The Future Agricultures Consortium produces research in a variety of formats.Several key research series are available for download, circulation and citation.

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Latest articles

Into the fold: what pastoral responses to crisis tell us about the future of pastoralism in the Horn
June 4, 2014 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 91
Jeremy Lind and Lina Rivera Barrero
May 2014

This paper is concerned with how pastoral livelihoods are likely to evolve in areas of the Horn of Africa where processes of incorporation are intensifying. More than ever before, pastoral areas of the Horn of Africa are coming into the fold of wider economic processes. Expropriations of land and key resources in rangelands for the establishment of private ranches and commercial farms, the expansion of roads, telecommunications, and marketing facilities to promote trade and mobility, and investments in hydrocarbons are some of the ways that pastoral areas are being newly encapsulated into regional and global capitalist development. The connections between pastoral areas and wider national, regional and global processes will intensify and become more systematic, codified (in land use planning and statutory tenure, internal revenue and customs, and veterinary rules and regulations, for example), and otherwise formalised.


FAC Working Paper 091 Pdf 438.60 KB 1 downloads


Pastoral Livestock Trade and Growth in Ethiopia
June 4, 2014 / Policy Briefs

Policy Brief 72
Yacob Aklilu and Andy Catley

In Ethiopia, government support to the export of livestock and livestock products started soon after the eradication of rinderpest. This was generic multi-sector support from which the livestock sector benefited, and pre-dated the New Alliance. Although Ethiopia has seen dramatic increases in formal exports, it is less recognised that pastoralist areas supply most of the animals for export. For this supply to be maintained or increased, specific livestock policy support is needed based on consultation with pastoralists, traders and other private sector actors, along with stronger coordination of the government ministries that oversee different aspects of the production and trade system. There are also opportunities to further apply systems to support cross-border trade, in line with the policies of the African Union and IGAD, and supported by certification systems such as the COMESA Green Pass. In terms of the New Alliance objective of supporting equitable growth, commercialisation of pastoral systems is associated with increasing wealth disparity and out-migration of poorer or destitute pastoralists.


Policy Brief 072 Pdf 627.34 KB 7 downloads


Investment in drylands: widening the benefits for food security and development
June 4, 2014 / Policy Briefs

Policy Brief 71
Izzy Birch and Jeremy Lind

After decades of comparative neglect, the drylands of the Horn of Africa are experiencing an unprecedented surge of investment. Largescale infrastructure projects now dominate national development plans. They represent a welcome renewal of interest by states in drylands and an opportunity to reduce long-standing inequalities in the provision of public goods and services. Uneven investment has been a barrier to formal private sector engagement; it has also left pastoralists more vulnerable to shocks and ill-equipped to take advantage of processes of economic transformation. Of all types of investment, state-driven investment should provide for the greater public good. Careful planning and management will be required if it is to contribute to inclusive growth rather than deepen inequality.


Policy Brief 071 Pdf 0.00 KB 3 downloads


Social protection in pastoral areas: promoting inclusive growth at the margins
June 4, 2014 / Policy Briefs

Policy Brief 70
Jeremy Lind and Izzy Birch

Vulnerability and poverty levels remain stubbornly high and arguably are deepening in many pastoral areas of the Horn of Africa. This is in spite of galloping livestock commercialisation in these areas and their closer incorporation into wider systems of marketing, trade and investment. The fact remains that the benefits of recent growth and investment in pastoral areas have yet to result in wider benefits for addressing food insecurity and poor nutrition. Chronically food insecure, poor or vulnerable people with limited assets cannot engage in or contribute to more productive livestock-keeping or other growth-oriented economic activities that are the intended focus of the New Alliance. Thus, strengthening social protection systems in the region is a prerequisite for realising more inclusive growth at the pastoral margins. This brief details the role of social protection in agendas to promote agricultural growth, highlighting areas of innovative programme design and implementation where further efforts might focus.


Policy Brief 070 Pdf 429.09 KB 2 downloads


Savannah fires and local resistance to transnational land deals: the case of organic mango farming..
May 29, 2014 / Journal articles

Full title: Savannah fires and local resistance to transnational land deals: the case of organic mango farming in Dipale, northern Ghana

Joseph A. Yaro and Dzodzi Tsikata
African Geographical Review, Volume 32, Issue 1, 2013

Recent interest in investments in land in Africa targets the supposed ‘abundant and wasting’ fire-prone savannah woodlands. Outgrower models are becoming the recommended business model for transnational investments as they are argued to guarantee a win–win outcome for both trans-national companies and local farmers. Using qualitative interviews in the village of Dipale, we investigate one such project, the Integrated Tamale Fruit Company (ITFC). All outgrowers lost their investments to savannah fires and consequently abandoned or converted the mango farms into food crop farms. The political ecology of the area, manifested in the human-environmental conditions and land management practices confounded the business model of land acquisitions thus threatening their profitability for the investors and reducing their contribution to local livelihood outcomes. The savannah fires represent an instrumentalized form of local resistance against the expropriation of their livelihood resources without their full cooperation and consent.


