decisions based on either strategic opportunity or survival.3). Finally, the research demonstrated that the reform process is likely to increase particular forms of marginalisation in the mining labour regimes. They may also allow for the creation of power dynamics based on new social networks that discriminate against those who were already vulnerable. Nevertheless, the research witnesses cases of women, who have benefited from the presence of the reform initiatives to improve their conditions and create more opportunities.
Agricultural intensification in Nepal, with particular reference to systems of rice intensification
Uprety, Rajendra - \ 2016
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Thomas Kuijper, co-promotor(en): Harro Maat. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462579651 - 190
rice - oryza sativa - nepal - asia - south asia - intensification - livelihoods - livelihood strategies - farming systems - farming - crop management - fertilizers - nutrients - irrigation - varieties - rijst - oryza sativa - nepal - azië - zuid-azië - intensivering - middelen van bestaan - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - bedrijfssystemen - landbouw bedrijven - gewasteelt - kunstmeststoffen - voedingsstoffen - irrigatie - rassen (planten)
This thesis deals with agricultural intensification in Nepal. The initial focus of the study was the System of Rice Intensification (SRI), as introduced in Nepal from 2001. The multiple factors affecting SRI adoption, modification and dissemination together with the option to apply SRI in different combinations of its components result in a variety of SRI applications. For the same reason the effect of SRI on overall agricultural and livelihood development of Nepalese farmers has to be evaluated within the variety of farming systems in which it is applied.
Despite government policies to promote rice cultivation, national rice production is declining. Farmer livelihood strategies, as reflected in rice farming systems, and field management strategies were influenced by several agro-ecological and socio-economic factors. Livelihood and field management strategies of rice farmers are interconnected. In the study presented here four livelihood strategies and three kinds of field management strategies are distinguished. Two livelihood strategies can be characterized as more intensive and more productive; the other two are less intensive and less productive. Livelihood strategies are more family resource-based strategies, while farmers’ field management strategies are more context-dependent. Field management strategies were characterized by forms of nutrient management. Intensive management strategies had most similarities with SRI. But rice intensification is not achievable as a general strategy.
Government policies (fertiliser subsidies) encourage increased fertiliser use. Study results didn't show any significant effect of volume of fertilisers on rice yield but the combined use of organic manure and mineral fertilisers resulted in the highest average rice yields. Irrigation management is another important factor for rice production. Field management is influenced by the reliability of water which was better in farmers' managed irrigation system. Choice of rice varieties influenced the overall rice farming system and cropping intensity and preference of varieties for rice cultivation by scientists and by farmers were different in eastern Nepal. Most popular varieties were those not recommended by science and policy and were disseminated farmer to farmer.
The introduction of SRI in Morang district resulted in several changes in rice farming, but only part of the farmers have adopted such technologies, and adoption has been only in part of their fields. Other farmers have incorporated some SRI practices in their conventional practices. After the introduction of SRI, farmers further tested, re-packaged or hybridized SRI methods to make SRI ideas suitable for their agro-ecological and socio-economic environments. In order to reform Nepalese rice farming, we need to recognize that different farmers, with different livelihood strategies, and with access to different kinds of fields, need different forms for agricultural intensification. High-intensive farmers prefer to use modified SRI methods where there is good irrigation and drainage facilities. There are many possibilities for improvement of the existing nutrient management practices of rice farmers in Nepal. Nutrient management will be useful to increase rice production because the majority of farmers currently use fertilisers non-judiciously. The SRI-recommended practices (younger seedlings, early weeding, use of organic manure, and alternate wetting and drying (AWD) irrigation) will be useful to improve the nutrient use efficiency of rice farmers. Cost-reduction strategies and less labour-intensive cultivation practices will be appropriate options to improve existing rice farming system of Nepal. Participatory cultivar selection and dissemination will be better strategies to introduce new, promising rice cultivars among rice farmers.
Certifications, child labour and livelihood strategies: an analysis of cocoa production in Ghana
Owusu-Amankwah, R. - \ 2015
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han Wiskerke; Guido Ruivenkamp, co-promotor(en): Joost Jongerden. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462574915 - 348
cacao - productie - landbouw bedrijven in het klein - gemeenschappen - kinderarbeid - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - certificering - agrarische productiesystemen - ghana - cocoa - production - peasant farming - communities - child labour - livelihood strategies - certification - agricultural production systems - ghana
There have been various innovative initiatives by global and local actors in response to pressure on cocoa value-chain actors to free cocoa production from child labour (CL) and especially the worst forms of child labour (WFCL) and also to improve the livelihoods of farm families. Analyses of the implementation, implications and the appropriateness of these initiatives in driving change in the cocoa supply chain and improving the labour and income conditions in cocoa farms are limited, however. This study examines initiatives being led by the key actors in the value chain – the governmental initiative of a community-based child labour monitoring (CCLM) system (CCLMS), that led by business actors of third party voluntary cocoa certification (TPVCC), and farmers’ own way of diversifying income – in order to understand current developments in the cocoa value-chain and analyse the dynamics between the local and global actors and the effect of these dynamics for the reorganisation of the cocoa production system in Ghana.
This thesis employs an interdisciplinary perspective and combines innovation theory with livelihood, social perspectives and other social science tools to empirically investigate the initiatives as they operate at micro-, meso- and macro-levels so as to ascertain their implications for farmers’ livelihoods and children’s social situations. It also reflects scholarly interest in understanding how global-level development interacts with and affects local-level development, and how globalisation shapes and mediates local influences within the cocoa production system.
Firstly, the CCLMS study (Chapter 3) reveals three kinds of benefits to children: an expanded social network, a reduction in their participation in hazardous work and an improvement in school attendance. The findings show that absenteeism on the part of the pupils in a community with a CCLM intervention is approximately half that of two communities without intervention. In addition, it is observed that although children are involved in hazardous and non-hazardous activities in all the three communities involved in the study, the extent of their involvement in hazardous activities is higher in the communities without intervention.
Secondly, third party certification (TPC) formulated by the business actors is a key innovation in the cocoa production system of Ghana. The study presented in Chapter 4 shows the potential of TPVCC to mobilise financial, human and social capitals to address gaps and
dysfunctions and create a win-win situation for all the actors of the value chain. However, sector-wide standards that address sector specific needs taking into consideration the views of chain actors, especially farmers and their socio-cultural context will enhance compliance. This is because global or international standards cannot be imposed but are analysed, contested and adapted by farmers to suit on-the-ground practices. The study also shows the potential of TPVCC to address CL and livelihood issues, but these will yield better results if it is implemented in enhanced socio-economic conditions. Regardless of these positives, the net benefit of certification is unclear due to the difficulty in conducting proper cost-benefit analyses in the absence of proper documentation of farmer-level costs and other factors.
Thirdly, the findings show that about 70% of farmers are diversifying into other (non-cocoa) farm and non-farm activities using largely indigenous resources, but on a small scale and at subsistence level. This condition means that the goal of farmers to supplement cocoa income and reduce risk is not achieved throughsuch a level of diversification. There is some indication of increasing importance of income and resources from non-farm activities, but income from cocoa continues to determine household income as well as the demand for non- farm goods and investment in the non-farm sector. This study also finds that children are involved in both farm and non-farm activities, which can be classified as hazardous and non- hazardous. Farmers, especially caretakers, producing at subsistence level are likely to use their children to supplement labour needs. Some policy recommendations are made in the areas of economic incentives and multi-stakeholder collaboration to stimulate the sector towards sustainability.
