Our blog

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


Latest articles

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

Medium-scale farming for Africans: The ‘Native Purchase Areas’ in Zimbabwe
June 29, 2017 / Our blog
The Native Purchase Areas were established as a result of the 1930 Land Apportionment Act, following the recommendations of the 1925 Morris Carter Commission. They were designed as compensation for the fact that Africans were not allowed to purchase land