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


Latest articles

The future of medium-scale commercial farms in Africa: lessons from Zimbabwe
March 1, 2017 / Our blog
Important changes are afoot in the size structure of farms in Africa. The rise of ‘medium-scale’ farms is often pointed to. From studies in Kenya, Ghana, Zambia and elsewhere, carried out by Michigan State University, a pattern of consolidation of

What is the future for medium-sized commercial farms in Zimbabwe?
February 2, 2017 / Our blog
Zimbabwe’s land reform created two ‘models’ for resettlement farms – one relatively small-scale, the A1 schemes, and one medium to large-scale, the A2 farms. A1 farms now cover (very) approximately 4.2 m ha including around 150,000 farms and A2 farms

“No condition is permanent”: small-scale commercial farming in Zimbabwe
January 15, 2017 / Our blog
In this week’s blog, I want to present two cross-generational case studies of Purchase Area (now small-scale farming area) farms, based on interviews carried out earlier this year in Mushagashe and Dewure SSCFAs in Masvingo Province. They are not in

The changing fortunes of former farm workers in Zimbabwe
November 17, 2016 / Our blog
A recurrent theme is the sense of new freedoms, but also extreme challenges and precarity. Reflections on the past focus on control, ordering and disciplining, but also stability and the certainty of a wage. As the testimonies show, farmers were

Debating Open Data and Land Governance – 6-20 September
September 1, 2016 / Our blog
In land governance, a sector ripe for abuse and corruption, transparency is critical in ensuring land use and allocation is fair and accountable and that tenure rights can be defended and protected. The opaque nature of land administration systems and

Webinar on 22 June 2016: African Farmer game
June 21, 2016 / Our blog
  Presenters John Thompson, Senior Research Fellow, Rural Futures Cluster; Institute of Development Studies James Jackson, Designer/Developer; African Farmer Project About the seminar The African Farmer Game (www.africanfarmergame.org) is a computer-based simulation designed to give players the experience of living

Next steps to strengthen global land governance
Next steps to strengthen global land governance
May 11, 2016 / Our blog
The voluntary guidelines represent a unique example of collaborative “soft law”. The UN Committee on World Food Security offered the opportunity for direct involvement of all stakeholders – including governments, industry and civil society. This was a first for this

India’s seed sector is flourishing. Could African farmers benefit?
January 19, 2016 / Our blog
Does Africa need India’s seeds? There are good reasons to explore this possibility. India shares some of the diverse agro-ecologies and crops found in Africa, so it is plausible that technologies and methods used by Indian farmers might also be

The perfect package for reducing poverty is made up of different parts
The perfect package for reducing poverty is made up of different parts
July 8, 2015 / Our blog
Graduating out of poverty This focus on building resilience and enabling households to move out of poverty, and out of programme dependence using a number of interventions, has become the driver of a range of new-generation social protection approaches known

Making irrigation work for Africa: 10 questions decision makers should ask
July 1, 2015 / Our blog
The good news is that the international community is showing renewed interest in African agriculture. The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme has ambitions to expand irrigation by a third over the next decade and the private sector is also being