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Political Economy of Agricultural Policy

An international conference

18-20 March 2013, Pretoria, South Africa

Image: Global Forum VIII on International Investment, from OECD's Flickr stream - http://www.flickr.com/photos/oecd/4172351446/
What makes African governments invest in agriculture? This Future Agricultures conference brings together key figures from research, politics, donor organisations and civil society to ask:
  • What motivates African governments to invest in different kinds of agricultural development?
  • What influence do domestic politics, external donors and pan-African networks have?
  • How successful can civil society and social movements be in pushing for more pro-poor agricultural policy in Africa?

Organising committee: Colin Poulton (SOAS), Blessings Chinsinga (University of Malawi), Ian Scoones (Institute of Development Studies), Kassahun Berhanu (Addis Ababa University), Augustin Loada (Université de Ouagadougou) and Gaynor Paradza (PLAAS, University of Western Cape).


This conference is co-hosted by the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) and the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS).

The Future of Farming in Zimbabwe

The divisive land reform in Zimbabwe in 2000, caused wide-spread controversy and chaos throughout the country, affecting people’s livelihoods. The aftermath of the land reforms and the impacts it has had on small and medium-scaled farming are examined in a four-part blog series by Ian Scoones at the Institute of Development Studies.

1. What is the future for medium-sized commercial farms in Zimbabwe?
2. Medium-scale farming for Africans: The ‘Native Purchase Areas’ in Zimbabwe
3. “No condition is permanent”: small-scale commercial farming in Zimbabwe
4. The future of medium-scale commercial farms in Africa: lessons from Zimbabwe

The role of medium scaled farming is a topic that is related to the Agriculture Policy Research in Africa (APRA) programme. Find out more information relating to APRA here.

The blogs by Ian Scoones first appeared in Zimbabweland.

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Video: participant interviews

filming1These short video interviews were filmed with participants at the Political Economy of Agricultural Policy in Africa conference.

Participants interviewed include Arilson Favareto, Buba Khan, John Barrett, Lidia Cabral, Patience Mutopo, Nancy Kachingwe, Tamani Nkhono-Mvula and Ruth Oniang'o.

The conference took place from 18-20 March in Pretoria, South Africa, bringing together representatives from research, politics, donor organisations and civil society in Africa and beyond.

 

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Points of view: investing in agriculture

Tamani Nkono-Mvula being interviewedWhat makes governments invest in different kinds of agricultural development? Responses from delegates at our March conference on the Political Economy of Agricultural Policy in Africa are featured in an article by the New Agriculturist magazine.

The delegates addressed the following questions:

  • Why have African governments not met the 2003 Maputo Declaration of investing 10 per cent budgetary allocation in agriculture?
  • What role can and should donors play?
  • What role for civil society organisations?
  • Directions for policy and investment

You can read their answers in full on the New Agriculturist website.

Photo: Tamani Nkhono-Mvula (screenshot) by Francois Hayden

Daily newsletters: Political Economy conference

PEAPAnewsA newsletter was produced at the end of each day of the conference on the Political Economy of Agricultural Policy in Africa, March 2013.

The newsletters were handed out to participants at the event, but they are also available to download. Though they are not intended to be a full record of the conference, they provide some brief reflections on the topics discussed on each day.

The contributors to the newsletter were Rebecca Smalley (independent researcher), Susanna Thorp (WRENmedia/Future Agricultures), Nathan Oxley and Beatrice Ouma (Future Agricultures), Fran Seballos and Musab Younis (IDS) and Rebecca Pointer (PLAAS).

To read more commentary on the event, see the series of conference blogs and the Storify feed from the event.

Video: Political Economy conference plenaries

filming1The six plenary sessions at the Political Economy of Agricultural Policy in Africa conference were filmed in their entirety.

Watch the videos below to see debates on the BRICS, African co-operation, civil society and the policy process.

The conference took place from 18-20 March in Pretoria, South Africa, bringing together representatives from research, politics, donor organisations and civil society in Africa and beyond. For more video, see our series of short interviews with participants.

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Media coverage

Media coverage and comment generated by the Political Economy of Agricultural Policy in Africa conference has included: