Browsing Food Business and Development - Doctoral Theses by Issue Date
Now showing 1 - 20 of 37
Results Per Page
- ItemThe Irish credit union movement: member participation and organisational effectiveness(University College Cork, 2005-09) McCarthy, Olive; Briscoe, Robert; Ward, Michael; St. Gabriel’s Credit Union Ltd, CorkThis thesis explores the relationship between organisational effectiveness and member participation in Irish credit unions. It is hypothesised that a positive relationship exists between both variables. Co-operative literature suggests that co-operatives require the involvement of the members in identifying and meeting their own needs in order to be effective organisations. Previous research studies into the issue across a variety of organisational types have shown mixed results. Related research into credit unions is sparse. The primary research undertaken is both quantitative and qualitative in approach. Organisational effectiveness is examined in both quantitative and qualitative terms. Member participation, being an organisational process, is examined in qualitative terms. Indicators of organisational effectiveness, specific to credit unions, are drawn up and form a framework through which effectiveness is examined. A typology and indicators of member participation are also developed and form a framework through which member participation is examined. The case study method is used primarily, to examine organisational effectiveness and member participation in Irish credit unions. A case study of a theoretical credit union, which is based on a composite of good practice in credit unions in Ireland and internationally, is also drawn up to develop the analysis further. The case studies allow an analysis of both organisational effectiveness and member participation, as well as an exploration of the relationship between the two. The findings support the hypothesis that there is a direct relationship between the two variables. In order to be effective, credit unions must involve their members in identifying their needs and in designing services to meet these needs. At present, they do not do this to any large extent. In order to continue to meet the needs of their members and to compete in the financial services sector, credit unions will need to find ways of involving members, drawing on good practice in other co-operatives. This will be critical to their continued success.
- ItemMarket-oriented new product development of functional beverages(University College Cork, 2006-01) Sorenson, Douglas J.; Bogue, Joseph; Enterprise IrelandStrategic reviews of the Irish Food and Beverage Industry have consistently emphasised the need for food and beverage firms to improve their innovation and marketing capabilities, in order to maintain competitiveness in both domestic and overseas markets. In particular, the functional food and beverages market has been singled out as an extremely important emerging market, which Irish firms could benefit from through an increased technological and market orientation. Although health and wellness have been the most significant drivers of new product development (NPD) in recent years, failure rates for new functional foods and beverages have been reportedly high. In that context, researchers in the US, UK, Denmark and Ireland have reported a marked divergence between NPD practices within food and beverage firms and normative advice for successful product development. The high reported failure rates for new functional foods and beverages suggest a failure to manage customer knowledge effectively, as well as a lack of knowledge management between functional disciplines involved in the NPD process. This research explored the concept of managing customer knowledge at the early stages of the NPD process, and applied it to the development of a range of functional beverages, through the use of advanced concept optimisation research techniques, which provided for a more market-oriented approach to new food product development. A sequential exploratory research design strategy using mixed research methods was chosen for this study. First, the qualitative element of this research investigated customers’ choice motives for orange juice and soft drinks, and explored their attitudes and perceptions towards a range of new functional beverage concepts through a combination of 15 in-depth interviews and 3 focus groups. Second, the quantitative element of this research consisted of 3 conjoint-based questionnaires administered to 400 different customers in each study in order to model their purchase preferences for chilled nutrient-enriched and probiotic orange juices, and stimulant soft drinks. The in-depth interviews identified the key product design attributes that influenced customers’ choice motives for orange juice. The focus group discussions revealed that groups of customers were negative towards the addition of certain functional ingredients to natural foods and beverages. K-means cluster analysis was used to quantitatively identify segments of customers with similar preferences for chilled nutrient-enriched and probiotic orange juices, and stimulant soft drinks. Overall, advanced concept optimisation research methods facilitate the integration of the customer at the early stages of the NPD process, which promotes a multi-disciplinary approach to new food product design. This research illustrated how advanced concept optimisation research methods could contribute towards effective and efficient knowledge management in the new food product development process.
