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

Finding the ‘opportunity space’ for young people and rural jobs
Finding the ‘opportunity space’ for young people and rural jobs
September 9, 2013 / Young People & Agrifood
Over the last decade, both agriculture and young people have become increasingly prominent on African development agendas. Many have concluded that engagement in production agriculture is an obvious (if not the obvious) opportunity through which to address the problem of

Opening ‘policy space’ for pastoralism in Kenya
Opening ‘policy space’ for pastoralism in Kenya
September 6, 2013 / Pastoralism
Pastoralism in Kenya has been neglected and understood. A new government Ministry was formed in 2008 aimed to create policy and institutional change. A new Working Paper by Izzy Birch and Mohamed Elmi tells the story of the Ministry. It

How have fertiliser subsidies changed Malawi?
How have fertiliser subsidies changed Malawi?
August 28, 2013 / Growth and Social Protection
Four new Future Agricultures working papers and five accompanying policy briefs look in detail at the impacts of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) in Malawi, which aims to support farmers and boost the economy by subsidising seeds and fertilizers.

Arguing about agronomy
Arguing about agronomy
August 27, 2013 / Science, Technology and Innovation
A new article in Outlook on Agriculture looks at how agronomy has been affected by social change since the 1970s. The science of agronomy informs crucial decisions on development. It is often seen as a practical, problem-solving field, but like other

Pan African Land Hearing: people speak out
Pan African Land Hearing: people speak out
August 13, 2013 / Land
A special Pan African Land Hearing, held on 15 August in South Africa, gave a platform to recognise and profile the struggles of ordinary people affected by disputes over land and tenure. It was organised by Oxfam South Africa, PLAAS,

Opening up food security policy for Africa’s women and men
Opening up food security policy for Africa’s women and men
August 2, 2013 / Gender & Social Difference
Women are increasingly expected to be at the centre of food security for sub-Saharan Africa. But studies show that women and men engage in agriculture in flexible ways. In a blog post for the Gender and Social Difference theme, Siera

Land deals in Mozambique
Land deals in Mozambique
July 25, 2013 / Land
A workshop on Governance of Large Scale Land Transactions in Mozambique took place on 31 July 2013. The event aimed to show preliminary findings from research in Manhica and Massingir, and to encourage dialogue among stakeholders in land transactions. The

Adapting to climate change: policy & research gaps
Adapting to climate change: policy & research gaps
July 24, 2013 / Climate Change
Lars Otto Naess, Climate Change convenor for Future Agricultures, presented preliminary findings from a review of research and policies for climate change adaptation in Sub-Saharan Africa on 16 July. He spoke at a side event “Consultative dialogue on climate smart

Afrocapitalism and GM: blurred philanthropy?
Afrocapitalism and GM: blurred philanthropy?
July 22, 2013 / Science, Technology and Innovation
In an article for openDemocracy, Sally Brooks examines the promise of Afrocapitalism and new forms of philanthropy involving public private partnerships for development in Africa. Brooks compares the development of Golden Rice in the 1990s and 2000s, the more recent

IDS Bulletin: China and Brazil in African Agriculture
IDS Bulletin: China and Brazil in African Agriculture
July 14, 2013 / China and Brazil in African Agriculture
This IDS Bulletin brings together the first collection of empirical and review articles on how China and Brazil are engaging in African agriculture. It focuses on financial arrangements, practices and politics of engagement, the 'encounters' that occur during negotiations, and