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Conference Programme

Conference Programme

International Conference on the Political Economy of Agricultural Policy in Africa

18-20 March 2013 - Roodevallei, Pretoria, South Africa

Convened by the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) and the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS)

Organising Committee: Colin Poulton, Blessings Chinsinga, Ian Scoones, Kassahun Berhanu, Augustin Loada and Gaynor Paradza

The programme below contains links to Conference Papers where they are available for particular panels. For an overview of the papers, grouped by panel, see the main Conference Papers list.

For any information about transport, accommodation or conference facilities, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Monday March 18th

9.00-11.00: Plenary: Surveying the Field
Speaker: Adebayo Olukoshi (Director of the UN African Institute for Economic Development and Planning - IDEP)

11.00-11.30: Tea/Coffee

11.30-1.00: Parallel Session 1: Democratisation and the Political Economy of Agricultural Policy in Africa
Organiser: Colin Poulton (FAC)
View/download papers from this session
  • “Beyond Technocratic Debates: The Significance and Transience of Political Debates in the Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP)” Blessings Chinsinga (FAC)
  • “The Political Economy of Agricultural Extension Policy in Ethiopia: economic growth and political control” Kassahun Berhanu (FAC)
  • “The Politics of Revitalising Agriculture in Kenya” Colin Poulton (FAC)
Parallel Session 2: Promoting Participatory and Evidence-Based Agricultural Policy Processes in Africa
Organiser: Regina Birner (University of Hohenheim)
View/download papers from this session
  • “The research project ‘Promoting Participatory and Evidence-Based Agricultural Policy Processes in Africa’: An Overview” Regina Birner
  • “Donors and domestic policy-makers: Two worlds in agricultural policy-making?” Jonathan Mockshell
  • “Policy priorities, beliefs and networks: What can we learn from voter and stakeholder surveys?” Patience Rwamigisa
  • “Combining political and economic models: An evolutionary Computable General Political Economy Equilibrium Model (CGPE)” Eva Krampe
Parallel Session 3: Political Economic Aspects of Water Policies in Southern and Eastern Africa
Organisers: Gert Jan Veldwisch (Wageningen University) and Barbara Tapela (PLAAS)
  • "A Snapshot: Issues & Perspectives on Water and Agriculture in South Africa" Ashwin Seetal
  • “The Case of the Great Ruaha River Catchment: application of political ecology to analyse heroes, villains and victims” Faustin Maganga
  • “Water grabbing dynamics in Chókwè Irrigation System, Mozambique” Gert Jan Veldwisch
  • Fourth paper tbc

1.00-2.00: Lunch

2.00-3.30: Plenary: The BRICS and African Agriculture
Speakers: Arilson Favareto (Cebrap/UFABC, Brazil), Sachin Chaturvedi (RIS, India), Li Xiaoyun (CAU, China), Ruth Hall (PLAAS, South Africa)
View/download papers from this session

3.30-4.00: Tea/Coffee

4.00-6.00: Parallel Session 1: Brazilian and Chinese Engagement in African Agriculture
View/download papers from this session
Organiser: Alex Shankland (FAC)
Discussants: Arilson Favareto and Li Xiaoyun

  • "China and Brazil in African Agriculture: The Case of Mozambique" Sérgio Chichava
  • "China and Brazil in African Agriculture: The Case of Zimbabwe" Langton Mukwereza
  • "China and Brazil in African Agriculture: The Case of Ethiopia" Dawit Alemu
  • "China and Brazil in African Agriculture: The Case of Ghana" Kojo Amanor

Parallel Session 2: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Selected African Countries (1)
View/download papers for this session
Organisers: Per Pinstrup-Andersen (UNU-WIDER / Cornell University) and Johann Kirsten (University of Pretoria)

  • “The Political Economy of Food Price Policy: The Case of Egypt” Ahmed Farouk Ghoneim
  • “The Political Economy of Food Prices: The Case of Ethiopia” Assefa Admassie
  • “The Political Economy of Food Price Policy: Kenya Country Case” Jonathan Nzuma
  • “The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Nigeria” Aderibigbe S. Olomola

Parallel Session 3: Political Decisions Affecting the Relationship between Agricultural Growth and Poverty Reduction
View/download papers for this session
Organiser: T.S. Jayne (Michigan State University)
Moderator: Hon. Chance Kabaghe (Indaba Agricultural Policy Research Institute)

  • “Income distributional effects of state-led agricultural development programs: targeting imperfections or revealed preferences?” T.S. Jayne
  • “Fertilizer subsidy allocations and voting behaviour: Political economy dimensions of input subsidy programs” Nicole Mason
  • “The Rising Class of Emergent Farmers: An Effective Model for Achieving Agricultural Growth and Poverty Reduction in Africa?” Milu Muyanga and Nicholas Sitko
  • “The political economy of agricultural incentives and public expenditures, with special reference to Africa” Hans Binswanger-Mkhize

Tuesday March 19th

9.00-11.00: Plenary: View from Policy Makers
Panellists: Erica Maganga (Ministry of Agriculture, Malawi), Hon. Chance Kabaghe (MP Former Minister of Agriculture, Zambia), John Barrett (DFID)

11.00-11.30: Tea/Coffee

11.30-1.00: Parallel Session 1: The Politics of Agricultural Extension Reform Processes in Africa
Organisers: John Thompson and Miguel Loureiro (FAC)

  • “Eternal Pilots: the challenges to ownership and the scaling-up of pilot extension initiatives in Kenya” Hannington Odame (FAC)
  • “The Reversal of Agricultural Extension Reform in Uganda: ownership and values” Anne MetteKjær
  • “Not even New Wine in the Old Skins? The Political Economy of Extension Reforms in Malawi” Blessings Chinsinga (FAC)
  • “Block Farming in Ghana and the Political Economy of Agricultural Extension” Kojo Amanor (FAC)
  • “Reforming the Reforms of African Extension Services” Miguel Loureiro (FAC)

