Latest articles

Journal Article: Medium-scale commercial agriculture in Zimbabwe: the experience of A2 resettlement farms
June 15, 2021 / Journal articles
Toendepi Shonhe, Ian Scoones and Felix Murimbarimba. 2021. The emergence of medium-scale farms is having important consequences for agricultural commercialisation across Africa. This article examines the role of medium-scale A2 farms allocated following Zimbabwe’s land reform after 2000. While the
Working Paper 58: Understanding Gender and Social Differentiation in the Context of Agricultural Commercialisation and Implications for Livelihoods in Rural Malawi
May 20, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by, Loveness M. Mgalamadzi, Mirriam Matita, Masautso Chimombo, Blessings Chinsinga, Ephraim Wadonda Chirwa, Stevier Kaiyatsa and Jacob Mazalale Agricultural commercialisation is widely recognised as a catalyst to economic growth and development in low and middle-income countries. This study investigates
Pastoralism and climate change in West Africa: implications for policy and practice
May 20, 2021 / Events
21 June 202113:00–14:30 This event will discuss the intersection of pastoralism and climate change in West Africa. Livestock have a role to play in climate change – but at the same time pastoralism and livestock keeping provide critical livelihood pathways

Migration and mobility in Ghana and beyond: considerations for beyond Covid-19
May 20, 2021 / Events
Date: 26th May 2-3.30 UK This event will examine recent research on migration and mobility in Ghana and West Africa, and discuss its implications and future trajectory. Four experts in the field will present completed and ongoing research on movement

Youth Employment and Politics Seminars
May 4, 2021 / Events
The Youth Employment and Politics webinar series is linked to IDS’ strategic research initiative: ‘Ensuring decent work and political inclusion for young people’, which is part of the 2020-25 IDS Strategy. Presentations will primarily focus on sub-Sahara Africa and the

APRA Research Note: The Covid-19 Pandemic and Household Rice Consumption Patterns in Ethiopia: The Case of Addis Ababa
April 30, 2021 / APRA research note Publications
Written by, Dawit Alemu and Gashaw T. Abate. The outbreak of COVID-19 also resulted in moderate changes to the operation of the domestic rice value chain in Ethiopia. These were caused by changing responses of value chain actors (domestic and
Global food regimes and China – Agrarian Conversations episode 2
April 13, 2021 / Events
Join the second episode in Agrarian Conversations webinar series on “Global food regimes and China” on 28th April. What relationship does China have to current food regime transitioning, with the changing geographies of production, circulation and consumption of global food

Working Paper 53: The Political Economy of the Cocoa Value Chain in Ghana
March 31, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by, Joseph Kofi Teye and Ebenezer Nikoi. The cocoa sector has, historically, been the backbone of the Ghanaian economy. Many households depend directly on the cocoa sector for livelihoods, and aspects of the cocoa industry, such as input supplies
East Africa Rice Conference 2021
March 25, 2021 / Events
18 – 20 May Africa holds great potential in contributing to food and nutrition security, and economic growth through innovative science, sustainable agri-food systems, and transformative partnerships. As rice becomes a potentially strategic commodity in Africa, many countries have embarked
Working Paper 52: Agricultural Commercialisation and the Political Economy of Cocoa and Rice Value Chains in Nigeria
March 15, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by, Emmanuel Remi Aiyede. Nigeria has sought to diversify its economy away from dependence on oil as a major source of government revenue through agricultural commercialisation. Agriculture has been a priority sector because it has very high growth potential
Working Paper 51: The Political Economy of the Rice Value Chain in Ethiopia: Actors, Performance, and Discourses
March 15, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by, Dawit Alemu and Abebaw Assaye. The goal of this working paper is to identify the core challenges that have contributed to the poor performance of Ethiopia’s rice sector, and highlight approaches to successfully promote the commercialisation of the
Working Paper 50: Determinants of Smallholder Farmers’ Livelihood Trajectories: Evidence from Rural Malawi
March 15, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by, Mirriam Matita, Ephraim Wadonda Chirwa, Stevier Kaiyatsa, Jacob Mazalale, Masautso Chimombo, Loveness Msofi Mgalamadzi and Blessings Chinsinga. The authors of this paper attempt use quantitative methods to determine the different factors of livelihood trajectories in the context of
Working Paper 49: The Political Economy of Sunflower In Tanzania: A Case of Singida Region
March 15, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by, Aida C. Isinika and John Jeckoniah. This paper looks at the challenges and shortcomings facing the sunflower sub-sector in Tanzania. It showcases the political economy of sunflower based on analyses of the performance of the sector over a
