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China and Brazil in African Agriculture

Chinese, Brazilian and South African leadersThe question of how Brazil, China and other 'rising powers' may change African agricultural development is critical and timely.

The rising powers are growing sources of development finance and offer developing countries a combination of private investment, lending, trade and cooperation arrangements that is gradually challenging the rules of the game of the global aid architecture. Africa is a major destination of the rising powers' diplomatic and economic ventures, and agriculture a leading topic for development cooperation activities across the continent.

Through our research, we are investigating the impacts of these changes on African agriculture.

Some of the questions for our research are:

  • What investments are China and Brazil making in agricultural production systems in Africa? What is their scale, nature (public and private) and focus?
  • What visions and models of development underpin Brazil and China cooperation programmes in agriculture?
  • How do China and Brazil’s visions and models compare with one another and with traditional donors’ approaches to development?
  • Is there evidence of emerging new paradigms for development cooperation and for agricultural development?
  • What are the implications for traditional donors and for pro-poor development in Africa?

What is Brazil doing in Africa, and why?


Agricultural cooperation between Brazil and other countries, such as Mozambique, is increasing – but there are important debates about how it should be done.

In a new blogpost for Future Agricultures, Lidia Cabral outlines the diversity of actors and approaches involved, and the battles – sometimes visible, sometimes hidden – shaping the future.

The visible and invisible battles in Brazil’s agricultural co-operation by Lidia Cabral, 23 March 2015

2 new policy briefs on China & African agriculture


The School of Advanced International Studies’ China Africa Research Initiative at Johns Hopkins University (SAIS-CARI) has published two new policy briefs on Chinese agricultural engagement in Africa.

The papers are written by Sérgio Chichava and Henry Tugendhat, members of our China and Brazil in African Agriculture (CBAA) project.

They report initial research results from the SAIS-CARI conference "Agricultural Investment in Africa: 'Land Grabs' or Friendship Farms'?" held on 16 and 17 May 2014.

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Working paper series: China and Brazil in African Agriculture

cbaavidA paper on 'knowledge encounters' between China and Zimbabwe is the latest in a new series of 24 from our China & Brazil in African Agriculture project, published alongside a short video explaining the findings.

Our series presents research over the last 4 years on Chinese and Brazilian relationships with farmers, business, civil society and states in Africa. It looks at the implications for agricultural development in Ethiopia, Ghana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

We’ll post one or more each week, and the full collection will be archived here. To be notified as soon as each paper is published, sign up to our weekly CBAA e-newsletter.

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Video: explaining our China & Brazil in African Agriculture project

In a new video, Henry Tugendhat explains our CBAA (China and Brazil in African Agriculture) project, and how it is investigating the emerging links between rising powers and the agricultural sector in Africa. Henry Tugendhat is a Research Officer for the CBAA programme, based at the Institute of Development Studies in the UK.

The piece was filmed by the University of Manchester’s media department in March 2014.

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