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APRA Working Paper 79: Cocoa Commercialisation in Nigeria: Issues and Prospects
January 18, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
Despite the setback in the Nigerian agricultural sector’s development and its declining cocoa production in recent years, the nation still has potential to regain its production capacities in the cocoa sub-sector. In fact, cocoa farmers included in the study, across
APRA Working Paper 78: How Does Land Size Mediate the Relationship between Specialisation and Commercialisation? Lessons from Rice Farming in the Fogera Plain of Ethiopia
January 18, 2022 / Publications Working Papers
The introduction of rice into Ethiopia provided a solution to food insecurity. More recently, national policy has emphasised the positive relationship between rice specialisation and commercialisation and, thus, higher incomes. In retrospect, this initiative has been hugely successful as the
A multi-phase assessment of the effects of COVID-19 on food systems and rural livelihoods in Nigeria
January 17, 2022 / APRA blog FAC blog
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Nigeria, there have been serious concerns about the impact of the pandemic on agri-food systems, given that most of the population depend directly or indirectly on agriculture for their livelihoods. These concerns are compounded
APRA e-dialogue: Emerging Challenges and Regional Realities
January 12, 2022 / Events News
On 22 January 2022, APRA, in partnership with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and Foresight4Food (F4F), will host an interactive e-dialogue on Agrarian Change and Rural Transformation in sub-Saharan Africa. The session, which will be held on Zoom

Hard pressed but not crushed: A story of resilience and adaptation to COVID in Ghana
January 12, 2022 / APRA blog FAC blog
The COVID-19 pandemic has killed and destroyed – not only lives – but livelihoods as well. The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted food systems in Ghana since its emergence in the country in March 2020. According to the United Nations World
As Omicron sweeps through Zimbabwe, how are people responding?
January 10, 2022 / FAC blog
It was just a few weeks ago that our last report noted the arrival of a new variant identified in South Africa. In the interim Omicron has swept through the country. This initially resulted in panic, with a rush to
A multi-phase assessment of the effects of COVID-19 on food systems and rural livelihoods in Zambia: The case of small-scale farmers surrounding Mkushi Farming Block
January 6, 2022 / APRA blog FAC blog
Following the identification of the first COVID-19 case in Zambia on 18 March 2020, the government announced some lockdown measures intended to prevent the spread of pandemic. Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has not only led to loss of human
The story of Ghana’s cocoa and oil palm commercialisation outcomes retold at a national dissemination workshop
December 20, 2021 / APRA blog FAC blog
Together with stakeholders from public and private institutions countrywide, the APRA Ghana family gathered at ALISA Hotel in Accra to discuss the key findings emerging from three streams of APRA studies since 2016. Historically, cocoa and oil palm have remained

APRA researcher appointed to local government in Malawi!
December 20, 2021 / News
Congratulations to Professor Blessings Chinsinga on his appointment to the post of Minister of Local Government in Malawi.
APRA Working Paper 77: Commercialisation Pathways and Climate Change: The Case of Smallholder Farmers in Semi-Arid Tanzania
December 20, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
The semi-arid drylands of central Tanzania have been characterised by low and erratic rainfall coupled with high evapotranspiration. Up until now, farmers of these local dryland farming systems have been able to cope with these climate conditions. However, climate change
A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Zambia
December 20, 2021 / COVID Country Report Impact Assessment Publications
COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization in March 2020. The speed with which the pandemic spread geographically, and the high rate of mortality of its victims prompted many countries around the world to institute ‘lockdowns’ of
A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Tanzania
December 20, 2021 / COVID Country Report Impact Assessment Publications
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 at the end of 2019, the pandemic has brought both social and economic impacts to global communities, although to varying degrees. Since the onset of the pandemic, different regions have responded in various ways by
Beyond impressive results: Are we ready to act?
December 20, 2021 / APRA blog Events FAC blog
In its efforts to disseminate the results of a five-year research project, the APRA Malawi team held a national dissemination event at Ufulu Gardens in Lilongwe on 30 November 2021. The event brought together stakeholders from government, donor, civil society,