Regenerative Agriculture: An Agronomic Perspective
March 4, 2021 / Journal articles
Ken Giller, Renske Hijbeek, Jens. Andersson, and James Sumberg. Outlook on Agriculture Agriculture is in crisis. Soil health is collapsing. Biodiversity faces the sixth mass extinction. Crop yields are plateauing. Against this crisis narrative swells a clarion call for Regenerative

Working Paper 48: The Political Economy of Land Use and Land Cover Change in Mvurwi Area Zimbabwe, 1984–2018
March 1, 2021 / Working Papers
Written by, Caleb Maguranyanga, Keen Marozva, Ian Scoones and Toendepi Shonhe. An analysis of the variations in land use and land cover over the past four decades in the Mvurwi area, Mazowe district, Zimbabwe illustrates how socio-economic dynamics and natural
Rapid Assessment of the Impact of Covid-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa – Synthesis Report 2
January 14, 2021 / APRA research note Evidence Review Publications
Written by, Marco Carreras, Amrita Saha and John Thompson. This report presents a summary of findings emerging from the second round of a three-wave rapid assessment led by the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) Programme of the Future Agricultures
Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Zambia – Round 1 Report
January 11, 2021 / COVID Country Report Impact Assessment
Written by, Chrispin Matenga and Munguzwe Hichaambwa. To assess the impact of COVID-19 on local food systems and livelihoods, a total of 115 small-scale farming households (102 male- and 13 female headed) were interviewed from five communities (Lilanda, Luang (Mankanda),
Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Malawi – Round 2 Report
January 4, 2021 / COVID Country Report Impact Assessment
Written by, Mirriam Matita and Masautso Chimombo. COVID-19 continues to impact households and economies worldwide. For this reason, in June 2020 APRA started assessing its likely effects on food systems and livelihoods in Malawi. This report presents insights from the
Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Zimbabwe -Round 2 Report
December 18, 2020 / COVID Country Report Publications
Written by, Vine Mutyasira. In response to COVID-19, the Government of Zimbabwe enforced a nationwide lockdown on 30 March 2020, closing most sectors of the economy, including informal markets. However, with limited cases, lockdown movement restrictions were eased and supermarkets,
Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Tanzania – Round 2 Report
December 18, 2020 / COVID Country Report Publications
Written by, Gideon Boniface and C.G. Magomba. On 8 June 2020, the Government of Tanzania officially declared the country to be free of COVID-19 and all restrictions have since been lifted. As of 3 December 2020, Tanzania had only 509
Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Kenya – Round 2 Report
December 18, 2020 / COVID Country Report Publications
Written by, John Olwande and Miltone Ayieko. Since 12 March 2020, when Kenya reported the first COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Health confirmed a total of 45,076 cases and 839 deaths, as of 19 October.1 Despite the rising number of
Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Ghana – Round 2 Report
December 18, 2020 / COVID Country Report Publications
Written by, Louis Hodey and Fred Dzanku. This study seeks to assess the continuing impact of COVID-19 on food systems and livelihoods in south-western Ghana and provides insights obtained from household-level and key informant data in the second of three
Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Fogera Plain, Ethiopia – Round 2 Report
December 18, 2020 / COVID Country Report Publications
Written by, Abebaw Assaye and Dawit Alemu. This report presents an assessment of the changes in effects of COVID-19 on agricultural commercialisation, food and nutrition security, labour and employment, and poverty and well-being in rural Ethiopia by comparing the results
Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Nigeria – Round 2 Report
December 18, 2020 / COVID Country Report Publications
Written by, Adebayo B. Aromolaran and Milu Muyanga. This study provides insights from a second survey assessing COVID-19 impacts on agricultural commercialisation, food and nutrition security, labour and employment, and well-being in rural Nigeria. Data for round 2 (R2) were
ALRE Stakeholder Survey Analysis
December 15, 2020 / ALRE Research Note
Written by, Louise Clark and Ed Small. The Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) programme has an innovative monitoring, evaluation and learning approach known as the ‘Accompanied Learning on Relevance and Effectiveness’ (ALRE), which is being delivered by a small
ALRE Stakeholder Survey Analysis: Key Findings
December 15, 2020 / ALRE Research Note
Written by, Louise Clark and Ed Small. This summary shares the results of a stakeholder survey on the policy issues and demand for evidence related to inclusive agricultural commercialisation across Africa by the Accompanied Learning for Relevance and Effectiveness (ALRE)
