Publications

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

Use the search field below or review our thematically structured research archive.


Latest articles

De la participation des petits exploitants agricoles aux marchés semenciers en faveur des pauvres…
January 31, 2014 / Briefings politiques / Policy briefs in French

Titre complet: De la participation des petits exploitants agricoles aux marchés semenciers en faveur des pauvres: l’économie politique des réseaux semenciers commerciaux au Ghana

Point info 47
par Kojo Sebastian Amanor

Depuis les années 1980, les systèmes publics de recherche sur la production semencière en Afrique subsaharienne sont de plus en plus soumis à des pressions en faveur de la privatisation. Au Ghana, ce processus de privatisation se révèle toutefois complexe et fragmenté, car les petits exploitants dépendent dans une grande mesure de leurs propres semences et se montrent peu désireux d’acquérir des semences améliorées. Peu de grands investisseurs sont prêts à financer un secteur encore en développement. En effet, le développement des investissements semenciers repose sur la création d’une infrastructure sociale pour l’utilisation de semences améliorées. Une fois opérationnelle, cette infrastructure créera progressivement une demande chez les agriculteurs, ce qui favorisera leur accès aux marchés des semences améliorées, des intrants et de l’agro-alimentaire.

Semences et subventions: l’économie politique des programmes d’aide aux intrants au Malawi
January 31, 2014 / Briefings politiques / Policy briefs in French

Point info 46
par Blessings Chinsinga

Le présent Point Info de FAC s’intéresse à l’économie politique des programmes d’intrants et plaide pour que les débats en matière de politique agricole se concentrent sur le maïs et les subventions aux intrants. Les programmes de subventions axés sur l’offre de semences et d’engrais destinés à produire davantage de maïs dans le but de renforcer la sécurité alimentaire nationale ont créé un réseau d’acteurs solide, composé d’acteurs gouvernementaux essentiels, d’organismes d’aide et de bailleurs de fonds importants, ainsi que d’ONG. Ces dernières années, ce processus a généré au Malawi une économie politique semencière sans précédent et hautement controversée.

Les distributeurs d’intrants agricoles peuvent-ils instaurer la révolution verte au Kenya?
January 31, 2014 / Briefings politiques / Policy briefs in French

Point info 45
Par Hannington Odame et Elijah Muange

Plusieurs filières d’intrants ont été utilisées pour fournir les diverses technologies agricoles aux trois millions de petits exploitants que compte le Kenya. Les principales filières passent par des institutions publiques, telles que les entreprises d’État et les services publics de vulgarisation, par des pistes commerciales, telles que les sociétés semencières privées et leurs réseaux de distributeurs, et par des organisations de charité, y compris les organismes bailleurs de fonds, les ONG et les organisations d’aide humanitaire. Ces dernières années, le système public de distribution des intrants a basculé vers un système plus libéralité, avec pour conséquence un changement des principaux acteurs et filières. Malgré l’énorme diversification des acteurs impliqués dans la fourniture des intrants, la conception des modalités de fourniture de ces intrants est désormais limitée à un seul modèle dominant: le distributeur d’intrants privé indépendant.

L’économie politique des systèmes semenciers céréaliers dans la révolution verte en Afrique
January 31, 2014 / Briefings politiques / Policy briefs in French

Point info 44
par John Thompson et Ian Scoones

Ce Point Info se base sur des études de cas réalisées par Future Agricultures Consortium en Éthiopie, au Ghana, au Kenya, au Malawi et au Zimbabwe entre 2009 et 2011, destinées à évaluer l’économie politique des programmes de recherche et de développement relatifs aux systèmes semenciers céréaliers en Afrique subsaharienne. En examinant les politiques parfois opposées et les différents enjeux susceptibles d’influencer les modalités de production et de distribution des semences céréalières dans ces pays, il identifie les possibilités de recadrer le débat et d’explorer de nouvelles pistes pour mettre en place des systèmes semenciers plus durables et socialement plus équitables.