Exile, camps, and camels: recovery and adaptation of subsistence practices and ethnobiological knowledge among Sahrawi refugees
Volpato, G. - \ 2014
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Patricia Howard. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462570818 - 274
bestaan - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - vluchtelingen - verplaatsing - inheemse kennis - sociale relaties - cultuur - milieu - nomadisme - pastoralisme - etnobotanie - antropologie - westelijke sahara - algerije - subsistence - livelihood strategies - refugees - displacement - indigenous knowledge - social relations - culture - environment - nomadism - pastoralism - ethnobotany - anthropology - western sahara - algeria
The study of how people adapt to social and environmental change is central to current theoretical understandings of human-nature relationships. There are recurrent cases in human history in which entire populations have been uprooted from the environments in which they live, where it becomes exceedingly difficult for them to maintain their ways of life including their modes of subsistence, social and ecological relations, knowledge, and culture. The ways in which such people exercise their collective and individual agency to recover and adapt their relations with nature and with each other must be addressed as the planet rapidly changes, given current prognoses about the emergence of environmental refugee populations on a massive scale. Refugees who have been forced to live in camps for long periods present important case studies of human agency and adaptation under such conditions. Refugee camps are places where people must engage with whatever limited resources are available, and where people confront major complex problems when attempting to establish new relations with their camp environments and maintain or revive relations with their homelands. If they succeed, refugees can partly free themselves from dependence on food aid and take their lives back into their own hands. The general objective of the study was to advance the understanding of humannature relationships in contexts of forced displacement and encampment by investigating the ways people living in refugee camps struggle to recover preexile subsistence practices and associated knowledge, while in the process adapting to new environmental conditions and social relations arising from their experience as refugees. It also sought to provide a preliminary theoretical framework for studying the human ecology and ethnobiology of refugees living in camps. Fieldwork was conducted among Sahrawi refugees in western Algeria, and involved collecting data on Sahrawi refugees’ agency toward the recovery and adaptation of traditional subsistence and other related material and cultural practices, as well as to understand associated changes in their ecological and social relations, and culture. Five case studies were selected: a general study of camel husbandry, culture and livelihoods, an ethnobiological study of traditional medicinal remedies and cosmetics, an ethnomedicinal study of the conceptualization of illness and change in related health beliefs, an ethnobotanical and cultural domain study of camel forage plants, and an ethnomycological and commodity study of desert truffles.
Networking, social capital and gender roles in the cotton system in Benin
Maboudou Alidou, G. - \ 2014
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Jarl Kampen. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462570634 - 187
katoen - productie - boeren - landbouwhuishoudens - boerenorganisaties - sociaal kapitaal - netwerken - geslacht (gender) - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - benin - cotton - production - farmers - agricultural households - farmers' associations - social capital - networks - gender - livelihood strategies - benin
Cotton production in Benin, West Africa, is intertwined with colonialism, which contributed to the transformation of the crop’s production system from traditional to modern. Throughout the years, the importance of the crop for the stakeholders varied. The last decades have witnessed a growing interest in cotton of farmers, businessmen, and the State. From having a marginal status during the seventies and the first half of the eighties, cotton grew in importance during the nineties, both in terms of area covered and income generated, averaging 37 percent of the total cultivated area in the country. Thus, cotton has a critical cash function and plays a key role in Benin’s economic growth, accounting for an important share in the State’s revenues and farm households incomes. Indeed, the share of cotton exports represented 75 percent of the country’s total agricultural exports during the 2000s, and the crop provided up to 80 percent of rural households incomes in the North. Though cotton is grown throughout the country, its production was always concentrated in the North, where it is embedded in a farming system formerly dominated by food crops. Hence, cotton transformed subsistence farming into semi-subsistence farming.
The central position of the crop in the country’s economy, which loomed large at the beginning of the 1990s, led to agricultural and economic policies being greatly influenced by the crop for decades. The Structural Adjustment Program of the early 1990s prescribed the liberalisation of the cotton sector, which had huge effects on the sector. This resulted in an increased importance of cotton farmer organisations that elapsed into the first ever hierarchical network in the country, and the crop being put at the forefront of agricultural development programs. Enduring benefits for farmers, farming communities, private actors, and the State were derived from that evolution. This gained cotton the status of ‘white gold’. The institutional dynamics that followed in the wake of liberalisation and their corollary of actors’ interactions generated never-ending conflicts of various kinds, particularly within the cotton farmers’ networks. These resulted in atomised networks. As a consequence, the benefits attached to cotton then started to wane and cotton production became a dilemma for farmers, as reflected in a steep decline of cotton production.
This thesis aims at understanding the dynamic interactions between the economic activity of cotton production and the structure of social relations from community to household and individual level. It addresses the question of how farmers’ agency affected their organisations, the cotton system, and the collective action that evolved around the crop. The research was aligned along three main axes: the emergence of breakaway networks, the decline of social cohesion and the squeeze of collective action, and the livelihoods reconstruction after the demise of cotton production. The main theoretical perspectives underlying the conceptual framework were an actor-oriented approach, actor-network theory, livelihood theory, and a gender perspective.
The research is based on fieldwork carried out in four provinces in the North of Benin from January 2009 to April 2011. Benin is a country whose employment capacity and economic growth heavily rely on the agricultural sector, in which cotton is a dominant factor. This is still the case for rural areas in the North, where rural households have been heavily dependent on cotton as a critical cash crop for poverty alleviation. Northern Benin supplies more than 75 percent of the cotton yearly produced in the country, thanks to the favourable agro-ecological conditions prevailing there, and because there is less population pressure than in the southern part. The exploratory phase of the research covered four provinces: Borgou, Alibori, Atacora and Donga. Since the provinces of Borgou and Alibori host the heart of the cotton belt, subsequent data collection progressively focussed on these two provinces.
The research adopted a mixed-methods design, applying quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. A survey was combined with focus-group discussions, in-depth interviews and the life history method, to unveil the dynamic interactions between social actors and their interactions with the material and technical elements of the cotton system. The life history method was used to document the experience of women leaders that had made them exceptions to the rule among women cotton farmers. Apart from cotton farmers and their leaders, other targets groups of the research, like inputs suppliers and executives of cotton bodies, often had to be found beyond the two provinces in other parts of the country. The research covered eight cotton networks in ten villages in the four provinces. Survey interviews and in-depth interviews were conducted with 148 heads of cotton farming households, men as well as women.
About 80 percent of the farmers in the sample were in their 40s or 50s, and more than half of them had no formal education. Educated women represented only 17 percent of their category, suggesting that male cotton farmers are significantly more educated than their female counterparts. The average household size was 16, with about 11 workers in male adult equivalents. While agriculture is the main occupation and often the only source of income in the area, women turned out to rely less on agricultural incomes than men.
With regard to networking, the process of atomisation resulted in about 20 percent of stayers in remnant networks, 51 percent of joiners of operating networks, and about 28 percent of creators of new networks. It was found that more than three quarters of cotton farmers broke away from their original network at least once during their cotton cropping career, and that creators of new networks were more likely to be leaders than stayers or joiners. The results further tell us that more than one in two cotton farmers (ever) had a leadership position. A significant association was found between these three categories of farmers and leadership status. Finally, a greater stock of social capital was correlated with the ability of leading cotton networks.
The research indicates that the liberalisation of an agricultural value-chain can be harmful rather than beneficial when the State fails to play a coherent role during the shift from State monopoly to private interest. Cotton proved to be the lifeline for farmer organisations, and drove collective action in rural areas from the important resources it generated. However, the decline of trust within the networks in conjunction with poor management of cotton resources led to a reversed dynamic that tore networks apart, which resulted in their atomisation. Social relations deteriorated when the financial stakes became higher. As attested by the way the process of network atomisation evolved, cooperation within large groups requires legal sanctions to be sustainable. The qualitative results showed that the process of atomisation was nurtured by ties of friendship, kinship, residence and ethnicity at the start, after which networks extended to include other areas and more general membership. From the survey results it can be inferred that push and pull factors interacted to influence the process of cotton network atomisation. The most influential of these factors were, on the one hand, mismanagement of network resources and manipulation of farmers by outsiders, and, on the other hand, trust in board members, hope for board positions, the expectation of profit, and support from public officials and ethnic or religious connections.
The research further demonstrates that gender myths and stereotypes obstruct women's active involvement in managing organisations, in spite of their key position in the cotton production system at household level. Women were found 21 times less likely to be a leader than men in cotton organisations, and their presence on boards hardly empowered them because they spend their energy struggling to meet practical needs. Women’s admission to cotton boards appears to be instrumental for men and hides men's real motives, judging by the way male board members tend to restrict the power of their female colleagues. However, men are inclined to give more freedom to women when they find their activities benefitting themselves, as was revealed by the data on livelihood adaptation strategies.
The research clearly ascertains that farmers are more rational than often assumed and that they grow a crop as long as it is a source of livelihood and food security. Despite its current low to negative returns, cotton remains part of the livelihood diversification strategies of households because cotton production gives access to fertilisers which can then be used for food crops. However, relying on one source of income puts the livelihood system of rural households at risk. Faced with the cotton problems, households diversified their sources of income, first and primarily on-farm with food crops increasingly gaining a cash function. Additionally, they would deploy beyond-farm alternative strategies, including migration of youth. It was also found that the decline of cotton production proved to result in more freedom for women. Because of their multiple extra-domestic activities, women are less vulnerable than men when it comes to coping with livelihood shortages. Their contribution to the provision for household needs increased during the decline of cotton production and the ensuing income shortages compared to that of men. The livelihood adaptation strategies showed the decision making about income diversification to move from the centre of the household to its periphery.
Keeping goats or going north? Enhancing livelihoods of smallholder goat farmers through brucellosis control in Mexico
Oseguera Montiel, D. - \ 2014
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Akke van der Zijpp, co-promotor(en): Henk Udo; Klaas Frankena. - Wageningen : Wageningen UR - ISBN 9789462570344 - 150
geiten - brucellose - kleine landbouwbedrijven - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - brucella - dierziekten - goats - brucellosis - small farms - livelihood strategies - brucella - animal diseases
Smallholder Mexican farmers are embedded in an adverse context, due to neoliberal globalization policies, which threatens their livelihoods, and has caused an unprecedented surge of migration to the US. Keeping goats is one strategy to diversify livelihoods. Goat husbandry is dairy oriented and has a range of functions for farmers, like income, food, insurance, credit, and a reason for not having to migrate to the US. However, caprine brucellosis, a zoonosis endemic in Mexico caused by Brucella melitensis, has a negative impact on flock productivity. Although brucellosis is rarely a fatal disease in humans, it can be very debilitating and disabling due to complications such as arthritis and spondylitis. The main objectives of this thesis were to assess the impact of brucellosis on smallholder goat husbandry and to evaluate brucellosis control strategies in enhancing farmers' livelihoods. The research approach was that of a case study, incorporating methods from natural and social sciences, such as archival and secondary data review, surveys, ethnography and veterinary epidemiological modelling. The case study was conducted in two states within the Bajío region with high rates of migration: Michoacán and Jalisco. In Michoacán free cost vaccination and testing was applied whereas in Jalisco farmers had to bear part of those costs and there was a lack of veterinarians offering the service. Goat farmers considered that they were better off than farmers who did not keep goats: 'it is better to herd than to be herded'. Farmers' knowledge, labour and good social capital allowed them to maintain relatively large flocks given the amount of crop land owned. The prevalence of testing positive to brucellosis in goats was 38% in Jalisco and 11% in Michoacán. Access to communal land and crop residues were key for the pastoral management system prevalent in the study area, but grazing goats had higher risk of testing positive to brucellosis. Farmers avoided drinking goat milk, as it was seen as a cause of 'fever'. The milk price was low and controlled by the caramel industry. Vaccination and test-and-cull strategies are options to control brucellosis. Simulations showed that vaccination is economically feasible but will not bring the prevalence below to 10% within 5-years. Test-and-slaughter is not economically rewarding at the current milk price. At present, culling of seropositive goats to brucellosis does not happen because an adequate infrastructure for culling does not exist. Farmers perceived that brucellosis control measures cause losses such as abortion due to untimely vaccination and infections due to ear tagging. Moreover, farmers did not always know that brucellosis and Malta fever (human brucellosis) are synonyms, neither were they aware of all consequences of brucellosis infection. Brucellosis control is stagnant because of a two way lack of communication: farmers are not well informed about brucellosis and policies are formulated without knowledge of goat farming practices and of farmers' perceptions. Successful brucellosis control would enhance smallholder goat farmers' livelihoods but the control policy needs to be redesigned. Important factors to consider in the design of a new policy are: (1) a comprehensive compensation for losses when applying test-and-cull; (2) the integration of farmers' expertise and experience; (3) diffusion of knowledge about brucellosis control, its prevention and its impact on human health and livestock production; (4) a regional planning is a must to succeed.
From landless to forestless? : settlers, livelihoods and forest dynamics in the Brazilian Amazon
Homero Diniz, F. - \ 2013
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Bas Arts, co-promotor(en): Kasper Kok; Marjanke Hoogstra-Klein. - [S.l.] : s.n. - ISBN 9789461735836 - 184
ontbossing - landloosheid - bossen - bosdynamiek - bosecologie - middelen van bestaan - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - bosbedrijfsvoering - brazilië - deforestation - landlessness - forests - forest dynamics - forest ecology - livelihoods - livelihood strategies - forest management - brazil
Keywords: deforestation; remote sensing; mental models; stakeholders’ perceptions; agrarian reform
Over the last decades, hundreds of thousands of families have settled in projects in the Brazilian Amazon within the Agrarian Reform Program (ARP) framework, the rationale being to enable settlers to earn their living by small-scale farming and produce an agricultural surplus for sale. Further, the Brazilian Forestry Code requires settlers not to deforest more than 20% of forest on their properties, but in many projects settlers have deforested larger areas than this. However, specific questions about whether the settlers’ activities are, at the very least, providing their livelihoods, and about the effects of these choices on deforestation over time, have hardly been addressed. Located in five settlement projects in Eldorado do Carajás, southeast Pará State, this research investigated how settlers make their living; how their activities and practices affect forest cover changes; and how future prospects for both, i.e. people and forest, are envisioned. Within the framework of the sustainable livelihoods approach, the results indicated that settlers rely on three livelihood strategies (livestock-, diversified-, and off-farm-oriented), with dairy cattle as the main agricultural activity. These strategies are shaped by several factors, such as agrarian reform policies (e.g. credit) and settlers’ background. Forest dynamics analysis showed a clear recent increase in forest (2005–2010) at municipal level, suggesting that the first steps towards forest transition are taking place. However, settlers do not perceive secondary regrowth as ‘real’ forest, implying a high risk of future deforestation in these areas; but these areas can also be seen as having a high potential of remaining forested if technological innovations in agricultural activities and practices become available in the (near) future. The research findings also indicated the necessity to analyse livelihoods and forest cover changes as dynamic processes. It was not possible to determine one-to-one relationships and general patterns of effects of livelihood trajectories on forest dynamics due to the complexities involved, although analysis of individual household- and property-level cases offered insights into factors driving both. Fuzzy cognitive mapping was used to capture current settlers’ perceptions about their realities. The results indicated that settlers have similar perceptions of the factors that affect their livelihood security and environmental sustainability, independent of livelihood strategy adopted. However, differences were found in the relationships among factors and the weight attributed to each relationship, creating fundamentally different system dynamics for each livelihood strategy. Consequently, strong trade-offs exist between livelihood security and environmental sustainability independent of livelihood strategy and in (nearly) all future scenario analyses. The research produced five key messages: 1) small farmers within the studied ARP projects are less poor than often assumed; they achieve livelihood security through on- and off-farm income; 2) there is a strong trade-off between livelihood security and environmental sustainability; hence primary forest deforestation continues, although the first signs of secondary forest transitions have been observed; 3) the settlers’ contribution to deforestation is less than often assumed because they contribute to emerging forest transitions and because local deforestation peaked before the projects; 4) policies strongly affect the settlers’ realities; hence their views are crucial for effective policymaking, including both the Forestry Code and agrarian reform policies; and 5) livelihood trajectories and forest dynamics models are more appropriate to capture the realities of the human–environment systems in the Brazilian Amazon than livelihoods as snapshots and unidirectional deforestation models.
The arena of everyday life
Butijn, C.A.A. ; Ophem, J.A.C. van; Casimir, G.J. - \ 2013
Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers (Mansholt publication series no. 12) - ISBN 9789086867752 - 174
middelen van bestaan - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - huishoudens - sociale ontwikkeling - volksgezondheid - vrouw en samenleving - consumenten - huishoudkunde - sociologie - livelihoods - livelihood strategies - households - social development - public health - woman and society - consumers - home economics - sociology
In 'The arena of everyday life' nine authors look back and forward at developments in the sociology of consumers and households. Nine chapters show variety in the employed methods, from multivariate analyses of survey data to classical essays. The contributions are organised around four themes. In the first theme, two chapters entail a critical discussion of the concepts livelihood and household. The second part deals with health, in particular food security, hygiene and aids/HIV. The third theme focuses on female opportunities to foster income procurement of household by respectively microfinance and entrepreneurship. The fourth theme concentrates on two topical societal developments in a Western society, the first chapter dealing with the issue of creating opportunities for tailor-made services to older people, the second one focussing on the home-work balance of telecommuters.
