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


Latest articles

Responding to uncertainty: who are the experts?
July 1, 2019 / Our blog
Uncertainties are everywhere, part of life. But how to respond? Who are the experts? These are questions that we are debating this week at an ESRC STEPS Centre symposium. But they are also questions very pertinent to daily life in Zimbabwe,
Evidence uptake and use to transform Africa: Lessons from the “Utafiti Sera” model
May 29, 2019 / Our blog
APRA members from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi and Nigeria attended a two-day convening meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, which was organised by Partnership for African Social and Governance Research (PASGR). The main objective of the meeting was to bring together 120 participants
Youth engagement with commercialisation hotspots in Zimbabwe
May 23, 2019 / Our blog
My interest in youth and agriculture commercialisation stemmed from two pivotal moments in the past decade. One from an ‘accidental finding’ from a 10-year longitudinal study of land beneficiaries of the Fast Track Land Reform (FTLRP) in Sanyati District, Zimbabwe
Are African youth innovative?
May 22, 2019 / Our blog
This is the question that we address in a new article published in the Journal of Rural Studies. Entitled ‘Are African rural youth innovative? Claims, evidence and implications’, the paper is open access and free to download. Our interest in
A lever for agricultural commercialisation? A critical look at the agricultural extension system in Malawi.
May 20, 2019 / Our blog
In this assessment, we ask the question: is the extension services system in Malawi doing enough to facilitate agricultural commercialisation among smallholder farmers? This question arrives amidst concerns that commercial agriculture in Malawi, especially among small-scale farmers, has not really
The Chinese Belt and Road Initiative: what’s in it for Africa?
May 15, 2019 / Our blog
The huge Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Forum recently concluded in Beijing. 37 heads of state attended, along with droves of policy advisors and numerous thinktanks and research institutes, including IDS where I work. Monica Mutsvanga, Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services,
Challenging desertification myths
May 10, 2019 / Our blog
Tales of desertification across the world’s drylands are a recurrent theme in policy. This week’s blog reviews an excellent book that takes issue with many of the assumptions around desertification – The End of Desertification? Disputing Environmental Change in the Drylands.
It is impossible to commercialise agriculture in Malawi: A quick political economy audit
May 3, 2019 / Our blog
Introduction Agriculture is the mainstay of Malawi’s economy; it contributes between 30 to 40 % of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP); employs 85 % of the workforce; accounts for about 60 % of rural income; and, contributes about 90 %
Cyclone Idai hits Agriculture in Beira Corridor: Preparing for the Future
May 1, 2019 / Our blog
ESA: “This Copernicus Sentinel-1 image indicates where the flood waters are finally beginning to recede west of the port city of Beira in Mozambique. The image merges three separate satellite radar images from before the storm on 13 March, from
Building Livelihoods: Young People and Agricultural Commercialisation – Tanzania Country Study
April 18, 2019 / Our blog
With many African young people living in rural areas, their economies are characterised by small manufacturers and high rates of youth unemployment. Unemployment has been a major concern especially for graduates who seek formal employment in the urban areas. However,