Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Risky Business? Rural Entrepreneurship in Subsistence Markets : Evidence from Burundi
    Cieslik, Katarzyna ; D’Aoust, Olivia - \ 2018
    European Journal of Development Research 30 (2018)4. - ISSN 0957-8811 - p. 693 - 717.
    Burundi - risk aversion - rural entrepreneurship - social networks - subsistence farming

    Present-day development theory and practice highlight the potential of micro-entrepreneurship for poverty reduction in rural Africa. At the same time, subsequent studies show that entrepreneurial propensity is not often exhibited by subsistence farmers. Basing our analysis on a cross-section dataset from Burundi, we analyze the entrepreneurial livelihood strategies of rural households: diversifying crops, processing food for sale, supplementary wage work, and non-agricultural employment. We find that the farmers living close to subsistence level are more risk averse in their decision making and less likely to pursue these opportunities. Further, we show that risk aversion is negatively correlated to employment diversification, while there is no significant correlation for the other strategies. Employment diversification is indeed the most risk-bearing strategy that the subsistence farmers cannot afford as adverse outcomes would endanger their households’ survival. Our results also suggest that this risk effect is mitigated by the participation in formal and informal networks.

    Stadslandbouw in het tijdperk van verstedelijking
    Wiskerke, J.S.C. - \ 2014
    Ekoland 34 (2014)4. - ISSN 0926-9142 - p. 14 - 17.
    voedselvoorziening - stadslandbouw - voedselzekerheid - voedselproductie - urbanisatie - regionale voedselketens - zelfvoorzieningslandbouw - food supply - urban agriculture - food security - food production - urbanization - regional food chains - subsistence farming
    De wereld verstedelijkt in een snel tempo. Tussen nu en 2050 zal de stedelijke bevolking met ongeveer 200 duizend personen per dag toenemen. En al die mensen zullen van eten moeten worden voorzien. Een immense opgave. Er is nu al sprake is van de enorme impact van voedselvoorziening op ons leven en onze planeet, hoe moet dat dan in de komende decennia? Voor welke uitdagingen staan we? En, is het produceren van voedsel in de stad – stadslandbouw – een antwoord op de uitdagingen waar we in dit tijdperk van verstedelijking voor staan?
    Opties voor een klimaatbestendige zoetwatervoorziening in Laag Nederland, tussentijds integratierapport
    Jeuken, A. ; Hoogvliet, M. ; Beek, E. van; Baaren, E. van; Duinen, R. ; Veen, A. van der; Linde, A. van der; Delsman, J. ; Pauw, P. ; Oude Essink, G. ; Zee, S. van der; Stofberg, S. ; Appelman, W. ; Cruesen, R. ; Paalman, M. ; Katschnig, D. ; Rozema, J. ; Mens, M. ; Kwakkel, J. ; Veraart, J.A. - \ 2012
    KvK - 86
    watervoorziening - zoet water - waterbeschikbaarheid - landbouwgronden - tuinbouwgronden - natuurgebieden - zelfvoorziening - zelfvoorzieningslandbouw - verzilting - regionale planning - water supply - fresh water - water availability - agricultural soils - horticultural soils - natural areas - self sufficiency - subsistence farming - salinization - regional planning
    Dit rapport geeft een tussentijds overzicht van ‘state of the art’ kennis uit lopend onderzoek van het consortium ‘Climate Proof Fresh Water Supply’ (CPFWS) dat in het kader van het onderzoeksprogramma Kennis voor Klimaat wordt uitgevoerd. De focus van dit onderzoek naar een klimaatbestendige zoetwatervoorziening ligt op lokale en regionale oplossingen in Laag Nederland voor land- en tuinbouw en natuur. De zoetwatervoorziening van dit gebied wordt naast droogte vooral bedreigd door verzilting van grond- en oppervlaktewater. In zes samenhangende werkpakketten wordt geanalyseerd hoe dit gebied meer zelfvoorzienend kan worden én hoe aanpassingen in het (hoofd)watersysteem kunnen bijdragen aan de watervoorziening van het gebied. Centraal in de aanpak zijn een 3-tal casestudies in de Hotspots Haaglanden, Rotterdam Regio en Zuidwestelijke delta.
