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


Latest articles

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
The Cult of the African Youth Entrepreneur
October 12, 2018 / Our blog
What image does the phrase ‘Africa’s youth employment challenge’ bring to mind? Is it, for example, an image of social unrest and violence; or of young migrants risking everything to get to Europe? Or an image of family and personal
Ethiopia: Enriching Livelihoods with Rice Research
October 5, 2018 / Our blog
The history of rice in Ethiopia Beginning in the 1970s, the production of rice in Ethiopian agriculture has expanded steadily across the country, with the total land area under rice cultivation rising from about 10,000 ha in 2006, to over
Failed Promises: the Decline of Cooperative Membership in Malawi
September 27, 2018 / Our blog
Most smallholder farmers in Malawi are seeing their livelihoods and overall social-economic status getting worse. The reasons for this regrettable trend are many and are well documented. However, one of the main reasons that has been given more attention is
Open for Business: What Does Investment Look Like on the Ground?
September 18, 2018 / Our blog
Last week I was at the at the African Studies Association of the UK (ASA) conference in Birmingham. I was co-hosting, with my colleague Jeremy Lind (whose earlier blog this one draws from), a fantastic stream of five panels and