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Food first! Theorising assets and actors in agroforestry: risk evaders, opportunity seekers and 'the food imperative' in sub-Saharan Africa

Jerneck, Anne LU and Olsson, Lennart LU (2014) In International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 12(1). p.1-22
Abstract
Despite widely recognised and well-established benefits, it is difficult to adopt the multifunctional activity of agroforestry into the landscape and lifeworld of small-scale agriculture, if poverty, itself a main reason for adopting agroforestry, stands in its way. Based on participant observations and interviews with small-scale farmers in western Kenya, we explore and theorise agroforestry adoption as a process of socio-ecological and socio-technological change. Proceeding from sustainability science and a modified livelihoods approach we use grounded theory in narrative walks' to analyse adoption and non-adoption of agroforestry in a setting where farmers continuously interpret, adjust to and invest in their environment. Given the... (More)
Despite widely recognised and well-established benefits, it is difficult to adopt the multifunctional activity of agroforestry into the landscape and lifeworld of small-scale agriculture, if poverty, itself a main reason for adopting agroforestry, stands in its way. Based on participant observations and interviews with small-scale farmers in western Kenya, we explore and theorise agroforestry adoption as a process of socio-ecological and socio-technological change. Proceeding from sustainability science and a modified livelihoods approach we use grounded theory in narrative walks' to analyse adoption and non-adoption of agroforestry in a setting where farmers continuously interpret, adjust to and invest in their environment. Given the diversity and complexity of such livelihoods, the analysis is structured around reproductive and productive chains, strategies and practices defined by uncertainty and risk, and conflicting interests. Findings indicate that food secure farmers may act as entrepreneurially inclined opportunity seekers' and venture into agroforestry, whereas the food imperative'(alongside the health imperative') makes it more difficult for agroforestry to take root among the poorest of the poor' who act as risk evaders'. Hence, agroforestry adoption must be understood within an integrated human-environment frame recognising the socio-ecological relations of technology adoption and the wider political aspects and power structures of food security. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
agroforestry adoption, carbon sequestration, climate change, entrepreneurs, food security, grounded theory, narrative walks, risk, sustainability science, time poverty
in
International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability
volume
12
issue
1
pages
1 - 22
publisher
Taylor & Francis
external identifiers
  • wos:000332060400001
  • scopus:84896699165
ISSN
1473-5903
DOI
10.1080/14735903.2012.751714
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
62eefdd6-563f-493e-a106-a9065aa1edf0 (old id 4418982)
date added to LUP
2014-04-29 12:49:06
date last changed
2017-11-12 03:15:23
@article{62eefdd6-563f-493e-a106-a9065aa1edf0,
  abstract     = {Despite widely recognised and well-established benefits, it is difficult to adopt the multifunctional activity of agroforestry into the landscape and lifeworld of small-scale agriculture, if poverty, itself a main reason for adopting agroforestry, stands in its way. Based on participant observations and interviews with small-scale farmers in western Kenya, we explore and theorise agroforestry adoption as a process of socio-ecological and socio-technological change. Proceeding from sustainability science and a modified livelihoods approach we use grounded theory in narrative walks' to analyse adoption and non-adoption of agroforestry in a setting where farmers continuously interpret, adjust to and invest in their environment. Given the diversity and complexity of such livelihoods, the analysis is structured around reproductive and productive chains, strategies and practices defined by uncertainty and risk, and conflicting interests. Findings indicate that food secure farmers may act as entrepreneurially inclined opportunity seekers' and venture into agroforestry, whereas the food imperative'(alongside the health imperative') makes it more difficult for agroforestry to take root among the poorest of the poor' who act as risk evaders'. Hence, agroforestry adoption must be understood within an integrated human-environment frame recognising the socio-ecological relations of technology adoption and the wider political aspects and power structures of food security.},
  author       = {Jerneck, Anne and Olsson, Lennart},
  issn         = {1473-5903},
  keyword      = {agroforestry adoption,carbon sequestration,climate change,entrepreneurs,food security,grounded theory,narrative walks,risk,sustainability science,time poverty},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {1--22},
  publisher    = {Taylor & Francis},
  series       = {International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability},
  title        = {Food first! Theorising assets and actors in agroforestry: risk evaders, opportunity seekers and 'the food imperative' in sub-Saharan Africa},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14735903.2012.751714},
  volume       = {12},
  year         = {2014},
}