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APRA blog

Impact of COVID-19 on daily labourers and rice commercialisation in Ethiopia (2)
August 13, 2020

In the second of a three-part blog series, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research researcher Agajie Tesfaye examines effects of COVID-19 on labour wages, service providers to labourers, rice production and the future implications on rice commercialisation. To view the first blog on preliminary findings and statistical analysis of research assessments, click here. Written by Agajie… Read more »

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Impact of COVID-19 on daily labourers and rice commercialisation in Ethiopia (1)
August 10, 2020

In the first blog of a three-part series, Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research researcher Agajie Tesfaye presents the preliminary findings and statistical analysis of research assessments that were conducted to examine the impact of COVID-19 on the labour supply of rice farm workers and rice commercialisation in Fogera plain, Ethiopia. Written by Agajie Tesfaye Since… Read more »

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Poor rural roads: Is cocoa still a ‘wealth spinning exercise’ in Ondo State, Nigeria?
August 6, 2020

In a previous APRA blog, we explained how unscrupulous activities of loggers in Idanre, Ondo State, Nigeria were causing hardship for many cocoa farms. In this blog, APRA researcher Oluwasegun Ajetunmobi travels to Idanre to examine the poor state of roads and detrimental impact they have on the cocoa industry and the well-being of those… Read more »

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Matriliny, land tenure and oil palm commercialisation in south western Ghana
August 3, 2020

Matriliny – the transfer of wealth and inheritance through the female ancestral line – is a driving factor of land tenure practices, land access, use and control in the Ahanta and Mpohor Wassa East districts of the Western Region of Ghana.  As part of the oil palm commercialisation study, APRA researchers Esther Darku & Alexander… Read more »

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Five ways governments can help small businesses in the informal sector survive COVID-19
July 30, 2020

This blog was written by Amrita Saha and Opeyemi Abebe. It was first published by the Commonwealth Secretariat. In Africa, micro, small and medium-size enterprises (MSMEs) in the informal economy are particularly vulnerable to economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. Consumers are demanding and spending less, leading to decreasing revenues, liquidity problems, reduced output and… Read more »

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Small is beautiful? Agrarian change for resettled farmers in Mvurwi, Zimbabwe
July 27, 2020

This blog summarises APRA Working Paper 36, which investigates long-standing debate on the efficacy and capacity of the ‘small farm’ versus the ‘large farm ’in terms of meeting household and national food self-sufficiency and help achieving rural livelihoods outcomes. Written by Terence Chitapi After the fast-track land reform programme (FTLRP) of which began in 2000,… Read more »

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COVID-19: Coping strategies of rice value chain actors in Tanzania (2)
July 23, 2020

In the second of a two-part mini-series, APRA researchers Ntengua Mdoe, Gilead Mlay and Gideon Boniface examine how actors in the rice value chain in Tanzania have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures that were introduced to contain it. Part two focuses on rice processors, farmers, input suppliers and service providers in… Read more »

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COVID-19: Coping strategies of rice value chain actors in Tanzania (1)
July 20, 2020

Actors in the rice value chain in Tanzania have been hit hard by COVID-19 pandemic and the measures implemented by the government to contain it. In the first of a two blog mini-series, APRA researchers Ntengua Mdoe, Gilead Mlay and Gideon Boniface look at the measures in closer detail, and examine how badly consumers and… Read more »

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Who are the commercial farmers? A history of Mvurwi area, Zimbabwe
July 13, 2020

This blog was written by Ian Scoones and first appeared on Zimbabweland. For some the answer to who are the commercial farmers in Zimbabwe is obvious. The image of the rugged, (male) white farmer in shorts, surveying his family’s land carved out through hard labour and skill from the African bush is etched on the popular imagination. But… Read more »

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Dynamics of change in cocoa enterprise in Ile-Oluji, Nigeria
July 9, 2020

Cocoa production in Ile-Oluji is among the highest in Ondo State, Nigeria. However, this once prosperous crop – vital for the livelihood of farmers and their families – is under threat due to an increase of cash crops, a lack of youth involvement, and poor infrastructure and amenities. APRA researcher Oluwasegun Ajetunmobi investigates the dynamics… Read more »

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Loggers on the attack: Cocoa farming in Idanre, Nigeria
June 25, 2020

Cocoa farmers in Idanre, Ondo State, Nigeria are suffering from the activities of loggers which leads to damaged farms and has a detrimental impact on the livelihoods of farmers. In our latest blog, APRA researcher Bimbo Omopo describes what he saw during his study in the cocoa farming communities and outlines what action is needed… Read more »

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COVID-19: responses of rice farmers and processors in the Fogera Plain, Ethiopia
June 22, 2020