- ItemAnalysis of institutional arrangements and common pool resources governance: the case of Lake Tana sub-basin, Ethiopia(University College Cork, 2013) Ketema, Dessalegn Molla; Chisholm, Nicholas G.; Enright, Patrick; Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopia; Irish AidAlthough Common Pool Resources (CPRs) make up a significant share of total income for rural households in Ethiopia and elsewhere in developing world, limited access to these resources and environmental degradation threaten local livelihoods. As a result, the issues of management, governance of CPRs and how to prevent their over-exploitation are of great importance for development policy. This study examines the current state and dynamics of CPRs and overall resource governance system of the Lake Tana sub-basin. This research employed the modified form of Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework. The framework integrates the concept of Socio-Ecological Systems (SES) and Interactive Governance (IG) perspectives where social actors, institutions, the politico-economic context, discourses and ecological features across governance and government levels were considered. It has been observed that overexploitation, degradation and encroachment of CPRs have increased dramatically and this threatens the sustainability of Lake Tana ecosystem. The stakeholder analysis result reveals that there are multiple stakeholders with diverse interest in and power over CPRs. The analysis of institutional arrangements reveals that the existing formal rules and regulations governing access to and control over CPRs could not be implemented and were not effective to legally bind and govern CPR user’s behavior at the operational level. The study also shows that a top-down and non-participatory policy formulation, law and decision making process overlooks the local contexts (local knowledge and informal institutions). The outcomes of examining the participation of local resource users, as an alternative to a centralized, command-and-control, and hierarchical approach to resource management and governance, have called for a fundamental shift in CPR use, management and governance to facilitate the participation of stakeholders in decision making. Therefore, establishing a multi-level stakeholder governance system as an institutional structure and process is necessary to sustain stakeholder participation in decision-making regarding CPR use, management and governance.
- ItemOptimisation of the food dairy coop supply chain(University College Cork, 2013) Quinlan, Carrie Brigid; Enright, Patrick; O'Connor, Declan; Keane, Michael; Shalloo, Laurence; TeagascIn the European Union under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) milk production was restricted by milk quotas since 1984. However, due to recent changes in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), milk quotas will be abolished by 2015. Therefore, the European dairy sector will soon face an opportunity, for the first time in a generation, to expand. Numerous studies have shown that milk production in Ireland will increase significantly post quotas (Laepple and Hennessy (2010), Donnellan and Hennessy (2007) and Lips and Reider (2005)). The research in this thesis explored milk transport and dairy product processing in the Irish dairy processing sector in the context of milk quota removal and expansion by 2020. In this study a national milk transport model was developed for the Irish dairy industry, the model was used to examine different efficiency factors in milk transport and to estimate milk transport costs post milk quota abolition. Secondly, the impact of different milk supply profiles on milk transport costs was investigated using the milk transport model. Current processing capacity in Ireland was compared against future supply, it was concluded that additional milk processing capacity would not be sufficient to process the additional milk. Thirdly, the milk transport model was used to identify the least cost locations (based on transport costs) to process the additional milk supply in 2020. Finally, an optimisation model was developed to identify the optimum configuration for the Irish dairy processing sector in 2020 taking cognisance of increasing transport costs and decreasing processing costs.
- ItemAn examination of the construction of meanings for obesity in Ireland(University College Cork, 2013) De Brún, Aoife; McCarthy, Mary; Health Research Board; Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, IrelandObesity has been defined as a consequence of energy imbalance, where energy intake exceeds energy expenditure and results in a build-up of adipose tissue. However, this scientific definition masks the complicated social meanings associated with the condition. This research investigated the construction of meaning around obesity at various levels of inquiry to inform how obesity is portrayed and understood in Ireland. A multi-paradigmatic approach was adopted, drawing on theory and methods from psychology and sociology and an analytical framework combining the Common Sense Model and framing theory was employed. In order to examine the exo-level meanings of obesity, content analysis was performed on two media data sets (n=479, n=346) and a thematic analysis was also performed on the multiple newspaper sample (n=346). At the micro-level, obesity discourses were investigated via the thematic analysis of comments sampled from an online message board. Finally, an online survey assessed individual-level beliefs and understandings of obesity. The media analysis revealed that individual blame for obesity was pervasive and the behavioural frame was dominant. A significant increase in attention to obesity over time was observed, manifestations of weight stigma were common, and there was an emotive discourse of blame directed towards the parents of obese children. The micro-level analysis provided insight into the weight-based stigma in society and a clear set of negative ‘default’ judgements accompanied the obese label. The survey analysis confirmed that the behavioural frame was the dominant means of understanding obesity. One of the strengths of this thesis is the link created between framing and the Common Sense Model in the development of an analytical framework for application in the examination of health/illness representations. This approach helped to ascertain the extent of the pervasive biomedical and individual blame discourse on obesity, which establishes the basis for the stigmatisation of obese persons.