Livelihood strategies : gender and generational specificities of rural levilihoods in transition
Nizamedinkhodjayeva, N. - \ 2013
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han Wiskerke, co-promotor(en): P.P. Mollinga; Bettina Bock. - [S.l.] : s.n. - ISBN 9789461734501 - 166
strategieën voor levensonderhoud - platteland - overgangseconomieën - cultuur - sociologie - geslacht (gender) - vrouwen - besluitvorming - landbouwhuishoudens - oezbekistan - centraal-azië - livelihood strategies - rural areas - transition economies - culture - sociology - gender - women - decision making - agricultural households - uzbekistan - central asia
Resilience and livelihood dynamics of shrimp farmers and fishers in the Mekong Delta, Vietnam
Tran Thi Phung, H. - \ 2012
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Leontine Visser; Han van Dijk, co-promotor(en): L. XuanSinh. - S.l. : s.n. - ISBN 9789461732170 - 200
strategieën voor levensonderhoud - middelen van bestaan - garnalenteelt - sociale aanpassing - sociale verandering - vietnam - zuidoost-azië - azië - garnalen - vissers - ontwikkelingslanden - livelihood strategies - livelihoods - shrimp culture - social adjustment - social change - vietnam - south east asia - asia - shrimps - fishermen - developing countries
Shrimp aquaculture and fishery, the two important economic sectors in Vietnam, have been promoted by the government to reduce poverty, provide job opportunities, and to increase exports to support economic development. However, this expansion of fishery and aquaculture has also had negative effects. Hundreds of thousands of hectares of mangrove forest have been replaced by shrimp ponds and, as a result, have brought ecological risks like water pollution, causing shrimp disease outbreaks. These consequences have negatively affected the sustainability of the livelihoods of millions of coastal people who are dependent on shrimp aquaculture, mangrove forests and fishing.
As a part of the RESCOPAR program of “Rebuilding resilience in coastal populations and aquatic resources” of Wageningen University (INREF), this study was conducted across four shrimp farming systems and one fishery system in two provinces of the Mekong Delta of Vietnam with a focus the different livelihoods.. The study investigates the pathways and decision-making of shrimp farmers and fishers to cope with risks and uncertainties to sustain livelihoods and enhance socio-ecological resilience.
Results show that farmers in these systems exhibit remarkable social and economic resilience at household level under declining ecological conditions, particularly mangrove decline, shrimp diseases, market price fluctuations, and misguided government policies and programs. They cope with these vulnerabilities through a wide range of livelihood pathways and strategies including intensification, diversification, migration, specification, and collaboration. The pathways they decide upon at one stage do not only influence the livelihood activities in a particular environment, but they also nurture the process of learning to adapt to the changes, to self-organize and manage their lives for long-term resilience building.
This study used four indicators as proxies of social resilience: economic stability, resource protection, knowledge building and the creation of relationships.. Between the two improved extensive shrimp farming systems, the extensive mangrove-shrimp system showed more social resilience and was less risky. Moreover, the system was more resilient ecologically, as it did not put environmental pressure on the mangrove forest It needed to conserve part of the mangrove forest that would serve as a nursery ground for marine shrimp and fish species. Between the two intensive farming systems, the intensive farming system where farmers chose to cluster their ponds appeared to have greater social resilience. Farmers in this system were better off, experienced a higher net return/cost ratio, and fewer farms failed due to shrimp diseases. They could also apply to advanced bio-farming technology for shrimp farming. They would build relationships with external agencies for support and they were more active, flexible, and professional in their adaptation. They were able to direct and shape the changes in order to acquire a stronger legal and equity position, thus increasing their social resilience. Small-scale fishery was less socially and ecologically resilient, so fishers diversified their gear and boats to fish more intensively to secure livelihoods and reduce vulnerability. However, this caused near- shore resource decline and ecological disturbance, and violated fishery regulations.
The Vietnamese Government has established a political and institutional system to support aquaculture and fishery. However, the implementation of the current policies and institutions in the field of aquaculture and fisheries is still weak and inadequate. The institutional interventions, firstly, need to focus on balancing between household economic improvement and natural resources conservation. It is not enough to emphasize only the government’s capacities of control and enforcement to make farmers and fishers comply with the regulations for the conservation of the resources without also emphasizing the need to promote socio- economic improvement at household level. The solution could be to enhance non-farm or non- fishing livelihood diversification, improve pond farming and fishing technologies and to promote farmers collaboration and shrimp certification. Finally, the most important is to devolve the responsibilities and rights for the management of the mangrove forests and the coastal inshore resources to local individual farmers and communities.
Transforming landscapes, transforming lives : the business of sustainable water buffer management
Steenbergen, F. van; Tuinhof, A. ; Knoop, L. ; Kauffman, J.H. - \ 2011
Wageningen : 3R Water - ISBN 9789079658008 - 105
grondbeheer - duurzame ontwikkeling - buffers - buffercapaciteit - waterbeheer - hulpbronnenbeheer - natuurlijke hulpbronnen - sociale gevolgen - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - land management - sustainable development - buffers - buffering capacity - water management - resource management - natural resources - social impact - livelihood strategies
This book is about sustainable land management, the development of water buffers and the business case underneath it. It is part of the discussion on the green economy: investment in natural resource management makes business sense. This also applies for investment in land, water and vegetative cover. Some of the parameters may be different – returns may not always be immediate – but essentially both the financial payback and the economic dividend of investing in integrated landscapes – if done properly – are rewarding. The social impact moreover is important – investing in sustainable land and water buffers will transform lives and economies. Having a buffer gives a sense of security and the reassurance that come what may one’s livelihood is secured.
Rural realities between crisis and normality : livelihood strategies in Angola, 1975-2008
Dijkhorst, H.K. van - \ 2011
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Thea Hilhorst. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789461730978
strategieën voor levensonderhoud - middelen van bestaan - interventie - humanitaire hulp - angola - plattelandssamenleving - conflict - livelihood strategies - livelihoods - intervention - humanitarian aid - angola - rural society - conflict
In this thesis I examined the ways in which rural people in Huíla province, Angola, have dealt with crises and adapted their livelihoods accordingly. These responses and adaptations to crises are then juxtaposed against the variety of interventions by state and aid agencies which affect rural livelihoods in broad terms. The Angolan population has lived through a long history of conflict, starting with an independence war against Portugal since 1961, and evolving into a civil war from the start of independence in 1975 lasting until 2002. Throughout this violent history, humanitarian actors made a significant range of interventions with the intention to alleviate the suffering of the country’s population and help them rebuild their lives and livelihoods after the end of the war in 2002. In this thesis I analysed these interventions, especially related to the recovery of rural livelihoods, to understand the assumptions underlying them, as well as their outcomes.
The core question that guided the research underlying this thesis was the following: How are people’s livelihoods affected in times of crisis, and how do aid interventions influence the livelihood options that people have in Huíla province, Angola? In my analysis I used the concept of a humanitarian arena in order to 1) acknowledge the diversity of actors that shape the outcomes of aid processes, 2) move away from normative explanations of aid and rather focus on its everyday practices, and 3) focus on the negotiations, experiences and agency of the actors at the interface at which processes of aid are shaped. This builds on an actor-oriented approach which calls attention to agency, actors and interfaces to explain that planned development is rarely a linear process but rather a site of struggles and negotiations amongst a variety of actors. The fieldwork underlying this thesis was done in six villages with different experiences of conflict, aid, and livelihoods.