e-Dialogues on Agricultural Commercialisation, Agrarian Change and Rural Transformation in Sub-Saharan Africa
December 17, 2021 / News
Who is benefitting as food systems and rural economies are transformed and who is at risk of being left-behind? Throughout 2022, the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) Programme of the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC), UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network
Can agrarian transformation in Ethiopia’s Fogera Plain be scaled? Lessons from a national engagement workshop
December 16, 2021 / APRA blog Events FAC blog
Ethiopia is facing a decline in national rice self-sufficiency and rice imports, which cost the country about US$200 million in 2019. However, there is a pathway to reversing this trend and recovering the national rice sector… The solution? An effective

A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Nigeria
December 13, 2021 / COVID Country Report Impact Assessment Publications
The first case of COVID-19 in Nigeria was reported on 27 February 2020. By 30 March 2020, Nigeria had recorded 131 confirmed cases and two deaths. To mitigate the impending health crisis, the Nigerian Government quickly commenced a series of
Ogun State community meetings push for policy on medium-scale farming
December 13, 2021 / APRA blog Events FAC blog
Following the conclusion of their research into the opportunities and challenges of medium-scale farming as a pathway to inclusive agricultural commercialisation and improved livelihood outcomes for farming families across Nigeria, researchers on the APRA Nigeria Work Stream 1 (WS1) team

New COVID uncertainties in Zimbabwe
December 10, 2021 / FAC blog
The unfolding drama of the pandemic continues. With a new variant identified in the region (Omicron) thanks to the effective work of South African genomics monitoring, Zimbabwe has been subjected to international travel restrictions. However, despite the global concern about
A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Ghana
December 8, 2021 / COVID Country Report Impact Assessment Publications
The COVID-19 crisis has disrupted food systems in Ghana since its emergence in the country in March 2020. According to the United Nations World Food Programme, the socio-economic impact of the pandemic caused by the imposition of restrictions on social
Prospects for smallholder commercialisation in Malawi
December 8, 2021 / APRA blog FAC blog
This blog is based on APRA Working Paper 75, which presents a historical and contemporary agrarian inquiry into the reality of agricultural commercialisation in Malawi. The study’s key message is that smallholder agricultural commercialisation is possible, but it cannot be

National policy dialogue: Agricultural commercialisation and smallholder transformation in Nigeria
December 6, 2021 / Events News
Relative to small-scale farms (SSFs), recent trends across sub-Saharan Africa show that medium-scale farms (MSFs) are accounting for an increasingly larger share of the total value of marketed agricultural products The rise of MSFs could substantially change the structure of
A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Kenya
December 6, 2021 / COVID Country Report Impact Assessment Publications
Kenya confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on 12 March 2020. Like many governments across the world, the Kenyan government implemented various measures aimed at slowing down local spread of the virus and cushioning the population against the negative economic
APRA Malawi research team shares research findings
December 6, 2021 / APRA blog FAC blog
Since 2016, the APRA Malawi team has been working to understand the underlying factors of smallholder commercialisation in the groundnut value chain in Mchinji and Ntchisi. Now, following the publication of their research findings, the team is turning its attention

APRA Working Paper 76: Long-Term Patterns of Change in the Commercialisation of Cocoa in Ghana: Forest Frontiers and Technological Transformation
December 6, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by: Kojo Amanor, Joseph Yaro and Joseph Teye The commercialisation of cocoa production in Ghana has a long history dating back to the nineteenth century. The process of commercial development in cocoa is well documented and provides an alternative
Streetwise explanations for extremely low new COVID-19 cases in Malawi
December 2, 2021 / APRA blog FAC blog
From September, throughout October and as we now enter November, Malawi has seen its new daily COVID-19 cases sharply reduce to an all-time low. In fact, zero new daily COVID-19 cases have become very common during this period as reported
COP26: Some reflections from Glasgow
November 30, 2021 / FAC blog
The COP26 marathon is finally over and on Saturday the Glasgow Climate Pact was agreed. Over ten pages there is lots of urging, noting, inviting, acknowledging, stressing and so on, but few decisions, beyond agreeing to meet again next year

