Themes

Future Agricultures explores what needs to be done to get different forms of agriculture – food/cash crops, livestock/pastoralism, smallholdings/contract farming/large holdings – moving on a track of increasing productivity and competitiveness.

We do this through work in 10 themes, examining how agricultural policy is made and put into practice in different settings, and how this could be improved


Latest articles

Productivity and food prices: the missing link?
Productivity and food prices: the missing link?
February 8, 2013 / Pathways to Commercialisation
High and unstable food prices have been high on international agendas in recent years, amid concerns about population, demand and environmental constraints. A new paper by Andrew Dorward argues that much greater attention needs to be paid to understanding and

Will there be a global food crisis in 2013?
Will there be a global food crisis in 2013?
January 23, 2013 / Pathways to Commercialisation
FAC Commercialisation theme convenor Steve Wiggins is quoted in an IRIN article considering the outlook for global food security in 2013. After the 2012 drought affecting the USA, maize prices fell slightly, but from a relatively high position. Cereal prices

Food, finance and speculation
Food, finance and speculation
January 23, 2013 / Pathways to Commercialisation
A new FAC Working Paper, Food price volatility and financial speculation (pdf), looks at the link between different forms of speculation on financial markets, and unstable or inaccurate food prices. In a post on the FAC blog, the paper's author,

Learning from pastoralists on climate change
Learning from pastoralists on climate change
January 7, 2013 / Pastoralism
Change is sweeping the Greater Horn of Africa and many of the other drylands of the world. New threats are appearing, as well as opportunities. In a new post on the ILRI blog, Susan MacMillan looks at the section on

Online debate on the Future of Agriculture: 10-21 December
Online debate on the Future of Agriculture: 10-21 December
December 17, 2012 / Land
Oxfam is running an online discussion from 10-21 December 2012, exploring key issues for the future of agriculture. They include: farmers’ knowledge as the driver of innovation and investment; women’s land ownership; farming’s dependence on fossil fuels; and effective risk

Chicken and politics mix in Ghana
Chicken and politics mix in Ghana
November 28, 2012 / Policy Processes
A post on the STEPS Centre blog by Future Agricultures researchers Jim Sumberg and John Thompson looks at the politics of chicken in Ghana, with elections just around the corner. 70,900 metric tons of frozen chicken were imported into the

Debate: farmers, GM crops and agriculture’s future
Debate: farmers, GM crops and agriculture’s future
November 23, 2012 / Science, Technology and Innovation
The Guardian's latest Global Development podcast features a panel discussing the future for farmers, GM crops and agriculture. The discussion, which includes FAC's Andrew Dorward, was recorded at the UK DSA conference in October 2012. High food prices, concerns about

Malawi’s Green Belt: squeezing smallholder farmers?
Malawi’s Green Belt: squeezing smallholder farmers?
November 18, 2012 / Growth and Social Protection
Malawi's Green Belt Initiative aims to offer land to local and international investors, in order to increase agricultural production, productivity, incomes and food security. But it may also be facilitating 'land grabs' from smallholder farmers. This new Policy Brief (pdf)

Malawi’s Green Belt: squeezing smallholder farmers?
Malawi’s Green Belt: squeezing smallholder farmers?
November 18, 2012 / Land
Malawi's Green Belt Initiative aims to offer land to local and international investors, in order to increase agricultural production, productivity, incomes and food security. But it may also be facilitating 'land grabs' from smallholder farmers. This new Policy Brief (pdf)

Interview: Does democracy lead to pro-poor agriculture?
Interview: Does democracy lead to pro-poor agriculture?
November 13, 2012 / Policy Processes
The process of democratisation does not always create better pro-poor agricultural policy in Africa. The Africa Portal has published an interview with FAC researcher Colin Poulton on whether democratisation in Africa leads to more pro-poor agricultural policy. The interview comes