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Opinions and comments from Future Agricultures researchers on agricultural politics, science and society in Africa


Latest articles

Should Aid Subsidise Foreign Business to Invest in African Agriculture
December 11, 2018 / Our blog
Promoting private sector investment in order to achieve global development goals is a persistent (if controversial) theme in the 21st century. From Paul Collier’s recent anti-NGO polemic (“If you want to help Africa, let business lead the way”) to DFID’s
Can Rice Commercialisation Transform Agrarian Society in Ethiopia?
November 27, 2018 / Our blog
Driving through the Fogera Plain on a sunny September morning, lush paddy fields strewn out in front of us, it is hard to imagine we are in Ethiopia – the land of teff, a native grain crop which has been
Nigeria: Vieiwing Iwara’s Cocoa Sector Through a Gendered Lens
November 22, 2018 / Our blog
  The commercialisation of agriculture is pivotal in the development of rural economies, and ultimately helping farmers to escape poverty. In Nigeria, cocoa production is paramount for raising farmers’ income and economic status. The commercialisation of subsistence agriculture can help
When Pastoralism Meets Oil: Learning From Oil Finds in Turkana, Kenya
November 16, 2018 / Our blog
Eastern Africa is home to some of the world’s fastest growing economies. Foreign capital has streamed into this region over the past ten to fifteen years – into large infrastructure programmes consisting of roads, railways, ports and pipelines, and into
The Political Economy of Agricultural Commercialisation in Zimbabwe
November 15, 2018 / Our blog
The Agricultural Policy Research in Africa (APRA) programme of the Future Agricultures Consortium has recently produced a series of papers on the political economy of agricultural commercialisation. The paper on Zimbabwe by Toendepi Shonhe argues that “debates on Zimbabwe’s agricultural
Isene Village, Tanzania: A Story of Sunflowers and Empowerment
November 12, 2018 / Our blog
It is often the case that when crops or enterprises become commercialised, women lose out as men step in and take control of resources as well as selling produce. Unless such practices are addressed, emerging opportunities for female empowerment will
APRA at the 19th NAAE Conference
November 5, 2018 / Our blog
It is an accepted fact that agriculture in Nigeria has suffered as a result of the oil ‘resource curse effect’ and inappropriate policies and institutions, such as weak market institutions. Although the discovery of crude oil has lessened the country’s
Zimbabwe: Farm Labour After Land Reform
October 29, 2018 / Our blog
A paper by myself, the late BZ Mavedzenge, Felix Murimbarimba and Chrispen Sukume is just out in Development and Change (available open access). We asked, “What happens to labour when redistributive land reform restructures a system of settler colonial agriculture?” The
Malawi Tracker Study: Experiences from the Field
October 22, 2018 / Our blog
The APRA Malawi team is finally in the field after months of meticulous preparations to get the ‘tracker’ study going. The subject of this tracker is groundnut commercialisation in Malawi’s central districts of Ntchisi and Mchinji. The goal is to
Zimbabwe’s latest crisis: it’s the economy – and politics, stupid!
October 15, 2018 / Our blog
The images of economic crisis in Zimbabwe are all too familiar. Queues for petrol and cash, commodity hoarding, parallel markets in currency, rising inflation and so on. It all seems reminiscent of the dark days of the mid 2000s, in