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Land and Commercialisation in Africa (LACA)

palm1This 3-year project looks at what the commercialisation of land and agriculture might mean for growth and poverty reduction in Africa, through case studies in Ghana, Kenya and Zambia.

  • Can new land and agricultural commercialisation initiatives be used as opportunities to promote growth and reduce poverty and inequality in developing countries? If so, how?
  • What are the better and worse models?
  • Which sets of institutional arrangements between investors and local smallholders provide the best opportunities for benefit-sharing and for synergies between large and small farms?

Researching Land and Commercial Agriculture in Africa with a Gender Perspective

A new working paper, as part of the Land and Agricultural Commercialisation in Africa (LACA) project, highlights the need for an integrated approach to researching gender and agrarian change in Africa.

Researching Land and Commercial Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa with a Gender Perspective: Concepts, Issues and Methods

By Helen Dancer and Dzodzi Tsikata

Working Paper 132

About the paper

This paper offers critical reflections on the concepts, issues and methods that are important for integrating a gender perspective into mainstream research and policy-making on land and agricultural commercialisation in Africa. It forms part of the Land and Agricultural Commercialisation in Africa (LACA) project undertaken by the Future Agricultures Consortium between 2012 and 2015 and informs the case studies conducted across three countries: Kenya, Ghana and Zambia. The paper compares key gender issues that arise across three different models of agricultural commercialisation: plantation, contract farming and small- and medium-scale commercial farming.

It further discusses how concepts and research methods deriving from the literature on gender and agriculture may be applied to mainstream research. The paper highlights the need for an integrated approach to researching gender and agrarian change in Africa. In particular, the existing gender literature provides a rich legacy for researchers of all disciplines to inform their research design and analysis. The authors argue for a more systematic evaluation of the gender implications of agricultural commercialisation across interconnected social levels: household, local community and the wider political economy.

Telling stories about scarcity

swaziland-queue‘Scarcity’ is a key term in debates about the global rush for land and other resources.

A new working paper from our project on Land and Agricultural Commercialisation in Africa looks at different narratives of scarcity related to the future of food and farming in Africa and globally, and finds that political questions – about distribution, needs, uses and social difference – are often ignored.

Narratives of scarcity: understanding the ‘global resource grab’ (pdf, 1.4MB)

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Views on sugar outgrowing & livelihoods in Tanzania

sugar sA new report summaries the range of views heard by a study on sugarcane outgrowing and livelihoods in the area around Kilombero Sugar Company, Tanzania. The study was carried out in 2013 and 2014 by researchers from Future Agricultures looking at the impacts of various models of agricultural commercialisation.

The report aims to give feedback to interviewees and other interested residents and stakeholders, and creates an opportunity to share information, give voice to participants’ grievances, and present our observations and recommendations.

English version: Study of sugarcane outgrowing at Kilombero: Stakeholder feedback report

Swahili version: Utafiti wa wakulima wa nje wa miwa Kilombero: Taarifa ya Mrejesho wa Wadau

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Who wins and who loses from agricultural commercialisation?

Abel T. Mensah, mango farmer

On the blog, Ruth Hall reports some emerging findings from our project on land and agricultural commercialisation in Ghana, Kenya and Zambia.

Some distinct types of commercialisation are emerging. Local people are buying and leasing land – not just foreign ‘land grabbers’. And capital accumulation is happening in varied ways with different implications.