I look at the concept of livelihoods as comprising the assets and activities that people employ to make a living, and the access to these (Ellis 2000a, 10). I deviate from the policy construct of a livelihoods approach, which tends to define livelihoods by a restricted focus on the various capitals. Rather, I have looked at livelihoods as being more flexible in nature in which the disappearance of some assets can be dealt with by strengthening others. Livelihoods are fluid and flexible, and certainly have to be so in situations of crisis and conflict. Aid in this thesis is seen as one of the many strategies that people rely on for their survival in times of crisis. Humanitarian aid is analysed in this thesis and in particular its changing practice due to the more protracted nature of the crisis situations it operates in. This has demanded the incorporation of rehabilitation and development approaches, translated in a stronger engagement with the state, and a shift from a focus on individuals to society. I question the practices of Linking Relief, Rehabilitation and Development (LRRD) approaches when it is uncertain whether intervention objectives can be attained or processes have to be abandoned. This thesis sheds light on the consequences of such unfinished LRRD processes.
This research has analysed the everyday realities and outcomes of post-war recovery and reconstruction practices by aid agencies and the Angolan state. It shows how aid programmes that focus on resettlement of conflict-affected populations and rebuilding of rural livelihoods can have unintended consequences when little attention is given to follow up of these activities that were assumed to lead to development. At the same time, the research shows how state post-war reconstruction efforts by the state largely bypass rural areas, or at worst even lead to renewed displacement from land and livelihoods. Therefore, the title of this thesis reiterates that livelihoods in conflict and post-conflict situations continuously move between crisis and normality, yet that this phenomenon is not necessarily linked to war itself. Also, the use of the word normality underscores the underlying assumptions on which aid interventions are designed in processes of livelihood recovery: a return to normality. One can question what ‘normal’ livelihoods are in the Angolan context of long-term instability. Also, who defines normality? As shown in this thesis, aid actors have had quite uniform and fixed assumptions and interpretations about what ‘normal’ rural livelihoods should look like, reflected in the one-size-fits-all interventions that consequently took place.
The quest for sustainable livelihoods : women fish traders in Ibaka, Niger Delta, Nigeria
Udong, E.E. - \ 2011
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Aad van Tilburg. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085859345 - 317
vrouwen - geslacht (gender) - vis - markthandelaars - handel - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - duurzame ontwikkeling - visverwerking - marketing - sociologie - hiv-infecties - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - nigeria - afrika - women - gender - fish - market traders - trade - livelihood strategies - sustainability - sustainable development - fish processing - marketing - sociology - hiv infections - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - nigeria - africa
The contribution of fisheries to food security in Africa cannot be underestimated. It provides
over 30 percent of the protein consumed by the Nigerian population. However, Nigeria
produces only about 45 percent of the fish requirement locally while the shortfall of about 55
percent is imported. Over 80 percent of the local production is from the artisanal, small scale
sector. While several studies have been conducted on the productivity of many water bodies,
endemic fish species, different fisheries, boats mechanization and the role of the fishermen,
socio-economic and gender issues in fisheries have received scant attention. Such research has
therefore become necessary for the development of relevant policies and intervention
programmes. The sustainable livelihood approach was used in facilitating the understanding of
how the women fish traders’ livelihoods are created, sustained and constrained by a set of
complex factors and processes including institutions and culture. The main objectives of this
study were to:
1. Contribute towards the livelihood and gender theory by focusing on the performance of
women fish traders in the economic and domestic domains in a coastal fishing
community, given the institutional and cultural constraints, their vulnerability and
susceptibility to HIV and AIDS;
2. Identify the implications for household food and livelihood security and the critical
factors needed to be considered in the development of relevant policies that would
ensure sustainable livelihoods and lower vulnerability levels for the women fish traders
and their households.
Specifically, the study aimed at highlighting the complexity of sustaining rural
livelihoods by women fish traders in a coastal fishing community in Nigeria and the flexibility
and variation, which give the fish trading system its continuing ability to link other commercial
and non-commercial sectors, characterised by constantly shifting relationships. A gender
perspective was applied throughout the study. The study was carried out in Ibaka, a dynamic
commercial centre and the largest coastal fishing community in Akwa Ibom State in the Niger
Delta of Nigeria, which is largely undeveloped but has over 70 percent of the population
depending on the fisheries for their livelihood. A cross-sectional study design was used, in
combination with qualitative and quantitative research methods. Apart from being descriptive
in nature, an analytical approach was also used by arranging and processing the collected data
in different ways and through testing different hypotheses.
Due to the large variation in the range and scale of enterprises obtained, the fish traders
comprise some of the largest wholesalers on the Nigerian coastline and some of the poorest
strolling hawkers, living from hand-to-mouth. This is a characteristic feature of a major
market, and the study seeks to identify the key social, economic and institutional forces, which
generate, maintain and continue to reshape this diversity. The forces originate from the market,
its links with the household, community, and national level processes, which create conflicting
interests and pressures on the individual fish traders as they struggle for survival and the
accumulation of wealth. These contradictions renew and transform the trading relations,
including their constraints.
The main household resources available and accessible were the labour of the women
fish traders themselves and the female members of their families. Through family ties,
churches, professional associations, social clubs and osusu groups trade networks and social
churches, professional associations, social clubs and osusu groups trade networks and social
capital, on which depended success in the fish trade were developed. The economic resource
was the different species of fish provided by the sea. The physical resources included equipments such as boats, nets, outboard engines, landed properties, houses, and mobile
phones. The women also used their own trading and language skills, and years of experience in
the trade to their advantage. Those with sufficient years of education also deployed their
educational skills to their advantage. The gendered nature of the fish trade and the fact that it
requires professional skills ensures that labour is expensive to hire. Only very few women fish
traders, operating on a large scale and earning higher incomes possessed tangible assets, and
were able to acquire equipments such as outboard engines, fishing and transport boats, and
other assets such as land, houses, generators, deep freezers, market stalls as well as fish trade
Processing and trading in either bonga, big fish or crayfish, and providing labour for
fish processing remain the main livelihood strategies and the main source of livelihood for
most women fish traders in Ibaka. Most of the incomes used for the maintenance of their
children and households are derived from these. Diversification into other economic activities
including fashion designing, subsistence farming, food processing, money lending, food
vending and petty trading is also adopted by most women, while the better-off are involved in
water transportation, equipment leasing, money lending, bukka business. The strategies
adopted are affected by factors such as age, skills acquired, years of experience, working
capital available for the trade, educational status, and number and ages of children. Younger
traders try to acquire other skills and formal education to enable them diversify while the older
women concentrate on earning higher incomes through developing their social capital,
expanding their networks, and making better business connections, to enable them diversify,
educate their children and secure their livelihoods
The study identifies three groups of women fish traders in Ibaka: the bonga, big fish
and crayfish traders, who all operate as small, medium and large scale traders, depending on
the amount of working capital used. Many similarities were observed in the lack of access to
resources, lack of infrastructural facilities, the mode of recruitment into the trade, the
involvement of family members, the use of social capital, and the use of incomes for the
livelihood sustenance of their households. However, significant differences by age, educational
status, years of experience, working capital and wealth status were observed between the three
fish trade groups. Big fish traders with older members had more experience, higher working
capital and incomes, and consequently more assets than bonga and crayfish traders. In
addition, limited access to resources for most of the poor fish traders, especially from the
bonga group, forced them into activities that yielded low returns, such as casual labour and
subsistence farming, re-enforcing their poor performance in the economic and domestic
The study shows that the fish trade is a gendered activity, and the most profitable
livelihood strategy undertaken for the sustenance of households in Ibaka, providing the women
with incomes used for the maintenance and upkeep of their households, and the payment of
their children’s school fees, healthcare bills and other needs.
However, in spite of their different circumstances, interests and opportunities, the
women fish traders all face similar risks, shocks and stress, associated with their location and
environment. These include seasonality, conflicts, and HIV and AIDS, as well as institutional
and cultural constraints, which make them vulnerable. The institutional constraints identified
include lack of physical and marketing infrastructure, financial services, and access to
resources, information asymmetries, high transaction and labour costs, while the cultural
constraints include the beliefs, taboos, ethnicity, norms, values and family life. The adaptation
strategies used for the institutional constraints included buying and selling on credit, use of
social capital and networking, membership of osusu groups, patronising local money-lenders,
use of family labour, including under-aged children, sourcing for water from shallow wells and
commercial boreholes for washing and drinking respectively, patronising traditional health
practitioners and patent medicine stores, and the churches over their health problems. On the
other hand, the adaptation strategies for the cultural constraints included intermarriage with the
indigenes, joining associations and clubs, working from home on days of cultural festivals,
non-pooling of incomes and striving for independence and autonomy.