    Optimaal sluiten van mineralenkringlopen : een ruim dieet bij volledige stikstofsluiting en areaalgebruik
    Cormont, A. ; Janssen, S.J.C. - \ 2012
    landbouw - voedselvoorziening - zelfvoorzieningslandbouw - oppervlakte (areaal) - mineralen - agriculture - food supply - subsistence farming - acreage - minerals
    In een rekenscenario waarin in de voorbeeldregio zo’n 16,6 miljoen mensen wonen die gemiddeld zo’n 82 gram eiwitten per persoon per dag consumeren, die voor 59% afkomstig zijn uit dierlijke producten, is voldoende land beschikbaar voor de teelt van gras (veevoer) en precies genoeg voor de overige gewassen, zoals granen en groenten. Het landbouwareaal dat alleen kan dienen voor de teelt van gras en klaver en dat niet gebruikt hoeft te worden voor de verbouw van gras, is minimaal. De stikstof uit de mest van de aanwezige veestapel en stikstofvastlegging door vlinderbloemigen kan geheel voorzien in de bemesting van het teeltoppervlak voor plantaardige producten. Het uitgangspunt om geen aanvullende kunstmest te gebruiken wordt in dit rekenscenario gehaald.
    Optimaal sluiten van mineralenkringlopen : een ongewijzigd dieet in een toekomst zonder kunstmest
    Cormont, A. ; Janssen, S.J.C. - \ 2012
    voedselvoorziening - zelfvoorzieningslandbouw - werkloosheid in de landbouw - humane voeding - consumptiepatronen - food supply - subsistence farming - agricultural unemployment - human feeding - consumption patterns
    In een rekenscenario waarin het consumptiepatroon van de inwoners van de voorbeeldregio gelijk blijft aan het huidige consumptiepatroon, is voldoende land beschikbaar voor de teelt van gras (veevoer), maar onvoldoende land voor de teelt van overige gewassen, zoals granen en groenten. De stikstof uit de mest van de aanwezige veestapel en stikstofvastlegging door vlinderbloemigen kan vrijwel geheel voorzien in de bemesting van het teeltoppervlak voor plantaardige producten. Er hoeft zodoende nauwelijks tot geen aanvullende kunstmest gebruikt te worden.
    Strengthening rice seed systems and agro-biodiversity conservation in West Africa: a socio-technical focus on farmers’ practices of rice seed development and diversity conservation in Susu cross border lands of Guinea and Sierra Leone
    Okry, F. - \ 2011
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Paul Richards; Paul Struik, co-promotor(en): Edwin Nuijten; P. van Mele. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789461731111 - 208
    gewassen - oryza - agrobiodiversiteit - zaden - rassen (planten) - zelfvoorzieningslandbouw - west-afrika - guinee - sierra leone - rijst - crops - oryza - agro-biodiversity - seeds - varieties - subsistence farming - west africa - guinea - sierra leone - rice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Fragmented lives: reconstructing rural livelihoods in post-genocide Rwanda
    Koster, M. - \ 2008
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Anke Niehof, co-promotor(en): Georg Frerks; Lisa Price. - [S.l.] : S.n. - ISBN 9789085049678 - 468
    plattelandsontwikkeling - huishoudens - gezinsinkomen - oorlog - conflict - sociologie - sociale economie - platteland - plattelandsbevolking - huishoudelijke consumptie - zelfvoorzieningslandbouw - landbouw - armoede - plattelandsvrouwen - positie van de vrouw - etnische groepen - rwanda - middelen van bestaan - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - sociaal kapitaal - geslacht (gender) - rural development - households - household income - war - conflict - sociology - socioeconomics - rural areas - rural population - household consumption - subsistence farming - agriculture - poverty - rural women - woman's status - ethnic groups - rwanda - livelihoods - livelihood strategies - social capital - gender
    During the genocide in Rwanda (1994) nearly a million Tutsi and moderate Hutu were killed and millions of people were displaced. Since 2002, social scientist Marian Koster has regularly visited the country for her PhD-research at Wageningen University. Her study centred on the strategies that households in the northeast of Rwanda use to secure their livelihoods. During her visits to Rwanda, Koster was told that the poorest and most vulnerable households consist of those headed by women, and specifically those headed by widows. However, her research clearly indicates that this is not the case and that widowed heads of households perform much better than is generally assumed. This has important consequences for development interventions which, in an attempt to reach the poorest of the poor, continue to target widows. Koster’s research also shows that many new laws and policies, meant to increase land tenure security and agricultural production, are counterproductive and directly undermine poor people’s livelihood strategies.