- ItemThe human impacts of flower farm development in the Ethiopian Rift Valley region(University College Cork, 2013) Gezmu, Anteneh Belachew; Chisholm, Nicholas G.; Onakuse, Stephen; Ministry of Agriculture, Ethiopia; University College Cork; Irish AidThe flower industry has a reputation for heavy usage of toxic chemicals and polluting the environment, enormous consumption of water, and poor working condition and low wage level in various parts of the world. It is unfortunate that this industry is adamant to change and repeating the same mistakes in Ethiopia. Because of this, - there is a growing concern among the general public and the international community about sustainability of the Ethiopian flower industry. Consequently, working conditions in the flower industry, impacts of wage income on the livelihoods of employees, coping strategies of low wage flower farm workers, impacts of flower farms on the livelihoods of local people and environmental pollution and conflict, were analysed. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were employed. Four quantitative data sets: labour practice, employees’ income and expenditure, displaced household, and flower grower views survey were collected between 2010 and 2012. Robust regression to identify the determinants of wage levels, and Multinomial logit to identify the determinants of coping strategies of flower farm workers and displaced households were employed. The findings show the working conditions in flower farms are characterized by low wages, job insecurity and frequent violation of employees’ rights, and poor safety measures. To ensure survival of their family, land dispossessed households adopt a wide range of strategies including reduction in food consumption, sharing oxen, renting land, share cropping, and shifting staple food crops. Most experienced scarcity of water resources, lack of grazing areas, death of herds and reduced numbers of livestock due to water source pollution. Despite the Ethiopian government investment in attracting and creating conducive environment for investors, not much was accomplished when it comes to enforcing labour laws and environmental policies. Flower farm expansion in Ethiopia, as it is now, can be viewed as part of the global land and water grab and is not all inclusive and sustainable. Several recommendations are made to improve working conditions, maximize the benefits of flower industry to the society, and to the country at large.
- ItemUrbanization effects on welfare and income diversification strategies of peri-urban farm households in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia: An empirical analysis(University College Cork, 2014) Mezgebo, Tsega Gebrekristos; O'Shaughnessy, Mary; McCarthy, Olive; Woldehanna, TassewUrban areas in many developing countries are expanding rapidly by incorporating nearby subsistence farming communities. This has a direct effect on the consumption and production behaviours of the farm households but empirical evidence is sparse. This thesis investigated the effects of rapid urbanization and the associated policies on welfare of subsistence farm households in peri-urban areas using a panel dataset from Tigray, Ethiopia. The study revealed a number of important issues emerging with the rapid urban expansion. Firstly, private asset holdings and consumption expenditure of farm households, that have been incorporated into urban administration, has decreased. Secondly, factors that influence the farm households’ welfare and vulnerability depend on the administration they belong to, urban or rural. Gender and literacy of the household head have significant roles for the urban farm households to fall back into and/or move out of poverty. However, livestock holding and share of farm income are the most important factors for rural households. Thirdly, the study discloses that farming continues to be important source of income and income diversification is the principal strategy. Participation in nonfarm employment is less for farm households in urban than rural areas. Adult labour, size of the local market and past experience in the nonfarm sector improves the likelihood of engaging in skilled nonfarm employment opportunities. But money, given as compensation for the land taken away, is not crucial for the household to engage in better paying nonfarm employments. Production behaviour of the better-off farm households is the same, regardless of the administration they belong to. However, the urban poor participate less in nonfarm employment compared to the rural poor. These findings signify the gradual development of urban-induced poverty in peri-urban areas. In the case of labour poor households, introducing urban safety net programmes could improve asset productivity and provide further protection.
- ItemThe relationship between rural livelihoods and livestock keeping: the case of Sidama Zone, Southern Ethiopia(University College Cork, 2014) Woldeyohannes, Bezalem Sinote; O'Reilly, Seamus; Lahiff, EdwardThis study examines the relationship between rural livelihoods and livestock keeping in Sidama Zones, southern Ethiopia. The livelihood context, assets and strategies of households are the key features of rural livelihoods considered in the study; while households’ livestock ownership, dependence on livestock and livestock management are the main aspects of livestock keeping examined. The study used the sustainable livelihood approach as a framework for data collection and analysis. Describing the main features of rural livelihoods and livestock keeping, and the general pattern of relationship between them, this study mainly aims at identifying the main livelihood factors that determine livestock keeping in the study area. Descriptive statistics, pair wise correlations, mean comparisons and analysis of variance were used to describe rural livelihoods and livestock keeping as well as the relationship between them. Tobit regressions were used to examine the effect of the various livelihood factors on households’ livestock ownership and dependence; Poisson regressions are used to investigate the factors that influence the intensity of livestock management measured by the use of different technologies and inputs. The findings indicated that a number of livelihood factors - assets, livelihood strategies, livelihood shocks and institutional supports - significantly determine the different aspects of livestock keeping. These include: human assets such as age, education and family size; social assets such as membership to social groups; financial assets such as credit; natural assets such as land, and household physical assets; and livelihood strategies such as diversification into farm and nonfarm activities, and coping mechanisms. In addition the livelihood vulnerability context such as shocks and institutional support are among the main determinants of livestock keeping. The results, by and large, matched the findings of previous studies, and it is concluded that households livestock keeping depends on their livelihoods. Accordingly, it is recommended that policies aiming at livestock asset building and productivity improvement should take the livelihoods of rural households in to consideration. As such the study contribute to scholarly works in the area of rural livelihoods, in general, and livestock keeping, in particular. It also contributes to a better understanding of the problems of livestock keeping within the context of rural livelihoods in the country and to the formulation of appropriate policy for the development of the sector.
