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13 Acknowledgements This eight-year research journey has been a long one and the work is a result of many people’s support, acts and efforts along the way. I am deeply appreciative and thankful to them all.

I am sincerely grateful to Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences for providing me with this amazing learning opportunity and for allowing enough flexibility for me to conduct this study within my workspace at my own pace.

Thanks to my department supervisors, initially Kjell Havnevik and later Lennart Salomonsson and Cecilia Waldenström for guiding me so well along the way. I also wish to acknowledge the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency for financially supporting the research, without which this would not have happened. The thesis is truly a shared team effort with my research colleagues and intellectual mentors Esbern Friis-Hansen and Ed Taylor, and I cannot enough express my appreciation for having had the opportunity to work so closely with you.

None of this would have been possible without the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) providing me with an unique platform for inquiry into the topic. It is the discussions and interactions with farmers over the years as well as colleagues within FAO programs that gave birth to this inquiry and that continually have inspired me to learn more, understand better, and achieve further. I am especially thankful for all the farmers who allowed me to step into their world and gain insight into their lives, for these interactions have been truly transformative for me.

The early years of my career within the PFI-FFS and IFAD TAG programs have a special place in my heart and formed and shaped me to what and who I am today. I cannot enough express my appreciation for all the dedicated, talented and wonderful national colleagues that I have had the pleasure to work with over the years, and a special thanks to Titus, Dorothy, Mweri, Godrick, James and Julianus who introduced me to the Field School world and mentored me while I was a novice in the field.

Finally I wish to express my deep appreciation for the patience and support of my family and friends and apologies for all those moments when I was in front of the computer rather than present with you.

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