Our blog

Opinions and comments from Future Agricultures researchers on agricultural politics, science and society in Africa


Latest articles

Tractor-powered modernisation for the few
October 16, 2017 / Our blog
Tractors are back in the spotlight as a prime symbol of a modernisation vision for African agriculture. Are they the answer to low productivity and food insecurity? Are they the mark of a rising class of modern farmers, ready to
Roads, belts and corridors: what is happening along Africa’s eastern seaboard?
October 12, 2017 / Our blog
The eastern seaboard of Africa from Kenya to Tanzania to Mozambique has become a major focus of attention. The ports – from Bagamoyo to Beira – are seen as the gateway to Africa, a place where great riches can be

Interdisciplinary puzzles: some lessons from Zimbabwe
October 4, 2017 / Our blog
Just out in Human Ecology is a new open access paper – People, patches and parasites: the case of trypanosomiasis in Zimbabwe. It presents the results of a project looking at the socio-ecology of disease in Africa – part of the Dynamic Drivers of
Decent work for all? We need to talk about rural informal employment!
September 28, 2017 / Our blog
The idea that there are universal rights in relation to work, and a universal standard that delineates acceptable from unacceptable work, has an impressive pedigree. Rooted in Article 23 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights; solidified in the

Land and agriculture in Zimbabwe following land reform
August 17, 2017 / Our blog
In May, I was invited to give a talk on Zimbabwe’s land reform and its aftermath by a great new student initiative at SOAS (School of African and Asia Studies) focused on agriculture and development in Africa. The event was

Land, livelihoods and small towns
August 5, 2017 / Our blog
In early June, I was invited by the Africa Research Institute in London to a panel discussion held to launch a new ARI Counterpoints piece by Beacon Mbiba on ‘missing urbanisation’ in Zimbabwe. Beacon’s piece raised some important questions about

A new land administration system for Zimbabwe
July 29, 2017 / Our blog
The Zimbabwe Land Commission, established as a result of the new national Constitution, has a major task ahead of it. It is vital that an independent Commission looks at the range of land issues in the round. The complexities presented

Getting agriculture moving: finance and credit
July 29, 2017 / Our blog
Getting the agricultural sector financed is a key challenge in Zimbabwe, and links concretely to land administration challenges discussed in previous blogs in this series. Making both places and people bankable is a priority, but responses have to be geared

Beyond the freehold title obsession: generating land tenure security
July 29, 2017 / Our blog
Zimbabwe has a regime of multi-form tenure, with multiple tenure types associated with different areas of land (freehold, lease, permit, communal and state land). This provides a flexibility in tenure arrangements, with each appropriate to different uses. For any form

Agricultural commercialisation – where it’s hot and where it’s not
Agricultural commercialisation – where it’s hot and where it’s not
July 29, 2017 / Our blog
Greater agricultural commercialisation, through engagement with value chains, is seen by many as the only viable way forward for small-scale farmers in Africa. In this view, increased commercialisation has the potential to deliver significant income and livelihoods benefits to rural