- ItemExploring alternatives for milk quality improvement and more efficient dairy production in a smallholder farming context – case study: Mantaro Valley (Peru)(University College Cork, 2014) Fuentes Navarro, Eduardo; Bogue, Joseph; Le Gal, Pierre-Yves; European CommissionConsumer demand is revolutionizing the way products are being produced, distributed and marketed. In relation to the dairy sector in developing countries, aspects of milk quality are receiving more attention from both society and the government. However, milk quality management needs to be better addressed in dairy production systems to guarantee the access of stakeholders, mainly small-holders, into dairy markets. The present study is focused on an analysis of the interaction of the upstream part of the dairy supply chain (farmers and dairies) in the Mantaro Valley (Peruvian central Andes), in order to understand possible constraints both stakeholders face implementing milk quality controls and practices; and evaluate “ex-ante” how different strategies suggested to improve milk quality could affect farmers and processors’ profits. The analysis is based on three complementary field studies conducted between 2012 and 2013. Our work has shown that the presence of a dual supply chain combining both formal and informal markets has a direct impact on dairy production at the technical and organizational levels, affecting small formal dairy processors’ possibilities to implement contracts, including agreements on milk quality standards. The analysis of milk quality management from farms to dairy plants highlighted the poor hygiene in the study area, even when average values of milk composition were usually high. Some husbandry practices evaluated at farm level demonstrated cost effectiveness and a big impact on hygienic quality; however, regular application of these practices was limited, since small-scale farmers do not receive a bonus for producing hygienic milk. On the basis of these two results, we co-designed with formal small-scale dairy processors a simulation tool to show prospective scenarios, in which they could select their best product portfolio but also design milk payment systems to reward farmers’ with high milk quality performances. This type of approach allowed dairy processors to realize the importance of including milk quality management in their collection and manufacturing processes, especially in a context of high competition for milk supply. We concluded that the improvement of milk quality in a smallholder farming context requires a more coordinated effort among stakeholders. Successful implementation of strategies will depend on the willingness of small-scale dairy processors to reward farmers producing high milk quality; but also on the support from the State to provide incentives to the stakeholders in the formal sector.
- ItemThe impact of saving and credit cooperatives on food security in the West Amhara Region of Ethiopia(University College Cork, 2014) Ayele, Zemen Ayalew; McCarthy, Olive; Ward, MichaelIn rural Ethiopia, among other things, lack of adequate financial service is considered as the basic problem to alleviate rural poverty and to solve the problem of food insecurity. Commercial banks are restricted to urban centres. Providing rural financial service through RUSACCO to the poor has been proposed as a tool for economic development and for achieving food security. Evidence from research in this regard has been so far scanty, especially in rural Ethiopia. The aims of this study are to analyze the determinants of membership, to identify socioeconomic and demographic factors that influence members’ participation in RUSACCOs and to quantify the impact of RUSACCOs on member households’ food security. The study was conducted in two purposely selected woredas in the Amhara region one from food insecure (Lay Gayint woreda) and the other from food secure (Dejen woreda). Six RUSACCOs were selected randomly from these two woredas. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected. Key informant interviews, focus group discussions and survey techniques were used to collect primary data. Collected data was then analyzed using mixed methods depending on the nature of data. For quantitative data analysis appropriate statistical models were used. The study result reveals that the number of members in each RUSACCO is very small. However, the majority of non-member respondents are willing to join RUSACCO. Lack of information about the benefits of RUSACCO membership is the main problem why many rural poor do not join RUSACCOs. Members participate in different aspects of the cooperatives, starting from attending general assembly up to board membership. They also participate actively in saving and borrowing activities of RUSACCO. The majority of the respondents believe the RUSACCO is a vital instrument in combating food insecurity. The empirical findings indicate that gender, marital status, occupation, educational level, participation in local leadership and participation in other income generation means determine the decision of rural poor to join a RUSACCO or not. The amount of saving is determined by household head occupation, farming experience and income level. While age of household head, primary occupation, farming experience, date of membership, annual total consumption expenditure, amount of saving and participation in other income generation activities influence members’ amount of borrowing by RUSACCO members. Finally, the study confirms that RUSACCO participation improves household food security. RUSACCO membership has made positive impact on household total consumption expenditure and food expenditure.