In our second in a series of blogs of the impact of COVID-19 in Ethiopia, APRA researchers Dawit Alemu and Abewaw Assaye examine the reaction of rice farmers and processors on the Fogera Plain to the lockdown measures, and whether they adapted to new circumstances. Written by Dawit Alemu and Abebaw Assaye The first confirmation… Read more »

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Does Ethiopia have a social protection system to respond to COVID-19?
June 18, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is leaving a huge economic and social burden in Ethiopia, where there is already a large number of vulnerable people dependent on social support. In the first of a series of two blogs on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Ethiopia, independent consultant and social science researcher Amdissa Teshome examines the… Read more »

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Leveraging on innovation and technology for inclusive growth in Kenya
June 11, 2020

In this blog, Hannington Odame refers to the outcomes from the panel on technology and innovation in agriculture at the Agricultural Industry Forum, 3-5 March 2020. He looks at the challenges linked to knowledge systems faced by smallholder farmers when adopting new agricultural technologies, and provides examples of best practices in Kenya, and from abroad,… Read more »

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Is all work harmful for children?
June 10, 2020

Written by Neil Howard, Roy Maconachie, Samuel Okyere. Hundreds of millions of pounds are being invested by governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and international agencies in support of the development and roll-out of policies and project interventions to end ‘child labour’. Undoubtedly, this points to an established political and institutional consensus, reflected in the fanfare around… Read more »

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Gender inequalities in Nigerian cocoa production
June 4, 2020

Women play a key role in the Nigeria cocoa sector, but in a patrilineal society, they are denied access to inheriting family cocoa plantations despite their vital contribution to the industry. In this blog, APRA researcher Tolani Abegunde examines the reasons for this disparity and suggests a possible way forward. Written by Tolani Abegunde The… Read more »

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Rapid response: how to deal with COVID-19 in rural Africa?
June 1, 2020

Written by Steve Wiggins. What lessons can be drawn from previous health crises to inform responses to COVID-19 in rural Africa? We reviewed seven previous health crises, plus a couple of economic crises, to think about to counter the effects of COVID-19 and its controls on agriculture, food systems, food security and rural livelihoods in… Read more »

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Agriculture transformation: the role of public-private policy dialogues in Kenya
May 28, 2020

Gem Argwings-Kodhek, APRA Policy Researcher, speaking at the AIF Hannington Odame refers to the discussions from the panel on policy and investment in agriculture at the Agricultural Industry Forum (AIF), 3-5 March 2020. He analyses the nature of public –private policy dialogue, and assesses whether an innovative new finance mechanism in Kenyan agriculture is needed… Read more »

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Sustainability of cocoa in Nigeria: preventing the worst case scenarios
May 21, 2020

The sustainability of cocoa in Nigeria – a very important household cash crop in the country – is under threat and action needs to be taken. In this blog, Oluwabukola E. Ajayi describes the concept of sustainability in cocoa farming, and lists the problems already affecting cocoa farming that could deteriorate if steps are not… Read more »

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Essentialist vs interconnected: how to grow and sustain youth and women-led agribusinesses
May 14, 2020

This blog refers to the discussions at a key note panel on youth and women in agribusiness at the Agricultural Industry Forum (AIF), 3-5 March 2020. The forum was hosted by the Agriculture Industry Network, and in partnership with the Ministry of Agriculture Livestock and Fisheries and Cooperatives, the Council of Governors and Food and… Read more »

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Agricultural commercialisation and food security in rural communities: Insights from Zimbabwe
May 7, 2020

Written by Vine Mutyasira The debate over the effects of export-led commercialisation of agriculture on household food security has been ongoing for years. Tobacco has become the most commonly grown export crop in Zimbabwe, with an estimated 145,000 growers producing the “golden leaf” during the 2018/19 farming season (TIMB, 2020). Yet, there are still knowledge… Read more »

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Cocoa commercialisation: findings from Osun state, Nigeria
April 30, 2020

Written by Olubusayo Olorunkoya Following on from our previous blog on the state of cocoa commercialisation in Ogun state, this blog examines the findings of APRA survey results in Nigeria’s 2nd largest producer of Cocoa: Osun state. Surveying method Taking place between 21st and 23rd of August, 2019, the APRA exploratory survey was conducted in… Read more »

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How SRI technology and irrigation has transformed Anita’s life
April 23, 2020

This blog was written by Aida Isinika and Ntengua Mdoe Anita’s personal story “SRI changed my life, now I see a brighter future ahead for me and my entire family.”  Anita Israeli Mabena, a farmer from Njage village in Mchombe ward, Mngeta division in Kilombero district. Anita is considered one among the best performing SRI… Read more »

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The challenges of cocoa bean commercialisation in Ogun state, Nigeria
April 16, 2020

Please note: During this time of uncertainty caused by the #COVID19 pandemic, as for many at this time, some of our APRA work may well be affected in coming weeks but we aim to continue to post regular blogs and news updates on agricultural policy and research. Written by Olubusayo Olorunkoya and Olajide O. Adeola… Read more »

