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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    Mobilizing farmers to stop land degradation: A different discourse from Burundi
    Kessler, Aad ; Reemst, Laurie Van; Beun, Micael ; Slingerland, Erik ; Pol, Laura ; Winne, Ruben De - \ 2020
    Land Degradation and Development (2020). - ISSN 1085-3278
    Stopping land degradation is one of the biggest challenges worldwide and particularly in Burundi, with its unprecedented rates of soil loss and growing food insecurity. This article proposes a different discourse on how to engage people in stopping land degradation, and presents results and lessons learned from a bottom‐up inclusive approach implemented since 2014 in Burundi: the integrated farm planning (PIP) approach. The PIP approach aims to build a solid foundation for sustainable change toward enhanced food production and good land stewardship, based on three foundation principles (motivation, stewardship, and resilience) and three guiding principles (empowerment, integration, and collaboration). This article is based on two studies undertaken in 2018: an impact study among 202 households and a qualitative study using the most significant change methodology with 30 households. Findings from both studies provide initial support that the PIP approach generates considerable changes at household, farm, and village level. Based on a vision and a plan for their farm, motivated PIP households are currently investing in the resilience of their farms and applying a diversity of conservation practices, while in all PIP villages concrete collective action is undertaken for sustainable land stewardship. Given its rapid upscaling in Burundi and the potential of the PIP approach to mobilize farmers for motivated action, the article concludes with a reflection on the core elements of a different discourse to stop land degradation.
    Oil Palm Agroforestry Can Achieve Economic and Environmental Gains as Indicated by Multifunctional Land Equivalent Ratios
    Khasanah, Nikmatul ; Noordwijk, Meine van; Slingerland, Maja ; Sofiyudin, Mohammad ; Stomph, Dienke ; Migeon, Adrien F. ; Hairiah, Kurniatun - \ 2020
    Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems 3 (2020). - ISSN 2571-581X
    carbon footprint - cocoa - ecosystem services - intercropping - land equivalent ratio (LER) - oil palm - pepper - WaNuLCAS model

    Driven by increased global demand for vegetable oil in the food and biofuel sectors, oil palm plantations based on monoculture technology have expanded into lowland tropical forests. Interest in diversified, mixed oil palm systems is increasing as these might increase efficiency of the use of land and other resources, reduce farmer risk, and decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions per unit product. Land Equivalent Ratio for provisioning services (LERP) values above 1.0 show that at least some diversified systems use land more efficiently than monocultures and are thus “land sparing,” where monoculture LERP cannot exceed 1.0. Diversification also modifies climate and water regulating functions (“land sharing”) relative to a forest reference, as indicated in the LERR index. A “multifunctional” LERM indicator combines both; land sparing plus land sharing effects jointly determine expected regulating services. Empirical assessment of multiple ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes is assisted by models that synthesise process-based knowledge, especially for perennial systems where well-designed experiments require a full production cycle, and are costly and scarce. Agroforestry models explore spacing, intercropping and soil management options, predicting harvestable yields, impacts on water flows, nutrient leaching, and greenhouse gas emissions. We used the process-based Water, Nutrient and Light Capture in Agroforestry System (WaNuLCAS) model to explore mixed oil palm + cocoa and oil palm + pepper intercrop systems with modified (“double row”) planting patterns for Indonesian contexts and estimated consequences for the carbon footprint. The oil palm + cocoa intercrop provided a high LERP (1.4), while also replenishing more ground water and having a lower C footprint. This combination also has a return to labour equal to that in oil palm monocultures and a higher benefit cost ratio than the oil palm + pepper combination that maximizes Net Present Value. Oil palm + cocoa systems are also less sensitive to price uncertainty for oil palm, and buffer for oil palm and cocoa production risks, assumed to be independent of each other. Considerable economic and environmental system improvements appear to be feasible through mixed oil palm systems and diversification as a pathway to intensification deserves full attention of research and policy development.