Agriculture et changement climatique au coeur des négociations sur le climat de l’ONU
January 31, 2014 / Briefings politiques / Policy briefs in French

Point info 43
Par Merylyn Hedger

L’agriculture est à la fois victime et responsable du changement climatique. Victime parce que la plupart des estimations indiquent que le changement climatique réduira probablement la productivité agricole, la stabilité de la production et les revenus dans certaines régions qui souffrent déjà d’un niveau élevé d’insécurité alimentaire. Responsable parce que l’agriculture est l’une des sources principales d’émissions de gaz à effet de serre (GES). En effet, l’agriculture est la première source d’émissions planétaires d’oxyde azoteux issues principalement des engrais chimiques, d’une source importante d’émissions de méthane issues principalement de la réduction du bétail, ainsi que d’une source considérable d’émissions de carbone issues des modifications de l’affectation des sols, principalement en raison de la déforestation, mais aussi de la dégradation de la tourbe, des feux de tourbe et de l’industrie alimentaire. Pourtant, l’agriculture peut apporter une partie de la solution au problème du changement climatique : le sol est doté d’un potentiel technique considérable – bien qu’incertain – de stockage du carbone, notamment dans les pays en voie de développementi Ce Point Info a pour objectif :

  • de clarifier les différents enjeux en matière d’agriculture, qui se sont confondus dans les négociations sur le climat.
  • d’esquisser les grandes lignes de ce que l’on attend du texte résultant de ces négociations, en vertu de la Convention-Cadre sur les Changements Climatiques (CCNUCC), et d’évaluer l’utilité de cette piste, ainsi que la possibilité d’envisager d’autres orientations.

Savoirs agricoles traditionnels et adaptation au changement climatique: aperçu des processus…
January 31, 2014 / Briefings politiques / Policy briefs in French

Titre complet: Savoirs agricoles traditionnels et adaptation au changement climatique: aperçu des processus politiques au Kenya et en Namibie

Point info 42
Par Andrew Newsham, Lars Otto Naess et Paul Guthiga

Pour le secteur agricole, un défi politique majeur est de veiller à intégrer l’expérience et les savoirs agricoles traditionnels dans les nouveaux processus politiques de lutte contre le changement climatique. Ce Point Info présente les enseignements tirés de récentes études menées dans deux domaines: la première sur les prévisions saisonnières et les savoirs autochtones au Kenya (Guthiga et Newsham, 2011) et la deuxième sur les connaissances et les sciences agro-écologiques en Namibie (Newsham et Thomas, 2011). Le document dégage des enseignements des études sur les processus de coproduction de savoirs par des acteurs utilisant des systèmes de connaissance différents.

Nous avançons ici deux idées fondamentales. Premièrement, les défenseurs de l’intégration du savoir local dans les politiques et pratiques d’adaptation au changement climatique doivent comprendre plus clairement comment fonctionnent réellement les processus politiques afin de mieux imposer leur vision. Deuxièmement, les efforts d’intégration localnational doivent tenir compte du processus plus large de changement à l’échelle mondiale. Nous tentons aussi de mieux cerner l’impact de deux tendances particulièrement pertinentes: tout d’abord les projections récentes laissant supposer une accélération et une aggravation du changement climatique d’ici 2060 et, ensuite, le phénomène de désagrarisation (la disparition progressive des systèmes de subsistance agricole dans les zones rurales).

L’accaparement des terres en Afrique et les nouvelles politiques alimentaires
January 31, 2014 / Briefings politiques / Policy briefs in French

Point info 41
par Ruth Hall

«L’Afrique est à vendre», comme le disent certains; un «accaparement des terres» est en cours. D’autres sont plus prudents et parlent «d’acquisitions de terres à grande échelle», tandis que la Banque mondiale souligne par euphémisme «l’intérêt croissant pour les terres agricoles dans le monde». Quelle que soit la terminologie ou l’idéologie en vigueur, il est désormais largement prouvé que de vastes étendues de terre agricole africaine sont attribuées à des investisseurs, généralement sur base de baux à long terme, à un prix inédit depuis plusieurs dizaines d’années et même depuis la période coloniale. Étant donné que ces terres sont souvent acquises pour assurer les besoins futurs en nourriture et en carburant de pays étrangers, on ne s’étonnera pas du fait que les pays plus riches et plus puissants soient accusés de néocolonialisme dans le but d’annexer les ressources naturelles et essentielles du continent.

