Martien Hoogland

In my study cultural anthropology at the VU University Amsterdam, the development of underdevelopment in Africa and its implications for the rural economy was my key interest.

For the foundation Ecofair (1996-1998) I contributed to the establishment of sustainable market chains in palm oil and cashew nuts from Benin. 

For Both ENDS I supported community based networks in restoring the local ecology and in establishing market chains of alternative products. This resulted in a research on the impact of ecological restauration on farmer household revenues in Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. The conditions of surplus production on small holder farms was a key issue. Are they still characterized by the familiar irregular small surplus or are they finally caught up by the market. This research also provided insights in the relative importance of internal factors (the integration of tree culture, agriculture and animal husbandry on the farm) versus external market factors (price level and availability of inputs, like improved seeds).

Furthermore I supported community-networks in the bottom up management of river basins in Africa and especially in their contribution to national food security. It appeared that African river basins play a different role compared to Asia, where food security and states developed around river basins. The challenge for community networks in Africa was to analyze the dominant coalition of state actors and private enterprise and determine remaining spaces of negotiation at local and (inter)national level.

A last topic was the promotion of gender equality in the management of ecology and economy. I described trajectories in the world historic defeat of women due to the advent of agriculture, market forces and state intervention. In the above mentioned research the patriarchal Mossi society was compared with the acephalous Dogon. Topics covered were the control over compost pits, the granary, cattle and tree products. 

As a publicist I recorded the history of: the Roman Catholic Farmers and Dairy Growers Association in the bishopric of Haarlem (RK LTB currently WLTO, 1915-1990); The vegetable auction at Leiden; The dairy factory Zuiver Zuivel (1905-1990) and (1990-2005) and the vegetable sector in Eastern West-Friesland (1880-1930).