Harro Maat

Harro Maat
Wageningen University & Research | WUR · Department of Communication, Technology and Philosophy

Dr.

About

104
Publications
26,102
Reads
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769
Citations
Citations since 2017
41 Research Items
609 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
2017201820192020202120222023020406080100120140
Introduction
I study people's skills and interactions in dealing with ecologies and technological change in developing countries, past and present. Of specific interest are ways in which introduced technologies co-produce unanticipated responses from groups in society. Sometimes such effects are clearly visible, for example in the form of public protest and media coverage. But more often they are less visible, for example in the form of everyday resistance, rejections, adjustments and add-on innovations in community settings. Such insight can generate important feedback, both for modulating science & technology, and for embedding such innovation in society at large.
Additional affiliations
January 2018 - May 2019
Wageningen University & Research
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
February 2010 - present
Wageningen University & Research
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • I teach for the BSc and MSc programmes in International Development, Development and Rural Innovation as well ass open courses on migration and embodiment.
February 2002 - March 2016
Wageningen University & Research
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)

Publications

Publications (104)
Article
Full-text available
We analyse the roles, dynamics and logic of science advice in structuring the Dutch response to the COVID-19 pandemic, from January 2020 to December 2020. We address how the Dutch government responded by paying attention to styles of governance and expert advice. We argue that the Dutch response was shaped by the interplay of corporatist, deliberat...
Preprint
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Given the few written documents left behind by those who escaped slavery, the analysis of African agency in the transfer of crops and knowledge in the successful establishment of Maroon communities benefits from other disciplines, such as oral history, ethnobotany and linguistics. Here we report the histories of several enslaved women, who escaped...
Preprint
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Rice is a keystone crop in all Maroon communities in Suriname and French Guyana today. Historically, rice can be considered an indicator crop for successful marronage in the Guianas. Maroons cultivate hundreds of traditional varieties, unraveling variety names revealed the history, farming systems, spiritual significance and probably the diversity...
Article
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It has been widely assumed that market mechanisms are central in incentivizing the development of sustainable innovations and that market formation is critical for the diffusion of innovations. We challenge the centrality of markets in understanding and promoting the development and diffusion of sustainable innovations using the case of the System...
Article
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This paper examines the learning process by which farmers come to a decision to use newly introduced seeds which were promoted through demonstration plots in midwestern and eastern regions of Uganda. Framed as social and material interactions, we investigated the learning process of the demonstration plots using data from focus group discussions, i...
Article
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Background Some 35,000 indentured laborers from India were recruited to work on plantations in Suriname between 1868 and 1916. It is likely that most were familiar with farming before they were shipped to this former Dutch colony in the Caribbean. Around 1900, those who did not return received a piece of land where most of them started growing rice...
Chapter
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This chapter engages with local, plural, and deliberative forms of knowledge and its potential for social innovation. Based on the premise that knowledge is co-produced with particular social orderings, knowledges that come ‘from below’ represent alternatives to and resistance against institutionally embedded knowledge ‘from above.’ We illustrate t...
Article
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The interconnectedness between climate change and development has generated an increasing interest amongst development organisations to integrate adaptation into government rural development plans in a way that effectively increases resilience at a local level. However, the nature of climate change resilience is widely debated in the literature, an...
Article
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This paper explores the role of decentralised community-based care systems in achieving sustainable healthcare in resource-poor areas. Based on case studies from Sierra Leone, Madagascar, Uganda and Ethiopia, the paper argues that a community-based system of healthcare is more effective in the prevention, early diagnosis, and primary care in respon...
Preprint
Full-text available
Some 35,000 indentured laborers from India were recruited to work on plantations in Suriname after 1863. Many of them started to grow rice for their subsistence, but were stimulated to replace their traditional landraces for improved cultivars. Few Hindostani smallholders still cultivate rice today, and little is known on their varieties or motivat...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Creating better access to good quality healthcare for the poor is a major challenge to development. In this study, we examined inter-linkages between poverty and disease, referred to as poverty-related diseases (PRDs), by investigating how Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) camp dwellers respond to diseases that adversely affect the...
Article
Full-text available
At the height of the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone in November 2014, a new decentralized approach to ending infection chains was adopted. This approach was based on building local, small-scale Community Care Centres (CCC) intended to serve as triage units for safe handling of patients waiting for test results, with subsequent transfer to Ebola Tre...
Article
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The paper considers local responses to the introduction of an Ebola Treatment Centre in eastern Sierra Leone during the West African epidemic of 2014–15. Our study used qualitative methods consisting of focus groups and interviews, to gather responses from patients, members of the families of survivors and deceased victims of the disease, social li...
