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  • About
  • The Global ETD Search service is a free service for researchers to find electronic theses and dissertations. This service is provided by the Networked Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations.
    Our metadata is collected from universities around the world. If you manage a university/consortium/country archive and want to be added, details can be found on the NDLTD website.

Re-imagining sustainable agro-food futures : alternative bio-economies in a knowledge society era

Psarikidou, Katerina January 2012 (has links)
The aim of this thesis is to bring into creative dialogue two contemporary, and allegedly contradictory, developments: the rise of ‘alternative agro-food networks’ (AAFNs) and the vision of a knowledge-based (bio)economy (KB(B)E). Despite the rich theoretical investigations that indicate both developments’ great potential impact on the current and future socio-political and economic order, there has been little attempt towards an identification of their interrelationship. Taking into consideration earlier relevant studies, this thesis mainly employs a political-economic approach to AAFNs and the KB(B)E. Based on interviews and participant observation with alternative agro-food practitioners in Cumbria and Manchester, and official documents and internet sources, it aims to identify the particular knowledge-economic and moral-economic aspects of AAFNs, and, thereby shed some light on their interrelationship with the KB(B)E. In doing so, it further investigates the ‘alternative’ character of AAFNs in relation to the KB(B)E and identifies those particular aspects and ways through which AAFNs can carry a potential to constitute an alternative to the existing KB(B)E, but also be considered as an alternative KB(B)E, one with distinctive moral-economic characteristics. Through such an assessment, this thesis not only contributes to the enhancement of knowledge and understanding of both developments, but also encourages a critical re-thinking of each of them. In particular, by providing some critical insights into the potential role of AAFNs in the configuration and future re-construction of the contemporary knowledge-economic order, it also aims to suggest a re-consideration of the KB(B)E itself: beyond its capitalocentric assumptions, its association with high-tech innovation and its current manifestation in policy recommendations and research agendas. In doing so, it also encourages the identification of other potential, though currently marginalised, alternative knowledge-economic spaces that can carry extra-economic values and socio-economic benefits and that can potentially lead to a re-configuration of the sustainable agro-food system.

The making of the European Community's wheat policy 1973-88 : an international political economy analysis

Phillips, Peter Whitman Bell January 1990 (has links)
This thesis examines the political and economic changes in the domestic and international organization and operation of the European Community Common Agricultural Policy for wheat during 1973-88. Its purpose is to demonstrate the opportunities and constraints in the agricultural talks in the Uruguay Round of the GATT begun in 1986. An international political economy approach is adopted to bring into prominence the key security, production, finance, and technology power structures and to demonstrate how these transformed the interlocking and overlapping set of bargains that determined policy. The thesis shows that throughout the 1970s the EC wheat price policy concentrated on supporting farm incomes, and this neither required nor permitted an external policy beyond measures to dispose of surpluses. In the 1980s, however, prices were increasingly directed by market conditions. This reorientation was caused by shifts in the structures surrounding the wheat system. These weakened the pan-European farm lobby, and a patchwork of new agreements evolved between policy makers, commodity groups, and non-farm lobbies to support an active rather than defensive export policy. Consequently, the EC set specific commercial goals for the Uruguay Round of the GATT which makes it a formidable and active participant in the negotiations. In contrast, during the Tokyo Round in the 1970s the Community had adopted a strongly defensive and obstructionist posture to protect its domestic system. Examination of the agricultural trade negotiations between 1984 and 1988 confirms that the other participants have not recognized these transformations. The thesis concludes that the Uruguay Round could fail, and the GATT could be seriously impaired, unless negotiators acknowledge the transformed bases of the new EC wheat po1icy.