Parallel Session 2: The Political Economy of Agricultural Policy in South Africa since 1994
Organiser: Ben Cousins (University of the Western Cape)

  • Johann Kirsten
  • Frikkie Liebenberg
  • Stephen Greenberg
  • Mazibuko Jara

Parallel Session 3: Developmental Regimes in Africa: Origins, Policies and Sustainability
Organiser: David Booth (ODI / Developmental Regimes in Africa)
View/download papers from this session

  • “Policy and Governance in Africa’s Economic Transformation – New Findings from Comparative Research” David Booth
  • “African Agriculture – The Potential and the Prospects” Ton Dietz
  • “Asian Lessons and Agricultural Transformation in Rwanda” Frederick Golooba-Mutebi

1.00-2.00: Lunch

2.00-3.30: Plenary: CAADP: 10 Years On
Chair: Samuel Asuming-Brempong (FAC)
Panellists: Martin Bwalya (CAADP/NEPAD), Mandivamba Rukuni (Mandi Rukuni Seminar Group), Buba Khan (ActionAid International), Colin Poulton (FAC)
View/download slides from this session

3.30-4.00: Tea/Coffee

4.00-6.00: Parallel Session 1: The Political Economy of CAADP Engagement
Organiser: Colin Poulton (FAC)
View/download papers for this session

  • “CAADP: The Rwanda Experience” Frederick Golooba-Mutebi
  • “The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Process in Burkina Faso: From False Start to Restart Towards Rural Development?” Augustin Loada
  • “Political Economy of the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Engagement in Ghana” Samuel Asuming-Brempong
  • “The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme and agricultural policies in Tanzania” Brian Cooksey
  • “CAADP: The Mozambique Experience” Carlos Castel-Branco (FAC)

Parallel Session 2: The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in Selected African Countries (2)
View/download papers for this session
Organisers: Per Pinstrup-Andersen (UNU-WIDER / Cornell University) and Johann Kirsten (University of Pretoria)

  • “The Political Economy of Food Price Policy: Case of Malawi” Ephraim Chirwa (FAC)
  • “The Political Economy of Food Price Policy in South Africa” Johann Kirsten
  • “The Political Economy of Food Price Policy: The Case of Zambia” Antony Chapoto

6.30 FAC Africa: Special event to mark a new phase of the Future Agricultures Consortium’s work centred in Africa. Drinks and conference dinner.


Wednesday March 20th

9.00-11.00: Plenary: What Role for Civil Society in Enhancing Agricultural Policy?
Panellists: Fatima Shabodien (ActionAid International), Tamani Nkhono Mvula (CISANET, Malawi), Leisa Perch (International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth-IPC-IG,Brazil - tbc)

11.00-11.30: Tea/Coffee

11.30-1.00: Parallel Session 1: The Political Economy of Seed System Reform
Organiser: John Thompson (FAC)
View/download papers from this session

  • “Addressing the Politics of Seed in Africa’s Green Revolution” John Thompson (FAC)
  • “The Political Economy of Ethiopian Cereal Seed Systems: State Control, Market Liberalisation and Decentralisation” Dawit Alemu (FAC)
  • “Can Agro-dealers Deliver the Green Revolution in Kenya?” Hannington Odame (FAC)
  • “Seeds and Subsidies: The Political Economy of Input Support Programmes in Malawi” Blessings Chinsinga (FAC)

Parallel Session 2: The Politics of International Land Deals in Sub-Saharan Africa
View/download papers from this session
Organiser: Paulos Chanie (OSSREA)

  • “National and international actors in the orchestration of large scale land deals in Zimbabwe: who are the actors, what are the modalities and what’s in it for small holder farmers?” Patience Mutopo
  • “Nature And Magnitude of Land Acquisitions In Tanzania: Analyzing the Role of Different Actors, Key Trends And Drivers In Land Acquisitions” Mangasini Katundu
  • “Land Deals in Uganda: An Invisible Hand in Land Grabbing and Rural Development” Roberts Muriisa

1.00-2.00: Lunch

2.00-4.00: Parallel Session 1: The Political Economy Underpinnings of Agricultural Production in Africa
View/download papers for this section
Organiser: Lars Buur (DIIS)
Chair: Ole Therkildsen (DIIS)

  • “Competitive elections and agricultural sector initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa” Anne MetteKjær
  • “Turning to natural resource extraction: A new opening for agriculture or continued neglect in Mozambique?” Lars Buur
  • “I never promised you a rose garden. What is and isn't promised and delivered by fair trade in the Ethiopian flower sector” Bernd Mueller

Parallel Session 2: Large-Scale Land Deals as the Outcomes of Agricultural Policy Processes
Organiser: Ruth Hall (FAC)

  • "Trapped between the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) and the Green Belt Initiative (GBI): An Audit of Malawi's Contemporary Agrarian Political Economy” Blessings Chinsinga
  • “Mozambique agricultural policy and the sugar boom” Gaynor Paradza
  • “Tanzania’s ‘Agriculture First’ Initiative amid the Politics of Land Grabs” Emmanuel Sulle
  • “South African agricultural policy and the expansion of South African capital in African agriculture” Ruth Hall
  • “Transnational land deals and agrarian change in Rural Ghana” Joseph Yaro

4.00-4.30: Tea/Coffee

4.30-5.30: Closing Plenary: What Have We Learned?
Panellists: Lindiwe Sibanda (FANRPAN), Sam Moyo (African Institute for Agrarian Studies), Per Pinstrup-Andersen (UNU-WIDER / Cornell University), Ruth K. Oniang'o (Rural Outreach Program Africa)