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Impact stories

hussein uob2African agriculture needs policies and action based on high-quality research and analysis.

To this end, Future Agricultures engages with policy makers, government ministries, the private sector, civil society and the wider academic community.

The stories in this section show how our research and engagement activity have informed and influenced policy debates in Africa and beyond. 

Read our evaluations for detailed and independent analysis on FAC's impact.

You can also download selected impact stories in a printable format.

Helping farmers get access to seeds

seeds1In 2009 Ethiopia’s cereal seed system was based on central planning, with no recognition of informal seed systems, or the role of markets in seed distribution.

This system was not functioning effectively, such that farmers were unable to access quality seed at the time they needed. FAC’s work on seeds has contributed significantly to the decentralisation and liberalisation of the cereal seed system in Ethiopia.

Key changes have included:

  • establishment of regional seed companies
  • the successful piloting of direct seed marketing to farmers
  • the development of independent regulatory authorities;
  • and the adoption of a new Seed Proclamation in 2013.

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Bringing political economy thinking to CAADP

Over several years, Future Agricultures has engaged with the Comprehensive African Agricultural Development Programme (CAADP) institutions to strengthen CAADP policy processes.

In 2013, FAC was invited to participate in the ‘Drivers of Success in African Agriculture’ study, commissioned by the AUC. The study covered seven countries and involved a number of researchers from FAC’s network. Completed in November 2013, it was shared with senior officials and African Agricultural Ministers in the lead up to the AU Heads of State Ministerial in June 2014.

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Informing 'safety nets' for food insecure Ethiopians

teff1Since 2005, the Government of Ethiopia has implemented a Productive Safety Net (PSNP), with the objective to ‘graduate’ millions of chronically food insecure Ethiopians to productive livelihoods, supported by donors including DFID, the World Bank and USAID.

By 2010 the graduation debate had become polarised, between the Government’s desire to meet targets set in its Growth and Transformation Programme (GTP) at all costs; and a donor consensus that graduation requires a solid evidence base. In 2010, Future Agricultures began a project aiming to broaden understanding of social protection as requiring both long-term safety nets for the most vulnerable, as well as flexible interventions to support food insecure people to develop sustainable livelihoods.

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Informing Malawi's farm input subsidy programme through evidence

sweet potato farmer, MalawiThe Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) is one of the highest profile government policies in Malawi, comprising about 70% of the Ministry of Agriculture’s budget. It features in the election pledges of all the political parties and has been strongly influenced by a succession of Presidents.

While FISP is supported by the rural majority, it is a contested area for the private sector and donor community. Future Agricultures and its members have contributed to a series of biannual evaluations, on-going monitoring and academic analysis and comment on the programme. The independent evaluation of FAC in 2014 explored the effect of these outputs on the policies of key stakeholders and the implementation of the programme.

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