Free trade in Euro-Mediterranean agriculture : an economic perspective of Turkey

Sarica, Deniz January 2014 (has links)
It is a standard result of economic theory that free trade maximises global efficiency in a distortion-free world. Over the last two decades countries have made great efforts to liberalise their trade in order to facilitate economic growth through integration in the global economy. Turkey is one of these countries whose international trade plays a significant role in her economic development. Over time, trade increasingly links countries in the Mediterranean region and the trade policy debate is dominated by the regional trade negotiations between the European Union and the ‘Mediterranean Partner Countries’ (MPCs), known as the Union for the Mediterranean. Agriculture is a crucial sector in this region. Unlike manufactured goods, agricultural products have often been only partially integrated into regional trade agreements, due to the high level of protection afforded to them. Agriculture in Turkey holds the promise of making a major contribution to Turkish economic development, with the agricultural trade balance being significantly positive. Turkey is a large and important country in the region and a potential full member of the European Union. This research explores the determining factors of Turkish agricultural export flows to the Euro-Mediterranean countries. The thesis employs the most recent econometric methods in estimating a gravity model and the analysis uses panel data covering the period 1969-2010 for 30 Euro-Mediterranean countries. In addition to performing traditional linear methods, panel unit root and cointegration tests are conducted to examine the likely long run relationship between determining factors and agricultural export flows. The results demonstrate that, as expected, Turkish agricultural exports are positively influenced by economic size and negatively affected by geographical distance. The results also indicate that Turkish agricultural exports to the Euro-Mediterranean countries are positively associated with being a member of a free trade agreement, although this is statistically insignificant. The main inference of the findings is that they do not support the notion that free trade agreements between Turkey and the Euro- Mediterranean countries boost the agricultural exports of Turkey. Comparing the results between the standard panel data estimator and panel cointegration estimators show that there is little difference between them.

Off-farm sector participation in rural Nigeria

Ibrahim, Mohammed Kebiru January 2014 (has links)
Majority of the population in rural Nigeria like in other developing countries are poor peasants and hugely dependent on agriculture and related activities for their livelihood. The high incidence of poverty is attributable to the challenges confronting agricultural production which has resulted in dwindling income from on-farm sources. The state of on-farm production and the increasing popularity of the off-farm sector has changed the status of a significant rural population from on-farm specialised to of farm diversified households. Such adjustment is expected to have an impact on poverty status and income distribution. The current study therefore examined the factors that drive household's participation in off-farm sector activities in rural Nigeria and assessed its effect on their poverty status and rural income inequality using data of rural households obtained from the RIGA database. Employing the probit models, the empirical results reveal that the participation decisions of rural household Me influenced mainly by human and social capital characteristic" farm production factors and locational characteristics. Based on the assumption that the participation decision is two-part, an analysis of the intensity of participation in the off farm activities using the double hurdle model shows that beside the categories of variables identified under the participation decision, labour market conditions and 8-%et status of households play n· major role in determining the intensity of off-farm work. The result, obtained from employing the propensity score matching and the FGT poverty measure Lo assess the effect of off-farm income on the expenditure outcome and poverty status of rural households, respectively show, significant effect on the welfare of rural households. Results reveal that income obtained from undertaking off-farm wage and self employment activities significantly contributes to enhancing the expenditure and poverty status of rural households. Specifically, of-farm income contributed to reducing the incidence, depth and severity of poverty.

Effects of MiDA programme on innovation system and processes amongst small scale pineapple farmers in the Nsawam Adoagyire Municipal Assembly of Ghana

Ankrah, Daniel Adu January 2014 (has links)
This thesis examines the effect of a large government programme known as the MiDA programme on small scale pineapple farmers' innovation system and processes in the Nsawam Adoagyire Municipal Assembly of Ghana. The thesis uses Agricultural Innovation System (AIS) as a conceptual basis to examine the MiDA programme. This research is situated within the debate of whether or not large scale agricultural development intervention programmes help in facilitating innovations principally amongst farmers and other stakeholders involved in the innovation system and processes. The study compared responses from farmers that benefited from the MiDA intervention (MiDA FBOs) and farmers that did not (non-MiDA FBOs). The study adopted mixed methods of quantitative and qualitative approaches. The quantitative approach made use of a questionnaire survey instrument whilst the qualitative approaches employed FGDs, KIIs, social network analysis, participatory budgeting and document analysis. The study indicates that the MiDA programme facilitated the use of innovations including efficient marketing, tractor usage, business plan development, use of the MD2 variety, diversification of farm activities and recognition of the value chain. However the results show that stakeholders in the innovation system and processes did not work together as one organized unit but independent of other stakeholders. The training component of the programme encouraged interactive learning and exchange of ideas. MiDA and non-MiDA FBOs innovate through trainings received from MoFA and NGOs, accidental discovery/observation, discussion and influence from big commercial farms but MiDA FBOs had more examples to illustrate ways through which they innovate. The linkages between MoF A and MiDA FBOs improved as a result of the implementation of the MiDA programme. MiDA FBOs obtained a higher profit in sucker production than the non-MiDA FBOs. It can be concluded that the MiDA programme facilitated innovations amongst the assisted farmers and this is attributed to the alignment to the AIS approach in areas where successes were observed. This implies that large scale programmes that employs the AIS approach in its design and implementation has a greater potential in facilitating and stimulating innovation.