    The Missing Middle: Connected action on agriculture and nutrition across global, national and local levels to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 2
    Veldhuizen, L.J.L. ; Giller, K.E. ; Oosterveer, P.J.M. ; Brouwer, I.D. ; Janssen, S.J.C. ; Zanten, H.H.E. van; Slingerland, M.A. - \ 2020
    Global Food Security 24 (2020). - ISSN 2211-9124 - 6 p.
    SDG2 - Food systems - Sustainable agriculture - Food security - Pathways - Stakeholders
    Sustainable development goal 2 (SDG 2) challenges the world to connect food production and consumption in a way that matches local contexts and enables everyone to enjoy a healthy diet that is produced sustainably and contributes to the other SDGs. We identify a Missing Middle between food production and consumption, and between globally defined goals and local implementation practices that may hinder progress towards SDG 2. Examples of this Missing Middle and how it can be bridged demonstrate that key challenges should be addressed in a more integrated manner for more effective action on SDG 2. We encourage actors in food provisioning to start addressing the Missing Middle by collaborating with relevant stakeholders in specified cases.
    Quality Improvement in African Food Supply Chains: Determinants of Farmer Performance
    Tefera, Delelegne Abera ; Bijman, Jos ; Slingerland, Maja ; Velde, Gerben van der; Omta, Onno - \ 2020
    European Journal of Development Research 32 (2020)1. - ISSN 0957-8811 - p. 152 - 175.
    Economics of quality - Ethiopia - Institutional arrangement - Malt barley - Quality-upgrading - Smallholders

    The integration of smallholders in modern value chains in sub-Saharan Africa is an important pathway for improving income and farmer livelihoods. Connected to demographic shifts, rapid urbanization, and the emergence of a middle class, there is a demand for higher product quality. In order to access these modern markets, smallholders need to enhance the quality of their products. However, factors that determine smallholders’ decision to invest in quality upgrading are not well understood. Using cross-sectional data from the Ethiopian barley sector, we analyse the factors that explain smallholders’ decision to improve quality. We find that socioeconomic, institutional and market factors affect the decision to improve quality. Our study contributes to the understanding of the determinants of quality upgrading at the micro-level of the economics of quality production, and thus of rural development.

    Multinationals and Modernisation of Domestic Value Chains in Africa: Case Studies from Ethiopia
    Tefera, Delelegne A. ; Bijman, Jos ; Slingerland, Maja A. - \ 2020
    Journal of Development Studies 56 (2020)3. - ISSN 0022-0388 - p. 596 - 612.

    Multinationals can facilitate modernisation in food value chains in developing countries. While most studies focus on export chains, insight on domestic food chains is scant. Our study aims to provide detailed insights into the process of upgrading domestic value chains. A rapidly growing beer market has attracted foreign brewery companies to invest in Ethiopia. These foreign brewers have introduced new sourcing structures in order to increase the supply of high quality raw material. We have used a case study design to explore upgrading processes in malt barley chains, where malt barley is both a food and a cash crop. By introducing strong vertical coordination between farmers and buyers, facilitated by producer organisations and NGOs, foreign brewers have been able to upgrade malt barley chains. We found that both farmers and brewers have benefitted from this upgrading process.

