Mariette's past studies combined helped her do research that supports farmers in Africa and south-Asia to yield more sustainable harvests.
Could you tell us a little about how your past bachelor ties in to your Master's?
“In 2015, I graduated from the master Development and Rural Innovation. Before studying at Wageningen University and Research, I obtained a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Human Technology from Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen. During my bachelor studies, I did research in South Africa and India and developed my interest for socio-technical interactions, technology development and adoption processes in a Global South context. My MSc internship and thesis research were in East Africa. Based in Uganda, I did my internship with the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture’s (IITA) to support their Humidtropics programme with implementation of multi-stakeholder processes in East and Central Africa. Simultaneously, I studied adoption of small-scale biogas plants among smallholder farmers in Uganda and Kenya for a start-up selling biogas systems. My MSc thesis investigated fertilizer adoption challenges among potato farmers for IITA’s PASIC project in Uganda. After my graduation, I moved to East Africa to work for IITA’s Humidtropics programme and CIALCA project.”
How did your master’s prepare you for this career?
“The interdisciplinary knowledge obtained during my MDR studies together with my background in product development and testing greatly supports my research today. My PhD project studies participatory development of mobile-phone based extension services for pest and disease management. To conduct my research I use an IITA led project, ICT4BXW, as case study. This project explores the use of ICT and citizen science for control and prevention of Banana Xanthomonas Wilt disease. I closely follow the process of developing and field testing an ICT-based platform using a variety of research methods. Since January 2019, I am based at Wageningen University’s Knowledge Technology and Innovation Group where I work as a research assistant. For my data collection I still go to Rwanda on a regular basis however, for example to attend design workshops and join field testing activities.”