    A journey without maps: towards sustainable subsistence agriculture in South Africa
    Adey, S. - \ 2007
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Han Wiskerke, co-promotor(en): F.H.J. Rijkenberg. - [S.l.] : S.n. - 242
    ontwikkeling - sociologie - participatie - technische vooruitgang - zelfvoorzieningslandbouw - duurzaamheid (sustainability) - plattelandsontwikkeling - bodemvruchtbaarheid - economische ontwikkeling - sociale ontwikkeling - instellingen - kunstnijverheid - natuurlijke hulpbronnen - hulpbronnenbeheer - gezinstuinen - voeren van een landbouwhuishouding - zuid-afrika - strategieën voor levensonderhoud - bodemvruchtbaarheidsbeheer - development - sociology - participation - technical progress - subsistence farming - sustainability - rural development - soil fertility - economic development - social development - institutions - crafts - natural resources - resource management - home gardens - homesteading - south africa - livelihood strategies - soil fertility management
    Participatory technology development within the subsistence-farming sector in South Africa is receiving increasing attention. Linked to this is an interest in sustainable development, particularly for agricultural interventions. Ecological approaches to agriculture have largely been considered unable to provide a route for income generation. However, some promising examples of sustainable small-scale farming systems can be found in South Africa. The main aim of this thesis was to identify factors within these development programmes that led to sustainable technology development in the context of subsistence farmers’ livelihoods. This objective was achieved through exploring practically, the concepts derived from the sustainability paradigm. To be sustainable, a farming system should be biologically, technically and socially feasible and viable at farm level, within a positive and enhancing external environment. Sustainability ultimately concerns the relationships between all elements of the farming system and for this reason researching sustainability in agriculture requires a multi-level, multi-aspect and multi-actor approach. Sustainability was explored in three case studies in this thesis and at a number of levels: field level; farm and district level, including organizational interaction. Different aspects were researched that included agricultural technologies, household livelihoods and organizational development. The various actors involved in the technology-development process examined in the three case studies included farmers, change-agents, researchers and local traditional authorities. Interactions at all three levels influenced and contributed to the overall sustainability of the development intervention and this research supports the widely demonstrated conclusion that the challenges faced by agriculture will not readily be solved by technological interventions at the field level alone. The factors at each of the levels that contributed to the sustainability of the develop projects are presented and the lessons learned from the three case studies are also given.
    New ways of developing agricultural technologies: the Zanzibar experience with participatory integrated pest management
    Bruin, G.C.A. ; Meerman, F. - \ 2001
    Wageningen : Wageningen University and Research Centre - ISBN 9789067546249 - 167
    plagenbehandeling - gewasbescherming - landbouwontwikkeling - landbouw - technologie - ontwikkeling - participatie - zanzibar - geïntegreerde plagenbestrijding - aangepaste technologie - teeltsystemen - zelfvoorzieningslandbouw - gewasproductie - integrated pest management - cropping systems - crop production - pest management - plant protection - agricultural development - agriculture - subsistence farming - appropriate technology - technology - development - participation - zanzibar
    Low-external-input alternatives to shifting cultivation in S. Sumatera : brief description of an Indonesian - Dutch project on environment and development
    Noordwijk, M. van; Guritno, B. - \ 1992
    Haren (Gr.) : DLO-Instituut voor Bodemvruchtbaarheid (Nota / DLO-Instituut voor Bodemvruchtbaarheid 251) - 24
    alternatieve landbouw - tussenteelt - tussenplanting - gemengde teelt - meervoudige teelt - biologische landbouw - zwerflandbouw - zelfvoorzieningslandbouw - sumatra - alternative farming - intercropping - interplanting - mixed cropping - multiple cropping - organic farming - shifting cultivation - subsistence farming - sumatra
    De traditionele landbouw van de boslandcreolen in het district Brokopondo
    Bijl, H. van der; Eerenstein, J.H.W. - \ 1976
    Paramaribo : CELOS (Celos rapporten no. 121) - 49
    zwerflandbouw - zelfvoorzieningslandbouw - suriname - shifting cultivation - subsistence farming - suriname
    Decision making of low - labour income farmers
    Anonymous, - \ 1975
    Wageningen : [s.n.] (Literatuurlijst / Centrum voor landbouwpublikaties en landbouwdocumentatie no. 3682)
    kleine landbouwbedrijven - agrarische bedrijfsvoering - zelfvoorzieningslandbouw - besluitvorming - laag inkomen - bibliografieën - landbouw - overeenkomsten - personen - small farms - farm management - subsistence farming - decision making - low income - bibliographies - agriculture - agreements - persons
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