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Book part
Publication date: 15 July 2017

Andreas W. Ebert

Malnutrition is widespread and affects about one-third of humanity. Increasing production and consumption of vegetables is an obvious pathway to improve dietary diversity…

Abstract

Malnutrition is widespread and affects about one-third of humanity. Increasing production and consumption of vegetables is an obvious pathway to improve dietary diversity, nutrition and health. This chapter analyses how climate change is affecting vegetable production, with a special focus on the spread of insect pests and diseases. A thorough literature review was undertaken to assess current global vegetable production, the factors that affect the spread of diseases and insect pests, the implications caused by climate change, and how some of these constraints can be overcome. This study found that climate change combined with globalization, increased human mobility, and pathogen and vector evolution has increased the spread of invasive plant pathogens and other species with high fertility and dispersal. The ability to transfer genes from wild relatives into cultivated elite varieties accelerates the development of novel vegetable varieties. World Vegetable Center breeders have embarked on breeding for multiple disease resistance against a few important pathogens of global relevance and with large evolutionary potential, such as chili anthracnose and tomato bacterial wilt. The practical implications of this are that agronomic practices that enhance microbial diversity may suppress emerging plant pathogens through biological control. Grafting can effectively control soil-borne diseases and overcome abiotic stress. Biopesticides and natural enemies either alone or in combination can play a significant role in sustainable pathogen and insect pest management in vegetable production system. This chapter highlights the importance of integrated disease and pest management and the use of diverse production systems for enhanced resilience and sustainability of highly vulnerable, uniform cropping systems.

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2018

Winifred Chepkoech, Nancy W. Mungai, Silke Stöber, Hillary K. Bett and Hermann Lotze-Campen

Understanding farmers’ perceptions of how the climate is changing is vital to anticipating its impacts. Farmers are known to take appropriate steps to adapt only when they…

Abstract

Purpose

Understanding farmers’ perceptions of how the climate is changing is vital to anticipating its impacts. Farmers are known to take appropriate steps to adapt only when they perceive change to be taking place. This study aims to analyse how African indigenous vegetable (AIV) farmers perceive climate change in three different agro-climatic zones (ACZs) in Kenya, identify the main differences in historical seasonal and annual rainfall and temperature trends between the zones, discuss differences in farmers’ perceptions and historical trends and analyse the impact of these perceived changes and trends on yields, weeds, pests and disease infestation of AIVs.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collection was undertaken in focus group discussions (FGD) (N = 211) and during interviews with individual farmers (N = 269). The Mann–Kendall test and regression were applied for trend analysis of time series data (1980-2014). Analysis of variance and least significant difference were used to test for differences in mean rainfall data, while a chi-square test examined the association between farmer perceptions and ACZs. Coefficient of variation expressed as a percentage was used to show variability in mean annual and seasonal rainfall between the zones.

Findings

Farmers perceived that higher temperatures, decreased rainfall, late onset and early retreat of rain, erratic rainfall patterns and frequent dry spells were increasing the incidences of droughts and floods. The chi-square results showed a significant relationship between some of these perceptions and ACZs. Meteorological data provided some evidence to support farmers’ perceptions of changing rainfall. No trend was detected in mean annual rainfall, but a significant increase was recorded in the semi-humid zone. A decreasing maximum temperature was noted in the semi-humid zone, but otherwise, an overall increase was detected. There were highly significant differences in mean annual rainfall between the zones. Farmers perceived reduced yields and changes in pest infestation and diseases in some AIVs to be prevalent in the dry season. This study’s findings provide a basis for local and timely institutional changes, which could certainly help in reducing the adverse effects of climate change.

Originality/value

This is an original research paper and the historical trends, farmers’ perceptions and effects of climate change on AIV production documented in this paper may also be representative of other ACZs in Kenya.

Details

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-8692

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Article
Publication date: 21 March 2016

Wondimagegn Tesfaye and Lemma Seifu

The purpose of this paper is to analyze smallholder farmers’ perceptions of climate change and its adverse effects, identify major adaptation strategies used by farmers…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze smallholder farmers’ perceptions of climate change and its adverse effects, identify major adaptation strategies used by farmers and analyze the factors that influence the choice of adaptation strategy by smallholder farmers in eastern Ethiopia.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was based on a cross-sectional survey of 296 sample households selected from three districts in east Ethiopia. Data were collected with the aid of a semi-structured questionnaire and review of literature, documents and databases.

