Our blog

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

Latest articles

Food price volatility – debating causes and consequences
February 17, 2012 / Our blog
The issue provokes heated debate. Some argue that speculators have affected both the level and volatility of prices, with major development consequences. Opponents argue the exact opposite: ‘speculators’ bring liquidity to markets, lower farmers’ hedging costs and reduce volatility, and

New book: Contested Agronomy, by Jim Sumberg and John Thompson
February 13, 2012 / Our blog
Contested Agronomy explores, through a series of case studies, the basis for a much needed ‘political agronomy’ analysis that highlights the impacts of problem framing and narratives, historical disjunctures, epistemic communities and the increasing pressure to demonstrate ‘success’ on both

Can trading in tree gum & resin save drought-hit northern Kenya?
February 10, 2012 / Our blog
The collection of gums and resins for commercial and domestic use is a centuries-old practice in the Horn of Africa, and in northern Kenya in particular. The importance of this activity takes precedence during the drought period when the income

African Union Research Grants: 2012 Open Call for Proposals
February 10, 2012 / Our blog
The full Guidelines for Applicants, Application form and other supporting documents are available for downloading from the following Internet Sites: http://www.africahrst.org/stict/rgp http://www.au.int/researchgrant http://webgate.ec.europa.eu/europeaid/online-services/index.cfm?do=publi.welcome The deadline for submission of proposals is April 20, 2012 at 1700 hours (+3 GMT) Addis Ababa

Climate Smart Agriculture: The new Holy Grail of agricultural development?
Climate Smart Agriculture: The new Holy Grail of agricultural development?
December 5, 2011 / Our blog
Agriculture is high on the political agenda at COP-17 in Durban. Many would argue that this is as it should be: agriculture will be key to any strategy to adapt to climate change, particularly in an African context, and the

Young people and agriculture in Africa: where is the evidence?
October 24, 2011 / Our blog
During the last decade the language of evidence-based policy began to permeate the world of African agricultural policy. At its best the evidence-based policy movement encourages us to think critically about the nature of evidence and the ‘evidence base(s)’, and

African Union High Level Policy Forum on Foreign Direct Investments
October 17, 2011 / Our blog
Land is the basic livelihood resource for a growing number of increasingly poor proportions of Africa’s population. The resource provides the livelihood base, identity and is a contentious socio-political asset. Lately the land resource in Africa has come under increasing

A New Leader & New Beginning for the FAO?
June 29, 2011 / Our blog
Graziano da Silva, 61, the former Brazilian Minister of Food Security, will replace Jacques Diouf, who has served as the head of the biggest UN agency for 18 years, in January 2012. Graziano received 92 votes against 88 for Spain’s

A Missed Opportunity: The G20 Action Plan on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture
June 28, 2011 / Our blog
The 24-page communiqué, called the ‘Action Plan on Food Price Volatility and Agriculture’, was published following the first ever meeting of the G20 agriculture ministers, held in Paris on 22-23 June 2011, after France made global food security and commodities

Reframing the ‘young people – agriculture nexus’
April 19, 2011 / Our blog
A number of framing assumptions can be identified including: Agriculture has the potential to provide young people and others in rural areas with a reasonable livelihood and opportunities for accumulation. Young people, the agricultural sector, the rural economy and rural