Chapter
Full-text available
The role of research centres in generating new technology for development is problematic as engineering is no longer an isolated field of human activity. Rather than providing a clear-cut solution, this paper makes the case for the inclusion of this problematic area into research activities and technology-design procedures. In rural development, th...
Article
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Traditional crop varieties are an important source of genetic diversity for crop adaptation and modern breeding. Landraces of Asian (Oryza sativa) and African (Oryza glaberrima) rice have been well studied on the continents where they were domesticated. However, their history of cultivation in northern South America is poorly understood. Here, we r...
Preprint
Full-text available
At the height of the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone in November 2014, a new decentralized approach to ending infection chains was adopted. This approach was based on building local, small-scale Community Care Centres (CCC) intended to serve as triage units for safe handling of patients waiting for test results, with subsequent transfer to Ebola Tre...
Article
Full-text available
http://www.etfrn.org/publications/exploring+inclusive+palm+oil+production
Article
Agronomic practices such as fertilizer application or seed rates have been known to affect rice pests and damage, but the evidence is often blurred in studies on pest management decisions and invisible in studies on pesticide lock-in. Combined agronomic practices and pesticide use may create technological lock-in, occurring when the combination has...
Article
This paper addresses the conditions and mechanisms that sustain pesticide use by Cambodian rice farmers and constrain a transition to more sustainable pest control practices. We analyzed data from a survey of individual farmers (N ¼ 320), focus group discussions with farmer groups, and interviews with input sellers, rat hunters and local extension...
Preprint
Full-text available
Traditional crop varieties are an important source of genetic diversity for crop adaptation and modern breeding. Landraces of Asian (Oryza sativa) and African (Oryza glaberrima) rice have been well studied on the continents where they were domesticated. However, their history of cultivation in northern South America is poorly understood. Here we re...
Article
Full-text available
Smallholder rice farming is characterized by low returns and substantial environmental impact. Conversion to organic management and linking farmers to fair trade markets could offer an alternative. Engaging in certified cash-crop value chains could thereby provide an entry path to simultaneously reduce poverty and improve environmental sustainabili...
Article
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This article investigates the connection between performance, group, and society. The argument is that group formation around particular farm operations and the details of the activities they engage in are an expression of the preferred way of technology implementation. The argument is developed using Paul Richards' notion of agriculture as perform...
Article
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A longside the trans-Atlantic slave trade, plant species travelled from Africa to the Americas and back. This article examines the emerging rice gene pool in Suriname due to the global circulation of people, plants and goods. We distinguish three phases of circulation, marked by two major transitions. Rice was brought to the Americas by European co...
Article
For the past two decades, while the efficacy of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has been successfully demonstrated in Cambodia, its dissemination and sustained adoption among farmers have not met similar success. This study moves away from simplistic analyses about constraints in extension methods for IPM. Instead, we take a broader look into tech...
Article
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This paper presents and discusses a diagnostic framework to identify institutional processes in the creation of public-private partnerships (PPPs) for agricultural innovation. The diagnostic framework proposed here combines a conceptualisation of institutions with a conceptualisation of technology. We argue that a performative notion of institution...
Article
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Purpose: For many people living in low-income countries, poverty implies an increased exposure to conditions that threaten health and wellbeing as well as reduced capacity to maintain health. Despite the challenging conditions caused by poverty, people may consider themselves healthy because they have learned to cope with their situation probably a...
Article
Full-text available
p>For the past two decades, while the efficacy of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) has been successfully demonstrated in Cambodia, its dissemination and sustained adoption among farmers have not met similar success. This study moves away from simplistic analyses about constraints in extension methods for IPM. Instead, we take a broader look into te...
Article
Full-text available
In this paper, we explore the connection between poverty and health (poverty-related diseases: PRDs) by investigating the factors that play a role in how two groups of people in Cameroon cope with health challenges: workers in a large agro-industrial organization (living in 'camps') and students in two major universities (living on 'campuses'). We...
Article
Full-text available
Background In Cameroon, poverty-related diseases (PRDs) are a major public health concern. Research and policies addressing PRDs are based on a particular understanding of the interaction between poverty and disease, usually an association between poverty indicators and health indicators for a specific country or region. Such indicators are useful...
Article
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This paper situates representations of the System of Rice Intensification (SRI) – a set of agronomic principles promoted as a method for sustainable rice cultivation – in the context of three key values in agricultural development: high yields, sustainable agriculture and widespread adoption by farmers. We argue that overstated claims in relation t...