Apart from the cultural and institutional constraints the study shows that the fish trade
is affected by seasonality which is a major cause of vulnerability. During the lean season which
covers about six months of the year, fishing activities and incomes are reduced to a minimum
for all the fish species due to high fish prices at the beach and insufficient working capital. The
traders then experience periods of food shortage and hunger in the household, making them
highly vulnerable and susceptible to poverty and HIV and AIDS. Fire incidents and conflicts
also contribute to their vulnerability.
The study shows that participation in the fish trade is through kinship and marriage, and
only women who possess specific skills, working capital, available networks and social capital,
and belong in a certain culture, location and ethnicity can participate. It is also determined by
household structures, gender division of labour, marriage, residence and inheritance patterns.
However, in the absence of functional institutions, and with several cultural barriers to contend
with, the fish trade, which is often regarded as an extension of household tasks embarked upon
to ensure the livelihood sustenance of the household, is carried out by the women fish traders
using social networking and social capital, to facilitate their trading profession. Sources of
social capital include kin, neighbours, friends, matron-client relationships, mutual trust, osusu
groups, social clubs and associations, norms and values, and churches.
The study shows that the Ibaka fish market, like most rural food markets in West
Africa, operates without any supporting structures. It lacks infrastructural facilities and access
to information, with a non-existent line of communication between the women fish traders and
the consumers. The provision of an improved communication system, infrastructural facilities,
credit systems and adequate information would therefore reduce the transaction costs and make
for a better coordination mechanism in the market. The study also shows that the fish market in
Ibaka operates through incomplete contract transactions, where it is impossible to reach an
agreement in advance about all possible events that could affect the exchange. Even though it
is a rural market dealing with a single commodity, and does not quite fit into the modern urban
market category, it possesses many attributes of an imperfect market. These include nonhomogenous
products, fewer buyers and sellers, no market transparency and barriers to entry
and exit. The various types and degrees of market imperfection characterise Ibaka market as a
missing market and a thin, incomplete and interlocked market.
The study shows that performance in the economic domain is mainly determined by the
women fish traders’ ability to mobilize sufficient working capital from different sources and
arrange for regular supply of fish, social capital and networking ability, the years of
experience, skills acquired, the ability to pay for labour, the profitability of the enterprise, level
of income, the ability to save, their assets base and wealth status, among others. Performance in
the domestic domain is determined by the ability to educate children, the type of housing, the
energy type used for lighting and cooking, the health status of the household, and the number
of hours spent in the household.
The study shows that performance in both domains is influenced by age, years of
experience, skills acquired, amount of working capital used, educational status, status of
mother in the trade, social capital and the number of children. The women fish traders also
derive potential benefits associated with their location if they successfully adapt to the
conditions and adopt sustainable livelihood strategies. All these together, affect their
performance in the economic and domestic domains, and their success at maintaining the
livelihoods of their households. The big fish and crayfish traders seemed to perform better than
the bonga traders generally, both in the economic and domestic domains.
The study also shows that good performance in the economic domain engenders good
performance in the domestic domain because the possession of sufficient incomes enables the
women to feed and educate their children, maintain a healthy household and take care of
themselves. Sufficient incomes also engender the ability to own or live in permanent structures
in the community and the use of generating sets for lighting and kerosene stoves for cooking in
the households. However, the lack of basic information and documentation on HIV and AIDS
in Ibaka has made it impossible to determine how susceptible and vulnerable the women fish
traders and their families are to the disease even though evidence from fishing communities in
other countries has shown fisherfolk to be more vulnerable than rural upland populations.
In conclusion, the resilience of the women fish traders and their survival in the fisheries
sector can be explained through the rigid and gendered division of labour. This is backed by
the determination of the women to become independent economically and overcome the
cultural biases imposed through patriarchy, polygamy and discriminatory inheritance laws.
Also, there is the incentive of being able to take care of themselves and their children, gain
some power, agency and autonomy. The realization that men depend on the women to dispose
of their fish catches, giving the fish economic value, further strengthens the position of the fish
traders in the fishery economy of Ibaka. The women fish traders’ conversion of profits made
from the fish trade into ownership of fishing and transportation boats is true entrepreneurship.
Using new and innovative ways of finding new or acquiring more customers and accumulating
capital is also entrepreneurial. However, there is far less risk, both socially and economically,
in expanding the scope in the trade and climbing in the female market hierarchy than in
investing in a male domain.
The fact that the women fish traders live in the same community and locality, and are
exposed to similar institutional and cultural constraints does not mean that there are no
differences between the three fish trade groups. The constraints impact differentially both
within and between the groups and the strategic responses depend on the category the fish
trader belongs to within the group and her wealth status in the trade and the community.
Environmental factors and processes such as climate change and oil pollution, and the general
economic crisis, also make fisherfolk vulnerable and susceptible to HIV and AIDS. While the
government is trying to extend development to the rural areas, it is pertinent that remote
communities like Ibaka should be specially targeted. Gender mainstreaming should also be
incorporated in the development process in order to reduce glaring inequalities, with certain
social groups being marginalized while others are privileged. This will reduce the women
traders’ level of vulnerability to constraints, stresses, risks, and shocks in our rural
Gender, AIDS and food security : culture and vulnerability in rural Côte d'Ivoire
Maiga, M.M. - \ 2010
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Leontine Visser; Anke Niehof. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085857891 - 199
acquired immune deficiency syndrome - voedselzekerheid - cultuur - plattelandsvrouwen - sociologie - vrouwelijke arbeidskrachten - plattelandsbevolking - sociale economie - verwantschap - relaties - ivoorkust - afrika - geslacht (gender) - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - food security - culture - rural women - sociology - female labour - rural population - socioeconomics - kinship - relationships - cote d'ivoire - africa - gender - livelihood strategies
Experts from necessity : agricultural knowledge of children orphaned by AIDS in the Couffo region, Benin
Fagbemissi, R.C. - \ 2010
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Cees Leeuwis, co-promotor(en): L.L.M. Price; Rico Lie. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085856092 - 241
kennis - landbouw - kinderen - wezen - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - landbouwhuishoudens - etnobotanie - inheemse kennis - plagen - benin - west-afrika - minst ontwikkelde landen - generaties - kennis van boeren - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - knowledge - agriculture - children - orphans - acquired immune deficiency syndrome - agricultural households - ethnobotany - indigenous knowledge - pests - benin - west africa - least developed countries - generations - farmers' knowledge - livelihood strategies
Chapter 1 sketches the general background of the study. The study tests
the hypothesis that HIV and AIDS not only impairs or modifies farmers’
agroecological knowledge base, but also impairs or modifies their strategies to
mobilize knowledge and resources. The research mainly aims to understand
agricultural knowledge and practices among children orphaned by AIDS,
consecutive to widespread interest in and concern about erosion of agricultural
knowledge in AIDS-affected communities. Such a possible loss of knowledge
could be detrimental for the children of farm households. Therefore, the focus
is on studying possible intergenerational differences in knowledge between
categories of child farmers and those of adult farmers, and analyze various
causes that could explain these differences. The study is situated in the Couffo
region, in south-west Benin. This region has a relatively high HIV prevalence
rate. Chapter 2 presents the conceptual framework for the study, and introduces
the main concepts, namely agricultural knowledge, problem-solving processes
and the linkages between social networks, resources and agricultural practices.
The design of the study is articulated around the concepts of ‘knowledge in
stock’ and ‘knowledge in action.’ Knowledge as a stock represents the contents
of people’s minds while knowledge as action makes refers to the way knowledge
is applied in solving agricultural problems. This is reflected in how people
understand a problem and develop practices to solve it. The chapter highlights
that the way people solve a problem depends on their stocks of knowledge
and on their capacity to develop different kind of strategies to effectively solve
that problem. Chapter 3 provides an overview of the study design and the
methodology used in the research process. The overall methodology, which
was used is a mixed model approach. This approach combines qualitative and
quantitative methods for data collection and analyses. It draws upon methods
and techniques in ethnobiology and ethnoecology.