Le PDDAA et la politique de pêche en Afrique: poursuivons nous une réforme adéquate?
January 31, 2014 / Briefings politiques / Policy briefs in French

Point info 40
par Christophe Béné

Ces dernières années, on a beaucoup parlé de l’agriculture comme facteur essentiel de réduction de la pauvreté et de croissance économique. En 2003, le Nouveau partenariat économique pour le développement de l’Afrique (NEPAD) a lancé sur le continent africain le Programme detaillé pour le développement de l’agriculture africaine (Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme-CAADP) dans le but d’attirer des contributions significatives de la part des bailleurs de fonds, en vue de donner un nouvel élan au développement agricole. Bien que la pêche fasse officiellement partie du PDDAA, ce secteur doit encore démontrer sa capacité a contribuer aux objectifs du programme. Le présent Point Info passe en revue les principales questions stratégiques relatives a la pêche en Afrique. Il met notamment en question le modèle actuel (l’approche dite ‘basée sur la richesse’, proposé comme ‘couverture tous risques’ des politiques de pêche du continent, et examine pourquoi ce modele n’est peut-être pas le plus adéquat pour les petits pêcheurs africains.

What difference has CAADP made to Tanzanian agriculture?
January 29, 2014 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 74
Brian Cooksey
November 2013

This paper examines the impact of the Comprehensive African Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) on Tanzania’s agricultural sector. It discusses how CAADP relates to national and regional policy initiatives (including the country’s Agriculture and Food Security Investment Plan, the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania, and the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition) and their governance; the possible impacts of CAADP on spending on agriculture in the country; and the extent of the influence and inclusion of civil society organisations on agricultural policy processes.

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FAC Working Paper 074 Pdf 1.89 MB 9 downloads

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When a Good Business Model is Not Enough: Land Transactions and Gendered Livelihood Prospects…
January 22, 2014 / Journal articles

Full title: When a Good Business Model is Not Enough: Land Transactions and Gendered Livelihood Prospects in Rural Ghana

Dzodzi Tsikata and Joseph Awetori Yaro
Feminist Economics,  December 2013

Recent large-scale commercial agriculture projects in developing countries have raised concerns about the effects on natural resource-based livelihood activities of local people. A significant weakness in the emerging literature is the lack of a gender perspective on implications for agrarian livelihoods. This article explores the gendered aspects of land transactions on livelihood prospects in the Northern Region of Ghana. Drawing on qualitative research from two commercial agriculture projects, the article examines how pre-existing gender inequalities in agrarian production systems, as well as gender biases in project design, are implicated in post-project livelihood activities.

The article concludes that a good business model of a land deal, even one that includes local communities in production and profit sharing, is not sufficient to protect women’s livelihood prospects if projects ignore pre-existing gender inequalities and biases, which limit access to opportunities.

Commercialisation of African Smallholder Farming. The Case of Smallholder Farmers in C. Tanzania
January 22, 2014 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 72
Khamaldin Mutabazi, Steve Wiggins & Ntengua Mdoe
August 2013

African agriculture is predominantly carried out on small-scale family farms. The big question about such family farms is whether they can be successfully commercialised within their current structures, or whether they should give way to commercial medium and large-scale farm enterprises. In more detail, the following questions arise about the experience of commercialisation of small farms in Africa and their prospects. Under what conditions, and with what encouragement from policy, may small farms be commercialised? Does commercialisation benefit smallholding households? Does commercialisation increase social differences? Does commercialisation raise risks in the markets to unacceptable levels?

This study addresses primarily the first two questions about the nature of commercialisation, its benefits and impacts on food security. Four villages in Tanzania that produce commercial crops for sale, mainly onions, were studied.

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FAC Working Paper 072 Pdf 2.51 MB 9 downloads

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Land Grabbing, Large- and Small-scale Farming: what can evidence and policy from 20th C Africa…
December 16, 2013 / Journal articles

Full title: Land Grabbing, Large- and Small-scale Farming: what can evidence and policy from 20th century Africa contribute to the debate?

Elena Baglioni and Peter Gibbon
Third World Quarterly, Vol 34, Issue 9, 2013
Special Issue: Global Land Grabs

This article examines the contemporary phenomenon of ‘land grabbing’ in relation to the history of plantation and large- and small-scale farming (PF, LSF and SSF) in sub-Saharan Africa. It looks at the extent of PF and LSF over the 20th century, as well as the policy narratives that have justified, supported or circumscribed their development.

