By Rachel Sabates-Wheeler, Andrew Dorward, John Omiti, Stephen Devereux, Amdissa Teshome, Ephraim Chirwa
This report describes the main activities and outputs of the Future Agriculture Consortium (FAC) under the theme of Growth and Social Protection for Phase I. Core work on the theme has involved the development of a conceptual framework setting out potential and evolving synergies and conflicts between social protection and agricultural growth in the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable people, in local and national economies, and in policy formulation and implementation. Publication and discussion of the framework has led to its uptake outside the FAC and in the country theme work. In Ethiopia and Malawi this has engaged strongly with evaluations and national and donor policy reviews of innovative and major national social protection and/or agricultural growth policies.
Such engagement has, necessarily, followed the national rather than FAC timetable, and hence theme work in these two countries has not reached the planned September completion; this is a price worth paying for the opportunities to learn from and contribute to these major national programmes, which have continent-wide relevance. In Kenya, theme work has explored, with national stakeholders, the multiple and often uncoordinated social protection interventions of different players, as well as their actual and potential interactions with agricultural development. This work has generated considerable interest and provides a platform for rethinking and improving policies and interventions.
Work on this theme has achieved considerable leverage through its integration with non-FAC work being conducted by FAC-members and by stimulating interest in the theme by other players. There are also strong cross-theme linkages through work on the policy processes of social protection and agricultural policy development, and through recognition of the importance of labour markets and on- and off-farm diversification in social protection / agriculture livelihood linkages.
Further work in the remainder of Phase I will involve writing up and reporting the work in Ethiopia and Malawi, and synthesis of this with other work being conducted by consortium members, with particular emphasis on cross-country lesson-learning.