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


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DFID Strengthens Partnership with FAC
February 16, 2010 / Our blog
DFID’s renewal of its partnership for FAC’s work means the Consortium can now: Deepen its agriculture research and policy engagement activities in East and Southern Africa. Reinforce its core research themes of: – Policy Processes – Agricultural Commercialisation – Growth

Can Ethiopia Realise a Better Agriculture in its ‘Third Millennium’? The Role and Dilemma of Farm Prices
January 25, 2010 / Our blog
Farmers have responded positively to Government reforms that include a strong extension and credit-led push for intensification of food staples production through the use of modern seed and fertiliser. Agricultural growth has been impressive over the last decade, especially when

Low External Input and Sustainable Agriculture: Beyond the Hype? November 2007
January 25, 2010 / Our blog
The evidence from existing literature on the impacts of low-external-input techniques on poverty reduction is ambiguous. As with many technologies, access to labour, skills and contacts very often favour better resourced households and individuals. The new book ‘Self-sufficient agriculture’ by

Seasonality: four seasons, four solutions?
January 25, 2010 / Our blog
Families with undiversified livelihoods must survive all year long mainly on the crops that they consume as food and sell for income, and a single failed harvest can destitute a poor family with limited savings or assets. Where markets are

To subsidise or not to subsidise? Debating the effectiveness of state subsidies for fertiliser in Malawi.
January 25, 2010 / Our blog
Resources: Working Paper:Lessons Learned from the 2005/06 Malawi Input Subsidy Programmeby Blessings Chinsinga Discussion Paper:Rethinking Agricultural Input Subsidies in Poor Rural Economiesby Andrew Dorward, Peter Hazell and Colin Poulton FAC Briefing: FAC Briefing:The Malawi Fertiliser Subsidy Programme: politics and pragmatism

Fiddling in Rome While the World Burns?
January 25, 2010 / Our blog
When the Chief Executives Board of the United Nations met in Bern, Switzerland, in late April 2008 to assess how the international community could best contribute to combating the global food crisis, they agreed to set up a High Level

The Role of Agriculture in Growth Revisited for Africa
January 25, 2010 / Our blog
This is clearly not the case. Neither the WDR nor any other informed development economists are advocating such an approach. Indeed, the WDR argues that, over a generation, many people will have to move out of agriculture to escape poverty.

Growth Linkages in Agriculture
January 25, 2010 / Our blog
Where has this argument come from and what are its limitations and pitfalls? The argument for agriculture-led growth of course has a long lineage, dating to the classic work of John Mellor and Bruce Johnson at Cornell and Stanford, taken

The Role of Agriculture in Growth Revisited for Africa
January 25, 2010 / Our blog
Read: Opinion piece by Stefan Dercon and Kareen El Beyrouty Comment by Michigan State University Food Security Group

Aid Modalities to Agriculture: The end of the SWAp?
January 25, 2010 / Our blog
SWAps arose in the early to mid-1990s as a response to the perceived failure of existing aid practices and delivery mechanisms. The approach was intended to enhance aid effectiveness and recipient government’s ownership. SWAps developed mostly in Sub-Saharan Africa, in