Findings

The study provides empirical evidence that majority of farmers in the study area are aware of climate change patterns and their adverse effect on income, food security, diversity, forest resources, food prices and crop and livestock diseases. In response to these adverse effects, major adaptation strategies used by farmers include cultivating different crops, planting different crop varieties, changing planting dates, use of soil and water conservation techniques, conservation agriculture practices and engaging in non-farm income activities. Choice of adaptation strategies are influenced by gender of household head, household size, farm size, distance from market and number of farm plots.

Practical implications

The study suggests that developing more effective climate change adaptation strategies need support from the government. Such an effort needs provision of the necessary resources such as credit, information and extension services on climate change adaptation strategies and technologies, and investing in climate smart and resilient projects.

Originality/value

The study adopts multivariate probit model that models farmers’ simultaneous adaptation choice behavior which has been rarely addressed by previous researches.

Details

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-8692

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2004

N.A. Amusa, I.A. Kehinde and A.A. Adegbite

The etiology of fruit anthracnose in hot pepper (Capsicum frutescens) was investigated at Ibadan, Osogbo, and Ikenne in the lowland forest zone of western Nigeria…

Abstract

The etiology of fruit anthracnose in hot pepper (Capsicum frutescens) was investigated at Ibadan, Osogbo, and Ikenne in the lowland forest zone of western Nigeria. Collectotrichum capsici (Synd) Butler & Bisby was found associated with the fruit anthracnose of hot pepper in all locations. Out of 300 plants examined in all the locations, over 70 per cent had fruit anthracnose, while in some pepper fields all the fruits produced had the disease symptom. The pathogen overseasoned in pepper plant debris. A high inoculum population of 4.9×106 g−1 colony forming units/g was estimated in the soil of pepper fields. The seed from the infected hot pepper fruits also carried propergules of the pathogen. The fungus was also found on Lycopersicon esculentus, C. annum and Vigna unguiculata growing in and around the pepper fields. Pepper fruits infection by the disease occurs during the peak of the rainy season beginning in patches which spread later, resulting in extensive infection of the pepper field.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

Colin Green

From a systems perspective, vulnerability can be defined as the relationship between a purposive system and its environment, where that environment varies over time. Which…

Abstract

From a systems perspective, vulnerability can be defined as the relationship between a purposive system and its environment, where that environment varies over time. Which environmental perturbations are significant therefore depends upon the objectives of the system as only those perturbations that can inhibit the achievement of these objectives are significant. That system must decide whether to adjust in advance to each potential perturbation or to rely upon a recovery path when that perturbation occurs. In each case, it must then decide upon the adjustment or recovery path to adopt. In particular, the basic resources available to a household are time and energy where the rates at which these can be directly or indirectly, through earning income, converted to consumption are crucial. Perturbations can reduce the energy available as well as reduce the efficiencies with which time and energy can be converted to income.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2017

Aurélie Brunie, Diana Rutherford, Emily B. Keyes and Samuel Field

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of savings and loan groups (SGs), alone and combined with a rotating labor scheme (Ajuda Mútua), on the economic…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of savings and loan groups (SGs), alone and combined with a rotating labor scheme (Ajuda Mútua), on the economic conditions of the rural poor in Nampula province in Mozambique.

Design/methodology/approach

Three pairs of districts were randomized into receiving SG, SG and AM, or no intervention. The study used a mixed-methods sequential explanatory design. Data from a longitudinal survey of 1,276 households were analyzed using difference-in-difference estimation to assess the impact of SGs on income and asset ownership. Thematic analysis of in-depth interviews with 72 program participants explored specific contributions of SGs to economic outcomes.

Findings

Survey results show that program participation had a significant, positive impact on income and asset ownership. Qualitative results indicate that SGs allowed households to bridge seasonal food consumption gaps and meet cash needs during crises. Accumulated savings supported asset purchases. Program activities supported agricultural activity, but enterprise development had limited scope. Challenges to economic development included cultural aversion to risk, inadequate agricultural inputs, low market integration, and limited business opportunities.

Practical implications

SGs helped reduce vulnerability to stress events. Programs should analyze the wider structural context to foster a positive enabling environment, and combine SGs with relevant enterprise development services for additional benefits.

Originality/value

The importance of savings is increasingly acknowledged, but the contributions and limitations of SGs are not fully understood. This paper also highlights the role of structural context, which remains undervalued in the literature.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 44 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1998

John Goodier

Abstract

Details

Reference Reviews, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0950-4125

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2016

Gunjan Tomer, Gaurav Singh Chauhan and Prabin Kumar Panigrahi

The paper explores the importance of mobile technology to enable diffusion of agriculture-related knowledge among farmers in India. The purpose of the paper is to evaluate…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper explores the importance of mobile technology to enable diffusion of agriculture-related knowledge among farmers in India. The purpose of the paper is to evaluate the current socio-economic factors and challenges that impact the feasibility of m-governance project. The authors intend to explore different behavioral aspects of farmers, specifically their information seeking behavior to understand their communication ecosystem.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors have used multiple methods to analyze the significance of m-governance in current social dynamics. To achieve in depth understanding of farmer’s attitudes and opinion, the authors have conducted semi-structured interviews with farmers. The authors have also applied experimental observations to evaluate the actual effectiveness of information dissemination and the social dynamics behind the process. The secondary/archival data was also collected from the government offices and non-governmental organizations.