- ItemRisk management and the potential of cattle insurance in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia(University College Cork, 2014) Bishu, Kinfe Gebreegziabher; O'Reilly, Seamus; Lahiff, Edward; Steiner, Bodo E.; Irish AidThis study explores the role of livestock insurance to complement existing risk management strategies adopted by smallholder farmers. Using survey data, first, it provides insights into farmers’ risk perception of livestock farming, in terms of likelihood and severity of risk, attitude to risk and their determinants. Second, it examines farmers’ risk management strategies and their determinants. Third, it investigates farmers’ potential engagement with a hypothetical cattle insurance decision and their intensity of participation. Factor analysis is used to analyse risk sources and risk management, multiple regressions are used to identify the determinants; a Heckman model was used to investigate cattle insurance participation and intensity of participation. The findings show different groups of farmers display different risk attitude in their decision-making related to livestock farming. Production risk (especially livestock diseases) was perceived as the most likely and severe source of risk. Disease control was perceived as the best strategy to manage risk overall. Disease control and feed management were important strategies to mitigate the production risks. Disease control and participation on safety net program were found to be important to counter households’ financial risks. With regard to the hypothetical cattle insurance scheme, 94.38% of households were interested to participate in cattle insurance. Of those households that accepted cattle insurance, 77.38% of the households were willing to pay the benchmark annual premium of 4% of the animal value while for the remaining households this was not affordable. The average number of cattle that farmers were willing to insure was 2.71 at this benchmark. Results revealed that income (log income) and education levels influenced positively and significantly farmers’ participation in cattle insurance and the number of cattle to insure. The findings prompt policy makers to consider livestock insurance as a complement to existing risk management strategies to reduce poverty in the long-run.
- ItemPublic evaluations of novel food technologies: a qualitative citizen-scientist deliberative discourse approach(University College Cork, 2015) Greehy, Gráinne Maria; Henchion, Maeve; McCarthy, Mary; Teagasc; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, IrelandThis qualitative research expands understanding of how information about a range of Novel Food Technologies (NFTs) is used and assimilated, and the implications of this on the evolution of attitudes and acceptance. This work enhances theoretical and applied understanding of citizens’ evaluative processes around these technologies. The approach applied involved observations of interactive exchanges between citizens and information providers (i.e. food scientists), during which they discussed a specific technology. This flexible, yet structured, approach revealed how individuals construct meaning around information about specific NFTs. A rich dataset of 42 ‘deliberate discourse’ and 42 postdiscourse transcripts was collected. Data analysis encompassed three stages: an initial descriptive account of the complete dataset based on the top-down bottom-up (TDBU) model of attitude formation, followed by inductive and deductive thematic analysis across the selected technology groups. The hybrid thematic analysis undertaken identified a Conceptual Model, which represents a holistic perspective on the influences and associated features directing ‘sense-making’ and ultimate evaluations around the technology clusters. How individuals make sense of these technologies is shaped by: their beliefs, values and personal characteristics; their perceptions of power and control over the application of the technology; and, the assumed relevance of the technology and its applications within different contexts. These influences form the frame for the creation of sense-making around the technologies. Internal negotiations between these influences are evident and evaluations are based on the relative importance of each influence to the individual, which tend to contribute to attitude ambivalence and instability. The findings indicate the processes of forming and changing attitudes towards these technologies are: complex; dependent on characteristics of the individual, technology, application and product; and, impacted by the nature and forms of information provided. Challenges are faced in engaging with the public about these technologies, as levels of knowledge, understanding and interest vary.