Working Paper 47: How Conflicts Affect Land Expansion by Smallholder Farmers: Evidence from Nigeria
December 7, 2020 / Working Papers
Written by, Adesoji Adelaja, Justin George, Thomas Jayne, Milu Muyanga, Titus Awokuse, Adebayo Aromolaran and Lenis Saweda O. Liverpool-Tasie. The expansion of smallholder farms into larger farm sizes is a key strategy for growing agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa. This strategy
ALRE Research Note : The Diamond of Influence, a Model for Exploring Behaviour in Research to Policy Linkages
November 19, 2020 / ALRE Research Note
Written by, Louise Clark This learning paper presents an initial analysis of the emerging research to policy linkages within the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) programme of the Future Agricultures Consortium, which is funded by the Foreign, Commonwealth &
Working Paper 46: Drivers of Market-Oriented Land Use Decisions Among Farm Households in Nigeria
November 18, 2020 / Working Papers
Written by, Adebayo B. Aromolaran, Milu Muyanga, Thomas Jayne, Abiodun E. Obayelu, Titus Awokuse, Omotoso O. Ogunmola and Fadlullah O. Issa In recent times, the Nigerian Government has devised strategies aimed at intensifying smallholder transformation for enhanced food security, employment
Journal Article: The Agrarian Question in Contemporary Zimbabwe. Africanus: Journal of Development Studies, Vol 49 No 1 (2019)
November 4, 2020 / Journal articles
Toendepi Shonhe. 2019 The reinvestment of rural agrarian surplus is driving capital accumulation in Zimbabwe’s countryside, providing a scope to foster national (re-) industrialisation and job creation. Contrary to Bernstein’s view, the Agrarian Question on capital remains unresolved in Southern
Working Paper 45: Role of resilience factors in mitigating the negative effects of conflict on land expansion
November 2, 2020 / Working Papers
Written by, Adesoji Adelaja, Justin George, Thomas Jayne, Milu Muyanga, Titus Awokuse, Lenis Saweda O. Liverpool-Tasie and Adebayo B. Aromolaran. Shocks and stresses from natural disasters, climate change, economic volatility, armed conflicts and political instability could hinder expansion efforts by
Working Paper 44: The Emerging Importance of Rice as a Strategic Crop in Ethiopia
November 2, 2020 / Working Papers
Written by, Dawit Alemu and John Thompson. Rice has become one of the most important agricultural commodities in Ethiopia in line with its increased importance throughout Africa. This paper examines the trends of the importance of rice in the country
Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Zimbabwe – Round 1 Report
October 16, 2020 / COVID Country Report Evidence Review Publications
Written by, Vine Mutyasira. COVID-19 has undoubtedly affected lives and livelihoods across the globe. In Zimbabwe, preliminary indications point to a worsening economic situation in a country already facing macroeconomic challenges, particularly in rural communities where most households depend on
Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Tanzania – Round 1 Report
October 16, 2020 / COVID Country Report Evidence Review Publications
Written by, Gideon Boniface and C.G. Magomba. The first case of COVID-19 in Tanzania was confirmed in March 2020. The government immediately imposed restrictions on mass gatherings, suspended international flights and established special medical camps for COVID-19 patients. They also
Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Malawi – Round 1 Report
October 16, 2020 / COVID Country Report Evidence Review Publications
Written by, Mirriam Matita and Masautso Chimombo. Given the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, this study seeks to estimate its likely impact on food systems and livelihoods in Malawi. This briefing note is based on our stratified random
Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Kenya – Round 1 Report
October 16, 2020 / COVID Country Report Evidence Review Publications
Written by, John Olwande. Kenya confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 12 March 2020. Since then, the government has been providing daily updates on the number of new COVID-19 infections, recoveries and deaths in the country, as well as
Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Ghana -Round 1 Report
October 16, 2020 / COVID Country Report Evidence Review Publications
Written by, Louis Hodey and Fred Dzanku. Given the ravaging effects of the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide, this study seeks to estimate its likely impact on food systems and livelihoods in south-western Ghana. Our sample consisted of 110 female and male
Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Fogera Plain, Ethiopia – Round 1 Report
October 16, 2020 / COVID Country Report Evidence Review Publications
Written by, Abebaw Assaye and Dawit Alemu This report presents an early assessment of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural commercialisation, food and nutrition security, labour and employment, and poverty and well-being in rural Ethiopia. Data was collected
Working Paper 43: Smallholder farmers’ choice of oil palm commercialisation model and household welfare in south-western Ghana