Many characteristics of the current land rush and its interpretation reveal elements of continuity with some of the general trends marking the history of PF and LSF up to recent years. In particular, the heterogeneity of PF and LSF, subsuming quite different relations to SSF, and the pivotal role played by the combination of private capital (whether foreign, domestic or combined) with the state represent organisational continuities. Meanwhile continuities in supporting narratives centre on the prevalence of generic prescriptions for either LSF/PF or SSF. Refuting these generic prescriptions is a precondition for more nuanced analysis and policy proposals.

Biofuels Investment and Community Land Tenure in Tanzania
December 16, 2013 / Working Papers

Future Agricultures Working Paper 73
Emmanuel Sulle and Fred Nelson
December 2013

Like much of sub-Saharan Africa, Tanzania has experienced a surge in land-based investment during the past decade. While expanding private investment in agriculture is a core ambition of the G8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition, experiences of prior investments raise questions about possible negative impacts. A notable element of this pattern of international private investment in Tanzania has been the emergence of biofuels as a form of agriculture; biofuel investments occurred rapidly and on a large scale around 2005–2008, with about four million hectares around the country requested for allocation to commercial biofuel projects. Many of those investments were large-scale projects based on the cultivation of jatropha or sugarcane, headed by European companies. One of the most well-known biofuel investments was that of Bioshape, which acquired approximately 34,000 ha in Kilwa District for the cultivation of jatropha.

The report documents, insofar as is possible using available information, the process Bioshape and government authorities at national and district level undertook to acquire the land from the four villages in Kilwa where Bioshape established operations.

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FAC Working Paper 073 Pdf 1.54 MB 11 downloads

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Intégrer les différences sociales, le genre et l’analyse sociale dans le développement agricole
December 6, 2013 / Briefings politiques / Policy briefs in French

Point info 39
par Christine Okali

Une conception très répandue veut que les processus actuels de changement social, économique, politique et environnemental en Afrique subsaharienne augmentent les inégalités sociales. Cette idée reflète l’incapacité apparente de certains groupes de s’adapter aux nouvelles institutions destinées à gérer les ressources naturelles et à gérer l’accès à celles-ci, aux nouveaux modèles d’emprise sur la chaîne de valeur et aux nouvelles mesures de régulation modifiant l’accès aux marchés. Dans de nombreuses régions rurales, ce sont les femmes, ainsi que les hommes jeunes et pauvres, qui sont épinglés comme étant de plus en plus défavorisés.

L’innovation en marche: des pasteurs assurent leurs moyens de subsistance dans la Corne de l’Afrique
December 6, 2013 / Briefings politiques / Policy briefs in French

Point info 38
par Abdirizak Nunow, Abdullahi Abdi Hussein, Jeremy Lind, Bokutache Dida et Abdullahi Hussein Mahmoud

Les régions pastorales de la Corne de l’Afrique traversent des changements rapides. L’ouverture des marchés aide à améliorer les moyens de subsistance et génère de nouvelles richesses considérables pour l’économie locale et nationale. Les changements politiques et constitutionnels créent des opportunités permettant aux pasteurs d’influencer les décisions relatives à l’affectation des ressources publiques, ainsi que les lois et les pratiques qui ont une incidence sur leurs droits. Les nouvelles technologies, telles que les téléphones mobiles, ainsi que l’amélioration des routes, ouvrent les régions pastorales à une plus grande mobilité des personnes, des marchandises et des idées. En outre, de nouvelles manières de fournir des services aux populations pastorales nomades et reculées ont amélioré leur accès aux soins de santé, aux services vétérinaires et à l’enseignement.

Can China and Brazil help Africa feed itself?
October 16, 2013 / Policy Briefs

CAADP Policy Brief 12

The questions of how Africa can feed itself, and how the agricultural sector can be a more effective engine for growth and development, have long been targets of national governments. Western donors have increased assistance following the 2007/8 food price crisis. But the emergence of China and Brazil as major players has raised hopes that innovative agricultural models from the ‘rising powers’ can be transferred or adapted to African countries.

This policy brief draws on latest research findings by Future Agricultures, focusing on engagement in four African countries, and asks:

  • What are the realities of the different routes and models in China and Brazil’s agricultural development?
  • How are China and Brazil engaging with Africa in agricultural development?
  • How should Africa approach these new engagements – with open arms or cautiously, looking at likely winners and losers?

Supporting small farmers to commercialise
October 16, 2013 / Policy Briefs

CAADP Policy Brief 11

Accelerating growth in the agricultural sector by raising the capacities of private entrepreneurs – smallholder and commercial farmers – to meet the increasingly complex requirements of domestic, regional and international markets, is the central aim of CAADP Pillar II.