Multitrophic responses to local and landscape management in the agri-environment

Ball, Sara L. January 2014 (has links)
Ecosystem services such as natural pest control and pollination can contribute towards agricultural production whilst simultaneously reducing its environmental harm. While agri-environmental schemes (AES) can increase landscape heterogeneity and promote biodiversity conservation, there is little research on how they affect ecosystem service provision. This was explored by incorporating a mechanistic understanding of the effects of biodiversity on ecosystem services, focusing on farm-scale spill-over effects from AES to crop habitats, species interactions and functional traits. AES promoted spill-over of functionally diverse carabid beetle natural enemies to nearby fields. No concurrent change in species richness or abundance was detected, highlighting functional traits as an important monitoring focus. Body mass was demonstrated as a key trait in laboratory experiments investigating the functional response of carabid beetle interactions with prey. Attack rates increased and prey handling times decreased with increasing predator-prey body-mass ratio. Emergent effects of predator interspecific interactions on prey consumption were also driven by differences in body mass between predator species. Using multi-trophic thistle flower head communities as a study system, AES were found to alter the interaction between a speCialised herbivore and its plant host, but there was no evidence that this was driven by cascading effects from parasitoids. The effect of AES floral margins on pollinator visitation and pollination of target flowering plants in adjacent habitats showed variable effects. ·Target plants surrounded by a greater proportion of floral margins suffered decreased species richness of hoverfly visitors potentially through competitive effects, but no effect on bee visitation or on the outcome for pollination service was detected. Overall the results suggest ecosystem services are often underpinned by complex combinations of species traits, which determine species responses to biotic and abiotic factors. Further exploration of links between trait-driven responses and ecosystem service provision may provide a useful basis for understanding and promoting sustainable agriculture.

Price instability in the maize market in Malawi

Manda, Elizabeth Luhanga January 2010 (has links)
The thesis examines seasonal price instability in the Malawi maize market over the 21-year period from 1989 to 2009, covering five interlocking dimensions. The first establishes the reasons that maize price instability in Malawi is critical for vulnerability to food insecurity. The second sets out the causes and effects of price instability, and its relationship to the history of the maize market in Malawi. The third analyses the average magnitude of seasonal price changes, and contextualizes this in relation to different district maize markets and different food crops. The fourth examines the competitiveness and efficiency of the Malawi maize market. The fifth provides an analytic narrative account of three episodes of extreme maize price volatility experienced in Malawi between 2000 and 2009. The thesis produces a number of findings. The gross seasonal margin for maize in Malawi averaged 60 per cent in the period 1989-2009. Seasonality varies by location, with the highest seasonal margins occurring in remote rural areas, and places close to border crossing points for informal maize imports. Other food crops exhibit less price seasonality than maize, and two of them, rice and beans, display evidence of declining price seasonality. The structure and conduct of the maize market is competitive at local and more aggregate levels of market participation. Cointegration analysis shows that the maize market is spatially efficient. Extreme price spikes follow similar patterns, characterized by the dominance of political over economic considerations. The private-public coordination problem takes central position in the policy interpretation of these findings. The thesis would concur with the prognosis of other researchers that until the government adopts a rule- rather than discretion-based approach to maize market management, episodes of excessive instability in the maize market are unfortunately likely to recur in the future.

Socioeconomic planning in social forestry with particular reference to Orissa State, India

