Somewhere in the beginning of 2009, Professor Giller offered me a thesis project in Zimbabwe, that focused on the use of ‘wild’ products by smallholder farmers, in relation to climate variability. Somehow, we wanted to model the quantities of ‘wild’ products (such as firewood, fruits, mushroom and caterpillars) that farmers collected in relation to different quantities of rainfall. From this general curiosity, the following question was formulated:
Can the use of NTFRPs be a coping strategy for smallholder farmers at times of extreme weather situations?
From the end of April 2009 to the end of March 2010 I have been working on my thesis (PPS80433) and my internship (PPS70424) at the chair group Plant Production Systems, for my MSc Plant Sciences. The thesis and internship were combined into one single research project. The writing of the research proposal, the data analysis and the writing of the report were part of the thesis. The thesis report is the overall report of which this internship report is part. The practical field work in Zimbabwe made up the internship project. Part of the practical work has been described in the ‘methods’ sections of the thesis report, but a more elaborate description and reflection can be found here, in the internship report.