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APRA blog

APRA BLOG

The case for integrated organic farms in Nigeria
January 23, 2020

Efforts by the Government to reduce food imports, increase food availability and incomes from agriculture could put more pressure on land use through the growth of medium/large scale farms, and an expansion in area cultivated by smallholder farms across Nigeria. This could, in turn, create a situation of unregulated expansion of cultivable land under “conventional… Read more »

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Top Tips from APRA’s Policy friends
January 16, 2020

During APRA’s recent annual meeting in Naivasha from 2-6 December 2019, a panel of distinguished policy voices made up of representatives from Department for International Development (DFID), African Union (AU), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Tegemeo Institute, Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum (ANSAF), and independent consultants shared their perspectives and offered advice on how to guarantee… Read more »

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Rural transformation in Ethiopia: the right or wrong end of the stick?
January 9, 2020

The underlying causes of the ethnic and religious conflicts in Ethiopia have had little space for discourse. This blog [1] is aimed at reminding academics, researchers, extension workers and other development practitioners not to be distracted by the on-going events and to continue to foster dialogue around agricultural and rural development issues.[2] Rural transformation in… Read more »

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APRA Annual Workshop 2019 hosted by CABE
December 19, 2019

The Centre for African Bio-Entrepreneurship (CABE) successfully hosted the APRA Annual Review and Planning Workshop in Naivasha, Kenya from 2-6 December 2019. Members of the three APRA work streams and APRA Consortium, stationed at the Institute of Development Studies (IDS), also participated. The theme of this year’s workshop was Impact, Communications and Engagement (ICE).  It… Read more »

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Unattractive bride – the case of government extension services in Central Malawi
December 5, 2019

In 2000, Malawi adopted a pluralistic and demand-driven agricultural extension policy which liberalised agricultural extension provision, allowing multiple stakeholders to freely provide extension services that are coordinated and regulated by the government. This policy is anchored by an implementation system called District Agricultural Extension Services System (DAESS) that has established structures at District, and community… Read more »

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Livelihood trajectories in the Nigerian cocoa industry: An exploratory study of smallholder cocoa farmers in Ondo State
November 28, 2019

The Nigerian cocoa industry has seen a resurgence with the recognition of agriculture in national economic development. However, its level of growth, especially with regards to commercialisation has been limited. There have been reported cases of cocoa farms being sold to give way to other enterprises; at the same time, there have been reports of… Read more »

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Closing the cocoa frontier in western Ghana. Time to intensify?
November 13, 2019

Ever since the 1880s when cocoa began to be planted in southern Ghana, new land has been acquired for cocoa trees. These have expanded westwards from the first lands planted below the Akwapim ridge, just north of Accra, 130 years ago. The driver for this expansion has often been older groves being lost to disease, including… Read more »

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The future of cocoa production in south western Nigeria: Stakeholder insights
November 4, 2019

Background Agricultural enterprise in Nigeria’s economy has played a key participatory role by addressing the issues of poverty, food insecurity, unemployment and foreign revenue acquisition. Cocoa has been integral to  championing the agricultural economy as it remains the top most exported cash crop, alongside oil palm and rubber, accounting for 58.4 per cent of Nigerian… Read more »

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Time to reimagine the agrarian system
November 3, 2019

“We are wasting our time talking about living wages and inspectors and new technologies. We need to talk about the fact that our government has sold the livelihoods of ordinary people to big corporates.” These were the words of Constance Mogale from the Alliance for Rural Democracy, speaking on the final day of the Future… Read more »

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APRA presents at AAAE conference
October 14, 2019

“Rising to meet new challenges: Africa’s agricultural development beyond 2020 Vision” was the theme for the 6th  African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) triennial conference, which took place on the 23-26th September 2019 at the Sheraton Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria. Professor G. B. Ayoola, the President at Farm & Infrastructure Foundation (FIF) chaired the 6th AAAE Conference Local Organising Committee. In… Read more »

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Oil Palm Processing in Ghana: Hanging In, Stepping Up and Stepping Out
October 3, 2019

Oil palm production has been a lifelong activity for many farmers in south-western Ghana. Although oil palm could be harvested throughout the year, production peaks from January to May.  Like other crops of this nature, one would expect prices to fall or rise with production quantities. However, this is not always the case, as the… Read more »

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The contemporary agrarian question in West Africa
September 25, 2019

