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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?

China and Brazil in African agriculture: co-operation or culture clash?

Lidia Cabral

This workshop on 15 June in Central London presented our research on impacts and implications of Brazilian and Chinese engagements in African agriculture on development and aid.

With practitioners and academics, we debated how the so-called ‘Rising Powers’ are reshaping today’s global aid and development architecture. Slides from the event are now available.

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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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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

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