- ItemThe defining characteristics of alternative food initiatives in Ireland: a social movement battling for an alternative food future?(University College Cork, 2015) Murtagh, Aisling; Ward, Michael; Irish Research Council for Humanities and Social SciencesAlternative food initiatives (AFIs) have been described as an attempt to change and improve aspects of how the food system operates. They are focused around more traditional, local and sustainable food production and circulation. AFIs such as farmers’ markets, allotments and community gardens, share a desire to reduce the number of steps food goes through from production to plate. The role of these initiatives in the food system, and their potential to impact real change, has however been questioned. Working to better understand this issue is a central concern of this research. To do this a two tier analysis has been deployed. The first tier involves identifying the characteristics and general dynamics of AFIs. Bourdieu’s theory of practice, and the theories of field and capital, are the concepts applied. The research then uses these findings in the second tier of analysis concerned with relating AFI characteristics and dynamics back to their key traits, positive and negative, as well as arguments made about AFI’s role identified from previous research. Another part of this second tier of analysis is exploring if AFIs, the producers, consumers, organisations and groups that make up this phenomenon, can be considered a social movement. AFIs can be referred to collectively as a social movement, but are not often explored theoretically from this perspective. AFIs in Ireland provide the empirical context for this research. A series of qualitative interviews in four areas of Ireland, as well as evidence from primary and secondary sources are analysed. The research finds that AFIs can be understood as the potential beginnings of a lifestyle social movement. Leaders are of central importance to its development. It is also found that an important role of AFIs is revitalising, supporting and contributing to food culture.
- ItemSmallholder agriculture and household food and nutrition security: a study from East Hararghe, Ethiopia(University College Cork, 2016) Aweke, Chanyalew S.; Lahiff, Edward; Chisholm, Nicholas G.; Irish Aid; Higher Education AuthorityThis study was conducted in Babille district, East Hararghe, Ethiopia, a mixed crop-livestock region selected because of its vulnerability to malnutrition. A sample of 400 rural households were drawn randomly from four kebelles in this district. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods were used. The findings indicated that agricultural production was mainly focused on staple food crops such as sorghum and maize, and a limited range of cash crops and animal products for sale. Nutritionally important food types such as vegetables, fruits, beans, eggs and meat were produced only by a minority of households and were largely sold for cash rather than being consumed within the producer household. From a dietary perspective households produced a limited number of food groups. Farming was also the main source of cash income with additional cash income obtained from a range of off-farm and non-farm activities, particularly wage labour, which were particularly important to the poorest households. In terms of food availability, more than half of the households experienced a food gap during the year, which was worse for female-headed households than their male counterparts; considerable differences was also found across the four kebelles. Diets in the area were dominated by cereals, and consumption of high-value foods such as meat, eggs, fruits, vitamin A-rich vegetables and dark green leafy vegetables was limited to small proportions of households, indicating a severe risk of nutrient deficiencies. Important seasonal differences were found in terms of household food access and dietary diversity between pre-harvest and post-harvest seasons. Regression analysis indicated that households producing diverse crops, with higher farm income, larger landholding size and larger household size had higher dietary diversity. The study concludes that agriculture production contributes positively to dietary diversity through own provision of food and cash income from farming.
- ItemImpact of protected forests on rural household fuel tree planting and deforestation: Chiro District, Ethiopia(University College Cork, 2016) Tadese, Admasu Bogale; Chisholm, Nicholas G.; Enright, PatrickThis study aims at exploring the potential impact of forest protection intervention on rural households’ private fuel tree planting in Chiro district of eastern Ethiopia. The study results revealed a robust and significant positive impact of the intervention on farmers’ decisions to produce private household energy by growing fuel trees on their farm. As participation in private fuel tree planting is not random, the study confronts a methodological issue in investigating the causal effect of forest protection intervention on rural farm households’ private fuel tree planting through non-parametric propensity score matching (PSM) method. The protection intervention on average has increased fuel tree planting by 503 (580.6%) compared to open access areas and indirectly contributed to slowing down the loss of biodiversity in the area. Land cover/use is a dynamic phenomenon that changes with time and space due to anthropogenic pressure and development. Forest cover and land use changes in Chiro District, Ethiopia over a period of 40 years was studied using remotely sensed data. Multi temporal satellite data of Landsat was used to map and monitor forest cover and land use changes occurred during three point of time of 1972,1986 and 2012. A pixel base supervised image classification was used to map land use land cover classes for maps of both time set. The result of change detection analysis revealed that the area has shown a remarkable land cover/land use changes in general and forest cover change in particular. Specifically, the dense forest cover land declined from 235 ha in 1972 to 51 ha in 1986. However, government interventions in forest protection in 1989 have slowed down the drastic change of dense forest cover loss around the protected area through reclaiming 1,300 hectares of deforested land through reforestation program up to 2012.