The agrarian question in West Africa is dominated by the integration of peasant agriculture or smallholder farming into agribusiness markets, which includes contract farming, but also other mechanisms to encourage uptake of inputs and the incorporation of farmers into corporate controlled food processing. Although there is a growing presence of medium-scale farms and acquisition of… Read more »

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Ethiopia’s incentives to agribusiness investment require a serious rethink
September 19, 2019

Primarily through its investment promotion agency, Ethiopia has been encouraging business investment for decades. It uses incentives such as import, export and income tax reduction or exemption, and provides investors with access to land. In a recent study, we explored the effectiveness of these incentives on agribusiness investment and found that – comparable to other… Read more »

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Promoting Agribusiness Investment in Ghana: Rethinking Policy Incentives
September 12, 2019

Agriculture is a major economic activity in Ghana, contributing 20 per cent to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). In recognition that increased investment can help transform the largely subsistence-based agricultural sector, the government of Ghana and its development partners have implemented a number of programmes, including fiscal incentives, to attract private investors into the sector. As… Read more »

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Value Chain Participants in Smallholder Commercialisation in Mvurwi: Emerging Business Relations
September 3, 2019

Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector has experienced radical transformation following a series of land reform programs and an economic meltdown that started in 2000. The implementation of the Fast Track Land Reform Program (FTLRP) led to widespread disruptions in the sophisticated input supply system, altered agrarian relations and generally caused changes in the functioning of input and… Read more »

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Social Dynamics of Agricultural Commercialisation: What are the Community Perceptions?
August 14, 2019

Agricultural commercialisation is seen by smallholder farmers as a potent means of improving their livelihoods and transforming rural communities. However, the commercialisation-induced rural transformation has the potential to alter both social relations and gender-based power dynamics within rural communities. As communities commercialise and realign production practices with the demands of the markets, they increasingly embrace… Read more »

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African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) 2019 – Accra, Ghana, 3-6 September
August 13, 2019

“AGRF is the world’s premier forum for African agriculture, pulling together stakeholders in the agricultural landscape to discuss and commit to programs, investments, and policies to achieve an inclusive and sustainable agricultural transformation across the continent.” AGRF is upon us again, with this year’s theme of “Grow Digital: Leveraging Digital Transformation to Drive Sustainable Food… Read more »

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6th International Conference of African Association of Agricultural Economists 2019, Abuja, Nigeria
August 13, 2019

“Rising to meet new challenges: Africa’s agricultural development beyond 2020 Vision” is the theme for the 6th  African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE) triennial conference, which will take place on the 23-26th September 2019 at the Sheraton Hotel in Abuja, Nigeria. The AAAE have stated that “the conference will explore the recent developments in agricultural… Read more »

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In memory of Professor Ephraim Wadonda Chirwa
July 29, 2019

Professor Ephraim Chirwa, the Director of Research-Africa of the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) Programme and a founding member of the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC), passed away after a sudden illness on the morning of 15 July 2019. An economist by training (with degrees from the Universities of Malawi, Cambridge and East Anglia), his… Read more »

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Analysing the dynamics of change: Using longitudinal, panel and cross-sectional studies to investigate complex social, environmental and technological issues
July 25, 2019

Due to financial and capacity limitations, a great deal of development-related research involves conducting single studies at one point in time. These ‘snapshots’ can provide useful insights into the people and conditions examined and the impacts of particular processes and interventions. But they often present a rather static picture of these contexts and fail to… Read more »

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APRA at the EEA Conference: Analysing the Importance of Rice to the Ethiopian Economy
July 22, 2019

APRA engagement at the 17th Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA) Conference on the Ethiopian Economy The Ethiopia Team of the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) Programme of the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) participated in the 17th International Conference of the Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA) on the Ethiopian Economy. The conference was held from July 18… Read more »

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APRA Contributes to a Pivotal International Conference on the State of the Ethiopian Economy
July 12, 2019

The Ethiopia Team of the Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) Programme of the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) is preparing for their participation in the 17th International Conference of the Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA) on the Ethiopian Economy (https://www.eeaecon.org/), which will be held from 18-20 July 2019 at the EEA Multi-Purpose Building Conference Hall in… Read more »

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Seeing Conflict at the Margins: understanding community experiences through social research and digital narrative in Kenya and Madagascar.
May 8, 2019

This month a new website is being launched for a project called ‘Seeing Conflict at the Margins: understanding community experiences through social research and digital narrative in Kenya and Madagascar.’ Their activities and some links are introduced below – for further details, visit them at: http://seeingconflict.org They will be announcing their new website on social… Read more »