    Klimaatschadeschatter Rapportage 2019
    Jacobs, C.M.J. ; Budding-Polo Ballinas, Monserrat ; Spijker, J.H. ; Kok, Sien ; Bel, Mark de; Jong, Dick de; Kluck, Jeroen ; Harten, Floris ; Stoop, Bianca ; Noome, Wilmer ; Slingerland, Erwin ; Bosch, Peter ; Leuken, Jeroen P.G. van; Goosen, H. ; Koekoek, Arjen ; Bijsterveldt, M.A.J.C. van; Hofland, Sandy - \ 2019
    Bussum : Stichting Climate Adaptation Services (CAS) - 52 p.
    De warme en droge zomers van 2018 en 2019 braken allerlei records, en we zullen er nog veel vaker mee te maken krijgen. Ook korte hevige regen- en hagelbuien komen steeds vaker voor. De effecten van klimaatverandering hebben verschillende gevolgen. Zo moeten er meer mensen naar het ziekenhuis in hete zomers, kan er vaker water het gebouw in stromen en verzakken wegen en panden door droogte. De Klimaatschadeschatter (KSS) helpt om inzicht te krijgen in de schade door klimaatverandering met de focus op de stedelijke omgeving.
    A study on outcomes of RSPO certification for independent smallholders in Central Kalimantan : Technical report by the SEnSOR programme
    Vos, R.E. de; Suwarno, A. ; Slingerland, M.A. ; Meer, P.J. van der; Lucey, J. - \ 2019
    A study into outcomes of RSPO certification for independent smallholders : A science-for-policy brief by the SEnSOR programme
    Suwarno, A. ; Vos, R.E. de; Brouwer, Rens ; Gunnewijk, Ben ; Slingerland, M.A. ; Meer, P.J. van der; Lucey, Jennifer M. - \ 2019
    SENSOR - 4 p.
    Why do oil palm farmers choose for intensification or expansion? Does certification make a difference?
    Slingerland, M.A. ; Maghfirah Khairuddin, Annisa - \ 2019
    In: Land governance in transition: How to support transformations that work for people and nature?. - LANDac - p. 48 - 48.
    Intercropping in oil palm plantations in Central Kalimantan: an interdisciplinary study on smallholder livelihood strategies
    Vos, R.E. de; Suwarno, A. ; Meer, P.J. van der; Slingerland, M.A. - \ 2019
    In: Land governance in transition: How to support transformations that work for people and nature?. - LANDac - p. 47 - 47.
    Impacts of RSPO certification on land-use planning by smallholders
    Slingerland, Maja ; Maghfirah Khairuddin, Annisa ; Roth, Dik - \ 2019
    Improving smallholder inclusivity through integrating oil palm with crops
    Slingerland, M.A. ; Khasanah, N. ; Noordwijk, Meine van; Susanti, Ari ; Meilantina, Mayang - \ 2019
    In: Exploring inclusive palm oil production / Jezeer, Rosalien, Pasiecznik, Nick, ETFRN and Tropenbos International, Wageningen (ETFRN News 59) - p. 147 - 154.
    A living income for smallholder commodity farmers and protected forests and biodiversity: how can the private and public sectors contribute? : White Paper on sustainable commodity production
    Waarts, Y.R. ; Janssen, Valerie ; Ingram, V.J. ; Slingerland, M.A. ; Rijn, F.C. van; Beekman, G. ; Dengerink, Just ; Vliet, J.A. van; Arets, E.J.M.M. ; Sassen, M. ; Guijt, W.J. van; Vugt, S.M. van - \ 2019
    Wageningen : Wageningen Economic Research (Wageningen Economic Research 2019-122) - 26 p.
    Interventions and policies in the cocoa, tea and coffee sectors have failed to ensure that all smallholder commodity farmers earn more than the $1.90 World Bank poverty line or a living income, and they have not halted deforestation. Commodity farming is strongly associated with deforestation, in spite of interventions. For more than 50% of the cocoa and tea farmers in our datasets, household income would need to double in order for them to earn a living income. For those farmers, farming will never be a primary pathway out of poverty.
    A sustainability assessment of bioethanol (EtOH) production: The case of cassava in Colombia
    Pabon-Pereira, Claudia ; Slingerland, Maja ; Hogervorst, Sanna ; Lier, Jules van; Rabbinge, Rudy - \ 2019
    Sustainability 11 (2019)14. - ISSN 2071-1050
    Bioenergy production - Bioethanol - Biofuels - Cassava - Energy crops - Sustainability analysis

    This paper shows how system design determines sustainability outcomes of cassava bioethanol production in Colombia. The recovery of the energy contained in by-products is recommended as compared to single product production. In particular, this study assesses the energy, greenhouse gases, water, and land use performance of alternative cassava cascades working at different scales, highlighting the implications of including anaerobic digestion technology in the chain. The centralized systems showed a poorer energy and greenhouse gases performance as compared to decentralized ones in part due to the artificial drying of cassava chips in the centralized facility. Under solar drying of cassava chips, systems with anaerobic digestion produced three to five times more energy than demanded and produced greenhouse gas savings of 0.3 kgCO2eq L EtOH-1. The water balance output depends upon the water reuse within the ethanol industry, which demands 21-23 L EtOH-1. In the anaerobic digestion scenarios, assuming liquid flows are treated separately, complete water recovery is feasible. Land use for cassava cultivation was calculated to be 0.27-0.35 ha tEtOH-1. The energy and water content of the material to digest, the options for digestate reuse, and the recovery of the methane produced are major considerations substantially influencing the role of anaerobic digestion within cassava cascade configurations.

