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

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Is Agriculture the Key to Development?
Is Agriculture the Key to Development?
October 27, 2010 / Our blog
There is much truth in these arguments. Poverty and lack of entitlements are the fundamental causes of hunger, and we would do well to remember that. Rural poverty is more widespread and deeper than urban poverty, and exits from farming

2010 ECFP recipients
October 18, 2010 / Our blog
  Leocardia Nabwire Uganda   Conrad Murendo Zimbabwe   Yasin Salah Kenya   Maru Bekele Ethiopia   Nancy Laibuni Kenya   Delight Moyo Zimbabwe   Jimah Kipo Ghana   Clare Delpeuch France   Opportuna Kweka Tanzania

Will wheat prices spike again?
October 4, 2010 / Our blog
The grain trade reacted strongly: spot prices are up by US$50 a tonne in a month, and by US$70 a tonne for some export wheats. These increases are the fastest seen since, says the FT, 1973. That year saw the

Investing in land: a commentary on the World Bank report
Investing in land: a commentary on the World Bank report
September 16, 2010 / Our blog
Overall, the report certainly offers a useful compilation of existing data and provides a selective review of other studies. Like other research, the report shows how the global ‘land grab’ is complex, often involving multiple actors, including national governments. It

Hungry for Results: Improving the Governance of the Global Food System to Address Structural Hunger
September 15, 2010 / Our blog
There are two principal reasons for the decline in the total number of hungry people and both have to do with the reversal of two recent crises: the reduction of food prices from their peak levels of 2007-8 and the

Meat and markets: Can a global trade in livestock deliver southern Africa out of poverty?
August 12, 2010 / Our blog
Economic growth and employment Ian Scoones, Professorial Fellow at IDS and Co-Director of the STEPS Centre, explained: ‘The idea seems simple. Africa has significant comparative advantage in a range of important commodities with global demand. The growth of such industries

Why agriculture and food security are central to meeting DFID’s new Structural Reform Plan
August 4, 2010 / Our blog
I want to argue, however, that support for agriculture and food security must be central to the implementation of this new plan and that, across the departmental priorities, a focus on support for agriculture, food systems and rural livelihoods must

Awakening Africa’s Sleeping Giant: Agricultural Development in the Guinea Savannah
June 30, 2010 / Our blog
The workshop debated the pitfalls and potentials of the ‘Sleeping Giant’ thesis from multiple viewpoints. The lead author of the report, Hans Binswanger, argued that the northeast Thailand pathway was both efficient and desirable, building on the comparative advantages of

A New Manifesto for Innovation, Sustainability and Development
June 16, 2010 / Our blog
The starting point for the Manifesto is the massive disconnect between ever expanding volumes of research and development in science and technology (S&T) and the persistence of poverty, social injustice and environmental damage. How can these resources be made to

A New Manifesto for Innovation, Sustainability and Development
A New Manifesto for Innovation, Sustainability and Development
June 16, 2010 / Our blog
Yesterday the Royal Society hosted the launch of the STEPS Centre Manifesto on Innovation, Sustainability and Development. STEPS is supported by the ESRC and hosted by IDS and by SPRU at the University of Sussex.The Manifesto draws on work that