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


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Conducting a Tracker Study: a Tough Nut to Crack
September 17, 2018 / Our blog
To enjoy a nut, you must first crack open the hard outer shell – the Malawi APRA research team have found one such nut and, as detailed in this blog, hope to have gathered the tools required to crack its
Designs on the range: corridors, grabs and extractions at the pastoral margins
September 10, 2018 / Our blog
The past ten years have seen the spread of large-scale investments in infrastructure, resources and land across pastoral areas of eastern Africa. In the past these areas were insignificant to states in the region and large capital from beyond –
Groundnut commercialisation trends in Malawi
September 6, 2018 / APRA News Our blog
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
Medium-scale farms in Africa: history lessons from Zimbabwe
September 5, 2018 / Our blog
‘Medium-scale’ farms are seen as potential drivers of future agricultural growth in Africa. In Zimbabwe, much hope is vested in A2 farms allocated at land reform becoming productive, with hopes pinned on investment following the election. The A2 farms, averaging around 100 ha in
Ethiopia: commercial farming, investment and policy
August 31, 2018 / Our blog
Incentivising investment In contrast to previous government initiatives, Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation Plan II (GTP II: 2015–2020) clearly promotes the commercialisation of the agricultural sector. In so doing, policymakers have officially recognised the potential for commercial farming to increase agricultural
Streamlining the communication of research for agricultural commercialisation
August 21, 2018 / Our blog
On 16 and 17 July 2018, the Bankers Association of Malawi conducted the first agri-business conference of its kind to be held in Malawi, at the Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe. The theme of the conference was agricultural commercialisation
Zimbabweland blog catch up
August 17, 2018 / Our blog
Zimbabweland is taking a break for the next few weeks. By the end of this time we will know the outcome of the Constitutional court case brought by the MDC Alliance disputing the presidential (not parliamentary) election results. Maybe there
Advocating policy based on evidence
August 15, 2018 / Our blog
I recently attended a fascinating conference aimed at strengthening the use of evidence in policymaking. Dubbed ‘Evidence to Action 2018’, the conference was organised by the International Centre for Evaluation and Development (ICED) between 26 and 27 July 2018 at
Recipes for success?
August 3, 2018 / Our blog
What is a cookbook full of recipes – a collection of rigid instructions, or a source of guidance and inspiration? The answer depends largely on the skill, experience and confidence of the cook. Agricultural research and extension should find different
Reinvestment of agricultural proceeds shaping mechanisation in Zimbabwe
July 25, 2018 / Our blog
Historically, Zimbabwe’s agricultural mechanisation efforts have been shaped by state-capital relations, in which powerful and connected groups tended to benefit. After the Fast Track Land Reform, technological innovation is now being reconfigured by accumulation from below on the back of