Commercialisation is about increasing engagement with markets. Smallholder farmers have long been engaged with markets for produce, inputs and information. Urbanisation, better communications and globalisation make understanding smallholder commercialisation all the more important. This policy brief draws on recent research by Future Agricultures and asks:

  • How do small farmers commercialise?
  • What have been the outcomes of small farmer commercialisation?
  • How can policies support smallholder commercialisation and encourage good outcomes?

Leaping and Learning case studies
September 17, 2013 / Research Papers

This set of 41 case studies accompanies the Leaping and Learning research report.

 

 

Leaping and learning: linking smallholders to markets
September 17, 2013 / Research Papers

Agriculture for Impact research report
by Steve Wiggins and Sharada Keats
May 2013

This report provides a comprehensive review of the existing literature on smallholder-centred market-based interventions.

Smallholder farms in sub-Saharan Africa number around 33 million, represent 80% of all farms in the region, and contribute up to 90% of food production in some sub-Saharan African countries. Developing smallholder agriculture can be effective in reducing poverty and hunger in low income countries, but only through sustainable access to markets can poor farmers increase the income from their labour and lift themselves and their families out of poverty.

Most poor farmers are not linked to markets for a variety of reasons: remoteness, low production, low farm-gate prices, and lack of information, to name a few. Addressing and overcoming these market failures in order to increase smallholder farmers’ access to markets was the subject of this research project.

In short, the project aimed to answer the question:

how can smallholders in sub-Saharan Africa use a combination of agricultural growth and links to markets to raise their incomes and reduce poverty and hunger?

What follows is a summary of the considerations, conclusions and recommendations that resulted from the synthesis and exploration of existing material, case studies and workshops.

Women, Gender and Protest Emergence – Contesting Oil Palm Plantation Expansion in Sambas District
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

Full title: Women, Gender and Protest Emergence – Contesting Oil Palm Plantation Expansion in Sambas District, Indonesia

LDPI Working Paper 49
by Miranda Morgan

The political value of land, remittances and a possible case of land grabbing
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

Full title: The political value of land, remittances and a possible case of land grabbing – The case of an indigenous village in Oaxaca, Mexico

LDPI Working Paper 48
by Iván Sandoval Cervantes

Processes of land accumulation and patterns of labour mobility in large-scale oil palm smallholding
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

Full title: Processes of land accumulation and patterns of labour mobility in large-scale oil palm smallholding schemes in Indonesia

LDPI Working Paper 47
by Jean-François Bissonnette

Impact of Restrictive Legislation and Popular Opposition Movements on Foreign Land Investments
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

Full title: Impact of Restrictive Legislation and Popular Opposition Movements on Foreign Land Investments in Brazil – The Case of the Forestry and Pulp Paper Sector and Stora Enso

LDPI Working Paper 45
by Debora Lerrer and John Wilkinson

Land reforms and land grabs – Contemporary conflicts in the Brazilian land struggle
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

LDPI Working Paper 44
by Clifford Andrew Welch

The drive for accumulation – Environmental contestation and agrarian support to Mexico’s oil palm
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

Full title: The drive for accumulation – Environmental contestation and agrarian support to Mexico’s oil palm expansion

LDPI Working Paper 43
by Antonio Castellanos-Navarrete and Kees Jansen

Small Farm Holders’ Response to the Global Land Deals in Benin -The role of international solidarity
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

Full title: Small Farm Holders’ Response to the Global Land Deals in Benin – The role of international solidarity linkages

LDPI Working Paper 41
by Paulette Nonfodji

 

Land for agricultural development in the era of ‘land grabbing’
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

Full title: Land for agricultural development in the era of ‘land grabbing’ – A spatial exploration of the ‘marginal lands’ narrative in contemporary Ethiopia

LDPI Working Paper 40
by Rachel A Nalepa

Challenging the dominant assumptions about peasants’ responses to land grabbing
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

Full title: Challenging the dominant assumptions about peasants’ responses to land grabbing – ‘Politics from below’ in Ukraine

LDPI Working Paper 39
by Natalia Mamonova

Financializing Prairie farmland – Farmland investment funds and the restructuring of family farming
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

Full title: Financializing Prairie farmland – Farmland investment funds and the restructuring of family farming systems in central Canada