Understanding the Nigerian cocoa industry: the Nigerian Cocoa Summit & Awards
November 29, 2021 / Events News
How has the Nigerian cocoa sector changed since the crop was introduced in the 1880s? What is the reality of this value chain now, in the country ranked fourth in cocoa production globally? What do stakeholders see for the future
Changing norms for land and labour on cocoa farms in Western Ghana: Flexibility rules
November 29, 2021 / APRA blog FAC blog
When in the 1880s farmers in southern Ghana began to plant cocoa, their main concerns were finding land to plant and mobilising labour to do so. The issue of finding land remained paramount until at least the 1990s, when the

APRA researchers to hold a national dissemination workshop in Ghana
November 26, 2021 / Events News
APRA researchers in Ghana are gearing up for a national dissemination event! The event will be filled with presentations from the two APRA teams working in the country (Work Streams 1 and 2), and, more generally, on APRA’s objectives, research
APRA Ethiopia’s national dissemination workshop: A pathway to policy change?
November 26, 2021 / Events News
APRA Ethiopia researchers have spent years studying the country’s rice value chain and identifying its role in providing a pathway out of poverty for the farmers who engage in it. The team has explored the role of increased rice commercialisation
APRA Nigeria team prepares to present findings in dissemination event
November 25, 2021 / Events News
Over the previous five years, the APRA Nigeria Work Stream 2 (WS2) team has been working to explore longitudinal change over time, and identify different pathways of agricultural commercialisation and their outcome pathways in the country. Now, as the team
A multi-phase assessment of the effects of COVID-19 on food systems and rural livelihoods in Ethiopia: The case of Fogera Plain
November 25, 2021 / APRA blog FAC blog
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only led to the loss of human life and resulted in an unprecedented challenge to public health, but has also seriously affected food systems and work opportunities.Following the confirmation of the first COVID-19 case in
APRA Brief 28: COVID-19 and Social Differentiation in African Agriculture
November 22, 2021 / APRA Briefs Policy Briefs Publications
This brief presents a summary of key findings from a multi-country study of social differentiation in African agricultural value chains in the context of COVID-19. It aims to understand how trends in the politics and participation of different actors in
e-Dialogue Series 2021-22: Towards an Equitable and Sustainable Transformation of Food Systems
November 22, 2021 / Events
The United Nations Food Systems Summit, held in September 2021, set an agenda for the sustainable transformation of food systems. Central to this transformation must be progress on reducing the high levels of poverty and inequality that afflict the world’s

Stakeholders’ take on inclusive agricultural value chains in Tanzania: Feedback from a national workshop
November 22, 2021 / APRA blog Events FAC blog
The Tanzanian government, in its efforts to provide food, income, employment and foreign income to its population, is committed to improving the country’s rice and sunflower value chains. This commitment was reiterated at a national feedback workshop held on 26th

A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Malawi
November 22, 2021 / COVID Country Report Impact Assessment Publications
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused disruptions to national and global economies with devastating effects on food systems and livelihoods across the globe. These effects of the pandemic on poverty, hunger, and malnutrition, among others, are likely to be greater among
APRA Nigeria team shares research findings in Kaduna State
November 17, 2021 / APRA blog Events FAC blog
To disseminate their research results and the policy implications that arise from the APRA Nigeria Work Stream 1 (WS1) research, project team gathered community members in two areas of Kaduna State on the 15th-16th November 2021. These events were the