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APRA involved at the event: Towards a Pan-African Transformation: Innovative Approaches to Evidence uptake and use in Africa.
May 3, 2019

Date: 02 May 2019 – 03 May 2019 CABE Africa (https://www.cabe-africa.org/) are hosting Utafiti Sera, a policy research community of practice, via PASGR (Partnership for African Social & Governance Research). Hannigton Odame of APRA is conducting a presentation: “Charting the Path for a Youth Apprenticeship Policy: Lessons from Utafiti Sera House on Youth Employment Creation… Read more »

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EVENT – APRA Public Debate on the Character of the Agrarian Question in the Contemporary Africa
May 3, 2019

The event will take place on 14 May 2019, from 13:00-15:00 at the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa.

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PLAAS hosting new roundtable: ‘What is the character of the Agrarian Question in contemporary Africa?’
April 30, 2019

The APRA South Africa Hub at the Institute of Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) is hosting a roundtable on the question: ‘What is the character of the Agrarian Question in contemporary Africa? Perspectives from East, West and Southern Africa’? The event shall be attended by renowned scholars of the field: Professor Issa Shivji, the… Read more »

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Consultation, Involvement, and Ownership: Key Messages from a Dissemination event on Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia-Transport (LAPSSET) study.
April 17, 2019

On 14 February 2019, in partnership with the Rift Valley Forum, the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) of the University of Western Cape, and APRA conducted a panel discussion to disseminate a new report – ‘Participation, Voice and Governance in investment corridors in Africa: the case of LAPSSET’. The report examines the… Read more »

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APRA Annual Review Workshop 2018
January 11, 2019

From 3–6 December 2018, APRA staff met in Accra, Ghana for the annual APRA review workshop. With the broad scope of the APRA programme – comprising studies being undertaken across six African countries within three work streams – the annual review workshop provides a critical opportunity for APRA researchers to come together to share the… Read more »

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Journal of Peasant Studies 2019 Summer Writeshop-Workshop in Critical Agrarian Studies and Scholar-Activism: Call for Application
January 9, 2019

Call for Application The Journal of Peasant Studies (JPS), College of Humanities and Development Studies (COHD) of China Agricultural University (Beijing), and Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) are jointly organizing a new initiative: JPS Annual Summer Writeshop-Workshop in Critical Agrarian Studies and Scholar-Activism for PhD students and young researchers (up to 5 years from PhD completion)… Read more »

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The First National Rice Promotion Event: Is rice getting more attention in Ethiopia?
January 9, 2019

Ethiopia’s first National Rice Promotion Event was held on 21 December 2018 in Addis Ababa, to examine the current status of rice research and development in Ethiopia, and to identify key issues that demand interventions. Specifically, the event – and the future annual events – take three primary focuses: (i) to deliberate on prevailing policy… Read more »

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An Interview with APRA Nigeria Researcher, Thomas Jayne
November 5, 2018

In a recent interview for SciDev.net, APRA Nigeria researcher Thomas Jayne discusses the state of agricultural commercialisation in Africa, with specific reference to emerging technological innovations. “There’s a lot more capital moving into agriculture than there used to be,” Jayne explains, citing the considerable amount of capital being fed into the country’s agricultural sector from… Read more »

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Policy and Advocacy Forum: Empowerment of Women in Agriculture
October 30, 2018

On 6 September 2018, APRA Malawi team member Loveness Msofi Mgalamadzi attended the ‘Policy and Advocacy Forum: Empowerment of Women in Agriculture’, held in Lilongwe, Malawi. This one-day meeting was organized by the Civil Society Agricultural Network (CISANET), with support from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and BADEA. The forum attracted various stakeholders working… Read more »

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APRA Nigeria Stakeholder Meeting, Abuja
October 19, 2018

On 11 September, APRA Nigeria researchers met with a number of stakeholders at Yar’Adua Centre in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. Stakeholders from all sectors relevant to the APRA research programme were represented, including 15 State Ministry officials, 9 industry group representatives and 6 Michigan State University (MSU)-APRA community leaders/medium-scale farmers. The meeting was convened to spread… Read more »

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APRA-Afrint Public Seminar, IDS
October 16, 2018

On 3 October, the Institute of Development Studies hosted a joint event between the APRA and Afrint projects, bringing together researchers from both fields for a public seminar and launch of the Afrint project’s latest publication. The event kicked off with lead researchers for the Afrint project – Agnes Andersson Djurfeldt, Fred Dzanku and Aida… Read more »