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Mobile money services and rice commercialisation in Tanzania
April 9, 2020

Please note: During this time of uncertainty caused by the #COVID19 pandemic, as for many at this time, some of our APRA work may well be affected in coming weeks but we aim to continue to post regular blogs and news updates on agricultural policy and research. Written by Aida Isinika & Ntengua Mdoe Agricultural… Read more »

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Youth and a lack of involvement in cocoa production in southwest Nigeria
April 6, 2020

Please note: During this time of uncertainty caused by the #COVID19 pandemic, as for many at this time, some of our APRA work may well be affected in coming weeks but we aim to continue to post regular blogs and news updates on agricultural policy and research. This blog was prepared by Olabanji T.Balogun and… Read more »

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Food in the time of the Coronavirus: Why we should be very, very afraid
April 2, 2020

Written by Ruth Hall and other researchers at PLAAS The social legitimacy of the ‘COVID-19 lockdown’ in South Africa, government’s regulations imposed to contain the spread of the virus, is most likely to run aground unless an urgent plan can be made to ensure that everyone in the country has access to sufficient food. And… Read more »

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Njage Farmers preparing to take rice commercialisation to the next level
March 30, 2020

Please note: During this time of uncertainty caused by the #COVID19 pandemic, as for many at this time, some of our APRA work may well be affected in coming weeks but we aim to continue to post regular blogs and news updates on #agricultural #policy and #research. This is a tale of rice farmers in… Read more »

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Smallholder capacity for agricultural commercialisation
March 26, 2020

Please note: During this time of uncertainty caused by the #COVID19 pandemic, as for many at this time, some of our APRA work may well be affected in coming weeks but we aim to continue to post regular blogs and news updates on #agricultural #policy and #research. Much of the agricultural economics literature has defined… Read more »

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‘Donkey to the slaughter’: a classic case of short sighted economic planning
March 23, 2020

Please note: During this time of uncertainty caused by the #COVID19 pandemic, as for many at this time, some of our APRA work may well be affected in coming weeks but we aim to continue to post regular blogs and news updates on #agricultural #policy and #research. Dogs are traditionally known as “Man’s best friend”… Read more »

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The challenge of getting to Lukilikila village
March 18, 2020

Luvilikila village is located within Mngeta division in Kilombero district, about 80km from Ifakala town, the district headquarters and just 13km south of Kilombero Plantation limited (KPL) – a large scale rice farm within Mngeta division. The Kilombero Ramsar site, a protected wetland lies to the south.  Luvilikila village is one among ten villages participating… Read more »

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Political economy of agricultural commercialisation in Nigeria
March 16, 2020

Background The historical and contemporary importance and contributions of agriculture to industrialisation and human development cannot be over-emphasised. Although pre-colonial agriculture in Africa consisted of peasant agriculture, for better accumulation, colonialism brought about a market and export oriented agriculture to Africa. Agricultural commercialisation in Nigeria had roots in the colonial political economy, and is defined… Read more »

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Herbicides: opportunities and challenges for commercial rice production in Kilombero Valley
March 12, 2020

Herbicide application for rice production has risen to a new level, not only in Mngeta division but in the entire Kilombero valley, and is favoured by farmers as it replaces some manual and backbreaking farm implements, such as the hand hoe.  In 2017 when the first wave of data collection under work stream one (WS1)… Read more »

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Climate change and the future of cocoa in southwest Nigeria
March 9, 2020

Cocoa, and products related to it, are an integral part towards the daily life of an average Nigerian. According to the National Bureau Statistics (NBS, 2019), exports of fermented cocoa bean in the first half of 2019 was estimated at N31 billion (£65 million), while raw cocoa beans exports worth N17.15 billion (£37 million) and… Read more »

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Tanzania makes substantial progress towards meeting CAADP commitments
March 5, 2020

The Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) is an initiative of the African Union (AU) within the context of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD). The CAADP provides a framework for African countries to achieve economic growth and food security through the transformation of the agricultural sector. It reflects the commitment of African leaders… Read more »

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Oil palm good, rubber better: a tale from south-western Ghana
February 27, 2020

Cash crop production is widely considered vital for improved incomes in developing countries. In Ghana, the production of cash crops in the past few decades have assumed a greater proportion of farmers’ production in the south-western parts of the country, an area predominantly known for large cocoa, oil palm, coconut, and rubber plantations. These crops… Read more »

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Shaking off decades of stagnation in the Nigeria cocoa sector
February 6, 2020

Cocoa remains Nigeria’s most important non-oil export commodity. However, in five decades, Nigeria has dropped from the second largest to the fourth largest producer of cocoa in the world, behind Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana and Indonesia. Nigeria is currently contributing 5 percent of global cocoa output, but with significant scope for expansion. This blog highlights critical… Read more »

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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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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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