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


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Why an integrated approach to soil management is essential
March 19, 2015 / Our blog
Experience across Africa demonstrates that a ‘one size fits all’ solution is inappropriate. An integrated approach to soils management is required, mixing different inputs in different amounts for different places. Deriving from extensive research we have learned that:  Radical technological

Homefields and outfields: different sites, different response to soil management
March 10, 2015 / Our blog
These data are from rich Highveld red soils, and the pattern will be different in the majority of sandy or sandy loam soils elsewhere, where loss of organic matter is often more sudden, and very difficult to reverse. Many soils

More than rocket science: the 3 generations of Farmer First
More than rocket science: the 3 generations of Farmer First
March 9, 2015 / Our blog
The three ‘generations’ of Farmer First The first generation represented by the first book on Farmer First covered farmer innovations preceding 1987. The second book, Beyond Farmer First, covered the period between 1987 and 1992. The third book Farmer First

6 March: China and Brazil in African agriculture – news roundup
March 6, 2015 / Our blog
Sudan seeks stronger ties with Brazilian agriculture Sudan’s Minister for Agriculture has said that their country is seeking to attract greater agricultural investments and trade with agricultural companies from Brazil. He cited their interest in chicken and fish farms as

Soils for life: Some cautionary tales for the International Year of Soils
Soils for life: Some cautionary tales for the International Year of Soils
March 2, 2015 / Our blog
There is no doubt that changes in soil structure, losses through erosion and soil fertility decline are important issues. But these global figures are derived from some dubious calculations that are often rather meaningless. Aggregated up from multiple small studies,

2 March 2015: China and Brazil in African Agriculture news roundup
March 2, 2015 / Our blog
Science Agenda for African Agriculture showcased by Embrapa A delegation from the Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa has visited EMBRAPA in Brazil “to strengthen the existing collaboration.” The two organisations run the Africa-Brazil Agricultural Innovation Marketplace between themselves since

Introducing our new working paper series on China & Brazil in African agriculture
February 25, 2015 / Our blog
These contrasts come out strikingly when reading across the papers. The cases also highlight the diversity of engagements grouped under ‘development cooperation’ in agriculture. Some focus on state-facilitated commercial investments; others are more akin to ‘aid projects’, but often with

Land, dispossession and the law
February 17, 2015 / Our blog
More about land and biofuels Our research on Land Green grabbing: a new appropriation of nature? Image: martey (Flickr)  

‘Quadruple Wins’: learning from DFID’s evaluation of the Future Agricultures Consortium, 2008-2013
‘Quadruple Wins’: learning from DFID’s evaluation of the Future Agricultures Consortium, 2008-2013
February 11, 2015 / Our blog
These concluded that FAC’s ‘unique, researcher-led network’ model and its approach to analysing and understanding the political economy of agricultural policy processes provides a ‘quadruple win’ leading to positive impacts and outcomes through synergies between four key areas: High-quality research

6 February 2015: China and Brazil in African agriculture – news roundup
February 6, 2015 / Our blog
China seeks higher profile for its GM crops in global markets Article in Xinhua news that quotes a vice-director of the central agricultural working group as saying that China should not let GM markets be dominated by other countries. The