Sharma, Ram Avtar January 1990 (has links)
Social forestry programmes arc being implemented in India as a government land-use policy, using investment funds from Forest and Rural Development Departments. Such programmes include plantation and agro-forestry components and are generally subsistence-oriented and labour intensive. Their production objective is to satisfy the villager's needs for staple food, fuelwood, fodder and small timber for construction and agricultural implements. Equally important is the social objective of providing employment for the poor and thereby generating some income with which to raise their living standards. This thesis develops an analytical planning methodology, based on both hard and soft approaches, for evaluating social forestry within the framework of the stated socioeconomic policy objectives. The historic influence of socioeconomic factors on the management of forests is investigated mainly with respect to the planning and policies pursued. These have finally led to the implementation of a social forestry programme. The relative merits and weaknesses of existing decision-making techniques for evaluating a multi-objective land-use project such as social forestry are then examined. A goal programming model is developed to incorporate the multiple socioeconomic objectives of social forestry into a dynamic planning framework. This achieves the desired multiple goals within the constraints of physical resources and is illustrated by a case study from the State of Orissa. In order to maximize the net socioeconomic benefits, data is generated by carrying out social cost-benefit analyses (based on modern welfare economics) for all five social forestry components (agroforestry, dense plantations of Eucalyptus hybrid, institutional plantations of Acacia nilotica, village woodlots of Dalbergia sisso, and rehabilitation and strip plantations of Casuarina equisitifolia). The socioeconomic profitability and optimum tree rotations are determined, having specified the social welfare function (incorporating consumptions of different groups of individuals) and derived the social discount rate from an intertemporal utility model. Socioeconomic variables which influence villagers' decision-making regarding the uptake of social forestry implemented according to multiple objective planning are then identified, based on an exhaustive socioeconomic survey. In order to investigate a broader holistic approach which is useful and manageable it is desirable to organise the data into a dynamic analytical framework, the structure being sufficiently flexible to incorporate both tangible and intangible data generated by the cost-benefit analysis, the multiple objective planning model and the survey respectively. Expert Systems are shown to have a potential role in achieving such an approach by integrating rather than replacing the hard analytical techniques such as social cost-benefit analysis and goal programming, whose role in generating a tangible knowledge base for a realistic evaluation of social forestry is demonstrably vital and cannot be ignored.

Modelling land/resource use options open to small holder farmers in the northern region of Zambia : a multiple objective programming approach

Nkowani, Kenneth January 1996 (has links)
The Farming Systems of the Northern Region of Zambia are analysed along with other options in the context of farm family resource structures by use of Single and Multiple Objective Mathematical Programming Models. The Multilevel Systems Approach used in this research, where individual Farm Level Decision Models are aggregated into a Regional Resource Planning Model is presented and the resulting model structure is described. The models are used to investigate land/resource use options open to smallholder farmers in the Northern Region of Zambia. In addition, the models attempt to explore an approach which takes preferences from the farm level through to regional level planning and decision-making. With regard to the modelling approach, multiple objective programming was found to be a useful tool at both individual farm and regional levels. Perhaps, the greatest value to this type of research is that the application highlights the key relationships that exist between technologies, productive activities, constraints and smallholder farmers' preferences in meeting specified goals and in determining the conflicts and trade-offs that would occur if certain decisions were made. It is concluded that, for the land/resource use options considered, smallholder farmers could made significant socio-economic gains by integrating crop and tree production, but inadequate working capital and family labour are major constraints by sacrificing either energy output or net income from tree crop activities. Opportunities exist for raising living standards in the rural areas if the liquidity position of the farmer at the beginning of the growing season can be improved. In an average rainfall year, an increase in cash availability would enable the farmer to purchase fertiliser, hire labour and buy other inputs - all of which would serve to increase the food security and improve the general welfare and life style of the people in the long run.

Farmland ecology and the uptake of non-agricultural activities by farm households

Ellis, Noranne E. January 1994 (has links)
A socio-economic survey visited 295 Grampian farms in 1991 to determine the extent of involvement in non-agricultural activities by farm households, a phenomenon known as 'pluriactivity'. Pluriactivity includes work off the farm as well as non-agricultural activities on the farm (e.g. Bed & Breakfasts, caravan sites, farm shops etc.). The uptake of pluriactivity was found to be increasing, having trebled between 1980 and 1990 and doubling between 1987 and 1990. Seventy-one farms were selected for field survey work from the socio-economic sample. This smaller sample was stratified along a range of environmental conditions and according to their non-involvement or type of involvement in pluriactivity - whether off the farm, on the farm or both. A field survey obtained data on the extents of different vegetation cover types within each farm group and on the species composition of their grasslands. Data on grassland management were also obtained through an interview with the farmer. Although each farm group varied, pluriactive farm households were generally younger, better educated and were generally associated with greater diversities of habitats and grassland species. However, the life history strategy composition (<I>sensu</I> Grime, 1974) of grassland communities indicated only small variations in land management intensity although the quality of ingressing grassland species varied between the farm groups. Multiple regression analyses and correlations indicated that the underlying socio-economic differences between the groups were as likely as the involvement in pluriactivity to account for the variations in grassland species diversity. Predictions on future changes on Grampian farmland indicate that both habitat and species diversities will increase but that this will be more a reflection of changing socio-economic structures of farm household populations rather than an increasing uptake of and involvement in pluriactivity.

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