    Good agricultural practices in oil palm and smallholder inclusion in Indonesia
    Maat, H. ; Lisnawati, L. ; Woittiez, L.S. ; Slingerland, M.A. - \ 2019
    In: Exploring inclusive palm oil production / Jezeer, R., Pasiecznik, N., ETFRN News 2019 (2019)59. - ISSN 1876-5866European Tropical Forest Research Network (ETFRN News 59) - ISBN 9789051131413 - p. 72 - 77.
    The Role of the Integrated Maize-Soybean-Chicken Value Chains in Sustaining Diverse Diets in Tanzania
    Wilson, Wilson ; Slingerland, M.A. ; Zanten, H.H.E. van; Baijukya, Frederick ; Oosting, S.J. ; Giller, K.E. - \ 2019
    In: Book of abstracts Tropentag 2019: Tropentag 2019International Research on Food Security, NaturalResource Management and Rural Development. - Göttingen : Cuvillier Verlag - ISBN 9783736970830 - p. 459 - 459.
    Explaining the “Certification Gap” for Different Types of Oil Palm Smallholders in Riau Province, Indonesia
    Hutabarat, Sakti ; Slingerland, Maja ; Dries, Liesbeth - \ 2019
    The Journal of Environment & Development 28 (2019)3. - ISSN 1070-4965 - p. 253 - 281.
    certification - independent smallholders - oil palm - RSPO - scheme smallholders

    Indonesia is the world’s largest producer of palm oil, and its smallholder oil palm plantations involve more than 2.3 million farmers. The rapid expansion of the oil palm area, and resulting negative environmental and social impacts, has increased the demand for sustainability certification for palm oil products. This study investigates whether different types of smallholders face different barriers in complying with certification standards. The study uses survey data from 829 smallholders in Riau, Sumatra. First, an assessment is made of the gap between current management practices and practices required by Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil standards for different types of smallholders. Second, the article explores explanations for the gap between current and required practices. Finally, an investigation is made of the different starting points of different types of smallholders. Results indicate that the diversity between smallholders affects their prospects for certification. To date, this diversity in smallholders has not been taken into account in the application of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil standards. This can help to explain the limited success of smallholder certifications in Indonesia.

    Improving smallholder inclusiveness in palm oil production — a global review
    Jezeer, Rosalien ; Slingerland, M.A. ; Laan, Carina van der; Pasiecznik, Nick - \ 2019
    Tropenbos International (ETFRN News 59) - 15 p.
    Summary review from the ETFRN news 59 'Exploring inclusive palm oil production' where the experiences perceptions and perspectives of individuals, companies, institutions and NGOs on what has been done and is being done on the ground to increase the involvement of and benefits to smallholder oil palm farmers are discussed and compared.
    Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) production in Indonesia: carbon footprint and diversification options
    Khasanah, N. - \ 2019
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): M. van Noordwijk, co-promotor(en): M.A. Slingerland. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463435697 - 205