LDPI Working Paper 38
by Melanie Sommerville

The Formalization Fix? Land titling, state land concessions, and the politics
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

Full title: The Formalization Fix? Land titling, state land concessions, and the politics of geographical transparency in contemporary Cambodia

LDPI Working Paper 37
by Michael B Dwyer

Agricultural Land Conversion Drivers in Northeast Iran
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

LDPI Working Paper 36
by Hossein Azadi and Ali Akbar Barati

Understanding forms of contention in the post-Soviet setting – Rural responses
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

Full title: Understanding forms of contention in the post-Soviet setting – Rural responses to Chinese land investments in Tajikistan

LDPI Working Paper 35
by Irna Hoffman

Creating a Zambian Breadbasket – ‘Land grabs’ and foreign investments in agriculture in Mkushi
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

Full title: Creating a Zambian Breadbasket – ‘Land grabs’ and foreign investments in agriculture in Mkushi District

LDPI Working Paper 33
by Jessica M Chu

 

Foreign land deals in Tanzania – An update and a critical view on the challenges of data
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

Full title: Foreign land deals in Tanzania – An update and a critical view on the challenges of data (re)production

LDPI Working Paper 31
by Emmanuel Sulle

An investigation of the political economy of land grabs in Malawi – The case of Kasinthula
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

Full title: An investigation of the political economy of land grabs in Malawi – The case of Kasinthula Cane Growers Limited (KCGL)

LDPI Working Paper 30
by Michael Chasukwa

Evaluating Consultation in Large-scale Land Acquisitions – Spotlight on Three Cases in Mali
September 11, 2013 / LDPI Working Papers

LDPI Working Paper 28
by Kerstin Nolte and Lieske Voget-Kleschin

Young People, Agriculture, and Transformation in Rural Africa: An “Opportunity Space” Approach
September 9, 2013 / Journal articles

by James Sumberg and Christine Okali
Innovations Journal, Special Edition on Youth Economic Opportunities
September 2013

In this essay we argue that entrepreneurship-based policy and programmes to address the jobs challenge facing young people in rural Africa need to be much more firmly grounded. Specifically, in terms of expectations, design and implementation they must take explicit account of the highly diverse and changing rural and social realities within which young people both find themselves and help to fashion. We will develop this argument through an exploration of the notion of “opportunity space”, and demonstrate the benefit of putting an appreciation of social difference and social relations at centre stage.

The Struggle over the Commons: Annual Savanna Fires and Transnational Mango Outgrower Schemes
August 20, 2013 / Policy Briefs

Full title:The Struggle over the Commons: Annual Savanna Fires and Transnational Mango Outgrower Schemes in Northern Ghana

FAC Policy Brief 62
by Joseph A. Yaro and Dzodzi Tsikata
July 2013

Northern Ghana is characterised by rain fed agriculture, poor infrastructure, food crop production and poor export-oriented agriculture. Large-scale agriculture producing export crops has been one of the many suggestions made to reduce poverty in the region. However, annual savanna fires destroy investments in commercial and food crop agriculture due to a misunderstanding of the nature and purpose of these fires. The underlying causes of fires and their control cannot merely be attributed to overt reasons; they result from socio-political causes such as dissatisfaction with processes of disenfranchisement and social exclusion. This raises many questions regarding the plausibility and efficacy of introducing a modern export-oriented organic mango farming project in improving the local economy of northern Ghana.

This brief examines the Integrated Tamale Fruit Company (ITFC) outgrower farm model, which fits well into the government’s value chain approach to agricultural commercialisation with an export focus. Savanna fires are not necessarily destructive as the current policy formulations prescribe, but an understanding of the varied uses of these fires, the timings and a negotiated management of natural resources including land, is important in regulating the use of fires in ways beneficial to all land users.

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Policy Brief 062 Pdf 310.84 KB 8 downloads

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Targeting in the Farm Input Subsidy Programme in Malawi, 2006/07 – 2011/12
August 20, 2013 / Policy Briefs

FAC Policy Brief 61
by Andrew Dorward and Ephraim Chirwa
July 2013

Targeting, the process of directing subsidised inputs to particular areas and to households within those areas, plays a critical role in Malawi’s Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP). It involves the implementation of particular targeting systems which are intended to deliver particular targeting outcomes and patterns of subsidised input access across areas and households. These affect how inputs are used, and hence programme impacts. Targeting is controversial and political, as it determines whether or not, how and how much particular people and groups benefit from the programme. Targeting is also difficult – and the large scale of the programme across the country adds to the challenges and costs in implementing and supervising targeting.