Land, Gender, and Food Security
May 29, 2014 / Journal articles

Cheryl Doss, Gale Summerfield and Dzodzi Tsikata
Feminist Economics, volume 20, issue 1, 2014

Since 2008, a surge in large-scale land acquisitions, or land grabs, has been taking place in low- and middle-income countries around the globe. This contribution examines the gendered effects of and responses to these deals, drawing on nine studies, which include conceptual framing essays that bring in debates about human rights, studies that draw on previous waves of land acquisitions globally, and case studies that examine the gendered dimensions of land dispossession and loss of common property. Three key insights emerge: the evolving gender and land tenure literature provides valuable information for understanding the likely effects of land deals; some of the land deal issues transcend gender-equity concerns and relate to broader problems of dispossession and loss of livelihoods; and huge gaps remain in our knowledge of gender and land rights that require urgent attention and systematic integration of gender analysis into mainstream research.

Policy processes and agriculture – what difference does CAADP make?
May 29, 2014 / Policy Briefs

CAADP Policy Brief 14

It is just over ten years since African Union (AU) Heads of State made their declaration in support of Africa’s agricultural sector in Maputo. Through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP), they committed to a common process for the development and refinement of national agricultural strategies and investment plans, intended to guide the investments of governments, donors and the private sector. This Brief draws on research by the Future Agricultures Consortium on the political and economic context of CAADP in eight African countries (Poulton et al. 2014)and asks:

  • How does CAADP fit with existing national agricultural strategies and policies?
  • Who and what drives the CAADP process at country level?
  • What value has CAADP added to national agricultural policies?

The findings add to our understanding of how domestic political incentives affect pro-poor agricultural policy in Africa.

Agriculture and climate change – politics behind the policies
May 29, 2014 / Policy Briefs

CAADP Policy Brief 13

Policy-makers are increasingly focusing on the linkages between agriculture and climate change. Since 2009 African Union members have committed to embracing climate change mitigation and adaptation as integral components of agricultural development. While a number of pilot initiatives are under way, we know little about what this kind of focus on climate change and agriculture will mean in practice. Realising the potentials of agricultural systems for adaption and mitigation is about more than technological choices and farming practices; it is also about politics and power.

This Brief draws on recent research by the Future Agricultures Consortium (FAC) which examines how the agenda for climate-smart agriculture is playing out in practice in Africa, and asks:

  • Who participates in national agriculture and climate change policy processes?
  • Whose knowledge counts in defining climate-smart agriculture?
  • On whose terms and in whose interests are particular approaches and technologies favoured?

Review of research and policies for climate change adaptation in the agriculture sector in W Africa
May 28, 2014 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 90
Edward R. Rhodes, Abdulai Jalloh and Aliou Diouf
May 2014

The agricultural sector in Africa is very vulnerable to climate change and there is need for strong support to research on adaptation to climate change. A desk study on the synthesis of research and policy on climate change in the agricultural sector in West Africa was undertaken as part of the activities of a platform for exchange between researchers and policymakers for adaptation to climate change (AfricaInteract), a project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and coordinated by the Council for Agricultural Research and Development in West and Central Africa (CORAF/WECARD). The objective of the review is to enhance the knowledge base and support research-based policy formulation for climate change adaptation in the smallholder agricultural sector (crops, livestock, pastoral systems and fisheries) in West Africa. Peer reviewed journal papers, peer reviewed reports of CGIAR centres and international organisations, papers published in conference proceedings and consultancy reports were studied. Materials published from 1995 to 2013 were used for the report.

This review was undertaken under the auspices of the AfricaInteract project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).


FAC Working Paper 090 V2 Pdf 713.94 KB 0 downloads


Review of research and policies for climate change adaptation in urban areas of West Africa
May 28, 2014 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 89
Maruf Sanni, Abdulai Jalloh and Aliou Diouf
April 2014

There has been an unprecedented increase in human population and urban development in recent times. The West African sub-region is no exception. The sub-region’s population is growing at an average annual rate of three percent, and could reach 430m by 2020. Climate change will increase existing urban system challenges in the sub-region. Against this background, the West and Central African Council for Agricultural Research and Development (CORAF/WECARD) commissioned a review of literature on climate change impacts and adaptation in urban areas of West Africa. This was with a view to enhancing the knowledge base and to supporting research-based policy formulation for climate change adaptation in urban areas of West Africa. This review was carried out using peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings, grey literature, policy documents, technical reports, relevant government and non-governmental organisation (NGO) documents and libraries over the past 15 to 20 years.

This review was undertaken under the auspices of the AfricaInteract project funded by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC).


FAC Working Paper 089 Pdf 2.22 MB 0 downloads