Article
Full-text available
Creating better access to good quality healthcare for the poor is a major challenge to development. In this study, we examined inter-linkages between poverty and disease, referred to as poverty-related diseases (PRDs), by investigating how Cameroon Development Corporation (CDC) camp dwellers respond to diseases that adversely affect their health an...
Chapter
Full-text available
The movement of agricultural technologies is conventionally understood as a ‘transfer’ of modern technology from more advanced sites (such as laboratories, field stations and progressive farms) to less advanced ones, which are upgraded. In this perspective, technologies are conceived implicitly as discrete, self-sufficient units that can move seaml...
Article
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The main challenge for researchers and project staff when implementing inclusive approaches in agricultural innovation is how learning and technology adaptation interact and how to reach jointly set targets. We provide a comparative analysis of the learning process induced by adaptive research (AR) in one case and a combined AR with Learning Allian...
Article
Full-text available
Poverty-Related Diseases (PRDs) emphasize poverty as a ‘breeding-ground’ for a range of diseases. The study presented here starts from the premise that poverty is a general condition that can limit people’s capacity to prevent, mitigate or treat diseases. Using an interpretation of health seeking behaviour (HSB), inspired by the salutogenic approac...
Article
Full-text available
Poverty-Related Diseases (PRDs) emphasize poverty as a ‘breeding-ground’ for a range of diseases. The study presented here starts from the premise that poverty is a general condition that can limit people’s capacity to prevent, mitigate or treat diseases. Using an interpretation of health seeking behaviour (HSB), inspired by the salutogenic approac...
Book
In this chapter, we examine how farming technologies move between places and how they are unpacked and 'grounded' in particular spaces and contexts. We argue that a better understanding of how this process occurs helps to shed light on a source of contestation within agronomy. We discuss two farming technologies that have been at the centre of cont...
Article
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Vulnerability assessments are a cornerstone of contemporary disaster research. This paper shows how research procedures and the presentation of results of vulnerability assessments are politically filtered. Using data from a study of tsunami risk assessment in Portugal, the paper demonstrates that approaches, measurement instruments, and research p...
Article
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Scientific assessments of socio-ecological systems are becoming mainstays in guiding policymaking and other interventions in response to global environmental change. The environmentality literature emphasizes the institutional architecture of emergent science-policy regimes and how scientific research is used in political settings, creating new mod...
Article
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African rice (Oryza glaberrima) and African cultivation practices are said to have influenced emerging colonial plantation economies in the Americas. However, the level of impact of African rice practices is difficult to establish because of limited written or botanical records. Recent findings of O. glaberrima in rice fields of Suriname Maroons be...
Article
Full-text available
Research projects employ the learning alliance (LA) approach but there is scepticism that its rhetoric is not evident in practice. The authors examined a case of an implemented LA, comparing its outcomes with assumptions from the project and its conceptual design to evaluate the implementation of an LA. Data were from interviews and network maps of...
Article
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Aims: To assess knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding transmission, prevention and treatment of malaria in four rural settings and one urban neighborhood. Study Design: Cross-sectional descriptive survey carried out in Cameroon. Place and Duration of Study: This study took place in rural Mbonge division (Pete, Marumba-1, Marumba-2, and Bai M...
Chapter
The global trade in rice is historically recent and its total quantity relatively small. Colonial explorations were the main incentive for its development, but only beginning in the 19th century did rice-producing countries in Asia export rice outside the continent in bulk. In previous centuries rice was transported over land and across the oceans...
Chapter
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Article
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International agricultural research centres use approaches which aim to create effective linkages between the practices of farmers, introduced technologies and the wider environment that affects farming. This paper argues that such new approaches require a different type of monitoring as a complement to conventional approaches that tend to favour a...
Book
This book brings together original, state-of-the-art historical research from several continents and examines how mainly local peasant societies responded to colonial pressures to produce a range of different commodities. It shows how they were able to subvert these processes and establish viable alternative livelihoods. In particular, it introduce...
Article
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To call a scholarly volume a handbook conveys a promise of the authority, completeness and balance that readers expect from a reference work. The editors of the Handbook on Agriculture, Biotechnology and Development have taken on an especially challenging task by attempting to compile a reference book on such a politically contentious topic. Since...
Chapter
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The start of World War I in 1914 was shocking news for the Dutch as it was to the rest of the world. The Netherlands, by maintaining a neutral status, avoided direct military involvement. The main concern, therefore, was the effect on the economy. In particular the capacity to import and export goods over sea was an issue as belligerent powers eith...