Findings

Findings explore the pattern of mobile usage among the farmers which could lead to interesting implications for the design and implementation of future m-governance projects. The research has also drawn some interesting implication on the feasibility of m-governance project.

Research limitations/implications

Because the findings are co-related with the prevalent socio-cultural dynamics, testing the findings in different context might add value to the proposed theory and its implications.

Originality/value

Considering the need and significance of agriculture-based reforms in rural India, present study offers guidance in devising an efficient communication medium among farmers and government. The authors infer from our field observations that the communication platform is vital for successfully reaching farmers for their overall welfare. The present work is based on findings which are drawn from the ground reality which helps in explicating inferences which are useful for implementation purpose.

Details

Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6166

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Terry Gibson and Ben Wisner

The purpose of this paper is to report on the creation of innovative methods for engaging in conversations about everyday risk.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on the creation of innovative methods for engaging in conversations about everyday risk.

Design/methodology/approach

A range of methods from conventional survey research to open-ended, semi-structured conversations and focus groups were used in the series of studies that serve as the subject of this meta-study. The meta-study uses participant observation, key informant interviews and project reports to narrate and evaluate the evolution of Frontline as an action planning, monitoring, advocacy and research tool.

Findings

The Views from the Frontline (VFL) methods began as the bottom-up mirror of a top-down monitoring approach used by the United Nations (Hyogo Framework for Action Monitor). Limitations of such bottom up monitoring led to creation of guidelines for formalising local knowledge resulting from actions – Action at the Frontline (AFL) and, later, Frontline, a flexible tool for eliciting experiences of everyday risk. The earlier VFL monitoring approach had shared outsiders’ assumptions about the nature of the “problem” and limited the degree to which local residents could express their own experiences and priorities.

Originality/value

Extensive use of this suite of methods has shown that civil society organisations are fully capable of conducting credible research when properly supported and motivated. Use of these methods has so far provided strong support for policy advocacy at the global scale, has had moderate success in liaison with national policy makers and slow but promising results as a learning/action tool at the local scale. Frontline has as yet untapped potential as a resource for academic research.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

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Book part
Publication date: 6 October 2017

Lance Brennan, Les Heathcote and Anton Lucas

This paper attempts to understand how the interaction of natural disasters and human behaviour during wartime led to famines in three regions under imperial control around…

Abstract

This paper attempts to understand how the interaction of natural disasters and human behaviour during wartime led to famines in three regions under imperial control around the Indian Ocean. The socio-economic structure of these regions had been increasingly differentiated over the period of imperial rule, with large proportions of their populations relying on agricultural labour for their subsistence.

Before the war, food crises in each of the regions had been met by the private importation of grain from national or overseas surplus regions: the grain had been made available through a range of systems, the most complex of which was the Bengal Famine Code in which the able-bodied had to work before receiving money to buy food in the market.

During the Second World War, the loss of control of normal sources of imported grain, the destruction of shipping in the Indian Ocean (by both sides) and the military demands on internal transport systems prevented the use of traditional famine responses when natural events affected grain supply in each of the regions. These circumstances drew the governments into attempts to control their own grain markets.

The food crises raised complex ethical and practical issues for the governments charged with their solution. The most significant of these was that the British Government could have attempted to ship wheat to Bengal but, having lost naval control of the Indian Ocean in 1942 and needing warships in the Atlantic and Mediterranean in 1943 chose to ignore the needs of the people of Bengal, focussing instead on winning the war.

In each of the regions governments allowed/encouraged the balkanisation of the grain supply – at times down to the sub-district level – which at times served to produce waste and corruption, and opened the way for black markets as various groups (inside and outside government ranks) manipulated the local supply.

People were affected in different ways by the changes brought about by the war: some benefitted if their role was important to the war-effort; others suffered. The effect of this was multiplied by the way each government ‘solved’ its financial problems by – in essence – printing money.

Because of the natural events of the period, there would have been food crises in these regions without World War II, but decisions made in the light of wartime exigencies and opportunities turned crises into famines, causing the loss of millions of lives.

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