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Food Security: Gender, Geography and Off-Farm Employment
September 24, 2018

Eradicating hunger and achieving food security remains a key developmental issue, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. Most of the empirical literature focuses on agriculture-based interventions, although it is well known that rural households undertake a range of income-generating activities to provide a livelihood. A recent article published in the World Development journal uses panel data for… Read more »

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Groundnut commercialisation trends in Malawi
September 6, 2018

According to World Atlas, 2017, Malawi is one of the major exporters of groundnuts in Africa. Malawi has a history of supplying groundnuts to the global market and its yields compete with regional competitors. Groundnut is the most important legume crop produced in Malawi – both in terms of production area and volume – and… Read more »

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ASAUK Conference 2018
September 5, 2018

The University of Birmingham will host the 2018 African Studies Association of the UK (ASAUK) Conference, where a number of APRA researchers will form discussion panels across numerous conference streams. Running from 11–13 September, the conference will host 202 panels across a breadth of disciplines that encompass the study of Africa, and provides a unique… Read more »

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Public Seminar
August 7, 2018

Join us at the Institute of Development Studies on 3 October 2018, for a public seminar entitled The Dynamics of Agricultural Commercialisation, Diversification and Rural Change in sub-Saharan Africa. Researchers from APRA and the Afrint Project of Lund University will present findings from two complementary multi-country panel studies examining different aspects of rural change and transformation… Read more »

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Agribusiness Conference in Malawi: ‘No financing, no growth for agribusinesses and value addition’
August 1, 2018

On 16-17 July 2018, stakeholders from various sectors in Malawi assembled at Bingu International Conference Centre in Lilongwe, to discuss how the financial sector can help to propel agricultural commercialisation and value addition in Malawi. The conference presented an opportunity for key stakeholders to meet face-to-face, with Gray Nyandule Phiri (Principal Secretary (PS) in the… Read more »

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APRA in Mozambique: the mechanisation debate
July 24, 2018

On 19 July 2018, Lídia Cabral (Institute of Development Studies) and Euclides Gonçalves (Kaleidoscopio, Mozambique) presented findings from the APRA policy studies on agricultural mechanisation and development corridors, respectively, at a conference on ‘Public Policies and Agribusiness’ organised by the Observatório do Meio Rural (OMR) in Maputo. The conference covered a range of current government… Read more »

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APRA in Malawi: Engaging with District Stakeholders
April 24, 2018

Written by Mirriam Matita Image: Extensive farming in central Malawi (CC BY-SA 2.0) On the 17th April 2018 Malawi APRA Country Team Leads Mirriam Matita and Blessings Chinsinga introduced APRA research project to the Ntchisi District Executive Committee (DEC). Bringing together key governmental, non-governmental and private sector stakeholders at the district level, the DEC offered an… Read more »

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Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) Official Launch
December 20, 2017

The Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) programme officially launched at the second Conference on Land Policy in Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Wednesday 15th November 2017. APRA is a five-year research programme aiming to analyse pathways to agricultural commercialisation and their differential impacts on empowerment of women and girls, poverty reduction, and food… Read more »

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South-South Knowledge Sharing on Agricultural Mechanization
November 2, 2017

Lidia Cabral, Research Fellow at the Institute of Development Studies recently presented on Brazil and South-South Cooperation at the conference on “South-South Knowledge Sharing on Agricultural Mechanization” in Ethiopia. The conference was jointly organised by IFPRI, CIMMYT and the Ethiopian Agricultural Mechanization Forum, and took place between October 31st and November 1st, 2017. Mechanisation is back on the research agenda… Read more »

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APRA at IESE in Mozambique
APRA at IESE in Mozambique
September 18, 2017

Two policy studies for APRA on (i) agricultural development corridors and (ii) agricultural mechanisation in Africa are now underway. The research teams will be in Maputo to present preliminary findings from these studies at the 5th international conference of the Mozambican Instituto de Estudos Sociais e  Económicos (IESE), in Maputo on 19-21 September. APRA will… Read more »

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APRA in the news: Ghana Stakeholders brainstorm over new project
April 2, 2017

APRA is a five-year research programme that will focus on different pathways to agriculture commercialisation in sub-Saharan Africa. Based at IDS the project also has regional hubs in Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Recent discussions amongst the Ghana hub and stakeholders in the agriculture sector have been captured in the Ghanaian media, Joy Online, marking… Read more »

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