    Oil palm (Elaeis guineensis) is a uniquely valuable palm as source of low-cost vegetable oil. However, the success and method of its expansion (monoculture plantation) especially in biodiversity-rich Indonesia and Malaysia have made it one of the most controversial crops of the world. One of the policy consequences of the boycotts and debate is the Renewable Energy Directive (RED) of European countries that sets binding targets for the emission savings to be achieved when oils are used as feedstock of biofuel. Exporting countries such as Indonesia need to have reliable data on the carbon footprint of their product across production systems and the products’ lifecycle. Diversification of oil palm plantations starts to gain attention as a strategy to increase farmer resilience. The objectives of this thesis were (1) to estimate the carbon footprint of palm oil production in Indonesia when it is used as biofuel and express it as CO2 equivalent and emissions saving, and (2) to explore mixed oil palm systems as diversification strategy to increase farmer benefit and to reduce the carbon footprint. Through a survey and sample collection in more than 20 plantations distributed over Sumatra, Kalimantan and Sulawesi we analysed the palm oil life cycle. Using the Biofuel Emission Reduction Estimator Scheme (BERES) emissions savings were differentiated by carbon debt (land use change) and current practices. Process-based modelling using WaNuLCAS (Water, Nutrient and Light Capture in Agroforestry System) helped explore intercropping systems beyond current practice. Results show that it is possible to achieve the high emission savings target with palm oil to comply with the RED requirement. Of companies with ‘good agricultural practice’ 40% and 25% of production can meet the 35% (2015) and 60% (2018) emissions savings standards, respectively. The larger the areas that were converted from high-C stock forest, the larger the fraction of peat, the larger the emissions from fertilizers, transportation and processing (incl. methane) and the lower the yield of Fresh Fruit Bunches (FFB), in a mix of production situations that is accounted for jointly (as is the case for ‘company’ level assessments), the harder it is to achieve emission savings. While fertilizer application increases FFB yield, it also increases N2O emissions. Selected mixed oil palm systems can provide considerable economic and environmental system improvements. The Land Equivalent Ratio of mixed oil palm – cacao systems can be 1.4, showing a superior way to achieve land sparing as a goal of efficient use of land, relative to monocultures for each commodity separately. Diversification should be a valid counterpart of current intensification research and policies to help make palm oil more sustainable from both social and environmental perspectives.

    On yield gaps and better management practices in Indonesian smallholder oil palm plantations
    Woittiez, Lotte S. - \ 2019
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): K.E. Giller, co-promotor(en): M.A. Slingerland; M. van Noordwijk. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463435918 - 287

    Palm oil is currently the most important vegetable oil in the world, and Indonesia is the world’s largest producer. Oil palm plantations are an important source of revenue, but rapid expansion has led to deforestation and loss of biodiversity. Forty per cent of the plantation area in Indonesia is owned by smallholders, whose yields are relatively poor. The objective of this thesis was to investigate the yield gaps and agronomic practices in Indonesian smallholder oil palm plantations, with a focus on fertiliser application, and to propose and test better management practices that can contribute to sustainable intensification. The research consisted of an in-depth literature review, several surveys, the collection of samples in smallholder plantations, and a three-year experiment with 14 smallholder farmers.

    In yield gap analysis, three yield levels are recognised: potential, limited, and actual yield. The potential yield in a plantation is determined by radiation, CO2 concentration, temperature, planting material, culling, planting density, pruning, pollination, and crop recovery (harvesting). The yield-limiting factors are rainfall, irrigation, soil, waterlogging, topography, slope, and nutrition. The yield-reducing factors are weeds, pests, and diseases. In smallholder plantations, the yield gap is mostly explained by poor planting material, poor drainage, sub-optimal planting density, poor culling (leading to large variability and the presence of unproductive palms), infrequent harvesting, soil erosion, poor nutrient management, and rat damage, but the effects of these factors on yield vary depending on local conditions.

    The survey data showed clear evidence of insufficient and unbalanced fertiliser applications, and visual nutrient deficiency symptoms were observed in many plantations. Leaf sample results showed that 57, 61 and 80% of the plantations in Jambi and Sintang were deficient in N, P and K, respectively. In Riau, 95, 67 and 75% of the plantations were deficient in N, P and K. The implementation of better management practices (including harvesting, weeding, pruning, and nutrient application) in 14 smallholder fields for three years resulted in palms with significantly larger leaves and heavier bunches compared with palms under farmer management, but improvements in yield were small and not statistically significant, and financial returns on better practices were negative. Possible causes of the small yield response were good starting yields, increased inter-palm competition for sunlight, and environmental constraints (particularly the 2015 El Niño event and waterlogging in Jambi).

    On the basis of our findings on yield gaps, nutrient limitations and better practices, we discuss how Indonesian smallholders may be supported to achieve sustainable intensification at a larger scale, and we reflect on the broader implications of our findings for a future supply of truly sustainable palm oil.

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