Article
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Een model wordt gepresenteerd, dat os ontwikkeld om de steun voor landschappelijke regeneratie te vergroten door inzicht te bieden in de relatie tussen landschap en lokale bevolking. Het Sociale Terugkoppeling Model brengt tegengestelde belangen van lokale bevolking, bestuurders en experts in kaart die tot weerstand tegen verandering kunnen leiden;...
Article
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We assessed the interplay of artificial and natural selection in rice adaptation in low-input farming systems in West Africa. Using 20 morphological traits and 176 molecular markers, 182 farmer varieties of rice (Oryza spp.) from 6 West African countries were characterized. Principal component analysis showed that the four botanical groups (Oryza s...
Chapter
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Conference Paper
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In parts of Asia, rice is sometimes known as ‘the lazy man’s crop’ because it is perceived as an undemanding crop to grow. To grow rice well is more demanding, requiring careful management of inputs and resources. We consider crop performance as the outcome of interaction among the rice genome, (agro-)ecology and management (GxExM). We focus on E a...
Article
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This study offers evidence of the robustness of farmer rice varieties (Oryza glaberrima and O. sativa) in West Africa. Our experiments in five West African countries showed that farmer varieties were tolerant of sub-optimal conditions, but employed a range of strategies to cope with stress. Varieties belonging to the species Oryza glaberrima - sole...
Chapter
[Please contact Dominic Glover if you would like a copy for personal use.]
Article
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Although the concept of the apprenticeship seems to be universal, its institutional form and status differ around the world. This article discusses informal apprenticeship training as it occurs among car mechanics in the informal industrial complex of the Suame Magazine, Kumasi, Ghana. Using on-site research and theories of social learning and mate...
Article
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An agricultural experiment is usually associated with a scientific method for testing certain agricultural phenomena. A central point in the work of Paul Richards is that experimentation is at the heart of agricultural practice. The reason why agricultural experiments are something different for farmers and agronomists is not their capacity to expe...
Article
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This article introduces the second part of a two-part special issue of the EASTS journal on 'Rice Science, Rice Technology and Rice Societies'
Article
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Participation is connected to technology through the notion of innovation systems. To make the connection work, it is argued, the focus has to shift from a framing of participation in terms of democratic entitlement to a framing in terms of the settlement of issues (i.e. politics from below), The innovation system is an appropriate notion to see wh...
Article
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This IDS Bulletin brings together insights from Science and Technology Studies and Development Studies - two academic and applied fields in which questions and issues about participation, science and technology are taken up and investigated. Cases, concepts and analyses emerging from studies in developing and developed countries show much similarit...
Chapter
The emergence of agricultural science in the Netherlands and its colonies implied the addition of an extra branch to the Dutch tree of science. The reception of the new facilities for agricultural science by the existing education and research institutes differed from great enthusiasm to clear scepticism. Clearly, agricultural science was different...
Chapter
At the turn of the eighteenth and nineteenth century the Dutch academic system was fundamentally revised and agriculture became one of the issues to be taken up in the new curriculum. The courses in agriculture the universities offered from 1816 never attracted many students and in another major reorganisation of the Dutch academic system in 1876 a...
Chapter
The period covered by this book is marked out by two changes in the Dutch education system, entailing major consequences for agricultural science. The new education law enacted in 1863 initiated the creation of a school and experiment station in Wageningen, growing over the years into a large institution for agricultural research and education. Alt...
Chapter
Limitation and control of the fluctuation of living nature lies at the basis of agricultural science. Different disciplines have different ways to analyse, understand and control the instability of natural processes. Physiologists and phytopathologists for example often kill plants and animals to get a stable situation. Others, like physicists and...
Chapter
Improvement and exchange of seed material is a crucial activity in agriculture, although not a very visible activity when observing the farm field. Without an experienced eye it is difficult to tell what specific variety of a crop is sown in a field. The concern in recent years for genetically modified crops and their possible harmful effects on fo...
Chapter
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At the end of the nineteenth century the Dutch State inherited military and administrative control over the Dutch East Indies from a bankrupt United East Indies Company. After some initiatives to modernise the colonial administration and develop the colony, the Dutch government fell back on a straightforward exploitation of the resources of the var...
Article
The central argument of this thesis is that science and practice, as articulated in agricultural science in the Netherlands and its colonies, gradually broke apart. This process is visible in the organisation of agricultural research and education, as well as in the development of three major fields of agricultural science. These fields are (1) gen...
Article
These two quotations contain in all their brevity most elements that are central in this book. In both excerpts worry and dissatisfaction is expressed about the impact of education and knowledge. The second phrase is very clear about the origin of this knowledge, Wageningen University and research institutes, located in a town in the central region...