October 15, 2020 / Working Papers
Written by, Fred M. Dzanku, Kofi Takyi Asante, William Quarmine and Louis S. Hodey. This paper studies smallholder farmers’ choice of oil palm commercialisation channels and implications for household welfare. The study explores which factors have contributed to the breakdown
Working Paper 42: Women empowerment, agriculture commercialisation and gender relations: A value chain analysis, Mvurwi, Zimbabwe
October 15, 2020 / Working Papers
Written by, Hazel Mutsa Kwaramba, Easther Chigumira and Levison Zimori. This paper aims to develop a better understanding of the pathways women seek to construct livelihoods in or around existing commercialisation hotspots and along the value chain and the outcomes
Impact of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Nigeria – Round 1 Report
October 15, 2020 / COVID Country Report Evidence Review Publications
Written by, Adebayo B. Aromolaran and Milu Muyanga. This report presents an early assessment of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on agricultural commercialisation, food and nutrition security, labour and employment, and poverty and well-being in rural Nigeria. Data was
Rapid Assessment of the Impact of Covid-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa – Synthesis Report 1
October 15, 2020 / APRA research note Evidence Review Publications
Written by, Marco Carreras, Amrita Saha and John Thompson To gain a better understanding of the impact that COVID-19 is having on food systems and rural livelihoods in the region, researchers in the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) Programme
Working Paper 41: Expanding Land Area Under Commercial Tree Crop Plantation in Nigeria
October 14, 2020 / Working Papers
Written by, Adebayo B. Aromolaran, Abiodun E. Obayelu, Milu Muyanga, Thomas Jayne, Adesoji Adelaja, Titus Awokuse, Omotoso O. Ogunmola and Olatokunbo H, Osinowo. As the second-largest foreign exchange earner (after crude oil), and the most important agricultural subsector, tree crops
Journal Article: Young People and Land in Zimbabwe: Livelihood Challenges After Land Reform
October 7, 2020 / Journal articles
Ian Scoones, Blasio Mavedzenge, Felix Murimbarimba. 2019. This article explores the livelihood challenges and opportunities of young people following Zimbabwe’s land reform in 2000. The article explores the life courses of a cohort of men and women, all children of
Working Paper 40: The groundnuts fairtrade arrangement and its spillover effects on agricultural commercialisation and household welfare outcomes: Empirical evidence from central Malawi
September 29, 2020 / Working Papers
Written by, Stevier Kaiyatsa, Mirriam Matita, Ephraim Chirwa and Jacob Mazalale. This working paper examines the Fairtrade groundnut arrangement – when the Mchinji Area Small Farmers Association (MASFA) sold its groundnuts through the National Association of Smallholder Farmers of Malawi
Working Paper 39: Winners and Losers in Livestock Commercialisation in Northern Kenya
September 29, 2020 / Working Papers
Written by, Guyo Malicha Roba. This paper examines how livestock commercialisation has impacted different actors and different wealth groups in Isiolo and Marsabit counties. Although livestock commercialisation has received global research and development attention, relatively little is known about its
Working Paper 38: Spillover Effects of Medium-Scale Farms on Smallholder Behaviour and Welfare: Evidence from Nigeria
September 29, 2020 / Working Papers
Written by, Lenis Saweda O. Liverpool-Tasie, Ahmed Salim Nuhu, Titus Awokuse, Thomas Jayne, Milu Muyanga, Adebayo Aromolaran and Adesoji Adelaja. As rapid changes occur in farm size distribution in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly among medium-scale farms (MSFs), this paper addresses the
Working Paper 37: Effect of Choice of Tillage Technology on Commercialisation and Livelihood of Smallholder Farmers in Mngeta Division, Kilombero District, Tanzania
September 29, 2020 / Working Papers
Written by, Ntengua Mdoe, Gilead Mlay, Aida Isinika, Gideon Boniface and Christopher Magomba. This working paper studies the effect of four tillage technology options on rice, commercialisation, yield, and livelihood of smallholder rice farmers in Mngeta Division, Kilombero District, Tanzania.
e-Dialogue: What future for small-scale farming? Inclusive transformation in challenging times
August 27, 2020 / News
Join the next session of the e-Dialogue: What Future for Small-Scale Farming? on Thursday, August 27th, from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm (GMT). More information on the e-dialogue series can be found here. The session will look at Local Perspectives, translating the overview from Session
APRA Brief 26: Inducing agribusiness investment in Malawi: Insights from investors
August 14, 2020 / APRA Briefs Policy Briefs
Written by, Henry Chingaipe, Joseph Thombozi and Horace Chingaipe. Agriculture is key to Malawi’s development strategy, with over 80 per cent of the workforce employed in the sector. However, government investment in agricultural commercialisation has been low, national financial institutions