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

New special issue of ‘Development Policy Review’
New special issue of ‘Development Policy Review’
September 23, 2014 / Policy Processes
A new open access issue of the journal Development Policy Review: ‘The Political Economy of Agricultural Policy in Africa’, has been published. Agricultural development is often seen as a technical issue, but Future Agricultures work has highlighted the politics and

Parliamentarians meet to respond to the ‘land rush’
Parliamentarians meet to respond to the ‘land rush’
August 8, 2014 / Land
Parliamentarians from Southern Africa met on (11-12 August 2014 to debate how foreign agricultural investment can bring benefits to local people, in the context of the ‘land rush’. Land rights, food security and jobs are among the themes discussed at

‘Carbon missionaries’: saving Africa from itself?
‘Carbon missionaries’: saving Africa from itself?
July 11, 2014 / Climate Change
Carbon schemes, designed to protect and sustain forests in the global South, can conflict with the interests of those who live in and depend on them. On our blog, Joanes Atela problems with the 'missionary discourse' behind this key part

CAADP: how can Africa’s agricultural development be sustained?
CAADP: how can Africa’s agricultural development be sustained?
July 7, 2014 / Policy Processes
An event in the UK Houses of Parliament on ‘The future of African Agriculture and CAADP’ will be held on 15 July. Colin Poulton, convenor of the Policy Processes theme of Future Agricultures, will be discussing new research on the

Pastoralism, politics and violence
Pastoralism, politics and violence
July 2, 2014 / Pastoralism
Two new working papers present studies of conflict among pastoralists and other groups in two regions of the Horn of Africa and an area of Northern Namibia. Pastoralists are responding to social and economic changes in different ways. Understanding the

Strengthening African seed systems
Strengthening African seed systems
June 25, 2014 / Science, Technology and Innovation
A regional dialogue on “Strengthening African Seed Systems: Technical, Economic and Policy Challenges” took place in Nairobi on 14-15 July, hosted by Future Agricultures and the Tegemeo Institute of Agricultural Policy and Development. Video and presentations from the event are

Sustainable intensification: don’t forget the politics
Sustainable intensification: don’t forget the politics
June 19, 2014 / Land
The idea of 'sustainable intensification' has gained traction in recent years. But what does it mean for Africa? In a new blog post, Ian Scoones argues that advocates of SI should pay more attention to social contexts and political choices

Pastoralism in Ethiopia: new briefings and paper
Pastoralism in Ethiopia: new briefings and paper
June 4, 2014 / Pastoralism
The pastoral areas of the Horn of Africa are some of the most dynamic economically on the continent, with a combined export and domestic livestock trade surpassing $1 billion per annum. Livestock marketing is driving urban and small town growth,

Climate adaptation in West Africa: reviewing policies & evidence
Climate adaptation in West Africa: reviewing policies & evidence
May 29, 2014 / Climate Change
Africa’s agriculture sector is commonly regarded as vulnerable to particular impacts of climate change. Adapting to climate change is an important area for research and policy development. A series of three working papers reviews research and policy on climate change

Women’s collective action: new briefings
Women’s collective action: new briefings
May 23, 2014 / Gender & Social Difference
Two new policy briefs look at how collective action might help women to be more included in agricultural markets. The first (pdf) examines the potential benefits of collective action, how these vary across contexts, and the challenges for policy. The