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Practice makes perfect - PhD. dissertation Andre de Jager PDF Print E-mail
Written by Andre de Jager   
Friday, 02 November 2007

FFS Participant studying a maize plantOn 30 November 2007 Andre de Jager defended his PhD. thesis titled "Practice makes perfect - Participatory innovation in soil fertility management to improve rural livelihoods in East Africa" of Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.

This thesis describes the development of an inter-disciplinary diagnostic tool to assess impacts of farm management practices on nutrient balances and the use of the tool in participative research and innovation approaches in East Africa. The research showed that negative soil nutrient balances and high incidence of poverty prevail in most of the farming systems in East Africa. Once smallholders are equipped with knowledge and the capacity to learn, are empowered in organizations and connected to markets and the private sector, they can substantially improve their rural livelihoods. Therefore a focus on participatory experiential learning approaches and farmer organizations that result in new arrangements in innovation systems needs to be mainstreamed in rural development projects. Innovations in soil fertility management had the greatest impact on livelihoods in areas with both high agricultural potential and access to large urban markets. In more marginal areas most investments in inputs and technologies were financially unattractive or risky. In these areas priority needs be given to creating a more conducive environment for smallholders to do business and explore alternatives to food crop production. Specific attention is given to the role of Farmers Field Schools in these processes.

More information and access to certain parts of the thesis: 

  • Thesis Abstract
  • FFS Chapters: Part 1 (Introduction), Part 3 - Chapter 8 (Farmer Field Schools and Integrated Nutrient Management in Kenya) and Part 5 (Discussion and concluding remarks).
  • Other Chapters: these are published articles in peer-reviewed journals. For a Table of Contents of the thesis, please contact the author.
  • View the thesis defense on WUR-TV: If you have not been able to attend the thesis defense, you can view it on-line at  WUR-TV (only viewable in Internet Explorer and with a broadband connection).
  • Full Hard Copy: If you would like to receive a hard copy of this thesis, please contact the author.
  • Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it , LEI/WUR, The Hague, The Netherlands
Last Updated ( Monday, 14 January 2008 )
 
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