Our Principles

The guiding principle of the Consortium is that agriculture, despite its often gloomy record and poor reputation, is a crucial pathway out of poverty in Africa: absorbing labour, producing food and generating economic growth, both within and perhaps most importantly beyond the agricultural sector.

Agriculture is thus a vital engine of economic growth, especially in Africa.

Getting pro-poor growth moving through different types of agriculture – for the benefit of both poor producers and consumers, and to generate growth in the wider economy – is therefore a key policy priority.

From research to policy

Our work combines evidence-based research with policy dialogue, networking and communications. We have labelled this a ‘learning’ approach, because the aim is not to do research for its own sake, but to embed activities within local contexts, spotting key policy moments and opportunities for productive engagement for positive change. By bringing together top-quality research expertise from both African and UK institutions, new synergies can be realised and fresh insights can be generated.

As a convenor of critical debate and dialogue, we complement other information brokerage and sharing efforts. We engage with and support the agenda for Africa, as set out in the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).

As a multidisciplinary and independent learning alliance, we also offer a responsive mode of working. In an often fast-changing landscape, we engage with policy debates and issues as they arise.