Chapter 4 examines the magnitude of AIDS-related orphanhood in the Couffo
by focusing on the demographic and livelihood characteristics of households
containing children orphaned by AIDS. The aim is to understand orphans’
everyday life situations and to provide insights into the diversity of orphans
and the way this diversity affects various responses to mitigating the impact of
AIDS. Basic typologies, which are used by the care organizations, formed the
entry point for conducting a household census. The result of the census shows
the diversity among the children orphaned by AIDS. Particularly, it is shown
that the majority of the orphans live in small households, which comprise
of four or fewer members, and that most of these households are headed by female adults who are often the main care providers to the orphans. The main
livelihood activities of the orphaned households consist of farming (mainly
maize, cowpea and cassava) or small business, and in very few cases, livestock
raising and off-farm labor. The census found a total of 322 AIDS-related
orphans, aged from 0 to 14 years, and living within 88 households. Seventyone
percent of them are under the care of their mothers and grandmothers,
68% are paternal orphans, 58% are between the ages of 7 and 12, and 68% are
in primary school. These households are, to a large extent registered within
local platforms for that offer direct or indirect access to formal care services
implemented by national and international institutions. Support from the
extended family includes more affective components such as frequent visits,
or providing help during an intensive farm activity period or offering moral
caution to borrow money. During the study of orphans’ typologies, it was noted
that an important part of the children that had been counted were no longer
living in their initial households. The investigation of these movements of
the children shows that orphan mobility is rooted in various factors among
which are the main livelihood activity of the household, the gender of the
orphan’s main care giver, the amount of the household’s farm land, the age of
the orphan and his/her contribution to farming activities. These parameters
play an important role within the phenomena of orphans’ mobility and must
be taken into consideration when designing appropriate care for rural orphans
and their households. It is also found that some specific services are needed
for the community members, with respect to managing conflict and tensions
that could arise with the management of orphanhood, and that female caregivers
deserve special attention and protection with respect to their access to
land and other productive resources.
Chapter 5 and 6 report on the differences in stocks of pests knowledge among
maize and cowpea child and adult farmers. The ethnoecological perspective
is used to uncover and explain child and adult farmers’ ability to name
maize pests, through the analysis of their cognitive salience index (Sutrop’s
CSI). Farmers’ perceptions and experiences of maize and cowpea pests are
also investigated through the analysis of their life words. The intention is to
systematically check the assumption of intergenerational loss of traditional
agricultural knowledge linked to the impact of AIDS on farming communities.
The results of the CSI analysis in Chapter 5 indicate that children orphaned
by AIDS are more knowledgeable than non-orphaned. One-parent orphans
residing with the surviving parent are more knowledgeable than double
orphans farming on their own. Non-affected adults and their children are the
ones with the lowest CSI scores compared to affected adults and orphans.
These are rather positive findings in opposition to what was assumed. Results
in Chapter 6 show that Adja farmers use various descriptors to reflect on
their perceptions and experiences about pests in maize and cowpea farms.
Precisely, eight types of descriptors are extracted from pile sort exercises and
the consecutive follow-up conversations with farmers according to the groups
they belong to (AIDS affection status and generations, that is, affected/nonaffected
and child/adult). These descriptors are constructed from a rich and
diverse body of semantics, that proves to be related to AIDS affection status,
especially among the children. Further analysis shows that these descriptors
are generally based on the form and/or function associated to the pests, and
reflect individual farmer’s expertise about their agroecology. In fact, not only
do these descriptors reveal farmers’ knowledge of pests, but they also enlighten
us on farmers’ day-to-day relations with those pests while struggling to protect
their harvest. One of the findings is the importance of the proximity of at
least one biological parent and the quality of the relationship adult-child in
the formation of child expertise. The disaggregated analysis of the domains of
child expertise given their use of descriptors shows that double orphans are
less expert compared to non-orphans with respect to pest damages on maize
(p < 0.05), and compared to one-parent orphans for aspects linked to pest
control (p < 0.05). In all, non-orphans seem to have similarities with affected
adults, and use more functional items in their perceptions of pests, while
orphans, especially one-parent orphans seem to have commonalities with
non-affected adults with an equal use of form and function. This last point
suggests that there could be an alternative route of expertise building among
the one-parent orphans. Meanwhile, double orphans, making more use of
form descriptors, seem to build their expertise from the observation of the
Chapter 7 uncovers differential strategies used by farmers, especially the
orphans, to access and use agricultural knowledge and their pest control
practices. The aim is to examine the process through which farmers of various
AIDS-affection statuses solve pest problems. In this process, the emphasis is
put on how they identify the pest problem, diagnose its cause, choose among
available solutions, and on the actions they eventually take to solve the pest
problem. The study shows significant differences between affected and nonaffected
adults, between orphans and non-orphans, and between adults and
children in many aspects. The results show that individual farmers are more
competent in identifying a pest problem than understanding the causes of
that problem. With respect to causes identification, there are differences
between orphans and non-orphans, between affected and non-affected adults,
and between adults and children. Farmers’ choices of solutions are based
on their perceptions of the causes, and their expectations (motivations for
226 growing cowpea). They, therefore, use criteria accordingly to choose among
the available options. Although Adja cowpea farmers often rely on, and have
confidence in the use of existing homogenous technological packages to deal
with pest infestation, it is important to note that the solutions basket of the
affected adults has a more diverse content. The study also found differences
in the types of material resources and equipment of farmers given their AIDS
status and generation. While the orphans predominantly report the possession
of small sprayers, some of the non-orphans simply use domestic containers
such as basins together with branches of palm trees to spray insecticide on
their cowpea farms. Non-affected adults have bigger sprayers (sprayers with
a pump) at their disposal, compared to affected adults. Farmers use several
ways to get knowledge and information. The important role of cowpea for
farm households justifies farmers’ strategies to mobilize knowledge and non
knowledge resources for managing cowpea pests. However, it is important
to signal that non-affected households mostly cultivate cowpea for market
purposes, while affected households give this crop an important weight in
household’s food stocks, in addition to the possible sale of surplus on the market.
This apparent single versus dual purpose is to be linked to the combination
of poverty and AIDS. Hence, affected and non-affected farmers’ strategies to
solve cowpea pest problem is linked to the importance they confer to it as either
means of generating income or that of diversifying household food resources.
For instance, the fact that affected farmers give an important weight to cowpea
in household food security architecture obliges them to be cautious with the
use of harmful solutions such as spraying cotton insecticide on cowpea plants.
In this line, it is found that one fifth of the AIDS- affected adult farmers only
report the use of insecticides that are specifically recommended to be applied
on cowpea plants. Further results show that farmers of different AIDS statuses
use diverse connections to mobilize resources to address pest problems. This
eventually evolves into differential perceptions and abilities in understanding
the kind of pests in the farms, identifying the causes, and addressing pest
problems based on their differential social realities and agency.
Chapter 8 reflects on the most important findings and presents some
general implications of the study for scholars, rural development agents and
care providing institutions. The overall conclusion from the thesis is that
there is little evidence to confirm the hypothesis of knowledge decline and/or
a break in inter-generational knowledge transfer. In fact, the pattern suggested
by this study is that orphans in Couffo tend to be more knowledgeable in
the domain of pest management than both their non-orphan peers and
adults. This conclusion is more pronounced for single orphans, especially for
paternal orphans, than for double orphans, who seem to be in a relatively
more vulnerable position with respect to the acquisition of agroecological
knowledge. The need and necessity of being engaged in agricultural practices,
and the quality of interactions with an adult teacher, are important explanations
The chapter further elaborates on the need to redefine childhood and to
consider orphans in the 10 to 14 years age range as pre-adults given that they
have specific needs and are drawn into adult responsibilities. The existence of
AIDS is also analyzed as a possible door of opportunities for improving rural
livelihoods. Analyzing vulnerability can also consist of examining what works
and how to strengthen those existing local responses, with a special attention
to the orphans and their guardians. This leads to examining innovative
approaches that could help to effectively mainstream children orphaned by
AIDS within rural development policies and agendas.