- ItemThe impact of biofuels on food security. From global to local, using case studies from Mozambique and Tanzania(University College Cork, 2016) Thornhill, Stephen; Chisholm, Nicholas G.; Keane, Michael; International Food Policy Research InstituteThis thesis finds that biofuel operations can, under the right conditions, help improve food security in rural areas of low-income countries where poverty and hunger is most rife. It also finds little evidence that biofuels have significantly reduced global food availability or have been largely responsible for rising food prices over the past decade. This contrasts with much of the media coverage surrounding the long-running food versus fuel debate. The results of household surveys in Mozambique and Tanzania showed that those households with employees of biofuel operations were likely to be significantly more food-secure than other households in the same locality. A regression analysis that controlled for key influences on food security, such as household size and crop area, confirmed “biofuel involvement” as a significant factor behind a higher food security status. Most “involved” households attributed their improved food security to better and more stable income from salaried employment. A macro analysis of the global biofuel sector found that the rise in the biofuel feedstock area over the past decade represented little more than 1 per cent of the world’s arable and permanent crop acreage. It also found little evidence that US biofuel production had accounted for a large proportion of maize price changes over the past decade. Moreover, there appeared to be limited transmission between US maize prices, used as a global benchmark, and local maize prices in Mozambique and Tanzania. The development of a novel food security indicator during this study - the household nutrient deficit score – can improve our understanding of the linkages between agriculture, including biofuel feedstocks, and food security. The metric and its methodology can help measure the impact of agri-based interventions on local food and nutrition security, assisting policymakers and organisations involved in sustainable certification systems.
- ItemForces of agglomeration and dispersal in rural business networks: a social network analysis(University College Cork, 2016) Sloane, Alan; O'Reilly, Seamus; Irish Research CouncilTwo concepts in rural economic development policy have been the focus of much research and policy action: the identification and support of clusters or networks of firms and the availability and adoption by rural businesses of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). From a theoretical viewpoint these policies are based on two contrasting models, with clustering seen as a process of economic agglomeration, and ICT-mediated communication as a means of facilitating economic dispersion. The study’s conceptual framework is based on four interrelated elements: location, interaction, knowledge, and advantage, together with the concept of networks which is employed as an operationally and theoretically unifying concept. The research questions are developed in four successive categories: Policy, Theory, Networks, and Method. The questions are approached using a study of two contrasting groups of rural small businesses in West Cork, Ireland: (a) Speciality Foods, and (b) firms in Digital Products and Services. The study combines Social Network Analysis (SNA) with Qualitative Thematic Analysis, using data collected from semi-structured interviews with 58 owners or managers of these businesses. Data comprise relational network data on the firms’ connections to suppliers, customers, allies and competitors, together with linked qualitative data on how the firms established connections, and how tacit and codified knowledge was sourced and utilised. The research finds that the key characteristics identified in the cluster literature are evident in the sample of Speciality Food businesses, in relation to flows of tacit knowledge, social embedding, and the development of forms of social capital. In particular the research identified the presence of two distinct forms of collective social capital in this network, termed “community” and “reputation”. By contrast the sample of Digital Products and Services businesses does not have the form of a cluster, but matches more closely to dispersive models, or “chain” structures. Much of the economic and social structure of this set of firms is best explained in terms of “project organisation”, and by the operation of an individual rather than collective form of “reputation”. The rural setting in which these firms are located has resulted in their being service-centric, and consequently they rely on ICT-mediated communication in order to exchange tacit knowledge “at a distance”. It is this factor, rather than inputs of codified knowledge, that most strongly influences their operation and their need for availability and adoption of high quality communication technologies. Thus the findings have applicability in relation to theory in Economic Geography and to policy and practice in Rural Development. In addition the research contributes to methodological questions in SNA, and to methodological questions about the combination or mixing of quantitative and qualitative methods.
