Within our areas of expertise we provide Research, Learning and Communications services.
Our research-oriented services reflect two approaches:
1. Field research and experiments
We undertake full research programmes, including design, execution and publications. We are particularly strong in participatory research with farmers, socio-economic research and food security assessments. We also provide advice, backstopping and quality assurance for field research and experiments.
2. Desk studies, analyses and syntheses
We carry out desk studies, analyse many types of data, to synthesise the latest existing knowledge in topics of sustainable (agricultural) development.
Examples of our research work:
- Sustainable agriculture and food security in an era of oil scarcity: Lessons from Cuba: Book published by Earthscan Publications (Research and writing by Julia Wright based on PhD work and beyond, 2009).
- Organic agriculture and HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. Policy Document. (Desk study and report by Julia Wright for IFOAM, 2008).
- Field research project in Mozambique on use of Jatropha curcas as a biofuel in small-scale farming: Research in Cabo Delgado and Manica provinces (Co-ordinated and managed by Flemming Nielsen together with Jan de Jongh, Arakis - for Fact Foundation, 2007-2010).
- Adoption and scaling-out - experiences of the Forages for Smallholders Project in Southeast Asia. Chapter 15 in the book Participatory Livestock Research by Czech Conroy; (Ralph Roothaert, 2005)
- How can smallholder farmer-market linkages enhance improved technology options and natural resource management strategies? CIAT thematic paper ( co-author Ralph Roothaert, 2004.
- On-farm evaluation of fodder trees and shrubs preferred by farmers in central Kenya: Article in Experimental Agriculture / Volume 39 / Issue 04 / October 2003, pp 423-440 (First author Ralph Roothaert, 2003).
- Issues in the utilisation of indigenous knowledge in Agroforestry research. PhD research in Uganda (by Flemming Nielsen, based on research for ICRAF, 1994-98).
Our learning-oriented services can be differentiated into three categories:
1. Workshops, training seminars and learning tools
We organise full workshops and seminars, or sessions and lectures as part of other programmes. Using a variety of tools (from lectures to participatory learning exercises), we have experience in targeting many different audiences, ranging from field level staff in development projects to university researchers.
- Biogas production analysis tool (produced by Flemming Nielsen and Darrel Huffman for Fact Foundation and HIVOS, 2014).
- Training of trainers in Uganda on berry fruit production for Fair Trade and Organic exports (Julia Wright for Tropical Wholefoods/Garden Organic, 2010).
- Lectures for Masters' classes at Larenstein University, Netherlands: on HIV/AIDS & small-scale farming (Mundie Salm, 2008 and 2011) and Financing of development projects through carbon credits (Flemming Nielsen, 2010).
- Member of Scientific Committee for International Conference on Jatropha curcas (Flemming Nielsen for Fact Foundation, Netherlands, 2010).
2. Appraisals and evaluations
We carry out appraisals, feasibility studies and evaluations on agricultural or other development projects.
- Evaluation: Evaluation and financial analysis of the Jatropha value chain implemented by CIRAPIP/IITABenin (Flemming Nielsen and Janske van Eijck - Commissioned by: The (royal) Dutch Embassy in Benin, 2014).
- Review: Review of the potential of Woody Biomass for Community Energy Production in Dryland India (Julia Wright for Coventry University/EPSRC, 2010).
- Evaluation: The impact of fodder trees on milk production and income among smallholder dairy farmers in East Africa and the role of research (co-evaluator Ralph Roothaert for ICRAF, 2009).
- Feasibility study: Biofuels for small-scale farmers in Guinea Bissau (Flemming Nielsen for Fact Foundation, 2009).
- Evaluation: Socio-economic assessment of four MATF-funded projects (indigenous vegetables, bananas, cassava and local chicken) (co-evaluator Ralph Roothaert for FARM Africa, 2007).
- Review: Gender Audit and Action Plan for Mainstreaming Gender Analysis (Ralph Roothaert for ILRI, 2006). Available on request: Send a message to Ralph Roothaert.
- Evaluation: Financial and social benefits of new forage technologies in the Philippines and Vietnam (co-evaluator Ralph Roothaert for CIAT, 2003).
3. Educational resources
We have experience in designing learning modules on sustainable agriculture and livelihood themes, for diverse ages and groups - formal and informal. The modules are based on a wide variety of participatory learning exercises, based on Farmer Field School approaches, games and theatre, in addition to theory-based lecture materials.
- Analysis on experiences with smallholder Jatropha production Jatropha for local development (after the hype) (First author Flemming Nielsen for HIVOS, December 2013).
- 7-module educational series: Learning AgriCultures: Insights from sustainable small-scale farming) For educators at higher academic institutions and NGO trainers (Mundie Salm coordinated and developed this series, and was in the core writing team for six of the modules - for ILEIA, 2007-2011).
- Facilitators' Manual for the Junior Farmer Field and Life School programme in Mozambique: For primary school teachers, agricultural extensionists and community workers (Mundie Salm designed, co-ordinated and edited 7 of 8 modules plus Facilitators' Guide and Cultural Activities Guide - for FAO, 2005-2007).
- Agricultural research training materials: For researchers at the Ministry of Agriculture in Mozambique (Flemming Nielsen for Government of Mozambique financed by DANIDA, 2004-2007).
Our communications services reflect three directions of work:
1. Publications and websites
While maintaining our policy of clear, jargon-free communications, we write and edit scientific or journalistic articles in magazines and websites, as well as policy and project reports, guides, manuals, educational modules and other printed materials. We also design websites that bring together different publications along an agricultural development theme.
- Writeshop report based on six case studies: The need for Institutional Change in capacity development of tertiary education (first author Mundie Salm, 2014).
- Documentation of case studies and lessons: Revival of cassava production in Nakasongola District, Uganda, International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability (First author Ralph Roothaert, 2011).
- Documentation of case studies and lessons: The Rakai chicken model: an approach that has improved fortunes for Ugandan farmers, International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability (co-author Ralph Roothaert, 2011).
- Documentation of case studies and lessons: African indigenous vegetable enterprises and market access for small-scale farmers in East Africa, International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability (co-author Ralph Roothaert, 2011).
- Book published by Earthscan Publications: Sustainable agriculture and food security in an era of oil scarcity: Lessons from Cuba (written by Julia Wright, 2009)
- Short manual for Agromisa: Mitigating the effects of HIV/AIDS in small-scale farming (co-author Mundie Salm, 2008).
We have a large archive of high-quality photographs focused on small-scale farming in the tropics. We also have experience in producing videos on development themes.
Examples of our photography:
- Go to our Photo Gallery: Our site publishes a large collection of high-quality photographs that can be purchased, depicting small-scale farming and rural development primarily in sub-Saharan Africa. (Photos by Flemming Nielsen, 1999-present).