Single women, land and livelihood vulnerability in an communal area in Zimbabwe
Paradza, G.G. - \ 2010
Wageningen : Wageningen Academic Publishers (AWLAE series no. 9) - ISBN 9789086861460 - 295
ontwikkelingsstudies - vrouwen - plattelandsvrouwen - positie van de vrouw - huwelijk - gezinnen - gezinsstructuur - gezamenlijk eigendom - gemeenschappelijke weidegronden - eigendom - toegang - toegangsrecht - zimbabwe - afrika ten zuiden van de sahara - middelen van bestaan - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - alleenstaanden - burgerlijke staat - development studies - women - rural women - woman's status - marriage - families - family structure - coownership - common lands - ownership - access - right of access - africa south of sahara - livelihoods - livelihood strategies - single persons - civil status
The household responsibility system and social change in rural Guizhou, China: applying a cohort approach
Yuan, J. - \ 2010
Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Hester Moerbeek. - [S.l. : S.n. - ISBN 9789085856047 - 255
sociologie - rurale sociologie - landbouwhuishoudens - sociale verandering - markteconomieën - verwantschap - china - zuidwestelijk china - guizhou - economische verandering - gedrag van huishoudens - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - sociology - rural sociology - agricultural households - social change - market economies - kinship - china - south western china - guizhou - economic change - household behaviour - livelihood strategies
Since the introduction of the Household Responsibility System (HRS) in 1978, Chinese rural households have experienced many changes. The HRS allows farming households to organize their own agricultural production on contracted lands, enabling them to work more efficiently and get more benefits compared to during the collective era. Since the market liberation, the number of enterprises that can absorb the surplus labour has increased, and many men migrate to earn cash. This entails changes in gender roles in the rural areas, leading to feminization of agriculture and women becoming de facto household heads. Household landholding, land use and livelihoods are changing and social stratification is becoming more pronounced. As a consequence, farming households’ needs for agricultural extension are increasingly diverse and can no longer be accommodated by traditional top-down extension. The changes since the implementation of the HRS provide the opportunity to study the interrelationships of household, gender, livelihood and social change in rural China.
This research aimed to identify the changes in the farming household, gender roles, and rural livelihoods since the implementation of the Household Responsibility System (HRS) in 1978, to understand the heterogeneous household land use practices in the context of diversified livelihood portfolios, and to provide policy recommendations for agricultural technology extension. This research aimed to answer the following research questions:
1. What are the changes in farming households after the HRS, in terms of household structure, composition, size, sources of income and livelihood (including land use), and gender roles?
2. What are the changes in the household, gender roles, livelihood, and land use strategies and their impacts on rural society?
3. How can agricultural extension policies better accommodate the increasing heterogeneity of farming households, particularly regarding household land use?
This research was conducted in the municipality of Kaizuo, located in the southern part of the province of Guizhou, China. The municipality has 37 villages. The field work was done from August 2007 to October 2008. The researcher could also use earlier working experience in the same area. The study used a life course approach and the livelihood framework. The main research methods were cohort analysis, key informant interviews, household survey, focus group discussions (FGDs), case study and participant observation. Secondary data collection was used to describe the research area. The major findings of this research are summarized below.
Before 1978, many rural households had food shortage problems. They only worked on the collective land and had no decision-making power about land use. Food distribution was organized according to labour contribution (work points) to the collective production. About half of the households had to borrow food from the collective. The households were rather similar in terms of physical, financial, social and environmental resources. People’s education level was low and most marriages were arranged. The houses were small and poorly built. People helped each other in many activities, e.g. house construction, in return for food. There were few products in the market and there was only one cooperative shop in the municipality that sold daily necessities. Coupons were required if you wanted to buy goods there, but these were allocated to each person according to a certain ratio and their number was very limited. There were no tap water and there were only dirt roads. Most households used firewood for fuel and did not have electricity. The main income came from agricultural production and few skilled villagers, all men, did sideline activities for the collective. Skilled persons were entitled to more food. Agricultural extension was top-down, through village leaders and extension workers. Men and women did not get equal work points, since men were involved in activities that earned more points, such as ploughing and skilled work.
Since the implementation of the HRS, the household size has become smaller and the younger people are better educated. Young couples started to go out to earn cash, leaving their children with the grandparents. Income sources have become more diversified. Migration is very common for the younger people and off-farm circulation is common among middle-aged persons. Only aged persons now depend on land only. Villagers run small shops and a small mine factory, work in the transportation business or trade, sell wild vegetables and medicinal herbs. Most of the money made is not from agriculture. More money comes from animal husbandry, migration and off-farm work. People have extra food to sell because of higher yields from the land and fewer mouths at home. Traders come to buy non-timber forest products, resources that are valuable for women, aged persons, and children. Land is rented to others to cultivate because migration causes labour shortage. More cash crops are cultivated.
Women and men are now more equal ideologically. Younger wives are active in agricultural production and have to do many activities in the field them¬selves or get help from the parents-in-law. Women prefer to cultivate more diversified crops. Men are more interested in cultivating staple food or cash crops and they prefer to get money from non-agricultural sources. It is common that who does the job, makes the decisions relating to it. The home garden is the women’s domain. Aged couples usually work together, according to a rigid division of labour that is not found among young couples anymore. Newly married couples spend more time on child care and less on agriculture. The daughter-in-law is now more power¬ful than the mother-in-law and can make her own decisions, even if the older woman works harder.
In economic terms, most households are medium-level households. House¬holds that rely only on their land and agriculture are not rich. For rich house¬holds the land is not so important anymore, although they hold on to it. For such house¬holds agriculture production is a sideline activity. Most medium-level house¬holds diversify land use and cultivate more cash crops. Poorest households are not good at land management and only cultivate a limited number of crops. Only few households that have little land want to give up the land to earn money by migration. Most people, however, want to come back to farming some day, when they are too old for migration. The households of late 1980s and 1990s cohorts have the most difficult time because they have to pay for the children’s higher education. The situation is easier for the households of the 2000s cohort, whose children are younger, and who prefer to work outside to earn cash for the children’s upbringing and future. Some households do not migrate and are engaged in intensive cultivation, trading, or transportation. For them, cash crops are important. The households of the 1970s and early 1980s cohorts are usually involved in circulation. They can use the money they earn from this, and what their children send them, for inputs in agricultural production. They can employ labourers to work for them in the busy season and are eager to increase their knowledge about land management. They prefer to cultivate more diversified food for own consumption. But they have a heavy burden, taking care of grandchildren and their children’s land.
Younger cohorts prefer to migrate or have a business of their own, and do not pay much attention to agriculture. They give the land to their parents to manage or rent it out to others. Older cohorts stick to agriculture and animal husbandry and only do circulation. They rent land to cultivate, even though it is not very profitable. They are not accepted as workers by factories, so they have to stay at home to work in agriculture. Some mentioned that they would like to work in the factory to earn more money, but most still prefer to work in the field. They use agricultural products to feed their animals and earn cash from selling animals.
Migration causes serious labour shortage in agricultural production. Nowadays, help in return for food is decreasing and money-rewarded employ¬¬ment is on the increase. It is now difficult for the village to organize community activities. Nobody wants to be a village leader, because of the time it takes. At the same time, the mutual help between neighbours, relatives and friends plays an important role in the migration process. The women left behind make decisions in many fields. The number of de facto female-headed households is increasing. Migrants bring new ideas to rural society, thereby opening it up. Cases of land being abandoned occur more frequently than in former times. Villagers now enjoy better living conditions and have more leisure time. Compared to the older generation, the younger people have more time to relax. Aged persons still work hard, because they have to look after grandchildren left with them, in addition to working on the farm. Differences in income between farming households have not become much larger in the past twenty years, but liveli¬hood strategies are more diverse and social and occupational stratification is increasing.
The channels for the transfer of new agricultural technologies are mainly relatives, friends and neighbours. Only a few people get information from the extension workers. The shop keeper is an important figure in providing the villagers with information on agricultural technologies. The older couples are the main agricultural producers, and they have a lot of experience. Younger couples put more effort into migration and their agricultural skills are limited. However, they easily adopt new technologies. The government’s extension service cannot very well meet the diversified need for agricultural technology. Labour shortages and feminization of agriculture caused by migration create a need for labour-saving technologies and appropriate technologies for women. Extension activities should pay more attention to the older cohorts who are the main agricultural producers.