- ItemMarket-oriented new product development of health promoting foods for the ageing population(University College Cork, 2016) Collins, Orla; Bogue, JosephMajor factors influencing food development and food marketing strategies in global market places at present can be attributable to the changing age structure of the population. The significant shifts in global age structure will inevitably lead to the number of people aged 60 reaching an all-time high of one billion by the year 2020. The rapidly growing population of ageing people globally represents a large, neglected and very much under-developed category within the Food Industry. The primary focus of this study was the integration of knowledge creation techniques at early NPD stages, for the development of market-oriented new health promoting foods for the ageing population. The methodology of this study was centered on an exploratory sequential mixed methods strategy. Stage one of the study involved in-depth semi-structured interviews with 16 Stakeholders to facilitate the need identification stage of the NPD process. The main outputs identified were the need for: the fortification of foods for a preventative nutrition approach, the development of foods that targeted age-related conditions such as cognitive, heart, gut and bone health, the integration of ageing compensatory packaging adaptations and the creation of marketing messages with an active lifestyle message. Stage two consisted of a market-oriented computer assisted NPD technique, a user centered design interaction (UCD) to integrate consumers as co-creators throughout the idea generation stage of the NPD process. The most important product attributes identified in this stage included: products targeted at brain and cognitive health, liquid based beverages, easy to use packaging with environmentally friendly elements, simplistic marketing with a clear focus on health not age and realistic health claims constructed with consumer friendly terminology. Finally, Stage three used an abbreviated means-end chain (MEC) analysis to complete the concept development stage of the NPD process. This stage identified commercial information that could be used by food firms for the development of positioning and communication strategies. Equally, the information generated could be of high strategic importance to governments, policy makers, health professionals and medical professionals. The values and goals listed in this stage included: better overall health, active lifestyle, optimum nutrition and wellbeing feelings. Overall, this research illustrated that knowledge creation techniques can assist firms in the development of market-oriented health promoting foods for the ageing population.
- ItemSmallholder agriculture and food and nutrition security: a study from south-eastern Tigray, Ethiopia(University College Cork, 2017) Kahsay, Zenebe Abraha; Chisholm, Nicholas G.; Lahiff, Edward; Irish Aid; Higher Education AuthoritySmallholder agriculture is the mainstay of the economy of Tigray, northern Ethiopia. Households located in the food insecure south-eastern zone rely on agriculture for their livelihood. Supplementary income is obtained from a range of off/non-farm activities. Households in the area consume a restricted diet, dominated by cereals. This study examines smallholder agriculture and food and nutrition security of rural households using mainly survey data collected in the post- and pre-harvest seasons from 400 randomly selected households across four villages in Enderta and Hintalo-Wajerat districts. Quantitative and qualitative analyses were used. Households in the study area own small areas of land (average size only 0.8 ha), but with important differences across study villages and between gender of household heads, thereby influencing food availability. Ownership of livestock has also similar patterns. Wealthier households (generally correlated with higher income groups) both produce and consume more nutrient-rich food items. Off-farm income comprises 74% of female-headed households’ income (47% for male-headed households). A number of food security indicators were calculated by village, season and gender of household head. These indicators generally showed that food insecurity is higher in the preharvest season and amongst female-headed households. Location, livestock ownership and household income were significantly associated with the main food security indicators. Education level of mothers was associated with better food security in the pre-harvest season, supporting women’s empowerment to improved nutrition. Farming practices influence dietary diversity through a combination of production for ownconsumption and income effects. The study concludes that there is a need to develop policy and specific agricultural interventions to promote more nutrition-sensitive agriculture. This implies a range of actions, including promoting women’s empowerment. There is a need for enhanced promotion of information and knowledge at household level to encourage greater dietary diversity. Multisectoral policy making and implementation need to be strengthened.
- ItemOperationalizing rights-based approaches to development: a study of state and non-state duty-bearers in Odisha, India(University College Cork, 2017) Mishra, Nita; Lahiff, Edward; Chisholm, Nicholas G.; University College CorkThis thesis examines how rights-based approaches to development are operationalised in Odisha, India, through an investigation of its practice by state and non-state actors at various levels. The thesis asks four research questions. The first asks how state political will and commitment defines, and expresses, rights of poor communities, and how this impacts upon its operationalisation of RBA. The second asks what specific governance strategies are used by the state to operationalise RBAs. The third looks at how “lived experiences” of grassroots state duty-bearers impacts on the practice of RBA. The fourth question seeks to identify different development issues, and strategies non-government organisations (NGOs) prioritise and adopt to enable poor communities to claim rights. The study uses a range of qualitative methods for the collection of data across three districts including 64 villages, and from over one hundred individual informants. The following significant findings emerge from my study. One is the importance of experiential knowledge of middle level officials in operating a rights-based program. Second is that poor women duty-bearers at grassroots level are also rights-holders which poses multiple constraints on the implementation of RBA programs. Third is that cooperation between the state and non-state duty-bearers is essential for a rights-based development practice. The fourth finding focuses on the importance of communities taking responsibility for their development through active participation, and strengthening community governance systems. The fifth shows that empowerment processes are invisible and intangible and begin with an assertion of individual agency as in the case of self-help groups. Sixth is the use of a rights’ language to challenge existing power structures. The findings of this study enhance our understanding of the potential, and constraints, of the approach in practice. At the theoretical level the thesis provides guidelines to what it is really to secure rights to someone. .