This policy brief sets out targeting issues that emerge from FISP evaluations and suggests criteria and options for improving targeting processes, outcomes and impacts.

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Policy Brief 061 Pdf 420.07 KB 33 downloads

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Factors Influencing Access to Agricultural Input Subsidy Coupons in Malawi
August 20, 2013 / Policy Briefs

FAC Policy Brief 60
by Ephraim W. Chirwa, Mirriam Matita and Andrew Dorward
July 2013

One direct way in which agricultural input subsidies can provide social protection to the poor is by targeting the poor with very high subsidies to ensure that they are able to access inputs. Although the Malawi Agricultural Input Subsidy Programme (MAISP) generally targets resource-poor households, the targeting guidelines also accord special consideration to vulnerable groups such as child-headed, femaleheaded or orphan-headed households and households affected by HIV and AIDS. This Policy Brief considers how the Malawi Agricultural Input Subsidy Programme has contributed to providing social protection to these poor and vulnerable households.

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Policy Brief 060 Pdf 266.26 KB 32 downloads

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Thinking about ‘Graduation’ from the Farm Input Subsidy Programme in Malawi
August 20, 2013 / Policy Briefs

FAC Policy Brief 59
by Ephraim W. Chirwa, Andrew R. Dorward and Mirriam Matita
July 2013

Considering the high incidence of poverty and food insecurity among Malawi’s rural population, agricultural input subsidies can be seen in part as a social protection instrument, improving accessibility and availability of food for vulnerable groups. However, questions about the sustainability of the Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) have been raised since its introduction in 2005/06. Some have argued that with limited public resources and other competing needs of development, subsidisation of farm inputs for a food staple may not be the best use of scarce resources, justifying calls for an exit strategy. Others, however, describe the subsidy as a good thing insofar as it addresses chronic food insecurity in Malawi and contributes to inclusive economic growth and poverty reduction.

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Policy Brief 059 Pdf 284.55 KB 34 downloads

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Private Sector Participation in the Farm Input Subsidy Programme in Malawi
August 20, 2013 / Policy Briefs

FAC Policy Brief 58
by Ephraim W. Chirwa and Andrew R. Dorward
July 2013

The Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) in Malawi has been implemented since the 2005/06 season with the objective of improving household and national food production and incomes. It targets more than 1.5 million farm families who receive subsidised fertilisers, improved maize seeds and/or legume seeds. The implementation of the FISP has involved the interaction of the Government of Malawi, the private sector, development partners, civil society organisations (CSOs), non-governmental organisations (NGOs), traditional leaders and smallholder farmers, all playing different roles in the implementation and success of the programme. The private sector has played a critical role, but its involvement in the programme has changed over time. This has included the procurement of fertilisers, the transportation of fertilisers to various markets, the retail sale of fertilisers, and the production and sale of improved seeds.

Benefits from the inclusion of the private sector in the implementation of a nation-wide agricultural input subsidy programme include efficiency, reduced bureaucracy, strategic development of the private market system, cost savings on the part of the Government, shared investment finance and costs, and reduction in displacement of commercial sales of inputs.

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Policy Brief 058 Pdf 379.30 KB 20 downloads

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Fertiliser Use on Women’s Plots: An Intra-Household View of the Malawi Farm Input Subsidy Programme
August 20, 2013 / Policy Briefs

FAC Policy Brief 57
by Ephraim W. Chirwa, Peter M. Mvula, Andrew Dorward and Mirriam Matita

The Government of Malawi has, since the 2005/06 agricultural season, been implementing a Farm Input Subsidy Programme (FISP) targeting resource-poor smallholder farmers. The input subsidy is targeted at households and implicitly assumes that a household is a unitary decision-making unit and subsidised inputs will be used equitably on plots controlled by various members of the household.

This research demonstrates that in a socio-cultural environment in which men tend to dominate intra-household decision-making processes over allocation of income and resources, these issues are important in understanding the effectiveness of input subsidies and how they can create more equal opportunities for female and male members of the household. This research investigated gender differences in the application of fertilisers in general and subsidised fertilisers in particular, on plots controlled by male and female household members.

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Policy Brief 057 Pdf 263.60 KB 24 downloads

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