APRA Working Paper 75: Agricultural Commercialisation and Rural Livelihoods in Malawi: A Historical and Contemporary Agrarian Inquiry
November 16, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
This study was carried out to understand the underlying dynamics of agricultural commercialisation in Malawi, especially among smallholder farmers. Despite various concerted efforts to accelerate agricultural growth and transformation, the progress among smallholder farmers has been less satisfactory. Most of
A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Ethiopia: The Case of Fogera Plain
November 15, 2021 / COVID Country Report Impact Assessment Publications
The COVID-19 pandemic has not only led to the loss of human life and resulted in an unprecedented challenge to public health, but has also seriously affected food systems and work opportunities. As a global pandemic, COVID-19 has impacted food
Agricultural commercialisation in Africa, COVID-19 and social difference
November 15, 2021 / APRA blog FAC blog
African policymaking has turned to agricultural commercialisation as an engine of growth in the 21st century. But the effects have not been the same for everyone, entrenching long-term social difference based on gender, wealth, age and generation, ethnicity and citizenship.
The role of small-scale processors in supporting agricultural commercialisation among smallholder rice farmers in East Africa: Lessons from Ethiopia and Tanzania
November 10, 2021 / APRA blog FAC blog
Until recently, attention to upgrading the rice value chain has been limited in many of Eastern Africa’s rice-producing countries. Yet, it is this mid-stream section (the millers and traders) – the so-called ‘hidden middle’ – which is essential to sustaining

A Multi-Phase Assessment of the Effects of COVID-19 on Food Systems and Rural Livelihoods in Zimbabwe
November 9, 2021 / COVID Country Report Impact Assessment Publications
Written by: Vine Mutyasira The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to affect agri-food systems around the world and lay bare its fragility, worsening the welfare of millions of smallholder farmers whose livelihoods are anchored on agricultural activities. For the vast majority
APRA Working Paper 74: The Role of Small-Scale Processors in Supporting Agricultural Commercialisation Among Smallholder Rice Farmers in East Africa: Lessons from Ethiopia and Tanzania
November 9, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
Written by: Dawit Alemu, Aida Isinika, Hannington Odame and John Thompson Until recently, attention to rice value chain upgrading has been limited in many rice-producing countries of Eastern Africa. Yet, it is this mid-stream section (the millers and traders) –
COP 26 Blue Zone, Glasgow (Ian Scoones)
COP26: why a more sophisticated debate on livestock and the climate is needed
November 8, 2021 / FAC blog
Last week I was in Glasgow at COP26, shuttling between events in the Blue Zone and the fringe across the city. It was overwhelming, with a cacophony of conflicting voices and views. The first week including a flood of announcements

APRA Working Paper 73: Land and Labour Relations on Cocoa Farms in Sefwi, Ghana: Continuity and Change
November 8, 2021 / Publications Working Papers
When in the 1880s farmers in southern Ghana began to plant cocoa, their main concerns were finding land to plant and mobilising labour to do so. The issue of finding land remained paramount until at least the 1990s, when the
Online COVID-19 & poverty: Informing economic and social policy in Malawi
November 4, 2021 / Events News
How is COVID-19 impacting people living in poverty in Malawi? What are the policies needed to mitigate these impacts? Recent research from COVID Collective partners and APRA finds COVID-19 has had a detrimental impact on people living in, or at
APRA researchers to join 8th Annual ReNAPRI Stakeholders Conference
November 4, 2021 / Events News
As the Regional Network of Agricultural Policy Research Institutes prepares to host its 8th Annual Stakeholders Conference, under the theme, ‘Transform: Toward Sustainable and Resilient Food Systems in Africa’, APRA researchers are gearing up for their side event! Conference sessions
Zimbabwe’s bumper harvest: what explains the success?
November 4, 2021 / FAC blog
As farmers turn to the next season with the beginning of the rains, the country is in a good position having reaped a bumper harvest in 2020/21. An estimated 2.7 million tonnes of maize were produced, triple the amount in
APRA Ghana researchers to participate in University of Ghana conference
November 1, 2021 / Events News
On Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th November, 2021, the University of Ghana’s School of Social Sciences will be hosting its seventh international conference. The event, under the theme ‘Addressing Africa’s Challenges in the 21st Century’, will cover a vast range
How are different groups affected by the changing land tenure systems in Ghana’s oil palm growing districts?
November 1, 2021 / APRA blog FAC blog
Oil palm is Ghana’s second most important cash crop after cocoa, and the sector is an important contributor to the country’s economy. The production of cash crops in Ghana has largely been dominated by small-scale farmers in mostly rural areas